We’ve made it through Christmas and reached the New Years holiday weekend. It’s a good time for reviewing the past year and anticipating the coming one. It’s punctuated for me in having seen the latest Star Wars movie last weekend (on Christmas day). For me, that movie ended the Star Wars saga by ending Luke Skywalker’s story. Inspired by that story when I was twenty, I’ve lived to see the completion of it. It wasn’t as well-done as it should have been. I thought the movie was way-too corporate without the vision of George Lucas to inspire it. I’ve posted my review here.
Overall, 2017 has been tragic for the wider world while there were good moments for myself and my family. That is a duality worth noting—the macro vs the micro, the personal vs the global. The oligarchs have blustered and thundered, threatening war, despoiling the planet, and presenting a sorry theatre to us even as they fight among themselves in ways, and for reasons, we’ll likely never know. It is in the eddies that form out of those storms where we can seek our own solace and find our truest views of reality.
My wife and I began this year with several hikes, taken whenever (completely manipulated) weather permitted. There is an inspiration in that, speaking to the journey of life and so I can’t seem to get away from doing it. Our best hike of the year was probably Poinsett Trails, and the last was an unexpected pleasure made at Three Rivers Greenway. Hiking remains an inspiration and I hope to continue it in the coming year, maybe carrying it to a higher level.
My reading year has been inspirational as well. In fact, I posted quite a few book reviews and still have a back-log to work on. Most of what I read in 2017 was nonfiction and reflected my concerns with the disintegrating state of the world, both politically and naturally. I seek to understand what’s happening, why, and how to cope with it.
Two books, especially, are helpful for gaining insight into the state of things. One is UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991, by Richard Dolan. Though centered on the UFO phenomenon, it reveals the workings of the Deep State and how it exists as a supra-government manipulating the visible one that offers only the barest pretense of democracy. It seems appropriate I began the year with a review of Mr. Dolan’s books, since the year is ending with a “confession” by the Pentagon that they have carried on investigations of UFOs for many years after Project Blue Book was terminated.
The other big book for understanding the world’s state is Shrinking the Technosphere by Dmitry Orlov. Though Mr. Orlov’s tone can, at times, be flippant, I think the concept he describes as “The Technosphere” goes a long way towards explaining why a lot of things happen, politically, as they do. It also provides insight into the trends I see popping up on the IT horizon (like the aggrandizing of Artificial Intelligence engines that enable software robots).
Fictional works also provide insight into current events. Indeed, I believe that to be a fundamental reason we tell each other stories. I’ve read two such fictions this year that offer such insight. I’ve only reviewed one of them at this time. That one was On the Beach by Nevil Shute. Though it’s a story from the 1950s, it’s basic premise remains so totally relevant. The other fiction is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It takes a different slant on post-apocalypse fiction and is brilliantly done. Its value, to me, is what it says about retaining our humanity in the face of civilization’s collapse.
And then I reviewed several of John Hogue’s books. He put out a lot of ebooks over the year (in addition to much writing on his website—he is quite a prolific writer) and his themes concern this watershed time for humanity as pointed out by many prophets in history. He brings a scholar’s light to these prophecies as well as an Eastern spirituality offered to help us cope. His writing is unique in that regard and his latest book (as of this writing) is a good example: A Spiritual Rebel's Manifesto: Climb Aboard the Noah's Ark of Consciousness.
As I said, there are several book reviews I have still under draft. One is Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth by Elana Freeland, that was an eye-opener for me, though it took a couple of readings to open my eyes. I’ve followed a thread from this book that is even more insightful and terrifying as to the operations of the oligarchs that truly run the world. I’ll post that review in the coming weeks, and pick up the next book by Ms. Freeland on this subject: Under an Ionized Sky: From Chemtrails to Space Fence Lockdown.
You can see all my Amazon reviews by going to this link. You can also go here to see the most recent ones, including some movie reviews, and even sign up for my newsletter and so get further alerts to new reviews, insights, and notes on my authorial happenings.
I present this blog as a journal and as such, I include incidents and personal happenings that I think might provide readers some insight or inspiration. An example is the solar eclipse of last August. The shadow of totality passed over the continental US and right over my city of residence (Columbia, SC). Because it was a rare occurrence, and because prophetic and spiritual energies followed it, I devoted several journal entries to “The Great American Eclipse.” I still think of it as a herald, even more so than the turning of the millennium or the passing of 12/21/2012. You can find my journal entry describing my experience of the day of totality, here.
Overall, 2017 for me was a year beginning with anguish over the state of the world, proceeding to even deeper insights as to the hopelessness of things, to inspirations helping me to cope, and a possible way forward in that coping.
My wife and I have gained much in our journey to regain as much physical fitness as we can at this time of our lives. I made a journal entry about that in 2016 (see Fit). At this point, we want to build upon that foundation with some deliberate challenging activities (hiking, rafting, etc). We also want to investigate the potential for spiritual health from meditating and learning about classic Eastern views of life and spirituality. We are even considering a pilgrimage, of sorts. I’ll write about these journeys and our discoveries in this journal.
In the original Star Wars film, there is a scene where Luke Skywalker stares out across the desert of his home planet at its setting double suns and contemplates his future. There is a corresponding scene in The Last Jedi where he makes such a contemplation as a much older man. I can relate to that. This is an important point of life, we see where we’ve come from and review it in an attempt to understand and appreciate the distance we’ve traveled.
We are not done. Even now, we can look ahead with anticipation. Understanding the gravity of life, we also understand the grounding of love, how strength comes from within, how we can take all we’ve learned as our firm foundation of mastery; and so we continue to live, life upon life, even in the face of evil, with joy.