Cloudy Days

 

As a preface to this piece, I would have to say that the Stormcock list, referred to below, is an internet mailing list which is populated by people who are interested in sharing informations which roy harper and themselves have initiated over the years. It exists as a conduit for people who would wish to share certain views about the world we perceive and wish to be in some ways critical of; and the way that the list is maintained offers no particular person on the list any advantage over any other. In that sense, I think that all of us who are aware of this list feel that it’s ultimately a very democratic organ.

I have many fellow travellers on the Stormcock list and I hold many of them dear. I don’t get to read the list as often as I should, and I miss quite a lot. I would suspect that there are a few of us loosely attached to this list who are in that bag. This is a list which generally tries to embrace a broad consensus, but which has a solid core of realists somewhere in its heart. Occasionally there are murmerings which are not concentric, but in the main they only serve to remind us about what kind of a luxury it is to belong to such a generally straightforward virtual gathering. That having been recognised, I would wish to inform this gathering of the way I feel about its most recent choice for debate. The weight of email to me and to the list on this one has made a response by me a seeming imperative. So I’ll introduce the following onto the scales.. Re-the black cloud of islam.. a song of mine written in 1989….

I let my guard slip. I knew that I’d let it slip. I wanted it to slip. I was absolutely sick of being politically correct. I am not politically correct, I never have been.. and I never hope to be. I’d been navigating through an obstacle course for thirty years. My guard slipped.. and I needed it to. I was livid. I was absolutely overcome by feelings of despair. My worst fears were coming true. Religion was gaining ground. The one collective trait among humans that I’d long held at arms length, with the deepest possible suspicion, superstition; was outrunning anything that I could personally throw into its warped path.

Religion, my first and only enemy, was about to storm the world. About to take over whole swathes of fragile humanity. Again. I absolutely detested the thought. I wanted to die on the spot. All of my life’s work was in tatters. I knew that I would never see the end of it in my own lifetime. The great validation of the far-fetched hypothetical. I knew that every sportsman or woman who charged onto the field of competition whilst crossing themselves in the christian manner added to mass acceptance of unfeasible belief. I was overcome with anger…. and I was determined to let it show. It’s still as ripe in me today as it was in 1990. I would still do the same thing. I may even take it further. That religion could come to dominate our lifestyles after we’d given so much of our thinking lives to its ultimate unravelling was seriously depressing for me. I felt it physically.. deep deep down in my gut. I read my own backlash.. and I read it correctly. I knew in my sad heart that this issue was going to dominate the media for the rest of my life. I was devastated. All that I’d ever fought for was virtually in ruins…. and I reacted badly.

I was red-carded by a lot of my 1990 following. They seemed to have left in substantial numbers, but I was singularly unrepentant. I was ready to put my fist through a concrete wall. I kicked over the traces.. and I told myself that I didn’t give a shit. And in truth, I gave less than a shit about what people thought. I wasn’t interested in being correct, and I’m still not. The lunatics have hold of the world now, and passive subservience to them is almost complete. In terms of critical mass, it probably only requires 20% of the population to be fundamentalist anything, and they virtually have control. It would take an incredibly focused and totally disenchanted majority to oppose that. It would be a full time job on the part of any general population to completely kick that into touch. Everybody just goes along with it. Keeps their noses clean and hopes that there are no unexpected knocks on the door. Not so deep down I was determined to spit in the faces of these fundamentalists. And that determination continues. I’m not throwing any rattles out of the pram.. just suppositions I cannot even begin to have any time for. There is no time for that kind of bullshit.

