Tuesday, 31 May 2016

♫♪ Memories are made of this ♪♫

It has been a long while since I posted anything here.  Sometimes it is good to look back, and today I was reminded by Facebook about a post I made exactly three years ago here.  It was specifically this Meanderings post: I Need To Think About My Future.

Having read and reflected on what I said back then, I re-shared the post on Facebook today with these extra thoughts:
A memory from three years ago.  Strange to think, nothing much has changed.

My thinking has not changed.  My situation has not changed, much.  Only my location has changed.  Mostly for the better.  It has been two years since I moved home, and it has taken that long to get a garden started from scratch.  It is now operating productively, thank goodness, but still with a long way of development to go.

Oh, and I shouldn't forget, the world has also changed, and even though that change has been a continuation along the slope of decline that I observed some years ago we are now in a much more dangerous and climactic phase of civilisational collapse as we slide ever nearer to the bottom than we were even three years ago. 

There is not a lot to be joyful about, knowing that we may never again reach the heights of industry and technology that we have experienced in the last decades.  Or maybe that in itself is something to be joyful about.  But I guess that is something that only those who can remember earlier, different, times, would have the ability to appreciate or even recognise.  Those who have arrived on the scene in recent years are going to have a very hard time adjusting to the new low-technology world once everything 'hi-tech' stops working.    

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Sustainability Is So 'Noughties'

A short post, but intense in meaning and purpose.

I just read this article from The Automatic Earth today, about sustainability and resilience.  Thanks go to Ilargi once again for being a great source of good solid news and views.

Here is my take on this:

It's true.  Sustainability is so 'noughties'.  That realisation comes when you see that basically nothing is sustainable, never was, never will be. Sustainability has changed nothing. In fact it has only made things worse.

So, what's left? Resilience (no not the resilience that Resilience.org talks mainly about, they are still into looking for sustainability, or the manipulation of the future, mostly).

Real resilience is about:
  •  the learning to cope in less than perfect circumstances
  •  the strengthening of the will 
  •  the self-preparation to face the unknown
  •  the gathering of knowledge
  •  the practicing of meaningful effort
  •  the passing on of those things to others
  •  the getting ready to wade through the shit and slime and to reach the far side intact
  •  the will to carry on when everyone else has fallen
  •  the grounded-ness and fortitude to rebuild
Resilience is not about whinging, bemoaning, or ignoring, the state of things (but it is about the seeing and the declaration of where those things are heading, so that others may see). 

Resilience is not about trying to head off or divert the future into something that we would like to see, but about preparing to meet the future as it comes, knowing that you have the means, courage, knowledge, and experience to deal with whatever that future may bring.

...and that is exactly what is behind just about everything that I attempt to do, and will continue to do while I have the strength, every day that passes.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Even Gods Die

Confronting Mortality

I recently reached and passed my 70th birthday.  That is a point in time, not necessarily the first one, but certainly a defining moment to give more than a passing thought to your own physical mortality.

"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

If you have read the Bible (not that I am advocating that as a particularly useful thing to do) and you choose to believe some or all of what it says (though, if you do, I suggest that you review your reasons for doing so rather more carefully than you may have done in reaching that position of faith) of course you would be aware of that tome's declaration, Psalm 90:10, that the 70 years mentioned in the above quote is the allotted age of man.  The 'three score years and ten' for which we are led to believe that we are expected to live, and beyond which we may continue only on the basis of our own strength.  The physical 'use by' date at which our various bodily bits and pieces may be expected to start wearing out, dropping off, or disintegrating, to the detriment of our continued ability to breathe, move about, or generally operate in the relatively coordinated manner that we have been used to enjoying in earlier times, should we have been so lucky.

Whether or not the 'three score years and ten' was a valid measure of longevity at the time or in the place where this was written (or added in translation), and that seems doubtful, in the intervening years this figure has been a gross exaggeration of man's actual life expectancy.

We know from records that the figure for length of life of the average American in the mid nineteenth century was not much more than 40 years and even in the mid 20th century this was still true for many nations around the world and only the privileged residents of a dozen or so very advanced societies could claim that 70 year expectation of the Psalmist.  Things are different today of course with the rapid advances of medical science in the last century, drawing out life-spans in the low-eighties for the privileged with some even reaching a century or more, but even so there are still several African nations where people can expect only a sub-fifty year life-span.

