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Round the towers

Monday, 26 July 2021 at 22:37

Croxton round tower on Dr John Dunn. First in a short YouTube video playlist.

Round the towers

A leisurely motorcycle tour along the country lanes of Norfolk, in search of the round tower churches.

The videos will be published as a playlist series.

"I never ride around aimlessly, and whilst the journey is almost everything, I still like to have destinations in mind... So I thought I’d search out a few of Norfolk’s round tower churches.

"These round towers became waymarkers for my tour, targets for the ride that drew me along delightful lanes in lovely rural settings."

Original writing set to video.

Please click here to view.

© John Dunn.

Round the towers

Sunday, 25 July 2021 at 21:37

Cranwich church on Dr John Dunn. The next series of YouTube videos will come from a recent motorcycle mini-tour that I made in the county of Norfolk. Much too long to be published as one video, I have instead decided to publish a playlist series of videos. By way of an introduction, what follows is some of the text to the supporting commentary of the first of these. Publication of each video in the series will be announced on this website.

Round the towers

I’m motorcycling today in Norfolk, taking a couple of days out, just pottering about the countryside along lovely quiet lanes. But I never ride around aimlessly, and whilst the journey is everything, I still like to have a destination in mind. So I thought I’d search out a few ofNorfolk’s round tower churches.

Round towers were an early form of tower, part of an Anglo-Saxon building tradition which was later replaced by square towers.

Churches with round towers are unusual. Most of them are in East Anglia; Norfolk in particular. Most of these are medieval in origin.

Some round towers were later replaced with square towers, perhaps because square towers were considered more attractive and prestigious, or because they were more convenient for hanging several bells.

Medieval in origin, round towers survive, as time capsules, in small rural villages where there was not enough money or a sufficiently wealthy donor to rebuild the tower.

I rode to Norfolk to search for a few. It wasn’t a difficult exploration, as there are many round towers to be found in the county.

Perhaps more important to me than the round towers discovered along the way were the routes taken to reach them.

These round towers were waymarkers for my tour, targets for the ride that drew me along delightful lanes in lovely rural settings.


© John Dunn.

Raine on Blake

Saturday, 24 July 2021 at 21:29

Kathleen Raine on Dr John Dunn. Raine on Blake

Verbatim from Kathleen Raine

Blake called for an interiorisation the Worlds of Eternity, which are the inner spiritual worlds, which in a materialist culture have been virtually denied and excluded.

The reality of these worlds was, to Blake, beyond question. He calls upon us to reverse the premises of materialist thought, and reaffirm man as a spiritual being and the cosmos in which we live as a great spiritual universe.

Blake challenged reason insofar as, at the end of the eighteenth century, in the materialist world into which we were entering, reason had in fact claimed supremacy. In fact reason was enthroned as a divinity in Notre Dame in Paris at the time of the French Revolution. There was a tremendous human hubris, a dismissal of the true divinity within man which, in Blake’s terms is the Imagination. (Raine quotes Blake)

And all the Arts of Life they chang’d into the Arts of Death in Albion.



The hour-glass contemn’d because its simple workmanship

Was like the workmanship of the plowman, and the water wheel


That raises water into cisterns, broken and burn’d with fire


Because its workmanship was like the workmanship of the shepherd,


And in their stead, intricate wheels invented, wheel without wheel,


To perplex youth in their outgoings and to bind to labours in Albion
Of day and night the myriads of eternity: that they may grind


And polish brass and iron hour after hour, laborious task,


Kept ignorant of its use: that they may spend the days of wisdom


In sorrowful drudgery to obtain a scanty pittance of bread,


In ignorance to view a small portion and think that All,


And call it Demonstration, blind to all the simple rules of life.

One can call Blake a Gnostic in a general sense, not in a sectarian sense, because he drew his system from many sources; but he was a Gnostic in the sense that it was based on an exact knowledge of what one must call an excluded tradition.

Blake held the view, which has since become very widespread through the woks of Jung, that the structure of what we may call the human psyche, the inner universe, was fourfold. There are, for Blake, the Four Zoas, which correspond to Jung’s Four Functions of Reason; Intuition, Feeling and Sensation; and these Four Functions make us very marvellously personified in figures we all know, of which the villain of Blake’s myth is Urizen. Urizen puts bounds to the universe. It is a bounded universe, it is measured, it is the universe of quantity, if you like, the Reign of Quantity, length, breadth, height, weight, its the measurable universe, and it is bounded. He puts a circumference to the universe. One sees him in that very fine late engraving of Blake, of God creating the universe with a pair of compasses; he is bounding it. Whereas the universe of the imagination is unlimited, not bounded.

Posted by John Dunn.

Chaos

Friday, 23 July 2021 at 22:43

Hope amidst chaos on Dr John Dunn. Chaos

Focusing purely on the rational degrades man to a sub-human level. Thinking power is applied across the world to satisfy physical needs and to founda socio-economic organisation that corresponds to the physical-animal world view.

"If the physical-animal organisation on society wereto be applied, there would be return to chaos in scientific-technological form.

