söndag 16 juni 2013

A Changing World


I haven't updated this blog for over a year. But here goes. As always I'm Lennart Svensson and I'm a Swedish writer.


I have a lot to say. Generally this has been a good year. The intimated changes are beginnig to show: the Pope is reforming the Catholic church, Sweden's indigenous, German people are awakening and asserting their rights against multicultural slavery, and the Syrian affair is not going in the direction of what the NWO wants. There won't be any full-scale MENA war starting in Syria, not even a Libyan-style intervention. It will wind down more or less peacefully.

A year ago I said that the world is changing. Here is that post. There I talked about the world being raised to a higher vibration. Well has it? Has the world been raised to a higher, vibrating glory? I can't say for sure. Midwinter 2012 went by seemingly without anything happen. But esoterically I have the feeling that the world changed. More peaceful energies are, since then, out and about.

- - -

I'm a writer and I write this and that these days. E.g I contribute to a Swedish weekly magazine called Nya Tider. It's right-wing and it's great. It was the only Swedish paper that told the truth about the riots in May. All the other MSM papers apologized the riots. Only Nya Tider said: this is done by immigrants, fueled by socialist activist groups.

MSM lauded the stone throwing thugs. Nya Tider hailed the police's efforts.

That's how it is in Sweden today: MSM is a miasma of illegality, lies and warmongering in Syria. Nya Tider, the web and operators like me want the truth out.

Other than that I think these times are great. Irreversable changes are in the offing. Well, a lot has already changed, like "racism" going out of favour as a label against nationalist and traditionalists. And the impossibility of a large scale war in MENA: that's a major change in the world's mental climate. The time frame for starting a NWO war against Iran is said to have expired already in 2007 or was it 2008. Other than that I'm glad that Mitt Romney didn't win the presidential election. I mean, Mr. Obama is a hard nut to crack, I can't get a grip of the man. But the truth seems to be that he's in for massive American disarmament. Last January, in 2012, he cut down the Army substantially. This year has seen the cutting down of the Navy and the Air Force.

These changes are mostly made without broad public reporting. MSM seems rather to wanna scare people and say that war is imminent. A shot fired in a Syrian desert is like Stalingrad to them. I mean, come on. It's a peaceful world and has been since 1987. The NWO kinda reversed it in 1996-2003. They went for chaos and destruction with 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq. But now we're back on the peaceful track.

Anyone who speaks against me, who thinks that we're in for a large scale war, I simply can't take seriously.



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lördag 21 april 2012

Changes Ahead


I'm an avid student of esoteric stuff, as you already know - see for example this post on conspiracies. And now the shit gets heavier, now we're about to see the greatest conspiracy of all time go down. If a certain Steve Beckow is to be believed.

He is a writer and a radio show host. He's very heavy in on the 2012 stuff, primarily that this year will bring ascension, an uplift from our current 3rd density to 4th and 5th. 3d is normal reality, 4d means moving with planet Earth to a lighter energy. Going into the astralbody. Earth ascends and so do we.

This link leads to Beckow's start page. There are some further links on his site. The current top post (as of late April, 2012) is about Pleiadean visitings. But there's political stuff too, about conspiracies. Illuminati rule: this is to go down now says Beckow. It's about freeing man from the current banker, nihilist, materialist regime. Mass arrests or just one at the time? I dunno but something's brewing. And it's all done with Higher Realms helping us.

All this might sound far out. And it is. Anyhow, for information purposes you might find it interesting. Some more links on current esoterics, 2012-related:

. American Kabuki. Readable blog by an American residing in Japan. Ascension, arrests etc: here.

. American Free Press. Slightly hippyish but genuine, has some concrete stuff on bankers resignations, grass root revolution, channelings etc: here.

So, dear reader. News about the arrests, changes and new births haven't permeated into Main Stream Media yet. But I figure it will. 2012 will be a year of rumours and here I add my part to the rumour mill. Share and enjoy.

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söndag 4 mars 2012

Oswald Spengler: Right On


I haven't had the time to update this blog recently. I've been earning my living IRL. But through it all I've been thinking about posting something here on Ersatz Moonlight. And after some deliberation, Forschung and meditation I now give you this piece on Oswald Spengler's relevance today. I concentrate on Spengler's views on culture and art. I also tend to focus on "the city" and its meaning for his work, its way of mirroring his whole oeuvre.

Oswald Spengler was a German scholar. About 100 years ago he wrote about the collapse of civilization in ”The Decline of the West” (1918-22).

So what? Just another Grand Old Man saying Profound Things? Well he is grand. And worth listening to. Oswald Spengler’s ideas on the lifecycles of cultures with birth, blossom and death is highly relevant to our age. I’m telling you the truth: this is no mere Untergangsromantik, no indulgence in dark forebodings, although there might be a risk to read him that way. It’s said that the Right have a tendency to dwell on pessimistic subjects, to secretly rejoice in the death and destruction of a society gone wrong, and maybe Spengler’s book caters to that urge somehow.

Be that as it may. All I can say is: with the help of Spengler we can face the transforming of civilizations. What we need is sobriety in our outlook, all in order to understand ourselves and the world. And in our culture, in the current international world-city civilization we have, as Spengler says, passed the apex and what’s left is reruns, recycling, parodies and copies. No-one takes anything serious anymore and all that is left is consumism, populism and panem et circensis. Nietzsche’s ”Last Man” rules supreme.

We’re at the end of a great era. Spengler says that our culture, the West, the faustic confluence, stood at its height around 16-1700. Since then we’ve mostly seen degeneration, the repetition of styles, dilettantism. The artist of the good old days – masters like a Bach, a Rafael, a Milton – created with good measure (greek metron), learning his craft and confidently producing work after work. The artist of a later, romantic era for his part had to go beyond that, he couldn’t just repeat the Greatness of Old. But in so doing he had a tendency in trying to reach the unreachable, often failing in the task. See here for instance Pound’s outcry, ”I can’t make it cohere!” That never happened to the masters of the great era.

This is a clever observation by Spengler. He for himself exemplifies with Wagner. Wagner too can’t really make it cohere. I myself love Wagner but I admit that the crevices and paddings show in his Great Work.

So Spengler is right in his critique on romantic fausticism. But otherwise you shouldn’t read him all too programmatically. I mean, if everything in the West after 1700 is Entartung and degeneration then for example his own work, ”The Decline of the West” from 1922, could not be taken seriously...! So let’s not focus solely on the decline-element; as Spengler privately admitted after his work had been published and Europe and the west gathered strength after WW1, the title of the book should have been ”The Triumph of the West”. For through all the analyses of his work, his constructs by which the pattern of rise-blossoming-decay is to be proved, runs a great admiration of the west and its culture. It is the faustic culture, symbolised by Goethe’s Faust who wants to do everything, know everything, experience everything. It’s a veritable praise of the faustic world, of its geniuses in their cells probing the depths of existence, its explorers mapping every white patch of the globe, its inventors inventing previously unseen things, its schoolboys drawing dreamcars with a view to drive them along never-ening highways: I’m heading out to the highway… Roll on down the highway… Midnight on a never-ending highway…

The West: it’s the architecture where the front necessarily have to express something. That’s a typical western trait. We don’t always notice it since we’re born into it. But: ”Christian temples speak loudly about their interior, muslim temples remain silent about it, antique temples doesn’t even think about it.” Spengler concludes that the cathedral starts from within, the antique temple from without; the mosque for its part both begins and ends in its interior, in its gilded, arabesque-fretted grotto.

The West: it’s about central perspective and analytical languages, about a marching, drum-induced pace along boulevards that seemingly lose themselves in the hazy distance à la Champs Elysée, Unter den Linden, Valhallavägen, Sunset Boulevard. The symbol of the West is the plain, that of the Middle East is the cave.


The West: in Spengler’s vein it’s about the city, the faustic city with its fountains, squares, parks and boulevards, unique elements in a unique creation, living with it and dying with it. But as long as it lives we can walk in these megacities and feel sentimental over the beauty of these fronts with their cranea, volutes and gargoyles, over these interiors with their galleries, exedras, cupolas and pilasters, their halls and marble tables with gold inscriptions like these:
If in Infinity the Self forever flows
repeated endlessly in endless repetition
so arch the sure and numberless porticoes
upon themselves with force and impartition;
from everything out-surges love for life,
from vastest star to from smallest kernel
and every pressure, agony and strife
is in the Lord our God but rest eternal.

