Not the Monthly Post

The Revolt of the Imagination, Part One: Notes on Belbury Syndrome

Maybe it’s true that life really does imitate literature. Over the last week or so, certainly, a detail from one of my favorite works of imaginative fiction played out at least twice in the real world, with microphones live and cameras rolling. I’m thinking here first of German Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach, who promoted vaccine mandates with this bit of fascinating logic:  “No one will be vaccinated against their will; the vaccine mandates will simply lead people, ultimately, to accept voluntary vaccination.”  See if you can find a way to parse those words that makes sense of them. I can tell you already that it doesn’t help to read them in the original German.

Then there’s Jen Psaki, spokesflack-in-chief for poor bumbling Joe Biden. She was asked by a reporter at a recent presser about the people, and of course there are a great many of them, who are increasingly worried about the future of the United States under Biden’s inept leadership.  Her response? “My advice to everyone out there who’s frustrated, sad, angry, pissed off, feel those emotions, go to a kickboxing class, have a margarita.” For sheer crazed detachment from the world the rest of us inhabit, that’s hard to beat, especially when you recall that her boss campaigned saying he would, you know, fix the country’s problems. Maybe her words make more sense in German, or for that matter in pig Latin, but I doubt it.

What all this brings to mind, of course, is the climactic scene in C.S. Lewis’s tremendous fantasy That Hideous Strength. The villains of the piece, a collection of arrogant technocrats among whom Psaki and Lauterbach would fit in seamlessly, are gathered at their headquarters at Belbury for a banquet. What they don’t know is that their attempts to get control of certain supernatural forces have stirred up old strong magics from the Arthurian era, and Merlin—yes, that Merlin—is on the scene. The first spell he casts on them is the same one that made life so interesting for the construction crews at the Tower of Babel. While this is taking effect, and their speech is turning into the kind of absurdity we were just discussing, Merlin works his second spell, which makes good use of the well-stocked collection of experimental animals at the facility.  Some of these are decidedly large, fierce, and hungry. The survival rate for the villains—well, we don’t have to get into that; let’s just say the beasts go away well fed.

Literary parallels are always chancy things, and I’m by no means sure just how far to take this one. Certainly if any sixth-century Roman-British wizards have been revived recently, my contacts in the British occult community haven’t let me know about it yet, and our current crop of arrogant technocrats haven’t actually gotten around to naming themselves the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments, though doubtless Klaus Schwab will get to that shortly. That said, there’s enough in common between the utterances of Lewis’s villains and those we’ve just surveyed that we might as well describe the latter as cases of Belbury Syndrome. After all, if Jen Psaki were to get up in front of the microphones next week and confidently announce, “The madrigore of verjuice must be talithibianised,” I can’t say I’d be surprised. If I were her or Lauterbach, I’d keep an eye out for hungry beasts.

All jesting aside, the two remarks quoted earlier are worth keeping in mind, not least because they’re anything but unique. We’ve all heard politicians and media flacks insisting with straight faces, for example, that the Covid-19 pandemic can only be stopped by getting more people to take vaccines that don’t stop anyone from catching the virus or transmitting it to others. Other examples are as close as your nearest corporate media venue. I’ve written about this from various angles in the past, of course, suggesting various ways to get out from under the weird collective trance that grips the managerial aristocracy of the modern industrial world these days. It seems to me just now, however, that there’s a very simple way to talk about the accelerating collapse of meaning that’s afflicting our self-proclaimed lords and masters. What we’re seeing is a terminal failure of the imagination.

Modern industrial society’s attitude toward imagination is frankly weird, a volatile mixture of nostalgia, condescension, and contempt. Children, artists, and “primitive” peoples—this latter label is slapped on those ethnic groups that are less dependent on factory-made technological gimmickry than the rest of us—are expected or even encouraged to be imaginative. The same label of “imaginative,” and the same expectations and encouragement, used to be applied to women not that many decades ago, and it’s been instructive to watch the way that women in the comfortable classes of modern industrial society have gone out of their way to shed that label on their way to their current level of wealth and influence. If you needed a hint that “imaginative” is not a compliment in modern society, well, there you have it.

Calling some person or group of people imaginative, rather, allows them to be treated by the mainstream as second-class human beings whose insights and perceptions can be dismissed out of hand. Serious, mature, respectable people are supposed to keep whatever stray scraps of imagination they might have left neatly ghettoized in some isolated corner of their lives where it doesn’t get in the way of serious, mature, respectable discussion and decision. In many contexts today, to call someone’s ideas “imaginative” is to dismiss them as wrong.  To call something “imaginary” is to say that it doesn’t exist.

All this begs a galaxy of questions, and we can start with the most basic of them. What exactly is this thing that we’re calling “imagination”?

There are various ways that we can approach that question.  I trust none of my readers will be too surprised, however, if I start with an option that doesn’t share the usual modern prejudices on the subject. The image above is one of the famous engravings from Robert Fludd’s great 1617 encyclopedia of Renaissance occultism, Utriusque Cosmi Historia (A History of Both Worlds—the two worlds in question being the world around us and the world within us.) It’s a schematic diagram that sums up everything that human beings can experience or think about. The set of nested circles on the far left, up in front of the forehead, is the mundus sensibilis, the realm of perceptions brought to us by the five material senses—notice the lines running from that set of circles to the eye, ear, nose, and so on. That’s what most people call the “real world;” right now we don’t have to get into the reasons why it’s much less real than it looks.

The set above and to the right of the mundus sensibilis is the mundus imaginabilis, the realm of perceptions brought to us by the imaginative equivalents of the ordinary senses. It’s divided into rings identical to those of the mundus sensibilis, and each of these rings is labeled as a shadow of one of the rings of the mundus sensibilis. That’s the key to the imagination in Fludd’s view. For him, and for the many other psychologists of his time and the centuries before then, the imaginative world is made up of sensations that don’t come to you by way of your five material senses, but they have the same forms as the products of those senses.

You can put this to the test easily enough. Take a moment, right now, to imagine a bright blue, slightly luminous cat walking past you. Each of its footfalls makes a crunching noise, and from it radiates a pervasive feeling of cold and a scent of peppermint. This isn’t something you’re ever likely to perceive with your material senses—if it is, you may want to get your glasses checked in a hurry!—but you just imagined it as I described it, didn’t you?  Every detail you assigned to it, from the blue color to the scent of peppermints, was borrowed via memory from sensations you’ve previously experienced. You simply took these remembered sensations (blue, crunch, etc.) and assembled them in a new way.

If you want to test the limits of imagination, try imagining a new primary color: not a blend of any other colors you have ever seen, but a color different from all other colors, as different as red is from blue. I’ll offer you a hint:  you can’t. You might be able to come up with the abstract notion of another primary color—David Lindsay, a brilliant and mostly forgotten author of imaginative fiction, did this with fine effect in his 1920 novel A Voyage to Arcturus, giving the distant world on which his story is set the two additional primary colors of jale and ulfire—but it remains an abstraction. You can’t even really imagine the extra colors seen by bees, whose eyes reach parts of the spectrum ours can’t:  that’s why those extra colors are called “bee purple” and the like, to give a metaphoric label to something humans can’t actually imagine.

What all this means, to use a term I’ve referenced several times in recent posts, is that imagination is a mode of figuration. Figuration, as you may recall from those earlier posts, is Owen Barfield’s term for the process by which we assemble the raw material of sensation into a set of objects that, for us, comprise the world. We learn to turn sensations into figurations in earliest infancy by a process of trial and error, and after many corrections and mistakes get sufficiently good at it that we scarcely notice doing it.  Thereafter, only certain optical illusions and the occasional experience of mistaking one thing for another shows us just how much mental effort goes into creating what we think of as objective reality.

To imagine something, in turn, is to use the same process on remembered sensations to construct figurations of things that don’t happen to be present. We learn this in earliest infancy, too, and get just as good at it. If you think about what you’re going to do tomorrow, and call to mind the errands you plan on running, the people you hope to meet, and the glass of hot buttered rum you plan on drinking to take off the chill once you drag yourself home again, you’re using your imagination. If, without turning your head, you turn your attention to the room behind you, you’re using your imagination then, too. Anything that’s part of your world, but isn’t actually in range of your five material senses? Once again, when you turn your mind to them, you’re using your imagination. Most of the time, again, you don’t notice that you’re doing it.  Deliberate efforts to imagine something fill the same role here as optical illusions and mistaken identities do for sensory figurations:  they show us that something we take for granted as “out there” really is constructed by our own thinking.

The close connection between sensory figuration and imaginative figuration is why Fludd’s diagram shows the mundus sensibilis and the mundus imaginabilis projected from a pair of overlapping circles in the front of the head. They’re not the same, but they can’t be separated: the matrix of representations that you think of as the world is figurated partly using the things your senses tell you, and partly using the things your imagination tells you. Your emotions and your body, by the way, respond  equally strongly to figurations from both sources.  If you think the noises you hear outside the window were made by a wild beast, or for that matter by Karl Lauterbach skulking outside with a syringe in his hand and a maniacal cackle on his lips, that will get your heart pounding and your adrenaline going whether the noises are caused by a hungry wild beast, a crazed technocrat, or just the wind rattling branches against the wall.

From the overlapping circles of sensation and imagination, in turn, a link goes back to the more complex structure at the middle of the head, which is the human capacity for thought. Fludd, like the other psychologists of his time, divides that into two factors, understanding and judgment.  On top of those are three additional circles—reason, intuition, and enlightenment—which, in the view of Fludd and the other psychologists of his time, were the products of education rather than nature. The highest of those, and only the highest of them, comes close to the complex flurry of shapes above, which represents the spiritual world. (Fludd, like most Renaissance occultists, was a Christian, and so he portrayed this in standard Christian terms as the Trinity and the nine choirs of angels.)  You’ll notice that the band descending from this doesn’t actually go into the head: even enlightenment, in this way of thinking, doesn’t breach the inescapable barrier between representation and reality or, in Fludd’s terms, between the creature and the Creator.

The third set of overlapping circles further back?  Those are the purely mechanical operations of the brain, which Fludd calls its memorative and motive functions:  in our somewhat more ungainly terms, the storage of memories and the coordination of physical motion. The three overlapping circles above the back of the head, linked by a band to the memorative circle, are the subjective functions of memory; the band descending from the motive circle is the spinal cord, which takes the motor impulses to the muscles of the body. Yes, Renaissance occultists knew about that. Our current notion that nobody knew anything about the human body before scientists got into the act is just as dishonest as the claim that in 1492, everyone but Christopher Columbus thought that the world was flat.

If we turn back to what’s going on further forward in the head, you’ll notice that the link between perception and thought goes from imagination to cognition. Here again Fludd is quite correct. We understand only what we can imagine. Consider Copernicus, looking up at the sky. People had been doing that for many millennia, and with few exceptions they assembled their sense data into a cosmos in which the Earth sat in the middle and the Sun, planets, and stars went around it.  Copernicus, with a mighty leap of the imagination, put the Sun at the center and spun everything else around it. That wasn’t an exercise of the understanding or the reason; again, millions of people for thousands of years had applied their cognitive capacities and their learned ability to reason to the question of how to make sense of the cosmos, and all they’d done was come up with ever more elaborate ways of making sense of an Earth-centered cosmos.

That’s what they did, and that’s all they could have done, because thinking can’t go beyond its own presuppositions. Reason can show you when your presuppositions conflict with one another, and that’s an enormous gain:  the ancient Greek thinkers who first figured out how to do that systematically made a hefty contribution to human life by that act. Science can show you when your presuppositions conflict with your figurations, and that’s another enormous gain, but science in the modern sense of the word hadn’t been invented in Copernicus’s time—or, for that matter, in Fludd’s. Neither of them can provide you with new constellations of imagery and ideas that you can try out as a new presupposition and see how it works.

That’s what the imagination does.  It creates an image or, in Fludd’s language, a shadow of the world experienced by the senses, and then plays with it, tossing the Sun from the fourth heaven to the center of the cosmos and seeing what the universe looks like in that novel configuration. It creates wholly new presuppositions and asks, “what if this were true?”  The secret of the imagination is that it’s a generator of novelty. It creates new combinations for the other functions of your mind to explore. It can work with sensations, as you found out when I had you imagine that luminous blue cat a little while back.  It can work with figurations, as Copernicus showed—the Sun and the Earth are figurations each of us learns to construct from a gallimaufry of sensations. It can work with abstractions, as David Lindsay demonstrated by coming up with the impossible-yet-vivid idea of two more primary colors. It can also work with other mental phenomena—in fact, it can work with any kind of experience a human being can have.

Imagination is thus one of the basic tools of human empathy. Under most circumstances, we don’t perceive the world through anyone else’s eyes and mind but our own.  There are ways around that limitation, but the most flexible and expansive of the lot is the imagination. When you were six and your mother told you, “How would you feel if he did that to you?”—if, in fact, she was so unfashionable as to do something so useful to your future mental health—she was trying to get you to use your imagination, to construct from your own memories a figuration of what you would have felt if you had been in the other child’s place. That use of the imagination becomes the basis for moral reflection, and ultimately for one kind of wisdom.

That’s the kind of wisdom, moral reflection, and imagination that is so obviously absent in the two florid cases of Belbury Syndrome with which we started this discussion. If Karl Lauterbach, for example, had been capable of imagining that the people who listened to him might think about his words and try to make sense of them, rather than simply bowing and cringing the way underlings are supposed to do when one of the lords and masters of the industrial world deigns to speak to them, he would have stopped in mid-sentence, slapped himself, and said, “Mein Gott, what am I saying?”  It would have been instantly obvious to him that he was spouting nonsense; after all, when you mandate something, you are forcing it on people, and that means that, ahem, it’s not voluntary. He might even have guessed that his words would powerfully remind a great many of his listeners of the slogans from George Orwell’s novel 1984—“War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom, Ignorance is Strength!”

As for Jen Psaki, her case is similar. It never occurs to many people in the upper echelons of the American caste system that the people who support their extravagant lifestyles and suffer from the consequences of their decisions are actually, you know, people. Very many of the privileged these days talk and act as though the only other people in the room are members of their own class. That’s what Psaki did. She offered the kind of helpful advice that one corporate flunkey gives to another when both of them have to put up with the annoyances of working for the same hopelessly incompetent boss.  It’s doubtless never entered her imagination that the abstract blobs out there who cast votes and hold down jobs are actual people with their own needs and hopes and dreams, who might reasonably expect Joe Biden to follow through on his campaign promises, or do something about the increasingly dismal state of life in today’s America, or at least stop making things worse. Lacking that foundation for empathy, all she could do was behave like one of the characters to whom C.S. Lewis assigned the role of tiger chow.

The collapse of imagination that stands out so clearly in the case of these two babbling technocrats is by no means limited to the corrupt ruling elite to which they both belong.  Belbury Syndrome is a far more general problem just now. Fortunately, like most other mental capacities, the imagination can be fostered and encouraged through certain methods of deliberate practice.  Two weeks from now, we’ll talk about those—and about the sweeping cultural and political implications of putting them to work.


  1. A number of years ago the Optical Institute and Shade Company of Mindanao anounced the discovery of a fourth primary color. The research was done by Dr. Wo Yan Squant, and he named the color after himself, which caused quite a controversy. The news was supposedly broke in various papers, but I first heard it via the Universal Media Netweb and it’s associated radio show Over the Edge. Crosley Bendix, cultural critic and arts reviewer, gave a good overview of what it means to live in a world where squant is now the fourth primary color. The Divine Spectrum Institute in Naples, the worlds supreme arbiter of color, said that since no fourth primary had ever been found, there was no precedent for naming the fourth color. But don’t take my word for it, listen to Crosley!

  2. Buenos dias JMG,

    Interesting. I listened to a prehistory specialist who said that there are two things that were critical in human evolution and success as a species: creativity – i.e. painting on cave walls , and tools .

  3. Hi JMG,

    Thank you for the post, I always look forward to reading your thoughts.

    What this article brought to mind was a combination of the Cosmic Doctrine and Spengler’s organic philosophy that you’ve written previously about. Any world view or philosophy starts off as undifferentiated potential, much like how say a person trying to get to a particular destination begins making train tracks on an empty patch of land. Moving it from abstraction to reality, tracks then get laid by this imaginative innovator which other people can add on to, participate and ride on so to head the same way. However, the successful application of this imagination runs into the limitations of the physical world. By creating this line and moving along it, you’ve excluded the other places you’ve gone or the ways to go about it, and now you have a sunk cost that requires continual upkeep to maintain in any functioning way. Generation after generation, the original impetus and the knowledge learned through hard work and errors gets progressively cut away at and less and less imagination is needed by the participants regarding the existing framework. This leaves the elites as both the conductors and passengers on a train which they don’t understand how it came to be, how to effectively maintain the whole system or that there’s a whole slew of options to get from A to B.

    No wonder that the cold hand of reality comes in and derails the party and the end of the line!


  4. In a similar way, the word ‘myth’ is now being used as a way to imply something is a flat-out lie meant to deceive: the ‘myth’ of global warming, for example. Myths are or were regarded as sacred, serving as a framework for describing both the world and us and how the two are interconnected. It provided a compass for people to orient themselves as they went through life. Now the old myths seemed to have been mostly chucked out the window having been branded ‘lies’ by the same ‘educated’ people who now stand in front the microphone babbling nonsense. I fear we’re going to hear more of this political/technocratic glossolalia before the whole thing collapses at long last into a steaming heap.

  5. JMG – I know that you’re no more a fan of commercial sport than I am, but the Washington Football Team makes local news, and today’s announcement falls within the scope of this week’s essay. The new team nick-name is “the Commanders”!

    Haven’t we had enough of hearing “commands” from Washington?

    In what sense are the players of a football team “commanders”? They don’t tell anyone what to do.

    What is the sense of having more than one “commander” on the field? Effective command means that one voice gives the commands, to be carried out by the subordinates.

    Did they not consider the military overtones of “commander”? Maybe they had some inkling that it has, you know, something to do with combat in which we always triumph, but it’s a term from the NAVY, which has no combat role on land.

    Their prior name was a racist embarrassment, but I was starting to appreciate “Washington Football Team”, even if it was occasionally mis-abbreviated as “WTF” instead of “WFT”. In the Post, no less.

    On the other hand… I’m sure we can have some fun at the expense of the new “W.C.”. May they feel the flush of victory. May their passing game provide prompt relief.

  6. In some parts of the U.S. right now, PMC’s decisions, and massive bureaucratic overpay, coupled with 40 years of perpetually terrible choices, have created a 10:1 patient ratio in hospitals. Alongside the magical thinking “Get me another nurse” from “Step 3: profit!” the Nurse’s Own Association — safety association — has this official advice: “Put your chin in your hands and say, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gol-darn it, people like me.”

    Look it up, it’s on TikTok and nurses forums all over.

    So point being, they’re not just spouting nonsense to rival a Jonathan Swift novel, their decisions have consequences, and those consequences WILL KILL YOU. And, being now-divorced from reality, they won’t notice. They’ll probably say, “Be alive again! You can do it! You’re worth it!”

    I. Am not. Kidding.

  7. An implication is that, as much as the imagination is useful to create insights about the mundus sensibilis, one needs to study and observe and learn about the mundus sensibilis in order to further develop the figurations for the mundus imaginabilis to play with.

    Oh, gotta run, I think I hear a Lauterbach tapping on the window.

  8. There are some other great examples of Orwellian speech these days. My personal favourite is the claim that the Canadian protests cannot be called peaceful merely is there is no violence because they inspire fear in others. I’ve tried to parse that in any way that makes sense, but frankly I can’t figure out any way to make it make any kind of sense.

  9. JMG – That transcript from Psaki may have been inspired by a scene in “Don’t Look Up” (which I have not actually seen, but have read about from several sources). When a bright young astronomer discovers that an asteroid/comet is soon due to strike the Earth with disastrous consequences, after sharing and discussing the results with her supervisor, she goes home to … smoke some weed. Because, of course, what else would anyone do when faced with a gravely dangerous situation? Well, I guess Psaki recommends alcohol (or maybe that’s all she can imagine).

    Now, if you’re Resident Biden, when you’re confronted with the possibility that Russia may attack a nation which has a history of friendly relations with your son (if not your country), what else would you imagine other than sending thousands of other people’s sons (and daughters) to Eastern Europe? Since you’ve stated that they will not be deployed in Ukraine, and they’re certainly not going to invade Russia, are they just there to cheer from the sidelines? As with so many other “actions”, it won’t help, it might make things worse, but at least it’s something, and they can’t imagine doing nothing.

  10. Lauterbach’s comment reminds me of what was originally claimed of the Soviet Union: that it would become such a coveted utopia that they would actually have to build a wall to keep foreigners out. Funny enough, they actually did build such a wall….

  11. Thanks for another stellar piece JMG.

    It occurred to me that we as individuals and as a culture have outsourced our innate imaginations with the adoption of technologies such as television and other passively-consumed generators of images.

    Imagineering (TM by Disney in 1990) is an example of technological creation, managing and dissemination of images. “The word was actually coined by Alcoa around 1940, and appeared widely in numerous publications of several disciplines such as urban design, geography and politics, evolutionary economics, corporate culture and futures studies.” (Wikipedia)

    I’m reading Goethe’s Faust and am struck by how vividly the auditory and visual sensations of the drama appear in my mind as I’m reading. I’m reading a hard copy (that quaint artifact known as a printed book) in parallel with an e-book version. The inner theater of my imagination seems to be stimulated more by the printed book version than by the pixel version, for whatever reason.

  12. Alas, “let them kickbox and drink margaritas” just doesn’t have the same ring as “let them eat cake.”

  13. Thank you, JMG! Aside from your WOH series, Lewis’ Space Trilogy is the one piece of fiction I refer to with greatest frequency, and of them “That Hideous Strength” is the volume that (to my mind) most powerfully demonstrates our current world to us. The Belbury Syndrome might just explain why my patience with just about every electronic input from even slightly official sources is vanishing. The question remains: how the heck to remain sane, while avoiding the fate of the One Eyed Man in The Land of the Blind? I have my own lifetime of mental and physical hygiene methods at play, but at times feel like I’m teetering on the edge…

  14. I wrote 70,000 words of a fantasy novel seven years ago. I stopped when I could not imagine the rest of it except the end. Since early December I have added 25,000 words. My numerological Time signature this year is a 1, so I have a mostly singular intention to finish it before the year is out. Every time I wade too deep into Covid news, I reign myself back and start writing the novel I am imagining.

    It was a study of the occult, via your work the last year esp, that largely precipitated the rebirth of this novel. Much appreciated. It is a welcome realization, compared to the accelerating, disintegrating madness swirling everywhere around me.


  15. John–

    It seems to me that the structure of modernity, with it’s algorithms and virtual/augmented reality and social media, very much works against the development of imagination in that our preferences and perspectives are reinforced rather than constructively challenged. We respond to our bubbles with further embubblement.

  16. Thank you JMG! Two ironies that strike me:
    – Psaki statement as the perfect 21st century rendering of Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake”.
    – For all that those running our technocratic society want to eliminate the imagination, all of the promises of progress we are constantly force-fed are nothing but products of the imagination.

    BTW Jon Rappoport ( has a lot to say about the role of imagination and creativity in escaping from the Matrix.

  17. If I may be so bold, I would like to quote myself, in a comment on the previous open post, because my train of thought seems highly relevant to matters raised in this post. Specifically, the failure of the kind of imagination that leads to Ms Psaki being unable to imagine that “that the abstract blobs out there who cast votes and hold down jobs are actual people with their own needs and hopes and dreams”….

    I said:
    “To invoke statistics is a distancing move, an abstracting move, and (all too often), a dissembling move. It is a move that de-humanises. With statistics you can say things that are simply irrelevant to, or about, real people. And, should you be seduced by what you can say with statistics, you may even commit the most egregious move, which is to turn your statistics into Procrustean beds, that real people must be cut down to or stretch along to fit, or worse, that make them feel obliged to cut THEMSELVES down to or stretch THEMSELVES along to fit.

    [And I would insert here, that statistics have entered our lives and conversations in a very over-the-top way, partly through a peculiar development in medicine, which altered the cultural figuration of the body, and which Ivan Illich acutely described. He noted that, in the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s people were beginning to experience their bodies not as that of living being who can suffer, and triumph over suffering, but as a bundle of abstract statistical risks which it is their task to manage effectively.]

    “Statistics are completely blind, deaf and dumb as to matters of quality. Statistics can speak (and with enormous effort, they can occasionally speak approximately truthfully) to quantity, but humans experience quality much more easily than quantity. In fact, the word “quality” comes from the word “qualia” which is about what we experience and find hard, or impossible, to describe.

    [And if you are in the professional, managerial classes, statistics are now your daily companion and stock-in-trade, and your habitual consorting with them may even prevent you from imagining yourSELF – in important ways – as a living human being. How much more difficult, then, to imagine others as living human beings?]

    “Personally I take comfort in this. That with all of the “data” gathered and analysed by the powers that be, now supplied with unprecedented processing power and speed, all they can really do is count. They will never KNOW who we are. And who we are can always surprise.”

    And, well, this is where I take really do take some comfort. All this speedy surveillance and analysis can count us, and all our keystrokes, but it CANNOT IMAGINE us. And is utterly blind, deaf and dumb to all questions relating to quality – which is where we live, move, and experience our being.

  18. Perhaps I’ll be the first to point out that the poor old UK already has a NICE, an organisation designed to prevent the NHS from accidentally proving that some of the more exotic ideas in the world of healing might actually work.

    It’s a missed opportunity in my opinion. If they had placed their cards right they could have been called NICHE.

    More substantively, I have noticed one rather severe limitation to my own memory and imagination in that I am effectively unable to recall smells or flavours (largely the same thing). I can recognise them though.

    For example, I happen to know that in the next room there is a one quarter eaten bar of dark chocolate. I can picture it in superb detail and it’s trivial to imagine it acting unusually – for example suddenly appearing in this room and floating weightlessly a few feet in front of me. I can imagine the slight click as a piece breaks off and the rustle and crinkle of the paper and foil that surrounds it are disturbed. I can imagine the minor weight and texture of a piece of chocolate in my hand. However when it comes to the taste – I draw a complete blank.

    On the other hand, if I where actually to go next door and eat a piece I’d know pretty quickly if I’d just bitten into a piece of chocolate. There’s never any problem understanding that ‘that was a piece of chocolate, or alternatively ‘oh dear I have just bitten into a brussels sprout – please kill me now.’

    So it is with your cat. Glowing, blue, and even making a speech in favour of Pelagianism – no problem. Smelling of peppermint? No, I can’t imagine it. If a minty cat should happen to pass me in real life though I’d jump about 6 feet and mutter something about new fangled cat shampoo though.

    I’m told this is quite a common thing – the memory limitation, not the cat.

  19. Just noting that “Slavery is Freedom” is synonymous with “Arbeit macht frei”. That’s probably not a coincidence.
    I imagine that, if the supply chain issues become bad enough such that bread becomes scarce, then our leaders will advise us that cake is a good substitute. Some local stores are having supply chain issues with diary products among other things.

    On the subject of appropriate tech: I recently discovered that “Lister” style stationary diesel engines are being manufactured in India. I believe there is a reseller in Canada. These engines are designed to last forever with regular maintenance. Youtube shows several examples used on farms and such. I imagine these will be chugging away for centuries to come.

  20. Nudge Theory….

    What a fancy name for what used to be called bullying and intimidation…

  21. Judging from some of the stuff Macron and Trudeau come out with as well as the Lauterbach comment, those currently in charge are defining force as narrowly as possible. Unless someone comes and holds you down while you scream ‘no’ at the top of your lungs, they consider that you have taken the vaccine voluntarily. By that slightly ridiculous definition, Lauterbach’s comment makes sense. Otherwise, no.

    As for Jen Psaki, well, I file it under the ‘let them eat cake’ category – the author clearly has no idea that someone who can’t afford bread definitely can’t afford cake – or that martinis out and fitness classes are a) not cheap for everyone, and b) off-limits to the unvaccinated right now even if they can afford them. And that her comments are therefore both useless and offensive to a lot of people.

  22. It’s wonderful to read someone giving fitting praise to “That Hideous Strength”. The book has suffered from being too good – it is so superbly imagined and written, there aren’t any faults for a good critic to get his teeth into.

    On the subject of imagination and sense impressions, JMG, I wish to say that I’ve always been doubtful of the idea that our notions all come to us through our senses. It seems to me like a tidy assumption that is meant to make philosophical system-building easier, rather than a definite truth.

    As a small child my nights were plagued by a recurring nightmare of amoeboid monstrosities which (except for their ability to float) could have starred as shoggoths; and this was decades before I had read any Lovecraft. I wonder what sensory input could have led to such figuration. Also, I wonder why a comparatively innocent child should be tormented thus, while as a far more guilty adult I am untroubled by these things.

  23. JMG,

    Thanks for this! I was mentioning the “talithibianised” line in conversation the other day (after your comment on the other blog). I read all three Perelandra novels earlier this year for the first time – as a member of the US intelligence community, and a resident in DC, that novel struck to close to home for me. It hits a bit harder, too, since I don’t expect any Merlin moments anytime soon.

