The symbol above – which has sometimes been used as the site icon – is The Banner of Peace designed in conjunction with the so-called Roerich Pact, and was designed by the Russian artist of that name (Nicholas Roerich 1874-1947).
‘The Banner of Peace symbol has ancient origins. Perhaps its earliest known example appears on Stone Age amulets: three dots, without the enclosing circle. Roerich came across numerous later examples in various parts of the world, and knew that it represented a deep and sophisticated understanding of the triune nature of existence. But for the purposes of the Banner and the Pact, Roerich described the circle as representing the totality of culture, with the three dots being Art, Science, and Religion, three of the most embracing of human cultural activities. He also described the circle as representing the eternity of time, encompassing the past, present, and future. The sacred origins of the symbol, as an illustration of the trinities fundamental to all religions, remain central to the meaning of the Pact and the Banner today.’
The historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions shall be considered as neutral and as such respected and protected by belligerents. The same respect and protection shall be due to the personnel of the institutions mentioned above. The same respect and protection shall be accorded to the historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions in time of peace as well as in war.
‘The history of international treaties shows us how many of them were relevant and applicable to the times in which they were signed, but then lapsed into irrelevance. The Roerich Pact, however, has kept its heart and its life, and is linked to the needs of today’s chaotic world as much as ever. In so many countries we see a deterioration of cultural values and a disregard for the right of all cultural treasures to have their own continued existence, forever protected and unimpeded. We see destruction of life, property, and the inheritance of the creative genius of the nations. One can only hope that a greater awareness of the importance of humanity’s cultural heritage will increase, rather than deteriorate. There is no greater value to a nation than its culture.’
‘The Roerich Pact was first agreed to by twenty-one nations of the Americas and signed as a treaty in the White House, in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on April 15, 1935, by all the members of the Pan-American Union. It was later signed by other countries also.’
This is the vancar we’re going to set off in. And this blog is now going to become Old School.
When I ask my international language students where the word BLOG comes from they never know – and it’s likely that a lot of us forget – a BLOG is a ‘web log’ – and that’s what from now on – or at least when the trip begins – this blog is going to be…a log put out on the web from the road.
And it’s going to be an amalgamation of sights and sounds and thoughts political, mystical and social that just pass through the blogger’s mind – just as, in fact, this blog was always supposed to be.
It’s going to be a story.
I am no expert in anything – but I am tired of being expertised to by a whole bunch of know-nothings who are out there expounding as though they really do understand what’s what concerning Europe…Well, THEY ONLY SOUND LIKE THEY DO.
That is part of what this blog is all about and always has been – and especially is from now…
Oh, yeah, those 27 countries…I’ve been to Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Benelux, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria – so that’s already over half of them – but that means a lot I haven’t and don’t know about, and I look forward to seeing some of those previously visited countries once again,…
This trip is all coming about due to Brexit, remember, so that by around this time next year I may not – as a UK citizen – be able to visit any of these countries without some kind of pass or visa. (As it happens, I have a way out – a trick up my sleeve – . Be that as it may…)
To start with, we’re taking the ferry to Hoek van Holland and heading north-eastwards…to form a triangle containing Amsterdam, Tallinn and Podgorica. That’s the plan.
First, there’s a whole lot more to organise – like what to do with the house…
In a future blog, I’ll try to give my starting position re Europe and the UK’s imminent departure from within its ranks.
Comments will be very warmly received.
In the meantime, here are some books of fiction I’ve written – all available from local bookstores or online, hardcopy or digital, and none of them particularly expensive.
There is only one question in life worth asking (to paraphrase Camus, Il n’y a qu’un problèm philosophique vraiment sérieux…) and that is…
What happens to the human soul after death?
First, the human soul is actually an information pattern based on memory and is stored in the sub-atomic structure – more specifically within an electron, or electrons, and this information continues to be stored following the dissolution of the body’s molecular makeup (as described in Answer, where the human soul is described as a scintilla within the body). Since an electron has no mass there is no known limit to the amount of information that may be stored in this manner; certainly a lifetime’s worth of memory is virtually zero. There is consequently no problem of storage.
