Rehab

torment

the torment of rehab

~

Rehab isn’t fun

Rehab isn’t nice

Don’t fall for the girls in there

They’re not  made of sugar and spice

~

Snakes on the bed

Spiders on the wall

It’s your personal Hell

And that isn’t all

You know you’ll be back

At your poison’s beck and call

~

Rehab isn’t fun

Rehab is no holiday

Just take what you can get

Whatever they all say

~

Rehab isn’t fun

Rehab isn’t nice

You may die in there

~

regret

Regret

words and pictures by jack collier

Jack Collier Is Well Again

I apologise for not adding to my blog recently.

False Memory Syndrome is a horrible thing, but that’s now sorted out with large doses of thiamine.

SNLPFM

Me and my busted TR6

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

I managed to fix my sports car, so I can certainly fix me.

Jack Collier Is Unwell

THERE WILL BE A SHORT INTERRUPTION TO MY DAILY BLOG

I am afraid that Jack Collier is unwell and is taking a little time out.

Empty-Chair

jack collier is temporarily unavailable.

There are some things it is better for a man not to know.

Jack has had a disturbing half-hour surfing the internet and needs a little time to regain his right mind.  It seems that his current persona is far too naive, innocent, trusting, guileless, credulous and unsuspecting for real life.   Jack is unused to some of the things people post on their websites and is suffering from having had an unpleasant shock.  Why do women post tit shots?  After a reality check I am certain that Jack Collier will be back,  providing he thinks the game is worth the candle.

Nothing is worth this pain in my heart.

A kiss

from a tainted heart

is transient

Normal Service Will Most Likely Be Resumed As Soon As Possible.

The God Obsession

A very short story.

Sunrise1

the sort of sunrise God is supposed to organise

 

The God Obsession

GOD was a drunk.

The cardinals of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places were fairly certain of that.  They had applied every secret ecclesiastical test and were convinced that God was an offensive, evil tempered, megalomaniacal, raging, thunderbolt slinging, quaffing rivers of booze, chronic alcoholic.

That made dealing with God more than ordinarily difficult.  One wrong move and the unfortunate supplicant could find themselves transmogrified, or worse.  Finding your higher power when He was suffering from a hangover or delirium tremens was bad, Very Bad Indeed.  Having a proper fire-breathing dragon shoved up one’s fundament brings tears to the eyes.

There was more, and much more unacceptable.  Sacrificing your first born daughter is just cruel.  Although and to be fair, God had forsworn the whole forty days and forty nights of seething rain thing, after being caught out without his Mackintosh and front door key.

God’s favourite saying was; ‘You’re born, you live, and then you die, and if you haven’t been good along the way you’ll find yourself on the runaway down-bound train to the Lair of Satan.’

The damned well know that Satan could take transmogrification to a whole other low, which was exactly how God wanted it.  God and Satan had discussed it over a river or three of mead.

As for God, in addition to being a dipsomaniac of biblical appetites, God was a womaniser.  When He was in his cups that is, which was most of the time.  God’s drinking binges could last for several hundred years.  Apart from unsuccessfully chatting up Goddesses in bars, God’s favourite seduction technique was to take the shape of some heraldic beast, say a griffon, or a gigantic bull, and then convince some sorely unfortunate female that it had all been a dream.  Of course, giving birth to a minotaur was apt to cause speculation among the poor woman’s neighbours and family.

Early on, the Sumarian Chapter of the Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places realised God had a nasty sense of humour.  Why else would He have gone on to create the giraffe, menopausal hot flashes, Las Vagas, algebra, and quantum physics?

Of course He went too far when the created the Higgs boson, the God Particle, even though he only did that to create insanity among said quantum physicists.

That was where it all went badly wrong for God.

Using the hugely expensive Large Hadron Collider, and applying the uncertainty princple, which was one of God’s more obtuse japes, the men in white coats with bulging foreheads and lots of pens in their outside top pockets only went and discovered that the speed of light was not absolute, and subsequently went on to understand fully the Higgs boson, your actual God Particle.

That about wrapped it up as far as being an all knowing and all-seeing God of Infinite Mystery went.

Once they had understood the God Particle it was but a short step to the Nobel Prize for using the Very Large Optical Telescope in Chile, and finding out where God actually lived, and His actual telephone number.  That really VLOTed God’s copybook.

From there is was only a couple of brief, but pointed, conversations with the Head Honcho of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places before God had promised to mend His ways, to behave more like the sort of God the Head Honcho of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places wrongly thought he wanted.

