November 9, 2011 (11/9/11)
It has been three months since my last newsletter, and three years since my last book. I’ve been really busy: Building castles in the air. In my opinion, building those castles may be the most important architectural work that anyone can accomplish. Here are a few examples…
“The Age Returns” ( Motto of Lorenzo de’ Medici)
Twenty-two years ago today, I was living in Germany when a pivotal, earthshaking event took place which marked the end of an era: the Fall of the Berlin Wall. So many events in German history took place on November 9 that in Germany this date is called “Day of Destiny. My book The Magic Circle deals with the ancient predictions of what would happen right now, at this moment in history: A tidal wave of change, of sudden, unexpected upheaval in the fabric of the entire social order. It is happening right now. See related article.
Building Castles in the Sky
Dr. Martin Luther King was inspired in his civil rights movement by the work of the great Indian reformer, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who helped begin South Africa’s move toward independence and who liberated India from centuries of British overlords.
But who inspired Gandhi?
The answer is to be found in Gandhi’s extensive correspondence, his newspaper, his documented writings on the topic of Satyagraha, “passive resistance.” His inspiration lay in the (today) little-read writings of one of America’s great maverick thinkers, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was jailed in 1849 for civil disobedience, like Gandhi in 1909. Today, to commemorate our current breakdown of outdated regimes, tidal waves of change, the merging and mingling of common goals, let’s put some Thoreau into our “ideas pipeline”
Henry David Thoreau:
– Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
– Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
– There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world, and yet we tolerate incredible dullness.
– To be strictly just, the government must have the sanction and consent of the governed…There will never be a totally free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.
– Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place of a just man is in prison
– It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, but for the right.
And my favorite:
– If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.