We are intrinsically mortal beings (at least the animal part of us is and as for any other part I may attempt to discuss that later).  That realisation may come as something of a shock when confronted for the first time.  It is not part of our programming to think about such things and we generally tend to keep ourselves busy doing other things, many of them quite superfluous and unnecessary, in order to avoid that.

I can't say that I have never before considered my own death , or death in general, in fact I have read and studied quite widely on the subject in the past, but I have never worried about it or considered it to be an imminent experience for me to pass through.  In fact for some years I came to consider myself as possessing a certain immunity to the effects of ageing, having led something of a charmed, healthy and accident free life for the most part after a scare or two in my early years.  Throughout my fifties and early sixties I considered myself as having a good expectancy of living well past a hundred years, retaining full health and vitality  right to the very end and passing peacefully at the right moment in full possession of my faculties, voluntarily relinquishing the ties to my body and stepping out joyfully and expectantly to whatever came next.

That whole paradigm came crashing down quite unexpectedly (I am still trying to rebuild it) shortly after my 65th birthday, almost as if my own 'use by' date had passed, as I have explained elsewhere.  Suffice to say that I suffered a short illness as a result of a disturbance to my thyroid function which in turn disrupted my regular heartbeat into something more resembling morse-code.  An effect that has remained with me to this day, five years later.  I am no expert but I suspect that situation will, to some greater or lesser extent, have altered ie. shortened my longevity somewhat.

I am not afraid to die, having confronted that possibility every day for the last five years now.  Dying holds no great dread, nor should it.  It is part of the natural cycle of physical life.  There is a beginning.  There is a middle (supposed to be the fun part).  There is an end.  Simple.  People do it all the time.  I expect to talk more about that later.

Preparing for Death

I try not to think about dying too much but it is difficult not to do so when I begin to sweat profusely after a few minutes of even mild activity or work, and I noticeably tire rather quickly.  As a result of my condition I have to give thought to whether and/or how I tackle the sort of jobs that I would have found routine in times past.  This is not the result of age.  I am fit and strong and still reasonably flexible.

I am fully cognisant that my heart could throw up its hands and down tools at any time, leaving me with no engine to operate the body I have become accustomed to using and living in.  I am not afraid of that, in fact I factor that possibility into pretty much everything I do.  It is the reason for my choosing to live remotely, away from all of the normal support services of civilisation.  Perhaps I should explain that a little.

Some thoughts on living

Over the ages, mankind has developed certain traditions, social patterns and living habits.  They differ from nation to nation, region to region, even community to community, but by and large, people are expected to adhere to these accepted norms.

In our society, you get born, most often in a hospital, you are cared for, fed, clothed, and nourished in a family environment (let it be recognised that I am generalising here of course) until you are of an age to be educated.  You are subject to schooling for around 12 years (during which time you are taught the rudiments of literacy and nothing much else of any real value) and during that time you progress from being an infant and journey through your difficult adolescent years, a time during which your activities, behaviours, motives and moods are endlessly and minutely scrutinised for any deviation from accepted norms.  You may go to univerisity or college, but in the end, assuming you still have the capacity to do so, you are expected to become a productive member of society by entering your working years in a career or job.  The idea of this is that you will earn your keep, and use the money your labour has earned on the sort of stuff that will keep the society into which you were born as a helpless baby, to keep on growing.  You will also be expected to assist that societal growth by forming a new family unit and producing more new members just as you yourself were and you will be expected to look after them until they can fulfill their expected destiny as well.  And so on, ad infinitum.  Eventually you will grow old and cease to be productive as a worker, but you can still be useful if you have managed to save some of your earnings from work to support you through to the end of your life by continuing to buy stuff, traveling a bit, getting sick and needing medical treatment.  Spend, spend, spend, and somehow kept alive until there is not much left to spend, at which point you are allowed to die, an event which generates enormous expense for your descendents if you have not covered it yourself.

That may sound a little cynical, but it is in fact what life is all about in a modern society.  You are born to be a consumer unit.  That is how you are viewed.  Your personal details are less important to society than the means that it uses to keep tabs on you, a set of numbers such as Tax File, credit card, bank account, Medicare, health insurance, drivers licence, and many others.

