Saturday, June 25, 2005

Another Message From Beyond

Went out today to find the fence in front of the chateau had been snipped. So ended a relatively peaceful couple of months (as you would have noticed from my lack of postings). We’ve been working away, getting books ready for publication, organising a conference at a local university that the Doctor was involved with, and setting up a few other projects for the future.

So, was someone trying to case out the joint as they say in the detective novels? Not very likely. A few meters away is a gate that can be opened by anyone wishing to enter. Why would a prospective thief leave a calling card? Unless they were as stupid as this guy.

No. It’s a message, a warning, that the folks that loosened the car nuts and video’d the Writer in the market are still keeping us in their sights. And it came a few days after a court case for defamation against the Writer and the Doctor was heard. We’ve noticed a connection between other incidents with the person accused of defamation and the incidents above.

He is the former landlord.

One of these days I’ll have to tell you that story.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

One Bad Apple

One bad apple spoils the bunch.

There is a profound truth in this old saying. It is easier to destroy than to create, and it takes but one destroyer to undo the work of hundreds or thousands of well-meaning, good-intentioned builders. Not very good odds for the builders. And one of the hardest things to grasp is that there are people whose essence it is to destroy, and those whose being is aligned with Creation cannot grasp the person who seeks to tear down, or who only wishes to build on his or her own terms, which amounts to the same thing because true creation is a dance that cannot be controlled. Creation within a group canot be dictated. Each person must be able to follow the music in his or her own way. From this dance, the partners match up naturally, forming groups of colinear individuals whose spontaneous acts of creation build one upon the other and create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Or so it works here in the château.

But one person who is not co-linear will destroy the relations among the others. It may not be done consciously, but that one person blocks the flow of energy. Or it can be conscious, in which case everyone must be extremely careful, attentive, aware. The psychopath, and in Washington and other world capitals at the moment we have far too many of them for anyone’s health, has no empathy, no ability to put himself in someone else’s shoes. If someone is hurt, his reaction is that they should just ‘get over it’. If thousands of workers must be laid off to ensure profits, ‘get over it’.

The excellent new film, The Corporation, shows us that the organisation that forms the core of our economic life has the symtoms of a psychopath. Robert Hare has shown that psychopaths rise naturally to the head of our business, legal, and political structures. They have no qualms about doing whatever is necessary to reach the top, and, then, no qualms about doing whatever is necessary to increase profits for the shareholders at the expense of the people who make up the organisation. The people working there exist only to fulfil the demands of the portfolios of the stockholders.

We live in a society where the standards are set by psychopaths. We must adopt the traits of the psychopath to succeed. The existence of psychopaths and their dominance means that there is no way out of the problem. Far too few people are even aware that it is a problem. Psychopathy remains something we see in films. But the smart psychopaths don’t get caught. They don’t end up in the prison system. They are as charming as they are cunning.

When Hare did a study of brain scans of psychopaths, his article was refused publication because the editors said the scans could not have been human; they looked like they were from apes.

In a very profound sense, they are not human. Yet they walk, talk, dress, and live among us, with the rights and duties of humans, unable to fulfill them.

And when we look at the world, we see the result of their work.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Another Guest

There are many people the world over who feel that the Writer’s books and writings on the web have changed their lives. She gets emails from them recounting their life stories in great detail. In fact, she is flooded with these stories. I know because it comes to the Watchers so that the Writer isn't innundated and has time to work.

Many are politely thankful and leave it at that.

Others begin recounting the various and numerous bizarre experiences they have had in their lives, and of those, a large number interpret these events as meaning that they are somehow special, chosen, and destined to play some great role in the near future.

Sure. And for a euro-thirty the café in town will give you an expresso.

They may believe that the explanations given by the Writer in her work for the experiences they have lived make the Writer their surrogate sister and mother. It is as if she can see into their souls. If they understood that in a mechanical world made up of mechanical beings, and that the mechanical actions of the Matrix attempting to encourage us in our illusions about ourselves are nothing special, they might interpret the Writer’s books differently.

Although the Writer has chronicled the very strange character of our world, the kinds of things that are not fit to print in the New York Times, she believes that these events are important only to the extent that they illustrate that things happen in our world that mainstream science cannot explain. The people to whom these events occur, rather than considering themselves the Chosen of our Space Brothers of some such, would be better to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. These are the realms where the Seeker can get lost in maya, illusion. A couple of years ago, one such correspondent wrote about an experience he had at his home. He was working late at night when he heard a noise outside. The backdoor was open, with only the screen door closed. He looked up to see a strange pink creature staring at him through the screen. He flipped – as I certainly would – and then ran out the other door, jumped into his car, and sped off to his girlfriend’s house. What never occured to him was that these strange experiences began at the same time as the new girlfriend appeared in his life. If anything, the appearances of these creatures from who knows where were a sign that he had entered into some strange territory, territory he have been best to vacate by splitting with the new woman in his life. The woman, however, was a hot number whose hold over the guy was strictly fixed in a motor centre highly charged with energy from his sexual centre.

