The heart has a yearning for the unknown, a longing to penetrate the deep shadow
and the winding glade, where, as it seems, no human foot has been.
The Hills and the Vale (Marlborough Forest)
Though it started other-than-consciously when I first dreamed into Lenbach’s Shepherd Boy at the age of 10, it’s no exaggeration to say that my way of consciously pondering the world and my being in it was determined to start with by reading The Story of My Heart when I was 15. Jefferies’ account of politics & religion (‘both have no real meaning – [mere] counters with which the game of life is played’) & his visionary philosophy has remained with me through thick & thin. Through all those banished days, early on after leaving school, spent fruitlessly making money, I was very fortunately able to preserve my feeling for sea & hills & sunlit days intact. Looker & Porteous (Man of the Fields) point out that Jefferies could offer a purely factual account of Liddington Hill in The History of Swindon while he also had it as his soul-life place. Two lives at once; for me two separate ‘I’s – Locked-in-a-London-office-I and Exploring-the-magic-of-London-streets-I – ‘Dreams in the midst of business’ (The Scarlet Shawl). Now I look back on those years and realise that my chance reading of The Story of My Heart conditioned me twenty years later to leap at Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teaching and, after another fifteen years to adopt a thorough NLP perspective on human behaviour. By reverse, I now find it productive to apply many elements of these learnings to what I other-than-consciously picked up from Jefferies seventy years earlier – a celebratory reversal!
My ‘yearning for the unknown’ encompasses a profound desire for things to be different from the way they are now in the world at large. There are those whose idea of ‘something different’ is to become masters of the universe: since the days of Thatcher & Reagan the neoliberal hoards have skewed the world towards cutthroat ‘free market’ competition as a natural way of going on; public services are privatised; trade unions are demolished; it’s OK for there to be winners and losers; child poverty & inequality are to be viewed as just the way things are; there’s a planned collapse of public health and education; austerity for the hoi polloi, easy living for the plutocrats. The change is blamed on external factors rather than being recognised as the deliberate policy of the anti-human rich mob. It’s arguable that Jefferies was a true Socialist in his thinking, believing in humanity rather than money (‘It is the well-to-do who are the criminal classes…’) A prerequisite for pondering all this is the possession, not of a unifocal vested interest in pursuing wealth & profit for their own sake, but of a personal ‘Rich Picture’ (as it might be called nowadays) of the way things really are for the whole of humanity in the present moment, ‘Considering all Factors’ (CAF – Edward de Bono’s master Thinking Tool which can be associated with Buzan’s concept of Mind Mapping) not just those that suit your own personal life programme.
Consider the Rich Picture Richard Jefferies’ mental life makes. The cues from written evidence!
This analysis makes Jefferies the well-balanced man with credentials for defining a ‘something different’ that would benefit humankind as a whole. It’s well worth noting that this rich picture was in place all the while he was formulating his metaphysical ideas about a greater life of ‘the soul’ (whatever that might be) and working at drafting ideas for a happier future, free from the pointless drudgery of work.
There will not be any sum or outcome or result of this ceaseless labour and movement ; it vanishes in the moment that it is done, and in a hundred years nothing will be there, for nothing is there now. There will be no more sum or result than accumulates from the motion of a revolving cowl on a housetop.
I think of the wage-slave years I spent earning a pittance by ‘working’ in an Income Tax office, shuffling files, filling in forms, concocting letters, organising the daily post, adding up figures that were supposed to mean something, knowing now that I was nothing other than a cowl on a house top. It was only six years in the dim & distant past but the experience caused me an interesting repetitive nightmare for 45 years! It amuses me a little that on 5th June 1868, Jefferies expressed a wish for a Civil Service clerkship in order to provide himself with a quiet life!
It’s not just the agricultural labourer who is a mechanical slave to work: walking the streets of London, Jefferies is struck by the crowds dashing about intent on their business. He has an often expressed hope that things will be different in the future.
