Sunday, January 31, 2021

Witnesses to Jesus

After a long delay while I waited for my understanding of the passage to be un-blocked, my notes on John 5:31-47 (with a digression about Elijah) are finally up on my Fourth Gospel Blog.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

I'm done with the election

Whatever will be, will be. I'm done making predictions. I'm also done documenting the Liararchy's lies. I think it's been pretty well established by now that they lie about everything and that everything is fake. Pointing that out again and again is a distraction and a waste of energy. It's time to let the dead bury their dead and focus on what really matters.

Last night I put my music on random shuffle and got this interesting juxtaposition.



We've only just begun -- on the eve of destruction. My meditation (in this post) on the time just after the resurrection of Christ has reminded me that there is no real contradiction in this. New beginnings in spiritual terms have a way of happening on what is in material and even "religious" terms, the eve of destruction. After the revelations of Moses, 40 years of wandering in the desert. After David, idolatry. After Isaiah and Jeremiah, the destruction of Jerusalem. After Jesus, Nero and then the destruction of Jerusalem again. After Joseph Smith and the Romantics, the Civil War and then the 20th century.

The voice said, "Cry."

And he said, "What shall I cry?"

"All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever."

Isaiah wrote that. Isaiah. Isaiah, who saw God and took the burning coals of heaven in his mouth. Isaiah who stood against king and priest alike and, at the whim of God's anointed monarch, was stuffed into a hollow log and cut in half with a saw. Incomparably great Isaiah.

Behold, I have created the smith
that bloweth the coals in the fire,
and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work;
and I have created the waster to destroy.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;
and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

Let the world go to hell. That's where it's always been going anyway. Our business is elsewhere, and they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Reading the Bible in the 2020s

Back in my churchgoing days, someone thought it was a good idea to give me the job of explaining the Bible to college students. I know, right? Anyway, one of the things I quickly learned was that many parts of the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament, are apt to be misunderstood without some background knowledge of the sometimes very different cultural assumptions of the original authors and their intended readers. The past is, as they say, a foreign country.

For example, consider this passage in Genesis (24:2-3, 9).

And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. . . . And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

This may strike us today as funny, disgusting, indecent, or just bizarre, but that's how things were done in those days. You solemnized an oath by putting your hand not on a Bible (Bibles hadn't been invented yet) but on the party of the second part's you-know-what! Traces of this once prevalent practice can be found in such modern words as testify, testament, and testimony -- linguistic fossils attesting (so to speak!) to the connection, once taken for granted, between solemn oaths and the testicles.

Here's another example, from Exodus (33:11).

And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

That's right, as disgusting, dangerous, and downright selfish as it seems to us today, in ancient times it was acceptable and even expected for friends -- friends, not enemies! -- to speak face to face, without even wearing masks. What today would convey the message "I hope you get sick and die" was in those days actually seen as a token of esteem and intimacy. We can see linguistic "fossil" evidence of this, too, in such terms as Facebook and FaceTime, dating back to an era when seeing another person's face was actually seen as a positive good!

It is with this cultural context in mind that we must interpret all the seemingly blasphemous references in the Bible to "seeking the face" of the Lord. We must remember that in those benighted days, before even the germ theory of disease had been discovered, let alone the importance of masks and social distancing, "face" had a very different connotation. The face was not then seen primarily as a disease vector which all decent people keep covered up, but simply as another part of the body. Seeking the "face" of the Lord simply meant to seek his presence. We can find a partial parallel in such modern colloquialisms as "Get your ass over here!" in which, without necessarily implying anything unseemly, a rather dirty and indecent part of the body is used synecdochically to refer to the person himself.

Hopefully these little notes have helped to shed light on some of the Old Testament's "hard sayings." We must keep in mind that, no matter how far we may have progressed since Bible times in terms of scientific knowledge and standards of decency, the spiritual message of the Bible remains relevant today!

YouTube is gaslighting us

Yesterday, wanting to quantify how unpopular the Fake President is, I created a spreadsheet and recorded how many likes and dislikes each of the videos on the White House's official YouTube channel had. I didn't take screenshots, because it didn't occur to me that the data I was collecting would later be memory-holed. (A screenshot doesn't prove anything anyway, since it would be easy to modify it. Either you trust me or you don't.)

I checked the same videos again today, and almost every one of them now has fewer dislikes than it had yesterday. Here are the numbers:
  • The Inauguration of the 46th President of the United States
    • Yesterday: 14,000 likes; 69,000 dislikes
    • Today: 14,000 likes; 68,000 dislikes
  • President Biden Reviews the Readiness of Military Troops in a Pass In Review
    • Yesterday: 3,600 likes; 18,000 dislikes
    • Today: 3,700 likes; 16,000 dislikes
  • The Work Begins
    • Yesterday: 5,100 likes; 25,000 dislikes
    • Today: 5,100 likes; 22,000 dislikes
  • President Biden and Vice President Harris Participate in a Wreath Laying Ceremony
    • Yesterday: 3,500 likes; 20,000 dislikes
    • Today: 3,500 likes; 17,000 dislikes
  • President Biden Signs Executive Orders and Other Presidential Actions
    • Yesterday: 6,900 likes; 37,000 dislikes
    • Today: 6,900 likes; 34,000 dislikes
  • President Biden Swears In Day One Presidential Appointees in a Virtual Ceremony
    • Yesterday: 6,500 likes; 27,000 dislikes
    • Today: 6,600 likes; 23,000 dislikes
  • 01/20/21: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki
    • Yesterday: 7,800 likes; 32,000 dislikes
    • Today: 7,800 likes; 29,000 dislikes
  • President Biden Delivers Remarks and Signs Executive Orders
    • Yesterday: 6,300 likes; 19,000 dislikes
    • Today: 6,300 likes; 17,000 dislikes
  • President Biden Takes Action On [The Birdemic]
    • Yesterday: 2,400 likes; 7,800 dislikes
    • Today: 2,400 likes; 7,100 dislikes
  • Five New Economic Actions
    • Yesterday: 2,300 likes; 11,000 dislikes
    • Today: 2,400 likes; 11,000 dislikes
  • President Biden Speaks To The U.S. Conference Of Mayors
    • Yesterday: 4,300 likes; 30,000 dislikes
    • Today: 4,400 likes; 29,000 dislikes
It's not strictly speaking impossible for the number of dislikes to go down in reality, since liking or disliking a video is reversible. It's possible to click the thumbs-down icon, disliking the video, and then change your mind, click it again, and remove the dislike. But even if we accept the ridiculous premise that many thousands of people are doing that -- that many thousands of people have warmed up to Biden and thought, "Gee, I'd better get back on YouTube and un-dislike his videos!" -- wouldn't we expect those same people to then like those videos? But for the most part, the number of likes has remained static since yesterday.

