John Dunn

John Dunn original writing
Book sales
Thought Pieces
Oxford to Cambridge


Next Entry

Fords bridged

Sunday, 12 June 2022 at 22:23

Tempsford Bridge on Dr John Dunn. Tempsford Bridge

Fords bridged

Dr John Dunn 2022

The soon to be completed commentary to my next video to be published shortly on YouTube. I have been preoccupied with a number of my many-varied personal pursuits over recent days, so I include the following as one way of keeping the home page fresh and changing for Google search purposes.

Please remember, the following is a commentary taken down from the spoken word, meaning that the written grammar leaves much to be desired. For now, here it is…

Great Barford

There are two bridges on the itinerary today: Tempsford Bridge on the Great North Road, that’s for later, and Great Barford Bridge, which I’m about to approach just now.

Its an old and narrow bridge and included on John Cary’s route between Oxford and Cambridge in a road book of the late 18th century. You can see from the traffic that it’s still well used to this day.

And here it is. Over the River Great Ouse.

The village of Great Barford, the church in the distance, and in front a popular pub called The Anchor.

I’ll park up here on this road called New Road.

And there’s the bridge. Not the best side for viewing and the light isn’t helping, but I’ll take a look from the other side soon.

This was the highest navigable point on the River Great Ouse for small cargo boats coming in from the coast and at one time there was a wharf here, hence the name of the pub, The Anchor.

This is the bridge from the other side, a much clearer view.

The bridge and causeway were built largely of stone in the fourteen hundreds, with some clever brick-built widening in the 19th century.

You can see how the Victorians kept the essential stone structure of the medieval bridge, whilst building up and outwards to add extra width to the roadway above. Of course, they could never have anticipated the motor traffic that has used the bridge since, but there it is, still functioning.

The daffodils let you know that I’m here in early Spring.

There’s a close-up showing the fifteenth century stone bridge and the Victorian brick additions.


Back on my Royal Enfield Classic 500, I’ll continue along this dead straight road which I said earlier is called New Road; ’new’ because it was new when constructed in the late eighteenth century, at the height of the stage coach era. The new road took the traffic off Great Barford’s High Street. Yes - traffic problems two hundred plus years ago!

I have arrived in the village of Roxton.

And it's towards the Great North Road that I'm heading now, to see another old bridge, the Tempsford Bridge, just north of Tempsford on the A1 Great North Road near the Black Cat Roundabout. You’ve probably crossed it many times and never given it a second thought.

This is Schoo lLane, a strange road this. Obviously named after the village school which is still a fully functioning Academy. There it is, we’re just passing it on the right.

The road clearly shows on Victorian Ordnance Survey maps, running from Roxton to the Great North Road, but the current OS map designates it as a track with footpath right of way.

I suppose there’s a view that its use shouldn’t be encouraged. Nevertheless, it looks like a road and is in fact well surfaced, I’ll carry on.

There’s the traffic on the A1 ahead.

Crossing the busy A1 to view the bridge is a small challenge, and I suppose holds the reason why being here is discouraged.. It's all about timing. Here's a gap in the traffic, let's go.

And into Kelpies Boat Yard, where my map research tells me there should be a good view of the Tempsford Bridge.

This boatyard on the River Great Ouse is its own little lost world, enclosed by the separate carriageways of the Great North Road.

Old river boats in various states of repair scattered around. It has its own special charm.

The bridge was designed by James Savage, built by Johnson and Sons and completed in 1820.

Not nearly as old as Great Barford Bridge, but for me more impressive because of the job it still does - carrying all the heavy traffic on the north-bound carriageway of the Great North Road.

There was a ford here in the 10th century. In 1675 river navigation, until that point only as far as Great Barford was opened up as far as Bedford and the increasing traffic found the ford difficult to deal with. The solution, a staunch below the ford, kept the channel clear but resulted in flooding of the fields to either side and made the ford harder to use by wheeled traffic.

In 1725 the road from Bedford to the Great North Road became a turnpike and one of the first resolutions was to build a bridge across the Great Ouse at Tempsford. A six arch wooden bridge was completed in 1736. In 1770 the approach road to the bridge was raised on a causeway which had three flood arches let into it.

By 1814 the wooden bridge was described as in “great decay, broken and ruinous”.

By 1820 it had been replaced by the stone bridge we now see.

The light is not too good from this side of the river, I’ll ride around to the other side to take another look.