An endless succession of labour, under the brightness of summer, under the gloom of winter; to my thought it is a sadness even in the colour and light and glow of this hour of sun, this ceaseless labour, repeating the furrow, reiterating the blow, the same furrow, the same stroke – shall we never know how to lighten it, how to live with the flowers, the swallows, the sweet delicious shade and the murmur of the stream? Not the blackened reaper only, but the crowd whose low hum renders the fountain inaudible, the nameless and unknown crowd of this immense city wreathed round about the central square. I hope that at some time, by dint of bolder thought and freer action, the world shall see a race able to enjoy it without stint, a race able to enjoy the flowers with which the physical world is strewn, the colours of the garden of life. To look backwards with the swallow there is sadness, to-day with the fleck of cloud there is unrest; but forward, with the broad sunlight there is hope…
(The Life of the Fields – Sunlight in a London Square)
What is ‘bolder thought’ and how will ‘freer action’ come about? How will future generations slough off the canker of the past? These are practical questions which require answers or Jefferies’ vision is of no real use. He does momentarily hanker after a guru figure to put things right.
…it is necessary that some far-seeing master-mind, some giant intellect, should arise, and sketch out in bold, unmistakable outlines the grand and noble future which the human race should labour for, [not] simply diluted reproductions of systems long since worn out which can only last a little while; if anything, they are worse than the prejudices and traditions which form the body of wider-spread creeds. The world cries out for an intellect which shall draw its inspiration from the unvarying and infallible laws regulating the universe; which shall found its faith upon the teaching of grass, of leaf, of bird, of beast, of hoary rock, great ocean, star and sun…
It’s true that there are such master-minds at large – GIGurdjieff, a significant one for me – but on a global level it will involve the total abandonment of ways of being that come to us via self-appointed authorities from the past. Shrug them off!
…we require no judge, no prison, no law, no punishment – and, further, no army, no monarch. At this moment, did neither of these institutions exist our conduct would be the same. Our whole existence at this moment is permeated with a reverent love, an aspiration – a desire of a more perfect life; if the very name of religion was extinct, our hopes, our wish would be the same. It is but a simple transition to conclude that with more extended knowledge, with wider sympathies, with greater powers – powers more equal to the vague longings of their minds, the human race would be as we are at this moment in the shadow of the chestnut-tree. No need of priest and lawyer; no need of armies or kings. It is probable that with the progress of knowledge it will be possible to satisfy the necessary wants of existence much more easily than now, and thus to remove one great cause of discord.
Not so much a Socialist, as Salt suggested, more an anarchist. I think it must have been reading Jefferies that also led me to espouse the latter cause; that and seeingHarold Wilson, Labour Prime Minister, sometime in the mid-1960’s on TV getting out of a First Class railway carriage. Anathema! Then I got subsequent profound reinforcement from the works of Herbert Read.
There must be no bending of the knee to any authority or great person; one must seek to look objectively at the reasons why a hero figure comes to be the kind of person who attract one’s thinking and then convert selections from the findings into one’s own way of being. This goes for the lessons I learned from, amongst other people, Gurdjieff, Herbert Read and Richard Jefferies – three profound figures I accept as ‘authorities’! So I ask why that is the case. For a start, all three thinkers talk about rooting out the past
…we must no longer allow the hoary age of… tradition to blind the eye and cause the knee to bend – we must no longer stultify the mind by compelling it to receive as infallible what in the very nature of things must have been fallible to the highest degree. The very plants are wiser far. They seek the light of to-day, the heat of the sun which shines at this hour; they make no attempt to guide their life by the feeble reflection of rays which were extinguished ages ago. This slender blade of grass, beside the edge of our rug under the chestnut-tree, shoots upwards in the fresh air of to-day ; its roots draw nourishment from the moisture of the dew which heaven deposited this morning. If it does make use of the past – of the soil, the earth that has accumulated in centuries – it is to advance its present growth. Root out at once and for ever these primeval, narrow, and contracted ideas; fix the mind upon the sun of the present, and prepare for the sun that must rise to-morrow. It is our duty to develop both mind and body and soul to the utmost: as it is the duty of this blade of grass and this oak-tree to grow and expand as far as their powers will admit. But the blade of grass and the oak have this great disadvantage to work against – they can only labour in the lines laid down for them, and unconsciously while man can think, foresee, and plan.
The Hills and the Vale (Nature and Eternity)
Jefferies acknowledges that some paid work will have to be pursued but the principle will have to be adopted that any labour must be ‘sound and holy; not for immediate and petty reward’… Theoretically, human-beings can plan for this though it would require a radical overhaul of the economic system. Nature provides a model for anybody’s approach to the way things ought to be run – taking it easy, making time your own.
