Open Post

September 2023 Open Post

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

With that said, have at it!


  1. Could you expand a little (or refer me to your other writings) on something you said to the effect that religion in the western world for the last 300 years was concerned a lot with crowd control? Chomsky says something along the same lines that when the elites in Europe could no longer control the masses by coercion, they decided they had to control by other means. Chomsky doesn’t focus on religion but rather on education and the press, but it seems to amount to the same thing. In particular, how was religion in the west different before and after 300 years ago?

  2. With the convergence of AI, centralised banking and surveillance – culture currently circling our mainstream cultures other than living totally off grid without any tech what steps can we take to retain sanity and safeguard our lives within these nets that seem to potentially be aligning around us…

  3. In your post titled the law of consequences you say that people pay for acts committed in previous lives. “They’re souls that have reversed the bad karma of many previous lives and are clearing away their karmic backlog in a hurry by coping with bad experiences in a brave and patient way.” Is there any evidence about reincarnation? How have you come to these conclusions about karma? Thank you.

  4. JMG,

    Recently I read that an Ecuadorian drug lord was shot to death by a rival and his gunmen, and he was buried with a whole cache of modern weapons, a lot of AKs and the like. The reason, it was explained, presumably by a spokesperson for the cartel, was that so he, the drug lord, could defend himself adequately in the afterlife. So, it’s an updated version of the pharaohs buried with horses and chariots, or Qin Shi Huang’s terracotta army, or Viking warriors buried with swords and shields.

    I get the idea, the weaponry had symbolic and magical power, thus has an etheric and astral substance and reality in the afterlife. As for dead cartel leaders, I imagine that if they’re not issued a ticket for the next passing comet, they’re in a very low and swampy place on the astral plane where they’re in the company of people just like them. So I’m wondering – do the weapons buried with them really protect them in that hellish part of the astral?

    As far as I know, nothing was done to preserve the drug lord’s etheric body, but it wouldn’t surprise me if something along those lines was arranged.


  5. Hi JMG,

    Long-team reader, wanted to ask a question. Years ago in your series on Anerica and Russia, you mentioned that there is a reason that the ‘Magian inheritance’, i.e. Christianity, is stronger in America than in the European heartlands of the ‘Faustian’ culture, but I don’t think you ever elaborated. What is that reason?


  6. Hi JMG, You have mentioned previously and someone mentioned in a recent comment reading about accounts of white settlers running away to join native Americans in the 18th century. Could you or any readers point me in the direction of any books or sources of info about this? Thanks!

  7. In my own political evolution, I’ve been taking an inventory of some of the liberal constructs I mistakenly bought into in the past. One of them is this: “Walls are always acts of violence.” I deconstruct that claim here:

    Have you similar examples? That one had surfaced in the mid-1990s, which is evidence that the current sweep of rampant illogic has its seeds further in the past than we might want to admit. Well, at least further than I’d like to admit!

  8. At this link is a full list of all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared at and, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. A printable version of the entire prayer list current as of 9/26 may be downloaded here. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

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

    * * *

    Here a few of the recent prayers that I would like to bring special attention to this week.

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

    May Jeff Huggin’s friends Dale and Tracy be blessed and healed; may Dale’s blood and spinal fluid infection clear up sufficiently to receive a heart valve replacement; may his medical procedures go smoothly and with success; and may Dale and Tracy successfully surmount these difficulties.

    Russ Hopson, the spouse of Kate Bowden, friend of Peter Van Erp, is suffering from a yet undiagnosed malady which has caused seizures. Please pray for understanding for his physicians, and his recovery to health.

    May Mya be released from her addiction, may her emotional, mental, and physical bodies by fully healed; and may she find Higher guidance as she makes her way on her life path.

    May Erika’s partner James, who has just learned he has cancer all over inside him on his liver and lungs, be blessed, healed and protected.

    In the case of Princess Cutekitten and the large bank who is suing her, may justice be done, with harm to none.

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

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

  9. Medium-long time reader here, from 2015. For almost a decade I’ve been studiously ignoring the ‘druid’ part of your work, and finally gave it a look. When I read your description of how no-one ever converts to druidry, but rather discovers that’s what he’s been doing all along I thought, “yeah, the old blighter is right once again”. I’ll be working through your curriculum in the year that started last week on the equinox. All this to say thanks for all the great reading.

    For the open post, I wonder if the diet people deleted last time will come back. It’s definitely at least partly agricultural runoff (this is so well demonstrated it’s in textbooks on endocrinology) and partly poly unsaturated fatty acids in seed oils (no coincidence they began life as industrial lubricants).

  10. Dear JMG,

    a) do you still concur with the Limits to Growth projections?
    b) if yes, then do you expect a steep decline in industrial production to affect China and India as well (along with the Western countries) in the foreseeable future?
    c) approximately what year do you expect the predicted total global population decline to begin and accelerate?


  11. @Kurt Schmidt,
    yes, I saw that. The speaker of the house just resigned over the issue. It looks like someone didn’t do their homework on Yaroslav Hunka before inviting him to parliament and publicly recognizing him.

    I think this can be blamed on stupidity and not doing the homework rather than anything more sinister. Except, maybe, a willingness to ignore Ukraine’s WW2 history and assume that anything Russia says is always baseless without investigation.

    Apparently, my country is governed by idiots who believe their own propaganda. Who’d have thought? I’d kind of figured that part out already…

  12. Two things to share today:

    First, this came up in someone else’s comment on last week’s post, I believe, but I wanted to highlight it here. I’ve long wished that someone would take a good, detailed look at German culture and intellectual history without either shying away from its disastrous turn in the twentieth century, nor painting every single thing as leading to that disastrous turn. Well, Luc Koch, himself a German, has delivered almost everything I wanted in his wonderful piece “The German Soul”:

    Secondly, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the book reviews by husband and wife team “The Psmiths” (the p is silent, like in “pseudonym,” you see). They have differing, but highly complementary takes, and different, but overlapping, interests, which means you get something different when one or other posts, but if you like one of them, you’ll likely like both. I thought their latest (from Mrs. Psmith), on How to Read a Tree by Tristan Gooley might be of especial interest to Ecosophia readers:

    Otherwise, I hope everyone had a wonderful (fall) Johnny Appleseed day yesterday!

    My blessings to all who will have them,

  13. It’s a rainy day here in Cincinnati. That means its time for a cup of earl grey and Ecosophiac conversation / conservation.

    So, riff I may:

    @Kurt Schmidt: Yeah, and now there are some people in Poland who want to extradite the guy for his war crimes. I guess the rat lines didn’t get him far enough away.

    @Brunette Gardens: I wonder how much of the hang up within the left about walls comes from memories, at least in the news, about the Berlin Wall and the ideological wall of the Iron Curtain? There’s also this well rooted idea that going “Beyond Borders” and “Beyond the Horizon” that is one of the flavors found within the mythology of progress.

  14. Another significant feature in the collapse of empires and civilizations is that many of the organizations and structures that were set up to thrive and maximize effort in a time of growth are detrimental to stability during a time of decline.
    A good example of this just came up in Portland (OR). There they divided the sewer department from the transportation department ( streets) in what seemed like a sensible system during growth. The street department did all the sewer construction and repair under city streets. This allowed them to plan sewer upgrades during times of street construction or repair. Now the transportation department has fallen on hard times with reductions in its main funding sources of gas tax, and parking fees, while sewers have a more stable funding source. But with cutbacks in staff and activity at transportation they are choosing to slow-walk sewer work in favor of their own priorities. In a time a decline, maintaining working public sanitation is much more important than streets but this old ” growth based” system will hasten the decline of the city.
    Another one is the system of selling real estate for a percentage of the sale price. This works in a time of growth in prices but in a time of decline ( the next several generations) there are only losses to be had in selling a home ( except for those who own free and clear). This means a new method is needed such as a community bulletin board to hasten these transactions when a fee based system has fallen apart.

  15. Bradley, there’s a fascinating story about Voltaire. One time he and some friends of his were at dinner, and his friends got into a conversation about atheism, and started laughingly dismissing the idea that God could exist. Voltaire sent the servants away and said to his friends, “Don’t say such things in front of the servants. Do you really want to have your throats cut this very night?” That same attitude — the idea that religion was a way to keep the lower classes obedient — runs all through European culture in the 18th and 19th centuries; I’ve read, though I no longer remember the specific sources, English writings from the Victorian period that make exactly this point in so many words.

    Planetpriya, well, to begin with, the more complex the technologies of social control become, the more glitches, bugs, and systems failures they inevitably generate. Murphy’s Law (or, for my British readers, Sod’s Law) applies to surveillance states just as much as it does to everything else; furthermore, the more frantically the current regimes fixate on the internet and on the control of large cities, the easier it becomes for those who spend most of their lives offline (or even away from the popular websites and apps) and who avoid the major urban centers. It’s easy to get caught up in the mistaken belief that the current regimes are as omnipotent as they want to pretend; just keep in mind that the people who are running these schemes are also the people who spent 20 years in Afghanistan to replace the Taliban with the Taliban.

    Xco, there’s vast amounts of evidence supporting reincarnation — more than there is supporting any other idea concerning the afterlife. You might want to start with the publications of the late Dr. Ian Stevenson, who spent most of his career as a psychological researcher compiling vast amounts of data on the subject. There are plenty of other such compilations but his are arguably the most professional. As for karma, quite a few of the occult traditions I’ve studied include detailed discussions of that in their teachings; I’ve assessed those and compared them to my own experience, both in this lives and in my own apparent memories of past lives, and they check out — so that’s my source for material on karma.

    Kurt, yep. What you contemplate, you imitate — and an enormous number of people on Trudeau’s side of the political landscape have been obsessively contemplating Nazis for years now. (Hatred, after all, is a form of contemplation.) Have you noticed how many such people have abandoned their former belief in free speech, and ditched their previous pacifism and are all eager for a Drang nach Osten against Russia? I would not be a bit surprised if a good many of them finish the transition and become passionate antisemites in jackboots and armbands sometime soon.

    Will, they would have done just as well to have terra cotta models of guns, but that takes a certain amount of metaphysical sophistication. During the early stages of the after-death process, if the dead person isn’t able to rise to higher states of consciousness, he’s in a dream-state, and the things left with him in the grave can help shape the dreams — thus if the drug lord, remembering his last moments, panics and is convinced that his enemies are going to attack him, he’ll be comforted by sensing all those guns to hand. Once he’s in the astral, he’s going to have to deal with all his own memories, and the guns won’t help him there; in the meantime, though, his nearest and dearest won’t have to deal with dreams where a panicked drug lord comes around begging for protection.

    Jonathan, it’s simple. North America doesn’t yet have a high culture of its own; Europe does. Thus the Magian imprint was always a transitory pseudomorphosis in Europe, since the pressures of the Faustian culture have always been pushing against it; here in America, by contrast, Faustian and Magian influences (among others) are equally foreign but don’t have any deep pushback against them. That’ll come centuries from now, when the future American great culture begins to draw together.

    Devonlad, it’s been years since I looked into it, but you can generally find them as one of the things include under the label “Indian captivity narratives.”

    Brunette Gardens, thank you for this. When I encounter that particular bit of unhinged rhetoric, I ask the person spouting it to explain the difference between a wall and a safety rail. The results can be colorful.

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

    Leo, funny; I’ll gladly accept the label of “old blighter”! With regard to obesity, I’m curious why you leave the known weight-gain effects of antidepressants out of the mix.

    Mobi, so far the original Limits to Growth predictions match the data better than any other prediction — and dramatically better than the predictions of those who loudly insisted that LTG was nonsense. With regard to your second question, that would have to be determined by finer-grained analysis than LTG engaged in — the point is that total global production will peak and begin a decline. Where industrial production in the era of decline happens to be concentrated is not something that can be determined by models of global resource use. As for the specific year, LTG didn’t predict that; sometime in the first half of this century seems likely, but once again, we’re dealing with a general model, not a fine-grained prediction.

    Clay, that’s a good point, and easy to document in other examples of decline and fall — the number of Roman policies established during eras of imperial expansion that turned into millstones around the empire’s neck when decline set in is not small.

  16. JMG, Last week in a comment you mentioned that you were into preserving instead of tearing down culture. You also mentioned that you did not think that the Bible would be one of the sacred texts to be carried forward. Or at least this is what I understood. Either way, which books do you think will most strongly influence the religions of the future? Are there any that you aim to preserve? Or do you think that technology will regress to the point where books are not going to be a major influence on society and oral traditions will become the norm again? Or do you mean something else entirely?

  17. Brunette Gardens I think the sentiment that walls are a form of violence, besides being an insult to those who have suffered from real violence, is a good example of what our host referred to last week, deliberate disruption, dau tranh if you will, being practiced by elements of the far left.

    Kurt Schmidt, is your brief post intended to be a provocative let’s see what they say kind of thing? Because if it is, let me repeat what I referred to last week, that, as an American, and in no way speaking for Canadians, the Polish, or citizens of any country other than my own, it is my view that the USA has no business, none, being involved in or sending money or any other kind of aid to Ukraine. I know Russia invaded, but our govt. rather than use its influence at the UN and in other intergovernmental organizations to help negotiate a settlement, lost no time taking sides. That piece of strategic imbecility and the attendant ruinous expense I do in fact blame directly on the corrosive influence of our Russia hating Middle European diaspora.

  18. It’s time for the monthly renewable energy report from the Bonneville power administration. This one is for August’s data.

    For wind the worst day was Aug 20 at 3.4% of nameplate capacity. The best day was Aug 29 at 88.0% capacity. The monthly average was 28.7% capacity.

    For solar the worst day was Aug 21 at 5.9% of nameplate capacity. Can we say ‘it was a dark and stormy day’? (actually that is only half right, see below) The best day was 47.4% on Aug 10. The monthly average was 31.8%. As a reminder this is averaged over 24 hours. The PV panels run 95% at noon in a clear sky.

    As for the month’s dunkelflaute, notice the bad days on Aug 20 and 21? We had a dead calm gloom going resulting in back to back dunkelflautes, or more accurately one long one relieved only by a puff of wind and filtered sunlight. The first one was 12.7 hours, then there was 8.7 hours of limited power, but not quite limited enough to count as part of the outage, then 16.9 hours of nothing. Over the combined 38.3 hours the grid’s total power demand was 212,320 MW-Hr. There was 3,152 MW-Hr available from renewable power sources, so 209167 MW-Hr would be needed from storage. This works out to 22.5 aircraft-carrier equivalents in Tesla max-power batteries.

    Speaking of Tesla batteries, we have an oopsie.

    And in trivia, the local news mentioned that Washington State loses and hour and a half of daylight this month. We lose three minutes a day this time of year.

  19. Thank you as always for all you provide, including this space!

    I have an open question to everyone… Is anyone here involved in “urbanist” discussions or politics within their community / online? If so have you noticed things have gotten more toxic and polarized?

    I’ve always been an urbanist dork, and one of the perks of hanging around these intellectual spaces was that it was always refreshingly nuanced, and free from the polarization that affects the rest of our political discussions. That seems to no longer be the case.

    I’m in the New York metro area, and it seems like fights over biking/transit vs cars and more urbanist-oriented development have become hot-button culture war issues over the past year.

    The sad part is, having grown up in a more car-dependent neighborhood of NYC, I understand the backlash, even if I disagree with their ultimate goals. Policies have been punitive to car owners, and real options to get people to switch modes of transport have not been provided (a lot of improvements have been focused in the core of the city… welcome but a shame investment isn’t happening in a more equitable way.)

    I’m curious if this is happening elsewhere: Is this becoming a national hot-button issue?

    PS: I definitely don’t intend to start a divisive discussion here! Just wondering what everyone is seeing.

  20. JMG – two replies you gave on latest occult Q&A on Magic Monday:

    “There are some very, very weird things moving through the astral these days. I don’t have a clear sense of what they portend, but something’s up.”


    “To transform astral energy into mental energy, some form of discursive meditation (working with thoughts) is usually required.”

    JMG and commentariat – is anyone experiencing fluctuations in how spiritual, occult, meditation or other related practices?

    Dreams are different recently, not bad, not good, but pretty weird and jumping about.

    Meditation wise, I have been doing increased work on emotions working with the 5 elemental processes (e.g. gentleness releasing and transforming fear or kindness transforming anger) as what are unexpected emotional surges popping up, seemingly out of nowhere.

    If things are percolating down to the material realm one wonders what is going on and what the reorganising of things! Guess we’ll have to wait and see; but, if the level of crazy in virtually every area of western societies is anything to go by, there is some serious activity going on out there.

    Are folks finding their inner practices impacted?

  21. Hi JMG and all.

    Having recently turned to table top role playing games (ttrpgs) for a certain amount of my entertainment, I have come to think of it as a unique form, and maybe even a new innovation of our age.

    Emerging from the miniature war games played in the 70’s, originally military battle simualation games, the oroginal rpg became an exploration, adventure simulation and puzzle solving game where players controlled individual characters in a fictitious world, rather than armies. It evolved and became very story centric in the 80s and 90s, to a fault perhaps – where often the simulationist aspects were dropped in favour of adventure modules (scripts), with which players followed parts in a play, directed by the game master / GM.

    These days the “player agency” style of play is becomig more popular as compared with the arguably mainstream “rail roading” aproach, which is easier to do, but frequently boring/frustrating to play for someone who is looking for freedom in exploration, narrative, or both.

    Compared to computer rpg’s (crpgs), these analogue counterparts offer an enormous and fantastic advantage: Narrative freedom in a story or fantasy simulation, shared amongst a few people arount the table. Only the skill, experience and imagination of participants limit what can happen during a session, when done right as in, players nor GM are limited to pre-scripted events or elements (a solid rule set, improvisation and improv-able preparation are key!). Play acting often plays a role, and for some, the most important. Many litterary styles can be played ot in a popular form, from Indiana Jones to HP Lovecraft and Jane Austen.

    The rpg art form is unique in it being a kind of participatory story telling, and often very boring to watch. It is also fickle at times and as prone to fail as many semi-scriped stories and collaborative at that. Recently (during covid) a solo rpg form even emerged.

    JMG: I heard that you have dabbled, I was wonderin if you had any thoughts on this art-form in a depth-historic perspective? Is it new? Will they use it in the age of aquarius?


  22. Mr. Greer,

    I have a question about intellectual history. I see the United States as very polarized between two extremes – “My country right or wrong” vs. “My country is always wrong”. I can understand how these two poles reflect and feed off of each other. My question is about the latter view. Could you point to any historical example of a society in which a significant portion of the elite viewed their own civilization as something to be torn down root and branch?

    And yes, this summary above is a very high level description that misses lots of nuance. The United States certainly behaves as a rapacious empire, but rapacious empires are nothing new. Reflexive support for one’s on tribe/city/country/nation/empire is nothing new. But this reflexive loathing for one’s own society….I have a hard time finding other examples.


    Lothar von Hakelheber

  23. @Kurt Schmidt (#4):

    Canada has an enormous Ukrainian émigré population, maybe even more than the United States. They came to Canada in large part through the Canadian landed immigrant program, IIRC. Since Canada is less populous, Ukrainians bulk larger in Canadian demographics than they do in the United States.

    The Ukrainian émigré community in Canada is quite well organized. It is seriously committed to the life of the mind, having established a Free Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (in Toronto, IIRC), a Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, and has a similar institution (St. Andrew’s College) at the University of Winnipeg. Thus Ukrainians have considerable influence in Canadian politics.

    Because of the centuries-long insistance by the Russian empire that Ukrainians–whom it officially called “Little Russians,” with the implication in Russian that they are an inherently childish and immature people–are in fact nothing more than an inferior sort of Russian, very many Ukrainians regard Russia as their foremost ancient enemy, and would rather die than be submit in any way to Russia. This was only reinforced during the early 20th century by various acts of genocidal repression, such as the famine (the notorious Holodomor) imposed by Stalin on Ukraine during the 1930s. (NB Many Russians would like to deny that the Holodomor ever happened. I have known Ukrainians who lived through it.)

    Given that history, it was only to be expected that very many Ukrainians favored Nazi Germany over the Soviet Union during WW2, at least to some extent; and that some became overt Nazis. They had experienced the horrors of Soviet attempts at genocide first hand; the horrors of Nazi genocide were a more distant rumor at first, and had not been primarily directed at Ukrainians.

    So it ought not to surprise anyone that there are still many elderly Ukrainian immigrants in Canada who had fought on the side of the Nazis,and had been welcomed as heroes by the earlier Ukrainian immigrant population when they fled to Canada.

    So it would have been far more surprising if Canada had honored an elderly pro-Soviet Ukrainian–assuming it could find one–than an elderly pro-Nazi one on the occasion of Zelens’kyj’s visit.

  24. Hello JMG and kommentariat. It’s been a long time since the last time I wrote a post here…
    This week I’ve had some 2 surprises in my everyday life. I want to tell you what surprises are:
    -I’ve seen a little poster in my neighbourhood, in a wall near home. The poster said somewhat like this:
    “No WHO…No pandemics.
    No NATO…No war.
    No IMF…No poverty.
    No WEF…No bloody reset.”
    Last day I looked at it, some ***** had crossed out the poster and written an “anarchy” symbol and the words “fracking nazis”(sic). So an self-identified as anarchist is pro-NATO and pro-IMF, what a surprise! It’s awful and funny at the same time.
    -Another surprise was given to me by my youngest nephew, 6 years old. We were going from the school to his home, when suddenly he said me: “A girl has told me that when you die you are born again. I think that’s what happens to you really, I agree.” Whwn I asked him why he believed that thing, he simply answered to me: “Well, there’s a lot of people and animals in the world, they should come from somewhere”.
    However, he hasn’t showed past life memories, apparently.
    So my youngest nephew believes in reincarnation…what a surprise!
    Really, it’s been a strange week for me.

  25. Hi JMG

    Remember a few years back when you imagined a scenario wherein a totalitarian regime could arise in these Americas, its adherents wearing black t shirts that were imprinted with images of trees? I’m sure I’m not the first one to recall this. Weird, huh?

    Interesting times.


  26. The combination of Sinead O’Connor’s death and JMG’s recent post on karma* (also Xco #3) set me wondering.

    Digging out some of her old CDs and re-listening to the familiar sounds of long ago, I was struck by how many songs reflect misery, worry and sadness. Not just hers – blues, pop, folk, rock – pick a genre and you’ll find the same recurring themes of unrequited love, loss, death and disaster. OK, it’s the human condition and all that, but it made me think.

    If we are just material things, the culmination of evolution and resplendent in our huge brains and lofty intellects, then we’re really pretty rubbish at using them to make our lives easier and happier.

    If there’s a beneficent Creator who set all this up, then surely a concerted shove in the right direction is long overdue (and I mean no insult to any believers or their deities in my frivolity).

    If we are reincarnated souls on a multi-lifetime learning journey, then we must all be D-double-minus students to have learnt so little by now.

    *JMG, (and if you delete this for contravening the prohibition on banging on about stuff, I will entirely understand) I took your advice and looked over what you’d said there several times, and no, sorry, I still don’t see how multiple short lifetimes, quickly repeated, can achieve any learning outcomes for Hitler.

    Hey surprise – I still think I’m right – but then I always was an arrogant so-and-so!

  27. @Devonlad #7.

    To supplement JMG’s response to look into “Indian captivity narratives” I can highly recommend S.C. Gwynn’s Empire of the Summer Moon. Lot’s of good, dramatic information and lot’s of detail on Cynthia Ann Park who was abducted as a child during a Comanche raid and instead of being killed, was adopted by the tribe. Long story short, years later here family was able to get her back but she hated life with the Texan settlers. Her son Quanah Parker grew up to be Comanche war leader but was eventually forced to surrender.

  28. On the topic of the elites failing to achieve social control of the population. While many worry that big brother will become more and more omnipotent and know where everyone is, and what they are doing at any time, it seems like large cracks are forming in that idea. In cop shows, or books from a few years ago the bad guy could always be tracked down by searching some utility records or hotel data.
    Now with the huge homeless populations in unofficial encampments the potential to get off the grid and stay off the radar of government and law enforcement officials has never been easier.
    In the old episodes of Hawaii 5-0 McGarret would tell his men to go down to Hotel Street and check all the registrations at the flop houses when searching for an escaped fugitive. This would almost always yield the escapee.
    At least in Rio the cops can bribe a local warlord to give them the location in the favela of a criminal of interest, but in the homeless camps of Seattle or Portland, no such organization exists.

  29. After purchasing our home, we inherited a pine tree that was allowed to grow too close to our home. A few years back I was thinking of having it removed but opted instead to have the canopy raised. Fast forward a few years and a few storms later with close calls of branches coming down, to include a recent storm with a broken branch hanging 40′ in the air close to the home it’s time to have it removed.

    From a druid perspective, what is a good way to give thanks to the tree or even say sorry? I’ve said some prayers to Hesus over the decision but I’m sure the tree has a spirit.

  30. John and others here, I do not own and don’t want a smartphone. For those of you who do not have one, are you finding it increasingly difficult to participate in contemporary society? I do and I feel that smartphone ownership will eventually be forced on me and I don’t like it one bit. I just returned from a couple or weeks of travel. In one restaurant instead of a menu on the table there was a QR code to scan with one’s phone. With a bit of exasperation I asked the waiter for “a paper menu, please” and he was able to oblige. In one motel room there was a book of area services and attractions. Upon opening the book, only a QR code was available to me. I’ve heard too that in the next few years that paper tickets and boarding passes for transportation may be phased out and available only on one’s phone. What is one to do?

  31. What happens to the soul between incarnations? Is the astral the equivalent of heaven, hell and purgatory and does karma determine what you experience?

  32. This article tries to come off optimistic but if you do some simple calculations the result is actually terrible.

    “They used an expanded definition of the Decent Living Standards, which defines the minimum requirements for a life above the poverty line.

    According to this definition, a person living just above the poverty line eats about 2,100 kcal per day; has a living space of 15 m² within a four-person household; has mobility of 8,000 km per year; and has access to education and health facilities as well as public services, such as sports halls or administrative buildings. In addition, each person has his or her own cell phone and shares a laptop and router with the other three household members.”

    energetic requirements for this is 1.68 tons of fossil fuel per year.
    1.68 X 8.1 billion people = 13.6 billion tons of fossil fuels per year or ~90% of our current usage.

  33. JMG.

    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve finished the book I was working on, putting together hundreds of interviews with elderly Irish to describe a traditional way of life. You’d appreciate many of its themes. I’m shopping it around to agents and publishers right now. I don’t expect you have much time, but if you wanted to read it you’d be welcome to, and if you have any advice I’d be grateful.

    I also wrote a piece for Quillette that you might appreciate:

  34. How did you spend/celebrate the equinox, and what do you ‘see’ may characterise the seasonal cycle we’ve entered?

    I feel it could be an eventful time to be met with frugality yet from an experience of abundance.

    Thanks for your constancy in the manner ang passion with which you execute your mission!

  35. Hey John, I hope you are well and in good health. I was wondering if you have read the ideas of Alfred Adler, and if so, what you think about his theory of psychology.

  36. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for you encouragement on concentrating during the breathing exercise. Since then it improved, sometimes I can even enjoy it, lol:)

    In your recent post The Law of Consequences you had a picture about Adam and Eve and underneath it said “I wasn’t there and neither were you”.

    Since then I feel a bit confused. In the church where I was born, it’s a small protestant cult like one, I was taught since babyhood that indeed all of us, who is on this Earth now, were there in Eden. The garden, Adam( which means mankind as far as I know) and Eve are just images. Our life started there as perfect human beings, we were trusted guidance job to help fallen souls to find back their way to God. Unfortunately we too got temptatied by power and ended up here on this Earth which God created to bring us back home through Jesus Christ’s work in our hearts, which mainly consists of recognizing the very fact that we had life before our material body was formed and reach deeper and deeper in regretting our rebellion… that’s why also, they explain, this world is so imperfect since it’s just a reflection of the perfect one, still partly somehow under the influence of the Evil.
    The more I’m learning about occultism the more I recognise that the man who created this church after WWII in Hungary must had been familiar with occultism and got “inspired” by it in many ways.
    Have you ever heard about teachings like this before? Since your teachers came from the Gnostic church maybe they were familiar with these branches within the Christian church. The man in Hungary I believe was not the first one who talked about this kind of things and our church was labeled “Gnostic” sometimes by outsiders.
    This kind of approach to Christianity gives explanation to more things then the mainstream one but still it didn’t give me answers to important questions like why we were born into such comfortable lives meanwhile other children has to endure so many unimaginable sufferings that would be too much even for 10 and expecting them to be Christian and believe in an Almighty loving God otherwise they will perish…
    And also how can you expect someone who was born let’s say into a Hindu background to give up all his family, cultural background and convert himself into a Christian, otherwise he will be lost forever…
    So indeed I gave up my family and cultural background (since we live off the grid and home school our children in Europe, sadly it’s quite an accurate expression) and quitted the church.
    After some years in the vacuum, thanks to your book The world full of Gods and indulgement in occult studies through your books, now I’m trying to remake my worldview.
    But sometimes I still feel hesitating and confused. What if it’s true after all? What if we have only one God and I’m making a fatal mistake by ignoring the sacrifice of Jesus Christ?
    Do you have any notion of repentance and forgiveness toward deity in occultism? The fact that we have to go through this long journey of spiritual evolution comes in any way from our own mistake or sin against our Creator or deity? Who occultism considers our Creator? Maybe the Solar Logos or the Supreme being?
    After all if it’s somehow our fault that we ended up on this planet, Christ sacrifice combined with reincarnation can make a quite square theory, can’t it? And maybe it doesn’t sounds very important for many people but it would changes our attitude if we know that it’s thanks to someone’s life that we can be here.

    And I was wondering when the last human souls finishing their journey on this planet they will still have rocks and wind and trees around them I guess. How can the souls of those things finish their journey then if there is no more life on Earth?

    Thank you for the answer and sorry that I was so long, I was preparing this question since weeks.


  37. Given the Covid posts have a different readership than the main blog, I hope it’s okay to take a tangent from there and ask about it over here: does anyone have any ideas as to what happened to kids born from ~2010 on that might have caused a massive increase in developmental issues? We have a data point from Michele7, who relayed a major increase in problems with behaviour at middle and elementary schools in central Florida; Methylethyl’s mother who retired from teaching preschool around 8 years ago (undisclosed location) and saw a massive increase in issues her last year; and my own experience with volunteering with Scouts Canada (cubs, aged 8-10, in Ottawa, Ontario), where around 6-7 years ago now, the younger kids starting having a lot more issues than they did before.

    So, two of these data points predate the Covid mess (which would likely have major issues on child development), one of them is younger kids before that age group was exposed to massive amounts of screen time; and although presumably all three are North America, at least two are from different countries. However, all of these point to rather sharp changes with child behaviour at about the same time.

    Does anyone have any hypotheses as to what could be behind it? I’m at a loss: nothing I can think of happened at the right time, was sudden enough, and would affect kids in central Florida and eastern Ontario at the same time like this.

  38. JMG – Have you (or any of the commentariat) read, ‘The WEIRDest People in the World’ by Joseph Henrich? I found multiple interesting ideas within it despite an impression that many of the “experiments” cited were absurdly simplistic; the classic marshmallow test being just one example.

    Nevertheless, the role of the western catholic church and (later) various protestant denominations in fracturing and pounding to rubble the traditional kinship based social structure in Europe is very well elucidated by the author. If you have ever wondered,”Why Europe?”, this book has some ideas for you.

  39. These past two days, our IT manager and I have virtually attended a blended live/virtual security conference held for the energy industry. Largely focused on cyber, but also physical. Several of the presenters have been from federal agencies, including the FBI. One of the FBI presenters had what amounted to a 90-minute rant about China. Some of what he was talking about were crimes technically (economic espionage, for example), but the much of what he was talking about–and certainly the context within which it was being presented–amounted to, “How dare China do this stuff and challenge US dominance.” Frankly, it hurt my brain and my soul to listen to him. (On of the “charges,” for example, was “China wants to grow its own food and not buy US exports.” I mean, how incredibly evil!)

    A later presenter was talking about “soft targets” and showed a picture of the Russian missile striking the mall in the Ukraine. She then comments “We don’t strike soft targets. We protect them.” And my first thought was: “Blowing up Afghan wedding parties doesn’t count?”

    It was a lot to try to summarize here, but the hypocrisy was incredible.

    If we do it, it’s good. If someone else does it, it’s bad.

    Dear God.

  40. Greetings all,
    In Mauritius, this month there was an article in the local press about a certain french man named etienne bottineau, who in the 1780’s could predict incoming sea vessels before they showed up at port. It looks to me like a form of divination. I thought this could be of some interest to your hosts and the commentariat. Comments welcome.
    The link is below.


  41. Clay Dennis @ 30, I wouldn’t be so sure that there is no organization in homeless encampments. Likely there is but no one talks to authority, and it deals with malefactors itself. Criminal gangs are money making concerns and if they give away someone’s location, it is because that someone is bad for business.

  42. @Lothar von Hakelheber, #24
    “this reflexive loathing for one’s own society….I have a hard time finding other examples.”
    Not JMG, obviously, but I have some good examples for you:
    1. Russia following the 1917 revolution – for decades after that everything before 1917 was considered not just wrong, but morally repugnant in any official narrative.
    2. Russia today – to pro-western fraction of the elite the very “russianness” of Russia is considered not just wrong, but morally repugnant and inferior because it’s different from the West, which is presumed to be the golden standard.

  43. Hi everybody – hope you are all having a good week! 🙂

    Two questions today to everybody, one about correspondences between planets and elements, and one for the sound technicians among us… 😉 Also a friendly pointer to a German mailing list for Ecosophians.

    1. Does anybody know any occult/magic systems which assign Mercury to Air and Mars to Fire?

    Both current and historic systems would be valuable – I’m searching for something historic which I can’t narrow down any further than this yet, but “modern” systems might have historic roots which can be traced and are thus equally valuable to me.

    (JMG has already kindly pointed me to John Gilbert’s system in a recent Magic Monday – but maybe some of you have encountered something else?)

    2. And for the sound technicians: Why is it that in outdoor concerts, the sound is never mixed in a way which makes the voices of the singers understandable? What is it about outdoor conditions that is detrimental to voice quality/clarity, but will carry music (especially bass tones) just fine?

    (I’m talking about music from pop to heavy rock, not about trained opera singers – and about voices ranging from bass to soprano.)

    3. For the Germans/German-speaking among us:

    A few of us have started a (relaxed) mailing list, just to connect people. Some of us meet regularly online for company and to discuss ecosophia-related topics. Other than that, what happens through the mailing list is up to the members…

    If you’re interested and would like to be added, send me an email to sacredgeometry at gmx dot net (including the first name you want to use on the mailing list), or contact me via my dreamwidth account milkyway1 – I’ll happily add more people to the list. 🙂

    @Jeff Russell #13:

    You might find the books by Sebastian Haffner interesting then. Haffner was a German journalist/historian who emigrated to the UK during the Nazi time. His books on German history are well written and usually have an interesting perspective – not the standard black-and-white approach.

    I can recommend “The Meaning of Hitler”. “Germany: Jekyll and Hyde” also sounds good, but I haven’t read it yet. Somebody close to me is a big Haffner fan and also loves his books about Churchill, “From Bismarck to Hitler”, his memoires etc.

    I’m really looking forward to all the other interesting topics you folks will bring up this week!! And thanks a lot to you, JMG, for hosting this space again! 🙂


  44. Clark, I expect the Bible to have the same role in the future that the writings of Homer had in the Middle Ages and Renaissance — the holy book of an earlier era, still preserved as a literary connection to the past. If things follow the usual pattern, the sacred books of the future either haven’t been written yet or are very, very obscure today.

    Siliconguy, thank you for the monthly dose of reality.

    Earthworm, that works:

    Jack, I’m not, but I’m also not surprised. Some New Urbanist ideas have been turned into stalking horses for various corporate agendas — consider the way that the 15 minute city, originally a fine idea, became a sales pitch for electronic surveillance; it stopped being about making neighborhoods so appealing that people would want to do their shopping and socializing near home, and became about forcing people to conform to a set of rules imposed from above.

    Earthworm, yes, I’ve noticed some rough inner terrain in my practices. That’s happened before, but this is toward the upper end.

    Jakob, I was a fairly active TTRPG player back when that’s the only kind of RPG there was — think not-yet-advanced D&D, three staplebound booklet version, plus Top Secret, Traveler, Boot Hill, etc. I think you’ve summed things up very well — a remarkable new art form, to which (ahem) I’ve made a modest contribution.

    Lothar, I honestly can’t think of one. I suspect what this means is that the current US elite doesn’t see itself as a US elite, but as a multinational-corporation elite with no loyalty to the society it claims to rule.

    Chuaquin, surprises indeed — but I’m not too surprised by your nephew. A lot of young children still remember something of the reincarnation process.

    Casey, yep. I really, truly don’t mean these things as prophecies…

    Marsh, you don’t understand it because you’re stuck on a definition of learning that doesn’t permit you to understand it. There’s an old Zen story that’s relevant. A Western scholar once went to talk to an old Zen master about Zen. As soon as they sat down the scholar started going on and on about his own theories. The Zen master picked up the teapot, filled his visitor’s cup, and then kept pouring until the tea splashed all over the mats they were sitting on. “Stop, it’s full!” said the visitor. The Zen master smiled and said, “You come here with a cup that is already overflowing. How, then, can you taste my tea?”

    Clay, a good point! I wonder how many other nations have already figured out how to use this vulnerability of ours to get agents and saboteurs into position…

    Anonymous, go sit by the tree and talk to it, then listen. They can communicate via feelings, and sometimes via imagery.

    Peter, I avoid those aspects of contemporary society that require smartphones. For example, there are restaurants that have QR menus, and others that don’t; I eat at the latter. Planes may phase out boarding passes but trains allow you to print them out on paper in advance, and so on.

    Robert, yes and yes. Between incarnations the soul goes through a series of processes that allow it to digest the experiences of the life just ended. The more virtues the life has expressed, the happier that process is; the more vices, the less pleasant — and yes, it can get heavenly or hellish depending on the details.

    Dobbs, thanks for this. It’s probably never occurred to the people who wrote that piece that there really are hard limits on energy and material resources!

    Brian, I’m delighted to hear this! I’m sorry to say I don’t have the time to read it just now, and I’m not sure whether my advice will be of any use, since I don’t publish in that genre, and publishing standards are very genre-specific. Still, best wishes on the project.

    Marco, I perform rituals at each equinox and solstice — they’ll be published in a forthcoming book. As for this autumn, we’ll see, but it feels as though things are in motion at a very deep level, and portentous changes can be expected.

    Raj, I’ve read a little Adler, but it’s been a few decades. As I recall, his discussion of the role of power in family dynamics made a lot of sense to me.

    YarrowMoon, fascinating. No, I haven’t heard of anything exactly like that, though there are a lot of different Christian sects out there. No, our journey through incarnation isn’t punishment for some kind of failing, in occult tradition — rather, it’s a process of birth. While we are incarnate, we are not yet born in a spiritual sense, and all the incarnations we pass through are the spiritual equivalent of fetal development, after which we will be born as spirits and our real lives will begin. As for the last human souls, Dion Fortune talks about that in one of the appendices to The Cosmic Doctrine — at that distant time there will be another type of spiritual entity, akin to the elementals, who will embody themselves in animals, plants, and elemental matter and learn and grow in their own way, but they’ll evolve in the other direction: animal first, then plants, then stones and water and wind, and then enter the spiritual world as the earth itself dissolves in the fires of the sun.

  45. Ken, I’ve read some articles about it, and the basic thesis seems sensible enough.

    Kurt, I’m going long on popcorn futures. 😉

    David BTL, I wonder if anyone else had the same reaction you did…

    Karim, fascinating. I’ve bookmarked it to read when time permits.