This poem by Goethe ("Wenn in Unendlichen") was something of a Leitmotif for Spengler’s work: it was the cyclical, the recurring pattern in the development of cultures that he wanted to capture. There were other Goethean influences – Faust of course, and the tendency to see history and every aspect of human culture (cities, countries etc) as an organism and not a mechanism. Other than that Spengler was formed by Nietzsche, and here primarily by his Dionysean thought, his vision of the archaic, pre-classical antiquity. Archaic times had a more dreamlike quality, people then living in trance-like states with intuition to the fore, as compared to the classic times where sobriety, transparence and analysis came to dominate. Spengler then saw the same pattern repeat itself in early European times with the Edda being sung in misty German forests, exuding a dream-saturated, adolescent power that slowly matures in the city culture (= civilization) and becomes overripe in the world city, the phase we now live in: international world-city civilization.

- - -

Eulogies for the west aside, we now live in end times and we have to see the signs, read the writing on the wall. And reading papers and watching TV makes it clear that today’s pundits don’t see these signs, they believe in a never-ending liberal utopia just around the corner, coming real if we only increase this and that aspect (education, free markets, growth). So a spenglerian analysis comes in handy here. Why, exactly are we running out of steam, why is our current culture lacking vigour?

As I said above, our culture emerged in medieval days and blossomed around 16-1700. Barring some good works of art after this in general it’s a dismal time, a time of decadence. One of these is the cult of the novel, the long, the longer than long prose narrative as the optimal expression of literature. Gone is the archaic, noble hero and instead we get bourgeois classics, urban narratives about shopkeepers, dandies, criminals, demimondes and liberated women: ”The latter-day epic focuses on the doings of a Nana, a Bel-Ami, a Hertha, and they’re all sterile.” The modern novel is a product of the city and will have nothing to say mankind of the future – to future man who will live in a more earthbound, but not 19th century-like, culture (it will in Guillaume Faye’s word be an archeofuturist world). As mentioned the civilization of today is an international world city culture. We are governed by an elite traveling from mega city to mega city; they feel lost in the nearest countryside. Spengler stated this in 1922 and it’s still viable. It’s in the chapter ”The Soul of the City” and here we get his critique in a nutshell. The city is born as an extended village, grows in medieval times around a castle or a dome, blossoms in early modern times and declines successively ever after – declines, not on the surface that gets shinier than ever, but essientially since nothing new is created and everything is a repetition of styles, nostalgia and romanticism.

That the current times are a time of repetition and recycling, of pastische and parody and remakes, is clear to everyone. Everything is basking in the glory of past masters, making covers and commentaries, mimicking the originality of true creators. The demand for ”originality” is long gone. The words cultural fatigue springs immediately into mind.

Spengler points these things out for us. He may make too broad generalisations sometimes but on the whole his work is truly enlightening. He learns us to see, to think in greater terms than the ”eternal development, eternal progress” of the liberal mind. After blossoming comes decay, after decay comes interregnum, and after interregnum comes a new dawn with a new birth. Exactly how the new west would appear he didn’t say, he believed that as westerners all our traits and characteristics would disappear and then a totally new culture would arise on top of our rubbles and ruins. And why not: ”It doesn’t pay a prophet to be too specific” as Samuel Pepys said. To us who will live to see the fall of the west Spengler’s book however is a good companion, the educated man’s guide to the crumbling of the current civilization.

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lördag 7 januari 2012

"Antropolis" is a novel by Lennart Svensson


In 2009 I published a novel in Swedish, "Antropolis".

"Antropolis" has a symbolical quality to it. You know, like "Metropolis" or "Heliopolis". Literary qualities aside, the title shines like a beacon: Antropolis.

If you read Swedish you can buy the hardcopy here. But I guess few of you read Swedish. But as for the plot, here goes...

"Antropolis" relates how a certain Jenro Klao restores the ruins of a city and names it Antropolis, dedicating it to art, science and the humanities. Crystal technology and spirituality are the key words to the new age. When the story begins it's the year of 2165 and the city is thriving, but the forces of spirituality and technology now seem to clash in this utopia. Jenro Klao then decides to leave the city to its own measures for a while, going on a trip to olden times, to Faustian cities and metropolises teeming with combustion cars and scudding clouds.

The title and concept of Antropolis is what Guillaume Faye would call an idea thrown in the face of history. It doesn't have to be correct or consistent in itself; the mere symbolical and poetic qualities of the title is sufficient to make it a classic.

Antropolis has, as intimated, a certain Gestaltkvalität. It's archetypal. We're heading for antropolitan times by default. We're heading for times with crystal technology, innate spirituality and dance. Gone are the times dominated by fear, repression and brainwashing. Antropolis shall triumph. Look around, look out your window: it's antropolitan.

The ISBN code of the book is 978-91-633-3887-8. The number of pages are 205. Here is the pdf available free online.

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onsdag 7 december 2011

Svensson: The Mission (short story)


Hereby a great tale, a TALL TALE if you wish, mythological variety. It's got everything in it, cutting right to the heart of existence. However, an editor who read it thought otherwise: "World war one, Count Dracula, heaven and hell - there's too much going on here." So my advice to you, dear potential reader, would be: do as Mr. Ordinary, pass on this story and go on with your exiting life of docudramas, MTV and coffee table books about Italian cars. But if that doesn't seem like an option, if a story about a world war one Russian captain being sent on a mythical mission would really interest you - read on. A last word of caution though: the tenor of the story is christian.


1.

The church beckoned me. That’s all I can say.

It stood there, in the middle of the village. Waiting.

I got off my horse and looked at the tower, white-washed and crowned with a copper steeple, blackened by time. The door was closed but I guessed it was unlocked: ”The church is always open”, that’s what they always say. So I had to try it, had to enter – but why? I wasn’t even religious. Or was I? The ongoing war certainly could make you wonder.

I tied the horse to a pole and approached the temple, pushing the door open and going inside. I kept my holster on, no use leaving the weapon in the anteroom as in the old days; that would have been over-zealous. And so I entered the hall, sat down on a bench, took of my cap and meditated. Or you could say: I prayed. But never mind le mot propre; I was there, in Roumania, 1916, a Russian officer in the midst of a war, and here I had the chance to rest for a while and gather my thoughts – or simply disperse all thought and think about nothing, the ultimate form of rest.

I exhaled and relaxed, feeling the strain lift. I didn’t mind being in a war however, oh no, not me. In a way I liked it, hardships and pain aside. I had begun it as a Second Lieutenant in 1914, and I cherished the challenges of leading my platoon in skrimishes, assaults and retreats, and through narrow escapes. It wasn’t a glorious war, it was a rude awakening in many ways, but I got used to the barbed wire and the machine guns and the artillery barrages and the blood, feeling like a fish in water to be honest; I was a bit of a chauvinist then. And the losses there in Galizia where my regiment fought, the 17th Imperial Fusiliers, made me rise through the ranks; soon I was a Major and a battalion commander.

There followed a major retreat, some licking of wounds and some building up of strength. In 1916, as we had to move into Roumania before the Germans caught their favors, I was transferred to the regimental staff as aide-de-camp. It was a standard carreer move, in our Russian as well as in other armies, although I didn’t like leaving the front line, the rank-and-file, the place where things happened. At the regimental staff things moved more slowly, was a bit more von oben.

Anyhow, this particular day in the late summer of 1916 with the regiment having entered the province of Transsylvania, I was sent out to reconnoitre for quarters for the staff at a castle owned by some Count Dracula; the name didn’t ring a bell as Mr. Stoker’s report wasn’t known in my part of the world by my time. So I simply gathered my horse and off I went, over deserted fields and through wolf-haunted woods, until I came to a village where the abovementioned church was situated. According to my map a road up the hill to the Count’s castle begun there.

So I seemed to be on the right track. But as for my story I was still in the church. I had ridden the whole day so maybe I took a nap as I sat there – I, Carol Griffensteen, Finnish (as a fact Swedish-Finnish) officer of the Tsar’s army, as Finland was part of the Russian empire by then. I was wearing the khaki cloth field uniform with double-buttoned tunic, cloak, a smart cap and high boots, really comfortable. These Russian-leather boots were famous for being warm in the winter and cool in the summer, always eminently wearable, never chafing the skin.

Indeed: I’d say those boots made it almost worth all the hardships of being in a war. They, and the holster with the 7,62 mm Nagant revolver; they made you feel like a man, a real man, a human being. I was a bit of a chauvinist by then, I admit that, being a war lover and all that. Then again, if you are to survive in a war you just can’t go around and hate it all the time.

