29 March 2007
(copy of a letter)
Let us consider the amazing assertion by a philosopher at Somerville College that if I got a proper full-time salaried academic appointment I would be less free than as an unsalaried, statusless outcast.
What makes her think that I would value ‘freedom’ more than a social identity? I might well choose to sacrifice ‘freedom’, if I had any, for the sake of social status. I never expected, or wanted, to have to live without social status, and I was deeply grieved and shocked to find myself thrown out of society fifty years ago, not only without the Professorial status which I should have acquired at about 15, but without any status at all as an academic on a career track that could ever lead to a Professorship.
If, when I was thrown out 50 years ago, I had had the choice between (a) a Professorship, even with less than ideal residential hotel facilities, and (b) an equivalent salary, perfect hotel environment, and freedom to do whatever I liked within these conditions, but with no hope that what I did could ever secure for me any academic advancement, I would have settled for the Professorship.
Only if there was real hope of my ‘free’ but statusless environment leading to an ever-increasing scale of operations might I have considered it worth sacrificing the social identity of a Professor — which would have made (and still would make) one’s relations with society so much more ‘interesting’, to use that much-abused word. Even an expanding scale of operations as an identity-less freelance individual would have seemed sterile, in a certain way.
The model of the situation in which the ‘freedom’ of being unsalaried and statusless could appear preferable to a salaried Professorial position does not hold water, because if progressive and expanding work were ever possible, it would lead to social recognition and hence to academic reinstatement. So the idea of choosing a permanently exiled life in order to be ‘more free’ is an artificial one, and certainly never occurred to me, even when I hoped to be able to get a decent level of financial support from parapsychological sources.
I never actually considered the work I did manage to do as an outcast as sterile, in the sense of useless for making a return to an academic career, although it turned out to be so. The nostalgic pull towards a social identity was very strong. In practice, any possibility of opportunity for expansion appears to have been ruled out by my lack of identity.
The idea that I could prefer the ‘freedom’ provided by the bad, constricted and hopeless circumstances of the academic outcast to the much better circumstances of even imperfect Professorships is ludicrous and cruel.
I might have felt that the hotel-equivalent circumstances left something to be desired, but the salary would have provided me with enough to pay for at least a parttime housekeeper cum p.a., so I would have had at least the minimum conditions for getting something out of life.
28 March 2007
There are at least two outrageous news stories every day in the Daily Mail and my suppressed Oxford Forum publishing company (supported only by our own money) can’t publish books fast enough.
In fact we are the only voice of real dissent.
Surely you know someone who could give us a million pounds, just for starters, to make our protests a trifle louder?
Other sources of protest are feeble and halfhearted. For example, and typically, today’s horror article in the Mail, entitled “All pupils should be checked for criminal tendencies, says Blair”, contains this feeble and (as usual) concessive piece of faint criticism from the director of Liberty (no less), Shami Chakrabarti. She is quoted as saying,
“Who for example can disagree with the idea of ‘early intervention’? But ...”
Well, I can disagree for one, and so can everyone else at Oxford Forum. All intervention is immoral, and so is the taxation that is used to support it.
It is high time that this was said, even if it can at best only very slightly decelerate the headlong rush to destruction of Western civilisation. And no one is going to say it but us.
27 March 2007
I felt very hard up indeed, and saved money very hard out of my miserable pittance of a salary at the Society for Psychical Research, although it looked as though it would take thousands of years to reach a level of capital at which I could provide myself with the circumstances I needed to have; unless something completely improbable and unpredictable happened in my favour.
I certainly found it very grim to be in such a situation; I could never have believed that anything so terrible could happen to me, nor that if it did, there would be absolutely nobody who would give me any help in remedying my position. Nevertheless I went on giving money to beggars, in order to remember the higher level perspective and not feel totally shut in to an ostensibly hopeless imprisonment in the ‘normal’ world.
I remember one time when Sir George was visiting me in Oxford where I was doing a post-graduate degree which I hoped would provide me with a way of re-accessing an academic career. In the event it did not, because there was nobody who did not want me to be kept down and out, including my own supervisor, Professor Price, who was under the influence of two sources of hostility against me, the Principal of Somerville and Rosalind Heywood at the SPR.
However, while doing this thesis I was in lodgings near Somerville and Sir George and two other Somervillians were in the room with me. A beggar knocked at the door and asked for money. I got everyone to turn out their loose cash and see what they felt able to contribute. Sir George produced a note, but rather disapprovingly. Admittedly he was having to survive on a totally inadequate pension, so he might just have said he was needing it too badly himself, but what he said was, ‘You shouldn’t give him so much. He will only get drunk on it.’