    Andrew, I’ve assumed for years that the same is true of my blog posts.

  46. Greetings JMG,

    I heard an interview you gave recently, on youtube, and you talked about how it is important in magic to wish for opportunities to make money and work hard, and not wish to just make money because that can lead to wishing having other people doing the work for it (and then it only manifests temporarily and gets taken away).

    You also mentioned having a bag with jade stone, a green candle, garlic, verveine.

    Can you elaborate on this process and how to do it correctly?

    Thank you.

  47. I recognize your redirection of COVID questions to DW, but this is, at heart, a divination question. In advance, I appreciate your forbearance!

    Arguably more qualified to guide America’s response to the pandemic than Anthony Fauci, Dr. Peter McCullough of Baylor and Texas A&M University said, “…we should have rapidly deployed off-the-shelf medications with proven safety records and subjected them to rigorous risk/benefit decision-making,” McCullough continues, “Using repurposed drugs, we could have ended this pandemic by May 2020* and saved 500,000 American lives…” [p.8 “The Real Anthony Fauci,” by RFK, Jr.]

    *I haven’t gone back to verify, but IIRC, your Aries ingress earlier that Spring suggested that the pandemic would be over by May (early to mid-May?). Turns out you, and the stars, would have probably been correct, according to the doctors who were actually treating COVID at the time, and data from other countries using Dr. McCullough’s approach, if proceedings hadn’t been tampered with.

    So my question is, what does this suggest about the strength of divination? Is this a classic example of “the stars incline, they do not compel?” Also, does redirecting history in such an ugly way, for so many other people, carry special karmic gravitas?

    Many thanks for your time, beloved Archdruid.

  48. Leo et alia,

    Back in 2006, my wife and I decided to 1) fast from mainstream news (which we’ve been doing ever since, to great effect), and 2) cut out of our diet MSG, HFCS, and trans-fats. Very little left in our pantry after that, but it was a dynamite health move. The local food pantry “benefitted” accordingly.

    Recently, we’ve entered the next phase (17 years later): to remove preservatives and PUFAs from out diet. Holy moly. Let me tell you how hard that is these days! It basically means that we can’t eat out (or have to be extremely analytical), and our pantry was once again decimated, despite the complete lack of the 3 we exorcised in ’06. The poisons just keep creeping into the American diet! And again, the local food pantry “benefitted” accordingly.

    BUT, we’re both losing weight slowly, the regular low-grade headaches are going away, we’re far more alert and less sleepy at inopportune times…the list is getting longer by the day. I also notice that I can catch a buzz much more easily on the same amount of booze. Anyone else?

  49. @Jack #21

    For a datapoint on bike lanes, I live out in the county but near enough a local city that we have bike lanes around. Not even in a political discussion with a friend but the topic of bike lanes came up and they had only hate for them like you would hear in one of what I see in ‘normal’ political polarized topics. I pointed out where in certain locations they provide value to the community with the balance of cost/complications/resource uses by dumb requirements then dropped the subject when it was clear this was not a discussion. My interpretation is that they were part of the pushback to being told what to do by the good people. I hope it is temporary.

  50. Dear Mr Greer,

    Is it possible to purchase a copy of Star’s Reach anywhere (paper or digital)? My initial searches turned up nothing but the second hand market.

  51. @Robert Mathiesen, #25
    While agreeing with you on “it was only to be expected that very many Ukrainians favored Nazi Germany over the Soviet Union during WW2” I would like to point out that the reality of Russian-Ukrainian relationships throughout history have been very nuanced. A few points:
    1. I was born and raised in Russia. Your post is the first time I’ve encountered the expression “Little Russians” with regard to Ukrainians. It might have something to do with the fact that Russia is huge and not homogeneous at all. Mine is a 2-hour drive from the border with Finland. There were many kids in my school whose last name ended in “ko” and as far as I know they never encountered any discrimination.
    2. Russians and Ukrainians are very intertwined. In 2014 when the conflict erupted I asked some of my current friends whether they were Russians or Ukrainians. Today I don’t remember their answers. There is a good reason for that. All their answers were extremely convoluted: stories about Russian mothers growing up in Ukraine and Ukrainian fathers growing up in Russia, etc.
    3. Stalin’s genocide was doled out to all nations and Ukrainians were not an exception. Many more Russians than Ukrainians perished in Gulag, for example.
    My point is that Russians and Ukrainians have a long, LONG, and intimate history together. I cringe every time when it is reduced to just mutual hatred in light of the current ongoing tragedy. There IS that what you’ve described, but there is also so much more (and better).

  52. What are your views on Trevor James Constable and Wilhelm Reich? Both claimed to have techniques that could cause it to rain during droughts. Shamans or charlatans?

  53. JMG: “I’ve noticed some rough inner terrain in my practices. That’s happened before, but this is toward the upper end.”

    Not saying misery loves company, but it is interesting to know that it is not just me.

    This one wonders – with ‘adjustments’ in other planes, beyond the usual applications and methods,might we consider Marcus Aurelius’ observation that: “The purpose of life is not to be with the majority, but to avoid joining the ranks of the insane”?

    Dunno, this place just gets stranger all the time. 😉

  54. “Where industrial production in the era of decline happens to be concentrated is not something that can be determined by models of global resource use.”

    Correct. Even if supply is going down improvements in technology make use of the remaining supplies more efficient. As prices go up recycling might be able to recover from supply from waste. And you can often substitute something else for a material in short supply. All of the above makes detailed predictions mostly wrong.

    And speaking of mostly wrong, last week Apple announced that they will no longer sell leather products (watchbands and phone cases) because leather comes from cows and cows are impure and unclean (more accurately unGreen.)

    But they have started using titanium in their new phones. Being a metallurgical engineer who specialized in extractive metallurgy I’m familiar with how to get titanium out of its ore. It’s considered a refractory metal (as in it’s a pain in the tail to extract.) Here is the condensed version;

    1) Take ilmenite ore [from mining which Greens oppose] and boil in sulfuric acid [either from mining or as a byproduct of heavy oil refining] until it breaks down leaving you iron in solution and titanium dioxide sludge.
 [If you don’t ask about the acidic iron sludge I won’t tell you any lies.]

    2) Filter and dry the TiO2 then put it into a reactor. Heat to red heat, [requiring large amounts of fossil fuel energy] then add chlorine gas [produced by electrolysis of brine, which requires more energy]. This gives you titanium tetrachloride.

    3)The reaction is endothermic so every so often you have to turn off the chlorine and reheat the reactor and remaining TiO2. [more energy]

    4) Now you have titanium tetrachloride in a vapor and you can run that through a distillation column to clean it up. [the waste chlorides have to be neutralized and disposed of in a landfill]

    5) The TiCl4 is now put into a closed container informally called the “the bomb” for reasons that will become obvious.

6) Now you add your choice of metallic sodium or metallic calcium, [either one produced by mining the ore, then processing it by electrolysis at high temperatures (700C for sodium) at great energy cost] close up the bomb and light it.

    7) The resulting reaction is highly exothermic and after the vessel is done bouncing around you let it cool completely. [all that energy you have stuffed into the process is completely lost]

    8) Open the vessel up and you have salt and titanium metal in sponge form. That gets lightly crushed and the salt washed away. [now you have dirty salt water to dispose of]

    9) Take the Ti sponge and put it into either a vacuum induction furnace or an argon blanketed induction furnace. Melt it down, add alloying elements if any, and cast it under argon and now you have a useful piece of metal. [add even more energy]

    One other note, titanium is hard to ignite, but if you do set it on fire you are not putting it out. The class D fire extinguishers that work on magnesium do not work on titanium.

    So they quit selling an organic biodegradable substance that is the byproduct of dinner and substituted one of the most difficult and environmentally costly metals to refine, both in the name of trendiness.

    Titanium is a great metal for many purposes, it retains high strength at high temperatures and it is highly corrosion resistant. But all the benefit they are getting out of it is to save a couple ounces and claim trendiness. It’s a total misapplication.

    I’m seriously irked. Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.

  55. Hi again JMG:

    “Casey, yep. I really, truly don’t mean these things as prophecies…”

    I know! Weird!

    With regard to the other topic that has been touched upon by other posters here, that is, the members in Canada’s House of Commons applauding (ignorantly or not) the elderly fellow with the unfortunate professional associations that have been a part of his life, I can only observe from afar, as I am neither Ukrainian nor Russian.

    #25 Robert Mathiesen:

    It has sadly been the lot of many peoples living on the geographical or social-political-economic peripheries of vastly stronger nations and empires to be’ talked-down-to’, to be disdained, to be the very targets and victims of brutal violence, and anyone with Scottish or Irish, or indeed Armenian or Jewish or South Asian or North American Indian roots should be able to attest to that. The list of such very unfortunate peoples runs on and on. It is no surprise that such memories, or memories of memories, nourish and fuel the resentments that understandably arise from generation to generation. I recall reading, back when the current violence in Ukraine began, that the people we call Galicians migrating to Canada experienced what we might expect from Bureaucrats in the Colonies: made to live in camps as enemy aliens; seen as ‘not white’. I am trying to find the link to that article but am having no luck, go figure, but Thank God the Canadian government has made efforts to redress that.

    I thank you for not speaking to the sufferings of the Galicians at the hands of Russian imperialists and Russian Communists to excuse the many, many murders of Poles and Jews and god-knows-who-else committed by the professional associates of Yaroslav Hunka.

    As for rationalizing one’s understanding of what the House of Commons did, or what may or may not have been done by any poor idiot who must fall on the sword in Mr Trudeau’s place, perhaps then, using such rationale, some will understand the desire of such Russians that feel it appropriate to excise Ukraine’s current government, with some of its members and supporters having a fondness for the potent symbols of a not-so-bygone era. More than twenty million human beings, snuffed, by the wearers of those symbols, in Russia in the 1940s. More recently, more than 10 000 Ukrainians killed in eastern Ukraine under fire by their own national government after 2014. One attempt at understanding deserves another. Memories persist. I’m neither Ukrainian nor Russian, but I understand that, like Ukrainians, Russians have memories too.

  56. Kfish,

    I wondered about cellphones, but I don’t think it quite works here: most preschoolers didn’t get exposed to a lot of it until later (given that until the middle years of the 2010s there was still an effort to avoid frying infant and very young child brains with it); and my cub pack was already dealing with cellphone induced issues before; and then something shifted and things rather suddenly got a lot worse.

    I think phone use for children is a major problem, but it doesn’t fit the timing for this major shift in behaviour. It’s the sudden shift that makes this so difficult to explain. Everything I can think of would not produce this pattern, which suggests to me there’s something else happening here.

  57. Tony, I don’t recall the garlic and vervain — that interview must have been quite a while ago. If you want to become wealthy by finding opportunities to earn money, nothing could be simpler: make that the central theme of your life for the time being. I discuss that process here:

    Grover, divination is always inexact because the future can’t be known in advance. All we can do is gauge the most probable outcome — and I think you’re right that decisions by individual people, alway the toughest thing to gauge using divination, sent our timeline swinging over in an unexpected direction. As for the karma involved — well, yes; karma is the result of will, and if in fact certain people deliberately prolonged the pandemic for their own advantage, they get to shoulder the karma of all the suffering it caused.

    Crayon, not at the moment! I had problems with the original publisher, so all my fiction is being rereleased over the next couple of years by Sphinx Books ( ). The seven volumes of The Weird of Hali will be out next month, and my other novels will follow; I don’t have a release date for Star’s Reach yet but I’ve already edited the manuscript for the new edition.

    Batstrel, they were shamans and charlatans, both of them. I haven’t seen their methods in use myself, but rain magic is very ancient and seems to work tolerably often.

    Earthworm, Marcus’s advice is always worth following — especially when things get rough.

    Shane, thanks for this.

    Siliconguy, good gods. I knew titanium refining was difficult but I didn’t know it was that difficult. Can you point me to a source I can cite, to keep trolls from insisting I’m making it up? That may be a very useful thing to be able to talk about in an upcoming post.

    Ryan, thanks for this! It was a good interview.

  58. The official narrative assumes that global warming is due to the accumulation in the atmosphere of gases, CO2 and others, resulting from human activity. However, I have learned of another, rather disturbing, explanation based on a number of reliably sourced data.
    According to NASA, only 5% of the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere are of human origin (1). The increase in global temperature over the last 12 to 15 years is exponential (2). The biomass of the planet is distributed as follows: bacteria and archaea 40, other living matter 1 (3). Therefore, the accumulation of greenhouse gases and the consequent rise in global temperature should be attributed to bacterial activity.
    What could be happening? The very worrying hypothesis is that the bacterial population has been activated by the electromagnetic noise produced by modern communication networks. Taking into account that the massive deployment of mobile telephone base stations has taken place in the last 10 to 15 years, the above hypothesis does not seem to be too far off the mark.
    If this theory is true, we would have no more than 20 years to go before a global climate disaster.

  59. JMG,

    Just wanted to give a thank you for all your work over the years.

    As a child even, the idea that the economy had to grow every year used to confuse me, and adults I asked never had good answers.

    Coming upon your blog at helped me to make sense of so many things in the world, especially regarding the economy. Later, your takedowns of materialism have also led me to the world of religion and occult learning.

    To sum up, thank you for providing perspectives and ideas that I may never have otherwise come across, which now shape how I give meaning to my life.

  60. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for providing this forum. There’s been something which has been bothering me lately, and I was curious as to your opinion, and also whether you are observing this in your part of the world.

    I have a fairly good comprehension as to finances and economics, and from a practical perspective too. Despite prices rising (and I fully expect them to continue to do so, especially with where the price of oil and other forms of energy are headed, although the price will probably crash again too as demand is destroyed), and what with the cost of money also going up, how is it that there are so many people swanning around the area seemingly unencumbered by work, yet they’ve got money to spend?

    Fair enough as I live near to a sort of touristy area which is over there in the more fashionable end of the mountain range. But even still, the arrangements don’t make a lot of sense in odd sorts of ways. Like, I’ve noticed that the locals seem less likely to be frequenting local businesses, and you can tell that because earlier in the mornings when there’d only ever be locals, the businesses are quiet. I have this odd hunch that people are either consuming their assets, or heading further into debt, or even worse – oblivious to the realities and expecting the future to be much like the past.

    It was hard not to notice the other day some announcement that tourism was set to be encouraged on an even greater scale towards the end of the year, despite their being a serious shortage of housing. I tell you truly, we’re witnessing a very strange set of policies being implemented and the outcomes are very odd.

    Is this sort of thing going on in your part of the world?



  61. Grover:
    Don’t get too carried away trying to eliminate PUFA from your diet. You need two of them,

    linoleic acid and linolenic acid are both essential to humans.

    There is even one trans fat that is good for you;

    “Butter, which is naturally enriched in cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid (rumenic acid; RA) and vaccenic acid (VA), has been shown to be an effective anticarcinogen in studies with animal models;”

    Interesting tidbit I just learned (the day was not a waste!)

    Linolenic acid oxidizes (goes rancid) easily, so in the name of shelf life;

    “Several consortia are bringing low-α-linolenic acid soy to market. DuPont’s effort involves silencing the FAD2 gene that codes for Δ6-desaturase, giving a soy oil with very low levels of both α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Monsanto Company has introduced to the market Vistive, their brand of low α-linolenic acid soybeans, which is less controversial than GMO offerings, as it was created via conventional breeding techniques.”

    So you can take soybean oil off the diet list with a clear conscience.

    How many karma points the doctors lost telling people to give up butter and replace it with margarine is a question best left to our host.

  62. I’m thinking of studying herbalism, just for my own interest. Wondering if anyone had any resources or recommendations on where to begin. The ‘official’ channels for herbalists in my country are all highly medicalised and of no interest to me.

    Thank you

  63. JMG wrote: “Batstrel, they were shamans and charlatans, both of them.”

    Are you able to elaborate on what you consider to be their charlatan characteristics?

  64. @Devonlad – Look up Eunice Williams and Mary Jemison for captivity narratives. IIRC, both were captured in childhood and remained with the Native nations that adopted them.

    Ellen in ME

  65. @JMG The 15 minute city is a perfect example of this dynamic! I’ve never seen it happen from the inside like this, and it’s truly a shame to see good ideas with potential get “corrupted.”

    @Bill #55 “Windshield perspective” can be tough without adding political polarization to the mix! If you’re used to driving someplace freely and it becomes more difficult it’s hard to see past that. Even harder if in addition you’re feeling scolded by “the good people.”

  66. @Kirsten (#57):

    The Russians I knew when I was growing up in the San Francisco Bay area were nearly all émigrés from Russia in the wake of the October revolution and its consequences, or the children of those émigrés (my age-mates in school), so my first knowledge of Russia was filtered through their perceptions, and was distinctly pre-Soviet and anti-Soviet. The same was true of the Russians in the faculty in the Slavic Department at UC Berkeley, where I did my undergraduate study in Slavic linguistics, and where I also first encountered the Ukrainian language, in the form of a textbook in the University library written by an émigré Ukrainian.

    A few of them even denied that the form of Russian that had evolved during the Soviet period could ewven be called the “Russian language” at all, but was some devolved form which they scorned as the “Soviet language.” (And a very few of them still clung stubbornly to the pre-Soviet spelling for their written Russian: на ять and all that. I can still write Russian using either spelling.)

    Ukrainian was, for them, just the “Little Russian dialect” (малороссийское наречие), which sounded to them like baby-talk due to the prevalence of the “ee” sound where Russian used “oh” or “eh” (кінь or ліс instead of конь or лес). They had, and freely quoted to me, derogatory sayings about Ukrainians and Belarusians.

    [ For some of the historical background to this term (Little Russian), see the farily accurate series of four posts by “EleventyOne” on the Daily Kos: ]

    Of course, the Soviets pushed the notion of the three brother-nations, with a shared triple history, for obvious political reasons, and anti-Ukrainian prejudice either died out or went underground in the USSR. But the émigré Russian who taught my undergraduate course on the history of Russia gave equal weight to the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as the two equally legitimate heirs of Kievan Rus’ in his lectures on that period of Russian history.

    Then in graduate school in New York my principal professor in Slavic linguistics hapopened to be an elderly man from a Russian military family (originally of German origin, back in the 1700s) who had fallen in love with Ukrainian culture and language early in life, and had re-identified himself at a fairly young age as Ukrainian, not Russian at all. So I heard the same history from the Ukrainian side in graduate school that I had heard from the Russian side as an undergraduate.

    So that’s where my take on these things comes from, so you can see why I view Ukrainian-Russian historical relations differently from you.

    Incidentally, I agree with you that the lethal famines of the 1930s were not directed only at Ukrainians.

    @Casey (#63):

    Of course. I am disinclined to excuse any violence. For whatever it may be worth, I see very little to favor between Stalin and Hitler, except to remark that Stalin seems to have been somewhat the more intelligent and ruthless of the two. To be sure, the populations targeted by their geoncides were different, but genocide is genocide, no matter who is being killed.

  67. Milkyway #46

    The oddest one I’ve seen was based on the actual physical characteristics of the planets in question, as so:

    Earth is the one with the most water. Earth = Water

    Venus has the most dense atmosphere. Venus = Air

    Mercury is the closest to the sun. Mercury = Fire

    Mars has no water or atmosphere to speak of, and is the coldest, leaving… dirt. Mars = Earth

    The man who explained this to me used it for a divination system of some kind, I don’t know where he got it from. But he seemed quite satisfied with the results.

    I imagine if there’s one this unusual, then the assignments you were asking about probably exist, somewhere!

  68. @Milkyway #46

    I can give an entirely mundane and non-occult-related (but geometrically-adjunct!) answer to your question #2.

    There are several factors at play in any sound system; I’ll cover at a highly simplified level only a few that have the most significant impact. My apologies to all for the length, nevertheless.

    The fundamental thing to realize is that sound at different frequencies (= different wavelengths) interacts with the atmosphere and the geometry of the space differently. Low frequencies (abbreviated as LF) have longer wavelengths (the low E on a standard bass guitar is 41.20 Hz, with a wavelength of 8.325m) and conversely high frequencies (HF) have short wavelengths (the upper-vocal-range C6 at just over 1kHz has a wavelength of 32cm) and the very high frequencies that help distinguish crisp and bright and sharp sounds or hold the crash of cymbals have frequencies up to the end of the audible range for humans, between 16 and 20kHz for most people, and conversely extremely short wavelengths of down to about 2cm.

    Wavelength is important in a number of ways. Different materials (the air, human bodies, the grass or trees or tents, the stage materials themselves, etc.) resonate, reflect, and importantly absorb frequencies differently. In general, higher frequencies are more rapidly attenuated than lower frequencies. This alone accounts for some of what you hear – the highs just plain get “turned down” in volume by the time they’ve gone any appreciable distance from the speakers from absorption by the crowd, absorption in the air, etc.

    Reflection plays another part, as does the geometry of the speakers on the stage. These both contribute to what is known as phase cancellation – an effect you get when you combine two sources of the same or similar frequency that are at different distances from the listener. This is a fancy way of saying the “peaks” of one wave might meet up with the “troughs” of the other and cancel out. This has to do with the distance each wave followed along its path – whether it’s from the right speaker versus the left, or from any speaker directly to your ear versus the same speaker’s sound reflected off the crowd, the back of the stage, or the grassy (or muddy) pit in front of the stage, and so forth. Each of these present multiple paths for the same sound to hit your ear, and they add and cancel in complex ways. Due to the physics of sound, we notice this effect on the shorter-wavelength HF much more than the long wavelengths of the bass notes. This is because it only takes a tiny difference in path length to cancel out the 2cm waves of the highest frequencies, but it would require nearly 8 meters of path difference to cancel out a low bass note. Of course this isn’t an all-or-nothing thing – the frequencies can go from fully cancelled to twice as loud, or anything in between – and it varies with your head position and with the frequencies of interest! Since music contains a wide spectrum of frequencies, this ends up distorting the spectrum that you actually hear and messes up the coherence in phase of the high frequencies in particular – which as I mentioned above are the ones that you most associate with clarity, audibility, and “proper” sound. So this in particular does a big number on the intelligibitliy and coherence of what you hear, whether or not there is strong attenuation adding to the effect. (Fun fact: if you carefully listen as you walk around, you can often hear the frequency relationships fluctuating as you move!)

Last but not least, HF drivers are highly directional, while LF drivers tend to radiate more broadly, nearly omnidirectionally at the lowest frequencies. As a result, some zones in the audience suffer from either a concentration or a dearth of HF. This isn’t usually as dramatic an impact on intelligibility per se, but it definitely can contribute to an overall unbalanced feel of the sound.

    Between comb filtering / phase cancellation and comparatively enhanced absorption of the higher frequencies, you have a recipe for a bad auditory experience outdoors. There are ways to mitigate, but not eliminate this, but they are a) complex, b) require very carefully trained staff and some fancy computational equipment to set up and operate and c) often don’t do much good once the crowd fills in and starts moving around anyway, as that just wrecks the nice computational ideal model that was made when the arena was empty.


It’s amazing how much more intelligible (though again, far from perfect) having the highs and mids coming from a central speaker cluster mounted above the stage sounds, as opposed to a stereo pair (even if it’s run in mono). But that requires special rigging and a more sturdy and expensive stage frame, and blocks the view of the big projection screen people can’t seem to avoid putting behind the band, so it’s rarely used.

    You may be wondering “but don’t these physical issues apply indoors, too?” Indeed they do! However, usually the walls of the building are treated in such a way as to minimize reflections that would contribute to comb filtering or “hot spots” and “dead zones” of the critical frequency ranges. In addition, those usually have the drivers mounted and aimed more professionally, for more even HF coverage. They also typically have various corrections for the inherent inaccuracies of the fixed install, and over time the better ones will know how to tweak those corrections differently when the house is full versus when it’s nearly empty (and actually do it!). So they’ve got a lot of advantages over the pop-up nature of an outdoor festival. Of course, indoor venues that don’t do this can often end up with even worse acoustics due to the massive amount of internal reflections that aren’t present outdoors. A careful listener can easily tell, while most people are just impressed by the relative volume and don’t notice how bad it really is. The reflections also contribute to a higher overall level of HF, too, which helps mitigate the absorption losses of the outdoor scenario.

    For the best possible chance at halfway decent outdoor sound, I recommend you stand somewhere midway between the stage and the soundboard, dead centre of the crowd, trying to form roughly an equilateral triangle with the speakers left and right of the stage. Closer to the stage is better up to a point, as the HF drivers are almost always going to be pointing out into the crowd and there’s relatively poor coverage close in. Move around there until you find a spot that sounds pretty good, and then stay there. That’ll minimize the path difference and comb filtering due to your position, though depending on the other factors it may or may not make a big difference.

  69. If you could string together the list of follies that our self-proclaimed elites foisted – take your pick as to a starting date, let’s say WW2 – they would go to Proxima Centauri and back.

    Everyone has their own favorite; what makes me laugh is the celebration on Wall Street when stock prices soar and the gloom when stock prices skid. But they don’t want to advertise the fact that stock prices don’t just drop down out of the sky, they’re the product of buyers and sellers, and as such, there’s two sides to a transaction, buyer and seller.

    What’s revenue to the seller is a cost to the buyer. This also goes in the case of both commercial and residential real estate.

    Now consider that since our betters thought it would be a really great idea to relocate US manufacturing capacity to a hostile state across the waters and to a narco-state south of the border, what’s left of the economy is farming plus a laughable collection of rackets, frauds and ponzis.

    Which is what real estate and financial markets are – and we all know what happens to ponzi schemes. Or maybe we don’t know. Forever rising stock and real estate prices? We ‘forget’ the cost to the buyer.

    It seems that, no matter what, nobody learns, not from history, not from recent experience. Trollope wrote a work of fiction in the 1800s, The Way We Live Now, about a stock swindler named Melmotte, and damned if it didn’t sound just like Bernie Madoff.

    People expect to make a killing by buying stocks and houses and so are incontinently eager to get in. So everyone is euphoric because everyone knows that prices can only go up. Right? Everyone says so, all the experts say so, so it must be so. Again, they ‘forget’ the cost to the buyer.

    Then somehow someone spoils the mood and everyone at the party rushes to the exit. But suddenly buyers are in short supply. Everyone ‘forgets’, there must be willing buyers.

    Wall Street insiders, who cashed out early, laugh, and you, poor fool, stand there with your arse in a pail.

  70. Re Grover, #54 -PUFA
    Stands for polyunsaturated fatty acids. WIKI tells me that this is a broad group including many essential fats and only a couple badies. WIKI can mislead, but if they’re right you really should include them in your diet. perhaps you meant “saturated” fats. Or foods high in omega-6 (a bad PUFA). Examples are safflower oil, mayonnaise, soybean oil. Some fast foods and sweets also contain high amounts of omega-6s.
    Now I have to rethink my mayonnaise consumption!
    Good luck.

  71. Anonymous #39, I totally agree that technology has impacted student behavior tremendously. I also think that the low tech problem of the lack of taking responsibility is a major contributor to poor behavior in children. Parents don’t want their “darlings” to face any consequences for their actions. I was told often that a student failed because I didn’t like them. The fact that the same student didn’t do any work, had poor attendance, disrupted class, etc, was not even considered to be the problem. Methylethyl pointed out that these issues (and more. See the covid posts) plus possible covid vaccine issues may create an even bigger problem with poor behavior. I’m seeing a big push toward homeschooling as the answer to the massive problems in education.

  72. Anonymous #39

    So methylethyl’s mother saw trouble with 4 year olds around 2014, and you saw trouble with 8 year olds around 2016.

    These kids’ birth years would have been 2008-2010.

    You said there were efforts being made to keep kids away from smartphones, but that wasn’t my experience at all:

    In 2014, I personally watched as a friend of mine pulled up some sort of app on her phone and placed it in her two-and-a-half year old’s hands, to keep the child quiet simply so she could keep yakking away to me uninterrupted. That child was born in 2011.

    In 2015, a very intrusive relative forced a smartphone into my 13 year old niece’s hands (long story). My sister had kept cell phones entirely out of the child’s life, and she had straight honor roll grades and no behavior problems. Within the year, the girl’s grades collapsed, she began having problems with anxiety and depression, and started doing things like sneaking out of the house at night. She managed to graduate high school, but just barely. And yet the local school system was pushing laptops/online everything/smartphones, because ‘wave of the future! must be tech savvy!’

    I find Kfish’s mention that there is work pointing to 2012 as a turning point quite interesting. It mirrors what I saw happening with my own eyes.

  73. Anonymous and kfish:

    For younger kids, I would suggest the issue was not cell phone use by the children (as you say, folks were still reluctant to give kids tablets in 2012) but phone use by parents in young childhood. Babies thrive on interaction with their parents, but parents can understandably get bored of playing knock-down-the-blocks three dozen times in a row. So they set the kiddo down and do a quick social media check and before long half an hour has flown by. I personally get headaches from phone overuse and would prefer to not be around them, but I still found myself reaching for my phone every so often – parenting can be a lonely gig sometimes. I would guess the quick adaptation of smart phones may have led to an increase in distracted parents even before we put them in the hands of the kids themselves.

  74. @Devonlad — “Little Big Man” by Thomas Berger is a great book and the movie had Faye Dunnaway in it, among other memorable features. Also, “Return of Little Big Man” is pretty good. Also, “Long Life Honey In the Heart” by Martin’ Pretchel. Great book !!! Also liked “The Birchbark Canoe” by David Gidmark and the book by Chapell “Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America” has an interesting bio on a fellow who lived with the Cree, ET Adney.

    @Xco — Reincarnation comes up in the case of Henri’ Vaillancourt, in John McPhee’s book, “The Survival of the Bark Canoe” as Vaillancort was born not long after Adney died. Also Isaac Newton was born shortly after Galileo died.

    Books have been a comfort, and then there were several adventures in life, I’m grateful for getting lost, for the questions kept in my pockets, and BTW, this blog. Thanks again JMG

  75. @Devonlad #7: White settlers preferring to live among native Americans is discussed extensively in the first chapter of “Dawn of Everything”. The sources they cite are:

    Heard, Joseph Norman. 1977 The Assimilation of Captives on the American Frontier in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Doctoral thesis, Louisiana State University (especially where Heard cites J. Hector St John de Crèvecoeur (1782) Letters from an American Farmer)

    Schultz, James W. 1935 My Life as an Indian.

    I haven’t yet tried to look either of these up!

  76. Hi JMG, I just read a Magic Monday post of yours from last month about autism and mirror neurons:

    I thought you might be interested in some of the recent research around this. You said “People who don’t have any at all — well, that’s me; in Aspergers syndrome, none of the brain’s neurons are set aside for mirror neuron duty, which is why people with Aspergers tend to have higher than usual IQs but are totally clueless at reading other people’s feelings, picking up on nonverbal cues, and so on.”

    There’s evidence suggesting that autistic people have all the mirror neurons and then some – the latter interfering with the former. See this article:

    The gist is that autistic brains arise from reduced pruning of neural pathways during brain development through programmed cell death (apoptosis). This is borne out in that autistic brains have been found to exhibit greater volume and neuron density than neurotypical brains.

    The mirror neurons, from what I’ve read, are laid out in a large, complex circuit crisscrossing the brain’s hemispheres. When the brain has more cells manifesting more connections than normal, the extra pathways run into the mirror neuron pathways and interfere with their operation. Since the mirror neurons work through a kind of resonance between brains, I would guess that their operation depends on a certain timing of signals and having more pathways that fire more often would interfere with this timing.

    Add to this recent findings on the drug MDMA and autism:

    MDMA is known for creating feelings of harmony and togetherness between people. Put these facts together, and it’s likely that MDMA acts as a kind of signal booster for the mirror neurons. When boosted in this way, the mirror neurons in an autistic brain are able to cut through the interference and function for a time as they would in a neurotypical brain. The experiences of users in the above articles seem to reflect this.

    The theory of overconnectedness seems to explain just about all of the autistic traits. Sensory overloads come from floods of signal due to the extra connections. High IQs and extraordinary memory in Aspergers come from extra connections, particularly to the hippocampus. The debilitating effects of severe autism may come from a brain so overconnected that it’s incoherent, unable to form the pathways governing normal behavior at all.

  77. I had this inchoate idea occur to me the other day that the extreme destructiveness of WW1 and WW2 had something to do with the Religion of Progress.

    As far as I am aware, these were the most destructive wars in history, and the thought occurred to me that they wouldn’t have been as bad (or even happened at all) if there was a different worldview besides Progess guiding the culture at the time.

    Perhaps an arrogant assumption that the future is necessarily better than the present and therefore the mass destruction of the present is inconsequential…. Perhaps the drive to go farther just for the sake of going farther…. I don’t know. I may be completely wrong. It could simply have been the sheer amount of fungible energy available at the time.

    I obviously need to contemplate this idea more, but do you think there’s any merit to it?

  78. As for that bit of silliness in Ottawa over Mr Hunka, one version of the story is that Mr Hunka is a resident of Anthony Rota’s parliamentary constituency and that somebody brought the hapless Mr Hunka to Rota’s attention. Now, remember that Rota was Speaker (now resigned) of that august chamber.

    So, the obvious question, who dunnit, who brought up Mr Hunka’s name for special recognition? John Cleese maybe, you know, as a prank? Just to see what would happen?
    Does anybody know?

    Canadians share a lot in common with Europeans in thinking of themselves as almighty superior to those ignorant yahoos south of the border. But man oh man, this pratfall looks Palinesque in its absurdity (Sarah Palin, not Michael Palin). Who was it, Dan Quayle maybe, that said he’d heard that some third world countries don’t have driving ranges?

    I heard a story about Sarah, that after she’d been picked by McCain as his Veep, she was interviewed by some of McCain’s associates. And they allegedly told McCain, good luck, she doesn’t know anything. I’m sure there’s not a stitch of truth to it.

    And so, apparently, ignorance at the highest levels isn’t something unique to the US (in this case historical obliviousness).

  79. Juan Miguel, even if that’s what’s happening, there’s no justification for assuming that it’s going to proceed in a linear fashion indefinitely. One thing we know about the biosphere is that, like any complex system, it’s full of negative feedback loops; as the carbon dioxide levels increase, other factors will cut in to soak up the excess, as they did in previous greenhouse events in prehistory.

    Russell, you’re most welcome and thank you.

    Chris, in most decadent empires, you don’t get rich by productive work, you get rich by figuring out how to extract wealth parasitically from the system. That’s the condition we’re in today. The tourist class is a mix of the parasite class and their upper-level hangers-on — most upper-end corporate flacks are basically toadies of the parasite class, as usual in a decadent empire; and also as usual, public policy is distorted to benefit the parasite class and its toadies at the expense of those who do productive work. No, that doesn’t last long, which is one of the reasons why decadent empires fall…

    Sam, the best advice I ever had about herbalism is this: learn the medicinal properties of your local weeds. Online archives can give you plenty of herb books from a century and more ago, which will cover that; once you know your local weeds, you’ll have a foundation in basic herbalism that nobody can take from you, and no corporation can exploit.

    Batstrel, both of them were showmen; they’d have made great snake oil salesmen a century further back, and they knew the value of the grand gesture. I’m far from sure that either of them could live up to all their more extreme claims.

    Jack, exactly. I don’t have an inside perspective on the urbanist movement, but it would be interesting to see if you or someone like you could do the same sort of trick I’ve been playing on the contending sides, and occupy the abandoned middle ground.

    Smith, that certainly deserves an honorable place on the list!

    Raja, hmm! Fascinating. Thanks for this.

    Blue Sun, I think there’s a lot of merit to it.

    Smith, I admit I was wondering if there had been some kind of casting mix-up, with Peter Sellers playing Prime Minister Trudeau instead of Inspector Clouseau. Hmm — I wonder if that’s been going on all along, and you’ve got Inspector Trudeau trying to solve the mystery of how to run Canada…

  80. Anonymous don’t forget it’s not just kids using phones and other screen devices, it’s their parents and other family and friends who are using them and are less responsive and interactive with the kids. I’ve seen so many young kids essentially being sidelined – most recently about 3 days ago a kindergartner crossing the street with her mother, mother fully engrossed in phone (I suppose she looked both ways before crossing in front of me?) and child blithely skipping along. At some point the kid will realize she’s not truly being paid attention to.

  81. Greetings ADJMG to you and your family.
    I saw where Zelenskyy wanted to have spirit cooking Abramovic for his ambassador. What? Why?
    I started thinking about how the end of empires have these prominent fringe characters. France had De Sade. Russia had Rasputin, Britain had Crowley. Could Abramovic be our version of this phenomena?

  82. An excellent question regarding antidepressants – I had to think seriously for a moment. The reason is that I think almost exclusively in terms of men’s health, and none of the men I have discussions with about weight are on antidepressants. Upon reflection that’s also why I mentioned agricultural run-off, which is proven to be bad for testicular function. I have actually no idea what it does to women. However, I know men who appear to do everything right, who get adequate exercise, stay away from processed foods, get lots of sunlight, and all the rest, but still struggle with weight. My current understanding is that this has a lot to do with long term metabolic damage partially from polyunsaturated fatty acids. It’s a fascinating problem especially because we can actually measure what percentage of a person’s stored body fat is pufa, with measurements going back to the fifties. The metabolic harm gets us a second time when we try to burn off the stored body fat, which includes it.

    As for myself, I’ve long since wrapped my morning low-angle sunlight exposure into an act of worship. Speaking of this, as very much a beginning aspirant to Druidry i have a question. The four corners of the year have always been powerful for me as markers of solar time. I experience great worshipfulness when interacting with the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars. But given that paganism (or frankly religion of any kind) doesn’t resonate with me I feel like an odd man out. Is there a system of practice for a worship of the natural world as direct symbolic experience of the one divine reality?

    Myth and archetype are profound and I love them, but they feel like an entirely different category.

  83. Sam, I follow a couple of good herbalists with YouTube channels and websites. One is Sajah Popham, who is also an alchemist: or and Yarrow Willard, the Herbal Jedi: or

    And let’s not forget Rosemary Gladstar. Her YouTube channel is here: She is the creator of Mountain Rose Herbs, I believe. and she has plenty of well known books.

  84. Hi JMG,
    A few weeks ago I asked you how many past lives you’ve remembered and said I have no recollection of having any.
    You suggested that I expand my spiritual life.
    To that wit, I ordered and started your, The Druidry Handbook. I have the 2021 copyright addition published by Weiser.
    On page 58, it says that Abred is the past, and Gwynfydd is the present; near the top of the page.
    On page 62, in the table, in the Part of Time column, it has them reversed.
    Is this a typo; or am I already lost?
    Many Thanks,

  85. You have spoken of a coming time known as “The Second Religiosity”. What I would like to know is, do you think this is the sort of religiosity that would see a rekindled rise of the “Moral Majority” sort of politically ultraconservative Christianity?

