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Before the Beginning was the oneness of nothing

Sunday, 25 September 2022 at 21:41

Simply nothing on Dr John Dunn. Before the Beginning was the oneness of nothing

Oneness is the realm of Ananke

The Beginning was the violation of Ananke

The apartness of the violator is the mystery

The mystery is Love

What existed before the Beginning?

Or if you are of the religion of science, what existed before the Big Bang?

Well, there was nothing, no thing, no being.

This is hard to imagine… to say the very least.

I have tried my best to ‘picture’ it by mythologising it. I resort to personification, calling this state of nothingness Ananke, goddess of determinateness and fate, goddess of the interminable, infinite, and uninterrupted equilibrium.

How can nothing be an equilibrium?

The answer lies to some extent in my thinking that produced the archived blog entry entitled One nothing (scroll down the archived entries to see and read).

Nothing is one, stated the blog.

Nothing, so my mythology tells, is the realm of Ananke, the realm of oneness.

For the Beginning to happen there must be an intervention of the oneness, a violation of Ananke.

It is in this intervention that the mystery lies.

The mystery existed apart from the oneness.

What was that mystery, the Originatory Principle as I have termed it, i.e. that which will not be explained, that which will not be objectified.

The mystery is Love.

© John Dunn.

Further notes on the north-south Roman Portway in Oxfordshire and Northhants

Saturday, 24 September 2022 at 10:16

Port Way on Dr John Dunn. Portway near Somerton*

Further notes on the north-south Roman Portway in Oxfordshire and Northhants

These are additions to my researches into a possible long distance Roman Road connecting Silchester and Dorchester-on-Thames to Watling Street and points north of present-day Daventry from Bannaventa (Norton village)

I conjecture that the road from Kirklington to Souldern is Roman in construction. After Souldern, the route to Norton (Bannaventa) is a pre-Roman ridgeway, Rainsborough to Borough Hill, incorporated into the north-south Portway by the Romans.

Ivan D. Margary confirms the first part of my conjecture in part as Roman Road 161a, starting near Kirklington in Oxfordshire ending near Aynho in Northamptonshire.

There is a motte and Bailey at Preston Capes, suggesting that the route northwards after Souldern retained its importance as a medieval trading route.

Roman building debris and Roman pottery scatter have been found at the site of a Roman Villa in Farthinghoe. This is evidence of Roman activity on the Souldern-Norton ridgeway section of the Portway.

“The Portway at Souldern crossed Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire, and can still be distinctly traced from Walton Grounds, through Aynho Park, to the turnpike gate east of Souldern, whence it runs along the present road towards Fritwell, passing on its way the ancient barrow called Ploughley Hill, which has been within the last 60 years partially levelled.” (19th Century account)

Beckley is significant because it was at the point where the Roman Road met Otmoor, which was probably impassable in winter. Travellers would have to make the decision to risk continuing on over the moor, or diverting northwards over the River Ray at Islip.

A Roman Villa has been excavated at Islip on the approach road from Beckley.

Several fields from around the village of Woodeaton have for nearly 300 years produced Roman finds. A Roman temple at Woodeaton overlooks the Beckley -Islip Road

The O.S. map of Roman Britain (2nd ed., 1924), shows the evidence of field-boundaries, marking a line of road leading northwards from Wood Eaton via Islip to near Bletchingdon.

The A4074 (much of it along the line of the Port Way), came into existence in the 1960s, taking on the B479 from Caversham to Crowmarsh Gifford (the remainder had already become the A423. Then in 1991, following the completion of the M40 and general improvements to the A34 and A404, the A423 was deemed to be no longer suitable as a long distance commercial route, and so was detrunked and renumbered south of Banbury. The section between the Oxford Ring Road and Crowmarsh Gifford became an northward extension of the A4074.

© John Dunn.

*Acknowledged to

The Logos can only be the living thought itself, Creation always, the Beginning always

Thursday, 22 September 2022 at 21:53

Christ and God depicted apart on Dr John Dunn. Daniel Gran's Glory of the Newborn Christ in Presence of God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Note how Adam and Eve are portrayed below, in chains.