Certain death, at least for his soul, if it were to continue.

And it did.

We recently had another such visitor. An Internet correspondent for over a year, he came to show his appreciation for the Writer’s work. He spent three days talking about himself, responding “Of course” every time the Writer tried to point out something that might shake him awake to his own self-importance. His “Of course” meant “I know it all”. His cup was full and there was no room for anything new.

He wanted to talk about the strange things that kept happening to him. No matter how many times we let on that these bizarre happenings were designed to make him feel special and that he should ignore them, he couldn’t shake it. No matter how many times he agreed that he wasn’t special, you could feel he didn’t really believe it. Deep down that little voice was screaming “I am too special!!!”

As much as I would love to tell you some striking details of his experiences, I must admit I wasn’t listening all that carefully. Something about finding a message on a bench in a metro station that seemed to be intended for him, a message that mysteriously disappeared within 24 hours while the other graffiti on the bench remained. He was transfixed by this event, an event that had occured several years prior and of which he had been unable to let go.

He wanted to know what it meant. He had to find out what it meant. He came to us for answers.

The Writer sugggested that maybe he would never know, that he should put it on the shelf and maybe later, after he had done more work, he would figure it out. Maybe he would never figure it out. Maybe it wasn’t necessary to figure it out.

But he couldn’t let go.

“Of course,” came the response as the visitor continued on with his story, completely missing the point of the Writer’s words.

After he departed, we were left with the question “How exactly did this guy think he was showing us his appreciation for our work?” By allowing us to bask in his presence for three days?

At least we got him to chop some wood and till the garden.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lead into Gold

The Alchemist came by this morning with a group of his students. The five cars filed up the driveway and parked. We went out to greet them. It was the first encounter with his students, a varied group of people from their twenties to their seventies. We shook hands, introduced ourselves and invited them in. The Alchemist began unloading his equipment from the boot of his car: gloves, tongs, furnace, crucible, propane tank and rubber tubes, all the modern accoutrements of a 21st century Philosopher.

We carried the material into the kitchen. The Alchemist and his apprentice began installing the furnace in our fireplace, a 16th century fixture that is the oldest part of the house. It is large enough to roast a sheep. We were there to see if it was adequate for turning lead into gold.

The furnace set into place, the propane tank and its two jets fixed and placed into the holes on the side of the furnace, the Alchemist lit the gas and two intense flames began shooting into the furnace. The crucible was passed around for inspection before it was lowered into place between the flames with the tongs.

Onto the kitchen table, he placed a candle, a vial of mercury and a piece of lead cut from a lead pipe. The pipe was brought in as exhibit A and placed next to them on the table. From his pocket, he brought out another vial of a reddish material. The Philosopher’s Stone.

Onto a pyrex plate the Alchemist began shaving off slices of wax from the candle. When he had a good pile, we placed the plate onto the stove and melted it down. When the wax was malleable, he began mixing half of the Stone into the wax, forming a ball. Everything was ready.

Were we feeling the same excitement as had the participants under similar circumstances a little more than 80 years before when the famous Fulcanelli had performed the Great Work before a select audience in Paris?

With his students grouped around him, as well as the members of our little tribe, his apprentice lifted the top off of the crucible with the tongs. In went the lead, followed quickly by the mixture of wax and Philosopher’s Stone. The top was put back on the crucible and the top part of the furnace was gently set into place. A large cloud of smoke rose from the concoction like the smoke in a magic act and the top of the furnace was removed. We went outside to escape the fumes.

And so it cooked for several minutes as we enjoyed the early spring sun shining down upon us outdoors. After a certain time, the Alchemist returned to look into the crucible to see the state of his creation. It needed more time. We chatted and enjoyed the sun’s rays. Another check at the furnace, and the Alchemist annouced the deed was done. His assistant lifted the crucible out of the furnace and poured the contents into a mould held by the Alchemist. A small piece of solid material appeared among the ashes in the mould.

After it cooled, the material was picked out and circulated around the kitchen. It was about the same size as the original piece of lead. However, the silver appearance was gone. It had a golden appearance. Someone broke the piece in two so that we could see the interior. Gold through and through.