There is a 'beginning' as I said earlier.  Your infancy and childhood.  You are not productive during that period but society benefits greatly from it as you generate enormous amounts of expense for your forebears.

There is a 'middle', as I also mentioned.  This is your productive phase when you generate enormous amounts of money, little of which you are able to keep for yourself and the things that you would personally like to do.  Just enough to keep you from going off the rails, hopefully.  Most of what you earn will go to the society itself, helping it to grow, either directly as taxes or indirectly as the price of purchasing consumer goods and the necessities of life, which in turn will be income for someone else to contribute from as taxes and consumption in the same way.

There is an 'end' also.  In this phase, much of your wealth and further income from savings is sucked from you, largely to prolong your life for as long as possible, ultimately leading to the generation of even more expense to adequately or even profligately deal with your remains, expense that someone, if not you yourself, has to pay for.

I am now, since I retired from work at the end of 2010, well within that final phase, the 'end' part of life.  Try as I might to ignore that fact, I know that is going to be increasingly difficult to do.

What has all of that got to do with my choosing to live remotely, away from all of the normal support services of civilisation?  Well, unless I had gone to the trouble of explaining all of that, what I am going to say next may not have made an awful lot of sense.

Some thoughts on dying

Just a little more background is necessary I think.

Over recent years I have become more aware of the dangers of reality facing mankind in what we refer to as the 21st Century.  If the reader is unsure of just what I mean by that, then a reading of some of the other posts on this blog or my other blog at Not Something Else, where many links to relevant sources may be found, may serve to illuminate the point.

With that increased awareness came responsibility.  Responsibility to do whatever I can, little though that may be, to steer my life in a direction such that I make as small an impact as I can with my limited powers and resources, on the possible outcome of global events affecting us all.

This is why, since retiring four and a half years ago, I have chosen to live as simply and cheaply as I can, consuming as little of the community's goods and services as is practicable, while educating, equipping and preparing myself for the imminent probability of those same goods and services becoming increasingly unobtainable and possibly disappearing altogether at some future stage.

A not inconsiderable part of that philosophy, which I know is difficult for many people now firmly ensconced and entwined  in the tendrils of the modern societal system to understand, is to not allow myself to become reliant on, and especially to not become dependent on, the established, formal, pharmaceutical industry based, health services of the nation.  I have no desire (that is about the most polite descriptor I can reveal for my feelings on this) to become a zombie pill popper feeding and contributing to the power of the one thing that I believe is the greatest threat to humanity at this time.  Just to be clear, I mean the Big Pharma industry not the health services, possibly unwittingly enrolled as the distributors of its nefarious wares.

Why?  Simply because with its drive to prolong life, or what passes for life under its 'slow walking death' treatments that never quite cure but often, actually always, in the end (when the bank accounts have been sufficiently sucked dry) kill.

It is partly down to the greed and avarice of the system, that I object.

It is mostly because this prolonging of the lives of the elderly beyond what would naturally occur without the support of modern medicine (and yes I know we all die eventually), is artificially inflating the total world population level.  I am fully aware that the ageing population is not biggest or even a significant contributor to the population explosion, but it doesn't help matters.

All of the foregoing explanation (reasoning is, of necessity, if it is to be reasonably understood, always a longer, more drawn out process than making a simple statement - why's and wherefores are important) serves to form the backdrop for my position as to why I choose to live remotely, away from all of the normal support services of civilisation.

It is simply that when my time comes, however it comes, I do not want to wake up from a coma, induced or not, and find myself connected to a bank of machines with tubes down my throat and effluent bags strapped to my body in something of a drug induced haze of never-neverland, being prodded and poked like a side of beef.

I would rather, given the choice, chance and a little premonitional warning, simply pack my bags, wander off into the bush, find a nice quiet peaceful place to camp and lie down restfully waiting for the moment to pass over, listening to the sounds of nature.  Thus avoiding the discomfort of laying in a hospital bed, with no rights or privacy, in a busy, noisy, thoroughly disagreeable and unnatural environment, listening to people talking about me as if I were not there.  It would also avoid a grotesquely expensive funeral.