    I put it with some of the other early 20th century dystopias that seem nicer than my day-to-day if only because the heroes get a small reprieve in their secret institutions rather than getting kicked to the curb by them.

  24. @jbucks wrote

    “An implication is that, as much as the imagination is useful to create insights about the mundus sensibilis, one needs to study and observe and learn about the mundus sensibilis in order to further develop the figurations for the mundus imaginabilis to play with.”

    Absolutely. And to creatively use the imagination, it needs to be regularly nourished, i.e., the subconscious fortified with material from wide reading, wide band radioing, experiences in the world, etc. Discursive meditation is one way to work with the things we are nourishing and fortifying our subconscious with. Later, things bubble up in our own imagination, as insights, aha’s, and novel combinations which can do good for ourselves and others.

  25. One bit of literature that has kept coming to mind since the rollout of the absolutely safe and effective products is the GMO corn from Retrotopia, right down to the safe and effective side effects and the corporate pronouncements supporting said safety and efficacy.

    If it gets much more safe and effective, more of that novel might start rhyming with events…

  26. Bogatyr, that’s quite plausible. On the other hand, “nudge theory” is pretty Orwellian, too.

    Justin, funny!

    Tony, and tools themselves were the product of imagination. Somebody looked at a rock and thought, “I wonder if I could get a sharp edge on that if I bashed it with another rock…”

    Tamanous, a fine summary! This also suggests a cognitive dimension to my theory of catabolic collapse — overinvestment in a particular view of the world ends up requiring too much in the way of mental resources to sustain, leading to a failure to deal with other problems because too much of your mind is invested in propping up a failing structure of ideas.

    Jeanne, very much so. Myths are the narratives we use to make sense of the world, and modern industrial society sneers at them so that it can pretend that its own myths — the myth of progress and the myth of expertise — are objective truths, not socially constructed symbolic narratives that may or may not be relevant to the world we experience.

    Lathechuck, that’s funny. That’s really funny. Of course they chose that name, because the DC elites think it’s their job to issue commands that the rest of the country will passively obey. That said, I think WC is a great term for them. Maybe the city should be referred to as WC rather than DC…

    Jasper, no, you’re not kidding, and that’s a great example of Belbury syndrome at work. I understand a lot of nurses are leaving the field, or going to work as traveling nurses for very high wages — a sensible response to the sort of stupidity you’ve just described.

    Jbucks, yes, exactly. Your imagination is strengthened by your powers of observation and attention — and of course these also help you deal with crazed technocrats.

    Anonymous, and of course the “peaceful protests” by the Democratic Party’s paid paramilitary units (cough, cough, Antifa, BLM, cough, cough) never made anyone feel afraid…

    Lathechuck, no doubt!

    Steve, an excellent point.

    Goldenhawk, good! Yes, we’ll be talking about that as this sequence of posts proceeds. I’m delighted to hear that you’re reading Goethe — good solid fodder for the imagination.

    Coboarts, good. You get it.

    John, despite which, “Let them drink margaritas” has started showing up as a meme title…

    Clarke, it’s not an easy thing. I use a combination of spirtiual practices, no corporate media, and lots of books written by dead people, but I don’t know that the same combination will work for others.

    William, I’m delighted to hear this.

    David BTL, that’s an important point, and one that I’ll be discussing further on.

    Raymond, you’re welcome and thank you.

    Fakirs, two excellent points! The replacement of the wild imagination with the inner equivalent of suburban sprawl is a factor I plan on exploring in detail in a bit.

    Scotlyn, excellent! Yes, and we’ll be talking about that, too, in great detail as we proceed.

    Andy, I’d heard a rumor that the UK’s NICE was named as a deliberate counterblast at C.S. Lewis. As for the minty cat, and the rest of it, yes, it’s quite common to have recognition rather than recall for some sensory experiences. It would be interesting to see if that can be remedied by training.

    Ben, thanks for this.

    Piper, true enough. I note that German Covid-vaccine skeptics are using “Imfpung macht frei” (injection makes free) as their summary of government policy — not a bad one, either.

    MonSeulDesir, well, they’ve got to have some kind of fancy label for it!

    Pygmycory, yep — and their imaginations are so stunted that they can’t see how silly they sound.

    Robert, I must be getting predictable — quite a few of my readers this time have guessed some of the directions in which I’ll be going. Imaginative figurations take their sensory raw material from experience — colors, shapes, sounds, scents — but the patterns in which those are arranged (shoggoths, deros, Nâzgul, etc.) don’t necessarily have an origin in sensory experience at all. That’s where the fun comes in. Someone like Lovecraft, with a vivid and powerful imagination, can create figurations that express things all of us dimly sense from time to time, assembling bits of sensory data (we’ve all seen blobby shapes, for example) into a form drawn from what, for the moment, we’ll call the deep places of the psyche, which then resonates powerfully with the rest of us. As for why you experienced such things as a child, well, I have my own take on that, but your religion doesn’t make room for reincarnation and for experiences between lives, as I recall.

    Sirustalcelion, you’re most welcome. As for Merlin moments, they happen in small ways all the time and in larger ways now and then. Stretch your imagination a little further…

    Mike, I’ve been thinking about that rather a lot recently, not least because there are worrying reports about the effect of the vaccines on pregnant women and fetuses. I really didn’t intend Retrotopia to be a prophecy!

  27. @Bogatyr

    Nudge theory completely fails to take into account the other x% of the population (and the vax uptake stats suggest that percentage is anywhere from 10% to 50%, depending on the place!): those of us who react to peer pressure and passive-aggressive emotional manipulation (either because of experience or a quirk of neurology) the way “normal” people react to the smell of rotting flesh, a fire in the kitchen, or a potential mugger on a dark sidewalk. I know you’re not advocating for it, but… just because someone is advocating Nudge, doesn’t mean they’re *not* also clueless aristos.

  28. Interesting that you named it Belbury Syndrome, considering the Belbury Hall in the Weird of Hali series. Do I guess correctly that this is one of the Easter eggs you scattered for us readers to find? I should remedy my not having read C. S. Lewis one of these days.

    “Very many of the privileged these days talk and act as though the only other people in the room are members of their own class. That’s what Psaki did. She offered the kind of helpful advice that one corporate flunkey gives to another when both of them have to put up with the annoyances of working for the same hopelessly incompetent boss.” Thank you for pointing this out! Psaki said a lot more than she meant to when she said this.

    Meanwhile, I turn 65 this month, which means among other things that I can get a senior pass for half fare on our public transport system. The same public transport system that was already struggling with loss of ridership before the pandemic, which further reduced ridership, and fares, and now service. My part of the metro area no longer has direct bus service after 8pm. There is supposedly an alternative, but I hesitate to trust it. Happy ironic birthday to me! This is what decline looks like.

  29. Hi JMG & all–
    Errr… about ‘NICE’ — There actually IS an agency in Great Britain now with that acronym–
    The National Institute for health and Care Excellence. Here’s a link;

    Re: Extra colors–
    It often happens that, after cataract removal, people are able to see ultraviolet light. This is usually noticed at Disneyland– Before the surgery, you see things glowing in the dark, courtesy of the black lights. After the surgery, you see the concrete walls and wiring. This is because our eyes’ natural lenses filter out ultraviolet. I can’t say for sure that they see bee-purple or the secret patterns on flower petals, but FWIW there it is….

    As usual, you are closer to reality in your imagination than you planned to be.

  30. JMG: oh, it’s totally Orwellian. I think that originally it was well-meant, but it became really trendy really fast, and was over-adopted by mid-level policymakers and attendant journalists as a substitute for actual case-making and persuasion. Now it’s cover for policies intended to give no choice but obedience. On the other hand, I suspect it’s now been so over-used that it just induces eye-rolling, not that that deters its fans in high places.

  31. Actually… I retract the first sentence of my last comment and my agreement with your response. It’s not Orwellian, it’s Huxleyite.

  32. About nudge theory, I just looked up the article Bogatyr linked to. They give a definiton of a nudge as

    ” A nudge, as we will use the term, is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are not mandates. Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not.”

    By that definition, vaccine mandates are not nudges. Taxing unvaccinated people thousands of dollars every few months are not nudges. Maybe some vaccine passports could count as big nudges, depending on what exactly they affect. Others affect too much to be nudges.

    Seems to me that Canada, the US federal government, and many European governments have gone beyond nudging into more serious arm-twisting.

  33. “Under most circumstances, we don’t perceive the world through anyone else’s eyes and mind but our own.”

    Ahem, under what circumstances do we perceive the world through the eyes and minds of others? I am curious.

  34. overinvestment in a particular view of the world ends up requiring too much in the way of mental resources to sustain, leading to a failure to deal with other problems because too much of your mind is invested in propping up a failing structure of ideas

    aka cognitive dissonance. Lots of that on display in the Anglosphere in recent times.

  35. By the way, since it’s still February 2nd where I am, Gŵyl y Canhwyllau hapus i bawb (happy Candle Festival); happy Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian new year), and happy anniversary of the surrender of the 6th Army at Stalingrad.

  36. Funny, I read a book of collected writings of Robert Fludd just a short while ago. So, hooray for synchronicity!

    But I’m reminded now of a woman I met a couple years ago who identified as an artist, headed a women’s art non-profit, and who had a show at a local gallery. I went to the opening with a co-worker who knew her (I was office temping at the time). Her entire show consisted of talking about art that was being created by other women – all women who were socio-economically below her. There was nothing she had created herself. Did she paint pictures? No. Did she sculpt or draw? No. Make films? Perform on stage somewhere with balloons or puppets? No and no. She had directed her creative energy into talking about creativity, but not creating anything herself.

    When she found out I was an animator for an online cartoon, she became very interested and wanted to showcase (? I don’t remember if that’s the word she used) me on her website. I felt a deep cringing inside. I wanted to just get out of there, so I spluttered out some line about not feeling ready for that, and anyway the cartoon was maybe-kinda-sorta illegal and we all were using pen names and not showing our identities, and yada yada. I wanted nothing to do with her, or her website, or her women’s art non-profit that she ran. There was something that felt, well, vampiric about the whole thing.

  37. Of course, any bright kid, encountering adult educational campaigns encouraging children to “use your imagination!” and “foster creativity!” very quickly figures out that the adults in question value no such things, that if you pester them with things you have actually imagined, they will correct you, and what they mean by “imagination” is “picture something on this approved list, or within these extremely specific parameters, and regurgitate it to us on command.” One suspects such campaigns were deliberately designed to inculcate in children a disgust for anything truly imaginative.

  38. Hi John Michael,

    And people are now simply walking away – or at least I’m encountering a few brave souls doing just that. I’d have to suggest that that outcome is someone exercising their imagination.

    Mate, it’s cold here today.



  39. Your description of the imagination has been validated by brain scientists. The most accessible book I know about it is Lisa Feldman Barrett’s How Emotions Are Made: the Secret Life of the Brain. She’s a good clear writer; the material itself is difficult but rewarding. One surprising conclusion is about the nature of grief.

  40. Hi JMG,

    I love the take down 🙂 Would you be so kind as to provide a source for the Lauterbach quote? I’ve tried “Googling”* but the overlords appear to be suppressing the source material for that one.

    *may the old gods forgive me for using such a word – it’s like saying grande when I mean medium. I have to go wash my own (virtual) mouth out with soap now.

  41. I think Trudeau might have just outdone even Psaki and Lauterbach –

    This post raises a question I’ve been pondering recently which is “where do stories come from”? We could ask the same question for songs, symphonies, paintings etc.

    The act of writing is imaginative and in cases where there is no story i.e. literary fiction, the entire work is imaginative. But the structure of stories which have characters and plot is more formal. Screenwriters use the concept of a “logline” which captures this formality. For example: “John McClane is a pig headed NYC cop who tries to get back with his wife but when her office gets taken over by terrorists he must fight to save her life”.

    Now it is possible to apply Imagination to this structure itself and change the story so that John McClane is a pig-headed Mid-western cop and then think through how that changes the story.

    But I’m curious about the case where a whole story idea pops into your head fully formed. Where does that come from? Is it Intuition.

  42. @ JMG – I’ve watched the tone-deaf responses by the corporate aristocracy and their paid stooges in Congress, completely miss the point of the ‘great resignation’ and ‘labor shortage’. Even the framing reveals the depth of their inability to understand people’s frustration with the economic order. There’s no lack of labor, just lack of people interested in being corporate serfs.

    Are you keeping track of the unionization movement in Starbucks?

  43. SLClaire, heh heh heh. Yes, that’s one of them. Happy birthday, and may you not end up with too many ironies in the fire.

    E. Goldstein, hmm! I didn’t know that, about cataract removal. Do you know what color it looks like?

    Bogatyr, it’s one of the remarkable features of our time that our elites just now seem to think they need to wrap their cheap bullying in fancy intellectual dress…

    Ecosophian, there are certain classes of human experience, ranging from the prosaic to the transcendent, that can give us glimpses of how another person sees the world. On the prosaic end of things, that’s one of the effects of good writing — a well-written story or essay, since it communicates another person’s thoughts, can show you a way of thinking that doesn’t come naturally to you. On the transcendent end of things, some mystical experiences include an awareness of how other beings are looking at the same things you are.

    Bogatyr, cognitive dissonance is part of it, but it goes beyond that. I’ll cover that in due time. A happy Imbolc to you too!

    Materia Indigo, there’s a word for such people: “parasite.”

    Methylethyl, that’s part of it. The other part is to try to pressure people who have imaginative gifts to prostitute their minds in the service of the corporate system.

    Chris, indeed they are. It’s actually quite warm here, by February standards — 43°F.

    Tomriverwriter, no surprises there. Renaissance occultists and psychologists may not have had modern machinery but they paid very, very close attention to their own experiences.

    JustaBob, use DuckDuckGo instead of Google and you won’t have to put up with that kind of censorship. As for a source, here you are; scroll down a little ways and you can watch him say it.

    Simon, I suspect Trudeau is quite literally unhinged at this point. His regime is falling, he’s fled from the capital, and he’s hiding out in a tourist town on Vancouver Island, very nearly as far from Ottawa as you can get without actually fleeing from Canada. Surreal utterances are par for the course in that situation. As for where stories come from, we’ll get to that in an upcoming post.

    Ben, remember that it’s essential to the self-image of the managerial aristocracy that they are the only people who actually have ideas and make things happen. The thought that people in the working classes might size up the situation, decide there’s nothing in it for them, and walk away is utterly unthinkable among the privileged classes — that would imply, after all, that people in the working classes are, in fact, people, not just statistically averages who can be manipulated at will by their soi-disant betters. Yes, I’m watching the Starbucks situation; if I could choke down the glop they serve, I’d support one that’s unionized.

  44. Thank you for that most wonderful post JMG.

    a) when you say ‘the imaginative world is made up of sensations that don’t come to you by way of your five material senses’, does it also automatically imply that these sensations (at least in part) may have origins outside of the body and the mind of the individual involved?

    b) I have had a tough time trying to understand Henry Corbin’s writings on Sufism (or Persian Islamic mysticism/occultism). One of his recognized contributions appears to have been the elucidation of ‘mundus imaginalis’, (as compared to ‘mundus imaginabilis’ described above). Would you happen to know if there is a difference between these two terms?

    I highly appreciate your writings and have learnt immensely from you.


  45. Anonymous said, comment #9

    There are some other great examples of Orwellian speech these days. My personal favourite is the claim that the Canadian protests cannot be called peaceful merely is there is no violence because they inspire fear in others.

    We saw an equally Orwellian example of double-speak and gaslighting during the rioting, looting and arson sprees that broke out after the murder of George Floyd, where the presstitutes of the lamestream media insisted on calling the riots “mostly peaceful protests”, even when one could see from the video feeds that clearly wasn’t the case.

  46. Didn’t Trudeau test positive for COVID only a few days ago while he was in the National Capital Region? How does he suddenly turn up on Vancouver Island without breaking isolation?
    The awkward way with which NICE corresponds to its name, is because it was formerly called the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and they changed the name but not the acronym.

  47. @ Simon S and JMG:

    Trudeau’s tweet reminds me of nothing so much as Herr Schicklgruber raving in his bunker as the Red Army was closing in.

    Ooh-ooh, you cannot reach me now
    Ooh-ooh, no matter how you try
    Goodbye, cruel world, it’s over
    Walk on by

    Sitting in a bunker here behind my wall
    Waiting for the worms to come (worms to come)

    In perfect isolation here behind my wall
    Waiting for the worms to come

  48. Well, if the current technocrats are the NICE people, let me guess who is Merlin, and who are the large experimental animals ;-).

  49. Two more examples from Joe Biden, indicating a stunning lack of imagination:

    Asked directly if he thought the 2022 elections would be illegitimate in that event, Biden said, “I’m not going to say it’s going to be legit. The increase and the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.”

    And Biden calling reporter Peter Doocy “a stupid SOB”:

    The point being, I don’t think the Democrats realize how these things sound to people outside of the Blue Bubble.

    Nor do they seem to be able to comprehend that they’ve installed a man in office who combines the worst traits of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

    As for That Hideous Strength, I read it last fall and found it to be scarily relevant. Some of the scenes with the Belbury crowd (Filostrato and Straik talking about the Moon, Frost and Wither wrestling in Wither’s office) are among the weirdest things I’ve ever read.

    I was never quite convinced that I should root for Mark, and I was confounded when I realized that the people of Logres thought that Merlin was going to be on the side of the bad guys.

    But apart from that, an excellent read, one that I had to grow up to appreciate.

  50. @E Goldstein Re color perception

    There’s are some people (mostly women it seems) who have an extra color receptor in their eyes. It’s referred to as tetrachromacy. It’s not clear to me if they can actually see extra colors or just further into the ultraviolet than those of us with only three. Curiously many animals including birds have this but many mammals including us have largely lost the fourth receptor so it wasn’t essential to our survival. But it’s not negative either so a lucky few still retain it.

  51. @Justabob
    here is a link to the video
    no english translation unfortunately, but i can confirm, it says exactly what JMG quoted. The facial expression of the guy says a lot.
    These days, whenever i get depressed about the situation here in Australia, I look at Germany/Austria/New Zealand and feel a lot better.

  52. So Trudeau’s left Ottawa in the clutches of a “hateful, racist” protest amid freezing temperatures to go to a tourist town in BC, leaving Ottawa’s population to just deal with it? If that’s the case, then that displays, let’s say, quite a lack of imagination about how his base might feel about that. Maybe he really is finished. Do you have a source?

  53. Ben @ 22, point 7 on the list of what not to do when you leave your employment, No Raiding??? Don’t empty the supply closet?? People have to be told this?

  54. Great essay combining Fludd and Barfield! You bring up the example of Copernicus’ imagination, yet Copernicus’ system was worse at predicting planetary movements than the older geocentric one. Kepler gave victory to heliocentrism by imagining elliptical trajectories. Is it pure chance that ellipses were becoming all the rage in church architecture at the time?

  55. @ Simon S RE: trudeau comment…

    The comments below his tweet are so amazingly polarized – those from the PMC are very outraged and distressed that their little bubble zone has been invaded by the hoi polloi…LOL

    @ JMG et al… OT but clear that some things are going more mainstream WRT resources and policies.

    We use graphite by the ton to make molds for casting drillbits – and the cost of said material has nearly tripled in spite of the oil sector having been depressed for several years – because there are other buyers, which is something new. Consequently, the mix of drillbit materials is changing away from cast tungsten carbide back to steel – with very mixed results economically:

    The charts for the future use of materials in the above article is very interesting.

    Just some news and consequences..LOL

  56. @Justin Patrick Moore: I know what you mean! I tend to live in my head quite a bit, and I read a lot, and I find I need to spend time outside observing things, trees, buildings, people, everything, otherwise my imagination gets stagnant.

  57. Hi,

    1. Related to today’s topic, does anybody remember the title of JMG’s essay where he talks about how to start doing creative writing? I think it may have been back in the days of the Archdruid Report, but I would love to read it again.

    2. JMG, are you going to touch on the relationship between religious experiences and imagination later on in this series?

  58. JMG, there’s no evidence that Trudeau is hanging out in Tofino (although I ain’t arguing with your response to Simon). He gave his response to the trucker protest from a Prime Ministerial residence in Quebec (Harrington Lake). Although the location is undisclosed, the building he spoke in front of matches known photos, and there was snow on the ground, which wouldn’t be the case in Tofino. That being said, he certainly did not look good in the video -very stressed, no makeup, very low energy.

    Right now the most important “mainstream” happening in Canadian politics is that the current Conservative leader has been ousted. Will the conservatives grow a neuron and appoint a populist firebrand who doesn’t waste time on decided social issues like abortion and gay marriage, or will they appoint a mouth breather who wants to prove to the Liberal party that the Conservatives are the real Liberals?

  59. One quick follow-up question, if you would allow, JMG.

    Phrases such as: ‘I have seen his/her’s true colors’, ‘tasting one’s own medicine’, ‘touched by this or that gesture’ and ‘smelling a rat’ etc. For that matter, quite meaningful words such as ‘having insight’ into one’s own behavior.
    Are these just metaphors? Or do they indicate the presence of higher order inner ‘organs’ of perception as well?

    Thank you again!

  60. Real Clear Markets on why Soy Boy Trudeau has such a pathological hatred of truckers and all that they represent.

    Of course, I think a lot of it is simply a reflection of the attitude of sneering contempt and classist bigotry that affluent urban liberals have towards the working class, as exemplified by Hillary Clinton’s infamous “Basket of Deplorables” comment.

  61. Perhaps, like Prof. Frost at the end, they’ve finally found themselves shorn of that pesky “free will” thing…

  62. As far as imagination goes, I think Canada is doing a better job than the Us as defeating the mandates. The DC Defeat the Mandates campaign had no teeth, but the Truckers have much more leverage and have a much better chance of being heard (esp with their air horns). The DC march was completely regulated to the point where the organizers were threatened with fines if people walked on the grass. The Truckers are not asking permission. They are shutting down the capital. This is much more in line with how things are done in Latin America, where protesters block the major highways when they want to be heard. Either way, neither were mentioned much in the MSM.

  63. Trudeau resembles Tsar Nicolas II in telling himself lies on how the revolutionary agitation in the country was the fault of a few agitators while all the true Russians truly loved their little father…

    The police controls at the Hawkesbury-Grenville bridge on the Ottawa river vanished last weekend without any official announcement, just as they made some symbolic gestures to stop the truckers and then vanished. I would seem that the Sûreté du Québec has stopped obeying the government’s orders. Restaurants, gyms and so on are reopening and discarding all Covid regulations, the police are not interfering with this.

    From what I’ve seen, the whole government collapsed on the 29 of January, the police is increasingly defecting and the military has decided to remain neutral. Trudeau and his allies are finished, if he doesn’t leave the country soon, he will be arrested. The regime’s power is rapidly melting away, but few have yet realized that there has been a revolution.

    I’d give a warning, this will not be confined to Canada, it’s the first domino of a massive revolutionary wave that will spread to Europe, the United States and Latin America and very likely even farther. The truckers protest was like throwing a seed crystal in a super saturated solution unleashing massive crystallization. The censorship simply hid the massive discontent from the elites and gave them a false sense of security, just look at them now, they’re lost in their own fantasies…

    I expect the Brandon and Nancy regime and its statehouse allies to collapse before the fall election alongside the Eurodespots like Macron and Draghi.

  64. In the business world you can go home every night drunk on madrigores of verjuice. You are expected to buy into notions that are self-evident poppycock because that self-evident poppycock is the basis for the business. And you will be expected everyday with all your might to put that poppycock into action. You know that it’s crazy, you strongly suspect that others around you know too, but regardless, you are paid to be crazy. As I’ve seen on numerous signs, ‘lead, follow, or get out of the way.’

    I give you as exhibits A and B; real estate, banking and investments

    These are very large sectors of the economy not only in the quantity of money they churn through, but also in terms of the physical resources they consume. But their thinking permeates the business world plus the academies that study business, plus government agencies that pretend to regulate it, plus legislative bodies that make a show of leashing it.

    As you say, at the root is a catastrophic failure of imagination, and the higher you go up the management food chain, the more tenaciously do people fail. They fail purposefully, with great energy and zeal as if their pay and their bonuses depend on it, which they indeed do. You are given a concrete box with iron bars to think inside and woe betide anyone – not specifically empowered – to imagine what lives outside the box and to question it out loud.

    Corporations are authoritarian organizations, totalitarian even, so very, very few employees are empowered to question and know what’s outside the box. Not many O’Briens (Orwell, 1984) exist in that world with that capacity.

    The absurdities you cite, of the lamentable Psaki and Lauterbach, actually sound quite rational compared to some of the stuff I heard. I think it was before the ’08 financial meltdown that somebody asked the boss of Goldman why they sold to other banks certain financial instruments that Goldman itself was shorting. And the Goldman boss said that the other banks wouldn’t care what Goldman was doing. They wouldn’t? Seriously? Maybe they really wouldn’t care but, seeing as Goldman was selling it, and if I was buying I sure would. And he said it with a straight face. It made me laugh. But then to work on Wall Street you must imbibe gallons of verjuice. Bottoms up.

    The boss of a real estate development company I worked at was outraged, OUTRAGED at the lies and rumours being circulated about the company he led, a large outfit that would file for creditor protection and then be petitioned into bankruptcy and then be dissolved altogether. In a speech that he gave a bunch of us he fulminated that the rumour that the company spent a billion dollars on raw land at the top of the market, was WRONG, that in fact it was one and a half billion. And I swear I saw it with my own eyes, company bobble-heads, whispering ‘gawd’ and ‘wow’ and shaking their heads, never mind that the ‘lies’ weren’t ‘lies’ and weren’t remotely big enough, that right in front of us the boss was acknowledging same, the bobble-heads knowing damn well the full story. But we had to affect ‘outrage’. You ever have a dream that you feel was real? It was like that, an real/unreal, irrational, parallel universe, like I was living in that Twin Peaks movie and the Man From Another Place was at the lectern. Garmonbozia. Best to forget.

  65. It’s common to call an imaginative person an artist. This is implicitly understood to be pejorative/diminuitive, yet there is envy in the subtext as the person labeling someone else an “artist” deems himself to lack the artist’s creativity and bravery. The artist is an outsider who lives by his own rules, for better or for (usually) worse.

    Just my opinion that the Plandemic seems expressly designed to squash anyone making a living as a performing artist. To some degree, I think it was a way for non-artists to exact revenge because they envied the artist’s freedom, despite the problems inherent to the bohemian lifestyle. I myself was always better at teaching than performing, so I have not suffered like my performing musician and actor friends. Many are extremely desperate at this point.

  66. Sardaukar, one of the delusions that the ruling class in Canada shares with many other western countries is that someone being vaccinated means they support vaccine mandates or other nonsense. There’s substantial evidence that the Ottawa police are in a state of low-key revolt – there are plenty of photos of police posing with the protestors, etc. Also, the police have “failed” to stop fuel and food deliveries to the truckers, and the truckers supposedly have more donated food than they know what to do with. This is all happening despite unvaccinated Ottawa cops being fired recently – so the Ottawa cops who may be supporting the protests are 100% vaccinated. I guess the mind control chips are defective.

  67. Mobi, (1) not necessarily, as the human body also has superphysical senses. These are subject to the same fundamental limits on human cognition as the physical senses, but since they are affected by different aspects of the cosmos, they give us another set of perspectives to work with (just as sight and hearing are affected by different stimuli and so give us different perspectives). (2) Latin is very precise, but human thought really isn’t. Imaginalis means “of the images,” imaginabilis means “of that which can be imaged.” Whether there’s a distinction between these two depends on which philosopher you talked to last.

    Mawkernewek, given the number of our self-proclaimed lords and masters who have been going around partying without masks while demanding that hoi polloi wear their face diapers, I figured that’s just par for the course.

    Sardaukar, funny.

    Viking, I’m beginning to think that at least some of the animals this time around run on diesel.

    Cliff, to my mind it’s Lewis’s best fiction, and the weirdness is one of the things that makes it great. As for Biden, it’s as though fifty million Americans said, “He can’t be as bad as Trump,” and Biden heard them and said, “Hold my beer.”

    Jbucks, so far it’s rumors and claims in the anti-Covax scene. Since he’s officially in hiding, I simply took the most common of the various reports.

    Aldarion, good! No, it wasn’t coincidence at all. To misquote Charles Fort, it eclipses when it comes eclipse time…

    Oilman2, thanks for the heads up. I note that Brent has dipped just below $90 a barrel today, but it’ll be back up. Hang on for a wild ride!

    Russell, I barely remember that essay! As for imagination and religious experience, yes, I’m planning on it.

    Justin, duly noted. Yes, I heard about O’Toole’s sudden fall from the helm of the Tories, and I note that yesterday Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre unleashed quite the lively speech praising the truckers, and got applauded by the other Tories. Maybe your Conservatives have the brains to realize that if they line up with the protest movement, they might be able to ride it into office.

    Mobi, it depends, of course; most people who use them simply mean them as metaphors, but they started as references to inner experiences. I’d caution you to be careful of labels like “higher order” when talking about the inner senses, however; au contraire, our material bodies and their senses are more perfect than the etheric or astral bodies and their senses, because we’ve had so much more time in the course of our spiritual evolution to learn how to work with material bodies. Our etheric senses are weaker, our astral senses very much weaker, and we don’t yet have special senses at all on the mental plane — just a general sense, corresponding to touch on the material plane. Nor are any of these exempt from the limits on human cognition that are inseparable from our status as created beings.