Look at the "Wreath Laying Ceremony" video, for example. Yesterday, 3,500 people liked it and 20,000 people disliked it. Today, if we take the numbers at face value, 3,000 people who had disliked the video had a change of heart. If these hypothetical 3,000 people had all gone back to the video and changed their dislike to a like, the total number of likes would have almost doubled -- but in fact it hasn't changed at all. There are still just 3,500 likes. I guess all those people said, "I thought I disliked this video before, but now I realize that I actually neither like nor dislike it." Okay, sure.

So YouTube is very obviously cooking the numbers. The question is why they're choosing to be so unnecessarily blatant about it. I mean, absolute numbers are not important here. No one has a very clear idea whether 20,000 dislikes is high or low; what they look at is the ratio. The Wreath Laying video had a dislike-to-like ratio of 5.7-to-1 yesterday, and today it's 4.9-to-1. YouTube could have accomplished the same thing by adding 600-some likes rather than deleting 3,000 dislikes. The number of likes going up over time is normal, so no one would have noticed anything fishy. Instead, though, they chose to delete large numbers of dislikes, making the fraud obvious. Why?

All I can conclude is that, as with the Fake Election itself, the Powers That Shouldn't Be want the fraud to be obvious. They want those who go along with it to know that they're going along with fraud -- because the ultimate goal is not to dupe innocent people but to cause people to damn themselves by being complicit in their own deception. As is increasingly true these days, nothing makes sense if you don't recognize the role of purposive evil -- literal demons -- in what is going on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Fourth Gospel Blog

I am in the process of collecting my posts on the Fourth Gospel (as well as those about other parts of the Bible, from a Fourth Gospel perspective) on a new Fourth Gospel Blog. There's not much there yet, and nothing new, but expect new content in the near future. In the meantime, any of you who have not yet read my (extremely long!) post on John 1 might want to check it out.

Don . . . Quixote?

Yesterday, the number 121 kept coming up. My wife was running the washing machine and asked me to check how much time was left on it. It was 1 hour 21 minutes. Later, when I stopped at a gas station, the attendant said, "Is $121 okay?"

In the evening I went to a used bookstore and was drawn like a magnet to a slim volume called Parsifal and the Search for the Grail by Charles Kovacs -- lecture notes for use in Steiner-Waldorf schools -- and knew I should turn to page 121.

With this story we leave the brave knight Don Quixote, a man who really had some of the qualities of the true knights -- courage, love for battle, the wish to combat evil -- but, alas, lacked common sense and lived in a world of fantasy and illusion. And we also leave Sancho Panza, who had commonsense, but could not understand noble ideals and principles at all. . . .

In the end Don Quixote returns to La Mancha, his home village, and falls ill. But as death approaches he awakes from his dream of knights, and he dies with a clear mind, whilst Sancho Panza cries and weeps at the loss of a master who -- even in his folly -- was a good man, a man who strove for goodness.

Monday, January 25, 2021

More "incompetence" from Google

These tables show the first page of search results (first 10 results) for the search strings indicated on DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Google. The numbers indicate ranking (1 is the first result, 2 is the second, etc.).


I've put "incompetence" in scare quotes because it is only on politically charged topics that Google drops the ball. In general, it continues to deliver better and more relevant search results than the competition. So of course it's not really incompetence at all, but malice.

What is Trump's mission?

From an old Babylon Bee story

On January 8, John C. Wright posted A Word of Encouragement, which I linked to, explaining why his "faith that Mr. Trump will serve his second term, to which he was lawfully elected by a landslide, is unaltered by recent events." If you haven't read it, you should.

In his post, Mr. Wright compares the situation of Trump supporters on January 8 to those of Jesus' disciples between the crucifixion and the resurrection.

Imagine, if you will, that you and I were standing next to Mary Magdalen after the Crucifixion. To us, at that moment, all the evidence was in. The thing was done. All was over. All dreams were dead. All hope was fled.

But one of the three of us would see him tomorrow, risen. The other two would not, at first, have believed her.

In this hour, to us, for America and for Christendom and for the World, is like that Holy Saturday. All the promises have come to naught.

In this hour, there is no worldly sign of hope.

Logically, that means either that there is no hope, or it means worldly signs are not trustworthy. Take your pick.

I've been thinking of that comparison lately, and especially about the last few chapters of Luke and the beginning of Acts. When, at the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples, "he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one," they must have thought, This is it. The Messiah is going to make his move, vanquish his enemies, drive out the Romans. Thy kingdom come!

They went armed to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus prayed, and when a multitude came, armed with swords and staves to arrest him, led by the traitor Judas, with the chief priests and elders bringing up the rear -- the disciples attacked, slicing off the ear of one of the mob. But Jesus said, "Suffer ye thus far," healed the severed ear, and allowed himself to be taken into custody.

He was taken before Pilate, then Herod, then Pilate again. He was pronounced innocent, and Pilate announced that he would "chastise him, and let him go." Again the disciples must have thought, This is it. The Messiah has been vindicated, the plans of his enemies frustrated, and the hour of his victory is at hand. But then Pilate changed his mind, deferring to the angry crowd, and decided to have him crucified after all.

Even while he hung on the cross, there must have been moments when the disciples thought, This is it. Some miracle will happen. Elias will rescue him. He will come down from the cross. But no such thing happened, and Jesus died.

Later, on the road to Emmaus, the disciples spoke of their disappointment to a stranger -- how they had "trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel" but instead he had been crucified and everything had come to naught. But then came the astonishing revelation that the stranger with whom they were conversing was Jesus himself, that he was alive, that he had literally risen from the dead!

This is about as far as Mr. Wright takes things, but let me continue.

