Tag Archives: books

Looting the Corpse

I often drop in on Melbourne artist Jennie Rosenbaum’s website yet it was her twitter entry this morning which resonated with me. I was preparing this post under the title “Goodbye Borders”.  Thank you Jennie for the new title and for the validation of my feelings.

She tweeted;
The borders closing sale is both intriguing and sad, it feels a little like looting a corpse.

Two days ago I was in Perth and walked by the Border’s store in Hay Street. I had read the newspaper reports of this book store being placed into receivership and closed down. Not just in Perth but Australia-wide.

It wasn’t until I went inside that the full extent of this tragedy hit me.

I am a sucker for book stores and I found myself tearing up just a little. I also dropped thoughts of buying any books. It felt sacrilegious. I knew I would not be able to enjoy reading anything bought here under these circumstances.

I snapped these shots and said a mental “Goodbye”

God and Book Burning

Bunny Suicide

A certain Bullfrog and several tadpoles presented me with Andy Riley’s new book; Return of the Bunny Suicides for Christmas.

Described as “Watership Down for the deeply sick.” I think that perhaps my offspring are trying to hint at something.

Here is an example.


If I were going to review this book, I would have so say that it is not as impressive as the first volume. The bunnies seem to have become more determined and inventive while being less artistically satisfying. Yet there is still a perceived attraction for the “deeply disturbed”.

Of whom I am not one. No! Not at all.

My Fiction and Me

Some readers may have noticed that there is a new group amongst my Blog Roll; “Idiosyncratica”. This is a group of blogging writers and readers who have decided to form a group and “do something” together, each month.

This is my contribution to our first effort. “My Fiction and Me”.  Each member should introduce the other group members to the kind of fiction they write or enjoy reading and explain a little about how it relates to them — why it inspires/drives them etc. Perhaps I went a little overboard with the “little” explanation.
I began reading before I was four years of age. I taught myself, with my mother’s bemused help, to read the back of a cereal packet. I ate Weeties for breakfast and was able to talk my mother into explaining just how that big word on the front of the packet told her it was “Weeties”. It seemed I had always known the letters and soon I had deciphered the back of that packet. Or, rather, I read a little more with each new box of cereal.

Living on a farm, distant from schools and in a time little removed from the horse and cart, I spent my first year of school learning at home. I gained several bad habits. The worst and most enduring was that I discovered that the writing I was reading was repetetive. So I only needed to look at a phrase to know what it said. Without concously looking at the individual words, from the age of five I was reading in phrases. I could see and register the minor differences without trouble. This habit meant I rarely looked at a word by itself. Spelling and pronounciation were foreign languages to me. They still are!

Comprehension was just something which happened. Once read, a book was remembered. Not the phrases but the salient points, the plot. I had plots and the children of plots running around in my brain from the age of six or seven. Plots which were all action yet I knew they needed and were about people. Instinctively I pulled back from writing people. That early year without schoolmates had marked me for life. I never did get to know how minds work, how people spoke, the differences in syntax and dialect. I heard it but somehow lacked the confidence to use it in a story. Instead I found a love of the predictable, of mathematics and science. I avoided the complexities of humanity. Yet I continued to read. I was still fascinated by the way words followed each other.

In a schoolworld where Shakespeare and Dickens were royalty, I developed a hatred of Dickens. His stories reminded me so much of the flat one-dimensional plots I had rolling around in my mind that I found nothing in him to hold me. Or to convince me that he was a great writer. Indeed, for my Eng Lit examination just before I wasn’t able to go to University, I wrote an essay on why I considered Dickens to be the greatest fraud in the history of English Literature. Somehow I was accidentally awarded a distinction for that paper.

While I had enjoyed my studies of Shakespeare, upon leaving school I discovered the true form of bookishness for a science-based readaholic. I found the realm of the Science Fiction magazine. AE Van Vogt, EE (Doc) Smith, Clifford Simac, Hal Clement and then the big three. Azimov, Clarke and Heinlein. Forget human interest. Here were Space Travel, BEM’s and Interstellar Conflict. There was also the humour of Clarke and Spider Robinson. I began committing more and more puns. In a twisted way they sometimes let me see a deeper truth. Mixed in with all this science was a good dose of Fantasy Magazine fiction. This developed through Tolkein into an abiding love of Celtic and Norse Fantasies. Lovecraft and Poe also had their influence.

My mother had introduced me to Agatha Christie and the detective novel. Where people act according to a formula and while strong emotions cause the murders, the unravelling of the mystery was always clinical, clean and scientific. This lead, somehow, into the action of Hammond Innes and Alister McLean. It was here I discovered the repeated plot lines. Spy tales and thrillers became a comfortable way to read words.

