Alone against an empire

It’s one thing to declare independence, but another thing altogether to attain it. The English colonies had sheltered under the mother country’s wing for more than a century and a half. Their entire way of life, from language to religion to cultural heritage, proclaimed them Englishmen. Their economy was tied to the British empire in accordance with the mercantilist economics of the day. Their ships in foreign waters enjoyed the explicit and implicit protection of the world’s most powerful navy. They might be only subsidiary parts of a vast empire, but they were part of it. What would they be, on their own?

Franklin famously said that they would all have to hang together, or they would hang separately. But – could they hang together? The 13 colonies were of three types, as we shall see, with different economic interests, different thoughts on how the ideal society would be structured, and different religious outlooks. (And religion in their day, it must be remembered, still had the explosive power that ideology would have in the twentieth century.) Could they learn to understand each other and find ways to live together?

Beyond that, perhaps as many as a third of the population of the colonies (and perhaps less) actively sought separation from England; certainly a third, and perhaps more, sought to maintain the age-old association with the mother country. And another third – perhaps as much as half, if we knew their private thoughts – just wanted to live their lives in peace, not expecting to have any say in government and not much caring who governed provided that the colonies were protected from Indian raids, domestic disorder, and foreign aggression (which, with the elimination of France from the North American continent, no longer seemed much of a threat). Had the colonies been overwhelmingly in favor of independence, or of continued allegiance to the British crown and empire, there would have been no war. But as it was, each side saw itself surviving in the midst of domestic enemies. America was fortunate indeed that the persecution of Tories or patriots by their opponents was not more vicious and widespread than it was.

Nonetheless, after July 4, 1776, there was no turning back. Washington, Adams, Hancock, etc. were going to become founding fathers or they were going to go down in history as traitors, perhaps having their possessions confiscated, perhaps dying on the gallows or before a firing squad. (For instance, John Adams later learned that he was one of those explicitly named as being excluded from any amnesty that might be granted.)

The military campaigns between the declaration of independence and the Battle of Saratoga are soon described, or rather, easily glossed over. They center on the middle colonies, because British attempts in the South went nowhere, and they had tacitly given up on New England for the moment, other than occupying Newport, Rhode Island, as we shall see.

What war there was took place in the middle colonies. Washington, still learning his trade, almost lost his army before the summer was over. Seeing a British landing on Staten Island and desiring to prevent a British occupation of New York City, he set up defenses along the harbor shores – partly on Long Island, partly on Manhattan. This, against an enemy with command of the sea and a long naval tradition of amphibious assaults.

Late in August, the British under Lord Howe landed 22,000 men on Long Island, and decisively defeated the Americans, taking more than 1,000 prisoners in what would turn out to be the largest battle of the war. Washington was driven back to Brooklyn Heights, and if Howe had assaulted the position, all would have been lost. Instead, Howe began a formal siege – to spare the lives of his men, he said; others suspected that as a Whig he hated the idea of fighting Americans, and hoped for a soft peace. Whatever his motives, he let Washington out of the bag. He got his men and material across the East River to fight again another day.

Howe was slow in pursuing, as he was slow in all things. (“William Howe, Lord When.”) Instead, he called a peace conference, which proved abortive since the terms the two sides were authorized to accept were incompatible.. When Howe did attack, he took New York City without trouble.

Again, no reason to go into it in detail. Howe had two more chances to destroy Washington’s army; missed them both. As the Americans retreated across New Jersey, Howe sent General Clinton and 6,000 men to seize Newport as a base for the British fleet. Clinton thought this was a mistake, and it is hard to disagree with his argument that those men and those ships, brought down to and around Cape May, and up the Delaware River, could have severely damaged, maybe destroyed Washington’s retreating army. But, orders were orders. Clinton took his men to Newport, captured it easily, and might as well have been on the moon as far as interfering with Washington’s army was concerned.

