Archive for August, 2021

La Trappe 0.0
created La Trappe Nillis brewery\

Written by

Madhavi Raaijmakers

On Saturday there are long lines at the Abbey of Our Lady of Koningshoeven. Both the shop and the food court are busy. Many beer lovers come to have a look, curious about that new beer.

In the monastery shop, sales were so strong that they limited the sale. Customers can only pick up a maximum of six bottles. People who can’t wait sit on the terrace to immediately savor the newcomer.

Brother Isaac of the abbey points out that it was not easy to make a special non-alcoholic beer. “It’s not about: let’s take a Trappist beer and make alcohol out of it,” explains the brother. The idea was born three years ago. “It responds to a trend. About 28 percent of young people want to drink alcohol-free. But we also found that we could do something with alcohol-free beer to reduce the risks of alcohol use.”

But, can we get it? NO!
Only from the monastery shop.

I cannot tell you how looooong I have waited for this!
Trappist beer is how I always wanted beer to taste. But the alcohol content was always too high.
And now….

the torment

so near,
and yet….

Choose The Future

Posted: August 23, 2021 in Chat
Tags: ,

I’ve been reading recently of ventures in past-life experiments.
You know, the attempts to explore past lives through hypnotic regression, out-of-body experiences etc.
Many have heard tales of young children remembering in great detail other lives, people, places that they had no chance of knowing themselves.

A lot of questions are prompted by this, of course: how reliable are these tales? What exactly were the circumstances of the recalling; of the recording of the recalling?
I’m sure you can come up with many more.

– It is disconcerting how many of these the writer takes at face value, though.

So, new ventures – what new ventures?
Some thought it interesting to try future seeing.
This seems to imply that regress-memories/lives are part of a base-fabric of time-existence. That futures also exist to be accessed.
Ok, so they tried it.
The same questions apply, of course.

Get to the point!
Ok, so they tried it with volunteers etc. Amongst the scenarios that came up with something like four recurring themes.
These, they seem to say, are our possible futures.

‘One group described a joyless future… living in space stations... silvery clothes… synthetic food’

‘Another… happier, more natural lives in natural settings, in harmony with one another….’

Yet another ”hi-tech urbanites’ described a bleak mechanical future … in underground cities and cities enclosed in domes and bubbles….’

The last is ‘post-disaster survivors in a world … ravaged by some global… disaster. Living in… urban ruins, caves… isolated farms… obtained much of their food by hunting.’

Another note is that none of these scenarios are of hugely populated worlds like our present one.

So where do I get all this?
The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot, published 1996.

He also writes authoritatively of religious states and concepts, teachings.
– Most of/all these require guided interpretations, strictly applied. I seriously doubt that any ‘teacher’ could cover so many disparate teachings.

And So I have serious doubts about the veracity of this book, its bases of arguments.

The argument seems to be that we create our world through thought and mental preoccupations. That our world as we know is a projection of mass mental states.

If that is the case then we’d better start opening up our options.

And how much of the above smacks of pulp Sci-Fi novels, Western fiction, and films?
All of it?

One thing I do know, is that we prime our ‘seeing’, imagining, foreseeing, by reading and acquainting ourselves with other similar accounts – we get the framework, terminology, style, there – and imaginative reading – this prompts/limits our own imagining.
We see, in other words, what we expect to see.

We really do need better, wider, options than these, though.
Is that really all we can up with?


I remember, way back, a then renowned meditation organisation declared they were going to open a centre in every city, if not town. This would steady the mood of the place, make it more settled and productive.
I thought at the time, No, don’t tell people, let the results speak for themselves.
But also there are always those who see their sole purpose in life as disrupting such things: this is an open invite

What was being done, was more prosaic, yet subtle, than transcendental: the organisation was using its current kudos and prestige to influence behaviour: ‘They have a centre here now, see how calmer we are.’
People adjust their behaviour, then translate that as outside influence.

This was how the church building movement worked: God is in our midst, we must behave better etc.
This leads onto the famous Pascal’s Wager: behave well now, just in case….

There were, of course, those in the meditation organisation who really believed in their mind-power. And so we got things like… yogic flying.
Remember that? No, that rather spoiled the effect.

And how Western all this seems.


I wonder if, during lockdown, you’ve been like myself, trawling and exhausting Netflix and TV channels,
Our future world options from there seem to be young women running screaming from two-dimentional male ‘things’.
Wonderful entertainment.
All our fears.

Murdered women, and something male that lumbers off to do more of the stuff.
We stay with the victim, naturally. And so we should.
But what of this other ‘thing’/creature? What is it?
And how many lost, wrong-headed and disgruntled messed up males… copy that? A ‘kind’ of identity.

We are shown a male behaviour here that I have never come across in real life, nor have I ever known anyone who thinks, never mind behaves, that way.
Everyone always at extremes. Because none of us are, and we need excitement in our lives?

Until people start copying it.

Are all men psychopaths?
If they were then these portrayals would have little impact or interest, this would be ‘normal’.
But they are not, and this is anything but normal, and so this kind of scenario has a kind of usableness.

I was going to say we need to rethink these things from scratch, but we are always influenced by what is happening around us, and what we would take as base, ground, normal,
would probably be anything but that.

Yep, I am writing this in the middle of Afghanistan, wild-fires, earthquakes… not to mention Delta-variant upsurges..

We really do need to get out more.


So what do we make of this book, The Holographic Universe, greatly praised by many?
I cannot grasp the holographic idea, how it works, what it is.