Making better sunrises and sunsets, not chasing females, attendance at twelve-step recovery programme meetings, and total abstinence from booze, hit God like the proverbial bolt from the blue.

The more die-hard among the brothers of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places were a little sad to lose their old God.  For example, there were fewer clearly defined areas of ecclesiastical doubt and uncertainty to exploit.  It proved a bit difficult for the Obsessive Botherhood to garner huge amounts of cash, when anybody could simply phone God to ask Him what He thought on a particular question, without having to go through all that tedious religion stuff.

So here’s the thing, if you were to ask the brothers of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places; ‘What is the Word of God?’  They could tell you.  If they are being honest they can now quote the Word of God, with total exactitude.

The Word of God is; ‘My name is God, and I am an alcoholic.’

 

words and pictures by jack collier

Existentialism and Spirituality

I AM NO LONGER AFRAID OF DEATH

Hades-Pluto-Greek-God-Charon

River Styx and the God Hades / Pluto / Charon

Nor am I afraid of growing old.  This is one of many profound changes in my psyche since I experienced reincarnation into my own life on the night of 28th / 29th September 2014.

As long as you are not aware of the continual law of Die and Be Again, you are merely a vague guest on a dark Earth. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

In a life filled with episodes that range from the stultifyingly boring to the utterly bizarre, this strange change of persona is the most inexplicable thing that has ever happened to me.  Going to bed for the night as me, and waking as a different me is a mysterious, perplexing, surreal thing.

I was aware that something was abnormal and unfamiliar within a few minutes of dragging myself out of my cosy bed.  As I went to switch on my laptop I realised that I was very calm, unhurried, living within a state of serenity.  This was new and unexpected.  The night before I had thought that my whole life was turning into a train wreck of my own design, now, at the start of a new day, I believed that everything was going to turn out fine.

Up until that day my morning routine had been hurried in a failed multitasking kind of manner.  That morning I took things one at a time, in a sensible order, beginning with the stuff I liked doing the least, leaving the fun stuff until last.  And then, an obvious sign that something very peculiar was going on.

For as long as I can remember I had been a two finger, hunt and peck, looking at the keyboard, kind of a typist.  Without any expectation or conscious thought, I found myself touch typing, not well but typing like a proper typist ~ using most of the fingers of both hands, looking at the screen and not at the keyboard.  I thought that was pretty weird, but the change felt completely natural, as though I had been a ‘proper typist’ all along, I was just a little out of practice is all.

I was no longer driven to get everything done right now, if not sooner than that.  I relaxed into the day, switched on my kettle, and made tea, one sugar, no milk.  I have been drinking coffee at breakfast time for as long as I can remember, but making tea felt right.  Weird.

Everything I was doing that morning I was doing deliberately, efficiently, with a real sense of purpose ~ unhurried isn’t even in the same ball-park.  And still this feeling of calmness and serenity.

I had been used to feeling underlying, vicious, simmering anger and resentment, most of the time.  Recently, it had been a lot more than most of the time.  I had discovered that a friend of mine had done something that I not only strongly disapproved of, it was something that had hurt me very deeply.  I struggled to understand and failed.  This had left me with a strong feeling of bitter hostility and rancour.  It had given me an excuse to get myself blind, raging, incoherently drunk, for three days.  It meant that I had been spending my days at the bottom of a pit of cruel and depraved black rage.  This was a rage of my own making, I was doing it to myself, using what my friend had done in innocence as an excuse, and I was disgusted at the way I was feeling, thinking and acting.

Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath. ~ Eckhart Tolle

Suddenly, on that morning, those feelings had left me, to be replaced by tolerance, understanding, and love.  I felt calm, composed, tranquil.

GT6

Triumph GT6 Mk 3

Then there was another set of changes as I began to write a blog post for that day.   I usually have a vague plan of what I intend to inflict upon the people who read this blog, that day I had intended to write about a car.  The Triumph GT6.  Instead I found myself writing about spirituality, and I have continued in that theme since that day.  (As it goes, I am seriously considering finding and buying a GT6.  They are a pretty little car, the snag is they are few and far between, and a good one might cost £10,000.  I could always rebuild a wreck.)

So, I was writing a post about spirituality, typing like a typist, (a very out of practice typist), and I noticed another couple of changes.  I have always been a speed-reader ~ not any more I wasn’t.  That morning I was reading and taking in every word and nuance, again deliberately and efficiently.  Something else, being a speed reader I have always had some trouble with spelling, not any more.  I found that I could automatically spell any word out of the 37,000 word vocabulary I am supposed to have.  (I took a test that put me in the top 1% of English-speaking people, vocabulary-wise.)