  86. @Peter, re staying phoneless,
    There are still ways of getting by in most cases. I just walk out of restaurants if all they have is tablet menus or QR codes. I note where public phones can be found in case the need arises. In countries without them, I’ve had no trouble asking people to place a call for me for a little cash.
    But it is quickly coming to the point where the authorities think they can safely assume all functions can be switched over to smartphone apps. In general, they are not hearing about opposition to this due to media suppression.
    I had to give up overseas travel for a number of reasons, one of which is because during the pandemic, governments started demanding foreigners agree to be tracked by cell phone app.
    Those of us without cell phones for health, ethical or other reasons need to raise our voices. We need to band together more. If you haven’t heard about Arthur Firstenberg’s “People without Cell Phones” initiative, here is the newsletter he sent out recently on the subject:

  87. @Devonlad (#7):

    James Axtell wrote an excellent article on the subject of “White Indians” back in 1975, which you can read online at

    Here in Rhode Island back in 1675-76 there was Joshua Tefft, who not only spoke an Algonquian Indigenous language fluently, took an Indian wife, and actually fought on the Indigenous side against his fellow colonists from England during the Great Swamp Fight during King Philip’s War. He was captured by the colonists and executed horribly (by quartering while still alive) as a traitor. See, for example:

  88. @Kfish and anonymous regarding a sudden shift in children’s behavior and the possibility that smartphones may have induced it,
    We have to bear a couple of things in mind: 1) The handsets are only half of what is going on, and for people with sensitivities, they are not the issue at all if they can persuade people with handsets around them to use airplane mode. When did the schools start using wireless Internet? They were all installing quite powerful routers and requiring the staff and students to spend significant amounts of time in their vicinity. The children themselves might not have had their own smartphone yet, but did their mothers?
    2) The radiation itself is invisible and virtually undetectable to all but the most sensitive. Different frequencies and modulations, etc., can be produced by a simple software change in existing infrastructure, as has been happening with the rollout of 5G, in which many of the antennas started out as 4G and were upgraded. People have reported becoming ill after 5G base stations were installed (see Nillson & Hardell, 2023 ). It is well known among electrosensitives that signal strength is only one factor in how severely they are affected.
    It has been my quite biased observation that any young student of mine who acquired a cellphone would within a year lose interest in studying. It was several months ago (and the link is apt to be in Japanese only) that one researcher in northern Japan was asked to look into possible causes of declining academic ability in high school students, and after considering many different possibilities he found a relationship between hours of screen time (meaning smartphone or wireless tablet use–the ones used in Japan don’t even have a cable port for wiring them) and poor academic achievement. He went further with his study using MRI (or was it CT) and found delayed brain development in the affected adolescents.
    I think synergistic effects are also worth considering, but have no leads there except perhaps with what’s going on with the shots.

  89. @Robert Mathiesen, #75
    Thank you for the link – very interesting. Yes, that’s the truth, but not the whole truth. “the Soviets pushed the notion of the three brother-nations, with a shared triple history, for obvious political reasons, and anti-Ukrainian prejudice either died out or went underground in the USSR.” is also very much the truth. “Died out” – from my experience, at least.
    Malorossia, most likely, is a reference to the size of the territory and is not meant as a derogatory term. There are 2 words in Russian language, “малый” (most often used in geography to denote a small size) and “маленький” (a more general term).
    “They had, and freely quoted to me, derogatory sayings about Ukrainians and Belarusians.” Oh well… when I arrived to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 some of the White Russian emigres were still around and I encountered them. As a group they, just like Stalin, did not single out Ukrainians and were equally condescending to everybody. My father was Jewish, so in their hierarchy I was immediately placed well below Ukrainians :))
    The relationship between Russian and Ukrainian language is also tricky. When I traveled by train from Saint Petersburg to Kiev (many years ago) I would say that every 100 kilometers language changed a bit – Russian as I knew it, then accented (to me) Russian, then heavily accented Russian, and then Ukrainian. Right now the San Francisco Bay Area is flooded with refugees from both, Ukraine and Russia – mostly young couples in their 20-s and 30-s. I encounter them in Russian grocery stores. Are they from Rostov (Russia) or Mariupol (Ukraine)? I can not tell. To my ear (Saint Petersburg) they sound the same.
    10 years ago the situation was nuanced, delicately balanced, subtle. It has become extremely polarized, cartoonish, and hateful. I want to provide an account of a better situation that was possible in the past. I hope that the cooler heads will prevail and an uneasy ballance will be restored.

  90. @Bradley
    I think you may find Ioan Petru Culianu Eros and magic in the Renaissance an interesting read…

  91. Hey jmg and commentariat in Australia

    My first question I wanted to ask this open post is what everyone’s thoughts are concerning the referendum on “The voice” in Australia, which proposes a change in the constitution to produce a advisory council for the aboriginal people to advise the government on subjects that concern them.

    My opinions so far are very on the fence since there are good reasons for voting yes and no, however I find it suspicious that the mainstream media seems to be biasing people towards voting no, and even more suspicious that the pamphlet sent by the Australian electoral commission to explain “The voice” uses a preaching to the choir, do this because it’s the right thing to do tone in its arguments for voting yes, but a more precautionary and analytical approach to arguing for voting no.

  92. @Mark Grable, #83 (in response to @Xco), on reincarnation

    Then there’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the archetypal precocious genius, who by the age of five was already composing little pieces. Mozart was born in 1756, fourteen and a half years after Antonio Vivaldi’s death (1741). I lack the musical education to tell for myself, but there’s allegedly an influence there (which may have been transmitted through early exposure to Vivaldi by Amadeus’ father, Leopold, but there’s that).

    The caveat: one would expect that, back in the 18th century, a man who lived to the respectable age of 63 should have stayed in the afterlife for at least a century. But since Vivaldi did reach lasting fame as one of the top Baroque composers… he must have been a pretty advanced soul, shouldn’t he? What are the chances that he had some unfinished businesses that he needed to complete before “moving on” (either to post-human life, or to develop other aspects of the self that would require to put music aside for the time being)? Would such a soul have any say in the reincarnation process, push to have an early ticket to another life and then process both lives together in one long out-of-body phase? These questions are not rhetorical, I truly don’t know; so I am leaving those open to JMG and the commentariat to chime in, please.

  93. A few comments:

    What Raja Lon Flattery has written about autism actually means that the diminishing and negative return of too much complexity is applicable, too, to human brains: the brain of an autist would then be too complex to accomplish some tasks well, and the more complex the brain, the worse the ability to be functional.

    Last post, someone wondered why it seemed to him that the decline of Western civilization is so much faster than the decline of earlier civilizations. The solution of this mystery may be, that we are in a crisis period, where things unravel faster than usual, like they occurred in other civilizations, too, which will in due time be followed by a period of renewed stability and partial recovery. A parallel to the current crisis seems to be the crisis of the 3th century in ancient Rome. And a question: do institutions unravel, too, in such crises, or are they immune to change? I ask because the Shirky principle says that institutions do everything in their poer to survive and get bigger and more complex.

    By the way, there seemingly is a movement to moralize the question of meat comsumption, going after posts on the German website

  94. @Mother Balance #76,

    That’s an interesting one – but as long as it works… 😀

    For what it’s worth, I’m looking for something specific, I just don’t know yet what it is. (and yep, I know this sounds weird, but we’re on the blog of an archdruid, so some weird should be acceptable, right? 😉 ). That’s why I’m wondering if anybody has ever come across anything – I might then be able to track things back to what I’m looking for.

    @Viridian Obstreperous Gopher (V.O.G) #77,

    Thanks. That was an extremely helpful explanation! I got the general physics part, but never understood why in halls and rooms, the voices are understandable at least some of the time, but never outdoors. I always put this down to the expertise of the sound technicians (which didn’t really make much sense), but now I’m wondering if it’s the equipment and the way the concert venues are built more than anything else…

    @olbab #79: don’t give up on mayo – make your own!

    That way, you can use your choice of oil. If you do it the right way, it’s also very simple and quick to do.

    I’ve made very good experiences with this recipe, with some slight variations as listed below:

    although I don’t worry about the room temperature anymore (it also works well with fridge-cold eggs, lemon juice and mustard), and I use standard mustard, not dry mustard powder.

    The secret is the stick blender: Don’t worry about splitting the oil into two batches. Put everything but the oil into your (high and narrow) container of choice, set the lower part of the stick blender on top of the egg, and pour the oil (all of it in this step) in. Then start the stick blender (don’t stop in between, especially not at the beginning), and slowly pull it upwards. That’s it – mayo done, and you can easily add other ingredients to the egg before putting in the blender: herbs, garlic, spices, …

    Also, the part about setting the stick blender on the egg before you pour in the oil might be superstition, but since it’s important to not start blending the egg with too much oil at the beginning, this is my way of keeping most of the oil out of the stick blender for starters. You might get away with pouring everything in at once if you’re willing to give it a try.

    I’ve made dozens of mayos and mayo-based sauces with this recipe, if not more, and only ever had two failures: and in both cases, I think it was too much oil for the (then rather small) egg.

    Finally, listen to her advice about not using extra virgin olive oil. 😉

    Once you’ve tried home-made mayo, you’ll never go back to store-bought!!


  95. Not medical advice, just a personal anecdote. I’ve noticed that if I overstrain my body to the point where my muscles get too sore and twitch, the cell salts will calm them down. There have been several nights where the Bioplasma salts have helped me fall asleep.

  96. My Russian student got back from Eastern Europe and Russia earlier this month, including two weeks in Ukraine, so I will give a brief report on his observations along with my own.
    Upon returning to Japan, he came straight over to see us, probably because nobody else in Japan was going to understand him. His facial expression and posture were completely Russian. He was shy about speaking with me, his teacher, but showed me videos of himself with friends in Russia, speaking fluently. He is 21. He had friends all over Russia, Ukraine and eastern Europe even before he started studying Russian.
    He said he felt like Japan was almost prison-like, all closed up with everyone hesitant to socialize. We noted that the pandemic continues to rage here, not in numbers, but in impact. He said the pandemic was over Russia and every other country he visited. It was history. Essentially forgotten.
    HIs impression of the most dangerous place he visited was Serbia, where he said he felt a lot of tension and the possibility of it leading to civil unrest. In Rostov-na-Don, near Crimea he felt the streets were dangerous, but elsewhere he said he felt no particular danger, including in Ukraine.
    He visited three cities in Ukraine: Kyiv, Vinnytsia and one more he couldn’t remember, but since he seems to have entered from Romania, or maybe Moldova, both of which he visited, it could be Chernivtsi or Zhytomyr. He had some footage of a distant rocket attack on the outskirts of Kyiv, but other than that, he said it was peaceful and life seemed normal. The Gucci outlet in Kyiv was open for business.
    He said he really did not like the people he met in Ukraine. He described a victim mentality. (He had had friends in Ukraine before the war, but once the war started, they left via Belarus to Poland and from there, to Japan, where they continue to live, since they spoke some Japanese. He dropped his friendship with them shortly after that because they adopted a victim mentality, acting like the whole world owed them. I reckon that’s the nature of the propaganda they were hearing. My friends and acquaintances there were never like that.)
    He had positive impressions of all the other countries he visited. He is not very fond of Moscow, but liked all other cities he visited in Russia.
    He spent a total of five months abroad this year, after three months last year and a shorter time the year before, and is talking about getting back to Russia as soon as he can, maybe December.

    Regarding the kerfuffle in Canada, Scott Ritter says whatever goes on in the Parliament there is vetted, planned and deliberate, which leaves us all wondering what was intended. Some are saying this kind of adulation of former and current Ukrainian “freedom fighters” has been going on for a very long time in Canada, but with this they managed to throw a spotlight onto it. So it may have simply been lack of caution.
    Others are saying that there has been an ongoing attempt to normalize support for people with dicey ideologies if they can be weaponized against Russia, so they went ahead with this with a plan for spinning and placing blame if it went wrong. I am waiting to see if they manage to put the lid back on it like they are trying to do. I want to see how the left reacts in Canada.

  97. JMG re. “you’re stuck on a definition of learning that doesn’t permit you to understand it”

    You’re absolutely right – I’m guilty as charged. I keep coming back to that old Taoist maxim “knowing is false understanding; not knowing is blind ignorance” and I think on this one, I’m stuck with the latter. Hey-ho!

  98. Jack comment 21- Here in Pittsburgh, the fights over bike lanes, and the speedbumps/bollards to slow drivers down, are epically politicized. Note that the City of Pittsburgh is basically a Blue enclave inside Appalachia. (The Republican party imploded in a spectacular corruption scandal a hundred years ago, and never recovered…) See also: the finger pointing about the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge, which was national news; state bridge repair money was long diverted to the state police. Um, OK …

  99. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for the response. Out of curiosity, do you feel that these sorts of social and economic imbalances have recently become harder for the elites to brush away as irrelevant when they impact upon so many peoples lives?

    Are you watching the oil prices rise? And I noticed a very strategic ban on diesel fuel exports in one corner of the world. Not good, diesel is the mover fuel.



  100. Dear Mr. Greer,

    First of all, I wanted to thank you for your writings and for hosting this space. Your work, which I first encountered around a year ago, gave a final blow to my cracked faith in progress while avoiding my falling for apocalypse narratives. It also made and continues to make me question some core ideas about my worldview. All of this is invaluable.

    I just started reading through the booklist you suggested in your post ‘A deindustrial reading list’ from ADR, which also overlaps with the resources you recommended in Green Wizardry. I hope it’ll help me understand better where your ideas came from. However I realized that, being young, I may not have developed the kind of reading skills people born in previous decades could still have, which you described in Green Wizardry as: “Every chapter, and indeed every paragraph, in each of those books would be unpacked in lectures, explored in lab work, brought up in tests and term papers, so that by the time the student graduated, he had mastered everything those textbooks had to teach.”

    I have two main reading modes, both apparently inappropriate for this kind of task. Leisure reading, which you described in the post as “you won’t get much out of any book if you approach it passively, and let the words dribble through your mind and out your ears like so many sitcom plots”, and the way I’ve always studied for exams, summarised in the book as: “students shoulder half a dozen huge textbooks a term, and have so little time to process any of them that the bleak routine of memorize, regurgitate, and forget is usually the only option.”

    Well, it’s awkward to ask this as someone studying a university degree but, could you -or anyone in the commentariat- recommend me some resources on how to approach texts the right way? Any specific recommendations besides reading them many times?

    Thank you.
    Greetings from Spain!

    PS: The post in ADR:

  101. Greetings JMG and fellow ecosophians!

    My interest was piqued by this essay on the possibility of injecting calcite nanoparticles into the stratosphere to reflect enough light back out into space to soothe our global overheating problem in the short to medium term. Unlike some geoengineering schemes the cost is fairly reasonable – I think the author is rather hoping his proposal will be tried by some eccentric billionaire.

    The physics of it went above my head (no pun intended) – I’d love to hear what ecosophians think of the proposal.

  102. Milky Way #46 My primary occupation is live sound, something that will *not* survive the long descent… … … First, vocal intelligibility is often a problem indoors as well. Remember that microphones want to feed back, and unless the singer is belting (or using a track) it is difficult to get the vocals to a level in the mix that you are used to hearing from recordings. If you turn down all the instruments, then the mix loses its punch. Another thing that can affect intelligibility, both in and outdoors, is sound reflections that produce a confusing echo. Outdoors, two other problems emerge. Higher frequencies are absorbed by air first, so you lose intelligibility (This is why distant thunder rumbles, but a close strike has massive high end). In addition, wind does not “blow the sound around” but the differences in pressure and humidity that accompany wind do affect the sound. Then there’s the subjective and aesthetic aspects. I tend to favor mixes with more vocals and pull back the instruments for many genres. And finally, do you know the song already? -your brain will fill in the missing pieces. That makes life hard for opening acts presenting their songs to a new audience. Hope that helps.

  103. If the Changer is the primary archetype associated with the North American landmass, just as Wotan is the primary archetype for Germany… What do people think are some of the other archetypes associated with different places?

  104. Apropos to last week – I did note that joining an poorly operated institution was often (but not guaranteed) a way to avoid its worse excesses. This might go some way to explaining their survival well past sell by date.

    I know you’ve written about early post-death experiences in the last decade or so; could you recommend a link or book?

  105. @ JMG #50

    Re reactions of other conference attendees to the feds’ presentations

    I’d be surprised if others had similar reactions to mine. The culture of the utility industry is pretty well-entrenched in the Dem-Rep uniparty mindset. I’d welcome the possibility of being pleasantly surprised otherwise, however.

  106. Anonymous and others,

    Perhaps there are too many contributing causes of childhood mental/emotional distress to pin on a single factor. Studies about parents relative neglect (while on the phone/social media/working 3 jobs) and overuse of electronics are prevalent. Long Covid, and the isolation or other issues related to shut downs or family illness/stresses clearly have a role.

    There are far fewer studies about synthetic chemicals in our food, air, water, and clinging to the micro/nano-plastics around and within us. And even fewer of the effects of what they do to the microbes and environment on which we rely.

    To me, these are all secondary to a declining civilization. Maybe like lead poisening in Roman times, and lagging crop health (and nutrition with subsequent failing human health) in multiple failed societies with soil depletion and pollution. Limits to Growth has some good charts….

    One response is to eat mostly whole foods with limited processing, beyond cooking. Going a step further, as feasible, grow or find foods that exclude modern contaminants, and that are grown in (or animals fed via) healthy soil. Community and tender loving care are other priorities, along with spiritual seeking and helping others. Green Wizardry by JMG has lots of good hints of constructive ideas.

  107. About Walls being Violence – I had a wall fall on me and I ended up in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury. So yes, they can be violent. However, I think what the deepity is driving out is that people should not have boundaries.

    Deepity- it is a word coined by one of the New Atheists in 2006. It is defined as “a proposition that seems to be profound because it is actually logically ill-formed. It has (at least) two readings and balances precariously between them. On one reading it is true but trivial. The other profound but false.” For example: “Everything happens for a reason.” I got that one after my wall crushing. My response was, “Yeah, the company used faulty materials.” Their response – slinking away quietly.
    Thanks for the prayers for our family. My husband is now walking well and is being outfitted for shoes. We are doing fine now. Thanks, again.

  108. A practical question, if anyone has experience with these:

    Hammerhead worms, and Asian jumping worms are two invasive earthworms recently found in our area. Unfortunately, I found one type in my aging manure pile and nearby retained shredded leaves from last fall, and the other one in my aging wood chip pile – both in the last two weeks. I have read that hammerheads eat agricultural earthworms and other soft bodied small critters, and jumping worms outcompete hammerheads. I am undecided as to whether to keep using these for soil enrichment/management, or seek out purchased alternatives. Getting rid of these piles would be an ordeal, and I suspect futile.

    Does anyone have longer term experience with these, how they change a garden, or potential do-no-harm-to-the-soil mitigation? Any good scientific references (preferably sans paywall)?

  109. re: bike lanes

    What I’ve seen of them around here is they go from nowhere to nowhere. And they aren’t used. And never will be.

    Why did they get built in the first place? My best guess is that some sort of regulation was tied to the funding “If you want us to pay for this new road, it must include bike lanes”. Without any thought for whether it would make any trip worth making. Without asking anyone who’s actually gone anywhere on a bike what would work. Cargo cult regulations.

    re: titanium

    OMG. Is converting it to TiCl4 really the best way to get rid of those two oxygens? Is that really the best path? And then reducing it with Sodium metal? That’s nuts. Has anyone tried a direct reduction of TiO2? Seems like you could tempt those O’s to bond with something else.

    As far as Apple being prissy, pretentious and hypocritical, well, welcome to Apple. Somehow they manage to make a lot of money doing what they do. For the moment. There was a time when they traded like a penny stock and nobody cared what they were doing.

  110. ““Don’t say such things in front of the servants. Do you really want to have your throats cut”

    The arrogance of the intellectual and upper classes on display and beyond measure. “We” the smart people, don’t believe such things as trees have their own lives and can talk, that people live on as spirits and their ghost can come at death, or that any other spirit, angel, entity, or force exists except my mind.

    And so this statement. Religion is ONLY a form of controlling riots and the masses. That’s what all the smart, intellectual, and upper classes believe. We don’t actually believe there are any gods at all, no Christ, no miracles, no spirits, angels or forces. Only US. The smart people, and we know best.

    No, Churcheology may actually be co-opted for control of the masses, or perhaps “Channeling” and “Directing” would be a better word, but that doesn’t mean God, Angels, Druids, and Religions don’t exist. Or that they don’t have power far outside of Popes and Councils.

    So then “Religion” cannot possibly have the root and meaning University intellectuals ascribe. Because it pre-exists the Church, independently and outside it. But they will never reduce themselves to finding out about it, so they’ll never know.

    Reincarnation is everywhere, but I’d recommend “Journey of Souls” as a good intro. A scientist recording stories of people’s experiences. There are like 100,000 Near Death Experiences on YouTube that each support the same thing. Despite reports to the contrary, it’s also in the Bible. “Who do they say I am?” Jesus asked. “They say you are Moses, or Elijah…” Hey, how can he be Moses or Elijah since he was born of Mary? Because reincarnation, which was also popular among the Greeks there.

    But I’m sorry, it is RIGHT THERE. It’s one of the most common quotes of the Bible. And the Christians can’t see it, to say nothing of the rest of us? What’s up?

    Jack, from here, nuance has been annihilated. Almost nothing can be said that is productive. It is “my way” or else “You’re evilly evil” on subjects such as which pickles to put on the cheeseboard. Now get out of my house! I hope this is the high tide of “American independence” or as we would call it: ego, but I fail to see a mechanism for walking it down. I rather see being chucked down the stairs as the more likely solution instead.

    Lothar von Hakelheber, the side of My Country Right or Wrong has gotten very small. Let’s say “always wrong” is ½ or 1/3 (1/3 against, 1/3 for and 1/3 indifferent is a U.S. baseline) and I’d say “Always right” is well under 20% and has been for years now, perhaps as many as 10y. Although those are probably MAGA, I doubt even 20% of MAGA is in the “Always Right” camp. As you may know, their point of their existence is to be against the government as well, and also Republicans-in-general. You can’t be against a government and establishment you think is always right. …We’ve also always been like this, and the easiest position to take in the U.S. is the “revolutionary” one. That may be difficult to describe or explain to Europe. I’d say as “By the Lake” that most of those “Always right” people are all government employees. But there are ~2 millions of them.

    “Indian captivity narratives” …instead of being killed, was adopted by the tribe.” There’s a knock-on problem here. We consider Tribes to be “ethnic”… if we consider all 5,000 tribes to not be one generic “Native American” at all. Yet they were regularly capturing and adopting for centuries, and the Iroquois of the NE especially were mass slavers and adopters, extinguishing dozens of tribes as you see in “Last of the Mohicans”. That means genetically, you will find nothing. They are not an ethnicity any more than “Americans” are a coherent genetic group. This varies, but it puts to lie the modern Western, and, frankly, racist concept of universities and intellectuals on the matter. After 500 years of –mostly– adopting, I wonder if there is any discernible “Iroquois” gene at all.

    Now ”Comanche” may exist the same way “Italy” exists, but it’s not a genetic group, it’s a social and political tradition. Therefore their classification that you cease being an Indian at 1/16th and therefore all Tribes can only get smaller (and their land erased) is racist bunkum. But it pays, that’s why it’s the opposite of “Single drop of black blood” they use for the black community. I always believe two impossible things at once before breakfast, Alice said. College professors, you believe both these things, so which is it?

    “I’m making a fatal mistake by ignoring the sacrifice of Jesus Christ?”

    Anna, As a Christian, why are the local spirits, tree spirits, or other lives in any conflict at all? Christ only opened a door in a mansion of many rooms that already existed. He did not leave statements on these specific magics or spirits, and all European magic since his time supported them up til 1600 or so.

  111. High all.

    I’m currently on a korean food kick. So.. as one might surmise, that includes plenty of fermentation. Yumm!

    I think I’ll have some T-shirts printed with the following phase:

    Continue St. Greta’s Agony – Make Kimchi

  112. Good day JMG and everyone,

    A few weeks ago I was stopped at a stop light behind a Tesla. As we were waiting for the light to change, I noticed that the Tesla symbol looked very much like some kind of stylized depiction of a crucifix. That gave me pause and I began thinking about it and it occurred to me that since so many think we can save the world through the purchase of EV’s like Tesla that this was now the modern symbol of redemption. Buy this car and you will be able to redeem the human race from the sin of climate change. Isn’t that what a crucifix is about, Jesus’ sacrifice redeems the human race from original sin? Your financial sacrifice redeems the human race? Was that the subliminal message Elon Musk thought of with the Tesla logo to get people to buy his car?

    On further reflection and especially after watching an old Bella Lugosi vampire movie, the Tesla symbol could also look like a stylized Bella Lugosi vampire spreading his cloak draped arms before turning into a bat and flying off after feasting on your blood. I can’t see Tesla cars as anything more then
    then a vampiric drain on resources, personal or planetary. Maybe Elon missed the mark with his logo, but desperate people turned it to something else to avoid being drained or avoid knowing they were being drained.

    What do you think?

    P.S. I would also like to add my thanks to you JMG for this splendid space and your care of it.

  113. I have found that industrial auction flyers to be one of the best “true” windows in to the state of the industrial and transportation economy. I get several of these “flyers” by email everyday. I got an interesting one yesterday. Honeywell is auctioning off all of the ( almost new and state of the art) equipment in their factory in Ohio that builds Warehouse Automation Equipment.
    This is a new factory, just set up in 2016. I looked in to the local papers and found that indeed Honeywell is closing down this entire factory ( and its 200 jobs) due to lack of work. From what I can tell it is not moving, and they are downsizing their other warehouse automation factory. They build things like high tech conveyors, box sorting equipment, automatic carton closers, tapers and such. This seems to be opposite of the, booming direct to home e-commerce industry we are told about. Strange times indeed.

  114. @Justin Patrick Moore: You make a good argument, and I hadn’t thought of that. Probably true, not that it excuses the inability to see the fortification-for-survival aspect.

    @JMG: You’re welcome, and thank you. Ha, ha, I like that safety rail bit.

    @Mary Bennet: You might be right about the deliberate disruption, and we’re agreed on what an insult that is to victims of actual violence.

  115. Chris@Fernglade farm

    we’ve got ever-increasing immigration into a housing crisis where I am. Increasing numbers of tents and tent groupings popping up in pretty much every park. And from the people I talk to and the stories I hear, it feels like the poorer end of society is getting shredded.

    People losing their housing, being unable to find new, and most of the family moving to another province with the teenager staying behind. People moving in with in-laws they can’t stand, triggering a whole new set of problems.

    The church I used to go to has had an alarming number of losses of people due to situations along the lines of the following: a) person gets evicted for one of a number of reasons b) person can’t find new housing in the local area they can afford, then either c) person moves away and we rarely/never see them again or d) person becomes homeless and we rarely/never see them again. Though sometimes the latter manages to get housing sorted out later, and then we may see them. Or not, depending on where they end up.

    Tourism is a major industry here, but I don’t know much about whether that’s going up or down right now.

  116. Peter #32,

    Oh man, yeah. Back in July I went to watch 4 English Premier League teams play in the Summer Series tournament here in the U.S. (Atlanta in this case). I couldn’t get on the train without a smartphone. My tickets were on the smart phone only. I couldn’t use cash for refreshments – had to purchase a debit card and load cash onto it to buy anything!

    Fortunately, I knew about most of this in advance and was able to borrow an Android. The only reason I bothered was that this was a 50th birthday present, the two Premier League games, and I really, really wanted to go.

    But you know what? I’ll never do it again.
    Just not worth it.

    They’re losing people like me. I won’t hesitate to just stop playing their game.
    Best of luck to you, though!

  117. For my part, the books that I plan to share with my children as we homeschool are the classics, including Homer, the Bible, Bagavad Gita, The Golden Flower, The Dao De Jing, Chuang Zi, I Ching (especially as The Toltec I Ching.) Your books will definitely be in there along with many of the authors that you have mentioned, Spengler and such. And as I have previously mentioned, the works of William Douglas Horden. His Researches on the I Ching are phenomenal. His worldview may well be the “very, very obscure” teachings that take the world by storm. There is already a trend toward non-dualism, and indigenous/traditional teachings are making a comeback. Either way, I reread his books more than any and will definitely be sharing them with my children and anyone who will listen. May we all awaken early and find lifelong allies!

  118. It’s all over the news, the Apple top of the line titanium iPhones are overheating.

    Did they overlook something, something being the thermal conductivity of Grade 5 titanium?

    Grade 5 Titanium (actually Ti-V-Al) 6.7 W/m-K
    Pure Titanium. 11.4 W/m-K
    Stainless steel (304) 16.2 W/m-K
    Carbon steel 45 W/m-K
    Aluminum. 235 W/m-K
    Copper 398 W/m-K

    It’s a surprisingly bad conductor for a metal. Glass is about 1 W/m-K.

    It could be a software problem too, where all the cores on the state of the art chip are stuck at maximum speed. But even then it shouldn’t overheat that bad.

    I’m so glad I don’t own one. But as someone mentioned way up top, it’s getting harder and harder to function without one. Besides the landline phone company basically abandoning this area (technically they serve it, but they never fix anything either) more and more services require two factor authentication. So I need to be able to receive texts. The flip phone I have does do that so I can get by for now. But read a QR code? I doubt it.

    Cell phones are such a useful tracking device for a police state that I’m a bit surprised they are not mandatory.

  119. Meditating on Spenglerian themes as regards America: It seems to me that America (in the sense of the USA or Anglo-America, since I have less experience with the Latin part of our world) has a dual character in our time, with both a strong Faustian influence from the European settlement since the 17th century, and also a “something else” that is both from before and of the future yet to unfold. The best way to get the feeling for this is simply to go to different parts of America and note the character of the place, both materially and energetically (for those of us becoming familiar with the unseen). The Faustian character of America is most evident in the larger cities and it has a very characteristic “feel”. The Faustians, as Spengler says, are maybe the most “in time” of all high cultures, and the cities of the USA are filled with nervous energy and movement, and are always tied to the clock. This is in contrast with, say, the Chinese civilization, where cities never sleep because there’s a nocturnal rhythm to life just as much as a diurnal one, and until a recent Faustian Pseudomorphosis, the experience of time had a more fluid character. But away from the big cities, whether we are talking about the wildernesses, or even areas of long settlement that have had time to develop their own character, there is a different feel in America. I have felt it in the north woods of the Upper Midwest, as well as in 150 year old farms in the Minnesota Valley. It is a much slower, more contemplative energy and has the sense of a dreaming consciousness waiting to awaken. And yet, I believe that when it does awaken some centuries from now, that it will differ markedly from the Faustian. Deloria’s discussions of the American Indian mindset probably are instructive in this. I would liken it a little bit to the Ancient Greek mentality, where locality and a “flatter” view of history and time were the rule. Spengler often used the Greeks as a strong contrasting high culture to the Faustian, seeing the Apollonian as kind of an opposite, and I think the American will align more with that sort of mentality in the high culture to come. He also believed that the stamp of the American land would be put more and more on the people who lived in America with each passing generation of settlement, and I have certainly seen this in my own family, who have in some cases been here from the beginning of the white settlement. One other theme in literature going back a long ways was a sort of Romantic theory that Germanic Americans had a sort of longing for their primordial past of the Teutonic woods which they rediscovered in America (this was even seen in the writings of Jefferson, or European historians like Guizot). People in our time have tended to blow this off as ridiculous, but I don’t see it that way, having seen how many rural Americans have so readily adopted the ways of Indians who came before them.

  120. Hi John. Do you have an opinion on the idea of a solar flair/geomagnetic storm on the scale of the Carrington event destroying the electrical grid and essentially sending us back to the stone age? I have recently read some disturbing sources that claim without the grid, you can’t feed people, maintain sanitation, etc., with one seemingly credible source saying that 90% of the population of the USA would be dead after 1 year, mostly from starvation and disease.

    Finding objective info on the risk is difficult. Either you encounter complete denial that anything bad could ever happen (and science/tech/the experts would save us), or the risk is acknowledged but said to be so small as to not worry about, or we are all going to die in one to two decades and there’s nothing you can do about it (except buy this freeze dried food or purchase these survival consulting services).

    I think your general opinion on sudden catastrophes like this is that the system can usually see them coming and prepare for them (e.g. the year 2000 computer apocalypse), but it seems no one in power is taking this risk very seriously.

  121. I suspect the main reason smart phones are not mandatory yet is that some people can’t afford them or refuse to use them, and the government isn’t willing to buy the phones and fund the plans for the entire population. Too expensive. They want us to pay the monetary cost of their surveillance tech. This also reduces the obviousness of the whole thing, since we’re doing it ‘willingly’.

  122. Dear JMG,

    I have two questions with regards to the entering into of trances and would greatly appreciate your answers.

    1. Is there danger to be had in entering into trance? Your recent posts have cautioned against this type of work for the untrained, whilst acknowledging that at some point you have to foolishly “walk off the cliff”.

    2. If one gains information in trance, can that information be shared with others if one feels it could be helpful to them?

    I’ve had a number of somewhat odd experiences of late, but have not felt scared by them. I think reassured by what you have written elsewhere, that your students would often ring you up when something unexpected occurred – and that this is part of the process. That is not to say I don’t have some concerns in aggregate, which is why I pose the above questions.

    Thank you,

  123. Other Owen:

    In regard to the TiCl4, that’s pretty much what you have to do. Direct reduction in molten salt takes a higher temperature than you can really do.

    Silicon for electronics does the same process. (if you look at the periodic table (older version) Carbon is in group 4A and titanium is in group 4B. (in the newer versions it’s groups 4 and 14). This is not an accident, the elements in those groups act similarly. TiO2 and CO2, and also SiO2 and ZrO2.

    So SiO2 (silica sand) gets reduced to silicon metal with coal, coke, or charcoal, then to purify it sufficiently it gets chlorinated by a high temperature process, then partly to fully hydrogenated (Wacker uses trichlorinated silicon (SiHCl3), RECsilicon goes all the way to silane (SiH4) Then that gets decomposed in a different high-temperature reactor to very pure Silicon.

    Then that silicon gets purified again by directional solidification to push the remaining impurities out of the crystal structure.

    It’s not blooming easy. 🙂

    I don’t know if anyone is still doing solar cells with the old block casting method. CZ wafers are more efficient. They used to be more expensive, but there are so many used pullers on the market that are not quite good enough for electronic grade chips anymore that the capital cost for CZ equipment was way down.

  124. @david by the lake #42:
    One observation many people made after Wikileaks was that the USA mainly spied on supposed allies like Brazil and Germany. When this was revealed, Dilma Rousseff put relations with the USA on ice till she was ousted from power (and American oil companies then got to extract Brazilian oil tax-free for 30 years), while Angela Merkel pretended nothing had happened. To be fair, Merkel probably had known what was going on for much longer, so it wasn’t a big surprise for her.

  125. @Grover #54: I know what high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are, but what is MSG?

    PUFA seems to be too wide and heterogeneous a group of nutrients to be summarily condemned. FWIW, we use olive oil for absolutely everything, though that is more a matter of taste. It also means we are quite sensitive to increases in olive oil price!

  126. Dashui @ 93, likely you are right. It needed only that.

    I have a question for any readers who live in India: Do you truly expect a Chinese invasion of your country in, let us say, the next few decades? To me, looking at maps, that would seem a most expensive undertaking. Do you think either (or both) expanded BRICS and or the Shanghai Cooperation Association could or would prevent such a war? Do you or do members of India’s political class view the building of artificial islands, etc. as a prelude to invasion of SE Asia and eventually India, a staging area, so to speak. I can’t of course speak with any kind of expertise, but it does seem to me that such an invasion would indeed trigger WWIII. The USA has treaty obligations towards Japan, which China would surely see as a threat on their flank, and Japan and it’s culture are held in high regard by many if not most Americans.

  127. @ZanniBoy (#124):

    “Indian captivity narratives” is simply acacdemic shorthand for the narratives penned by European colonists–usually women–who had been taken captive by Indigenous forces in an attack on a European settlement. Nothing is implied about Indigenous genetics or ethnicity. At least in New England, the major Algonquian languages were mutually intelligible, much as dialects of English are now. And individuals might change their “tribal” affiliations within the Indigenous world. After the genocidal war of extermination by most of the European colonies of New England against the Pequots in 1636-38, the relatively few Pequot survivors were absorbed into neighboring tribes. (IIRC, it became a capital offense for any Indigenous person to so much as call himself a Pequot even once.)

    As for the genetic unity of Indigenous populations in North America, the large variety of Indigenous language-families there is greater than it was in contemporary Europe, which almost certainly points to prehistoric multiple immigrations from diverse parts of Eurasia, not all of which came through Berengaria. (Some of them were almost certainly by boat.) So even before 1492 there wasn’t a single shared genetic heritage there.

  128. Hello, JMG,
    This is a very interesting conversation as usual. I don’t have any comments at the moment; it just feels weird to me to engage other people and not to acknowledge the host. Thank you for this forum :))

  129. JMG, I’m happy to say that my father has been referencing your work in his university classes teaching American students on a study-abroad program in London. The Long Descent and After Progress are on the suggested reading list, but he he has asked me if I knew of any short-form articles summarising your view of the Myth of Progress, so I said I would forward to question to you.

    Thanks in advance!


  130. Dashui, that strikes me as the best explanation of Ms. Abramovic I’ve heard yet.

    Leo, you can do that within a Druid context. I know quite a few Druids whose reverence is focused on nature as the expression of an impersonal Divine. All you have to do is amend the basic practices to remove divine names — with the Sphere of Protection, for example, that’s easily done — and direct your reverence in the way that you’ve described.

    Tawal, all three worlds, Abred, Gwynfydd, and Ceugant, are present in every moment — they are in the past, the present, and the future. The reference on p. 58 is to the fact that as incarnate beings on the brink of rising beyond incarnation, Abred is *our* past and Gwynfydd is *our* future. The table on p. 62 is focused on the specific symbolism of the three principles. You’ll run into many things like this; treat symbolism as poetry, not engineering, and you’l have an easier time of it.

    Mister N, quite the contrary. The Second Religiosity in every culture is a flight to traditional religious forms as a response to decline; it begins when the Age of Reason crumples under the weight of its own failures; it’s formal, tolerant, conservative, autumnal. The fire of charismatic prophecy and miracle has gone out, and what remains is a set of familiar, deeply meaningful, profoundly comforting beliefs that provide a bulwark against chaos, external and internal. That’s not a foundation for a power grab like the one the Moral Bolsheviks tried to carry out; it’s a framework within which Christians can evolve into a religious minority with its own community institutions and distinctive identity signals that set them apart from the unbelieving majority.

    J.L.Mc12, since I’m not Australian, as I see it, it’s none of my business!

  131. Jmg

    Fair enough, I was expecting that, but I am also hoping for responses from my fellow Australians. In my daily life most people seem to want to vote no or are indifferent or even ignorant of “The voice”.

    Apart from that, I have recently been reading through “The decadent society” by Ross douthat, which I am already half way through in a week of reading since it is a easy read. It seems to have a lot to offer on the stagnation of the west, and I wanted to ask if you have read it yourself?

  132. @Peter #32

    Yes. My biggest problem is the bank making it hard to do anything without using their app. Speaking of which–


    I remember you saying you’d found a local to RI bank–what was its name again?

  133. @Jack — You were wondering whether anyone else was witnessing political polarization among Urbanists. Yes, right now in Minneapolis, we’re fighting over something called the “2040 Plan” which aims to remove single-family-home zoning in favor of … basically letting developers build as many multi-unit hives as they can cram into any block that can’t keep them out. (Is my bias showing?)

    The pro-2040-Plan people claim this is the solution to housing needs. Neighborhood home-owners (like myself) don’t want apartment buildings crowding our blocks and making them as unlivable as the crime-ridden Uptown area.

  134. I have a question about the Rainbow Crosswalks that have been installed all over the place. Specifically, the habit I know many conservatives (myself included) have of intentionally walking around them. Is it possible, given these are supposed to represent non-white people and LGB(T) people, that this habit is functioning as an accidental ritual, and is partially responsible for the shift of those groups towards the right?

    It’s weak each time it’s done, but I know a lot of people who do it, and I myself do it nearly every day; each repetition would add a little strength to it, and if it could work I imagine someone has come up with a working for this.

