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Lowest classified road

Thursday, 30 November 2023 at 20:14

Vikings and Saxons on Dr John Dunn. The Battle of the Holme

You will find below the third and final part of a rough draft commentary, which will allow me now to move forward to the pre-production “story-board” stage of a forthcoming YouTube video, which is a record ofa motorcycling excursion into the Cambridgeshire fenlands. Earlier parts to the draft can be found in the Blog. Please bear in mind the spoken word nature of the commentary.

Lowest classified road

As I walk back to the bike from the Holme Posts, I cross the bridge over Holme Lode, the drainage dyke that helps keep the fenland here largely free of water; even though, behind my bike, screened by the birch trees,a small descendent of Whittlesey Mere remains in the form of a mere called Caldecote Fen.

Pressing further on now into what would have been Whittlesey Mere, I’m still in the birch woodland, keeping Holme Lode alongside this lane to my right.

As I leave the woodland I begin to pass through a band of semi-cultivated land, at around 3 feet below sea level. To my right, the drainage dyke is now named Holme Fen Engine Drain, which acknowledges that a pumping station up ahead works hard to pump water of the fenland into the old course of the River Nene.

Perhaps not necessarliy clear on the video, but those telegraph posts on the left are leaning at all sorts of angles due to the moving peat into which they are sunk.

Here at Tower Farm, I turn right to cross the Fen Engine Drain.

This lane gently descends from 3 to 7 feet below sea level.

You can see how the road surface has undulated and cracked due to the movement of the peat underneath, which swells in wet winters, and shrinks in dry summers. You have to watch where you are putting your front wheel, or you could get caught in the “tramline” of a crack, which would lead to a tumble.

Here at Ladyseat Farm I’m at about 7 feet below sea level.

And here I enter once more the birch woodland.

This road is the B660, at this point about 3 feet below sea level, making it the lowest classified road in the UK.

As I approach the the busy level crossing of the East Coast Mainline, I approach too the peninsula, identified and named by the Vikings.

A battle was fought here in 902, The Battle of the Holme, here in the heart of the Viking influenced Danelaw, in which the Danes defeated a Saxon army.

Now back up to the dizzy heights of 6 feet above sea level. As I ride through the village, the growth and rebuilding that took place in the nineteenth century is self-evident, presumably because of the expanded and more stable employment opportunities brought by thedrainage of the mere and the arrival of the railway. The church here for example is an 1861 Victorian replacement of an older medieval church.

So, having taken advantage of the relative non-coldness, shall I say, of this November day, I leave these fenlands which never fail to fascinate.

© John Dunn.

The Logos would incarnate, but first there must be love

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 at 22:27

Lovers on Dr John Dunn. Engraving by Jacques Joseph Coiny, Angelique et Medor, falling in love, 1798

The Logos would incarnate, but first there must be love

The Logos would incarnate, but first there must be love. Who would prevent this? Who murdered Love and continues to do so? We are playing around with metaphors here, largely because there is no other option. We know the perpetrators of evil in our midst. These followers of Urizen must be rooted out and destroyed to make way for Love. The goal of these followers of Urizen? Undifferentiated, indiscriminate oneness and sameness the world over, a return to the realm of Ananke, which was before the Beginning, which was before ‘be’ing, which was death. Under these conditions the human being, conditioned by corporeality as human-animal, has no value higher than any other aspect of nature. A sub-human existence is bound up with nature, one with it, immersed in it and subject to its determinations; subject to Ananke, i.e. subject to nothing, being worth nought.

Only when the practice of living thinking is achieved will man move beyond the animal to the beyond-human dimension, or to the Logos of the Creation, to achieve independence from the reflected thought of animal corporeality. This achievement is dependent upon the awakening of the soul through the interjection of Love, the continuation of the first Creation in perpetuity. Where Love interjects there is joy and gladness now and forever, for Love never ends.

© John Dunn.

Reaching new lows

Tuesday, 28 November 2023 at 21:55

Early shot of the Holme post on Dr John Dunn. Holme post erected in 1851

Another part (the third) of my draft commentary to a projected YouTube video is to be found below. The video records my motorcycle ride to the lowest place in Britain. Two preceding parts can be found on the site as recent blogs. This draft has been sketched out for the spoken word. In other words please understand that I have not attempted a grammatical masterpiece.

As ever, when drafting out a commentary, I always add it to the home page to give the Google search bots something new to chew on.

Reaching new lows

I’m now riding at 7 feet below sea level.

And here is where I pull up to take a look at the Holme posts.

Two monolithic cast iron posts anomalously lurk in a birch forest. At nine feet below sea level, they mark the lowest land point in Britain.

I’m now standing in what was once a wide open stretch of water known as Whittlesey Mere. Drained in the middle of the nineteenth century, it was the last of the great meres in the Fens.

The Holme Fen Posts were commissioned by a landowner William Wells, who knew the land here would shrink and drop here after he drained the Mere. They serve to measure the drop.

On the right is the 1851 cast iron column from the Crystal Palace in London. This was was embedded in the peat, with the top of the post at ground level. As the iron post was progressively exposed it became unstable, and steel guys were added in 1957, when the second iron post on the left was added.

Measurements of the shrinkage have been taken at intervals over the years, immediately after drainage a subsidence of nine inches a year in the soil level was recorded; shrinkage was very fast in the first thirty years. Today over 13 foot of the post is showing.

© John Dunn.