Of course ideals are not always obtainable or offered by nature.  What if my heart fails suddenly without warning?  What if I fall asleep while driving?  What if I am seriously injured or beaten in a house invasion?  What if I fall off a ladder while cleaning my roof gutters?  None of these things nor a thousand other possibilities falls within my ideal.  Any do-gooder could find me in one of these dramas and ship me or arrange for me to be shipped off to hospital.  Well, living where I do, in most cases it is likely that any help would arrive too late to be of any real assistance (one reason, if only a small consideration, for my choice of home), and while in these situations I might suffer some real pain, discomfort and distress for a while until passing, that would be preferable in a way to suffering a hospital recovery.  If I should be found in such a situation, unconscious or comatose, I would wish it to be known that my preference would be to have it recorded that I choose a 'Do Not Resuscitate' option and the most cost effective (cardboard box burning, possibly) disposal of my remains.  

I think that about covers what I wanted to say on this.

Of Gods and Men

I have never come to terms with why humans make such a fuss about dying, nor the reasons behind preserving or honouring the burial places of ancestors, and especially not the profuse expressions of grief and anguish over the simple and natural passing of another human.  Lives cut short by circumstances I can understand the need for some grieving by loved ones, but beyond that it is a natural and expected part of living here in a body and on a planet governed by the laws of nature and physics.  In some ways, those communities that celebrate with joy and feasting the passing of a life well lived, express the most appropriate attitude toward death.

I have never been a big believer in suffering, which is probably why I adhere to no religion since that is all they seem to offer in this life.  Life is to be enjoyed, lived and expressed in whatever ways we are capable of doing.

On this world, we are gods.  We possess intellect.  We have dexterity (generally speaking).  We are able to express emotion.  We have been imbued with freedom of choice.  We are strong in body and mind (again, speaking generally).  We are creative and clever.

While we have often ceded those freedoms and abused those attributes, that is also the type of behaviour that we have come to expect of gods.  Because that is exactly the traits displayed by those that we ourselves look up to, or in the past have looked up to as gods in many instances.

Could that be because we are the prodigy of those gods?  There are many ancient tales of gods of old having intimate relations with human women, even tales of them creating us in their own image as in the Sumerian stories of the Anunnaki, linked through the god of heaven and earth, Enlil, to the now god of the three main monotheistic religions, El.  Though it was Enlil's brother Ea, now seen as the serpent for various reasons, who was described as our actual friend and creator along with the sister of both of them, Nintu (aka Ninharsag or Mami).

Whatever.  All of them and many other gods from different pantheons were known to be profligate sexual beings.

And many of these gods died, according to the stories about them.  Often they killed each other for some mal-natured reason.

Yes, even gods die.  So what have we to fear of the beyond?  I would like to delve further into that and also the non-animal part of us that I mentioned earlier, and may do so at some stage, but I think this is enough for now. 


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Living Without Money? Who'da Thunk It?

 I came across this article today on the Organic Health website: http://organichealth.co/shes-69-and-hasnt-used-money-for-15-years-and-has-never-been-happier/   It concerns a woman who for most of her life enjoyed a quite reasonable level of affluence, which 15 years ago she turned her back on, deciding to live without money for as long as she could.  She is still apparently doing that and it makes a pretty interesting story.

This story got me thinking.

At first I thought "I would like to know this woman's secret" but then I realised that no I wouldn't.  I wouldn't particularly want to do the same thing.  Not that what she has done is wrong.   It is in fact quite commendable.  What she has done for 15 years is not scrounging.  She has given of her time and effort in order to receive her daily necessities.  However, we could not all do that in a society such as we have today.

But in a different sort of society?  What then?

Eventually we will all have to live without money and that day is closer than you might think.  I will be happy to be moneyless when that day arrives and I think, having spent many hours considering such things, I am well prepared for it.  Maybe not as well prepared as I could be, but nevertheless, better equipped than most.   And I am now retired and living on a modest income.

Many people are afraid of retirement because they can see no way that they could live without an income similar to what they currently enjoy.  I, myself was not a little apprehensive about that prospect too, but I find that I can live very well on less than a quarter of my pre-retirement income.  Furthermore, the cause of the majority of my current living expenses would simply disappear when money also vanishes. 

The expenses I am referring to are transport and rent. 