- - -

The lights from the candles flickered over the church walls. The golden cross on the altar reflected the glow. Insence burned. The stained glass window in the apse was rather dark, it was evening and no daylight could illuminate it, but I still could make out the illusion of the triumphant Jesus ascending from the grave.

There was a dispute over Roumania at the time, a tug-of-war between the Central Powers and the Allies, and the Roumanians themselves were vacilliating, so a Russian expeditionary force was sent to the country to stabilize it. Two army corps were sent, marching across Bessarabia and Moldova and finally reaching Wallachia, our regiment making up the Transsylvanian flank guard. And the advance guard of that regiment this day in August – well that was me, as I rode out in the morning to make arrangements for the staff’s quarters.

I had reached the village and rested for a while in the church, and now it was time to go. I absent-mindedly crossed myself, got up and got out of the church, mounted my brown horse in the afternoon sun, got hold of some locals and asked for the mountain road, and soon I was riding up in the hills. The weather was warm and the heavens glowed in gold and scarlet. Finally, past a bend in the road, I saw the silhouette of a castle, with steep towers and high walls. I approached the complex, rode over the drawbridge, entered the court-yard and had a servant take the horse. Another servant led me into the castle itself. In the hallway I was met by a pale, frail gentleman in a club jacket and cravat.

”Welcome, Carol Griffensteen,” he said in German, the lingua franca of central Europe.

”Thanks,” I said. ”But how do you know my name?”

”I know this and that,” my host said. ”Count Dracula, at your service.”

I shook his hand and the he tried to smile, but he only came up with a strained, chilling sort of grin. Then he invited me for dinner and I heartily accepted.

I got a room upstairs where I could wash and put on a clean shirt. Then I went down to the library for an aperitif with my host. The requirements for the lodgings of the staff were discussed; no problems. And so we entered the main hall of the castle, with its trophies, paintings, chandeliers and sconces, and its arrays of old weapons such as javelins, swords, arrows and partisans. At a long table the dinner was served.

”Shall we?” the Count asked and a servant held out a chair for me.



2.

I was at Count Dracula’s castle, invited to dine in the main hall. Sitting at each end of the long table we were served a dinner with no hors d’oeuvres, which suited me fine: just boar steak baked in a crust of bread, with mushrooms and a hot sauce as trimmings, not to mention red wine in large golden cups. Having tasted it I said:

”Good wine, forsooth. The stuff that you nedd after a ride in the mountains!”

”Thank you, you are most kind,” the Count said. ”And I strongly advise you to enjoy your meal, eat all you can – because your ride has just begun!”

I raised my eyebrow; I was only about to ride back to my regiment. But the way he said the words made them sound far more ominous. Did he mean the campaign, the expected clash with the Germans?

”Well,” I said, ”if the Hun comes after us into Wallachia, we will go after him hard for sure...”

”I didn’t mean it that way,” the count said. ”But never mind.”

We ate in silence for a while, then discussed the war, the Tsar, and the Kaiser and what to expect of America’s entry into it all. My pale host expressed some admiration for President Wilson, a highly educated man he said: Woodrow was a scholar in the White House which was a first. ”Indeed?” I said and sucked up the sauce with the bread crust, devoured it, leaned back in my chair and laid my hands on my stomach, praising the dinner.

”Excellent,” the Count retorted and laid his cutlery aside on his plate. The light from the sconces gleamed in his neatly back-combed hair, thick with brilliantine. He added:

”Now I guess our visitor won’t be long...”

A visitor? I asked myself; but I didn’t have time to voice the question, as at the same time the hall was lit in a silvery light. When I had adapted my eyes I saw a shape in the midst of the light, a dignified being clad in robes and steeped in light. Peaceful music was heard, coming out of nowhere.

The being looked at me where I sat. Its expression was melancholy of sorts, angelic but sad. I was filled with a strange feeling, a religious feeling if you will. Was this an angel before me? But then where were the choirs, the heavenly light, the blinding light? Well, there had been light and music, so I assumed there was something angelic about the whole piece.

I rose and said:

”Respected angel...”

I fell to my knees and kissed the hand of the being. I couldn’t help it. The angel, in turn, touched my head and I felt energized on the spot. I stood up and faced the existence. He was radiantly beautiful with just a hint of sadness.

”You’re Carol Griffensteen,” he said. ”Me, I’m Pelagion. And I am, in case you wonder, a neutral angel.”

I looked at him questioningly and he explained:

”When Lucifer revolted against God he took a third of the angels with him, a third remained loyal, and the remaining third became neutral angels.”

”I see,” I said, my head spinning by being thrown into cosmic mythology in this manner. Recently I had had dinner with a Roumanian gentleman, now I talked with an angel. However, I didn’t have time to regain my foothold in the everyday world, for Pelagion continued:

”There are Heaven’s and Hell’s angels, and then there is us. And we, the neutrals, are applied to mediate between good and evil, and to talk to human beings. Discuss, you know; Heaven’s angels for their part don’t discuss, they are more, well, imperious in their manner. Some would say ”self-righteous”, but not me. However, I was sent to talk to you in order not to scare you away; you are, at your innermost, a meek man, you have ideals, but you are not ready to meet the inhabitants of the higher spheres. Not yet.”

Me, ”meek and with ideals”? I couldn’t see that. I was just a soldier, loving to fight. Then again I hadn’t exactly been on a killing spree since 1914; I had served, protected the Empire. So I gave the angel the benefit of my doubt and said:

”Maybe you’re right. So what was your errand in visiting me?”

”You are going to fulfil a mission”, Pelagion said.

””Are going?” I echoed. Now, weren’t you an everyday angel, one who didn’t imperiously give orders?”

”That may be so. But when The Lord calleth, I cometh. And I suggest you to do the same, to be at the service of a higher cause! Or shall I ask someone else?”

I felt an opportunity slipping, a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity, the adventure of all times. After all, the war we fought wasn’t going well for Russia, and I wasn’t Russian; I was Finno-Swedish. I surely didn’t want to desert, but I wanted more adventure in my life so I said:

”Command and I shall obey.”

”So you’re ready? Good. Your mission then will be to find The Rose That Never Withers. You will be transported to another world, a fantastic realm of sorts, for this mission. A fairy world, if you wish, a world of sharper contours and deeper colours, but still real. It’s not a dream-world, I can assure you that. Well then: perform this labour and then go to the Golden Meadow, and there I shall tell you more. But even now I can tell you that a lot is at stake, it’s a mission for Heaven’s Sake. It’s got to do with Lucifer, whom I’ve mentioned briefly. You shall redeem him. Now wouldn’t that be something? But first you must find The Rose, partly to convince us you’re the right man for the task.

A fairy world I thought, a Golden Meadow, a Rose, Heaven and Lucifer; that was pretty much in one go! I stuttered:

”But... how...?”

”Calm down,” the being said, ”I can feel you’re ready. You just want to know how to find the way to this Fairy World, right?”

”Yes, my Lord,” I said. ”And I am ready. I will perform the task, just as much as you are a neutral angel! I will do the job, death before dishonour!”

I really meant it. I wanted adventure, I wanted a difficult task to lay my hands on – and if it took place in a fairy world, all the better. I had always liked fairy tales, and as a child I had been a bit disappointed when the world didn’t turn out to be as in the story books.

”Fine,” the angel said. ”Go up the stairs over there, and you’ll soon reach another world...”



3.

The angel guided me up the stairs in order to reach another world. But I didn’t set out on my journey yet; I just stood there watching the light in the room increasing, just to die down soon afterwards. The music also died away. The melancholy angel, the mysterious Pelagion, was gone. The only one left was my pale host. Slightly overwhelmed, I took to my seat and said:

”So this was our guest...”

”Indeed.”

”But what’s in it for you?”

”Oh,” the Count said, ”me and my family has a record... of some deeds in the past. Now we try to make it up to The Lord.”

”I see.”

”So why don’t you do as the angel said, and go up the stairs? This castle has its secret passageways.”

I nodded. I simply had to go! My mission in this world, the reconnaissance and the pledge to the Emperor and all – I just had to let that be. It wasn’t easy for an old soldier – but at the same time I cherished the task ahead, to battle for the Lord like some Joan of Arc, and to try my hand in a difficult labour.