Then here was a promising article in the recent Scientific American magazine

well, until I hit the paywall.
So why not take a subscription?
Oh, believe me we have tried.
On this up-to-the-minute science and technology platform the subscription service cannot seem to cope with UK money.

The Ripples of Hope Festival is delighted to have commissioned and unveil a powerful new body of work: The Poetic Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Simon Armitage has convened 30 poets from around the world to create a unique poetic response to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Join Simon as he hosts the poets as they unveil this work for the first time, with music from Jaydev Mistry.

From 15th to 19th September
Venue: Home, Manchester

With events including the unveiling of a new poetic response to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an In Conversation with Hillary Rodham Clinton and three days of discussions, workshops, storytelling and performances, this brand new 5-day festival asks us to:

  • Think about the challenges we face as communities and as humanity;
  • Celebrate the power of people to make change; and
  • Explore how we can – together – take action in our communities and across the world to create a future that truly serves people.

After a year that has isolated and divided us, the Festival is a place to meet, share ideas and experiences – and to get excited about changing the world for the better. Add your voice to a weekend of exhilarating and challenging debate, intimate conversations, inspiring stories, workshops and performances, as we explore the world we can create together.

Join local and international community activists, performers, poets, organisers and artists as we delve into our five core themes:

  • Dignity & Justice
  • Equity & Equality
  • Arts & Culture
  • Activism & Participation
  • Environment & Climate Change


Kengo Kuma – Mesh Curtain at Gaudi House — LKA+A Architectural Reference Library

Just had to Share this.

A very good site to take a journey around..

Installations, Art Gaudi House,

CarSun re-post

Posted: August 11, 2021 in John Stammers Page
Tags: ,

It may have been the angle of the sun over roofs –
it may have been a case of right place at right time –

it definitely was a moment out of time on a hot street.100_1186


Of all The Lais of Marie de France, Bisclavret has aroused much controversy.

Bisclavret, an early werewolf story, has gained comments as a misogynistic tale.
In Bisclavret the married king Bisclavret regularly absents himself several days a week from his castle. Eventually his wife gets him to unveil his secret, in a time honoured fashion that goes at least back the Bible. He reveals that he turns into a wolf; that as long as his clothes remain he can change back. His wife then steals his clothes so he cannot change back, and once the king is declared missing, marries her new suitor.
The deception is unmasked, king restored, and wife and new suitor/king suitably done away with. 

How are we to read Bisclavret?
This is deception of the worst kind: the loving embrace that then reveals one’s vulnerabilities to the world, as it were.
Is this tale a prime example of the misogyny of the time, and especially of Church attitudes? We cannot read well the signs of older cultural models.
As Dutch historian Johan Huizinga asserts in an excellent essay in Men and Ideas, the marriage of convenience was very much the model for nobles and people of rank. Woman were commodities, because vehicles for succession through child-bearing; in the case of lack of issue, as we see in other tales, the man would be advised Put your wife aside, choose another to ensure an heir – because, of course, it was always the woman who could not conceive.
I do suspect it was well-known that it was as much the man’s inability; this would never be stated in public, or the public place of text. The flip-side to this is, if a woman is so positioned with a man with doubtful proclivities, as in Bisclavret, the woman could be just as likely to ‘Put the man aside’ and find a mate better suited. And with all the elements of supplanting that goes with this. 

One of the key writers on these topics, Johan Huizinga, also commented: It is manifest that the political and military history of the last centuries of the Middle Ages as described by Froissart, Monstrelet, Chastellain… reveals very little chivalry and a great deal of covetousness, cruelty, cold calculation, well-understood self-interest, and diplomatic subtlety. The reality of history seems constantly to disavow the fanciful ideal of chivalry (Chivalric Ideals in the Middle Ages). In Equitan the relationship of the seneschal and his wife perhaps fell under these last designations. That she is described in the text by Equitan, as a lady who needs love: the marriage, as most of the period was one of convenience and arrangement 

We cannot, I suspect, judge Bisclavret’s wife by any standards than what we know of those of the time. It probably was not actually accepted practice for the wife to do this, and hence its appearance in this tale: we glimpse something perhaps of Marie de France’s originality in her choice of content here. In this tale could we say then that the dynamic is in the discord between the reality of the mores of the time, and those of the chivalric mores some attempted to re-introduce? Is this the source of the dynamic of the Lais as a whole: discord and the search for harmony? We see the novelty and great success of Marie de France in writing about amour courtois against this background. This new perspective does seem to be the gestalt behind Marie de France writing-up, and presenting these Lais. 

If we apply Huizinga’s assertion we can perhaps see a more contemporaneous interpretation that gives an alternative reading.
We dabble here with intentionality: how can we gauge Marie de France’s intentionality in this tale? When we look again at Equitan we see how the writer valued romantic love above the mores of her time, we see in the central part of the tale, the ‘heart’ of the tale where the story was leading, and from where the consequences derive, how the constancy of the affair between Equitan and the seneschal’s wife was lauded: in all that time he neither took another lover nor neglected her, that he was willing to kill for her so they could take up an honourable relationship in marriage. But is there anything in here that shows her ‘bucking the trend’, rather than producing a romantic fantasy? In the tale of Equitan we hear the wife’s fears and doubts, and they are indeed given full expression: they match the king’s for intensity and responsible awareness. She is no member of the ‘lower orders’ struck dumb, abashed or overawed by being feted by the king; she is her own woman, and well aware of the responsibilities of her and, later we see, his position. So, yes, I think we do see here cause for reading intentionality in the Tales.