Dharma Bums

A sixteen-year old kid from a south Bucks village walked into High Wycombe library one rainy October day after school had ended, picked out a book by the spine from the fiction shelf and read

dharma bums front page

and he understood something – that life existed beyond his valley and beyond the school walls and beyond cleaning the floor at Woolworths and beyond anything that his parents or teachers or betters had ever led him to believe was out there; he understood that he would be heading out into that world just as soon as the opportunity arose, and so after just a few more months of enduring the drudgery of riding buses into town and walking up a mile-long hill to an institution where they beat him if he refused to be coerced into believing all the bullshit that he was being fed, he told them all to F-off, donned his afghan coat and flares, emptied his little wooden locker in the green-painted corridor of its exercise books and a hand-me-down geometry set in a its faux-leather case, walked through the gates, looked down the hill one last time, and entered that life.

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

dharma bums title page

Bookwank No.1 : Being & Nothingness

By far the most indecipherable book I have ever read (except perhaps for the Old Testament, and I have also read that book from start to finish) would be ‘Being and Nothingness’ by Jean-Paul Sartre. Talk about being largely incomprehensible! I defy anyone to make full sense out of it.DSC_0326 Some passages work, like those concerning good and bad faith, but mostly the text just snakes and winds until it disappears inside itself and loses the reader entirely. I am not even going to bother reproducing examples since they would only bore the blog-reader to distraction, suffice to say that only if you are absolutely sure concerning your ‘thing-in-itself’ and its attendant ‘facticity’ is there any chance of you taking the thousand hours or so required to follow the author’s mangled brainwork. – And this coming from the guy who has attempted to elucidate his ‘Key of Love’ theory throughout much of his work i.e. me.

Having gone to so much effort in forming his convoluted sentences, JPS reaches the conclusion: “I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.”

Bon chance!

You may discover the antidote for any residual twentieth century ennui below:

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

all has been written

When there’s nothing to say, all has been said

When there’s nothing to hear, all has been heard

When there’s nothing to smell, all has been smelled

When there’s nothing to taste, all has been tasted

When there’s nothing to touch, all has been touched

 

When there’s nothing to offer, all has been offered

When there’s nothing to sow, all has been sown

When there’s nothing to grow, all has been grown

When there’s nothing to know, all has been known

When there’s nothing to show, all has been shown

 

When there’s nothing to undo, all has been undone

When there’s nothing to think, all has been thought

When there’s nothing to consider, all has been considered

When there’s nothing to forgive, all has been forgiven

When there’s nothing to write, …

                                                                                 Glyn Ridgley (2019)

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

‘BEAUTIFUL DAYS’

It was her idea, I think. Certainly, she had broken in with her friend, Kirsty, the year before. It may have been mine. Turin Brakes were playing and I wanted to see them because they’re pretty much my favourite band these days. So we probably just tacitly agreed it was the right thing to do.

We drove up to the village nearest the festival site and walked up the lane to meet Kirsty. After that, I was led by them through cornfields and woods, over barbed wire and past NO ENTRY signs until we reached the periphery, where the guards awaited. Commando-style, we slithered past them, up a bank to an unsigned path and, following the line of the metal fence, an opening allowed us to walk into the festival proper.

Whereupon, a couple of their friends met us and we headed for the stage area.

‘Beautiful Days’ was started by The Levellers – a Crusty band with all the right credentials concerning land freedom and the right to roam etc – and the festival at some point must have seemed to them wholly right on.

By the time I got there it felt rather like Stalag Luft 2017.

A prison camp.

I’m not joking.

I wish I was.

The whole site was ring-fenced and managed by security guards.

Get that!

A music festival supposedly dedicated to freedom circumnavigated by wire and guards.

– Makes me think of the 1970 Isle of Wight debacle when the promoters came up with idea of putting up a fence and charging a generation of festival-goers money for something – music – they believed could be made available at no charge. As indeed it was, by my big favourite philosophically-speaking band Hawkwind, who set up outside the walls and played for free.

Why not?

As a matter of fact, I was at the last free Glastonbury festival (where Hawkwind also played, god bless ‘em) and which now also has its own current-day ethos, and which I also didn’t much enjoy paying to attend whenever it was I last went. By now, it’s ridiculously large, of course. I’d loved to have seen the Rolling Stones – as an historical event – but can’t imagine even they cut through its vast undetermined vastness as a performing act. Better seeing them on video, since that’s probably how you viewed the gig anyhow. –

So where was I …?

Oh, yes, breaking into the Beautiful Days festival grounds.

Right, okay, to the point.

Each of the bands had an allotted hour-long space to perform. Including Turin Brakes.

Which is to say, totally managed and prohibiting freedom of musical invention, so that it reminded me of telly, where your performance is equally micro-managed. No soul able to reach out over the turf from a usually great live band. Sob!