    Sardaukar, oh, I think it’s more than that. The fact that he ran like a rabbit shows that he knows just how fragile his hold on power is. I keep on thinking that he’s going to end up fleeing the country with suitcases full of money, like the former president of Afghanistan.

    Slithy Toves, that possibility has occurred to me more than once.

    MonSeulDesir, good heavens. Okay, if that’s actually going on, it’s all over but the shouting. The question is who puts together the provisional government once Trudeau flees to Denmark or wherever.

    Roger, I ain’t arguing at all. The one thing I’m wondering at this point is how soon they’re going to be talithibianised with extreme prejudice.

    Kimberly, that seems very plausible to me. I consider myself very, very fortunate that I can pursue my art in comfortable isolation — and that people seem to have responded to the lockdowns by buying lots of books. Do you know of any charities that are helping out broke performance artists?

    Sardaukar, of course they will. Then, if this follows the usual sequence, the rank and file will side with the protesters, and the storming of the Winter Palace will follow promptly.

  68. @ Justin, comment #72

    One of the livestreamers I have been following is a French Canadian photographer and video producer who lives and works in Ottawa. He points out that he and many of the truckers who are participating in the protests willingly received COVID-19 vaccines; what they object to is the arrogant, dictatorial behavior of Trudeau and the rest of the ruling elites. The state government where I live mandated health care workers, police officers and other first responders get vaxxed. Many resigned or forced their employers to fire them rather than comply. I wouldn’t doubt there is a lot of quiet resistance and support for the Freedom Convoy protestors among the police and the military, which could seriously complicate things if Soy Boy brings in the troops and tries to carry out a repeat of Tiananmen Square in Ottawa.

  69. Thank you for that amazing image! It’s utterly illuminating to see Fludd’s elegant illustration of how the various parts of the Self relate to each other. It gives me hope to realize that we had a more complete and complex understanding of our inner world long before modern psychology bullied its way in to simplify and gloss away any parts of that complexity which it found too intolerable to contemplate. If we can dig our way out from under Freud’s myriad phobias to reclaim the less materialist aspects of the Self (which surely haunted his nightmares) perhaps we could discard his whole pathologizing model in due course.

    Recognizing the multiplicity of the larger, undying Self or soul, which we have embarrassingly mistaken for the pretense of unity built up by the persona, would make experiencing the unseen world so much easier for us all. Listening to the various parts of our Selves and getting familiar with each one’s gifts, goals, and quirks would simplify establishing a connection with the various gods and angels. Each divinity governs its own realm of influence and interest, including an aspect of the Self. Learning which part of the Self to send as an emissary to which god or angel in order to establish the best connection is just wise politics.

    Sending off the wailing part of the Self to Odin or Oshun would be as foolish as sending a weeping, teeth-gnashing, wind-up doll like Greta Thunberg as emissary to the lords of finance. Expecting the sniveling, excuse-making part of the Self to negotiate with Ares or Simargl would be as unrealistic as expecting a diapered pretty-boy like Justin Trudeau to face the real leaders of the people. Those kinds of foolish mistakes are every bit as likely to irritate the gods as they are to irritate the human audiences. “Know thyself” is quite the challenge to the imagination, but it’s a challenge the gods reward quite handsomely.

    Imagining having no imagination is a bit of a challenge to the imagination as well! How on earth have our well-beloved technocrats figured out how to freeze the inventing of images that the imaginative part of the Self does naturally all the time? How do the other parts of the Self even communicate with each other, when the image-making part is so shut down? Have our upper classes somehow managed to selectively block their imaginations from inventing images out of just one of the categories of remembered sensations, figurations, or abstractions? Or is it the other mental phenomena that they’ve figured out how to block their imaginations from even becoming consciously aware of?

    Becoming aware of all the unseen things that the various parts of the Self are continuously experiencing, feeling, inventing, and contemplating is more than any of us could possibly hope to accomplish. But managing to stay completely unaware of all of them is an equally daunting prospect. Keeping the conscious mind that compulsively blinkered must be overwhelmingly exhausting. Have they simply managed to wear out their poor imaginations by making them do double duty as prison guards for the Shadow? I trust that you’ll be adding many imaginative illuminations over the weeks to come, and I am very much looking forward to it.

  70. JMG, and, nope, Pierre Poilievre wasn’t appointed leader. I don’t know much about Candace Bergen… but if she’s at all decent, a woman ousting Trudeau would certainly be funny.

  71. Oscar Mike Golf. You fingered them on this one. They’re losing it. They’re losing. Holy Toledo.
    Here’s to the prof of Lore-ology, Master of all dark arcanities! Thank you for the nod to Lewis, which is gratifying. He is, oh so relevant, in that novel. Those old men, they saw far. I’m already seeing signs that the rulers of NICE are doing damage control – Soros is after China now, along with C. Wray. Others are sounding various tocsins as their section of the submarine starts to go underwater, lest they be sealed inside with metal doors if they wait too long…ugh. Looks like playing with fire, when you dabble in the occult with no respect for sacred altars or groves.

  72. I’ve often thought it’s possible that the way society treats imaginative people may be a big part of its downfall. Prisons are full of dyslexics and dyspraxics, who are often incredibly talented and incredibly off course not limited to but definately contibuted to by a lifetime of being ground down by the education system and society in general. I’ve witnessed how much havoc one talented yet misfit and crushed down imaginative girl can wreak and I do worry about what the collective imagination of these youth could cause. Really think throwing imagination into the rubbish bin could yeild some highly unpleasant results, yet alone how immoral it is to ignore the damage it does to a certain kind of child.

    Kids getting more green space play would go a long way to helping.

  73. Methylethyl, formal analysis of a treatment effect, when it isn’t possible to randomize, requires taking into account counterfactual outcomes. Some people will do well whether they receive the treatment or not; some will do badly either way; some would do badly without, but well with treatment; and then there is the paradoxical group who would do well without, but badly with treatment. It is not usually possible to estimate these outcomes without further assumptions, and researchers therefore sometimes assume that the fourth group doesn’t exist.

    Assume treatment is a “nudge”, and outcome is some behaviour. My dear wife immediately observed that the fourth group exists, since she herself is always among them!

  74. I hope this isn’t too off topic.

    If we understand only what we can imagine, and imagination is the shadow of sensory perception how can we know things that are not sensory and reach the higher spheres of intuition and enlightenment?

    Symbols are not sensory and we grab the idea by the symbol correct? That’s why magic works and becomes applied philosophy. But there seems to be a point where imagination transcends sensory stimuli to become the meeting point between the mundus sensibilis and the spheres above. A symbol after all, the container, is fed by sensory imagination, a flaming pentagram for example but it embodies something not sensory. There seems to be a two way action here, imagination goes from the bottom up. What is the human operation that goes downwards to bring the upper stuff down? Thought and reflection?

    There seems to be an interesting two way action in here and imagination is the transitory state, so, is it possible to imagine something new that way? By taking in the downward action? It won’t be a new sensory stimuli but it is new in a way isn’t it? and if it is, where does that come from?

  75. Dear JMG another awesome post! Can’t wait to read the second installment….

    I’d say 50,000 Truckers parking their Big Rigs in front of your establishment is a very dramatic form of the chickens coming home to roost. And you can’t exactly use a tank to push a Big Rig out of the way…..

    Do you think that the situation in Canada is a preview of things to happen here in the USA in short order as the great Honkening continues? What’s the word on Joe Biden joining JustinTrudeau on said island in Vancouver?

  76. Sardakaur (#65) – sure, but apparently sometimes burly bearded men also like being mermaids and I’ve been waiting for them to bring back my calendar, so I am seeing a fundraising opportunity here for the truckers (some of whom probably were merb’y’s) that would really undermine Trudeau’s tweets…

  77. ‘ “Let them drink margaritas” has started showing up as a meme title…’

    Note: When I did a Google search of that phrase, there were two hits on top, both pretty irrelevant, followed by a long string of entries on how to prepare a margarita.

    I repeated the search in Duckduckgo. That produced a long string of entries making the comparison to Marie Antoinette.

    It seems Google is filtering out the backlash from that ill advised remark.

  78. ” I suspect Trudeau is quite literally unhinged at this point. His regime is falling, he’s fled from the capital, and he’s hiding out in a tourist town on Vancouver Island, very nearly as far from Ottawa as you can get without actually fleeing from Canada.”

    I wonder if he took the contents of the treasury with him.

  79. @methylethyl (#42)

    One of my nieces got a „creativity box“ for Christmas for „self-decorating“. The package contained a box made from heavy cardboard, printed in bight colours (of course, as it was aimed at girls, pink in all shades was the most dominant), plus some cheap plastic „gems“ in the same colour scheme with double adhesive applied to them – pull off the paper which protects the adhesive and glue them to the box to „decorate“ it.

    The „clue“ was that the box had little coloured dots all over it in a pre-made pattern, so that the kid would clearly know which gem to place where. Heaven forbid somebody would actually use their own imagination and creativity, and place gems at the wrong place, and the box wouldn‘t look „nice“ at the end.

    The whole thing felt… icky.

    And the saddest thing is that it was her mom who bought that s…tuff for her. ;-(

    We‘re systematically teaching them not just to only colour inside the lines, but also to only use the pre-approved colours!

    @dropBear (#56)

    Whenever I get depressed about the situation here in Germany, I console myself with the thought that the more pressure they apply, and the greater the obvious craziness is, the sooner enough people will open their eyes and walk away from the madness. 😉

    See what happens in Canada – something like that would be unthinkable e.g. in the UK right now, where „restrictions“ have graciously been lifted by the overlords. It needs a certain amount of pressure to get the keg to overflow (or to explode).

    I have to admit that on some days, it is hard to maintain that positive outlook. But hang on tight in there – Australia and Germany might be next!


    If you ever need more examples from Germany, let me know – there are enough to last you for a lifetime of writing… 😉


  80. Dear Mr Greer

    Great post, but you could have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble by just quoting Shelly

    The great secret of morals is love; or a going out of our nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasure of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination; and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause. Poetry enlarges the circumference of the imagination by replenishing it with thoughts of ever new delight, which have the power of attracting and assimilating to their own nature all other thoughts, and which form new intervals and interstices whose void forever craves fresh food. Poetry strengthens the faculty which is the organ of the moral nature of man, in the same manner as exercise strengthens a limb. A poet therefore would do ill to embody his own conceptions of right and wrong, which are usually those of his place and time, in his poetical creations, which participate in neither. By this assumption of the inferior office of interpreting the effect, in which perhaps after all he might acquit himself but imperfectly, he would resign a glory in a participation in the cause. There was little danger that Homer, or any of the eternal poets, should have so far misunderstood themselves as to have abdicated this throne of their widest dominion. Those in whom the poetical faculty, though great, is less intense, as Euripides, Lucan, Tasso, Spenser, have frequently affected a moral aim, and the effect of their poetry is diminished in exact proportion to the degree in which they compel us to advert to this purpose.

  81. I think you are being *very* considerate to Lauterbach. Having watched him the last few years (yes, even before the pandemic) I can tell you with confidence that he knows full well what he is doing when he says what he said. It’s intentional, mean spirited gaslighting without a shred of remorse or anything.

    The guy is the most talented liar I have ever witnessed. He really, truly, does not give a damn about his record, and, even when caught red handed and confronted on national tv manages to plough through somehow keeping his dignity and his following intact. I am talking of situations which reliably would trigger other people to sink into the floor ashamed. He truly is shameless, in a very objective sense.

    He has, very successfully, used his magnificent ability to lie to profoundly scare a large segment of the German population and get them on to the Agenda. He is *very* popular. So popular that at the moment he is politically untouchable.

    I think he is really dangerous, because he has used this ability to lie to achieve significant political power. It is horrifying how many people keep trusting him. He is a true hypnotizer of the masses, and I don’t think he is going to give up that platform. And has the talent and the monstrous cynicism to at least try to keep the pandemic running in Germany.

  82. cognitive dissonance is part of it, but it goes beyond that. I’ll cover that in due time

    I’ll look forward to it. I’ve been deep-diving into cognitive neuroscience over recent months for a project I’m working on, and I’m hearing a lot of echoes in this article.

  83. Regarding: … something we take for granted as “out there” really is constructed by our own thinking.

    Have you read anything by Donald D. Hoffman recently? I’m wading through ‘The Case against Reality’ and his conclusions seem to mirror yours at least in that area. Early in the book, he discusses some of the ideas of Kant, William James, Wittgenstein, and other great thinkers whom I’ve seen mentioned in your writings.

  84. This week’s discussion among the commenters so far makes me wonder how Japan is going to cope when the dominant Western order that it has emulated and allied itself closely to over the past century or more (including the time it allied with Germany) comes unraveled, particularly given that this is likely to be accompanied by sudden unpredictable losses of imports. Thank goodness Trump ditched the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that since then they’ve only tried cobbling together a trade agreement within Asia, with not very impressive results as far as I can make out. The last I checked they had 39% food self-sufficiency and that will not have fallen very far, though the farming population is aging and younger people taking it up often appear to have unrealistic expectations of that lifestyle and give it up when generous government subsidies to get them started run out. There is enough farmland remaining, though much will need serious rehabilitation, and a lot of weekend gardeners with useful knowledge to put something together in a pinch and see things through without mass starvation, I hope.
    Still, not a word in the media about the events in Canada and precious little about Europe or the US beyond the Ukraine bluster. Nothing at all about Australia or New Zealand. I reckon if the government in Canada undergoes a sweeping revolution, the media here will make it sound like a minor event.
    The news about Tofino piqued my interest for the obvious reasons, but also because I happened to have led a gaggle of middle-aged Japanese housewives there about 20 years ago, the one of about ten “ecotours” to various countries I led that was successful because the participants were satisfied with the facilities. Out of curiosity, I checked out a slide show of the place Justin was said to have stayed “a few days, family vacation,” and my jaw dropped. It was the same B&B we’d stayed out, spiffed up a bit no doubt with help from money from tour groups like ours. I’ve lost contact with the ladies, but still teach in their town, and really ought to have someone relay to them the historical significance that place may have acquired.

  85. Reminds me of the first time got in touch with you, sent you the song Masque con Mistero .Never would have conceived of such idea without this imagination thing you are discussing right now. Who what of thunk it can help us see possible futures!? Thanks for this JMG. It has sparked the imagination.

  86. John Seddon’s book The Whitehall Effect has a hilarious demolition of ‘Nudge’ theory, illustrated with multiple scenarios involving chips and salad. 🙂

    It’s interesting green is the colour of plants and nature when the reason they look green is that’s the wavelength of light the plants can’t use.

    There was a programme about near death experiences with and American girl who had a NDE around age 10. She went to heaven and describing it deadpanned perfectly, “They have colours there we don’t have.” So she can imagine an original (to us) colour.

    I recently became aware of a danger of imagination. Dungeons and Dragons may not be demon worship like Fundamentalists claimed, but that level of immesion and immagination is powerful. I watched Vampires of Pittsburg, an amazing series of Vampire the Masquerade and at one point they’re trying to control a ‘gargoyle’ vampire without seriously hurting it. Later I thought one option would be to bite it and drain its blood, putting it into torpor. As soon as I had the thought I felt as ill as you probably would if you drank the blood of a vampire with skin made of stone.

    Which makes me worry about the effect of games like Fiasco – ‘a game of high ambitions and poor impulse control’ – which simulates inept schemes like A Simple Plan. Even more disturbing, Something is Wrong Here takes inspiration from David Lynch and uses acting and improvisation exercises to get players even deeper into their twisted roles. It made me so uncomfortable I couldn’t watch the rest of the game.

  87. Is it a lucky ‘accident’ that just as humanity is reaching for the genetic manipulation ‘button’ and the fairly narrow technologist imagination gets excited, they start to run out of resources?
    I’m guessing not all imaginations get to run away in all settings, thank the God(s).

  88. After reading this post, and the strange Karl Lauterbach phrase, I have a crazyidea: Is the German politician possessed by a demonic entity? The other option is thinking he has a mind disorder. In both cases, he’s a danger!

  89. The PMC does not just suffer a lack of imagination in the way you describe, they also suffer a lack of information in a way that is their own doing. One of the ways that the approved narrative is reinforced is that any information coming from an “unapproved” source is discounted no. mater its logic, factual background or even the credentials of its messenger. I noticed this years ago with my friend the retired academic and avid NYT reader. He often sends me stories from theTimes or Wapo or Politico that reinforce his worldview and the official story of the day. But if I respond with a counter story from the likes of Al Jazeera, Substack, Moon of Alabama ( or god forbid the Arch Druid Report) his immediate response is that comes from an unreliable source and can’t be considered. This started long before the Orange Man came on the scene. While one would assume this is a tactic to tamp down information that does not fit the official narrative, it also has a drastic effect on those within it’s tight circle of “Approved” information sources. They come to slavishly adopt a very narrow and artificial world view that is worse than what people used to attribute to Bumpkins living in a one-horse town with no newspaper ( back in the old days). So my friend has no idea of who Tulsi Gabbard is, thinks the Ukraine is some kind of gleaming replica of 1950’s America complete with apple pie and democracy and that the only people being hospitalized and dieing of any of the various forms of Covid are ignorant Bubba’s who refuse to get vaccinated and boosted.

  90. With the winter storm passing through St Louis, this week we have a guest post from Green Wizard Mary of Maryland. “How Much Do You Need? – Pantry Management” discusses an important part of preparing, stored resources. Whether you are a old veteran or a newbie, check it out for helpful hints you can add to your skills.

    Remember, Green Wizards is always looking for guest bloggers. Got a story to tell? Know a helpful skill or bit of prepping lore? First time bloggers get a free copy of John Michael Greer’s original “Green Wizardry” as a thank you. See my contact info at the bottom of this post to discuss it.

    The forums always seem to have something interesting, and this week is no exception.

    First up is “Water Woes In 2022” which discusses one of the looming depletions we expect in the Future, drinkable water. The comments take a turn towards ways to conserve water in your garden with straw bails.

    Next, in “The Elite Media Discovers Cli-Fi”, the Green Wizards writer community has some harsh things to say, about the state of professional journalism and their inability to actually write a readable article.

    And do you grow cabbage in your garden? Green Wizard ClareBroommaker asks “What IS that cabbage?”. Help her identify a variety and discuss ways to grow this useful food stock.

    As always, to read the posts and information on Green Wizards is open to the public but to comment you’ll need a free account. Contact me via email (green wizard dtrammel at gmail dot com) or on Facebook Messenger to set one up.

  91. Imagining ways to reorganize ourselves outside of Capitalist and Marxist paradigms has been something like a practise akin to trying to imagine another primary color. Either that or the practise trends towards thinking of feudal or tribal organization types.

    I guess forming new presuppositions means there needs to be wider education, wider experiences, and deeper relationships to people and life…and planes. Perhaps why ecology is such a great study.

    That we only know what we know, so to speak, due to lost knowledge in crisis, war, ect, is unfortunate, though I wonder if we tap into past lives memory and bring these memories into the ” mundus sensibilis and the mundus imaginabilis” system what kind of wonderful new presuppositions would arise once the cognitive faculties start turning.

    Scrying last night I had rather uninspiring session and I think it may be something akin to screen induced ADHD fuzzing out my ability so there is that issue too…

    In reflecting on stabilizing society at previous levels of technology and development; I see this potential as an imaginative leap that effectively provides alternative to our deficits via the Faustian drive and the blanketing myth of progress. I think I also understand now why Burkean conservatism is so appealing within a society reorganized along 18th century lines. This political attitude would be protective against Capitalist and Marxist insurrections that track along the Faustian drive.


    I like your vision. This is hopeful though I would balk against calling this game so quickly. The Funding has been frozen, people get tired sitting in vehicles, and the political media apparatus has only begun to flex it’s muscles. A war is not out of the question and is a tried and true mechanism to detail this.

    Noting some news outlets are simply ignoring the protests full stop now. Others running big distraction with Beijing Olympics and Russian war.

    I had a great feeling of clear,inspiring, and hopeful energy when the convoy started coming in through Ontario. I hope that the momentum continues. There is a change of leadership already happening in the conservative party. Some provinces are relaxing mandates. Poilevre is hammering them in parliament and the interim leader is as well.

  92. about seeing colors – my brain injury has eliminated my sense of time. I now see time in terms of color such as a purple month, plaid day, red hour, etc. It changes with the seasons, the emotions, and where I am in life.

    Brain injuries cause all sorts of alien things to people. Mine also has me see words coming out of people’s mouths.

    However, I cannot imagine the future, and live in the eternal now.

    As for imagination, it took me five years before I could read non-fiction books, and three more to read fiction books. Reading requires imagination both fiction and non-fiction.

  93. How would you define the difference between imagination and creativity? Is there one?

    Lots of current corporate speak will reference “creative solutions” and “using creativity” (similar to it being a tank to drain). People seem comfortable to use creativity and you’re right, I’ve rarely heard the term imagination used.

    I’ve recently published 25 days worth of short essays as part of a course about living the life of my great grandparents and the silence is deafening. My sense is people are so repulsed that a seemingly normal person is imagining living like those people in the past, they just shut down. People are very attached to the world they inhabit even it takes all their mental energy to convince themselves it real and worth keeping. It’s fascinating to watch.

  94. As for the Federal Government having imagination….. they don’t.

    I was reading “Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness and the Battle for Chicago,” (Max Allen Collins, Brad Schwartz) and realized what the Federal Government was doing in the 1920s and 1930s has not really changed that much.

    They pick a symbol such as “Capone, Public Enemy,” go after him, and when done, just stop, and pronounce “Mission Accomplished.” What came out was that Ness knew that Capone’s criminal organization was set up to run without him, as interlocking partnerships. The organization would outlast Capone (and did) unless effort was used to root it out. (Like Rudi Guiliani did in New York in the 1980s.) The Feds didn’t care and cut off support for Ness’s efforts.

    Meanwhile, Capone noted that fascism was the Federal Government running things, eliminating the state and local governments. Funny how Capone’s observation can be applied to today’s “woke” Feds under Biden.

  95. In Canada, how important is Mary Simon? I was surprised to learn that she is Canadian/Inuit by birth and upbringing, not British at all, nor does it appear, given her background in circumpolar diplomacy that her sympathies are British. Might she put together some sort of provisional government? It occurs to me that she might at least understand the importance of preserving North American resources from foreign predation.

    Wall Street would be happy to sell all the water in the Great Lakes to China or anyone else so long as WS gets the fees.

    It also occurs to me that if large countries leave the British Commonwealth, independence for Scotland cannot be far behind.

  96. “There’s are some people (mostly women it seems) who have an extra color receptor in their eyes. It’s referred to as tetrachromacy. ”

    From the Wikipedia article on tetrachromacy;

    “One study suggested that 15% of the world’s women might have the type of fourth cone whose sensitivity peak is between the standard red and green cones, giving, theoretically, a significant increase in color differentiation.”

    So when a woman is going on that the shade of green does not quite match, and her male companion is looking puzzled, both may be correct.

  97. In the corporate world in which I perforce must inhabit, the people at the uppermost echelons long ago replaced ‘imagination’ with ‘vision’ and, for the past three (!) decades I have yet to suss out exactly the difference between their sense that they have vision and my sense that they are living a hallucination.
    I’m soooo close to a pension… (Yeah, yeah, I know… collapse now and all that. Tried that before. I’ll start trying to eke out an existance if I must, but I’d much rather not come crawling back for scraps from Hagbard’s Table after yet another failure to thrive beyond the bounds of the banquet hall.)

  98. MonSeulDesir
    I can’t speak so much to what’s happening in Ottawa, but apart from the large protest at the BC legislature on Saturday, there hasn’t been significant changes locally since the protests, and the BC government has just ignored it.

    There seems to be more impact in Alberta and Saskatchewan, though.

  99. Regarding color perception and “other” primary colors, I discovered (or became aware, anyway) around the age of 20 that I can see further into the red/infrared end of the spectrum than most other people. Certain things that are hot, but invisible to others, I can perceive as glowing a deep not-quite-red. For example, I can remember one time stopping a friend from sticking his hand into the embers of a campfire at night, which I could clearly see still glowing but he could not.

    I actually tested this out with several classmates in college, when we put a small mirror into a spectrophotometer and redirected the beam of light, at a precise but adjustable wavelength, out of the instrument and into our eyes; I was able to see the beam at almost 800 nm wavelength, whereas my classmates stopped seeing the beam at around 700 nm, which is generally considered the limit of human vision at the red end of the spectrum.

    I’ve toyed with (imagined!) the idea of obtaining a fairly precise glass wavelength filter to put on the end of a flashlight, such that the light emitted would likely be visible only to myself in any given situation, effectively allowing me (by other people’s perceptions) to “see in the dark”. But being neither a spy nor a burglar, I’ve never seriously pursued the matter.

    The limits of human vision based on the wavelength of the light involved is not absolute, however, as it also depends on the intensity of the source. I understand that humans could even see X-rays, if the source were powerful enough, but of course at that same intensity one would be in the process of being killed by radiation.

  100. @Aldarion: I’ve never met your wife, but I’m sure I’d like her! 🙂

    IMO the biggest problem with Nudge theory is not just that it doesn’t take into account that fourth group, but that (while they’re a small minority) it seems likely that every single person likely to react to such schemes with an organized campaign of resistance, or a burst of targeted violence, belongs to that fourth group. Which they’re not accounting for. They seem to think that with a “nudge” there is no possibility of bad results for themselves. But all I can think is that, whenever I encounter these schemes directed at me, my personal reaction is rage (yeah, I grew up with a manipulative mom– can you tell?). If I, a sedate nonviolent person who would never act on that (except to resist compliance of course), feel that way when some faceless institution tries to pressure me into doing something… how many people out there will tip into actual violence when faced with governmental attempts to manipulate them? IMO that kind of policy is playing with fire for everyone involved. I’ve done an OK job of processing my childhood grievances. But I think there are a lot of people who haven’t, and it’s not a good idea to dress up like their (devouring) mothers, if you want something from them.

  101. Re: search engines:

    I looked up “let them drink Margaritas” on Bing (wanted to get away from Google, have trust issues with Duck Duck Go), and they were heavy on articles from “the right” on the Psaki quote, plus the occasional “Make AOC bartend again” meme. Some actual margarita recipes slip through, but Bing’s not hiding the reaction.

  102. @Milkyway

    Sigh. I have seen these “creativity” kits. They make me sad. My kids get similar things for gifting occasions now and then, though, and I’m happy to report that after perusing the instructions, they often decide they could do something *else* with the materials… they now have a whole collection of little solar cells and tiny motors salvaged from “build a robot” kits, with which they conduct Frankenstein-ish experiments. It’s still a toss-up whether they’ll learn about machinery, or just burn the house down. We’ll see, I guess.

  103. Hi John Michael
    Well you will be fascinated (and no doubt delighted) to learn that the Ottawa protests are a stepping stone towards a new, bright and shiny future for us all. S
    They will force investment in elf-driving trucks and fully automated logistics and delivery systems .
    AND you can get a list of the companies that will be leading this charge and making you loads of moolah just by subscribing to a certain newsletter. 🙂
    Greed is so .. so .. so reliable.!

    OT I know (but hey it’s imagination after all) the main villain in the wonderfull Modesty Blaise novel “Dead Man’s Handle” is absolutely the twin of Bellbury’s Withers. If you get time ….

  104. Nice to see the way you connect imagination with empathy. In many ways it is that connection that is most missing. Lauterbach and Psaki simply can’t imagine what the world looks like to people who don’t share their viewpoint and their privileges. It is a very hard thing to take another person’s viewpoint. But with the immense sense of self-importance many in elite circles attach to their posturing in support of diversity and inclusion, one might think they would try.

  105. Off topic, but am I the only one who thinks the Weather Channel’s choice of names for the current storm is hilarious? Let’s snow, Landon!

  106. One of the things I’ve noticed in late-stage empires is a tendency to rely on their technology even when they no longer understand their technology.

    In the 21st century BC, the Sumerians were facing ongoing raids from Amorites, Elamites, and wandering nomads. So they built a 155-mile wall (a bit under 250km). This is certainly an impressive piece of engineering. But they didn’t terminate the wall with a military town and fortress on each end, nor did they keep a constant watch from along the wall. So the invaders simply walked around the wall and, a few decades later, conquered Sumeria.

    Byzantium relied on its Justinian walls, which were also impressive. But their earthen interiors meant you couldn’t fire cannons from atop them lest you damage those walls. And so they had to use catapults against the Turks organizing outside to breach their walls with gunpowder.

    There’s also a long history of military procurement growing increasingly corrupt and military discipline poorer as empires degenerate. I suspect that if we find ourselves in a shooting war in Ukraine we’re going to discover the limits of our technology and military capacity. And our PMC class is likely to find the Versailles they’ve built around themselves come crumbling down very shortly thereafter.

