Iris, by RWillowfish from /Cats

Iris #’s 1- 8

Lisa RWillowfish
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Lisa RWillowfish
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Lisa RWillowfish
@lisa63artist

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Lisa RWillowfish
@lisa63artist

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Lisa RWillowfish
@lisa63artist

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Lisa RWillowfish
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Lisa RWillowfish
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St George: Wiki Excerpt

Saint George and the Dragon

Miniature from a 13th-century Passio Sancti Georgii (Verona)

The legend of Saint George and the Dragon was first recorded in the 11th century, in a Georgian source. It reached Catholic Europe in the 12th century. In the Golden Legend, by 13th-century Archbishop of Genoa Jacobus da Varagine, George’s death was at the hands of Dacian, and about the year 287.[27]

Saint George Killing the Dragon, 1434/35, by Bernat Martorell

 

   The tradition tells that a fierce dragon was causing panic at the city of Silene, Libya, at the time Saint George arrived there. In order to prevent the dragon from devastating people from the city, they gave two sheep each day to the dragon, but when the sheep were not enough they were forced to sacrifice humans instead of the two sheep. The human to be sacrificed was elected by the city’s own people and that time the king’s daughter was chosen to be sacrificed but no one was willing to take her place. Saint George saved the girl by slaying the dragon with a lance. The king was so grateful that he offered him treasures as a reward for saving his daughter’s life, but Saint George refused it and instead he gave these to the poor. The people of the city were so amazed at what they had witnessed that they became Christians and were all baptized.[28]

   The Golden Legend offered a historicised narration of George’s encounter with a dragon. This account was very influential and it remains the most familiar version in English owing to William Caxton‘s 15th-century translation.[29]

   In the medieval romances, the lance with which Saint George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, after the Levantine city of Ashkelon, today in Israel. The name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II, according to records at Bletchley Park.[30] In Sweden, the princess rescued by Saint George is held to represent the kingdom of Sweden, while the dragon represents an invading army.

Excerpt II:

Veneration

History

The martyrdom of Saint George, by Paolo Veronese, 1564

 

   A titular church built in Lydda during the reign of Constantine the Great (reigned 306–37) was consecrated to “a man of the highest distinction”, according to the church history of Eusebius; the name of the titulus “patron” was not disclosed, but later he was asserted[by whom?] to have been George.

   The veneration of George spread from Syria Palaestina through Lebanon to the rest of the Byzantine Empire—though the martyr is not mentioned in the Syriac Breviarium[17]—and the region east of the Black Sea. By the 5th century, the veneration of Saint George had reached the Christian Western Roman Empire, as well: in 494, George was canonized as a saint by Pope Gelasius I, among those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to [God].”

The early cult of the saint was localized in Diospolis (Lydda), in Palestine. The first description of Lydda as a pilgrimage site where George’s relics were venerated is De Situ Terrae Sanctae by the archdeacon Theodosius, written between 518 and 530. By the end of the 6th century, the center of his veneration appears to have shifted to Cappadocia. The Life of Saint Theodore of Sykeon, written in the 7th century, mentions the veneration of the relics of the saint in Cappadocia.[35]

Notes:

    Hercules, too, rescued a maiden, a daughter of the father of Priam, Leomedon, from a sea monster, but then was jilted in payment, hence beginning the first Trojan war.

 

Xenophon on the Turn from Presocratic Philosophy: Memorabilia I. 11- 16

 Blog Preface

  At the root of our theoretical attempt to reset the foundation of psychology is the suggestion that we simply follow Socrates in making the turn from pre-Socratic to Socratic philosophy. Our effort is to redirect psychiatry within a new comprehensive context- as distinct from dismissing what has been learned in the attempt to imitate the physical sciences. We assume a narrative: That modernity involved the attempt to turn to nature for an account of the fundamental causes of things, amounting to a Renaissance repetition of the ancient Greek discovery of nature. But the methods and models fail when addressing the human things, demonstrating a fundamental limitation of our science. Regarding man, simply put, our psyche-ology, does not attain knowledge. It addresses accidents and symptoms, while making itself a servant to the baser ends that usually govern mankind. What we say is that the science of the soul is no such slave. The obvious suggestion- if there has been a Renaissance repetition of the ancient Greek discovery of nature- is that we also follow ancient Greece in the emergence of Socratic from pre-Socratic philosophy. The following account of Xenophon allows one the best access to a direct account of the principle shown in the Socratic turn at the root of a psychology that may do more good than harm.

The full original is in the Menu above, accessible by hovering over “Philosophy.”

III. The Second Part of the Answer of Xenophon                        (original, pp. 15-23)

a) On I, i .10 The Impiety of the Other Philosophers in Conversation

b) On I, i .11-15  The Objections of Socrates to the Conversation of the Other                                                 Philosophers

c) On I, i .16 Socratic Conversation

1) The turn of Socrates to the Human Things

2) That Socrates Continued to study the Nature of All Things

3) The “What Is” Questions

4) Conclusion on Socratic Sophia and Phronesis

[From p. 15…

   …In attempting to show that Socrates was rather worthy of great honor from the city, Xenophon distinguishes Socrates from those who study the nature of all things, now called Pre-Socratic. In the second of three sections of the answer of Xenophon to the impiety charge in the indictment, he turns from the lack of impiety in the deeds to the lack of impiety in the speeches of Socrates. The account of the speeches aims to show that the jury “erred in judging what it is not manifest how they knew (I,i, 17).” At least part of the error of the citizens is to suppose that Socrates is the same as others, those who talk about nature. Like the answer of Socrates to the old accusers in Plato’s Apology (18 a-24b), the account of Xenophon here serves to distinguish Socrates from the atheistic tendency  of the natural philosophers. This has been prepared by the discussion of Socrates’ daimon, which surely distinguishes him from the atheistic natural philosophers. It will be our aim here to follow out the theoretical section* of the account of this difference.

   Xenophon begins by saying that Socrates was always in the open, in the gymnasium or marketplace, speaking much to all who would hear, but never was he known to be impious in deeds seen or words heard:

…For he never spoke considering about the nature of all things in the manner of most of the others, as the sophists call the nature of the cosmos and the necessities by which each of the heavenly things comes to be.

                                                                                 (Memorabilia I,i,10)

Those who talk openly about the nature of all things are impious because the discovery of nature at the beginning of philosophy undermines the conventional beliefs in the mythic opinions of the first and most fundamental things, the origin or man and the way of the cosmos. Natural philosophy gives an account of the “necessities by which each thing comes to be” without reference to the gods, in terms of elements and motion. Jaffa gives a good example in his study of Lear: the belief that Zeus will punish human injustice by throwing lightening bolts is undermined by the account of the cause of lightening in terms of electricity. So is the belief that the care of the gods for men ensures that there is no disproportion between one’s just deserts and one’s fortunes (Mem. IV, iii,14; Hesiod, Works and Days, 238-285; Aristophanes, Clouds, 395-97). Men’s sight of the heavens and the earth is purged of the imagination. In the turn from the opinion of the city to natural philosophy, it is found that the gods have fled.

   In Plato’s Apology, Meletus asserts that Socrates believes the sun to be not a god, but a stone (26d). Socrates responds that Meletus has mistaken him for Anaxagoras. The atheism of the pre-Socratic thinkers is much like that of modern scientific “empiricism.” This seems to have emerged through a Renaissance repetition of the ancient Greek discovery of nature. It is the emergence of philosophy as such, rather than Socratic philosophy in particular, that undermines custom and is fundamentally at odds with pious belief. Yet, Socratic philosophy is a kind of philosophy.

   Upon the discovery of nature, it appears that justice or right is not natural, but exists only by human convention and agreement. Justice seems to be without trans-political support in the more general cosmos. Hence, Plato’s Republic. In his description of the discovery of nature at the origin of philosophy, Leo Strauss states:

   It is not surprising that philosophers should first have inclined toward conventionalism. Right presents itself, to begin with, as identical with law or custom or as a character of it.; and custom or convention comes to sight, with the emergence of philosophy, as that which hides nature.

                                                                           Natural Right and History, p. 93)

   According to Xenophon, Socrates, for three reasons, held that even to give thought to such things as the nature of all things, is madness. These reasons are two practical considerations surrounding a central theoretical objection. First, Socrates considered whether such thinkers came to give thought to such things upon believing themselves to see the human things sufficiently, or whether they were “roused from the human things to consider the divine things (ta daimonia) as leading them to what is fitting to do.”

   The question of what is fitting to do is more urgent for men than the question of the nature of all things. Do these thinkers then know this- what is fitting to do- sufficiently from the human things, or do they turn to the divine things in order to learn this? Natural philosophy is criticized for being useless, and for not seeking a good that is human (as is theoretical wisdom, Aristotle, Ethics, vi, 1141b 2-8). The natural philosophers  disregard the human things, which lead to a knowledge of what is fitting to do, knowledge of right action. It is possible that the natural things are called divine in accordance with the beliefs of the city. But again, one wonders if there is not some kind of contemplation of the nature of things that is not useless but leads to what is fitting to do.

   Secondly, Socrates wondered that “it was not manifest to them that human beings were not empowered to discover these things.” (I,i, 13). The evidence of this limitation of humans is that even the “greatest thinking” [Note 11] or hubristic, of these talkers did not agree with one another, but took extreme opposite positions on questions of the nature of all things. In this, they behaved madmen. For as madmen exhibit extremes regarding fear, shame and worship (some even worshiping wood (hule), so these talkers exhibit extreme opinions. Worrying about the nature of all things caused…

…some to believe being to be one, others, infinitely many, and some (to believe) all always to move, others never to move and some (to believe) that all comes to be and passes away, others that nothing ever comes to be and passes away.

                                                                                              I,i, 14

   The extremes of the madman regarding piety are analogous to the extremes in thought of those who give thought to the nature of all things. Aspects of the regard of humans toward the gods are thus set in analogy with thought, corresponding to the distinction between characters of the passions and reason. This pattern of the presentation of the central objection of Socrates points to the question of whether or not the mean regarding piety is likewise analogous to the mean in thought regarding the first principles.

   The third objection of Socrates is, like the first, a practical objection. Socrates considered whether as those learning about the human things hope they are led by what they learn to do what they choose for themselves and others, those who pry into the divine things (ta thea) think that when they know the necessities by which each comes to be, that they will make wind (Aristophanes, Clouds, 385-395; Hippocrates, lost fragment), water seasons and other things when they need these things? Or are they satisfied only to know how each of these things comes to be (I,i, 15)? Do the natural scientists seek to apply their knowledge of the causes to produce the effects of these causes according to need, mastering fortune and the elements as one obeyed by wind and sea? Or are they satisfied with knowledge for its own sake? Is the contemplation of these material and efficient causes, the theoretical wisdom of an Anaxagoras or Thales (Aristotle, Ethics, VI, 7, 1141 b 4-5), the same as that self-sufficient and thus satisfying activity which is the health of the best part of reason (Ibid., 1141 a 4)?

   Socrates own conversation was rather of the human things (I, i, 16). Through this kind of conversation one hopes to learn both what is fitting to do (.12) and to be able to do what one chooses for oneself and others (.15). “Xenophon in the Memorabilia (I,i, 16) links this knowledge to being kaloi te k’agathoi,” noble (beautiful) and good. Xenophon presents the difference of Socrates as that of one who is concerned with an entirely different subject matter than that of the natural philosophers. Xenophon is silent, though, regarding the commonality of Socrates with the other natural philosophers as philosophers. It will be helpful to follow the account of Leo Strauss in attempting to follow the account of Xenophon of the revolution or “turn” by which Socrates was different and yet similar, or the same in part, to those who converse about the nature of all things.

   By the turning from the divine or natural things to the human things, Socrates is said to have been the founder of political philosophy (Leo Strauss, NRH, p. 120, HPP, p. 4). [Note 12] Socrates is said to have been the first who called philosophy down from heaven and forced it to make inquiries about life and manners and good and bad things” NRH, p. 120). According to the most ancient reports, Socrates, after this turning, “directed his inquiry entirely into the human things” (HPP, p. 4). It seems that Socrates was induced to turn away from the study of the divine or natural things by his piety (HPP, p. 4). The account of Xenophon here (I,i,10-16) of the founding of political philosophy appears to agree with these ancient reports in ascribing the complete rejection of natural philosophy to the origin of Socratic or political philosophy.

   But Strauss emphasizes that Socrates continued the study of the nature of all things, even if he did not do this openly. While Socrates was always in the open, Socratic natural philosophy may yet be hidden, even in or through this open conversation. It is not itself open or apparent to all. Strauss reveals an excellent example of this character of Socratic conversation when, in interpreting the central objection of Socrates to the natural philosophers, he finds a piece of Socratic cosmology. Strauss writes that the list of the opinions of the natural philosophers would seem to imply…

That according to the sane Socrates, the beings are numerable or surveyable; those beings are unchangeable while the other things change, and those beings do not come into being or perish, while the other things come into being and perish.

                                                                Xenophon’s Socrates, p. 7

The Socratic cosmology is presented as the silent mean between immoderate extremes, analogous to the mean regarding fear, shame and worship neglected by the madman. Strauss states that “Socrates seems to have regarded the change which he brought about as a return to sobriety and moderation from the madness of his predecessors (NRH, p. 123). “Socrates did worry about the nature of all things, and to that extent, he too was mad; but his madness was at the same time sobriety: he did not separate wisdom (sophia) from moderation” (Xenophon’s Socrates, p. 7; Memorabilia III. 94). The cause of the turn of Socrates to the human things may have been his pursuit of wisdom rather than his piety.

   In describing Socratic conversation, Xenophon presents a list of questions which Socrates would consider. Xenophon, famously, writes:

   His own conversation was always considering the things of humans, what is pious and what impious, what is noble and what is base, what is just and what unjust, what is moderation and what madness, what is courage and what cowardice, what is a city and what a statesman, what is the rule of humans and what is a ruler of humans and what is a ruler of humans, and others, of which knowing would lead one to be noble and good, but ignorance (of which) is justly called slavery.