I still use a motor vehicle to get around, although I also have a bike (not a working one but I do own one nonetheless).  I don't travel far now and clock up only around 8-9,000km a year and some of that is related to doing things for other people.  The rest is for food shopping or to meet my societal commitments.  Well, I won't have any societal commitments after society collapses financially and money disappears and there will not be anywhere to go buy food, other than locally based swap-meets offering locally grown surplus food.

Consequently, under those circumstances, I will not need the services of my car.  It wouldn't run anyway for long, unless I found a horse to pull it (minus engine, transmission and much of the bodywork of course.  oh, wait, isn't that a cart?).

As for rent, along with the disappearance of money and all that goes with it, and the consequent societal storm that would follow (during which I would keep a very low profile and perhaps find a convenient safe shelter until it had all blown over), quite a large proportion of the populace would have also disappeared, including most of the property owners who would have perished under the mistaken idea of defending their indefensible properties from the marrauding, starving hoards of ...zombies?...   Well, perhaps not quite that, but certainly folk not in the right state of mind to observe social niceties.  And don't forget that the police and military would quickly go home to protect their own families as soon as they realised they had stopped being paid to put themselves in harms way for a society that had now let them down and in fact no longer existed in any meaningful way.

The picture I am trying to paint here is that I believe that I, assuming I am still around after all of the rocks stop rolling, should be able to move into or onto any nice property/accomodation that may take my fancy or have the appearance or potential for being defensible and productive for the purposes of growing adequate nourishing food, without having the need to ask anyone's permission or turf out any reluctant resident.  Of course, a better alternative would be to associate with a like-minded group of some sort, if one can be found.  But, folk being folk, that path is paved with just as many pitfalls as getting along with neighbours in the old world just passed away, and most people still remaining will have been suffering a fair degree of personal trauma and may not be for a while and perhaps never, the sort of stable, reliable persons that you may wish for as companions.  If you saw someone come sauntering down the road, openly talking to themselves, you would be best advised to remain hidden until they had gone by, instead of jumping out at the sight of another human and hugging them joyfully.  If you did that, your joy may not be long enduring, and at the least you may have saddled yourself with another harmless but useless mouth to feed.  Those times will not be the right time to practice lovingkindness or other forms of altruistic endeavour.

Since I am already used to living alone, with only occasional personal encounters with others, I think I would initially at least unless by force of circumstance try to make it on my own for a while and wait for the right companions to make an appearance at the right time.

So, for me, the lack or unavailability of currency in any form will not, all things being equal, be a problem.  Furthermore, anyone for whom it would have been a problem, largely people even partially dependent on services provided by the old system that had just crashed, would no longer be around to buy those services even if they could somehow be restored.

The only remaining necessity of life, with accommodation taken care of and the need for transport nullified, would be food and water.  I greatly pity any of the remaining population who would wish to continue consuming meat as part of their diet.  Unless of course they were formerly trained in or had practice in the field of butchery and/or animal husbandry/hunting.  I think most survivors would readily turn to edible produce that is either grown in the ground or on trees/shrubs.  That will suit me just fine and while I am no expert I do have some practice and already know many of the mistakes that can be made in that area.

I might even be persuaded to take up eating meat again myself in those circumstances.  Never again though would animals need to be industrially farmed, which is one of my current objections to the consumption of meat, but not the only one by any means.  I think it should be borne in mind that anyone who survives this period of upheaval will need to quickly learn to kill animals anyway out of necessity not to be eaten or at least potentially fatally harmed by them.  Consider the number of stray dogs, formerly pets, who would pack together to hunt anything that moved.  For a long time, until the problem was overcome, I think it would be a case of kill or be killed.  Who else is going to look after you?  And there could be worse predators than dogs.  Including human ones.       

Have any readers of this ever considered these things?  Maybe you should.  At least a little bit.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Have You Been Here Before?

Featuring today an article that is both interesting and well worth a read: http://naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/4-signs-that-this-isnt-your-first-life-on-earth/

I personally believe in reincarnation but, like all belief systems, that is all that it is, a belief. We can never know (can never remember) for sure while living here, and should view with distrust anyone who tries to tell us otherwise or who claims to know they have been someone of importance or prominence in a previous life. That particular fantasy is merely a natural human tendency to gain a degree of ascendancy over others.