‘That is entirely beside the point,’ I said. I might have added, but didn’t, ‘Money is what he asked for, so that is what he shall have, and what he does with it is nobody’s business but his own.’
Then I went back to the front door to give him the collection.
26 March 2007
Simple forms of dishonesty in animal life are well-known; for example, the bird that feigns an injured wing in order to lure a predator away from its nest. But clearly by far the greatest opportunities for dishonesty must be found in the social interactions of human beings, whose social forms are so much more complex and varied than those of other animals. We must suppose that a high degree of social dishonesty can greatly enhance the organism's chance of survival and successful reproduction, to the extent that the evolutionary pressures upon it depend on competition and successful interaction with its own kind rather than on attempts to overcome the difficulties presented by the physical world around it. Such a favourable strategy will probably become, as there is every reason to think it has become, a dominant mode of human behaviour and, like other successful strategies, it is likely to occur in association with a liking for this form of behaviour and a tendency in the direction of using it.
But since other people are aware of this strategy, a high degree of sophistication must be aimed at, and it may be that that will be best achieved if a person contrives to deceive himself concerning his own motives and intentions.
From the forthcoming book The Corpse and the Kingdom
25 March 2007
Under Alan Johnson's plan children starting secondary school next year will be the first generation expected to stay in education or training until they reach 18. Teenagers face £50 on-the-spot fines and even jail if they refuse to stay in education until they are 18, it has been revealed ...My comments
[Alan Johnson’s] proposals will have massive implications for employers, particularly small firms which rely on low-wage teenagers. Bosses face criminal sanctions if they refuse to release teenagers for training and so do parents who put children aged 16 to 18 to work in the family business without sending them off for training ...
In a green paper titled Raising Expectations, Mr Johnson outlined four options for over-16s - school, college, apprenticeships or work-based learning. [No mention, of course, of correspondence courses which do not expose a person to direct social hostility. The Open University is not open to those under the age of 18.]
Youngsters employed for at least 20 hours a week would need to do part-time study totalling 280 hours a year. ... Schools, colleges and employers providing training would be placed under a duty to report youngsters if they drop out.
Those persistently refusing offers of education and training would be handed 'attendance orders' setting out where, when and how often they should turn up. Like anti-social behaviour orders they would bring criminal sanctions if breached. ... Mr Johnson insisted: 'No youngster would be in the criminal area of the law unless they are very hardcore and we have gone through a very very fulsome process, including counselling.' ["Counselling" — deprivation of liberty so as to have one’s mind exposed to brainwashing.]
Terrible things are going on. The appalling proposals for accelerating the breakdown of civilisation pour out faster than I can put even a few comments about them on my inconspicuous and widely ignored blog. Now they propose to deprive everyone of their freedom of action until they are 18. If people had any awareness of the importance of liberty as an abstract principle there would be rioting in the streets.
There seems to be even less outrage at this idea than there was when the school-leaving age was raised from 15 to 16. But at that time most journalists had themselves been educated before the inception of the Welfare State in 1945; nowadays most journalists have themselves been brought up within it.
I believe that when income tax came in at a penny in the pound someone is supposed to have commented, ‘This is the end of civilisation’. For a long time this was quoted as a funny old-fashioned attitude, because everything seemed, in most people’s eyes, to be proceeding in an acceptable way. But I must admit that by now it seems blatantly obvious that if someone said that, he was right, and even if no one said it, it is true. The idea of any supposed benefit being provided by the state, and financed by the reduction of liberty of individuals, can only lead to ever-increasing oppression and persecution.
If you can get a supposed or real benefit only if you can afford to pay for it yourself, you are at least protected from being placed at the mercy of what other people with to impose upon your life instead of what you might, if you could, choose to pay for.
People brought up in the modern world scarcely ever question the unexamined assumptions which are universally made, and which it is taboo to question. It is assumed that education is ‘a good’, so anything that goes under that name is unquestionably ‘a good’, and more of ‘a good’ must be ‘better’ than less of it.
Compulsory education came in at the end of the 19th century, adding to the writing on the wall that resulted from the inception of income tax; then there was female suffrage, then the Welfare State in 1945. Now, sixty years later, we are reaping the whirlwind that has resulted from those events.
There is no ‘drive to infinity’, or drive towards any goal outside the tribal group. There is no concerted attempt to increase control of the environment, nor is it possible for any individual to make wholehearted attempts to better his own lot. The object of everything is to reinforce belief in the importance of the tribal customs, so that the people in the tribe can live out their life-cycles according to these patterns, often with little change for centuries or millennia.