So I took farewell of my host, got up, got my cloak and cap from a servant, fastened my revolver-belt, and took the stairs at the far end of the room, forgetting the Roumanian campaign, my allegiance to the Tsar and other trifles. Everything would be solved as I reached the next world, I thought. Or when I returned – if I returned.

Up the creaking stairs I went, led by torches fastened in wrought iron holders. Then suddenly everything got dim, ever so dim, then a little bit lighter – and before I knew I was in a clearing with a dapple-grey stallion in front of me, fully equipped.

I mounted the horse clapping the brisket, letting it rear. I said to myself triumphantly:

"In search of The Rose That Never Withers!”

But where to find it? Well, that was my mission...

Indeed it was. So I set about to seek out this mysterious flower in this mysterious world, this fairy world with ever so rich colours and sharp contours, with camp-fires, castles and dragons and fair and evil women, and brave knights like me...

To make a long story short, I rode about in Fairy World and asked questions, studied obscure books in marble monasteries and slept under the starry sky, on the way meeting fair and not-so-fair women. But I never stopped, never tired in my task – and one day, finally, I was riding through a forest of oaks, sycamores and maples, chasmed by the sunlight through the foliage. Birds sang, bees hummed and everything was peaceful. I had made my way to that forest by asking questions all around Fairy World, and good sources had it that this was the place for The Sunny Glade, in turn the place for The Rose i sought – The Rose That Never Withers.

A sign by the road said: ”Sunny Glade”. So I got off my horse, followed the path indicated by the sign, came to an opening in the woods – and there I beheld it. It shone as if endowed with an inner light, this sparkling red rose. I approached, got down on my knees and touched it; it was soft and yet tough, as if made from some supernatural material.

I had a moment of doubt: could I really pick this extraordinary plant? Wouldn’t that be sacrilegious? Just then a voice said:

”Go on, pick me!”

”What?” I said.

”You heard me,” the rose said – for indeed it was the rose – ”pick me! You’ve searched high and low for me, and now you’ve found me!”

This was Fairy World for sure, so why shouldn’t there be talking flowers in it? I asked myself. However, the plant didn’t have eyes and mouth and such, as in fairy book illustrations, it was just a rose – but what a rose! A beautiful flower and my key to wider events, as Pelagion, the angel, had hinted.

So I picked the rose, went back to my horse, put the flower in a saddle-bag and rode to The Golden Meadow, the designated site for my rendez-vous with that selfsame angel.



4.

It was a hillock, a tiny grassy knoll, overlooking a gurgling brook, lined with birch and spruce. The angel, standing by a marble chair on top of the knoll, was eying me enigmatically as I got off my horse in this Golden Meadow, and left the animal drinking from the streamlet. I went up the knoll, bowed to the being, took of my cap and sat down in antoher chair.

Dramatic clouds scudded across the landscape. Pelagion seemed lost in reveries. He was dressed in tunic and a wide cloak. There was no angelic glow around him this time, just an ineffable aura, a spiritual presence so to speak.

”Do you have the flower?”

I nodded.

”Good. Now as for your final mission: to redeem Lucifer. Do you understand what I am talking about?”

I searched my mind for an answer. As I’ve said I am not – or wasn’t, at the time for this story – a religious man, but of course I had heard about the strife in heaven, Lucifer’s fall and all that. The redemption of Lucifer would mean that he returned to heaven.

I said something in this vein to Pelagion, and he smiled:

”You’ve got it. Lucifer is to be redeemed – by a man, a pious man. A pious man praying for his soul, and that man is you. You’ve got to feel sympathy for the Devil!”

I felt a chill through my bones, and at the same time I got a presentiment of what the angel meant: to feel sympathy for Lucifer, for the thing in him that was still of God, of light. Pelagion then said that Jesus should have prayed for the Devil when he met him in the desert, but forgot it. Jesus was but a man, a man of divine origin for sure, but with some of the failings of a man – and therefore he forgot to pray for his brother. Jesus did a lot of other things in his life, like saving mankind and injecting love and life in the heart of the world, but redeeming Lucifer remained undone.

As for the relationship between Christ and Lucifer (Pelagion said), they were both created by God: Lucifer a bit before, Christ a bit after, both becoming leaders of their own angelic host, Asuras and Devas respectively. After the fall Asuras went to Hell, Devas stayed in Heaven.

”And the neutral angels, like you, wound up somewhere in between,” I interrupted.

”Something like that,” Pelagion said. ”Our group was formed out of both Asuric and Devaic elements. But never mind that now. Now it’s about redeeming the Prince Of Darkness, The Father Of Lies. It’s about time he came home. The Lord and Christ have decided it thus; they are, as always, willing to forget and forgive. But in order to get Lucifer to understand it we need a human being to intercede, to seek him out and pray for him. And that man is you.”

”I know,” I said. ”But –”

”Don’t give me that,” the angel cut off. ”You are pious at heart and you’ve found the Rose, which is a sign of your purity. Now go on, go to Hell, find Lucifer – and pray for him! Only a man can do that, as only Man has a free will – a free will to choose between good and evil.”

I pondered what he had just said. Was that really so, that only a man could do it?

I asked him this and the angel said:

”We angels are close to God, we have already chosen good. You human beings for your part, you live in between good and evil. Your choice is there for the making, so to speak. But you must do this! The world is in pain, there’s a war raging, and you know what I’m talking about: The World War, the struggle between Russia, Germany, France and Britain and some twenty-odd other nations as well. Go on, find the Devil, focus on the tiny bit of goodness that’s left in him – and pray, pray I say! It’s the only way – for you, for me, for the whole world and some of the heavens as well!”

It was part request, part order; that seemed a little odd so I asked:

”So I must do it by my free will?” I asked.

The angel nodded:

”True. I can’t force you to do it.”

I had to decide on whether to do it or not. He for one, Pelagion, mighty being as he was, couldn’t do it, couldn’t perform this mission. He asked me to do it, to save him – and all the world as well! There had to be a human intercessor.

I summoned up all my good feelings, my pious feelings if you will. I also relished the adventure of it all – and that made me accept this second challenge, this last challenge, the meaning of the whole mission. The greatest challenge a man had ever undertaken, a mission to save mankind and the whole world: to go to Hell and pray for The Dark Lord.



5.

I rode across a smoking, stony field. Black clouds scudded across the sky. A thorny bush, a defoiled tree, some yellowish grass: that was the only growth I could descry.

The angel had given me the directions to Hell. And hellish lands these were, no doubt – but the road ahead was going to be different from the usual pandaemonical descent, as I had to look out for a tree, The Great Tree by which I would pass to Hell. I had to go inside that tree and then escalate, Pelagion had said. Oh well, stranger things had come to pass in this Fairy World adventure; I had seen it all by this time and only wanted to press on.

Eventually a majestic, freshly green tree appeared in the distance. It seemed to reach high above the heavens. How an ascent could lead me to Sheol, well, that had to do with the ethereal spheres that surrounded Earth. In the Seventh Heaven God dwelled, and in the lowest was Hell – but it was still above the Earth’s surface, that’s why you had to escalate to reach it. Having left my horse I approched the trunk, found an aperture and went inside, seeing a spiral staircase winding away inside the trunk. I started to mount it. After some hundred-odd steps everything got blurred, and the next thing I knew I was walking over a meadow, sparsely grown with leafless trees, lined with odd mountains on the horizon. A greyish-blue haze enveloped the landscape.

After a while I saw a flat surface in the distance. As I came nearer it proved to be an ocean, a wide sea. Heavy waves rolled in, strange waves emitting no sound. The water’s colour was like molten lead.

I followed the coast-line for a while. Then I saw something out on the roads: a vessel approaching, a sailing ship of sorts. It halted, and as I could watch it closer I saw that it was made entirely out of sceleton parts, from ribs and shoulder blades and skulls and bones. But where then was the crew, the (sorry) sceleton crew itself...?

I didn’t have to wait, for soon enough a man presented himself on the deck, clad in beret and cassock, wearing a long beard and looking fairly decent; no ghoul from Hell he.

”Greetings, adventurer, pilgrim and whatever I shall call you,” he said. ”I am Ladar Hacq. Do you have the flower?”

I produced the flower, The Rose, from an inner pocket of my tunic; Pelagion had said that this was to be my ticket on a certain hellish ride. The captain eyed it, nodded, and said:

”I will now take you to Lucifer”

”Indeed?” I said. ”Well, I’m Carol Griffensteen and I’m ready.”