                                                                                 (Memorabilia, I,i, 16

   The “What is” question points toward the form or idea (eidos) of a thing and identifies this with its nature. Contrary to both custom and pre-Socratic natural philosophy, the nature of a thing is shown not in that out of which a thing has come into being (Memorabilia I,i, 12) but by the end which determines the process of its coming to be (NRH p. 123). Particular examples at their completion are those which most fully show the nature or class character of a thing. Because the kinds or classes are parts of a whole, the whole has a natural articulation, the natural logos. [Note 13] An example of a point of this natural articulation is the fundamental twofold division between the “beings” and the “things” in the conjecture of Strauss of the silent Socratic cosmology presented above. In Book VI of Plato’s Republic, there are two kings, one the king of the intelligible and another king of the visible.

   Through the human things, Socrates discovered a new kind of natural philosophy and a new kind of being. It is due fundamentally to this difference in object that Socratic philosophy differs from pre-Socratic philosophy, and from our natural history and science. Strauss states:

Socrates, it seems, took the primary meaning of the word “nature” more seriously than did his predecessors; he realized that “nature” is primarily form or “idea.” If this is true, he did not simply turn away from the study of natural things, but originated a new kind of the study in which, for example the nature of the human soul or man is more important than, for example, the nature of the sun (HPP, p. 5). Contrary to appearances , Socrates’ turn to the study of the human things was based, not upon disregard of the divine or natural things, but upon a new approach to the study of all things.

                                                                             (NRH, p. 122)

[In Plato’s Apology, Socrates distinguishes between divine wisdom, which belongs not to men but to “the God,” and his own human wisdom, which consists in part in knowing he does not have divine wisdom. There too, though, he claims not to know how to cultivate the human as well. It is strange that we should know the human without knowing the divine, but this is true in one sense, that the human is accessible, or, “first for us”.]

   Socratic philosophy presupposes and emerges out of pre-Socratic natural philosophy. Before turning to the human things, Socrates himself studied natural philosophy (Phaedo 99) Socratic philosophy emerges when the appeal from custom to nature regarding the causes is transferred from the direct inquiries of the natural philosopher into the divine or natural things, to be combined with the political concerns of man with right or justice. Socratic philosophy appeals from customary beliefs to nature in asking the “What is” questions, which are parts of the question of the nature of man and how men should live. [Note 14] The asking of the what is questions implies the attempt to ascend from opinion to knowledge regarding the nature of man. By asking what is the best life for man, Socrates discovered natural; right, and in this founded political philosophy. Strauss writes that ” the distinction between nature and convention which marks the emergence of natural philosophy retains its full significance for Socrates and for classical natural right in general” NRH, p. 121).

   From the inhuman madness of natural philosophy, not unlike the attempt to know “Being” directly in metaphysics since Aristotle, Socrates returns to begin from the things that are first for us” NRH, p. 123-4), from opinion, (NRH, p. 124), from [page 22] the visible looks eidos), or from common sense (NRH, p. 123). Socratic philosophy begins from custom or from the beliefs of the city (Mem. IIV, iv, 30-31; Aristotle, Ethics, 1096 b1-12), regarding the way of the cosmos and the things good and bad for man. This teaching of custom is embodied in “visible” poetic images for apprehension by the human imagination. Conversation regarding the most important things ascends from opinion because opinion proves to point toward knowledge and truth as an artifact points toward its original. Strauss states:

   The opinions prove to be solicited by the self subsisting truth, and the ascent to the truth proves to be guided by the self subsistent truth which all men always divine.                                                                                        (NRH, 124).

   But upon returning to the human things, Socrates does not hold conventional beliefs conventionally, as axioms taken as known from which to reason downward toward a conclusion. For example, he does not begin as do his accusers by assuming that they know what piety is and what Socrates thought, and conclude from this that Socrates is guilty of impiety for not believing in the gods of the city. Believing in the gods in which the city believes may not be the whole of piety. Socratic philosophy rather turns the opinions into “steppingstones and springboards to reach what is free of hypothesis at the beginning of the whole” (Republic 511 b5). Trust in the visible things is transformed into dialectical insight. [Note 15] Socrates cannot believe the conventional opinions as these are conventionally held any more than one could believe the shadows of visible artifacts to be real things (Ibid, 514 b5).

   Strauss writes: We have learned from Socrates that the political things are the key to the understanding of all things” (Thoughts on Machiavelli, p. 19. Also, Xenophon’s Socrates, p. 8). Socratic philosophy replaces the activity of the poet of making myths with the construction in speech of the best regime. On the principle that the political things are the key to the understanding of all things, the most thorough account of the good life and of the highest beings is presented by Socrates not in a dialogue on questions of metaphysics or epistemology, but rather, as in Plato’s Republic, in a dialogue on the regime (politea) which asks the question “What is justice,” and is answered by the theme of the best regime. The just and unjust are the central pair above which the good form has a what and an opposite. The Socratic cosmology is seen reflected in the nature of the soul, which is in turn reflected in the political things, and especially the articulation of the best regime. (501 b1-7; also 506 e1-507 a3, 490 b4-5; 484 c2-d6,540 a8-b1; 368c6-369 a1).

Conclusion

 Socrates held that seeing the things of which the what is question is asked would lead one to be “noble and good (I,i .16). Socratic phronesis and sophia are joined in this activity. In the Socratic work of unfolding and going through the treasures which the ancient wise men have left written in books, Socrates seemed to Xenophon to lead those hearing into the noble and good (I, vi .14). Socrates is one who by his thought is the cause or source of eupraxa, well-doing or right action (Aristotle Politics VII.iii; Memorabilia I, iv .15). By Socrates’ contemplation, he is enriched with virtue (IV, ii. 9), which is wisdom (III, ix, 5), and thus blessed. By the activity of his well ordered soul among his companions (Strauss, XS, p. 116-117), they are led into the virtues, or into the noble and good (NRH p. 128, Aristotle, Ethics, 1144b12, 1145 a1-2).

   Because Socrates goes beyond the beliefs of the city regarding the highest beings, we find again that he is in a way guilty as charged, and that Xenophon hides his account by hiding the wisdom of Socrates. Xenophon hides the wisdom of Socrates because the city cannot judge correctly regarding the whole of wisdom from the appearances which can be made visible to all. The citizens cannot see the difference between Socrates and the natural philosophers which makes his similarity with them an aspect of his virtue. Socrates brings conventional piety to its completion in his contemplation of the beings, his moderate cosmology, just as Socratic foresight is the fulfillment of conventional divination. The attempt to reconcile the city to philosophy is limited to opinion. The philosopher can be reconciled to this limitation. After the ascent from opinion or law to nature, “It appears more clearly than ever before that opinion, or law, contains truth…” (Strauss, HPP, p. 4) It is possible for Xenophon to veil his account of the philosophic activity of Socrates in an account given in terms of opinion because of the analogous relation of opinion to knowledge, or because the many opinions point toward the philosophic life.

Postscript on Modern Psychology

   “What is sanity and what madness” is one of the Socratic questions, showing the place of psychology within Socratic political philosophy. Psychology as a separate science was just emerging, as in the direct essay of Aristotle of the title Psyche, a study of dreams, and of course his Ethics, his “structure and dynamics” of the soul. He follows the fundamental division of the two parts of the soul, distinguishing “ethical” from intellectual virtue so well that it must be argued that the Good is still king of the intelligible, and that there is par excellence good and evil regarding intellectual virtue. The intellectual virtues are the measure of the practical and theoretical faculties disturbed in madness, not so that all the imprudent and unwise might be quickly drugged for the great benefit of the whole, but so that we have any scientific measure at all. The neurons and chemicals cannot provide this. The right functioning of these faculties is not the normal, though the symptoms, say, of what is called “schizophrenia,” or the symbols mis-produced in “psychoses,” cannot be understood without reference to the right functioning, and indeed, we say, the knowledge within. In addition to ethical vice, there is intellectual vice, understood in the collective shadow figures of literature and history. But that Justice is the good of the soul, and either is or is necessary to human happiness, while the unjust soul is in faction with its own true nature and within and with the outside world- this ground is shown most clearly through the best regime beginning from the three part soul, before moving to the two and the transcendent one. The three part city and soul: where three elements appear in a type represented by Monarchy, Aristocracy and Polity, seeking reason, honor and pleasures or compassion- is the basis in thought of the common model or archetype that connects political science and psychology. These arise in each city due to the dominance of the elements of the spirited pursuit of honor and beauty, the wisdom of its assembly, and the baser concerns of the many, as written by Plato at the opening of Book VIII of his Republic.

   Our psychology and psychiatry must now follow the Socratic turn, or the destruction of our civilization is likely. The very science that unleashed these powers has hitherto made it impossible for us to inquire into how these powers might be used well, even telling us that it is impossible to know anything about these matters most important to man, while profiting by the sophistic spread of drugs and first principles hardly better than what is available to the common man. By showing us the Socratic turn to follow the Renaissance repetition of the discovery of nature, Xenophon’s Socrates shows a way to subordinate the new technologies within a genuinely scientific pursuit that is appropriate to the faculties of man, rather than the instruments of science extending the bodily senses.

P. S.: The whole of the paper from which this blog is derived may be typed out from the original printed copy in the Philosophy section, available in the menu above.

Notes [to III, a] pp. 15-

Note 11: Under custom, it is impiety to think big or great thoughts, a hubris the opposite of moderation, punishable by the gods. But Socratic philosophy seems to follow a path that is both great thinking and yet not immoderate toward the gods in the way that the sophists or natural philosophers are, because Socrates did not separate wisdom from moderation (III, ix, 4-6).

Note 12 NRH will be used to refer to Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History, HPP to The History of Political Philosophy.

Note 13: There is a similarity between the Socratic turn toward the eidai and the statement of John 1: 1 that the word (logos) was in the beginning.

*Taken from a 1985 paper for the class of Wayne Ambler on Xenophon, at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. The Socratic turn has also been described in “Philosophic Psychology” and the Introduction to Philosophy essays in the menu at the top of the page.

The Dixboro Ghost: Commentary

   Here is a genuine ghost story for the Halloween season. Our Michigan local history of the Dixboro Ghost is told quite well by Carol Willits Freeman in her book Of Dixboro, Lest We Forget, and by Russel Bidlock, in a 1962 paper, “The Dixboro Ghost,” presented to the Washtenaw County Historical Society. This Michigan Pioneer ghost story, too, is especially astonishing in a number of ways that invite our musing and commentary in the harvest season.

   Among the reasons that this appearance or apparition is astonishing is that the man who experienced it testified in the Washtenaw County Court before the Justice of the Peace, in December of 1845, to nine separate apparitions between September 27 and November 6th of that year. In this, the ghost of Martha Crawford-Mulholland apparently revealed three murders- her own, that of her sister, and possibly of a tin peddler who disappeared when passing through Dixboro, his horse and cart left undisturbed. The ghost may also have prevented a fourth murder, that of her son Joseph, who would likely be in danger from her apparent murderer, James Mulholland. The Ghost herself seems changed- pacified- through the appearances. As she- the ghost of Martha- says in her final word,

I wanted to tell a secret, and I thought I had.

    Isaac Van Woert, the one who saw the ghost, was travelling to Ann Arbor when his wagon broke down, and he was forced to turn back to Dixboro. Isaac had come from Livingston New York seeking a life Michigan with his wife and two children. Even then, Ann Arbor was a flourishing town, while Dixboro seemed to develop less, and became a suburb, as if stuck in time. John Dix had founded the town, but was unpopular. Dix had left in 1833 for Texas, just three years after the brothers James and John Mulholland arrived in 1830. Dix and Mulholland together were assessed a 50$ “indictment” by the United States. And the Mulhollands live on the corner of the general store. James had a wife Ann, who had become ill and disturbed when her sister, a young widow from Canada, came to visit with her young son Joseph, then about 5 years old. Unknown to Isaac and his family, Ann, James and most recently Mary had just died in Dixboro, the pall of the funeral week barely passed. Van Woert saw that Mr. Hawkins had a building under construction, and applied for the work. Needing lodging, he was directed to Joseph Crawford, now about 15, whose mother Martha had just died, and whose house was then available. From where it is that Joseph is summoned, and why he is not himself living in his mothers house is important to our story, but it is noted that Joseph later married Jane, the daughter of a Mr. Whitney, who had recently bought property on the north side of Main street or Plymouth road. Joseph later bought and owned this property until 1864. As He is found by Isaac moving a load of stone, and may have been working in lots 7 and 8 on the Whitney house he would later own with his wife.

   The first time the ghost appeared, she did not speak. Three days after arriving, Isaac was before the front window, his wife gone to visit a neighbor, Mrs. Hammond, two “rods distant,” and his sons playing in the back yard, about sunset. Combing his hair in the window, where one might see a reflection, there appeared…

…a woman with a candlestick in her hand in which was a candle burning. She held it in her left hand. She was a middling sized woman, wore a loose gown, had a white cloth around her head, her right hand clasped in her clothes near the waist. She was a little bent forward, her eyes large and much sunken, very pale indeed; her lips projected, and her teeth showed some.

   She moved slowly across the floor until she entered the bedroom and the door closed. I then went up and opened the bedroom door, and all was dark. I stepped forward and lighted a candle with a match, looked forward but saw no one, nor heard any noise, except just before I opened the bedroom door, I thought I heard one of the bureau doors open and shut.

The courage and open mind of Isaac are noteworthy, as well as his rational and responsible proceedings, given human ignorance regarding such matters. It is interesting too that the ghost chose- or Isaac was able- to see and hear her, rather than for example Joseph, who would have been disturbed and not believed. The purpose does seem to be to make the matter public. A few days later, Isaac spoke of what he had seen, and learned then, for the first time that a widow Mulholland had lived there and had recently died. It is likely he spoke to Mrs Hammond, the neighbor, though it may have been to Jackson Hawkins. It does not seem he spoke directly to his landlord, the 15 year old Joseph.

