Category Archives: History

Reflections of Despair

I know not age, nor weariness, nor defeat.

~

far off a beaten warrior

as seen in a winter mirror

his life a long road to nowhere

no noble quest, no gentle lover

no castle no princess in a tower

and by the path of this beaten warrior

dark thorns abound, no leafy bower

and the rabid black wolf cowers

from the constant defeated anger

the warrior has suffered a year

as for hope, that will never

lighten his burden of error

for the dragon’s fiery terror

he is doomed to endure evermore

and all he prays is to die

to sleep forever more

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Spirituality on Sunday

to walk the warriors path is to continually step out into the unknown

For years my life was based on self-belief, selfishness, and instant gratification.  I was a one-dimensional man, and deep down I was always afraid.  I went to church but I had no belief, I was married but there was no love, I was successful but all that gave me was money.

When we as human beings are disconnected from our true selves we place ourselves in a perilous position.  Our sense of identity becomes lost and we are prey to evils from within and without ~ anger, arrogance, envy, fear, greed, jealousy, lust, paranoia…..  There is no inner peace and little joy in our lives.  We act without thought for others, and we react to real or perceived attacks and slights with anger and extreme verbal or written or even physical aggression.  There is no real love in our lives, either for ourselves or for other people.

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.  ~  the Buddha

Without spirituality, without a belief in a power outside of ourselves, outside of that which we can explain through modern science, we do not live, we just exist.  This leads to serious physical, mental, and emotional problems and illnesses.  Alcoholism, explosive anger, drug addiction, gambling, infidelity, inappropriate casual sex, lust, resentments, narcissism, self-doubt, paranoia, fear, cowardice…..  It is not by chance that the second step of 12-step recovery programs is; Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Accepting that there is a Power greater than ourselves is the beginning of spirituality, the beginning of a real connection with our true selves.  Spirituality means evolving our consciousness, and at each level of evolution we react to the Cosmos in different ways.  Most people are driven by what is happening in the world outside them, some shape their lives to live in the world they choose, and a very few change themselves by looking at the world inside themselves.  Extraordinary people learn to reshape themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally ~ learning inner peace, true happiness, and how to love themselves and others.

There are three principles to reaching inner peace, knowing our true selves, and spirituality;

  • associate with like-minded people, people who strengthen us. avoid toxic people and toxic relationships
  • put aside time every day to make and strengthen the connection with our true selves. rest, meditate, harmonise your heart and brain
  • transform our character; turn arrogance into humility, hate into love, paranoia into trust

Some say that there is no God, no Higher Power, nothing greater than man and science.  And that Spirituality ranks alongside Magic, Sorcery, and the belief in a Flat Earth for stupidity.  All I know is that a Power greater than myself restored me to sanity.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

My own mind was a prison

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ The Moon

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

~

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It’s fifty years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to stand on the moon.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the result of an extra-terrestrial visitor to the Earth

Meteor Crater, Arizona

Questions and Answers

If you don’t want the answer, then don’t ask the question.

you will never find the answer at the bottom of a glass

There are always more questions than answers, and each new answer raises more, and more difficult questions.  Sometimes we don’t want to hear the answer that we get.  Sometimes we shouldn’t have asked the question in the first place.  And, sometimes the answer we get isn’t the truth.

Life is as simple as these three questions:  What do I want?  Why do I want it?  And, how will I achieve it. ~  Shannon L. Adler

All of those simple questions are very difficult to answer, because either we don’t really know what we want, or if we actually get what we think we wanted, then we realise that we didn’t truly want it at all.  More often than not this is the great truth of Love.

The two great questions of love are in the simple phrase; ‘She loves me ~ She loves me not…..’  As if plucking petals from a daisy could possibly answer the question of if she loves you or not.  One may as well resolve one’s doubts by tossing a coin and saying; ‘heads I dump her, tails I stay with her.’  Actually, tossing a coin and asking that question does work ~ because while the coin is in the air we will decide which way we truly want the coin to fall.

Being something of a mechanic when it comes to games of chance, that tossing of a coin to get an answer doesn’t truly work for me.  I can make a coin fall whichever way I like.  I cheat, which isn’t truly getting an answer.  My doubts about interpersonal relationships, sex, desire, and love can never be resolved by random chance.

All people have doubts, mostly everyone has the same doubts, and more often than not these doubts are troubling.  Often these doubts are created in our own minds because we make assumptions based on incomplete evidence, and we take these assumptions very personally.  If we stubbornly wish to be unhappy we look for evidence to prove our worst assumptions, and if we can’t find the evidence and answers to back up our assumptions, then we just create negative answers in our own mind.

My own personal doubts are created because I have an almost perfect memory, so anything anyone says to me stays in my mind, and I can build cloud castles of negative answers based on a single phrase said in passing.

Some say that if we don’t want to know the answer then we shouldn’t ask the question.  And that every answer creates more, and more difficult questions.  All I know is that we only ask questions when we think we already know the answers.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

booze is never the answer

but it will make you forget the question

Toxic Snakes Can Ruin Your Life

Poisonous people are like rattlesnakes hiding in the shadows.