  107. Christophe, you’re most welcome. Fludd is so helpful just now because he had an astonishing gift for summing up the entire heritage of Renaissance occultism in visual images, and he had the help of some of the great masters of copperplate engraving and printing to turn his sketches into brilliant realities. If you don’t have a copy already, Joscelyn Godwin has a fine volume on Robert Fludd — the original version was titled with the man’s name, though I think there’s a new version out with a different title — which has all his best images. If you can’t spend weeks meditating on each of them you’re just not trying. 😉 As for the repression of the imagination in late industrial culture, why, we’ll be talking about that shortly!

    Justin, didn’t they appoint a temporary leader while they’re gearing up for a new leadership election? I don’t know whether Poilievre has a chance at the latter, but here’s hoping.

    Celadon, it’s — shall we say, colorful — to watch. Not as colorful as it will be when we get to the equivalent stage of Lewis’s story where the elephant breaks down the door, but colorful. They have indeed called down Deep Heaven on their heads.

    Rose, that’s an interesting thesis and, I think, a plausible one. It’s especially an issue in our society, which has the bizarre conviction that people can be converted into interchangeable spare parts for industry!

    Augusto, good. Sensory images are the raw material of the imagination, but yes, the pattern in which the raw material is assembled can come from many sources — among them, intuition and enlightenment. That’s one of the great powers of the imagination — it can give form to perceptions we can’t otherwise reach — but that power is limited, first, by the ability of the soul to grasp patterns of the mental plane (and higher planes reflected in the mental plane); second, by the raw material available for the imagination to use; and third, by the inevitable tendency of our minds to mix up those dimly perceived patterns with other, more familiar patterns from less exalted sources. There are ways to minimize those problems to some extent but they can never be wholly eliminated, which is why it’s a mistake to treat what’s perceived by the imagination as objectively real.

    Austin, I have no idea just how this will play out down here south of the border, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for the status quo. I note also that the Democrats seem to have decided that their BLM paramilitaries have outlived their usefulness.

    Klcooke, of course. Google is official media now, and it censors everything.

    John, a certain image is forcefully coming to mind…

    Klcooke, oddly enough, I was wondering about that myself.

    Milkyway, I’ll keep that in mind! Thank you.

    Jasmine, ah, but how many people read Shelley any more?

    Mario, duly noted. I’m not sure what it is about Germans and jackboots…

    Bogatyr, I’ll be interested to see how current neuroscience compares to Renaissance occult psychology.

    Ssinkoski, no, I hadn’t. I suppose I shouldn’t get so amused about scientists hailing something as a shocking new discovery when philosophers in the Western world figured it out 250 years ago and their equivalents in India had it down cold sometime before 1000 BC. Better late than never…

    Patricia, it depends on how fast Japan’s population declines. People will return to farming when it’s that or going hungry, and I suspect that choice will be facing a lot of people when the next serious downturn hits. Still, we’ll see.

    Hawk, delighted to hear it!

    Yorkshire, I share your concerns about such games. We have enough things modeling dysfunctional thinking and behavior for the mentally vunerable already!

    Jay, no, not if occult philosophy is any guide. There are forces that can yank our leash good and hard when they need to.

    Chuaquin, I don’t know which, but one way or another, he’d be better off in a nice padded room.

    Clay, excellent! Yes, that’s one of the pervasive bad habits of humanity — only listening to those data sources that support their prejudices. That’s why so many of the privileged melted down so completely when Trump was elected: they only listened to media sources telling them that nobody would vote for Trump but a few evil deplorables, since everything is for the best in this best of all possible dystopias. How they’ll handle the next round of disconfirmations is going to be worth watching.

    David T, thanks for this.

    Ian, curiously enough, the collapse of the imagination that leads so many people to think that capitalism and socialism are the only two alternatives for a modern society is something I’ll be discussing at length as we proceed. More on this in a couple of weeks!

    Neptunesdolphins, thanks for the data points!

    Denis, creativity is to imagination what engineering is to science, or medicine is to biology. The former is the practical application of the latter. Please post a link to your series of essays here, and also — if you haven’t done so yet — get links up on the Green Wizards forum, where people adore such things.

    Neptunesdolphins, ah, but what if the goal was never to eliminate the mob, just to make sure that it didn’t get too big for its britches? What you’ve described would be a very imaginative way to take it down a peg — not unlike the comparable mob hit on November 22, 1963.

    Methylethyl, that’s true!

    Renaissance, whenever a corporate flack starts talking about “vision,” I assume that what it means is “hallucination generated by an acute psychotic break.” In practice, it usually works out that way.

    Alan, fascinating. You’re the exception that proves the rule; that not-quite-red is a new color. I wonder if it’s jale, or ulfire!

    Godozo, thanks for the data point. That’s worth knowing.

    Lurksalong, if I ever wanted to make a truly insane amount of money I’d start the Bright Shiny Future of the Month club — so many people are addicted to that particular conceptual drug. As for Modesty Blaise, hmm — never read anything in that series. I’ll consider it if I ever find the time.

    Ganv, they’re terrified of seeing the world through anyone else’s eyes, because they know at a gut level exactly what kind of a figure they’d cut from anyone’s viewpoint but their own.

    Anon, funny! I missed that.

    Kenaz, those are grand examples, so thank you. Can you point me to a good online source on the Sumerian wall? That makes a perfect image not only of a failure to understand technology, but of several other pervasive failures that I want to talk about.

  108. Re: Tetrachromats

    There was a spate of articles on this topic in various journals around July 2016. One woman in particular was a subject of interest, and one particular piece of information struck me.

    Experimenters mixed together yellow and blue pigments so that the result exactly matched green of a particular wavelength – to the eyes of most people. To this woman the green and the yellow-blue mixture were completely different colours. From her point of view, the rest of us were the equivalent of red-green colourblind.

    Try imagining what her world must be like!

  109. I am literally in a word-salad seminar on zoom right now. This poor person just contradicted themselves 3 times in 2 sentences. Merlin’s here, y’all!

    @Mary Bennet,
    The Governor General of Canada is generally considered a purely ceremonial position these days. Hence giving it to news casters, ex-astronauts and “hey this is an indigenous woman”. That’s kind of wrong, though– legally, they’re in charge (on behalf of the Queen of Canada, who happens to also be the Queen of England, Scotland, et cetera, et cetera at the moment.). The Governor General is the legal commander-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, not the Prime Minister. (By custom, they don’t give orders.) The General Governor is in charge of our democracy– parliament sits and dissolves at their say so. (By custom, they say whatever the Prime Minister wants.)

    Mary Bennet is as important as she wants to be. She can’t do anything unless the existing order in Canada is falling apart, though, because literally any independent action on her part will spark a constitutional crisis.

  110. “Creativity is to imagination what engineering is to science, or medicine is to biology. The former is the practical application of the latter.”

    So in the imagination there are things which are inexplicable or at best a theory that can’t be proved? It incorporates what we know we know and what we think we know?

    Creativity sounds like more an assemblage of what’s out there into a collage, or just focusing on a subset of what’s there.

    Creativity is sure footed and imagination is dangerous. Or at least they occur that way.

    Thus colleges have MFA’s in creative writing and not imaginative writing.

  111. Alan, JMG,

    I have a similar gift: I can hear infrasonic sounds. There are lots of animals which communicate using infrasound, and a large number of natural phenomena create them, which means that I can often hear a great many things which other people are unable to notice. It’s also useful because a lot of machinery produces infrasound, and so I can hear things with it that other people can’t, which quite often makes it easier to figure out what’s happening when they stop working right.

    My suspicion is that the human range of perceptions is much wider than we think: it seems likely to me that we’d have evolved such that different people can sense different things, and while there’s a common baseline, it’s likely that an awful lot of people have at least some sensory capacities which go beyond the “normal”. If our society was sane about these things instead of obsessed with standardization, we’d likely see a lot more research into these sorts of abilities. It seems like it would be a useful trait for a social species to have members who can sense things outside of the usual range, so the group could notice things which would escape it’s attention otherwise.

  112. Oh and thank you for the nudge to post a link to my essays here or over on GW. I’ll consider it. I took the class with the intention of publishing something small everyday. It was painful by day 5 and I wanted to quit again on day 12, but now day 26 it seems to bit a tiny bit of a habit and the ideas peck around in the back of my head.

    I’m still trying to work out what it is I’m trying to communicate. I feel like I’ll know the needle I’m trying to thread soon.

  113. Neptunesdolphins said

    Meanwhile, Capone noted that fascism was the Federal Government running things, eliminating the state and local governments. Funny how Capone’s observation can be applied to today’s “woke” Feds under Biden.

    Mussolini himself defined Fascism as the fusion of Big Government and Big Business. He also stated that Corporatism is an accurate synonym for Fascism and used those two terms interchangeably. Both sound like pretty accurate descriptions of the current neo-liberal power structure to me, which makes it doubly ironic that the soi-disant “Antifa’s” are little more than well-funded tools and pet attack dogs for Corporate America and the rest of the liberal elites, as we have discussed here before.

  114. About the Supreme Court nomination: I think the Black Congressional Caucus demanded a Black woman SC appointee in return for their part in denying a seat in congress to Ms. Pelosi’s worst nightmare, Nina Turner. There cannot be a shortage of qualified candidates in that demographic. If Barrett, an attorney who never litigated a case in court, so far as I could find out, is qualified…so is just about anyone who passed a bar exam.

    BLM was funded to help in driving Trump from office. The lawsuits are by govts. of CA. and WA. That is surprising in that it would have been my guess that west coast state govts. are no longer interested in taking orders from east coast establishment types.

    If the NYT is withdrawing support from Biden, that is because he must have declined to invade Ukraine. Part of the price he paid for having the DNC rig the nomination for him was neo con appointments at State.

  115. Hi John Michael,

    Imagination and creativity are dangerous and powerful tools. Just say for example you hear the dominant and repeated call of society: “come with us”, but instead you hear a command: “you will come with us”, and it leaves you feeling cold inside because the command sounds idiotic. And you say to the sirens: “but what about over there?” and also “over there looks interesting as well”, “what about those paths then, hey, what about that?”

    From my perspective the sirens look crazy because they only allow one narrowly defined path (progress). It isn’t a great leap of imagination to ask the hard question: “yeah, but what if you’re wrong. What then?”, but all the same that is a hard thing to do if a person is enjoying heaps of stuff and perquisites.

    What interests me is that there are serious roadblocks put in the way for taking other paths, and I have to laugh, but being ‘comfortable’ which is a major selling point of the progress narrative after all, hardly prepares anyone for the hard times ahead. The path of progress is utterly bonkers.

    Just thought that I’d mention an amusing series of short cartoons lampooning our Federal Politicians, whilst also discussing rather important subjects. Aficionados of Australian politics should get a few laughs: Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain Episode 1 “School’s In Session”. Lampooning is a great strategy, all other considerations to the side.



  116. Hi Dusk Shine,

    It is worth recalling that the Governor General sacked the Australian federal government in 1975. There’s power there for sure. And let’s not forget that each bill of Parliament has to receive Royal Assent before passing into law. Things can change, you never really know. It is worth mentioning that the sacked Whitlam government was not returned to power at the resulting election.



  117. @Milkyway thanks for the encouragement. Canada is certainly hope inspiring. My problem here is not so much restrictions i am subject to. My problem is that I have lost respect for my fellow aussies, and even if all the madness goes away tomorrow, it might take a long time to get it back.

  118. Hi John,

    I am not in the least bit surprised BLM is getting thrown under the bus as previously incurious Democrat controlled state governments start scrutinizing their finances, now that they have become more of a liability rather than an asset to the neoliberal elites. Their CEO was forced to resign in disgrace last year after her shady financial dealings started coming to light, so I’m sure there’s plenty of bread crumbs for investigators to follow. After all, that’s how they got Al Capone after he had managed to beat the rap on everything else.

  119. @Anonymous: re: infrasound. Not so much as I age, but when I was younger– at least up to age 30 or so, I could hear a whole host of high-pitched noises that others seemed oblivious to, mostly generated by various types of machinery. More irritating than useful, unfortunately. It was an incredible relief to me when flat-screen monitors took over from CRTs, because I could *hear* CRTs whining nonstop like amplified mosquitoes. They were awful! My family treated it like some bizarre psychism, because I could tell when the TV was on, but not displaying anything.

  120. re: infrasound, extended colors, etc: I don’t know how common it is, but I also experience an atypical visual “refresh-rate”– certain LED lightbulbs, I can see the… I don’t know the term for it. It’s the wave frequency of the electrical source that the bulb is plugged into. Incandescent lights don’t do this. I’ve had to purchase a lot of replacement bulbs (I should add that nobody else in my family can see what I’m seeing when this happens– they just take my word for it but they think the bulbs are fine, while I find the light painful), because of the strobe effect created by this- – I can literally wave my hand in front of me (in a room lit by the “wrong” LED bulb), and see a whole series of stationary hands, like the strobes they used at the skating rink when we were kids, but faster. Before the advent of LED lightbulbs, it had never even occurred to me that different people might have different…. visual processing wavelength/speeds?

    (crosses fingers, hopes one of you geniuses knows the technical terms I’m missing…)

  121. @Milkyway In a sad way those creativity kits make perfect sense. Paying lip service to creativity while totally switching off any imagination is an invaluable skill for a future member of the corporate office fauna.

  122. Anonymous at #119

    Two years ago, one of my cats flipped out, ran outside, got barked at, and ran off. At one point when I was meditating a week or so after she got lost, I reached out to her with my thoughts. I swore I could sense her behind me to my left and not that far away. When I found her, she was living under my neighbor’s shed, about where I sensed she was. I mostly wrote it off at the time as just my imagination. But with the spiritual and magical practices I’ve established over the past ten months, I’ve got a different take on it. I always just kind of know where my cats are. So yeah, there’s more going on than gets acknowledged.

  123. Hey JMG,

    From reading your writing closely for the last 1.5 – 2 years it seems like you have a unique take on occult philosophy that hasn’t been published in one place. Or at least a take built on past writers ideas and given your own flavor. For instance, I’ve never heard any other occultist talk about the “Understanding”. I’ve let my personal understanding of phrases like this evolve over this time, but after reading The Fourfold Root of Sufficient Reason a lot of ideas like Understanding, Imagination, Judgement, Reflection etc. make a lot more sense and I can clearly see what you mean when you say your influenced by Schopenhauer. When I read the non explicitly occult posts like this one I can sometimes glimpse through the words and see the influences behind them (or at least I imagine I can!). Anyway, I’m partly writing this to suggest to others who haven’t taken the plunge into Schopenhauer that it could be useful in learning more about some of the ideas posted on the blog. I look forward to finishing his main two books, and then moving on to Nietzche!

  124. Hey hey JMG,

    It seems that the pharma research community got this memo a while ago.

    “These 5 Studies Reveal a Disturbing Trend — Researchers Presenting Conclusions That Don’t Match the Data
    A troubling new trend is arising in published science.

    Why aren’t the conclusions matching the data? Are the authors trying to tell us something important?”

    It looks like it is a mixed bag, with some of them doing meaningful research, but then giving it a title and conclusion that will allow publication in a hostile environment. And some are not even bothering to rig the numbers anymore and just putting the spin that they want in the abstract and conclusion, trusting that nobody that matters will dig any deeper.

    Also, this was fun. YouTube censors a livestream of the Canadian Freedom Convoy for being too popular:

    “Video unavailable: This video is popular! Due to limited creator history, we’re limiting the number of viewers. Subscribe to this channel to help this creator reach a broader audience.”

    Lacking any pretext to censor on other grounds (no violence, live video so not misinformation) they had to come up with something.


  125. What I have recently discovered is that the brain censors the input from your eyes..Twice, when I was cooking something in a frying pan on an electric stove, I fell into a light trance (which has been a fine and relaxing thing for me since childhood)…Suddenly I could see a ring of reddish purple light around the frying pan, obviously the infrared radiation from the burner and pan..Clearly, my brain ordinarily filtered that information out…
    That gives me a whole new insight into regression hypnotism, of which I am a certified practitioner..Our brains often filter out traumatic events from this or previous lives, and it’s therapeutic to relive them, and that’s why it works…

  126. I don’t know if anyone watched the latest WhiteHaus presser pull out their klaxon what’s seems like a real knee slapper – the Russians doing an ’eminent’ videographic false flag propaganda production?? This, to me, reads like a big heaping pile of deepstate projection, ala the WhiteHelmets! .. Anyone remember THAT whole blast of gaslighting?

    C’mon Brandon .. prove the not-now-so-gulible public wrong!

  127. JMG commented:

    “Alan, fascinating. You’re the exception that proves the rule; that not-quite-red is a new color. I wonder if it’s jale, or ulfire!”

    Well, since I tend to see that not-quite-red color mostly in the context of hot (and, to me, glowing) objects, I think “ulfire” is entirely appropriate!

    The most often I have seen this color has been in the deeply-glowing embers of campfires at night. I can remember once as a kid sitting around such an almost-dead campfire, and I said to my parents “Isn’t that glow pretty?”, and they were puzzled, as they saw nothing glowing. Kids quickly learn to shut up about such experiences, I suspect, as I did as well.

  128. In addition to the failure to imagine alternatives, has anyone noticed the ability of so many people in this country to embrace positions they once professed to hate, and act like absolutely nothing has changed? Being a former IR grad student, I’ve probably followed the Russia-Ukraine war scare more than most people, and virtually every single discussion of it in the Liberal-leaning parts of the internet is dominated by the ideology I’ve (somewhat bitterly) come to call “Left-Neoconservatism”. You know, the ideology that’s exactly identical to what Bush II and co. believed in, except that, instead of spreading Capitalism, Freedom, and Apple Pie at gunpoint to the four corners of the world, we’re spreading Equity, Inclusion, and the Rainbow Flag at the point of those exact same guns. For goodness sakes, am I the only one who can remember when the the Left (quite rightly) mocked 2012 Mitt Romney for saying that Russia was the greatest strategic threat to the US? And here we are in 2022, when saying anything different about Russia in a meeting of establishment Democrats will probably get you kicked out.

    Sometime in the early 2000’s (I think during the runup to the Iraq War) I distinctly remember walking by a Democratic campaign tent that was selling bumper stickers and pins with slogans, one of which had an American flag and the words “These Colors Don’t Run…the World”. And not only that, but one could read endless critiques of Bush the Lesser’s “Freedom Project” (or whatever the hell it was called) in mainstream Leftist publications like Mother Jones and the Nation. Such critiques usually raised thoughful, salient objections to the Neoconservative project: that Democracy could not be simply imposed at gunpoint, that millenia-old cultures were not going to change in five or ten years, that the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan-and the massive bonanza for military contractors that followed-looked a bit self serving on further examination, that real-world conflicts tend to be morally grey with a distinct lack of Good Guys and Bad Guys.

    Then Obama got elected, our guy was in charge, and all of the above was summarily chucked out the window. You had Liberals-who just a few years earlier couldn’t look at a picture of Bush without screaming about how he should go to the Hague for war crimes-applauding the US military as it “brought democracy” to Libya and Syria. More recently, I’ve seen people who would almost certainly describe themselves as “Liberals” throwing Neville Chamberlain comparisons (something that used to be very much a Neoconservative trope) at people who think sending the young men and women of our military to die for Estonia is a bad idea. And of course, there’s Mr. Yes We Can, the Great Messiah Himself, the “Constitutional scholar” who bemoaned what the War on Terror had done to America and argued passionately for the restoration of civil liberties…until his CIA, with his personal authorization, blew up a 16 year old American citizen for…being the son of a terrorist. Gee, I didn’t we executed criminals without trial in this country…much less criminals’ children.

    I…don’t get it. How the eff can somebody turn into something they viscerally hated ten years ago, and not even notice?

  129. I don’t imagine Trudeau trying to send troops to Ottawa would work out well:

    “The Canadian Armed Forces has kicked out dozens of service members who refused to bare their arms and get vaccinated…

    Defence officials earlier this month said nearly 1,000 troops had been issued warnings.

    While the military is supposed to have around 100,000 troops at full strength, Defence Department figures show it was short around 10,000 members at the end of November.

    Another 10,000 troops were listed as unavailable for duty because they were either untrained, sick or injured.”

    The Canadian Armed Forces admits it is:
    “a fragile organization right now because of our numbers being down, because of the (operational) tempo, because of this crisis in (sexual) misconduct.”

    I bet the 98% of them that reportedly got vaccinated didn’t do it to march on their own people… Impossible to know how many had hoped their own unsuccessful lawsuits against the mandates would have been successful, either.

    My son’s book he was reading at dinner has an appropriate elephant (the mystery starts with a dirigible explosion).

  130. From World History Encyclopedia

    “This situation came to crisis during the latter part of the Ur III Period (also known as the Sumerian Renaissance, 2047-1750 BCE), when King Shulgi of the Sumerian city of Ur constructed a wall 155 miles (250 kilometers) long specifically to keep the Amorites out of Sumer. The wall was too long to be properly manned, however, and also presented the problem of not being anchored at either end to any kind of obstacle; an invading force could simply walk around the wall to bypass it, and that seems to be precisely what the Amorites did.”

    From what I’ve read in other sources, the wall was between the Tigris and Euphrates and was intended to protect the irrigated fields. There’s also some debate over whether it was a wall or a range of towers, but there’s absolute agreement that it was ineffective and the Amorites simply walked around it. And within 30 years of its construction Ur was sacked.

    Interestingly, it’s about that time that a patriarch named Abram reportedly leaves on a journey for the Promised Land. Though the scribes were obviously writing that story down a long time after the event. Ur of the Sumerians doesn’t become “Ur of the Chaldees” (Chaldeans) for a good 1,000 years. (900-800 BC or so)

  131. Denis, exactly.

    Anonymous, that’s quite likely, I think.

    Sardaukar, a lot of English speakers don’t know that in Italian corporazione doesn’t mean “corporation” in our sense of the word — it was the word used for the old craft guilds. Mussolini borrowed a lot of ideas from the movement called guild socialism. He also forced binding arbitration on wage negotiations and forced businesses to pay their employees more — that was one of the reasons he was so successful until he made the stupid decision to go to war. The confusion between fascism and neoliberal capitalism is a very popular bit of rhetoric on the far left, but it misses a lot of what the fascist movement was up to — and a lot of the reasons why it was so popular in its day.

    Chris, excellent. Exactly; if we’re headed down the slope of the Long Descent — and of course we are — taking the comfortable path isn’t going to end well.

    Sardaukar, given that BLM was bought and paid for by the Democrats, and turned out on cue to riot in the summer before every election seasonfrom 2008 onward, it fascinates me that it’s being deep-sixed right when the Dems are facing a disastrous election.

    Youngelephant, eventually I’ll probably write a dense and nearly unreadable tome on occult philosophy. In the meantime, yeah, a course of reading in Schopenhauer will probably help.

    Tim, it’s not accidental that the British Medical Journal — you know, one of the two or three most reputable medical journals in the world — ran an article a little while back saying that at this point, medical research should be assumed to be fraudulent until it’s proven otherwise.

    Pyrrhus, fascinating!

    Youngelephant, I wonder how hard it would be to convince them that the best way to keep viruses out of their respiratory tract is to wear bright red clown noses…

    Alan, ulfire it is!

    Tolkienguy, yes, I’ve been watching that unfold for years. What you hate, you imitate!

    Pixelated, it’s an absolutely classic mistake of a failing regime to send in the troops, and then discover the hard way that the rank and file supports the protesters — as they so often do. Once that happens the regime goes down in a matter of hours, or at most days. So it depends on what you mean by “well”… 😉

    Kenaz, excellent! Thank you for this; that’s what I needed.

  132. @ssinkoski #90 I love Hoffman’s work! I’ve got the same book though haven’t started it yet. For a cognitive scientist to construct a theory that what we perceive is an interface like icons on a computer desktop honed by evolution to help survival (and that reality is very different) is really elegant, and apparently holds up mathematically. I read somewhere he meditates for three hours a day – that’ll get you looking deeper!

    @Dusk Shine #117 The GG of Australia dismissed the Labor Whitlam government in 1975, so there’s precedent – could history repeat itself in Canadia? But Whitlam was a threat to the establishment, while Trudeau is the very definition of liberal establishment…might depend on how far and wide the protests grow.

  133. You really have a knack for tapping into the collective conscious and grasping pertinent ideas that are floating around. Without a doubt people are desiring change. In America, I think the broad consensus would be that more would like to believe in the “American Dream” again, although I could be wrong. But it is definitely something a bit more retro.

    For whatever reason, perhaps it was the unusually descriptive cat, this essay brought to mind Plato’s dialogue of the forms. The explanation of Fludd is terrific, allowing for a lot of analysis and deep understanding of the imagination, but the simplicity of Plato opens it up to the common man. There are things out there that everyone knows, yet the reality of them will be different for us all.

    A couple days ago I received an e-mail from the Word on Fire newsletter informing me of a new release of the hosts Bible. I wondered what made the release of another Bible worthy of an advertisement, so I followed the link to have a look. The cover screamed to me “Kabbalistic Tree of Life.” Have a look and see what you think. Together with your post this week, that just sunk the point home that imagination isn’t what we’re lead to believe from modern day education. It’s more a matter of finding another way to use things.

    That realization is important since we’ve passed peak oil, we’re going to have to do things differently than we are used to, and people generally don’t like to use things differently than they were taught. One of the great things about the pioneer days in American history (and I am thinking of this as recently I’ve been reading Little House in the Big Woods) was that folks had to adapt to use what they had.

    Who knows how long the recent changes in life will go on. In the USA and Canada houses are ridiculously expensive for the common man. I read that many folks are opting to live in trailer parks since a house is out of financial reach. While that is great now, the more people opt for trailer parks and manufactured homes, the higher those costs will be. Eventually, the home will have to be re-imagined again.

    Gas prices are leaping upwards. So are the prices and quality of food. In the near future, transportation and how we handle food will have to be re-imagined again. Around the New Year holiday, my wife persuaded me to visit friends in North Carolina. The nearly 3000 mile round trip cost my family of five about $350 in gas. Food, mostly, and lodging brought the total trip cost closer to $1500. Mind you, this is the first time in nearly four years since my family arrived in the USA that I’ve had the time and chance to show the family some of the USA, and it won’t be a regular thing. Trips and vacation will have to be re-imagined.

    Ironically enough, Retrotopia probably has a lot of good examples of how all of this can be done. I am very interested in how the next post in this series will go, but I have a strong feeling that learning to use the imagination will involve changing the narrative we feed ourselves. Those ideas we use to guide our lives are not something that easily change over night, and there lie the crux of many problems we have for change.

  134. @Scotlyn

    “To invoke statistics is a distancing move, an abstracting move, and (all too often), a dissembling move. It is a move that de-humanises. With statistics you can say things that are simply irrelevant to, or about, real people. And, should you be seduced by what you can say with statistics, you may even commit the most egregious move, which is to turn your statistics into Procrustean beds, that real people must be cut down to or stretch along to fit, or worse, that make them feel obliged to cut THEMSELVES down to or stretch THEMSELVES along to fit.”

    Nonetheless. It can be instrument of measurement that measures something real. If Gravity shows up as a number in a statistic.

    Lets say as a result of dropping something through a measuring camera. Then Gravity is a real thing.

    As I paraphrased about my last post

    Even if there are many ways to manage gravity. Nonetheless it is more advantageous to work with the force than against it.

  135. Thanks for the comment on my childhood nightmare-shoggoths, JMG. Something to discuss in an open post, maybe. Certainly I’d appreciate your take on it, theology notwithstanding.

  136. Hi John Michael.
    I think I’d sign up to that club 🙂
    As for Peter O’Donnell, creator of Modesty Blaise, he was also an award-winning gothic historical romance novelist who wrote under the female pseudonym Madeleine Brent; kind of a cross between MB and Georgette Heyer !
    His M B books have quite a few yogic/martial arts/occult underpinnings; telepathy, psychometry, meditation, Ki, et al.

  137. I’ve always considered myself imaginative but in truth I have realized that my own imagination is stuffed up with more detritus than a dusty attic full of unused and semi-valued furniture, moth-eaten clothes and old childhood toys saved for sentimental reasons.

    Unfortunately when I was a kid I spent too much time playing video games, also I did read a lot of fantasy, and whenever I did play outside or daydream, much of the stories I imagined used the elements from these games and books as building blocks for plots and characters. I know it is normal to do so, but it strikes me how little of it was genuinely new.

    Not new in the sense of imagining something physically impossible as you’ve noted, but new as in a novelty, something that escapes the boundaries of what has come before. Also, this seems normal to me, too, as evidenced by the repetitive plots we see in pop culture. I think it was a few years back when you discussed notional spaces, and how the manifested pool of songs, books, movies, art forms, architectural ideas, etc fills up the notional space, and it becomes harder to create anything novel. Again, as you’ve pointed out, this is normal at this stage in our civilization.

    Maybe this is an obvious realization, but it is interesting that the notion of progress in our society, as a kind of civilizational virtue to be valued as much as it is, comes at the exact time when the notional space available to that civilization has filled up. It is analogous perhaps to oil. We have squeezed out all the easily accessible oil, and we’re hungrier than ever for oil just as it runs out.

    It is also interesting to me, in light of my budding occult practice and what we are learning in the Levi book club, that the rituals and practices available to occultists perhaps helps to clear that cultural detritus in oneself, and allows oneself to align with channels beyond what is available in the store of elements in a culture’s notional space.