Now, surely, the disciples must have thought, This is it! The Messiah is back. Even death could not stop him! All the prophecies were true after all. Rome is finished. Game on!

But Jesus just hung around for a few weeks, mostly just going around letting people know he was alive. At first the disciples waited patiently for him to make his move, but finally they asked him directly, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Jesus just said, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons" -- and then he ascended up to heaven and never came back. You know, like dead people do.

A few short decades later, Titus Flavius Vespasianus marched against Jerusalem. He razed the Temple and paraded its holy relics through the streets, destroyed the Holy City, put over a million Jews to the sword, and scattered the rest. Jesus did nothing to stop this.

So much for the whole Messiah thing.


In other words, even after triumphing against impossible odds -- it doesn't get much more impossible than rising from the dead! -- Jesus still disappointed, still failed to deliver on the Messianic expectations of his followers.

Some gave up on him.

Some held out hope for a "second coming" at which he would fulfill all the Messianic prophecies after all.

Some came to terms with the fact that Jesus' mission had never been about Making Israel Great Again in the first place. "A greater than Solomon is here," he had said, and he had meant it. His mission was far greater than, and qualitatively different from, that of restoring the kingdom of Solomon. He wasn't merely the Messiah; he was the Christ -- a term that, from then on, would have a new meaning defined by him and him alone.


And what is Trump's mission? I trust that my readers are intelligent enough to realize that this extended comparison is only that, and that I obviously don't see the President as the Messiah or anything like that. My point is this: Even if President Trump is "miraculously" restored to power and serves out his second term -- as I believe he will -- what then?

Four more years? Just that?

Reform the electoral system and make "democracy" democratic again? Just that?

Make America Great Again? But only the American people as a whole, and God, can do that.

These famous lines from Alexander Pope have been much on my mind lately:

Respecting man, whatever wrong we call,
May, must be right, as relative to all.
In human works, though labour'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain;
In God's, one single can its end produce;
Yet serves to second too some other use.
So man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.


Some old posts you might want to reread:

Sunday, January 24, 2021

I tried


Everyone is giving up. Me, I intend to persist in my folly. I’ve heard good things about that.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Drugs are just good, mm'kay?


A comment by Bruce Charlton:

How can anybody (let alone almost-everybody) be so asinine as to make statements that assume 'vaccines' are good? That is precisely analogous to saying 'drugs are good' or 'surgery is good'.

That about sums it up! Show any doubt about any specific drug, including a newly developed one that has been rushed onto the market without adequate testing, and you're one of those crazy "anti-druggers" who are in denial about the proven scientific fact that drugs are an effective way of treating illness.

Support The Science. Take your drugs!

File under "Shocked but not surprised"


In case you can't recognize him under the muzzle he's wearing, this is Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of the Really Long Name That Definitely Doesn't Include the Word Mormon -- and, according to the official pretense, the latter-day equivalent of Moses, Elijah, St. Peter, and Joseph Smith.

From the official news release:

In word and deed, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supported vaccinations for generations. As a prominent component of our humanitarian efforts, the Church has funded, distributed and administered life-saving vaccines throughout the world. Vaccinations have helped curb or eliminate devastating communicable diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus, smallpox and measles. Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life.

As this pandemic spread across the world, the Church immediately canceled meetings, closed temples, and restricted other activities because of our desire to be good global citizens and do our part to fight the pandemic.

Now, COVID-19 vaccines that many have worked, prayed, and fasted for are being developed, and some are being provided. Under the guidelines issued by local health officials, vaccinations were first offered to health care workers, first responders, and other high-priority recipients. Because of their age, Senior Church leaders over 70 now welcome the opportunity to be vaccinated.

As appropriate opportunities become available, the Church urges its members, employees and missionaries to be good global citizens and help quell the pandemic by safeguarding themselves and others through immunization. Individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. In making that determination, we recommend that, where possible, they counsel with a competent medical professional about their personal circumstances and needs.

I like that "where possible" -- a tacit acknowledgement that competent and honest medical professionals are harder and harder to come by. About spiritual professionals it would be more charitable to remain silent.

You remember Moses, right? Good global citizen, that guy.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Yeah, this guy definitely set a record for the popular vote

There’s no way Google is going to let this stand. Downvotes are dangerous and implicitly incite violence.

Not against flesh and blood

On my way home from work last night -- before the inauguration, which took place at 1:00 a.m. Taiwan time -- I stopped at the corner store to buy something. When I was going to leave, I needed to push my scooter forward to disengage the parking mechanism, but one of the store employees was standing right in front of it, sweeping the pavement, so I stood and waited for her. Thus it was that I noticed what was written on the back of her T-shirt:

EPH. 6:11-17
ARMOR OF GOD
JESUS FOREVER

Only about 4% of the Taiwanese are Christians, and this woman may well not have been one of them. English text is often used decoratively, without regard for its meaning.

I think I have adequately demonstrated my ability to connect absolutely anything to Joan of Arc. Seeing this T-shirt, I immediately thought, Great is Diana of the Ephesians! I had already made the connection between the virgin archer-goddess, la pucelle d'arc, and the Maid. "Ephesians," in context, was a reference to wearing armor, which also fits. I also noticed the numbers: 6 + 11 = 17 = Q.

On the way home, I passed some Roman-style banners that had been put out to advertise something: white, with a big red number 1.8 on them. Hints of the Battle of New Orleans again, in Saint George's color scheme.

After the inauguration, I checked Vox Popoli and found this comment:

I admit, I am feeling pretty despairing. But our struggle was never against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of darkness. Even if my rapidly vanishing hopes of an eleventh hour turnaround are proven wrong, even if this really has been all cope, the lesson I will learn is that Jesus really is our only hope, our only salvation.

May He preserve us.

Some hours later, I thought I might as well look up Ephesians 6:11-17. I already knew what it was -- the "armor of God" bit -- but had forgotten that this is also where the line about not wrestling against flesh and blood is found.

[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

[14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

[15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

[16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

[17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Whatever the final denouement of this lying dog-faced pony show may turn out to be, that remains solid advice. Keep the faith, and remember the words of the Maid: I am not afraid. I was born for this. The evil day is upon us; now, having done all, stand.

Jesus forever!

What're you going to do, bleed on me?