There is relatively more scope for the men to assert significance in forms of aggression towards something external to the tribe, since they have from time to time to defend the tribe from the encroachments of other tribes, and probably to kill animals for food. This kind of assertion of significance still takes the form of asserting that they are able to deprive another personality of its life, i.e. that on behalf of the tribal significance they are able to assert their superior potency by depriving of potency. Nevertheless this relatively externalised assertiveness gives male psychology its slight margin of generosity and flexibility.
The women, on the other hand, having no way of asserting themselves outside the tribe, and concerned with the bringing up of children, have no outlet for their drive but in the satisfaction they can obtain from subordinating the children, and no doubt everybody else as well, to the tribal customs. (One can hear the tribal echoes in many common expressions: ‘She must be helped to adapt to a non-academic life’, i.e. ‘She must be brought into subordination to the tribal customs’.)
from the forthcoming book The Corpse and the Kingdom
23 March 2007
What I have encountered all my life is universal opposition, justified by a rationalised belief that if I was prevented from getting what I wanted to get, and could easily have been getting, I would stop wanting what I could get something out of, and turn into a different kind of person who did not want it or need it, whether on account of being physically dead or otherwise.
When I was at school I could have been getting everything I wanted with very little help, except with making arrangements for degree level physics and chemistry practicals. All that would have been necessary would have been less interference. Once the harm had been done and I had been thrown out, a bit more active help would have been necessary to reverse the harm that had been done to me so that I could get back my minimum requirements for a tolerable life, which were a hotel environment, as provided by a resident college, and the salary and status of an Oxbridge professor.
On a higher level one acquires a very strong aversion to seeing any apparently conscious being frustrated or suffering, and the idea of anyone putting someone else into a decentralising position is horrific. This is in part because one thinks a consciousness could and should be on a higher level, but so long as it is preoccupied with trying to get things out of other people it can’t be.
Of course, in most cases, you know that superimposing another layer of tantalising opposition is only adding to psychological obstructions that are already quite sufficient to prevent the person from knowing his own mind/getting a higher level. Nevertheless it is horrific to think of that extra layer being instated.
Since the age of 13 (and less obviously before) I have been treated with extraordinary cruelty, and a determination to make me suffer as much as possible, and to make me realise that alleviation of my suffering depended on some help or permission from other people which they would not give.
This was less surprising when I was at school and college where I was surrounded by hostile left-wing people, predominantly not aristocratic, and almost without exception socialists. (Socialism is fundamentally immoral, from a higher level point of view.)
But Rosalind Heywood persuaded everyone at the SPR without exception to oppose what I was clearly trying to get, so as to force me to give up. That is amazingly immoral from a higher level point of view. The SPR population would count as highly principled on normal terms; old-fashioned aristocrats who had been to public schools and held positions of responsibility, pillars of society, many of them Christians.
But it did not occur to any of them that a policy of frustrating someone in order to manipulate them into distorting their psychology was immoral and objectionable.
Nobody ever objected to this policy of paternalistic frustration as immoral. They neither objected to other people doing it nor refused to play ball themselves, but allowed themselves to be drawn in to ‘being cruel to be kind’ as Rosalind Heywood encouraged them to think of it.
So one can only say that socially acceptable morality, however sophisticated and worked out, contains no awareness of the basic moral principle – I mean of what, from a higher level point of view, is the basic moral principle.
Or perhaps you could say that there is an awareness of the basic moral principle but this is expressed only by acting against it, instead of on it, whenever opportunity arises.
The years after being thrown out at the end of my ruined ‘education’ were shockingly disillusioning. I did not have much in the way of illusions and I did not expect much of people, but I thought it was not absolutely out of the question that the odd person, here or there, might act in what seemed to me a natural way. However, I did need help very badly, having no means of support and no way of working my way back into an academic career which could lead to a Professorship. I could not, as I have already pointed out, draw Social Security without falsifying my position. I certainly experienced my situation as unbelievably horrifying, so that the universal meanness and opposition was something I could not fail to experience very painfully.
All I hoped of Sir George was that he would not oppose me, even if he would do nothing to help me, which was based on nothing but his mystical flash up a hill in Arabia because, I thought, the basic moral principle is so obvious that quite a short exposure to the higher level situation would give someone a great aversion to frustrating anyone in getting what they wanted in any way, even if they had no resources, financial or motivational, for trying to help them.