As I leave you can just see the concrete bridge, built in the 1960s to allow for the duelling of the road. It carries the southbound traffic.

Ok, it’s back to the Great North Road.

I’m now riding northbound on the Great North Road A1, just south of Kelpies Boatyard, on the stretch which by-passes the village of Tempsford. The A1 passed down the high street of the village until the by-pass was built in 1961.

I’m looking for a pub called the Anchor on the left. There’s a footpath behind it that will take me to the the bridge.

There’s the Anchor coming up. Built near the road in 1831 to pick up business from passers-by, stage coaches and the like. Remember, this was just before the Victorian railway boom.

My battery ran out just as I entered the car park.

Freshly batteried, I join the footpath behind the pub.

That white cottage you may have just glimpsed I later discovered was the old seventeenth century Anchor Anchor pub that the later one replaced. I wish I’d kept the camera running… but you can’t film everything.

Back to the bridge.

And there it is in all its glory, still carrying the heavy traffic that itsbuilders could never possibly have imagined in their wildest dreams.

Lovely stonework. Glorious wide shallow arches. What a gem of a bridge. Form and function in perfect harmony.

The bridge is mostly constructed of dressed sandstone quarried at nearby Sandy, but the cut waters, arches and south face band of the river bridge are of Bramley Fall stone, Bramley being a district of Leeds in Yorkshire

You can just make of Kelpies Boatyard through the arches where I was stood earlier.

There’s another part of the floodplain bridges with the same stone.

There’s a view of the later concrete bridge, now carrying the southbound traffic.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the old bridge is still bearing such a heavy load of traffic. There are probably many such examples of old bridges adapting to the modern world in this way.

But it still strikes me as rather amazing that a bridge built for stage coaches is now bearing the load of 40 ton lorries, day in, day out, and into the foreseeable future.

Now its my turn, about 41 stones in weight, bike and me together.

The road bends twice to follow the old bridge across the river

And it didn’t move a bit.

YouTube is my store of motorcycling memories.

If you’d like to join me on another ride, just like and subscribe, and you’ll then know when I’m next out and about.

For now I’m done.

John Dunn ©

Doors to the outside

Saturday, 11 June 2022 at 23:00

Adam and Eve on Dr John Dunn. Doors to the outside

Dr John Dunn 2022.

Until the encounter nothing was seen, nothing was distinguished, there was no discrimination.

‘Man was teased from nature’, with the analogy that the Beginning was teased from Ananke’s realm.

Dante was lifted from the Hell of unknowing to Paradise by an encounter, and the encounter was with Love. The doors of perception were opened by Love. In the Beginning was Love.

Much more could be drawn from the blog re-posted below. I invite you to read it and consider.

John Dunn ©


Pictured:detail from a painting by Lucas Cranach (1472-1553)

I think of Dante, lost in a dark wood where he, like the plants and animals about him did not observe nature, but rather was in it and of it, indistinguishable from it, porous to it, one with it; that is until Beatrice and the mud and spittle.

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.

Hoops, metaphors, man needed these to distinguish one stirring from another within the jungle totality, the forest infinity.

With metaphors man created the world, cut out a space from the forest, burnt down a clearing for himself, and started to distinguish one facet of the forest from the other, the wood from the trees, the tree from the wood, the falling tree from the other trees.

Man was teased from nature with fire and metaphors, himself from other selves, a myself, Me.

From whence the tease, the intervention? Can Ouroboros be pulled from its own mouth?

You pushed the apple in,
You, who committed life’s first sin.
The bitten fruit was the broken pact—
Emissary to the Outsider, you made me act.
Lips forced apart, I choked and ate
And, violated… became aware of the gate.

I saw you,
I knew you,
We dressed before we left.

John Dunn ©

Love will prevail

Friday, 10 June 2022 at 22:42

Eggs on Dr John Dunn. Love will prevail

Dr John Dunn 2022.

There-posted blog below brings together a number of related themes. Different in detail though they may be, they all play out the cosmic bifurcation described in the previous blog, i.e. Good, or Love versus Evil.

Who could possibly oppose Love? Well the masonry of adepts and their antecedents are described below.

What the blog also shows is that the opponents of Love want to take us back to the chaos before the Beginning, before ‘be’-ing. Not to be is to be nothing and this is how the masonry of adepts has treated everyone outside their closed circle, i.e. they treat others as nothing.