So Joe Camel has been invited to the White House, and Trump has flown. What do we say, Clickhole 1, Tarot 0?

At the risk of coming off like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this isn't over.

From time to time, in moments of ebbing faith, I have turned back to the cards for confirmation that Trump really is going to win after all, and the message has always been consistent and unambiguous -- until today, just hours before the inauguration, I asked one last time, "Is Trump really going to pull this off today?", drew a single card, and got this:


If the Tarot wanted to say, "No, actually, Joe Biden's going to win this one," what clearer way to do so than by giving me the one card in the deck that actually has his initials on it?

One way to interpret this -- the reasonable way, surely -- is that it was indeed Trump's destiny to triumph, as the cards and all the other syncs had been saying all along, but that at the last minute he chickened out, failed to live up to that destiny, and changed the future. The omens were true ones, but in the end all things that depend on human agency gang aft agley.

That would be a reasonable take, I think. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. But you know what comes next: Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Did the omens, the cards, the sync fairies really change their story? Didn't they insist that I take Biden seriously back when I was still thinking of him as Walter Mondale 2.0? After assuring me that Trump would win, didn't they then proceed to drag me out of bed at 3:00 a.m. in the middle of the election and make me post about Joe Camel being invited to the White House -- making sure to do so before there were any signs that Biden might actually win, so that the curve-ball would seem real and not just an attempt to cover my ass? And didn't they tell me on January 19 that the date to pay attention to was the day after the inauguration? Has anything actually happened yet that should make me say I was wrong?

So my completely unreasonable interpretation is that, yes, January 20 was Slow Joe's day. Every dog has one, they say. But looking at that card, I don't just see pillars labeled J and B. I see a young woman wearing a cross, with an arc at her feet. I see an unopened scroll half-hidden in her robes, a veil behind her, secrets that have yet to be revealed. And I remember that I have already identified Joe Biden with those pillars, and Trump with the Samson who brings them down.

And what did Biden himself just say in his inaugural address? "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Now come back and take what's coming to you, you yellow bastards! I'll bite your legs off!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Misdirection


Neck, Bert!

Just signed into Blogger . . .

121

On my way to work this morning, I thought, "I should stop for a cup of almond tea -- my prophetic drink." So I did.

Why is almond tea "my prophetic drink"? I can't exactly say, but I've thought of it that way for a long time. I believe the ultimate source of the idea is the story in Jeremiah 1:4-12 of the calling of that prophet.

[4] Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, [5] "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

[6] Then said I, "Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child."

[7] But the Lord said unto me, "Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. [8] Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord."

[9] Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, "Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. [10] See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."

[11] Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, "Jeremiah, what seest thou?"

And I said, "I see a rod of an almond tree."

[12] Then said the Lord unto me, "Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it."

It would be hard to explain why that rod of an almond tree has always stuck in my mind, or how I came to associate it with drinking almond tea, but there it is.

There was an LED advertising board behind the counter at the shop. I looked up at it and saw the Tricolor and the words "Made in France" -- Maid in France -- which got my attention. Then the screen changed, and I saw what it was advertising: a brand of glassware called Cristal d'Arques. "Made in France" notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure d'Arques isn't real French; but if it were, it would be a homophone of d'Arc. (Incidentally, my post on Joan of Arc was illustrated with a portrait of that saint by my sister Kat, whose given name is actually Crystal.)

Checking my email, I saw a message with the subject line "so what did happen on Jan 8 - ideas?" -- about my (apparently failed) prediction that something pivotal would happen on that date. I started thinking how my focus on the date itself was probably a mistake all along, that it had just been meant to draw my attention to the Battle of New Orleans and thus to the Maid, and how I should have known better than to attempt a dated prophecy, since those always fail.

And then, stubbornly determined not to learn from experience, my brain said: 121.

Some 16 or 17 years ago, I spent a lot of time playing around with what I called Simple English Gematria (S:E:G:). Basically, you read A as 1 and Z as 26, add up the values of words, and (my specialty!) notice coincidences.

A few numbers quickly established themselves as specially significant, the most important being 74. Each of the three words Simple English Gematria adds up to 74, for a total of 222 for the phrase. Jesus adds up to 74, as do Messiah, cross, and gospel. So do many other significant words, such as Tarot, the USA (74 = 7/4), and, I notice now, Pucelle.

Then there's 121, the value of revelation, apocalyptic, second coming, seven seals, and antichrist. Today, I realized for the first time that it could also be read as a date: 1/21 -- January 21, or January '21, or both.

The number 121 is 11 squared. I remembered that yesterday I had happened to read a reference to a record company called eleveneleven. Then I remembered a vivid dream I had once had, in which I saw the prophet Jeremiah composing the Book of Lamentations by contemplating an 11-by-11 magic square. This dream had greatly impressed, appropriately enough, a Frenchman.

As much as I should know better by now than to speculate about specific dates, I can't help but wonder. January 21 is the day after inauguration, which fits well with the prophecy that, even though Trump wins in the end, he will also "invite Joe Camel [i.e. Biden and Harris] to the White House."

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Lots of little signs

I just came back from a weekend trip to the forest.

When we arrived at the cabin where we were staying, my wife turned on the television. It was Tremors 2: Aftershocks, and the first thing I heard was (quoting from memory), "Don't worry about Burt. He's got a plan. Burt's always got a plan. Usually." The reference was to the character Burt Gummer, played by Michael Gross, but my recent post connecting the name Bert to Q gave it a different meaning. Trust the plan. As I write this now, I notice that Michael Gross means "Great Michael," the archangel.

We went out hiking, and I paid my respects to a gigantic old fig tree I've visited many times. This time I seemed to feel contact with something older, deeper, huger than the spirit of the tree itself, and I thought, "It's the Guardian Angel of Earth." Just then a woman walked by, and printed on the back of her jacket, in English, was "[. . .] ARE GUARDIAN ANGELS" (the first word was covered by her hair).

Someone had put little signs on the trees at intervals to mark the trail. They hadn't been there last time. Each sign had a picture of a fairy or angel (a man or woman with butterfly wings) holding a white lily flower -- a motif straight off the banner of Joan of Arc.

Later we walked past an old concrete wall on which someone had scratched graffiti with a stone: "平安耶穌愛你" ("Peace, Jesus loves you") and two enormous Qs.