Paid over the odds for some rubbish faux-West Indian rice dish (and got ripped off with the change!)

And then escaping the festival site back through the wire-fencing and security guards took more effort than actually getting in.

When I got back to my vehicle, the steering was unbelievably heavy and I realised that the Power Assisted Steering (PAS) had given up.

Somehow this seemed an appropriate metaphor for the entire escapade.

In short, don’t trust Crusties or anybody else that preaches peoplehood and freedom.

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

That doesn’t stop me recommending the band.

turinb
Turin Brakes

 

First book I ever neglected to take back to the library

The media were telling us the Russians were to be feared. I never believed their scaremongering.

DSC_0311

This novel by Solzhenitsyn – who proved to be one, if not the best, novelists of the second half of the twentieth century – helped put a clearer perspective of what was happening in Soviet society, which was not very different to what we are experiencing in so-called Western democracies right now.

I know, because later I went there to find out for myself – was present at the time of its collapse, and have written about it in:

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

Why I write

This extract from the Facebook page of Mani Ridgley shows how the reality of people’s suffering may be artistically represented through words accompanied by a few visual images.

Even amongst the wild beauty of rural Guatemala, the magnificence of La Ceiba has captivated human imagination for thousands of years. It was the tree of life for ancient Maya, their axis mundi that connected earthly beings with the spiritual realms. Its mystical significance has been passed down through generations of Maya, preserved in narratives that emphasise profound affinities between all elements in the natural world.

Today, these sacred trees stand in the heartlands of extractive capitalism, rooted in the plantations of rich landowners of European descent. The privatisation of land swept Guatemala during the late-1800s coffee boom when the state sold swathes of traditionally Maya territory to wealthy immigrants, many German and British, for coffee production.

Attempts at land redistribution in the 1950s by a democratically elected government were thwarted by a CIA-backed military coup. Today, 65% of land is owned by 2.5% of commercial producers.

The Ceiba trees pictured above stand tall within a vast palm oil plantation in the Polochic Valley. Out of fear or respect for local Maya, plantation owners often leave Ceiba trees standing whilst decimating the surrounding ecosystem.

These palm plantations notoriously suck water away from local villages whilst wrecking the natural equilibrium that once evolved in harmony with indigenous groups. Ironically, private property signs dotted around the plantations remind the local Maya to care for their environment.

The signs also prohibit the impoverished locals from hunting or fishing. To feed their families, they are dependent on employment from the plantation owners. Those ‘lucky’ enough to have a full-time job work 50 hours a week for a minimal wage. In a month, Guatemala will hold national elections, but there is little optimism that government will effect change. Exploiting land and people is common sense for Guatemalan elites.

The future of our planet may depend upon the ancestral Maya understanding of humans being in nature, but for now, at least, it is business as usual.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=mani%20ridgley&epa=SEARCH_BOX

Below is a wonderful presentation regarding the fact that suffering is a universal condition of the human race until such time as it is realised that the answer to our quandary lies in our own hands.

The Master Within–Roland Brisson, FRC

This is why I write.

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

 

 

 

LOVE (explained)

This post is an addition to the earlier LOVE post to try and clarify a few points regarding the Key of LOVE and how its deeper meaning may be revealed to the enquirer.

Arguably, like a Rorschach test, it reveals as much about the observer as it does about the universe. After all, one cannot immediately transcend one’s own understanding (except at certain key moments along the way). It takes time and effort to analyse certain circumstances – especially when they are encountered for the first time – and the internal powers of comprehension often judder, even grind to a halt, when an original paradigm is presented in an unusual form.

A common misunderstanding about the KoL arises when someone remarks that it is only applicable to the English language, since the word ‘love’ is written differently in other languages. The ‘written’ point is important. Not only is the word a different one, but quite possibly so will be the alphabet (if there is one, since some other symbol may be used, for example the Chinese pictogram 愛). प्यार is the Hindi, and любовь is the same word written in Russian.

But, letters are of course symbols more than anything else, more so even than whole words.

So, L may stand for other things, like 100 as a Roman numeral, or it could stand for ‘litre’ or so forth.

That is the first thing: LOVE is a symbol of the entire universe, in this instance.

Next, there is nothing new in having a word stand in for a whole different concept of meaning.

Actually, a word like ‘love’ has many different and nuanced meanings even in common discourse.

Let’s look at Gematria, the system used to elucidate further and more profound meaning from words written in the Greek and Hebrew alphabets. Dating from Babylonian times, letters are ascribed numbers and when these numbers are put together they take on a particular meaning, with correlating number systems then being associated with other words and sentences. LOVE in Jewish Gematria comes out as 775, a number which correlates with the phrase Holy Father of All. But that’s only one example and has no actual bearing on any understanding imbued by the Key of Love. It is simply to show how people sometimes invent meaning.