These enormous trunks – what time they represent! To us, each hour is of consequence, especially in this modern day, which has invented the detestable creed that time is money. But time is not money to Nature. She never hastens. Slowly from the tiny acorn grew up this gigantic trunk, and spread abroad those limbs which in themselves are trees. And from the trunk itself to the smallest leaf, every infinitesimal atom of which it is composed was perfected slowly, gradually – there was no hurry, no attempt to discount effect.
The Hills and the Vale (Marlborough Forest)
Right now, we can expect nothing from authority figures, nothing from the centuries of thinkers, nothing from their books; we have to carve out a new system for ourselves, making a judicious selection from the past of whatever makes coherent practical sense, in order to become our own authority in the way that Jefferies was, constantly seeking, constantly pondering – no easy task but one that becomes possible as we build ourselves a rich picture, rugged as an ancient oak, ‘heedless of the noisy rattle of machinery’ and so-called mass communication, not pinning our faith ‘to any theory born and sprung up among the crush and pale-faced life of modern time’, returning to Essence (Gurdjieff’s word for original self) ‘untouched by artificial care’ or concerns.
This ancient oak, whose thick bark, like cast-iron for ruggedness at the base, has grown on steadily ever since the last deer bounded beneath it, utterly heedless of the noisy rattle of machinery in the northern cities, unmoved by any shriek of engine, or hum, or flapping of loose belting, or any volume of smoke drifting into the air – I wish that the men now serving the great polished wheels, and works in iron and steel and brass, could somehow be spared an hour to sit under this ancient oak in Thardover South Wood, and come to know from actual touch of its rugged bark that the past is living now, that Time is no older, that Nature still exists as full as ever, and to see that all the factories of the world have made no difference, and therefore not to pin their faith to any theory born and sprung up among the crush and pale-faced life of modern time ; but to look for themselves at the rugged oak-bark, and up to the sky above the highest branches, and to take an acorn and consider its story and possibilities, and to watch the sly squirrel coming down, as they sit quietly, to play almost at their feet. That they might gather to themselves some of the leaves – mental and spiritual leaves – of the ancient forest, feeling nearer to the truth and soul, as it were, that lives on in it. They would feel as if they had got back to their original existence, and had become themselves, as they ought to be, could they live such life, untouched by artificial care. Then, how hurt they would be if any proposed to cut down that oak ; if any proposed the felling of the forest, and the death of its meaning. It would be like a blow aimed at themselves.
The Hills and the Vale (A King of Acres)
Jefferies’ way of thinking has often been described as ‘esoteric’ or ‘mystical’. Both descriptions seem to me to wrap him in unnecessary mystery and they certainly do not help us to understand the process of amelioration he craves – it has to be practical. One way of thinking about his constant appeals to Nature is to see them as living metaphors. Here is a description that can be construed as a potent metaphor for ‘one thought’ capable of flowing into enlightenment and leading to a wider desire for what Gurdjieff called the ‘food of pure impressions’ provided by ‘sunshine, hills and sea’.
A trailing beam of light sweeps through the combe, broadening out where it touches the ground, and narrowing up to the cloud with which it travels. The hollow groove between the hills is lit up where it falls as with a ray cast from a mirror. It is an acre wide on the sward, and tapers up to the invisible slit in the cloud; a mere speck of light from the sky enlightens the earth, and one thought opens the hearts of all men. On the slope here the furze is flecked with golden spots, and black-headed stonechats perch on ant-hills or stray flints, taking no heed of a quiet wanderer. Afar, blue line upon blue line of down is drawn along in slow curves, and beneath, the distant sea appears a dim plain with five bright streaks, where the sunshine pours through as many openings in the clouds. The wind smells like an apple fresh plucked; suddenly the great beam of light vanishes as the sun comes out, and at once the single beam is merged in the many. Light and colour, freedom and delicious air, gives exquisite pleasure to the senses; but the heart searches deeper, and draws forth food for itself from sunshine, hills and sea.
The Hills and the Vale (On the Downs)
Ride the beam of light and then go with the wind when it becomes a potent metaphor for the way the mind can always flow more and more widely. To understand the full scope of the mind we need to ‘read the system’.
