• Michael Martin

Sophiology is about as far away from the idea of a technocracy as is conceivable. In my book Transfiguration I discuss this polarity in terms of Sophia and Ahriman. Sophia, as anyone familiar with my books or this blog knows, is the handmaid and coworker of the Lord, revealed in scripture, among other places, in Proverbs 8 where she describes herself in intimate terms with him: “when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman”(19-20) and in Luke 1 when the Virgin responds to the archangel that she is the “handmaid of the Lord” (38). Ahriman, on the other hand, is the Anti-Sophia who hates the Lord and wishes to turn everyone and everything into a data set ready to optimized and subsumed into the anti-cosmos. Rudolf Steiner, who used the Zoroastrian name “Ahriman” to identify the spirit working through the technological, described this phenomenon in these words:

In his technical machines of the economic sphere the human being will perceive that, although he constructed and made them, they nevertheless gradually take on a life of their own—a life certainly which he can still deny because they manifest themselves to begin with only in the economic sphere. But he will notice more and more in what he himself creates that it gains a life of its own and that, despite the fact that he brought it forth from the intellect, the intellect itself can no longer comprehend it…. People will discover, in fact, how the objects of their industry (Wirtschaft) become the bearers of demons.” [1]

In recent news, transhumanism, which had been percolating under the cultural radar for decades, has been rebranded as a societal good, whether through various medical interventions to combat viruses, through similar medical interventions devised to alter one’s identity, or through other applications that seek to permanently connect human biology to the “internet of things.” Strangely, these developments are being proposed by the very powerful, and many people seem to be going along with it—ironically, these are the same people who were blaming these powerful figures for all the evils of Capitalism and the instrumentalization of human beings for control and profit not two years ago. For my part, I have rather a hard time believing that the people who’ve been destroying the planet and human societies for the past century will be the same people to save us from their disastrous projects. Only a fool could buy that. We have no shortage of fools, alas, but fear can make even the best of people do foolish things


In Transfiguration, I note that “as the World of Ahriman more and more encroaches upon the business of being human, more and more compromises being human and turns it into a business, the World of Sophia, the Wisdom that God poured forth upon all his works (Sirach 1:9), more and more reveals itself as the antidote to his madness.” But how do we access the World of Sophia?

First of all, by extricating ourselves from the World of Ahriman. Let’s turn the non serviam back on him. Extrication happens by non-participation, as our Amish brothers and sisters exemplify so well. The Amish, contrary to popular stereotypes, use telephones, even cellphones (the Amish carpenter who put my roof on has a nicer cellphone than I do). The difference is that they don’t let their phones use them.

Another method is by returning to the Creation. When we’ve been herded into virtual spaces, it’s easy to forget our connection to Natura. Learn how to pay attention to the Real. Develop an awareness of where the planets are in the heavens at any given moment of the day. You can start with just the moon. Where in the heavens above or below the earth is it right now? Do you know? What phase is it in? Note the subtle changes in your consciousness after doing this for a few weeks.

Attending to the subtle changes in the flora and fauna in your area works in a similar way. How is the apple tree (or grape vine, or rose bush, or lilac bush, and so forth) different today from yesterday? from last week? How does your attention alter your being?

Not participating in the World of Ahriman is the best medicine, though, of course, in this day and age, it is nearly impossible to completely divorce ourselves from the “net” (perhaps the perfect metaphor). But participation in the World of Sophia is without a doubt the antidote to the World of Ahriman. Maybe if we called the World of Sophia a vaccine more people would try it. At least post-menopausal women wouldn’t start having miraculous periods again (is anything more fitting an image of the diabolical parody of fertility, this anti-fertility?).

Another way, and perhaps one of the most practical, is to not participate in the “food” distributions system of the World of Ahriman. Join a biodynamic or organic CSA. Buy a stake in a herdshare to give yourself access to milk that’s still alive. Get to know farmers. Buy as much of your food as possible directly from them (farmers markets are okay, but they’re often of more benefit to the municipalities hosting them than to the farmers, who get fee’d to death by participating). Start a garden.

