What more can I say? I am simply thrilled by his recognition of my thoughts on the book. Which can say more than this rich praise, that you alone are you?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Witchcraft as popular belief system may sound anachronistic, if not extinct, in our age of the Internet, Satellite TVs, and planned colonization of the Moon, in the same way that people in Renaissance regarded the Medieval times culturally backward and religiously superstitious. Yet, it has survived the leaps of time and waves of persecution, withstanding like a flickering candlelight in hours of stormy dark nights and remains in modern landscapes of buildings, cars, airplanes, and people with mobile phones on their hands.
Thomas Waters in his Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times tells us how this ancient belief system of faith-based healing at its lightest and of maleficent bewitching at its darkest has kept its vitality from the rural areas of provinces to the bustling streets of cities in Great Britain throughout the centuries based on his extensive research of historical documents and scholarly analysis on the uncanny but very real phenomena that grips your attention on every page of this fascinating book.
If you are keen on historical facts and anthropological evidence of human nature in relation to the ancient esoteric knowledge that looks so appealing and tempting, this is an excellent book.
Shakespeare said that fool thinks he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. This also means that a wise man knows what and when to speak. In this respect, simulation and dissimulation according to English Philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon is wisdom providing you with a strong heart to discern the opportune time to tell truth and to do it in protect of yourself against derisive remarks and false opinions on you by whom you talk to at work and any other social occasions. In Other Words: you take false shadows for true substance lest you should lose yourself under the misapprehension that revealing all of yourself will develop rapports for socialization.
In this “Express Yourself” era that lionize glory of show-it-all and tell-it-all in the form of memoirs and selfies, vying for a legion of followers cossetting juvenile mentality of the authors, Bacon’s tenets of veiling yourself may be deemed anachronistic and unreconstructed. However, it would contradict the importance of self-respect if we let ourselves peddled by the melee nitpicking someone’s weaknesses. That said, the advantages of simulation and dissimulation and how to do according to Bacon are as follows:
- To quiet opposition and to surprise
- To reserve a fair retreat to yourself. By concealing yourself to a certain degree, you can protect yourself in a situation that you fee inappropriate to you.
- The better to discover the mind of another by letting the other party open him/herself without sacrificing yourself to disclosing your inner thoughts that might be incompatible to the other, and that will generate a false impression on you.
- Have openness in appearance, such as smiling countenance and civil manner of listening to another.
- Keep your true feelings and thoughts to yourself. I have read that the former British Prime Minister David Cameroon was good at being canny enough not to speak of his opinions on politics during his university years, lest he should ruffle other students of different political opinions.
- Pretend to be what you are not if there seems to be no other way than to speak your mind in a setting where your true opinion will be unwelcome.
The aforesaid may seem boring or passé, but then there’s good reason why a wealth of wisdom shared by great minds of history still ring true, resounding through the leaps of time and borders of nations and boundaries of cultures. The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves and speak their minds when their ripe judgment of Reason deems the time apropos. Maybe it’s high time we got off the bandwagon of “Follow Me” and took a nice long walk alone around in romantic solitude and reflection thereof.
He was a formidable agent provocateur: a blasphemous rebel, a proud atheist, a counterfeit, and a sybaritic seeker of tobacco and boys and an alleged spy for the government with his literary arsenal and daredevil machismo toward life. It was no less a dramatist, playwright than Christopher Marlowe, who introduced the concepts; a man whose life was staged so mysteriously and controversially that even his death was enveloped in a provocative imbroglio of factoids. In a case of life imitating art, Marlowe’s life was an epic tragedy for a literary enfant terrible struggling to mark his name in the Elizabethan England, where his literary genius and individualism were something of irreligious decadence to be reckoned with. Marlowe’s version of Dr. Faustus was his testimony against conventional absurdities of life in defense of his existential meaning of life, and there’s his outcry of existential dilemma spreading through the mind of the reader and connecting to the world of Marlowe.
Dr. Faustus is a collective model of existential dilemma of Marlowe and his educated poor peers boxed in clerical positions with paltry sustenance in the Church of England. In fact, the strains of daily life of an educated poor is inculcated in the figure of Dr. Faust in retribution of their social confinement unparalleled to the scholarship and academic achievements. Marlowe saw poverty obstructing the progress of gifted minds, and consequently, it became his literary and psychological stratagem of fictional world populated with characters terminated by inner conflicts set in the background against the class divisions and religious dogmas intractably entrenched in Elizabethan England. Thus, Marlowe carried out his poetic justice by making Dr. Faustus able to fulfill his materialistic objectives by the agency of magic from the demonic power, even though it required of him a spiritual as well as physical quid pro quo in this story laden with super abundance of religious tenets and morals that all seemed a pompous, sanctimonious hokum.
Marlowe used Dr. Faustus as his literary artifact, a psychological and spiritual medium through whom he made parallels with his own life, measuring himself against the burgeoning careers of his peers of his time. Dr. Faustus was in a way Marlowe’s mirror image that reflected all things about himself in the peculiar alchemy of literature. It all seems to me that Marlowe was a way ahead of his time because the contextualization of inner conflicts of the characters and the thematic substratum strike the chords of readers of post-enlightenment, post-Second Vatican Council and post-modernism. His behemoth contemporary peer William Shakespeare said, “Some are born great, others achieve greatness.” I like to think that Marlowe was both in the canon of English literature.
In this time of social media, propriety and civility seem no longer requisite for ladyship because the impersonality of urbanity and the mingling of ranks in streets have licensed shabbiness and incivility in the facade of casualness and convenience. However, one thing is certain that as our human nature has not been changed since the time immemorial, our appreciation of aestheticism remains in every culture. So much so that even someone like Albert Einstein who looked care less about his appearance said, “Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilization in high boots”
Hence, the beautiful ladies wallowed themselves in classical elegance, strolling the elegant arcades of Biltmore Tower, where they work as legal assistants. They are fashionistas in their own rights whose ingeniously elegant style endures and emanates from their minds and characters, which are even more fabulous. For they dwell on the beauty of life and think that a thing of beauty is a joy of life.