    I don’t know if this is the case yet, or whether I am being hubristic to imagine that I can do just that, but it does seem like an interesting implication of this. I am reading some Dion Fortune at the moment, and she mentions bringing spiritual forces to bear into a situation, so perhaps the imagination isn’t so much a generator of novelty, but maybe a way of aligning one’s consciousness with these spiritual forces.

    Indeed, the cultural idea we have of the concept and function of the imagination is out of sync with the reality of it (if one is able to grasp the reality of it). We cannot imagine what is possible by the imagination, perhaps. I have to think further on it.

  138. Of course the danger in my last comment was the implication that one can channel spiritual forces to create novelty, when I meant more about being creativity to bear by aligning the imagination with cosmic law, as Fortune puts it.

    For example, nothing in this comment or the previous is anything new – yourself and the commentariat here have expressed all of these ideas in the past, but maybe it appears to some that the comments have “new” insights. When rather it has come about with an alignment with the ideas discussed so often here.

    I’m struck by the image of an architect who is trying to come up with a new style of building and who spends time referencing past architectural styles, and whose architecting is driven by the notion of arriving at something “new” that builds on those styles. Her imagination is aligned with reference to the cultural need to build upon the canon, or to reject it, but in either case the reference point itself is defined by our culture storehouse.

    This is quite different, perhaps, than an architect who has spent years studying plants and natural forms and sacred geometry and human proportion, and whose imagination generates an architecture which works with those things. I still have to think further on it.

  139. re: BLM The one thing people who love communist type movements never learn is the leaders of those movements immediately execute those who helped them get power. They don’t want any competition for their leadership.

  140. @Tolkienguy I think the left / right political divide isn’t helpful to describe what is occurring any longer. I’ve been looking at as the power hungry class. What was the left who are in power in academia, journalism, and politics will literally do whatever it takes to maintain their power. They will take any position necessary. They believe with their entire being that they are The Good People ™ and deserve to rule. It is their calling and their right to do so.

    The powerful group on what was the left is also joined by the useful idiots on what was the right in this maintenance of power. There have been less than five Republicans against lockdowns, mandates, saber rattling war efforts etc. All the people on the right do is empower the left by providing a launching point for their arguments.

    I’m starting to support the idea of bringing back the Articles of Confederation and eliminating the federal government completely. The journalists and colleges seem to be destroying themselves currently so they might not be a problem in a couple years.

  141. @methylethyl, I too could hear the high-pitched whine of CRTs. I could tell when the next-door neighbor had their TV on. I assumed at that time that everyone else could hear them too, but like so many other things, they just didn’t stop to notice.

  142. Technocrats of the world would like you to stop using your imaginative facilities. They have been quarantined indefinitely because that is where intrusive thoughts lie, and anyone to who listens to those demonic intrusive thoughts is opening the door to madness.

    NOT having the margarita, and NOT kickboxing to get rid of those thoughts that maybe things aren’t going so well, is a clear sign of a perverse fascination with those thoughts. The acceptance of intrusive thoughts is just a clear indication of mental illness, defect, instability, and medication would be on the way if we could only afford it instead of all of those drone strikes.

    Witness the self-congratulatory achievers (not you, JMG, you’ve achieved while maintaining a good level of cynicism about it) who don’t talk about what they’ve done, only that they’ve done something in spite of all of their supposed handicaps. In spite of doubts, and feelings, and external forces, they still managed to become poster children for managerial organizations that don’t want anyone to acknowledge doubts, feelings, and external forces.

    I’m waiting for the internet meme to pass by that says anyone who can visualize things is autistic. Or something. Wanting to be left alone sometimes is already autism. Coming into a room and forgetting why is already autism. Not making friends with simply everyone is already autism. (I’m aware you’re autistic, JMG, I’m not talking about real autism, but how people diagnose themselves from memes on the internet.)

    Getting angry sometimes makes one a narcissist, or a sociopath, or a…well, the third of the Dark Triad is Machiavellian but not wanting to bring up politics people generally switch it to predator or psychic vampire. Telling others that they are bullies is DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim and offender.) It’s been weeks since I’ve heard someone mention gaslighting in a context where it sounded like they actually knew what it meant. Everyone is a victim though. Anyone who isn’t a victim is on Team Predator.

    The meme-diagnosis has gotten more than a little ridiculous.

    And what does one do when one comes to the conclusion that the diagnosis wasn’t made in youth, but one has this condition AND is a victim too, the PTSD never to be cured? Well, give up any dreams and ideas, get in the back seat and let the Alphas drive. Just fake it until they take it all away.

  143. E Goldstein #34. Re color perception.

    I had cataracts removed in 2010 and 2011 (two eyes, two operations), and inbetween I once attended a restaurant. It was dimly lit in dark violet according to the eye with the organic lens, but for the eye with a plastic lens the light was very bright, almost white, and quite painful to look at.

  144. Tolkienguy at 138:

    I’ve never been able to figure that one out either. My liberal Democrat friends in the Bush II years were antiwar and pro-civil liberties. Now most of them are all but calling for war with Russia and China. That one I can’t figure out. It’s beyond even “it’s ok when we do it.” And I noticed this before Trump ran for office. I knew something was definitely wrong when the Ukraine coup happened in 2014. My first thought was “why are we yet again overthrowing a legitimate government” whereas almost all of my Democrat friends were all about (sending someone else’s kids) to protect the freedom of Ukrainians. It was like a switch flipped for everyone but me.

    As for their turning their back on civil liberties, I think some of that is that they fancy that their people are in charge so they can put civil liberties in the vault for awhile. Don’t worry, they’ll drag them back out when they lose power. Add in a healthy dollop of “we’re right, and we should censor wrong views” and I think its mostly understandable. I even discuss this on my substack (shameless self-promotion for the win!) – just click my name if you want to check it out.

    You can see this contradiction play out in real time when you watch them talk about how free speech is racist, but then squeal about CRT bans in schools being a violation of free speech.

  145. I just realized this morning what exactly it is that makes Lauterbach’s comment so creepy: it’s the psychology of rape. “I’m gonna do this to you so rough and so hard and so often you’re gonna want it!”

  146. @ JMG – I do lose track of the degree to which the corporate aristocracy thinks of the rest of us as blank boxes on a spreadsheet.

    Want to read a truly weird article? Here’s a story from NPR about how tarot card reading helps people with their decision making processes. Interesting times indeed:

  147. @JMG well, I guess we won’t find out: Using military to clear convoy ‘not in the cards right now’, Trudeau says” . That was, apparently, something people talked about a couple years ago… For other protesters… So they’re not considering that now… But if Ontario or Ottawa want to make a formal request about it… *passes hot potato*

    Legault and Trudeau are apparently both playing poker, but I think Trudeau is bluffing and somebody else at the table has a royal (King high) flush 🤔

  148. Purple is a color people see, that most digital cameras can’t see. Purple is the result of our red cones responding to the higher frequency light. So violet/purple is a mixing of blue with a little red in our perception. Most digital cameras don’t account for this, so their red filters don’t pass purple, and all they show on the blue end of a rainbow is more blue.

  149. Denis, one example of what you wrote about is, what Hitler did to the SA (Sturmabteilung, Storm Department), when he didn’t need it anymore. He had their leadership killed, an event, which was known as “Röhm-Putsch (Röhm coup)”.

  150. To Tolkienguy #138;

    Yes, yes, yes! I was so disappointed when I left behind conservative evangelical religion (which I didn’t always agree with politically anyway), joined with a liberal religion that supposedly allowed freedom of thought and belief, and then saw how “It’s OK when we do it!” went into effect when the tables turned. Needless to say, I left that organization behind in the dust also. No wonder I’m leery about joining groups!

    Joy Marie

  151. May I submit this Globe and Mail headline about the convoy for this week’s Lauterbach Prize for Orwellian Speech?

    “Protest is a legal right. But a blockade isn’t a legal protest”

    It’s not so much that they are shifting the goalposts on the definitions of things, it’s more that they are expecting the goalposts to get up and dance a jig together before booking flights to Hawaii for a jolly old vacation.

  152. @ pesci ex aqua – Love your handle! all my years in the workplace, with my own neurological rough edges bumping up against management’s sandpaper, I came up with “a fresh-water fish swimming in brackish water.” That was at the university; some of my temp posting were pure salt water. “Pescada de agua fresca en natante de agua salada.”

  153. JMG, I’m embarassed by my past self’s lack of curiosity! I have seen this image floating around before but I was mostly mildly disinterested. I now know that’s a big mistake – the schema depicted in this image is super-dooper relevant to certain avenues I’ve been pursuing.

    Partly I blame my inability to read Latin… perhaps if I could I would have noticed what the diagram was saying. Anyway, do you have any resources you would recommend on this image and they spiritual psychology it depicts (beyond you clear exegesis above)?

  154. “Well, since I tend to see that not-quite-red color mostly in the context of hot (and, to me, glowing) objects, I think “ulfire” is entirely appropriate!

    The most often I have seen this color has been in the deeply-glowing embers of campfires at night.”

    The heating elements on the stove at night. Easily washed out in any white light, but clearly visible in the dark. I’ve long suspected that the rods (the low light receptors in the eyes) can see into the infrared. I may have to do an experiment tonight.

  155. Prizm, fascinating. Somebody clearly knows a great deal about traditional Christian symbolism and created a fine meditation emblem; I’m delighted to see that sort of skill, and awareness, finding its way back into Christianity. As for the rest of it — yes, exactly, and we’ll be talking about that as things proceed.

    Robert, I’ll look forward to it.

    Lurksalong, that’s high praise; my wife is a Georgette Heyer fan, and I’ve read a certain number of Heyer’s books and found them fine sprightly comedies of manners. The local library system has a few of O’Donnell’s books; I’ll consider them as time permits.

    Jbucks, excellent! The imagination can align with spiritual forces — it can also do other things, but much of the point of occult training is learning to make that alignment and work with it. W.B. Yeats had a lot to say about that; I’ll have to take another pass through the rituals he drafted for his Irish magical order — which focus on that — and see what jumps out. With regard to the architect, exactly — it’s important to learn from past buildings but it’s also important to learn from deeper and more enduring sources, such as the world of nature. It’s in the fusion between these two that really great creative works are born.

    Denis, I think a lot of them know that, and they want to be the people in power. Most of the Marxists I’ve met personally were obsessed by cravings for unearned power.

    Pesci, I ain’t arguing. The frantic pathologizing of dissent is one of the signs that tell me that the system is cracking — the more intolerant its spokesflacks and true believers become of any thought that differs from the officially imposed norm, the more fragile the whole system has become. It’s as though a single burst of wrongthink could bring it all crashing down — and eventually, this is in fact the case.

    Steve, ouch. You’re right, of course.

    Ben, okay, that’s weird. That’s positively weird. I wonder what on earth is behind it.

    Pixelated, I think he knows perfectly well that once the rank and file sides with the protesters, it’s game over, and he’s hoping he can wait it out. I don’t think it ever occurred to him that the people don’t love and adore their tsar…

    Jbucks, that’s a fine example.

    AtaraxJim, I don’t know of any that aren’t in Latin, I’m sorry to say. Anyone else?

    Sardaukar, thanks for this. It’s important that more people realize just how much of the current medical crisis is the result of insanely greedy profit seeking on the part of medical corporations.

  156. For methylethyl up at #128; look up heterodyne. Two frequencies where one is slightly off from a multiple of another. The combination makes a beat frequency lower than either.

    An interesting note about LEDs is that you can pulse them at a higher current (hence a brighter light) than you can run then at steady state. They can run at a 1000 cycles a second. Also, they are diodes, so they would only conduct and emit light half the time on an AC circuit. And 30 Hz blinking would drive everyone crazy.

    None of this matters with incandescent lights because the filament never cools completely down. You can detect it a bit with a photo transistor and an oscilloscope. But LEDs go completely off for an instant. So you can run it at high frequency so the off isn’t noticeable and you can get more light out per flash, or you can use a high persistence phosphor on the inside of the bulb to smooth out the light output, or a combination of the two.

    Personally the thing I find the most annoying about LED lights is that pause between flipping the switch and the light actually appearing. There is a capacitor charging before the switching circuit for the LED actually starts.

  157. re: the brittleness of the narrative I’m taking an online writing course in a group of over 500 people where people post their work. Most are salary class folks. People are posting these to Twitter so I can easily scan and see what people are posting about. I haven’t read everything, but I’m not seeing anything about covid, vaccines, mask, “new normal”, inflation, kids behind in school, food shortages, etc. I haven’t even seen anything on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    I take this to mean that those in the salary classes (or aspiring to be salary class) know that those issues are all third rails. Their insistence on covid policies over the last two years caused kids to lose years of education, food shortages, inflation, and general misery. People in general are sickly. Some have been fired or moved to avoid vax mandates so talking of DEI is ridiculous. Emotions are running high right now and people know exactly where they stand and will argue or at least resist.

    I expected to see at least some peacocking around or some kind of virtue signaling especially on the DEI stuff. I’ve seen posts on unschooling kids, changing jobs, dealing with change and stress, handling difficult conversations, and mostly very neutral things.

  158. Speaking of Charles Hugh Smith, he has been at the top of his game lately. He manages to compress into a few paragraphs what it takes other people pages to say.

    I also like Heyer’s comedies of manners; she was especially good at dialogue.

    Pixelated @ 158, here in the USA a remark like “not in the cards” would mean JCOS told me no, they won’t deploy against their fellow countrymen and women. In Canada, could it mean that the GG is indeed getting involved behind the scenes? In Canada can Parliament vote no confidence and force a new election?

  159. Hi Jasmine, would you share the source of the Shelley quote in post #87, please? I shared it with a friend and she got really excited to read Shelley. Thanks

  160. Re: #138, Tolkien Guy

    Perhaps you might find it interesting to read about the leftist roots of Neoconservative ideology. Look up Irving Krystol (known as the “godfather of neoconservatism”, he started out as a Trotskyist), Norman Podhoretz, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. I think you’ll find that Neocon ideas never were incompatible with the Left.

  161. @ Methyethyl re #128

    Frames per second or FPS may be what you want.

    It depends on how well and how quickly your visual receptors pick up images and pass them on to your visual cortex. Most humans have a ‘refresh rate’ 30 or 60 fps with a few outliers either below or above. If you’re especially sensitive, you’ll probably see that strobing in the LED you mention whereas somebody with my aging eyeballs for example doesn’t notice anything unusual.

  162. @ Pyrrhus 133 – I was a pharmacy tech for a long time and we did compounding. The pharmacist was very methodical, and we double checked everything. He brought me a bag, and I remembered making it. He showed me the label and asked how much of the drug I put in there (we place them in similar batches with the drug beside them). I remembered the drawn up dose. Then he said, look at the label. I looked at the label. It clearly called for half of what all the others were, but I just as clearly remembered looking at that exact label, and reading it, and making a careful mental note – my brain literally “saw” the normal dose, because it was expecting to. That got me to thinking real hard about some stuff.

  163. Hi John Michael,

    I’m not sure whether this is on topic or off topic, but it is an impressive achievement of your government to drive China and Russia closer together. It’s utterly bonkers, but kudos to your leaders. (Note I’m being sarcastic).

    Could our leadership in the west get any worse? Maybe. And that old oil price monster is growing in size every day and I reckon that will test their mettle (and probably find it wanting). Are you watching that rise too? In some ways Faceplant over played its hand as well. You said once that that happened to churches which became involved in politics but it’s fascinating to see it playing out in other spheres – but I was listening to the youth news radio program yesterday and they were suggesting that the parents getting on board was the death knell for Faceplant – for apparently they talk at you, rather than with you. Do you see this also being reflected in our politics? I sure do. It’s crazy.



  164. JMG, the figure of Saruman in LOTR corresponds, roughly, to the N.I.C.E. folks. The guiding idea is that we can use the power of the Ring (for good of course), just after we’ve taken complete power through out maneuvering everyone and playing both sides against the middle. I’ve started to see “the power of the Ring” as equivalent to the idea that we can control Nature and modify it to suit our gnomic will, directly, without doing any hard internal work and observing the pieties of limits. Neoconservatism (which was anything but) is a guns and butter strategy, for instance, to control the black blood of the earth on behalf of the civic religion (whatever that happens to be du jour). The power of the Ring is black magic because it always “cracks open” or shatters what it is trying to dominate, through controlling names and essences, aping the deeper magic of the Ur-Creator, or so it thinks, since Iluvatar rules through music and harmony, not through domination. There’s a distinction made by Tolkien between Power, and true force, which appeals to an inner pattern embodied in a distinctive form. Ghan-Buri-Ghan (for instance) and his tribe of primitives are accorded a place in the music of Iluvatar, and a land of their own, in the restoration under Elessar. They still hear the music, in their own way, and share in the dance. I don’t know what comes after all this, but I would imagine the resurfacing of a great many neglected forms long thought dead.

  165. I find that my imagining of the crunchy cold blue peppercat is significantly more vivid when I imagine him passing behind me, or beyond a wall, or otherwise out of my view. This could just be because that way the imagined figure doesn’t directly contradict my ocular vision, but the difference persists even with my eyes closed. How did I never notice this before? Does anyone else experience it?

    i asked my wife, using the same imagery, whether this was also true for her. She said it wasn’t. She noted that the peppercat then walked with her for the rest of our walk and through the day. I hope the creature was more amused than annoyed by this.

  166. @ lathechuck #6

    There’s also the fact that the easy nickname (that sportswriters will use) for “The Commanders” is the commies.

    Thus, the Washington Commies.

    Whoever came up with the new name, disappearing yet another ethnic group, must not have worked out the possibilities.

  167. JMG, regarding your comment to Pesci, “The frantic pathologizing of dissent is one of the signs that tell me that the system is cracking — the more intolerant its spokesflacks and true believers become of any thought that differs from the officially imposed norm, the more fragile the whole system has become. It’s as though a single burst of wrongthink could bring it all crashing down — and eventually, this is in fact the case.”

    In the hope that I’ve embedded the correct html, I offer Exihibit A from my local paper this week, in support of the assertion that you can stick a fork in America’s acceptance of imagination:

  168. Trudeau dare not bring the military in.

    If somehow he arrests the truckers in Ottawa then all trucks nationwide would stop immediately and the whole country shuts down overnight. Even if the military had more than a few hundred guys qualified on tractor-trailer outfits there wouldn’t be a logistics provider or supporter that would work with them… just as the tow companies are declining now.

    He’s trying to wait them out and sway public opinion. That’s all he’s got and it isn’t working.

  169. Re: strobing. I don’t know what my bathroom lights are, but while they look perfectly steady when looked at directly, I see them flickering off and on when my back’s to them, or when I’m looking at them sideways. The first time it happened, I called Maintenance, thinking they were ready to burn out (which would be true if they had been fluorescents) and they changed the bulbs. No change. Finally decided it had to be my eyes.

  170. JMG, I think all you’d have to do to make covid clown noses “a thing” is throw in a bunch of sciencey sounding buzz words.

  171. Denis, that strikes me as a very positive sign. The more people just get tired of the virtue signals and just write about what’s meaningful to them, the better.

    Chris, Russia and China have a long history of border troubles, including a bitter seven-month conflict in 1969, with pitched battles in Heilongjiang and Xinjiang. The amount of effort the US government has put into driving them into an alliance against us is to my mind one of the supreme monuments of human stupidity. As for Faceplant, my guess is that it’s just the first to fall.

    Celadon, I’m quite sure that you’re right, and Tolkien and Lewis discussed their respective arrogant technocrats in detail with each other. As for the Ring, it interests me to note that the modern obsession with controlling the world is coming up for discussion in various places just now — Rod Dreher, who I read from time to time, was just talking about that.

    Walt, I don’t find the same difference in my experience, so it may be something that varies from person to person. I like “peppercat”!

    Temporaryreality, alas, no, you didn’t — by the time your comment got to me it had no html at all. Try reposting with just the bare link and I’ll see what I can do.

    TJ, that’s my call, certainly. Break out the popcorn!

    Youngelephant, okay, I need some sciency words. Anyone want to come up with a good plausible-sounding label for a bright red clown nose?

  172. teresa from hershey,

    Yeah, the WaComms! Hilariously spot on. The moniker does indeed fit. Wokefolk no grok the knock-on-the-cranium effects of early 21st century ersatz-pseudo marxism .. too bad there’s not a vaxxine for THAT affliction.

    I keep waiting, with baited breath, to one day find myself having woken up in Dax’s living space of Idiocracy ..

  173. JMG,

    I suspect this part of your comment was in response to me “symbolism and created a fine meditation emblem; I’m delighted to see that sort of skill, and awareness, finding its way back into Christianity. As for the rest of it — yes, exactly, and we’ll be talking about that as things proceed. ” It appears the beginning is missing though!

  174. @Scotlyn, @JMG

    “And, should you be seduced by what you can say with statistics, you may even commit the most egregious move, which is to turn your statistics into Procrustean beds, that real people must be cut down to or stretch along to fit, or worse, that make them feel obliged to cut THEMSELVES down to or stretch THEMSELVES along to fit.””

    On the other hand this is certainly correct. Because people aren’t just mere quantities.

    Only that the limitations that constitute real people are necessarily existent.

    There is flexibility in what constitutes a “Chair” But it necessarily excludes all else to be a “Chair”.

    I did reference a “Statistical data point” as a means to show that there are particular limitations courtesy of the forces imposed by nature itself.

    Which despite its limitations this tool can and do accomplish certain things. But as amply shown is not to be an end all.

    Although its the nature of such a thing to be detached. So as not to cloud judgment or to try to look at reality with as little obscurity as possible because it violates people’s wishes and expectations. Like not declining into old age.

    The nature of entropy ever drags our bodies towards decay and death.

    As much as nature imposes itself in the bonds that hold the atoms of the chair together and the gravity that ties it to the ground.

  175. Constructively embracing hallucinations: From time to time I teach a course on audio recording. I always begin with playing different tones through different speaker systems to show that for example a laptop speaker simply cannot reproduce the main tone of the lowest note on the piano. When I say that it’s ok because you hallucinate your reality, that the one of the recording engineer’s jobs is to illicit that hallucination, some students are shocked by the statement. On this visual side, each of your eyes has a blind spot, and whenever you have your eyes open, you hallucinate these holes away. Once you realize that you are generating the hallucinations for yourself and others, it frees you to be able to see and hear more constructively.

  176. Chris and JMG, notwithstanding today’s friendship, if I were Putin I might give a thought to Chinese designs on Siberia. I read maybe 20 years ago that Chinese construction companies were moving their equipment across the border and setting up shop without even so much as a how-do-you-do. Apparently Henry Kissinger even made mention of it. This same article said that Vladivostok was filling up with Chinese. I don’t know what’s been going on over there lately.

    But the Chinese do everything stealthily and quietly and in plain sight. How surprising would it be if Chinese were moving their families and businesses into Siberia? How many times have we read that China is essentially colonizing Africa?

    A few years ago, while we in this corner of the world were once again marveling at Democrat creative genius in distraction – I think at the time it was Drag Queen Story Time for little kids or some such – each and every time most hilariously leaving Republicans sputtering helplessly – the Chinese army was conducting live-fire exercises near the Horn of Africa. You’d think that massed Chinese troops near a transportation choke point would have roiled the waters a bit. But no. China even managed cannonades on the down-low.

    As for the Russians, maybe they’re too drunk to notice about Siberia. Maybe their ruinous economic state precludes defensive measures. Maybe they WANT the Chinese to move in. Maybe it fits in with Russian plans, I can’t claim to be a Kremlinologist. Maybe the Chinese bought out not only the American Oligarchs but the Russians too.

    As you might say JMG, maybe at the root of all this is a failure of imagination, in this case a failure by the American elite to ever imagine hegemony by anyone other than themselves, or anyone but themselves giving orders, let alone Beijing giving orders, let alone Americans taking orders from Beijing. Maybe this failure of imagination is on the Russians too.

    Money talks. Always follow the money. I learned a long time ago in my own professional life, that if you want to understand a convoluted transaction, follow the money.

  177. Temporaryreality, nope — I can’t access that because it’s in your personal Dreamwidth image bank, and I get “access denied.” If you post it in a Dreamwidth post and then link me to it, I can swipe it and upload it here.

    Prizm, it was indeed. Oof! I’ve corrected it.

    Jeanne, thanks for this. That might work.

    Bradley, and thanks for this too. I didn’t know that about laptop speakers, though it makes sense.

    Roger, if I were Putin, yeah, I’d be worried about that.

  178. I apologize if this part of my reply is off-topic, but I need to make a couple of observations about the situation in Ottawa.
    Trudeau did not flee in terror, as his detractors gleefully claim, he was taken away by security because more than a few of the “truckers” had signs that threatened personal violence against him and his family. I’m quite sure the vast majority are well behaved (let’s be absurdly optimistic and say 95% would never, ever do anything rude or violent) and let’s take the low-ball claim of numbers who turned up as 4000, that still produces a potential mob of about 200 who could easily work themselves into a lather and storm the PM’s home and nowhere near enough police, security, and RCMP to stop them. Now, the President wouldn’t have to flee because he already lives in fortified palace, surrounded by armed guards. So, if Trudeau is not there, the flash-mob becomes very unlikely. I believe the police are well aware of this. Plus he caught COVID from his kids, despite his 3rd booster shot. (Which to be fair, they never said it was absolute proof against getting sick, just made if far less likely.)
    As for the “conservative” Party, we, being about 20 years behind the U.S. socially, are now reaching the levels of polarization that became apparent back when W ‘stole’ the election from Mr. Global Warming. I think what we’re seeing is this country are the same stresses that are causing cracks in the facade of solidarity. These, when I look at an electoral voting map, show up as the same lines that follow that TUFTS map from 10 years ago breaking North America into 11 different nations.

    What fascinates me is how increasingly detached from a common sense of culture, a common sense of purpose, even a common sense of objective reality that the different groups are splitting into. For instance,
    We have one group who have absolute faith in “science” despite the reproducibility crisis and insist that whatever the highly-educated experts pronounce is the only possible truth and must be absolutely followed.
    We have another group that is fighting for the right of a few men to pretend to be women in public and avail themselves of women-only facilities. Basically a group of men telling women what to believe and how to behave…
    We have another group that pretends that they have no social responsibility towards others and society only exists for their personal convenience. In my experience the ones who scream loudest about ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ almost always want liberty and freedom to do something that is unpleasant or harmful to others.
    We have another group that believes only high-energy technology can try to solve the problems caused by high-energy technology.
    We have groups steadfastly pretending ethnic or cultural or physical differences don’t matter while coddling members of minority groups who loudly insist that the ethnic or cultural or physical differences that distinguish their group matters very much and therefore require special considerations and accommodations.
    The zeitgeist seems to be fragmenting into a collection of large-scale tribal mobs, each of which claims some moral righteousness or other and insisting that the other groups are wrong and must be crushed. I know one neglected aspect of psychology is the effect of an emotion sweeping through a crowd all at once. That has been documented to cause people to behave in ways that they, as individuals might or would not if on their own. Cases of people even being swept up in the emotion of the mob to act against their own beliefs.
    I was wondering where the influence of other people, group membership, what has been termed the group super-mind comes into the picture. Did Fludd know of this effect? I don’t see where it fits into his diagram.
    Because, honestly, the various group super-minds that have an increasingly firm grip on the body politic in both our countries have become strong and aren’t making good decisions.

  179. Pesci ex aqua—about 20 years ago there began to be media discussion of Asperger’s. Before that, if I recall correctly, discussion of autism focused on the severely affected–babies who banged their heads against walls, stopped talking or comprehending speech, and so forth. The really heartbreaking stories. But when adults with Asperger’s became a hot topic, it seemed to me that every Mensa member male who was socially clueless to the point of being offensive suddenly self-diagnosed as Asperger’s. Come on dude, you have an IQ in the top 2% but can’t study other people well enough not to act like a complete dork? And we should all cut you slack and be polite when you are rude and domineering (especially to women, as I observed)? My reaction was “I don’t think so.” I get the feeling others had similar reactions since I don’t hear that claim made as often these days. Like you, Pesci, I do not aim this remark at people who actually have the condition and make an effort to work around it, any more than I would criticize a person who said, “sorry, I don’t speak English very well.”


  180. Chuaquin wrote “After reading this post, and the strange Karl Lauterbach phrase, I have a crazyidea: Is the German politician possessed by a demonic entity? The other option is thinking he has a mind disorder.”

    What on earth makes that idea crazy? Of course he has a demon. I’m not sure “possessed” is the right term though — have you considered that he might have been replaced by the demon? After all, jumping through the penumbra into the void would leave a rather demon-shaped vacuum in the soul.

    There’s various types of demons, one of which systematically calculates every twist of the garrote for the greatest soul-crushing impact. Another type lures the unsuspecting into its influence like a beloved friend… before it goes off on a murderous rampage. There’s so many options to choose from.

    As for having a mind disorder, what makes that an alternate hypothesis? They can be one and the same, you know.

    — Christophe

  181. @JMG

    Could you comment on what Hemingway meant when he said, “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, s*** detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

    I’m never quite sure whether he was talking about detecting s*** in the characters or events he was imagining, or in his use of the written language, or in what other people are saying or writing.