On the way home, we stopped at a 7-Eleven to get coffee. The TV screen behind the counter was playing an advertisement for a movie or video game or something called (in English) "Magic Arch."

Later, in the car, my wife pointed up at the sky and said, "Look, McDonald's!" I asked what on earth she was talking about, and she said, "Oh, the clouds just formed a double arch, but it's gone now." I looked up at the sky anyway, just as a huge eagle flew past. Migrating eagles do fly over Taiwan, but in my 16 years here I never saw one until today.

"Look, McDonald's!" may not be the most romantic reaction to a striking cloud formation, but the occurrence of the name Donald seemed significant.

We had dinner at a restaurant run by a friend, and afterwards she asked if we had any suggestions on how the food could be improved. Someone said, (in Mandarin), "The noodles were great, but I don't think they were quite Q enough. They need to be just a little more Q." In Taiwan, Q (always written with the English letter because there is no Chinese character for it) means something like al dente.

Later, at home, I was washing dishes, listening to music on my phone, and mentally reviewing everything I wanted to include in this post. I had been listening to Leonard Cohen but then had a sudden urge to listen to "Everything Right Is Wrong Again" by They Might Be Giants. This was just as I was thinking about the "Look, McDonald's!" incident. When you select a song, the app will create an "up next" list of songs it considers similar or something, and this is what I got.


I'd never heard of a song called "Rock N Roll McDonalds" before, but there it is, right after "Rock 'N' Roll Is King."

All in all, I feel more confident, less on the edge of my seat, than I did yesterday.

Peace, Jesus loves you.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Stand me by those pillars, let me take this temple down

Given how much I've been blogging about Samson lately (here and at The Magician's Table) and about songs about New Orleans, and given how often I cite the lyrics of Leonard Cohen, it might seem hard to believe that I never knew there was a Leonard Cohen song called "Samson in New Orleans." But I didn't. I discovered it tonight.


Here are the lyrics, with a few interesting passages highlighted.

You said that you were with me
You said you were my friend
Did you really love the city
Or did you just pretend

You said you loved her secrets
And her freedoms hid away
She was better than America
That’s what I heard you say

You said how could this happen
You said how can this be
The remnant all dishonored
On the bridge of misery

And we who cried for mercy
From the bottom of the pit
Was our prayer so damn unworthy
The Son rejected it?

So gather up the killers
Get everyone in town
Stand me by those pillars
Let me take this temple down


The king so kind and solemn
He wears a bloody crown
So stand me by that column
Let me take this temple down

You said how could this happen
You said how can this be
The chains are gone from heaven
The storms are wild and free


There’s other ways to answer
That certainly is true
Me, I’m blind with death and anger
And that’s no place for you

There’s a woman in the window
And a bed in Tinsel Town
I’ll write you when it’s over
Let me take this temple down

Deus vult.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Dominus illuminatio mea

I just read a post by Frank Berger called "Liberty no longer enlightens the world." It closes with the implication that what can enlighten the world is God.

Perhaps we will rediscover libertas again - true libertas - the kind of libertas that does not need to impose its glory upon the world with through the promise of a beckoning, light-casting statue.

The kind of libertas that can lead us from enlightening to finding the Light, if we so choose.

Just after reading that, I happened to see the Oxford logo, with its motto Dominus illuminatio mea -- "The Lord is my light." (The logo as a whole also happens to bear a resemblance to a certain letter of the alphabet.)


The motto is the beginning of Psalm 27. Here's the whole thing:

1  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3  Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4  One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. 

5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

6  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

7  Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8  When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

9  Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10  When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

11  Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12  Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13  I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Wake up, little Susie

Last night, two songs popped into my head. The first, the Pomplamoose rendition of "It's The End Of The World As We Know It," I posted; the second, I didn't, because I couldn't see its relevance: "Dear Prudence" as performed by Siouxsie and the Banshees.


This morning, I was reading a Taiwanese magazine for students of English and my attention was drawn to a full-page advertisement, all in Chinese except for a single English word that jumped out at me: Suzy.


At that exact moment, my phone informed me that I had just received an email, and I checked it:

Dear William,

Shortly after reading your post today, I was listening to CCR on youtube and the second song that came up was Suzie Q.  I don't know how it fits in with the other synchronicities, but maybe it's relevant.

Is this an attempt by the synchronicity fairies to make me take Q seriously, something I have never done before? Or does the name Suzie/Suzy/Siouxsie have some specific relevance?

I thought of this.


Slow Joe is Biden, of course. When I first started thinking about Fox in Socks, I noticed that Sue and Crow suggest the Sioux and the Crow, two closely related American Indian tribes. This of course ties in with Siouxsie and the Banshees.

And then I thought of the Everly Brothers song that gives this post its title. I had been predicting before that Trump's victory would be finalized by January 10, but obviously that didn't happen.

Well, I told your mama that
You'd be in by ten
Well, Susie, baby
Looks like we goofed again

But Susie still goes home, of course, just not on schedule.

Emphasis on "as we know it"

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

-- Revelation 12:12

I am not afraid. I was born for this.

-- the Maid

Q*bert

We made an addition to our menagerie some months ago -- an abandoned kitten whose bright orange color and stumpy, cylindrical tail made his name all but inevitable: Q*bert. And naturally enough, we soon started calling him Q for short.


It took me a while to realize the implication, and to say to myself, "Dude, you have an orange cat named Q! How MAGA is that?" But of course, the fact remains that his real name is Q*bert, after the eighties video game character, and that any resemblance to conspiracy theories living or dead is purely coincidental.

Ah, coincidence!

Later, when I saw this Babylon Bee story, I didn't immediately make the connection.


Then I realized that's Q -- pro-Trump conspiracy-theory Q -- and Bert. Q*bert.

In my last post, I revisited the They Might Be Giants song "The Guitar," suggesting that the lion in the song might represent Trump. Shortly after 9/11, I had interpreted the same song as a "prophecy" of that event, with the lion standing for Osama bin Laden.

Hey, remember this?


The Bangladeshi protesters, searching the Internet for pictures of Osama to download and put on posters, had inadvertently included a "Bert Is Evil!" meme in the mix.

My Q*bert is a cat -- as is another Bert always described as "evil."


