You may be wondering where I have been? Does such a protracted period of silence mean I have been pulling the plough, with my nose to the grindstone, preparing a place for the Apocalypse for you all? Well, yes and no, but mostly no. See Land-Work Update, below, for more on how the land waits patiently for this man.
What’s my excuse? During my most recent Oshana island retreat, I caught something suspiciously matching the general characteristics of “Covid.” Whatever it was, it kicked my butt and left me with, quote:
A feeling of having lost my connection to God, or the soul (eloi, eloi): existence feels cold, machinelike, devoid of purpose, life, love, or meaning; the prodigious ability I always marvelled at within myself to find a positive outcome to every dark turn has finally met its match
Peace At Last?
Now it’s almost two months later, and I am still recuperating from the psychosomatic hit, though I can add that a new kind of peaceful enjoyment of simply living has followed on from, and now partially co-exists with, the ontological despair. I always was big on bridging opposites…
Essentially, since my last newsletter, several months back, I have gone from being uncomfortably driven (stressed out) to get things done in time for the end of the world (including getting enlightened), to a sort of Alfred E. Neuman “Why worry?” I have all I need right now, and then some; and we surely have five years or so (cf. David Bowie) to get more or less self-sufficient before the end comes? If there’s one thing I have learned, in 55 years of seeking, it’s that opportunity (and crisis) comes when we really need them to, not because I go chasing after them. And if there’s one thing that a spiritual perspective is good for, it’s Hey, beyond basic survival, nothing really needs to be done on the material plane; you dig?
R & R
This process of “soul-reset” coincided with the hottest July and August in Spanish history (according to the locals), and so of land laboring, I have done next-to-none at all. What I have found peaceful enjoyment in, instead, has been a whole lot of reading (currently I am spending time inside the blissfully-familiar Patricia Highsmith universe, with occasional trips to Elmore Leonard-land, and intrepid explorations of Thomas Berger-ville). Add to this, to my surprise, a return to some immensely immersive writing.
Immersion in what, you may ask? I had thought Big Mother was pretty much wrapped up, but due to some surprising and spontaneous developments, and a rush of unanticipated inspiration, it has expanded from being a small companion piece to The (equally small) Kubrickon (due Feb of next year) to a full-size book—possibly a kind of unofficial sequel to Prisoner of Infinity—that took a last-minute dive into serial murder and the techniques of Satanism!?
Obviously, you can take the boy out of Hell, but it is not so easy to take Hell out of the boy.
On this front, expect an unexpected podcast in the nearish future, that will bring you up to date. Big Mother the MS is due for submission at the end of this month, and for publication at the end of 2023.
Meanwhile, back on the land, aqui en Galicia, there are several medium-size projects underway, including: turning the stone shed next to the main house into a guest house; making the home-made chicken coup fox-proof; having some stone bannisters professionally installed on our cement terrace; laying the patio stones below it; and chain-sawing some firewood and storing it (in the new woodshed), in time for the winter. For some visuals of what’s done, half-done, still-needs-to-be-done, and may-never-get-done, see recently uploaded pics here.
US Land-People Networking
I have been hearing encouraging news from a number of folk in the US about their own back-to-the-land projects; if you are involved in something like this, in the US or anywhere, and/or if you are interested in connecting to folks who are, contact me and I will try and organize a way for the back-to-the-landers, active or aspiring, to network together, and thereby optimize the opportunities for expansion, as the old system contracts and implodes around us.
Since I am currently not running any online groups, my online activity these days is pretty much wholly in the form of 1:1s. I invite you to reach out. Rates and reasons are listed at the old site. I am aware that some of you are less than solvent in these troubled times, and that you may be unable to afford a 1:1. If this is genuinely the case, email and let me know your situation, and I will try to offer an affordable rate or some sort of trade-off.
These 1:1 dialogues open a space for a soul-soul connection by which, potentially, I can transmit to you—after 55 years of relentless seeking—the holographic entirety of the hard-earned simplicity and peaceful enjoyment of a land-made man.
Law of Matter
Speaking of “obeying the law of matter,” I will end with a passage I found recently, in Jacques Ellul’s The Technological Society, that closely approximates what I have been experiencing and communicating since making the Big Move:
“The celebrated formula of Alain has been invalidated: ‘Tools, instruments of necessity, instruments that neither lie nor cheat, tools with which necessity can be subjugated by obeying her, without the help of false laws; tools that make it possible to conquer by obeying.’ This formula is true of the tool which puts man squarely in contact with a reality that will bear no excuses, in contact with matter to be mastered, and the only way to use it is to obey it. Obedience to the plow and the plane was indeed the only means of dominating earth and wood. But the formula is not true for our techniques. He who serves these techniques enters another realm of necessity. This new necessity is not natural necessity; natural necessity, in fact, no longer exists. It is technique’s necessity, which becomes the more constraining the more nature’s necessity fades and disappears. It cannot be escaped or mastered. The tool was not false. But technique causes us to penetrate into the innermost realm of falsehood, showing us all the while the noble face of objectivity of result. In this innermost recess, man is no longer able to recognize himself because of the instruments he employs.”