28 January 2010

The drawbacks of marrying heiresses

Land-ownership in Europe was inherited by eldest sons, which was understandable as it carried military obligations, to raise armies and fight on the side of the king or other superior when required to do so. Females inherited only when there was no male heir.

Marrying an heiress with estates of her own, which was often done (for example) by British aristocrats in the 19th century, was a way of enlarging the estates of the family into which she married. This raises the question: why did the heiress’s family have no male heirs – why was she the heir in the first place? Was there some anti-male factor in their genes? If a family continued to marry into such families, perhaps it was decreasing its ability to produce viable male offspring.

I recall reading in H.G. Wells’s Outline of History that the Habsburgs ‘married their way to world power’. This led ultimately to one of the largest empires of the Middle Ages but also to the prevalence of haemophilia in the royal families of Europe. Haemophilia is genetically determined, carried by females as a recessive gene but more or less rapidly fatal to males who inherit it.

A somewhat similar pattern seems to have been shown by my ancestors the Cleares (then spelt Clere), descendants of the Duke of Clere Monte, who came over with William the Conqueror. For a time they flourished and their coats-of-arms became ever more complicated as they added the insignia of heiresses. They had several manor houses in Tudor England.

Eventually, however, they had no male heir of their own, having produced female triplets. These, presumably, married into various aristocratic families, leaving the name of Cleare (or Clere) to be carried on by their father’s younger brothers and any other male relatives, without estates attached.

There are various indications that, even after losing their estates, people with the name of Cleare were IQ-ful and got into responsible positions. The only people with that name outside my mother’s family of whom I have become aware were a retired bank manager, and someone with a doctorate in chemistry who was on the Board of Directors of Johnson Matthey.

The effect of marrying heiresses on European dynasties is one of the many issues which could be developed by the History Department of my unrecognised independent university for which, once again, I appeal for funding to enable it to contribute to modern debates by drawing attention to suppressed points of view, instead of being stifled and suppressed as it is at present.

22 January 2010

Anger management and the Tarot

Extract from a book attempting to apply a system of Tarot card interpretations to psychology

The man who, to become superior like the sphinx, has struggled with his destiny at the tenth level of consciousness of the wheel of fortune has learned a great deal in this conflict ... He had to learn to imagine himself in the place of his opponent, thereby adopting and accepting the standpoint of the other person. Suddenly the whole matter appeared to him in an entirely different light ... As a consequence of this, everyone around him admired him for his imperturbable composure and began to emulate it. People again came to seek his advice in all kinds of matters. [Part of interpretation of card no. 11, entitled ‘Power’] *

It should not be supposed that I find the psychology advocated in books on the Tarot more comprehensible than that advocated in modern society at large. In fact, I quote this extract because of its similarity to what is likely to be heard in "anger management" classes.

In practice I find, and always have found, that my lack of acceptance of my social position, as well as my attempts to work towards remedying it, arouses anger in those to whom I express it, and apparently a wish to reject my own experience of my position. There is certainly no sign of a willingness to imagine themselves in my place, since I am angrily told that I should be able to think and feel about it quite differently from the ways I do.

For my part, I am quite unable to think myself into the position of those who are angry and morally indignant at me, as I cannot imagine myself, at any time in my life, having such reactions towards someone who complained of their position and of the difficulties which they experienced in attempting to ameliorate it.

* Elisabeth Haich, The Wisdom of the Tarot, Unwin, 1975, pp.91-92

15 January 2010

The hallucinatory mirror

Copy of a letter to someone who asked for a signed copy of our “Apparitions” book.

Charles said you wanted to have a signed copy of Apparitions (which we wrote, so long ago, as a sighting shot) and this reminded me of an anecdote about one of the more unusual types of hallucinatory experience. These have of course received little attention because they do not fit in with the preferred spiritualist model.

Sometimes a feature of the environment is consistently seen as being there by a certain person, less often by more than one person.

An academically successful Chinese lady, very socialist and materialist in outlook, told me this story as having happened in a high school or college in Korea (I think). One of the girl students told another that whenever she went to the toilet she looked at herself in a mirror which was on the wall, and always saw herself as more beautiful than she really was. The other girl said, "But there is no mirror in that toilet". The girl who had seen it there was too scared ever to go into that toilet again.

It seemed clear enough from our appeals that there is a wide variety of such experiences with consistent characteristics and it was very shocking to find, not only that we would not be allowed to do any kind of research on a more adequate scale, but that we would prevented even from continuing to do appeals of the same kind on the same fairly constricted basis. There was endless scope for such appeals both in the fields in which we had already made them and in others, and we had surely demonstrated our ability to get information out of them which was in advance of anything previous. We could have gone on getting a lot (on normal terms) out of research of this kind, but we were squeezed into total inactivity, although appeals mimicking ours were made by other people in salaried academic positions, without any constructive results and with very tendentious encouragement of misinterpretation.