A dinghy was launched, a rope-ladder was thrown down, and a hunch-backed sailor got down and got into the boat. He rowed ashore and fetched me, and then he rowed me out to the fearsome ship. Finally on the deck, made out of ivory-white joints and limbs, I handed over The Rose to the captain.

”I knew you were coming,” he said as he received the flower and pointed upwards. ”It was a command from higher levels.”

With that he went off to his steering-wheel, and with some strange commands the ship sailed away, without any sail, over the leaden water, off to unknown lands. As for myself I caught sight of a deck-chair made out of hip bones, thigh bones and collar bones, sitting down on it and enjoying the ride.

After an uneventful voyage we reached another coast where I was rowed ashore. This was, as you might have guessed, Sheol, Hell or Gehenna; maybe not as you picture it from all the stories you’ve heared – but this was no mere story, this was for real.

Having been put ashore I started to walk, finally coming to a city of sorts, a place with high structures of black marble and obsidian. I looked around this odd burg and went inside the deserted palaces, finding no trace of life. It was the city of Asuras, I realized that, the city of Hellish Angels. Maybe they all were incarnated on earth by now, living the lives of human beings, instead of dwelling in this valley of tears? Or maybe they all were redeemed, having relocated to happier, higher, heavenly strata...?

That reminded me of my mission: to find Lucifer and pray for him! So I strolled along the city streets for some time and then left the place. Eventually, in the countryside, I came to a beach-house made out of red rock and crystal glass. It looked promising so I entered, drifted through finely decorated halls and lounges and marveled at strange objets d’art and exquisite paintings, until I found myself on a patio with a view over the misty main. And there, sitting in a corner, I found a being with a haggard look, wrapped in a mantle and dark veils. I bowed and said:

”Prince Lucifer, I presume...?”

The being eyed me and nodded:

”And you might be...?”

He had a sad look in his eyes, yet there were something dark and foreboding in his presence. I said:

”I am Carol Griffensteen, officer in the Tsar’s army, for the moment on a mission from God.”

”From God?” Lucifer said and started.

”Yes,” I said. ”I will pray for you.”



6.

I decided to keep the momentum so I immediately got down on my knees, joined my hands flat together, closed my eyes and prayed.

Lord, I prayed! By my free will I prayed to the Lord, implored him to give this being some of his light – yea, more of his light and love and life. Telepathically I concentrated my thought on this Lucifer, let all the love I was able to feel flow in his direction. On the behalf of mankind I forgave him, since that was what the mission was all about. One man (myself) had to be the intercessor, had to forgive him – and therefore I forgave him, on the behalf of all my brothers and sisters.

Lucifer for one didn’t have time to say anything against it, he just stood there – and as I looked up again, his expression was one of peace, of tranquility, having accepted the light, accepting the power of intercessing prayer. The light I bore in me had united with the rest of the divine light which resided inside Lucifer, and from above the heavenly light had begun to illuminate Sheol. The skies opened and we were both engulfed in love, in reality, in truthfulness and understanding from above. A wave of light engulfed the whole scene: the glasshouse, the beach, Lucifer and myself.

Light shone through a gap in the clouds, flowing through the greyish haze, and then the heavenly host came riding the astral waves, being led there by my intercession. At the head of the host came a being of pure light, Christ himself, the oldest of the Devas, leader of the Elohim. The party landed on the beach; radiant angels stayed behind and let their white-clad elder approach the house and the patio where I was dwelling with Lucifer.

After some deathless moments Christ finally arrived. I bowed and Christ nodded in return. At the same time Lucifer seemed to shy away; he had accepted the loving power of my prayer, true, but still the whole thing was undecided. Jesus said:

”Brother, why do you turn away? I have come to save you, bring you peace and quiet – after all these years!”

”But no one can save me,” Lucifer said, ”I’m the evil one. God will throw me out of Existence itself...”

”No,” the leader of the Elohim said, ”no one can be thrown out of Existence. The love of God will lead you into the light.”

”But mankind,” Lucifer said, ”they hate me!”

Christ made a sign of benediction, then pointed at me saying:

”This Son Of Adam have prayed for you on behalf of mankind. And on his intercession I have been led here to take you home.”

Lucifer softened at these words:

”Home, O what a word... This realm here, this Sheol, this is no home; only ruins and shadows and ashes. That is what our Sheol has been to us Asuras. However, a home in the heavens... Brother, I believe you.”

He got up, brightened and continued:

”You speak the truth. Your words, and the intercession of this man, have awakened my regret. I therefore ask for forgiveness – with all my Asuric heart! I ask God my father to have mercy on me and I ask mankind for forgiveness for all I have committed against them, for all the darkness I have drawn around them.”

I felt that it was time for me to say something, to fulfill my part in this:

”And I, Carol Griffensteen, forgive you on the behalf of mankind – from the bottom of my human heart, with my free will, so help me God!”

And high in his heaven, the Seventh Heaven, God saw all this, and he forgave Lucifer by means of the man on the spot, his son, Jesus Christ, leader of the Elohim – and by means of me, the intercessor. I could feel it – and at the same time as I understood that, a wave of love seemed to permeate all of Sheol and all of us standing there, including me, and then ripple down to Earth to envelop all of mankind as well.

Yea, verily: Hell seemed to become transparent so that I could look down on Earth, and I saw green meadows and peaceful forests, and I saw those battelfields of the ongoing struggle where, for one moment, everything was quiet and no one fought, no one killed. Peace reigned.

In the meantime the Deva reached out his hand for Lucifer. The former Dark Prince took it, his expression peaceful. He looked at me and nodded, sending love to my heart and I sent love back. Then Christ, Lucifer and the heavenly host rose in the air, leaving Gehenna through the hole in the sky, disappearing in a tunnel of light. And then everything else disappeared: the beach-house, Sheol, the ground under my feet and knees, and I felt it as if I fell through eternity. Everything got light, so light as if to blacken my view.



7.

An altar. A golden cross. And light shining in through the stained glass window, making it look like the risen Jesus was looking at me and winking. Then the the light died down and the church was again only lit by candles.

I was back in the church. I shook my head. Was everything...?

I had no token to prove my adventure: Dracula, Pelagion, the Fairy World, the Rose, the Tree, Sheol, Lucifer, the Elohim –

It was all vivid and tangible in my mind, like a dream of the heavier, prophetic kind. A truthful dream. Well, if it had only been a dream it was a good one, I thought, sighing with some kind of relief. I had entered the church to gather my thoughts, having probably taken a nap as I had sat down on a bench. But now it was back to work, namely to reconnoitre cantonements for the staff, in a castle in the mountains belonging to some Count Dracula...

I got up and went out into the village. Standing outside the porch I saw a rider approaching, wearing Russian khaki. He halted his horse, eyed me and asked in Russian:

”Captain Griffensteen...?”

”That’s me.”

”Out on a mission to reconnoitre lodgings for the regimental staff?”

I nodded.

”Counter-orders from the chief of staff. Return imediately, we’re regrouping. The Germans are in the vicinity.”

”Retreating, are we?”

”Yes.”

The Hun had finally entered the game. Up till then it had been a picnic; now the Roumanian war began in earnest. So we returned to the regiment and got marching, beginning a series of holding up-actions, a retrograde defensive. Finally, in the spring of 1917, we were thrown out of the land by Mackensen’s forces – and then, back in Russia, the Revolution got under way and my Russian career ended in chaos. Finally, as I was to depart from Petrograd to Helsinkki, the revolutionary throng on the platform wanted to drag me out of the train and lynch me. A Tsarist officer I was they said, an enemy of the peolpe. But a man in a white suit got out from nowhere, talked to the men on the platform and calmed them down. Entering my compartment he said that I was safe. Then the train started on its way.

I thanked him profusely, by which he eyed me and said:

”Don’t you recognize me?”

At once I recalled his melancholy features:

”Pelagion!”

After smiling briefly he told me everything that had passed in the heavenly realms. And it all were true, I had indeed had an adventure with the task of redeeming Lucifer.

”But why didn’t peace break out on Earth,” I asked, ”if Lucifer now ended his career as Prince Of Darkness? For a while I saw the lands being flooded with peace and understanding.”

”They were indeed deluged with love and verity for a moment,” the Deva said. ”But it couldn’t last – and that’s because man has a free will. There still looms some etheral notes and minutes of Lucifer’s in the atmosphere, and man tends to pick these up – and so he continues to slaughter his brother.”