The wind blows, and declares that the mind has capacity for more than has ever yet been brought to it. The wind is wide, and blows not only here, but along the whole range of hills – the hills are not broad enough for it; nor is the sea – it crosses the ocean and spreads itself whither it will. Though invisible, it is material, and yet it knows no limit. As the wind to the fixed boulder lying deep in the sward, so is the immaterial mind to the wind. There is capacity in it for more than has ever yet been placed before it. No system, no philosophy yet organized in logical sequence satisfies the inmost depth… Read the system, and with the last word it is over – the mind passes on and requires more…
Why don’t we choose to ride the ‘trailing beam of light [sweeping] through the combe, broadening out where it touches the ground’? Why don’t we penetrate ideas like the wind? Why do we not strive to encompass the boldness of fresh ideas, filling our minds to the full like Nature does. An answer to these questions might come from the idea that we have at least two minds: there’s one that fills itself up with triviality and daily chores and another Mind (Psyche, Meta-I) that can stand apart from everything in wrapt objective concentration and choose to ride the light and penetrate like the wind.
The fulness of Nature and the vacancy of mental existence are strangely contrasted. Nature is full everywhere ; there is no chink, no unfurnished space. The mind has only a few thoughts to recall, and those old, and that have been repeated these centuries past. Unless the inner mind (not that which deals with little matters of daily labour) lets itself rest on every blade of grass and leaf, and listens to the soothing wind, it must be vacant – vacant for lack of something to do, not from limit of capacity. For it is too strong and powerful for the things it has to grasp; they are crushed like wheat in a mill. It has capacity for so much, and it is supplied with so little. All the centuries that have gone have gathered hardly a bushel, as it were, and these dry grains are quickly rolled under strong thought, reduced to dust. The mill must then cease, not that it has no further power, but because the supply stops…
So many strong metaphors from Nature describing the way new ideas can accumulate in the mind’s constantly expanding ‘storehouse’, like the wind, wide like the sea, sunlight through clouds, the feel of the earth, of the flower…
Let fresh images come in a stream like the apple-scented wind; there is room for them, the storehouse of the inner mind expands to receive them, wide as the sea which receives the breeze. The Downs are now lit with sunlight – the night will cover them presently – but the mind will sigh as eagerly for these things as in the glory of day. Sooner or later there will surely come an opening in the clouds, and a broad beam of light will descend. A new thought scarcely arrives in a thousand years, but the sweet wind is always here, providing breath for the physical man. Let hope and faith remain, like the air, always, so that the soul may live… Stoop and touch the earth, and receive its influence; touch the flower, and feel its life; face the wind, and have its meaning; let the sunlight fall on the open hand as if you could hold it…
There is nothing mystical about this; it’s just a set of powerful metaphors. Lakoff & Johnson produced an excellent book called Metaphors We Live By for making us think about the role of metaphor in language and action. Their definition of metaphor is ‘understanding and experiencing one thing in terms of another’ which as near as dammit to the original Greek root meaning of the word – ‘a bearing across from one field of human experience to another’. A metaphor is a very common other-than-conscious way of representing tricky human experience in terms of something relatively more concrete: for example, the word ‘enlightenment’ is an obscure abstraction but something that comes flooding out of the sky is seemingly easier to grasp, especially when you hold out your hand to capture it.
A metaphor could, of course, turn out to be more complicated, illusory even, than the experience it seeks to illuminate and what gives Jefferies the label ‘mystic’ is his use of what one might call ‘transcendental metaphor’ as when he suggests that the mind could occupy all space ‘far beyond the stars’.
By no possibility could a world, or a series of worlds, be conceived which the mind could not traverse instantaneously. Outer space itself, therefore, seems limited and with bounds, because the mind is so penetrating it can imagine nothing to the end of which it cannot get. Space – ethereal space, as far beyond the stars as it is to them – think of it how you will, ends each side in dimness. The dimness is its boundary. The mind so instantly occupies all space that space becomes finite, and with limits. It is the things that are brought before it that are limited, not the power of the mind.
In order to feel the full impact of a metaphor it’s necessary, as Lakoff & Johnson do so well with their many examples, to enter into the whole thrust of it, visual, auditory & kinaesthetic before meaning reveals itself. In attempting to identify with space the mind places its own limits by making it end in a conceptual darkness. But we can decide that it’s the material things that are limited as compared with the limitless power of the inner Mind – that it can go ‘far beyond the stars’. I just feel what that might be like and allow my mind a long journey outwards now asking what is it like to swim amongst the stars? We could do what Jefferies did (my italics!):-
On a dry summer night, when there was no dew, I used to lie down on my back at full length (looking to the east), on the grass footpath by the orchard, and gaze up into the sky. This is the only way to get at it and feel the stars: while you stand upright, the eye, and through the eye, the mind, is biassed by the usual aspect of things: the house there, the trees yonder; it is difficult to forget the mere appearance of rising and setting.