  182. @Jeanne,

    Rubrous cachinnation nasal shield is a very good start, but I think it needs more Latin. I don’t know Latin, but with DuckDuckGo’s assistance, I propose rubrous cachinnation sputum scutum. Though I think that would be improved with another adjective, preferably between rubrous and cachinantion, that starts with a vowel, so we can have one of those acronyms that can be easily pronounced. Actually, two vowels would be great, though I cannot decide if two O’s or two E’s would be more appropriate…

  183. @JMG @Pygmycory #27

    Could either of you suggest a training course for improving the ability to imagine? I can’t do anything immediately as I’m working my way through FSG, but glancing at the chapters ahead I didn’t notice anything that covers this. I’d be glad to tackle it once I’m on top of the current work.

    Incidentally, probably a good place to thank you, JMG, for both the Golden Section and Oracle books. I find the cards both efficient and effective; pregnant with meaning. The Golden Section practices seem to suit me and fit well with other studies I have undertaken. At the moment they both feel like ‘the right thing to do’.

  184. teresa from hershey at 178

    I thought they should have gone with the Washington Red Shirts. Maybe the Washington Red Tape? Washington Red Dawn?


    Has anyone else noticed this new trend of organizations “acknowledging” that the land they are using was stolen from indigenous peoples? It always leaves me thinking “well, you could return it to their descendants if you really gave a [family blog].” Hmm, maybe that’s a new service I will offer at my law office – pro bono land givebacks to indigenous people for organizations. I can even reach out very publicly to organizations with such acknowledgements, and call on them to do more than virtue signal.

  185. RE clown noses (JMG, Jeanne, anyone else): For some reason my mind wants to combine the words “hermetic”, in the context of hermetically sealing something, and “filtration”, the combination of which I think is a contradiction, but I’m not sure coherence is a requirement of this marketing campaign.

    Jeanne, that one sounds good to me! Rubrous is the fancy word for red I never knew I needed.

  186. You know…I think what is coming next is the Green Knight or the Green Man…”No, I seek no battle, I assure you truly:
    Those about me in this hall are but beardless children.
    If I were locked in my armour on a great horse,
    No one here could match me with their feeble powers.
    Therefore, I ask of the court a Christmas game…

    – The Green Knight addresses Arthur’s Court in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight[8]”
    I wonder if this is one of the forces that will “yank our chain, good and hard”…

  187. Bradley re: #190, that’s interesting to hear from an audio engineer, though it doesn’t surprise me. I wonder what kind of techniques you use to accomplosh that.

    I compose and produce music, and I certainly agree with what you’re saying. It still fascinates me the way I often end up hearing tones that seem to be there but aren’t. I can isolate the frequency and hear/see that nothing much is there, but when everything is happening together it’s impossible to believe that no one played something there. I’ve learned how to lean into that effect just by feel, but I have no idea how you do it technically on your end.

    There are lots of little things like that in music. As a general rule, I think, a lot of modern music production and mixing is about recognizing the there-but-not-there elements in the sound and having the sensitivity and the technical chops to just let those little mysteries work. My experience is that most people listening can feel those things even though almost no one notices hearing them, and I suspect that’s sometimes the difference between music that really moves people and music that doesn’t. The creative part of music is something like casting a spell, I think, and the technical part often requires having the skill and discipline to just not break the spell!


  188. Hi Roger,

    I bet what really worries Russians is frighteningly incompetent Americans on one doorstep, frighteningly competent Chinese on the other. That would certainly scare me!

  189. @Rita, #195

    I’d go with “Sorry, not speak English much well”.

    @Random, #200

    How do you like Inanis? I don’t know Latin either, but I’d like to make it ambiguous so that you can’t tell if what’s empty is the nasal shield or the laughter.

    #Chris, #202

    Don’t give them ideas! Someone will come up with an accounting trick to subtract 200 years of capital gains from the value of the land. So they will do all this posturing and end up paying a dime per acre at most (and then bill it as a charitable contribution an deduct it from taxes).

  190. @ RandomActsofKarma & YoungElephant Re Latin

    There’s ridiculum (adjective neuter) meaning funny or amusing, derived from the Latin verb ridere (to laugh). Second conjugation — I think. I’m still struggling with all those darn declension, conjugations, irregular verbs, etc. I can see why Winston Churchill had so much trouble.

  191. @Jonathan re:205 The technology changes so quickly that the key is to listen. Pick an engineer that knows how to listen. A long time ago I worked on a national radio show, where the head engineer, who had done most of Eugene Ormandy’s radio recordings, would listen to the show every week on his wife’s kitchen radio because he felt that that was how the average listener would experience it. As an artist, because you have enough imaginative power to hear the music, it can drown out what comes out of the speaker.

  192. Chistophe #198:

    I will take into account it, thank you for your comment. I must think it more!

  193. Jonathan: One example I’m aware of regarding “auditory illusions” is sub-harmonics. Essentially, if you have a timbre that is extremely rich in harmonic content but leaves out the fundamental frequency of the note, you’ll end up perceiving a fundamental that’s an octave lower than the lowest perceived frequency. This comes up in the concept of sub-harmonic singing, where singers achieve ridiculously deep bass frequencies by singing a note, and then closing your throat *just a little bit* to add vocal fry a diatonic 5th above the note they’re singing. While technically the singer doesn’t actually produce that fundamental frequency, they might as well…because adding that subtle 5th essentially means that their fundamental is now perceived as the 2nd partial, and the 5th is perceived as the 3rd partial.

    From an acoustic standpoint, this is more prominent then you’d think in the lowest registers of a piano. If you play an A0, for example, what you’re typically hearing much more of are the partials that align roughly with A1, E2, A2, C#3, E3, G3, A3, etc) instead of the actual fundamental. The shorter and stiffer the strings are, the more pronounced this is…which is one of the reasons Spinet pianos have such wimpy bass and concert grands sound so full and lush.

    Then there’s the fact that on the extreme high end of “tempo”, individual beats turn into a hum…and then a note themselves! That principle is the fundamental idea behind granular audio synthesis.

    The senses are truly amazing. Especially given that once you get down to the fundamental level of everything we’re all just vibrating atoms loosely arranged in empty space…

  194. @justabob

    Sorry, JMG, I know this is off topic for today, but I think uou will recognize the utility of this information, since the subject came up.

    On googling, xeroxing, buying pampers, using kleenex, and in many parts of the world, including Texas, drinking coke…

    I used to cringe when these words came up, too, but then I learned this is actually anti marketing. This is a failure of the market campaign. If you can google something on duck duck go, buy luvs or huggies brand pampers, use any tissue and call it kleenex, etc. then the brand name loses its meaning and stops functioning as a brand identfier. It’s when a brand becomes a victim of its own success. So keep googling, on any alternative search engine!

    And when in Texas, when they ask what kind of coke you want, say root beer 😀

    Jessi Thompson

  195. re scientific babble to make clown noses sound like a good idea to wear:

    “A number of studies have found that using bulbous vermillion filtration devices placed over nasal passages prevents….”

  196. @Mary Bennett he was indeed told by the armed forces that they wouldn’t get involved:

    “A spokesperson for the Minister of Defence told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, “The Canadian Armed Forces are not involved in law enforcement in this situation, and there are no plans for such CAF involvement.”

    Unfortunately, it could get a LOT messier, as other people remember the fallout of more recent protests, and karma never sleeps:

    “On Wednesday the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation weighed in on the Coutts Alberta] blockade, asking authorities to arrest participants as per The Critical Infrastructure Defense Act, an Alberta law passed in 2020 with the intention of barring a recent spate of Indigenous-led blockades of highways and rail lines. “ If this blockade was being organized by Indigenous people, we have no doubt that authorities would respond quickly ,” they wrote.”

    The truckers have a great opportunity to flip that one around by reaching out to the Chipewyans on what their demands had been…

    I doubt the GG is getting involved at this point… but at the same time, if she did, it would be fascinating — her Inuk names means bossy old woman and she has history negotiating treaties.

    A no-confidence vote from the rest of parliament is always a possibility, but they’d have to get the NDP. There aren’t enough Greens with seats to make it matter, but the poll was interesting (from the same article above):

    “Freedom Convoy is technically polling higher than the Liberal Party of Canada right now . A new Abacus Data poll found that 32 per cent of Canadians “have a lot in common with the protesters and how they see things.” That’s not a lot, but the latest Nanos poll had the Liberals polling at just 28.2 per cent if an election were to be held tomorrow. Another interesting takeaway from the Abacus Poll? Of Green Party supporters, 57 per cent are on board with the truckers.”

    The climate change and social justice party members (who are on also wealthier and higher educated than average; with most of their national base in BC and Vancouver Island, which is the most vaccinated place in Canada) support the truckers. Somewhere, a narrative has been scrambled…

  197. Renaissance, Fludd didn’t discuss that, as far as I know, because it wasn’t relevant to his purpose, which was helping students of Renaissance occultism understand the structures of their own minds. Other writers have done so — Dion Fortune is one. Among the consistent themes is that group minds come into being when people don’t do enough of their own thinking.

    Rita, may I interject something? Intelligence does not confer the ability to read nonverbal cues, especially in those of us who do in fact have Aspergers syndrome. Quite the contrary, people with Aspergers tend to be “smart” (i.e., good at manipulating abstractions) precisely because all those brain cells that get specialized into mirror neurons in a normal brain, and give you the ability to read social cues, are assigned to crunch numbers or the like in the Aspergers brain. We’re socially clueless — and yes, to the point of being offensive — because we can’t perceive the 90% or so of human social interaction that happens nonverbally. Telling someone with Aspergers that they just need to try harder is not that far from telling a blind person, “Will you just look at it?” (And yes, the mismatch shows up especially often between men with Aspergers and neurotypical women; in our society, women are socialized to use and expect more nonverbal communication than men, and to judge social failures more harshly.)

    If I sound brittle about this, it’s because I am. This facile insistence that people with Aspergers just have to try harder was one of the things that made my childhood and youth a miserable experience. Like most Aspies, I tried until I bled, and it was never, ever enough. Have you ever had the experience of being constantly judged and belittled for failings you couldn’t even perceive? Welcome to my world.

    Temporaryreality, it’s a heck of a good image; annoyingly, it’s too large for my blog server to upload! I’ll just have to encourage people to click through and look at it. The echo of cartoons in the Voelkischer Beobachter and other Nazi periodicals is not small, though no doubt they would have labeled the pipe emitting sludge something having to do with Jews.

    Patricia M, thanks for this.

    Martin, what makes the difference between a good writer and a well-paid schlockmeister is that the good writer sees the things you’re not supposed to see, and writes about them, while the schlockmeister simply rehashes a set of familiar clichés in some new formation. I’m not a Hemingway fan, so I can’t point out examples from his work, but if you look at any genuinely good writer you’ll find that they portray the events of their story and the interactions of their characters in a way that’s fresh and unexpected, precisely because they don’t just follow the clichés — they show you something nobody else has written before. Since our mental environment is saturated with clichés, it takes a s*** detector to get past those and notice that your romantic leads, say, should talk like themselves, not like a Hollywood movie script!

    Andy, you’ve already got one. Why do you think so many occult books include instructions for doing rituals that require visualization, and practicing pathworking or scrying in the spirit vision? That’s all training for the imagination. I’ll discuss this in more detail in a bit.

    Chris, hah! I think it’s a fine idea.

    Youngelephant, so noted. I think “hermetic filtration” is a great bit of doubletalk — now to figure out how to insert it…

    Celadon, I could see that!

    Anonymous, good. We’re getting there.

  198. @JMG re: “yes, the mismatch shows up especially often between men with Aspergers and neurotypical women; in our society, women are socialized to use and expect more nonverbal communication than men, and to judge social failures more harshly.)

    Oh, you better believe it! Three guesses how normies judge Aspie girls! Let’s not even get started on the job hunt thereof. (Mailroom clerk, anyone? Which is actually a fairly fun job.) One great thing about old age is (1) increased coping ability and (2) the ability to (mentally) tell those passing judgment “up your nose with a rubber hose.” Hang in there, gals. It gets better.

  199. Chris, Russia and China have a long history of border troubles, including a bitter seven-month conflict in 1969, with pitched battles in Heilongjiang and Xinjiang.

    True enough but, on the other hand, with the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk Imperial Russia was the only European power ever to deal with Imperial China on an equal basis. That border treaty lasted for well over a century, with a lot of cross-border cooperation between Cossacks and Chinese border guards on suppressing “red-beard” bandits. While Russia did join in with the 19th century land-grabs, taking a lot of Manchuria, that’s a bit complicated since it was the ancestral homeland of the Qing Manchus; until the 1911 Republican revolution overthrew the Qing dynasty, Manchuria wasn’t considered part of China proper, and Han Chinese weren’t allowed to settle there. So, history depends on what you choose to look at, and Putin and Xi have an entirely valid historical precedent to call on.

  200. Patricia M, that’s certainly what I’ve heard from the Aspie women I’ve talked to!

    Bogatyr, no doubt. It’s still a source of bleak amusement to me that the US response to both nations has been so ineffably hamhanded that it’s driven them into so close an alliance.

  201. It’s still a source of bleak amusement to me that the US

    You know, once you got me thinking on that track… when was the last time that the US response to anything was not a source of bleak amusement?

  202. Speaking of Belbury Syndrome, check out the responses to this tweet.

    What Wheelwright describes is basically what happens during a civilizational collapse: land gets repurposed for agricultural uses. By the time Byzantium fell in 1454, many of the old neighborhoods had long since crumbled and been plowed under for farming, and lots of bustling towns in Roman Britain became small villages of bare-subsistence farmers once the Empire left. But to read the quote tweets and salt, you’d think he had just posted the Unabomber Manifesto.

    A couple of people chimed in that the only way this system could possibly work was with cryptocurrency, vertical hydroponics, or other highly technical and highly energy-intensive pet projects. There was some sniffing about the “privilege” involved in assuming people had a half-acre to farm on and even a few suggestions that you could make a lot of money doing this with mini cannabis farms.

    But I noticed that all the lengthy objections as to why this was a pipe dream basically boiled down to “There’s no way you could ever get everybody to go along with this voluntarily.” When of course, nobody ever used the words “everybody” or “voluntarily.”

    When there’s no food coming in, people start growing their own food. They may do it poorly at first, but the survivors figure it out sooner or later. And those survivors generally have a fair amount of empty space for growing. A lot more than the half-acre that seemed to so concern PMC Twitter.

  203. @Rita: what makes you think those guys *don’t* have it? The younger set that were dxed as children got a lot of social remediation through the school systems (or at any rate, they did if they were in a good school system, or their parents had $$). That was not true for the people who were already adults when the Asperger’s diagnosis materialized in the mid-90s.

    I say this as someone who “flew under the radar” by not being disruptive in school, so was never dxed, married to a guy with an official dx. We are both complete dorks. If we could figure out how *not* to be complete dorks, I assure you we would have done it years ago, because it would make life so much easier! Forget annoying dorky men for a moment: do you have any idea what it’s like trying to hang out with mommy groups so your kids can have friends… when your social senses are crippled? I usually just bring a book and hope for the best, because no matter how hard I try, and no matter how much fun my kids have with other people’s kids, nobody ever offers to trade phone numbers or get together outside the officially scheduled “park day” times– that’s strictly “mommy politics” and I have no clue how to navigate it. Their “dork radar” outs me in about 3 sentences, and then they don’t make eye contact or direct any conversation my way for the next two hours. Was it my clothes? Was it something I said? Did I make too much eye contact or not enough? I have no idea. I’m very smart, but I can’t figure it out. If you’ve got any tips, I’m listening!

    I’ve heard things that start out “You’re so smart, why can’t you just…” enough times over four decades that your comment gives me really unpleasant childhood flashbacks.

  204. JMG,
    Re your comments on people with Aspergers just trying harder, I know a young man with a pretty marked Intellectual Impairment. The reaction I notice from many people is that if he just tried harder he could be less difficult and obnoxious. The reality is that nobody tries harder than him to get on with people. Of course people should not be required to change in order to fit in anyway. A good mix of people with different characteristics makes for a more interesting, and stronger, society.

  205. At this point, you’re probably just sick to death of my whole html debacle, but in case this is any better and you WANT to post it, here’s the original on the artist’s website:

    Maybe it helps to understand this comic to know that the artist holds (among other degrees), an MA in – I kid you not – creativity studies.

  206. Modern “education” seems to kill creativity. The higher up the ladder you go, the less creative you get. Most working class people I know sense the boogyman jab is bad news. The well ‘educated” lined up for it. If you lack believe the talking head on the tv.

  207. @Methylethyl, Oh, great goddess, yes! “Are you stupid, or just deliberately disobedient? And don’t tell me you’re stupid….” and “If you don’t KNOW, that’s proof you have the wrong attitude,” let alone, “If you don’t know, then I’m not going to tell you.”

    Not to mentioning having to learn some of the “facts of life” from books, at least if you were a ’50s kid, because you never got the street-level gossip that filled gave most of the kids a clue. Those trashy cheap pulps of the ’70s, now… oh, wow! A whole new world! So THAT’s what they were talking about! I gobbled them up by the tons, and was only sorry how many of the heroines repented, came to a bad end, or both. Or discovered the man of her dreams and her own femininity, and turned into a happy little wifey – remember the period!

    In the rambling bit of fiction-cum-therapy (?) I’m writing now, a young boy notes “Marlene said the girls don’t like her because she’s a geek, and the geeks don’t like her because she’s a girl.* I said I liked her, I don’t even think of her as a girl. And she got mad at me, I don’t know why. And now she doesn’t like me any more. Nobody ever does. Everything I say comes out wrong, and they stop liking me and say “Go away, Wally.” “You’re so obnoxious, Wally,” and I don’t know why.” Of course, Marlene equally feels she’s been shot down. Have you ever been two characters at once and they’re both at odds for the same reason?
    *That one’s from experience.*

  208. Chris Smith,

    The thing is, is that the contemporary indigenous are as but a virtuous kind of useful idiot in the eyes of the Big Fish, as are most anybody below the 1% economic strata..(note: this is only for descriptive purposes .. Not an adhominem by any stretch.)
    For said the ‘Big Playaars .. diversionary societal division is their game strategy into winning domination .. with ALL the resource treasure protected by SMUGs – The scaly, incandescent Globull squirrels.. (Pick One, or Several..), keeping all of us lowers at each other’s throats for their own cold-hearted beneficence!

    Partisanship matters not!

  209. Today I was on my daily constitutional on Avenue Road when I saw long lines of trucks and cars festooned with flags, horns blaring. This was the Toronto version of the truckers convoy. Bloor and Avenue Road, just north of Queens Park, was jammed with thousands of people and vehicles. I heard that Dundas West was the same.

    I can’t claim it was the storming of the Bastille, but after decades of listening to our supposed betters telling us to shut up and drink our beer, those horns sounded for all the world like the Trumpets of Jericho.

  210. MethylEthyl,
    Probably you’ve tried this, but if you haven’t, have you asked them for their numbers for playdates?
    Not knowing you personally, I don’t know what sort of vibes you might accidentally give off. It could be, though, that whatever they’re reading from you might be such that they think you won’t want to get together with them, and they’re avoiding rejection!
    I mean, we live in a old family house, with too many generations of stuff and I am not good at seeing the clutter, so I wouldn’t offer, because you can’t just invite yourself to someone else’s house, and mostly I don’t want to have people over because I know my home isn’t up to modern standards. Everyone has a nicer house. Mine serves it’s purpose, but it’s old and shabby, and probably the kids left everything out, and it certainly needs sweeping but no amount of mopping will make the floors look clean because they need refinishing or replacing. Nothing will make falling-off wallpaper look good, except removing it, and I simply haven’t gotten that done yet. If someone asked us over, I’d love to go, and we have a couple friends who do invite us over.
    I don’t know your particular group, I do know mine, which is home schoolers, is tolerably used to autism, and if a parent said “Oh, by the way, I’m autistic,” we’d likely say “Oh, do you need anything particularly from us?” Assuming you could vocalize what you do need, which maybe you can’t, but we’d want to try to make adjustments. Not that you have any responsibility to say so, just as a data point to consider.

  211. Methylethyl, I don’t think I qualify as on the spectrum but my own life gives me a bit of insight on the condition.

    I know by experience that I’m prone to social error so I try mightily to make my brain intercept my mouth. Mostly it works, sometimes not. I have enough in the way of social sensors to sometimes know I’ve said something cloddish or abrasive but only well after it escapes my lips. Sometimes my poor wife tells me, sometimes she corrects me right then and there to my acute embarrassment.

    Email was a godsend as I could reflect before I hit the ‘send’ button. In person at work I was always terse, to the point. ‘No nonsense’ some people said. Yes, that was so, but not for the reason people thought. And so, face-to-face, I say as little as possible. Small talk is an ordeal, trying to find something to say, trying to not screw up.

    Puberty was lousy. Awkward was my middle name. Navigating the highly hormonal high-school world was no fun. I knew the basics. I knew I had to shower everyday and not just once in a while. I knew I had to shave and use deodorant.

    And my parents tried to get me to go to school dances. Hah! No chance. Get out on the dance floor, shake my bum? You gotta be kidding me. No, no and no. The prom? Forget it.

    But mostly I knew to keep my mouth shut. That was the key. I spoke when I had to. To do and say as little as possible was to avoid misreading and mistakes and unease. Unexpectedly some people liked that, especially girls. They could project onto me whatever heroic qualities they wanted. But chicks are all about their social lives so it caused some consternation. Why wouldn’t I go to the dances, those premier social events. Simple, I don’t dance, that’s it, don’t bug me.

    The long and the short is I tried to minimize damage from my social deficiencies. I did have some friends despite my mulishness. I did enjoy their company and as long as I shut up things went well. I had some ability at academics and athletics and so I leveraged those, getting involved in track and cross-country and boxing. I had at least a normal complement of aggressive instincts and so I made myself fit and strong. But notice the nature of those sports. They are solitary. In some ways I was adept. Socially I was not.

    I studied at university and found that the place had a fair number of people like me so I felt better there. I picked a line of work that required analytical and problem solving skills where I could work a lot on my own. And I found a girl that would put up with my shortcomings. And, for decades, to her credit, or maybe discredit, she has

    I wish I have an easy laugh and easy smile. But I don’t. I always wished I had the competent and cool self assurance I saw in others. Ironically my stone-faced, closed-mouth demeanor was sometimes misinterpreted as those same qualities. If people only knew. When I was young I even had dreams where I would look into the mirror and I would see somebody else’s face looking back in place of my own. But you are what you are.

  212. Bogatyr, oh, the US government is good for more than wry amusement. Sometimes it’s good for laughing so hard you have to clench up tight to avoid pissing yourself, and sometime it’s good for one of those moments of transcendent awe when you realize you’ve never before understood just how profoundly stupid human beings are capable of being.

    Kenaz, hoo boy. Yeah, that’s pretty good. What’s more, Wheelwright is dead on target, and the strategy he’s proposing worked very well in the past…

    JillN, I know the feeling. Thank you for this.

    Temporaryreality, not at all. Huzzah! This was good and clean, and shows up a certain kind of mental goose-stepping in all its corrupt dysfunctionality…

    …because the mainstream is always right and fringe ideas are always wrong and evil, right? It’s stunning to see how fast people of a certain political bent have ended up embracing full-force totalitarianism, and insisting that nobody has the right to any opinion they disagree with.

    Dennis, you’re quite correct, of course. Modern education is designed to weed out the disobedient, i.e., the creative and those who have original ideas.

    Roger, I wish I could have seen it.

  213. Princess Cutekitten, greetings, and oh boy yes, what you said. I never looked at it that way. China is the behemoth, ten times the population of Russia, aggressive and hungry for natural resources and seemingly wanting to flex its newfound muscle. America on the decline would be just as frightening if not more so given the litany of epic screw-ups and gross misjudgments since WW2. I suppose thinking that the lure of money would make the Chinese more amenable to American direction was one history’s most ludicrous, thinking that the Middle East could be remade also a contender. Who knows what the Pentagoons are thinking and also those loons at the State Dept.

  214. A response to @Materia Indigo, post #41
    JMG, you apply the word “parasite” to describe the not-for-profit gallery entrepreneur

    The technique is an example of “leveraging”.

    As the story goes, if you are a smart cookie you can set up your leveraging stripes to be scalable. This dream appears as the Real Estate Agent’s expensive suit and sleek sports car, in similar fashion to the trustworthiness and care that is represented by a white lab coat and a well-groomed appearance reflecting in nearby silver, white or glass surfaces.

    If you haven’t picked it up to read yet, Robert Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ gives you the party line on the idea.

    Also on earlier comments, re the cost of bread:
    A great bread recipe is here

    I am working with fresh yeast, rather than the usually prescribed dry yeast sachets, and getting some fantastic results. Although the recipe calls for a minimal amount of working, I usually use the bread dough setting in my bread machine to prepare the dough, divide it onto two trays for a short second rising and cook them in the oven.

    I bulk buy olive oil and greek yoghurt, although would like to learn to make my own yoghurt.

    I am lucky to live down the way from a flour mill, so also pick up bulk flour at a great price. Bread is a fraction of the price and we don’t run out!


  215. Regarding the Aspie thread, I am utterly fascinated and sympathetic. Like Roger, I don’t think I am on the spectrum, but can really relate to it. I was long gone from America when the Asperger’s concept came out, and it has not really reached Japan even now. I know one highly intellectual and likeable fellow in the Fuji Faith who has a clear case of it, looks supercilious when he talks, fails to greet and is utterly rejected by the people around him even when I take them aside and explain that he has a condition that makes him incapable of that but that otherwise he’s a great guy.
    If we change the gender words in Roger’s description of his high school experiences, that’s me, except school dances were no problem at all: no one ever invited me. My sports have been gymnastics, hang gliding and mountaineering, the latter typically solo. People ask if I’m not lonely up there, and I say, no, there’s all sorts of people you meet out hiking, but I once went three days without encountering anyone. It was breathtakingly lovely. Would have been something to share, but if no one else is up to it, off I go anyway.
    Some time in my early 30s I figured out that if I took a moment to explain myself to other women, they would immediately warm up. They thought I was rejecting them, when all it was was I was terrified of saying something stupid again. When I explain I’m shy, people go “No way!”
    I managed to marry in my 30s–a fellow hang glider pilot. He helps me mightily in getting along in Japan much better than I could on my own.
    I could see from the start of the Internet that it in general and especially blogs like this were Nerd Heaven. The ability to look over the message you are about to send is a Godsend. Letter writing is fine, but it really bothers people if you could say something face to face but instead you pass them a note.
    I admire our host for explaining his condition as well as he does for us.

  216. While I can relate to #220 @methylethyl’s experiences, when I read #230 @Roger it struck home.

    Same with me, I don’t think I could be diagnosed with anything, but pretty much everything Roger says about high school sounds really familiar. I am smart, some guys/girls liked me, but I only seldom could relate to them and understand when to go on or when to stop in a relationship. I was mostly the one laughing too hard or not enough at a joke. I never belonged to one of the social groups; not that I didn’t try, mind you. It actually seemed the less I tried, the better I was accepted – now I realize it was about not showing who I really was but allowing others to project their mental image of me on me. I mostly invited myself to parties and such. Or I would show up and I guess I wouldn’t be so much of a bore that they wouldn’t allow me in.

    Now I think that partly they couldn’t make sure whether I was rejecting them or not, so they somehow played on the safe side.

    I could never understand why somebody would say one thing and then do another, whereas for those around me it was all a game, in which there were – for me at least – no rules, yet everybody else aptly played.

    I learned social interaction from books and movies and tried to apply rules and recipes with varying success. In time I got very attentive to face expressions, body posture, tried to mimic them, it usually worked for a time. Then I would get tired of constantly being on my toes and there things would break.

    With time, the recipes in books and movies refined more and more through my personal experiences, so that I can now apply them more easily and better suited to the circumstance. It became easier to read, from the corner of my eye, a subtle change in posture or demeanor of the person sitting near me at a dinner table and act accordingly. It doesn’t and never came naturally. I always have to be on a stakeout for this. It’s more relaxing for me to simply be alone, as I don’t have to constantly not be able to concentrate on what I want to instead of paying attention to others.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I sometimes am oversensitive to the point of misreading my lifemate’s subtle cues and sometimes offer my “unsolicited but socially required reaction” when I shouldn’t, so I learned to tame things down.

    I started liking being alone even though I enjoy the company of others. They just don’t enjoy my company as much as I do theirs.

    Even now, when I sometimes talk to other people and try to explain my worldview to them, I say something to the tune of “I don’t have feelings towards *topic*, so please bear with me”; and mostly people look at me curiously and some accept it.

    One curious thing I noticed; I don’t have a very good memory of faces: if you show me someone’s picture of just their face, I have trouble idnetifying them. If however, I see someone from a distance, hundreds of meters (yards more or less) I can instantly recognize a person. Don’t know if it has anything to do with the things above, but noticed it in time as different from others’ experiences.

    When I first read that JMG had asperger’s I looked it up and found it explained a lot of my experiences, but never dared attributing my shortcomings to an “external” cause, I was always taught it would be me – the cause of everything – and in a sense I am. Anyway, whatever I have is rather mild, I would say, but it’s there. And it came with a sort of mental toughness and analytical capacity that I don’t see in others; and find them very useful.

