Jottings from Jodhpur

60 today and I’m thinking of my Devon home.

Since my mother died over Christmas plans had to be altered and instead of enjoying a comfortable condo, learning Portuguese and looking forward to the start of Carnival with our daughter in Rio de Janeiro, we are staying in budget accommodation in dry and dusty Rajasthan with its heavily populated and polluted cities, which is playing havoc with my lung infection.

Come late spring/early summer I can receive medical attention and rest up in my lovely house.

Ah, such bliss!

Funnily enough, 40 years ago I was also in Rajasthan – only back then all the cars, scooters, motorcycles and tuk-tuks weren’t fouling up the city streets. At the end of this trail of eight cities we will have some time birdwatching at a wildlife sanctuary in the north-east of the state.

Then we can resume our original plan of heading to the foothills of the Himalayas and visiting the Indian/Russian cultural centre set up by the Roerich family – Rosicrucians – 100 years ago and still active today.

In preparation for this stage of the trip I’ve been reading some books published by the Agni Yoga people relating to their mystical understanding and unfolding of world events.

It would seem that the Hindu era of Kali Yuga is more or less at an end, while the Satya Yuga is being ushered in. Put simply, truth and goodness based on an increased sense of spirituality within the evolved human consciousness will take the place of a debased and materialist approach to humanity’s relationship with the universe; meaning peace instead of war, love instead of division, and shared prosperity in place of selfish acquisition.

Just think: no more national exceptionalism and perverted striving for planetary destruction, no more invasions of peaceful communities, no more abuse of the Earth’s eco-system for material profit!

That is our projected future. And it is coming so long as people are prepared to share their desire for a harmonious existence on this globe alongside the rest of humanity.

Sometimes you get the feeling that you are just caught up in all that is happening around you.

Actually, with regards the death of my mother and her funeral, you will often find as you look back over your life many important matters came to a natural end or were terminated in the fifty days or so leading up to your birthday. This is in accordance with the seven-period cycle that makes up your natal year and has an effect over each intervening twelve months. Of course, each of us has free choice, but like the external seasons which may affect our decisions, so do the different fifty-two day periods influence our personal outcomes.

I am looking forward to the first period of this cycle as I hope some added vitality which always occurs during this interval will aid me in making the most of my remaining time spent travelling before settling down back home once more.

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Rooftop venue for my birthday dinner

Jodhpur is known as ‘the blue city’ on account of the indigo that was added to the wash used on the outer walls of dwellings and was thought to repel insects. Not sure it still works as we are having something of an air infestation concerning midges. Later we will wander through the old fort and take in the views from high up.private-tour-jodhpur

A musical festival is also about to start and when we gather more information will hopefully be able to attend some of the shows. For now, we are making do with the drumming and chanting coming from the street – interspersed with my own favourite Turin Brakes songs from the ‘Bottled at Source’ compilation album.

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

Report from Ranakpur

Jain Shwetamber Temple is probably the most beautiful man-made structure I have ever been to. Built in the 14th century and dedicated to the first Tirthankar Sri Adinathji, it is an acre-filled symmetrical four-sided space of 1444 gloriously carved stone pillars, panels and domes. What a place!

The main tenets of the Jainism are Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truth), Achaurya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy/chastity) and Aparigraha (non-attachment/non-possession).269px-Jain_Temple_of_Ranakpur_14

Imagine what a different world we’d inhabit if the grouping that goes to make up FUKUS followed such precepts.

On the walk back along the road to our lodging I was ambushed and surrounded by a group of macaques that had espied my goody-bag of dried fruits and nuts. I was getting quite scared as they closed in on me, teeth bared and ready for attack – like being confronted by Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams and their supporting primates.2018-01-11-florida-monkeys

The last thing I wanted was to be bitten and scratched up by this advancing brigade. They most likely carried more diseases and ill-will than the entire 8th Army. Fortunately, literally at the last moment, when I thought that I was a goner, a fellow turned up on his scooter and rescued me as I hopped on the back and we navigated our way through. Phew!

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

Communique from Kumbhalgarh

A whole week without seeing any other tourists – until a group of IT workers based in Gujurat rocked up in two coaches and invited us to share their annual get-away party with them. Not sure you could really call them ‘tourists’ though.