Looking straight up like this, from the path to the stars, it was clear and evident that I was really riding among them; they were not above, nor all round, but I was in the midst of them. There was no underneath, no above: everything was on a level with me; the sense of measurement and distance disappeared. As one walks in a wood, with trees all about, so then by day (when the light only hid them) I walked amongst the stars.
(The Old House at Coate)
Look around at the ethereal nature of the interconnectedness of all things and start making the connections. Thus a ‘transcendental metaphor’ can reflect back on the inner Mind, the mind beyond the mind, providing it with even more scope.
We don’t even need to go space-travelling! Start with a brook and finish by embracing the sky. Relatively straighforward!
The long, loving touch of the sun has left some of its own mystic [there we are!] attraction in the brook. Resting here, and gazing down into it, thoughts and dreams come flowing as the water flows. Thoughts without words, mobile like the stream, nothing compact that can be grasped and stayed: dreams that slip silently as water slips through the fingers. The grass is not grass alone; the leaves of the ash above are not leaves only. From tree, and earth, and soft air moving, there comes an invisible touch which arranges the senses to its waves as the ripples of the lake set the sand in parallel lines. The grass sways and fans the reposing mind; the leaves sway and stroke it, till it can feel beyond itself and with them, using each grass blade, each leaf, to abstract life from earth and ether. These then become new organs, fresh nerves and veins running afar out into the field, along the winding brook, up through the leaves, bringing a larger existence. The arms of the mind open wide to the broad sky.
The Hills and the Vale (The Sun and the Brook)
Looker & Porteous (Man of the Fields) quote passages from the Notebooks to do with an intended new & revised Story of My Heart which demonstrate Jefferies’ ‘stolid’ (one of his favourite words) seeking after ideas quite other than the so-called ‘mystical’.
Matter itself accounts for or contains all the phenomena put down to divinity… Probably life will one day be found to be a force like electricity, quite as natural, and no more supernatural than thunder and lightning. Nothing divine or ‘breath breathed in’ about it. Nothing mystic, that is, or unknowable. It is evident that it is not divine by the multitudes that perish – like the shell snails Beachy Head – mere specks as it were…
There is ‘no mystery’ but this does not take away from the awe of life for ‘after going through infinite earth it all ends in the Different Nature Beyond – the Greater Psyche – for which the mind always desires, in which alone he feels rest and confidence, and drinks, drinks, drinks…’ All is…
…ever more inspiring so that I am more psychic than all. Not a thing but leads to psychic thought – not a grain of dust. My mind or psyche aspiring desiring through every blade of grass, yet no good because nothing to grasp… Perhaps it is only a deep sense of life. But what I desire is to turn – to fetch down – to get it for me in a real form.
Jefferies seems to embrace Nothingness. In this he gets close to something Gurdjieff says – more or less, ‘until you know that you are a no-thing going nowhere there is no chance of making any personal progress’; everything has to be emptied out in order to begin afresh; when the light comes, out of nothingness one can begin to build something again. But everything is ‘worked through matter…’
As I lie awake in the dark dawn, from myself, from my mind, I can learn nothing – I know nothing. As soon as light comes I begin to work on it. But it should spring in the mind. It does not. That is why I know nothing – because in myself I have no idea. Therefore deep dissatisfaction… To look at the sun alone over the trees – sunset – enough of itself to prove other ideas. The past like miser’s gold, every memory added makes the heap clearer.
Every day from the moment I see the light I have to go over my thoughts again. This is the peculiarity of studying from the sun. If life were immortal still I should think there were other ideas and the Idea Beyond. If no Beyond, how then this Now? …All ends and begins and is comprised in life now. It is that really. A grammar. All the Wonder. If I only had words to tell…
…Material and Soul slide along as if they were after all one and the same… Sun Life, the sea, contemplation leads to the Beyond most. The immense Mind beyond Mind. I brood for ever over the earth… all is endless thinking… No one has dared to write what they really found – they round it off for their own consolation.