I haven't quite yet been able to mesh this belief with my other pet belief in the ancient records of a race of alien gods who genetically created us in their own image, based on existing bipedal planetary stock, as a servant or 'worker' race, a servitude that we have never really shaken off even though it has become quite apparent now that there are no longer any 'gods' around to lord it over us. But I don't hold that meshing of ideas, or lack of, as being of particular importance at this stage.

I don't believe in young souls and old souls as is mentioned and believed by some. I do believe that all souls are on their own personal trajectory of development, not necessarily and perhaps nothing to do with growth or betterment or advancement, which seems to be the goal or ideal of many. That smacks of competition and of gaining position or grade through virtue and effort. Such ideas have no place at all in my view of things, which tends to be more along the lines that we are all flowing through an eternal process, picking up things, traits, ideas here and there, to no apparent purpose as far as I can see, but to participate in and enjoy the journey, through whatever our lot is at any given point along the course or cycle or whatever it is.

If reincarnation means anything, then it means that we are all part of a spiritual oneness (spiritual because that is essentially what we are, not the solid or flabby creature that faces us in the mirror every day, and oneness because we are not capable of self-existence outside of everything else) and therefore were either brought into being at the same time or more likely we all have always existed and always will exist. Not as the person that we are now, or with the relationships with others that we hold so dear (or not) in this life. I don't consider the people we are now nor the people that we know now will be at all recognisable to us or have any special meaning to us in any other life. That would make a mockery of the whole point of reincarnation. But there is a special something, some inextinguishable part of us that carries on to other times and places in and in-between physical lifetimes.

Some people believe that we spend most of our experience in a physical body on a sort of cyclic wheel of life until we are fit to get off that cycle. I don't see it that way. I also do not necessarily agree with the Rosicrucian cyclic idea that claims that we spend a period of something like a thousand years between physical existences, absorbing the lessons of the previous and preparing for the next by setting goals and choosing parents. Neither of those regimented schemes satisfactorily explain the path or purpose of existence for me personally. But I would like to know just what does go on 'in-between' and how many lifetimes each of us may have experienced.

I read somewhere that someone has calculated that in all of human history there have been something like 150 billion separate human lives. I have no way of knowing how accurate that figure may be, but if we take it as a starting point for calculation, how many of those lives were mine, or yours?

There are some 7+ billion of us alive right now. In another 40 years or so there could be 14 billion simultaneously living humans, god help us if it ever comes to that. So, 7 billion now plus however many there are in the state of in-between, and let us suggest that there could never be more than 14 billion simultaneous lives ever, as a point of conjecture. So, on average, dividing 14 into 150, it seems that we may (with the parameters as stated) each have experienced a maximum of 11 different physical lifetimes, so far, over the span of human history.

Talking about the span of human history, if we tentatively take that to be a period of from a high of 2 million years to a low of 250,000 years as claimed by the Anunaki theorists of the alien god creators and meshing in well with the archeological history of homo sapiens, there has been an average mean time between lifetimes of somewhere between 182,000 down to 23,000 years. Neither of those period limits fit in well with either of the main cyclic theories of existence but, as I implied earlier, ancient knowledge carries no more validity than insights we may gain from what has been revealed through discovery in modern times up to today, and no-one knows anything about these things for sure.

It could be said though that as the human population grew from something in the order of 1 billion people to 7 billion over only the last two hundred years or so, that as more bodies became available, more of us could have reincarnated at any point in recent time, with the effect that the majority of those 11 personal lifetimes (as calculated) could have been enacted over the last two hundred years. They would have to have been mostly short lifetimes for that to be true, but when you consider the many millions of ourselves we have collectively killed through warfare and other means over that most recent period, a great many lives have indeed been on the short side.

 Oh, I think I may have accidentally discovered a thought linking between the reincarnation theory and the alien god theory in the previous two paragraphs.  What if our reincarnations only started since the time of homo sapiens 250,000 years ago, which links in with the mythic history of the alien gods getting fed up with doing all of the work themselves and deciding to make a 'worker' race, which turned out to be homo sapiens, us?  That is a positive link if it should turn out to be true.

There's something to think about.  But remember, it is only conjecture.  Don't be taken in by what seems to be bullshit to you.  But if this all seems too hard to think about, maybe you have spent too much time partying in this and previous lifetimes.  It seems that way of life is one of the possible choices that is open to us, until we are ready to move on but, given that life is precious, wouldn't it be considered a total waste to spend it partying?