Which means we have been sharing our luxury hotel up in the mountain pass with only the staff and an assortment of camels, cows, goats, macaques, dogs, pigs, donkeys and parakeets. No cats, strangely.

The menu is ‘pure veg’ and the chef has been producing other-worldly but in fact basic down-home Rajasthan dishes, all washed down with copious amounts of ice-cold Indian lager.

The manager set us up with a modem and, inspired by the edge-of-the desert landscape and strong beer, I spent an evening listening to a pair of ol’ Neil Young albums, Harvest Moon and Prairie Wind, both written as though for country rockers just past their prime, but still evoking the high-income American mythologies of limitless space and broken dreams – all mixed up with a fuzzy we’re-still-in-love and safe-in-our-old-home after all these years and the kids grown up kind of tone. Quite dreamy, really. The last of these albums dates back to 2005 and I wonder if anyone in America still believes in these kinds of notions more than a decade on. They sound dated to me, however alluring and reassuring they might come across.

Because from wherever I’m sitting – whether high up in the Albanian mountains, on an Apulian beach, hiking in the French Alps, back home or travelling across the Thar Desert – all I’m getting is a country in terminal decline as it continues waging ever-lasting wars on countries that would not give the American people a moment’s thought were it not for their military invasion and destructive terror campaigns launched against their own population. Think Yemen, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and so on. Not to mention all those Latin American countries, with Venezuela now very prominent on the US’s which-country-can-we-plunder-and-destroy-without-fear-of-repercussion-next list.

Set against this is the constant chatter of Hindi and other Indian languages and a fair old dose of jazzy Planet Gong, rocky Kula Shaker and good old Ravi Shankar knocking it out on his trusty sitar.

That and a vast, blue Rajasthan sky.

All very Indian, all very new-world – all very good.

Now, if only we could find some real peace in this world.

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

Utterance from Udaipur

Who’d o’ thunk I’d be lying on my bed in my Udaipur hotel room listening to 1967’s THE WHO SELL OUT…

Then again, I was sick and had been reading Roger Daltrey’s autobiography in order to pass the interminable hours. Mr Daltrey may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he was at least there, and his account of all that has happened in his life is pretty direct.

SELL OUT is a terrifically self-deprecating album that signals the times.

Roger: I love it because it’s a real tribute to those days before the BBC hijacked pop music. What we hear now is what Mother wants us to hear. The DJs on the pirate ships were real music fans, and the competition made them all musically adventurous. Back then, everyone listened to them, and the music was real. It was an outlet for our generation’s music, and the BBC hated that. They hated losing control. With the government, they did everything they could to stop the pirate stations or, at the very least, stop kids listening to it. And they succeeded. [There’s a lot I love about the BBC but] there’s a lot I loathe, and that’s right at the top of the list.

‘They hated losing control’

Just as – being a part of the MSM – they hate losing control of the news information narrative.

‘With the government…’

If the BBC do not tell outright lies concerning what is happening in the world they frame and present and omit their content in a manner that shows the ruling, privileged elite class in a positive and glamorous light, while those who are genuinely working to try and make life on this planet a far more enriching overall experience are either largely undermined or ignored.

BBC World is not a nice place to inhabit.

Any more than Daily Mail, Express, Guardian, Times, WAPO, NYT, CNN, NBC World etc are nice places to live and breathe.

Get your news and views from them and you are a hateful, ignorant moron.

Go on, just try and break the habit. Try living in a more positive mindset, gaining your news and impression from the ‘pirates’ out there – and see what a much better world could be lived in.

Or are you so moronic that you are unable to break away even for a very short space of time?

What the freedom-loving music and times of the 1960s and 70s and the way the establishment fought back to seize control of people’s minds once more, and how so much promise for a wholesome, healthy World Life for the enhancement of all, was either destroyed, stolen or reined back by the fearful, hate-filled, war-mongering Self Life of the existing elites, is a constant theme throughout my written work.

Welcome to a new headspace.

THIS WORLD CAN BE MADE A BETTER PLACE

Being in India only increases my belief this is so.