Hallucinatory experiences shed doubt on the solidity of the physical environment, a belief in which is considered desirable (in fact, in an unanalytical way, essential) to support the ideology of the oppressive society (the oppression of the individual by society). Books by academic ‘philosophers’ on the philosophy of mind may start by stating baldly in their first few pages, "There is an objective physical world which is common to all observers and observer-independent", or else assume this to be the case throughout without explicit mention of the fact that this assumption has been made.

Even the ‘psychical researchers’ of the heyday of Western civilisation were relatively blind to the hallucinatory experiences which occurred, unless the experiences suggested a model of a ‘spirit’ or conscious being with a quasi-spatial body (sometimes called the ‘astral body’) moving around in ‘normal’ physical space.

12 January 2010

Two pensioners left to die

News item: two pensioners found dead.

Old, frail and struggling with the bitter weather, it was obvious that Jean and Derek Randall's lives were at risk. As Mr Randall's health failed and he accepted he could no longer look after his wheelchair-bound wife, a neighbour and the couple's MP contacted social services, the NHS and even Age Concern in the search for a care home place. But, despite weeks of phone calls, no help was provided. Last Thursday a concerned neighbour looked through the couple's letterbox and spotted 76-year-old Mr Randall lying dead in the hallway.

... Last night a neighbour declared: 'I believe they died because everyone who is supposed to care for the elderly in our society did not do it. Everyone passed the buck.' (Daily Mail)

Why were they not popped into a "care home", it is asked – in which they would not be paying guests who were free to leave, but incarcerated dependants of the state? Their lives would not necessarily have been prolonged, they might well have been shortened. And they would have been living at the mercy of other people, and in a decentralised state, possibly drugged out of their minds.

What pensioners need is not "care homes" into which they can be shovelled to end their lives in captivity, but pensions which are not means-tested and sufficient to enable them to employ housekeepers etc. so they can continue to live in freedom without invoking the "aid" of the oppressive society.

"Care homes" run by the state should be abolished, as should state-funded "education".

11 January 2010

Appeal to lucid dream researchers

As explained in the previous post, my choice of lucid dreams as a research topic was determined by what I thought was most likely to get me reinstated as a salaried academic. Not only did my work on the topic fail to achieve this objective, but I found to my chagrin that it was being used by other people as a basis for developing their careers without this doing me the slightest good.

Many years later I wrote an open letter appealing to all those who had worked on the topic after me, to contribute some of their salary to relieving my position of exile and frustration.

I have now put this appeal on my website.

10 January 2010

My "work"

copy of a letter to a recent visitor

You referred to some of the books I have written and forced into publication as part of my "work" when I rejected your previous description of them as part of my "career". So far as I am concerned, what one does in such bad circumstances is quite a different matter from what might be described as "work" in minimally adequate circumstances, such as those which might be provided by a university career.

I would never have worked on lucid dreams except under the duress of finding something which might get me back into a university career and which fell within the remit of the (only partially adequate) funding which I received for a short time from Cecil King.

You could say that it was "work" in the same sense as the chalk drawings of a pavement artist, inadequately clothed and fed and in a position of complete social degradation. If evidence of his ability in these circumstances led to enough coins being thrown down, he might be able to afford food and accommodation, and use his ability to express himself in oil paintings. He might in due course be elected to membership of the Royal Academy, show his paintings at public exhibitions, and eventually make significant amounts of money from selling them. In other words, he might then be able to make an actual career out of painting.

07 January 2010

The disadvantaged underclass

copy of a letter to a visitor

We are looking forward to meeting you on Monday. The reason that we are very keen on getting to know people, but seldom can, is that we are in an anomalous and outcast position and want to make known our need for associates, moral and financial supporters, voluntary and paid workers, temporary, occasional, potentially permanent and long term.

But we are the disadvantaged underclass of modern society and no one wants to hear us say this. If we do meet anyone, saying this is usually sufficient to put an end to the acquaintance.

Typical interchange:

"We are badly in need of help and maybe you could tell your group with such and such interests about us, as they are prepared to do voluntary work in other contexts, so some of them might work for us."
"You are not in need of help. You are physically alive/you have written some books/you get all the moral support you need out of one another. Goodbye. I need to leave immediately."

There are many elements in our situation which are at variance with, or ruled out of consideration by, the dominant fictitious ideology. We will not be able to put in much background in our meeting on Monday, so I am now writing a few of the most essential and unacceptable things in advance of meeting you.

We do not subscribe to any part of the modern received ideology. I am old enough, and was precocious enough, to have effectively lived in the pre-socialist world for quite a long time, but in 1945 it came in fast enough and hard enough to ruin my education and not only my life, but those of my parents. The forces that had ruined my education were continuously operative in preventing my recovery from my outcast situation when I had been thrown out at the end of the ruined "education" with a second class degree (i.e. no degree at all, only a disqualification), no research scholarship, and with the lives of both my parents ruined by the breakdown of my father's health.

I am still completely alienated from society, in that I still derive no feedback from it in any way for anything I have been able to do; I do not regard this as an acceptable situation and I need help in working towards a situation in which I can remedy it. If people do not give me any help themselves, I hope that they will at least help me by publicising my needs to anyone who might be free to give us some of the help we need and who might even derive some advantage themselves from a long-term (or short-term) association with us.