Love will prevail in the end

To love is to be human, whereas the worshippers of the One reject Love fora soulless sub-human existence. See though their corrupting influence. The kabbalistic fable of exile and return is their tale, not ours.

John Dunn ©

Love destruction

Dr John Dunn 2022.

Spinozist culture pervades all. It is the emanationism that festers at the core of all science and art. It is the post-Renaissance resurgence of the old Judaisms - original, Islamic and Christic. It is idolatry; and the idol that must be worshipped is the One.

What brings the financier, the Marxist and the anarchist together? The One. Globalisers rule through the canons of literature, art and science. The masonry of adepts comes together in the academy to worship closure and entropy, which is passed on in simple liturgies to those outside the inner sanctum as popular culture in its myriad forms.

Their antecedents were the exiles in search of a home who brought the Renaissance down. They found ahome in the One by deconstructing the sovereignties of the many.

The mantric essence of this culture is best expressed in the Spinozist dictum that ‘Freedom is the recognition of necessity.’

The struggle is as old as time and, as though to confirm this, the ancient mythologies give us the metaphors for understanding.

In contrast to the idolatrous worship of the One and the path of return to the One, to be human is to be a violator of the One.

The One, the originatory Substance, the dark still waters of equilibrium, Ein Sof; these are all sobriquets for Chaos.

This was the infinite past reigned over by Ananke, the personification of necessity, and Chronos, the personification of time.

It was Eros who brought light upon the dark waters of Chaos, Eros who broke free from the comfort and confines of the cosmic egg to breath a new life, Eros the symbol of birth, awakening and consciousness; because Eros is being.

Eros too is Love and Love is the beginning of everything. Before Love there was no being. Chaos was not being.

Eros burst from the cosmic egg entwined by a serpent. This is the serpent of memory, the serpent of guilt, because before transgression there was no being.

Eros enters the still dark waters of Chaos as the Violator and Disrupter. He enters the cave and paints on the walls as a creator, imagining and making manifest things that had never existed before.

Love stood before Ananke as the rapacious destroyer of any equilibrium. To Love is to destroy, create and give birth to the New. ‘Make it new.’

Worshipers of the One would have us return to the Chaos of equilibrium and pre-being. The one-worlders, globalists, financiers and their fully paid-up Gaia-worshippers, eco-warriors, Marxists and anarchists, are today’s idolaters who would have us return to a life of time and necessity; and time, of course, is money.

Dante saw a human face in the paradisal light. He saw the divinity of man in God; and God is Love. He saw man in the image of the Creator, man as Love.

To love is to be human, whereas the worshippers of the One reject Love for a soulless sub-human existence. See though their corrupting influence. The kabbalistic fable of exile and return is their tale, not ours.

A return to time and necessity is death. The struggle against time and necessity is hope for Heaven and Love; and God is Love.

The pro-life struggle against the death cult is ages-old and must continue so long as life clings on.

John Dunn ©

Cosmic bifurcation

Thursday, 9 June 2022 at 21:08

Eros on Dr John Dunn. Cosmic bifurcation

Dr John Dunn 2022.

The critical point to be made out of the blog re-posted below is that, to survive as an individual, a race and a species, humanity must be anti-entropic, i.e. anti the reduction of all diversity into one amorphous soup, which is the goal of the globalisers.

The great metaphor for the individual, the race and the species and the action they must take to survive, is the cosmic Beginning, which was the victory against entropy, i.e. the state of chaos that was the realm of Ananke before she was violated by the Originatory* Principle, which is Love.

The indiscriminate cosmos, that state of perpetual equilibrium, the indefinite cycle, was ultimately penetrated by mind, and diversity became apparent.

The challenge ever since the great cosmic awakening has been to struggle against the entropic tendency to return to the One.

This cosmic bifurcation is the basis of human action, be it in support of Love, or be in support of the entropic return. It all comes down to good v evil.

*I apply the word ‘originatory’ to the Beginning, the first principle of everything, i.e. the ‘Originatory Principle’.

Strictly speaking it is not a word; in most cases ‘original’ would suffice nicely.

I feel that in the context of my attempted cosmogony, the word needs to be more active than original. ‘Original’ feels like the first and last and only, i.e. an original act once done is over and gone.

‘Originatory’ feels to me more alive, i.e. original, but with an ongoing originality.