Books by Glyn Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available at Amazon and bookstores are the world

Message from Mumbai

Here I am sitting in my Mumbai hotel room listening to music on a downloaded acoustic playlist, the fan whirring on the ceiling above, pigeon’s cooing on the balcony…and I’m thinking about Venezuela and the Venezuelans. How does that happen? How do you remove yourself from your everyday UK existence, travel thousands of miles, and yet still inhabit your old headspace? Is it the technology – or just reflex..?

When we got here five days ago, owing to the sheer incomprehensibility of our new environment, we followed the advice of a Canadian we met and headed for Leopold’s on the Causeway, near the hotel. Within were the international travellers to whom this place acts as a common magnet. Some Australian guy wrote a novel called Sham-something about his extravagant Catch-Me-If-You-Can experiences in this city and apparently hung out in this eatery and so it appeared natural for the visitors to do the same. We consumed our over-priced curried-food and Kingfisher beers and hurriedly left.

Next day we found a proper eating place round the corner.

But that initial commercialisation experience didn’t stop us going on a tour of Dharavi, the big slum where Danny Boyle set the opening of his Slumdog Millionaire film.

You just can’t escape your cultural references, can you?

Well, the tour was actually very insightful as we were taken through the narrow passages by our slum-dwelling guide and saw how the inhabitants carved out a reasonable living mostly through recycling rubbish and making clothes and leather goods (the Derahvi brand is on its way, folks, fashioned by a South African designer), along with a poppadomarie, pottery-making area and a bakery where Mumbai’s well-known pastry cases are produced, ready for filling (unbeknownst even to most Mumbaikas themselves).

In our eatery round the corner, I told of a twenty-year old visitor to India from forty years ago who had raised money for the trip by taking orders for the hash he promised to bring back with him; only to find out on arrival it wasn’t financially viable, so brought back a heap of grade four morphine instead, helping to feed the opioid crisis taking place in his own hometown back then.

Not that we are intending to do anything like that, of course.

We will almost certainly travel to Pushkar though, where our drug-smuggler also visited back then – and whose experience of meeting the camel-rearing nomads of the Thar Desert on the parapet of the hill-top temple is retold in a book I wrote called Death and the Dead.

This particular post was started because there was no internet connection for a short while and so the two books I ordered couldn’t be downloaded: Roger Daltrey’s autobiography and something about how secret occult societies such as the Rosicrucians have played an important part in shaping our own history.

You just can’t escape your cultural references, can you?

I suspect it will be interesting to compare the difference between the benign occult societies and malign deep state actors.

Originally, I had wanted in my first post from India to tell of my initial impressions, of the security guard at the bank with a decades’ old shotgun flung across his back, or the trip to Gandhi’s old residence the day after the anniversary of his assassination, but somehow…the old stuff just crept in again.

Last night I finished reading an account of how JFK was most likely assassinated by the American deep state forces in the military, CIA and civil service back then who were keen – nay, desperate – to invade Cuba, start an anti-communist war in Vietnam and launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Russian-dominated Soviet Union. With only the elected American president holding them in check. The same way Ghandi’s assailant hadn’t wanted unity and peace years before that.

Plus ça change?

Sixty years on those same deathly, war-mongering tendencies fuelled by hatred and fear are continuing to fill the headspace of a great many people. Myself included.

And I and others are absolutely sick of it.

We all want to get on with our lives full of peace and love and what we get is more of these unnecessary conflicts and wars engineered by hate-filled sociopaths whose only desire is to bring down as much misery as they can on as great a many people as they possibly can. These people hate themselves and project all their hatred onto others. Wishing they could be dead themselves, they seek to exterminate all other people (who remind them that they are alive and exist). These Americans hate the entire human race and would like to either enslave it or wipe it out, starting with people of colour and a different ethnic background to their own. Oil is just an excuse. They would destroy the planet, if allowed. People like the current National Security Advisor and special envoy to Venezuela are just symptoms of the American existentialist disease. The US Secretary of State openly seeks Armageddon by way of the most pathetic Christian/Judaic ‘rapture’. These are genuinely disturbed people at the helm, with a nincompoop president not helping matters at all.