  135. On NPR news this afternoon, they were reporting on the anti-trust suit against Amazon. Yesterday, they heard from the FTC commissioner, so today they wanted to consider the other thing. They couldn’t get Amazon to talk to them, but Amazon directed them to talk to an industry representative from the “Chamber of Progress“. Of course. What else would you call a mouthpiece for modern surveillance-capitalism?

    One of the things that he and the FTC agreed on: Amazon provides the lowest price for an item. The FTC explains that this is because Amazon won’t continue to do business with anyone who offers their products elsewhere at a lower price, regardless of how high the Amazon price is. John D. Rockefeller also offered Standard (lamp) Oil at the lowest available price. After he drove his small regional competitors out of business, he jacked up the monopoly price to subsidize his attack on the next small distributor. His monopolist price was still, of course, the “lowest price around”.

  136. Viduraawakened, last month I replied to your question about herbalism from a scientific point of view – not sure if you saw it, so I post the link here:

    From that author, I learned that it’s possible to find a great number of publications through PubMed (etc.) about various studies on various herbs. Mostly done by scholars outside the US (esp. in India and China), which isn’t surprising if one knows much about the US medical industry.

  137. Siliconguy,

    If trans-fats want to hitch a ride in with saturated fats, I got no complaints…especially if it’s with butter. Butter is plentiful at my house! I live in the South; butter consumption is an Olympic sport ’round here. Or used to be, back when Southerners were slim and active. Nowadays it’s all PUFAs and fake sugars, and I think it’s easy to spot the difference. And grass-fed beef is the primary animal protein at our house, so CLAs are well-represented as well. Cheers.


    Wiki would say that. Wiki also reports Dr. Peter McCullough as a spreader of false information about how to cure COVID, even though the data show very clearly otherwise. And no, I certainly don’t mean “saturated” fats. One of the great blessings I had growing up was a father who was a globally-recognized animal nutritionist, specifically monograstric nutritionist (which is a fancy way of saying “not a ruminant”), like us humans. He consistently held, straight through the 70s, 80s, and 90s, when I was growing up, that the mainstream had it wrong, that saturated fats were the best sort of fats for monogastric animals, and to just keep eating beef and butter. Which I, as a dutiful son, have held to steadfastly for all these years…;)

    These days, the body of evidence in support of his renegade claims is really beginning to swell. But the body of evidence that matters most to me is my own. And my wife’s. And both of them are telling me that he knew what he was talking about. For example, did you know it’s easier to lose weight by drinking whole milk than skim? (Which I can personally verify.) He says that you really don’t want to know how fat is removed from milk…Oh, and I’ve been eating way too much mayonnaise too…time for a change.


    MSG is monosodium glutamate. It’s often the umami flavor you get in Asian cuisine and the like. Gives lots of people wicked headaches. Never treated me very well, but hasn’t been a problem since ’06! Olive oil (and avocado oil) is a monounsaturated fat. I would say they fall between saturated fats and PUFAs in friendliness to the human body. We use them too – e.g. we make homemade mayo, and subsequently ranch dressing, out of avocado oil, and some of our herbal medicines with organic extra virgin olive – but our primary dietary fats are saturated. Beef tallow for frying or popping popcorn, and butter for everything else.

  138. JMG, back when “Into the Ruins” was being published, you had a frequent column in which you reviewed an assortment of previously published works of deindustrial fiction. At some point that column was discontinued – but am I wrong in thinking that you had more ground you’d hoped to cover?

    Speaking of that genre, by any chance did Robie Macauley’s “A Secret History of Time to Come” have any influence on your worldbuilding? It’s got reference to ruinmen (not by name, but by occupation), “Memfis”, a lone traveler on a quest, and a few linguistic turns that reminded me of the language spoken in your book. Macauley’s book is in every way inferior to yours – and honestly not worth anyone’s time (plot holes galore, a dissatisfactory ending, and a dumb opening premise) … but I was amused by some of the parallels.

    To this day, Stars Reach remains one of my favorite works of fiction and I revisit it every year or two. 🙂

  139. Luke Dodson and JMG,

    I recently loaned my copy of “After Progress” to a young acquaintance of mine who runs a sandwich shop where I stop every week when I’m on the road for work. Great Italian sub. When he’d finished it and was handing it back to me across the counter, he said, “you know, for someone who claims to not be into philosophy, you read some deep shale!” (In all fairness, the last loan before that was Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society.” He has a newborn.)

    He loved both, but the prior, by our host, particularly. “The Wealth of Nature” before Illich, too…
    I’m a total pimp for your books, JMG.

  140. One interesting and somewhat disturbing thing I’ve been watching recently is the invasion/conquest of the armenian enclave of Nagorno Khabarakh by Azerbaijian. The history is very long and complicated and I won’t go down that rabbit hole or we’ll be here all day, but time was, Russia was Armenia’s protector and that’s what had protected Nagorno Khabarakh. With the war in Ukraine, Russia isn’t protecting Armenia anymore, and Azerbaijian rolled in and conquered the contested area in about 24 hours. About half the population of Nagorno Khabarakh has now fled to Armenia proper.

    It looks to me like both NATO and Russia are getting pretty strained, and some of the world’s military and diplomatic guarantees are coming unglued. On both sides. I would not be surprised if Azerbaijian isn’t the last country to try to take military advantage of the great powers preoccupation with Ukraine.

    Which means things could get pretty unpredictable and some really weirdly-colored swans can’t be ruled out. Hang onto your hat. The longer the war in Ukraine continues, the more of this sort of thing there is likely to be.

  141. Hi John Michael,

    Wise to avoid discussing ‘The Voice’. There’s a lot of emotional content attached to the referendum, and not a lot of detail. Plus no limits to the reach of the clause being voted upon. Hmm.

    Oh no! Did you see this horror: 16-year-old arrested after ‘deliberate’ felling of famous tree at Hadrian’s wall in northern England .

    It’s inexcusable behaviour. However, as in my other observations of other images from the ‘old country’, where the heck are all the other trees? And there were other issues to be seen in those images such as soil compaction. The child could argue that he is being culturally consistent. Hmm. I know what a forest can look like. With a dearth of trees, I’d have to suggest that the country has a spiritual malaise, that’s why I’m sensing the fixation. It’s a very common problem.



  142. @JLMC12

    I find the whole voice thing ridiculous. It’s just 19th century race-based imperialism with a black coat of paint. You can go to all sorts of sources such as Martin Luther King and Gandhi which will point towards differentiating people under the law on the basis of race as a bad idea. If you follow it out to it’s logical conclusion you get Aryan Race, Blood and Soil sort of stuff. Flip the race and it becomes obvious.

    Australia is a huge place and classing all ‘Aboriginal people’ as one thing doesn’t make any sense. Race as the concept we frame it as is a Western European, Faustian thing, not something that was present in traditional Australian societies. It’s much easier to define it by individual groups such as Yolngu, Arrernte etc. The current system works this way with individual agreements with individual groups which to me makes far more sense.

    That doesn’t mean that I support the whole ‘British did nothing wrong’ arguments that are being trotted out but at the same time feeling any guilt for the actions of king dead ancestors is ridiculous. We are all Australian, no matter colour and creed, and to determine someone as more Australian than someone else is silly.

    That’s before you even get into the UN funded, shady NGOs behind the whole thing.

  143. Jay Pine A 115. here is a link to the BBC report on the tree. Apparently an arrest has been made. I would call the motive likely a toxic combination of envy and crude self-assertion. Cops got onto the alleged perp pretty quick, so it looks someone has been bragging.

  144. J.L.Mc12 @ 103, here in the USA, I would say that govt. is trying to coopt a healthy indigenous people’s movement. Support us and you get to be The Voice.

  145. Booklover, institutions routinely implode in crisis periods, sometimes because the resources needed to support them run out or are commandeered by more powerful interests, sometimes because they annoy somebody who can bring down the boom on them, sometimes because the system suffers so much disruption they can no longer function. As for moralizing meat, well, yes — we’ve had people doing that here for a long time here in the US. I’m sorry to hear you’re being afflicted with the same thing.

    Jon, yep. I’ve had the same thing happen.

    Patricia O, thanks for the data points.

    Marsh, Lao Tsu wouldn’t have been impressed by your glorying in it, you know. Certainly I’m not, and that has certain consequences. Don’t bother trying to post here again.

    Chris, yes, I’ve noticed that. It’s interesting watching the birds coming home to roost, despite every attempt by the corporate media to shoo them away. As for the rising price of oil and that little hiccup in the diesel supply, why, yes — feels like old times, doesn’t it?

    Hispalensis, thank you for this! I don’t know of a good source for the skills of close reading, unfortunately — like most people these days who know how to do it, I’m self-taught. One approach that works very well is to take a short piece that you feel is worthwhile, and read it a sentence at a time. Read the sentence, stop, read it again, and then spend a while thinking about it — make sure you understand what every word is meant to communicate, and why that specific word is where it is. Then go on to the next. Get in the habit of doing this with important texts, and see where it takes you.

    Ozquoll, well, I’m not a physicist either, but it occurs to me that if they misjudge the amount or fail to account for side effects, it could very easily cause a global disaster far worse than anything climate change will bring. “What could go wrong?” is the essential question to ask.

    Jay, I wish I knew. Back in Pagan times, the perp would have been put to death in a very colorful way, and I’m by no means sure I think this is a bad idea.

    Justin, I’ll toss that out to others and listen to what they have to suggest.

    Andy, I was trying to find my posts on that recently and couldn’t. Dion Fortune’s Through the Gates of Death may be worth your while, though.

    David BTL, I was afraid of that. Oh well.

    Neptunesdolphins, thank you for this! I hadn’t encountered the term “deepity” before, and it’s pleasant to discover that all the energy flung around by the New Atheists produced at least one thing of value; that’s a useful concept.

    Gardener, this is a new one to me, so I’ll be interested to hear what responses you get.

    ZanniBoy, yep. It’s the auto-apotheosis of the Faustian mind, insisting that there can’t possibly be anything in the universe bigger or wiser or more important than the almighty individual upper class ego. Thank you for the reminder about that Bible verse — you’re quite correct, of course.

    Polecat, funny. I’ve got half a gallon of homemade kimchi aging in the fridge right now, for what it’s worth.

    Kay, a fine meditation on a very odd theme! Thank you for this.

    Clay, good heavens. That’s quite the sea change; thank you for the heads up.

    Clark, I’m delighted to hear this. I haven’t made time to read Horden yet, but he’s on the list.

    Siliconguy, and there’s apparently also a problem with excess electromagnetic radiation. Fun times.

    Deneb, this is very much along the lines of my own thinking, for whatever that’s worth.

    West Virginia, I want you to imagine that you’re sitting in the middle of a football stadium. You have a rifle with one bullet, and you’re blindfolded. There is one person in the bleachers and he moves around a lot. What are the chances that you shoot him dead? The sun’s chances of hitting us with a really large flare are even smaller. Space is huge, and this planet is tiny. If you’re really worried about it, though, talk to your local ham radio groups, get a license, and start using vacuum tube-based radios — they’re immune to the effects of solar flares and other EMPs. Only chips can be harmed by those.

    Boy, there are plenty of traditions of trance work in every corner of the world. If you have a talent for that, you might consider getting in touch with your local spiritualist, spiritist, houngan, etc. and learning how to do it safely. That’s not something I’ve studied, and so I’m not really qualified to give you advice on the subject.

    Kurt, I heard that! So it’s Niger 1, France 0.

  146. Kirsten, you’re most welcome.

    Luke, I’m delighted to hear this. I don’t recall ever formulating my critique of the myth of progress in less than a long chapter in a book. I may want to correct that someday, but at this point I don’t believe I have anything to offer your father.

    J.L.Mc12, oh, I have no objection if your fellow Australians here want to chime in. As for Douthat, no, I haven’t read that book of his yet.

    Cary, I have money in two banks here, BankRI and Washington Trust.

    Anonymous, possibly so. Do it with intention and the result would be stronger.

    Lathechuck, I’m quite eager to see how this one plays out.

    TemporaryReality, I ran out of spare time, and also got low on books I wanted to write about. No, I haven’t read Macauley’s book — I gather I should change that, if only for the amusement value.

    Grover, hmm! Glad to hear it; to my mind, After Progress is far and away the best of my peak oil-era books, so inevitably it’s sold the fewest copies.

    Pygmycory, there’s something complex going on in the Caucasus and I don’t pretend to know what it is. The Russians may have cut a deal with the Turks or something to allow the Karabakh enclave to be returned to Azerbaijan, in exchange for — well, that’s the big question. Turkiye has plenty to offer just now.

    Chris, yes, I saw it — and yes, there’s a wider problem. The Glastonbury Thorn got cut down a few years back, too. There’s quite a rage against nature on that island these days…

  147. I was looking something up in Toynbee earlier and came across an idea that’s relevant to last week’s post. I know this is stuff you’ve written about before, but I think it finally clicked for me.

    In late civilisation you get the rise of the “intellectual proletariat” i.e. the people who are educated but can’t find gainful employment. Rather than take up a role organising productive activities, they take up a role organising destructive activities out of hatred against the “system”. Hitler, Mussolini and most of the high-ranking members of their parties were from the intellectual proletariat and they, of course, unleashed destruction on an unprecedented scale.

    Governments try to solve the problem of the intellectual proletariat by increasing the size of the bureaucracy. This happened in ancient China. Diocletian did this in Rome following the turmoil of the 3rd century. There’s good reason to believe that the expanded bureaucracy later played a large role in the fall of the Roman Empire not just because it was so expensive but because it became corrupt and served its own interests instead of the interests of the state.

    Viewed this way, we see that what the West has done in the post-war years makes some sense. An unprecedented increase in the size of the bureaucracy was needed to stop the intellectual proletariat causing any more trouble.

    I reckon we could formulate a law of nature out of this: once government turns into bureaucracy, it’s the beginning of the end.

  148. Blue Sun (#87),
    If we think of what the Chinese call the century of humiliation (from the First Opium War in the 1840s until the founding of the PRC in 1949) as The War of Chinese Succession (which is what it was), that war vastly outdoes WW1 and WW2 combined. The Taiping Civil War alone was in WW1 and WW2 class. I don’t think all of that was about progress but about the cycle of imperial fall and rise.

  149. Robert Mathiesen (#75)
    One difference I see between Hitler and Stalin was that Stalin dispersed his destructiveness through all the Soviet peoples, but Hitler managed to eliminate an entire culture, the Yiddish-based universalist culture of eastern Europe.
    (Other Jewish cultures survived, though many smaller ones are being ground down in the process of homogenation as the Jewish people form into the nation-state of Israel. This process of absorbing regional cultures into a more uniform national one has occurred or is occurring (nearly?) every time that a people forms into a nation.)
    The book Revolutionary Yiddishland by Alain Brossat and Sylvie Klingberg describes this universalist culture based on interviews with survivors in Israel decades ago.
    For the members of this culture, Zionism was at best a rival, at worst an enemy. Amidst the nationalist awakenings in the 1800s and 1900s, the Jews had two alternative paths: one was for them too to form themselves into a nation-state, the other was to use their position of excludedness to offer a path for everyone, a path that went beyond boundaries of peoples and nations. Zionism was the specific form that the first path took because the Jews had no obvious homeland in Europe. The Yiddish revolutionaries were the other path. They had a thriving working-class culture that provided many of the cultural benefits of the national awakenings.
    I think that African-Americans faced a similar choice in the 1960s and much effort has been expended, successfully, to ensure that they went down the particularist path of putting Blacks into all the levels of the social hierarchy and not into the universalist path that, for example, Martin Luther King turned toward explicitly shortly before his assassination. (Not a coincidence) Thus Black Lives Matter, not End Police Brutality.
    Minus the assassinations, a similar process was cultivated in feminism. The ability to ensure that movements that could make universalist demands (higher wages, free training and college, universal health care) turn to particularist demands (more of Us in the desirable slots) is a major unfortunate strength of US and Western leadership in recent decades.
    A much higher proportion of the Yiddish revolutionaries survived the Holocaust or at least died in combat (mostly in the Soviet Red Army), but the broader population of which they were part was so reduced in size and so traumatized that the basis for the culture was gone.
    The book is immensely sad. The few aging survivors knew that their culture and their vision has been wiped out. They lived out their last days in an Israel that to them was the opposite of what they had fought for. This is the tragedy which I think puts Hitler and his into a deeper circle of hell, that and the fact that the universalist Yiddish culture was so thoroughly destroyed that few realize it ever existed.
    I also want to mention that I am grateful for the level of knowledge that so many commenters, this week including Robert Mathiesen and Viridian Obstreperous Gopher (V.O.G) (#77), bring us.

  150. Olive oil isn’t just one thing. It is pretty variable though.

    The convention in the notation is the first number is the number of carbons in the chain, and the second is the number of double bonds. So 0 is a saturated hydrocarbon. 1 is monounsaturated, 2 and 3 are polyunsaturated. The common ones are;

    Myristic (C14:0), palmitic (C16:0), palmitoleic (C16:1), stearic (C18:0), oleic (C18:1), linoleic (C18:2), and linolenic (C18:3).

    Beef tallow is half oleic, 15% stearic acid, and 26% palmitic. Butterfat is 33% palmitic, about 12% each myristic and stearic, and most of the rest is oleic. Cocoa butter is 35% stearic, 26% palmitic, and 35% oleic.

    So back to olive oil;

    The fatty acid composition of olive oil ranges from 7.5 to 20.0% palmitic acid, 0.5 to 5.0% stearic acid, 0.3 to 3.5% palmitoleic acid, 55.0 to 83.0% oleic acid, 3.5 to 21.0% linoleic acid, 0.0 to 1.5% linolenic acid,

    Canola is usually 61% Oleic, 21% linoleic, 11% linolenic, 4% stearic, and 2% palmitic.

    I say usually because plant breeders have been busy there too, See table 2.

    It’s always been a puzzle to me that the same people who proclaim that olive oil is wonderful also proclaim canola is demonic. Canola is a brassica that has been bred to have a certain oil profile. They also bred out the isothiocyanate. That’s the fun stuff in horseradish.

    And should the collapse get going too far too fast and you start coveting your neighbor more than his stuff (and as an example of the hazards of going down internet rabbit holes.)

    “Human adipose tissue is composed largely of triglycerides. Seven fatty acids predominate as follows (number of carbons:number of double bonds, typical abundance): myristic (14:0, 3%), palmitic (16:0, 19–24%), palmitoleic (16:1, 6–7%), stearic (18:0, 3–6%), oleic (18:1, 45–50%), linoleic (18:2, 13–15%), and linolenic (18:3, 1–2%). These fatty acids account for well over 90% of the fatty acids in human adipose tissue.

    You can look up any other vegetable oil you like too. Or lard. Pigs are omnivores like us, is their body fat about the same?

  151. I’ve been working on the cauldrons exercise in Dolmen Arch and was curious on one point. The earth and solar cauldrons are filled directly from telluric and solar currents, whereas the moon cauldron is not directly filled by Earth’s moon – but is an independent construction based on energies from the other two cauldrons. I’m curious whether there are dangers in directly drawing (instead of constructing) the Lunar current. I am reminded of Gurdjieff’s observation that the average mechanical man is ‘food for the moon’. In building the lunar cauldron in isolation, is the goal to create new lunar current in oneself that is entirely separate from the influence of Earth’s moon?

  152. Yes, thank you, that makes sense and is reassuring. I’ve really been touched and astonished by how much of what you describe as druidic is what I have been doing for years and in some cases over a decade – especially the sphere of protection and the three nwyfre exercises. Everything I do inside (and did, in the form of discursive meditation during my time in organized religion) has an odd character due to near-total aphantasia, and thus I was also touched to hear you emphasize (in The Druid Path) that inner ‘movies’ are not necessary. My lunar and magical path right now looks more or less like shamanism (much like inviting Merlin to one’s Grove via the diaphane), and my divinatory practice is straight from your translation and commentary on Levi.

    I am in your debt.

  153. I’ve had a troubling thought of late, and I hope I’m wrong, but at this point, I think the way the left is fighting the backlash against pornography is likely to end up creating a backlash against free speech. Free speech is being used by many on the left to attack efforts to restrict pornography, with people claiming it’s a violation of free speech to do things like require age verification, restrict revenge porn, or the like. Meanwhile, many of these same people see nothing wrong with censorship of conservatives; and it’s all too easy to see the rank hypocrisy.

    However, I’m far from sure at this point that the argument that free speech is good in theory, but has been hijacked by radical extremists, will resonate with the right the way it would have earlier. There’s always been an authoritarian streak on the right, and I fear that making porn into a free speech issue at a time when it’s becoming increasingly clear to a lot of young men that a porn addiction ruined their life, and increasingly clear to a lot of young women that the widespread availability of porn and the corresponding collapse of a huge number of men into addiction has played a major role in causing their misery, will merely ensure the backlash hits free speech as well.

  154. Simon, that strikes me as potentially a very useful analysis.

    Paul, “lunar” as a label for that current is a metaphor, not a literal description. The energies of the Moon as such are not something you want to add to the mix, as the Moon is a dead world, and its energies are very chancy to bring into a living body. (There’s an extensive tradition of classic occultism that identifies the Moon as “the eighth sphere,” meaning a realm of being lower in the great chain of being than the earth, and the home of fallen beings; I don’t happen to know a lot about Gurdjieff’s background, but he might have been riffing off that.)

    Leo, half the Druids I know have told me things like that — “I was doing this and that and the other thing, and didn’t even realize that that’s what Druids do!” Welcome to the grove. 😉

  155. I’d be happy to mail it to you if you’d like. I’ll poke around and see if I still have your mailing address.

  156. Regarding Canada’s incident of honouring Mr. Hunka, former front-line soldier of the Waffen SS, in the House of Commons, I have a few points:

    One, as much as the Liberals are trying to make it look like the Speaker of the House, Mr. Rota, was entirely to blame, there is the little problem that the daughter-in-law of Mr. Hunka proudly posted on social media a photo of him sitting in his wheelchair in a very obvious location within the Parliament building with a caption to the effect of “Doda waiting to meet Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Zelensky” a couple hours before his public celebration — which she promptly deleted after the lid blew off – but not fast enough, because somebody took a screenshot and has been sharing it widely. Also, in the House of Commons video, Mr. Hunka was situated in the balcony exactly opposite The Turd and Mr. Z and they looked straight up at him during the announcement knowing he was there. And so, apparently, did everybody else in the House (I didn’t see anybody craning their neck back and forth wildly trying to find out where the ‘hero’ is sitting).

    Second, this event happened on the eve of Yom Kippur (talk about timing!). In reaction, the B’nai Brith and other Jewish organizations are sounding the alarm that a study on the Ukie N@zis who were allowed into Canada at the end of WW2, which was conducted by the Government of Canada in 1986 but was never made public, be made public immediately. British government documents released in 2015 tells a lot of the story, as it was the Brits who ‘rescued’ the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS from the Soviet firing squads by sending 2,000 or so of these N@zis to Canada. And, yes, there are monuments to these monsters in Canada: one in Burlington, Ontario and another in Edmonton, Alberta: calls are now being made for their removal/destruction. The question is whether the government can frustrate this demand for information – and whether our Deputy PM and Innumerate Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, can successfully continue to hide the trail that shows her Ukie immigrant grandfather, her mother, and herself as being foaming-at-the-mouth N@zis. Also, the fact that Mr. Z – a Ukrainian Jew who knows perfectly well who the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS were, and what monstrous things they did (if anybody is not sure, research the ‘rape of Lvov’ – it is truly abominable) – claps enthusiastically and pumps his fist in the air (some say that from some angles it looks more like a very notorious salute, though I cannot verify it) in victory is pretty damning.

    Lastly, in some of the previous open posts I have mentioned the mission of a Canadian Cree man named Adrien Thomas to fly the Unity Thunderbird flag (which clearly has a golden swastika in it) at the ‘seats of power’ across North America to undo the stranglehold that the N@zi ideology still has over that sacred symbol and therefore defeat the lingering power of the N@zis in our continent. Well, he’s still at it. And on Sept 20 – just two days before the little incident in the House of Commons – he flew the Unity Thunderbird flag and the Thunderbird War flag, along with the Mohawk Warrior flag and the Two Row Wampum flag, in Ottawa, at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument (this is being called ‘East Meets West’ and has the blessings and loaned staff of truth of some of the most revered native Grandmothers in Western and Eastern Canada). Cause and effect? Coincidence? I dunno – but the timing sure is interesting!

  157. Chris, Mary Bennett, JMG et al, there was a similar incident to the cutting of the tree at Hadrian’s wall 20 or more years ago at Haida Gwai in British Columbia. A man who had been noted for his wilderness survival skills, cut down the golden spruce that was sacred to the Haida. His point was that it was hypocritical to basically deforest the entire west coast of north america and leave one tree as a symbol. Of course he was also crazy, which was another factor. He ended up lost at sea in his kayak in heavy surf. There was a good book written about it called, I believe, Golden Spruce. I don’t know if the young bloke in England’s motivation was anything more than just vandalism.

  158. @Justin Patrick Moore, #117, I’ve long thought that the archetype of human excellence in Greece is the one that we see instantiated in wily Odysseus and Alexis Zorba.

  159. JMG, thank you for the advice. I have two further questions (not related to the earlier question) if you don’t mind.

    Unsurprisingly, you use the word “nature” frequently. Indeed, it’s there in your tag line: “nature spirituality in the twilight of the industrial age”. I’ve inferred from your writing that by “nature” you mean “reality” in all its visible and hidden manifestation (please correct me if I am wrong).

    My question is: how do you feel about the other meanings that people seem to attach to the word “nature”? For example many writers and policy-makers use “nature” as shorthand to mean all that is not human, inserting what seems to be a false binary into its definition: all that is not of man.

    If you are aware of this phenomenon, do you have a sense of the origin of what seems like an enchantment?


  160. Dear Anonymous (#39), Kfish (#53), Anonymous (#64), Mother Balance (#81), Patricia Ormsby (#100),

    On the subject of children’s developmental issues, although there apparently has been a definite change of late, I would like to suggest that behavior is an emergent quality within complex human systems and what we see in children is symptomatic of the accumulation of many changes in families in western society in the last 200 years. To name but a few of these changes: the transition from family as an economic unit (more or less) to an incubator for children who later fly the nest, both parents working outside the family home, decline of the intergenerational family home, birth control, declining family size, increased materialism (in both its meanings), the notion of children as vessels for display of parental status etc.

    The advent of the smartphone and its attendant blackhole for human attention maybe the kerosene thrown onto a bonfire that was already well lit.

    To this list of reasons, I would like to add a further cross-cutting observation, which is that where once children were surrounded by positive stories told by family and friends with skill and care in their communities and homes, children are now surrounded by stories told by outsiders, through school, TV, internet and social media and advertising. Very few of those stories are positive and indeed seem to me to be filled with what might be understood as black magic – changes of consciousness not for the good. We as “enlightened” westerners have lost the ability to tell stories – a skill grown rusty through underuse and passive consumption – and instead outsource the role of story-teller – of manipulation of symbol, language and myth – to forces who want to co-opt our world view for their own purposes.

    The possibly archetypal story of the Pied-Piper of Hamlin is instructive here: an outsider playing his alluring tune and disappearing with our children.


  161. I heard you say in a podcast recently that Seattle will do poorly in the years ahead, but you didn’t elaborate. Could you give reasons for your dire assessment and also does that include the entire pacific northwest? My wife and I love it here but we also want to plant roots where our kids have a chance at a decent life.

  162. @Peter

    “For those of you who do not have one, are you finding it increasingly difficult to participate in contemporary society?”

    Just yesterday at work I have been asked why I don’t have a smartphone. For me, the way I live, it currently poses no problem. A friend, one of the few without a smartphone, told me about parking in the czech republic where it is mandatory. I have also heard these stories about restaurants without a menu, just a QR Code.

    Apart from that in hobby clubs I have heard that people mandate other people to use WhatsApp and the like for planning and calendar. I am not yet affected by that.

    I don’t travel, so I don’t face these problems. Other than that, I currently don’t need the attention of others, and every other mundane activity I do is fortunately still left alone and OK without.

    But I get your point, also I fear these possible repercussions. I think what our host says about it is about right: the more you want to stay in the core of our declining industrial society, the more coercion is to come. Offside that, a lot of people will have the chance living a non standard way.

    I already mentally prepare for the day when it is “go woke and trans-human, or get out the door” – and I am willing to take the door then.

  163. For some reasons, when doing the SOP, “spirit below” or the corresponding goddess is very communicative and there’s a lot of exchange happening during the ritual. From my experience, both spirit below and above are vastly different than the other 4 elements since they are in their response much less caring for the individual – which is, as I understand it, not because they don’t care but it’s impossible given their duties. “No child, you have to do this yourself, I am sorry, I have other things to care for.” But you can, though, align yourself with those responsibilities and benefit. In that way, spirit below is very benevolent and without mercy same time. After all, earthquakes have to happen from time to time, that’s just how the earth works.

    With that as a background, and with the discussions on karma previous weeks, I wonder what to make of those tree cuttings. There are the popular ones, but there are so many others. How many healthy, centuries old trees have I seen cut down for no reason than greed and ignorance? There probably won’t be divine punishment in the way many imagine (though I am not sure about that) – but the earth, tiny as it is in space, is vast and powerful and all we can do is to try to align with the powers rooted deep within. How can we possibly achieve that if we refuse to see that there are desires to be respected which are not our own?

    Or as Jung wrote it (in my words): The root for illness lies in unconscious content which is ripe to become conscious but suppressed.

    Speaking of Jung: I am currently reading the letter exchange between Jung and Pauli – what a stunning experience. It’s a real treasure and I wasn’t aware just how deep Pauli was into occult territory and how deep and meaningful insights he had and shared. And above all, it contains a real wealth of references that are all worth studying by themselves.


  164. 12:35 29.09.2023

    News from Vienna

    To this day, summer has not stopped. It is still 26 degrees by day, and within city limits, still above ten degrees celsius at night.

    Spring was very wet and cold, and two weeks between July and August were autumnal.

    Recently I was at a fast food joint, when a column of black state service cars went by, like when there is an offical state guest. The woman working in the fast food joint said:” again? this is happening all the time now, what is going on?” To a younger man there I suggested, maybe things aren’t going well and there are informal meetings on the government level. His look on his face betrayed actual fear.

    These astrologers I listen to (Astrowolf Wien, Enmanuel von Zehnstern) aren’t bad at all. What they say is in core the same (I am not very vested in astrology, yet), but Astrowolf deals more with the political level, and Enmanuel (al hilarious man from India apparently, living in Berlin) deals more with effects on the personal level.

    Astrwolf predicted by about mid September “there will be negotiations end of the month about our war in the East”.
    Yesterday, for the first time, I saw peace negotiations mentioned for the first time in our official media.

    Moon of Alabam seems on track when he says, support is waning for Selensky. There’s that Republican interview from US congress, where he makes it clear they are not willing to invest in that conflict further.

    Meanwhile I have found a part time job in a government agency. The “diversity” of backgrounds there is great in so far as the more “diverse” people are, the further they are away from the woke virus. All in all for now I am really lucky, people are great, there is a lot of slack allowed, and also the Austrians there are not very woke. However, I still notice differences in the mentality between Austrians and people of another background. The latter talk more openly about crime, self defense, how the state does not protect you anymore, and they celebrate vigilante justice.

    Recently something halfway funny there was in a conversation. A slovakian man told me he dislikes his country because it is so right wing. I said, well I think it isn’t bad because it has industry. But industry is useless for a modern nation, he says, Austria is a service based economy! Industry is for poor countries! An arab woman there contradicts him: firstly, Austria IS still a top industrial nation (and tacitly still imports from Russia), and her family are invested in industry. You cannot transfer experience just like that, Quality is not the same as quantity, and industry is important for a wealthy countries economy…she tries to make a point, but the Slovak does not understand. He is very simple. He tells me he wants a loan to build a house, but it has become so difficult. I say, well costs for transportation and material may rise sharply soon. That does not matter, he says, only the interest of the loan is relevant (these two are also connected, but nevermind…).

    Up to here, everything has gone smoothly at work for me. But I don’t expect that to stay as is. Recently there was a public announcement at work from a higher level woman. It was a short talk without content, slightly woke in its direction. The people around me, in my room a bit older and longer serving, were not amused. “There’s something in the bush there! What was that meant to tell us?” The woman giving the talk seemed tense, almost nervous.

    Recently our conservative chancellor was filmed giving a talk about how stupid and lazy poor people are, and why are people still working half time, if I want more money I work more, and these women they son’t have an obligation to care for the children, and all this talk about increasing food prices, you can give children a burger at Mcdonalds, its cheap, not healthy maybe but warm!

    Literally. A friend showed this to me while we sat in a cafe. The waiter chimed in: God, I had this scum, it’s incredible. It doesn’t matter which color (political party), they’re all the same. I tell, things are going to burn soon, this cannot go on!

    I think most of you will have heard that Russia intends to stop all fuel exports by October. I cannot fathom the consequences for us here in Europe (or even worldwide), but I brace for another sharp and painful rise in prices (or a reduced availability in goods and products).

    The german grid is more unstable than ever, electricity imports are higher than ever, grid stabilizing intervention statistics are worse than ever before. Even the official media are starting to say there’s problems with the grid (because the naughty grid does not serve our ideas about energy production of course!)

    There have been several hours long local grid break downs in Austria and Germany, sometimes getting a mention in standard media. And mind you, it is still very WARM and SUNNY!

    OK, Winters may be mild now. I would not mind. But that alone won’t save us.

    Meanwhile German politics want to sever ties to China as well now. Great idea!
    The political class in interviews call all concerns of the masses ludicrous (everything is better than it ever was!!). It resembles last weeks post.

    Aurelien2022 and Simplicius76 on substack talk a lot about it.

    China has made a lot of progress in chip production despite sanctions. The matter is complex, but China seems to be capable as well as determined.

    There was also an interview with someone from Taiwan Chip industry, on topic of US plans to construct a modern chip factory in Arizona. You cannot translate what we do, he says, we have a high speed rail infrastructre connecting several industrial clusters, and highly motivated well payed staff. Most US citizens have chosen to do anything else but study MINT, and there is a different “culture” there….I think we all can imagine what he means!

    As I have mentioned it before, the astrologer Astrowolf has proclaimed that around Nov the 23. there is a chaotic culmination in central Europe of the planets and stars like never before (in his career)!

    It is not out of my imagination.

    Cheers to the commentariat, thanks for the many interesting contributions here, the civil tone, and to our host for making it possible!


  165. I forgot to add: the German society of agriculture complains about “declining protein content in grains” due to the new fertilizer laws in Germany, and green ag minister Özdemir wants to close down many farms forcibly, alike as in Netherlands, Ireland….what is going on there?

    German industry seems to be increasingly revolting against the government, too.

  166. Something I’ve been thinking about for some time: A thing we have been seeing increasingly in recent years, is movies and tv shows, both entertainment and documentaries, having historically wrong ethnicities in them. Whether we are speaking of portrayals of real historical people or fictional people in historical settings, we are seeing them as being of ethnicity or race that doesn’t adhere to historical reality or make sense in the historical setting.

    I’m sure that this in itself just another woke thing done by woke people for all the reasons woke people do woke things.

    My question, however, is about something beyond that.

    If I remember correctly, one of the things that Spengler said was unique or at least pretty unique about Faustian civilization, is the emphasis on history. Most other civilization didn’t really care about history in the same way. (I’m haven’t read lot of Spengler and maybe I remember this wrong)

    What I’m trying to ask is, going beyond the immediate reasons for falsifying history, is it also one the signs of the decline of Faustian civilization? Are we in general moving towards a world where we just don’t care about historical veracity?

  167. @Anonymous

    “However, all of these point to rather sharp changes with child behaviour at about the same time.

    Does anyone have any hypotheses as to what could be behind it?”

    Dr. Manfred Spitzer of Germany has analysed the enourmous, grave damages of the digital age on early development and thereafter, citing gazillions of studies (many of them actually included in official reports, but hidden and ignored), and the also lost a million Euros of scientific funding due to that.

    Also there is the long term sociological study (discussed somewhere on the art of manliness website) about growing loneliness, where people used to be members of religious or civil all ages clubs and societies before, now there’s an individualized society with only superficial and fluent human contact, and no deeper embeddedness. The study has gone since 1991.

    I think these are major concerns

  168. Hi John,

    You might be interested in this latest quick takes I have done on my blog –

    What I find most interesting is how JP Morgan is now fully signed on to the prospect of huge global oil shortfalls from 2025 onwards, with a gigantic emerging by the late 2020s.

    Seems like LTG BAU model is perfectly aligning with our reality.

    Those devastating per capita drops from 2024 onwards suggest our global economy is heading for the rocks in around 5 years or so. Interesting times ahead!

  169. @jmg Thanks for the recommendation. I was able to get an electronic copy almost at once and I find it readable enough to want the paper copy for my shelves.

    Odd to be in a position where you’ve written so much that a particular example can’t be located. Will you write something new on this subject in due course?

  170. Hi John Michael,

    I’m coming around to the idea that the environment we have around us, in many ways reflects societies inner workings and overall spiritual health. What’s your view on that belief?

    Did you know that there is a sport of The Glastonbury Thorn about an hours drive away from here? As usual, you’ve given me much to ponder upon. The grove can be an intriguing space.



  171. Hi pygmycory,

    Thanks for the view from your part of the world, and I’m sorry to hear of the complexities it has presented for your church and the community. There have been many unanticipated outcomes from the policies being pursued, and most certainly there is a breakdown in social cohesion. I mean it is a similar story to how kids can’t live near to their parents so as to receive support (probably when they need it the most). And I’ve watched friendship groups get scattered to the four corners of the city (not to mention further), by the strong economic winds. It’s no good.



  172. Thanks Mary.

    I suppose I was thinking more Jungian, or is that more ‘Tiktok’ian? The countdown probably just sped up for the end of that. :-/

    JMG, I can see/feel that. Kind of links in with Karl Denninger’s latest musing which I’m still musing over.

  173. @Deneb #134: Great thoughts! I’m of the same mind as you and JMG on this.

    Some places you go to in America, a great peace seems to wash over you when you step into a region. I feel that distinction very much when leaving the city, but I also notice quite a distinct difference when I cross the bridge and go over to Northern Kentucky. Much of NKY is just part of “Greater Cincinnati” as far as the imprint of urbanity across a swath of land. But even at my sister’s place in the burbs of Northern KY I feel a sense of peace and calmness -less frenetic, then I do back on the other side of the bridge. There is something about just going over the river to KY and the feeling is different, even if you are still in that citified part -and the peace gets deeper once you go to the rural areas.

    Other places do seem to have their own distinct energies. Certain states give a certain kind of charge. Others are places you don’t want to hang out in.

    Lot’s of German immigrants were here in Zinzinnati, of which I am the mut offspring of some… They put a lot of care into developing the local park system. Right in the middle of the city we have a 1,459 acre park -and a plethora of smaller ones. I think that German love of the forest came with them and they really boosted the parks.

    It seems to me, just from reading JMG and contemplating these things, that the next great culture will form around the Great Lakes. I could ee some new nation arising, or some amalgamation of the different bioregions here, but that is centered around the Great Lakes. Whereas as Cascadia would be another bioregion, and the southwest on the other side of the continental divide either gets absorbed into whatever nation Texas might become, or reabsorbed into Mexico -or some mixture like that with a culture of some kind of desert nomads. Just some speculation there.

  174. Is higher education a flow or a fund of information?

    Many dead ends have been hit, so it seems some of the funds of knowledge many academic disciplines rely on have hit their limits.

