Issue #23 May/June 2023
“Without trouble, conflict, life become dead. People live in status quo, live only by habit, automatically and without conscience.”
We enter June, and the Summer Solstice will soon be upon us. Modern Druids will assemble at Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain and perform some ritual or other that they invented in the 1950s. Modern Druidry, which emerged in the 18th century, has no connection to its roots – the original ancient Celtic priests, left behind no written record. In their day knowledge was passed by word of mouth alone.
Insofar as we understand their beliefs and practices, it derives from the stories of Greek and Roman scribes who met them – and who scribed sparingly with biased quills. The Druids were respected figures within Celtic society, holding roles as priests, judges, advisors, healers, and educators. They were the intelligentsia, possessing knowledge of natural phenomena, astronomy, medicine, and religious rituals.
They had a pantheon of deities: Cernunnos was a horned god of fertility, who oversaw the cycle of life and death – in man and animals too. Morrigan was the goddess of sovereignty, war, prophecy, and transformation. They looked to Brigid the beautiful for healing, poetry, and inspiration. The industrious god Lugh brought skills, craftsmanship, and leadership. Danu, the mother goddess ruled the rivers, fertility, and abundance. Belenus was the sun and brought prosperity. Their seventh god was Epona, she who rode with the horses and delivered protection.
We know nothing of these deities. Their legends have evaporated like the morning dew. As a species, we have drunk deep of the waters of the Lethe – we are full of forgetting.
What Is Intelligence?
I was entertaining myself with ChatGPT – the “latest thing” in artificial intelligence. I gave it the task of composing a sonnet to Artificial Intelligence in the style of William
Shakespeare. This is what it came up with:
The Two Wolves
In the twilight of a cool American evening, beneath the watchful gaze of the crescent moon, an old Cherokee chief named Akecheta sits near the crackling fire, embers dancing upward into the starry sky. His grandson, Takoda, a growing boy with eyes that reflect constellations above him, sits cross-legged, listening intently.
Holy The Firm
Consider the prayer: Holy God, Holy Immortal, Holy Firm, Have Mercy on us. (The Tales p752). What does it mean? And in particular what does “Holy Firm” mean? The Holy Firm is the greatest denying force in the universe, the greatest opposition to
Time and Eternity
There is little agreement between modern science and the Work. If you cannot agree about the nature of something as fundamental as time, then it is no surprise that there is disagreement about lesser things. Modern science regards time as a linear dimension and believes (oddly) that the presence of mass distorts.
Rodney Collin is a key figure in the history of esoteric thought and the Fourth Way tradition. He was a dedicated pupil of Peter Ouspensky – one of the few who went off to develop his own lineage after Ouspensky died. There can be little doubt that Collin’s unique contribution to the Gurdjieff Work has had a lasting impact. Nevertheless, little is known about his early life, the time he spent with Ouspensky, and his group work up to his mysterious death in Cuzco, Peru. This excellent 380-page biography fleshes out the details and reviews his life’s work.
Click Here for more details.