Another aspect of gaining deeper understanding through alphabetic symbols is demonstrated in the study of Kabbala, where Hebrew letters create increasingly profound layers of meaning and comprehension. Because in this system Hebrew is considered to be a sacred language a great many rabbinical exegeses have been compiled concerning the words and sentences that go to make up the Jewish religious texts. Again, this manner of trying to gain deeper comprehension [of God, in their ancient realisation] is not directly applicable to the KoL because there is no religious purpose associated with LOVE here. Only mystical reasoning.

However, the Key of Love may be viewed as a kind of condensed cabbalistic diagram greatly distilled from the seraphic Tree of Life.

And many people are familiar with the figure of Christ being referred to the ‘Alpha and Omega’ – which is to say the Α and Ω.

Also, there is a lot of playfulness incorporated in the Key of Love, along with the notion of using the letters as pictograms. Understanding doesn’t have to be dour and tedious; plus the idea of suffering may be particularly enhanced in the Jesus Christ figure and experience of the last two thousand years, and may not be so applicable to other eras and cultures. Think Krishna – a precursor to the Christ – and his joy of life as he wanders through ancient India playing his pipe, dancing and generally having a great time with all the gopis who find him so attractive.krishna

So, L is in E (which is to say, the Logos is found – or manifests – in Earth). This is true, and is truly profound because it means that on earth it is possible to comprehend the very origin of existence. Look again at the written statement and you can see clearly that L is indeed found (contained) in the letter E. Just remove the top two cross-hatches.

Similarly L is in V…just tilt the letter L…and see!

Just as E contains all three levels: spiritual, mental, material, again with its cross-hatches interlinked with the vertical… Which may be compared to the human spine and from there the seven chakras and the raising of the kundalini which is itself both a material, mental and material manifestation of mystical enlightenment…

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

The Soul Knows

The soul, after sufficient incarnations, begins to understand the reason for its cyclic return to the earthly realm and in preparation for its next conscious life considers where the best possible opportunities for development and learning will occur – and chooses accordingly.

Sometimes it’s not obvious and only extended periods of contemplation and meditation bring about this wakening.

So that in my twenties I was trying to work out what it was about being born and raised in south Bucks that could make my present – and, now I know – final incarnation occur in this region. There is more to say about this, but for now…

aylesbury-vale

I mean, there’s nothing obviously remarkable about the area whatsoever.

Maybe…

But then again –

John Hampden – after whom my abhorrent secondary school was named – was an English Civil War hero, on the side of the Parliamentarians against Charles I, born in Great Hampden, a village where my nan used to walk to, after hitching up with my Bucks born grandad, from her house in Widmer End to work in a big property there. Maybe one of John Hampden’s descendants. Times change, after all.

Our little family often went to Hampden woods on Sunday afternoons for a picnic on the grass beside the beeches, where we’d play badminton and take long walks amongst the trees and honey-suckle.

We’ve got the best music-makers in Bucks, otherwise known as – birds!

To walk through a summer meadow in the hot Bucks sunshine and listen to a skylark singing three-hundred feet up in the air is to be transcended into another realm, as Percy Bysshe Shelley discovered…

Waking or asleep

Thou of death must deem

Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,

Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

… while trudging through Bucks farmland on the edge of some woods on a freezing cold sleety day in winter and hearing the cawing of the crows is to experience an inner desolation you would hardly think imaginable. Such is Bucks music. Along with the silences.

Poet and political writer, John Milton, was also a staunch Parliamentarian during the Civil War and, in particular, a real champion concerning FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Anne and I visited the cottage where he lived one rainy afternoon a couple of years ago when I wasn’t feeling too good because of blocked Chi energy resulting from an enervating lifestyle and subsequent iron overload in my liver (after stopping at the Roald Dahl museum in Great Missenden High St, above which we had lived for a while when it had been a shop). Milton’s Paradise Lost is probably the best known poetic composition in the entire English language canon.

All the more odd then, that for as long as I’ve known the area it has always voted in the blue anti-proletarian Tory Party.

Actually, conservatism and affluence generally go hand in hand, it seems.

If I head north from Naphill Common towards High Wycombe I pass through Benjamin Disraeli’s old pile in Hughgenden – the Manor, NT owned, where I worked on a ridiculous government-funded Manpower scheme for the unemployed back in the eighties – now rebranded to reflect its use by the UK Air Ministry during WW2 (and in whose grounds stands St Michael’s and All Saints church where my mum’s funeral service was held at the start of this year); if I go in the other direction, walking through Lord Dashwood’s property and more NT land, then I quickly come upon Strike Command – previously Bomber Command from where Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet (no less) launched the RAF’s campaign against German civilians during the same war, most notoriously in Dresden. st lawrenceGo east through the woods down to the dene and pretty soon there is Flowers Bottom where my great-aunt Ishbel – daughter of the UK’s first Labour PM Ramsay MacDonald – ran the Plow Inn with my great-uncle Norman before his death; while going westerly leads eventually to the start of the Vale of Aylesbury road, West Wycombe village with its Hellfire caves and up to St Lawrence church with its golden ball atop the spire, and an amazing view of the Chiltern Hundreds.