The Spirit would have to face up to chaos and the crashing down of the demonic. The drama of the present times consist in the fact that man does not have the potential depth that the demonic has available on the other hand. The I needs the force from which it arises." (Massiomo Scaligero)

© John Dunn.

To judge the Lamb of God

Thursday, 22 July 2021 at 23:22

The Red Dragon on Dr John Dunn. To judge the Lamb of God

Satan’s Synagogue is William Blake’s name for the false religion that worships the base powers of this world.

Manmust and will have some religion; if he has not the religion of Jesus, he will have the religion of Satan, and will erect the Synagogue of Satan.
It is called a synagogue because it murders Love, adhering instead pharisaically to a vengeful law.

Urizen called together the Synagogue of Satan in dire Sanhedrim
To judge the Lamb of God to death as a murderer and a robber.
(Blake’s Jerusalem)

In The Mythology, Love is known variously as God, the Word, Logos, Jesus, Creativity
.

Pictured: William Blake, The Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun (1803).

© John Dunn.

Man in the image of the first violator

Wednesday, 21 July 2021 at 12:34

Endless cycle broken on Dr John Dunn. Man, in the image of the first Violator

In the Mythology, Ananke is the symbol of undifferentiated Oneness, equilibrium, the endless repeating cycle and entropic death. The champion of violation is Eros, the victims of equilibrium are the Innocents, the promoters of the One are the Children of Urizen. Ultimately the contest is between Love and Evil.

In the one infinite Cosmos without man, there would be no ‘that is’, there would be no ‘be’ing.

Where there is no being, there is void, no-thing; there is 0. Without man, 1=0.

The struggle is against the return of the One, the return of Ananke.

For to break free is a coming to being, with the implication that not to break free is to exist in a state of non-being, or locked in the closed circle of 0.

Ananke is entropic death.

Each triumph against Ananke is birth and new life.

New life demands the breaking of the equilibrium, the endless repeating cycle.

For life to break free, Ananke must be violated.

Violation comes first; the wilderness must be beaten back and equilibria overturned. For what is life? It is violation at all levels, from the human individual to the cosmic. Life must be actively chosen over 0.

The wilderness is never conquered. There is a natural and eternal tendency to return and ouroboros is the symbol. This return is the passive fatalism of a sub-humanity that obeys the tendency in its various iterations: Spinozism, Marxism, Kabbalah, the mind lost in the Heart of Darkness.

What will be the measure of success?

For the individual it will be by how much he is distinguished from the herd.

For mankind as a whole it will be by how much we are distinguished from nature through art, architecture, feats of engineering and the active control and management of the Earth. The ultimate measure will be the density of the population made possible by man’s marshalling of the Earth’s resources to his own health and benefit.

Beyond that it will be by how far into space the mind of man has penetrated.

What of the Orphic egg metaphor? It has its chicken and egg limitations. Yes Eros broke free; but only after an egg itself was penetrated and fertilised.

A 1=0 equilibrium has to be violated from outside; there has to be an outsider.

In the Creation, the equilibrium of 0 was violated by God.

The equilibrium of the Garden was violated by the Devil.

The equilibrium of Adam was violated by Eve.

The equilibrium of fallen man was violated by the Incarnation.

Man, in the image of the first Violator, is the proof of God.

© John Dunn.

Every thought is a message from an angel

Monday, 19 July 2021 at 23:14

Angels on Dr John Dunn. ...building the Mythology

Every thought is a message from an angel

Without the angelic voices the world of simple perception would be but a single undifferentiated entity.

No tree falls in the forest unless observed,
A shifting of molecules, an event occurred.
There was a stirring in the viscous soup
And man applied the girding hoop.


In an infinite Cosmos without man through which to channel the thoughts of angels, there would be no ‘that is’, there would be no ‘be’ing.

Where there is no being, there is void, no-thing; there is 0. Without man, 1=0.

Where the origin of thought in the angels is not known, e.g. amongst the Innocents, or denied, e.g. by the followers of Urizen, there is a tendency for the individual to confront the object as something wholly apart, given and ready-made. Thus his relationship with the object becomes conformity, dependence, and mystical submissiveness to reality. Faith rises, but in the lowest form - as faith in the physical fact. There may be a token differentiation between the objects he confronts in the world of perception, but if the individual lives with faith in the physical fact, he lives too in thrall to the one reality - and, as we have seen, 1=0.

However, where thoughts are grasped at their inception, rather than reflections back from a presupposed reality, the voices of angels are heard.

Our potential for freedom lies in our successful reinstatement of the angelic voice into the process of thinking.
Eros, known variously as the ‘saved’ ‘saint’ ‘knower’ or the Child of Love, knows this.

Like the Logos and society, the world around us should be seen as the product of active, creative thought.

This,to some small extent, echoes William Blake’s belief that ‘Jesus is the imagination’, not meaning that Jesus is imaginary in the fanciful sense,but rather that imagination itself is the divine creator.

The angels enjoy the direct gaze of the divine creator.

Each message to man from an angel, is a differentiating act of creation in a world otherwise received passively by perception.


© John Dunn.

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