You know what happened next. Washington got across the river safely, with fewer than 5,000 men. Turned right around on Christmas Day, crossed the river, won two quick victories at Trenton and Princeton, and somehow Howe let him have most of New Jersey, with the Continentals wintering in Morristown.

And by then it was 1777, and the British had big plans involving Howe going up the Hudson River, Burgoyne coming down from Canada, and the two meeting triumphantly half way,  splitting New England off from the other nine colonies. We know how that worked out. Saratoga brought the French alliance, and the Americans were no longer fighting on their own.

How did you find this blog? Call 2

My thanks to those who answered these questions first time I posted them. To others, a request: Please consider answering. Your answer will add to the picture and, for all you know, help us make crucial decisions about its future.


Talking with my brother about the post-Frank future of this blog, we concluded that it would be worthwhile to know the answers  to a couple of questions.  Please, if you would, respond to the first two questions. If you wish to respond to the others as well, great,  but the first two are the more important.

The questions:

  1. How did you find this blog?
  2. Why do you read it?


  1. What do you get out of reading it?
  2. What features or materials do you wish were here that isn’t?


Smallwood on making pottery

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Joseph [Smallwood], my friend, what’s up with you? I’m trying to get your story out.

And trying your hand at made work again. Fun, ain’t it? [Joseph said in his day they called things that were fashioned “made work.”]

Did you do stuff like that? Clay or something?

Did a little wood working to pass the time sometimes. You’d call it somewhere between scrimshaw and whittling, I expect. Remember how you were fascinated by the book about the mountain man in Tennessee who made so many things out of wood?

Alex Stewart. Had to dredge for the name. Yes I do. Drew up resonances, did it?

Well, it did, a little. Whittling or cutting handy little contrivances for camp life is a different thing from throwing pots or painting but you can see that it has its points of resemblance.

I can feel it more than conceptualize it.

Sure, and where do you suppose that feeling is coming from, but something welling up from within ? It happens all the time, to everybody, but mostly it goes unnoticed. I mean, the cause does, the feeling is sometimes felt sometimes unnoticed.

I reviewed that book going on 20 years ago. It gave me vague yearnings to do the same thing, but I never acted on them, and knew somehow that it wasn’t practical.

You remember Dion Fortune says it’s enough for the subconscious that you “show willing” as she puts it? That’s why. It’s a sort of acknowledgment, a bringing that into the light of day. Hard to explain why it’s important but it is. It’s a good thing to do.

I’ve reached a nice time in my life.

You’re doing what you always felt, just like young Churchill practicing oratory or young Lincoln feeling his way towards doing the thing that would make his name immortal. I don’t mean that you’re going to be famous, I mean that your real task in life echoes through your earlier years although you can’t understand what the echoes are saying. Until you get to that place, you aren’t comfortable, then you are, even if that place is the middle of a war.

I guess I couldn’t have gotten here any earlier.

All paths are open, all paths are good, you know that. Everything has its compensation as Emerson pointed out. Win something here, you lose something there. It’s just the way it is.

Well, it’s always good to talk to you. Unless you have something special for me, I guess I’ll go hang out at the pottery and study glazes.

Go ahead. Just don’t forget what you want to accomplish with your books – but you would do better with them if you get away from them sometimes. And pottery is as good a way as any.

Inner travel, outer travel

On the one hand, it is true that, wherever you go, there you are. On the other hand, maybe not. It depends upon which “you” we’re talking about.

Physically, sure, you are where you are. But that doesn’t mean you’re all there in the same place and time, especially in the age of jet travel and electronic fragmentation (also known as staying in touch, also known as cell-phone hypnosis). What sense does it make to travel 6,000 miles and leave part of yourself elsewhere? Yet, it’s easier to do that than to realize you’re doing it.

And just as it is easier to live fragmented than whole, so it is easier to post photos of the things around us than photos of the inner processes that may take so much more of our time and attention. I certainly find it so.

