Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Psychology of Mass Killers: What causes it? How can you prevent it?




The Psychology of Mass Killers: What causes it? How can you prevent it?


Dr.Robert J. Burrowes
IAEWP Vice President for South Pacific.

In Las Vegas on 1 October 2017, it appears that one man (although it might have been more) killed 59 people and shot and injured another 241 (with almost 300 more injured while fleeing). The incident got a lot of publicity, partly because the man managed to kill more people than most mass killers. However, because the killer was a white American and had a Christian name, he was not immediately labeled a terrorist, even though his death toll considerably exceeded that achieved in many ‘terrorist attacks’, including those that occur in war zones (such as US drone murders of innocent people attending weddings).

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there is now an average of one mass shooting (arbitrarily defined by the FBI as a shooting in which at least four victims are shot) each day in the USA. By any measure, this is a national crisis.

However, while there has been a flood of commentary on the incident, including suggestions about what might be done in response based on a variety of analyses of the cause, none that I have read explain the underlying cause of all these mass killings. And if we do not understand this, then any other suggestions, whatever their apparent merits, can have little impact.

The suggestions made so far in response to this massacre include the following:

1. Making it much more difficult, perhaps even illegal, to own a gun. See ‘Guns’.

2. Drastically reducing the prescription of pharmaceutical drugs (which are almost invariably being consumed by the killer). See ‘Drugs and Guns Don’t Mix: Medication Madness, Military Madness and the Las Vegas Mass Shooting’.

3. Recognising and addressing the sociological factors implicated in causing the violence. See ‘violence is driven by socioeconomic factors, not access to firearms’ argued in ‘Another Mass Shooting, Another Grab for Guns: 6 Gun Facts’ and ‘a deep sickness in American society’ argued in ‘The social pathology of the Las Vegas Massacre’.

4. Identifying whether or not the killer had ideological/religious links to a terrorist group (in this case ISIS, as claimed by some). See, for example, ‘ISIS Releases Infographic Claiming Las Vegas Gunman Converted 6 Months Ago’.

5. Identifying and remedying the ways in which constitutional provisions and laws facilitate such massacres. See ‘Las Vegas Massacre Proves 2nd Amendment Must be Abolished’.

6. Recognizing the way in which these incidents are encouraged by national elites and are sometimes, in fact, false flag attacks used as a means to justify the consolidation of elite social control (through such measures as increased state surveillance and new restrictions on human rights).

7. Limiting the ways in which violence, especially military violence, is used as entertainment and education, and thus culturally glorified in ways that encourage imitation. See ‘People Don’t Kill People, Americans Kill People’.

However, as indicated above, while these and other suggestions, including certain educational initiatives, sound attractive as options for possibly preventing/mitigating some incidents in future, they do not address the cause of violence in this or any other context and so widespread violence both in the United States and around the world will continue.

So why does someone become a mass killer?

Human socialization is essentially a process of inflicting phenomenal violence on children until they think and behave as the key adults – particularly their parents, teachers and religious figures – around them want, irrespective of the functionality of this thought and behavior in evolutionary terms. This is because virtually all adults prioritize obedience over all other possible behaviors and they delusionarily believe that they ‘know better’ than the child.

The idea that each child is the only one of their kind in all of living creation in Earth’s history and, therefore, has a unique destiny to fulfill, never even enters their mind. So, instead of nurturing that unique destiny so that the child fully becomes the unique Self that evolution created, adults terrorize each child into becoming just another more-or-less identical cog in the giant machine called ‘human society’.




Before I go any further, you might wonder if the expression ‘phenomenal violence?’ isn’t too strong. So let me explain.

From the moment of birth, human adults inflict violence on the child. This violence occurs in three categories: visible, ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’. Visible violence is readily identified: it is the (usually) physical violence that occurs when someone is hit (with a hand or weapon), kicked, shaken, held down or punished in any other way. See ‘Punishment is Violent and Counterproductive’.

But what is this ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence that is inflicted on us mercilessly, and has a profoundly damaging impact, from the day we are born?