Shortly after I left school, I was allowing my lack of people-knowledge take a back seat to my more confident hormone-driven instincts and a girlfriend introduced me to Gibran and Khayyam. Suddenly there were words which took me inside my thoughts, which changed my view of the world. Not overnight, but over a decade. The progress was slow and inexorable. I had discovered poetry. At the same time I discovered I was not unique. Other people had deeply held feelings and ideas and urges. And in poetry I had discovered a way of expressing myself. I had long since discarded my childish storylines and plots and had decided I could not write. In my poetry I could express myself, and since I was not sharing it, it was safe to expose myself.

Over time I lost my youthful enthusiasm for God and Religion and while I moved, philosophically, towards atheism, I had developed a love of the druidic verbal currents of Tolkein, Lewis and others who wrote tales based on the Celtic magics. After several decades of Science Fiction I was moving towards the poetic and the mythic. Verbally I was punning and inventing silly rhymes yet writing virtually nothing. I was not in an environment where writing was expected. Everything was verbal, instantaneous and discardable. During the Seventies I had found the modern poets, the minstels, Diamond and Kristofferson and Dylan. Rod McKuen was in there as well.

Like much of society I stagnated during the 1980’s. A time notable only for the work of Meatloaf, and a few movies.  My Horrors were both Rocky and a little Shopped, my Gods became Crazy and rhinos stomped camp fires. These influenced my world view, not always for the best according to some who knew me. I avoided Abba and the rest of the disco insanity at every opportunity!

It was not until the mid 90’s when I discovered the internet and its usenet offspring, the news groups, that I suddenly found an outlet for decades of pent-up writing. I could rant in groups which discussed current affairs, I could be disgusting in groups which told off-colour and politically incorrect jokes, I could be inventively crude in the limerick group I began to inhabit. I began to relearn skills I had neglected. I found that others placed a value on my words. My writing began to develop a rhythm, a style of its own. Based upon the use of emotive words and images, using myth while addressing current themes. I used my poetic experience to shorten my longwinded sentences.  The strict limerick form taught me to condense a thought into as few words as possible and so, while I continued to write mostly free-form verse, the words became fewer and the content denser.

I discovered blogs as a place I could store my thoughts, as a place where I could both practice my own writing and find others writings, and as a place where I could be as self-indulgent as I wanted. At the same time, I discovered digital photography. For years I have used very cheap, always slightly blurred cameras yet I always had a vision of what could be done with photography and its resultant images. About five years ago I was able to indulge myself and purchase some good equipment. As a photographer I am self-taught and, like all philistines, I knows wot I likes.

I began publishing some of the images I had captured with my cameras. As my confidence in this hobby grew, I found I was using those images to fill in huge gaps between the few words I felt necessary to post with the photographs. It is true. A picture is worth a thousand words!

So, am I a reader, a writer, a poet or a photographer?

Sometimes I wish I knew.

Kama Sutra of Reading

Found on the awesome blog of the intelligent and captivating, though NSFW, nursemyra was this cartoon from the book Design Humor: The Art of Graphic Wit written illustrated produced by Steve Heller.

There is a city in the UK named “Reading”. I shall draw no conclusions – – –

106 Books

This is a meme I found over at Helen’s blog. One that (Un)relaxeddad and Anthromama have been doing recently. It is about LibraryThing’s list of the top 106 books that lie unread on people’s shelves. You have to bold the ones you’ve read of your own accord, underline the ones you had to read for school or university, and italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish. I’ve added an extra bit and have *starred* the books that are, indeed, sitting on my shelf unread.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick

Ulysses – I keep starting it
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The [A] Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
*The Time Traveler’s Wife*
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales – Most of
The Historian: a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible

Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – DNF
The Prince

The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
*Eats, Shoots & Leaves* Bit by bit in the bookstore
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

Book Review; Metro Girl, Janet Evanovich.

Having taken Stephanie Plum to, and possibly over, the top, Evanovich has moved to Florida and found a new heroine. Alex Barnaby is looking for her disappeared brother but her interaction with Stock Car driver Sam Hooker is the main story line. Not quite as mysterious as Plum’s Ranger but quite as super dominant male, Hooker is irresistibly male and not averse to a little adventure.

From Miami to Cuba and back again, with Gold and Mysterious Cargo and determinedly evil crooks, Alex is able to hold her own with everything that is thrown at her. While she does relax back into a ladylike persona to allow Hooker to do his masculine things and continually save her from the baddies, one gets the feeling this is just a sop to the males around her and that she could have quite easily coped all on her own.