The Logos can only be the living thought itself, Creation always, the Beginning always

In the Beginning is the Word, the Word being the Logos, or God, or Love.

Immanence with the Logos is Love

I write the notes as a further development of the archived blog Where the immanence? (Scroll down the Archive to read.)

It deals with a question: if there is an imminence possible with the Logos, and I have stated repeatedly that it is possible in the realm of living, active and non-objectifying thought, then where will the Logos be found.

A Logos that finds me, or to which I return, is out of the question, as that would involve a presupposed existence that is tantamount to idolatry; it would objectify the the idea of the Logos, making of it an abstraction, a non-entity.

The Logos can only be the living thought itself, Creation always, the Beginning always.

The mistranslation in the Bible must be amended to make this clear.

In the beginning was the Word should read In the Beginning is the Word, the Word being the Logos, or God, or Love.

To understand the Beginning as a Big Bang, one-off, event is to objectify the Logos making of it an abstraction, a non-entity.

Where is the Beginning, and how can it be discovered without objectifying it and thereby idolising an abstraction.

Here we come to the Originatory Principle for which there is no explanation. Here we come to the mystery.

That which will not be objectified or rationalised into abstraction is Love.

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)

Immanence with the Logos is Love.

To be read with the archived blog Where the immanence? (Scroll down the Archive to read.)

© John Dunn.

Unattainable transcendence

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 at 19:02

Silesius on Dr John Dunn. Connectivity with the Logos, understood by St Maximus to be the path of ‘divine intention’

The Fall, fallen thought and fallen angels

My earlier archived blog Unattainable transcendence (Scroll down through Archive to read) was concerned to pick at St Maximus’s metaphor of ‘divine intention’.

Johann Angelus Silesius

The path of divine intention is lost at the moment of thought’s inception

The original connectivity with the Logos, the essential reality, is lost.

This essential reality, the departure from the divine intention as St Maximus framed it, is that which is expressed through the metaphor of the Fall.

Loss of connectivity to the Logos, i.e. loss of God, loss of Love, is the Fall.

Thought relates to objects or phenomena outside itself, and not to its own shaping power.

Thought which is one with the Logos falls away from the Logos, as a falling angel.

Thought the Creator becomes thought the objectiviser.

Connectivity,or immanence with the Logos is an attempted expression of active thought. This is what I understanding of what St Maximus meant by the path of ‘divine intention’.

Active thought falls away to become dead thought, i.e. thought that is reflected back to the thinking subject as objects or phenomena outside itself.

Active thought is the Logos.

Silesius knew this and attempted to express as follows:

“I know that without me no God can live; were I brought to naught, he would of necessity have to give up the ghost.”

In another context, but fully centred upon Love, so the words cannot but help ring true, Emily Brontë wrote:

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

© John Dunn.

The above to be read in conjunction with my earlier archived blog Unattainable transcendence (Scroll down through Archive to read).

The Roman Portway

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 at 18:59

Kirtlington on Dr John Dunn. Kirtlington

The Roman Portway (not to be confused with the southern Roman Portway which runs from Silchester to Old Sarum) makes even more sense when the equilateral triangle argument is made.

It is the triangular argument made in the blog Could the Portway be Roman in origin? writ even larger.

The Pangbourne / Whitchurch crossing of the Thames makes more sense and is a more direct route north from Sichester to Dorchester on Thames and beyond. It has long been a favoured ferry crossing because of the islets that exist in the Thames here.

The most direct route is the hallmark of a Roman road.

There are two essential straight lines to the Portway.

Silchester - Dorchester on Thames - Kirtlington

Kirtlington - Farthinghoe - Norton (Bannaventa)

The variations from the two lines are accounted for by conditions of geography and roads existing prior to the Roman conquest.

It is generally said that the Romans came to Britain and laid out an elaborate road system. This is probably only partly true, in that they most likely improved many roads and added a number of others.

It is highly possible that the route existed for thousands of years before the Romans came, notably crossing the Icknield Way between Icknield Farm and Ipsden. Roman coins have been found at this crossroad.

The Roman route will also have been modified to take account of medieval trading priorities, most notably the wool trade. The Port Way as it it is known now in places was most likely a significant medieval trading route.