OK, as a citizen of the world.. you can say that it’s perhaps for the best that you accept the mores of your political adversaries, because, in the end, you would hope to give your ideas a peaceful breath of life with diplomacy; but diplomacy cannot even hope to come to any sort of terms with armed superstition. This has never been possible in the history of the human world. The christians who died under torture 1800 years ago eventually used the weapon of martyrdom, with all its attendant horror, which eventually so undermined the morality of the ruling class that that same ruling class folded, buckled, and became one of the first recorded historical guilt ridden moral majorities on the planet. That same christian movement is still living on that success. Inquisition or no Inquisition. A success gained in an age when travel and information was slow, when a powerful message could only be aurally transferred as fast as a hundred people could walk 20 miles. At the time it would have been capable of travelling at about a hundred miles a day, but that would have been its maximum speed. In the event, it travelled at about ten miles a year on average…. which meant that eventually a growing weight of guilt and moral mass opinion handed a resounding victory to the martyrs. It was easy for Constantine, who had unified the Roman Empire the year before, to state at The Council of Nicaea in 325 that ‘christ and god were of the same substance’. Nicaea was the first christian council. They were able to make it up as they were going along after that. The holy sepulchre in Jerusalem was conveniently ‘discovered’ just three years later, in 328. About 300 years after the alleged event. Wonders never cease, they just collide. So, it’s eventually going to be finally proved that christ has it over mohammed… or the other way round.. as the very dotty archbishop of c’nterbury declares that we’re all weird for not believing in weird stuff.

Which again reminds me that there is one crucial wonder which has to be accepted before you can come off the substitutes bench, touch the grass on the field of play, and cross yourself in the christian manner. You will have to accept the so-called ‘resurrection’. Now I’ve wondered about a whole lot of iffy stuff in my short life, but this one must surely rank as number one on the list of the impossible. But this is exactly the reaction I’m supposed to have. It’s got to be either blind acceptance to the detriment of all known evidence, or ostracism from the gibbering inner sanctum of western society. And I’ll accept that ostracism without hesitation, thanks very much. To accept the lie is to be accepted onto the ladder of promotion….. but what of promotion without accepting the lie? Well, you have to become a national or international institution of the order of David Attenborough to accomplish that. Would Shakespeare now receive some sort of honour in 2006? Well now, that might depend upon how close to Dylan Thomas he would appear to be.. and in any case, the fourth estate would have torn him apart in about 1985 for being a hippy revisionist romantic. The fourth estate are a truly sarcastic and ugly self-levelling mechanism, almost stalinist in their desire to control the thought processes of the mass of the population. To be unwilling to accept the lie leaves you prone to the savage dogs of the fourth estate, and literally outside the club. Like I say, for as long as the club is being orchestrated by goons like Max Clifford and King Rupert, you can count me out.

These days there would seem to be more people who are unwilling to go along with the lie, but a lot of that is due to people now being polarised, and feeling that they have to ‘out’ themselves, either in favour of some kind of mass market statement like having a winged ‘angel’ tattooed on the back of their necks, or by publicly declaring that they are personally resistant to the trappings of obvious fallacy, or leastways, to questionable tidings. ‘The Good News’ is now 2000 years old, and it’s not so good any more.. in fact, it’s nothing short of divisive. The average joe is now being polarised by continuous and bloody death on the street, and by the thought that it’s probably going to get a lot closer to home on a more frequent basis. People who at one time wouldn’t have thought that much about religion are now confronted with having to think about it because it now involves personal issues like.. where DO you travel to, and where DON’T you travel to. Having to make a choice about whether you believe or you don’t has been difficult for many. How much d’you want to rock the boat? What will Grandma say? And exactly the same forces are at work within Islam. After all, it’s virtually the same religion, with the same so-called ‘prophets’.