”Oh.”

”But don’t feel dejected. You’ve done well. Much have been accomplished and it couldn’t have been done without you. Lucifer is back home; he is currently resting on Venus, the astral Venus that is. And soon he will meet his father and all the heavens will rejoice. Think about that the next time you see sun shining through a gap in the clouds...”

Outside the carriage’s window I happened to see the sun do just that: shine through a gap in the clouds, shining over a snow-clad meadow with coniferous trees in the background. And I started to cry – yes I cried, cried for all the heavens, for mankind, for me and for my lost career.

I felt Pelagion putting his hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw him smiling a melancholy smile.

”You did well,” he said. ”A wave of love enveloped Earth as God acknowledged Lucifer’s redemption and you realised your part in it – and every man and woman and child that wasn’t blind and deaf to these things, they too felt it. So now a new era has begun for mankind. It will only take time to settle so to speak. Men’s hearts and minds must accept the love and the light, must realize it with their free will.”

I nodded: I had performed my mission by my free will, and then all human beings had to accept the new light with their free will. As I pondered this I must have fallen asleep to the rocking of the carriage. When I awoke the Deva was gone.

And then, having arrived at Helsinkki (and having slipped out of that literally revolting city), I partook in the Finnish Civil War, commanding a squadron of Nyland’s Dragoons. After the Great War and my heavenly mission I was a bit fed up with being an officer to be honest; wearing boots and and a gun wasn’t that important any longer. Then again, if my country was about to fall to the Red Hordes I had to do my duty. So we fought the Commies in Tammerfors and other places and could finally enter Helsinkki in triumph, with general Mannerheim at the head. This was in May, 1918.

After the conclusion of the war and after our Finland had gotten its independence, I took charge of my family estate in Vasa County. I joined the Finnish Army Reserve and eventually had my share of fighting in the Winter War and the War of 1941-44, mostly as battalion and regimental commander. As intimated I didn’t indulge in being an officer anymore, but some events you just can’t control. If my country is invaded I will answer the call of the trumpet, no matter what.

Now I'm sitting here looking out the window on the wintery park of Griffensteen Manor, laying my first grey hair in the Bible. So what about my story, will you believe it? There’s nothing in the way of hard evidence to prove it.

But I don’t mind what you make of it. It was true to me, so listen to your heart and pose this question to yourselves: is this man a liar? Or a truth-sayer? Then take a look at the sky, and when you see a streak of light shining through the clouds, answer – but only then.

Related
The Swedenborg Machine
Breivik who...?
The Dragon's Lair
Pic: Russian officer's tunic

fredag 14 oktober 2011

Svensson: Beyond the Island of Death (short story)


It's storytime on Ersatz Moonlight. It's time for a short piece about an American army officer in France 1918 who has a chance meeting with a woman in a restaurant. During dinner he mysteriously dozes off and awakes in a garden, from where he is compelled to go to a sinister chapel.

When he awoke everything was gone: the restaurant, the green-eyed woman, everything. He was still sitting at a table, true, but otherwise everything was different: he was in a garden, he was surrounded by fragrant bushes, and the sky above was resplendent with impossible stars.

He didn’t feel ill at ease, no, on the contrary. There was something in the air, something afoot. Weird things were going on but he rose to the challenge, rose to the occasion – so he got up from his chair, took his cap, strolled through the garden, turned into a walk arched by pergolas and eventually reached a pond.

It was rather a large pond, a dam of sorts, the waters dark and still. In the midst of it there was an island with cypress trees. It reminded him of Boecklin’s ”Toteninsel”, the island of the dead.

His name was George Trevelyan, he was a Captain in the U. S. Army, 93rd Division, and recently he had taken part in the 1918 fall offensive which successfully drove the Germans out of France. Peace seemed imminent. He was a victorious officer in a supposedly glorious war, one of Pershing’s Crusaders defeating the Hun, enjoying a night out on the town. But the euphoria of the moment seemed to elude him; he didn’t just want to visit some brothel, not even the supposedly good one the officers had reserved for themselves in this Flandrian town where his battalion now was cantoned.

So instead he took a stroll through the cobbled streets of this Regnierville, as the town was called. He had finally ended up in a quaint restaurant with a violinist, exquisite menu and wines. He had even invited a fair lady from a nearby table to accompany him at his table. She had dark hair and green eyes and wore a purple dress, most stylish – and, as the finishing touch, an emerald necklace. They had exchanged toasts and dined on snails and sole hongroise, and it all seemed very classy and pure, not dirty and tatty as everything else in this decaying town close to the combat zone.

Then, strange as it may have seemed, he had fallen asleep. He had dozed off at the table, dining with this beautiful woman, and then he had awoken in the garden. But he didn’t stop and wonder about this enigma; instead he chose to get up and go down to the pond. Something beckoned him on.

And there, in the pond, was the island. A bridge led out to it. He couldn’t help but stroll out on the bridge and approach the mysterious island.

- - -

The waters were still, reflecting the stars in the sky. The island with its cypress trees loomed up before him. Without hesitation he walked ashore and turned into a path leading up to a white temple, a marble chapel. Like a sleepwalker he approached the mysterious building, with the premonition that here he would see his past and maybe his future. He was sleeping awake, he was beyond the Beyond; he had given up all doubts and second thoughts and just wanted to dream the dream to its end.

The temple was a simple, flat-roofed building, however with exquisite proportions; it made you calm by its very angles and surfaces, its space, its emptiness. He took off his cap and entered the vestry, and there he saw a book lying on a desk. Two candles were burning beside it and there was a chair to sit on – so he sat down, eyed the book and read on the cover: THE BOOK OF LIFE.

”The Book Of Life” he thought, now wasn’t that something. ”Ye shall read your name in the Book Of Life,” it said in The Scriptures, and voilà...

A book of life on an island of the dead, that was some oxymoron by the way.

Captain Trevelyan opened the book, starting on a random page where he found himself reading:

”Chapter 7322: Silverstar.”

And that ”Silverstar” was himself, his soul-name; he had reincarnated through life after life, only currently being named ”George Trevelyan”. How interesting he thought, now I get to know all the lives I have lived... Normally he didn’t brood over the ins and outs of reincarnation, but this was no ordinary moment: it was half dream, half reality.

So he read about how his soul was created in early times, and then on through life after life, lives always lived with some sort of warlike occupation, in the company of everything from stone axes and javelins to bronze swords and leather shields. He was file leader in Pharao’s army – and he threw rocks with a sling in King David’s army – and he fought in the front ranks behind a bronze shield at Marathon – and he rode across the Persian plains in search after Bessos, fought against battle elephants at the Hydaspes, and stood at the bier of Alexander in his Babylonian palace, the fertile lands of Mesopotamia being visible in a heat haze in the distance. That is, among other things he had been a soldier in the Macedonian army of Alexander the Great.

But it didn’t end there. After each life he went to heaven for moral debrief, and some karmic addition and subtraction was done to see where he would wind up next. And this time the karmic sum had him live out a life as a legionnaire, posted in some eastern region of the Empire. One day he attended the crucifixion of some rebel calling himself the King Of The Jews, not actually nailing him to the cross but standing guard during the event. Anyhow, he was there; orders were orders. And – strange to say – after the regular heavenly debrief he didn’t suffer from this karmically, getting thrown back into a life as a dog or somesuch for this deed: after all it wasn’t his idea to kill the actual rebel or prophet or whatever he was. That blame fell on Pilate who had ordered it and, more specifically, on the people whom Pilate let choose between the rebel and a thief. As we all know, the throng gathered outside the roman’s office was given the right to choose one of the two to survive, and the people chose the thief. As for Silverstar’s innocence he hadn’t become a legionnaire in order to kill prophets, he was a soldier upholding the law of the Empire.

The Being Of Light which discussed this with Silverstar, in that heavenly abode where we all go after death, made him however realize that there are other things in life than to fight and kill. But if you had to be a soldier, well then, make sure you are a good soldier, one that doesn’t fight for the sake of fighting but for some higher principle. Such as protecting the weak.

Silverstar was given som time to think about this, in his next life being incarnated as a medieval knight, protecting women and children and pilgrims and the like. Reading about this life in the strange chapel, the white house on the cypress island, Trevelyan had especially noted a heartwarming detail: as a crusader he had once had been cantoned in the castle of the Levantine Krak des Chevaliers, sitting and playing chess with a fellow knight in a chamber, while the desert below lay there in the afternoon sun, in the distance dissolving into a misty haze. It was just a picture, a non-decisive, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian moment in the everyday life of a man – but an enchanting one in all its triviality, one of those ordinary moments that make up a human life.