    “We want to offer a new perspective by arguing that it is salutary – or even desirable – for knowledge projects to confront their ends. With humanities scholars, social scientists and natural scientists all forced to defend their work, from accusations of the ‘hoax’ of climate change to assumptions of the ‘uselessness’ of a humanities degree, knowledge producers within and without academia are challenged to articulate why they do what they do and, we suggest, when they might be done. The prospect of an artificially or externally imposed end can help clarify both the purpose and endpoint of our scholarship.”

  175. @peter #32

    I have a dumb phone, my long term dumb phone broke last year, it was a flip phone and I had had it for 10 years.
    When it finally broke it was the spring that broke. The electronics still functioned, but a flip phone is almost useless if it wont open and shut properly. And having tried to disassemble the one prior to that I know that they were built so as not to be repareable.
    I had bought a spare in case this broke, that cost £5. But its screen got damaged in less than a year and so once again I needed to buy a dumb phone, for the first time in about 8 years.

    And it was only then that I realised that what was being sold as dumb phones is massively inferior to what was on offer 10 years ago.

    Predictive text, No. Battery life wow 5 days but my old one was 25 days. Flip phones don’t really exist. Those that do are aimed at old people have external buttons, why? the whole point was to avoid pocket dials.

    So on to ebay I went looking for the old model and found it and bought it. Only to find that the firmware version is so old that it is also unusable, no predictive text, can’t chain text messages, can’t capitalise first letter in sentence, and there is no way to upgrade the firmware to what I originally had. It was an over the air update no longer offered.

    So now I’m going to have to spend a third more than I have ever spent on a phone for something that is objectively inferior to what was on offer 10 years ago. PROGRESS.

    When your dumb phone goes, they will likely simply have stopped producing dumbs that you’d want to own; Smartphone or no phone, will be your choice.

    And as you stated increasingly the work arounds in society for no smartphone aren’t being provided.
    but it’s not just small private businesses but large corps, utilities, govts etc., banking for me is getting less and less accessable you need the app, the app requires a modern tablet or phone, etc.
    Yes there are work arounds for now but will they still be there in 5 years?

    I’m just fighting a rear guard at the moment you know at some point they will force you into compliance and you get to pay for it.

  176. A couple of notes:

    1) The idea that Karma is self-generating is definitely an interesting idea. I’ve known about habits tendencies, but the idea that Karma as self-generating declares (that there is no such thing as a blank slate) leads to some interesting ideas and connections.

    2) As for Apple’s latest debacle, this happens to Apple on occasion. The iPhone 6s, iMaps, and now the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max are cases where Apple made something that ended up massively flawed. What’s saved the company thus far has been an ability to admit wrong and not do that wrong next time…and unless they make the same mistakes with the next generation iPhone (or something unexpected happens, like a disruption in either new tech or a sudden collapse) Apple should survive this.

    (Note: not a Paid Apple shill, just a user of their products whose watched the company’s ups and downs since 1985.)

  177. Thanks very much for your answer, that’s very interesting!

    I had another question. You described the central theme of Faustian culture as infinite expansion and of Magian culture as the relation of the community with God. What are the central themes of Indian (Hindu) and Chinese culture?

  178. Jay Pine #115

    I have just seen this meme going around…

    (on a black and white image with a single tree in silhouette)

    We curse the one benighted chap
    Who felled the Sycamore at the Gap
    But tolerate those richer guys
    Who burn whole forests, seas and skies

  179. CA Sen. Feinstein has died last night. The narrative being pushed is that Rep. Nancy Pelosi is to blame for encouraging her to remain in the Senate. Don’t believe it. The neo-con faction was not about to give up DiFi’s seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Gov. Newsome, who wants to be president or at least have an important cabinet position, has already stated he will appoint a black woman to a Senate seat, should he be called upon to do so. The most prominent such in CA is Rep. Barbara Lee, who famously voted against the Iraq invasion. The neo-con faction naturally wants their man, Rep. Adam Schiff, appointed, and Schumer is doubtless ready to hand over the intelligence committee seat to him. Whomever is appointed to fill Feinstein’s seat will have to defend it in 2024, and given CAs jungle primary, the eventual runoff will likely be between any two of Schiff, Lee and Rep. Katie Porter.

  180. @JP
    The nokia-3310 dumb phone is a retro model sold, I don’t know how much it costs against other dumb phones, it is anyways a very solid product!

  181. @Devonlad

    (sorry if this posts twice– first time around I got the nonce error!)

    You might try the books: *The Girl With the Blue Tattoo* about the life of Olive Oatman, and the book *Captured* which contains short bios of several “returnees”– people who were captured as children and later returned, generally against their will, to their white families: Adolph Korn, Herman Lehmann, Dot and Banc Babb, Clinton and Jeff Smith. Returnees, as a group, often did not do well in white society– reintegrating was hard, and some of them failed at it. Korn spent his later life as a cave-dwelling hermit.

  182. TemporaryReality, thank you! If you can’t find it, let me know.

    Ron, it really is a fascinating event, and gives one to wonder.

    Boy, I use the term nature in its classical sense, meaning “that which is born” (as distinct from “that which is made”). Thus human beings are included in nature but the products of our activities generally are not. The enchantment that leads people to think that they aren’t part of nature is central to Faustian culture — our entire cultural mythos centers on the heroic figure who breaks free of his environment to go striding upwards toward the stars, and this militates against our recognition of our own embeddedness in nature. The hatred of the human body that pervades our society is another expression of the same thing — that’s the thing that links us most obviously to the world of things that are born.

    Jay, the port cities of the west coast prospered immensely after the Second World War when US global hegemony made it possible for us to import vast amounts of consumer goods from Asian countries through west coast ports, and pay for them with what amounts to worthless IOUs. Now that the dollar is losing its status as the world’s reserve currency, that’s beginning to break down, and so the Pacific Northwest in particular is on its way back to what it was in the 1920s and 1930s — an isolated and relatively impoverished region mostly valued for grain, lumber, and convenient naval bases. That means Seattle and the other cities on Puget Sound will go through a harrowing economic contraction. If you want to stay in the region, may I suggest moving away from the urban core? Someplace like Shelton, Aberdeen, or Centralia might be a better choice.

    Booklover, no, I found that one. It doesn’t focus on the early stages of the process, which is what the OP was asking for.

    Nachtgurke, thanks for this — very interesting.

    Curt, thank you for the data points!

    JAS, fascinating. You’re quite correct — that marks the collapse of the distinctively Faustian fixation on history as essentially different, and moves back toward a habit common among other cultures, of seeing the past in the mode of the present, along the lines of this Nativity scene:

    Forecastingintelligence, thank you for this! Well, I’ve been saying for quite a few years now that the next oil crisis would hit in the early 2020s — it was delayed a couple of years by the sharp but temporary decreases in energy consumption during the Covid hysteria, but here we are. I see I’ll need to post something about peak oil again in the very near future.

    Andy, I’ll consider it.

    Chris, that’s a very traditional view in occult circles (and also in most of the old Pagan faiths), and it seems very sensible to me.

    Justin, I’m delighted to see this! Many fields of scholarship have long since finished up every genuinely new thing that can be done in those fields — and of course the seemingly limitless bloat of academe is also running up hard against external limits.

    Godozo, exactly — and I encourage you to follow those ideas and connections.

    Jonathan, it’s been long enough since I read those sections of Spengler that I don’t happen to recall his formulations. You can find them in The Decline of the West.

    Mary, go long on popcorn futures!

  183. JMG,

    Somehow that doesn’t surprise me. “After Progress” is a heavy read, full of challenging ideas. I personally think it rocks, and give it a reread every 4 or 5 years. Learning about religious sensibilities, in particular, was an eye-opener for me, as I’ve always been one of the merfolk, wondering what the life preserver was for…

    Thanks for writing it. BTW, when is the revised edition of “A World Full of Gods” due out? I’m due for a reread of that one too, but have been waiting for the new and improved version!

  184. Siliconguy, I think part of the issue with the refined seed oils like canola is the refining process that uses solvents and sometimes high heat. Those oils also go rancid quickly.

    Canola as used in parts of the world where it’s not industrially refined is essentially hand ground and pressed.

    This last year I used a meat grinder to grind olives and made my own olive oil. The only refining involved was application of a gentle heat to stimulate oil release, use of a screw press to remove the oil from the paste, and gravity to settle impurities. Maybe it chemically resembled commercially available canola, but it was far far different by several other metrics.

  185. Scotlyn, a flip on the escape of Charles II ?
    (* looks over to who’s King right now. * Oh…)
    Maybe, just maybe, those previously hiding may feel a little of the other definition of that word.

  186. Hispalensis@ 113: your question regarding learning/studying methods and approaching texts the right way caught my attention.

    I’m working to accelerate my own learning as part of a project I call “reformatting myself” so I can better cope with the economic, productivity, personal and interpersonal issues in my own life. Playing catch-up at age 65 is no small matter.

    I’ve just come across a videocaster, a 26 year-old British woman who happens to be a medical student, and who obviously has Asperger’s syndrome (as do I). Her name is Elizabeth Filips. She has a set of some remarkable video-posts on learning. She has nearly a million subscribers. I discovered her only a week ago; and oddly find her difficult to listen to. Still, I want to assimilate her views. For studying, she recommends a particular book which just arrived in yesterday’s mail: “How to take smart notes” by Sönke Ahrens. It’s a print-on-demand book available through Amazon, I haven’t cracked it yet.

    Here are just a few of her pertinent postings:

    “How I remember everything I read”

    “You’re not forgetful: My system for memorizing everything”

    “How to learn anything fast: teach your brain to focus”

    “You’re not lazy: How to live a chaotically organized life”

    “How I make myself study when I’m lazy (it’s not discipline)”

    I ordinarily wouldn’t be commenting on someone I’ve just discovered and can’t really vouch for, but your comment seemed synchronistic, so here it is. I hope it proves helpful.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  187. @JMG I’m sure you know the feeling all to well, but that road up the center after polarization has set in is a lonely one. There are personal benefits: I’ve been engaging with and understanding people I normally wouldn’t be interacting with. But sometimes you look around and think you’ve lost the opportunity to enact any meaningful change.

    @Gerard I’ve been meaning to visit Pittsburgh. From my outsider perspective it seems like they’re bucking the trend of cities either being gentrified out of any local culture or dealing with capital flight. You have the influence of Carnegie Mellon that’s keeping economic opportunity present, but seem to be avoiding becoming another Austin. Plus Appalachia as a whole seems like a beautiful region. Not without its issues, but preserving a deep local culture that’s rare in this country.

    @Materia This is what I call the “build baby build” phenomena. There’s a reasonable view there (showing my biases 🙂 but developers love encouraging anyone with the slightest YIMBY sentiments to fight for their project.

    The real shortage isn’t in housing, it’s in economic opportunity. The real question to ask isn’t why homes are unaffordable in big cities. It’s why are homes so affordable in smaller cities with good bones.

  188. I realized that as I watched my wife’s 12 year old cat cough up a hair ball ( after several failed attempts) that Empire is a lot like a cat. The habits it evolved to prosper when it was young a vigorous often come back to doom it in old age. Cats evolved to lick their fur to minimize it’s scent to better sneak up on is prey. This causes them to ingest large quantities of hair which they have evolved to pass through their GI tract or to cough them up as a hairball.
    This is no problem when they are young, but as they get in to old age it becomes more and more difficult. But the cat refuses to give up ingesting large quantities of its own fur, not matter how hard it gets to expel it. Eventually many cats die of their inability to resolve this conflict in instincts. When a cat is on its last legs it will then stop “grooming” , but at that point the end is near. The question is will the empire give up some of its bad habits when the end is near?

  189. JMG, Christian depictions of scenes from the Bible is what was in my mind too.

    I guess I just have to get used to seeing everyone doing things like that from now on. If the woke era ends relatively soon, it will be interesting to see what kind of things artist with other worldviews come up.

  190. @Raja #86: Thank you for sharing this!

    I’m on the spectrum myself. When I’m at a loss for words in what I’m thinking / feeling, I use visual imagery to help process things (similar to scrying, though it’s not disciplined when I’m doing it naturally, almost like comparing day-dreams to meditation.)

    One image I used for comparing my mind to others was of a building with a rats nest of wires connecting it to powerlines (splitters between rooms, wires hanging between windows, a mess) vs a clean house with proper wiring.

    They both may seem to do the same thing, but the experience on the inside is different.

    Wild that my image is so close to this physical difference!

  191. @curt #199

    The Nokia 3310 looks good but i’ve had 3 bricks and every one pocket dialled i’d prefer a flip. That said looks like there price drop since I last looked a month ago. So worth another look.

    Regards, #184

    Fertiliser is made with natural gas, they’re getting silly about it to reduce natural gas usage. But false economy, if you ask me.

    The cattle thing is even more stupid. The average cow worldwide is farmed in american feed lot conditions. That is to say much fossil fuel is expended to grow soy beans which are the transported by truck to the cattle. This all uses silly amounts of fossil fuel so american cows are basically feed on diesel and natural gas. Fewer cows equals massive fuel savings. The silly bit is where you say a cow in ireland possibly germany is feed in feed lot conditions when it isn’t (dutch operations i suspect are very american). So in order to save fuel you shut down farming operations that don’t use fuel, in practice you save no fuel and all the worldwide averages get worse because you shut down all the traditional low fuel use farms.

    That is what i suspect is going on, classic civil service foul up.

  192. Hello JMG! I have a question for you, I would be very happy if you could answer it. My question is, can you suggest a list of ‘Must Haves’ of Western occultism – the Collapse seems to be accelerating, so I think we need to pass these on to future generations and continue the traditions. Meanwhile, what I’m feeling right now is that the West’s mythology of progress in general and the trust in its academics, as it does in places, feels like it’s about to hit the stone wall of Reality and crumble to dust… it feels like it could happen at any moment.

  193. Grover, it came out earlier this year:

    Jack, I know. Keep in mind that both sides are trying to convince you that you can’t accomplish anything unless you buy into one of their agendas; they’re lying, because it’s only by breaking new ground in the abandoned middle that you can show others that there’s an alternative.

    Clay, the Hairball Theory of Empire! I like it. To judge by past examples, empires stop licking themselves full of hair only when they no longer have the strength to move their tongues — and by then something else usually has the empire in its jaws.

    JAS, oh, probably. As the Chinese example shows, most cultures do this as a matter of course —

    — Faustian culture is weird about wanting to portray what things might actually have been like. (And then only to a limited degree; there are way too many brown-haired, blue-eyed Jesus images out there…)

    Kurtyigit, I’ve had several people ask me about that, and it’s going to take some serious thought. I may do a post about it as we proceed.

  194. JMG,

    Can you point me to some sources regarding your comment to Paul about the Moon as the Eighth Sphere? That’s not something I’ve encountered directly, and I’d very much like to follow up on…

    It does make a great deal of symbolic sense– It would be interesting, to use no stronger word, if Faustian culture’s final, greatest, achievement in its expansion into the infinite turned out to be a 25 billion dollar, 250,000 mile voyage to Hell.

    It also raises questions about the Moon rocks, of which 800 pounds are apparently on Earth now. Could the ultimate purpose of the voyages to allow those souls trapped in the rocks a chance to begin the journey of evolution again? The last time I was at a museum that had rocks said to come from other worlds– the Moon, Mars, asteroids– I took a moment to feel into their energy, and in each case it was… odd.

  195. @JP
    ” i’ve had 3 bricks and every one pocket dialled”

    I have mine in my jeans pocket and it never dials. It’s locking configuration is relatively efficient and its keys are very flat, in a sense rare they’d get triggered in your pocket.

  196. Lunar Apprentice, Sönke Ahrens introduced the Zettelkasten method in his book, but according to Scott Scheper who studied the origins of that note-taking and -filing system and looked at Niklas Luhmann’s Version, opines that Ahrens misses the fundamental strength of the _analog_ system. If you are intrigued by Zettelkasten, you can look at Scheper’s book “ANTI-net”. Disclosure: I copy edited Scheper’s book but his author’s prerogative meant that it’s still too long by at least half and he wouldn’t hear of toning down his adherence to “human progress”. He also reads like a tech-bro with a background in advertising copywriting. But he’s got a solid point about the analog system. He’s also got free stuff that may be all you need to get started.

  197. @Lazy Gardener

    I saw my first hammerhead worm in central Florida in 1999. They’ve been here a while already. I’ve found a few more since then, but… so far they haven’t made a noticeable difference to the population of regular earthworms, which I still find every time I put a shovel in the ground. I don’t know if they’re good, bad, or neutral, but since they live in the ground I reckon eradication is futile, and we’re gonna be living with them whether we want to or not. I think it’s just wait and see, really. We’ve had Cuban lizards for at least as long and Mediterranean geckos for even longer (we’ve gotten quite friendly with them). Initially the fear was that they’d displace the native anoles, but so far that hasn’t happened. We just have both now– but the anoles are now more heavily represented in certain environments than in others. I suspect the cuban racers aren’t as fond of swampland, but they have a competitive edge in hot, sunny, sandy environments. I’m hoping that some similar new balance happens with the worms also.

  198. In the November 2023 issue of Sky and Telescope there is an extensive article on the Antikythera mechanism that may be of interest for those who are interested in astrological implements of the past.

    A question to all, is there any functional equivalents to the Antikythera mechanism in recent years, that of a mechanical computer that generates planetary ephemera? Or are we really stuck with reproductions of the Antikythera mechanism, perhaps modified and extended with the additions of Uranus and Neptune?

    Consider an astrological computing setup, a two box set consisting of an Antikytheric ephemeris generator for planetary positions, and a house cusp calculator, all built to give accurate figures within a time period of 1-2 Grand Mutations past and future.

  199. @JMG “There’s quite a rage against nature on that island these days”

    The Mayor of London recently extended the ULEZ (“Ultra Low Emission Zone”), within which cars which emit high levels of pollution are automatically charged high daily fees. It’s sparked a civil disobedience campaign, and concerted destruction of the cameras on which the system depends. The Conservative party are making a big deal out of opposing it, despite having been instrumental in its deployment.

    Here in Wales, the devolved government recently introduced a default speed limit of 20ph in certain areas (residential, near schools, etc). It’s sparked a huge campaign of opposition, with signs being defaced, petitions against it, a motion of no confidence in the minister responsible (it failed), etc. The Conservative party are making a huge deal out of opposing it, despite having originally voted in favour of it. Today, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said that the Welsh speed limits are “contrary to British values”.

    I can’t help feeling that the outrage about restrictions on what Jim Kunstler would call “happy motoring” and the attacks on trees (there have been many more low-profile incidences which haven’t been widely reported) are somehow connected. There’s an anger that “progress” isn’t delivering any more, and that anger is being turned against the natural world, it seems to me. Indeed, I find myself wondering whether the mood is becoming “if I can’t have my convenient lifestyle, then bring the whole world down”; a kind of Samson option as an expression of existential frustration from those who can’t conceive of living a simpler lifestyle. Does that sound reasonable to you?

    Separately, my copy of the new edition of your Coelbren book arrived today. I’ve only had time to quickly skim through it, but first impressions are that the content is an definite improvement on the first edition. Also, and not unimportantly, the binding seems to be of better quality; hopefully this one won’t fall apart with use as the first edition did!

  200. To all, regarding the potential own goal of foisting microwave-powered internet devices onto young children…

    Isn’t it funny how we laugh at the Romans for being stupid enough to add lead to their food and drink, bringing about their own “untimely” demise, while we fry our kids’ brains with microwaves and EM saturation, not to mention burying them in the darkening forest of (anti)social media?

    I can’t help but shake my head at our hubris.

    I actually have a numb spot on the outside of my right thigh that corresponds perfectly with where my Android rode around in my cargo shorts pocket before I smashed the things to bits 4 years ago.

    I’ll have to give this up one day, too, you know. That’s why I’m here now, listening to what you’re all saying, while I can. So please, carry on!

  201. Dear pygmycory, for Armenia news might I suggest Jacob Dreizen at the Dreizen Report. I can’t judge his content, and the format is high levels of THC and rock radio, but he tries to explain the players and the motivations. I would try to give a summary but it is very complicated.

  202. Clay, JMG et. al.

    So, is there a ‘rodent guts’ extrapolent to utilize with regards to “the Hairball Theory of Empire”???

    I’m courious wiskerd…

  203. Hi JMG,

    I recently acquired a copy of Damien Echols’ “High Magick”. He acknowledges you as one of his inspirations, and I seem to recall that you were supportive when he first published. Several years on, are you still happy that his material is sound? I ask because his writing works for me; I’m thinking of exploring further, but would appreciate a sanity check.

  204. And yes, Mr. Greer,

    I too have a 1/2 gallon batch of traditional kitchen going. But…. I also have some SQUID kimchi in the works.. so there.

    Cthuhul, me thinks.. would be proud.. ‘;]

  205. CR Patino #104,

    And then there’s Alma Deutscher, who could be the next iteration of that lineage?

  206. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for confirming my growing belief. It does not surprise me that it has a long history, and I’ve heard other cultures, notably the local indigenous folks, suggesting the same. Of course, I heard the idea expressed years ago, but had to ponder the meaning over a number of years. The implications were a bit surprising really. But mostly I had to see for myself whether it fit the general arrangements in our civilisation. If I may hazard an opinion, some of what we consider the most civilised of human places, are also some of the neurotic.

    I’d be very interested to hear what you have to say about Peak Oil, and agree with you – the demand destruction over the past few years proved that it could be done, but at what a cost. Bonkers! Anywhoo, I learned of Peak Oil in 2004 whilst writing for the hippy press at the time, and then read widely about the subject. It passed I believe in 2005, and was widely reported on at the time. Who could have predicted the fracking efforts? But basically, I’ve seen nothing to change the opinion I formed back in 2005. Dude, a lot of work since then.



  207. @Gerard O’Neil #116,

    Thanks a lot for these insights! Very helpful. 🙂

    One thing baffles me a bit, though: I live in about equal proximity to two or three churches. If the church bells ring, it depends on the wind direction which ones can be heard at our place. Or at least I always thought it depends on the wind direction, as the wind would “blow the sound around”… 😉


  208. Greetings, John.

    Once you said that a professional way to cast a curse was to state the obvious (always leaving a way out) and just leave.

    Excuse me, but I’m more than slightly drunk now. Your old “The Archdruid Report” blog looks like a curse against industrial civilization (by stating the obvious and leaving a way out, “collapse now and avoid the rush.”)

    What would you recommend as a way to state obvious truths so that people might change their ways but avoid the karma of cursing? I have several coworkers, in my government job, who are oblivious to the realities of The Long Descent. How can I warn about the future that awaits us, without being hate for giving the warnings that will be ignored until the chickens come home to roost?

  209. #77 Viridian Obstreperous Gopher (V.O.G) – another factor to consider is the perceptible time lag between the action on stage and the sound that gets out to the outer audience. In some venues, distributed speaker systems help level out the loudness, but unless there’s a compensating delay, the distant speaker can be 100-200 msec ahead of the direct sound wave. That’ll clutter the impulsive components of the speech and/or music, too.

  210. Devonlad – Bear in mind the living conditions of those who left the colonial life for the Native Americans. The lowest-class of indentured servants or hired labor probably didn’t have much to regret when they gave up colonial comforts, class hierarchy, and possibly debt burdens.

  211. Speaking of breaking new ground in the middle, do you think it’s possible that a form of eventually universal Christian henotheism might do well in the new era? I ask because I have found an awful lot of universalistic tendencies in the early church fathers, and some implicit henotheism in st. Paul, although allowing modified dulia only, a la the strange strange episode where namaan bows in the temple of rimmon, 2 kings 5:18. If Tolkien could think the fay world was not evil, that seems to be a sort of new leaf for the Church, to turn over. As always, many regards and thanks and blessings if you want them.

  212. I’ve been meditating a lot on the gods, and I am not at all sure but that much of what was done in Odin or Diana’s name had little to do with the encosmic, mesocosmic or hyper cosmic divine natures, but rather with what had been suborned or aped by demons. After all, they do this with the christian faith with predictable regularity today, why wouldnt they have wanted to tear down the altars and groves of antiquity as well? So are we to read st Paul in that light? “Though there be those called gods…”? Is this dismissive or acknowledging? I am not so sure it is dismissive nay more. His quarrel seemed more with the prince of the aerial powers and the imperial archons.

  213. Your reply to Mister Nobody about the second religiosity leaves me with a question. You’ve said before that you’re concerned about an increase in hostility toward occultism and magic again in the future. I had figured that you meant it would be the second religiosity that could take a turn in that direction, but seeing your comment I realize I might have made the wrong assumption. Is it something other than the second religiosity that is the source of your concerns?.

  214. @JP

    Greetings and salutations, fellow member of the dumb-phone club!

    Gradually, as certain things become inaccessible to me because of my smartphone refusal… I’m finding there are things I just don’t need anymore 😉 Store only gives access to discount coupons via app now? OK, well, how badly did I need to shop there? I don’t. I don’t need to shop there. I’m concerned about utilities going that way, but.. so far so good. In the meantime, it’s aiding me in my quest to live more simply, with LESS.

  215. Hello Mr. Greer,

    A few months back, perhaps a year, I sent a letter thanking you, regarding your free writing advice. In return, I gave back was may possibly be the worst sonnet ever conceived, and immediately regretted submitting it to you. It was very silly and ironic, making every mistake you had warned against in the post regarding the follies of spontaneity and writing: I showed myself a bad student. I still persist in writing, and wanted to share another sonnet, and pray to give you hope that your lessons have taught me well.

    The Honey Bees venture an Autumn grey,
    To frolic Golden Rod and meander;
    The morning’s narrow on each sequent day,
    And dewy clouds release on Lavender.
    Under a long shade and ‘mid thunders stun,
    They store delicacies where larvae crept;
    And while the farmers growth has come undone,
    Their honeys recipe remains well kept.
    In wonderment of where their light has fled,
    Inside a darkness waiting darkness shed,
    And though August has waned a July Crest,
    Their Summer work ensured a Winter rest.
    In lengthy sleep, they dream their season’s toil,
    Of crowning bud to make April royal.

    Now for my question: in a recent post, you spoke of diversifying your matters of study. Aside from what you plan to write about, what else have you been enjoying lately?

  216. Has anyone else noticed that some folks who have accepted the coming decline and collapse of Faustian civilization seem to be slipping into just another version of the apocalypse myth? Years ago, I used to follow the ministry of the Rev. Michael Dowd, but then ceased when I left progressive/liberal Christianity. The last year or so, I’ve begun exploring some of his most recent work, and while he seems rather fond of JMG’s work, he also seems to have adopted a belief in a relatively imminent end of human life. I also came across this article (linked in the comments of a Facebook post by Dowd):

    Maybe I’m wrong, but the apocalypse meme seems to be picking up recruits from both “long descent-ers” and former adherents of the Progress religion. The latter makes sense, while the former not so much. Or maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t really there?

  217. Steve, it’s a Theosophical idea. This link has some good sources.

    Roldy, that’s a good one!

    Ighy, I haven’t heard of one, but it’s a fascinating question. It would be great if mechanical astrological calculators got into circulation before electronics start getting unreliable!

    Bogatyr, thanks for these data points. Ugh.

    Polecat, not until you invent one!

    Bogatyr, I’m very impressed with Damien’s work. It’s heading in different directions from mine, but then that’s all to the good.

    Polecat, squid kimchi sounds tasty. You’re right, though, that it would also make a fine offering to eldritch horrors!

    Chris, a lot of work indeed. Hang onto your hat — I think this oil panic’s going to blindside a lot of people.

    Anonymous, neither you nor I nor the gods in all their power can get people to wake up and pay attention if the people in question refuse to do so. (Schiller put it best: “Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.”) All you can do is make the attempt and, if it doesn’t work, sigh and walk away.

    Celadon, good question. That sort of thing sounds tolerant enough to find a welcome in a Second Religiosity, but we’ll see.

    Kashtan, no, it’s not the Second Religiosity I’m worried about, but something more short-term. We’re moving into a period of extreme social crisis, and in such times witch hunts are tolerably common. They could be directed at anyone, but occultists are one frequent target.

    Jonathan, good heavens, don’t worry about it. As for areas of study, well, I’m reading Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, getting deeper into numerology, collecting info on the interface between trad occultism and the cerebrospinal fluid, and researching sitings of UFOs before and during the First World War — though that last is for a book project.

    Brenainn, oh, dear gods, yes. That’s endemic. Back in the peak oil period I was constantly fielding comments from people who were sure that industrial civilization would crash to ruin in six months if oil ever got over US$70 a barrel, or what have you. For an embarrassingly large number of people, apocalypse and progress are the only two futures they can imagine, and if you don’t give them the one, they’ll automatically and idiotically default to the other.

  218. I just had a thought that explains the whole woke thing ( at least partially). Back in the 60’s and 70’s there was a dramatic response in the popular culture in opposition to the Vietnam war, the assassinations of hopefuls figures and the Watergate era. This came in the form of the music of the day but also included books, and movies in addition to the actual street protests of the time.
    After the ” Occupy Wall Street” movement showed up in response to the bankster crimes of 2007-2008 the elites became worried about another protest movement on the streets, driven by popular ( and blue state based) entertainment. They are not very imaginative and assumed the backlash against wall street, the MIC and their political lackeys would arise as before from the Hollywood music and entertainment industries. So they coopted the press, the music industry and Hollywood to get on board with a new ( red herring) crusade. Instead of getting people riled up about real things, get them inflamed with concern over LGBTQ rights, and white supremacy. This percolated for a few years as they brought their lackeys on board and trained a new cadre of foot soldiers to move in to the corporate boardrooms.
    Then they were surprised when the protests erupted on the right in the form of Donald Trump and his supporters. This scared them silly so they unleashed the entire woke agenda they had been preparing. It was partially successful as protests against war, bankers and political corruption from the left was stillborn and overwhelmed by the Snipe Hunt ( wokesterism) that they had prepared. But like all schemes dreamed up by a senile elite it backfired by firing up the right, and the working class against them. With no plan B they just keep riding the woke horse to absurdity.

  219. @temporaryreality

    Thank you for this! I just saw your reply on the post you linked. It sure does look very informative; will definitely check it out. The book I posted in my above comment is more acceptable among the materialist crowd, but it’s a good reference, nonetheless.

  220. I wanted to give a big thanks to Paul who answered my question in last month’s Open Post.

    It was exactly the book I was looking for and through it I found related ones like “No More Mr. Nice Guy”. I started changing myself to become a better man and those changes are already starting to work within my marriage. So thank you, Paul, and thank you, JMG, for providing a forum for questions like these!

  221. Hello JMG, regarding your reply back at #162 on hostility to environmentalism in the UK. It is clearly growing, with more people seeing it as something the metropolitan PMC impose on working-class people. They seem to increasingly see it as a requirement to buy electric cars they can’t afford and would have nowhere to charge, increased heating costs, more expensive food, roads in cities closed to cars or entry charges for older cars – ULEZ – and now 20mph speed limits in towns and villages in Wales.
    Driving through rural Wales yesterday there were dozens of signs along streets and in front gardens saying NO TO 20MPH, NO WIND TURBINES, NO PYLONS, etc. Staying during the evening in a normally-quiet town, it was notable how most cars ignored the 20mph limit with many seemingly making a point of driving excessively fast and noisily, presumably as a protest. It is interesting that Sunak now sees rowing back on green and anti-car policies as a way of gaining votes.

  222. Wer here
    hello evrybody I haven’t been around for a while things happened. My recent job is shaky etc. JMG and the commentariat I noticed that recently price of gas really dropped in Poland the reason : elections of course! I rather not go into the details why Polish political scene had gone nuts (the shouting and finger pointing is getting tiring now – almost as bad as the US)
    There are so many things wrong in my country right now you don’t know where to begin with from the fact that the grocery bills are making people cry, to recent chaos with the Ukrainians and their evictions. (Yes they went from claiming that Ukrainians are our best freinds to two weeks ago evicting them and deporting them.) My comment on this is simple I try not to discriminate but we cannot affort this. We here in rural Poland have our own problems and droping more on us will rather make the locals angry not fix the problem. Sorry for rambling on. It is a strange world we live in right now hard to make heads or tails out of everything that is comming out, the media are making judging what is happening almost inpossible.
    Stay safe evryone Wer

  223. One of history’s might-have-beens:

    Reading about Georges Clemenceau, the WWI French leader, I came across this sentence: Clemenceau obtained mutual defence treaties with the United Kingdom and the United States, to unite against possible future German aggression, but these never took effect due to the US Senate’s failure to ratify the Treaty, which thus also nullified British obligation.

    Had America ratified the treaty after WWI, would WWII have happened?

    It would almost certainly have gone differently. With the Allies presenting a united front, Hitler would have hesitated to provoke them. Instead of invading Poland, he could have built on his political successes in eastern Europe with a lightning right hook through Ukraine to the oil fields of Baku, then considered his next move, if any. He would have already gained what he wanted, i.e. lebensraum for Germans.

    Incidentally, reading a biography of Solzhenitsyn who served in WWII as an artilleryman, I was surprised to discover that before Barbarossa he was pro-German, like many Russians exposed to Communist propaganda. They considered the Western nations to be nasty capitalist exploiters of the working classes and felt they deserved the bloody nose the Germans were giving them.

  224. Kyle, thanks very much for the kind words, and I second your call for thanks to anyone else praying for those on the list.

    Neptunesdolphins, I’m glad to hear your family is doing better! I’ll take your listing off of the prayer list come the next weekly update. Please feel free to make another prayer request any time it feels needful.

  225. @ Lunar Apprentice 206

    Thank you for this! Your suggestion comes in very handy. I’m also trying to reset a few habits of mine I considered reliable but are revealing themselves to be increasingly unadaptive. Currently I’m exploring which specific changes to apply, so I’ll definitely check out more of her videos and see what I can adopt.

    On a more personal note, I recently started paying more attention to the occult/magical part of JMG’s writings, where he describes how industrial society tends to replace natural human abilities with sort of prosthetic technologies instead of developing the former. That hit home hard. I’ve noticed how I lose proficiency in some abilities as I, due to duties as well as my own conformity, increase my mindless use of – especially digital – technology. I’m sure it’s still reversible, but I need to start working on it.

    Thank you again for the resource!


  226. @Mary Bennett

    Re: the possibility of a Chinese invasion of India

    As an Indian, I do think the Chinese leadership will try a military adventure sometime in the 2030s or so. The reasons for the same are:

    1) Worsening of access to water resources, exacerbated by climate change.
    2) Economic and social problems at home, thus necessitating a military adventure to distract the population.

    The difference between their 1962 invasion (which ended in a humiliating defeat for India) and subsequent clashes (like Sikkim 1967, the 1987 Sumdorong Chu incident, Doklam 2017 and Galwan 2020), is that our political and military leadership was prepared, willing, and able, to take them on.

    If you want to read up on the India-China border dispute and the military clashes it entails, I’d recommend you to check out the following books:

    1)Himalayan Blunder: The Angry Truth About India’s Most Crushing Military Disaster by Brigadier John P. Dalvi (retd.). Brig. Dalvi was the brigade commander of the ill-fated 7 Infantry Brigade which was wiped out by the Chinese in the battle of Namka Chu, and he was taken prisoner. After he was repatriated to India, he wrote this book. It’s a very moving book, yet very informative. I think he does the title of the book full justice. (If you do video, I’d recommend watching this one:

    2)Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory Over China by Probal Dasgupta. This book focuses on the 1967 military clash with China at the Sikkim border. Most Indians, what to speak of non-Indians, have never heard of this conflict; but in this, we avenged our 1962 defeat and gave the Chinese a bloody nose. Since then, the Chinese have been much more careful, as they learnt the hard way, the lesson that India has changed after 1962, and can’t be bullied or browbeaten anymore. The book also explores the aftermath of the Indian victory, and highlights the Doklam standoff of 2017, and the Galwan clash of 2020, in that context.

    In addition, I’d recommend checking out the work of the scholar Claude Arpi:

    Hope this helps.

  227. @Ighy

    Re: mechanical computing devices

    The former USSR had built quite a lot of hydraulic computers for solving various scientific and engineering problems. You can Google the name ‘Vladimir Lukyanov’, for starters – I have no doubt that future technic civilizations will use hydraulic computers, among other devices, for number-crunching. The Antikythera mechanism and its variants are one among a large number of categories of computing devices; you might want to check out the others.

  228. Hi John Michael,

    That looks like where things are headed. I tend to be of the opinion that this time around may be a repeat of the mid to late 1970’s, if history is any guide. All the ingredients are there. It would be an interesting tale to tell, don’t you reckon that history? People forget those days, and I only have the vaguest of memories from that time, but then the household was fairly broke anyway. The issues from that time were only ever papered over and also the chucking anything into the tank which would combust. Do you have any perspectives as to where things are headed?



  229. @ JMG: Thanks for your reply!

    Regarding the Sycamore Gap: the 16 year old they arrested has a farming background, and so evidently knew how to fell a tree professionally. He was working for the National Trust, who own the site, and was fired, after having allegedly threatened that he would fell the tree if he was fired. Further rumours suggest the boy’s grandfather had been evicted by the National Trust many years ago, so there may be a family grudge at play.

    Symbolically speaking, however, I find it interesting that this happened on the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall, once the northernmost border of a great empire, built to keep the tribes beyond at spear’s length from the civilized interior. With the catastrophic border crises happening in both Europe and North America, it feels quite ominous to me.

  230. @JMG #239 re: witch hunts: The one period of witch hints I was there to see was post-Crisis: the McCarthy “commies under every bed,” and lashing out at those even slightly pink-ish. Overseas, Alan Turing, who had saved the day with his code-breaking, was hounded to death for his homosexuality. And so on.

    It’s as if “All right, the crisis is over, we’re getting back to normal, now’s the time to clean house and make everything good and proper,” which was certainly happening on the domestic front, and IIRC, happened right after the American Revolution as well, especially in terms of ending any looseness in the racial scene, such as intermarriage between black slaves and white indentured servants and the like.

    Then throw in all that wartime energy redirected to The War On….(drugs, poverty, polio, terror…..juvenile delinquency back in the 1950s (teenagers smoking, drinking, driving hot rods! Later made fun of in a hit musical where the juvenile delinquents came out on top.))
    At any rate, that’s what I was seeing in the late ’40s-1950s. And its leaders were younger than the President, Eisenhower, who was disgusted by the entire scene and said so. Again, IIRC, and since I was quite young at the time, and had my politics from my father, a Social Gospel Democrat, may be quite skewed.

    But, yes, there are witch hunts going on right now, post-Lockdown, and Florida is on the front lines of them with DeSantis leading the pack locally, and I expect them to gain in fury, with the hard intolerance both sides are showing right now.

    And that the Second Religiosity is what the fury will settle into when everyone is exhausted and ashamed and the younger people – think JFK in the past – rise to power.

    Just my $0.02.

  231. JMG, I’m mindful of your advice to purchase your books not nab them for free. I’ve just bought a second hand copy of one of your books at a bargain price, and you don’t directly see any of the profit of my purchase. Are you still happy to bless this and other second-hand book purchases? (Someone did pay for it after all – they’ve even left their notes. You also got a ‘Monster(s)’ contribution from me a while back.)

  232. I’m posting under an Anonymous username, but I filled my real e-mail on the respective post field. After many years, I think the Anon post practice from 4chan (without a tripcode to identify myself for clout purposes) is the best practice: let the content of my post, not my reputation, defend itself. Now, back to the topic…

    I found a hardcover edition of your “The Celtic Golden Dawn” book available for purchase at the Aeon site:

    I own the Llewellyn edition but it is a bit worn down because of my use, so I’m considering a substitution (as in wear it out, then proceed to use the new one).

    Question 1: Is the text the same as in the Llewellyn edition?
    Question 2: Is the text aligned with the same page numbers in both editions?