Once you start doing these kinds of things, you’ll notice you are less and less a part of the World of Ahriman and more and more a part of the World of Sophia. Sophia’s world is inhabited by people in community with animals, plants, and the land; by community with saints, angels, and God. Sophia is the bridge between these worlds.

The Ahrimanic, however, becomes enraged by such things. It wheels out various methods of curtailing life: taxes, regulations, any number of proscriptions intended to disable or destroy the wholesome and deliver the unwary into the waiting tentacles of the technocracy.

This way of smashing the technocracy boils down to generally ignoring it, or ignoring it as much as possible, and by loving each other, the land, and the beings which inhabit it in a gesture of absolute generosity and care. By so doing, we return to the place promised in Proverbs 8, when Sophia was “by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the children of men. Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways” (30-32).

Michael’s latest books are an edition of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and Transfiguration: Notes toward a Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Garden.

1. Rudolf Steiner, The New Spirituality and the Christ Experience of the Twentieth Century, trans. Paul King (London / Hudson, NY: Rudolf Steiner Press / Anthroposophic Press, 1988), 82.

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  • Michael Martin

There are lots of ways in which one could describe the cultural metamorphoses of the past year. “The Year of Plague,” for example, or “The Rise of the Archons” (much more accurate than “The Great reset”) would be good choices, though I also find delight in calling it “The Revenge of the Nerd in the Pastel Sweater.” But I think the most accurate description would be to call this “The Time of the Vulnerable and the Powerful.”


That might seem pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s not. Since the beginning of lockdowns and various mandates and restrictions, I have been more concerned about the threats to working people and the working poor than I have been about the threat or spread of illness. Not that I’m not unconcerned about illness. My eighty-four-year-old mother, a vulnerable though scrappy auburn-haired Irishwoman who suffers from dementia, lives with me and I was concerned early on that she might get ill. Thankfully, she hasn’t—not even a cold—but living on a farm, eating organic food, drinking clean water, and being around children with sketchy hand-washing habits all the time seems to have bolstered her immune system. When she was in a nursing home before she moved in with us six years ago, she was ill all the time and in the hospital almost quarterly—the caretakers thought she’d die within months under our “unprofessional care.” It’s more than possible that she would have died, of loneliness if not illness, had she still been in the hands of “the professionals” over the past year. But I have also seen friends and family members profoundly impacted, if not permanently damaged (time will tell), from the psychological ramifications of the past year’s events. This is to say nothing of the countless numbers of people who lost businesses (my favorite music store in a nearby town not the least among them) or livelihoods due to the issue of our times.


I know many people, dedicated people of all faiths among them, who know we have a mandate to protect the vulnerable and the powerless. Psalm 82 is explicit about this mandate, employing the imperative tense:

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness:

all the foundations of the earth are out of course. (3-5)

All the foundations of the earth are out of course.


What bothers me, though, is how this desire to protect the vulnerable has resulted in the surrender of the wills and intellects of so many to the dictates of governments, NGOs, and other professional international bodies and authorities. The result is that many who profess a concern for the vulnerable now look as though their real allegiance is with the powerful. And don’t think the powerful haven’t noticed. We all know about the great transfer of wealth (bottom to top) that occurred over the past year. But people seem to be okay with that in order to have the illusion of safety. They might grouse, of course, do a little social media posturing, but nobody seems to care enough to act against, or at least to resist, the ever-increasing power and insatiable appetites of the archons.


So I guess my problem is that I don’t see how giving the powerful more power protects the vulnerable. Shouldn’t the vulnerable be the ones gaining more agency and power? They’re not. And now even those in the middle—not the most vulnerable (though still vulnerable) but lacking in any kind of power—are likewise under threat from the powerful.