Things just went on being strange.  A trivial example, I have always had a tendency to be a side-to-side teeth cleaner, that morning I was automatically cleaning my teeth in the proper up and down manner.  Trivial I know, but when it’s all happening to you, you will tend to notice these little things.

An existential existence is supposed to be characterised by a feeling of disorientation in a meaningless and absurd world.  On September 29th I had disorientation in spades.  The most important tenet of existentialism is that one creates one’s own values and determines the meaning of one’s own life.  I am working on that ~ it isn’t easy, but it is scary.  I no longer fear growing old or my own demise, for every man there is a season to live and a time to die.  Following the changes in my persona, I am now really living the good life to the full.

Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable. ~  Albert Camus from The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays.

As my psyche continues to change I shall report developments to you all in due course.

A friend of mine, a graduate psychologist, said to me, a few minutes after meeting me in this new persona; ‘You are not only on planet weird, you’re deep in the jungle on planet weird.’  Another friend asked me if I was going to see my doctor, or get myself referred to a psychiatrist.  HELL NO.  A few minutes after I had started to explain, the medical types would be reaching for the very strong medication and be seriously considering hospitalisation.  Some things are best kept to oneself.

They say fortune favours the brave.  Fortune seems to have favoured me this time ~ I like my new persona.

Love and Spirituality

LOVE CANNOT BE DEFINED, NOR BARGAINED FOR

Men will say; ‘I love you,’ when what they really mean is; ‘I desire you.’

Real love hits one with overwhelming emotion, and oft makes a man lose complete touch with reality.

Homer

Homer, perhaps more into sex and violence than real love

The ancient Greeks identified four different types of love;

  1. Agape Love.  This is unconditional love.  It is love by choice, even if you are not pleased with the object of your affection.  Allegedly the Gods of our understanding love us in this way, despite all of our faults.
  2. Philia Love.  Is dispassionate, virtuous love, guided by our desires, be they healthy or unhealthy.
  3. Storge Love.  This is family love and the need for a physical show of affection.  This could also be the love between exceptional friends.
  4. Eros.  Physical sexual desire, a sex act, intercourse.  Eros was the Greek God of Love, and alleged son or lover of Aphrodite.

Other types of love include Courtly Love, (fine amour).  This is a medieval convention that emphasised nobility and chivalry on the part of the man.  It probably has much in common with parts of the Greek Agape and Philia Loves.  There is also Platonic Love, which is non sexual.  Named after Plato who spent a lot of time thinking and writing about love.

In the modern era Dr. Carmen Harra again recognises four different kinds of love:

  • Transitory.  These relationships are almost always temporary, and often serve to act as a bridge between more permanent situations.  Personally, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the people in a transitory relationship are really in love with one another.
  • Karmic.  Karma is the force generated by every one of our actions and thoughts, both good and bad.  Karma is the ultimate expression of; what goes around comes around.  Karmic relationships are nearly always enriching, but they tend to have a purpose, and once that purpose has been achieved the relationship will end in a natural manner.
  • Compromise.  This isn’t really love either.  This is a bargain between two people ~ hopefully it is a mutually beneficial relationship or it will soon be over.  Another word to describe this kind of relationship is Habit.  The partners may be very happy together, but all they are doing is staying within their own comfort zones.
  • Soulful.  This is love.  It transcends sex and the comfort of living together out of habit.  Soulful relationships are marked by a real and intense connection between the partners.

It is a rare thing for a man to love a woman without he continually plots and schemes to find a way to get her to give her body to him.  The exception to this rule can sometimes occur in courtly love, but only when one of the partners loves the other unconditionally.

The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional.  The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love. ~ Stephen Kendrick

Stephen Kendrick is a film writer and producer, co-author of The Love Dare, and a pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.

Unconditional Love is affection without conditions, no matter what.  Unconditional Love is altruistic, it shows a real and selfless concern for the well-being of the person being loved.  Unconditional love is unselfish, understanding, and far more than just an emotion.  Unconditional love also requires action.  The lover must put the well-being of the beloved above everything else, and he, or she, (it’s usually a man who is the lover in adult unconditional love relationships), must be generous without expecting anything in return.

The Goddess of Love is Aphrodite.

Aphrodite-boticelli

Aphrodite / Venus the Goddess of Love by Boticcelli

In his book The Four Loves, the Christian writer C.S. Lewis describes the types of love known to the Ancient Greeks; Storge, Philia, Eros and Agape.  Like all of C.S Lewis’ work, The Four Loves requires a great deal of thought to get the most out of it.

Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all. ~ C.S. Lewis, from The Four Loves.

Clive Staples Lewis, novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, he held positions at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities.   During WWI he was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry.  After the war he earned a triple first at Oxford.

A man who feels unconditional love for a woman will continually wonder what he could do for her, right at this very moment.  Unconditional love also means allowing the beloved complete freedom to get herself hurt on occasion.  Unconditional love does not entrap the beloved.

The most important prerequisite for unconditional love is that the man must love himself, as well and as much as his beloved.  Unconditional love in infinitely forgiving.  A man in unconditional love must be very aware of his beloved’s moods and desires, so that if she wants more than a platonic relationship he should be prepared to reap the rewards of his devotion.  The one thing that a man should not do if he is in the position of loving a woman unconditionally, is continually tell her how much he loves her.  That debases the only currency he has, his devotion to her.

Women are usually much more reluctant to tell their crush that she loves him.  In many ways men don’t care, men are usually much more interested in sex than love.  Some men will lie, cheat, steal, do almost anything for a chance of sex with a woman he desires.  This is not love, this is merely lust.

Of course, the modern view of love is somewhat skewed by the stuff we see in romantic movies.  One list of the top ten Romantic Movies of all time has a bunch of films I’ve never seen, or even heard of;

  1. When Harry Met Sally
  2. 10 Things I Hate About You
  3. Love, Actually
  4. You’ve Got Mail
  5. Titanic
  6. Dirty Dancing
  7. The Wedding Singer
  8. Gone With the Wind
  9. Pretty Woman
  10. The Notebook.

For some reason the movie Gone With the Wind has some deeper psychological stuff going on below the froth of Hollywood.

Spiritual Love isn’t quite like anything you may have seen in the movies.  It begins with loving oneself.  It is impossible to feel real love for another if one does not love oneself.  True love, spiritual love, is also unconditional love.  And, spiritual love does not bargain, blame, or bully.  In spirituality, the lover must allow the beloved the freedom to grow and fully express themselves, even if what she does goes against some of what he believes in and holds most dear.

Personally, I am not concerned whether there are four loves, or four thousand.  I do care for myself and another with unconditional love.

The Battle of Britain

ON OCTOBER 12TH 1940 HITLER POSTPONED OPERATION SEALION UNTIL 1941

Operation Sealion was Hitler’s plan for the invasion of England.  It relied upon Goering’s Luftwaffe achieving, at least, air superiority over the English Channel and Southern England, as far North as London.  Without command of the air a channel crossing by the German Army, in strength, was doomed to fail.

The German Air Force is to overcome the British Air Force with all means at its disposal, and as soon as possible. ~ Adolf Hitler on August 1st 1940.

Adolf Hitler ~ a German most Germans would just as soon forget.

In the summer of 1940 the British Army was in no state to repel an invasion.  The bulk of the British Expeditionary Force had escaped from the Fall of France, due to the Miracle of Dunkirk ~ Operation Dynamo May 27th to June 4th 1940.

dunkirk

the miracle of Dunkirk

But, all of its heavy equipment had been abandoned in France.  The army had few tanks, fewer anti-tank guns, and was desperately retraining and reforming.  If the Wehrmacht  once got ashore there was little to stop it from taking the south coast ports and marching on London.  Churchill was defiant.

We shall go on to the end.  We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.  We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills: we shall never surrender. ~ Winston Churchill, June 4th 1940.

We shall fight on the beaches is one of Churchill’s finest oratorical moments.

The Wehrmacht entered an undefended Paris on June 14th 1940, France sought an armistice on June 16th and signed an armistice with Germany on June 22nd 1940.

On the evening of June 16th Churchill spoke in the House of Commons.

….the Battle of France is over ~ the Battle of Britain is about to begin.  ….if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.

churchill

Churchill, Hawker Hurricanes in the background

The ‘finest hour’ speech was delivered to the Commons at 3:49pm and lasted 36 minutes.  Churchill was still redrafting the speech as he spoke.

It was in the air that the blow fell.  The weather in August 1940 was warm and fine, just a little early morning fog over the west coast of Scotland, perfect conditions for the Luftwaffe’s attacks on the airfields of Fighter Command, although the battle of Britain began with attacks on shipping in the English Channel.