    If there is updated text I will place the Aeon edition higher in my purchase list. You see, there are a number of books (many of them out of print) that I want to buy before The Long Descent make them unavailable (unaffordable is a form of “not for you”), so a hardcover copy of the CGD with the same text is a convenience, because,

    Question 3: I understand that if I buy, say, an electronic copy of one of your books and then later I print it for my use I will not trigger the working you made to protect them, is that right?

    Question 4: Can I scan a paper book I bought from you and use the scan without triggering your “copy protection?” I might need to print the scan when the paper copy wears out, is this also allowed, of course strictly for my use?

    These questions might look silly, but I am attempting to preserve my access to your books in the long term. As a suggestion, you might want to include some details about the working you made to protect your books, and how we can preserve them in a proper way, on the Magic Monday FAQ. Also, if you are not contractually bound, please make a new edition with applied CGD errata at Aeon books. It would be important to state that minor errors were corrected at the description as a selling point.

  233. Siliconguy, (#167)

    Appreciate your leg work on profile specifics of common fats. Truly. Things are always more complex than our simple human minds want them to be, aren’t they?

    That said, your data largely match my assertions. Where tallow, butter, and canola (rapeseed) are all roughly half monounsaturated, the former two lean heavily in the saturated direction otherwise, and the latter heavily in the PUFA direction to fill the balance.

    I’m not on any kind of jihad, just trying to minimize my intake of PUFAs, so I lean toward butter and tallow, with olive and avocado oils filling in when I need just enough double bonds to give me a liquid at room temp, e.g. for making mayo (echoing what another poster – Mother Balance? – already mentioned, definitely use avocado for that, and not olive!).

    It’s too bad I can’t opt to have my every Saturday after-farmers-market fish and chips fried in tallow – instead of canola/soy – at my favorite bar 2 blocks away…and then there’s the tartar sauce I love to dunk it in…more PUFA mayo…my mouth is watering already. And if there’s anything wrong with the Guinness I wash it all down with, I REALLY don’t want to know!

  234. Perhaps this beginning of interest in the endpoints of knowledge is a necessary precursor to the next age if synthesis.

    Gregory Bateson may point a way:

    “At present, there is no existing science whose special intetest is the combining of pieces of information. But I shall argue that evutionary process must depend on upon such double increments of information. Every evolutionary step is an addition of information to an already existing system. Because this is so, the combinations, harmonies, and discords between succesive pieces and layers of information will present many problems of survival and determine many directions of change.”- Mind and Nature

    Synthesis & combinatorics seem like fruitful path of exploration in the arts & sciences going forward.

  235. Hi John

    Which part of Europe is best positioned for what is coming over the next few decades?

    Or to put it a bit differently what should the majority of Europeans expect over the next 25 years or so.

  236. Hot off the old blog,
    “The study authors hypothesize that the “flatlined,” dying brain removes natural inhibitory (braking) systems. These processes, known collectively as disinhibition, may open access to “new dimensions of reality,” they say, including lucid recall of all stored memories from early childhood to death, evaluated from the perspective of morality. While no one knows the evolutionary purpose of this phenomenon, it “opens the door to a systematic exploration of what happens when a person dies.””

  237. @Roldy

    Waste of a good versalog if you ask me. I found one of those at a thrift store for $10– my 11yo now uses it for his math schoolwork nearly every day!

  238. @ Patricia #108

    there has been an ongoing attempt to normalize support for people with dicey ideologies

    Nailed it. Chrystia Freeland is a direct descendant of Ukranian Nazis. They knew EXACTLY who Hunka was and they didn’t think anything of it. It was the reaction that caught them by surprise.

  239. I had a dream last night that fits nicely with our discussions here, and instead of narrating the dream, which I don’t remember all that well, I’m going to talk about “rule by MBA” which afflicts not only major corporations but also government. It’s basically what my dream spoke to me about.

    From what I gather (and I’ve never had this discussion with actual MBAs so if there’s one out there with real information, please excuse my generalities and correct me where appropriate) the accounting and cost-efficiency principles that these worthies use are based on (as we know) short-term goals and “good enough” performance of businesses and of manufacturing processes. As opposed to long-term thinking and “whatever it takes to make it actually good” for businesses and manufacturing. All in the name of maximizing quarterly performance as measured by profit.

    Again, I’m going on 50+ years of observation without ever having had to make major business decisions (despite running a couple of very small businesses) but it seems that the great entrepreneurs who built popular and growing businesses were NOT inculcated with the MBA economic mindset. Notwithstanding that surely there are MBA entrepreneurs who maybe have grown beyond their educations.

    The result is a deeply impoverished situation all around, as the tendency to push towards the “least worst” outcomes comes to the fore and the effort towards a “best” outcome drops by the wayside. Note only for employees but for the public as well, who have to live with these businesses. This is surely of a piece with our governments’ administrative rationales, which among other things feed off of what’s common enough in business. Somehow, despite the fact that the Orange Man (a.k.a. “he who shall not be named”) has a business degree from Wharton, he doesn’t seem to have absorbed these principles in the same way.

    The main way this accounting/cost effectiveness outlook has affected me has been in the behind-the-scenes parts of medium sized businesses I have worked in, (accounting, administration for all of them, and editing, proofreading for publishing) have all been been scanted and starved. If the function not going directly towards sales, the activity is deliberately starved. Not to mention being relatively poorly paid.

    Perhaps this is just the odd experience of an odd fellow (me), but it seems likely that this is part of the overall deterioration of value and values we have all observed…

  240. @lathechuck #232: Many were children captured by the (Native) Americans, and by no means all of them poor. Among adults, Robert Mathiessen cited Joshua Tefft, the Rhode Island land owner executed as a traitor for fighting along the (Native) Americans against the settlers. Dawn of Everything cites the autobiography (1935) of James Willard Schultz, an eighteen year old from a prominent New York family who married into the Blackfoot.

  241. I just want to thank Paul from last month’s Open Post for his book recommendation to my question. It’s exactly what I was looking for and through it I found similar books, such as “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, that helped me as well. I’m working on becoming a better man and I can see the changes in me working within my marriage already. So thank you and thank you, JMG, for this forum.

  242. There’s some big RFK Jr. news this morning that he will abandon his campaign to win the nomination of the Democratic Party and will run as an independent. I’ve been watching the Dem party maneuvering to marginalize and exclude him and suspected he could make this move, which might have huge implications for the outcome of the next election. He may be the most viable 3rd party/independent candidate since Ross Perot in ’92 and it could lead to some ‘interesting’ post-election scenarios. I can’t imagine he would pull many votes from the MAGA group or hardcore Dems (the ‘good people’ cohort), but he might develop significant appeal for the vast middle ground. I keep having the fantasy that he’ll partner with Tulsi Gabbard as his running mate…could be a formidable ticket!

    I’m eager to hear your thoughts about RFK Jr., or from anyone else in this exceptional commentariat. Thanks for all you do JMG!

  243. >researching sitings of UFOs before and during the First World War

    Did you know that the day most people see a UFO is on Wednesday? Someone did a plot of sightings vs. days of the week and there’s a peak around Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Not that I’ll ever get an answer but still I ask.

  244. Hi JMG. I stumbled upon you last night(thanks google!). I came for your lucid insights on the internal dynamics of industrialized society, but am staying for your series on Lévi’s Doctrine on high Magic.
    This is my first serious take on studing texts regarding this body of knowledge, and having read your commentaries up to and including chapter 6, I am extremely encouraged to continue due to how efforless it has been so far to integrate your commentary with most of my own mental model (and gnosis) of “the subject”.

    So, in summary: your commentary is resonating extremely well with me.
    I intend to do the meditations.
    My question to you: What would I miss out on if I don’t get the book 😀

  245. re. Justin and the Very Bad Month
    It turns out a lot of simple-minded liberals are getting a nasty taste of realpolitik and complexities of history that don’t fit the simplistic narrative we love to tell ourselves. I recently heard a wonderful summary that goes, ‘if you are liberal, you believe that people are fundamentally the same, that differences are superficial and can be disregarded; if you are conservative, you believe that those differences are crucial and must be carefully respected.’ The liberal story has been the single story we have been telling ourselves for over 50 years now.
    I remember that you began “The Archdruid Report” with an essay on how having only one story to tell is death to a culture, and the recent essay examining how this single, repeated good-guy-always-defeats-bad-guy morality story dominates our society and here we have front-page examples of exactly how that limited thinking about the world results in acute embarrassment and international upset.
    First, diplomatic relations between Canada and India are strained. Seems that the story that Indian agents assassinated a political gadfly is plausible and evidence is starting to support it. So our self-righteous adult-teenager has jumped up and accused India of such, instead of handling it with aplomb… and we are now getting smacked for it. A more savvy government, cognizant of the subtle exigencies of realpolitik, would have quietly waited, collected sufficient evidence, and eventually demanded the extradition of someone from India. But that doesn’t fit the action-hero good-guy selfie image.
    Second, a week later, the Hunka-Nazi affair blew up and the shock-waves continue to roil. Again, that story is not as simple as everyone wants it to be, it’s morphing from the Cold-War thought-stopper of Soviets (Russians)-are-Bad-Guys into a Game of Thrones kaleidoscope of competing victimhood stories. Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, Russians, Slovaks, Moldovans…Nazis, nazi-sympathizers, Communists, ingenue teenage boys eager to fight for their cause… everyone has a gripe against everyone else. Everyone has allied themselves with others at various times. What is confusing is the complexities of finding that different agendas coincide from time to time, which isn’t the same as wholeheartedly agreeing with each other at every point and that members of each group have committed atrocities against every other group. (Of course, what is really embarrassing is that not one single member of our elected leadership took a second to think… ‘wait a minute… the Russians were our allies in WWII…’ before clapping like trained seals. And now everyone is upset and trying to fit all this complexity into their favorite simple good-guy-beats-bad-guy narrative.)
    I think what this whole business really illustrates is that perhaps if most people weren’t conditioned to expect complex problems to be solved by the Good Guys in one hour (minus time for commercials), we might not be dominated by so many self-righteous buffoons and our so-called leaders wouldn’t be childish embarrassments and our politics would be less tribally adversarial and we would stop politicizing absolutely everything from public transit to history.
    Now, I wonder, is this a cause or effect of a civilization/empire in terminal decline?

  246. “the accounting and cost-efficiency principles that [MBAs] use are based on (as we know) short-term goals and “good enough” performance of businesses and of manufacturing processes.”

    True. I’ve dealt with them for a long time. In their defense if the company does not survive in the short term the long term is irrelevant.

    But when they cancel any R&D that will not pay off within six months the company will not have a long term. Then you get increasingly desperate thrashing to get through the next quarter, and the process of self cannibalism begins. The best employees begin bailing out and corporate death happens soon after unless you have the political connections to FPM (free public money).

    An example of the latter,

    “But some wind developers said the electricity price on offer at auctions was too low for them to embark on new projects given the industry’s problems with rising costs.”,operating%20between%202025%20and%202028.

    The developers need bigger subsidies (more FPM) because inflation hit them too. And the bigger wind turbines that were supposed to keep unit costs down are failing at an accelerated rate. The bigger they are the quicker something breaks. Cranes that can lift 250 tons up 300 feet are not that common, so maintaining those turbines is not easy.

  247. Jay Pine @ 254, the American philosopher Eric Hoffer educated himself with books from libraries and 2nd hand bookstores. Not all of us can afford to buy brand new books. I know I can’t. Rising prices of food, energy and lodging may be the way things are at the ends of eras, but they do impose certain constraints of some of us. I have on occasion managed to persuade a public library to buy worthy books, on one pretext or another. That was back when librarians did care about actual books. I think the used book market is of crucial importance in giving access to works otherwise unavailable at all. This is especially true for DIY areas like cooking and handcrafts, where the mid 20thC manuals are far superior to most of what is being published now.

  248. I’m having phone woes.

    I still have a copper wire landline, which I love. If the electric goes out, I don’t have to worry about where to charge up a cell phone. Once we had an ice storm that knocked out power for three days. Talking on the phone was the only thing I could do, besides reading, for entertainment. With a cell phone I would have to shovel my way out to the car (in icy, freezing temps) to charge it up. No thanks. Plus I have my own answering machine, not voice mail requiring another password to remember.

    The problem is that several times this year I’ve had to call the big phone company (which I shall call TAT) for service. Buzzing lines, no dial tone. I thought TAT fixed it the other month, but last night I went to make a call and … nothing.

    The conspiracy side of me wants to think that this is planned obsolescence, in order to force me to update to VOIP or buy their smart phone. TAT sends me emails all the time about offers. I have their free email service, which last year they locked me out of until I could give them a number for them to text codes to. I suppose at that time they were hoping to sell me cell service, which I hadn’t used for around 8 years (not needed). I was pretty mad about that, and found a different company to get a cheap flip phone and $10 monthly plan.

    Probably the reality is that since most people don’t use landlines anymore TAT isn’t maintaining them like they used to, which made me think of how pressure is put on people to conform to the new tech services they want you to buy. Want to keep the old technology? Go ahead, but expect more problems, poorer quality, and higher costs. I’ve seen something similar happening at stores, where they offer digital coupons you get through your smart phone. Don’t use one? You pay more. So you can keep to old ways, but life will get harder.

    I guess I sound pretty grumpy. I suppose I should calm down a bit before I call and set up a time for TAT to come out and check everything. And I might start researching other companies for internet/phone service. I doubt anyone else can offer landline service though.

    Anyone else out there still use a good old-fashioned copper wire landline? How are you dealing with the changes in technology?

    Joy Marie

  249. News from the Midwest:

    I’ve had problems recently withdrawing money from the ATM. The entire system was down. It was back up by yesterday, but I found out this wasn’t just happening at my bank, but at banks in several states.

    “…the problem involves unexpected issues surrounding an external vendor.”

    Another glitch in the sphere of big Tech? Wonderful technology! We’ve had problems at work with clocking in also. We use our fingerprint, but if the machines freeze up…yup, just can’t wait for the future and even more shiny complex gadgets.

    Also, a word of warning. It’s been discussed here that there could be a backlash of sorts on pagan communities because of perceptions Christian society has of them, especially related to certain political events (Michael Hughes in particular). This is made worse when someone of alternative spirituality is involved in a crime. Recently there have been connections made between the murder of two girls in 2017 and Odinists.

    Disturbing details emerge from Delphi murders crime scene in new court docs. Can the terrible tragedy that happened in Delphi be blamed on Odin?

    I haven’t seen any updates and I’m not from that area, so I don’t know if the connection is real or not, or if this is just some errant members of a particular group (my knowledge of Nordic religion is limited, I don’t know how they are organized) but it’s just one more thing to be aware of. It always bothers me when people get highly suspicious of any alternative religion because a member commits a crime, yet fail to react the same way when someone of a mainstream religion does the same. For example, once I read that the majority of prison inmates are Baptist. I don’t know if it’s true, but I wouldn’t doubt most of the US prison population is of some Christian background. I wouldn’t think of blaming all Christians for something one of them did.

    Joy Marie

  250. Data point from the new green deal enthusiasts. I dont normally respond to these, but was having a slow day, so I jumped in. It will make no difference there, so I post here to show reality of what “they say” the costs are, this is from a “The Switch Is On” internet chat/exchange with someone who supposedly is a random happy consumer of the new green deal”

    Happy Consumer (HC): Our home is now 100% electric & can run indefinitely off grid – we generate with solar, store in LFP batteries, & have several EVs. Save about $8,000/yr in utility & fuel costs.

    ME: yea, and what did that system cost you to install ?

    HC: the 9.6kw solar system with 30kwh battery storage cost about $17k, our hardware cost. I did all the labor. That plus paperwork usually doubles the cost. We got a 30% tax rebate. The heat pump heat/cool plus water heater, dryer, induction stove cost about $20k. We also have a Bolt EV. 54K-30%=38k. At $8k/yr in energy & fuel savings, pays off in less than 5 years. Then its all $ in the bank.

    ME: it costs alot more than $17k, I have solar, as you admit for normal people. For most people that is $40,000 system and an awful lot of people are disqualified to get teh 30% off. Most of us cannot get the 30% off, as we are too low income. And it doesnt have to be that way, they could just rebate to anyone for the solar, but they only give that 30% off to the upper middle income and higher income how have that much tax liability. This is to say, lower income and lower middle income are going to be screwed with all these requirements. And no, they dont just have programs for the low income, I have looked into them for others around me. I was quoted $30,000 just for the heat pump heating for my 1800sq ft house.

    Also, even by your math, $17+$20+$38= $75K divided by 8k is over 9 years to pay off ( 8×9=72…) more as you need to factor in the interest on the loan for the $75k. Lets look at a upper middle income like yourself that cannot do all the work that manages to get the low prices and rebates you quote. 17+17(the labor)+20+38= $92k. Ok, seems typlical to be able to get maybe 8% loan. So, lets use a loan calculator, $8,000 annual savings you say, divided by 12 is monthly payments of $667/month, so a loan of $92k paid at $667/month is — well, it would take 27 YEARS to pay back $92,000 at 8% paying $694 a month. And, before that time, the car will need to be replaced, and at 27 years the solar will need updating by or before then ( I have had solar for 26years, so this is true) — There is no money saved and the government, that means ALL OF US via our taxes paid 30% !! That 30% has to be paid back with interest too you know. There is no money savings to be had here. And, as I have been saying to my offspring their whole lives about this issue, you cannot consume your way out of an over consumption problem. The money side, which is subsisdized, doesnt even pencil out let alone the real costs to the national budget and the reality of the environmental degradation of all that solar, batteries, EV, heat pump manufacturing and mining.

  251. @Grover Tibbetts, #226

    Thanks for Alma Deutscher!!! I was not aware of her and I am happy to have been introduced to her work. She is a gifted, precocious genius if I have seen one.

    I do not think her individuality is the same that ran Mozart, though. There’s a huge gap between 1791 and 2005; which admittedly you could fill up with one or two more precocious genius musicians from 19th and 20th centuries. But then you’d have to explain why this particular individuality is obsessed with music and has been unwilling to move on to other, more advanced things… Maybe she is a Bodhisattva of music, dead set on delivering humanity of the strident, ridiculous noise that passes for music these days…. mmmhhh.

  252. I also very very much doubt his costs, even doing the work himself and getting 30% paid for from our tax dollars. This is because I have recently priced out LFP back up battereis and it is $.75/kWh to buy just the batteries with install likely lucky to get about $1/kWh. He says he has 30kWh, that in and of itself would cost $30,000 with 30% off which is iffy for most of us, would be $21,000 just for the storage. So, I dont believe that the whole system could cost him $17,000 or $34k for the average person not self installing. He says 9.6K in panels, if .75/kW plus 10% tax, that is $7,900 just in panels, less 30% is $5,544 for panels, so now up to 21+5.5= $26.5k then wires, conduit, then charge controllers and an inverter….so I dont see how he bought all that for $17k

  253. JMG,

    I’m just getting around to reading your posts from this month. Regarding your post on Climate Change, have you ever thought about using the term “climate conservatives” to describe those who want to maintain the current climate rather than letting it change? They essentially want to preserve or conserve the climate as it stands today.

    From this point of view, Greta Thunberg and many self-proclaimed “liberals” are climate conservatives. It’s interesting how they would respond to being labeled as such!

  254. Renaissance Man @ 265, I agree with conservatives about individual differences being crucial. It is not apparent to me that most, or any, conservatives of my knowledge or acquaintance have any intention at all of respecting those differences. Perhaps it is my advanced age, but I have many memories of conservative angry intransigence about even the smallest deviance from what the person understood to be respectable.

    There has been a new arrest in the case of the assassinated tree. I wondered who had put teenager up to the deed, if he was the tree chopper. This person is described as a 60 year man, adult, and not able to remain anonymous.

  255. @Joy Marie #274: I do live very near the area. The trauma of what happened to those little girls is still very fresh in the minds of locals. It is also an area where a conservative, politically colored version of Christianity still has a strong undercurrent in the culture. Whether or not Odinists were involved, if there’s even a hint of it, I could easily see that blossoming into a local “Satanic Panic” situation. As I’ve been learning as of late, many people (maybe a majority) are easily led (or just naturally fall into) a black and white, good and evil way of viewing things.

    I’m very glad that I haven’t let many people (just a few close family members) know about my involvement in anything occult related.

  256. Clay, you know, that makes a fair amount of sense.

    Robert, I was afraid that was going to happen once the bureaucracies coopted environmentalism. Ouch.

    Wer, thank you for the data points. That’s not news that’s easy to find here in the US, since so few of us read Polish.

    Martin, the US back in 1919 was torn between a minority of internationalists who badly wanted to drag the US into Europe’s quagmires, and a majority who were opposed to that. It took Pearl Harbor to convince most Americans to accept another intervention in Europe, so Clemenceau’s treaty was basically doomed from the start. You’re right, though, that it would make an interesting future history.

    Hispalensis, I’m glad to hear this.

    Chris, I’m still trying to get a sense of how this oil crisis is going to play out. I’ll be doing a post on the subject, probably next month, to explore that.

    Luke, me too.

    Patricia M, that’s standard; the witch hunt is a result of the crisis but happens a little later. The same was true of the red scare in 1919-1920 — for that matter, the original witch hunts in late medieval Europe happened after, not during, the first wave of the Black Death.

    Jay, that’s fine. If it’s legally purchased, secondhand or not, I’m happy with it. (I buy a lot of used books, so it would be hypocritical for me to object to other people buying my books used!)

    Anon, 1 and 2) the text is identical, and identically paginated. 3 and 4) both those are fine, as long as you don’t circulate your copies to other people. The working gives you plenty of leeway, so long as you legally purchased a copy. (Back in the day a lot of people handcopied rituals from books to make cheat sheets for learning the ritual; I did that routinely, and so I left plenty of room for similar activities.) As for the CGD, Llewellyn still has the copyright, though they’ve licensed the hardback rights to Aeon; when they let it drop, as they’ll doubtless do in a few more years, I can do a thorough revision.

    Justin, it’s the essential task of intellectuals in a late civilization: packaging it all up so it can be passed on through the dark ages to the future.

    Forecasting, that’s a question for a post, not a brief comment! It’s also up in the air right now; much depends on (a) the final toll from the Covid vaccines, (b) the outcome and aftermath of the Ukraine war, (c) the fate of the European Union, and (d) a dozen or so wild cards. I’ll consider addressing it in a future post, though.

    Siliconguy, good heavens, the scientists actually noticed. 😉

    TJ, when I have the spare time I’ll consider it.

    Clarke, that’s an important issue, and one that deserves much more discussion than it’s gotten.

    Jim, I’ll be watching RFK’s activities closely. All I can say is that I hope he pays for his own guards.

    Other Owen, of course! Wednesday is the day of Mercury, the trickster god, and few things in modern life are more Mercurial and more tricksterish than the UFO phenomenon.

    Martin, if you skip Lévi’s book you’ll miss about half the point of the commentary. The book’s readily available, you know!

    Renaissance, it’s been just astounding to watch the Turducken put his foot in it over and over again. As for your question, why, it’s both — the feedback loop between stupidity as effect and stupidity as cause is one of the things that brings civilizations down.

    Anon, I don’t think that’s quite what he’s asking for.

    Joy Marie, welcome to life in a declining civilization! Since guys are apparently supposed to think about the Roman empire these days, I’ll speculate that a lot of people grumbled about failing aqueducts and crumbling roads in the twilight years of Rome. As for the possibility of witch hunts, yes, I’m watching that closely. There’s been another ugly situation uncovered by the FBI recently with Satanist connections. What a ghastly mess.

    Atmospheric, this is painfully familiar. I used to have similar conversations back during the peak oil days.

    Ecosophian, hmm! I’ll consider that.

  257. I’ve heard that memories are maleable. I learned most of this from an awesome RadioLab podcast that I heard (and encourage you to look up). Basically, every time you remember something, you re-write the memory. The more you remember something, the more your recollection of it strays, sort of like the old game of “telephone” (where you create an elaborate story, each person in a circle whispers it to the person next to them, and by the time it gets around to the first person, the story is VERY different).

    So, one of the best times of my life was when I took six months off from my regular life and hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. Months in the wilderness will change you, but it was a magical world. A completely different experience of the world. Just looking at the sky, or sniffing the wind is different. I miss that world, and I remember it fondly and wish I could be there right now.

    Which I kind of can. I posted a daily blog while I was on the trail with lots of photos and descriptions of each day. Reading it obviously takes me back.

    But I’m concerned because I’m getting to know it too well. I’m beginning to memorize the text and photos. I’m afraid that if this goes on for years and years, it will be all that I remember about hiking the PCT. I think about not reading it to prevent that.

    But I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do either. Maybe it’s okay if that experience gels into a static form. I picture myself old and demented and you can put that blog in front of me and I will perk up.

    Then again, maybe I get sick of it and go, “Oh, this hike again” and don’t remember it so fondly (admittedly, there was hard times that are not so great to remember).

    I suppose one obvious thing is to go hike it again, but there’s no way work is going to give me another six months off and I’m probably a decade away from retirement.

    What do you think? I’m in a bind because I want to remember it, but every time I do, I’m worried that I’m getting farther away from it.

    I only ask this here because I have the utmost respect for JMG’s commentariat. The breadth and experience of you all is unparalled, so I thought someone might have some advice.

  258. Re: #239: I’m not surprised by that, unfortunately. What is really worrisome for me is the possibility that, as the progress religion continues to become discredited, the apocalypse myth will pick up considerable steam. Combine that with the mentality that leads to witch hunts, and I can see things getting very ugly, very fast. I’m going to keep a very low profile from now on. Not that I sought attention to begin with, but I sense something on the horizon that ain’t good. I can’t quite figure it out, it just this really powerful feeling or sense that something bad (worse than the usual stuff of the past few years, anyway) is about break loose and run amuck.

  259. With reference the potential for witch hunts and backlash, there’s a lot of that potential in non-religious things. In particular, there seems to be a developing pushback against transgender stuff in schools right now, currently centered around teachers being told not to tell parents if their children are using different pronouns etc at school.

    I can certainly see where the pushback is coming from: every parent who doesn’t approve of some aspect of transgender ideology and has a child in school is going to be scared that this might be their child and they wouldn’t even know. There was always going to be pushback to that policy.

    But I do worry just where the backlash is going to end up. I don’t want, say, someone who has successfully transitioned female to male complete with a beard and a deep voice to suddenly be legally banned from entering a male washroom and forced to use a female one where he will be uncomfortable and make everyone else uncomfortable by his presence. That would be stupid. And in a society where transgendered people have become ostracized, it could get him attacked.

    I really wish both sides could stop screaming at each other and actually talk about policies in detail with regard to who benefits and who loses out and how to make policies that don’t hurt people. All the screaming at people in particular for being ‘terfs’ etc. has a freezing effect on real discussion about what to do.

    And if, as mentioned upthread I think, or maybe last week, the chemicals in the environment are contributing to the increased numbers of people coming out as trans or otherwise gender non-conforming, we really need to know about it and consider that when discussing policy on both trans and chemical contamination issues.

  260. Jim W @ 266, about RFK, Jr. First, I doubt he truly expects to become the president (neither does former Gov. Christie, who is running for revenge). I heard our host say on a podcast a few years back that if there had been a free and fair election in 2016, Bernie Sanders would have become the president. Nevertheless, his two campaigns were enormously influential; ignore conservative squawking about “the squad” and look at some of the young folks who have now been elected, not just to Congress but also across the country. This new faction is not just four uppity wimin, as Fox would like you to believe.

    There was a release of documents relating to the assassination of President John Kennedy recently, a partial release because apparently some things still can’t be told even though anyone involved is long dead by now. I wonder if that is not what finally induced Mr. Kennedy to think now is the time. He said in his announcement that he had been silenced for 20 years and now had a lot to say. The best place to hear him is probably the two hour interview he did with Joe Rogan, which is on you tube. He is openly calling for winding down our overseas bases. He also was present in the courtrooms, as part of the legal team, when three separate juries found Monsanto Corp. liable for injuries caused by their flagship product, Roundup.

    He has stated that he does support Israel, but not our involvement in Ukraine, and has refused to placate leftists or the anti-Russia Dems on either point.

  261. @Mary Bennet #280
    I wholeheartedly agree with your observation about conservatives typically not being respectful of differences. That was a throwaway line by David Starkey in a recent video on his channel. He meant that respect in the sense of being very aware that that cultural differences, even and maybe especially small ones, are in fact very important. The differences matter to most people in most places, hence much inter-ethnic violence in the world.
    It is especially germane to the current arguments going on over immigration, as the liberal clerisy seem bent on hoovering up every dust-bunny with a sad story en masse from their refugee camps and welcoming them with open arms, but without ever checking to see if their cultural predilections are compatible with western liberal values and mores. Most, sadly, aren’t. Previous waves of immigrants were people who self-selected as compatible. They wanted to come and live here, to be part of this culture. Current waves are driven from their origins by economic or environmental dislocation and the best prediction is that their presence as distinct groups will further balkanize our already fraying society.

  262. Hello JMG, Re: Your reply to Smith in #90. I’ve been consciously trying to use ‘Trudeau-esque’ in place of Clouseau-esque in my vocabulary for a bit. Lots of fun at the kid’s parks in my area with the Liberal staffers other PMC types. They squirm but what can they say? He has amazed even his most strident detractors with his incredible ability to ruin everything he is involved in. I wonder who plays Kato in this tragi-comedy? Stuart Cram

  263. There’s been another ugly situation uncovered by the FBI recently with Satanist connections. What a ghastly mess.

    Is prayer appropriate for those humans and animals that have been harmed by these monsters?

  264. Hi John Michael,

    I look forward to learning your thoughts in this matter.

    Maybe it is just me, but instead of worrying about apocalyptic / crash scenarios, people might want to instead think about how to navigate a world where we run short, long before we run out. I have this odd hunch that many people would find that world to be a far more frightening place than the alternative crash / progress narratives? But I don’t really know, motivations sometimes appear crystal clear to me, but at this stage I only get a vague sense of unease brewing – although that is gaining momentum. What do you reckon about that?



  265. Hi Atmospheric,

    If I’ve learned something about this stuff over the past decade or so, it’s probably not wise to do such systems on the cheap (although the numbers you mentioned don’t mesh with my experiences either – although things are more expensive on average down here).

    A good example is the fuses. Hmm. There are plenty of videos of cheap fuses and circuit breakers self destructing, and I trialled them and discovered that they do in fact do so, probably when you least want them to do so. Industrial quality High Rupture Current fuses and breakers are expensive for a good reason. A good thing to keep an eye out for with such systems (whilst being careful and using common sense), are hot spots. Anything running warm or hot, spells trouble. And there are ways around that, but they all cost.



  266. @Ecosophian

    Re: climate conservatives

    I figure they more future fixationists.

    After all they have a fully fixated fixation on a fix for fixating our future (be it climate, and everything else besides). Ooof (apologies to JMG).

    And of course a fully fixed world is not only blatant contradiction against the prevailing religion of growth, it is also a dead world. A death cult really does explain a lot of observed behaviour, I’ll have to ponder what happens if that ever rises to the level of conscious thought.

    Maybe that is why they all want to move to Mars.

  267. Since this is an open post, I think I will ask this now instead of waiting until Magic Monday… Is there a Spanish translation of your Paths of Wisdom book? If not, do you or anyone in the commentariat know of any good books in Spanish for a person learning about the Qabala for the first time? My nearly 80 year-old mom is curious and wants to learn more, but she still struggles with English. I’m still too new to Qabala to know what else to recommend.

    Thank you!

  268. Joy Marie- Re: phone service. In my suburb of Washington DC (and much of the US, and possibly all) the copper-wire phone service has been completely replaced by fiber optics. Where my inside wiring used to connect to the wire from outside, there’s now an optical interface box (with a blocky sealed lead-acid battery). The phone company discovered years ago that running a copper wire pair from each house to the nearest switching center was vulnerable to corrosion, as well as other forms of damage, and it’s just more reliable to connect every voice-service customer (at no charge) to the fiber optic network (that the high-speed Internet customers are paying for) than to replace the copper wires that were falling apart.

  269. TJandtheBear – I concur with your positive reaction. The Great Taking (which you linked to) is (or should be) of great interest to anyone who believes that they own assets through a custodial account. In a nutshell, and as far as I’ve read so far, the author asserts that any asset (e.g., stock, or bond) that you have purchased through a financial custodian is merely a record-keeping fiction, subject to competing claims in the event of the custodian’s bankruptcy. Every asset is pooled and subject to the claims of every creditor. (It reminds me of people buying a “gold” mutual fund, and expecting to be able to get delivery of the metal. Nope.)

  270. JMG,
    Suppose I’m trying to generate good karma in my current life. Is there anything I can do to avoid having it spent thriftily and wasted in my next life? Some sort of working, perhaps? Thanks.

  271. Slink, why worry about it? That’s what memory is, that’s how it works, and instead of trying to make it do something it’s not built to do, simply recognize that your memories are gradually turning into a personal mythology, and accept them as that.

    Brenainn, that’s part of why I’m living where I am. If the US slams face first into the brick wall it’s built for itself, a period of frantic flailing and looking for scapegoats is almost certain to follow. BTW, you’re not the only person who feels something big on the horizon — I’ve heard this from several other people.

    Pygmycory, agreed. I know several trans people who haven’t been involved in any of the politicized nonsense, and I’m seriously worried that they’re going to be hurt by the backlash, when they’ve done nothing to justify that.

    Stuart, glad to hear it. I hope it catches on; it would be hilarious sometime for Inspector Trudeau to come out in front of a crowd sometime and have people start doing the opening bars of the Pink Panther theme: “da-dum, da-dum, da-dum da-dum da-dum…” Hmm — you could even use his name as the lyrics. “Trudeau, Trudeau, Trudeau Trudeau Trudeau, Trudeau Trudeau-u-u, Justin Trudeau.”

    Cliff, I’d encourage you to use divination, but generally speaking, yes.

    Chris, of course. That’s exactly why so many people are fixated on apocalypse — it’s so much easier than the ragged downward arc of the Long Descent.

    Ennobled, no, I don’t believe that there’s a Spanish translation of Paths of Wisdom yet. (It’s a pity — Senderos de Sabiduria, if that’s the right translation, would make a great title!) I’m not sure what else is available on Cabala in Spanish — does anyone else know?

    Bruno, nope. All you can do is work on building the kind of character that won’t waste it, since character is one of the things that passes from life to life. Daily meditation, which increases your capacity for self-knowledge and self-mastery, is your best investment here.

  272. While we’re still on Open Post – a question about the Star’s Reach universe. To wit: a vast amount of what goes into landfills is plastic, so future ruinmen will, for at least a while, be uncovering an unGaianly amount of the stuff. What will be done with those?
    Now. S.M.Stirling’s Emberverse, in which there are no religious taboos on using the stuff, usable plastic items are used, though sooner or later, a lot of them turn brittle and unusable and are used for things like filler between walls etc. What’s the take on that in the Star’s Reach/3 Winters? (Myself, I think using it as filler between walls would satisfy Mam Gaia, since it both quarantines the nasty stuff, and saves energy by acting as insulation.)

  273. Well, I’m part way through all the comments, and I see there were others commenting on smartphones and even landlines! Now I know I’m not alone.

    JMG, I forgot to include this in my earlier post, and wanted your opinion. I have heard that recently a local church had a framed display of their mission statement/covenant fall off the wall. They’ve rehung it, but I was wondering if this was just some weird accident or could it be an omen and something more troubling is in store for them. I don’t know if the covenant fell by being bumped into or a door slammed and it fell, or if it was simply discovered when someone entered the church. The latter possibility sounds even more ominous to me. Many in this quite liberal church would think it superstitious and irrational to consider the possibility of something negative on the way, but you never know.

    Now, back to reading comments!

    Joy Marie

  274. Brenainn, and JMG, I have sometimes had during the last few months a feeling of end-times vibe, but otherwise, not much out of the ordinary.

  275. All – Re: The Great Taking… I confess that some passages are paved with acronyms and financial terms that I only vaguely understand, but then there’s this:

    The Federal Reserve Bank building in Cleveland
    was completed in 1923, less than ten years after the signing of the
    Federal Reserve Act. The bank vault is the largest in the world, and it
    incorporates the largest hinge ever built. It seems they were preparing
    to put a lot of stuff in there, and for the possibility that there might be
    some stress about that. Perhaps it was not to be filled with refrigerators,
    washing machines, and toasters. There are machine gun turrets above
    the sidewalk on the street level.

    I’m a little disappointed in the author’s description of FDR’s gold confiscation Executive Order 6102 (1933), because he neglects to mention that gold assets turned over to the government were bought. The gold wasn’t seized without compensation. However, anyone who might have kept their gold would have been protected from inflation: the government paid $20.67/oz, while today’s price of gold is about $2000/oz.

  276. Renaissance Man #269: “It turns out a lot of simple-minded liberals are getting a nasty taste of realpolitik and complexities of history that don’t fit the simplistic narrative we love to tell ourselves.”

    Some liberals tend to refer to “people of color” as if everyone who’s not of Northern European descent is part of one big monolith. The truth is that they’re members of distinct groups who have their own conflicting histories and interests. Two recent examples in New Mexico: a Hispanic-American shot someone who was part of a Native American protest against a statue of a Spanish conquistador ( and this: “Chinese immigrant workers sue over forced labor at illegal marijuana operation on Navajo land” (

    Definitely “complexities of history that don’t fit the simplistic narrative”!

  277. TemporaryReality @ 217: Thank you hugely for this! Again, I might well have not posted my comment if I had vetted this stuff; but I feel at least that I’m pursuing a hot lead, and your comment fits right in. And yeah, Filips herself is also very much a technophile, which is a turn-off, but there seem to be gems sprinkled in her material. So I get your point about Scott Scheper. I will want to check him out, thank you.

    I think we Americans got short shrift in our upbringing and education with regard to how to learn. I’m finding that my slow rate of absorbing information, and my low ability to wield what I learn as new behavior, are limiting factors to self-transformation.

    I’m also looking at other resources on this topic, such as Anne Crossman’s “Study Smart, Study Less”, Josh Kaufman’s “The first 20 hours, How to learn anything fast”, and John Bach’s “Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar: Self Education and the Pursuit of Passion” (He’s the son of Richard Bach of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” fame) and especially “Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

    Also, Hispalensis replied back to me down-thread, @248, and my next reply to him dovetails with this, so there’s more below.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  278. I can’t be the only one who has looked at the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s agenda on one hand and the book ‘The Limits to Growth’ on the other hand and said “hmmmm…” Well, I just came across an article which states that Dennis Meadows — one of the main authors of the Club of Rome’s 1972 tome – just happens to also be a prominent official in said globalist anti-human organization. While I totally agree that a significant population decline is inevitable in the coming decades/century, I do not share Meadows’ view that a “benevolent” dictatorship could accomplish the mass de-population “peacefully.”

    I’m not saying that the government-mandated ‘pokey-poke’ in recent years is the planned “peaceful” final solution that Meadows waxes poetically about (nor am I saying that it’s not; frankly, I think that it’s too early to tell), but I do find it both interesting and entertaining that in this news source the following headline immediately followed the headline that I have shared above:

    And finally, I can’t say if it is much of an issue in other countries (except, perhaps, England, where Oxford residents were practically up in arms in recent months and ‘blade-runners’ have been creating havoc in London), but in Canada there is much concern about municipalities jumping aboard the ’15-minute city’ Titanic pushed by the United Nations. It has been enough of a concern that a whole network of concerns citizens across many municipalities are pushing back in city council meetings and sharing their ‘lessons learned’ with other concerned citizens. Below is a video of a concerned citizen’s fact-filled presentation during a recent city council meeting in the city of Aurora – a small bedroom community north of Toronto (citizens cheered and gave him a long standing ovation at the end of the 5-minute presentation and three councillors voiced concerns about a looming surveillance-state and a willingness to discuss the matter with the presenter, Joel Sussman):

    Oh – and just when you thought it was safe to live on Planet Earth again, out comes a super-scary report that humanity has only 250 million years left unless we can stop those nasty contents from moving around, as well as manage to cool the sun and suck all the CO2 out of the atmosphere. (Funny how CO2 managed to work its way into the up-coming mega-disaster: kinda like how ‘Russian propaganda’ managed to work its way into Trudeau’s (non) apology about parliament fêting an old nazi last week – wha????)

