The new sorcery

Though the demonism of the Middle Ages seems to have disappeared, there is abundant evidence that in many forms of modern thought—especially the so-called “prosperity” psychology, “willpower-building” metaphysics, and systems of “high-pressure” salesmanship—black magic has merely passed through a metamorphosis, and although its name be changed its nature remains the same.

— From the “Secret Teachings of all Ages” by Manly Palmer Hall

Considering those words were written in 1928, they show a remarkable amount of foresight on the part of Manly P. Hall. The Evangelists who believe in the “Prosperity Gospel,” or the followers of the “law of attraction” who read R. Byrne’s “Secret” have simply retooled the old world’s system of sorcery under a guise that makes it acceptable to their moral biases.

Illustration from 'A Ramble round the Globe, DEWAR, Thomas Robert, 1894, British Library

Illustration from A Ramble round the Globe, by Thomas Robert Dewar, 1894, British Library

 

It is the nature of man to build the most complicated cage of rules and regulations in which to trap himself, and then, with equal ingenuity and zest, to bend his brain to the problem of wriggling triumphantly out again.

— From “Fast and Feast” by Henisch, Bridget Ann, 1976

The gyri of the thinker's brain as a maze of choices in biomedical ethics. Scraperboard drawing by Bill Sanderson, 1997 - wellcome

The gyri of the thinker’s brain as a maze of choices in biomedical ethics, scraperboard drawing by Bill Sanderson, 1997 (source: wellcomecollection.org)

The last tree

The forest was the original home of our kind, and trees were both shelters and providers. If you sit at the foot of a venerable oak or a majestic cedar, opening your senses to the bark and the sap, you may also learn something unique because trees remember in ways no electronic device can remember. When the last sapling has vanished, the hidden memories of men will vanish as well, and the virtual universe we fabricated will keep us enthralled in a story that never was.

— From Whisperings of the Protogenos: a mystical journey

Dear reader.

Have you ever wonder about the prominent signs around construction sites that announce boldly: “For every tree cut down in this emplacement, two new trees will be planted to make up for the loss.” The future location of the lucky saplings usually remains a mystery. Also undisclosed is the likelihood it will take a quarter of a century for the young trees to reach the size of their predecessors whose ancient reign of wood is replaced in favor of a modern regime of concrete, steel, and glass. No doubt, the replacement trees will enjoy only a few years of their youth before making room for that indispensable parking or high-rise. But of course, two new trees will be planted…

Beech, in Windsor Forest, etched by Wm. De la Motte after himself, 1805 -wllcomecollection

Beech, in Windsor Forest, etching by Wm. De la Motte after himself, 1805 (source: wellcomecollection.org)

Here are the reliable facts: “urban forests are in decline, according to a study released this year [2012] by Forest Service researchers. By analyzing aerial photographs of tree cover in 20 [US] cities, they found cities suffer a net loss of 4 million trees annually.” (source: governing.com)

The tragedy of the loss of the urban canopy comes into relief when considering this week’s alarming news: “Carbon dioxide — the gas scientists say is most responsible for global warming — reached its highest level in recorded history last month, at 410 parts per million. This amount is highest in at least the past 800,000 years, according to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels had fluctuated over the millennia but had never exceeded 300 parts per million.” (source: usatoday.com)

Our existence is a threat to our existence, and we will deservedly succeed where nothing else manages in obliterating the human race while wishing to preserve it.

— From Whisperings of the Protogenos: a mystical journey