I’m spending today thinking about what I’m going to say tomorrow at the Percy French Festival here in the Irish midlands, where I’ve been invited to give a talk about the coming transhuman future and how to respond to it. I expect I will be filletting my last two essays here for material. The theme of the festival, which begins today and ends on Friday, is Does The Soul Have a Future? Come along if you’re in the the area: it looks interesting.
(I have some more public events coming up this summer too: the full list is here.)
In the meantime, it’s time for the Monthly Salon. As ever, this is a space in which my readers, rather than me, get to determine the agenda and then discuss/debate/argue about it. I’ve been pondering a subject to introduce as a kind of jumping-off point, but I’ve noticed that when I do that, people tend to focus on that subject, and then it just ends up being about my opinions again. Sometimes a man needs a holiday from his opinions: and Lord knows, you all do by now.
So this time around I’m going to say nothing at all, and simply leave the floor open for anyone who wants to walk onto it and begin singing. Over to you …
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Just today collected a library book about Caroline Norton (The Case of the Married Woman by Antonia Fraser), who in in 1820s was legally deprived access to her three small children following a trial that saw her accused of adultery. Her name was cleared in the trial, but her husband was still able to keep the children from her *and* control her earnings as an author, because (as most may know) at that time property owned by women reverted to the husband upon and within marriage. She became an activist and fought for women’s and mothers’ rights to, respectively, their own children and income/creative work.
I don’t yet know all the details or how well written the book is or isn’t, but it got me thinking about the situation women are facing today, that is the threat of being erased. In Norton’s day women’s identity and agency disappeared within marriage (levels of disappearance depending upon the whims and mercy of each husband). Today those who actually consider themselves the ones who fight for human rights are in large part enabling women’s erasure, the focus currently being on sports. Some say this sort of statement is hyperbolic, but the reality is even this ten years ago would have seemed unthinkable. Additionally, corporations and government are working together to pit groups against each other, with new and ridiculous offenses against trans individuals announced almost daily. Only days ago, an American politician was accused of endangering the lives of trans people because he asked a question.
Is there some sort of warped cyclical nature to thought that causes it all to go ballistic every century or so? What’s next for women? Since this has already seeped into literature and even music (“being a woman is a ‘vibe’”), it’s pretty apparent it’s not stopping with sports, and writing about women, even by women, is endangered. (And much else.)
Apologies if this comes off as unorganized thought - it’s 02:00 wandering of the mind thanks to sleeplessness. Any continuing thoughts, info, etc.?
The 3 things required on this island:
1) The Return of the Language
2) The Return of the Forest
3) The Return of the Wolf
There is no difficulty in this, its a choice, the person can choose to prioritize this ""Fáilte ar ais Program" or not.......same with everything. What do we elevate? What do we venerate? Fear, egotism, personal survival and so on,,,,,I feel it in my life the heaviness of my sense of self, the lighter it becomes, the easier it is to wing it....
"Through soaring, birds gain altitude and travel quickly by taking energy from wind currents in the atmosphere."
DT Suzuki's Zen and the Samurai, is a life changer as is Zen Mind Beginners Mind......
"Even an insect can travel a thousand miles if it clutches onto a horses tail"
My father taught me, "if you have to force it your doing it wrong" and though not true in every situation, in most....as per the flawless movement of the cat, the Vaslav Nijinsky moment, the vicious cutting away of superfluous muscular tension that as Alan Watts so succinctly describes as the ego / the sense of self itself.....
once the heaviness is gone, everything is possible, there is no world but infinite dimensions
Taking into account the arguments and consternation of ethno-nationalists, my instinct is that the arrival of new people from all over the world onto this island actually makes the process of restoring
the trinity easier. Tá fáilte roimh chách anseo ach caithfimid teanga na tíre a labhairt.....otherwise we remain in the Cromwellian era,,,,and the curse cannot be lifted...
I heard once that Genghis Khan told his warriors that until the very moment of death you are invincible. Do not fear a single thing in this world
So I leave you with this song beautifying the great Thomas Sankara! In the spirit of Internationalism and in recognition that the great majority of Europe's riches are in fact Africa's
Go forward with sword in hand!
Beannachtaí deartháireacha agus deirfiúracha!