As sub-atomic matter electrons do not conform to human sensory efforts of measurement and may appear as discreet particles or waves. Still, electrons are constrained by some kind of law, and that law is one of circularity. Electrons do not disappear forever, nor are they eternal (as far as is known). They appear and reappear. And when they reappear within the context of another human body they carry over the information contained within them from the previous occasion. In this way, they transmit information to the ‘new’ human being. This human being has access to the information stored as memory within the electron, or electrons. That is the human soul, and that is how ‘reincarnation’ occurs.
So, back to our question: What happens to the human soul after death?
Quite simply, it remains contained within the electron or electrons.
People may ask, Where does the soul go?
Well, you have your answer here. It ‘goes’ nowhere – remains part of the universe.
The electrons follow a cycle of reestablishment and this has been worked out through the ancient mystery schools (just as various planetary motions were) to last through periods of one hundred and forty-four years. If you want to work out when your soul last incarnated in an individual human being doing the math is really quite simple. Then, if you want to access the information contained in the electron/soul you have to involve yourself in memory exercises which are more commonly called meditation. Through forgetting your present ego-bound self, you are able to recall previous selves (assuming such exist; if you are a new-born soul then it will not even occur to you to try this exercise, since you will have no knowledge of, or any idea concerning, a previously existing self.)
All that needs to be added here is to say that all new experience you have is added to your store of memory. In this way, through accumulated self-knowledge, you are able to comprehend the universe as it exists – and as you exist in it – and thereby attain the perfect mystic dream of never having to return to a physical human existence.
You have the formula for perfect liberation – of attuning your individual soul to the universal oversoul.
Prior to achieving this state of perfect liberation it ought to be possible to consciously form a memory-pattern that will continue to exist as a waveform after the dissolution of the body and that has nigh on eternal permanence. This waveform – or pattern – will in turn be accessible to any human soul that can obtain the means of recognising it.
Well, it’s gotta come – that feeling of…of…
Let me say, first of all, ‘rock’ ain’t rock and roll. R n r is originally blackspeak for sex – you know, the orthodox heterosexual kind when a man and woman get it together and they rock and they roll and they get the feeling real good.
Whereas Rock is a kind of philosophy of freedom which dates back to the French Encylopedists but probably finds its most recent and clearest ratiocination in the writings of Soren Kirkegaard (b. Denmark, 1813-55).
You’ve just got to look at this guy to know he would have been the ultimate rock star, with his big dreamy eyes, pouty lips and masses of quiffed-up hair. Really, he makes someone like Mick Jagger even in his prime look positively ursine. What’s more, after being reviled by the media, he died young! That boy was born to rock. But not to roll. Early doors, he gave up on love – and the love of his life – owing to a crisis of faith. The Copenhagen philosopher contained sheer inner angst no popstar of the last seventy years could possibly match – not even Elvis ‘The King’ Presley, in all honesty.
Referring to his beloved, the Danish heart-throb wrote in secret, ‘Everywhere, in the face of every girl, I see features of your beauty’ (Journals & Papers of Søren Kierkegaard, 11 August 1838), which could very well have been the inspiration behind Bell & Creed’s ‘You Are Everything’ (Avro, 13 May 1971) as performed by the Stylistics. ‘Today I saw somebody, Who looked just like you, She walked like you do, I thought it was you.’
As the daddy of modern existentialism and rock philosophy, Kirkegaard concerned himself greatly with ideas of ‘authenticity’. By this, he mostly meant being the person you can be (not necessarily ‘the best’ you – just the real you). Later, this translated into applying your energies to a cause you would be prepared either to live for entirely, or indeed die for. An oddly oxymoronic notion, I’ll grant.