The Luftwaffe had overwhelming strength;

  • single engine fighters; Luftwaffe 1,107  RAF 754
  • Twin engined fighters; Luftwaffe  357  RAF 149
  • Bombers Luftwaffe;  1,380
  • Stukas  Luftwaffe  428

RAF Bomber Command could play no significant role in the battle to come.  The Luftwaffe’s fighter force would rely on the excellent Messerschmitt Bf 109 ~ the twin-engined Bf 110 proved unsuitable for daylight operations as a bomber escort.

Bf109

the deadly Messerschmitt Bf 109 single engine fighter

The German’s bomber force consisted of the Stuka dive bomber, the obsolescent Dornier Do17, the capable  Heinkel He 111, and the magnificent Junkers Ju 88.  The Stuka would prove to be suicidally vulnerable to the RAF fighter aircraft, and would play only a minor role in the battle.

At the time of the Battle, the RAF had just begun to take delivery of the incomparable Supermarine Spitfire in numbers.  The crux of the Battle of Britain was which was the better fighter, the Bf109 or the Spitfire.

Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire Vb

The RAF’s workhorse fighter was the redoubtable Hawker Hurricane.  Tough, easy to work on when it suffered battle damage, and a stable gun-platform, the Hurricane would go after the bombers while the Spitfires held off the Bf109’s.

Hurricane_IV

cannon-armed Hawker Hurricane

Bit players for the RAF were the ill-conceived Boulton Paul Defiant and the twin-engined Westland Whrilwind, which suffered from being fitted with the wrong engines.

Defiant whirlwind

 

 

 

 

The unsung hero of the Battle of Britain was the RAF’s integrated Command and Control system. Based on the Mk1 human eyeball of the Observer Corps, Radar, Operation Rooms, and Sector Stations, this system allowed the RAF to do away with Combat Air Patrols.  Instead the fighters remained on the ground until a raid was detected.

The crisis of the battle of Britain began on August 13th 1940, Aldlertag, (Eagle Day), when the Luftwaffe launched Operation Eagle Day, with the strategic aim of destroying the Royal Air Force.   At one stage of the assault, Fighter Command had no reserves at all.  Everything was committed.  Churchill was reflective and inspiring.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.  Winston Churchill,  August 22nd 1940

Allegedly Churchill first used these immortal words on his exit from the bunker at RAF Uxbridge when visiting 11 Group Operations Room.  11 Group bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe’s fury all through the Battle of Britain.  The RAF suffered as its airfields were systematically attacked.

Then, the game changed as the German Air Force bombed British cities, mainly London.

The bombing of London actually began on the night August 24th 1940, when a Luftwaffe night raid failed to find its airfield target and jettisoned its bombs over London.  Then, on the night of August 25th 1940, the RAF bombed Berlin in retaliation.  In his fury, Hitler ordered that the Luftwaffe should switch the locus of its attack to London, sparing Fighter Command’s airfields.  This was Hitler’s fatal strategic mistake of the Battle of Britain.  This was The Blitz.

Stpaulsblitz

St Paul’s cathedral during The Blitz

Now the Germans had further to go, their fighters had less combat endurance as they used a lot of their fuel just getting to London, and they were now also within range of the RAF’s 12 Group.

It was over London that the Luftwaffe lost the battle of Britain.

The German Air Force was not equipped for a strategic bombing campaign.  It was a tactical air force, specifically designed to act as flying artillery to support the Wehrmacht’s lightning, Blitzkrieg, advances.  It had no heavy, strategic, bombers.

In particular, the defensive armament of all of the Luftwaffe’s bombers was inadequate, the Bf109 was ill suited to the role of long range bomber escort, it was designed as an interceptor after all, and the Luftwaffe’s Command and Control was poor.

After the battle, after Hitler postponed the invasion of Britain, and before Hitler embarked on the insanity of the Invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa on June 22nd 1941, Churchill again addressed the House of Commons.

Far be it for me to paint a rosy picture of the future.  Indeed, I do not think we should be justified in using any but the most sombre tones and colours while our people, our Empire and indeed the whole English-speaking world are passing through a dark and deadly valley.  But I should be failing in my duty if, on the other wise, I were not to convey the true impression, that a great nation is getting into its war stride. ~ Winston Churchill

House of Commons, January 22nd 1941.

Hitler had lost the Battle of Britain, and the free world could fight on.  Britain could fight on alone until the fateful day when Germany invaded Russia.  Thereby breaking rule 1 of Continental Warfare, Do Not March On Moscow.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The 1969 British Film Battle of Britain gives a reasonably accurate portrayal of the events of 1940.

We will remember them.

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