Stanley Spencer and his Cookham paintings depicting the Resurrection are nearby; not to mention the notorious Eric Gill up at Piggot’s Hill where my grandad worked in the pigsty, and his forbears sawed logs in the local forest after gravitating from Stokenchurch/Radnage/West Wycombe, and where our family reunion takes place every year now. In the woods hangs a carving of the crucified Christ made in Gill’s workshop there.gill christ

Right now there’s a plaque recovered from the local museum hung on the exterior wall of the old Methodist church building at the bottom of the slope where an annual commemoration concerning old Uncle Charlie from Bryants Bottom in the dene below is to become an annual event.

Our family is making its mark in the area once again. In favour of yet more war imperialism, now twenty-first century British-style, unfortunately. The exaltation of a dead man in the shade of a dead empire might appear somewhat necrophilic to some.

When my mum used to take me in with her occasionally to her job in Beaconsfield we’d drive past Enid Blyton’s old place and I’d always look out for hobgoblins, elves and the like prancing on the large front garden. Didn’t see them often, though.

Or, at least, not often enough.

Another house we drove past belonged to Karl Popper, the philosopher of science and my favourite writer from the twentieth-century, but I didn’t realise he was living and working there at the time; I was more interested in the pond where we’d skate when it froze over in the wintertime, or the strangely hollowed-out trees that we’d climb in summer. Not to mention John Ives’ bike shop along the connecting road.

Bicycles and trees and the overhead sky were – and still are – big parts of my life, as the various injuries, scars and memories testify to the present day.

My home village dates back at least to Anglo-Saxon times and has the meaning of ‘hazel by the pond’ – Hazlemere.

Trees, water, sky, bird-song, agriculture, philosophy, art, politics, war, peace, mysticism – FREEDOM TO THINK, is what the Bucks area immediately conjures up for me.

When I ran out of puff and grey matter in London in my twenties – a casualty of post-punk excesses – south Bucks and its woods was the place I turned to for my complete rehabilitation.

Over the undulating Chiltern Hills covered in ancient beech forest and under the big Vale of Aylesbury skies I walked and wrote and pondered – inspired by the names and places mentioned above. While doing so I saw a whole world emerging in my mind, one of common people living out their lives in dignity and freedom and mystical union…which had to be arranged on paper so that others could share in this vision also.

Until, at last, I had all the ideas put in order…and further…in one joyous upsurge felt the innermost whole of the harmonious universe mingle and merge finally as one full-on spout of experience inside the centre of my being before exploding out again to encompass existence in its love-filled entirety…

chiltern-hills

All under a south Bucks sky.

So, for me at least, my beloved tree-concealed corner of this 13-billion year old universe residing in south Bucks…is, obviously, special.

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world

LOVE

Love is the force emanating from eternity which creates the entire universe.

We can show how this force is in fact all universal reality thus:

L

0

V

E

If we then add

R

It can be revealed how perfect knowledge of the universe is possible to the human being.

L is the Logos – or origination – which contains the essential seed of everything and from which all being grows and develops.

O is the symbol for eternity out of which all being is originally created and back into which all being must return.

V is the vortex – vortices – which form all the different possible facets from mind to mineral inherent in the Logos.

E is this Earth where all the vortices of the universe are manifested or can be known within the limits of extended human perception.

R is the Reflector, the purified human being which reflects the entire cosmos contained within the key of LOVE, inwardly and outwardly.

It is important to know that the universe loves you and cares for your being: that all existence is based on love, that the universal consciousness exists prior to the earth (see above), that the universal consciousness responds to thoughts and acts of love, that the universe cannot carry or reproduce harmful thoughts or acts that may be produced by any individual mind or minds (which are retained by the self-same minds and processed through the law of Karma).

At any time of the day – although on waking or before sleeping is best – meditate and send out thoughts of love to those you already love, associates, perceived enemies, and abstractedly: start with your own circle and gradually spread these thoughts to encompass the whole world. You will quickly see the beneficial results, as will the rest of the world through evolution.

By returning thoughts of love to the universal mind you are setting up a positive feedback loop that will grow in power, developing creative thoughts and attracting beneficent outcomes to your actions; not only will you be changing yourself, but your thinking will be changing earthly conditions within the universe for the good.

This is something the Roerich family understood when they set up their institute halfway up the Kullu Valley in the Himalayas.

Their ideas and beliefs will be explored in a further post, as will those held by others.

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available from Amazon and bookstores around the world