For these and other reasons, I prefer a kind of Christian anarchism, similar, but not identical, to that of my Amish neighbors (I write about this in my book Transfiguration) that while it doesn’t completely destroy the concept of power at least dilutes it by distribution—a very communitarian/distributist ethos. We don’t have that. Still, as I have been arguing for a long time, we can inculcate such a sensibility at the micro-level. That is, not by trying to change “The System,” but by changing ourselves and our relationships to the worlds around us.


Power is a tool of Satan (it was what he used to tempt the Master), though people, as they mobilize and think in groups, tend to like the idea of a strong authority. It gives them a feeling of security (how often that word comes up as of late!) The ancient Israelites, looking around the cultures of the Levant, saw that their neighbors had strong kings, and, in their mimetic desire, the Israelites wanted one, too. After their begging and pleading (or, better, whining) Yahweh gave them enough rope to hang themselves, but not without a warning:

These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:11-18)

They hung themselves, and we are pretty much following suit. This is also why I think those Catholic traddies out there styling themselves “monarchists” (particularly those in the New World) are completely full of you-know-what and cling to their bogus idea of “Christendom” out of an impoverished notion of what it means to be a Christian. Jesus didn’t come as a king. His kingdom is not of this world (and by “this world,” please don’t make the mistake of thinking he meant the created world—he was talking about the realm of Satan and those in league with him to gain control over the vulnerable and everything else. I’m sure you can find fitting examples in your social media feed). People have often asked me over this past strange year what we should do. In fact, I hear from people on this topic almost daily. To quote J.C. Crawford’s legendary introduction to the MC5 on their classic album Kick out the Jams (I am from Detroit, after all), “The time has come for each and every one of you to decide, whether you are gonna be the problem, or whether you are gonna be the solution.” You must choose, brothers and sisters, you must choose.


But I don’t think this is a political problem at all (politics, actually is the problem). As my beloved Simone Weil observed, “It is not religion but revolution that is the opium of the people.” Ours is a spiritual problem, and a pressing one at that. This kind can only be cast out by prayer.


It is in this register that I believe the invocation of St. Michael the Archangel, called by Valentin Tomberg “the Archistrategist,” is more than appropriate at our moment. The Celtic tradition relied upon the intercession of the archangel, as in these lines from the Welsh “Litany of Creation”:

I beseech you by the tenth order on the compact earth. I beseech praiseworthy Michael to help me against demons.

Together with Michael, I beseech you by land and by sea unceasingly; I beseech you respectfully by every quality of God the Father.

I beseech you, O Lord, by the suffering of your body, white with fasting; I beseech you by the contemplative life, I beseech you by the active life.

I beseech the people of heaven, with Michael, for my soul; I beseech the saints of the world to help me on earth.

I beseech the people of heaven with bright-armed Michael; I beseech you by the triad of wind, sun, and moon.

Note the yoking of the contemplative and active lives.


Another useful prayer is the Byzantine Akathist to Michael the Archangel. We prayed this prior to one Michaelmas festival in our barn a couple years ago. It is intense. Here’s a passage:

Standing before the Throne of God, O Archangel Michael, you are entirely in the heights and yet you are not far from men and women below on the earth. You ever fight against the enemies of mankind’s salvation. It is fitting, for all who wish to reach the long-desired homeland of Heaven, to call on you with one accord:

Hail, leader of the thrice-holy hymn of the angels.

Hail, ever-ready advocate and guardian of those on earth.

Hail, mighty defender of those who speak truth and live by mercy.

Hail, for in a strange manner, you struck down Pharaoh with his faithless Egyptians in their ponderous pride.

Hail, for you gloriously led the Jews in their wandering through the wilderness.

Hail, for you quenched the flame of the fiery furnace of Babylon for the three youths.

Hail, Michael, Supreme Commander with all the hosts of Heaven.”

There are other prayers, of course. Besides Psalm 82, there are also St. Patrick’s Breastplate and, obviously, the secret weapon of the rosary—and many others. If you want to align yourself with power, this is the place to look, not to archons growing fat and rich on your fear.