Catbert is the creation of Scott Adams, who since 2015 has been blogging pretty much non-stop about Donald Trump. Checking his blog just now, I see that the most recent post highlights the forbidden letter.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Hush my darling, be still my darling, the lion's on the phone

Hmm . . .  a red telephone?

Y'all know by now that I don't shy away from crazy. Well, buckle up.

A little bird just whispered to me, "Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is in space right now?"

Why? How? This can't possibly be literal, right? I don't know, but there's something undeniably appealing about the idea of President Trump munching popcorn and looking down on the lying dog-faced pony show from Space Force One.

The synchronicity fairies consistently portrayed Trump's 2016 victory -- finalized in the wee hours of 9 November -- as a second 9/11, with Trump unexpectedly smashing through the twin towers of the uniparty. Could this be a third? After all, 9 + 11 + 2001 = 2021.

After 9/11, my even-crazier uncle and I played the game of retrospectively reading prophecies of the event into Nostradamus, Beatles lyrics, and so on. One such "prophecy" I discovered was in "The Guitar" by They Might Be Giants.

In the song "The Guitar," first they sing, "In the spaceship, the silver spaceship, the lion takes control." This sounds like a hijacking, and the name Osama means "lion" in Arabic. Later in the song, we hear, "The lion's on the phone." Just as in the Beatles' "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," the phrase "on the phone" is an allusion to 9/11 by way of the emergency phone number 911. The music video cuts to footage of buildings collapsing right after they sing "on the phone." This song is from the album Apollo 18. Apollo suggests Apollyon, the demon mentioned in Revelation 9:11, and 18 plus two (move over once, move over twice) gives us 20 — that is 9 + 11.

The footage of buildings collapsing is accompanied by trumpet music.

Trump was first connected with the lion Aslan by Scott Alexander in Unsong.

The lion represents Trump. He’s big and predatory and has a mane of golden hair. Heck, even the political cartoonists have got this one; they’ve been drawing the theme of the lion attacking the elephant all year. The witch represents Hillary. She’s a powerful but widely-disliked old woman.

(This time around, the witch is apparently being played by Nancy Pelosi.)

Vox Day recently made the same connection, quoting the Narnia character Puddleglum and then replacing Aslan with Trump.

I'm on Trump's side even if there isn't any Trump to preside. I'm going to live as like an American as I can even if there isn't any America.

And what about Apollo 18? Far-darting Apollo is the god of the bow (céleste dieu d'arc et d'harpe), and 18 is 1/8, the date of the Battle of New Orleans. While that specific date has come and gone without being preceptibly pivotal, I don't think that means the Battle of New Orleans has lost its relevance.

Nothing to do but wait and see, watch and pray.

Darkest hour

It's the 10th of January (in America, anyway; here in Taiwan we're in the early hours of the 11th), and, unlike Arlo Guthrie, I have had some sleep. Ay, there's the rub. I woke just after midnight and hurried to scribble down the dream I'd just had.


One of my students (in real life), a Taiwanese schoolchild, happens to have a name that sounds like "the war is won" in another language. I never noticed that before, but in the dream I did. She arrived at my school, and I showed her upstairs to her classroom -- only it wasn't a classroom; it was my study at home, the same study that was so recently hallowed by the presence of Joan the Maid.

The room was cold (it's been an unusually cold winter here by Taiwanese standards), and I asked if she wanted me to turn on the space heater. She did, and I did so. Then the student sort of disappeared from the dream as my focus turned to the heater itself. I was touched by its simple, selfless act of radiating heat into a cold room, and so I spoke the secret name of the soul animating that heater, and she appeared in human form -- as a calm, dark-haired European woman sitting at my desk. I kissed her (chastely!), this personification of my space heater, and she murmured something in French.

Was it she that murmured it? At any rate, I floated up into the waking world with an indistinct French phrase in my mind. At first I thought it might be objet d'art, but it soon resolved itself into something more intriguing: épée d'Arc.


The crowned sword (l'épée couronnée) as the sign of Joan of Arc has already been discussed on this blog. So has the homophony of dark/d'Arc. And as someone who used to do a bit of fencing, I know there is but scant difference between an épée and a sabre. Thus it was that I suddenly remembered this Babylon Bee story from a few weeks back:


I have to take back some of what I just said about Google. When you search for trump darksaber babylon bee, the story comes right up as the first hit. But I used DuckDuckGo, which just couldn't find it at all! I ended up having to scroll through the Bee's "latest news" page until I found it -- but first I found this:


There's that word dark again, and illustrated with a picture of a young woman holding a sword. Number 7 on the list is the day The Last Jedi hit theatres, and the woman must be a character from that movie. And number one?

That day some rando Trump supporters ran around the Capitol for a few hours - We're honestly not sure if this was actually the darkest day or not, but we might get canceled if we don't put it at the top and Mark Zuckerberg is watching. Long live Zuck!

I looked up the Last Jedi lady. I had thought her name might by Kylo Ren, but it turns out that's a dude. She is called simply Rey.

Back on  January 7, S. K. Orr left this comment on one of my Joan of Arc posts.

My wife and I were listening to the reports of the donnybrook taking place at the US Capitol in the wake of the electoral college mess. We watched some of the footage of this extraordinary event, and then my wife said, "Why don't we watch or listen to something peaceful?" I agreed, and she decided to continue watching a DVD she had been watching last night.

The DVD was "The Sound of Music," and the scene that started when she resumed the DVD was the famous "Do Re Mi" scene. I picked up my laptop and started noodling around. I decided to read some more about St. Joan of Arc. When I went to a biographical site, I saw the name of the town where the Maid was born.

The town is called Domremey.

I plugged this word into a program that audibly pronounces foreign words. This town, spoken aloud in French, sounds EXACTLY like "Do Re Mi."

In my reply, I linked to my post "The white doe," noting that I had already connected Joan of Arc to "doe, a deer, a female deer."

Well, what comes next in the song? Just what we need in our darkest hour: Rey, a drop of golden sun.

Maid of Heaven, pray for us!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

That syncing feeling

Kevin McCall jumps into the sync hole. He is generous enough to say that it is "by far the craziest" thing he has ever posted "but, inspired by William James Tychonievich" -- but, mind you, not because!

