Losing your way
Published: Mon, 10/24/22
Last Saturday I took Iduna for a second visit to the Yorkshire Air Museum. Okay, it is more interesting for me than her, but it is a day out and she likes the cafe and she enjoys playing with the exhibits you can climb into. The centerpiece of the collection is a World War 2 Halifax bomber. Although not quite as famous as the Lancaster it is still an impressive machine. The pilot sat in the cockpit with a panoramic view of the sky and in front and below, in a tiny space, was the navigator’s table and chair. Out of seven crew members the navigator arguably had the most difficult job when the plane set out on a bombing mission. Finding your way from, say,Yorkshire to Berlin, and back in an aircraft doesn’t sound that hard. The exact direction and distance is easy enough to work out. So, why not just fly in the right direction for the right length of time at the right speed, and you will reach your destination? Then just reverse the process to come back? That indeed is the basis upon which a flight is planned. In fact it is very difficult to fly on an exact course over any great distance. Cross winds will move an aircraft sideways even it if it still pointing in the same direction according to the compass. Evasive actions might need to be taken to avoid enemy fighters and anti air craft guns (or flack) which would do their best to shoot the plane out of the sky. Head or tail winds make air speed quite difficult to monitor with any real accuracy.. Other factors, such as the curvature of the earth make dead reckoning an unreliable method of navigation.
Sound navigation needs a regular fix on where you are in the here and now. With an accurate fix you can check if you are still on course, make corrections if required, and proceed with confidence towards your destination. Landmarks may provide a fix when flying over land, although the bombers often were flying at night and blackouts made it hard to spot the towns which would be easy to see in peacetime. The same need for a positional fix applies when navigating a seagoing vessel out of sight of land. The time honoured method was to determine the height of the sun at noon which indicates latitude. The accuracy of the position then depends upon knowing the exact time of day and upon the skill of the person taking the reading with a sextant.
Today, we can usually get a fix on our exact position anywhere in the world using satellite navigation systems (GPS). Warfare has been transformed by the use of GPS in that munitions such as cruise missiles, or even individual 155 mm shells can be guided directly to a specified target with an accuracy unimaginable as recently as the 1980s. A Halifax bomber equipped with modern GPS equipment could drop its bombs exactly on target on every mission and then be guided home in time for breakfast. On the other hand there might not be much to fly back to as GPS guided V1 and V2 missiles would probably have been targeted just as accurately on each airbase all the way from Germany.
In a sense GPS is nothing new. Those with sufficient knowledge have been able to find their position on the ground by using the sun and stars for thousands of years. Finding North by aligning with the Pole Star is easy enough on a clear night. The global positioning satellites are really just artificial stars with the capacity to communicate with a portable GPS device as found in most smart phones.
In one sense answering the question: ‘Where am I ?’ Has always been easy to answer with: ‘You are here and now, where else could you be?’ From a Stav point of view I might realise that I am centred in my web of orlog and thus connected to my past and various directions are open to me as the future unfolds. The more important questions are: ‘Do you actually know where you want to go?’ And. ‘Assuming you have a goal, are you actually moving towards it? Or in any other direction?’ Standing still is never an option, a drifting ship is still being carried somewhere by the winds and currents.
In a secular, post religious society it is common to hear people say something to the effect of: ‘I am not religious, I don’t believe in God, but I like to think I follow the example of good people like Jesus etc.’
There is a recognition of the religious heritage of Western Civilisation along with a feeling that we have somehow grown out of actually needing to believe in the religion that provided the original foundation. How it that working out?
To me a secular society seems rather like the captain of a ship, or pilot of an aircraft, who is setting an exact course to a far destination and yet has no means of fixing their position along the way so that inevitable errors can be corrected. Old fashioned terms such as sin, repentance, and salvation just mean going off course, correcting the direction of travel, and being saved from the consequences of drifting helplessly. Just as an aircraft or ship cannot maintain a correct course over any distance without external reference to landmarks, heavenly bodies, or GPS, so human beings, individually, or in society, cannot just rely on their idea of what the right direction is. External guidance must be heeded and responded to, or disaster inevitably follows. Of course not all landmarks, lights in the sky, or electronic signals are quite what they seem. Along with the humility to accept that we can, and will, go off course we must also cultivate the experience, wisdom, and discernment to recognise which guides which can be trusted.
PS This coming weekend we will be at Silver Wood in Lincolnshire for the second Samhain Camp. I will do a talk on what it means to incarnate, to be spirit in flesh. The following Sunday I am preaching on the theme of the afterlife. I also do these posts for whoever reads them, Thousands of other ordinary people are sharing the truth as they receive it and acting as beacons on the path to a better world.
It may be clear that our ‘leaders’ have completely lost their way but reliable guides and landmarks are very much there for the rest of us if we are willing to look for them.
For example, great Youtube broadcast from Gonzalo Lira on blue and red pills (Mr Lira does get a couple of details wrong, as I understand it John Campbell is not a medical doctor, just a retired nurse with a PHD. However still worth listening to.) See Gonzalo Lira's video here
PPS I have diaries again this year. I know a lot of people seem to rely on their smart phones these days but these diaries are immune to electro-magnetic disturbances such as the EMP from nuclear explosions. Will keep working even if there is no power to charge your phone, and the software app to write in it doesn’t need updating since it comes with its own pen. So, if like me, you like your essential technology simple and reliable these diaries are irresistible. Let me know if you want one and I will send it to you. There will be a modest postage charge for sending overseas.