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I’m alive and cantankerous as ever.

Whatever happened, though, it was deeply unsettling.  Suddenly losing the ability to read and write is never a good sign.

The flashbacks from the war were a bit much though.  That literally hasn’t happened with that intensity for some years.  I’m now concerned that my memories may have been precipitated by some kind of medical incident and I’m legitimately scared.

The episode seems to have passed. Being discharged. Apparently suddenly losing a fundamental​ ability for a couple hours isn’t an emergency.

I had a frightening flashback during the attack though. I don’t think it was something that actually happened but something I had been afraid would happen. I became Jack, mentally speaking, and had an anxious flash when the doctor stood over me and in an angry voice demanded the particulars of my insurance. At one point I wanted to blurt out “I don’t know where they are!” (as if asked for information about my battalion) and I briefly but vividly imagined that I was in an infirmary in a prison camp being interrogated by a German officer.  I got hold of my senses and snapped back to reality before I let on that I’d had such an episode.

The doctor thinks it might be autoimmune, which they won’t test for here, so it’s a cab ride home for me.

 

The Deeper Truth

I want to try to comment on the deeper spiritual dimension of these times and what I see going on right under people’s noses.

First of all I want to say that I’ve had a weird suspicion that what we’re seeing proves an archetypal- rather than prophetic- reading of the Revelation of St. John.

We have the emergence of far-right charismatic figures- almost all of them somehow connected- who trade in xenophobia, racism, sexism, and the politics of fear.  They profess a love for the people and even love for God, but they harbor immense greed and corruption.   Their reach is international, coming up from the sea on every shore.  You might say they represent a political force that, metaphorically speaking, have “seven heads with ten crowns” (I think the specific numbers are arguably unimportant here, only that the beast is both one and many, holding sway over multiple sovereign powers).  Many people who declare themselves Christians have fallen for them; they have been given power to deceive and make war.

It is worth noting that in the Book of Revelation, it doesn’t say that who Beast and his cohorts get their power from; only that they are “given power.”  If that power is given as a political appointment it’s still given.

There is, of course, beast imagery involved but it’s vague and circumspect.  It emerged today that Jared Kushner has been implicated in the Russia investigation; it is worth noting that Kushner owns 666 5th Avenue in New York City.  And of course, with the new presidential limo still not ready, Trump rode to his inauguration in a limo built for the previous president, called “The Beast” (a name that may be shared with his new limousine).  Make of that what you will but it’s not really what I’m interested in.

Rather what I’m interested in is this verse:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

-Rev. 16:13-14

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Now where have we seen “unclean spirits like frogs” that spread out from the metaphorical mouths of this “beast” of many heads?

Enter Pepe the Frog, the former harmless stoner cartoon character who was adopted by the far right as a mascot after a weird series of coincidences created the mostly-satirical Cult of Kek, which I’ll link you to this article for if you’re not already in the know (the article also contains some helpful links).

Whether or not anyone ever intended serious reverence to this chaos deity, the idea of Kek- the archetype behind it- was embodied in their words and actions and so, in a Jungian sense, Kek became real through them and brought its chaos into the world, and the image of Pepe, once a peaceful, fun-loving stoner frog, had now become inextricably linked to that chaotic force.

And so we see arising in the mid-2010s not only the bizarre pseudo-worship of an evil Egyptian deity of chaos and darkness as a phenomenon inherently linked to politics, but also the creation of Kek memes supporting right-wing politicians in a sort of sympathetic magic.  Some of you might remember the flood of “Rare Pepes” called for by /pol/ on Twitter during the 2016 elections and, more recently, the French elections.

But something changed between November 2016 and May 2017.  What was it?

On 7 May 2017, Cartoonist Matt Furie, creator of Pepe, killed off his creation.  

On that very same day, Marine LePen, subject of several Kek memes, lost the French election.

In the days since, I cannot count the number of bombshells, revelations, leaks, developments, and escalations involving the investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.  Impeachment, unimaginable only 12 days ago, now seems plausible and is being openly discussed where before, it seemed only remote.

The outcome of this investigation and its fallout will tell us more about what’s happening.  If a massive roundup of administration officials is carried out and the West is able to root out the machinations of Putin, then we might consider this a warning.

But if Trump is able to get through this ordeal unscathed, and continues to press his agenda forward, then I urge you to consider this verse:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

-Rev. 13:3

The fatal wound here may not be a literal fatal wound, but rather a political scandal that should have brought this whole scheme down but didn’t.  Beware.  We’ve already seen that this political machine has a high degree of immunity to scandal, in all of its international manifestations, because it is both highly adaptable and highly capable of convincing people of its goodness even when these same people are being robbed blind by it.

Whatever happens, be strong and don’t accept the mark.  I promise you it will be worth it.

My Life These Days

A lot’s happened in Washington in the last 9 days, hasn’t it?  I have my own theories about what’s happened (it involves an invasion by an evil Egyptian god and Internet “meme magic” going too far) but I’ll save that for another time.

Lately, I guess the biggest thing is that I don’t update here much because I feel like there’s some distance between myself and these past lives, and I’m kind of enjoying it.  Past lives are a lot of baggage to carry around and I feel happy to not be as burdened by that baggage anymore.  I feel like, as time passes and no new memories emerge, I’m not as immersed in it any more.

This isn’t to say I don’t believe it happened, only that it feels more distant, less a part of my daily landscape.  I’m starting to get homesick for places I only knew in this life, like Charleston SC or central Spain.  I’m starting to feel like “me” again and not a disjointed collection of events that spun itself out of nonlinear time.

I don’t think things will ever go completely back to normal, but that’s fine.  Honestly, I got a lot out of this experience.  I found my spiritual center and a church that I’m very happy with, I found that I understood the Middle Ages on an intuitive level rare for a person from my era, and I found my groove as a writer first by revisiting another life where I did that, then by finding my own voice unique to this life and era.

Incidentally, on that last life, I seldom think about it any more.  It would make a lot of sense if I was him but… well, so what? I’m not any more.  I had time to mourn for what might’ve been, I’ve been back to places he would have known, and I met people he knew.  And now that I’ve struck up a refreshingly normal friendship via Facebook with someone he was very close to, it seems weird and awkward to think of Phil’s relationship with her.

I’m glad I took time to piece together the story of how I got here, but now I’ve got to apply what I’ve learned and enjoy the richness it brought to my life.  If I go quiet for a long time, it’s only because I’m too busy with this thing called living to think too much about the past.

Shit’s About To Hit The Fan

I shouldn’t have to reiterate the headlines.  You’ve probably all seen it by now.

Just know this: if something big isn’t done in the next few days, we’re going to become a dictatorship and pretty much anyone who disagrees with the current administration will become a potential target.

If they start rounding up people like me, I’ll tell everything about who I am because I don’t want this part of my story to die.  It’s as much woven into the warp and woof of who I am as anything I’ve done, or any book I’ve written.

When I was a child growing up in the South, I was raised by a father who had witnessed the race riots of 1968.  He told me that you should always take a right-wing extremist at their word when they say they’re going to kill you.  While I have not received any direct threats, associates of mine who share my personal convictions have.

If my full bio goes up, you’ll know it’s a sign that I may not have long.