Fear, to speak plainly, is a luxury of the faithless and if unchecked it only spreads like a cancer. As you can no doubt see, it has metastasized all over the planet. But this is not a luxury the Christian can afford. We cannot avoid that messengers of Satan will torment us, with fear as much as disease; it is part of the human condition this side of the Parousia. Saint Paul found this out through experience, not theory:

...I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

We are all vulnerable, praise God. So take up your armor of light.


Michael’s latest books are an edition of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and Transfiguration: Notes toward a Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Garden.

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  • Michael Martin

Wilhelm Reich and his cloudbuster

Soon after its release in 1985, I bought a cassette copy of Kate Bush’s album Hounds of Love, which, as far as I’m concerned, remains her finest work. Bush had not really gained all that much popularity in the United States in any way comparable to the phenom she had been in England, but I heard the track “Running up that Hill (A Deal with God)” and was so struck by the thundering drums, ethereal Fairlight keyboard sounds, and the drenchingly emotional vocal that I plunked down the cash for the full album. I was not disappointed.


A few years later, I was sharing my love for the album with my coworker at the bookstore where we worked and we started talking about the final track on side one (yes, boys and girls, there used to be things called “sides” before the digital revolution), a song called “Cloudbusting.” I loved the video and the story, but I was a bit dumbfounded when my friend told me it was based on a true story. She led me to the biography section of the store and pointed me to A Book of Dreams: A Memoir of Wilhelm Reich by Peter Reich, the son of the controversial psychoanalyst and scientist. I knew absolutely nothing about the elder Reich, but I bought the book. It relates the fascinating story of Wilhelm Reich’s relationship to his son and their adventures in cloudbusting and alternative scientific research in 1950s America. It’s also a very sad story, as Peter’s father ends his days in prison after falling afoul of government authority.


Wilhelm Reich invented what he called a “cloudbuster” after observing the behavior of water in a bucket when a pipe was held above its surface. He was even hired by blueberry farmers in Maine to end a deadly drought that threatened their harvest and livelihoods. As reported in the Bangor Daily News on 24 July 1953:

Dr. Reich and three assistants set up their ‘rain-making’ device off the shores of Grand Lake, near Bangor hydro-electric dam, at 10:30 on Monday morning 6 July. The device, a set of hollow tubes, suspended over a small cylinder, connected by a cable, conducted a ‘drawing’ operation for about an hour and ten minutes….

According to a reliable source in Ellsworth the following climactic changes took place in that city on the night of 6 July and the early morning of 7 July: ‘Rain began to fall shortly after ten o’clock Monday evening, first as a drizzle and then by midnight as a gentle, steady rain. Rain continued throughout the night, and a rainfall of 0.24 inches was recorded in Ellsworth following morning.

A puzzled witness to the ‘rain-making’ process said: ‘The queerest looking clouds you ever saw began to form soon after they got the thing rolling.’ And later the same witness and the scientists were able to change the course of the wind by manipulation of the device.” [1]

Needless to say, I found this fascinating. Who wouldn’t? But, try as I might, I could find almost no information about Reich or cloudbusting. This was in the days before the internet, of course. Since then all kinds of things are available online, though I am often skeptical of the claims found there.

In about 1993 or so, I actually met someone who had a couple of cloudbusters. Let’s call him “Norman.” Norman lived in a quaint subdivision not far away from me. A friend of mine, a chiropractor, wanted me to meet him, since he knew both of us were interested in biodynamics and alternative farming (you can read about some of these things in the book Secrets of the Soil by Peter Thompson and Christopher Bird). Norman’s yard looked like something from a sci-fi novel. He let everything grow, planted every inch of it with vegetables, fruits, beneficial plants, and had even devised a creek that surrounded his property—replete with frogs and other wildlife. This in the middle of a neighborhood characterized by ugly landscaping and ChemLawn services! I don’t think he exactly got on with the neighbors. Norman’s garden boasted some amazing results—his tomatoes and carrots were impressive with their rich colors and tastes, and he even devised a gazebo within which he planted figs. I visited him few times to share ideas—though he was far more knowledgeable than I was. I learned a lot from him.