I remember saying to Sally, ‘He may not do anything to help me, but at least he won’t actively oppose me’, and she said nothing, perhaps thinking that she understood psychology better than I did. If so, she was right, as before long he was machinating against me and trying to manipulate me as much as anybody.
Rosalind Heywood considered herself a very spiritual person, who could tell whether or not there was a host in situ in a Catholic church in its box on the altar (whatever you call it) by whether or not she could hear a kind of holy singing noise. She got the holy noise in proximity with sacred objects of other religions as well.
She played infallibly on a certain dimension of human psychology and I never knew anyone resist her for long. Sir George did resist her attempts to get him and Salter to oppose my plans on one occasion, but it did not last. This was an unusual experience for her and she looked shaken as she left the office after a confrontational interview, but she was not one to accept defeat. A few weeks later Sir George’s support for me had vanished (how much communication had taken place between them, by telephone or otherwise, I do not know).
Conversion to her point of view was irreversible. I have no doubt that she did sell to all concerned that every particle of support to me should be choked off because it would be kinder to force me to give up on setting up an independent academic establishment. It could not succeed and the sooner I was made to give it up the better. Any support, however tiny, would only be prolonging the agony. This, of course, is head-on violation of the basic moral principle that you do not impose your interpretations and evaluations on somebody else, but give them what they say they want if you can (or if you are able to muster the energy in view of your own problems).
But the idea of frustrating someone, and pretending that you are doing it out of benevolence, is attractive to human psychology, which has a desire to frustrate and to express its power by causing suffering, as fundamental as the higher level drive to do the opposite.
So everybody associated in any way with the SPR and Oxford University joined in trying to squeeze me to death in my own best interests, just as, when I was at school, people had been able to oppose me in everything I wanted on the pretence that they were liberating me from the pressures placed on me by an ambitious father, in both cases no doubt enjoying the opportunity to combine active malevolence with a smug sense of their own compassion and sympathy.
19 March 2007
There is a very cruel pretence that the outcast professor is not suffering from being deprived of an institutional (hotel) environment and social recognition as a leading intellectual, i.e. as a person with a salaried and prestigious Professorship.
When I was thrown out fifty years ago I accepted that there was a brick wall in front of me and that all I could do was scrape at it, trying to make a tunnel through it. Everyone promoted the cruel fiction that I was being ‘free to follow my interests’. This was the worst possible slander of someone in my terrible position, because it represented me as not needing help (and I don’t mean ‘help’ in the form of counselling) in the form of money and people and support in getting money and people.
How do you suppose it feels, after fifty years of totally unrewarding toil in bad circumstances, trying to work towards an institutional (hotel) environment and an Oxbridge Professorship, to be told by a philosopher at Somerville that if I got back onto a salaried career track that could lead to a Professorship, I would be ‘less free’! The most violent possible rejection of all that constitutes one’s individuality. The most violent insult possible to add to grievous injury. And she, and all at Somerville, have slandered and even libelled me in this terrible way.
There should be recognition of this as a criminal act with a legal penalty. A suitable penalty would be that she should be condemned to come and work in my incipient and downtrodden independent university doing whatever she can most usefully do, probably filling in with the domestic and menial tasks, from the lack of staff to do which I am always suffering grievously. Also she should forfeit all her assets to contribute towards the funding which I need to build up the capital endowment of my university, which is still too painfully squeezed for me to be able to make use of my ability to do anything, let alone to function at an adequate energy level.
18 March 2007
This is the time-wasting type of ‘educational’ activity (what they call “stretching not pushing”, and “facilitating not spoon-feeding”) . What is really preventing all and sundry from getting anything out of their ordinary ‘schools’ is not that there is not enough ‘teaching’ but that there is too much (in the modern sense of the word). It is simply designed to demoralise, and extra periods of demoralisation provided at the taxpayers’ expense will be no good for anybody (except in the sense of ‘good’ used in "there is no good injun but a dead injun").
If someone with an IQ of 120 or so manages to get to a timewasting and demoralising university after running the gauntlet of this sort of education at school with extra timewasting specially provided, it will be in spite of, not on account of, this extra handicap.
I hope, at any rate, it will be possible for victims of the scheme, or their parents on their behalf, to refuse to expose themselves to these ‘opportunities’. Cigarettes and investments have to carry risk warnings, and the same principle should be applied to ‘educational opportunities’, invitations to which should be accompanied by a warning, ‘Accepting this invitation may do you (or your child) harm and not good, and may do irrevocable damage to your (or his) prospects in life’.