Some people are naturally duplicitous and treacherous, charming and dangerous, destructive and toxic.  They are snakes who lie hissing in the grass, ready to strike at their victims without warning.  And yet, these snakes fool us all the time because they are also beautiful, fascinating, interesting, and seductive.

No matter how much kindness, love, and trust we offer the snake, it’s never going to repay our cherishing support with anything but venom.  Snake people are naturally toxic, and the wiser man will keep his distance, limiting his contact, trying to avoid the snake’s poison as much as possible.

If you are unlucky enough to be friends with a snake, and maybe stupid and innocent enough to fall for one, be aware that they will bite the hand that feeds them, and their bite may just about destroy you.  Toxic people can ruin a beautiful day, disrupt your life, torture your emotions, do a number on your self-esteem, and take every penny you have.  If you know that snake then physically, mentally, and emotionally brace yourself for the ruin to come.

Snakes have an insatiable need for attention, to have the world just the way they want it, to have you behave exactly as they wish ~ while giving you little or nothing in return.  They will complain, bitch, be self-righteous and demanding.  Snakes never pay for much, but expect your wallet to be open all the time.  And these toxic people see nothing wrong in their own bad behaviours.

Toxic snakes will usually have innumerable skeletons in their closet, have some serious personality problems, and be prone to drinking too much, gambling, smoking, occasionally taking drugs, picking up casual sexual partners in bars, being abusive….. Generally being the kind of a person it’s unwise to get close to.  And yet we do, all the time.

In dealing with a toxic snake you need to be disciplined, controlled, guarded, positive ~ and preferably somewhere else at the time.

If you recognise the snake in someone you know, or are close to, then walk away.  Walk far away, and never look back.

Some say that snakes are cool and fascinating.  And that toxic people are just misunderstood and not at all dangerous.   All I know is a snake is always nothing but a snake.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

dangerous toxic snakes can be beautiful and seductive

Meteor Crater, Arizona

And God created the Heavens and the Earth.

Some say that God created the cosmos in six days, and that the Earth is 6,000 years old.

Science tells us that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that the mile wide crater near Winslow Arizona was made by a meteor 50,000 years ago.

Standing on the edge of the crater there is no sense of scale, but it’s huge.

What nobody will tell you is that standing on the edge of the crater in June, you will get eaten alive by midge and mosquito alike.  Go very early in the morning, in colder weather, but go.  If just to know that all the religious fundamentalists are wrong.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

If a meteor had to strike anywhere, AZ is as good a place as any, as AZ is mostly empty space.

My Adult Life in Snapshots

Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

It’s a long way and a long time from a coal mining village in the North of England to an upscale hotel in Sedona, Arizona ~ and I made all the stops along the way.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

How to Survive an Earthquake

Sometimes I feel like I’m living on the edge of a fault-line.

1989 San Francisco Earthquake

If you live in an earthquake zone, somewhere on the ring of fire, then sooner or later  where you live is going to experience a big one.  One thing that you should bear in mind if you suffer a serious earthquake ~ there will be dangerous aftershocks.  And nobody can predict when or where an earthquake will strike.

To have the best chance of surviving an earthquake, you should;

  • Have a plan, write it down, keep it safe.
  • Be somewhere else at the time.
  • Always keep a half-tank of gas in your car ~ you may need to get out of town in a hurry.
  • Keep an earthquake survival kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Have some basic tools in the trunk of your car, including a hatchet, fire extinguisher, and high powered flashlight.  These should be in the trunk of your car anyway, along with a space blanket and first-aid kit.
  • Keep your hiking boots and 2 pairs of clean socks in the trunk of your car.
  • Have plenty of bottled water at home, and always keep some in your car.
  • Stay away from buildings, when it’s safe to get outside, find an open space to be even safer from the aftershocks.
  • Stay away from windows, street lights, utility cables, and overpasses.
  • If you are indoors, do not use an elevator.  Stand in a doorway, the door-frame might just protect you.  At worst get under a table.  Do not try to leave the building until the quake stops.
  • If you are indoors, stay away from anything tall, such as cupboards, wardrobes, and filing cabinets.  Get away from anything hanging from the ceiling or walls.

The snag is, if you follow this advice the trunk of your car is always going to be full of survival equipment, making it untidy and not much use for collecting groceries from the supermarket.  Also, real survival would mean you buying a 4X4 off road vehicle, like a Land Rover or Jeep instead / as well as whatever car you drive now.  And you would keep a tent and other camping things in your 4X4.

And not much of the above matters one jot if your car is in a garage, which collapses on it during a big earthquake.

Anyway, survival is a state of mindStaying alive during and after a disaster is more about psychology and physiology than it is about having a ton of survival gear.  Perhaps the best thing to do is go in an appropriate course at a survival school instead of a beach vacation next year.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Land Rover, the best 4X4 by far

Veganism and Health

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.  ~  Albert Einstein

modern wheat is as bad for you as any slow poison.