This is light, trite and great fun. Chick-lit for the masses.

Stunned and Surprised, Pleasantly

As some of you may know, amongst my favourite reads are the literary essays of the learned Litlove. Imagine the best English Lit teacher you ever had and then add humour, life experience and freely offered friendship and you have Litlove (a.k.a. Victoria Best, a lecturer in French at St John’s College, Cambridge.)

I was delighted to read that she has published a collection of her favourite blog posts in a genuine paper and print book. “The Best of Tales From The Reading Room”

It became available in December but as I was away from home I put off ordering my copy until a couple of weeks ago. I arrived home yesterday to be met with a little card from my Post Office telling me a package had arrived.

Yes! “The Best of Tales From The Reading Room” was here. I opened the package even before I left the Post Office and almost walked into the door-frame.

There, completely unexpectedly, on the back cover, was a quote from none other than moi!

Yes, the archive has made it to published hard-copy!

Seriously, if you enjoy reading about books and authors, this is the ideal book for you. Even the publisher is something out of the ordinary. “TBR Books”! Just how irresistible is this?

If you are interested, head on over to “Tales From The Reading Room” and read a few of the essays and then order your copy of the book. Reading words on a computer screen can be wonderful but there is nothing like holding a book in your hands, feeling the texture of the paper and turning the pages.

You won’t be disappointed.

Book Review – The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran

I re-read this old favourite for maybe the fortieth time.

Once again it reinforced a way of looking at life which has been an increasing part of me for the past four decades. How does one review a favourite child? How can one be detached when talking of ones own arm or a leg?

Yet I should at least acknowledge the power of this small volume. Some short quotations are, perhaps, the greatest compliment, for these words are within me all the time.

Fain would I take with me all that is here. But how shall I? A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that give it wings. Alone must it seek the ether. And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.

The words spoken by that tongue and those lips resonate.

Of love he said;

When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

Of marriage he wisely opined;

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Of Children;

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

Of Giving;

You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.” The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

Of Work;

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

Of Joy and Sorow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Of Clothes;

Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean. And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind? And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

Of Crime and Punishment;

Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world. But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you, So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.

Of Self-Knowledge;

Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”

Of Friendship;

And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also. For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live.

Of Good and Evil;

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Next year, or sooner, I shall read The Prophet once more and my soul will again be refreshed.

Book Review – “The Accident Man”, Tom Cain

A “what-if” thriller based on a real event.

As is shown on the cover of the book; 12.19am A Mercedes leaves the Ritz Hotel, 12.25am A car loses control in a Paris underpass.

This is a plausible scenario which rather chillingly brings in a number of themes and motives for certain people wanting someone removed from the world scene.

Using the same techniques used in most modern thrillers there is little subtlety in the description of events. Scenes of explicit brutality, sudden death and torture are carefully inserted into the narrative. Modern television series use a similar sales gimmick. The violence is used to hold a horrified or jaded audience.

The motives of those involved receive some recognition yet the changing allegiances of many of the characters seem to be almost random.

Regardless of my uncertainty about the characterisation this novel is tightly written. It seems as though the motives for the initial crime are those of any one of several British groups. The Russian Mafia is involved somewhere as well. Scene follows hurried scene and the denouement, rather surprisingly, occurs as a world-wide audience watches a funeral. So much has happened in the novel that the time scale seems elongated yet in the outside world time has moved at a normal pace.

“The Accident Man” has the ability to hold the reader right through until the final, surprising motive is revealed.

I would rate it around 4 out of 5.

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

Book Review – “The Poisonwood Bible”, Barbara Kingsolver

Based in the Congo of 1960 with a background formed from a tapestry of the Congolese jungle, independence from Belgium, Patrice Lumumba, the Kleptocrat Mobuto, international politics and greed, and still more jungle, the Poisonwood Bible is a book about people and change and changelessness. To read it through in one sitting would lead to an indigestion, yet even leaving the novel after consuming a gulp of just twenty or thirty pages does not stop the reader from reading. Turning over the pages in your mind, worrying about the future, puzzling about the characters, raging with anger at the outside influences.

A quick synopsis gives clues of the power of this story. A mercilessly strict Baptist Minister, Nathan Price, returned from service in the Second World War becomes, with his wife and four daughters, an unsuited missionary in the Congo. Convinced that God does not change and that by being faithful to his vision of Bible Truths he can bring American Civilisation to the jungle. Despite that jungle doing its best to show him that his methodology is wrong, he never changes his plans. He is determined to bring these Children of Ham into the Light. His family get on with life as well as they can, with their flaws and foibles. From the beginning we are told by the mother that only four of the six survive to come out of that dark time. A husband and a child will be lost within the terrible beauty of this novel.