What stops us thinking according to Gurdjieff is ‘self-calming’ – making things easy for ourselves, anything for a quiet life, for our own consolation. That wasn’t Jefferies’ way at all. In the middle of all the angst from pain & debilitation he can even make a little joke: if I can’t ‘settle the infinite perhaps I might start a social band…’; but he is always asking questions.
Everything matter. Lichen, polyp, plant, beautiful flower, the prismatic feathers of the starlings, ourselves, the eye,.the brain, memory, the bones of lime, i.e., growing and living stone and where does life pass into persons? Consider the thumbnail, which you can cut without pain (the quick at the root). No more feeling than a brass stair-rod. Blackbird entirely formed of Matter – eye, mind, heart, love, song. All formed of matter: then also by matter, of itself, of its own inherent quality – spontaneous generation, and so man and his mind. Now analyse matter and it resolves to force and force to still subtler suggestions. And matter analysed is found to be full of intelligence. It resolves into mind. If therefore matter is capable of itself forming the mind of man, under different conditions in other regions it may form other forms of intelligence…
I can imagine some people I know asking – “What’s all this got to do with me?” Jefferies, of course, has an answer I might sometimes dare to offer.
Sitting indoors, with every modern luxury around, rich carpets, artistic furniture, pictures, statuary, food and drink brought from the uttermost ends of the earth, with the telegraph, the printing-press, the railway at immediate command, it is easy to say, “What have I to do with all this? I am neither an animal nor a plant, and the sun is nothing to me. This is my life which I have created; I am apart from the other inhabitants of the earth”. But go to the window. See – there is but a thin, transparent sheet of brittle glass between the artificial man and the air, the light, the trees, and grass. So between him and the other innumerable organisms which live and breathe there is but a thin feeble crust of prejudice and social custom. Between him and irresistible laws which keep the sun upon its course there is absolutely no bar whatever. Without air he cannot live. Nature cannot be escaped.
The Hills and the Vale (Nature and Eternity)
And always the question WHY BOTHER? Why should we worry about such questions?
Our intelligence is something in us propelling – prompting – driving us on as plants are driven with adaptations… When I ask myself in the dawn what I know, the answer is nothing… We really know no more than the rooks cawking together cawk, cawk, caw in their trees at sunset. They know not where the sun goes; they cawk, they caw, so do the philosophers and prophets.
I can’t help feeling that Jefferies would have approved of the idea of ‘Benevolent Capitalism’ as outlined by Gary Douglas whose target (never mind his scientology) is ‘to create more consciousness in every aspect of my life. My choices aren’t based on what is right or wrong according to this reality. They are based on what will create the most consciousness…’
These are quotations from a kind of a Douglas manifesto:-
…‘benevolent capitalism’ are two words you don’t typically find together. Capitalism has become something that is viewed as negative. It’s the idea of, “I am here to get my share and in order for that to happen, everyone else has to lose.”
When capitalism started out, this was not what it was about. Capitalism came from a word meaning ‘to grow organically’ and not in the sense of growing vegetables but actually growing herds of cattle. Then there is the word ‘benevolent’. Benevolent comes from two words. Bene which means to wish well and vole which means for everyone (which is where the word volunteer comes from). Benevolent Capitalism, in essence, is the organic growth of all for the benefit of all. When businesses start to function from the perspective of benevolent capitalism, greater possibilities become available and a sustainable future is created.
Benevolent capitalists do not create their businesses based on the conclusions of others. They are willing to have their own point of view. They are willing to look at everything that comes their way and ask questions…
The question “What else is possible?” is a benevolent capitalist’s primary mode of operation. They never look from a ‘what can’t be done’ point of view. They never limit themselves by what others have done or are doing. They are always looking for greater possibilities. They ask for those possibilities to show and when they do, they take action.
“What can I change today? What can I be or do differently?” Change is the primary source for whatever creates everything you desire in life.
Perhaps this sounds familiar?
Huge questions such as how to turn ‘Cut-throat Capitalism’ into ‘Benevolent Capitalism’ are too bounded by vested interests to be likely to ever be solved, short of a universal shift to true Socialism. In any case as Jefferies said: ‘The government takes no heed to develop the ideas of [people] of genius…’ In the very unlikely event that there came a sane government they’d still have to set up an enquiry which would no doubt be still going when an insane government took over. ‘The grand triumph of mediocrity is to get ten men together to form a board…’
One sticks with Jefferies.