   The second time Isaac sees her, still early in October, she speaks. she says,

‘Don’t touch me- touch me not.’

Isaac steps back and asks her what she wants She says to him:

‘He has got it. He robbed me little by little, until they kilt me! They kilt me! Now he has got it all!’

Isaac asks her then, “Who has it all” She answers:

‘James, James, yes, James has got it at last, but it won’t do him long. Joseph! Oh, Joseph! I wish Joseph would come away.’

   James had petitioned the court to become executor of the estate of Mary by having her declared incompetent. But as Joseph, and not James, is the landlord, this does not seem to have worked- yet. It is possible too that she refers to something else that James does have, such as money or gold, from the joint enterprise with John. It is not said how John dies, but throughout the story, there is no suspicion that he was murdered by James. It is possible that the event of the ghost prevents the plots of James from occurring. Throughout the appearances, it is as though the ghost were trying to protect her son Joseph, and figuring out gradually how this might be done. In the third appearance, she appears in the night in his room, and he does not know what hour it is, so it is as if he were awakened. Here she says:

James can’t hurt me any more. No! he can’t I am out of his reach. Why don’t they get Joseph away? Oh, my boy! Why not come away?”

It is almost as if she is calling Joseph to come where she is, out of the reach of James. And who is it she thinks of when she she asks, why  “they” do not get Joseph away?

The fourth appearance is an apparition that is of a scene past, rather than of the ghost herself, and includes a person then currently living. The testimony of Isaac is as follows:

   The fourth time I saw her about 11 O’clock P.M. I was sitting with my feet on the stove hearth. My family had retired, and I was heating a lunch, when all at once the front door stood open, and I saw the same woman in the door supported in the arms of a man whom I knew. She was stretched back and looked as if she was in the agonies of death. She said nothing, but the man said, “She is dying. She will die.” And all disappeared, and the door closed without a noise.

   As Carol Freeman relates, “The night before she died, she went to a neighbor’s house where she “fell into a fit of delirium” and was carried home by her brother-in-law. He was heard to say, “She is dying. She will die” (Freeman, p. 23). This neighbor is likely Mrs. Hammond, 2 rods distant. If Isaac has heard this from the ghost for the first time, the confirmation is astonishing.

   The fifth appearance is the first in daylight, at least since the ghost appeared in the windowstill in October, “about sunrise.” Isaac testifies, “I came out of my house to go to my work, and I saw the same woman in the front yard. She said:

I wanted Joseph to keep  my papers, but they are ____.

Van Woert explains, “Here, something seemed to stop her utterance. Then she said,

‘Joseph! Joseph! I fear something will befall my boy.’

Van Woert concludes, “And all was gone.” The papers may relate to the interest of the ghost in the bureau drawer, though another possibility for this will soon appear. James may well have stolen the papers from the division of his property with his brother John, which the ghost would intend to be passed on to her son Joseph.

   In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Horatio also sees the ghost, confirming it is not one mind’s delusion. Horatio, a scholar, explains that the ghosts of damned spirits return at sunrise from wandering because they fear “Lest daylight should look their shames upon.” According to Puck and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, these willfully exile themselves from light, in contrast with the Fairy sort of spirits, who “oft make sport” with the morning’s love.” Some Protestants believed that all ghosts were bad, while others did not believe in them at all, rejecting these with Purgatory. It is not clear what role the Dixboro Methodist church plays in the story. A R. Stoddard is a Methodist minister in Ann Arbor in 1839. But there is not yet a Church and preacher in Dixboro.

   In Hamlet, a ghost too reveals a crime, and there is similarly the difficulty of the protagonist to bring the murderer to Justice when the crime is hidden.

   The sixth appearance is again at night, at midnight, still in October. Again the room became light though no candle was visible, and Isaac sees the same woman standing in the bedroom. Isaac looks at his wife, afraid she will awaken, but the ghost tells him,

‘She will not awake.’

Van Woert testifies: “The ghost seemed to be in great pain; she leaned over and grasped her bowels in one hand and in the other held a phial containing a liquid. I asked her what it was. She replied,

‘Doctor said it was balm of Gilead.’

Then she disappeared. She does not say that it is this balm, but that the doctor said it was such. A balm, though, is not an oil in a vial, but an ointment. “Balm of Gilead” is made in the US from cottonwood trees (and so is similar to turpentine). In the Eastern Hemisphere, it is the original anointing oil, grown in the suburb of Jericho that would be Gilead, and this is a fragrant healing ointment. It is also the name for universal tonics or remedies as were popular at the time and sold by paddlers.

   The last three appearances concern the ghost’s own purgatory. While working at a bench as he did in the evenings, the same woman appeared, saying to him,

 I wanted to tell James something, but I could not. I could not.

Isaac asks her what she wanted to tell James. She answers,

‘Oh, he did an awful thing to me.

Isaac asks her who, and she answers,

‘Oh! he gave me a great deal of trouble in my mind.’ ‘Oh, they kilt me, they kilt me!’

which she repeated several times. Isaac then walks toward her, but she kept the same distance from him, as does a rainbow or mirage. Isaac asks her if she had taken anything that killed her. She answered,

‘Oh, I don’t____. I don’t _____.’

Isaac relates, “The froth in her mouth seemed to stop her utterance,” showing him what she could not tell. Then saying again, “They kilt me,” Isaac asks, “Who killed you,” and she answers: “I will show you.” Isaac then relates:

   Then she went out of the back door near the fence, and I followed her. There I saw two men whom I knew, standing. They looked cast down and dejected. I saw them begin at the feet and melt down like lead melting, until they were entirely melted; then a blue blaze two inches thick burned over the surface of the melted mass. Then all began bubbling up like lime slacking. I turned to see where the woman was, but she was gone. I looked back again, and all was gone and dark.

As copper has a green flame, we might consider whether lead or other metal has such as lead or arsenic happens to have a blue flame. The image of damnation, for murder, is similar to the melting of the Wicked Witch of the West in the movie the Wizard of Oz. The two men known to Isaac are James but not John, nor Joseph, but possibly the peddler selling the balm of Gilead. The only other man in Dixboro we know he knows is Hawkins, on whose building Isaac is employed, though it would seem strange if he already had met the peddler.

   In the eighth appearance, Isaac relates:

   The next time I saw the woman was in the back yard, about Eight O’ clock. P. M. She said, “I want you to tell James to repent. Oh! if he would repent. But he won’t. He can’t. John was a bad man,” and muttered something I could not understand. She then said, “Do you know where Frain’s Lake is? She then asked another question of much importance, and said “Don’t tell of that.”

Van Woert later said that what he was told not to tell pertained to the well at the corner of Mill and Main, near Martha’s house. The well has since been filled in. Frain’s Lake is up the road to the East about a mile or so.

   I asked her if I should inform the public on the two men that she said had killed her. She replied, ‘There will be a time, The time is coming. The time will come. But Oh! Their end! Their end! Their wicked end. She muttered something about Joseph, and all was dark.

   When Martha Mulholland had come to visit her sister Ann in 1835, she begun the courtship with John, and planned to marry him, when Ann, disturbed, told her a terrible secret about John and James that has never been revealed. Martha then attempted to break off the engagement and return to Canada, but according to the story James then threatened that she would never reach Canada alive. Still, it is difficult to explain why she would then remain and marry John, except that she was pregnant. A child Martha had with John had died shortly after his father. One does note that every person standing between James and the property of his brother has died untimely. One wonders about the earthly end of John Mulholland. Martha had been taken to see a doctor Denton at the University of Michigan in 1845, just before she died. She offered to tell the doctor the secret if he would then bleed her to death, as she did not want to live after revealing it. The doctor, though, refused of course, but never did reveal the secret, likely as according to the Hippocratic Oath.

   In the ninth appearance, she is dressed in white, and her hands hang down at her side, as though her doing were done. She “stood very straight,” and “looked very pale.” She said, “I don’t want anybody here, I don’t want anybody here. She then muttered words he could not understand, except occasionally the word “Joseph.” She then said to Isaac, “I wanted to tell a secret, and I thought I had.”

And all was gone and dark.

   The secret may be that James and John killed the peddler, and then killed every person who knew about this: John who told Ann, Ann who told Martha, Martha who told…  But does murder fit the secret which Martha would not want to continue living having disclosed? It is possible that because she told the doctor, and Isaac testified before the Justice of the Peace, the body of Martha was exhumed in January, as the public demanded when the testimony of Isaac became known. It was determined then, famously, that Martha was indeed poisoned, and by a person other than herself, though what the poison was is not said. Notes from this coroner’s inquest would be very interesting with the hindsight of 173 years of the progress of science.

   The well might have been checked for a bottle from poison. The lake, too could now be searched better, and the bodies of both Martha and Ann exhumed, along with that of John. Many records no doubt exist, such as from the lawsuits for slander- none of which were brought against Isaac Van Woert, who speaks quite carefully in his testimony. Isaac continued living in Dixboro for about two years.

   That the Mulholland property was sold at a Sheriff’s sale means that it was not sold when James left Dixboro. He may have disappeared, or even suffered a fate similar to those he made suffer. The alternative explanation for the appearance of the ghost is that it was part of a conspiracy to banish Mulholland “because of his mistreatment of both his wife and his sister in law.” But on the 1874 map of Superior Township, a W. and an S. Mulholland own property just east of Dixboro, so it may be that his wife and some children remained.

   Ellen Hoffman, in an article, “The Dixboro Ghost” in 3 parts [See Appended section], adds some details regarding James and John. The property division was made by John when he was near death and in failing health, and all was not in place when John died. John was two years older than James, though the arrived in Dixboro two years later. James had brought Ann from Canada, though her maiden name, the same as that of Martha-  is yet unknown. The Mulhollands came from County Monaham in Ireland, and later sold 40 acres to Samuel their father. Samuel petitions the court in 1846 to appoint his sons Sam and William executors, but he does not ask that James be so appointed. And these would be those names owning property east of Dixboro on the map of 1874. Hoffman finds the second wife of James as well….

A site called “What Lies Beyond” adds:

However, James didn’t leave the area immediately. In 1838, he had married Emily Loomis and when she died in 1847, the two had four young children, one of whom was only 4-weeks-old. Although there was no evidence to charge him with murder, or any other crime, townsfolk condemned James, then 34, for his greed and blamed him for Martha death. Because he was no longer welcome, he gathered up his family and belongings and departed Dixboro for parts unknown, never to be seen nor heard of again. In 1852, some of his former land holdings were sold at public auction.

In the end, Martha’s son, Joseph Crawford, inherited John Mulholland’s estate and by 1850, he was the only one of the principals with a connection to the Dixboro ghost still living in Superior Township. He was a successful businessman, married in 1855 and later settled in Livingston County.

[Note 1]

   Another reason that the Dixboro apparition is astonishing is the spirit-ology assumed by the ghost and the literary imagery. It is accurate, and includes things of which a carpenter and family man is not likely to think, while excluding anything false that would indicate it was the work of human contrivance. The wish of the ghost that James could repent means that the ghost has been freed from revenge or the inability to forgive, as though making it through purgatory. That James, or such a murderer, cannot repent, as though they had extinguished the light of their own conscience, here too has another example. In these cases, it is as though the soul itself of the community wished to purge the disturbance, as of terrible crime. In murders, bodies are said to rise toward the surface, symbolically true. Socrates too notes that crime of public significance is sometimes revealed by a kind of divine madness (Phaedrus 244d-e). Yet it is difficult to imagine one more sane in his proceeding, having seen and spoken to a ghost, than Isaac Van Woert.

Note 1: Author: Graveyardbride.

Sources: John Robinson, WFMK, April 29, 2017; Ellen Hoffman, GLakes-Tales Blog; Dixboro.com; Washtenaw Impressions, Washtenaw Historical Society; and William B. Treml, Ann Arbor News, October 31, 1972.

 

II The Dixboro Ghost: Psychological Commentary

   What Socrates says to Phaedrus is that love should not be rejected and favors given rather to the non-lover on the grounds that love is a madness, because there are some forms of madness that are a gift from the gods, and love is one, like prophecy, tragedy and lyric poetry. As translated by Hackforth, Socrates tells Phaedrus…

…When grievous maladies and afflictions have beset certain families by reason of some ancient sin, madness has appeared among them, and breaking out into prophecy, has secured relief by finding the means thereto [fleeing to the gods in] prayer and worship, and in consequence thereof, rites and means of purification were established, and the sufferer was brought out of danger, alike for the present and for the future. Thus did madness secure for him that was maddened aright and possessed, deliverance from his troubles…

   The event of the Dixboro ghost is quite like this second form of divine madness, as Isaac is otherwise wholly sound. Phrenology being then the fashion in psychiatry, these were brought in, and the head of Isaac measured. He was judged “bilous” among the four humors.

   The story does not concern Isaac personally, and so is a collective content in the sense of an issue concerning the community.

The phenomenon of apparitions of course occurs, and the question is whether these are what they seem to us to be, or as these present themselves. It is especially interesting when true things are revealed. In this case, it is very odd that Martha shows Isaac the scene of James carrying her from the house of Mrs. Hammonds- showing him an apparition of both herself and one then living, in order to communicate a truth.

   As in the case of Hamlet, the question arises as to whether the event of the appearance of the ghost might not be caused by the conscience of the king, or in this case the conscience of James Mulholland. This is at least an intriguing third possibility that allows us an alternative on the question of whether or not ghosts exist. That a specter is produced for Isaac showing a both James and Martha, and the specter here is distinct from the person of the ghost, is also revealing and intriguing.