Skilfully told, using all five female voices, the tale tells of the seventeen months leading to the tragedy and then, reduced to just four, the voices tell of the effects of that terrible, wonderful time of growing and loss and learning on the subsequent thirty years.

I have seen the effect of Christian missionaries on the Aboriginal people of Australia. The well meant attempts to overcome the twin evils of European contamination of a pristine culture and the worship of strange, primitive Gods. Nathan Price had the same aim and earnest desire. Yet the jungle held out. The people of the jungle mock the intruders while taking what they need from those same intruders.

Shakespearian in its inexorable march to the tragedy of African de-colonisation, with many Iagos plotting from inter-continental distances, mirrored in the slow decline of a Father’s primacy within his family, the Poisonwood Bible left me in tears of grief as a child died senselessly and in tears of rage at the greater evils of the power games of which I read nearly half a century ago and did not understand. Although, perhaps even those evils were simply the larger result of a truth one daughter found during her time in that jungle. “The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.

A Booky Meme

I was tagged for this booky meme by Reed from “Out of Ideas”.

1) Total Number of Books Owned

Approximately 300. Including 30 of poetry, 10 of limericks, 18 dictionaries and thesauri and 49 textbooks on mythology and ancient history. Oh yes, and 20 in my TBR pile.

2) Last Book Bought.

Actually a batch of 4 at a remainder sale. Tourist Season & Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen (a double dose volume), Hostile Contact by Gordon Kent, Emerald Decision by Craig Thomas and Heretic by Bernard Cornwall.

3) Last Book Read.

The Comedy of Dante Alighieri (The three volume Dorothy L Sayers translation) and Unintelligent Design by Robyn Williams. I must organise reviews to post here.
3a) Bonus question. Currently reading Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, A Kahlil Gibran Anthology, The Little Book of Wrong Shui by Rohan Candappa, Bullfinches Mythology, The Greek Myths by Robert Graves.

Extra note – I now need to move “Poisonwood Bible” into “The Last Book Read” list. And I need to add “The Catalogue of Lost Books” by Tad Tuleja to both my “Currently reading” and “Last Book Bought” lists. I shall be shamelessly plagiarising this volume in the archive. It is too good not to share!

4) Five books that mean a lot to me.

Yikes – how do I drop this list to five? Ok, after a couple of day’s thinking.

1) Amazing Stories. I know it isn’t a book, it was a Science Fiction magazine. It taught me, at 14, to think outside the square, to accept that wild imaginings are an acceptable form of story-telling.
2) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens because I learned in my disappointment that my thoughts were as valid as my teacher’s.
3) The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran which I first read when I was 30 and Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which I first read at 19. They led me into the endless fields of poetry, both that written by others and the poor doggerel I have attempted.
4) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett because they reminded me that reading is fun.

5) The Concise Oxford Dictionary, for its wonderful vocabulary and also for the history of our great language which is contained in those snippets before the definitions where the philology is shown.

How could I leave out Shakespeare who was so obscure to an impatient schoolboy until a teacher asked his class the question, “Who was worse; Mr or Mrs Macbeth?” Suddenly it all became relevant. And led me into some wonderful reading and some wonderful hours at an assortment of theatres.

Now to the hard part. Tagging four people. Wandering Coyote springs to mind because she introduced me to The Poisonwood Bible. Metro and Lori because they both have a close relationship with literature, and Cliff Burns for it should be instructive to see the answers of a writer to these questions. Should anyone else feel drawn to taking part in this meme, feel free. A link back would be nice but isn’t demanded 🙂

John Carter, Alive and Well on Barsoom?

A NASA spacecraft has apparently found seven cave entrances on the surface of Mars. triggering interest in hunting for other caverns that might be hiding life on the Red Planet.

While the caves discovered may be too high in altitude to host life, scientists say caverns elsewhere on the Red Planet could be underground habitats, or even one day become shelters for astronauts.

Images from the Mars Odyssey orbiter showed seven dark, nearly circular spots between 100 metres and 250m wide on the slopes of the Arsia Mons volcano, located near the planet’s highest peak.

Researchers concluded that the seven circles could be windows to underground spaces after checking their day-time and night-time temperatures by using Odyssey’s infrared camera.  “They are cooler than the surrounding surface in the day and warmer at night,” said Glen Cushing of the US Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Team at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona.