In essence, ‘invisible’ violence is the ‘little things’ we do every day, partly because we are just ‘too busy’. For example, when we do not allow time to listen to, and value, a child’s thoughts and feelings, the child learns to not listen to themSelf thus destroying their internal communication system. When we do not let a child say what they want (or ignore them when they do), the child develops communication and behavioural dysfunctionalities as they keep trying to meet their own needs (which, as a basic survival strategy, they are genetically programmed to do).

When we blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie to, bribe, blackmail, moralize with and/or judge a child, we both undermine their sense of Self-worth and teach them to blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie, bribe, blackmail, moralize and/or judge.

The fundamental outcome of being bombarded throughout their childhood by this ‘invisible’ violence is that the child is utterly overwhelmed by feelings of fear, pain, anger and sadness (among many others). However, parents, teachers and other adults also actively interfere with the expression of these feelings and the behavioural responses that are naturally generated by them and it is this ‘utterly invisible’ violence that explains why the dysfunctional behavioural outcomes actually occur.

For example, by ignoring a child when they express their feelings, by comforting, reassuring or distracting a child when they express their feelings, by laughing at or ridiculing their feelings, by terrorizing a child into not expressing their feelings (e.g. by screaming at them when they cry or get angry), and/or by violently controlling a behaviour that is generated by their feelings (e.g. by hitting them, restraining them or locking them into a room), the child has no choice but to unconsciously suppress their awareness of these feelings.

However, once a child has been terrorized into suppressing their awareness of their feelings (rather than being allowed to have their feelings and to act on them) the child has also unconsciously suppressed their awareness of the reality that caused these feelings. This has many outcomes that are disastrous for the individual, for society and for nature because the individual will now easily suppress their awareness of the feelings that would tell them how to act most functionally in any given circumstance and they will progressively acquire a phenomenal variety of dysfunctional behaviours, including many that are violent towards themselves, others and/or the Earth.

Moreover, this emotional (or psychological) damage will lead to a unique combination of violent behaviours in each case and, depending on the precise combination of violence to which they are subjected, some of them will become what I call ‘archetype perpetrators of violence’; that is, people so emotionally damaged that they end up completely devoid of a Self and with a psychological profile similar to Hitler’s.

These archetype perpetrators of violence are all terrified, self-hating and powerless but, in fact, they have 23 identifiable psychological characteristics constituting their ‘personality’. For a full explanation of this particular psychological profile, see Why Violence? and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice. Of course, few perpetrators of violence fit the archetype, but all perpetrators are full of (suppressed) terror, self-hatred and powerlessness and this is fundamental to understanding their violence as explained in ‘Why Violence?’

Rather than elaborate further in this article why these perpetrators behave as they do (which you can read on the documents just mentioned), let me explain why the suggestions made by others above in relation to gun and drug control, socioeconomic factors, ideological/religious connections, constitutional and legal shortcomings, resisting efforts to consolidate elite social control, and revised education and entertainment programs can have little impact if undertaken in isolation from the primary suggestion I will make below.

Once someone is so emotionally damaged that they are effectively devoid of the Self that should have defined their unique personality, then they will be the endless victim of whatever violence is directed at them. This simply means that they will have negligible capacity to deal powerfully with any difficult life circumstances and personal problems (and, for example, to resist doctors prescribing pharmaceutical drugs), they will be gullibly influenced by violent ideologies, education and entertainment, and they will have virtually no capacity to work creatively to resolve the conflicts (both personal and structural) in their life but will do what was modeled to them as a child in any effort to do so: use violence.

And by now you have probably realized that I am not just talking about the mass killers that I started discussing at the beginning of this article. I am also talking about the real mass killers: those politicians, military leaders and weapons corporation executives, and all those other corporate executives, who inflict mass violence on life itself, as well as those others, such as academics and those working in corporate media outlets, that support and justify this violence. This includes, to specify just one obvious example, all of those US Senators and Congresspeople who resist implementing gun control laws. See ‘Thoughts and Prayers and N.R.A. Funding’.





