249 Comments

How exciting, I'm looking forward to September. Have a wonderful break 🐚

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That’s wonderful news. Looking forward to joining you on this trek! I only found your writing recently and I felt instantly connected to you by the spirit that all Christians share. I’m not Orthodox , I’m Christian. Some of your theology seems strange but it makes me want to investigate why you believe those things , such as Mary being so special. In my tradition, she’s just a woman. Anyway, I’ll be sticking around. Cheers!

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Sounds like a plan Paul; looking forward to picking up the journey again in the autumn. Enjoy the summer and time with family and the outdoors - you’ll be rejuvenated by it. Thanks for the last two years, does come at a personal cost, but so important a contribution to the zeitgeist.

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Sounds great, looking forward to it.

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Jul 7, 2023Liked by Paul Kingsnorth

Thank you Paul. Your journey is a compelling one and this traveller is happy to tag along, even if he's not exactly sure why.

I'll bring plenty of water for the desert part.

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Is this going be like "The Way of the Pilgrim?" I really liked that book when I read it a long time ago; time for a reread. It is a good idea to start getting out into the light.

As a small Paul Kingsnorth joke, I used an AI art generator to create an image of an Orthodox Monastery; make the machine support the spirit. Well, the image was pretty good but one of the crosses on an onion dome was shaped like a weather vane.

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I have always been struck by this statement by C.H. Spurgeon:

"Whenever God means to make a man great, he always breaks him in pieces first."

- although one could read "fruitful*" instead of "great" (as I think our modern conception of what is "great" is so warped and contorted by the modern machine and celebrity age of vanity that we live in).

We see God doing this time and time again in Scripture, breaking Joseph's pride, breaking Peter's rashness and faux-boldness, making Moses shepherd in the wilderness for decades, and blinding Paul on the Damascus Road.

I wonder if God does the same with cultures that have become too big and lost their bearings. He breaks them and lets them dissolve before he raises men and women up to chart a different course out from the smouldering ruins. Perhaps a collapse in the west would provide the ruins and fresh fertile ground from which the three Ps prayer, place and people take precedence again in the lives of many, where local needs and local cares are the sum of man's greatness and fame, and where God's creation is cherished once more as the beautiful masterpiece that it is - one can hope.

Edited 'fruitful' to replace 'useful' as see comments below.

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Wonderful writing, wonderful hope-you and your writing are such a gift that I and the world sorely need at the moment. Thank you!

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Thank goodness for the light! Feeling the same in my life - too focused on the problem and things getting very dark. Thanks for your work, Paul, and enjoy your well earned break.

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My prayers will be with you, Paul, as you enter the new phase of your journey.

I've found that, when separated from the world — what you call the Machine, and I bloodthirsty Babylon riding the beast — and one is alone with God and His word, there is a great darkness within the fallen human heart — ALL humans, as it is the basic human condition, saint or not — to be plumbed and exposed.

As a Poet it is my calling to plumb and sing what I know, the horror and the glory. There is as much to bewail within as without — that is, the evil and death-dealing of the Machine, AND the abyss within. That trek for me is finished, but not the telling of it.

You're young, and burning with vision, and my prayer for you is that you reveal the Light of the world, and His house, to those who love the truth. Me, my days are numbered, which is just as well, as it might be better for my heart that my story be known after I'm gone.

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I will follow you on this journey, Paul... sitting in front of the computer.

As I keep reminding you, and perhaps wrongly, there is a lot that separates us, but a lot that brings us together, too.

I am glad that you are taking off time to be with your family, and I am glad that you are backpeddling a bit on looking into the black hole. You and the others are right : too much of that sends you right into the black hole, and often there is no way back out when you have gone too far.

As far as being a Christian is concerned, I don't know what I am any more. Just curious listening to all the cacophony ? in the civilisation right now. Trying to find my way.

I like listening to "Jesu meine Freude" every once in a while to hear that in the midst of the cacophony there is a still, silent place to be found. That sounds good.

Have a good summer.

Cheers.

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Paul, this sounds exciting, and even though I'm not Orthodox (but am a Christian!) I'll be delighted to tag along and see where you go! You're quite right to take a break from everything (including us), and it's thoughtful to suspend subscriptions for that period, but I really don't think it's necessary. Ice creams don't grow on trees, you know ...

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Have a fantastic break Paul. I may even have made it through the Machine series by the time you resume. Looking forward to what comes next!

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Looking forward to reading what comes next, Paul. Enjoy your summer.

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Early Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit the “wild goose” in Gaelic. I’ve always found that, when you follow His lead, that’s a pretty accurate name.

I’ve enjoyed your writing and will be here when you get back. Enjoy your much needed sabbatical, refresher, vacation!

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I may not share your faith, but I think this sounds like exactly the right direction for your writing. There comes a point where even to look at the Machine is to feed it.

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