The Alchemist began the second transmutation, the mercury. Once more the wax was softened and the Stone was mixed in to form a small ball. The mercury was poured into the crucible, the ball was dropped in afterwards. Covers were put into place and the cloud of smoke reappeared. The cloud became even larger as the top was taken off the furnace. The Alchemist ushered everyone back out into the sunlight as the fumes of the mercury were toxic. Once more we waited. The furnace was hotter this time around so we had less time to wait. Once more the Alchemist went back inside to check his furnace.

Once more the contents of the crucible were poured into the mould. Once more we saw the golden sheen from among the ashes of the Stone.

Had we just seen two base metals transmuted into gold? Were we privy to one of the secrets of the ages?

Of course not. Such things are the hallucinations of madmen. The Skeptics Dictionary informs us in words unopen to question or appeal:

Alchemists may have tried out their ideas by devising experiments, but they never separated their methods from the supernatural, the magickal, and the superstitious. Perhaps that is why alchemy is still popular, even though it has accomplished practically nothing of lasting value. Alchemists never transmuted metals, never found a panacea, and never discovered the fountain of youth.

So obviously, the substance in our kitchen could not have been gold.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

DDOS Attack

Today's attack came in the form of a denial of service attack on our server through our IP address. Everyone in the world could get to our site except us. Cute.

As a great man once said: "Coincidence? We think not."

Never a dull moment....

Monday, February 28, 2005

US-inspired "Soft Revolution" for Lebanon?

A new tactic of US imperialism is to promote "peaceful" regime change inspired by the work of Gene Sharp, a specialist in non-violent political change and the author of many books on the subject including studies of Gandhi. Financing a series of phoney "grass roots" organisations in the targeted countries that are fronts for money from the USAID/NED, "spontaneous" demonstrators take to the streets, logistics bought and paid for by US dollars (tents, food, blankets, etc). It worked in Georgia. It worked in the Ukraine.

Is this what is now happening in Lebanon?

The assassination of al Hariri was clearly the work of a foreign state, with the best bet being Israel. Syria, who is being branded as the guilty party throughout the US media with no evidence (where have we seen that happen before?), had no reason to commit international suicide in this way. That the bombing in Beirut has been followed by another "suicide bomb" in Tel Aviv, once again being blamed by the Israelis on Syria and just in time to scuttle the new round of "peace talks", is too convenient and stretches the credulity of even the most jaded observer.

How can Israel get away with this time and again?

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Watching the World

When the Writer is safely hidden away in her office where the Doctor can keep his eye on her, which is most of the time, Watcher Two, Watcher Three, and I watch the internet news. We spend many hours a day browsing from site to site to keep our eye on events down here on the blue and green ball, to try and see the world as it is, unhampered by our own preconceptions and prejudices. This attempt at seeing the world as it is is our primary esoteric work.

We have been doing it now day in and day out for nearly two years. Every day of the week, fifty-two weeks a year. It is a curious crucible. It can be mind-numbing as well as invigorating, provoking rage as well as incredulity. All in all, it is a chance for us to watch ourselves while we watch the news. How am I reacting today? Is it an effort to stare down the same bloodthirsty acts, the same stupidity on the part of the Christian Right in the US, the same horror as yet another ten year old Palestinian child is butchered by an Israeli soldier who will not only go free but will be patted on the back for a job well done by his superiors with a sly wink as they watch yet another report on the US news that carefully explains that the IDF will investigate and that it was most assuredly “just an accident”.

That is what I see when I watch the world. When I watch myself, is it any better? Do parts of me wink at each other as I become complacent? As I forget that one's mind cannot be trusted?

I notice that I operate in waves. There are periods when I feel up for it, when I have something to say, a new relationship to draw between disparate elements, when as nonsensical as it all is from any sane person’s perspective I am able to see the real sense behind it. At other moments, it is a Sisyphian task to put together a series of articles even with no commentary whatsoever -- because we produce a daily news site that brings metaphyics and esoterica to the world news, that is, we are looking for the underlying energy dynamic that is pushing the planet to its destruction. And here, please note, I am not speaking of a Christian-type “end of the world”, but rather the end of what we would know as modern life. There may once have been a chance for a different outcome, for the happy ending, but I don’t think it is possible any longer. The world is beset by too much ignorance as we are all the while convinced that we are the sharpest thing on two legs. We even think we may be alone in the universe, the pinnacle of God's creation! If there are an infinite forms between the smallest object and Man, why should there not also be an infinite number of forms between Man and God?

What guarantees that we are anywhere near the top?

As I look out on the world, I see a train without brakes hurtling out of control down the mountain side and towards the valley. There are too many hair-pin turns to think that the train will make it safely to the flatlands.