Trevelyan read about his lives, relived them all. Besides all the warlike goings on there were some encounters with a green-eyed woman, her being a soul created simultaneously as his own, thus being his soulmate and female dual, his anima. Theirs was truly a match made in heaven!

This person, with Greensleeves as astral name, met him again again, in life after life. They met each other as man and wife, as brother and sister, as colleagues and as distant relatives. In one life they even lived as twin brother and sister.

To relate all their lives together, all their company, all their spiritual growth, on earth as well as in heaven, would take too long. We will have to make do with some scenes:

. Silverstar riding into a Persian village as victorious Companion cavalryman in the army of Alexander the Great, halting by the well, ordering a green-eyed woman (Greensleeves of course) to give him a drink of water; the woman obeys and gives it to him, their eyes meeting in a deathless moment

. Silverstar as Roman centurion on the German border, living with Greensleeves in a cottage by the camp, the man watching her wife across the table as they sit and have dinner, their three young kids accompanying them, with Silverstar thinking: I am a very lucky man

. Silverstar as knight escorting Greensleves, by then a nun in medieval France, to a convent, riding through springtime landscapes and discussing God, Love, and Everything

. Greensleeves crying at the corpse of Silverstar on the fields of Naseby, helpless and bereaved, out of her mind at the sight of her beloved one having gone to the Great Hereafter

. Greensleeves being driven away from the farm Silverstar was given as payment in kind as captain of cavalry, having fallen for Marlborough in the battle of Blenheim; the woman and her two children going off to an uncertain future, living on the benevolence of others until she could find a steady job

. Greensleeves as sister advising Silverstar on career moves in the army of the post civil war era, the so called Gilded Age. That career ended for him as Colonel of Infantry, commanding a fort in Arizona on the Frontier, so maybe her advice wasn’t so sound after all...

Sitting in the chapel Captain Trevelyan closed the book; it ended after the death of the western fort-officer, his immediately previous life.

He mused about what he had read. In his heavenly debriefings he had for example received a karmic lesson, and that was to be a good soldier instead of a bad, if soldering now happened to be his bent of nature. And so he asked himself: have I been a good solider? Have I protected the weak?

He looked at the burning candles. I haven’t, it seemed, looking back at all these lives as a warrior, been a bad soldier, running wild and killed for the sake of killing. Then again, have I really been good? Maybe in that-ever-so-important career-way, but morally...?

- - -

Cogitations and broodings, trials and tribulations. But all that Trevelyan could think of as an answer was: ”Being good: well maybe I could start in this life...”

He looked at the candles and remebered the green eyes of his woman, his Greensleves, always being there for him in his successive lives. It was so much to remember, so many lives, so many happenings, so many scenes and moments. Yet, through it all, a sense of warmth remained, a sense of belonging. He had known love, he had known Greensleves. The two words seemed to mean the same thing for him. I’ve been in love, I’ve met Greensleeves! he thought. I’ve lived with that fair woman in life after life – loved her as a wife, as a sister and as colleague. I’ve loved her as a human being that have always been there.

He blew out the candles, got up and left the temple, going down the hill and over the bridge, finally returning to the garden where he first awoke.

And in the garden the green-eyed lady awaited him, the one he had met in the restaurant. ”Greensleves...,” he said.

She smiled enigmatically, took his hand and led him into the house, up a stair and into a bedroom where they made love. Afterwards they fell asleep in each others arms.

And when he awoke in the morning she was gone. All he could see was the sun shining through the gauze curtain, a clock on a chest of drawers and a painting of the castle Krak des Chevaliers.

She was gone – but it had been her he had met. It was she, his dual, soulmate and anima, in one word Greensleves. For that part they never met again, they only had this brief encounter in France 1918. However, that had happened before in his many lives, in the confluence of past existence – brief encounters that is, such as the ride through the springtime, medieval France escorting Greensleeves to the convent, on the way discussing God and Life and Death and Love. To name but one significant meeting.

When he left that particular nun at the nunnery, having completetd his mission, the nun had said as parting words: ”No meeting is the first, and no goodbye is the last.” He came to think about that when he awoke in the French hotel after the night’s lovemaking with the green-eyed woman, the Greensleeves of this incarnation. It was bitter-sweet indeed: however, he actually had the presentiment that they would never meet again in this life, but most surely in another life – in another place and another time. ”Together forever”: no meeting the first, no goodbye the last.

As for Trevelyan’s career the war ended soon after this, in november 1918. He got shipped home and was awarded The Silver Star, symbolical to say the least... He then returned to his peace-time work as a haberdasher in Birmingham, Alabama. He married a woman and had three kids. As for his war-time love he of course cherished the meeting with Greensleves, his soulmate, but he also wanted to live the life of a husband rather than being a bachelor. And as for him being a soldier he remained in the Army Reserve and took part in the next world war too, as an instructor and an officer in the field, but that is a story for itself.

But as for the theme of being a good soldier, well, for Trevelyan it all lost its meaning when being a soldier in itself wasn’t so important anymore. In 1945, after the Italian campaign, where he had been battalion ADC and spare company commander, he never went to war again. Just call it retirement if you will; all things considered he was done with fighting. He had done his due, learned his karmic lesson.

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fredag 16 september 2011

Controversial Science Fiction


Take a look at that cover: a swastika among symbols of America, isn't that controversial...? Well, maybe it is. It's a cover of Phil Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" which I briefly touch on below. It's a work of SCIENCE FICTION and that's what this post is all about, controversial science fiction. My focus is on the works of deceased authors but I also have some newer examples, the overall aim being to present science fiction literature with some bearing on the rightist, "controversial" topics of today. I have no textbook definition of "controversial" but let's say that I here discuss some SF works that are traditionally considered as contested and disputed. The disposition is: 1. Orwell 2. Heinlein 3. Nazi SF 4. Anarchism 5. Jünger and, lastly, an epilogue.

1. Orwell

The number one controversial, politically oriented SF-novel of all times, which one is that? I'd say it's George Orwell’s ”1984” (1948). It’s got this towering, iconic quality to it. They say: if your author name becomes a label, like Lovecraftian, Dickensian or Dantesque, then you’ve succeed, and we all know what ”Orwellian” is.

Not least are our times, the 2010’s, truly Orwellian. We live in an Empire with perpetual, peripheral wars and we have our equivalents to Newspeak and Two Minutes Hate. ”Freedom is Slavery” (since eating, watching TV and fornicating is the ”true” freedom) and ”Ignorance is Strength” (since castigating opposing voices in the media is the highest form of good).

Orwell’s book has been read as an assault against both Communist Russia and Capitalist America. But in the changing times the novel has metamorphosed once again, now becoming useful in decoding the governing techniques of the current nihilistic, ”liberal”, anti-white establishment. For instance, take Tim Wise’s outpouring after the right’s self-proclaimed triumph in the 2010 congressional elections. Lambasting white people Wise said things like: ”The clock… reminds you how little time you and yours have left. Not much more now. - - - [I]n about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it. Nothing.” To that, and substituting ”white man” for ”man”, compare Orwell’s O’Brien:
If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand that you are alone? You are outside history, you are non-existent.

In other words, both Wise and O’Brien are dyed-in-the-wool nihilists. Orwell for his part wasn’t the first to write about nihilism, about totalitarian states crushing the sensitive individual. The original seems to have been Yevgeny Zamyatin’s ”We” (1921), about an engineer in a future dystopia who starts to doubt the propaganda only to end up as a brainwashed robot. In the same vein is Karin Boye’s ”Kallocain” (1941), dealing with the issue of mind control in a future totalitarian state.



2. Heinlein

Now let’s talk about Robert A. Heinlein. In 1959 he wrote ”Starship Troopers", commonly regarded as a controversial work of politically oriented SF with its totalitarian form of government, with only the military given the right to vote as man in this future is involved in a fight to the death with evil aliens. But in essence this isn’t so controversial, so far-flung. I'd like to put it like this: total war equals totalitarianism, war has a tendency to marginalize constitutional rights even in genuine democracies. Heinlein's only fault was to couple war with deliberate limitations of franchise. His proposed system can also be seen as a defence for the idea that rights come with obligations; we need to be reminded of that today, since for example we always hear about ”gay rights” but never about ”gay duties”. In ”Starship Troopers” on the other hand the right to vote is linked to the duty to serve in the armed forces. Alien war or not the idea has a nice symmetry to it: quid pro quo, you don’t get something for nothing.