In essence then, if the child suffers enough of this visible, invisible and utterly invisible violence, they will grow up devoid of the Selfhood – including the love, compassion, empathy, morality and integrity – that is their birthright and the foundation of their capacity to behave powerfully in all contexts without the use of violence.

Instead, they will become a perpetrator of violence, to a greater or lesser extent, and may even seek employment in those positions that encourage them to support and/or inflict violence legally, such as a police or prison officer, a lawyer or judge – see ‘The Rule of Law: Unjust and Violent’ – a soldier who fights in war or a Congressperson who supports it, or even an employee in a corporation that profits from violence and exploitation. See Profit Maximization is Easy: Invest in Violence’.

In addition, most individuals will inflict violence on the climate and environment, all will inflict violence on children, and some will inflict violence in those few ways that are actually defined as ‘illegal’, such as mass killings.

But if we don’t see the mass killers as the logical, if occasional, outcome of (unconsciously) violent parenting, then we will never even begin to address the problem at its source. And we are condemned to suffer violence, in all of its manifestations, until we inevitably drive ourselves to extinction through nuclear war or climate/environmental collapse.

If you are looking for a lead on this from political leaders, you are wasting your time. Similarly, there are precious few professionals, particularly in the medical and psychiatric industries – see Defeating the Violence of Psychiatry – who have any idea how to respond meaningfully (assuming they even have an interest in doing so). So why not be your own judge and consider making ‘My Promise to Children’?

In addition, if further reducing the violence in our world appeals to you, then you are also welcome to consider participating in the creation of communities that do not have violence built into them – see ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ – signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ and/or consider using the strategic framework on one or the other of these two websites for your campaign to end violence in one context or another: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.



In summary then: For the typical human adult, it is better to endlessly inflict violence on a child to coerce them to obey. Of course, once the child has been terrorized into this unthinking obedience, they won’t just obey the parents and teachers (secular and religious) who terrorized them: they will also obey anyone else who orders them to do something. This will include governments, military officers and terrorist leaders who order them to kill (or pay taxes to kill) people they do not know in foreign countries, employers who order them to submit to the exploitation of themselves and others, not to mention a vast array of other influences (particularly corporations) who will have little trouble manipulating them into behaving unethically and without question (even regarding consumer purchases).

Or, to put it another way: For the typical human adult, it is better to endlessly inflict violence on a child to coerce them to obey and to then watch the end-products of this violence – obedient, submissive children who are powerless to question their parents and teachers, resist the entreaties of drug pushers, and critique the propaganda of governments, corporations and the military as well as the media, education and entertainment industries – spiral endlessly out of control: wars, massive exploitation, ecological destruction, slavery, mass killings…. And to then wonder ‘Why?’

For these terrorized humans, cowardly powerlessness is the state they have been trained to accept, while taking whatever material distractions are thrown their way as compensation. So they pass on this state to their children by terrorizing them into submission too. Powerfully accepting responsibility to fulfill their own unique destiny, and serve society by doing so, is beyond them.

The great tragedy of human life is that virtually no-one values the awesome power of the individual Self with an integrated mind (that is, a mind in which memory, thoughts, feelings, sensing, conscience and other functions work together in an integrated way) because this individual will be decisive in choosing life-enhancing behavioural options (including those at variance with social laws and norms) and will fearlessly resist all efforts to control or coerce them with violence.



Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

Other Details:

Robert J. Burrowes
P.O. Box 68
Daylesford
Victoria 3460
Australia
Email: flametree@riseup.net
Websites: http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com (Nonviolence
Charter)
          http://tinyurl.com/flametree (Flame Tree Project to Save Life
on Earth)
          http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence ('Why Violence?')
          https://feelingsfirstblog.wordpress.com/ (Feelings First)
          https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/ (Nonviolent Campaign
Strategy)
          https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/
(Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy)
          http://anitamckone.wordpress.com (Anita: Songs of Nonviolence)
          http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com (Robert)
          https://globalnonviolencenetwork.wordpress.com/ (Global
Nonviolence Network)


Monday, October 2, 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram for the Small Nonprofit


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Friday, September 29, 2017

Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment at a Time



Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment at a Time

Robert J. Burrowes

Gandhi Jayanti – 2 October, the date of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s birth in 1869 and the International Day of Nonviolence – offers an opportunity to reflect on human violence and to ponder ways to end it. There may be a fast way to end human violence but, if there is, Gandhi did not know it. Nor do I. Nor does anyone else that I have read or asked either. But this does not mean there is no way to end human violence.