    Like the well-aged bumper sticker says: ‘Beam me up, Scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here.’ I think I need to come up with some new prayer worded something like, ‘Lord, help prevent me from giving in to the powerful urge of banging my head against a wall repeatedly’. 😊

  279. Hispalensis @248. First, I replied to TemporaryReality upthread, some of which I would have written here.

    Your comment regarding an occult/magical approach to self-transformation also pertains to my own project of self-transformation. This is likely not pertinent you, but I’ll wade into some details as briefly as I’m able:

    (Note that I have Asperger’s Syndrome. My mind operates in such an unusual way that my approach to problems will not apply to most people. I’m sure most readers will find what I have to say next extremely Baroque. So if you’re not an Aspie, you’ll likely want to skip the rest of this comment…)

    Starting in the prosaic realm, one writer of whom JMG has wrote highly of is EF Schumacher, whom I also like. In particular, from his book “A Guide for the Perplexed”, I have lifted a foundational piece of my mental tool kit: His chapter “The Four Fields of Knowledge” defines a useful way to categorize our experience and knowledge. These categories arise from a 2X2 matrix which in turn arises from a pair of natural dichotomies: Inner vs Outer experience, and Self vs Other. Enumerated, these categories are-

    1. ‘I’- my inner experience [Self/Inner]
    2. ‘My perception’ – what I perceive in the Other (or in the world we share)
    3. ‘Other’ – the inner experience of the Other [Other/Inner]
    4. ‘Other’s perception’ – What the other perceives of Me (or the world we share) [Other/Outer]

    In conjunction with this matrix, I use another 2X2 matrix which defines a second tool of my mental toolkit: ‘My’ Inner/Outer experience versus an aggregated Plural-Other’s Inner/outer experience. This is described by Ken Wilber in his book “A Brief History of Everything”, and is the only useful thing I’ve found in his book. You can search for “Ken Wilber quadrants” to find an online description. Two of the quadrants are identical to Schumacher’s, but the other two arise from the substitution of a Plural/Collective-Other for the singular Other. So Wilber’s “I” corresponds to Schumacher’s “I”, Wilber’s “It” corresponds to Schumacher’s “My perception”, but in place of Schumacher’s “Other”, Wilber has “We”, and in place of Schumacher’s “Other’s perception”, there is Wilber’s “Its”. So if the Collective Other is, say, your country, the “We” quadrant refers to the interiorly experienced aspects of life such as language and culture, while “Its” refer’s to objectively shared aspects of life such as the natural/physical environment, economy and social systems. Alternatively, a Collective Other could be as small a unit as, say, a man and a woman contemplating courtship; here the “We” quadrant would encompass their conversation, shared values and shared activities such as dancing, the “Its” quadrant would encompass the dance venue, the poster that announced the dance, the social organization that sponsored the dance etc.

    So these two matrices define the basic system of categorization I use to classify my problems and the pertinent areas of knowledge to approach them.

    Now for the occult aspect. Of the occult topics that I’ve studied from JMG’s writings, what I have been able to assimilate and deploy in everyday life is embarrassingly small: Namely the metaphysics associated with the Classical Four Elements – Fire, Air, Water and Earth. My source for studying these elements is JMG’s book “The Art and Practice of Geomancy”. The metaphysics that underly geomancy are not specific to geomancy. For example JMG writes: “Each conscious being is a pattern in the flow of the anima mundi [the consciousness of the earth, analogous to the dust of the earth also from which we are made]”. The perspective this tidbit gives me is refreshing, almost liberating.

    The Four Classical Elements offer a framework or lens through which one might interpret one’s experience of life and the world. ‘Fire, Air, Water and Earth’ are metaphysical categories. ‘Earth’ denotes structure, form and stability; or alternatively foundation, manifestation and result; and the human capacities associated with ‘Earth’ are the five senses and their perception. ‘Water’ denotes receptivity, change and flow, and is associated with the capacities of emotion (including desires) and introspection. ‘Air’ denotes relationship, response and interaction, and is associated with the capacities of thought and abstraction and of course all relationships, from subtle to explosive with entities outside one’s self. ‘Fire’ denotes activity, motivation and purpose, and is associated with the capacity of Will or volition. So these four elements are utilized to analyze experience and classify knowledge in EACH of the quadrants of the above matrices. So for the ‘I’ quadrant, ‘Earth’ has to do with physical health and physical aspects of life. ‘Water’ has to do with my emotional state, emotional problems and how I subjectively experience life. ‘Air’ has to do with my relationships with others, relationships with the world, with my understanding, with my habits of thought, learning and such. ‘Fire’ has to do with the purposes I serve and activities I engage in, my motives, with my undertakings and projects over time that are in accord with my desires and values (or not!). Note that the receptivity of ‘Water’ and volition of ‘Fire’ form a key dichotomous pair that I find useful to keep in mind. If my ‘Fire’ or Will is not consistently engaged in harmony with my desires and values, then I have a problem.

    When I study, I categorize the area of study in terms of both a quadrant and element. I’ll often seek to study a topic with reference to such. Or I’ll encounter, say, a book which addresses an area in which I have a gap in a neglected category, and I’ll realize: “I need to fix this!”.

    So Hispalensis, as an Aspie, it seems I have few gifts to offer non-Aspies, but I hope this is of some use to someone.

    Many blessings to you.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  280. JMG, as a follow-up to the above, can you suggest to me a good reference on the metaphysics of the Four Classical Elements? Your writings in “The Art and Practice of Geomancy” seem like a teaser.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  281. “Senderos de Sabiduría” would also be my first choice for title, if your book got translated into Spanish. There’s also “Caminos de Sabiduría,” but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    For the Spanish-speaking commentariat that might be able to help: my mom seems to know her way around the Bible, but is not particularly dogmatic. She’s currently into Bible archeology. Her formal education was only 2-3 years, although she’s worked on remedying that throughout her life, with some success.

  282. I watch TV sparingly and I tune into CNN not at all. But this past Thursday afternoon I was at my mother’s place. She had the TV on and was watching CNN. There was Joe Biden giving a speech about threats to American democracy of all things.

    The comedic absurdity of what Biden said didn’t surprise me in the slightest. I expected nothing less. And never mind the irony given the years long effort to upend Trump’s 2016 win with that Russia collusion baloney not to mention the blatant lawfare currently being waged against him, what surprised me was the talk afterward with Jake Tapper and a group of pundits.

    My lord, there was probably more levity during the London Blitz. So heavy, so very, very heavy, Jake’s long face, so serious, so grave, such gravity, my oh my such gravity, I felt thirty pounds heavier just watching. Ok bad joke.

    But it made me wonder, did they take acting lessons at CNN?

  283. @TJ #261:
    Regarding Chrystia Freeland and her Nazi roots, I found it entertaining (and revealing) yesterday when I watched a video by David Freiheit (aka Viva Frei) wherein he sliced-and-diced and replayed certain portions of the ‘honouring Hunka the Nazi’ scene. And he discovered, while broadcasting live, that the second standing ovation for Hunka (which came after it was announced that he was part of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS) was initiated/forced by Freeland. It is crystal clear. And there is a certain poetic justice in Viva’s find: he is the grandson of the only member of a Polish Jewish family of 25 who survived WW2. Meanwhile, prominent Jewish card-carrying Liberals are publicly declaring that they are ‘burning their Liberal card’ for life. And some very well-connected intellectual Jewish liberals internationally (like Norman Finkelstein) are cutting deeply into this affair. Lots of buzz!

    And then I thought: leaving aside her Canadian political career going down the loo, what will happen with Chrystia’s high position within the WEF? And will ‘Nazi fever’ hit the WEF, too (such as scrutinizing Klaus Schwab, whose father was a Nazi collaborator and rumours about Klaus being raised as pro-Nazi)? And what about the (probably limited but) brave Ukrainian journalists who are criticizing Zelensky for knowingly applauding a Ukrainian Nazi? Part of me would like to see this little incident take down the whole Nazi house of cards in Canada, the WEF and Ukraine, but I am likely not being realistic. Still, my calm dispassionate hope is for the ‘chickens to come home to roost’ on this matter, that the Nazified individuals suffer the consequences of their actions in full, and that this monstrous ideology become extinct ASAP.

  284. @ Chris in Australia

    I installed a solar system on my house 26 years ago. It has been trouble free. It is not producing the power it did when it was new, panel degradation mostly, especially as there is extremely high UV at 2400ft on the top of this mountain. Batteries dont last 26 years either. It is also very hot here in the summer. I have never had a problem with a fuse or shut off or circuit breaker. I dunno, maybe you guys get different imports. I would certainly say in the USA, to buy from reputable sources if doing your own. A known Solar supply business. My inverter is likely still working as it was actually built in California.

    I dont find anything wrong with some solar now, even for those of us here who know which way the wind is blowing. But, it will not overall let people continue business as usual energy hog ways — for the moment, for some people with alot of money, yes.

    The main problem with the non profit, or whatever it is, The Switch Is On, and the commentator is that they do not consider all the costs and are telling the average Jane and Joe incorrect information and getting them into debt. They are also encouraging a ” I’ve got mine” mindset for people of upper middle income and higher. This is adding to the have and have not divide. They insist it is not, but they are wrong. They are completely out of touch with the realities of people with less income. The commentator I engaged with thinks that all low income people owe federal taxes to take advantage of the 30% off, if not this year, next year, eventually. The large part of the population that has income below the threshold is invisible to them. Or so they say. But realy, the 30% off is a way that the politicians are buying loyalty from the PMC. Lip service and a completely underfunded program for the low income that only comes by and changes lightbulbs, at the expense of more PMC running it all, and the plausible deniability of them all saying ” we have a program…” So the lower income population is disregarded.

    Back to solar and power. I like having a refrigerator and some lights it turns out. Water too. And, we live in intermidiary changing times. It is not easy to find the balance. But, I was able to secure the replacement of my batteries that were damaged from the fire ( yes, when the power poles burn down and wires short, it CAN damage a part of an otherwise robust solar system) so after 3 years of a fight with insurance, I now have them. Sitting in the garage, but hopefully I can hook them up soon, they just got here. 3 LFP batteries of 3.8kWh each, 48Volts. The high winds last winter ripped off a wire from the solar array producing half of my power. I bought a new wire for $20, and When I call the young electrician again, hopefully he wont be wasted, he was off his head the other day when I called. But no one else will do it, too small of a job.

    I now think, to use some solar, you should use it for critical needs and use it taking into consideration its strengths and weaknesses. I realy like what they do at Living Energy Farms were they mostly use direct DC, not inverted AC power, and mostly use power when the sun is shining. With the teeniest amount of batteries to run lights at night. Less cost, less complexity, the least products, the batter for environment. Their refrigerator is a chest refrigerator, DC, heavily insulated, and it only gets power directly from a small panel when the sun is out, not at night, not in the rain. They grind grain, do laundry and use shop tools when the sun is out. They only pump water when the sun is out. So, they have some large pressure tank storage. They sensibly use solar thermal hot water, and thermal air heating panels with rock storage under the dwelling. That heat only needs a small fan to run air thru the rocks, thermal mass, into the house. Rare use of wood stove with waste wood from their property for backup heat. While I would not be exactly as they do, this type of setup is what I would strive for starting out from scratch or if I move and retrofit.

    This is anethema to the new green deal people, the government, the PMC. The Switch IS On. It is all about giving up no comforts in the ads, have all the power and batteries you want is what they are pushing. Just have a whole house propane generator for back up is what they do by me, just have a 500 gallon propane tank exclusive for the generator. That is the answer to our power outages.

    So, I am older, I dont have much money, and I do have my eyes open not saying my decisions are best or even sound, it is a stressful time. It is hard to keep an even keel on strategy.

    What I am trying given what is already sunk costs here is : Not replace the 26 year old whole house solar. Keep using it. Maybe add a couple panels if anyone will go up there and add them. doubtful. Never know though. It would be $400 panels and wire in costs and who knows for labor. Topping off would be best environmentally than replacement

    Take critical systems more independent. So, when my well system was destroyed by the fire, I had a Grundfos Flex put in the well, it will run on AC, DC, 30-300V just give it to it. so, any panel directly to it. I bought 2 used solar panels to connect to it. Pump when the sun is out. The water tanks are high enough that gravity feed will get water to the house and garden, just much lower pressure than usual when mains are down.

    I forget and get taken off track, like getting a quote for heat pump heaters — but it is because I may sell — or I may have to stay, who knows realy what the next couple years will bring, and PMC love to live in my area. Low crime and quiet.

    So, then lights and refrigeration ( and the internet box or HAM radio) will be taken care of by the batteries. Inverters though have alot of conversion losses. But I dont have DC wiring run about the house in the walls, I have the AC wiring.

    It wouldnt be too bad to run a DC line to the kitchen for a refrigerator from the batteries. Now this Chris you may know about, I havent dont it so any advice or opinion yeah or nay would be helpful. If I did it, I would run 48V DC power to the kitchen, and have a “buck converter” to step it down to 24V behind the refrigerator. DO you use a DC refrigerator ? It would use half as much power as a standard lowest I can find AC refrigerator, not even counting the gains by not going thru the inverter. SO, that means more days of refrigeration from the batteries. This may be where your thoughts on fuses and such comes in. And, the new regular AC refrigerators are junk and dont last. The companies that sell the off grid refrigerators well teh fuse boxes etc.. to go in the garage

  285. so, does anyone know what has become of Dave who is running/was running the Green wizards web site ? He was transitioning us over to a new site, he was posting on his eco basement co-housing conversion.

  286. JMG
    I am early into reading Toynbee but came across a line in his overview of Minoan culture and religion that piqued my interest and I wonder if you can help me pull together three ideas: he says 1. in a “time of troubles” religions take a transcendental turn; 2. but we’re approaching a “second religiosity” (Spengler?) in 3. a time of ecological destruction when a religion more rooted-in-life-on-earth might serve us better than one fixated on “transcending” it. In your opinion, can nature spirituality fill the role Toynbee says transcendence fills since we seem to be entering that phase of the pattern? Can you think of nature-based traditions that are/were transcendentalist? While I tend to think favorably of the transcendentalists of the 1800s, I’m not sure that after the religion of progress we need more such things that divorce us from our earthly -ness…


  287. Patricia M, the landfills were all stripped bare long before Trey sunna Gwen was born, since they have so much metal in them (tin cans et al.) and various other useful things. Plastic was used for a variety of things way back then, but you have to remember this was before the Third Civil War, so it’s ancient history by Trey’s time — I don’t imagine anybody but Plummer remembers what all the plastic was used for. Insulation between walls is one possibility, though.

    Joy, if it was a liberal church and they don’t take their covenant seriously any more, I suspect it fell off when Christ left the building and slammed the door behind him!

    Booklover, thanks for this data point.

    Lathechuck, remember that the Bolshevik Revolution was on many minds in those days. I suspect fear of a Marxist revolution had a lot to do with that bit of architecture.

    Ron, hmm. Well, we’ll see.

    Lunar, I wish there was one to recommend!

    Ennobled, glad to hear my limited grasp of Spanish was up to the task. 😉

    Smith, funny. I wonder what the three other people who still watch CNN thought of it.

    TemporaryReality, “transcendental” can mean many things, depending on exactly what one is trying to transcend. I think nature spirituality can fill that role very well, because what has to be transcended at this point is not nature but the manufactured pseudonature of industrial culture — meaning the mental, emotional, imaginal, and material world created by industrial culture, and inhabited by most people to the exclusion of the world of nature.

  288. In the comment (#150) regarding Rainbow Crosswalks and accidental ritual, I was wondering why it isn’t considered disrespectful to walk on it in the first place. Whether it’s a rainbow crosswalk or “Black Lives Matter” painted in the street ostensibly to show support, I would think that the symbolic act of having something trampled underfoot could have the opposite effect from what the supporters wish.

    Several have mentioned about the iconic tree which was cut down in England by a 16 year old. This reminds me of how in 2016 vandals knocked over an ancient sandstone formation in Oregon. According to this article, what might be called nature vandalism happens all the time.

    Joy Marie

  289. I just read the post by Forecasting Intelligence on his/her own blog, linked to here. The economic prediction based on the JP Morgan report is almost identical to one I spotted about 6-9 months ago, also based on a report from a mainstream financial institution, the name of which I can’t recall now. I read it as – economic crisis 18-24 months from now, maybe less severe than 2008 but governments able to do less to offset it due to debt and inflation; then slow incomplete recovery then a 1929-style crash almost exactly on its 100th anniversary. It surely spells doom for Europe in particular. As an old saying does not quite go, this shale just got real.
    Also, an interesting election result emerging this morning in Slovakia.

  290. Jmg

    If you have a spare moment, i would suggest having a look at “Decadent society” since it is a useful summary of the cultural and technological stagnation of the West, and has some interesting ideas and suggestions on some of the common ideas that concern western decline.
    For instance, Ross Douthat suggests that the most likely outside power that could upset the Wests current decadence and stagnation isn’t China, which he believes is going down the same path of decadence as the west, but Africa since it is the only continent that doesn’t display the symptoms of decadence the rest of the world displays, such as a falling birthrate. He suggests that one of the most likely ways that the Wests’ decadence could end is if some kind of mass migration combined with a spread of a novel and enticing cultural vitality or religion out of Africa overwhelms and inspires Europe, causing a “Eurafrican renaissance.”

    Also, while on the subject of authors, what is your opinion on Vaclav Smil? He has much to say on Energy, explaining a lot the history and the problems it has, though he is still a techno-optimist.

  291. @Slink,
    Enjoy your memories! No one but God needs to know how much they’ve been embellished.
    I used to fly hang gliders, now too old for it. But since I experienced cross country flight over rough terrain, and since Larry Tudor wrote a really nice description of his record-breaking 300-some-odd-mile cross country flight over Wyoming, and since I know Wyoming pretty well too, I swear I have a distinct memory of flying across Wyoming in my hang glider. When I get to the babbling stage, I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m going to brag about, rather than the 30-some-odd-mile flight in the Altai Mountains. Both are lovely memories, however.

  292. Andrew #47 and JMG #50 (and any other interested authors and/or publishers)

    Just last night I opened a new (to me) book to read. Published in 1998, so just “on the verge,” as might be said, of personal computing, and possibly of early AI. I was startled to read the following “all rights reserved” phrasing. Some is standard, but the last clause in the last section strikes me as rather unusual, and rather prescient.

    “No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, nor transmitted, nor translated into a machine language, without the written permission of the publisher.

    I don’t think I have seen this reference to “translation into a machine language” before, (although this might only be testament to my own lack of attention) but surely this should (could?) make “training” any AI/LLM upon this book legally actionable?

    I did a quick review of any JMG books that are close to hand, and none of them make any reference to “translation into a machine language”.

    So as not to leave anyone wondering, the book in question is “The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet” by Alec Le Sueur. Publishers: Summersdale Publishers Ltd of West Sussex, UK. You’d wonder if their in-house lawyers had some specific case law in mind which made them add this not so common phrasing to their retention of rights clauses.

  293. @ booklover #105
    “Last post, someone wondered why it seemed to him that the decline of Western civilization is so much faster than the decline of earlier civilizations.”

    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin observed a similar discrepancy in timing:

    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”

  294. JMG (and all) – Re: The Great Taking.

    I can see that concern about Bolshevism in Cleveland. There are several aspects of civil society of that era that seem very odd to me now.

    Having finished the text (though not the appendix), I now think of it as in the Financial Apocalypse genre. Analogous to the Energy and Climate Apocalypse themes, a solid set of facts gets extrapolated into paranoid ramblings of near-term catastrophe. But you can’t accuse him of alarmism for the sake of sales, because he’s giving away the text (as PDF).

  295. All–

    I’ve been delving into Jungian thought in recent months and I’m finding immensely useful. Way too much to try to encapsulate here, but I would like to recommend _Love, Celibacy and the Inner Marriage_ by John P. Dourley to the community here, especially the essay “Jung’s Impact on Theology and Religious Studies.” I need to spend more time mulling over the perspectives being presented, but I feel that Jung’s concept of mutual redemption of the human and the Divine is worth pondering.

  296. @Grover

    Hi Grover, my diet is very similar to yours. In case you don’t already know Mark Sisson, I’ve always found his views on nutrition to be the most up-to-date. He doesn’t shy away from changing his mind when the data starts to change. Here is a good piece on the Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio. He’s also very, very good at taking complex information and making it understandable.

  297. Re: RFK Jr…

    The guy’s got not just charisma, but a presence. I expect that of someone who prays and meditates every morning, and who has read his Jung.

    I am among the people who are definitely heartened by his running. It will be interesting to hear his announcement next week. In Philadelphia no less, tapping into some archetypal power here in the land and in the people…

    “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.”

    It’s interesting to note too, that last year in Jan. 2022 that RFK Jr. was at the hearing for Sirhan Sirhan’s parole. He doesn’t believe the man is guilty of killing his father. Of course, Sirhan did not get paroled (in contrast to the many murderers in California who have been paroled and served less time). Something about a polka dress comes to mind…

    Yes, I do hope he has own private security detail since he has not gotten the other one. A private one might even be better for him then the Secret Service.

    And speaking of the transcendental and transcendentalism, since I’ve been following Charles Eisenstein a bit more since the beginning of RFKs campaign, I have come to think of him as something of another person in the line of American philosophers going back to Thoreau & Ralph Waldo Emerson. He has some of that, shall I say, energy or psychic signature about him, to me. I used to read his essays on Reality Sandwich before that site became to too tedious and kind of lost track of him for the years since. But I think what he brings to the table for RFK may be something of a force multiplier.

  298. @Justin Patrick Moore:

    I have never spent much time in the Ohio Valley region or most of Greater Appalachia for that matter, apart from some camping trips to the Ozarks, but it was described by a young John Muir as “an Eden, a Paradise of oaks”. It sounds pretty ideal from my point of view, since while I am a native son, the Upper Midwestern winters are a bit extreme for my tastes. Judging from my experience with the fringes of the Appalachian world in the Ozarks, there’s a Gothic and timeless feeling in those woodlands and hills, perhaps a bit different than the Upper Midwestern areas which get a very strong primordial energy as you go farther toward the border with Canada. Farther west, in the prairie, that’s a whole other world too, although not an unpleasant one, but again very elemental and powerful — almost allergic to civilization if not meticulously maintained.

    None other than Theodore Roosevelt is quoted in Frederick Jackson Turner’s “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (which I recommend as a supplement to Spenglerian thought on things specific to America) as saying that the Great Lakes were the spiritual center of the Americas and represented the crown jewels of the American realm. He felt that a civilization would spring up there too, although perhaps sooner than it actually will. Spengler said that there are often premonitions of things to come in significant cultural movements, giving as one example the Hebrew Prophets as a harbinger of the Magian to come centuries later. Perhaps the buildup of the Plutonian civilization of the Great Lakes was a similar premonition. For a long time, the upper lakes were the source of most of the world’s iron and copper, literally driving industrial civilization forward by their extraction. The lakes will remain an inner highway for America even if all of that ceases in the times to come, and along with the Mississippi corridor may provide the heart of a high culture to come — provided of course that the interior doesn’t dry out too much.

  299. Renaissance Man, thank you for your response and I am entirely in agreement with your sentiments about immigration. The Biden administration is unfortunately willing to go down in flames over immigration; they must owe a lot to someone. Unless Kennedy can pull out a win in 2024, it looks like we will have a Republican president, who won’t be Trump, I think, and a Democratic Congress

    I do see some hope in a younger, 30s-50s generation in public service who appear to be simply showing up and doing their jobs. The young woman who is Jr. senator from Minnesota states on her website that “I fought to get on the Agriculture Committee”, Minnesota being a farming state. Not many can take on Chuckie Schemer and win, but it looks like she did.

  300. @ TemporaryReality 217

    Thank you for the reference to Scheper’s book. I’ve been watching the videos Lunar Apprentice suggested and I was thinking that I’d love to do what this girl does -the Zettelkasten system- but it would be even better if I could work out an analog version, without a computer. And there it is! Thanks for it.

    @ Lunar Apprentice 304 306

    I’ll look into those other resources as well, thank you so much. I already had Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful on my list of books to read, but I’ll definitely add A Guide for the Perplexed, it sounds captivating. I actually love well structured, thorough explanations like this one, even if they get convoluted. I truly enjoyed reading yours, it’s fascinating to me. I like how it encompasses metaphysics and knowledge systematically, while relating areas of the individual and its potential development to the whole reality in a way that everything fits together. Thank you for the detailed description of the system.

    I am just starting to discover occult philosophy but what I’ve read so far seems so rich and, once understood, far less obscure than I expected. My only previous exposure to anything remotely related to it was the probably watered down version of Catholic Christianity of my childhood. I suppose this is probably against theology, but I was taught that divine realities, apart from human souls -the only existing souls- don’t manifest themselves in our world except in some rare circumstances. Also, the valid way to get to know the ‘obviously rational’ reality we inhabit is modern science, leaving religion as a sort of moral compass which often involves having the church tell everyone else what to do. In other words, the worldview I learned was one step away from ditching priests’ moralizing and embracing scientism and materialism.

    I unconvincingly took the step in my teenage years like so many people but, besides the bleak image of reality that results from this and the deeply unbalanced lives it makes people lead, I’ve always felt it’s simply not right, reality doesn’t consist of just dead matter and energy in the void. So, it’s really refreshing to find out there’s another option that could allow me to have a richer life and integrate different areas of my development in a meaningful way. Now, the only problem -if that’s even a problem- is that I know so little and have so much to learn.

  301. J:mc12 @ 319, I would like to suggest that a falling birthrate, far from being a sign of decadence, is a sensible cultural adaptation during periods of diminishing wealth and opportunity. Naturally, pro-business conservatives are alarmed by a future of fewer consumers with less money than we see now.

  302. Jon G,

    Thanks for bringing Mark Sisson to my attention! I was not aware of him, but have bookmarked his blog for future reference. The article you linked to specifically was precisely what I needed.

    Get PUFAs from nuts, seeds, and avocados, good deal; get them from french fries and Oreos, you’re asking for it. Makes perfect sense to me.


  303. Robert, that prediction seems tolerably plausible to me. Certainly the Biden administration and the entire US bureaucratic state will do everything they possibly can to postpone a downturn until after the 2024 election, thus guaranteeing that when the downturn hits it’ll be considerably worse than it would have been. I’m less certain of the incomplete recovery and the crash of 2029, but we’ll see. As for Slovakia, yep — the Intermarium is starting to think in terms of its own advantage rather than that of the western European powers, and that (like the similar process under way in Africa) spells a whale of a lot of trouble for western Europe.

    J.L.Mc12, I’ll put it on the look-at list. Thanks for the recommendation! As for Smil, I have a mixed read on him — some good ideas, some dreary ones. Worth reading on the whole, so long as you can filter out his dewy-eyed adoration of the Great God Progress.

    Scotlyn, yes, that would indeed make LLM training legally actionable, if you could prove that the LLM was trained on your work.

    Lathechuck, lots of people are into apocalypse for the sake of apocalypse. It doesn’t have to have a financial incentive — though, as in the case of 2012, that always helps.

    David BTL, thanks for this.

    Justin, interesting. Thanks for this; it’ll be something to see how it all plays out.

  304. @Joy Marie, Anonymous, etc, re: themed crosswalks. Imagine a scenario where:

    1) The rainbow/BLM crosswalks and road painting are an accidental working wherein large numbers of people are compelled to trample the symbols of the movement, and this (purposely or inadvertently) over time starts to shift the attitudes of the general public negatively toward those symbols and the things they represent.

    2) More conservative-leaning people, consciously or not, are reluctant to walk on them. They sense something going on there that they do not wish to participate in, and they avoid it, in the instinctively superstitious way that little kids avoid stepping on cracks in the sidewalk. Why? It just feels wrong. We can’t explain it.

    3) This results in some ineffable magical force that attracts LGB and ethnic-minority folks toward the conservative side– they sense, perhaps, that here are people who aren’t out to trample them, and perhaps respect them more as individual people capable of critical thought, independent judgement, and self-will, and inherently worthy of respect (whether as allies or adversaries), rather than as pliable-and-reliable voting blocs and political pawns. Emotional play-doh.

    4) You might expect this to result in… exactly what we have been seeing the last few years: a fair number of very public LGB and minority defectors from the left, and a certain loss of enthusiasm for left political causes, from those subsets.

    I have no idea if that is actually possible. I present it as a speculative scenario for your amusement.

  305. JMG, I hope you won’t mind this quick notice to report that my essay “The Reluctant Occultist: Carl Jung and the Western Esoteric Tradition” has been published in an anthology entitled Custodian of the Unconscious: The Life and Soul of Carl Gustav Jung, edited by Troy Southgate, and published by Black Front Press. Orders can be placed via Southgate at (the book costs 23 Euros, with free postage anywhere in the world).

    Also, thank you for answering my questions while I was researching the piece – your input was greatly appreciated!

  306. JMG, fair point! I like that version and think it could be helpful to have that as a guiding principle. I wonder, though, how Toynbee conceived of transcendence. Perhaps I’ll find out as I continue reading 😉

    (Found your address by the way, so will send the book out this week.

    Lunar Apprentice – happy to help, and maybe I can do so one more time: try for more on the classical elements. I’ve not read it, but I’ve skimmed his website in the past and came across some of what must be in the book. FWIW, I found your “grid” concept/practice interesting and possibly analogous to what I do on a kind of by-feel basis as I rotate through the several realms/aspects/fields-of-being-and-doing I gravitate toward. I see in myself a tendency to aim to balance out what are quite possibly elementally corresponded facets – thanks for calling it to my attention because now I’m going to mull over if that’s actually what’s at play as I roll through a period of crafting (for example) into journal-work, into food preservation, into landscape design, into focusing on spiritual or philosophical texts, into stepping up and making all the required phone calls (an exercise of will if ever there was one).

  307. Patricia O #320

    Maybe you’re old enough to remember Simon & Garfunkel. “Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you”. Or maybe you’re young enough to think, “I want to sit out on my porch telling stories ’bout my glory days, when I’m pushing 80.” Both good options, if you ask me.

  308. Most of those who think seriously about the future assume that the collapse ( or the next stair step down for ecosophians) will occur because of the collapse of government. But what if, for us, it does not happen that way. We know that the entire government mega-organism will do whatever it takes to protect it self. Perhaps when things get really tight they will also abandon their string-pullers in big business, to hoard printed money and resources for themselves.
    Modern mega-business is actually very fragile and dependent on exotic financing, obscure contracts, easy credit, etc. Even monoliths like Amazon or Walmart could easily collapse quickly under the right circumstances.
    Imagine that our ” Soviet Union 90’s” moment came not when the government falls about but when the top companies in any of our important ( not social media or entertainment) industries become defunct overnight. Lets not obsess about how that would happen but ponder the effects. The following list would be just a start:
    a) Apple and Microsoft in the tech space, ( no updates, no support)
    b) Amazon, Walmart and Costco in the grocery and supplies arena
    c) Cargill, Bunge and ADM in the commodity food business
    d) GM Ford and Stellantis (Chrysler) in the car business
    e) Caterpillar and John Deer in the equipment arena.
    f) United, Delta and American in airlines
    g). Shell, Exxon and Chevron in petroleum fuel.

    We have allowed such an oligopoly to be built up in the delivery of critical supplies that the collapse of only a few companies would be a big deal. At one point I would have assumed this would never happen as those in power would never let it. But our leadership has become so self serving and senile that it has become a real possibility.

  309. Hi JMG and all,

    In your post a couple of weeks ago on “Riding the Climate Toboggan,” you talked about how a lot of the dialog is between people who forecast doom and those who deny anything is wrong at all. While I absolutely agree with that, there are a few people who are taking a more measured approach and I wanted to call everyone’s attention to one of these. Dr. Emily Schoerning has a You tube channel and website called American Resiliency and she has been trying to help people understand both the challenges they face in specific locations (mostly in the US) and the opportunities a changing climate opens up for them. In my home state of Georgia, for example, she points out that while northern-moving climate zones may shift peach production (a major agricultural crop in the state) away from its traditional locations in South Georgia and north into middle and northern Georgia, it will also shift citrus production north into the southern part of the state as well. As everyone knows, citrus is a very lucrative crop, so farmers in the south of the state may find themselves as well or better off than previously. There are still major challenges, of course, such as the fact that higher daytime temperatures may mean that we have to rethink how and when we do outdoor work during the summer months, but the outlook is not for total disaster. In my opinion, she calls it the way she sees it and doesn’t get caught up in doom-casting, so I wanted to bring her to everyone’s attention.

  310. @Brennain and JMG, the German psychic Egon Fisher is also seeing big things on the horizon. Since beginning of the summer he gets visions that he cannot interpret very well and his collegues on the other side are quite unwilling to say much. It has to do with the breaking of the matrix of the reality we live in (I think he means with ‘matrix’ large structures like finance or worldviews etc). In the US and France he saw an indication that something bad will happen in December – March 2024. He thinks we will see the effects of what is going on at the latest in autumn 2024 in our reality. I have to say that he had failed predictions in the past, but he himself admits he sees clearly what happens in other dimensions but is not that good in translating it to the effect it will have in our material world. Still, it is clear that according to his visions there is something brewing that will have major impact.

    In the meantime, my country the Netherlands is at peak-craziness. I wonder if it is caused by the astral crud.
    Just last week a political party had to call in the police to break up a fight.
    Our government has stopped drilling for gas in the province of Groningen and wants to dismantle all installations despite pleas from the miners association to leave them in place for emergencies. Our government apparently thinks that Russia will continue to supply gas indefinately or that the US will indefinately supply gas by means of ships. Of course that is a pipe dream and once the installations are gone, chances are it will cost so much to rebuild them that the gas will just be lost.
    Our government wants to give *all* our F-16 fighters (the best we’ve got) to Ukraine because we are buying F-35’s. The F-35 is of course the flying penguin that cannot fly near lightning.
    A disgruntled student with immigration background killed his neighbour, her child and a teacher at his university because the university had demanded a test of his psychological health before giving him his medical master title.
    I hear so many stories of people that are very ill with one kind of virus or another. Sometimes it is the Corona virus and sometimes not. My parents are sufficiently freaked out that they are itching for their next booster despite not wanting it before. My suggestion that it might actually be the vaccine that made people so vulnerable did not go down well. Yet I don’t know anybody unvaxxed that has been very ill recently with a virus and plenty of vaxxed.

  311. Has anyone heard of fantasy writer Charlie N. Holmberg? I just ran across her today, and her novels seem to center on magical topics. Has anyone read her books, and do they portray magic accurately, or is it all off-the-cuff and made up?

    Joy Marie

  312. Luke, delighted to hear it, and of course you’re most welcome.

    TemporaryReality, oh, Toynbee conceived of it the way you’d expect from an upper-class English Anglican Christian. Not all the examples he cites conceived of it that way, though!

    Clay, hmm! That’s an intriguing thought.

    Chronojourner, I’m very glad to hear this.

    Bocaccio, thank you for all these data points.

    Joy Marie, I’m not familiar with her. Anyone else?

    Batstrel, nope. I tend to focus on systems at least a few centuries older than that. 😉

  313. Hi Atmospheric,

    Thanks for the reply.

    The locally made inverters and controllers (I use Australian designed and made equipment) work with the sort of conditions you’re likely to experience. Summers are hot here too, and 100’F+ can happen for a couple weeks each summer. Some of the European equipment begins de-rating from about 77’F onwards, and the hotter it gets, the lower the output. The local stuff doesn’t begin to de-rate until at least 110’F. People don’t think about such issues.

    Yup, batteries don’t last that long. Hope you enjoy your new LiFePO4 batteries (I assume that’s what you mean by LFP?)

    Reduced output is not just from the environmental wear on the panels – it’s at every single join, fuse and cable within the entire system. Not to mention all of the electronics age, and can ultimately fail. Heat and corrosion are the killers.

    Mate, I simply ignore such peoples claims. If a thing needs to be subsidised, it probably doesn’t pay for itself.

    Ah, you have a hybrid system and so are still connected in part to the grid. I see. Dude, no offence, but your example of the fire-poles-and-wires-issue kind of proves what I was saying about proper fusing and circuit protection! 🙂 It’s there to protect your system under the worst conditions, not the everyday. Don’t stress, I’m not having a go, it’s an area where people hope for the best, and try and save some money. I read a bit about AC transfer switches failing catastrophically.

    Yeah, fair enough, I read about those farm people. Sure it can be done, but the cables and wiring to do so will send you broke. Not to mention the super expensive DC rated switches. There’s a good reason why most people use AC mains. Just sayin… Check out the arcing failures on YouTube for DC switches and circuit breakers.



  314. JMG you mentioned in an interview your interesting audio anomaly at the Wilmington man in England. I got to thinking. Our mountain is a long horseshoe ridge. We are in the middle. It’s lower and flatter in the middle and going down mountain. I don’t know enough science, but from what I know, echoes would not come down and then back up the mountain, up the lower place in the middle. But they seem to all the time. Sounds come up from far away of course that’s expected. But down and then back up? There’s no large flat or narrow spaces angled back up. Just thinking on it…probably merely basic physics but it struck me today when I was chatting w family about odds and ends that I can’t explain easily. Maybe off topic so no worries if this seems too inconsequential to comment. Your health, sir.

  315. A thought – In the middle nineties the USA still had a thorough efficient copper wire based phone system with pay phones, answering machines and phones that lasted through decades of daily use. I wonder if the energy and environmental impact of that system was less than the current one of cellphones with its use of exotic metals, repeated upgrades to new phones, the unknown health effects of the cell radiation permeating the atmosphere and the radiation from the phone itself and the effect of the light emanating from the screen as one stares at it for hours a day. Let alone what seems to be the negative social and mental health effects of smart phones. And the energy and resource use of the underlying servers needed to run the system, All that for what amounts a relatively minor increase in convenience. A complex society worked well without the cell phone for the first 40 years of my life.

  316. Atmospheric River #313, Dave was at our last Green Wizard meetup in St. Louis at the end of July. He’s moved into the basement apartment and will be restarting the Green Wizard site as time permits.

  317. JMG & Scotlyn,

    I use a two-step process to try to determine if an LLM was trained on a particular book. First, I ask it what books were written by a particular author, or if it’s aware of a particular book written by a particular author. If it’s not aware, then it wasn’t trained on the book. Then, I ask it to write a paragraph in the style of that author from that book. If it can reproduce the style close enough, then it probably was trained on the book.

    Two examples using books from JMG:

    Write a paragraph in the style of John Michael Greer that might come from “The Ecotechnic Future: Exploring a Post-Peak World”

    In the shadow of a waning industrial age, a new epoch dawns, one not of abandonment but of recalibration. The post-peak world, rather than a bleak wasteland, beckons us to envision an ecotechnic future—a harmonious blend of ecology and technology. As the once abundant fossil fuels recede into the annals of history, we are not left powerless but poised for transformation. We stand on the cusp of an era where our technologies, rather than being at odds with nature, are inspired by and integrated with it. The rivers, winds, and the very photosynthesis of plants beckon us to mimic their efficiencies, to craft a world where innovation is not a mere reflection of our hubris, but a homage to the Earth’s intricate design. The ecotechnic future is not a return to a pre-industrial past, but a stride into a future that respects the boundaries of nature while celebrating the genius of human innovation.