I am listening to early Pink Floyd in Mumbai while the ceiling fan rotates and the pigeons coo on the balcony and thinking yet again about the psychopaths who wish to destroy a healthy populace who have never caused the world any harm – filled only with good intentions, and am reminded that my early cultural coordinates aided by technology just about keep me in touch with those positive memories and continued aspirations, hopes and desires for a world where the people-killing war-machines of those lethal mechanistic, ideological states from the West fade away into the hellish regions from whence they came.

Welcome to my headspace.

Books by Glyn Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available at Amazon and bookstores are the world

Rosicrucian on the Amazon

It’s such a beautiful image that I can’t refrain from sharing. My daughter is reading her old man’s latest book ROSICRUCIAN as she floats down the Amazon river to Brazil. This after she had unexpectedly met with Rosicrucian musicians who were traveling through Colombia with permission to visit some sacred hill temples.

rosicrucian copy

We were supposed to be joining her, but the death of my mother on Boxing Day means that we have had to change our own plans drastically. Rather than hole up in a comfortable condo on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro in preparation for the Carnival, we’re more likely to be seeing out the next couple of months in an empty end-of-terrace in the East End of London.

Remarkably, I used this setting in my very first book QUESTION.

Question_Cover_for_Kindle

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To a Slogan-free and Flavorful Existence!

There’s mainstream, there’s alternative, and there’s – complete stand alone.

This blog falls into the third camp. If you think about it, the first two are just different sides of the same coin. What I prefer to use is a brand new currency.rosicrucian copy

Take my new book, ROSICRUCIAN.

It claims to be a novel, but is really a genre mash-up.

It bigs up mystical knowledge, but does down people from current organisations.

It destroys religious teachings, but purports to open a gateway to God.

It does away with prejudices and classifications altogether.

My mother died this Yuletide so 2019 is going to have a different complexion to previous years from the get go.

That suits me fine, since the constant right/left, rich/poor, good/bad dichotomies leave me tired and bored.

If you share my need and desire for something so utterly profound and new that a paradigm shift of some sort is required, you might start by taking a look at these books written over the past thirty years:

AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON AND BOOK STORES WORLDWIDE

I’d like to think that similar-minded people acting together in both active and passive distribution mode can lead to a better-thinking society, one in which black/white, on/off, backwards/forwards are no more than misleading abstractions.

TO A SLOGAN-FREE AND FLAVORFUL EXISTENCE!

Assange

Back in 1982 I began working on a novel about a young man who blows up an exclusive club in London to demonstrate his hatred of the neo-liberal agenda and attendant neo-con policies: the contrived ever-lasting wars, austerity measures, pro-elite/anti-social laws, and so on.

The novel was supposed to be a wake-up call about what was happening in capitalist societies – a warning of what would inevitably occur if monetarism and right-wing ideology was followed through.

My only surprise concerning actual events since then is that such an act of individual violence has not taken place. This suggests that people on the whole are very generous with regards to the intentions of their leaders, or that the public’s passivity knows no bounds. Perhaps it illustrates people’s innate goodness, I don’t know.Question_Cover_for_Kindle

The only acts of individual violence regularly witnessed are committed by those who have been deranged by social, military or religious pressure.

Mainly, as ever, the violence continues to be carried out by authorities on behalf of the state, either on its own citizens or in foreign countries.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

The whole world is under existential threat as a result of the violent policies being pursued in capitalist societies. Either war or environmental catastrophe have the very real potential to destroy the planet upon which we depend for survival.

Thankfully, more and more people are waking up to this prospect and recognising from where the real threat to their well-being emanates.

Novels by Glyn Ridgley available at bookstores and Amazon

Rosicrucian Knowledge

In my just completed novel there are many references to the Rosicrucians, old and new.

In case anyone is not familiar with the Rosicrucian tradition, here are a few pointers.

No one really knows when existence began – or if it ever really had any beginning at all.

If there was no beginning, then there can surely be no end.

So in that case what exists is only and purely eternity.

Whatever you may know outside of this truth can only be illusion.

Overcoming this state of uncertainty leads to true knowledge.