Coming across a band, performer or music, you are looking for just this ‘authenticity’. Which means? Well, do they have sincerity in what they are playing or saying? Do they believe it? Or are they just approximating something they think they ought to be conveying? A thought. An attitude.
That’s the thing. It doesn’t matter if they can’t play their instruments like virtuosos, look like gods, hit all the high notes or wear the proper gear.
Do they mean it?
Do they convey it authentically?
Or is the act a sham? An ‘act’, in fact.
The problem here concerns rock n roll. On rock, we ought to be be on safer ground.
For a start, we know r n r is all about sex; so an r n r performer who does not convey this basic requirement is failing. That’s straightforward enough. Their performance is not authentic. They can of course save the whole issue by forgetting the roll and bringing forth something out of the ‘rock’ component, and if they do this then all is not lost. This, then, essentially means attitude. If they are not making you think about sex, then what are they making you think about? Of course, the passive partner in the entertainment – the observer, listener – may only want to lose all sense of feeling, so that a few hits of some chemicals followed by a series of head-banging chords, a soaring chorus or a carefully orchestrated dance routine is all that is required (maybe even without the chemicals, in some cases). To be fair, no authenticity at all is being required here, since what is being sought is pure knock-out escapism. But, if we are going to allow ourselves to rather grandly draw principles developed by first-rate thinkers of whatever century or nation into our calculus, then sheer entertainment is not what we are talking about. Remember, we are talking about life and death – about something to live for, something to die for – about being who you proclaim to be. Your very inner being projected to the outside.
‘Who Are You?’ as Peter Townshend asked.
Now, the other thing about authenticity is that the label attached to it may be altered.
Rock is about freedom. It is all about freedom. Nothing else. The first stirrings of freedom are that you are able to do and have thoughts not designated by somebody else. Your thinking is your own thinking, your actions similarly your own. That’s the first thing. That’s the initial element of rock – that it creates independence (however fleeting). If exposure to a rock performance of some kind doesn’t induce liberation in its audience then it has signally failed. End of. That is why simply being entertained and merely forgetting your everyday life for a short period does not count as freedom. That is just nullity. Freedom requires action of some kind, even if that action only refers to brainwaves.
Which pretty much brings us on to the point of this blog. Watching the old-timers who started out with an idea of liberating their audience, at least in part, you are always left with the impression of watching a bunch of guys going through the motions, no matter how much they or their audience are apparently enjoying themselves, and not unnaturally after all these years. You shouldn’t really expect a whole lot that’s new. Although, it would be great if that still occurred. Simply going over the same ground over and over again is not really particularly satisfying to those who really do constantly seek liberation. You can be lulled. You can be annulled. But you cannot have it all. You cannot be free and safe at the same time. Not here.
‘[1936-37]…he [Bissier] produces a series of small-format ink works on paper and “symbolic inks” (“Symboltuschen”), which synthesize through elementary symbols the bi-polar constellations (male-female, wave-rock, life-death, protected-threatened) and thus refer as much to myth, philosophy and European mysticism as to philosophical concepts of the Far East (above all, Taoism and Zen).’ – bissier.org/biography
This reproduction of an ink drawing by the German artist has hung on my wall for twenty-five years, and still reveals something new on each viewing.
Following on from the recent disclosure concerning a planned-for coup by members of the deep state to topple Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1968, and talk of such circumstances arising again after Jeremy Corbyn is elected by the will of the UK population; and indeed apropos of the right wing assault back in the 1920s using a faked letter published in the Daily Mail (where else!) and known as the ‘Zinoviev Letter’ (blaming the Russians again!) on the first elected socialist and pacifist Prime Minister of Great Britain, my great-uncle Norman Ridgley married Ishbel MacDonald, daughter of the very same Labour Prime Minister, back in 1938.
I see a life – or at least a certain type of life – in cosmic terms.
With a lifetime tracing itself throughout the universe back and forth, in and out, seeking experience, causing experience until – facing itself – the life rests in the discovered truth.
And, so, to book 8 (and the first in a series of three, completing the first 7)