   From Shakespeare, a teaching of Horatio on ghosts relates the cause of their trooping home to their beds in Churchyards before the approach of the sun, “for fear lest day should look their shames upon,” as Puck tells Oberon. Oberon explains to Puck, though, that they, the fairies, are “spirits of another sort.” The key indicator is that he often consorts with the dawn sunrise.

   The central of the nine appearances occurs at dawn. An ordering of the nine appearances, in groups of three, also appears.

   And in his Life of Dion, Plutarch writes that Dion and Brutus, both students of Plato, were alike also in seeing an apparition:

…by preternatural interposition both of them had notice given of their approaching death by an unpropitious form, which visibly appeared to them. Although there are people who utterly deny any such thing, and say that no man in his right senses ever yet saw any supernatural phantom or apparition, but that children only, and silly women, or men disordered by sickness, in empty and extravagant imaginations, whilst the real evil genius, superstition, was in themselves. Yet if Dion and Brutus, men of solid understanding, and philosophers, not to be easily deluded by fancy or discomposed by any sudden apparition, were thus affected by visions that they forthwith declared to their friends what they had seen, I know not how we can avoid admitting again the utterly exploded opinion of the oldest times, that evil and beguiling spirits, out of envy to good men, and a desire of impeding their own good deeds, make efforts to excite in them feelings of of terror and distraction, to make them shake and totter in their virtue, lest by a steady and unbiased perseverance they should obtain a happier condition than these beings after death…

It is interesting in comparison that our Isaac Van Woert is not unsteadied, nor is his apparition ethically inferior or jealous of his happiness, but rather learns top hope James will repent.

   The purpose of our strange holiday called Halloween is, or can be, to accustom ourselves to facing terrors, including the innate human fear of the dead. Gazing once as a seven year old out the back car window into an empty field, I asked my mother, “What if there was a dead body out there! She wisely answered, “It is not the dead ones you have to worry about, but the living.” And so in martial arts, we teach overcoming the fear of the dark, and clumsiness, too. We notice too that at night, one approaches not out of the artificial light, but out of the darkness.

Late notes: Here is a breakthrough in Dixboro ghostology: On a hunch, I looked up Independence, Texas, in Washington County, there east of Amerillo and North ‘o Houston. Dix went there from Dixboro, and Mulholland was his buddy. Strangely, I found a very similar Mulholland family in Independence Pennsylvania, with numerous similar names and dates. A James Mulholland also appears in the earliest records of the Seventh Day Adventists out in Iowa, from where the “Spectator” wrote.

Isaac Van Woert turns out to be the grandson of Isaac  Van Wart who captured Major Andre in the Revolutionary War, leading to the arrest of Benedict Arnold. Bidlack reports this, but there is no record of our seer in Livingston county NY. It is rather Livingston city, where Van Wart is from, and has his grave. In capturing Andre, Van Wart and 2 others declined substantial bribes at a crucial turning point in the Revolution. So something of the spirit of his grandfather may have allowed Van Wart to see the ghost.

 

Appendix A: Ellen Hoffman on Mulhollands and the Dixboro Ghost

From “Dixboro Ghost Part 3: Are We Related?
…According to the 1881 History of Washtenaw County, the Mulhollands were a family of weavers in Ireland, but their professions shifted to farming and other trades after arriving in the U.S. James and John Mulholland worked diligently to earn money to buy the kind of large farms not attainable in their homeland. By 1832, the brothers obtained their first land patent for 80 acres in Section 18 of Superior County, the same section in which Captain James Dix, the founder of Dixboro, bought in that year. In 1835, after more of the family had arrived from Ireland, James purchased another 40 acres in Section 20, a parcel which was sold to his father Sam sr. and where my great-great grandfather Samuel Mulholland jr later farmed. The description of this latter property looked like this, rather arcane for those who are not surveyors or deed writers:
 

Sw 1/4 of the Nw 1/4 of Section 20 in township 2 South of Range 7 East [Superior] in the District of lands subject to sale at Detroit Michigan Territory containing 40 acres (Land patent, certificate 8030, issued 9 Oct 1835, to James Mulhollan of Washtenaw County Michigan Territory)

John and James had continued to buy homestead property in Michigan, expanding beyond Washtenaw and picking up large parcels in Livingston and Ingham counties in 1837. In a history of Livingston county, it was pointed out that the Mulhollands never lived on their homestead but sold it off for a profit in the following two years. 
 
The patents show John and James held all but the Section 20 lands in common not in joint tenancy. Just prior to his death and in failing health, court records show John arranged for a division of the land held by himself and his brother. While John attempted to get his estate in order before his death, he was unable to get all in place.

With John’s death in June 1840, Martha became the administrator of John’s estate under Probate Court order to produce an appraisal of “goods, chattels, rights, and credits” in 1840. When the estate had not been appraised, James went back to the Probate Court in 1841 indicating that it needed to be done and that there were debts to be settled and he was the primary creditor. The court ordered a $1000 bond to bring in appraisers, but in 1842 Martha herself indicated she was not able to comply due to failing health, and requested that the court appoint a new administrator to review the estate. Despite continued claims and counterclaims, the estate remained unsettled until 1846, when John’s father Sam sr. petitioned the courts to appoint his sons Sam jr and William, John’s younger brothers, as administrators. In the petition dated 19 Jan 1846, Sam was sworn as stating:

The undersigned Samuel Mulholland would represent that he is the Father of John Mulholland late of Superior in said county deceased that said John Mulholland died at Superior aforesaid sometime in June in the year AD 1840 intestate leaving real and personal property to be administered. The undersigned further represent that the said deceased has no children now living and that it is necessary that some person or persons should be appointed to settle the estate of said deceased as there are debts to be collected and paid. The undersigned would waive his right to administer said estate on account of his extreme old age and requests you to appoint Samuel Mulholland jr and William Mulholland brothers of said deceased and sons of your petitioner administrators for said estate upon their [young hand?] for the faithful discharge of that trust.


With Martha’s death in 1845, eventually most of John’s remaining estate formally went to his stepson Joseph Crawford, Martha’s son from her first marriage as there was no will. If James felt some resentment for Martha’s teenage son, not even a member of the Mulholland family, inheriting the land and money he had worked so hard to attain with brother John, and likely had further plans to exploit, it would not be a surprise.

   James left Ireland and immigrated to Quebec, Canada in 1826 and by 1829 was living in Washtenaw, Michigan. He was an early settler in Dixboro founded by John Dix. In county civil court records from November 1829, James appeared in the court with Dix for an indictment of $50 owed to the United States. The indictment does not indicate the reason for the assessment but it must have been paid, as the two were released on their own recognizance and ordered to pay up or appear at the next court session. They do not appear again at the next court session.

The exact date that James married his first wife, Ann Mulholland, is unknown as is her maiden name, although some reports indicate she came with him to Michigan. By the time of the 1830 census of Panama Township, later divided into Superior and Salem Townships as we know them today, James is listed as living with a woman (most likely his wife Ann) between the ages of 20 and 30, about the same age as her husband, and with a son under five. In 1834, the household had grown to five with the addition of another adult male, presumably brother John who immigrated in 1831, and a daughter under 5. These early census records did not have names for any but the head of household. As a result, the names of most of James’ children have been lost to us unless new records are discovered. Only one son of James is known from a sad story of a toddler who got too close to the fireplace and burned to death when his clothes caught fire. James jr. died after his mother Ann, living from 1835 to 1838.
 
Martha Crawford and son were not listed as living with her sister Ann’s family in mid-1834 when the census data was recorded. She is reported to have arrived in mid-1835 from the later court hearings related to her enigmatic death. John and Martha were married in December 1835 when John was 33. When John died in 1840, he left behind a son reportedly born in 1836 but who died later in the same year as his father.
 
James remarried to Emily Loomis in 1838 after Ann’s death about 1836-7, all before John then Martha died. While the ghost story claimed James and his second wife had only one stillborn child, in fact they had at least two more children. Further, he and his family did not flee immediately after the 1846 inquest, nor were any criminal charges ever filed against him. In an interesting vignette reported in a Universalist Church publication in 1847, Emily Loomis Mulholland’s death is noted, indicating the family remained in Superior Township: 
 

Death. In Superior, on Ap 25 last [1847], Mrs. Emily, wife of Mr. James Mulholland, in the 34th year of her age. She has left a husband and four small children, the youngest about four weeks old, also an aged Father and Mother, to mourn the loss of a faithful child and virtuous Mother. She has been a member of the Universalist Church in Ann Arbor about nine years. (published Dec 1847, The Expounder of Primitive Christianity, v. 4, p. 175)

 
By 1850, only Martha’s son, Joseph Crawford, remained in Superior Township of all the characters from the Dixboro Ghost Story. He retained his inheritances, with the records showing he owned property worth $1000. Joseph married in 1855, and by 1870 he too had left Superior Township, moving initially north in Michigan to Livingston County where other Mulhollands had settled, and later to Ogemaw where he became one of those revered early settlers, dying shortly after his move there.

Mounting Problems for James Mulholland

 
For James Mulholland, the evidence suggests his departure from Superior Township after the ghost inquest may have been as much about finding a wife or caretaker for his four orphaned young children rather than any guilt over what happened to his sister-in-law. He did not flee immediately as has been recorded in legend but did eventually move on, and over time, community sentiment eased after the initial hysteria brought on by the wild tales of Martha’s ghost and perhaps gossip by a few who didn’t like James. Whether the community feud also rendered family ties to his father and siblings is unknown, but Sam jr. did testify to the Probate Court in 1846 that there were unpaid liens on John’s estate, perhaps providing some evidence the family was sympathetic to James’s complaints.

Debts may also have contributed to the disappearance of James as suggested in earlier histories. His lands were seized by the courts for unpaid debts. Initially land in Section 19 of Superior was sold at public auction in late 1849 for debts owed by James, his brother-in-law William Loomis, and David Bottsford, another original land owner in Washtenaw County.James debt problems continued to mount. Frederick Townsend petitioned for redress in the Detroit courts in February 1850 and as a result James’ two remaining lots in Dixboro were seized by the sheriff of Washtenaw County. With no creditors coming forward after 15 months, the lots were auctioned at a sheriff sale in fall 1852. Townsend was allowed, rather conveniently, to purchase the two village lots owned by James for $100, far below the actual value. As history has since recorded, based on Michigan laws at the time, this process of land seizure and repurchase was a corrupt one in which a debtor could collect and profit with little evidence and often few others being aware of the court orders and sale.The ending of the recorded ghost story stating it is uncertain where James Mulholland went remains true, as neither he nor his children have been located in official records after Emily’s death in 1847 and with the loss of his property in 1850. 

 

Appendix II: Isaac Van Woert is a descendant of Isaac Van Wart who captured Major Andre in the Revolutionary War (Bidlock) : From Wikipedia:

Isaac Van Wart (October 25, 1762 – May 23, 1828) was a militiaman from the state of New York during the American Revolution. In 1780, he was one of three men who captured British Major John André, who was convicted and executed as a spy for conspiring with treasonous Continental general and commandant of West Point Benedict Arnold.[1][2]

American Revolution

A yeoman farmer, Van Wart joined the volunteer militia when New York was a battle zone of the American Revolution. Overnight on 22–23 September 1780, he joined John Paulding and David Williams in an armed patrol of the area.[1][2] The three men seized a traveling British officer, Major John André in Tarrytown, New York, at a site now called Patriot’s Park. Holding him in custody, they discovered documents of André’s secret communication with Benedict Arnold. The militiamen, all yeomen farmers, refused André’s considerable bribe and delivered him to Continental Army headquarters.[3] Arnold’s plans to surrender West Point to the British were revealed and foiled, and André was hanged as a spy. With George Washington’s personal recommendation, the United States Congress awarded Van Wart, Paulding and Williams the first military decoration of the United States, the silver medal known as the Fidelity Medallion. Each of the three also received federal pensions of $200 a year, and prestigious farms awarded by New York State.

Personal life

Van Wart was born in the farm country of Greenburgh, New York, near the village of Elmsford. He lived on the frontier and his birthdate is not recorded.

Van Wart married Rachel Storm (1760–1834), a daughter of Elmsford’s most prominent family (from whom the settlement’s original name, “Storm’s Bridge”, was derived). He divided his time between his family, his farm, and his church (he became an elder deacon of the Dutch Reformed Church). Van Wart was buried in the cemetery of the Elmsford Reformed Church in Elmsford, New York.[4] His tombstone said that he died at the age of sixty-nine.

Legacy

Van Wart died in Elmsford and is buried in the cemetery of the Old Dutch Reformed Church on Route 9.[5] A marble and granite monument was erected at his grave on 11 June 1829, bears the single emphatic word “FIDELITY”, followed by this epitaph,

On the 23rd of September 1780, Isaac Van Wart, accompanied by John Paulding and David Williams, all Farmers of the County of Westchester, intercepted Major André, on his return from the American Lines in the character of a Spy, and notwithstanding the large bribes offered them for his release, nobly disdaining to sacrifice their Country for Gold, Secured and carried him to the Commanding Officer of the district, whereby the dangerous and traitorous Conspiracy of Arnold was brought to light; the insidious designs of the enemy baffled; the American Army saved; and our beloved country now free and Independent, rescued from most imminent peril.

The three militiamen were highly celebrated in their lifetimes: commemorations large and small abound in Westchester, and can be found in many disparate parts of the early United States. Among other honors, each of the men had his name given to a county in the new state of Ohio (1803): Van Wert County, bearing a common alternate spelling of the name, is in the northwest corner of the state.

