Friday, August 26, 2016

Today is the 141st anniversary of John Buchan’s birthday

John Buchan was born on this day, August 26th, in 1875.

His birthplace was Perth, Scotland. The house where he was born fell into disrepair, but together with the house next door is being extensively refurbished and set to be turned into offices. Other than a small plaque, there will be no evidence remaining that John Buchan ever lived there.

John Buchan House, 20 York Place, Perth

The new Buchan Story Heritage Museum in Peebles explores his life and works. They are acquiring, preserving and displaying many interesting exhibits. Buchan was the Conservative candidate for Peebles, which is to the south of Edinburgh, and his family had many associations with the area.

The new Buchan Story Museum in Peebles

The John Buchan Way is a commemorative walking route from Peebles to the Borders.

I am not in a position to make pilgrimages to these far-away places to mark the occasion; London, where Buchan came to live early in 1900, is another matter. I am very familiar with many of the central London locations that he visited, lived and worked in and wrote about. I often go through and past them on the bus.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ayn Rand and the Age of Aquarius

We know that Ayn Rand had no time for anything mystical or metaphysical, so it is unlikely that she ever investigated astrology or studied the history of religions. She would have been dismissive of and shown contempt towards anyone who tried to talk to her about such topics.

This means that she probably didn’t know anything about the predicted Aquarian Age, where the influence of Aquarius is balanced by the opposing sign of Leo.

Despite this, there are some references to elements associated with the Age of Aquarius in her life and works.  Perhaps it is all just a coincidence - a very uncanny one though. Perhaps she unconsciously picked up something of the spirit of the coming new age. Perhaps she was an unwitting avatar for some of the subtle forces and unseen influences that affect mankind.

Ayn Rand was born under the sign of Aquarius; she was very logical and rational, which is a major feature of the sign. Her ideology was like a religion for her; we would expect a new religion for the new age to be idea-based rather than feeling-based as in the Age of Pisces.

By coincidence, one of her great novels is called The Fountainhead; the outpouring of water for mankind in the form of ideas is a very Aquarian image.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yet another string of minor incidents

I recently experienced a string of minor incidents while out on a shopping trip.

The first one happened when the bus I was on swept past a bus stop without stopping. A woman who had wanted to get off there became very angry, all the more because the next stop was a fair distance away so she had a long walk back. She swore at the driver. She seemed a bit disturbed and disconnected, and her voice had a strange, unpleasant tone.

The next incident took place in a small supermarket. A woman left her queue to go back and get some item she had forgotten. She took her time, leaving a lot of people waiting. Someone mentioned this, quite politely, to her when she came back – without apologising for the delay - and she took offence and got into an argument with him. Staff had to intervene.