I went to Egypt ostensibly in response to Ruth Shilling’s suggestion that I do so. But really, I went because something within me said, “Yes, and it’s the right time,” and subsequently proceeded to calmly demolish each internal and external objection as it arose. I can take a hint. I went. But did I go just to see the scenery? I did not. What I went for, though, is not so easily explained.

Like many people, I have lived most of my life fascinated by Egypt, intrigued by its past, and feeling somehow connected to it. One of the disembodied presences I have held communication with, these past 14 years, I call Joseph the Egyptian. I know his internal life, or fancy I do, but I know practically nothing about his external life except that he was almost definitely a priest of some sort. Until I went to Egypt, I assumed he was from earliest times, perhaps pre-Pharonic times. Now I feel confident he was New Kingdom sometime, because that was almost the only era I was interested in. Of course, New Kingdom covers quite a bit of time! But it’s closer to definite than I was previously.

But did I go to Egypt to converse, or imagine I could converse, with a man from long ago? I did not, and in fact I was wary of making any such attempt, well aware that it would be easy to fantasize something and thereby lose a real connection. Instead, I set out to remain open to whatever came, without attempting to add content or suppress content. A difficult bicycle to ride, sometimes.

So, I post photos. How could I post photos of internal processes?

Not a bad backdrop for lunch, eh?

Photos really don’t give you a sense of how close the pyramids and the sphinx are to the city. But our hotel looked right out at the great pyramid. This restaurant where we had lunch offered this view from the table we were sitting at. Hard to get much closer than that.

After centuries, still silently staring

You can’t really tell it from this photo (and my camera battery ran out about here, so no more pix till I could recharge it overnight), but there is scaffolding in front of the rear legs of the statue. The authorities appear to be smoothing the surface by something like plastering (though I doubt it is that simple). The plus side of that is that it should give tourists a better idea of how the sphinx was supposed to look. The minus said is that it will remove evidences of weathering by water, though perhaps that doesn’t matter, in that the phenomenon has been well documented by this point.

By the way, after Emerson visited Egypt as an old man of 69 in 1872, someone at home who presumably found his works incomprehensible joked that the Sphinx said to Emerson, “You’re another.”

Ancient, aging, and modern, cheek by jowl

I liked Egypt (though Cairo least, in that I am no fan of large cities). I so recognized, from my youth in another century, that patchwork effect that results from improvements being made here and there, as money and time allowed. It seems inefficient, but it isn’t, really. It is the proper application of energies in a situation in which you always have a quart’s worth of work to do, and a pint’s worth of time and materials to do it with. It is life on a very human scale.

And, just to move from the sublime to the ridiculous (except, I rather like it), this piece of sculpture was on display in our hotel lobby, a reminder that life goes on in all directions, and that some of the weirdest travels take place (apparently) between the ears.

Dark Fire — already in paperback!

To my surprise, Crossroad Press got Dark Fire into print much faster than I dreamed they would.

It’s live on Amazon in trade paperback now, as well as an eBook.

America’s Long Journey: The Great Secretary of State

Oddly, the thing the public least remembers about John Quincy Adams is that he was a great diplomat and Secretary of State, very possibly the greatest Secretary of State we have ever had. Before he became the sixth President of the United States, before he became a respected elder statesman in the House of Representatives, he spent eight years as James Monroe’s Secretary of State, and accomplished three great things. He negotiated or helped negotiate the Treaty of 1818 (which paved the way for better relations between the United States and Canada), and the Adams-Onis Treaty (which obtained Florida for the United States, ending the Spanish presence east of the Mississippi, and resolved all the remaining boundary issues stemming from the Louisiana Purchase. And wrote what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine.

(1) The Treaty of 1818

The Treaty of 1818, known formally as “the convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves,” settled left-over issues from the War of 1812, secured important fishing rights off Labrador and Newfoundland, resolved standing boundary issues between the United State and the United Kingdom by setting the 49th parallel as the northern border as far west as the disputed Oregon territory, and allowed joint occupation and settlement of Oregon for ten years, later extended. The Treaty (or Convention) of 1818, along with the 1817 Rush-Bagot treaty that largely demilitarized the Great Lakes, improved relations with Great Britain and Canada

(2) The Adams-Onis Treaty

The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Florida Treaty, by itself would be enough to establish Adams’ reputation.

