I am a screenwriter, author and radical theologian. I live ‘near Cardiff’ with Ann and our ‘silver hound’ Bendigeidfran (Bran the Blessed). The quest of the fugitive stag lies at the heart of my spirituality, which can best be described as ‘shamanic’. In addition to writing,I tend my ‘sacred space’ or garden (with its shrine to the fugitive stag), walk with my dog, keep in touch with close family and friends, reads poetry and watch films.
All non-Africans share ancestry that dates back to a single tiny human population of 1,000 to 10,000 people which flourished 60,000 years ago, and exploded across Eurasia and Australia in a single sweep.
As for the native white Welsh speaking Cymro Celt from NW Wales, my own DNA link goes back to one of two daughters of a Mother who lived in what is today southern France about 20,000 years ago. I share my DNA with about 350 million Europeans ... distant cousins!
I find this paragraph mind-blowing: Outside Africa, whether you are an indigenous Australian, Amazonian native or a German burgher, fully 90-99% of your ancestry derives from a single ancestral human population pulse 60,000 years ago. Somehow, an isolated African tribe of 1,000 to 10,000 people, who became genetically homogenous due to their initial small population size, swept across Eurasia. By 50,000 years ago, they reached Australia. They had replaced the last Neanderthals and Denisovans by 40,000 years ago, if not earlier. They even migrated to North and South America 15,000 years ago.
And this one more disturbing! Because these are brand new finds, there is not yet consensus about these fossils. Some researchers want to call “Dragon Man” Homo longi (龙, pronounced lóng, being Chinese for dragon), a new human species, and assert its features mean it is more closely related to modern humans than Neanderthals. Though Chris Stringer dismisses any bias in the Chinese researchers, I can't help but discern a drive here to establish precedence for China as one of the major hearths of modern humans, perhaps a matter of external pressure from the Xi regime.*
What thou lovest well remains,
the rest is dross
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage …
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee ..
But to have done instead of not doing
this is not vanity
To have, with decency, knocked
That a Blunt should open
To have gathered from the air a live tradition
or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
This is not vanity.
Here error is all in the not done,
all in the diffidence that faltered …
from Ezra Pound’s Canto LXXXI
Ezra Pound – now there’s a contradictory, flawed individual, is ever there was one! But what a creative talent, like many giants of our literary and music world, indeed the arts in general. (I’ll return to this theme in the future). An admirer of fascism (the Italian version) and an anti-Semite. T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ (widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century) would not have seen the light of day without Ezra’s awesome editing – and that’s another story! Some would argue that he co-authored ‘Wasteland.’
Are these words from Canto 116 a sort of confession?
I have brought the great ball of crystal, who can lift it? Can you enter the great acorn of light?
but the beauty is not the madness Tho my errors and wrecks lie about me.
and I cannot make it cohere
If love be not in the house there is nothing,
The voice of famine unheard.
How came beauty against this blackness, Twice beauty under the elms –
“You cannot write the history of twentieth century literature without giving Pound a starring role,” writes Daniel Swift. Look behind any significant work of 20th Century literature, and there lurks Pound. He co-edited T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and helped e.e. Cummings develop his signature style. He mentored Ernest Hemingway and arranged for the publication of James Joyce’s work. T.E. Lawrence solicited from Pound advice on writing Seven Pillars of Wisdom; heiress-activist Nancy Cunard sparred with Pound over politics. There’s scarcely an American or British literary figure of the early 20th Century on whom Pound didn’t leave a mark.
Hated by many in the US establishment, remarkably, the Library of Congress awarded Pound the Bollingen prize for The Pisan Cantos in 1949.
The Bollingen Prize for Poetry is a literary honor bestowed on an American poet in recognition of the best book of new verse within the last two years, or for lifetime achievement. It is awarded every two years by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University.In fact it was the inaugural prize, chosen by a jury of Fellows in American Letters of the Library of Congress, to five them their full name.
The Taliban’s backwards regime was no match for the cruise missiles and B-52s of America's military colossus
Thank you Bush & Blair et al - Twenty years after the Americans and their NATO allies first arrived and raised such high hopes among many Afghans, they are now faced with the prospect of rearming and a return to the anarchy and civil war of the 1990s.
I have always borne witness …
Priests and theologians have a right to offer their opinion,
and even a ‘duty to be a warning,’ when people’s spiritual and
psychological well-being is in danger from someone
Indeed, if they aspire to follow the teaching of the
‘real Jesus’, they are under an obligation to do so.
If a priest or a preacher becomes upset, anxious and even
angry about the immorality of his or her religion, they share
the fate to soldiers, for example, during the Viet Nam war,
who felt impelled to speak out about the atrocities they had
witnessed. Many soldiers were sent to a psychiatrist who
would be expected to help them be strong enough to return to
Similarly, people defend the behaviour of their ‘God’, even
when that behaviour is evil and destructive! What’s more,
they treat such behaviour as normal, and even ethically
permissible. Some call this behaviour ‘Bible Study!”
I call such normality, a ‘malignant normality,’ a
spiritual illness, that is deeply destructive, not only to an
individual’s general well-being and spiritual health, but also to
his or her family and society as a whole.
I have always borne witness to the fact that such behaviour
is not normal. It is abnormal. (More about my stance, my
rubicon of July 2011, to come)
Sadly, many theologians and clerics have become
complicit in maintaining this ‘malignant normality’ and its
The original Zarathustra (Century7/6BC)
1 Posited the distinction between Good and Evil
2 The meaning of the world as a Moral Event.
This war between good and evil first emerged as a separation/disjunction of an archaic deity called Ahura Mazda into Vohu and Angro.
So, we see a world consisting of: 1 An ethical opposition and 2 A metaphysical opposition, between contradictory principles of existence. And thus a makeshift regime(s) of Good and Evil becomes the reality and meaning of the world.
Such a regime is neither 1 An endless Heraclitean opposition, nor 2 An alchemical marriage. What we have instead is a war of attrition, an endless battle, a focus on winning or losing.
Nietzsche has a different take on Zarathustra, creating his very antithesis: 'And thus they parted from one another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing as two boys laugh. But when Zarathustra was alone, he spoke thus to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint has not heard in his forest that God is dead!"
Led to this poem by Trakl last night as we re-called Jac’s time with us
Aeon (Georg Trakl)
An animal face in the brown green
Glows at me timidly,the bushes gleam.
In the far distance an old fountain sings
With child voices. There I listen.The wild jackdaws mock me
And all around the birches veil themselves.
I stand silent before a fire of tares
And softly images paint themselves.
On golden ground an ancient myth of love.Over the hill the clouds spread their silence.
Over the ghostly pond-mirror
Fruit beckons, glowing and heavy.
Trakl, as always, so many levels of meaning in his poems. Many an epic tale in themselves.
One year after the outbreak of a violent eruption of the subglacial volcano Katla, the peace and tranquility in the small town of Vík has been dramatically disturbed with the eruption still active. The ice near the volcano has been melting, the area has been evacuated and only a few remaining people manage to provide the necessary community service in the village, which is now only accessible by crossing the Markarfljót river. The grand area has turned out to be somewhat apocalyptic and Vík is declared a danger zone.
Mysterious elements, that have been deeply frozen into the glacier from prehistoric times, start to emerge from the melting ice with consequences no one could ever have foreseen
Folklore: a changeling is a child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents' real child in infancy.
Ditto the few theologians and Biblical scholars who are aware of the hidden agenda of the Biblical corpus. A veritable library of fake news but there's nothing fake about the dangerous ideology that crafted these stories and religious propaganda.