Dickerson is a student of the Germanic mysteries, Indo-European religious and linguistic studies, British cunning-folk magic, and is an initiated Braucher, or Powwow practitioner. He has also studies the rural folk magic and traditions of North America, Europe and Mexico. Continue reading Podcast: Language of the Corpse — Death and the Body in Ancient European Magic
On September 9, 1965, while flying from the flight deck of the USS Oriskany on a mission over North Vietnam, Naval aviator James Stockdale’s Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was hit by antiaircraft fire. His plane was disabled and began to fall out of the sky. Stockdale made the decision to eject from his aircraft over enemy held territory. In 1993, in a speech delivered at the Great Hall of King’s College, Stockdale described his thoughts immediately after realizing he must abandon his plane:
After ejection…I whispered to myself: I’m leaving the world of technology and entering the world of Epictetus… as I ejected from that airplane was the understanding that a Stoic always kept separate files in his mind for (A) those things that are ‘up to him’ and (B) those things that are ‘not up to him.’ Another way of saying it is (A) those things that are ‘within his power’ and (B) those things that are ‘beyond his power.’ Still another way of saying it is (A) those things that are within the grasp of ‘his Will, his Free Will’ and (B) those things that are beyond it. All in category B are ‘external,’ beyond my control, ultimately dooming me to fear and anxiety if I covet them. All in category A are up to me, within my power, within my will, and properly subjects for my total concern and involvement. They include my opinions, my aims, my aversions, my own grief, my own joy, my judgments, my attitude about what is going on, my own good, and my own evil.
Stockdale, who upon his return to the United States was awarded the nation’s highest medal for valor, the Medal of Honor, explained what he meant by what “my own good, and my own evil” by quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn who suffered in the Soviet Union’s gulag system: Continue reading Stoicism: Panacea for a Modern Dark Age
“If you feel safe in the area that you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are not quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting” — David Bowie.
From the outside, things often look impossible — the martial arts demonstration, the gallery exhibition, the author that has opened up a new world for us.
When we start out, we generally aspire to be like someone else we’ve seen. Fortune cookie wisdom tells us that we just need to be ourselves. But, in reality, to live any kind of fulfilling life, or to do anything memorable or important, we need to push beyond ourselves. Continue reading Where Things Happen
Profound insights seem to become untrue when they are accepted by everyone. The essence gets buried under interpretations that support baser minds and motivations.
This happens at the higher levels of society — where individuals may benefit from exploiting others or forcing things on the population that they would not readily accept — and, often, at the lower levels of society, where routines based around consuming — especially entertainment — make self-reflection, self-development, and self-defence against mass consumerism appear undesirable.
In such circumstances, the dissenter is the one who grasps the essence of the insight that lies beneath its popular though twisted expression.
In contrast, mad ideas seem to become true only once they have been repeated enough and, more importantly, have reached a point where they are routinely explained through complex theories, and have become inseparable to morality. Continue reading Daily Meditation: Going Against The Grain