When General Andrew Jackson, pursuing raiding Seminole Indians, invaded Spanish Florida (and hanged two British subjects), the president and all the rest of the cabinet were ready to condemn him, but Adams argued that the United States was acting in self-defense, since the Spanish had become incapable of policing that territory. Adams then negotiated a treaty with Spain that: acquired Florida unconditionally, in return for the United States agreeing to pay up to $5 million in claims by American citizens against Spain; resolved the boundary issues left over from the Louisiana Purchase in such a way as to extend U.S. territory to the Pacific Ocean; and extinguished all Spanish claims above the 42nd parallel – that is, any claim to the land that would become the Oregon territory.

(3) The Monroe Doctrine.

Put simply, the Monroe Doctrine states that, on the one hand, the United States would view as an act of aggression any effort by any European nation to colonize or intervene in the affairs of any nation in the Americas, and, on the other hand, the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. Pretty bold statement, for a nation without much of a navy.

By the end of 1823, the American colonies of Spain and Portugal had all gained independence except Peru and Bolivia, both of which would do so within the next two years, and the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, which as we have seen would remain Spanish for another three quarters of a century. But obtaining independence was one thing; maintaining it was another. Neither the United States nor Great Britain wanted to see some European power move in to fill any power vacuum that might occur. British Foreign Secretary George Canning proposed a joint British-U.S. statement opposing European interference, but the War of 1812 was too recent to make any overt cooperation with England politically popular. President Monroe issued the doctrine unilaterally, as part of his seventh annual address to Congress, even though only the British fleet could enforce it, which it did, if only tacitly.

(The British had their own reasons, chiefly to preserve access to markets that had been cut off by Spain’s trade policy, and might be cut off again should any other power gain influence. And as it turned out, the practical effect of excluding European meddling was to leave the U.S. free to meddle undisturbed. But in 1823, the disparity in strength between the States and Spanish America was not nearly so great as it would become, and in 1823 it was hoped that Spanish America might confederate in the way that thirteen of the English colonies had confederated.)

After eight years, Adams became president for four years, then, after his overthrow by the new forces of western democracy exemplified by Andrew Jackson, he served 17 years in the House of Representatives, where he took up the struggle against slavery and became known as “old man eloquent.” But it could be argued that his greatest service to his country took place in his years as another man’s Secretary of State.

Questions on healing and creation

Thursday, September 27, 2018

5:35 a.m. Let’s go again.

If you feel up to it, all right.

I think I do. I guess we’ll see.

From Maureane O’Shaugnessy:

[Whenever my light is ‘helping’ someone heal, which it just does on its own without me volitionally controlling it, I heat up all throughout my body tremendously.   It does this remotely all the time. Recently I was looking at a photo of someone long dead and it happened. I often have this experience. My question. Is my light going back in time to help?   And does this then change a person’s timeline or experience within the timeline I’m observing?   Or is my light going to where that soul signature is now and helping? Hope that’s clear.]

[TGU:] Here you see a good example of how your interpretations of what you experience may be severely distorted because interpreted in light of 3D conditions.

Meaning, I take it, that we are unconsciously assuming the primacy of time in such experiences, because that is our everyday sensory reality.

That’s right. Just as someone returned from an NDE may reinterpret its experience of a past-life review as a sequential process, so here. When we reinterpret this without temporal references, the distorting effect of that very strong mental habit of interpreting things in terms of time should be clear.

To begin, we should and do congratulate Maureane on her open-heartedness. That is the prerequisite for such abilities, and, by the way, explains why some people can “do healing” without training and without any very firm idea of what they are doing, or how, or why it works. The heart comes first, by a long, long chalk, and intellect and techniques a long way second.