I trust it will come as no surprise that Saint Joan puts in an appearance. Maid of Heaven, pray for us!

Google is still a joke

First page of search results for vox day (no quotation marks):

DuckDuckGo:

  • Vox Popoli (1st result)
  • 8 other results about blogger Vox Day (Theodore Beale)
  • 1 result about an unrelated company called Vox Day

Yandex:

  • Vox Popoli (1st result)
  • 8 other results about blogger Vox Day (Theodore Beale)
  • 1 result about an unrelated company called Vox Day

Bing:

  • Vox Popoli (1st result)
  • 8 other results about blogger Vox Day (Theodore Beale)
  • 1 result about an unrelated company called Vox Day

Seeing a pattern here? And now for the punchline . . .

Google:

  • 7 results about blogger Vox Day (Theodore Beale)
  • 2 result about an unrelated company called Vox Day
  • Vox Popoli (9th result)
  • 1 result for a Vox Media article that happens to include the word day
They've somehow managed to become the worst major company in the field with which their name has become synonymous! I'm going to have to break the habit of using Google as a verb -- and as a search engine, of course!

Et tu? Et three? Et four?

I know 2020 should have gotten me used to the fact that almost everyone is on the devil’s side, but I still find myself being shocked, and shocked again, and shocked again, as one “decent chap” after another enthusiastically embraces the Benedict Arnold Option. To those who have not, thank you. Even if I don’t know you, the mere fact of your existence is a source of strength.

I no longer believe this is the end of the world, but it is undeniably an apocalypse — a revelation, an unveiling. When the green field comes off like a lid, revealing what was much better hid: unpleasant! But Good is being revealed, too, if you open your eyes.

Seriously, open your eyes. Yes, you.

Open your eyes.

There will be no armed rebellion to right this injustice, if I read the signs of the times aright. Swords will not be necessary. Heaven will fight for us.

-- John C. Wright

Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?"

And he answered, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see."

And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

-- 2 Kings 6:14-17

Maid of Heaven, pray for us!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

A reminder: Trump still wins

My absolute confidence in this has recently been confirmed yet again in as unambiguous a manner as I could have asked for. Yes, I know no one else believes that. Yes, I know it seems utterly impossible at this point. Nevertheless, it is true. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but Donald J. Trump will serve his second term.

You don't see it? Well, why should that surprise you? You're not supposed to see the future.

Update: John C. Wright is one of the few to share my certainty in this regard. I am honored to be in such company.

Friday, January 8, 2021

They received every man a penny

And the guy's name is Pence. I'm really starting to believe in this "nominative determinism" thing. (By the way, the etymology of my own name ultimately goes back to Tyche, the goddess of fortune.)


I've never been one for conspiracy theories about Freemasons, but that handshake is without any doubt a Masonic pass-grip. We can't see the coin or token being passed very clearly, but it certainly looks as if it might be marked with a pentagram or a square-and-compasses.

Thanks to commenter Mr. Andrew for bringing this to my attention.

Biden tells the truth

Yes, we all know that's true.

If it had been BLM, they would have been called "protestors" rather than "the mob."

Every headline covering the event would have included the words "mostly peaceful."

If it had been BLM, expressions of solidarity, not condemnation, would be universal and de facto mandatory, and every corporation, media outlet, and church would be falling over themselves to provide the same.

If she had been a drugged-up petty criminal of the sacred race, Ashli Babbitt would have been elevated to sainthood, her name printed on football helmets, and the cop who murdered her doxxed and harrassed.

But of course if it had been BLM, they never would have wasted their time storming the Capitol in the first place. They would have targeted a real symbol of oppression: the local Louis Vuitton store.

(By the way, what do you think of this post? I think it's Nebula material.)

Whatever happened to being more subtle than any beast of the field?

Remember when John Ashcroft had himself "anointed" with Crisco? Those were the days! Antichrists used to have some style.


Seriously, what were the people behind this photo thinking? Literally no one is going to look at this and think, "Wow, he looks just like a saint!" Instead, if my own experience is any guide, people are going to clean the coffee off their keyboards and then say, "Who does this jackass think he is, Antiochus Epiphanes?" And what's that say on the wall behind him? "Press eject"?

Break their teeth, O God, in their -- oh, never mind, they're doing it themselves.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

In hoc signo vinces?

One-card Tarot reading today: "What's going on in Washington?" And the answer come back* . . .

And -- okay, you're not going to believe this, but . . .


The caption reads: L'espee couronnee, ensemble deus fleurs de Liz, reluisans iadis en l'enseigne de la Pucelle d'Orleans, est un perpetuel moniment de la defense et proteccion de France.

The French is a bit archaic, and I don't really know French anyway, but the meaning is clear enough: I just happened to draw the one Tarot card that features the standard of the Maid of Orleans.

Here is the document granting Joan a coat of arms, drawn by Charles VII himself.

* I knew that the line "And the answer come back . . ." came from Chico Marx but couldn't remember the context. Looking it up now, I find it's from Animal Crackers.

In a case like this that is so mysterious, you gotta-a get-a the clues. You gotta use-a the Sherlock-a Holmes method. You say to yourself, "What happened?" And the answer come back, "Something was stolen."

Take your pick . . .

On the menu today: chef salad.

From the cover of a notebook made in Taiwan, discovered today in an unused classroom.

Minor synchronicity: The TMBG song I linked to in my last post includes the line "The kitchen cooked and ate the cook."

The Hill is alive

Vox Day: Do you hear the people sing?

S. K. Orr: The first three notes just happen to be -- Dom-ré-my

There are no coincidences. Maid of Heaven, pray for us!


By the way, I haven't changed my prediction about how this all ends: It is written in the Book of Thoth.

However, the line just popped into my head, "But February made me shiver . . . ." In the context of this post, I certainly hope that means something other than what it very obviously seems to mean!

Joan of Arc under the sun of Sorath

In my post "Can you just choose a patron saint?" I quote Mark Twain's preface to his book about Joan of Arc, in which he emphasizes the contrast between the perfect goodness of Joan herself and the extreme evil of the times in which she lived -- "the brutalest, the wickedest, the rottenest in history since the darkest ages."