When it finally goes over the precipice, it is not the whole world that will go with it, only the club cars, the dining cars, the engine and the baggage, but take out the major sources of energy, transportation, and food production and put large portions of the globe under snow and ice, and you’re looking at something that in a few hundred years might well come down to our descendents in story and myth as something resembling the “end of the world”. But we fool ourselves into thinking that somehow we have evolved beyond that possibility, that with all of our technical prowess, it is an impossibility that we could kill ourselves off, or at least a large portion of the planet’s population, and destroy the technological underpinnings of our modern life.

But didn’t humanity feel that way in June 1914. And after the Great War was over, didn’t Europeans believe that it could never happen again? For sixty years the wars have been fought elsewhere, as in, not in our backyard, but fought we have for all the same wrong reasons our ancestors fought. Are we so different from our grandparents or great grandparents? Have two or three generations really been enough time to permit us to evolve into something new, something less aggressive, self-interested, and emotionally dominated?

Let's put it differently: Is there any society on the face of the planet that is not motivated by the three basic desires of fear, food, and sex?

Gurdjieff said the following about evolution:
“This is the basis of the correct view of human evolution. There is no compulsory, mechanical evolution. Evolution is the result of conscious struggle. Nature does not need this evolution; it does not want it and struggles against it. Evolution can be necessary only to man himself when he realizes his position, realizes the possibility of changing this position, realizes that he has powers that he does not use, riches that he does not see. And, in the sense of gaining possession of these powers and riches, evolution is possible. [...]

In speaking of evolution it is necessary to understand from the outset that no mechanical evolution is possible. The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness. And ‘consciousness’ cannot evolve unconsciously. The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and ‘will’ cannot evolve involuntarily. The evolution of man is the evolution of his power of doing, and ‘doing’ cannot be the result of things which ‘happen.’

“People do not know what man is. They have to do with a very complex machine, far more complex than a railway engine, a motorcar, or an aeroplane—but they know nothing, or almost nothing, about the construction, working, or possibilities of this machine; they do not even understand its simplest functions, because they do not know the purpose of these functions. They vaguely imagine that a man should learn to control his machine, just as he has to learn to control a railway engine, a motorcar, or an aeroplane, and that incompetent handling of the human machine is just as dangerous as incompetent handling of any other complex machine. Everybody understands this in relation to an aeroplane, a motorcar, or a railway engine. But it is very rarely that anyone takes this into account in relation to man in general or to himself in particular. It is considered right and legitimate to think that nature has given men the necessary knowledge of their machine. And yet men understand that an instinctive knowledge of the machine is by no means enough. Why do they study medicine and make use of its services? Because, of course, they realize they do not know their machine. But they do not suspect that it can be known much better than science knows it; they do not suspect that then it would be possible to get quite different work out of it.”
We are machines. Right there most people will get up and storm out. They feel slighted. Their self love has been abused. They react in a mechanical way and run away. Fight or flight, very basic.

The evolution we see around us is the evolution of the machine in its natural mechanical habitat. Our cities, homes, and workplaces are built for machines, from the cars that transport us (we can no longer walk anywhere), to the computers on our desks. We come second in our own society. How can it last? How can it not all come crashing down upon us?

Meanwhile our interior life, what is left of such a thing, rots. It smells of rancid beer and the bag of half-eaten burgers on the table in front of the TV. Can we even imagine what it would be like to BE something more than a lump on the couch or the cog at the office?

Until we take a conscious decision to do things differently, nothing will change. Certainly, our environment can deteriorate. But the decision, the choice to change oneself, to master the machine, can only be taken in the depths of one’s nascent soul. The soul knows that a way out exists, even if the exact and precise character of that road remains to be discovered. But the seed of divinity within us knows that the road is there, somewhere. Sincere searching brings help.

Once we know it is possible to get on the path, we need to be convinced that we can no longer go ahead living in the old way. This is where most people hit the wall. They are not ready to give up their old lives. Things are not bad enough yet. They have not yet suffered enough, been driven beyond all reason to seek a new way of being, to look at things in an entirely new way.

And that is why the world is lost. In order for the world to awaken, it will take an amount of suffering that we have not seen here for probably thousands of years. And after the twentieth century, that is certainly saying a lot. And when that suffering comes, when people are pleading for someone to come and take that burden off of their shoulders, how many people will there be who know what to say, who know what to tell them, who know the truth? For the only answer that can help will be the truth, that truth that is staring everyone in the face today while they go about their daily lives with the illusion that they will live forever, or that, at least, this world that they are part of, this society of inhu-man, will live forever.

Fragile are the links of man with another, hard is his heart, and suffering alone is the only certain chemical of change.