16 March 2007
After dinner, Amy popped down to the corner shop. It was 10.30pm. When she returned, she staggered through the front door smeared with mud — and soaked with blood from a dreadful wound in her chest. In the 500 yards between shop and home she had been followed by a youth whose face was concealed by a hood, pushed to the ground, robbed of her bag and stabbed in the ribs with a screwdriver. ...My comments
On our streets today it is the middle-class young people — the products of our liberal homes — who are being targeted. Amy is convinced there is a growing war on London streets between the dispossessed of the graffiti-covered estates and the middle classes: "Trust me, Dad. He wouldn't have gone for one of his own." So is there anybody out there who is accountable? The terrible fact is that, in these well-tended million-pound-plus houses with their state-of-the art security systems, people have long known what's going on in the street outside. But they have closed the blinds and simply turned away. And so have I. ...
We have put our heads in the sand for too long about this problem and have done nothing about the indifference of the authorities to much that is wrong in our society. We certainly backed the wrong policies on education — no one who could possibly avoid it would send a child to a comprehensive school around here. ...
As I, and all the others with Paul Smith suits and briefcases, strode past the addicts shooting up outside the Tube, and the Special Brew drinkers on the kerb, I used to think smugly: "Well, this doesn't touch me." But, the chances always were that it would in the end. And it did, in the worst possible way. (‘The night my daughter was stabbed — and my liberal instincts died’ by Michael Williams, Daily Mail, 5 March 2007.)
The writer of this article, as usual, seems to assume that some expected norm of civilised behaviour can be produced by confiscating freedom (by means of taxation) from the functional and non-criminal members of society. “Educational policy” is implicitly blamed for an increase in crime, and the implied solution must be to take more money away from the “middle class” in order to bestow benefits on those who behave badly.
Of course it is true that the schools are producing an ever-increasing population of demoralised young people. But it is questionable whether any tweaking of the system can produce any beneficial effect, since egalitarian ideology is already rampant throughout modern society — not only within the schools and universities — and pours out of every television screen.
If there has been an increase in criminal behaviour it is not necessarily attributable only to social influences. The modern ideology has favoured the expansion of the lower-IQ population by financial support, medical treatment and support for dysfunctional offspring, or offspring of dysfunctional parents, all at the expense of the taxpaying population, which has therefore tended to delay and curtail its own families.
This favouring of reproductive activity by the “poor” may in itself have increased the incidence of crime, regardless of their educational or social experience, as there may well be — and there is some evidence that there are — genetic factors predisposing to crime.
Some time ago I saw a statistic to the effect that men who had at least one criminal conviction were producing 30 percent more offspring than men who had no criminal record. If there are genetic factors involved, this would not have to continue for many generations to create a noticeable increase in criminal activity.
This is a quotation on this subject from Dysgenics by Richard Lynn:
The high correlations obtained by Tygart (1991) of criminality with number of siblings suggests that genetic deterioration with regard to conscientiousness may be about twice as great as that for intelligence. Our finding that the fertility of criminals in Britain is about 50 percent greater than that of the population as a whole corroborates the conclusion that this is a serious problem. It may well be that dysgenic fertility for conscientiousness and criminality – which has received the least attention from eugenicists, and which has made a significant contribution to rising crime rates in many Western nations in the second half of the twentieth century – is the most serious of the dysgenic problems confronting modern populations. (Praeger, 1996, p.209)
14 March 2007
The concept of a good social structure is a contradiction in terms. A good escape committee in a prison camp is recognised by the speed with which it renders itself unnecessary.
(from the forthcoming book The Corpse and the Kingdom)
That will, of course, if it happens (which it well may), require further confiscation of freedom from all taxable members of the population, including those who, like myself, were left with no way of making a career or even of earning money at the end of the ruinous ‘education’ (which was paid for largely by confiscation of freedom). Nor with any way of drawing income support from the Social Security, as the reasons for their being unable to earn a living were not socially accepted, and they were not prepared to falsify their position and engage in elaborate pretences of seeking work which they would never accept.
Even such people as myself are, on this proposal, to have their liberty even further reduced by taxation, thus reducing their ability to provide themselves with the excellent diet they need to have, both to remain alive long enough to get started on their long-delayed forty-year adult careers, and to keep themselves out of the clutches of the totally unacceptable, immoral and iniquitous medical profession.
Incidentally, another way in which such legislation would damage people such as myself is that it would probably have the effect of making fish-oils more expensive and difficult to obtain, and perhaps eventually almost unobtainable.
I don’t think we need worry too much that even the ‘poorest’ are prevented from getting fish-oils if they want them. Children on the whole appear to have enough pocket-money, and their parents enough social benefits, to become obese and alcoholic.