Human violence has a cause. See ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’. It has many manifestations. And it can be ended. But if this is to happen, then many of us must make the commitment to work towards that end. This is because, as Gandhi noted: ‘The future depends on what we do in the present.’

In other words, if human violence is to end, it will happen because individuals and organizations commit themselves to joining the effort to do so. Here is a sample of individuals around the world who have made that commitment, each in their own unique way. You are invited to join them.

HRH Prince Simbwa Joseph was born to a Ugandan Royal Family in Kampala. He abhors violence and is involved in many charities for helping those in need, as well as human rights organisations. He is currently manager of Nsambu and Company Advocates – a law firm and one of the oldest legal chambers in Uganda and East Africa, having been established in 1970. Among other engagements, he is also president of the African Federation Association in Uganda, which is a member of the World Federalist Movement Institute for Global policy. Following negotiations with Prince Simbwa as project manager in 2014, and involving the Ugandan Vice-President in launching the project, the World Sustainability Fund and its partners agreed to provide €1.5m to launch the AFA-WFM permanent office in Kampala in support of efforts to assist Uganda to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. In Prince Simbwa’s words: ‘Today the world is on tension due to so many things in social, economic, political disparities and pending nuclear wars. We are concerned as global citizens because if violence or war escalates those whom we call “Nalumanya ne Salumanya” in our local Luganda language (literally meaning “those concerned and less concerned”) shall be trapped equally.... Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and elder statesman appealed to the world during his lifetime to reinvent Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent approach to solving conflicts.’

Lily Thapa is the inspirational founder president, in 1994, of Women for Human Rights, single women group (WHR) in Nepal. WHR is an NGO ‘dedicated to creating an active network of single women on a regional, national and international level. By working exclusively with and for them, WHR is dedicated to addressing the rights of single women and creating a just and equitable society where the lives of single women are strengthened and empowered.’ Rejecting the label ‘widow’, WHR ‘issued a national declaration to use the term “single women” instead of “widow”. The word “widow” (“Bidhwa” in Nepali) carries negativity and disdainful societal views which leaves many single women feeling humiliated and distressed.’ Working to empower women economically, politically, socially and culturally in order to live dignified lives and enjoy the value of human rights, WHR works at the grassroots, district, regional, national, South Asian and international levels. Lily has pointed out that there are ‘285 million single women in the world, among them 115 million fall below the poverty line and 38 million conflict-affected single women have no access to justice; these women are last.’ You can read more about Lily and WHR’s monumental efforts on their website. Recently, Lily was awarded the South Asian ‘Dayawati Modi Stree Shakti Samman’, which is ‘presented annually to a woman who has dared to dream and has the capability to translate that dream into reality’.

John McKenna’s commitment is to end discrimination in all of its forms against those with disabilities. In one recent article, the Australian surveyed the value of recent disability-mitigating technologies becoming available. In his thoughtful article ‘What’s App?’ he assessed the value of technologies that, for example, assist people who are blind, people who have problems with speech, and people with disabilities who are getting older.

In a nonviolent action to draw attention to the horror of drone murders, US grandmother Joy First was one of four nonviolent activists arrested at the Wisconsin Air National Guard Base (Volk Field) during one of the monthly vigils (held for over five years now) by Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars. Volk Field is a critical component of the drone warfare program being conducted by the US government in a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa. At Volk Field personnel are trained to operate the RQ-7 Shadow Drone, which has been used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. You can read more about drone warfare and resistance to it in Joy’s highly informative article ‘Four Citizen Activists Arrested at Volk Field as they Attempt to Identify the Base as a Crime Scene’.