Still, Van Wart and the others did see their reputations impugned by some. André at his trial had insisted the men were mere brigands; sympathy for him remained in some more aristocratic American quarters (and grew to legend in England, where he was buried in Westminster Abbey). Giving voice to this sympathy, Representative Benjamin Tallmadge of Connecticut persuaded Congress to deny the men a requested pension increase in 1817, publicly assailing their credibility and motivations. Despite the slight, the men’s popular acclaim continued to grow throughout the 19th century to almost mythic status. Some modern scholars have interpreted the episode as a major event in early American cultural development, representing the apotheosis of the common man in the new democratic society.[6]

Van Wart and his companions are honored on the monument erected at the site of the capture in Tarrytown, dedicated on June 11, 1829, by the Revolutionary general and congressman Aaron Ward of nearby Ossining.[7] A Van Wart Avenue is located on the south side of Tarrytown, near the Tappan Zee Bridge. Three streets in the neighboring village of Elmsford, New York, are named for the militiamen, with Van Wart Street being one of the village’s main roads. White Plains, New York, has a Van Wart Avenue in the southwest section of the city, off NY Route 22.

References

  1. Jump up to:a b Raymond, pp. 11–17
  2. Jump up to:a b Cray, pp. 371–397
  3. ^ [1]“Vindication.” From New York Courier; reprinted in American & Commercial Advertiser, February 22, 1817. Account of capture of Andre, in rebuttal to criticism by Rep. Tallmadge. Depositions by Isaac van Wart and his neighbors, intended to refute allegations he and his companions were bandits or “Cow-boys”; Retrieved July 25, 2011
  4. ^ Austin O’Brien (August 1983). “National Register of Historic Places Registration: Elmsford Reformed Church and Cemetery”New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  5. ^ Isaac Van Wart at Find A Grave
  6. ^ White, p. 49
  7. ^ “In Saw Mill River Valley: Elmsford and its Revolutionary Church and Graveyard” (PDF)The New York Times. 17 November 1895. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
Bibliography
  • Bolton, Robert (1848). A History of the County of West Chester. Gould, Alexander S. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  • Cray, Robert E. Jr. (Autumn 1997). “Major John André and the Three Captors: Class Dynamics and Revolutionary Memory Wars in the Early Republic, 1780-1831”. Journal of the Early Republic. Univ. of Pennsylvania Press. 17 (3). doi:10.2307/3123941.
  • White, James T., ed. (1892). The Builders of the Nation. New York: Stanley-Bradley Publishing Co. Retrieved 25 August 2013.

Further reading

The First Meeting of Jerusalem and Ancient Greece: Josephus on Alexander, 333 B. C.

   Alexander, the pupil of Aristotle for a while, met with the High Priest at Jerusalem on his way to conquer Asia, as reported by Josephus. From Book xi. 4-5, Jaddua the high priest was in terror when he heard that Alexander was coming. Alexander had sent a letter to Jerusalem during his siege of Tyre, asking for provisions, auxiliaries, and suggesting that Jerusalem send tribute now instead to him rather than Darius. The high priest had answered Alexander that…”he had given his oath to Darius not to bear arms against him; and that he would not transgress this while Darius was in the land of the living.” After the siege of Tyre, when Alexander was approaching, he and the people then appealed to God for protection,…

…whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that he should take courage, and adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest should appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the king in the habits proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent. Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced; and declared to all the warning he had received from God. According to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the king. And when he understood that he was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests, and the multitude of citizens…

Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine purple and scarlet clothing, with his miter on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the High priest. The Jews also did altogether, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about; whereupon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind. However, Parmenio alone went up to him, and asked him how it came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the High priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, I did not adore him, but that God who hath honoured him with his high priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians. whence it is, that having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind. And when he had said this to Parmenio, and had given the High Priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city; and when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the High priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended; and as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present, but the next day he called them to him, and bade them ask what favors they pleased of him whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all that they desired; and when they entreated him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Medea to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired; and when he said to the multitude, that if any of them would enlist themselves in his army on this condition, that they should continue under the laws of their forefathers he was willing to take them with him, many more were ready to accompany him in his wars.

One interesting point in this story is the double true or verdical dream.  That Alexander had seen the name on the breastplate, and the high priest was instructed to show the name is rather astonishing. There is nothing like this in all the history of dreams. Another is of course the interpretation of Daniel. The five are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, the legs being the East and West empires, then the feet and toes…5 from each, iron and clay, and from this will emerge 10 kings, in ch. 12, etc.

   A personal note: My first history lesson came from Mad Magazine, when at the age of 12 I read from Al Jaffe: Alexander the Great was not really so great.” I wondered about this through all my studies. One wonders why Alexander was not better advised- though he had dismissed Aristotle.

 

1) The goal is not world conquest. Don’t keep going east, but establish and consolidate- and enjoy! Rule for the good of the ruled and the realm: Why not?

2) Deal with the question of succession immediately, and work on institutions that secure Greek liberty. What if Alex had Thomas Jefferson and James Madison?

3) Don’t be all full of yourself. You MIGHT be lucky, but learn what a mortal god is- and go find Diogenes in his bucket!

76 Candidates for the 17 Greatest pure Rock Songs: Happy Fourth!

On Baptism: A Fragment

   The text for the day celebrating the Baptism of Jesus is John 1, after :19-34, and 3. Jesus does baptize after he is baptized by John. The word “Essene” apparently means “bather,” and with the Mikveh the Jews are likely the first Baptists. In the US, that was Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island.
   The following is from my part of a discussion attempting to answer a question on what Baptism is. The inquirer had been told that baptism is necessary to become a Christian, and is either by water, by blood or by desire. At first, I think I know what they mean, but eventually, I figure out that I do not know what the statement cited intends to say. In the mean time, I have hit the fundamental points from which I would write an attempted account of the meaning of baptism- if I were to try to do that. The thoughtful reader may gather plenty on their own. It is a very hard question. Any comments are most welcome.

I:

   Jesus did baptism passively, by John, not actively baptizing others. But I say: Socrates is saved,” a paradox. We align ourselves toward the mysteries. Mom says: “Baptism removes original sin” which is the proper answer. I also say “Noriega is not saved, despite being “baptized.” The mystery is a re-ordering of the soul, which is why one in such penance appears quite confused.
   What no one understands is whether by “water and the spirit” he means the outward ritual and the inward mystery it reminds us of, which comes by penance, or if it means the Christ, shown in the separate sacrament “Confirmation.” Jesus himself did baptism + transfiguration. Mysteries.
II:
III:

   We do baptism, then first communion, Eucharist and wine, then Chrism, anointing, and that seems as good as anyone gets it. Baptists were called rebaptizers, cause they figured a guy has to choose voluntarily. Who knows?

  The relevant scripture here is John 1:34, where John the Baptist contrasts “water,” his baptism, and says Jesus baptizes with the “Holy Spirit-” and we don’t know, again, what this means. But he says to Nic., “Are you a teacher of all Israel, and you don’t get this?” So it is not a new.

   Where is that quotation from? The Christians were not even called Christians until Antioch, in Acts 11-12, When Peter sees the vision and Paul and others begin to preach the way to non-Jews. Jesus did not tell them directly to do that (But it does seem correct).

IV:

   Oh, also, there is a diabolic opposite, as shown in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” But “Be not afraid. I go before you always.”
  Again, it is the core of psychology, and our psych can barely address it. Jung, Vol. 5, though, “Symbols of Transformation.” The Meno, 81 is just profound, especially with the Allegory of the cave..
   Our part is always penance. There are deep things too: Penance is accompanied by a regression of eros toward the origin, so Nicodemus, “…return to our mother’s womb?’ Through our mortal origin to His eternity, says Augustine. Cohen’s “Suzanne.”
  John, Andrew and James were followers of John the Baptist. Baptism seems to have been passed on from the earliest. It is Israeli: Mikvah. Peter says it is the meaning of Noah, “8 were saved by water.” It seems too to come from the washing of the newborn.

   I’m still trying to figure what that guy meant by “blood” and “desire.” I like how, in the Catholic Catechism, anyone, in a pinch, may do baptism, like if a guy is dying and wants it quick.

   Socrates in the myth of Recollection, in the Meno (81 a-e), and in the Allegory of the Cave (Republic VII), shows the mysteries too. Hence these are about human nature, not customs. The customs align us toward the mysteries, help us recollect- but we don’t do them by human making.

…Right, he could mean like Cohen’s Suzanne and the loss of love…but I doubt it! Romeo and Juliet ARE a saint! Or else it’s Juliet, but not quite Romeo alone. And the “blood” is just bloody weird. Bet it was a Witness. Maybe ‘e means the wine?

Remember? Reblog From Straight Arrow: No “Collusion?” Sater, Cohen and Trump Tower Moscow

Through: A Nibble, A Bite or a Meal, on WordPress, from New York Magazine, Weekend Edition, September 1 2017.

…..But Wait!….There’s More!…..on  ……”the Russian thing”……………

   Just so there’s no confusion: Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer emailed Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman? Seeking help from the Kremlin on a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow? During the presidential campaign?
   Yes, this really happened. While most attention was rightly focused on the devastating flood in Houston, there was quite a bit of news on the Russia front — all of it, from President Trump’s perspective, quite bad.The revelations begin with a Trump business associate named Felix Sater . A Russian émigré who bragged about his Kremlin connections, Sater was a principal figure in development of the Trump Soho hotel and condominium project in lower Manhattan. Sater wrote a series of emails to Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, touting the Moscow Trump Tower project as a way to help Trump win the presidency.In November 2015 — five months after Trump had entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination — Sater wrote to Cohen that he had “arranged” for Trump’s daughter Ivanka, during a 2006 visit to Moscow, “to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin.”The email went on, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected. We both know no one else knows how to pull this off without stupidity or greed getting in the way. I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this.”

Felix H. Sater, right, attends the Trump Soho Launch Party in 2007 in New York with Donald Trump, left, and Tevfik Arif, center.

Could Sater be just a blowhard who exaggerated his influence with the Russian president? Perhaps. But Ivanka Trump did tell the New York Times that she took a “brief tour of Red Square and the Kremlin” during that 2006 visit. The Times reported she said that “it is possible she sat in Mr. Putin’s chair during that tour but she did not recall it.”

There is no evidence that Cohen, one of Trump’s closest associates, found anything improper in Sater’s pledge to get Putin “on this program.” Nor did Cohen or anyone in the Trump Organization bother to disclose the emails — or the Trump firm’s effort, even during the campaign, to profitably emblazon the Trump name on the Moscow skyline — until the correspondence was turned over to the House Intelligence Committee on Monday.

And there’s more: In January 2016, with the Moscow project apparently stalled, Cohen went straight to the top to get it back on track — or at least tried to. He sent an email to Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s longtime personal spokesman, “hereby requesting your assistance.”

   Peskov confirmed that the email was received but said he did nothing about it and that it was not given to Putin.

So Trump was lying when he tweeted, shortly before his inauguration, that “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” The truth is that in October 2015, on the same day he participated in a GOP candidates’ debate, he signed a letter of intent for the Moscow Trump Tower project.

That is a “deal,” and Trump’s hunger to keep it alive may explain his reluctance to say anything critical about Putin. Or it may tell just part of the story.

The other part involves the whole question of collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign to meddle with the election and boost Trump’s chances. Sater’s boasts, by themselves, are hardly definitive. But of course there is the larger context, which includes the infamous meeting that Donald Trump Jr. convened in New York at which he hoped to receive dirt, courtesy of the Russian government, on Hillary Clinton.

Thus far we have the president’s son, son-in-law Jared Kushner (who was at that meeting), then-campaign manager Paul Manafort (also at the meeting) and now his personal lawyer all seemingly eager for Russian help in the election. Who in the campaign wasn’twilling to collude?

All of this is under scrutiny by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the various congressional committees that are conducting investigations. Some have suggested that Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, the unrepentant “birther” and racial profiler, might have been a message to Trump associates facing heat from prosecutors: Hang tough and don’t worry, you’ll get pardons.

But there was more bad news for the president: Politico reported that Mueller is now cooperating and sharing information with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Presidents can only issue pardons for federal offenses, not state crimes. Uh-oh.

….Moose and Squirrel Must Die…….OR NOT…..Weekend Edition…..

 (MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP/Getty Images)

   Responding to a Russian government demand to drastically slash its diplomatic staff in Russia, the Trump administration Thursday ordered Moscow to close three of its consular offices in the United States.

Russia will be required to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, the chancery annex in Washington and the consular annex in New York, the State Department announced.

The move was the latest tit-for-tat action in worsening relations between Washington and Moscow, despite President Trump’s expressions of friendliness toward President Vladimir Putin.

Angered over a package of congressionally mandated economic sanctions, Russia had ordered the U.S. to cut its staff in Russia by around two-thirds, to 455.

Irving Wasserman on Shakespeare’s The Tempest: Class Notes

Irving Wasserman on The Tempest:

Class notes, from “Political Philosophy,” Grand Valley, 1981, 1983.

In a course that included the attempt to read Plato’s Republic,” Irving Wasserman paused to read with us The Tempest, with the essay of Barbara Tovey, then newly printed. This conjunction of intellect and imagination is surely a pinnacle of education in the twentieth century. The teaching of Professor Wasserman, even as preserved in class notes, is one of the best on the Tempest, with many unique teachings, as that on the magic of Prospero.

1981 Intro on Shakespeare: Bloom’s Shakespeare’s Politics

p. 55: The kind of ruler he was not in Milan. In Milan, he ruled in a certain way, but badly.

…consciously wanted to portray political wisdom

56: Difference in ruling, Milan and on the island.

Each group are political rulers.

60 In Milan, Prospero wasn’t the best ruler

About the situation of a wise ruler in a real city.

The wise ruler and the actual city against the background of the island.

How he got his kingdom back.

The Thirds: himself, Miranda, Milan. In first, Milan was ignored. Miranda and he, studies.

How Prospero sets out educating others.

About a ruler who wasn’t wise, who became wise.

Caliban, Ariel and Ferdinand think he is a tyrant. 3 views of tyranny. Gonzalo’s dream world.

Prospero Ariel/Caliban appetite. Caliban is not educable.

The magic is not omnipotent. Magic is merely remedial.

Nature, art and chance. By chance he came to the island. Working with what is given.

puts down powers in entering the real world.