Islam doesn’t yet have a modern interpretation. A real Martin Luther or a Martin Luther King. At least, not one the west would immediately recognise. You could say that the ‘modernisers’ are Bin Laden and Al Zaquawi, but they both want to step back into the dark ages. Forward isn’t in the ‘al Qaeda’ handbook. Most of the Arab states are generally fifteenth century in their disposition. They’re now scrambling, but are still virtually tribal. Their leaders had probably hoped that the 19th century was just a passing phase, a blip in the normal transmission of draconian values. The 20th century eventually took them by complete surprise. They were completely unready for the rapidity of the great majority of social changes which had been occurring in the west for at least 100 years. Actually, they were almost completely unaware of them. Time had stood still for so long…. Perhaps it should stand still forever. Perhaps the blueprints for the hydrogen car are completely inappropriate. Maybe the desert wins in any case. Perhaps disease can be totally halted by despotic control of former ‘private life’. Perhaps the Bimiyan Bhuddas were an annoying reminder of a more thoughtful and less draconian style of control which wasn’t going to get the job done. Perhaps perceived by the Taliban as something like pinko twit ‘new labour’ crossed with the pastel turquoise of ‘new wave dave con chameleon’.

Liberal democracy, a political system which allegedly allows its adherents the broadest choice of leaders and philosophies, has not yet become a way of life which has gained any real comprehension within the great mass of arab people. There are simmerings.. and great social upheavals are in the advent, but they have yet to come together to form a cohesive mass effecting the fabric of superstitious society. And before that’s likely to happen secular China will have pulled religion into another context. But before I dare to tread further down that little cul-de-sac, I have to say that the Chinese christians number in millions, and so do the Chinese muslims, so that taking your eye off the ball in that country could quite easily result in the second coming of the messiah in his underpants… yeah verily.. and that’s about the strength of it.. A really bad joke that gets worse every time it’s told. Rock on Armageddon.. Hang on a tick.. isn’t that supposed to be the day that christ and the devil get together with a slide rule to discover whose genitalia make it into the hall of fame? Or some such profanity.

Meanwhile, I’m still there/here. Caught in this absolutely dreadful place where common sense is completely devalued. And there’s nothing that I can do to alter my circumstances other than to get as far away from the fart-hot centre of this religious catastrophe as I can. Do I want to insult religion, in my deepest heart of hearts? Yes I do. I can quite easily forgive its passive manifestations, its fearful adherents and its gentler interpreters, but they’re pulling us all back. I really need to be able to feel considerably more freedom than that. I needed to bust the shackles of the ancient regime just as soon as I recognised what those oppressive feelings in my early life were really all about. To be required to believe in something you increasingly think of as irrational is a great and increasing burden.

V. Gordon Childe may have been politically pigeonholed to the right of centre as an historian, but his learning and interpretations have always been an important source of historical opinion for me. In his very important little book, written in the year I was born and entitled ‘What Happened In History’ he says, quote, ‘On the one hand, the body of Classical theory and Hellenistic technology was preserved in a state of suspended animation at Byzantium and Alexandria in the sterilising atmosphere of a theocratic state. It began to revive in the more tolerant atmosphere of Sassanian Iran (The University of Jundishapur 530-580), and then under the Khalifs of Baghdad (750-900), when the temporal conquests of Islam, realising again the unity of a large area of the inhabited world, re-created an era of peace and prosperity. Before the old internal contradictions had destroyed the prosperity and disrupted the polity of the Arab world, before ‘the establishment of the Orthodox Faith in about 1106 sealed forever the fate of independent research in Islam’, the bloodstream of the old body, enriched with new experiences digested by the Arabs, was being transfused into a new vessel in Europe through the Moorish provinces of Spain and Sicily.

On the other hand, the barbarian hordes in Europe had not massacred all clerks, priests, craftsmen and merchants….’ etc. After a few decades of taking in that sort of info, re-enforced by other referenced literature, you begin to understand that a virtual iron curtain fell over the whole of Arab rationale in about 1106, when common sense was thrown to the dogs in favour of a completely dogmatic view of life. In my view, this is the precise point at which a black cloud fell over a seriously large portion of the then ‘civilised’ humans. In my own way, I’ve tried to illuminate the point at which it seems to be quite obvious that the southern and eastern half of the known temporal world lost it’s marbles to draconian practices and finally to a book of dreams. I contend that the black cloud of Islam fell upon millions of people exactly 900 years ago, and hasn’t been raised again since. What a great and signal tragedy that is. That such random circumstances should now have evolved that one half of the world cannot speak to the other, except in terms of hostility, is a travesty of unique proportions. It has nothing at all to do with racism or prejudice.. much more to do with blind stupidity and an unwillingness on both parts to recognise each others contribution to humanity, regardless of any anachronistic doctrine on either side. To feed into the ridiculous fears and fantasies of this on either side is to have unreasonable expectations of human intelligence. That is…. UNREASONABLE.