Stepping off the shoreline

Sunday, 26 November 2023 at 20:47

A dyke at Holme Fen on Dr John Dunn. Drainage dyke at Holme Fen

Below is the second part of a rough draft commentary to a planned YouTube video, which records my motorcycle excursion to the lowest place in Britain. An earlier part to the draft can be found in the Blog. Please bear in mind the spoken word nature of the draft. This is not crafted prose. As ever, when drafting out a commentary, I always add it to the home page to give the Google search bots something new to chew on.

Stepping off the shoreline

Here just before Holme, I’m riding at 20 feet above sea level.

Here’s Holme village at about 16 feet above sea level.

Holme is a Viking word which means island or peninsula surrounded by water. Here I’m on the higher land of the peninsula.

The dark soil of the Fens that surrounds the village on three sides was once the water and marsh known by the Vikings when they named this village.

The level crossing ahead takes you over the very busy London to Edinburgh East Coast Mainline.

The track is now on a embankment. It was level with the land when it was built. The Victorian engineers laid the track laid on reed and wooden rafts, and has not sunk like the drained land around.

I’m turning left before the crossing to step off the shoreline of the peninsula so to speak.

The contour line on the Ordnance Survey map shows that I’m about to drop below sea level at that hose on the left.

Turning right here I’m at 7 feet below sea level.

Here I’m rising up again to another crossing of the East Coast Mainline. As I said, the railway line stayed level with the land before shrinkage, leaving me with a ridge to cross. This is a busy line, and the gates are closed more often than not.

Up and over… I’m now in the birch woodland of the Holme Fen Nature Reserve.

© John Dunn.

Abstract and ephemeral satisfactions

Sunday, 26 November 2023 at 20:32

William Blake Urizen on Dr John Dunn. William Blake's Urizen, with his book of the abstract and ephemeral

Abstract and ephemeral satisfactions

Fallen thought uses sense data to confront the Not-Self. In other words, it is conscious of a gap between itself and sense data, or in still other words, it does not imagine itself to be the sum total of sense data. Instead, the deluded self makes of itself an adjunct to that which appears to pre-exist it. Fallen thought is a condition which believes its thoughts are its own. Separated from the Logos, fallen thought takes on a life of its own, believing itself to be a representation of what appears to be a pre-existing world of things and people, as though existence lay outside of thought, rather than shaped by it. This medium of fallen thought, or reflected thought, in which we exist and have our being, is the realm ruled over by Urizen. Encouraged by the followers of Urizen, man is dragged down into the passivity of Beulah, where is heard constantly the nauseating refrain - ‘We just want to be happy… we just want to be happy…’

To feel the Logos, man must be liberated. Until liberated, he will suffer and rejoice illusorily, because the Logos content of each experience is lost. We see a tantalising shadow of such liberation in human love, which is always imperfect. Love, the Originatory Principle, is the true celestial content of human love. All human love unknowingly moves from its celestial content, but without the hope of realising it, because within the sphere of the psyche it endures the enchantment of the appearing. Assumed as reality through reflected consciousness, the appearing generates irresistible desire, the continuous greed for abstract and ephemeral satisfactions.

© John Dunn.

Motorcycle excursion to Holme Fen

Saturday, 25 November 2023 at 20:43

Holme Fen trees on Dr John Dunn. Very small taste of the birch forest at Holme Fen

Another potential YouTube video in the offing, based on an impromptu motorcycle ride to the Cambridgeshire Fens that I thoroughly enjoyed earlier this week.

I’m already collecting my thoughts on the commentary, the beginnings of which I have drafted out below.

Motorcycle excursion to Holme Fen

Dry roads in November are not to be wasted, and when I woke up to a dry day last week, there was no question about riding out.

Where to?

I had a place in mind ever since I rode over to a village called Manea, in the Cambridgeshire Fens, to see a small farm that was home to my grandmother and other ancestors.

That’s another story, but it prompted me to do a bit of reading about the Fens.

For those who don’t know, the Fens are a naturally marshy region of eastern England that were drained centuries ago, resulting in a flat, low-lying agricultural region supported by a system of drainage channels and man-made rivers and water pumping stations. The Fens have an atmosphere all of their own which I find fascinating.

One thing out of the many I read about intrigued me. It struck me as a place to visit, and I added it to my list.

The place is Holme Fen, at nine feet below sea level, the lowest point in the UK.

As in the other fenlands, with drainage the saturated peat of Holme Fen dried out and shrank, causing the land to sink to new lows. Nowhere is this more marked than at the Holme Posts.

The roads were dry, the temperatures not too bad for November, I thought I’d take a look.

© John Dunn.

All thought is fallen thought . Dead matter cannot self-project its own existence

Friday, 24 November 2023 at 17:17

Leaf on Dr John Dunn. All thought is fallen thought

Dead matter cannot self-project its own existence

Until there is living thinking, all thought is fallen thought, or reflected thought, i.e. originatory shaping thought reflected back as though it originated in an external material reality, i.e. one which makes its seemingly pre-existent and self-projected presence felt through the senses of the passive onlooker.

The mind is preoccupied with an apparent external material ‘reality’, as though the latter had its own internal and thus projected existence. This is fallen thought, which is the state before the Beginning, an interminable equilibrium, an undifferentiated Oneness, in short Ananke’s realm prior to the penetration of Love.

To overcome fallen thought is to engage with the uncorrupted originatory source of thought,the Logos, which reveals itself in the creative perpetuity of the Beginning. This amounts to the victory of Love over evil, for what is Love but the Logos, and Love is God; and the greatness of man is to become identified with the madness of God.

© John Dunn.

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