61. Monday.

Emphasis- best community. Wisdom must rule.

The best city depends partly on chance.

If it did emerge, it would deteriorate.

61 Brother Antonio is going back to Milan. Can he make Antonio see in Milan?

Equivalent of magic in the real world.

The Tempest seems Platonic. “Something, best…in a profound way…not doctrine

Yet Plato and Shakespeare are the greatest teachers.

didactic…something different than we usually mean by the term.

It is nowhere, a utopia, literally nowhere.

p. 62 They came to the island by chance.

Not creator- invented not the nature of things (black magic)

Found Caliban with his nature. All natures are given.

Caliban, drunk, recognizes his true master, shakes the tyrant.

Powers: only 4 hours.

All he can do is try to make Ferdinand and Miranda better, to rule Naples.

Cannot ensure his successors. (succession?)

Nature /art. the highest art. Gonzallo’s best regime

A play within as play (Iris, Juno)

That is,Shakespeare (Prospero) puts on a show.

got interrupted.

Ferdinand is transformed by a vision of marriage. Future life. Fertility rites.

They’re always trying to rape Miranda. It breaks in upon the magic

Question: What can Prospero do and not do?

Not make nature. Makes the storm.

The tests and trials.

By their reaction to the storm, each character is revealed.

Antonio and Sebastian are conventional rulers.

They both go back to the world the way it is. There, realism.

Power shows who someone is. Top: The magic wand is broken.

The education of Ferdinand

Power. Guards. If it was not done with magic, the play would be concerned with those kinds of realities.

p. 63

Ariel The poetic imagination. Enslaved

disciplined in service to wisdom

Freed.

Power, police.

Miranda- first appearance. Compassion Prospero: be collected.”

Prospero mlearns something about his passion.

Masque Storm contrived for Miranda. “In care of thee.”

Nievety.

Art- Studies on the island are now used in ruling wisely.

64 bTop: The plat is the magic

Education and the trance of repentance.

Gonzallo’s Utopia- not morally harsh.

Private property- Caliban’s island.

Natures. Storm- Republic. Creates trials. Each character responds.

Powers impermanent and almost accidental. Only 4 hours.

Absolute power- rule must give way to Ferdinand and Miranda.

Power- trance of repentance- the sword. Education.

Propsero’s rule is not liker Gonzalo’s utopia (primative).

Morally harsh- equal treatment would be unjust.

Caliban’s attempt to rape Miranda ended education.

Then began his slavery, until alcohol.

Poetic imagination, Ariel- poet in service of wisdom.

Prospero’s compassion at the end of the play- withheld significance?

Only after Ariel says something.

Antonio and Sebastian transformed? No indication. Back to real world.

Gonzalo Corrupt regimes. Naples and Milan. Question of usurping.

Stephano Caliban The island is his. Tunis and Carthage.

Magic: to rule. Power to determine what men will honor.

Contrived love. Prospero effects world disappears. Un-political-ness of love.

Love is the leverage Prospero has on Ferdinand.

The Masque Through the beautiful things. Prospero! sorrow, labor, sexual self control.

Comes to be favored by Ferdinand, not a tyrant.

The Masque is interrupted.

The game of chess. Ferdinand is cheating. Miranda doesn’t criticize.

Even if the city did come into being- impermanence.

Restraint is as natural to man as freedom.- contrary to the moderns.

Caliban- power will show a man. Persuasion is insufficient

[Points of repetition

Best regime. Wise ruler- in a real city. About a ruler who wasn’t wise who became wise.

Utopian- nowhere, literally. The highest art.

Chance- came to the island by chance.

Art- the highest art. Studies on the island now used in ruling wisely.

On Magic

-not omnipotent. Nature/Art/Chance. Works with the given.

Puts down powers on entering the real world. What is the equivalent of magic in the real world?

Not a creator- invented not the nature of things (black magic{ Irv had a teaching that Prospero’s art is distinct from black magic in that it does not change the natures of things, as princes into frogs.} All natures given.

Play within a play- Shakespeare (Prospero) by magic puts on a show.

Magic wand broken.

Power. guards. if not with magic, play would be concerned with these realities. 

Powers impermanent, almost accidental.]

From beginning to end the play is about the possibility of realizing the best

Education- each has peculiar tests and trials

Trials of Ferdinand- Tempest, loss of father

being called traitor

the logs

Ther Masque

A test for Ferdinand- a fiery young Italian, hot blooded.

He must make this swift winning uneasy- he must make it difficult

Spirited element of Ferdinand needs taming.

Nature of Masque’s magic, stops the sword.

In the real world, one would need guardians.

Ferdinand has to learn how to rule- the logs, then the Masque.

Ferdinand must come to see that Prospero mis not a traitor- and he does.

Prospero should be ruler by nature- What if he didn’t act?Jerry: The act of the ruler is in the interest of the weaker. ruler doesn’t rule for self-aggrandizement….

Lecture II Tempest:

Act I scene i Gonzalo

Prospero: Be collected. (Has a picture of the whole, can say this).

“no harm” “I have done nothing but in care of thee.”

(puts aside his cloak- speaks as ordoinary man.

“Tis time” Within reach of his magic. The bounds of magic: not omniscient or omnipotent.

brother’s falsehood awakened according to his trust.

Books prized above my dukedom- through these books Prospero has the magic to rule.

Miranda- best educated of all Shakespeare’s heroes”For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.”

Accident: the star is the moment to act, given by chance. “If In court not but omit, my fortunes will ever after droop.”

Twixt 2 and 6. 4 hours time limit, classical plays.

Ariel- wants to be free. Master, Dost thou love me?

Prospero’s anger. When the Masque gets interrupted, he gets angry.

Prospero is learning wisdom, and education in wise rule.

A play about the possibility of wisdom ruling.

The spirited element on the side of reason.

Prospero has to use the spirited and the appetite- not pure types.

Prospero pardons Antonio and Sebastian (going back to a Christian world)

Question of the possibility in Milan. They’ll be up to their old tricks again

What trials or tests does Prospero arrange for each of the three groups?

A: Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian 1. storm

B. Stephano, Trinculo, Caliban

C: Ferdinand and Miranda.

How does each group respond to the trials?

The Tempest is the first trial of those on the ship and of Ariel and Miranda.

Trials in Republic.

From Fall of 1981, likely in an Introduction to Philosophy course:

Trials of Ferdinand- Tempest, loss of father

being called traitor

the logs

Ther Masque

A test for Ferdinand- a fiery young Italian, hot blooded.

He must make this swift winning uneasy- he must make it difficult

Spiritedx element of Ferdinand needs taming.

Nature of Masque’s magic, stops the sword.

In the real world, one would need guardians.

Ferdinand has to learn how to rule- the logs, then the Masque.

Ferdinand must come to see that Prospero mis not a traitor- and he does.

Prospero should be ruler by nature- What if he didn’t act?Jerry: The act of the ruler is in the interest of the weaker. ruler doesn’t rule for self-aggrandizement….

Lecture II Tempest:

Act I scene i Gonzalo

Prospero: Be collected. (Has a picture of the whole, can say this).

“no harm” “I have done nothing but in care of thee.”

(puts aside his cloak- speaks as ordoinary man.

“Tis time” Within reach of his magic. The bounds of magic: not omniscient or omnipotent.

brother’s falsehood awakened according to his trust.

Books prized abovew my dukedom- through these books Prospero has the magic to rule.

Miranda- best educated of all Shakespeare’sheroes”For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.”

Accident: the star is the moment to act, given by chance. “If In court not but omit, my fortunes will ever after droop.”

Twixt 2 and 6. 4 hours time limit, classical plays.

Elton John: Levon

Ok, I’ll edit and fix the Levon, adding some notes from Songmeanings.com.

Levon

Levon wears his war wound like a crown

He calls his child jesus ‘cause he likes the name

And he sends him to the finest school in town.

Levon, Levon likes his money

He makes a lot they say

Spends his days counting

In a garage by the motorway

He was born a pauper

to a pawn on a Christmas day

When the New York Times said God is dead

and the war’s begun

Alvin Tostig has a son today

And he shall be Levon

And he shall be a good man

And he shall be Levon

In tradition with the family plan

And he shall be Levon

And he shall be a good man

He shall be Levon

Levon sells cartoon balloons in town.

His family business thrives

Jesus blows up balloons all day

Sits on the porch swing watchin’ them fly.

And Jesus, he wants to go to Venus

Leave Levon far behind.

Take a balloon and go sailing

While Levon, Levon slowly dies.

And he shall be Levon

And he shall be a good man

He shall be Levon.

Jesus Levon is a Jew born at the outbreak of World War II, to Alvin Tostig Levon, a veteran proud of his service, probably for Britain in World War I. The Christmas day on which he was born seems to be 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland and Britain entered the war. That “God is dead” is of course a saying popularized by Nietzsche in describing Nineteenth Century faithlessness.[3] It was a heading on the New York Times when the war began. The word Levon seems to be related to Levite, the name of the one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the descendants of Levi that would contribute the Levitical priests. The song seems to be about common human things in the life of a young Jewish father and his boy born at this time, looking toward a future shaped by the events that would decide what kind of a world he would live in, and whether the generations would continue at all. The poem is a snapshot of the generations of these Jews living in liberty in Britain. Its wonder is how much it says by simply showing a snapshot. The year must be about 1954-1957, as Jesus Levon has now grown up. He is free to name his child Jesus just because he likes the name, but underneath, there is the question of whether the Child might be the messiah, a sort of paternal Jewish version of the Irish mother’s complex. But the point made by the context is that by defeating the Nazis and preserving the Jews in World War II, the Britons might have preserved the possibility of the messiah. Who knows? Actually, it is most likely that the best reading of the scriptures is that the New Testament teaches that the messiah, having already been born, is now living, and will not be born in the time of the second coming. The Jews, who do not think Jesus is the messiah, still await his birth, though he is to be the descendant of David, and so not a Levite. Yet it may still be true that by defeating the Nazis and preserving the Jews, the Britons have preserved the possibility of the messiah in the world. Who knows?

Tostig is a small time entrepreneur in the cartoon balloon industry, and works out of his own garage of his home by the freeway, though they say he makes a lot of money. Jesus plays about the family business, occasionally letting helium balloons go from the porch swing. His soaring aspiration, though, is to go to Venus, or seek and find love, the impulse of the young toward their future generation. Who knows? He may become a Jewish British Hippie. The dream implies that he will leave his father, as he fades into the twilight of life, declining toward death.

Notes from Songmeanings.com:

Blibstodge: “bears his war wound like a crown” crown of thorns?

Ah I understand it now. I think it’s really just about something that happens to every child and parent. The child really wants to go out there in the world, to reach real high, while the parent is bound to tradition and home.sgtpepperon January 24, 2005Link

Soloon June 02, 2004 :Jesus blows up balloons all day – many ideas, hopes dreams, coming from the breath of life (his chest (lungs/heart)…. and someday he will ride one of those dreams away into the sky -heaven? Leaving the slowly dieing Levon behind.

before the time magazine featuring “god is dead” on the cover was released (april 1966) the new york times ran an article called “god is dead” (Jan. 9. 1966) draglineon March 23, 2007

Elton John: Madman Across the Water

Excerpt from The Rock Commentaries:

Madman Across the Water

Here again we see the image of this shore-water-other shore, only here it is madness that is symbolized by a boat broken on a reef out at sea, or it is himself that the poet sees, and he can see the meaning of this image very well. The song is about the pain of the stigma of madness or apparent madness from those in our world, the isolation and the difficulty of finding love in a way that works with the world, or with the “in-laws.” That the poet can see it very well means that his heart breaks in self-pity at his circumstance, and in madness, this self-pity may not be excessive or derogatory, since it is in truth a grave misfortune to be so isolated, and the madman is not oblivious to his misfortune, but has the same emotions regarding it that any sane person would have.

I can see very well

There’s a boat on a reef with a broken back

and I can see it very well

There’s a joke and I know it very well

Its one of those that I told you long ago

Take my word, I’m a madman don’t you know

Once a fool had a good part in the play

If its so, would I still be here today?

Its so peculiar in a funny sort of way

They think it’s very funny everything I say

Get a load of him, he’s so insane

You’d better get your coat dear, it looks like rain

We’ll come again next Thursday afternoon

The in-laws hope they’ll see you very soon.

But is it in your conscience that you’re after

Another glimpse of the madman across the water.

I can see very well

There’s a boat on a reef with a broken back

and I can see it very well.

There’s a joke and I know it very well

Its one of those that I told you long ago

Take my word, I’m a madman, don’t you know?

The grounds a long way down but I need more

Is the nightmare black, or are the windows painted?

Will you come again next week, can my mind really take it?

Well come again next Thursday afternoon

The in-laws hope to see you very soon.

But is it in your conscience that you’re after

Another glimpse of the madman across the water.

(1970 Dick James Music, LTD.)

Bernie Taupin is the unrecognized genius behind Elton John. The knowing of the madman is like understanding the punch line to a joke that no one else gets. He can see the boat on the reef, and knows the joke, very well. He can see through the images to their meaning regarding the soul, and so is in this respect like one awake compared to those dreaming. The madman is like the court jester or fool in that his low social status allows him to speak the truth, even to the king. His low social status may be the result of seeing the truth, or seeing certain truths. This fool once had a good part in the play, or had a place in the world that would allow him to participate and bring enough of a dowry to persuade the in-laws to give their daughter to him, rather than another. The in-laws come to examine him. One is reminded of Someone Saved My Life Tonight, a song where the potential in-laws try to pull the writer into a life of finance, giving up on his music. He needs more than the ground, and that’s a long way down. “Is the nightmare black, or are the windows painted?” that is, is the world he is seeing really that dark, or is it the darkness of his own perception, his dusk colored glasses, that makes the world look so dark? He ends wondering if his mind can take another Thursday afternoon interview with the in-laws.