Friday, 28 November 2014


  Christmas-Schmismas.     I'm over it already.

  Bah humbug! 

Sickened by the crass, pointless, mad consumerist spendathon that it is, I don't intend spending anything on it.

Well, actually I have already bought a Christmas pudding, but that is because I like Christmas pudding and this is the only time of year you can get it.   But that is it.  No more.

Well, actually I may buy a carton of Brandy Custard to go with my pudding because I like that too.  And it is my only annual indulgence in dairy milk products.  But that really is it.  Nothing else.   I mean it.

So, because Yuletide in the southern hemisphere is in June and we are coming up to the Pagan festival of Litha (The Summer Solstice), here is an alternative seasonal wish for all my Meanderings Blogspot friends, followers, stalkers and casual readers:

  Wishing you a Blessed Litha.  
  May the Light always shine on your way.  

Friday, 21 November 2014

Not Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life", But Mine

I have often asked myself, in fact this is something that I continually do, and any readers of my various writings may have asked the same thing, of me or perhaps even of themselves, "Why do I do the things that I do, which separate, differentiate and individuate me from everyone else?".

Why do I take the trouble to step outside of the norm and express views that I consider to be important but which are not the type of thing prevalently expressed or even widely considered in the day-to-day society in which we live?

Why do I choose to take opposing stands to what is expounded to be the true version of events by supposedly expert and influential opinion?

Why do I even open myself to ridicule and criticism by trying to get people to see that the world that they/we know and are reasonably, to a greater or lesser extent, comfortable with and have expectations that this same world will continue in much the same way purely for our convenience for as long as we would like it to do that, at some not too far off point cease to match our expectations?

Why don't I just keep on planting and gardening, simply enjoying life and ignoring what I see as going on around me?  And if I see a future where life will become difficult, dangerous, and very likely deadly, with little prospect of continuing comfort and ease through technology, economic prosperity and their accompanying conveniences, why don't I either end it all for myself personally (you know what I mean, without actually saying it) or join the inevitable rise of lawless mayhem that is coming and go out with a grand bang of looting, rape, brutality and slaughter for as long as it lasts?

I am not alone in considering these things by any means, but it does take someone not too caught up in past tradition or the glamour (in the sense of blinded by illusion) of the rightness, entitlement and inevitability of and to a modern, civilised, cosseted and hugely privileged beyond any previous moment in history, way of life, in order to see it clearly enough to be able to stand outside of it for a moment and actually look at it dispassionately and objectively.

Such thoughts were recently raised in a comment to John Michael Greer's (I keep wanting to call him John-Michael Howson but that, while it creates an interesting mental image, would not do at all) Archdruid Report blog.  The commenter opined, and I paraphrase here, that with the coming devastation that many expect and others don't even want to consider, why bother going on, since a life without technological innovation and scientific discovery would not be worth living?

JMG, the Archdruid (yes, he is a real Archdruid, if such expressions of authority and learning have any actual value, but he is a quite learned and well read person), based his latest post on explaining a few things around this conjecture and the interplay of factual and value judgements.  A good job he did of it too, if I may say, with the inclusion of quite a number of interesting or provocative thoughts, to the extent that I recommend having a read of it here: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/facts-values-and-dark-beer.html .   

I just want to highlight a particular quote from that blog post since it also sums up pretty accurately the way I think.  It was also the inspiration for this, my present post on Meanderings.  JMG said:

"As for me—well, all things considered, I find that being alive beats the stuffing out of the alternative, and that’s true even though I live in a troubled age in which scientific and technological progress show every sign of grinding to a halt in the near future, and in which warfare, injustice, famine, pestilence, and the collapse of widely held beliefs are matters of common experience. The notion that life has to justify itself to me seems, if I may be frank, faintly silly, and so does the comparable claim that I have to justify my existence to it, or to anyone else. Here I am; I did not make the world; quite the contrary, the world made me, and put me in the irreducibly personal situation in which I find myself. Given that I’m here, where and when I happen to be, there are any number of things that I can choose to do, or not do; and it so happens that one of the things I choose to do is to prepare, and help others prepare, for the long decline of industrial civilization and the coming of the dark age that will follow it."