11 March 2007
I recently bought Celia Greens 'Advice for Clever Children' from a dealer on Amazon. In the book I found a letter written by a certain 'Fabian Wadel' adressed to the Librarian of the Institute of Education at the University of London which says;My comments
"We enclose two complimentary copies of books by Dr Celia Green, which we hope you will accept as gifts to your library" and, "We hope the books may be of particular interest to young people of undergraduate age."
This is dated September 17 2004. I have it now in front of me. Is it at least plausible to surmise that the librarian took one look at this book and was so freaked out by the content that it was immediately donated to another book dealer and put up for sale?
Having read the book myself I can tell you that — if what you describe is true — any academic library would rather accept 10 complimentary copies of Mein Kampf than anything by Celia Green — an ideological closed shop after all.
Thank you for sending the information about what happened to our presentation of books to the London University Department of Education. It is no surprise; we are heavily censored and it costs us a lot of money (and of course, effort) to get even a few books out into the world.
As usual, my aims and objects are diametrically opposed to those of society at large, so far as I am concerned. I need my books to reach the widest possible audience because those who might give us any assistance, by work, money or moral support, are clearly extremely few and far between. Society at large, and practically every individual representative of it, wants me to remain as inconspicuous, inactive, and as nearly as possible non-existent at possible.
Asking libraries for our books might be of more use to us than buying them, unless (or perhaps even if) you are a person whose bookshelf is frequently visited by other people. But what motive could anyone have for making the exertion involved in asking for one of our books at a library?
You seem to take a very dim view of the objectivity and openness to criticism of academics; of course you are quite right to do so, but the academic world is supposed to be passionately devoted to freedom of expression, as I read only a few days ago, so shouldn’t you sound a bit surprised, or even shocked?
07 March 2007
The relevant saying occurs at the end of the last chapter of Matthew, which is evidently designed to provide the Christian church with authority and support for its ways of going on. Nevertheless it is probable that that particular saying is based on a reminiscence of things said by a higher level person, although the same cannot be said for the rest of the instructions supposedly given by Christ.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew, Ch. 18, verses 18-20.)
In the Gospel of Thomas ‘power’ is a translation of the Greek word dunamis (source of words dynamite, dynamic). Elsewhere in Thomas dunamis is translated as ‘strength’, and whenever it occurs it is possible to read it as meaning ‘psychological strength or energy’. The following passage contains both of the words dunamis and cosmos, another Greek word which is translated as ‘world’ (both in Thomas and in the synoptic Gospels) but might be better translated as ‘society’.
Therefore I say: If the lord of the house knows that the thief is coming, he will stay awake before he comes and will not let him dig through into the house of his kingdom to carry away his goods. You then must watch for the world (cosmos), gird up your loins with great strength (dunamis) lest the brigands find a way to come to you, because they will find the advantage which you expect. (saying 21)
Since the house is described as ‘the house of his kingdom’ we may suppose it refers to an actually or potentially higher level psychology.
The word cosmos had a wide range of applications in classical Greek, and the Greeks did not make a clearcut distinction between the objective physical world and the world of social or political experience. So cosmos could well be taken to mean something like, ‘the social consensus, the right ordering of things, the right set of beliefs about society’. This is regarded in Thomas as intrusive and inimical, to be guarded against, likely to rob the individual of what is rightfully his own.
Jesus said: Whoever has found the world (cosmos) and become rich, let him deny (arneisthai) the world. (saying 110)
The word arneisthai (translated as ‘deny’, ‘renounce’) occurs again in the following passage.
Jesus said: Whoever has known the world (cosmos) has found the body, and whoever has found the body, of him the world (cosmos) is not worthy. (saying 80)
Jesus said: Let him who has become rich become king, and let him who has power (dunamis) renounce (arneisthai) [it]. (saying 81)
What is to be renounced in the second of these sayings is not clear, and appears in the translation as [it]. But as the cosmos has just been mentioned, it could well be that.
The sense that has become associated with ‘deny, renounce’ may not be quite the original meaning. In English, with the traditional associations of Christianity, the words suggest ascetically foregoing some source of gratification, but the Greek word has associations of refusing to give a benefit, or refusal to make some positive assertion in favour of somebody or something.
Arneomai is the opposite of didomi, which has meanings associated with putting oneself in someone’s power, devoting or sacrificing to gods, sanctioning or permitting something. In fact the underlying meaning of didomi is dedicating, devoting or giving oneself. So ‘renouncing the world’ is close to meaning a refusal to give oneself to society.