But Heinlein has more controversial stuff up his sleeve. In ”Sixth Column” (1941) America is invaded by PanAsians, a combination of Chinese and Japanese. They are finally defeated with a racially selective weapon, only killing mongoloid people. Then we have ”Farnham’s Freehold” (1966) with a visit to a future America ruled by blacks with a taste for cannibalism and polygyny. How did Heinlein get away with that one? Beats me.



3. Nazi SF

”Nazi SF”, for its part, is mostly a post-war genre. I’ve only found one pre-war novel with a racial-chauvinist theme, Rütger Essén’s ”The Darkened Metropolises” (De släckta metropolerna, 1937). Fair, heroic supermen battle against chandalas in a post-debacle future, the Aryan side eventually winning out and building a world along Nazi guidelines. It slightly rings of H. G. Wells’ ”The Time Machine” (1897) with its future conflict between ethereal upperclass people and troglodyte workers. It also reminds you of Thea von Harbou’s ”Metropolis” (1926), immortalized in Fritz Lang’s movie. That film’s payoff seems wise enough: ”The mediator between head and hand should be heart.”

Moving on to post-war Nazi SF, let’s take a look at Norman Spinrad’s ”The Iron Dream” (1970) which stirred up some controversy at the time. For example the book was prohibited in Germany. It’s supposed to be a book that Adolf Hitler could have written had he not become the leader of Germany but instead emigrating to the US, subsequently drawn into the science fiction subculture as an illustrator and a writer. The novel itself relates how a certain Feric Jaggar (= Adolf Hitler) rises to power in Heldon (= Germany) along with his cronies Waffing, Boggel and Best (= Goering, Goebbels and Hess). The final challenge comes in facing up to the Zind (= Soviet) empire.

Spinrad had the noblest motives for writing this novel, showing Nazism ”as it really is”. However, things didn’t quite work out as he had planned. Some real Nazis, The American Nazi Party took the novel to their heart, including it on some website’s To read-list. And some ordinary reader, too unsophisticated to get the metafictional approach, the Spinrad-writing-how-Hitler-could-have-written thing, actually liked the book: ”This is a rousing adventure story and I really enjoyed it. Why did Spinrad have to spoil the fun with all this muck about Hitler?” (Source: Wikipedia/”The Iron Dream”) So who got the last laugh? In writing like Hitler you have to pay the price. Nothing comes for free.

In treating ”SF and Nazism” I guess you have to mention Philip K. Dick’s ”The Man in the High Castle” (1962). Here the Axis powers have won the war and split America between them, Japan taking the western part and Germany the eastern. This isn’t exactly a controversial book but it’s a good book, ”a good read” as they say. Dick’s views goes down well with any right-minded liberal but other than that his police-state dystopia (”Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said”, 1974) and his satirizing of left-wing and right-wing minds alike (”Eye in the Sky”, 1956) shows the conceptual strengths of the SF mode.



4. Anarchism

Now let’s talk about anarchism. Anarchism seems to keep its allure through thick and thin, being the Gordian Knot answer to all political questions: how about no government and no laws, just citizens making mutual agreements? Eric Frank Russell seems to think that that could work. But his ”And Then There Were None” (1951) depends entirely on its other-worldly setting, the action taking place on a future space colony. Russell stages his anarchist utopia without common limitations such as ethnicity, traditions and scaricity of resources so it gets rather artificial. That said the story is rather witty and elegant in itself.

Another work of short fiction dealing with anarchy is Larry Niven’s ”Cloak of Anarchy” (1972). Here we have a future Los Angeles with the freeways turned into parks – free parks – since cars as we know them have been replaced by soaring vessels, hovering craft of the today generic SF type. Niven's enclosed parks with entry fees are a social experiment with some hippie connotations, their only prevailing rule being ”no violence”. The parks are supervised by soaring cameras called copseyes; at the sight of any violence the police can arrive and uphold the law. The park’s visitors practise micro-level anarchy like preaching for dumbass religions, wearing outrageous costumes or just hanging out, an anarchy that can exist as long as there’s macro-level, state-executed violence to safeguard it.

So this small-scale utopia is rather silly and harmless but let’s go with it for the sake of the narrative. Because, as the story unwinds, some day at L. A.:s King’s Free Park some genius takes down all the copseyes, as if on cue: they all drop to the ground thanks to the clever guy’s hacking abilities. So what does that turn the park into? Hell. With no restraint, no threat of public interference the fabric of civility cracks. Among other things some heavies post guard around the drinking water fountain, only letting selected people come for a drink. The queues line up. And this is a perfect picture of what a collapsing society would mean: scarcity of necessities, violence, unsecurity. In time the copseyes come up again and everything reverts to normal but the central charachters have a scary night behind them, depriving them of what delusions of anarchy they might have had. ”Anarchy isn’t stable” is Niven’s terse conclusion and I can go with that.



5. Jünger

Like Larry Niven Ernst Jünger is sceptical about the common view of anarchism, giving eternal bliss to everybody as soon as it’s installed, but Jünger doesn’t discard anarchism altogether. In ”Eumeswil” (1977) he redefines it in the role of the Anarch, being an antipole to the ruler but not bent on destroying him, just content with watching him and be near him to extract some metaphysical essence of history and grandeur. In doing this the anarch can be free; he doesn't want to change society since he has mentally seceeded from it.

The narrator in Jünger's novel alternates his duties between the university and the casbah, the seat of power. Here he tends the nightbar listening in on the governing clique’s discussions in this post-war, post-debacle future. ”Eumeswil” is a rich novel, echoing Jünger’s other utopian/dystopian works like ”Heliopolis” (1949) and ”On the Marble Cliffs” (1939). Here however I'll focus on some subjects in ”Eumeswil” relevant for current debates:
. Precious metals: ”The powers that be always rob the common man of his gold.” All throughout history those in power have robbed the people of their gold, either by diminishing the gold content of coins or by issuing paper money. The standard investing advice of 2011 seems to be buying gold as a hedge against a crashing dollar and there’s a rebellious trait to this, in the common man exchanging dollars for gold and storing it in his private cache.

. Survivalism: what to do if there’s an upheaval, an interregnum? The narrator concludes that the best is to furnish a dug-out in the woods to use as a safe heaven. This is like a miniature of the mega-crisis we face today. ”Stock up on food, water, ammunition...”: we all read that on the internet today but Jünger was way ahead of these preppers.

. Spiritual values: We can’t do without myths, legends, dreams. Having food on the table isn’t enough. Many prophets have said that throughout history so having Jünger propagating the same isn’t original in itself, but since no one listened last time it has to be said again and again.

More on Jünger here.


Epilogue

I’ve taken you through a survey of the more controversial works of SF. We’ve seen some classics and some old books, so how about the new ones? Well, looking at more contemporary controversial SF you could mention titles like Randolph D. Calverhall’s ”Serpent’s Walk” (1991, with post-1945 underground Nazis coming to the fore again with economic and metapolitical means) and William Pierce’s ”The Turner Diaries” (1978), about a white nationalist going guerilla. A precursor of sorts to Breivik...?

As for modern dystopias we have for instance Scott Wilson’s ”Utopia X” (2004). Here the America of 2048 is ruled by a totalitarian goverment disguised as a tolerant, anti-racist democracy. And so, with mind control and the outlawing of ”insensitivity” and freedom of speech the stage is set for a modern ”1984”, only here there’s a ray of hope in the form of a guerilla movement that begins to take shape, intent to defend liberty and freedom for all. More complex is Alex Kurtagic’s ”Mister” (2009) with a sombre future characterized by political correctness, corruption, crime and globalism; the book has been lauded for its avant-garde style, erudition and humour. And finally, as for the more race oriented dystopias, there’s titles like Jean Raspail’s ”The Camp of the Saints” (1973), Ward Kendall’s ”Hold Back This Day” (2003) and Kyle Bristow’s ”White Apocalypse” (2010).

In other words, it’s clear that science fiction lends itself to hot topics and non-PC narratives, to more or less controversial political discussions. So artistically and philosophically speaking the future looks bright; there are still stories to be told and issues to be debated in future settings. We might live in a politically correct dictatorship of sorts but the perceived censorship can be dodged by telling futuristic, other-worldly stories with a rightist slant.

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