This sort of madness is the result of seeing more than we can entirely “integrate,” and is the sort akin to Genius. These potential in-laws would soon be refuted with the stunning success of this very poetry, even according to their measure, of money. But this is a lucky circumstance. What of those for whom no such validation is to occur? Soon, in his song “Rocket Man” (1971) he would compare his activity as a poet and thinker to one who, unknown to others back home, is an astronaut.

Reading Stairway: Rock Commentaries, Zeppelin

Stairway to Heaven

The paradox of Stairway is that, while being the number one rock song of all time, no one is able to speak very sensibly about just what it says. It is a kind of automatic writing,[v] and so even the author cannot be sure. The meaning of Stairway is a great perennial question of rock lyrics, and while it is not possible or desirable to solve the mystery, it is possible to read through the song, and put together a consistent understanding of what is going on therein.

The lady is the lady we all know, the lady who rejects our love, for whatever reason, and the song is about her and her mistaken path. She may be the same as the Lady from “Ten Years Gone,” or the lady addressed in “Celebration Day.” She is limited to appearance, the glitter, and attempting to buy her path to paradise or way of ascent, or stairway. Somewhat like a very wealthy shopper, who knows the store owner who has made a killing off her, she thinks she knows that she has a password, such as “Jesus,” that promises her special treatment and will allow her to get what she came for, even if the stores are closed.

There’s a lady whose sure

All that glitters is gold

And she’s buying a stairway to heaven

When she gets there she knows

If the stores are all closed

With a word she can get what she came for

There’s a sign on the wall, But she wants to be sure

Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings

In a tree by the brook there’s a songbird who sings sometimes

All of our thoughts are misgiven.

“Misgiven” is a strange word, because it does not mean mistaken, but full of doubt and apprehension, as in “a feeling of doubt or suspicion especially concerning a future event.” This doubt may grow into a bustle in the hedgerow, or a humming head that won’t go, because she really doesn’t know. The sign on the wall must say something like heaven or paradise. That words have more than one meaning prevents the literal interpretation of anything. For the poet, the two meanings of words are at the center of the choice between the apparent way and the true way. The lady has a teaching of the possibility that words have more than one meaning, but the maxim is held in a way that is itself superficial, so there is a note of sarcasm in the statement “cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.” The song is about the way to heaven, an apparent way and by implication not a way to Hell but a genuine way to heaven. What happens, then, is that the woman arrives and has a sudden eerie doubt about whether the sign on the wall means what she thought it meant. She has in fact arrived in the apparent paradise. The second of the two meanings is represented by the songbird: something like the allure of Mr. Plant or of the muse to a woman who rejects or rejected him in order to adhere to the apparent way to heaven. Her true stairway, as the song will explain, lies on the whispering wind. The songbird is the way of music or of music and the new age, that the woman rejects while buying a stairway to heaven, and this if correct, is the key to the song. What he looks to is shown in the next set of lines, the second of the two meanings and the essence of his vision:

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the West

And my spirit is crying for leaving

In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees

And the voices of those that stand looking.

Longing for the West and California always meant the longing for the road and the groupies and parties away from home, but it is also an intellectual height and a high or soaring liberty. What it is he seeks is imaged not by any of these things, but by rings of smoke through the tree seen in his thoughts, and the voices of “those,” something like the watchers or great masters, imagined to stand looking in the lives of us, the creatures of today. This life of things seen in his thoughts, is not only a private vision, but is a general movement. It is whispered that soon, if we all will but call for the new spirituality, “the piper” or the musician will lead us, not to the diabolic or irrational things, but rather to “reason.” This is the life of the imagination that is in harmony with the rational or Apollonian intellect. The same is a teaching about the messiah, that when mankind calls for him, he will return, but as yet we do not. A new day will dawn then, for those who have been patient, and the spiritual happiness of the humans in the new society is described as the forests echoing with laughter.

And its whispered that soon if we all call the tune

Then the piper will lead us to reason

And a new day will dawn for those who stand long

And the forests will echo with laughter

And it makes me wonder

Wonder is of course the beginning of philosophy, as described by Aristotle (Metaphysics, I.16?). What makes him wonder is the whispered prophecy of a new age. And so…

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow

Don’t be alarmed now

Its just a spring clean for the May Queen

Yes there are two paths you can go by

But in the long run

There’s still time to change the road your on

Your head is humming and it won’t go

In case you don’t know

The piper’s calling you to join him

Dear Lady can you hear the wind blow

And did you know

Your stairway lies on the whispering wind

The next two sets of lines say basically the same thing, and setting them together allows the poem to be read. “If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow” or your “head is humming,” means if you are disturbed or troubled in a fundamental sense, as with the way your life is going, this dissatisfaction is only a spring head cleaning in preparation for the May Queen, since the piper’s calling the lady to join him. The way of music or the May Queen, the piper’s way, is calling with the whisper of the wind, and this is her true stairway, to heaven.

And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our soul

There walks a lady we all know

Who shines white light and wants to show

How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard

A tune will come to you at last

When all are one and one is all

To be a rock and not to roll.

As we continue on our journey, with our shadows or dark sides taller or more developed than our souls, the lady we all know continues to shine white light, and wants to show how all that glitters is gold. She is now like the Christian Church or tradition, the very Queen of Light from the previous song. According to the poet, she continues to intend to show how everything still turns to gold, as she thought in the first set of lines that all that glitters is gold. This makes it more clear that she is like Midas, and her way the way of wealth. The concluding lines are the most difficult, but it relates again to the piper and the tune of the other of the two paths. If you listen hard, as to the whisper of the wind, a tune, like that of the songbird or piper, in the end will come to her or us of its own. At last, or in the end, the two ways are one, and here there is finally permanence or stability that does not move, ramble or seek. The rock is also the foundation of the church, and here it is the noun or mineral instead of the verb, the rock in the rolling stone.

The followers of the dark way equate the way of light with the way of appearance, not realizing that there might be a way of light that is the way of nature and truth behind the appearance. While there is an artificial way of light, there is also a true way of light, and it is not the way of Lucifer but of that other one who has the morning star, the Messiah, or, as the Christians think, Jesus. But to the Luciferian the real life of the soul or the genuine spiritual life then appears to be found on the dark side, as a shadow made by the artificial light, the man-made law based on the light. The things of love, for example, appear rejected by the lives of the saints, and then the soul’s most immediate or direct experience of the divine appears to be outside the way of light. Strangely, such teachings presuppose the truth of the Christian cosmos, defining themselves in reaction against this, all the while pretending to advocate some rejected or repressed nature or natural drive, as that of the body for sex, or power, when the body has enslaved the mind.

The song is consistent with the Luciferian teaching followed by Page, except that what is said is that this path is the true stairway, to heaven, and not a “highway to hell.” Of course, the Luciferian teaching of Crowley, “do what you will,” could be presented as the way to paradise, but we hold out hope that neither Plant nor the poet of Zeppelin intends such a thing.

A Summary of the Teaching of the Commentary on the Revelation

This summary is taken from the last two pages:

To summarize, the teaching of this commentary has been: that John is the writer of the Revelation; that it is worth reading for its own sake, as well as for our worries about the future; and that the reading confers a blessing. It is addressed not to everyone, but to those already turned by the gospels, the servants. It is about the martyrs and the avenging of their martyrdom in the end times. The rapture, like the desolating sacrilege, is not directly addressed. The fourth chapter is a vision of the throne that continues throughout, so that the completion of the number of the saints or martyrs is a completion of the throne. The seals are of a different time scale than the trumpets, addressing centuries following the incarnation, up through the making of the martyrs seen in the fifth seal.

There is some conjunction of Jewish and Christian things foreseen, a re-grafting in of Israel. The Messiah will not be born in the end times, but is coming on the clouds, having already been born, died and resurrected. Israel may be set up to receive the false messiah, having missed the first incarnation, but will surely see the Messiah at the second coming, and then the two will agree. The two witnesses may refer not to individual prophets but, as the olive trees, to two bodies of the faithful, whether the Eastern and Western Churches or the Jewish and Christian. The two legs of the statue in the vision of Daniel correspond to the areas of the Eastern and Western Churches.

The twelfth chapter describes the incarnation and the consequent pursuit of the woman and her offspring, who are the Christians. This pursuit has led to the martyrs seen under the throne with the opening of the sixth seal. The worldwide earthquake destroys the present political orders, while the advances of civilization are retained, allowing after a profound silence for the emergence of the apocalyptic things concerning the Beast. The pursuit of the woman and her offspring is continued by the sea and land beasts of the thirteenth chapter, and provides the context. Meanwhile, there are survivors, and these gather on Mount Zion. The harvest and the winepress may be two different occurrences. The return is addressed in Chapters 14, 15 and 19, focusing on different aspects. The Beast is distinct from Babylon, and his kingdom is distinct. He attacks Babylon, and at the same time makes martyrs of the true offspring. The identity of Babylon is a mystery, but it is something like world empire, or the assumption made by the seven world empires, concluding with Rome and then the worldwide worship of the beast. The two books of Daniel and the Revelation together provide the Biblical apocalyptic teaching. Babylon is the whole of the statue seen by Daniel, named after its head. In the worst period of all human history, the beast will attack Babylon and make martyrs of the witnesses before the mark of the beast is required. This will continue in the martyrdom of what become the millennial saints: those who refuse the mark and are not conquered by the Beast. The extent of the world rule is not clear, since his control does not prevent the nations of the four corners of the world from gathering at Armageddon. Nor is it clear that the millennial reign of the saints is literal from the earthly point of view, though this does seem to be the most consistent reading. Babylon is contrasted with the woman that is the true Bride. The New Jerusalem is mystically identified with the body of the faithful, who have no church as we do now. No lamps are needed because the Lord is present. The marriage of the Bride and the Lamb is the most complete image of God in the scriptures, mystically including mankind in the throne. The harmony of the whole, lost from Eden, is restored in the union of God and His creation, through those not only created, but begotten, by Him and by the Bride. The saints even of this age are from this union, and are a foreshadowing or foretaste of the heavenly city. The new earth is like the former one in that there are nations. The story of their paying tribute indicates the difference, if the rod of iron indicates the similarity of the New Jerusalem to a world empire. The need for the rod of iron indicates the difference between the new condition and the simple imagination of perfection or of heaven, which remains the mystery that heaven has always been.

Aquinas on Coining

Has anyone yet essayed a principled response to the 1215 statement of St. Thomas Aquinas, cited still as the theoretical basis for the Inquisition? Thomas wrote that heresy was worse than the forgery of money, for which the penalty was already quite severe (Summa, II, Q xi; New Catechism, 1984, p. 221).

“They cannot touch me for coining: I am the king himself,” says Lear in his madness at Dover (Lear, IV, vi). Nature’s above art in that sense…” as he imagines giving his soldiers their impress money. Like the tyranny of the Roman emperors, the question could not even be safely addressed for about three to five centuries, and by that time had slipped by unnoticed too. The mad assertion is that the king, as the cause of convention, is the cause of value.

“It is an heretic that makes the fire, not she that burns in it,” says Shakespeare’s Paulina in A Winter’s Tale. This: human ignorance, is the problem, and in a word, we think the answer is the US freedom of religion, solving the problem that had plagued the West since Constantine’s Edict of Toleration turned to heresy hunting in the fourth century. So we replace Aquinas with Socrates at the head of our Academy, despite the clarity of the mind of St. Thomas. One wonders if Thomas might have amended or recanted, having seen what then unfolded when the Knights of the Crusades were turned on fellow Christians over theoretical immaturities. As we treat others, so it will be with us, and as George Mason and Lincoln relate, nations cannot be punished in the next life, and so are in this.

Milton, in Areopagita, portrays the practical problem: Censors are supposed to be employed to judge the work of those who have better things to do.

Poem: Knowledge of the Soul

Knowledge of the Soul

Knowledge of the soul

In soul’s own book is wrapped

In papers manifold

proportions, harmonies of kind

The lives of noble kings and queens unfold

The images divine.

The light on man awakens her

Emerging beauty to behold in time

The hero’s penance wakens her

And clears the eye of mind.

And So:

Knowledge of the soul

Is wrapped in books its own

Recalled anew to each each time

A dance ensouled

Of memory and mind.

Father Alexander Haig: Orthodox Colchester

The following refers to a medieval Oath Book with birth dates for both Helen and Constantine in Colchester. They have also recovered an ancient Church of St. Helen which was already very old in 1100.

church exterior

Orthodox Colchester

Constantine And Helen:
Colchester’s Claim To Fame

St Helen, Saint For East And West

St Helen is one of the best-loved Saints of the Christian community, both in East and West. Over many centuries in England her name has been much used for our daughters, in various forms – Ellen and Eleanor being favourite variants. No doubt this has been partly due to much-loved Queens of England, but certainly the Saint herself has been greatly venerated, and as many as 135 ancient English churches are said to be dedicated in her honour.

Eastern Christians love her too, and this has meant she can draw together modern western converts to Orthodoxy and the cradle-Orthodox who have moved to Britain from the East.

Many widely venerated eastern Saints have been unknown in the West, and only gradually will British converts to Orthodoxy be able to absorb them deep into their consciousness. In the same way, many Saints from Britain’s Orthodox past – i.e. before the Great Schism commonly dated to 1054, and the Norman Conquest of Saxon England in 1066 – are unknown to easterners. These western but entirely Orthodox Saints will take some time to become really loved by Orthodox Faithful who have come here from the East.

Yet we can all, from East and West, without difficulty love and admire St Helen.

St Constantine And The West

St Constantine her son is a rather different case. Always much honoured in the East, in the West he has seldom been venerated as a Saint at all, and in recent years has been neglected, sometimes actually sneered at and despised.

Converts to Holy Orthodoxy need therefore to rediscover him, and find out why that common western attitude is totally unjust to his memory. We must discover why the Orthodox Faith venerates him deeply, along with his mother St Helen, as “Equal to the Apostles”. We need to rethink our inherited attitude to him, as we enter more deeply into Orthodoxy.