Just for the book, the black cloud of christianity probably fell 600 years earlier, during times that were perhaps less sustainable than 1106 Arabia.. what with the great Roman Empire totally overstretched economically and the emergence of vast hordes of perceived ‘uncivilised’ beginning to mount invasions. 325 isn’t that far away from the total implosion several decades later when Rome was first split into two empires, east and west, and then quickly fell into the shadows of history. From this position, in about 406, all that survived was a decaying infrastructure and a lately established religion. It’s about a thousand years from there to the embryonic rumblings of the renaissance, and about 1100 until Leonardo da Vinci paints The Last Supper and Hieronymus Bosch paints Christ Crowned With Thorns, both surely acts of sacrilege only a hundred years earlier. So, let’s see where we are on some sort of comparative Muslim calendar. Well well, it would seem that a thousand years on from the descent of the great black cloud, we would be expecting some kind of stirrings in the Arab world in appreciation of the great creative intelligence that existed there before the great darkness came. Perhaps Osama and company are an ‘Inquisition’ kind of reactionary thing which also existed 1000 years+ after the fall of Rome. Perhaps the first great muslim artist of an eastern renaissance is about to throw a different light on the whole caboodle of how we appreciate the great mutable. Personally, I will greet him/her with great enthusiasm.

Finally, I will never let go of my position. That wouldn’t be possible. Besides, it’s now written here in black and white. Perhaps, initially…. or at least four or five hundred years ago, it might have been predicted that these quasi-political schisms and all of their probable manifestations, these different renderings of how ruling classes deal with burgeoning subject populations, would eventually lead to a stand-off between two not so radically different interpretations of the same philosophy, but you would have to contend that it was already far too late to avoid confrontation even a hundred years ago. Why didn’t the wisest among us see and understand that fact a hundred and fifty years ago? When the great egalitarian brit empire was in full swing. There must have been those who forsaw this clash. Or was everyone just too bigoted and blinded by the usual thoughts of infinite and indefinite power? With passively arrogant superiority complexes perhaps. Could we all have been that blind? Back then. With the Thugees of the Sepia Mutiny on the street? Can we still afford to be? Perhaps they all thought that they could control and contain this encounter within military empire. But even if they’d read Xenophon’s Anabasis (The Persian Expedition,) which tells the story of a 2,400 year old pyrrhic victory fought in the territory modern Iran now occupies, they would surely have realised that a billion soldiers on one battlefield is a tad excessive. Almost comical, actually. ..that any thought of any kind of victory would be laughable. It’s as simple as that.

But as any raw recruit knows, one of the first things you learn as part of the military establishment is, quote,.. “You’re not here to think, boy.” They may tell you that, in the modern age, this has had to change… but that’ll be the day. It used to be true that ‘you ought to be more frightened of your own commander than you are of your enemy.’ Perhaps this has changed with the advent of ‘democracy’, but you wouldn’t want to test it in any renewal of conscripted trench warfare. The American Empire is under threat, and rightly so, because it hasn’t properly taken care of business in the same way that the Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Persian, Ottoman, Mongol, Brit or any other empire couldn’t. Mainly because it’s unable to. As quoted above, continuous ‘internal contradictions will destroy the prosperity and disrupt the polity’ of any large body of people simply because that body becomes naturally so ungainly, and in fact, contrary, and in the end, unable to maintain its place in the vanguard of human culture quite simply because that vanguard is always driven by modernity, and consequently is always ephemeral. And religious empires are no different. You can try to maintain your position with cash, but all cash cows end up as desolate idolatry. And usually as poverty stricken artefacts of former perceived glories. We are people, animals with dreams. We are bound to the earth. We are part of the earth. We are not anything else. The history of our development has long begun to become really evident. It’s about time that we started to read that evidence for the benefit of all, not just for those who happen to think that they are in possession of whatever grail it is they thought they sought. This world isn’t for religious wimps, throw back scientologists or will-o’-the-wisp arrogant achievers, it’s for the very brave and very real undercurrent who are only interested in passing the facts down the line in good faith, regardless of the scorn, ridicule and suspicion they endure, and regardless of an increasing danger they face from religious fanatics and generally deteriorating weather. Like I say in the song, I’ve expected a bullet through the guitar for many years now, but I’ve had a great time presenting the world as I see it to the world that cant. It’s been full of wine, women, song and dance…