The purest form of evil is called Sorathic, from a word created by Rudolf Steiner out of the Hebrew numerals for 666. Steiner characterizes Sorath as the "Demon of the Sun" -- an evil Sun in opposition to the good Sun which is the Christ. This theme of the good and evil Suns is something I have explored in some detail at The Magician's Table.

Today an email correspondent mentioned that he had first learned about Joan of Arc by typing "joan the maid" into a search engine. For some reason, after reading that, I was immediately moved to do the same thing myself -- and then, when the search results came up, my mouse hand sprang into action as if directed by an intelligence not my own. Click-scroll-click-scroll-click, just like that -- so fast that I didn't have time to read anything and had no conscious knowledge of what I was clicking on, as if executing a series of steps long since rendered automatic by habit -- and I found myself staring at an article about a 1926 novel by Georges Bernanos called Sous le soleil de Satan -- Under Satan's Sun.

I am not exaggerating how very quickly this happened; and happened is the correct word, since to say I did it would imply that the conscious mind played a role. Checking my browser history to retrace my steps, I find that Joan the Maid is the English name of a 1994 French historical film starring Sandrine Bonnaire in the title role, and that this same actress starred alongside Gérard Depardieu in the 1987 film version of Sous le soleil de Satan.

What does this mean? Well, the most natural interpretation, I think, is that Joan is back because Sorath is back. She is here because she is needed. Maid of Heaven, pray for us!

I end with a quote from Oliver Cowdery which has been on my mind recently.

Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance, and blots it forever from the mind.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Joan and the fairies

Of all the many works on Joan of Arc that are available, the one I felt moved to download was Mark Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. I have already discussed the frontispiece and quoted from the preface, but that's about as far as I got until today.

It turns out that the first episode involving Joan herself -- the one Twain chooses to give us our first impressions and to establish the character of his heroine -- involves the young Joan taking the side of the local fairies against a priest who has just performed a ceremony to banish them.

"Then the matter stands like this. They were banned creatures, of fearful origin; they could be dangerous company for the children. Now give me a rational reason, dear, if you can think of any, why you call it a wrong to drive them into banishment, and why you would have saved them from it. In a word, what loss have you suffered by it?"

How stupid of him to go and throw his case away like that! I could have boxed his ears for vexation if he had been a boy. He was going along all right until he ruined everything by winding up in that foolish and fatal way. What had she lost by it! Was he never going to find out what kind of a child Joan of Arc was? Was he never going to learn that things which merely concerned her own gain or loss she cared nothing about? Could he never get the simple fact into his head that the sure way and the only way to rouse her up and set her on fire was to show her where some other person was going to suffer wrong or hurt or loss? Why, he had gone and set a trap for himself -- that was all he had accomplished.

The minute those words were out of his mouth her temper was up, the indignant tears rose in her eyes, and she burst out on him with an energy and passion which astonished him, but didn't astonish me, for I knew he had fired a mine when he touched off his ill-chosen climax.

"Oh, father, how can you talk like that? Who owns France?"

"God and the King."

"Not Satan?"

"Satan, my child? This is the footstool of the Most High -- Satan owns no handful of its soil."

"Then who gave those poor creatures their home? God. Who protected them in it all those centuries? God. Who allowed them to dance and play there all those centuries and found no fault with it? God. Who disapproved of God's approval and put a threat upon them? A man. Who caught them again in harmless sports that God allowed and a man forbade, and carried out that threat, and drove the poor things away from the home the good God gave them in His mercy and His pity, and sent down His rain and dew and sunshine upon it five hundred years in token of His peace? It was their home -- theirs, by the grace of God and His good heart, and no man had a right to rob them of it. And they were the gentlest, truest friends that children ever had, and did them sweet and loving service all these five long centuries, and never any hurt or harm; and the children loved them, and now they mourn for them, and there is no healing for their grief. And what had the children done that they should suffer this cruel stroke? The poor fairies could have been dangerous company for the children? Yes, but never had been; and could is no argument. Kinsmen of the Fiend? What of it? Kinsmen of the Fiend have rights, and these had; and children have rights, and these had; and if I had been there I would have spoken -- I would have begged for the children and the fiends, and stayed your hand and saved them all. But now -- oh, now, all is lost; everything is lost, and there is no help more!"

Then she finished with a blast at that idea that fairy kinsmen of the Fiend ought to be shunned and denied human sympathy and friendship because salvation was barred against them. She said that for that very reason people ought to pity them, and do every humane and loving thing they could to make them forget the hard fate that had been put upon them by accident of birth and no fault of their own. "Poor little creatures!" she said. "What can a person's heart be made of that can pity a Christian's child and yet can't pity a devil's child, that a thousand times more needs it!"

She had torn loose from Pere Fronte, and was crying, with her knuckles in her eyes, and stamping her small feet in a fury; and now she burst out of the place and was gone before we could gather our senses together out of this storm of words and this whirlwind of passion.

The Pere had got upon his feet, toward the last, and now he stood there passing his hand back and forth across his forehead like a person who is dazed and troubled; then he turned and wandered toward the door of his little workroom, and as he passed through it I heard him murmur sorrowfully:

"Ah, me, poor children, poor fiends, they have rights, and she said true -- I never thought of that. God forgive me, I am to blame."

Of course I realize that this is a work of fiction not necessarily reflecting anything about the real Joan, but it still struck me. My post "Can you just choose a patron saint?" begins and ends with fairies, and indeed my experience of Joan's presence was accompanied by a strong sense that the term "synchronicity fairies" was after all pretty close to being literally accurate -- that most of the synchronicities I experience are neither "naturally occurring" nor divine interventions, but are the work of, as I put it, "good people, not exactly human."

Although I didn't mention it at the time, I also had a strong sense that there is some special relationship between Joan and the fairies -- "like Snow White and the seven dwarfs" is the somewhat absurd expression that presented itself to my mind.

In my "patron saint" post I relate how I had literally told the sync fairies to "take a hike" and how my encounter with Joan then caused a change of heart -- a remarkably close parallel to what happens to Pere Fronte in Twain's novel. I again stress that, although I quote Twain's preface in that post, I had not yet read any other part of the book.

Five cornerstones

I recently received another batch of emails from a correspondent who keeps encountering repetitions of the number 5 (55, 555, etc.). This ma...