But the discovery of the holes, dubbed ‘Seven Sisters’, has triggered interest in hunting for caverns elsewhere on Barsoom, NASA said.”Somewhere on the red planet, caves might provide a protected niche for past or current life, or shelter for humans in the future and, just maybe, John Carter could be waiting for a rescue craft.”

Thoughts on the Evolution of God

“Gene frequencies in a population change over time in response to environmental pressures”

A very fine description and explanation of speciel evolution.

Ideas also change over time according to environmental pressures.

There are no ideas in a vacuum. They are influenced by the past and they are influenced by the present surrounding thoughts and conclusions. Ideas which do not fit into the current intellectual environment eventually disappear, being replaced by ideas which are acceptable within the constraints of the time.

Phlogiston and the flat earth are examples of scientific ideas which disappeared with a change in the prevailing intellectual landscape.

It is interesting to follow the growth of religious thought through the millennia. How some religions grew and then faded. How others succeeded until their followers were defeated in a battle.

Baal was defeated by Jehovah, Hera was married (defeated) by Zeus and in each case kingdoms rose and fell.

In what became the Grecian sphere of influence, the Gods and Goddesses remained recognisably human in their attitudes and habits. Jealous and promiscuous with a fair measure of random nastiness to fit in with observed extreme natural events. Over a thousand years of intercity warfare the Gods and Goddesses waxed and waned, yet they survived in the stories of the region. They spread as far as India under Alexander but returned to their own lands in time to be adopted by the Romans.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the pantheon of their Gods was joined by one who was so powerful his priests decreed that His name could never be spoken. Worshipped by a small and quite insignificant nomadic tribe, this God was able to lead His tribe into a number of victories and so they were able to gain a land of their own. Despite defeats by newer invaders who had larger, better supplied armies and exile from their land their God continued to be worshipped and every time those worshippers found themselves in charge, they attempted to destroy all other Gods.

Then, as happens in most historical events, there was a rather unusual set of circumstances. As a consequence of these events, an offshoot of this small religion was adopted by the Romans and so spread throughout Europe and nearby regions. Finally this God was strong enough to squash all other religions in His sphere of influence.

Now it is the dominant religion in the Western World.

But is this still the same God which first appeared in the Middle East some three or four thousand years ago?

Many modern-day believers will automatically reply in the affirmative. Yet let us look at the over-all habits of this ancient Middle Eastern God. He was no lover of any who opposed him. He was rigid in His  expectations of his followers. He had no difficulties in ordering His people to commit genocide, either to take their land or to remove all trace of another God.

Compare this with the God of Love who is worshipped today.

He has evolved as philosophy and ethics and knowledge have evolved. He has not been existing in a vacuum. His attributes have developed as society has developed. He has developed an omnipresence and he has developed “omniknowledge”. He did not know all while he was in the desert. Otherwise He would not have tested Job at the request of a fallen angel. Come to think of it, the Devil and God no longer communicate in the modern world. Another evolution of ideas. Anyway, He would not have tested Job for He would have already known the future.

His present day worshippers will consider that any changes in God are due to our increased knowledge of Him and His attributes. So much so that it has been necessary to create numerous versions (species) of worshippers. Just as the followers of Al’lah have formed a number of species within the worship of Mohammed’s God and the followers of the original incarnation of this God have a number of species. In fact there is a case for arguing that “The People of the Book”, the genera of Jews, Christians and Muslims, all belong to a specific religious Family with its roots found four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia. There are still in existence, some small groups which are possibly descended from the same Order which led to the Family of “People of the Book”. The Zoroastrians of Persia are an example of this. Other species within today’s pantheon such as the Hindu, Voodoo and the pantheism of Africa have different ancestors and may even have arisen from other Orders or even Classes.

The important thing is that each of these religious species has adapted to its philosophical environment and so has succeeded. As that environment changes, with new ideas and ideals, then each will change. Some will be wiped out by invasion, some will lose their relevance. Most, like the ancient Egyptian and Greek Gods, are now extinct.

I guess that what I am trying to say is that I began with a quote about evolution; “Gene frequencies in a population change over time in response to environmental pressures”. I have come to see that it also applies to civilisations and religions.

Mores and Memes in a population change over time in response to ideological pressures.

(Written on a Saturday evening without reference to  my library so some small parts of the above may be refutable. However, I was exploring a general idea from a layman’s POV.)

Cthulhu, Invaidin Ur Brane, Steelin Ur Sole

Wandering around the blogipelago I dropped in on PZ Myers and read about the Moray Eel and its feeding habits. Rather good, the Pharyngula blog discussing pharyngeal jaws.

I also found the following. Be very careful which sect’s books you choose to read!