We used to go around in groups where we absolutely had to help each other in order to survive.. Now we exist in such numbers that we no longer have any concern at all about any particular person’s personal survival. We are now abstract people. Some of us get invaded by others, become terrorised by minorities, get our throats cut on tv, but most of us, because of our sheer numbers on the planet, only have to face the one-in-half a billion chance that it’ll be us on the end of the knife. The occasional Ken Bigley happens, but he was caught swimming so far outside of the shoal that he almost deserved it. Right? Which only serves to illustrate this point. That there is now a world-wide movement which exists on many fronts, which is trying to reduce the thinking humans to a virtual secret society; a movement which is engaged in trying to write into law that it’s unethical not to believe in something which will always be completely beyond proof. That it’s unethical not to believe in fantasy. That if you profess to be unable to suspend reality in favour of fiction, then you are unworthy, and beyond redemption. It almost manifests itself as ‘the proletariat will take its revenge’ on anyone who isn’t in some way proactively superstitious. And it could be you.

We really do have to throw this particular baby out with the bath water. Fundamental disbelief in due scientific process threatens all our lives now. Freethinking humanity is seriously threatened by the lunatic worker ants of the resurrection. We always had a healthy belief/investment in pragmatism. That’s surely where the bow and arrow came from, not from a place beyond recognition, as any kind of imagined afterlife ‘heaven’ certainly is. In my own opinion, heaven exists right here. The earth is not heaven if you’re the victim of any kind of slavery, but if you’ve somehow managed to become a free-minded positive spirit, you live in heaven. The essence of heaven is the manner in which you lead your life. Heaven only exists in your own perception and humble deference to the almost incredible mosaic of living contributions to the planet’s breath of life. We are only a small part of that mosaic. We may not be here long enough to have eventually taken a bigger role for the simple reason that we have exploded so quickly that if the present curve continues we can only be subject to the complete devastation that an explosion creates. And any control over that explosion was lost with the institution and autocratic progress of the city state, well over 3000 years ago. Once that particular institution had been realised, the invention of the combustion engine and the nuclear power plant and all sorts of consequences were absolutely inevitable. Animal liberation faces the Egon Ronay juggernaut. Laughable.

Creationism is muck, and where there’s muck there’s brass, as they say in Yorkshire. You can easily believe in dirt. It’s served up daily in the news sheets. Suffice to say that a soap star can be publicly castigated for speaking lines she only read. Refused service in retail outlets and generally treated as actual squelchy pavement dirt. And so it is with the world. Mohammed refused to give credit to miracles, or similar supernatural bullshit in his lifetime, so did Gautama the Buddha. But after their deaths, their followers seemed absolutely obliged to create endless opportunities to deify them. Like they needed to extend the lives of their heroes, and, by association, their own.