    Thank you John for this place, I have discovered and understood a lot about what surrounds me, here!

  217. JMG, et. al.— I am sincerely sorry that anyone read my comment as an attack on, or description of, people with autism spectrum conditions. I intended a continuation of Pesci ex Aqua’s comment: “I’m not talking about real autism, but how people diagnose themselves from memes on the internet.” Twenty years ago, articles in popular magazines were the source from which someone could pluck enough information to claim the Asperger identity that had become a media topic. It was my, perhaps unfair, impression that certain members of the Mensa group I was in at the time seized on a suddenly “fashionable” diagnosis as an excuse to continue behavior that they _did_ know was offensive. Moreover, these tended to be behaviors that were especially offensive to women in the group. I interpreted this as a new way for overbearing men to portray themselves as victims rather than offenders. It seemed like a medicalized version of the “I just can’t get used to these new rules” that men accused of harassing women are still using to excuse their behavior. I would include details that might make my reaction more comprehensible; however, after this amount of time I don’t recall the exact words or behaviors, only my emotional reaction to them. I hope I have clarified my intent. I repeat my dismay that you and other commenters interpreted my earlier comment as an unfair evaluation of actual behavior of persons with Asperger’s or related conditions.



  218. Hi John Michael,

    Over the long years I’ve known and befriended many an aspie person. As an amusing side story, about three or four years ago I went to the comedy festival to enjoy a show: The Aspie hour. They were really lovely despite their mutual interest in musical theatre (if you know my thoughts on that subject, then you know!), and at one point in the show (which made some good money by all accounts), the young lady aspie performer came and sat on my lap during the performance – as you do when you completely misinterpret the social context. But I ignored all that for the nonce and was rather taken by the performers earnestness. Hmm. Anyway, I actually enjoy the company of aspie folks and understand all of their quirks, foibles, and difficulties because I see them for what they are and how they see the world.

    Mate, from my point of view, being intelligent people and far less likely to produce massive swings in their emotional state is all good with me. All up, they’re cool. So you know, chill out and relax, people are forgiving. The folks you have to be alarmed by, hide in plain sight doing all manner of unspeakable outrages.



  219. JMG,
    Thanks for that reply. Apologies for not using the convenient synonym ‘shale’. for ess-aitch-one-tee.

    Whenever there’s a free flow of conversation and I chip in with a comment, there’s a moment of silence as if people are thinking, “Who on earth could think something like that?” then the conversation resumes as if I hadn’t spoken. Mostly, I stay silent.

    People tell me, “If I had your brains…” but never complete the sentence. The “…I would have done so much better than you.” is understood.

    They don’t understand that the more brains you have, the more ways you can think of to be wrong.

    He should redo the cartoon with a ship named Mainsteam Thinking hitting an iceberg named Reality surrounded by little lifeboats named Fringe Ideas.

  220. re: Canada,

    I see a lot of hope here being pinned on the figure of the Governor General, Mary Simon. All I can ask is: why? She’s an establishment figure. She was appointed as an ambassador by a previous liberal government… 23 years ago. She has served the interests of the elite well since, and thus been rewarded handsomely. In this current post, she was hand picked by Mr. Trudeau and his Liberals. This woman was bought and paid for in the last millennium. Why do you expect her to go rogue against the hand that has fed her for decades?

    I also see some misguided hope that Parliament will act quickly to bring down the government. Again, why? The Conservative Party of Canada can do nothing until it elects a permanent leader– and even if they did what we want and quickly pick a populist firebrand like Pierre Polieve, they haven’t the seats to bring down the government themselves. (And given that the CPC is often accused of having rigged the second-last leadership contest against Maxine “Mad Max” Bernier because he was too populist, I am not very hopeful they will pick a firebrand.) Of the other parties, none have any interest in bringing down this government. The NDP are closer to the levers of power than they have ever been, since they can badger the minority-Liberals into enacting their agenda– and while the working-man’s NDP of a generation ago would be marching with the Truckers, the party was captured by big money NGO interests over the course of the 2000s and is now more baizo than the liberals. (Their leader was chosen for his skin colour and is taking flak from his party because his brother-in-law supports the truckers. I guess he was supposed to keep his sister from marrying a deplorable?) The Bloc Quebecois is sitting fat and happy because the Liberal Party continues to throw pork to Quebec. (Attracting federal pork is the entire raison d’etre of the modern Bloc). The greens have two seats, so it doesn’t matter what they want.

    It’s not just the feds, either– remember, we’re a confederation. There are 10 provinces, and the provincial governments were the ones who imposed lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine passports. Each of those governments is going to have to change tack or be removed regardless of what happens in Ottawa. Which makes some of the convoy’s demands to Ottawa seem a bit misguided to me.

    Storming the capitol on January 6th didn’t do anything to shake things up in the US, either– and the American system is designed to be much more responsive to the will of the people. The whole point of this system is to give the illusion of democracy while keeping the right people in charge. It always has been. Your motto is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Our motto is “Peace, Order, and Good Government.” It’s maddening to think that people fought for that. Our version of the Gasden flag looks more like this:

    Am I saying that Trudeau will last forever? No. I think it’s only a matter of time. I’m simply that change won’t happen fast within the system, and trucks honking horns isn’t nearly enough pressure to overthrow it.

  221. Wheelwright could be a follower of yours. Here’s a few of his follow-up tweets after the one Kenaz linked above went viral –

    “I have elicited great cope and much fury from the layabout class.”

    “When we take over, we’re going to force all blue checks to look after a small flock of poultry and tend a garden the size of a football end zone. many of them will commit seppuku rather than accept this fate.”

    He’s a part of the dissident right and people in his corner of the interwebs seem motivated by his message. It’s partly rebellion against progressivism but its wonderful to see people excited about food growing.

  222. Another question – what is the relationship of imagination and limits? At first I conceived of imagination being boundless, but since we live in a world of hard limits, boundlessness is not possible. I think of creativity when I think of working within strict limits. What am I missing here?

  223. Polecat at #227

    Exactly. The PMC take some marginalized group, indigenous, Black, whomever, and signal their wokeness. But actual change that would hit them in the wallet? Not going to happen.

    I’ve also noticed that attitude among the PMC that, while never expressed openly, amounts to expecting indigenous people to exist as though they were museum pieces that conform to whatever weird idea the PMC has about what “authentic” indigenous life is about. You can almost see the PMC going to a reservation to explain to the residents there that they are doing indigenous wrong. The only thing that stops them is deep down they know the kicking they would take to their backsides if they did.

  224. Since Friday night, there has been a “Freedom Convoy” in Québec City, too. Yesterday (Saturday), they were filling up the main thoroughfare in Upper Town. I was bringing our weekly groceries home on the bus and had the chance to hear some of the participants. They were using sweatshirts with a struck-out QR code, but having entered the bus, they used masks like everybody else and talked civilly with the bus driver, who had to drive with one wheel on the sidewalk in places to advance. It was very Canadian… The flags I saw on the street were mostly maple leaf (showing they were probably not from here) or fleur-de-lys, many of them upside-down, and a certain number of English-language profanities.

    In the afternoon and evening, they managed to block the thoroughfare so that the only way we could leave our block was on foot. It was very disagreeably loud (frightening my daughter), but peaceful. The people I have seen interviewed by the local paper seemed more emotional than rational – one speaker at the mic apparently told everybody to hug their neighbours in the crowd.

    To bring this back to this week’s essay, I wonder if there is a certain lack of imagination on the part of the participants, too, not only (as abundantly commented in this week’s posts) on the part of the government.

    The atmosphere reminds me of the million-strong 2013 demonstrations in Brazil – the same giddy excitement, the surprise that suddenly there are crowds on the street after decades of a lack of interest in politics. What came out of the 2013 demonstrations was probably not what most participants wanted – impeachment followed by a highly unpopular vice-president ramming through neoliberal reforms, the most popular candidate barred from participation in the presidential election, a government that filled up the civil service with military personnel, utter, grovelling subservience to foreign governments…

    I am not at all trying to predict the future here in Canada, but it is good to have an imagination fertile enough to envision different paths following from your action, not all of them to your liking.

  225. The problem you’re describing as a collapse of imagination, I think of more as a breakdown in the interaction of imagination with cognition. A second grader might easily and vividly imagine pirates (as in, Long John Silver’s or Captain Hook’s crew) stealing his homework, and might also imagine adults accepting that as an excuse for the absence of said homework. Is his surprise when the excuse is not believed the fault of his imagination, or of his as-yet underdeveloped ability to cognitively and critically evaluate the real-world plausibility of those imaginings? Comparably, Lauterbach might have imagined the public reacting to “nudges” in the passively predictable way marketing statistics suggest, and Psaki imagined all those people changing their minds as they chilled out with their post-kickboxing margaritas. The effect of lack of accountability (and therefore, lack of cognitive correction) becoming, exactly, childish thinking.

  226. @ Info – thank you. 🙂

    I must apologise, because I couldn’t help finding my mind wandering off to strange places when you said this: “Even if there are many ways to manage gravity. Nonetheless it is more advantageous to work with the force than against it.”

    Because it is fascinating to consider that whether or not there are many ways to manage “gravity”, it is also true to say that there are many ways to manage “gravid-ity” – which circles us right back to the original theme of our original conversation – fertility. 😉

    Anyway, peace! Be well.

  227. Dusk Shine, I brought up Mary Simon simply to ask for information. I had supposed that Governor Generals were sent out from London, often minor royals, and took orders from the British Government. I seem to have been mistaken. If I have any hope for a country where I don’t live and of which I am not a citizen, it is that the truckers won’t suffer a fate similar that of the occupy movement here in the USA.

    As for Jan. 6, the dirty secret about the MAGA faction is that most of these mouthy guys and gals are functionally incompetent. Most can’t make, they can’t build, and naturally, they can’t plan an insurrection. They are mad as #$%& because their comfy lifestyles where they got to be important while others worked got jerked out from underneath them. The truism in American politics is that Democrats can’t win elections and Republicans can win but they can’t govern.

    Dennis, could you please translate: What is “great cope”? What are “blue checks”? As for football sized field gardening space, don’t I wish? Fenced, of course. First, install some sort of cistern for water storage. Alba roses along the north exposure, more tender climbing roses along the south fence, blackberry vines along the west fence. There are lots of climbing plants you can grow on a fence, but most don’t have the deterrent effect of genus rosa. Fruit and nut trees with west exposure, and vegetables to the east, get afternoon shade. Intersperse annual and perennial flowerbeds for beauty and pollinator attraction. Maybe a duck pond if there is sufficient water supply. Ducks love to eat slugs and snails. I will be happy to make that deal with Mr. Wheelwright right now today.

  228. I’m another person who probably has aspergers, but never got formally diagnosed, probably partly due to being a female adult when people were assuming male child. Plus I’ve gotten fairly good at masking most of the time by now when I’m dealing with other people. Since I didn’t have a label, I got a lot of people looking at me weird, and a lot of ‘you’re smart, why can’t you get this’ and assuming I wasn’t trying, then getting annoying when I failed. This dynamic partly explains my issues with my stepmother.

    I couldn’t figure out how to deal with her, so I read the parenting book they had on the shelf, hoping I could figure out what they were trying to do. I often find myself using my intellect to try to cope with stuff where everyone else seemed to get an instruction manual built in that I just don’t have. I sometimes wonder if I have asperger’s at all because I can do some stuff that we’re not supposed to be able to – but it took me 10 years longer than normal to figure it out, reading books on the subject, and a lot of trial and error – and I still can only do it on good days.

    I got bullied badly enough to get moved to a different school in elementary school, because I could not fit in. And I tried. I tried very hard, then gave up, then tried again because what other option do you have?

    I did better in late highschool because the school prized academic achievement, and I could manage that, and find other people who valued me. I’d also gotten better at masking by then, and was trying really hard not to come across in ways that might get me bullied.

    Small talk and big groups of people, especially strangers, are still hard, though through being constantly dumped into them by my parents I learned to mask and get by most of the time. When my anxiety or depression gets involved as well, all my coping skills fly out the window and I end up leaving, sometimes at a run. And at the best of times, I can’t remember names of new people introduced to me in big groups.

    I’m generally bad at names and faces, and people have been known to take offense. Given I have been known to have trouble recognizing my own mother when wasn’t expecting to see them at the mall… the offense is kind of useless and silly.

    I’m not good at networking, and I think this has caused me problems when it came to work, before the physical issues arrived and pushed stuff from hard but manageable to well-nigh impossible.

    Oddly enough, I find being on a stage with a musical instrument I know well is less stressful than big groups of people talking at once.

    Romance? Uh, I avoid it. It’s confusing and I make stupid mistakes, like thinking that someone is interested in your pet insect, when they’re actually interested in you. It’s also really hard to figure out how to get rid of a guy stalking you when you aren’t sure what signals you’re putting out that he might be reacting to. Or if he’s just an oblivious jerk. That’s also an option. Apparently screaming at him to go away, bursting into tears while shaking like a leaf finally (mostly) got the message across. Those were two different people.

    There’s also a bunch of sensory oddnesses related to the autism spectrum, and yes, I was a picky eater and have weirdly strong reactions to color, slap my hands over my ears at loud sounds, and it took me a ludicrous amount of time to learn to tie my shoes reliably. And I was a really colicky baby and didn’t sleep through the night.

    So do I have issues from this that have had major impacts on my life? Yes, absolutely. Have I been formally diagnosed? No. Am I ever likely to be? No.

    I don’t think you can rule out aspergers simply because someone was never formally diagnosed, especially in people who aren’t children of the 90s or later, or who are female… not to mention that some psychiatrists refuse to believe it exists and therefore never recognize it in any of their patients – I ran into one of those and I was totally not impressed.

  229. Amanda, thanks for this.

    Rita, thanks for this. I didn’t take what you were saying as an attack, just a very common set of responses to Aspie-type behavior. Yes, I know there are people who use (or abuse) the diagnosis, and it doesn’t help that some of them have Aspergers — there are just as many genuine jerks among Aspies as there are among the population in general, after all. I just remember rather too clearly being on the other side of interactions that sounded like the one you described, being accused of deliberately giving offense when I had, and still have, no idea what it was I apparently did.

    Chris, oh, I know. It’s just that some of my experiences from early days left a lot of emotional scar tissue.

    Martin, one of the advantages I have on this blogging platform is that I can edit out profanities!

    Denis, ha! I’m glad to hear this. As for imagination and limits, that’s where we run into the complex relationship between imagination and the material plane — which I’ll get to in an upcoming post.

    Chris, nicely done! I took the liberty of adjusting the HMTL so everyone could enjoy it.

    Aldarion, no wonder somebody on the Ottawa city council is shrieking about “a nationwide insurgency.” (No, her name isn’t Karen, but it might as well be.)

    Walt, fair enough. I’ll be interested to see what you think about the future posts in this sequence.

    Thomas, it really was a classic line, wasn’t it?

  230. @Tolkienguy #138

    I…don’t get it. How the eff can somebody turn into something they viscerally hated ten years ago, and not even notice?

    Great rant! Blatant hypocrisy is rampant these days, and critical thinking is practically non-existant. Crazy. Makes a strong case for “mass formation psychosis”.

  231. Hello JMG,
    Your comment at #142 in response to Tim, that the BMJ had said medical research should be assumed to be fraudulent until it’s proven otherwise reminded me of an incident some 30 years ago. I was working as a technician at a blood-testing lab in a major hospital in Wales and one day we had a guest speaker from a pharmaceutical company give a lunchtime talk to all the staff about a new medication they had developed and just put through clinical testing. What the drug was, who made it and what it was supposed to treat I cannot recall, but I remember being struck by one slide in her presentation which showed that there was a stronger statistical relationship between taking the drug and increased incidence of suicide – compared to the placebo group – than between taking the drug and improvement in whatever ailment it was designed to treat. At the Q&A session at the end of her presentation I brought this up and her reply was that, oh no, there could not possibly be a cause-and-effect relationship between taking this drug and people killing themselves, there was no conceivable mechanism by which that could happen, it was just a statistical fluke. I left the place and the job a few months later.

  232. “Anyone want to come up with a good plausible-sounding label for a bright red clown nose?”

    The term “rosa sniffus el grande” popped into my head.

    Speaking of lack of imagination, your post this week brings up what I always thought of as something ironic – the never ending ads with new laptops/surface computers from Apple and M$ which show the artistic capabilities of drawing, photo enhancing, or “producing” music. I say ironic because the advertisements are on a medium which is filled with subliminal programming, and from what I can tell does a pretty complete job of sanitizing and eradicating any imagination the viewer possessed.

    But not everyone can be an artist, in spite of the messaging.

    Do you think that “lack of imagination” in today’s ruling class is related to the endless onslaught of propaganda we get from TV, radio, the internet, written media, etc.?

  233. Hello Rita, as a male Aspie myself, I have a bit to add. I can abundantly confirm to long having been persistently unsuccessful with women in the dating/courtship department, and feeling bewildered as to why. My looks certainly weren’t a factor, as I’ve always been considered moderate-to-very-good looking (apart from being short at 5’5”, which excluded me from consideration by many). I was also seen as being uncommonly intelligent and successful.

    One of my most striking barriers was in simply meeting a woman: In places like bars, parties, and large social gatherings, the ambient noise level was a barrier that simply didn’t exist for other people. Just the volume of ambient sound from the music, voices, etc was both physically distressing (it hurt my ears), and also made me tense; the only thing worse is being at an indoor shooting range. Like being at a shooting range, I had to wear earplugs. (BTW auditory hypersensitivity is now a well known, almost characteristic, feature of Aspies). To make matters worse, even though I could hear who I was talking with, the ambient noise overwhelmed her speech such that it was all but unintelligible. The earplugs actually helped a bit, though I learned to really improve the signal-to-noise ratio by cupping my hand behind my ear, but this in turn made it seem like I was hard of hearing, and was itself a very off-putting gesture.

    When I did get a rare courtship going, it would usually peter out at within 2 months, as she put together my social deficiencies, and decided she wasn’t going to deal with them. Several gave me hints regarding social cues that I only decades later understood and internalized. I eventually discerned an interesting common fact among the women of my longer courtships (3 lasted 1 year, 1 lasted 5 years): They were the daughters of scientists or engineers, who were themselves socially awkward.

    I didn’t get married until I was 42, and between my Aspergers, and a fatal mismatch, we failed (or rather admitted failure) after 19 years. Among the lessons I learned was how my mind, and hers for that matter, were so subject to first-impression bias and wish-fulfillment bias, and how our minds did not revise their biases even after years of contradictory evidence. Then there I was making excuses, saying to myself that mature couples had much better odds than younger ones of making a marriage work, and that sincere, diligent effort on the part of both partners was sufficient to make it work… Not.

    Fairly late in the game, my mid 50’s, we learned of Asperger’s Syndrome (also known as “high functioning autism”), and she joined a support group for wives of Aspies, and she insisted that I get “treated” for it as if I had some disease. I did improve my self-awareness and did my best to learn to decrypt “neurotypical” code. But it was all too little, too late, and now we’re done.

    FYI Rita, I found your rant hurtful.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  234. Hit the nail on the head once again Mr. Greer.

    I can testify as a 24 year old woman, that these institutions that they prop up as places of importance are nothing more than places where one’s imagination dies. As much as they tried getting people to read more, they didn’t think to allow us to express our thoughts in any other way besides an essay in MLA format or reciting a part of a book from memory, forgetting that one can relay and learn vital and accurate information in a less than formal way and not punish or dismiss the “ignorant”, symbolized as children or characterized as Pagan, for doing something that they are good at. As they say if you want to ensure someone doesn’t succeed, you punish them for doing something well with the added issues of not contextualizing, finding new material to explain things, actively or quietly censor and place things too high up for people to read after slowly depriving them of the materials needed to scale something like that. A lack of imagination, entrepreneurship, leads to stagnation and eventually death. That’s a poison, a sickness, a curse that cant be cured and doesn’t occur randomly. basically have to make a choice, and piss off someone or something so badly they literally have little to do with people anymore, have no issue with being “mean” or “abusive”, and just abandon entire nations or planes all together.

    People on their high horses, be it religious, political, moral, or whatever, will never see themselves or remember being in that position and are prone to being wiped out by an increasingly angry, frustrated, hurt, and fractured populous who have experienced a sense of alienation, betrayal, and loss of something that they were loyal to, and loved. From my point of view, I think that’s what actually did many ancient cultures in before the invading cultures took their place.

  235. I participated today in the rally in Halifax, Nova Scotia (I am a regular commenter on here, but am going to use a different handle today). There were 350-450 vehicles, only six of which were heavy vehicles. It was a fun atmosphere at the staging area, someone had giant speakers on a flat bed and was playing an eclectic mix of Canadiana (and yes, the Convoy song got played twice). I did feel a little uncomfortable when the Trews song “Highway of Heroes” got played, I do not like stolen valor and it is simply wrong to compare people honking their horns in warm cars to soldiers who go to war. I did feel a little weird driving a 14 year old subcompact – I think I had the second crappiest vehicle in the protest.

    A few things to note: The police were downright friendly. The counterprotestors tried to repeatedly cross sidewalks to block the convoy (failing to yield to a pedestrian is a $700 ticket…) and there were obvious antifa types filming in attempt to dox people. The police stopped the excessive crossing of streets and managed traffic well. The vehicles I could see who were participating in the convoy were polite, we stopped for pedestrians and to let other drivers do their things. For every counterprotestor on the sidewalks, there was about one deliberately supportive person (meaning they had a sign, Canadian flag, or something) and three casually supportive person (they waved, did the “blow your horn” gesture, smiled, etc). People who were out on balconies were about 66% supportive, and random motorists were mostly neutral but it was 3:1 support (honking, waving, etc) vs. hostility.

    Some fun things to note: 2/2 ambulances that we passed honked to show support, 100% of heavy vehicles honked, most taxi drivers did, and a fire truck even honked for us. There was also a train horn – it may have come from an actual train.

    The thing that was so fun – is that Canadians only use their car horns on very special occasions. The only time the vast majority of Canadians honk is a quick tap on the horn to remind someone to go when a light has turned green, or a big pull on the horn when someone does something stupid. I honked more today in three hours than I have honked in the 10 years I have owned this car.

  236. @Mary Bennet Blue checks are the verified accounts on Twitter. It’s mostly journalists, entertainers, socially significant (anyone who makes the media cycle fame) and elected officials. Also brand and government accounts. They tend to be annoying and condescending. They love to play gatekeepers and try to manage discussions and expect everyone to bow down to them.

    Cope usually means trying to adapt. The younger generation uses it to whining and complaining to the point of wailing. So someone full of cope is a person complaining loudly and continuously.

    Cope is also used as a command. People will tell others who are whining and complaining to ‘cope’ which means ‘shut up’ basically.

  237. I should add that I was recently privy to a conversation between a cop and a firefighter. The firefighter was talking about a colleague who killed himself after he lost his job over the vaccine mandate. The cop talked about how she was vaccinated voluntarily, but now that Omicron is here, and it infects you regardless of vaccine status, the vaccine is back to being a personal choice because it doesn’t help others.

    Meanwhile, the delusional classes think that if a person is vaccinated, they are on their side – they think the vaccine works like a zombie bite, where once you get it, you’re one of them. It’s also not at all surprising that easily half the counterprotestors had variants on the sign “honk if you have a small penis” – there is a lot to unpack there.

  238. Okay, I apologize if this is a bit of dead horse. But I just came across the figure of Al-Khidir (in Islam), and I can’t help noticing the parallel with Pan-The Green Man- The Green Knight. “ I’m sensing that the Go Green Movement may be taking a turn towards the esoteric. So here’s to those who respect Mother Nature. Of whatever school they spring from-

    Let’s remember most of Ottawa is government, huge number of civil servants here. They haven’t missed a paycheque. They’ve got pay raises, some of them have got back pay, most of them are working from home. Some of them who can’t work from home are just doing nothing and still getting paid,” Quiggin said at the press conference. “So yes, it’s unfortunate that they feel bad about the horns, yes, it’s unfortunate they feel bad about the disruption, but the rest of the country is hurting.”

    The parable of Yertle the Turtle (from the canceled Dr. Seuss) comes to mind.

  239. I sent the Galileo cartoon photoshop to a friend. The reply was “Oh, I see, waving Confederate and Nazi flags is equivalent for Galileo. Not. But I’m sure the sense of martyrdom is the same.
    “The Handmaid’s Tale is a fringe idea, too, but it took Texas and other states to try to put it into action.”

    OK. After sending said friend the long list if things currently considered fringe ideas that have nothing to do with right wing vs left wing (i.e. alternate religions, psychic phenomena, etc) I’ll see if we are still friends, or whether the programming – first noticeable in 2015 – has its teeth in too deep for sanity.

    Oh, and BTW, re: the Canadian convoy, “…it’s becoming evident that the “Canadian Trucker Protest” is mostly American-inspired and right wing paid for” “Is it? I’ll have to look it up.”. ..”Well, at least my usual red meat liberal sources are asserting it, so it could be wrong.”

  240. Martin, you said, ‘Whenever there’s a free flow of conversation and I chip in with a comment, there’s a moment of silence … ‘ cracked me up. How many times, man-oh-man, how many times, and if I only had a buck for each of them. And each instance left me baffled as to why. I never did figure it out. Took a while but I did resign myself and then it seemed that just shutting up was better. Much less discomfiture.

  241. Celadon, yep. I’m not in Ottawa but I know government workers. At a minimum, they have stopped having to commute to the office, but many of them effectively no longer work, yet they get paid. They will do everything in their power to continue the pandemic, because it has been such a windfall for them.

  242. @ JMG – I dunno how that slipped through the nets. My best guesses are:

    1 – Some editor just wasn’t paying attention. (my bemused guess)

    2 – Because the article has a very ‘this is only meant to help with the thinking process’ bent, they allowed it to be published. (my best guess)

    3 – Someone on the occult side work some magic. (my amused guess)

    What do you think?

  243. There’s an old mob saying, that there’s fifty ways to screw up a crime and if you’re a genius you’ll think of twenty-five of them. If you went back to the old country, to the age-old farming villages with houses built on layers of ruins of houses that date back to the neolithic, and you listened to the old people who farmed and who never went to school or learned to read and write and you watched and listened to them about what they believed, they’d say similar things. They had no illusions.

    And so they prayed. So what did these old people pray most fervently for? For good fortune, for favourable intervention by any saint that might have some pull, for enough rain, to not get hurt, to not get sick, for things that no urban-lap-top-work-from-home-high-rise-dweller would ever seriously worry about. These illiterate farmers never over-estimated their place in this universe, nor their control over it, nor underestimated the formidable natural and maybe un-natural or supernatural forces arrayed against them. They had the imagination to visualize such things, they had the life experience to back up their imaginings.

    Which puts them leagues ahead of that gang of fools that thought it was a great idea to create lethality in a corona virus, then to think that lab workers could adequately contain populations of such microbes that couldn’t even be seen without powerful microscopes.

    Such people had the intellectual capacities to imagine molecular structures that comprised such creatures, such were the powers of the imagination that they could visualize changing them molecule by molecule, but their imaginations failed in every way that counted. They failed to imagine physical and technical limitations to laboratory safeguards, they failed to imagine limits to people’s diligence in observing safety precautions, they failed to imagine the ingenuity of the built-in life-force of the virus that enabled it to escape laboratory containments.

    Then they failed to imagine that not only is the virus unamenable to human control, but also people themselves. Imagine that, people having their own needs and aspirations. You know, like the need to make a living, deplorable stuff like that.

    What people in ostensible positions of power consistently fail to imagine is that they’re outnumbered, that the people entrusted to provide physical protection may have other loyalties, and priorities that maybe don’t involve taking a bullet for some arrogant rich guy.

    And especially they fail to imagine that if masses of ordinary people refuse to follow dictates from on-high, then those on-high have no power. What after all did we see with the collapse of all those communist dictatorships thirty odd years ago, some of them really nasty and really scary. They were there, the people took to the streets and then the regimes were gone.

    It was caught on film and then broadcast across the country: ‘Good-bye Charlie Brown’ said one old lady to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. See, Lyin’ Brian lied. In an election campaign he said he wouldn’t de-index old-age pensions. After the vote, which his party won, he announced otherwise. That got up the old lady’s nose. She had the power to imagine Brian going bye-bye. And after that encounter, to his credit, so did he.

  244. Pygmycory…
    BC doesn’t surprise me, it’s the northern extension of the Left Coast, if rubbing blue mud in your navel while standing on your head was fashionable in Portland and Seattle, you can be sure the Good Folks in BC will be doing it just as solemnly. Right now they’re really going for the Kool Aid down there…
    As for them ignoring the protests, give it time and they will be the ones getting the attention, as will their counterparts in Salem and Olympia.

    All over but for the shouting, er not quite… It’s just that the shooting has yet to start.

    Let me explain. What the truckers are doing is catalysing a Psychic Revolution, the Revolution within the soul. It’s like what was happening in America in the early 1770s when the subjects of the King where figuring out that they didn’t need the King to organize their lives and decided to become Patriots. At the time the Continental Congress, Paul Revere, the Declaration of Independence, the War of Independence were all in the future.