So now let us look at what she is experiencing. To say it without time references would be to say approximately this: She looked at a photo of a remembered being and felt the energetic connection that she associates with helping another to heal. Her energy, merged with that other energy, produced a resonance that the other could not have summoned, not being focused and honed in the 3D ever-moving-present moment.

That transformation (whether extensive or not, and regardless of its nature) will necessarily affect that entire being. But what does that mean, “that entire being”? Well, think of yourselves. Who and what are you? Present 3D selves (minus your body, once you leave 3D), connected to the parent that generated you, and to all the other beings generated by that same larger being, and in particular to every other 3D experience you have ever had; that is, to all your “past” and “future” lives. Change one, change all, to greater or lesser extent dependent not upon distance in time or space, nor of closeness of relationship, but upon the intensity of the energy exchange.

So, you see, the answer to her alternative explanations is, yes. Yes, or, let’s say, yes depending upon what you mean by any of them.

Change one, change all.

Yes, and the closer you look at that particular bumper sticker, the wider the implications you may discover. It does not refer only to individuals, or rather (given that “individual” is only a relative term) it may be said to have infinite reference, depending upon the scale being examined.

We have heard reality being described as a massive ever-changing kaleidoscope. Change one, change all.

We smile, because you certainly never heard us call it “massive.” Mass is one of those relatively real but not really real terms that structure your experience, but aren’t really in existence. Rather like gravity.

If Maureane (or anyone else, for that matter) finds our explanation unclear or unconvincing for some specific reason, of course we are available for follow-up questions. In fact, we’re going to stop saying that. Take it always for granted.

Okay, shall we proceed?

One more only.

From Jaycee:

[Hmm…. (All of creation – not just this 3D/non-3D world we are familiar with through our senses, but the underlying realer world as well – exists and always did and presumably always will exist, in whatever form.)… Does this mean that nothing ever thought or imagined is new, or does the thought create (we as creators) the item, or does everything exist only as probability until created by thought or imagination. Trying hard to get this concept of `everything is as everything always has been or will be` the phrase ` you can`t tear down the pyramids before they are built` (a phrase `Rita` has used I believe) seems to suggest a time of -non existence- PLEASE clarify.]

[TGU:] There is a misunderstanding involved here, a common one. Addressing it yet again is useful, purely because it is so common. It is simple yet can be difficult to address, because the underlying assumptions are so well hidden, or, let’s say, so fundamental.

Let me try. I have the sense of it. I think you’re going to say, the manifest world and the unmanifest world are the same thing, really, and so cannot be separated except conceptually.

We smile. What you said isn’t wrong, but do you suppose it will mean anything to anybody who doesn’t already get it?

Well – I thought it would.

You underestimate, sometimes, how the proximity to your non-3D understanding when you are engaging in ILC makes some things temporarily clear to you that would not be, otherwise.

If you say so. Then, what did I say, in more understandable terms?

Reversing roles, aren’t we?

Seems like it. But I’m ready to be instructed.

There is no real separation between the 3D world you experience and all the other versions of the world (of reality, we mean, of course; this does not refer to terra firma only) that exist as the logical consequences of different decisions.

The “many worlds” theory of quantum physics, only divorced from time as the filter.

You are being less lucid than usual, if we may say so. Decisions imply duration of time, of course. But we do know what you mean. Every possibility exists and always did exist from the beginning of reality. (And there’s that time function again.) Things manifest in specific orders in specific conditions as a result of specific combinations, but they exist (manifest or unmanifest) always.

Return to the image of the clock face and the clock hands. All reality is the clock face; any specific sequence is the clock hands. They are not only both real, they each are dependent for their meaning upon the existence and function of the other.

And that’s it for today. Don’t come back for a third bite of the apple.

No sir. Understood, sir. At your orders, sir.

We’re smiling too, but periodical reminders not to overdo seem indicated.

Okay. Thanks again.