As a consequence the expression ‘Originatory Principle’ will be found throughout my recent and forthcoming writings.

John Dunn ©


Dr John Dunn 2022.

The Orphica suggest that the goddess Ananke came first, fully formed with her consort Chronos, and together they brought about the universe from an egg, and it was from this egg that Eros hatched.

The necessity (Ananke) that was in equilibrium with time (Chronos), which existed before Eros, is not to be confused with order, it was Chaos.

Any closed system, which is what the entropic necessity of Chaos represented, is subject to inevitable decay, or entropy.*

This was the Chaos from which Eros, emerged.

Eros, Love, the disrupter of everything, represented LIFE.

For life is the opposite of entropy.

Life is sustained by breaking out of the equilibrium of a closed system and drawing upon life-serving sustenance from outside that system, be this animal, mineral or vegetable.

Plato adapted the Orphic myth in The Timaeus. In his version Ananke was paired with Nous, or intellect, the conscious and thinking mind that is uniquely the possession of mankind.

“The subjugation of Necessity to wise persuasion was the initial formation of the universe” wrote Plato.

In this creation myth “the initial formation of the universe” meant the emergence of life, at the pinnacle of which is mankind.

Why? Because it is with the intellect that mankind opposes Ananke, upends the equilibrium of necessity and defies entropy.

As the highest expression of the anti-entropic development of the universe, man is capable of continuing the creative development of the universe insofar as he the living image of the first Creator.

*Second Law of Thermodynamics - having a tendency to change from a state of order to a state of disorder.

John Dunn ©

Frivolity maketh man

Wednesday, 8 June 2022 at 20:45

Egg on Dr John Dunn. Frivolity maketh man

Dr John Dunn 2022.

...that is the serious point made in the blog re-posted below. Man is different from all other aspects of the cosmos, animal, vegetable or mineral, in that he is not subject to the laws of necessity. As Beatrice says in the Divine Comedy, man can break the rules, or in the terminology developing throughout my most recent series of blogs and ‘Thought pieces’, man is the violator of equilibria, the disruptor, the creator, and it is after the overturning of the equilibrium, the violation of Ananke (the goddess of necessity, inevitability and fate), that we have the Beginning, the cosmic Beginning being a metaphor for man’s personal Beginning. Man smashes the stasis, he smashes eggs.

© John Dunn.

Smashing eggs

Dr John Dunn 2022.

The free life, without struggle, unfragmented and detached from the necessity of action, appears in the guise of frivolity.

Frivolity thus stands against the Spinozist, Marxist, Stalinist and scientistic axioms that freedom is the recognition of necessity.

The whole man is revealed on the level of a frivolous life. We must laugh at him.

How do we reconcile individual sovereignty through frivolity?

The answer comes via Dante’s Purgatory XVI,in which he explained how the world came into being in an act of spontaneity. There was no pre-determined reason for its creation, which was an act of total freedom. The spontaneity of this act was likened by Dante to a child at play who turns eagerly to what delights it. Such unrestrained freedom became the foundation for positing our own human freedom. It is because we were born out of this spontaneous action that we can go on believing that there is such a freedom for us.

Or again, in Dante’s Paradise I, Beatrice says of nature that all things have their bent, their given instincts. Just as a flame always rises when lit, a stone always falls when dropped. This is the natural order.

The question should already be rising in the reader’s mind - are we like that? Think of that child, who turns spontaneously without necessity ‘to what delights it.’The answer to the question is, most emphatically, no. Beatrice explains by expanding upon the theme of creativity with a metaphor from art. ‘Just as form is sometimes inadequate to the artist’s intention, because the material fails to answer, so the creature, that has power, so impelled, to swerve towards some other place, sometimes deserts the track.’ In other words, within the description of the order of the cosmos, Beatrice emphasises that human beings are the odd ones out, with the power to deviate from the cosmic order.

Man can break the rules.

Just as Eros, the primordial god of Creation and Life and Orphic symbol of the divine likeness of man, broke out of the Cosmic Egg to disrupt the goddess Ananke’s equilibrium of Chaos, man too can break the rules.

Man can break out of the straitjacket of closed systems be they religious, economic, Dawinist, Spinozist, kabbalistic, Marxist etc.

To accept a system as closed, to accept freedom as necessity, is to withdraw into nature, to return to Mother Nature, to Ananke and an amorphous state of pre-Eros, pre-Love and pre-Being. Closed systems are the path to entropic death.