I asked Norman about his cloudbusters, and he told me that he primarily used them to “clean up the atmosphere” of pollution and other antagonistic substances. This was the first time I’d ever heard the term “chemtrail.” I found the idea kind of preposterous—why would evil geniuses, governmental or otherwise, risk poisoning their own families? Norman more or less blew-off my question. Instead, he told me some shady figures from the government stopped by his suburban abode to ask if he had a scalar weapon (I didn’t know what that was, either). He said he laughed and replied, “It’s just me and my little cloudbusters.”


I didn’t doubt all things Norman told me, I just didn’t know what to make of it all.


Years later, almost four years ago to be exact, I started thinking about cloudbusters again. That summer our farm and those around us were inundated with rain. Fields were flooded out, and our ability to make a living was under serious threat. The rain simply would not stop. I had read that not only could cloudbusters make rain, they could also stop it. Desperate for something to change, I figured it was worth a shot.


So, one afternoon, I assembled all the appropriate materials in my barn and put together some sort of cloudbuster. My wife thought I was wasting my time. But what did I have to lose with the exception of a few hours? I set the device out on an old deck near our pond and waited, making sure not to have it pointed anywhere.


Before long, another deluge arrived. I pointed the pipes at the thickest part of the cloud-cover and, sure enough, the rain stopped within a few minutes. As you might be thinking, this could have been a coincidence. That was certainly a possibility as far as I was concerned. So, in the true spirit of science, I experimented.


I am very hesitant to monkey around with the weather, so I am not at all cavalier in the way I use this device. Nevertheless, once during a drought, I was looking to pull some rain near the farm. Luckily, we have a tool in our pockets that would have cost a fortune in Reich’s day—weather radar! So, in my experimentation, I would look to see where the rain was, even just the tiniest of systems, and see if I could pull it over. Worked. I’ve done it more than a few times, so much so that my wife has asked me to turn the cloudbuster on when the garden needs watering. I’m hesitant to do so—“It’s not like the hose!” I tell her. But then I saw this image float across social media the other day (an image from the early 1950s).


So maybe it is like the hose.


Over the past few months, I have experimented with dispelling chemtrails/contrails. I’m not exactly 100% sold on chemtrail theory—but nothing governments do could surprise me—but, chemtrail or contrail, neither one could be good for the environment. It was odd that I saw very few of these—the kind that go from horizon to horizon—over the past half-year or so, but at the end of January/beginning of February they seemed to appear daily. In the spirit of experiment, I decided to see if I could get rid of them. It worked. Then, a few weeks ago, I was driving home from an errand and saw dozens of these trails striping the firmament. I wanted to get home in a hurry to turn the cloudbuster on them. However, not a few minutes later I noticed the trails starting to dissolve. I wondered if my wife had been playing with the cloudbuster (she’d never so much as touched it before, so it would be odd.) Sure enough, when I arrived home, the cloudbuster was pointed in the right direction. I asked my wife if she’d done it. She said she hadn’t—but that she’d told our youngest to do it.


This may all seem like strange talk. But is it really? That guy in the pastel sweaters has been banging on quite a bit about changing the weather though dimming the rays of the sun by use of mists of calcium carbonate spread via aircraft, and the Chinese government is at the moment planning to massively expand its weather-modification program. I have little faith in these actors. But that doesn’t mean what they’re planning isn’t possible. In fact, I’d be willing to say they and others like them have been at this project for a good long while.


When Wilhelm Reich was imprisoned, all of his scientific papers were confiscated and destroyed under the guise that his was the work of a charlatan and that the things he proposed didn’t work.


I’m not so sure about that.


Herself:

Michael’s latest books are an edition of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and Transfiguration: Notes toward a Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Garden.

1. In Myron Sharaf, Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich (St. Martin’s Press, 1983), 379-80.


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