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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.?

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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!

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The soul -- psyche -- refers somehow to a butterfly in its Greek etymology, I've heard. So, does the inner butterfly have a future? Did it ever have a past? I think when you start talking about the heart instead (the thing that pumps blood and has its own neurons), you start to ask some questions that the transhumanists somehow haven't even thought of yet, and the contrast between their dreams and the rooted biological-spiritual reality of the precious human body becomes quite stark indeed. I mean, compare these two passages:

"You've got to get out of your head and into your heart. Right now your thoughts are in your head, and God seems to be outside you...As long as you are in your head, you will never master your thoughts, which continue to whirl around your head like snow in a winter's storm or like mosquitoes in the summer's heat. If you descend into your heart, you will have no more difficulty. Your mind will empty out and your thoughts will dissipate...You will find life in your heart. There you must live."

— Saint Theophan the Recluse [Quoted by Archimandrite Meletios Webber in “The Mind, the Heart and the Way of Salvation” (Divine Ascent #9)]


"The next organ on our list for enhancement is the heart, which, while an intricate and impressive machine, has a number of severe problems. It is subject to a myriad of failure modes and represents a fundamental weakness in our potential longevity...Although artificial hearts are beginning to be feasible replacements, a more effective approach will be to get rid of the heart altogether."

— Ray Kurzweil [The Singularity Is Near, 306]

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The other day I had a bit of a row with a couple of writers who also have a newsletter here on Substack. It was on the comments section for a book review by one of them. After giving the matter some thought, my conclusion was that, although both of them write about religion and, to the best of my knowledge, actually believe in God, their writing focused solely on academic issues: they describe faith with the cold detachment of someone describing, say, the composition of soils across Europe. Which for some might be a fascinating topic, but you get where I'm going...

What I like about my favorite authors is that their faith informs every word they write; it is not put in parenthesis, appearing as a mere side note, if appearing at all, buried under a thick shrub of scholarly data. And yet - in the case of Paul here and also, for example, David Bentley Hart (some authors from The Post-liberal Order also come to mind) -, their texts are full of compelling ideas, owned or borrowed, and don't come across as less scholarly or serious for being an expression of a deeply rooted sense of faith and spirituality.

So I guess I just wanted to make the case for a bolder, more outspoken approach to faith when it comes to discussing matters of the soul, even in the context

of scholarly work - which is, of course, expected to be intellectually rich, well informed and thought provoking. Any thoughts on the matter?

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Dear readers

What books can you recommend that would fit with the theme of this substack?

A few that have come up: The Need for Roots by Weil, After Ethics by McIntyre, the American saint Wendell Berry... any others?

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Meint noch irgendjemand, die apokalyptischen Reiter würden an uns vorbeistürmen, ohne ihre Spuren der Verwüstung zu hinterlassen?

Das Gericht ist da, es ereignet sich jetzt und überall.

Und es ist keine „Rache der Natur“! Das wäre zu billig gedacht. Die „Natur“ rächt sich ebenso wenig wie G’tt sich je „gerächt“ hat.

Unser Tun hat inhärente Konsequenzen – genauso wie unser Reden und Denken und das Unterlassen dieser „Tätigkeiten“. Diese Konsequenzen folgen nicht unbedingt immer gleich „auf den Fuß“; manche brauchen Zeit, um sich zu entfalten und sichtbar bzw. spürbar zu werden.

Wenn sie es dann schließlich sind – so wie die derzeitigen Hitzewellen, die das Laub der Bäume und diese selbst verdorren lassen – verbietet sich das Wehklagen und hektische Fordern bzw. Ergreifen von (Sofort-)Maßnahmen.

Vielmehr sollten wir entschieden in uns gehen und innehalten. Bei diesem Innehalten bleiben wir abstinent von allem Agieren und sogar von allem Überlegen und Planen.

Wir sind einfach mal nur DA, in aller Aufmerksamkeit, die uns zu Gebote steht. Wir sind da und nehmen wahr, was ist. Und halten es aus. Das genügt fürs erste, denn dabei machen wir jedenfalls schon mal keinen Unfug.

Dabei gehen uns nicht nur die Augen auf; vielmehr werden sie uns sogar übergehen von all der Trauer, Scham und Reue, die in uns aufsteigen. So beginnt die Wandlung: in der Präsenz. Und in unserer Präsenz ist immer schon die Gegenwart von יהוה!

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I teach government to American high school students and I return to work in a couple of weeks. The material on transhumanism and the adjacent trans movement has been absolutely fascinating for several reasons, especially since a majority of my students have found themselves aligned with the “Transhumanist Party” when they take political inventory quizzes. Even in my deeply conservative county and school district, at least 10-15% of the kids identify as trans or some different gender, which makes sense to me now. The kids also spend every last minute buried on their phones and have crippling anxiety about nearly everything. The machine is certainly alive and well. Too bad I can’t take a sledgehammer to every piece of modern technology in the room. Teaching and learning would be so much easier. American education needs a serious neo-Luddite movement.

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"Sometimes a man needs a holiday from his opinions: and Lord knows, you all do by now.”


I am getting the Volkskrant every morning ( a sort of Dutch Guardian) and I am done with it quicker and quicker. So many opinions; even the facts are opiniated often. And most of them so well intended, but still .. opinions.

But is it not the same here in a way: a lot of high quality discussions and responses. But very philosophical.

I resist putting much time in it because I prefer action guided by vision.