Father Nithiya is the National Programme Coordinator of the Association of Franciscan Families of India (AFFI). Their inspirational work is focused on two campaigns: the Violence of Extreme poverty and hunger and the Right to Food Campaign, as well as the National Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women. In relation to the latter campaign, AFFI has released a DVD and a booklet as a result of a four day intensive national consultation and training organised by them in 2016. Through their vast network of educational, social and medical ministries, AFFI has committed itself to stopping violence against women using various strategies all over the country, especially through their schools and colleges. Identifying ten types of violence against women – gender selection, female foeticide, child marriage, child abuse, harassment at work, prostitution and trafficking, domestic violence and Eve teasing, child labour, effects of alcoholism of men, and unemployment and underemployment of women – the DVD and booklet include analytical data, information about the legal framework and redress mechanisms. The aim is to empower women for their safety and security. Fr. Nithiya has given seminars to teachers and students to raise awareness of how they can stop any form of violence against women in their personal life, in their families, communities and society at large. The aim is to make these AFFI resources available in various Indian languages.

In one of her many engagements, Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland continues her ongoing solidarity work in support of the Rohingya, the ethnic group in Burma currently suffering the genocidal assault of the Burmese government and its military forces, the Tatmadaw. In a recent evocative appeal to their fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, signed by Mairead and four other laureates, they asked ‘How many Rohingya have to die; how many Rohingya women will be raped; how many communities will be razed before you raise your voice in defence of those who have no voice? Your silence is not in line with the vision of “democracy” for your country that you outlined to us, and for which we all supported you over the years.’ See ‘Five Nobel Laureates urge Aung San Suu Kyi to defend Rohingya Muslims’.

So if you would like to join the individuals above, as well as those individuals and organizations in 101 countries who have made the commitment to work to end human violence, you can do so by signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ which, thanks to Antonio GutiĆ©rrez Rodero in Venezuela, is also available in Spanish.

If you also subscribe to Gandhi’s belief that ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every [person’s] needs, but not every [person’s] greed’, then you might consider participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ which he inspired as well.

And if you wish to use nonviolence, as Gandhi developed and employed it, for your campaign or liberation struggle, you will be given clear guidance on how to do so on these websites that draw heavily on his work: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

Will enough people make the commitment to end human violence? Will you? As Gandhi warns us, fear of inadequate outcomes is no excuse for inaction: ‘You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results.’




Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

Friday, September 8, 2017

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Monday, April 10, 2017

George Russell: The Song of the Greater Life


George Russell:
To see things in the germ, this I call intelligence

by Rene Wadlow



“Are there not such spirits among us ready to join in the noblest of all adventures— the building up of a civilization —so that the human might reflect the divine order?  In the divine order there is both freedom and solidarity. It is the virtue of the soul to be free and its nature to love; and when it is free and acts by its own will, it is most united with all other life” George Russell: The Song of the Greater Life

George Russell (1867-1935) whose birth anniversary we mark on 10 April was an Irish poet, painter, mystic, and reformer of agriculture in the years 1900 to the mid-1930s. He wrote under the initials A.E. and was so well known as A.E. that his friends called him “A.E.” and not “George”.  He was a close friend and co-worker with William Butler Yeats who was a better poet and whose poems are more read today.  Both A.E. and Yeats were part of the Irish or Celtic revival which worked for a cultural renewal as part of the effort to get political independence from England.

russel01_400

Ireland lived under a subtle form of colonialism rather than the more obvious Empire in Africa or India where domination was made more obvious by the distance from the center of power and the racial differences.  The Irish were white, Christian, and partially anglicized culturally. English and Scots had moved to Ireland and by the end of the 19th century became the landed gentry.  Thus Russell and Yeats felt that there had to be a renewal of Irish culture upon which a state could be built. Yet for A.E. political independence was only a first step to building a country of character and intellect “a civilization worthy of our hopes and our ages of struggle and sacrifice”. He lamented that “For all our passionate discussions over self-government we have had little speculation over our own character or the nature of the civilization we wished to create for ourselves…The nation was not conceived of as a democracy freely discussing its laws, but as a secret society with political chiefs meeting in the dark and issuing orders.”