Although it is possible to see what may have been meant by ‘renouncing the world (society)’, the injunction to do so is as pointless as the other psychological injunctions which can be found in various Gospels. Mostly they consist of something that amounts to saying ‘Do get a higher level’, or ‘do be on a higher level’. Telling people to watchfully guard against the bandits of social belief entering the house of their kingdom is very nearly as useless, because by the time they are adults nearly everyone is profoundly committed to a social world view. Perhaps the commitment is preventing various psychological developments from taking place, but psychology is very difficult to change, even if one wants to.
The social bandits well and truly invaded the house when the child was too young to understand any instructions about guarding against them.
(Extracts from The Gospel According to Thomas, translated by Guillaumont, Puech, Quispel, Till and Yassah ‘Abd Al Masih, published by Brill, Leiden, 2001.)
05 March 2007
Middle earners are bearing the brunt of the highest tax levels for a quarter of a century to prop up failing public services, a report concludes today. … A family with £45,000 a year in disposable income will see 48.7 per cent of it disappear in direct and indirect taxes. ...My comments
A study, from the centre-right think tank Reform, warns ‘Taxes are rising to their highest level for 25 years. … the billions of pounds raked in to increase spending on schools and hospitals have been squandered in a decade of Labour rule. … Its writers say Britain is ‘very poorly placed internationally for the next ten years, with low taxation and excellence in education crucial for future success. … Less than half of children currently achieve five good GCSEs including English and maths.’
The report... warns that on current trends, from 2012 young people can expect to pay high taxes and compulsory payments towards higher education and pensions. The effective tax burden for a typical graduate will be 47.6 per cent, before any other costs of living are added on.
There are constantly being new proposals for increasing the burden of taxation, such as prolonging compulsory education, setting up databases, including fingerprinting for 11-year olds, ID cards for all, monitoring and charging for every mile driven by every motorist, more money to be spent on treating obese or alcoholic children and taking them away from their parents, inspectors to invade houses at any time to see if there have been any improvements which could be used as a justification for raising the Council Tax, which is needed to provide ‘help’ and intervention for the dysfunctional, and so on. But who is complaining? It shouldn’t take my IQ to realise that the object of the exercise is to reduce the most intelligent, functional and independent members of the population to poverty, and dependence on a population of agents of the collective (doctors, teachers, social workers etc) with a low average IQ.
I am fairly sure that however much attention we may seem to get on the internet, it will never do us any good. It is one of those semi-permeable membranes that can never be broken through. We are just seen to be a different sort of being from socially recognised Professors with academic status and salary. At any rate, it has never yet done us any good.
People have come to work here (a few people — not enough, even if they had all stayed) only as a result of seeing my books on library shelves alongside books by the likes of Richard Dawkins, who have the salary and social status of which we have been deprived. The only advantage I can see in our somewhat enlarged presence on the internet is that, if and when we manage to get one of our books (distress flares) onto a library shelf, some people may be familiar enough with my name to borrow it, hence reducing the likelihood that the library in question will quickly relegate it to the cellar or the scrapheap.
The article on lucid dreaming on Wikipedia is very low-grade, so that the association with that subject seems likely to do us harm rather than good. I have never yet been able to obtain academic status and funding to do the research that I saw, myself, as arising out of my initial demonstration that there was, in fact, a potential field of research.
One thing that makes me fairly sure that the internet is unlikely ever to do us any good is that people have always been keen on encouraging us to use it as a means of ‘publication’, getting people to pay for downloading, etc. I have always worried about anything other people encouraged me to do, and been pretty sure that what they most violently opposed was probably the right course to pursue.
04 March 2007
Record numbers of parents are choosing to teach their children at home amid mounting disillusion with state schools, the Government’s own research revealed yesterday. ...The study, commissioned by the Department for Education, suggests the numbers of home-schooled children have almost tripled since 1999 despite the boasts of ministers that state schools have improved. ...
By law, parents who shun the school system must ensure their child receives a ‘suitable’ education according to ‘age, aptitude and ability’. ... Local education authorities are legally required to check on home-educated children who have been taken out of school. Their inspectors can force youngsters back to school if they are not being properly taught.
However, the law also gives parents the right to refuse to ‘present’ their children for monitoring. As a result, they do not have to submit to any checks by the authorities throughout their child’s home schooling.
Most children who do go to school are starting at the age of four — a year earlier than the official beginning of formal education. ... The survey by the Times Educational Supplement prompted warning that increasing numbers of children are starting formal schooling before they are ready — in the rest of Europe it does not happen until the age of six or seven. (From ’150,000 children educated at home’ Daily Mail 24 February 2007.)