    Consider that all these governments are simply Churches with policemen, their power comes from the submission and support of the faithful. The instant the congregation starts disbelieving the priests and the power of their God, these institutions will start dissolving, the enchantment that bind will unbind. This is what I’m seeing, people are stopping to believe in the power and wisdom of the elites and the states they command. Note how the Covid craze was the enforcement by state decree of compulsory sacrifice to the Gods of State Scientism just like the Roman Emperors who imposed similar decrees at the time of the Empire’s decline, none of them ended well…

    Here I feel a tremendous upsurge of revolutionary feeling like in the communities that became Patriots, there’s an upsurge in ignoring regulations, not filing taxes, not renewing licenses, tearing up official papers, rejecting government control over daily life. There’s more organization emerging to support the protests. I expect that it will transform itself into a network of Comittees of Correspondence . When things really get going, they’ll do the heavy wrecking by taking over from the government at a local level. That is yet to come but it will and I’ve talked to many people and there’s the expectation that it will take years of maximum effort and a willingness to endure it.

    Don’t expect elections or that throw out the rascals routine, these governments are for all practical purpose bankrupt business who are facing liquidation procedures, they’ve run out of credit morally and intellectually.

    I’ll warn the American readers of this blog, the fall election will mean little, if it occurs, replacing DINOs with RINOs and vice versa has been done for decades, it was futile effort every time. What is coming is the liquidation of a failed society and polity and the creation of a new culture.

  245. Robert, no surprises there. I went to two universities in the process of getting my BA, and at both of them I had firsthand exposure to blatant scientific fraud being committed by researchers as a matter of standard operating procedure. In one case, in the early 1980s, I got to watch some of the early evolution of P-hacking (statistical gamesmanship designed to make studies look like they mean something); in the other, as a work-study assistant, I got to watch a whole series of allegedly double-blind experiments in which the techs who made certain very subjective judgment calls knew exactly what results they were supposed to get, not to mention that their continued employment depended on the grants that would be forthcoming if they got those results. It was impressively bogus. For obvious reasons I’ve been less than eager to trust the Science™ since that time…

    Drhooves, I think that’s an important part of it, but there’s more. Stay tuned!

    Copper, a very cogent summary! Imagination is dangerous to senile hegemonies. Again, I’ll get into the reasons for that shortly.

    Honked, thanks for the update!

    Celadon, it would be nice. So far, at least, the vast majority of the Go Green types I’ve encountered have been obsessed with propping up the worldview of industrial society, and usually its technologies and social structures as well — just with more sustainable energy sources.

    Patricia M, well, of course! The managerial elite can’t admit that those fringe ideas could be anything other than what their stereotypes claim…

    Ben, I doubt it was any kind of oversight, certainly. My guess is that the kneejerk allegiance to pseudoskepticism is slipping as the pseudoskeptic movement gurgles down the drain; I note that arch-debunker P.Z. Myers is now burbling happily about his crackpot non-FDA-approved diet. When he gets into pyramid power we’ll know that the ghost of the Unamazing Randi has been well and truly laid to rest.

    Roger, nicely summarized.

    MonSeulDesir, I hope you’re right. My guess is that we have some very, very strange territory to go through while that’s in process.

  246. Patricia comment 152 I read that as “the high pitched whine of Critical Race Theorists”…Berserker

  247. Roger,
    TLDR: Putin is competent and the Russian state is well aware of the need to hold onto its easternmost region.
    Concern about holding on to the easternmost portion of Siberia has been a concern of the Russian state pretty much since Russia took this area (some of it as late as the 1860s IIRC). Vladivostok was predominantly ethnic Chinese until the 1930s when Stalin forced them to move elsewhere (as he did with the Tatars in Crimea).
    Russia fought with Japan just beyond this area (in northern China and Korea) and the southern part of Sakhalin was lost to Japan for decades until the end of WW2. (To be clear, Russia expanded from the west, Japan from the south, overrunning the indigenous people there.)
    Japan seized far eastern Siberia during the Russian Revolution and stayed until 1925, long after all the other invading countries had long since left.
    Stalin was extremely concerned to avoid war with the Japanese in this area during WW2 and repeatedly betrayed the Chinese communists because he thought that the Nationalists would help tie down the Japanese and prevent the Japanese from invading SIberia. (This actually did work although only after Chiang Kai Shek was kidnapped and forced (pretty much at gunpoint) to fight the Japanese.) Stalin’s betrayals were one of the causes of the Sino-Soviet split. For some odd reason, the CCP didn’t trust the Soviets, who multiple times ordered them to join coalitions with the Nationalists that predictably led to the communists being slaughtered.
    This is the same area where there were border conflicts between Soviet and Chinese troops in the late 1960s.
    The period of the early 1990s was unique. The Soviet Union had collapsed, Russia was flat on its back and led by a drunkard who seemed more concerned with pleasing the Americans than with protecting his own country. In that context, Chinese merchants could just cross the border and set up shop. Those days did not last that long and are long over, as far as I know.
    One thing that I think has to be said about Putin is that he is competent as a ruler of Russia. He took over a nearly failed and literally bankrupt state and put it back on its feet. If I know this history, you can be sure that he does.
    On the other hand, I remember that even in the days of “fraternal support for the revolutionaries in Vietnam by their brother revolutionaries in the Soviet Union and China”, the Chinese did mention the treaty in the 1860s by which Russia gained its far east as one of the unequal treaties forced on China during its century of humiliation and that needed to be reversed.
    If the US ceased to be such an unpredictable aggressive presence on their doorsteps, China might dust off this claim. Russia knows that too.
    Though the economic ties they are building now could outlast the need to band together against a common threat. Also, to the extent that China is a ticking demographic timebomb nowadays, it is in the opposite direction of what it was in 1969 when Mao still actively encouraged population growth.
    One last thing: the Chinese claim to the Russian Far East is based on that area apparently having once been the original home of the Manchus, who conquered China in the 1600s and ruled as the Qing Dynasty until 1912. Whether or not those Manchus are Chinese is something the Chinese have gone back and forth about at least since the 1800s. The Qing Dynasty was headed by Manchus and so was its military, but its bureaucracy and most of its troops were Han Chinese, so the issue is genuinely complex. Nonetheless, the Han Chinese never ruled over what is now the Russian Far East and it is not even clear that the Manchu did. So one could argue that the Chinese claim on the Russian Far East is as valid as, for example, Ireland’s claim to Bangladesh, or perhaps a closer analogy, Ireland’s claim to wherever in Germany the Angles and Saxons are supposed to have come from or the original Norman homeland in Scandinavia. Not that I would expect this argument to impress too many Han Chinese.

  248. RandomActsofKarma
    No matter what long form is selected, “sputum scutum” could totally catch as a term. It just lends itself to being flung at someone with contempt.

  249. @JMG #269

    Looking forward to what you have to say! Honestly could have written more but felt it was getting too long and going into the territory of repidity.

    Interestingly enough I’ve been getting into Niel Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death” and ran into this exact issue in a server earlier last week.

  250. That Psaki quote wasn’t just about kickboxing and margaritas – She wound it up with ‘And then wake up on Monday morning, we’ve got to keep fighting’

    From another mouth, that would be considered “incitement to insurrection”.

  251. I read about the coincident rise and fall of CNN and Donald Trump a few days ago. I wonder whether CNN gave Trump so much publicity, leading up to the 2016 election, with the idea “The better people know this clown, the less likely they are to vote for him” as well as “We can balance coverage of Dems (Clinton) and Reps (Trump), starving any other Rep candidate of publicity, without putting Clinton’s election at risk.” Their failure to imagine that some of their viewers would actually prefer Trump brought us to the place we’re in today. Having reported on the Rep candidates “in bad faith” in 2015-2016, they now feel morally obligated to reverse their mistake. Too late.

  252. @JMG – my friend isn’t managerial elite, not by a long shot. But she’s drunk the kool-aid. I just got off a long and frustrating discussion with her about her reaction to my pointing out bad tactics on the part of some people among the Democrats, and a resolution to drop the matter. BTW, it happens on both sides of the fence. A Republican friend of mine back in Albuquerque, with whom I used to be having wide-ranging discussions about anything and everything, started spouting the Fox News party line at me about an issue I thought was not political at all.

    I feel like a 2-dimensional creature in a world where everything has been reduced to two thin lines around which everything revolves, and in which if Side A came out for apple pie, Side B would be cutting down every apple tree they could see. And vice versa. It’s already happened with God, Motherhood, and the American Flag. Not, I’m relieved to see, with the University Football Team.

    Well, that’s the nature of Crisis Eras. Simple, brutal, and “shut up, sit down, stay out of the way,” is the only answer to the likes of me right now, and, probably, rightly so. When it’s all over and the rubble has been swept up and used in rebuilding, my grandchildren will be tidying up the loose ends, as their grandparents did before them circa 1960, and the settlers and schoolmarms did the Wild West in the 1880s, and… so on and so on, as the wheel turns. And it will be, temporarily, a simpler world.

    (P.S. for Roman History buffs, check out the reign of Vespasian after the total madness of the Julio-Claudian era after Augustus’ death. That’ll give you a very clear picture of what I’m talking about.)

  253. @Roger – you and Martin are absolutely correct. Simple silence is one of the best answers going, second only to the place of conflict in your rear-view mirror as you slip out the back door with “Free at last, dear Goddess, Free at last.” I should write pamphlet called “Evasion for Aspies,” a.k.a. “what to do when you can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game.”

    I’m not going to argue with anyone spouting either party line, any more than I’m going to contribute another dime to Big Charity with their endless mailings. (dusts off hands). Keep things simple, sister. Simple, local, obvious, and concrete. No, dear, I’m not on strike, I’ve just crawled into my room and closed the door and picked up my teddy bear, see you in another hour.

  254. @ JMG re MonSeulDesir #268

    I wonder if this is what lies behind the troubling dreams you’ve been documenting on your latest Dreamwidth posting. I can’t imagine the PTB here on this side of the border going quietly into that good night if the Canada troubles splash over and trigger the same here. At the very least there will be disruption of supplies and a final violent clash of differing viewpoints before any rubble stops bouncing.

  255. Mary Bennett, #247

    Not sure if you’ve been to many MAGA rallies but most of the participants I’ve run across are small business owners, veterans, trades etc… Very blue collar although quite a few of us techie are normally present due to job losses caused by global outsourcing and H1b visas.

    Functionally incompetent? Far from it, otherwise the country would be much further along in the long decent that we currently are. When we’re all freezing and hungry in the dark, then you’ll know that the incompetence of the PMC has spread down to MAGA crowd or more likely, they have just abandoned their careers to take care of their own tribe.

    Yes, they can make and build, but you’re right they can’t plan an insurrection because they still believed in this country as founded and didn’trealizeone was necessary. Call it naive but when you’ve personally sacrificed for this country and in some cases bled for it, you are reluctant to believe the worst.

    After Jan 6th, not many people have that illusion anymore. There are alot of pissed off veterans who could run an guerrilla war that would make Ho Chi Min proud and are just waiting for the PMC to step into the trap.

  256. MonSeulDesir #268

    Well said!! Alot of us bleed red, white and blue but if a constitutional convention were hekd to dissolve the whole mess, I don’t think you would get too many votes against at this stage. A national divorce is preferable to a civil war.

  257. “I’ll be interested to see what you think about the future posts in this sequence.”

    I’ll be interested to read those future posts! Most likely, between us we’re currently thinking of different dimensions of applied imagination, and if we ended up arguing about them (e.g. which is more important) it would be like arguing about e.g. strength versus conditioning versus balance in a martial art. Which is fine as long as we’re aware that’s what’s going on, rather than just talking past each other.

    I still remember overhearing a teacher say to my parents, “your child has a strong imagination,” in roughly the same tone of voice as if they were saying “your child has a persistent cough.” Since then, my working relationship with imagination has undergone more than one radical realignment. But I expect plenty of common ground. For instance, I doubt either of us is very impressed when someone imagines a flying car or imagines some future sudden spontaneous dramatic change in human nature.

  258. Aside from Ecosophia platforms, what are some of the better news/ community online sources you (asking all the commenters) turn to lately? I check Dr. Robert Malone’s Gettr, and YouTube is still a source for Pat King’s updates on the Ottawa convoys, but others? Podcasts, radio shows, newsletters, alternative social media platforms, etc. etc. please!

  259. @Jessica (#273):

    You’re quite right, IMHO, about Putin’s great competence. I think he’s possibly the most competent ruler of Russia since the 1700s, judged in terms of the long-term interests of his own country–which are most definitely not the same as the long-term interests of Europe or North America.

    Though, to be fair, many of my Russian émigré friends hate the man and seem unwilling to give him credit for much of anything. (So I and they mostly avoid the subject with one another.)

  260. @Kat Locals has an assortment of communities anyone can subscribe to on monthly basis. Substack is the other information source. Some people like the social media site MeWe.

  261. With regards to ‘creative’ or ‘imaginative’ being negative, how’s this?

    ‘X has creative spelling.’

    To be fair, at that point I really hadn’t got the hang of spelling yet. This was a nicer way of saying I couldn’t spell.

  262. @Kat,

    I get a daily email from that lists the headlines they have listed on their website. They are an aggregate site, so the articles cover a wide range of topics (but the daily list they send in the email is usually short, 20 articles or less, so a good way to get a quick overview of things before going to work).

  263. JMG, didn’t mean to hijack the combox for a discussion of autistic grievances. Apologies.

    Everyone who replied re: Asperger’s: I love you all! I know I’m not the only one, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded. I’m mulling over the various bits of advice collected here.

    Rita: I love you, too, and I’m not offended. The thing to understand is that the autism thing is unrelated to virtue. People on or off the spectrum can be jerks. Nobody should be using the dx as an excuse for that. But it’s a touchy subject, because a lot of us… maybe all of us, have been harshly criticized, ostracized, punished, rejected for friendships, dates, and jobs, and have missed out on a lot of opportunities, because of some mystery behavioral thing that we have a hard time understanding, or controlling. For “being dorks”, if you will.

  264. @Kat: re: news sources: Substack seems to be where most of the journalistic action is, these days. Their particular setup seems to make censorship more difficult.

  265. Patricia+Mathews, at the risk of tiring out our most tolerant host with this and in reply to your comment about shutting up as a remedy, I don’t know about you but no matter the iron self-discipline I exercised in erecting and maintaining a Wall of Silence, and in thinking before I opened my trap and then thinking again, preposterous stuff still came out.

    By the time I got into my seventh decade I had accumulated quite a portfolio of gaffes, blunders, howlers, forehead-slappers, eye-ball rollers, puzzlers, silencers, cringe makers, exasperators, blurtings to appall, burbles to offend, others to make people roll on the floor, such that if I had a buck for every verbal infraction since I started high-school and realized the necessity of social awareness – and keeping quiet – I could now pay cash for that nice Seiko watch I like and a cheapo Casio on top. And that’s with the most diligent effort.

    JMG at al, talking about preposterous, plus a calamitous failure of imagination, GoFundMe scoffing the millions donated to the truckers and fellow demonstrators is a real wowser mouth-opener.

    They must have imagined that it was somehow legal to grab somebody else’s money. I wonder if that was with or without the help of their lawyers. Then, most hilariously, they decided, maybe after threats of legal action, to do a rethink, this time figuring they’d give it back to the donors. Real smart guys these are.

    Not that any of this is a surprise, because after what we’ve seen of recent Blue Bubble behaviour, we ought to know what’s in bounds and what’s out of bounds, and the working class standing up for their own interests and for a modicum of common sense in the conduct of public affairs, is way, way out of bounds. IOW some people give orders, some people take orders. Some have a say, others don’t. And we know who’s who.

    Someone said that after more than a generation of insisting that globalization would make China more like America, it’s America that’s becoming more like China. The cosmos, or maybe that deity running this corner of it, must have a sense of irony.

  266. What we’re seeing is a terminal failure of the imagination.

    Without wanting to pull off topic (although related to my last comment here), that phrase was pretty much the soundbite conclusion of the Kean and Hamilton Commission.
    It has also been turned around by those who reject that Commission’s findings, such that those who cannot see the edifice for what it is, fail for lack of imagination that it may be one.

    Great writing JMG.

  267. pygmycory At 288: A man once said “its a poor mind than can think of only one way to spell a word”

  268. @JMG

    Sorry for carrying over. By the time I get up for the night, MM is closed for comment.

    but I’d like to say that henotheism makes a lot of sense, it may help explain how people like me are drawn to the Brythonic pantheon while those who describe themselves as pagan are being attracted to the Abrahamic religions.

  269. I’ve heard that snipers have been moved onto roofs in Ottawa, what do these politicians think they’re doing?

    They shoot just one trucker and the result will be massive strikes and the rejection of the government by the majority of the population, these are the moves of an elite that has lost all the political skills it ever had and all sense of prudence.

    My impression is of a disorganized and ineffective government sliding into chaos while the protests are rapidly becoming more organized and spreading rapidly.

  270. Re: “CNN is now investigating if Zucker had an inappropriate relationship with Andrew Cuomo, former Governor of New York…”

    Conjures up images quite at odds with Cuomo’s known taste in bedmates, doesn’t it? But liberals are going to freak out for sure.

  271. BobinOk @ 282 Might I suggest you read today’s column by Ian Welsh:

    From where I am standing, the enduring legacy of Trump and supporters, so far, is luxury apartment buildings. Color me not impressed.

    I am no fan of the present day Democratic Party, from which I exited back in 2010, but the Biden admin, not Trump, got us out of Afghanistan. I don’t care if it was messy, such things usually are. The present admin is making some effort, however flawed, to rebuild bridges and roads–I would have preferred railroads and canals being included, but no one in either party must ever offend the all important used car dealer lobby. The Trumpists, privileged rich guys and gals, had and have no thought for how better infrastructure benefits the lives of the non rich. I grant Trump had and has some good ideas, but why could not the master businessman find competent people to administer them, and then stay out of the way of his appointees? The Trump White House was an unseemly spectacle of chaos and rampant nepotism, as bad, in its’ own way as was the Clinton WH.

    Two things from the Trump admin I find simply unforgivable are first, cuddling up to Netanyahoo and Israel, and, second, continuing the assault on organic and regenerative farming, perhaps the most significant American social movement since the mid 60s. One Trump administration USDA appointee, I don’t recall the name, was heard saying words to the effect that they were gonna destroy the good food guys for once and all.

  272. Re: Aspie posts,

    I have an idea. As a fellow Aspie, I say let’s establish a support group (maybe a subset of JMG’s Dreamwidth to start with?) for all of us, so we can socialize with and support one another. I am open to having Zoom meetings, if things develop in that direction.

    Any takers?

  273. Hello JMG et al,

    Imagination is subversive. Tim Snyder has written well (“Road to Unfreedom”) about the Politics of the Inevitable and the Politics of the Eternal, as the two main flavours of modern day authoritarian rule. Most people in the West live by a “There is no alternative”-credo in the Politics of the Inevitable. The people in power of course always want people to believe that there are no alternatives.

    Therefore imagination is subversive. Another world is possible.
    Imagined alternatives is the starting point for every revolution and every reform.
    Rob Hopkins (Transition Towns etc.) wrote a book on imagination “From What is. to “What if?” “. He published lots of interviews for this book in a podcast format that are all worth listening to, if you prefer a discussion format.

    Imagine all the people living life in peace, as Lennon had it.

    How can we nurture our own imagination, and that of our friends?


  274. Copper, Postman’s worth reading, though he’s got his mental tics.

    Lathechuck, always a possibility!

    Patricia M, that’s certainly one option. I’ve been noticing a lot of similarities to the First World War, however, and that wasn’t followed by a return to calm…

    Jeanne, it depends how how detached from reality they’ve become. Do you recall how much fuss there was when the French elite class got deposed in 1789, or their Russian equivalents in 1917? It’s afterward that the fun begins.

    Walt, that seems like a reasonable analysis to me. As for flying cars and the like, granted, but in my case the lack of enthusiasm is because people have been stuck imagining the same thing over and over again since 1917.

    Pygmycory, a fine example.

    Methylethyl, no problem. If I’d decided it was getting out of hand, I’d have started deleting comments.

    Sardaukar, as I recall, it was Einstein who said, “Ony two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

    Mog, well, of course! Tell a lot of people who have no imagination that they have no imagination and they’ll insist that you’re imagining things.

    Tidlösa, I heard about that! I bet they delay the takeover until after the midterms in November…

    Copper, so noted.

    MonSeulDesir, both sides are behaving as though what we’re seeing is a color revolution in process. I think it’s quite possible that they’re correct.

    Patricia M, I have to admit that’s way up there on the list of images that make me want brain bleach… 😉

    Goran, good. I’ll be talking down the road about ways to develop and free the imagination.

    Patricia M, thanks for this!

  275. @Roger
    regarding the USA becoming more like China rather than the other way around…

    bingo. Never heard it put that way before, and it hadn’t occurred to me to do so, but a good point. And why did no one think to say this before now?

  276. JMG, my apologies for being so late in the comment cycle, please put this through if you feel its appropriate.

    @Mary Bennett #301

    Not sure why you seem to think that all of us are rich, but yes most us have long term professions, even runnjng a forklift is skilled labor. I can usually tell how someone voted in the last two elections by how much dirt, grease or feces is under their nails. Dirty jobs sure aren’t for democrats!!

    Not sure what luxury apartments have to do with anything??? Yes, Trump was a billionaire with an actual job, unlike the Ronmeys of the world who practice vulture capitalism. I’m a 50 year old engineer that went to night school for 15 years while on active duty and then later on GI bill while working full time. My dad worked in a coal mine for 10+ years, and my parents dream house was a double wide. Trailer trash hardly qualifies as bourgeois. My story is far from unique on the “right”. Don’t confuse us with the Romneys of the world because most of us can’t stand his sorry behind. The Hampton set includes the Obamas, Romneys, Clintons, not you or I.

    Roads and bridges are in dire need of maintenance or reconstruction, however this stimulus will wind up like the last 3…in the pockets of democratic politicians through their union leadership and activist friends. Yes a bidge might actually get fixed somewhere but I wouldn’t hold my breathe. More like 3 bridges to nowhere will get built while 3 important ones collapse and they’ll say we need Build Back II! Joe’s only purpose in over 40 years in office was to set up his great great grandkids for life. In another age, he’d be guilty of treason.

    We currently have the worst of all worlds, a corrupt PMC and rent seeking large corporations. Certainly not a democracy, republic nor capitalism. If corporations are people with rights, Texas needs to execute a few of them starting with faceplant and a few investment firms…

    For true capitalists, look to Asia. If you don’t work…then you better have good relations with your family or enjoy your involuntary hunger strike. They’ll also sell you their daughters so don’t expect morals to be included.

    Trump was the 1st president in my adult life who actually spoke to people like nomal people, and addressed their concerns…like the border and outsourcing!! His platform was no different than Clinton’s in ’92. Unfortunately, the PMC pushback thwarted most of his agenda and I’m pretty sure he vastly underestimated how deep the rot is within the PMC. However, the Overton window has relocated to a whole new zip code and there is no going back as Joe from Scranton is finding out.

    BTW, mandatory voter ID isn’t keeping anyone from voting, except those who shouldn’t. Your link read like DNC talking points. Try getting your fingernails dirty and get real news from real sources.

  277. Re the discussion of Asbergers and the missing of social cues which has developed through this thread, it is raising “echoes” within me.

    I am always interested in reading about these kinds of experiences, because, while I don’t think I am bad at reading social cues, per se, they are like words that you “hear” silently, and learn to “speak”… and you can test your “hearing” by responding intelligibly… or so I have learned.

    But… there IS a particular aspect of regular discourse which makes me feel like I must have a somewhat different, but not totally unrelated blindness – more of a colour blindness, maybe.

    And that is the matter of how to read intentionality into/from people’s acts. It is very common for people to allege (with complete conviction) that someone has done X with intention Y, and I have never, ever been able to figure out how they can know this.

    I often struggle to figure out what my own intentions are! But, whatever my own intentions are (and I presume other people’s too) they are, in any case, not externally visible, like social cues are. They provide no “language” that a person can learn – or at least, if they do, I have never learned it.

    I find this particularly crippling in conversation nowadays, since people prefer to go straight to the question of intentionality (was action X done with good or evil intent) and totally bypass the nature and consequences of action X, which are the grounds upon which – so it seems to me – a discussion can actually be had, making reference to matters that are visible to everyone.

    But the question of whether action X was done with good or evil intent then develops into something more like a football match, where you pick a side and play your heart out defending that side, attacking the other side, and keeping score, and the whole time, I’m sitting there wondering, well how does anybody KNOW? How can anybody – to stick with the metaphor – “see” the team colours which look exactly the same to me? I can see what was DONE, and I can see some of the CONSEQUENCES of what was DONE, but I can never see, or grasp how to judge, WHY it was done.

    Is there a name for this “sense” that people – apparently – are frequently endowed with, but that I lack? The sense that detects the intention behind an action?

  278. Hi John Michael,

    Peace brother. I understood that to be the case. Part of our journey is learning to extend beyond our lives experience and also that of our upbringing. Mate, there is truth to the old saying that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to…. 🙂 Has it occurred to you that your filters are in place for a reason?



  279. Hello JMG, I know that it’s Wednesday and it’s a bit late for posting here; and I know that this tiopic woiud be so off topic…
    However I can comment about Kazajshtán last blackout, they say the county was full of cryptocurrencies mining, that usually spend a lot of electricity…Cause/effect?

    Or what else?

  280. @Michael Martin – print only, no Zoom, PLEASE! I LOATHE Zoom. Unless it has closed captioning – good closed captioning – and does not show my camera-bleached face.

  281. Looking forward to the coming posts on imagination!

    Reading your remarks on Psaki and Lauterbach I’m strangely reminded of a youtube clairvoyant who claimed that Atlanteans also were so attached to external and concrete perception of the world, makes you think. Her name is Gigi Young, I don’t believe everything she says but it’s interesting to follow her.


  282. @Bradley #190 I’ve always thought that if I were really good at magick I could hallucinate things like JMG’s peppermint cat. Moving the goalposts, I suppose? In my mind’s eye I can smell it (I could tell you it’s a deep and musky peppermint rather than the high-note peppermint of chewing gum – or my cat is. Other people have different cats.) I can see it, I can even visualize petting it. I suppose if I could hallucinate it on the desk in front of me, trying to get warm on my keyboard I would want other people to see it, and think that only that was magick.

    I often ask people online what the difference between a daydream and a vision is. Back in the dark days of Livejournal in the early aughts no one would admit that imagination plays a part in magick. Magick is completely separate and if a magician starts hallucinating then she should get the usual medication for that. A daydream was not a vision, one has godlike control in daydreams that doesn’t exist in visions. (Quite the opposite, I think: people get severe mage-itis and get god-like in visions in my experience, with anything they encounter acknowledging that they’re powerful, the boss, possibly a god that’s been slumming on Earth.) More recently it seems that imagination is magick. I think that’s the Tiktok crowd, since none of them can get magick they can record on camera. I think the goalposts have been moved in the opposite direction of the peppermint cat that anyone can see.

    (Also certain corners of the internet insist that being able to visualize in daydream or not…is autism! I think we might lack the vocabulary. Witness the r/Tulpas community on Reddit where all of these people with autism and varying other problems are amazed that they can have an imaginary friend – or a spirit generated out of their Will, depending on your worldview, complete with a wonderland to explore. Is it magick, or imagination? Since they can’t send the tulpas to talk to each other, I’m thinking the latter. Though sometimes the tulpa takes control and the prime wanders off, and I have so many questions…)

    So…Levels of it:
    1) Being able to think with some order and chronology
    2) Being able to visualize simple objects without much of other senses coming into play
    3) Being able to visualize with increasing numbers of senses
    4) Introducing randomness. Not always being a god, but walking around and talking with people and things that don’t have a predictable reaction, that seem to have their own goals. Having to snap out of it, rather than having to concentrate to keep it going.
    5) All that, and being able to make other people experience it too. Maybe nobody can do that. But then, there’s that tone on the piano that you told people would be there.

    Strangely, I tend to hallucinate scents that aren’t there. I like to think this is how I detect supernatural forces in my environment, but it’s just a bit of whimsy. I usually can’t get other people to smell what I smell. I can’t do a ritual and make a particular smell happen either, though I suppose I could try harder at that particular experiment.

    And dare I mention these hallucinated smells very much? No. Though if I were seeing peppermint cats instead of smelling them, and told people, I think it would be more of a problem.

  283. JMG,

    Question prompted by last two chapters we covered in Levi’s book but is firmly in the realm of imagination. For sake of argument, if I strongly believe in something I have created or others have created in my/our imagination(s) can that form in the astral light take on it’s own agency?

    For example, I learned in the recent Doctrine & Ritual post that Hermes Trismegistus was actually an assortment of Greek-speaking Egyptian occultists writing in his name. Let’s say that for whatever reasons enough people believed in Hermes Trismegistus as an individual with whatever powers, would any powers or activity from Trismegistus on the astral plane only be our reflections or if the belief was strong and persistent enough, there would actually be some Trismegistus force on the astral plane with agency?

  284. I was just told there is a war in Europe and I still care about a half working vaccine.

    This is how they do it. Zack, new problem on the screen. Mind you, it is in academic cirlces. Workers and contractors are resenting and never forget.

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