The Legacy Of St Constantine The Great

The fact is that his reign transformed both the Roman Empire and the Christian religion. His actions have had an enormous and lasting influence. Amazingly, seventeen hundred years after his time, his influence is clearly perceptible still.

We must perhaps admit that, in some respects, the effect of some of of his actions has been regrettable. For example, in places there has resulted too close a link between Church and State, to the disadvantage of either society at large or of the Church and her interests, and sometimes modern western Christians find it hard to distinguish between Christian and secular ways: they do not perceive that modern western society, though built on a Christian foundation, is largely secular in its way of thinking. Nowadays we may have to distinguish between on the one hand what society around us thinks, and on the other hand what the Church believes and teaches. People may not understand that there is a particular Christian understanding on some moral matter, or that Christians in a particular situation must behave differently from those around them.

But, on the whole, Constantine’s legacy has been for the good, and the Orthodox Church is right to recognise a sanctity in him. First he made Christianity legal, after centuries of much persecution. Then he made it the Empire’s official religion.

He perceived that Christianity was the way the Empire could be united. He saw the resulting need to establish the truths of our religion by calling the first Ecumenical Council in 325. He recognised the tiredness of Old Rome on the Tiber, built on its classical, pagan, past. In its place he founded the exuberant New Rome, Byzantium, on the Bosphorus, on the Christian Faith and its principles – even if neither he nor the Empire fully lived out those principles. By moving the capital he ensured the future of Orthodox Christianity.

The “down-side” of Constantine’s actions in the sphere of ecclesiastical affairs is that the very transfer of power and influence from Old Rome to New Rome also provided the possibility of, and the fertile soil for, the growth of the monarchical Papacy, and of Papal claims. Over the following centuries this produced a serious distorting of the Christian faith in the West, which the Protestant Reformation did little to right.

Yet the fact is, if he had not moved the seat of government from Rome to Byzantium, it is conceivable that, under pressure from the barbarians, Christianity may not have survived – not, at least, as we know and believe it.

For while the Western Roman Empire came to an end a hundred or so years later and much of Europe entered the “Dark Ages”, the Byzantine Empire carried on that renewed, Christian Roman tradition for an incredible thousand years, albeit somewhat limpingly towards the end.

This was recognised even in the West, and the Byzantine Roman Empire continued to illuminate the world with the Orthodox Faith even after Constantinople’s fall in the fifteenth century.

That is part of the reason why everywhere Constantine is Constantine the Great. He was certainly no fool, and essentially he was a good and devout man who desired to honour Christ in both his personal and public life.

We can say this in spite of several wicked acts he committed. It is wise in any case to remember that numbers of canonised Saints have committed unworthy deeds at various times in their lives, and not only before a conversion.

Indeed, he deliberately delayed his Baptism until the end of his life – to cover any misdoings, as it were. Apparently this was the unhappy fashion of his day. But at least, it displays a certain humility before God; an acknowledgement of the awe and reverence with which we should approach the Holy Mysteries.

Orthodox Christians have very good reason to thank God for Saint Constantine, and to ask his prayers. And indeed so have all Christians.

Colchester’s Living Tradition About Saints Helen And Constantine

None more so than the people of Colchester – “Britain’s Oldest Recorded Town”, say the sign boards proudly – and particularly members of the Antiochian Orthodox parish.

For ancient tradition, widely accepted until comparatively recently, is that St Helen was a British princess, born in Colchester.

So, Colchester’s mediaeval Oath Book or Red Parchment Book records:

AD 242 Helen, daughter of Coel [King of the Britons], born in Colchester.

And they even dared to identify exactly where she was born – “King Coel’s Palace” of course (so the legend would run), which is the old name for our celebrated Castle (which is actually the keep of a Norman castle, built on the foundation of the Roman temple of Claudius).

Naturally, then, the town of Colchester boasts St Helen as its Patron. About the year 326, when she was in her seventies, she made a great, in some ways world-transforming, journey to the Holy Land and Jerusalem. There, her story tells us, she discovered the Cross of Christ, and the Nails that fixed him to it. Colchester’s coat of arms is therefore the Life-giving Holy Cross (green and budding, on a Blood-red field), together with the Three Holy Nails. Also depicted on the shield are the crowns of the Three Holy Kings – for her story tells us that on her pilgrimage she also discovered the remains of the Three Kings, with their crowns.

St Helen’s Chapel

Not only that, but Colchester boasts a small, ancient church dedicated to St Helen. It stands close to the grand Castle. The Oath Book asserts of this chapel, It is said she herself built it.

Historically, we must admit the claim is not factual – and perhaps its wording may imply a certain doubt on the matter (“It is said“), even on the part of mediaeval townspeople. But the Chapel was certainly old by the middle of the eleventh century, for it needed restoration just after the Normans came to Colchester. Later it was again restored, with the result that some guidebooks wrongly tell us the building dates only from the thirteenth century.

In later mediaeval times it was a chantry, and was last used for liturgical worship at the Reformation. Subsequently it was used as a house, a school, a Quaker meeting-house, a workshop. Then towards the end of the 19th century it was once more restored, by the famous church architect William Butterfield, and became a clergy meeting room. But in recent years it has been used only as a store.

Now at the beginning of the third millennium the Orthodox parish, already dedicated to the Saint, has been privileged, by the kindness of Colchester Borough Council and the local Anglican Diocese (in whose ownership it remains), to restore the Chapel to worship. At present we have it for a period of two to four years.

Thus St Helen’s Chapel is restored to liturgical worship for the first time for nearly five hundred years, and (since the Great Schism for the first time divided western Christendom from the Orthodox Church) restored for Orthodox worship for the first time for almost one thousand years! We hope to be able to reawaken local people to their proud tradition, and make the Chapel available to tourists also. Especially of course we wish to open up this holy place to pilgrims, to promote it above all as a place of prayer, a real shrine in honour of our beloved Saint.

Other Traditions About St Helen

Most “authorities” today state that Helen was born at Drepanum, in Bithynia, an area of Asia Minor near the Bosphorus. But the claim of Drepanum is surely no more proven than that of Britain and of Colchester. It seems to rely merely on evidence that is just as flimsy as ours, i.e. on the fact that Constantine renamed Drepanum “Helenopolis”, after his mother. Yet, though he renamed the city of Byzantium “Constantinople” after himself, nobody claims that means that Constantine was born there. Surely he could also call a town across the straits from his new capital after his mother, without any necessary implication that she was born there. He clearly adored his mother, and had already declared her “Empress”, though she had not had that title in his father’s lifetime. It should be no surprise therefore that he decided he could rename Drepanum in her honour. Nevertheless, the tradition linking her with Drepanum is a worthy one, and we respect it – but say also that the Colchester tradition also is worthy of respect and honour. In any case, there is nothing unusual about different traditions about the same person: go to the Holy Land itself, and find various claims about places associated with Christ himself: these do not compete with each other, so much as complement each other.

St Constantine And His Birthplace

But local tradition goes further than claiming just St Helen as a native of Colchester. The Oath Book makes the claim that her son, the first and great Christian Emperor, was himself born here.

AD 266 Constantine, son of Constantius, born in Colchester of Helen.

And it proudly calls Helen’s son, whether or not considering him a Saint,

Constantine the Great, Most Christian Emperor, Flower of Britain, Citizen of Colchester.

Beat that!

Honour Where Honour Is Due

We must accept that some points in our local tradition are certainly wrong. Helen, for example, was probably not the concubina [sometimes wrongly translated as mistress] of Constantius Chlorus, but his first wife, whom he divorced for reasons of politics, when he became Emperor. Or again, the dates in the Oath Book are wrong – intriguingly, they date events consistently early by some eight or nine years. Yes, we concede that some of the facts themselves may be wrong. But we point out that everywhere a definite connection between Britain and both Constantius Chlorus and Constantine is undisputed: of Constantius that he was Governor of Britain, and died at York; of Constantine that he was first acclaimed Emperor at York, on the death of his father.

If tradition counts for anything – as in Orthodoxy it certainly does – will you not allow Colchester, even now, to think of both St Helen and St Constantine as in a special way her “own”?

Justified a claim it may or may not be. Perhaps it is merely a claim. But that “claim” springs from the natural and oft-found longing that many individuals and many towns have for a small place in history, the desire to be linked to some individual or event celebrated on the national or world stage.

Britain’s and Colchester’s “claims” in this matter are in fact probably quite as strong as the claims of other places. We may further point out that it is surely the cynical, over-scholarly, cerebral, “de-mythologising” approach that so often actually results in the “de-naturing” of much contemporary Christianity.

In Colchester at least we guard this particular tradition, as part of the town’s ecclesiastical and civic story, passing it on to future generations of the Faithful. The Orthodox Parish of St Helen of Colchester, by taking over this ancient and beautiful building, has now itself become part of that story, of that history, of that “legend” as some would call it. We are proud of this, and pray that we may be found worthy of our place within that tradition.

Saint Helen, pray to God for us.

A Hymn To St Helen Of Colchester

Native of our land, according to our fathers, Colchester’s Daughter,
after quiet retirement, and at the pinnacle of earthly fame,
fair Mother Helen, venerable and most pious Empress,
in the cause of our holy Faith thou didst hasten to Jerusalem,
and gloriously finding, as treasure buried, the life-giving Cross of our Saviour,
didst raise it high among the rulers of this world:
Now, Holy Equal to the Apostles,
with the most Christian Emperor Great Constantine, thy son,
flower of Britain, citizen of Colchester,
pray for us to Christ our God, that he will save our souls.

Father Alexander Haig, Parish Priest

Revised February 2001

parish icon - shrine

Socratic Political Psychology

The ancient study of the soul is a part of politics or political science (Laws, I), without a name, though our word psyche is from the Greek. In Plato’s Republic, the study of the soul and the regimes is based on a common form, while our studies so named are far more separate. John Keats notes that Psyche is the latest born and lovliest far of all Olympos faded heirarchy,” noting the fact thaty psyche was attended later even than bacchus, otherwise last. Google notes the first use of the word :

The first use of the term “psychology” is often attributed to the German scholastic philosopher Rudolf Göckel (1547–1628), often known under the Latin form Rodolphus Goclenius), who published the Psychologia hoc est: de hominis perfectione, animo et imprimis ortu hujus… in Marburg in 1590.


Kant addresses the structure of reason and self awareness as psychology, and then of course

Kant addresses the structure of reason, and some anomalies of self awareness as “psychology,” and of course Freud and Janet led to the popularization of the psychology of the unconscious and the medical model of doctors and healing and such. Jung writes that we have a psychology today because the unconscious is not projected, as a usual set of beliefs and images that make up our fundamental opinions. Hence, libido or psychic energy, channeled as along a natural gradient, festers int he unconscious psyche. Health is attained by the integration of archtypes, parts and levels pertaining to human wholeness, and we say the contents of knowledge asleep within the soul. But in the Ethics of Aristotle, the health of the soul is theoretical and practical wisdom, and once one has this, he has ethical virtue as well.

The pre-Socratic thinkers turned to nature in the attempt to understand causes, away from the mythic accounts according to which the gods are the causes of all things that occur. The turn to nature undermines the traditions regarding justice, and Socrates, recognizing human ignorance regarding fundamental causes, turns back to consider the human thins, only preserving crucial elements of philosophy, seeking the nature and causes regarding man. The emphasis on seeing for oneself as opposed to hearsay is preserved, along with the distinction of the good from the ancestral. On this basis, when he founds political philosophy, Socrates also founds scientific psychology. The regime and its three parts replaces the images of poetry for the imagination of the noble young scholars, the best regime that cannot be anywhere providing an image of the healthy soul, for those who can see. This is the health of the soul, the first principle of any genuine scientific psych-iatry.

We have tried to invent or discover the “Philosophy of Psychology” and the “Philosophy of Psychiatry,” called critical psychiatry in the UK ad the history of Psychology in America…

The Great Curve Talking Heads lyrics

From Songmeanings.com

Sometimes the world has a load of questions
Seems like the world knows nothing at all
The world is near but it’s out of reach
Some people touch it, but they can’t hold on

She is moving to describe the world
Night must fall now-darker, darker
She has messages for everyone
Night must fall now-darker, darker
She is moving by remote control
Night must fall now-darker, darker
Hands that move her are invisible
Night must fall now-darker, darker

The world has a way of looking at people
Sometimes it seems that the world is wrong
She loves the world, and all the people in it
She shakes ’em up when she start to walk

She is only party human being
Divine, to define, she is moving to define, so say so, so say so
She defines the possibilities
Divine, to define, she is moving to define, so say so, so say so
Holding on for an Eternity
Divine, to define, she is moving to define, so say so, so say so
Gone, ending without finishing
Divine, to define, she is moving to define, so say so, so say so

The world moves on a woman’s hips
The world moves and it swivels and bops
The world moves on a woman’s hips
The world moves and it bounces and hops
A world of light, she’s gonna open our eyes up
A world of light, she’s gonna open our eyes up
She’s gonna hold it, move it, hold it
Move it, hold it, move it, hold it, move it
A world of light, she’s gonna open out eyes up

She is moving to describe the world
Night must fall now-darker, darker
She has messages for everyone
Night must fall now-darker, darker
She is moving by remote control
Night must fall now-darker, darker
Hands that move her are invisible
Night must fall now-darker, darker

Divine, to define, she is moving to define, so say so
Night must fall now-darker, darker
She has got to move the world, to move the world, to move
the world

A world of light, she’s gonna open our eyes up
A world of light, she’s gonna open our eyes up
She’s gonna hold it, move it, hold it
Move it, hold it, move it, hold it, move it
A world of light, she’s gonna open out eyes up

Wanna define, so say so, so say so
Divine to define, she is moving to define, so say so, so say so
Night must fall now-darker, darker.
She, has got to move the world, to move the world, to move
the world