A vegan diet is one that excludes any food that comes from an animal, fish, or whatever.  This includes eggs, dairy, meat, fish, fowl, and even things like snails and honey.  A vegan diet is exclusively plant-based; vegetables, fruit, grains, soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds.  Vegan diets usually usually exclude any canned or processed foods.  Vegan diets are extreme.

There are far more vegan women than men.  In the UK 63% of people who say they are vegan are women.  Anyhow, in the UK veganism is not exactly part of the mainstream dietary culture, there are only some 542,000 self-identified vegans here, which is 1% of the population ~ and I don’t necessarily believe there’s a half-million vegans in Great Britain.  I once dated a vegan, and she cheated all the time.

Dr. Richard Twine, a senior lecturer in social sciences, interviewed a shed-load of vegans and found that 73% were women and only 27% were male.

In America, that world epicentre for weird cults, fads, and fringe movements, only 3% of the population identify as vegan.  Amazing, as more than half of Americans believe that alien abduction, alien visitation, and UFOs are real.  Aliens probably exist.

Proper scientific studies show that true veganism can be very bad for your health, especially if you consume unhealthy plant-based food such as fruit juices, refined grains, wheat, fries, and a lot of fatty, high-calorie stuff like avocado.  The recommended daily serving is just 1/3 of a medium sized avocado.

My vegan diet brought on early menopause.  ~  Virpi Mikkonen

A vegan or vegetarian who consumes no animal products can be just as unhealthy as a slob who dines on nothing but burgers and beer.

Some health problems caused by a vegan diet include; leaky gut, hormone disruption, (including oestrogen and thyroid hormones), anemia, low omega-3 leading to anxiety and depression, lack of vitamin B12, (which can lead to irreversable memory loss and impaired cognitive function), lack of zinc, (which is especially vital for pregnant women), too much carbohydrate, (which leads to fatty liver, diabetes, and obesity), and eating disorders.

Personally, I don’t care so much if someone wants to be vegan or vegetarian, but I do object when they preach to me about my own omnivorous diet.

Some say they don’t eat meat because eating animal products is unethical.  And that being vegan reduces their carbon footprint.  All I know is that I really like a good steak.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

onglet steak, a butcher’s best kept secret.

English Words You’ve Never Used

All slang is a metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.  ~  G.K. Chesterton

Most Americans will never have heard or used some of the words I grew up with.  Although the words I most hear used around here these days are fuck and fucking.  Catch-all expressions for the chronically stupid and uneducated.  So; sprinkle some of these colloquialisms into your lexicon.

    • Arse           ~  backside, a stupid ineffectual idiot
    • Aye            ~  yes
    • Bairn          ~  very young child
    • Baccy         ~  tobacco
    • Bait            ~  packed lunch
    • Beck           ~  stream
    • Bog            ~  toilet
    • Brasso        ~  an adjective for very bad beer, metal polish
    • Cack           ~  shit
    • Cadge        ~  borrow and beg
    • Canny        ~  pretty damn good, also clever and prudent
    • Clarts         ~  runny mud
    • Class          ~  beautiful
    • Divvent      ~  don’t
    • Doon         ~  down
    • Dyke          ~  ditch, unattractive lesbian
    • Fettle         ~  fix
    • Geordie     ~  Native of Newcastle upon Tyne
    • Gob           ~  mouth
    • Gormless   ~  stupidly lacking in ability and initiative
    • Gully          ~  big sharp knife
    • Haporth     ~  next to nothing, almost worthless, contraction of half-penny-worth
    • Hoy            ~  throw
    • Knackered  ~  tired, weary, broken
    • Lug             ~  ear
    • Lum            ~ chimney
    • Marra         ~  very good friend
    • Minging     ~  disgustingly smelly
    • Mortal        ~  very drunk, also ‘mortalious’.
    • Nebby        ~  nosy and intrusively curious
    • Netty          ~  an earth closet toilet, any toilet
    • Nick            ~  steal
    • Nowt          ~  nothing
    • Numpty      ~  ineffectual idiot
    • Pallatic        ~  very drunk
    • Scran          ~  food
    • Sneck         ~  hasp or catch
    • Spelk          ~  splinter
    • Stotting      ~  bouncing, as in ‘the rain is stotting down’
    • Telt             ~   told
    • Tyke            ~  a Yorkshireman or small boy
    • Wazzock     ~  annoyingly stupid ineffectual idiot
    • Wanker       ~ arrogant and contemptible ineffectual idiot, a chronic masterbator
    • Wor            ~  our, or my
    • Yakker        ~  manual worker

Some say that all slang is bad.  And if the Queen doesn’t use a word, then neither should I.  All I know is that I like to surprise and baffle Americans with my very English vocabulary.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

it’s only the Union Jack when it’s flown on the jackstaff of a warship

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