For A.E. the truly modern are those engaged in meditation and spiritual disciplines, a way of reaching “the world of the spirit where all hearts and minds are one.” Unless the Celtic peoples create a new civilization, they will disappear and be replaced by a more vigorous race. An Irish identity must be open and unafraid of assimilating the best that other traditions have to offer.  As A.E.wrote“To see, we must be exalted.  When our lamp is lit, we find the house our being has many chambers…and windows which open into eternity.” As he said of Ireland, "a land where lived a perfectly impossible people with whom anything was possible."

When the Irish Free State was created in 1919, the island was partitioned, Northern Ireland remaining part of the United Kingdom.  Tensions between the Free State government and the Republicans who rejected the partition led to a civil war.  Even after the civil war’s end in 1923, Republican resistance and general lawlessness continued throughout the 1920s.  During its first decade the Free State government faced a serious crisis of legitimacy.  It had to assert the new state’s political and cultural integrity in the face of partition and the lack of social change.  In its economic structures, legal system, post-colonial Ireland looked much like colonial Ireland. Therefore the government stressed an “Irish culture” of the most repressive and narrow form. The Roman Catholic Church had a unique and virtually unquestioned monopoly on education in Ireland.  Popular Irish nationalism had been structured around the antithesis between Ireland and England, and this continued after independence when it was said that all “immorality” — obscene literature, wild dances and immodest fashions — came from England. After 1923, the Catholic hierarchy fulminated most consistently and strongly  against sexual immorality, not merely as wrong, but, increasingly from the 1920s on, as a threat to the Irish nation.

To counter this narrow, state organized vision of culture, A.E. put all his energies into a revival of rural Ireland through organizing the Farmers’ Co-operative Movement.  He stressed that “the decay of civilization comes from the neglect of agriculture.  There is a need to create, consciously, a rural civilization.  You simply cannot aid the farmers in an economic way and neglect the cultural and educational part of country life…On the labours of the countryman depend the whole strength and health, nay, the very existence of society, yet, in almost every country politics, economics, and social reform are urban products, and the countryman gets only the crumbs which fall from the political table. Yet the European farmers, and we in Ireland along with them, are beginning again the eternal task of building up a civilization in nature — the task so often disturbed, the labour so often destroyed.”

Both A.E. and Yeats came from Protestant backgrounds and were deeply influenced by Indian thought reading the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads where sexual passion is the link between body, soul, and spirit.  In his only novelThe Avatars, A.E. wrote “such was the playof Helen which made men realise that beauty was a divinity.  Such was the play of Radha and Krishna which taught lovers how to evoke god and goddess in each other.”  The Avatar in Hindu thought is a spiritual being which takes human form in order to reveal the spiritual character of a race to itself such as Rama, Krishna or Jesus. In Indian thought the Avatar was always a man and came alone.  But in A.E.’s story the Avatars are a man and a woman who teach the unity of all life as seen by the love between the two.  There is but one life, divided endlessly, differing in degree but not in kind.  “The majesty which held constellations and galaxies, sun, stars and moons inflexibly in their paths, could yet throw itself into infinite, minute and delicate forms of loveliness with no less joy, and he knew that the tiny grass might whisper its love to an omnipotence that was tender towards it.  What he had felt was but an infinitesimal part of that glory.  There was no end to it.”

A.E. knew that he was going against the current of the moment. As he wrote “There never yet was a fire which did not cast dark shadows of itself.” At the end of the novel, the Avatars are put to death, but their teaching goes on “It is this sense of the universe as spiritual being which has become common between us, that a vast tenderness enfloods us, is about us and within us.” Yet below the surface of narrow tensions in Ireland A.E. saw that “We are all laying foundations in dark places, putting the rough-hewn stones together in our civilizations, hoping for the lofty edifice which will arise later and make all the work glorious.”

He lived the last years of his life in London, outside of Irish politics. He had a close friendship with Henry Wallace who became the first Secretary of the USA New Deal in 1933 and saw in the efforts to help the depression-hit farmers under Wallace his hope for rural renewal.
 ****************************************
Rene Wadlow
President, Association of World Citizens