The followers of christ probably autosuggested the resurrection to themselves as an act of devotion to a bright spark and good all round geezer who was cut down in his late youth by the orthodoxy of the time in Jerusalem. It was already too late, but nobody alive was really aware of what their tempers were really leading them into. They couldn’t have been. Although Aristotle and others had hinted at it, it was just a bit too early to be able to take the full eco-picture on board. (Like, slow down, you’re gonna rock the boat till it sinks… which realisation didn’t arrive until it became more than obvious that there were billions of apes on the planet who were in fact heavily armed, and funded by unimaginable amounts of collateral, and were in no mood to even consider each other’s points of view, never mind come to any kind of an agreement.)(Though I still have to have faith in the concept of The United Nations.)

Coincidentally, but not entirely unrelatedly, the bible comes from an era that hadn’t yet thought that the world was flat…. never mind round. To quote Childe again, ‘..the hellenistic astronomers boldly set out to measure the earth by strictly scientific methods. From observations on the sun’s altitude at the summer solstice made respectively at Syene (Aswan) on the Tropic of Cancer and at Alexandria, Eratosthenes (director of the museum from 240 to 200 [bc]) calculated the globe’s circumference at 252,000 stades, probably 24,662 miles, and if so, only 4% out!’ I thought I remembered reading once that at about a century later than this, Hipparchus, another Greek astronomer, deduced that the moon’s distance was between 67 and 78 times the earth’s radius. It’s between the two at 239,000 miles. (The original story that I seem to remember reading ages ago was that he verified that the earth was round by sticking poles in the ground at Alexandria and at the base of the Nile, and measuring, (and comparing) the length of the shadows on the solstice. Now that I’ve gone back and had a look, it seems that it wasn’t as simple as that. (The theory at the time, which had been built up by a combination of Plato, Aristotle, Hipparchus and others, and finally laid down by Ptolomy in the Roman era, was that the earth was the centre of the universe. A familiar and excusable error). More exact info on all of these scientific means obviously continues to be gathered together in many virtual places as the internet continues to develop into the universal earth educational supplement. e.g. http://astrosun2.astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses//astro201/hipparchus.htm

Unfortunately, these things were being discovered at about the same time that the old testament was being literally cast in stone! In consequence, this science, which was much more difficult to understand for the average patriarch or dictator, was temporarily consigned to the dustbin of history by the ‘Fox News’ of its day, ‘The One God’ channel. A much simpler view of life, absolutely guaranteed to appeal to Mrs Mop. The eventual renaissance of the knowledge that the earth was, in fact, round, would have to wait for another 1600 years or so until Copernicus (1473-1543) did the research, in his spare time, and re-informed us of that fact that yes, the earth can be proved to be round, and also that it spins, and hey, it revolves around the sun… The great Galileo (1564-1642) was placed under house arrest for the last years of his life by the Inquisition for agreeing with the Copernican theory. People were burned alive for far less. So much for the church. (They’d conveniently forgotten all about the possible implications of the Magellan expedition of the early 1520s which had circumnavigated the globe. Or maybe they thought that it was just modern youth coming on a bit too strong… actually come to think about it, ‘possible implications’ were completely out of fashion at the time.)

Hindsight, of course, is a wondrous thing. In biblical terms, it was a bit too early to be shooting your mouth off about any concept of the whole world. The known world wasn’t the smaller place it now is. How on earth could they have known that there was so much more to know? So what did they do in the meantime? They just made it up. They invented the far flung future/past to suit the cut of their own cloth. They were completely unaware of the fact that gradually collected evidence would steadily build a picture of its own. An irrefutable snapshot of the the world as it really is/was…. backed up by growing amounts of evidence, evidence, and evidence. The slow but sure path of the eventual evidential. The absolutely undeniable.

After that, if we get to the far flung future, there will still be the final mutterings of the ancient world, the dregs of the undercurrent, traces of the archaeology of religious abstraction, but they will eventually be contained within ghettos deep in the distant subconscious. It wouldn’t be criminal to retain them in some small measure, because, after all, they will be representative of the archaeological record of human mentality, but to believe in bullshit is to be insane and to believe in religious bullshit stretches that point a bit further. Stark raving mad wouldn’t seem to be the right set of adjectives to use, but as a phrase, it wouldn’t seem to be too far off the mark.

