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Missive #287

Moving today to the same summer camp that I was at last year. Stopped along the way in Willcox to fill Desperado’s tank with gas. Then took a slightly longer route through Sliver City where I stopped for breakfast at the Grinder Mill restaurant. I saw that they had tamales so ordered a ‘custom’ breakfast that included one with Huevos a la Mexicana and and big flour tortilla as toast (it was not as expensive as the one I custom ordered in Gila Bend). The drive was 241 miles on this route: US191, I-10 (82 miles), US70, NM90, Detour in Silver City on College Ave, US180 & NM12.

“In 1634 Urbain Grandier, a handsome and dissolute priest of the parish of Loudun was tried, tortured and burnt at the stake. He had been found guilty of conspiring with the devil to seduce an entire convent of nuns in what was the most sensational case of mass possession and sexual hysteria in history.This is another one of Huxley’s ‘fusing idea with story’ which I’m guessing was to be his continued writing style. The book would have been about half as long without his philosophy. I could have possibly enjoyed the book more if he had provided translations for all the French and Latin that was his wont to quote. Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage. Huxley’s vivid account of this bizarre tale of religious and sexual obsession transforms our understanding of the medieval world.” — Book promo @ goodreads.com

This book was a struggle to get through. And I found myself skipping pages in order to get back to the actual plot of the story. When Huxley is actually crafting a story, it’s a compelling read. But there are so many moments of getting through the doldrums of seemingly irrelevant information that it’s almost as if he took a novel, a text book, and a book on religious theory and mashed them together. — Customer review @ goodreads.com

For a clever man, nothing is easier than to find arguments that will convince him that he is doing right when he is doing what he wants to do.

Few people now believe in the devil; but very many enjoy behaving as their ancestors behaved when the Fiend was a reality as unquestionable as his Opposite Number. In order to justify their behaviour, they turn their theories into dogmas, their by-laws into First Principles, their political bosses into Gods and all those who disagree with them into incarnate devils. This idolatrous transformation of the relative into the Absolute and the all too human into the Divine, makes it possible for them to indulge their ugliest passions with a clear conscience and in the certainty that they are working for the Highest Good. And when the current beliefs come, in their turn, to look silly, a new set will be invented, so that the immemorial madness may continue to wear its customary mask of legality, idealism and true religion.

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