    How about a paragraph in the style of John Michael Greer from “Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush: The Best of The Archdruid Report ”

    Amidst the shimmering facades of modernity, where every new gadget promises to be the panacea for society’s ailments, there lies a palpable irony: the more we rush towards progress, the faster we hasten our own decline. The cacophony of modern life, with its unending consumption and relentless drive for more, masks a fundamental truth that history has shown us time and again — empires rise, but they also fall, often under the weight of their own excesses. While pundits on television speak of eternal growth and politicians promise perpetually rising living standards, those who heed the lessons of the past choose a different path. To “collapse now and avoid the rush” is to willingly step back from the precipice, to adopt a simpler and more sustainable way of life not out of nostalgia, but out of a clear-eyed understanding that the alternative is to be swept away in the tumultuous tide of history’s inevitable cycles.

  318. “Martin, if you skip Lévi’s book you’ll miss about half the point of the commentary. The book’s readily available, you know!”/JMG
    Fair enough!

  319. Hispalensis, I’m delighted you found that little missive helpful. I also take notes from each source or topic onto 3X5 cards, one key concept per card, and I bundle the cards together, punching them and binding them with binder-rings. I habitually carry at least one set with me at all times, and refer to them often. The idea is to reprogram myself through repetitive exposure to the ideas I want to assimilate. I also pick a card for a daily (my goal) discursive meditation subject. That’s resulted in some real gems as good as anything I’ve read and copied, including of topics you can never read about, such as your own dreams, or own situation. These tidbits are my most effective practices so far, but I’d sure like to ramp them up somehow, and translate into more real-world action.

    TemporaryReality, well how about that! More good stuff for me! Thank you. And I’m doubly delighted that my matrices & elements comment garnered some interest, and perhaps prove useful.

    Here’s a thought: If you reverse the order of analysis with the matrices and elements, i.e. first analyze a topic with the elements, THEN do the matrix analysis, you can get different results or insights. These things are not transitive!

    Generally, it can be quite fruitful to contrast or combine 2 different systems and see what shakes out (this idea I got from John Bach’s ‘Buccaneer Scholar’. He’s right!)

    —Lunar Apprentice

  320. Atmospheric River, would you be willing to converse with me by email about some of the solar things you’ve mentioned – maybe to point me toward some resources? I may have a chance to work in some DC capacity if a project manages to move forward in spite of the time’s economic weirdness. I’m starting from scratch, knowledge-wise, but the well pump system you describe sounds like a place I could start.

    I’m at the gmail account connected to my username here.

  321. @Hispalensis

    Hello, I would like to give you my approach to ‘unpacking’ a text. And I will give you a somewhat unrelated example.

    As of right now, I am watching a van from my window. As a first approach, I can say it’s a blue van. Now, let’s say someone I am talking to by phone requires me to describe it. Ok, it has four wheels, black protections, a sliding lateral door, That would suffice for most people. But now, the person I am talking to keeps asking more information, more details.
    Then I notice that the van is clean but it is missing one protector. The wheels are of the cheap iron variety, not the fancy ones. The side mirrors are black, not painted. There are minor scratchs here and there. This a company owned vehicle. A closer look to the cabin will show a few unclipped papers, probably delivery receipts. The cabin is clean but disordered.
    Now I would think the person I am talking to will be satisfied with all that information, but he is not.
    I look further and see a bottle of sanitary alcohol and some tissues (the driver has to sanitize his hands often?). I see that the deposit door is on the left. I see that there are a few social media logos: the camera, the bird, the big ‘f’. I see that the side mirrors are folded insided (how considerated!).
    But no, the speaker is also interested in what I am not seeing, this is, what should be there but isn’t.

    Looking for what isn’t there is much harder, but I try. Well, the windows are covered with the painture, many vans don’t have rear windows, this one has windows, but the owner chose to paint them. There is no oil or water below the van. Since it’s hot and every driver connects the air conditioner, the absence of water means that the van has not been droven in the last few hours.
    Then I notice that the social media bird should be now an ‘X’, it was changed a few months ago, so it is perfectly reasonable that the painting has not been changed. That drives me to take a look at the license plate. The numbers are really new, but not newer than Twitter’s logo change. It is a new van that already looks weary and is using an old design in the painting.

    Are you satisfied with the findings? Well, I can assure you that if you look at it again, something new will arise. New thoughts, new connections, new perspectives.
    This was unpacking the visual information I can gather from the van that I can see from my window. I could do better and investigate the company, check the license, try to find more clues about the driver.

    When I try to unpack a text, I follow the same mentality. I have myself inquiring to my other self: gimme more details!, and this self is forced to look again and again until it finds something worth mentioning. When I am done, I could go and learn about the author of the text, the time when it was written, and read other texts of the same time, for giving me some extra context. I admit I don’t do the last part.
    The best way to talk with yourself and focus is to use the discursive meditation our host teaches. This way you leave behind emotions and prejudices and stay tuned on ideas and facts.

  322. jmg

    I agree on your judgement on Smil. I’ve been reading through “Energy & civilisation” and while he does brilliant breakdowns of how much energy each fuel has, and how much was used throughout history, as well as explaining the history of energy development in good detail, his faith in progress is evident but at least tempered by facts.

    BTW, did you hear that thousands of aussie books were apparently pirated by a technological firm in order to train an AI?

  323. #323 Lathechuck
    I also read the Taking and agree with your assessment. But it did, I think, clear up something for me that I have been wondering about for years. That is – exactly how are they going to get at all the pension funds. His explanation for that seems reasonable to me.

  324. @Hispalensis #330, Temporary Reality 217, Lunar Apprentice.

    I have The Soenke book on Zettelkasten and tried to follow it while trying to keep up with some of the subjects covered in this and related blogs. Based on that book I didn’t find it helpful. The Scheper book is longer (much, much longer) but seems to be filled with helpful advice and I am inspired to give the whole method another go.

    The early stages requires a general division of knowledge into top level classifications and I find my own interests are rather broader that the Arts/Humanities/Science spectrum that Scott Scheper uses. I’ve tentatively come up with:

    – Biology
    – Physics
    – Chemistry
    – Geology
    – History
    – Arts
    – Literature
    – Language
    – Philosophy
    Metaphysics (after Popper)
    – Math
    – Logic
    – Computer Science
    – Cooking
    – Gardening
    – Woodwork
    – Metalwork
    – Home medicine
    – Electrics/Electronics

    Engineering and Esoterics to be subdivided after more careful thought.

    I’ve probably missed out large swaths of human experience but I hope I can find a place for most of the subjects I’m interested in which come under the general heading of the “Decline of the West”. What have I missed?

  325. @Clarke aka Gwydion #263

    As it happens, I have an MBA, awarded by a well-respected business school in Asia. I went into it as a “poet” rather than a “quant”: I had a humanities background rather than financial. An MBA per se provides both an incredibly useful skillset and an equally valuable insight into how the world works. I always knew that the corporate world would not be for me, but there were compelling personal reasons to go through the incredibly intense study – which I only got through with the help of my considerably more intelligent classmates, mostly Indians!

    The skillset you acquire is as valuable for a Green Wizard as it is for a corporate raider. The problems you describe aren’t from an MBA mindset, but rather from the toxic culture, emerging from the US and which has spread globally, which prioritises “shareholder value”. This means managers have to prioritise extracting value from the business every quarter – and, of course, they are usually incentivised to think that way through performance reviews and bonuses. However, with a different organisational culture, they would use the same skills to prioritise long-term value. So, think culture, not course content.

  326. Joy Marie,

    the first description of the book “The Paper Magician”:

    “Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic … forever.”

    So no… probably not anything like a real magic. Sounds more like more of Harry Potter imitation. The sample on Amazon has animated skieleton butler made of enchanted paper within first 5 pages. You can check the rest of them.


  327. Regarding woke depictions of history:

    I think that this may be more of an indication that liberals are unconsciously losing faith in the idea of Progress.

    The old notions of Progress usually rested on the idea of a benighted state of ignorance from which we bold humans liberated ourselves through technical and scientific ingenuity (with perhaps a little help from technologically advanced aliens, as in 2001: A Space Odyssey).

    As continual Progress becomes harder to justify, liberals are more and more inclined to retrospectively project their idealised visions of a multi-cultural, feminist, LGBT-friendly society onto a fictional *past*, resulting in the bizarre ret-conning that we are seeing both in the media and in academia.

    This, of course, is problematised by the fact that the idea of the Fall from Eden was already built into many versions of the Myth of Progress – e.g., Marxist historical determinism.

  328. A propos the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh, one take is that Russia wants to punish its long-time ally Armenia for tilting too much in a pro-Western direction, and therefore permitted Azerbaijan to take Nagorno-Karabakh (which was de facto under Armenian control). This might also strengthen the ties between NATO member Turkey and Russia, creating problems for NATO. Turkey are of course backing their ethnic cousins in Azerbaijan.

    Oil might have something to do with it, too. Azerbaijan exports oil to Europe, but if this nation becomes more beholden to the Russians, well…

    Still, I´m surprised that Russia betrayed Armenia, since the Russo-Armenian alliance is of very old vintage. The Turkish-Russian alliance, by contrast, seems to be more of a Machiavellian marriage of convenience. I know next to nothing about Armenian domestic politics. Perhaps the Russians have some kind of “assets” there who are ready to swallow the bitter pill of losing Nagorno-Karabakh if the Russians at least defend the territorial integrity of the rest of Armenia against Turks and Azeris?

  329. Just saw this headline:

    Small Nuclear Reactors: The Answer To Big Tech’s Energy Crisis?

    It reminds me of Star’s Reach and how the inclusion of one of those reactors was a strong signal that the goodies came from the period right before the collapse. Imagine how disappointing it would be to find endless social media posts, collected data about usage and very little actionable technical data?

  330. Hi JMG

    What do you think can happen if the Democratic Party succeed judicially in preventing Trump from being able to run for president in 2024 or even putting him in jail before the elections? Could this cause serious conflicts that could lead to a systemic political crisis in US?


  331. Joy Marie #341 re Charlie Holmberg

    I’ve read her Whimbrel House books, 2 of which have been released with a third on the horizon. She uses her own made up mishmash version of a magic system; in these, some families have hereditary talents for specific types of magic and there are some crystal correspondences, but there’s no attempt to have it reflect an existing framework. They’re cute, though, so worth it for entertainment value.

  332. Vaclav Smil has been mentioned several times. I have been devouring ‘Mr. and Mrs. Psmith’s bookshelf, recommended here on the blog. They are intelligent, very widely read and witty. I would be a fan, but everybody has blind spots, and Mr. Psmith’s was on display in his review of Vaclav Smil. He accused Smil of being too pessimistic and pandering to efficiency concerns, when we should be getting continually and exponentially “MORE! MORE! MORE! energy” (in his words). I find that funny, since several commenters here consider Smil too optimistic…

  333. @Dennis, #384, in response to Scotlyn and JMG

    The proposed method will give you a “sense” that some particular work might have been used to train on LLM, along with a large corpus of more related works. It might convince you, but that proves nothing.

    You may want to check the concept of TF-IDF which is basically a ratio between the relative frequency of a (group of) word(s) in a document, and the relative frequency of the same (group of) word(s) in the corpus to which the document belongs. This is best approached by an example. Think of the word Mancha (stain or spot, in Spanish), if you add the article La, as in “La Mancha”, it strongly points to a region in Spain that roughly corresponds to the southern half of Castille. Now, if you add a third word “acordar La Mancha”, it should lightning-rod to the opening line of Cervantes’ Don Quixoje: “En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que vivia un hidalgo…”. This is because that combination of words is unusual and practically unique to that particular work, that other more common meanings get discarded.

    So, the obvious application in the context of LLM is to try to figure if they are able to correctly use neologisms that have been introduced in some particular work. This is again not perfect, since the term may have been picked up by others, and through them be included in the LLM’s “knowledge base”. But the key thing here is if it is able to use it correctly. One of the initial steps modern LLMs do is to “vectorize” the words in the text they are processing. This means to map each term in a text, not to a sequence of letters but to a (very long) sequence of numbers that represent a point into a high-dimension euclidean space. The machine tries to emplace words in such a way that different spellings of the same concept end up in points that are geometrically close in the hyperspace represented by their vectors, and more alien concepts occupy all their own far away regions in that same space. So, correct usage is evidence of this process to have been taken place at some point during training (AFAIK, it is too slow to try to map word/concepts that it has never seen during end user sessions, so it will try to guess based on the surrounding words instead).

  334. Dear Andy, #356, if I may be so bold. Under Praxis, you have Cooking, Gardening, Metal Work, etc. but no spinning, weaving, clothing construction? We would all be awfully cold and exposed to the elements without clothes! I think all fiber related knowledge should be included under Praxis. My 2 cents!

  335. Regarding reincarnation. Reincarnation memories always felt like the answer to Childhood Amnesia. The old memories are still being processed out to make way for new ones. This would explain why a lot of folks who unintendedly recollection are usually young and generally do not recall ever having them later in life.

    Makes you wonder if you can recall a lot more of ones past life at birth but you have no means in which to communicate it? I do like the idea of a billionaire dying, only to reincarnate as a child of a poor person, entirely aware of everything they lost. Only to have those memories slowly fade away to have another round Samsara/Wheel of time. Maybe these are the kids that cause the most trouble as they act out because they cannot have what they used to have.

  336. @Silicon Guy “It could be a software problem too, where all the cores on the state of the art chip are stuck at maximum speed. But even then it shouldn’t overheat that bad.”

    Because Moore’s law is essentially dead, a lot of the benchmarks you see on modern processors, especially mobile chips are essentially sprints instead of marathons. Mobile processors can pull some decent performance figures for about 20-30 seconds before thermal throttling. If the processor never throttles, they will heat up really fast. This is probably what is happening on the iPhone. I don’t really follow it much any more. A great example of how companies are trying to keep performance increasing despite the up hill batter is the Nvidia’s RTX 4090 graphics processor that can pull up to 1000 Watts at peak performance! 20 Years ago the top graphics processors where in the 15 Watt range, didn’t even need a fan! Imagine using more power than you refrigerator would need all day just to put pixels on a screen for an hour!?

    “Cell phones are such a useful tracking device for a police state that I’m a bit surprised they are not mandatory.”

    Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and GNU Operating system calls mobile phones “Stallins Dream” because of how easy they are to track people.

    @ West Virginia and Solar Flares. JMG’s description is fairly accurate. While we do get hit by solar flairs all the time (enjoy those aurora!) the reality is that if there is a big one on the way, it will probably do very little damage. This is because many folk are eagle eyed on the Sun all of the time and doesn’t even require very expensive equipment. Any flares would be detected 2 to 3 days in advance and power grids can have their transformers deactivated for the duration of the event (a few hours) stopping the worst of the possible issues. You will get some wonderful aurora and see a few sparks off the large high power towers due to the large cables but that is about it. Not exactly a civilization ending event. South Africa will have more power outages today than what that “the event!” would manifest.

    The idea of a sudden civilization ending event even if based on sound science, it is provoking but not something to really worry about.

  337. Hi JMG, it might be too late for a comment or question on this post, but I was wondering of your thoughts on cremation and how it impacts the soul of a person after death, and reincarnation?

  338. Dear JMG, at comment #200 above, you say you use “the term nature in its classical sense, meaning “that which is born” (as distinct from “that which is made”). Thus human beings are included in nature but the products of our activities generally are not”. 

    With reference to this definition, may I ask how you think about monoculture cropping and GMO. These are born – but also manmade. I appreciate these are edge-cases, but in discussion of such instances, I believe we often find further understanding. 

    I appreciated your description of Faustian culture, which gives me cause to wonder whether this mythos as you describe it is a in fact a meme (on Dawkins definition) – as in a self-replicating idea – initially spawned by sleight of hand and to draw our focus from our oneness with all of nature, including each other. I sometimes imagine what the world would look like if our collective understanding was of oneness rather than separation and what the stories are that would inspire this. 

    Yours kindly, and with appreciation for the role your writing has played in my ongoing spiritual journey, 


  339. Bogatyr #357 says:
    October 2, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Thank you for clarifying my thinking on that issue. Of course, culture.

  340. Dear JMG,

    The past few weeks have been interesting, as the subjects of some of your recent Ecosophia posts have cropped up in my life. First, it was about karma: I was discussing with a good friend about how things have gone rather well for me in recent years, as if I had some positive karma I was drawing on. I was openly questioning how I could get so “much” good karma when it could run out and I could be in trouble; my friend reminded me of the many good things I did for others in previous years. I still don’t feel comfortable drawing down my good karma “bank account” without keeping in the back of my mind that taking such things for granted is dangerous!

    Secondly, with the ongoing down slope of peak oil and the associated slow fall of the American empire, here in Canada, I am particularly sensitive to what it means, though I’m by no means paying the price yet. In less than a decade, it appears house and car prices (and a lot of other prices too!) doubled. More than a decade of professional salary increases effectively wiped. I’d say cars have become a bit of a luxury item! I didn’t anticipate that to happen quite so soon. In addition, I can see the IT sector further complexifying with so-called “AI” platforms. What was mostly a toy at first is becoming a serious tool to automate tedious tasks. It makes financial sense to use such tools, but they go against so many of my own biases: I prefer doing things simply and manually, and big energy consuming data centres are a terrible way to use our energy. Hydro-Quebec, the state owned monopoly for electricity, is already looking like it won’t be able to power all future residential and industrial projects in my region. Sure energy efficiency initiatives can work, but when new residential towers are still built with no more insulation than strictly legally required, gotta wonder about their priorities. I, who used to be particularly activist in my approach, have now become much more pragmatic, perhaps because of my age, but mostly because of my realization that things will get worse before they get better: I have to find ways to keep my wealth in an environment where it is easily lost into poverty, and difficult to acquire, as I have to focus on the wellbeing of me and the kids. What interesting times we are living in!

  341. @Heather #368

    An excellent point. I’ll put an extra heading under Praxis – Textile work. Animal husbandry is another one I missed. I’ve also added Social sciences under humanities so there’s somewhere to track politics and culture.

  342. It’s quite late in the comments, but I just wanted to add to all of those who said they have a strange, unpleasant vibe about the way everything is going. I had an uneasy feeling beginning around the second half of 2021, when I was moving and the jab hysteria was at a high point. It never fully went away. Some of this was perhaps a premonition of some troubles in my own life, but that feels like only a microcosm of what is a much larger and more general current. In any case, the past 7 years or so have seen massive changes in not only my own life, but in the lives of most people I know and in the wider world. Where this is all going, I can’t say, but there is a definite feeling of dread concerning future events and so, to all of you who mentioned it, I have also thought the same thing. It’s not just you!

  343. Deneb Algedi 777, and others, I share the feeling that the near future promises to be quite dicey. Who knows what kind of madness is still to come?

  344. @ Lunar Apprentice 350

    Thanks for the tip. Having some pieces of better quality ideas at hand for reflection would likely be useful. I’m probably in need of some kind of -useless- information fasting. I sometimes crave for some external stimulation, which I’m currently trying to deal with, and tend to consume too much information, not always of good quality -the internet makes this so easy. I also want to take up discursive meditation and apply it to texts as JMG explains it in his first response to me. I suppose it will be hard, but I’ve seen the result of maintaining these and other dumbing-down tendencies for extended periods in other people and want to avoid it myself.

    @ ABRAHAM 352

    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation. I want to start practicing discursive meditation and it’s incredibly helpful to actually see the process unfold and know what I could expect to accomplish with practice. It feels counterintuitive to me as I’m used to simply gathering more information, in a rather passive way, when I need to study something or even when I get passionate about it. I suppose that’s a side effect of easy access to huge amounts of information. The part about looking for what isn’t there looks especially challenging, it’s exactly the opposite of what I’m used to doing. Thank you again for your comment.

    @ Andy 356

    You categories seem very thorough to me. To be honest, I haven’t looked into many of them in the context of the Decline of the West, or at all. Indeed, just two years ago I read the term “peak oil” for the first time, so I probably can’t contribute much to the discussion.

  345. Celadon, I’m pretty sure that it’s possible to subtly shape contours of the land to make the kind of sound anomaly I experienced — and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this relies on properties of sound waves that modern physicists haven’t looked at yet. Thanks for the data point!

    Moose, it’s a valid point!

    Dennis, interesting. They clearly didn’t use my books for training, then, because neither of those sounds like me at all. Notice the bland verbs, the constant use of cliché phrases (“we stand on the brink of,” “a stride into the future,” etc.) and the misstatement of the basic points of both books; I’m pretty sure that the program simply looked up a few dozen online book reviews and generated some prose on that basis.

    J.L.Mc12, no surprises there.

    JustMe, I’m just shaking my head. Those of us who were paying attention were saying this in 2006.

    Luke, that’s a fascinating point. Hmm — I’m going to brood over this, and consider citing it in a later post.

    Tidlösa, thanks for both of these.

    Misty, oddly enough, I was thinking about that too. It’s a given that the nuclear lobby would come up with some new gimmick to try to sell their glow-in-the-dark white elephants; now we know what the gimmick is going to be.

    PG, yep. Now we wait for the predicted catastrophe.

    DFC, it’s an interesting question, and it depends on far too many variables for me to venture a prediction at this point. The Supreme Court just rejected such an attempt, though, so it may not get far.

    Siliconguy, I’ll take your word for it, since I don’t do video.

    Michael, hmm! That makes a lot of sense; certainly some very young infants seem to know a lot more than they can say.

    PhysicsDoc, so long as the person has been dead long enough to finish detaching from the material body, it has no effect at all. If that’s not the case, the experience of having the body burnt causes some amount of trauma to the soul, but it’s no different from what happens when people are burnt alive — which of course does happen from time to time. Once the trauma is over, it’s over, and you go on.

    Boy, those are indeed edge cases, and no simple twofold set of categories can make sense of such cases. Since “made” and “born” are simply linguistic categories used to provide a general overview of irreducibly complex situations, such confusions are inevitable. I consider both monoculture cropping and GMOs bad ideas, but that’s not because of where they fit in the set of categories just named — it’s because of the known bad consequences of the one, and the complete lack of adequate knowlede and safety testing in the other. As for Faustian civilization, it’s more complex than a single meme — every culture is. I suppose you could create an analysis of a culture as a hypermeme…

    Poseidon, I try to stay ahead of the headlines, but it’s not always easy!

  346. By the way, there’s apparently some kind of problem with the latest upgrade to this website — it’s demanding that at least some people log in more than once to post a reply. Please go ahead and do the second log in, and let me know — I’ve got my tech guy working on it.

  347. Dear JMG, 

    You say, “[s]ince “made” and “born” are simply linguistic categories used to provide a general overview of irreducibly complex situations”. Firstly, this is a very helpful thing to point out. Secondly, and however, has this brought us to the limit of words in conveying the idea of a nature-spirituality?

    I’m reminded of something said by Charles Tart: “words form a barrier to sensing other aspects of mental functioning”. 

    Time for some meditation, I think. 

    As to the notion of a hypermeme: an exciting possibility, the meme which autogenerates new self-reinforcing memes – a sort of ur-story or idea. Also something to meditate on! 

    Many thanks,

  348. Just a note. Yesterday I was driving through Wahiawa where the military guys, spooks, and preppers live and saw a guy filling up a whole bunch of brand new jerry cans in his truck bed. You may want to consider fast forwarding that Peak Oil update because it looks like we could be on the precipice of a price/supply shock and hoarding situation. 

  349. @JMG

    My question was not related to probabilities the democratic party succeeding in avoiding Trump to participate in the elections or putting him in a jail, but “what if”. My question was to you as a “realist” fiction writter: what you consider would happens to the political process in this case?

    For me I consider a very clumsy dangerous game that potentially could endanger the social stability. IMHO if they think declaring Trump guilty of a crime could change the view of the followers of a charismatic leader, they know nothing about history.

    In any case I am a foreigner and I cannot evaluate the political climate of your country now.


  350. Hello JMG and commentariat,
    This is my first post and it seems to me the Open Post week is a good time for a little introduction.
    I live in NW Oregon, on a beautiful farm, with chickens, geese, goats, dairy and beef cows. We are mostly self-sufficient, and it is a really good feeling, tho it’s a lot of work, he he.
    I like to read about the world and make my own opinion about what’s going on, even though it doesn’t always makes sense, and I am very interested in the occult. Grew up in an Eastern European country, and moved here in my late teens.
    I want to thank JMG for all the writings, and all the people that contribute here, such a wide array or prespectives, and so much to learn and discover.

  351. Boy, Charles Tart’s generally worth listening to, and this is a good example of why!

    Kalihi, that wouldn’t surprise me for a moment. There’s good reason to think that oil will break $150 a barrel next year, and if that happens the price of gas is going to be at least half again what it is now…

    DFC, that was how I understood your question — and I don’t know what’s going to happen if they succeed.

    Liv, welcome to the best commentariat on the internet!

    Chris, yeah, it’s colorful. For the time being my IT guy has deleted the Jetpack plugin, which was apparently the thing that went blooey; we’ll see what happens.

  352. @CLARKE JONES FOUNTAIN (Gwydion a.k.a. Clarke), #374

    ” Of course, culture.”

    This is why I went on to study Druidry and Bardism.

  353. JMG, with respect to your response to PhysicsDoc about cremation, when my cat needed to be euthanized a couple years ago, I was there with her until her heart stopped and she went limp, then (I was upset) I left. Since then, I’ve had the nagging feeling I should have stayed with her body longer. Would staying with her for an hour or so have been a nice final thing to do for my cat, and considering that the cat I adopted afterwards is no spring chicken, when her time comes should I plan on staying with the body for some time?

  354. Here at the end of the open post, maybe I’ll voice my opinions about Trump. I’m not a fan. Though I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, that is now over for good. I would not under any circumstances vote for Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton. And further down the ballot I’m now an independent.

    However, Trump always has been and still is a con man who has associated with the sleaziest elements in NYC: Guilliani, Roy Kohn, Jeffrey Epstein, Gislaine Maxwell and so on. Yes, I’ve read “The King In Orange.” Unlike so many here, I won’t praise it to the skies. As far as Trump’s current legal woes go, I think he’s always played fast and loose with the law, from the very beginning in his real estate shenanigans. When confronted with lawsuits or prosecution, for him it’s always been deny, obfuscate and delay. In that, he shows that he is a master. But once you get into politics you can always claim that now it’s all just a political witch-hunt. Yeah, right! I’d be more impressed with him if he were consistent in anything. Or if he’d pardoned Julian Assange when he had the power to do it. Or if he unequivocally promised to end our involvement with Ukraine and the neo-con establishment in this country. Has he done that? Now that would get my attention!

  355. @JMG I was not able to comment for a few days due to whatever coputer glitch was going on, it was also asking me to log on, but I never log on any other time, I donthave word press or google whatever… so we will see if this posts

    @ Chris in Australia

    Yep, LiFePo4. I also had to check specs on temperature for getting these. That does very amongst the different brands, so I got SipliPhis, made in California and work at higher temperatures than many. I did not want to have “battery management temperture controls” of fans and such either built in or needed to be made by me. And, yes, I dont think everyone always thinks about the temperature ratings, of how the equipment works in extended outages or how they restart etc…

    So as you mention issues with Dc wiring and switching, how do you use your system ? Is your house wired for AC or DC ? And, given that I need to get a refrigerator ( mine was recycled after the fire. Basically, you cannot save a refrigerator that sits with no power and full of food for 2 or 3 months. We had a local guy that took upon himself the job of going and pulling all our refrigerators out, emptying them and hauling them down to the county) this is timely information for me. Also, just about robustness. I realy want my critical needs taken care of with too much complexity. So I would love to hear about what you have found works to meet your critical needs

  356. Justin, yes, it’s a good idea to stay with the body for at least a little while, so the spirit of the animal can feel your presence while it goes through the first stages of the transition. That’s true of human beings as well — the tradition of the wake has many virtues.

    Phutatorius, if everyone praised any of my books I’d wonder what I did wrong!

    Atmospheric River, as you see, it did indeed. The problem was the JetPack plugin — apparently that got upgraded a few days back, and as usual with upgrades these days, stopped working the way it was supposed to. My IT guy has unplugged it until it gets fixed.

  357. Standing On the Brink of a Stride Into the Future sounds like the last place I’d expect to find JMG. Sitting quite comfortably well back from the dangerous edge, then strolling comfortably to perambulate the best of the past. Now that seems much more likely!

    J.L.Mc12 #353
    “did you hear that thousands of aussie books were apparently pirated by a technological firm in order to train an AI?”
    It’ll be a g’day in hell when we get fed those results.

    Further Large Model hype debunking:

    JMG # 380 & Dennis Michael Sawyers # 348
    “I’m pretty sure that the program simply looked up a few dozen online book reviews” More specifically, it used the mention of your name and of books as the hook, with which it fished for strings of words that happened to be nearby in its training materials within a programmed degree of statistical relevance.
    That excerpt sounds more like sales pitch for Let’s Save Nature By Buying These EFTs Club, from Some Famous Genius Who Reminds You He’s So Much Smarter Than You, than it does anything from JMG. A few of the phrases are there but nothing of the meaning or soul. It’s like taking a dozen ingredients at random from Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen, heating them at 300 degrees for ten minutes, and saying Behold Gordon’s New Cassarole.

    Misty Friday # 362 “Imagine how disappointing it would be to find endless social media posts, collected data about usage and very little actionable technical data?” You mean like today’s Internet?

    CR Patiño # 367
    Not a knowledge base as no thinking occurs, but a regurgitation base. Large Models don’t increase an artificial brain, but inflate an artificial stomach which can spit back out more contents when more user prompts, like little open beaks, arrive for whatever Mom brought back to their nest.

    Scotlyn # 321 I’ve often seen language about “nor in an information retrieval system” or similar, which would absolutely rule out Large Model training if taken literally and enforceable.
    From 2007: “No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.”
    From 2001: “Neither this book nor any part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, microfilming, and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.”
    Similar language from a 1985 book.
    I suspect some publisher started to use this language between 1950 and 1980. Other publishers liked the disclaimer, put it in their information storage and retrieval systems, and immediately transmitted it with all of their own books.

  358. My comment in the conversation about AI looked alright in the text entry form, which pleasant formatting.
    But the preview showed a wall-of-words with no line or paragraph breaks at all.
    Is the glitch on my side or with the comment system on the site?

    P.S. In this comment, “But, ” “Is,” and “P.S.” should all start on new lines, with a blank line before “P.S.”

  359. Batstrel # 342, I believe by MBTI typology, our gracious host would best be described as INTJ.

    I: Many introverts do well with publishing, public speaking, and interacting with an audience. The question is whether one is energized, enlivened, recharged by being among the throngs, or by a quieter time at home with just a few carefully chosen dear people, or with one’s thoughts and spiritual connections.
    JMG was contendely a homebody, before global pandemic lockdowns made it what all the cool kids are doing these days!
    I think of Tom Bodett, Joel Osteen, Abraham Lincoln, and Jiddu Krishnamurti, as other examples of introverts who do very well addresing the public, but are personally recharged by a quiet time of withdrawal rather than a boistrous, packed victory party.

    N: JMG often discusses the importance of observing, looking, noticing, doing an experiment rather than presuming what the result would be. He’s discussed that mental visualization is a skill he had to gradually develop over time. He takes a systematic and disciplined rather than freewheeling approach to his magical workings. His descriptions of circumstances are first of what’s observable, only then how he feels about it. All of this aligns with a sensory focus as most naturally primary over intuition.

    T: He recognizes emotions as a vital part of our human lives, which we should understand. And the best way to understand them, is with the classic psychological model of examining the belief system of thoughts and interpretations which gives rise to the emotional state. Thus, thought as primary over feeling.

    J: Everyone is entitled to their view and actions, as long as they don’t degrade the experiences of others. That said, there are indeed moral absolutes, spiritual principles, ethical certainties, answers certainly right compared to others that are certainly wrong. Thus, MBTI’s “judging” according to standards and criteria, rather than “perceiving” anything goes.

    Patricia Ormsby # 320 I would happily sit and listen to your hang gliding memoirs, babbling or not, true or not!

    Liv # 386 welcome, I’m fairly new here myself. Seems like this is a great fit for you!
    If you were to total it up, what would you guess is the number of hours you work on the farm in a week? I’m curious how that compares to an intense city job plus commute.

    ABRAHAM #352
    Someone: “Look, the sheep in the fields have been shorn.”
    A Quaker Friend: “Well, they appear to have been shorn on this side.”

    Lathechuck # 296
    When you “make a deposit,” you are actually buying insurance against your futurre withdrawal. The premium is the same as the face value of the expected benefit, available exactly once or in any installments, at any timing of your choice.
    # 295 & Joy Marie # 273
    The only advantages I know of for copper over fiber optics in data communications, are a lower up front cost, and many places already have it. In every other way, fiber’s superior. Thin, flexible, lightweight, non corroding, doesn’t generate and isn’t affected by radio frequency interference, can easily be waterproof, and bandwidth capacity so large that replacement isn’t needed for substantial increases in performance by upgrading the equipment at either end.

    Cliff # 289 Wouldn’t prayer always be appropriate when one wants to ask the metaphysical to help reduce the suffering of others?

  360. If my post attempts tonight are wall-of-words without my intended line breaks coming through, please don’t post them. I can try again later tonight or tomorrow.

  361. @Hispalensis
    I hope this technique gives you great results, as it did for me. I always learnt better with an example, so I thought an example would be useful to you too.
    By the way, are you from Seville?

    I wasn’t planning on commenting anything more in this threat, but then I saw the new reply box, and I couldn’t help it!

  362. On the other hand, regarding my rant about Trump, he was consistent in trying to control the borders, and that’s no small matter. I do give him credit for that.

  363. @YarrowMoon
    I would be happy to know more about your journey! 🙂 (from your writing I assume you’re Hungarian?)

    Thank you JMG for everything, i’ve been reading your blog and other writings for a good decade now.

  364. (Taking the liberty to add this since the next post isn’t up yet as of now, as far as I can see, so this OP is presumably still open)

    @Justin #392 and JMG

    I really wish I’d seen this conversation a little sooner, since I found myself in that same situation with my cat of 14 years yesterday. Like you, I also wanted to be present for her final moments, but didn’t want to linger with the body in that clinical setting and seeing her in that condition. I suppose that was a mistake, and I’ll make sure to stay a while the turn comes to my other cat. In any case, my sympathies for your loss even if it was a few years ago now, since I know all too well how painful it is.

    And for JMG, on the off-chance you’re still replying this late in the cycle: is there anything simple it’d be appropriate to do for her soul in the immediate aftermath? Lighting a candle/incense etc.? I’m only in the Ovate grade of the CGD, so I can’t do anything more serious yet.

  365. Hello, it is late in the cycle, but I want to share an article that I found quite wonderful, about the work of *empirical* climate scientist Millan M Millan, and how his lifetime’s work fleshing out the “second leg” of climate science (the part that relates to what the land contributes to the local climate) lost out to all the focus going on CO(2) as “modelled”.

    Millan is also credited with this beautiful phrasing, called “poetic” in the article, but to my mind somewhat “incantatory”, or perhaps, “enchanting”:
    “water begets water, soil is the womb, vegetation is the midwife”

    Article here:

  366. JMG, I don’t know whether this will beat the clock by enough to receive a reply but:
    Where can I find more about your recent remark that native cultures in eastern North America went out if their way to avoid developing a civilization?


  367. Re: Praxis. I’ve noticed, reading about Green wizardry, the domestic economy, etc, how much of it comes down to replacing machinery and factories with womanpower. A book a read ages ago about women’s work in times past was, essentially, about the textile industry. Herodotus noted “In Egypt, women trade in the markets and men stay home and weave,” because weaving was a recognized trade in Egypt, whereas Greek women’s weaving was sold only when the family was in financial difficulties. I have a note somewhere about the tasks expected of an Appalachian housewife in the early 20th century – it’s from an article on June Carter and her struggles to become a country musician, but it’s a prize reference on what can be expected in the deindustrial world. And a visit to a Florida historical farm, complete with costumed re-enactors, showed a main room with a rug loom and half of a rag rug in process. Fascinating, and a good head start for anyone anticipating the future.
    @all: my “testing 1-2-3-4” message was because I was unable to post a Reply yesterday, due to either my old log-in was invalid, or the server changed its procedures, or you-tell-me.
    Aha! Just read JMG#382 – another “upgrade” to the system. Thanks!

    About “dark and scary times,” try reading a book set in the late 1930s by those who were there, especially in Britain and in Europe. I believe JMG remarked that there had been a couple of previous failed attempts at Caesarism before this one; the Rise of Hitler was assuredly one such. But believe me, none of the politicians on the scene so far are that scary.

  368. @ “It’s like taking a dozen ingredients at random from Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen, heating them at 300 degrees for ten minutes, and saying Behold Gordon’s New Cassarole.”…

    Do you know how many people, looking at their kitchen, do the same sort of thing: grab whatever’s in there, mix, add a can of soup, and serve? My friend Jean calls it “Cream of Leftovers Casserole.” But, yes, the analogy with a chatbot product actually flatters the chatbot because the human hand and eye that picks out the leftovers and stirs the pot is lacking.

  369. @ Abraham or Abraam 400
    Yes, I’m from Seville. If I remember correctly, you recently said you’re from Malaga, right?

  370. Patricia Mathews, “Cream of Leftovers Casserole.” Oh yeah! A favorite! And no, you can’t have the family recipe… unless your cupboards are down to the same last stuff.

    My analogy didn’t go far enough. Since ChatGPT doesn’t actually know anything – and it’s documented it recommends literally deadly toxic meals – I should have said this. It’s like a robot that picks up containers of stuff from anywhere in the house or garage or garden shed, and throws them all in the pot. Tonight’s special is chicken soup, Round-Up, Tide Pods, onions that didn’t use to be that shade of green, transmission fluid, mashed potatoes, three pounds of milk chocolate, two dozen habaneros, garnished with paprika and slug bait. Which the robot will then tell you is delicious!

    P.S. Typing my reply in the “Leave a Reply” box looks fine. Preview shows everything mashed together with no paragraph breaks. Post itself turns up fine.

    Is there someone’s blog or forum that is the usual place to continue these conversations, when our gracious host’s post has sailed off to the sunset?

  371. JMG, thanks, and yeah, I suspected as much. Her death was a surprise (she had a heart attack that didn’t kill her, and the only thing I could think to do was rush her to the vet for euthanasia). I didn’t have a plan in place for such an eventuality, and although I’ve talked about this on Simon S’ blog, there were more than one aspects of the whole thing that really bothered me; if I could have a do-over, bashing her skull in seems preferable. What bothered me about the time at the vet was that there was no question of letting her die naturally while on painkillers – the vet gave her painkillers to start and then euthanasia immediately after those worked. She was pretty blissed out (but responsive to me, so she was clearly still there) after the painkillers and I regret not letting her pass naturally in that state.

    For a cat, if the passing is predictable (like home euthanasia in response to old age) how long should I keep the body around before cremation or burial?

  372. @Hispalensis #409
    #400 is a typo.
    It’s Abraham, from Málaga, yes. There are quite a few people from Spain around here. In due time we will be overthrowing the lingua franca of the empire, hehe.
    It was my interest in the peak oil what pointed me towards this site, and it’s been JMG’s patient and mundane explanation of what is the occult, what picked my interest. I can say that the study has paid off, both in knowledge and in my personal life. I consider myself an occult initiated atheist these days, if that even means anything.

    @Christopher #398
    Hard facts vs deductions!! That was a powerful image.

Comments are closed.