In addition there will have been further modifications made in the turnpike era.

Back to the equilateral triangle. Silchester is on the middle of the base side. The best route northwards is to splice the triangle in twain and go straight to the top, rather than around the Thames to the west via Dorchester on Thames, or even further west and up the western side of the triangle which is the Fosse Way. To go east and follow the eastern side of the triangle, Watling Street, would be ridiculous, given the direct route to the northern tip as an alternative.

The best theory is that the route was established in Roman times, having being made from a mixture of pre-Roman and Roman-built roads.

It retained its integrity as a route into the Middle Ages, being adopted and modified for use as a medieval trading route, especially for the transport of wool.

Southampton, conveniently situated directly south of Silchester, was one of only eight ports from which the export of wool was allowed in the Middle Ages.

The route fell into obscurity as the wool export trade diminished in importance, and turnpikes and stage coaches later kept to the contours rather than the steep gradients of direct and straight roads.

© John Dunn.

What about the case for a Roman Portway to the south of Dorchester on Thames?

Monday, 19 September 2022 at 20:01

High Street Benson on Dr John Dunn. Benson High Street

What about the case for a Roman Portway to the south of Dorchester on Thames?

(To be read in conjunction with previous blogs Portway, Portway 2 and Could the Portway be Roman in origin?)

There is evidence to suggest that a Roman Road connected Benson (near Dorchester on Thames) with Pangbourne via Goring Heath, Broad Street Farm, Woodcote and Cold Harbour.* See J. Sharpe and P. Carter, ‘A “New” Roman Road East of the Thames from Benson to Pangbourne’,
SOAG Bulletin 62 (2008), 7–12.

Whatever the exact accuracy of the route, the implication is that a Roman Road ran northwards from Silchester to Pangbourne, where it crossed the river and ran north to Benson, there to join the road to Henley that led on towards Dorchester, thence along a Roman Portway northwards to Bannaventa, a fortified Roman town on Watling Street, near what is now the village of Norton.

A Portway route connecting the Roman towns of Sichester and Dorchester, is much more direct than the conventionally understood one west of the Thames via Streatley, and it keeps the road away from the Thames Valley, which is a policy that the
Roman surveyors adopted elsewhere.

It is likely that this section south of Dorchester on Thames is a continuation of a Roman Portway running from Bannaventa at Watling Street in Northamptonshire.

*See J. Sharpe and P. Carter, ‘A “New” Roman Road East of the Thames from Benson to Pangbourne’,
SOAG Bulletin 62 (2008), 7–12.

© John Dunn.

Could the Portway be Roman in origin?

Sunday, 18 September 2022 at 22:41

Beckley on Dr John Dunn. Beckley village

Could the Portway be Roman in origin? (Not to be confused with the southern Roman Portway which runs from London to Dorchester)

Further investigations into an ancient road. (See previous notes Portway and Portway 2 in Blogs)

On the superficial face of it - an emphatic no. The roads on my suggested itinerary up to Beckley are certainly not straight.

There is an identified Roman Road from the Roman town of Dorchester on Thames to Beckley (which continues on to Alchester, near Bicester). This might well form the southern portion of the Portway, as an alternative to my itinerary.

After Beckley, the Roman road to Alchester and Portway diverge or cross, depending on which southern portion of Port Way is the right one.

From Beckley, there is a case to be made for the route of the Portway being reasonably straight, certainly in sections.

Where was the Portway heading?

Well from south to north it terminated at Bannaventa, a fortified Roman town on Watling Street, near what is now the village of Norton (very near to the hill fort of Borough Hill as mentioned in the essay (Road, history,nature and a motorcycle).

Dorchester to Norton is on a south-north trajectory.

Dorchester is situated at the middle of the base to an equilateral triangle, the two other sides of which are Fosse Way, running south-west to north-east, and Watling Street, running south-east to north-west.

A road from the Thames at Dorchester to Norton runs to near the top of the triangle, spicing the triangle in twain.

The Portway would have thus connected Dorchester on Thames and the Thames Valley with the road systems running to the north-west and north-east ofEngland.

There is a case to be made for a Roman Portway.

© John Dunn.

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