In theory, anyone can reach this end point of realisation and understanding.bees rc

In practice, few know where to begin.

Which is where the Rosicrucians come in.

Down through the centuries knowledge of the path to certainty has been handed down from culture to culture. The Rosicrucians are a part of this process.

In the seventeenth century proclamations in writing appeared in various important European cities announcing the re-discovery of the eternal wisdom as it had been experienced and passed down through the generations. This learning, it was said, now lay in the hands of an organisation consisting of the members of the ‘rosy cross’. Hence the name ‘Rosicrucian’. People were invited to join, but had to find their own way to make contact with the organisation.rc

And so it remains today. The big difference now, if there really is any, is that people are less likely to be persecuted for seeking the truth which exists beyond the illusion of everyday existence. At least, one would like to think so… Even if you believe this is so, there is still a great deal of ignorance and hostility to the idea which has to be overcome, not to mention personal prejudice.

Still, with clear-sightedness, strong purpose and the courage to pursue what currently appears possible only in the imagination, full knowledge is attainable through the right means.

This is why there are so many references to the Rosicrucians in my just completed novel ROSICRUCIAN rosicrucian copy

Novels by GLYN F RIDGLEY are available from Amazon and bookstores worldwide

Exhaustion

I don’t know about you, but for me exhaustion has got to be about the worst feeling in the world. Some people desire it, go out of their way to feel exhausted, start out their day seeking exhaustion – presumably so they can more easily sleep that night.

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30 years in the writing

It’s probably best to differentiate between mental and physical exhaustion, even though in fact I hate both conditions.

With physical exhaustion you pretty much know that a good night’s sleep will revive you, unless you have worked yourself so hard physically that your poor body requires extra daytime hours to really get going again.

dand
20 years in the writing

However, with mental exhaustion of a particular kind…

Oh, we ought to mention that kind of intermediate bodily/mental exhaustion; for example, following a hard day’s work or after driving a vehicle for innumerable hours, and that feeling of being shaken up that can go on for an indeterminate amount of time (though usually simply lying still for long enough will get rid of the symptoms).

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15 years in the writing

No, what I am talking about is the type of exhaustion which follows an extended bout of mental effort that no amount of rest seems able to placate. At least, the intensity of the exhaustion is such that you feel it never will. A level of exhaustion whereby you cannot imagine ever feeling peaceful or at ease again. An exhaustive state which takes over your entire being.

Such a feeling is one I experienced last week and was similar to that I experience every time that I get to an end of a novel; or the draft of a novel (sometimes you don’t know which is which).

Soul_Journey_Cover_for_Kindle
15 years in the writing

The mental agony of reading through tens of thousands of words and paying attention to every single internalised phonetic sound within every syllable within each word within each paragraph of every chapter which must then be made to flow harmoniously within a massive structural whole which only began in the imagination… Well, that does me in. Exhausts every brain cell and molecule extant within my body, while stretching and pulling at the once teeming and now apparently sated creative state which started the whole process going in the very first place.

In that final condition there seems no end.

 

 

PART TWO

Coming round from exhaustion is probably the most exalted state in the world.

Like walking out from a church into daylight.

life feeling
25 years in the writing

When you are ill, recuperating, each day you get better and better until you wake up one morning and feel normal.

What relief!

To have energy after having none – to see the world in sunlight after groping around in the darkness.

What pleasure!

on release
5 years in the writing

A second of nothing is the same as an eternity of pleasure. Each lasts the same amount of time. You do not know the difference. There is no difference, except what you feel at that moment.

Try to explain that. You can’t.

Just as you can never explain anything to anyone.

Realisation is shared – a shared moment. Like listening to a piece of music together.

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10 years in the writing

Exhaustion causes unnecessary separation, from your normal healthy self and that person closest to you.

Try this…

Walking in the woods, feeling the earth beneath your boots, knowing animals are around you, breathing in the wooded air, sensing the airy surrounding space, you are brought back to life and corrected from that awful inclosing experience of interior closure that exhaustion causes.

You go to positive from negative.cropped-gfr

Love life and peace is an exhortation, not an empty phrase

Novels by GLYN F RIDGLEY available from bookstores worldwide and Amazon