Tag Archives: culture

Ley-lines: how an English Gent launched the New Age movement

Ley-libes photo
Watkins’ Ley-lines–a desire to see pattern. Pic: Rod Fleming

Alfred Watkins’ Ley-lines

Ley-lines were invented by an Englishman called Alfred Watkins, who had spent much time cycling around the  countryside near his home. In 1925, he wrote a book called “The Old Straight Track”, in which he described a revelation he’d had while looking at a map of Herefordshire four years earlier. He had suddenly seen a network of straight lines that connected points of human activity, such as

 “Mounds, Long-barrows, Cairns, Cursus, Dolmens, Standing stones, mark-stones, Stone circles, Henges, Water-markers (moats, ponds, springs, fords, wells), Castle, Beacon-hills, Churches, Cross-roads, Notches in hills,”


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God proposition: god true or god false?

God Creating Adam_Michelangelo
God Creating Adam, Sistine Chapel ceiling, Michelangelo.

The god proposition is supported not by fact, but by faith.

At the end of the day, the final word that the religiously-disposed have is to say that “It is so because I believe it to be so,” before covering their ears. For them, this trumps everything.

 This is the hook that caught Descartes when he confronted the issue, and then backed off very quickly. “I think,” he said, “Therefore I am.” This is fine. He is self-aware therefore he is sure he exists. He cannot be entirely sure that he exists as he perceives himself or that anything that is around him is as he perceives it, but he does make a very convincing argument, based on the progression of rational logic, that it is so (and thus takes several hundred pages to confirm what any pragmatist already knows. But that’s an aside.) However, when confronted by the idea of God, God must exist, he says “Because he cannot imagine a world in which he does not.” Oops. Continue reading God proposition: god true or god false?

Freezing Spring Brings a Breath of Fresh Air


Well, after a month of May

when it seemed to rain without cease and which was colder than some Decembers I’ve known here, at last we seem to have a hope of Spring’s arrival.

Probably because of the dreadful weather (one does not move to France to live in a downpour) I have been thinking a lot about the famous spring and summer of 1944, which was also cold, wet and miserable.

It makes a pleasant change from being reminded that climate change is really beginning to bite.

It’s hard to believe that D-Day, which took place on the 6th of June 1944, was really 69 years ago, and fewer and fewer of those who were there are still with us. I can remember when I first came to this village, 20 years ago, and we still had First War ancien combattants; but the grim reaper has cruelly thinned the ranks. Now even the survivors of Hitler’s war are all gone, and the grand old men who turn out on the two occasions when their efforts are remembered, Armistice Day and VE Day, are those who fought in Vietnam and Algeria. This past VE Day, May the 8th—one of the few days in this month when it did not rain—was a pleasant reunion, but a reminder that nothing lasts forever.

(As I write, a sudden spring hailstorm is finishing off the devastation of my baby lettuces begun by the resident slugs…of which more later.) Continue reading Freezing Spring Brings a Breath of Fresh Air