The systems we compose for ourselves can neither be closed at their beginning nor at their end.

© John Dunn.

Chance and struggle

Tuesday, 7 June 2022 at 21:54

Dante on Dr John Dunn. Chance and struggle

Dr John Dunn 2022.

In a previous blog entitled Dawn I ended with questions. Is the Beginning in a personal sense a metaphor for the cosmic Beginning, or vice versa? Or are they one and the same?

In the blog below, I add to these questions the chance element, i.e. the chance encounter. In Dante’s case the encounter was famously with Beatrice. This marked for Dante the Beginning

“In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words, ‘Here begins a new life’.”
(Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova)

The chance element, the inexplicable element, is Love.

Eros is the Originatory Principle.* Love is God.

Then again in the following short blog I go on the stress the importance of resistance and struggle if one is to carve out a life apart from Ananke’s realm.

Surely resistance and struggle follow the Beginning; that is Dante’s journey, that is the path from the garden to the cross and beyond.

*I apply the word ‘originatory’ to the Beginning, the first principle of everything, i.e. the ‘Originatory Principle’.

Strictly speaking it is not a word; in most cases ‘original’ would suffice nicely.

Ifeel that in the context of my attempted cosmogony, the word needs to be more active than original. ‘Original’ feels like the first and last and only, i.e. an original act once done is over and gone.

‘Originatory’ feels to me more alive, i.e. original, but with an ongoing originality.

As a consequence the expression ‘Originatory Principle’ will be found throughout my recent and forthcoming writings.

John Dunn ©

Reflections on Dante’s Divine Comedy

Dr John Dunn 2022.

Half way along the road we all must take,
I found myself lost in the dark wood…

The Divine Comedy is a retelling of the creation myth, for the creation myth is also an individual myth of emergence from the hell of innocence and unknowing. It is also a retelling of the mystery of the Resurrection, about being lost and found, about dying to the old life and being born to the new, about the Passion.

He was lost in a dark wood, where he, like the plants and animals about him did not observe nature, but rather was in it and of it, indistinguishable from it, porous to it, one with it; that is until the balm mud and spittle applied by Beatrice.

A chance encounter between two people can have implications for eternity. (Francois Mauriac)

For humanity to be distinguished from the plants and animals, life must be carved actively out of the forest or the brambles of nature will return.The same applies to the individual; life must actively be carved out, or oneness will envelop him. The same applies to the race.

The radical application of Dante’s work to everyday living was teased out by Georges Sorel:

. that creativity is the defining characteristic of being human;
. that there is no rational harmony in the world;
. that the proletariat is the carrier of true moral values;
. that there is no inevitable teleology of history, only the (unpredictable) outcomes that can be achieved through struggle;
. that to live is to resist, and
. that ceaseless struggle is the necessary precondition of emancipation.

John Dunn ©


Sunday, 5 June 2022 at 21:31

New dawn on Dr John Dunn. Dawn

Dr John Dunn 2022.

I did another blog on a similar subject to the one posted below, a little later than this, entitled Precursors. The precursors in question were precursors to the light, not the light, but each bore witness of that light. In other words this blog and Precursors are about the dawn just before the Beginning.

This provides an opportunity to ask two open-ended questions. Is the Beginning in a personal sense a metaphor for the cosmic Beginning, or vice versa? Or are they one and the same?

John Dunn ©

Light passed through

Dr John Dunn 2022.

He knew there was something there, almost at the end of my school life. He would have rather been in the Thoor Ballylee writing poetry... but he was stuck with teaching, even though he was too good for it. He battled on despite nagging disappointment, always fierce and serious; but I felt newly confident and understood in his presence. He tried to coax life out of me, often hoping for responses to books that I had not properly read. Yet he knew there was something there, somewhere.

This Fenian had caught me at the time of first love, my love for Butterfly -when the tiniest of fissures in the Eros egg were allowing the faintest of soul-light to pass through. It was late in the school year, but his influence helped me to engineer a life of the mind when just about everything else (the forest of much later realisation) conspired against this. I chose the lowest threshold option into university possible and just scraped together the qualifications to get there. I did it all myself. Something was driving me. I created space - space to read and think.

John Dunn ©

Previous Entries
June 2022
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
26 27 28 29 30    
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
Website design and CMS by WebGuild Media Ltd
This website ©2009-2022 John Dunn