Friday 28 October 2016

The genius of John Michell

I have been reading quite a lot of John Michell (1933-2009) recently.

If you don't know who he is, this is a good source:

In a nutshell, he was the most influential of British 'New Age' writers, a modern day Platonist - and a lot more; including being one of the staunchest advocates of Albion Awakening of the past couple of generations.

The reason I write is that, by and large, I have found reading Michell to be a very encouraging and cheering experience that induces a positive mind-set. So I wanted to present a short-list of why.

John Michell regarded himself as a kind of Christian (a rather Unitarian and Gnostic type) but on the negative side - like almost all such - he was an advocate and adherent of the Sexual Revolution; and I think this needs to be borne in mind.

Most people report Michell as having had an unusually happy and harmless life, but I don't really believe this is the whole story.

Having married late, I have personally had reasonably extensive personal, friend- and acquaintance-based knowledge of the kind of sexually-liberated, serially-promiscuous life which JM apparently lived; and from that experience I simply don't believe it ever is that care-free, harm-free, victim-less life of pleasure it is claimed and advertised to be. By contrast, I think it is spiritually corrupting, plagued by existential loneliness and leaves a wake of damage.

I think this lifestyle explains Michell's undiscriminating socialising on the one side, and on the other the way his hospitality and resources were manipulated and exploited by so many people for so long; and the unenlightened indignity of a 2 month duration marriage to a younger woman at the age of 74 is, to my mind, indicative of a profound dissatisfaction.


But, leaving all that aside without forgetting it; I would like to list six positive and constructive reasons why I enjoy reading John Michell, believe he was 'a Good Thing', on the side of the angels - and a staunch foe of the forces of darkness.

John Michell was: 

1. True to himself but dedicated to the transcendent. It was this core and habitual honesty that was the source of his unique yet broadly appealing charm and style.

2. Driven by creativity and love; not by anger and resentment.

3. Made humble by a quiet self-deprecating humour.

4. A pure lover of learning for its own sake (and not for status, nor what it could get him).

5. A communicator from the sheer bubbling overflow of enthusiasm; and not in an attempt to shape others' minds.

In sum - I believe that John Michell lived, truthfully albeit imperfectly, in such a way as to nurture, sustain and express his genius; and this is what I find most inspiring in his example and attainment.

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