I work with males because what I feel is sorely lacking is male leadership in the world and in relationship with the female. Leadership means that as male you can’t be passive or playing the rebel. A mature male has a sense of purpose, shares it with the female, initiates always intelligent cooperation (with her, his world), uses conflict for deeper clarity so that both can win and is really being committed to this, etc.

In my male groups it is always about making it practical in your life: and generally that always requires an action which we don’t like to begin with. Fear, laziness, pettiness/cowardness, self-image or just plain superficiality stand in the way. So it mostly starts with confronting ourselves. To begin with myself because as a leader I can take it easy, do it routinely, or putting myself on the line, enter the unknown and lead by example.

If it looks that I am here self-promoting and -congratulating, showing off, that is not what it is about. I am not even successful in terms of the number of people I attract. It’s a poor lot. But I put in the effort to reach out, on my websites etc. I give it my all whatever the response because of one thing: it has my heart.

What I mean to say is this: I think all of us here have something special to offer something which is vital, alive, contrary to the Machine. Do we give it our all to bring our special gift/talent whatever to the world. Paul does it in his way. But we have all different talents and have something else to bring and confront in our daily life. Looking at the Parable of the Talents is the question not: what do we do with it? Practically, daily. Why not share our struggles here?

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Jul 20, 2022·edited Jul 20, 2022

Well, let me give you a topic... about the Machine... more and more I see in these times that the Machine is directing us towards self-created happiness. To find peace and happiness we have yoga, mindfullness, meditation etc. etc. These days it seems to me that new methods to reach happiness are popping up like mushrooms. Even feelings of sadness and grief have all kinds of self-help methods to turn them back into peace and happiness... Here in The Netherlands one of the best selling magazines is called Happinez... full of all kinds of articles about how to be happy, how to reach inner peace etc. Like happiness is an ultimate lifestyle or life goal we should reach. I came from that path, never found that peace or happiness, I am very new on the Christian path that brought me everything I was looking for, and now... more and more I start to see in all of this the Machine that you write about. I even know many Christians who search for these forms of inner peace and happiness...

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Our culture has been fascinated with measurement and quantity for millennia now. We've been on a quest to reduce all of reality to measurements. We are then told that we can reconstruct all of reality from these measurements via algorithms and computation.

The measurement problem in quantum mechanics shows us, once and for all, however, that there is no measurement without a measurer. Science would have us believe that the measurer will eventually be replaced by the measured - once our computers are sufficiently advanced.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The measurer cannot be measured. The wave-function collapse does not happen "in time." It is not just "very fast." It is in fact perpendicular to time.

In our quest to endlessly measure and quantify, we have denied an entire dimension of our own existence. We must now reclaim it.

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Fascinated with the Christian conversion of Martin Shaw and wondering what God's up to over there in the British Isles.

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I have been working on a collaborative writing project with a couple of friends looking to produce a market friendly product. We have discovered a certain underlying conflict which seems to pop up over and over again. Stated simply, they are devoted to "the formula", which is the formalization of the underlying archetypes. In my view, the archetypes exist, and the formula is just a facsimile of these archetypes.

I'm inclined to follow the characters we have developed and let them take a greater role in telling the story, letting them manifest the archetypes. They are inclined to move them as pawns until the plot fits the formula and then try to reanimate the characters. This is a very difficult way for me to work, though I am doing my best to be helpful and not sulk despite the fact that with every rewrite the story and characters seems to get less and less vibrant and more and more formulaic.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on the roles of archetypes, formula, and characters in crafting a story. Anyone's thoughts about collaborative story telling too.

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Jul 20, 2022·edited Jul 20, 2022

Currently I’m being inspired by and making copious notes on

Thomas Paine, enlightenment , revolution and the birth of modern nations by Craig Nelson.

The conditions and tumult of the 18th century in England and the America’s etc. has been an eye opener and a broadening point of reference for our own problems. Reading it I keep thinking that reaffirming and renewing the 18th centuries Enlightenment impulse might be a help to us now.

I can’t even imagine what good use they would have made of the Internet.

Below are a few quotes from the book and a related one from Bertrand Russel.

“In time, a global avant-garde of highly educated progressives dedicated to making the most of their lives through a program of self-improvement , education, communication, invention, pragmatism, natural philosophy and virtue gathered in communities of correspondence as each in turn underwent a great awakening an Enlightenment. As their intellectual and spiritual Renaissance ancestors had done, these 18th century moderns traveled across continents and oceans to meet and debate: turned conversation into an art form: strove to tolerate if not assimilate contrary opinion in a universal search for truth among cosmopolitan gentlemen “( and women)

"Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without guidance of another. Sapere Aude! (dare to know) Have the courage to use your own intelligence is therefore the motto of enlightenment"

Immanuel Kant

“It is only through a rational outlook, through a revival of liberal tentativeness and tolerance, that the world can survive.”

Bertrand Russell

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When B.H Liddell Hart was asked what one axiom had he learned from his lifetime of studying war he replied, "Bad Means never lead to Good Ends." I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

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The conflation of identity with behaviors and lifestyles is the cornerstone of all demands for LGBTQ+ rights. First, it is claimed that these identities are as immutable as pigmentation in organs of the body, and therefore require legal protection.

Furthermore it is claimed that to prohibit or discriminate against actions which inevitably emerge from LGBTQ+ identities would deny members of these groups of their right to pursue happiness.

Therefore prohibitions of, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ activities must be outlawed in all domains of the public realm: government, business, education, sports, recreation, and so on.

I believe it is essential to directly refute these claims, along the following lines:

We are not obligated to approve of the attitudes, values, behaviors, and lifestyles of people who identify as LGBTQ+.

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