This week, some kind of justice was done. A jury of Americans decided not to put a deranged Algerian to death for something he obviously didn’t do. For the Americans, that is a giant step in the right direction, and I would like to extend my thanks to those 12 people, who were obviously under huge amounts of pressure to to put someone, anyone, to death for the 9/11 outrage. It’s a big step forward. It’s a step which takes note of worlds outside their own, of a better understanding of what it’s possible to do if you actually consider the actual facts. The feeble president was seen shortly after the verdict to be hugely disappointed. Homo Densiensis could clearly be seen across the brow of Tone’s best mate.

Meanwhile, back on the hill here, royboy just stares at the horizon in-between planting trees in his own private little park, trying to rehearse for life and scribbling from his doodle brain. He’s got 12 fish in the pond now. He’s starting to name them. One of them’s called Osama, and another he calls Darth. There are a few other names up for grabs. He’s not decided yet whether it’s the giant gold one that should be called god, or whether that title should be reserved for one of next years tadpoles. (He didn’t have the time to go out and find the spawn this year)! He did meet a potential terrorist once, but that man wasn’t middle eastern, he was an Irish proddy from the north country far who wanted to cut royboy’s throat. Not for not believing, just for being a probable peacenik, and a possible republican sympathiser and an obvious target. And that was in a bar.. in New York. As I remember, it was a cloudy day… To all intents and purposes, we might all still be living in 1106. The clouds might not look that different than they did in 1106, but we’re a lot more aware of them right now, or perhaps more aware of something about the probable development of their composition, or something. Actually, I’m developing my own brand of pet clouds.. One of them’s called… … actually the builders have just arrived at this point.. we’re replacing part of the roof. It’s been there since the famine. Getting rid of the bucket under the drip in the west wing has finally become paramount. It gets really black some days.. and it pours in. There are buckets, pans and jars all over the place. The water rhythm orchestra….

roy harper. First week of May 2006. Revised 3rd week of May 2006

(The Stormcock mailing list mentioned above has progressed into the all new interactive ‘Stormcock’ web site. An internet community set up for fans of both Roy Harper and his son Nick Harper including facilities like blogs, forums and chat rooms. Maintained by Paul Davison. Check it out:  http://www.stormcock.net)

PS. I wrote the above at the beginning of May 2006 over two or three nights at the qwerty. The daytimes have been extremely busy building stuff outside. In the event, it was written in too much haste. When I returned to it a week after it went into the Diary archive, I was horrified by the number of technical errors and spellos my onboard editor had let me get away with. It was often sloppy in it’s grammar and sometimes lazy with the corroboration of some of it’s philosophical points which I felt were true enough, but only if you’d studied the same kinds of things I had with the same or similar means. This put an onus on me to try to better qualify some of the thoughts contained within this essay. I felt that there wasn’t enough qualification demonstrated for things that I’d entered which could otherwise have been construed as hypotheses, and so I’ve attempted to further qualify these passages with additional information. It’s extremely difficult for me to know when or whether I’ve lost you because I’ve got too technical or too convoluted with explanations of my understanding of events.. or whether that’s absolutely irrelevant because, finally, the integrity of the intention to present evidence is much more important. Possibly, on my next visit to the diary I should attempt to examine what makes a sizeable percentage of people become religious enough to almost entirely suspend reality, and what the hell the possibilities are for the rest of us in coming to terms with this kind of fate.

Philosophically I’m slightly happier with this entry now anyway. And I have to let it go now. It’s the kind of thing that I should have spent a couple of years on, never mind a couple of days, but I guess that I haven’t got the time to be away from my trees and my almost total immersion in Arcadia. When you’ve lived as simply and for as many centuries as I have, the only position you have is your own, in Arcadia…. Blimey! I’d better do some rehearsal… Crap! I need an editor…

Copyright 2006 Roy Harper

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