Difficult, if not impossible, to believe that a child can really be got off the hook just by its parents de-registering it with the source of all power and oppression.
What happens about the exam-taking? Can you really get your child accepted at some exam-taking centre without it falling back into the power of the ‘authority’? And practicals, as ever, are a stumbling block. Can you arrange for your child to do the work at a place that can suitably certify it for exam purposes without it becoming the business of the local ‘authority’?
A very good thing that parents educating children at home could do, if they had any sense, would be to come and live nearby and offer voluntary work to my beleaguered academic institution in administrative and other useful capacities. If we were receiving enough such help, it might enable us to provide learning materials for various subjects, including, possibly, classes on investment and other forms of business enterprise.
But the snag is that such parents, like everyone else in modern Britain, have learnt that no help should ever be given to individuals with high IQs, even if it might turn out advantageous to themselves to do so.
Nor have I ever been able to draw ‘Social Security’ even though deprived of any means of earning a living. Since I was thrown out unqualified for the only sort of career I could have, I never drew any benefit. I was not prepared to pretend that I was seeking work and go through the motions of applying for jobs, such as the schoolteaching that everyone wanted to force me into so as to enjoy my suffering and humiliation. I went to the SPR in the first instance, purely for money, because my parents, at the behest of society at large, were trying to force me to ‘earn a living’. I thought, in view of their oppressive attitude, that I would need to collect any pittance that I could get for my return to Oxford in the autumn. At the SPR, I found there was a potential field of research with which I might be able to regain access to an academic career.
But I have never been able to draw benefits, however hard up I was, because I was thrown out at 21 with no usable qualification for the only sort of career I could have and I could not earn money in any other way. I had no income after my brief and intolerable period of employment at the SPR, which was as intolerable as I had known it would be. I had to put an end to it as soon as I could, before the damage being done to me became even harder to reverse.
Although I had no income, the fact that my supervised ‘education’ had left me with no usable qualification at all meant that I could not draw anything from the ‘social security’. If you can do that, when you are unemployed, you get your National Insurance contributions paid for you, so that you still get a basic state pension at the end. I had to pay voluntary contributions myself out of any money that I could make or obtain for myself in any legal way, to reduce the disadvantage at which I would be when I reached retirement age in comparison with someone who had been able to have a salary.
01 March 2007
Some years ago there was a similar article revealing that, in the case of women, 55 was the age at which doctors thought them past bothering with. Taking a short break at Boscombe in a seaside hotel, I was discussing this with someone at the breakfast table, sitting opposite a lady in her fifties. She twice protested at so painful a topic being discussed, so I stopped talking about it. But that clearly illustrates, both how demoralising the immoral power of the medical Mafia is, and why there is no sympathy with those who complain of it.
When this lady went to her doctor she liked, no doubt, to maintain an uneasy fiction that she could trust him, rely on him to exercise his powers in her best interests (as understood by herself) , and believe what he said. She would wish to do this in order to relieve her anxieties about any symptoms she might have, but it would take quite a lot of emotional energy to do so, in view of the available evidence. Taking up emotional energy in this way is essentially decentralising. Recognising that one is alone in a hostile world is, or may be, eventually liberating (although, no doubt, there are plenty of ways of doing it wrong).
This lady, like everyone else, believed in society. On higher level terms, and in view of the basic moral principle, one considers it highly immoral to force people into decentralised positions, and tries to avoid offering people the usual provocations to reactiveness. The psychological social contract is what happens when the individual gives up his own drives to self-fulfilment and becomes the willing slave of social oppression, in return for the possibility of oppressing others, or enjoying the spectacle of their being oppressed by the social forces with which he has thrown in his lot.
Once a society has instigated an oppressive regime, such as the modern Welfare (Oppressive) State, there is no real possibility of reversing it, as an increasing number of people wish to believe in the ‘benefits’ they are deriving from it, including in many cases the opportunity to oppress other people, rather than face up to the terrifying nature of the threats to which they are exposed.
It may also be pointed out that discrimination against persons over a certain age is discrimination against aristocratic genes and high IQs (as certainly as is a chronological-age related exam system) since high IQ is positively correlated with longevity. My parents, with aristocratic genes and high IQs, remained functional with little recourse to medication or hospital treatment until they had reached an age at which they were, in the eyes of the medical Mafia, past their sell-by date. People with worse genes and lower IQs cost the taxpayers (via the NHS) much more over their lifetime than my parents did, even if in a shorter lifetime.