Thursday, March 23, 2006

More Macaulay Magic

He might be an opinionated jingo, but I'm starting to warm to the old bugger. Once he gets into the seventeenth century, from Charles the First on, it's almost racy, with a cast of overdrawn characters worthy of Robbins or Hailey. Here he is on public morals after the Restoration:

... The praise of politeness and vivacity could now scarcely be obtained except by some violation of decorum. Talents great and various assisted to spread the contagion. Ethical philosophy had recently taken a form well suited to pleasea generation equally devoted to monarchy and to vice. Thomas Hobbes had, in language more precise and luminous than has ever been employed by any other metaphysical writer, maintained that the will of the prince was the standard of right and wrong, and that every subject ought to be ready to profess Popery, Mahometanism or Paganism, at the royal command...

... The restored Church contended indeed against the prevailing immorality, but contended feebly, and with half a heart. It was necessary to the decorum of her character that she should admonish her erring children: but her admonitions were given in a somewhat perfunctory manner. Her attention was elsewhere engaged. Her whole soul was in the crushing of the Puritans, and of teaching her disciples to give unto Caesar the things which were Caesar's... She had been restored to opulence and honour by libertines... If the debauched Cavalier haunted brothels and gambling houses, he at least avoided conventicles. If he never spoke without uttering ribaldry and blasphemy, he made some amends by his eagerness to send Baxter and howe to gaol for preaching and praying. Thus the clergy, for a time, made war on schism with so much vigour that they had no time to make war on vice... It is an unquestionable and most instructive fact that the years during which the political power of the Anglican hierarchy was in the zenith were precisely the years during which national virtue was at the lowest point...

On "The Popish Plot":

... soon, from all the brothels, gambling houses, and spunging houses [sic] of London, flase witnesses poured forth to swear away the lives of Roman Catholics. One came with a story about an army of thirty thousand men who were to assemble in the disguise of pilgrims at Corrunna, and to sail thence to Wales. Another had been promised canonisation and five hundred pounds to murder the King...

The Parliamentary majority recovers from a political setback:

The party which preponderated in the House of Commons, bitterly mortified by this defeat, found some consolation in shedding the blood of Roman Catholics.

On the fitness of certain professions for public office:

... a lawyer, who, after many years devoted to professional labour, engages in politics for the first time at an advanced period of life, seldom distinguishes himself as a statesman ...

That last one has a few contemporary resonances, don't it?

There's also a copy of Voltaire's The Age of Louis XIV in the house. I was flicking through it yesterday. The second chapter is a survey of the state of various European nations before this glorious time. Here's how Voltaire describes Russia in that era:

Russia was still in a state of barbarism.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

you've been much too harsh on Macaulay. he was no jingo in his day. In his Parliamentary career he helped abolish the slave trade and voted to extend the franchise (albeit with property qualifications). That counts for a lot more than bashing the Catholic Church which is all well and good anyway and was a constant theme in Enlightenment literature of the day

Jason

Gummo Trotsky said...

As I said, Jason, I'm warming to him - as a historian that is. Didn't find much biography in the obligatory learned introduction so I wasn't up on his Parliamentary career.

His second chapter, on the great stoush between the Stuarts and Parliament which began with Charles first is quite a page turner. And once you get past the accidental humour of some of his broad brush characterisations of historic figures and casual stereotyping, he's very good at bringing out the political issues and the grounds of high principle and low passion that these stoushes were fought on. And that one about Parliament finding consolation in shedding the blood of Roman Catholics is quite mordant.

The Voltaire quote was included for "balance" or something like that - much pithier than Lord Macca but just as sweeping.

I find having a good giggle over some of the more infelicitous remarks of the greats a good prophylactic against being overawed by them. Plus, this isn't supposed to be a serious blog, largely because I find it impossible to write fluently when I'm being boringly earnest. Boringly flippant is much easier.

vkk1_hypno said...

Great bit of blogging on your site! If you get a chance look at my site hypnosis

Anonymous said...

A typical dictionary definition of hypnosis states that it is: a state that resembles sleep but that is induced by suggestion. However, anyone who has tried hypnosis (and any self respecting hypnotist) will tell you that this is a very simplistic view of the subject!
A much better description comes from the Free Online Dictionary which states that hypnosis is: an artificially induced state of consciousness, characterised by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. So what does this mean and how can it be used to your advantage?
Well, the subject of hypnosis has been discussed and pondered since the late 1700s. Many explanations and theories have come and gone though science, however, has yet to supply a valid and well-established definition of how it actually happens. It's fairly unlikely that the scientific community will arrive at a definitive explanation for hypnosis in the near future either, as the untapped resources of our 'mostly' uncharted mind still remain something of a mystery.
However, the general characteristics of hypnosis are well documented. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, deep relaxation and heightened imaginative functioning. It's not really like sleep at all, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling you get when you watch a movie or read a captivating book. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the outside world. Your focus is concentrated intensely on the mental processes you are experiencing - if movies didn't provide such disassociation with everyday life and put a person in a very receptive state then they would not be as popular (nor would TV advertising be as effective!). Have you ever stated that a film wasn't great because you just couldn't 'get into it'???
This works very simply; while daydream or watching a movie, an imaginary world becomes almost real to you because it fully engages your emotional responses. Such mental pursuits will on most occasions cause real emotional responses such as fear, sadness or happiness (have you ever cried at a sad movie, felt excited by a future event not yet taken place or shivered at the thought of your worst fear?).
It is widely accepted that these states are all forms of self-hypnosis. If you take this view you can easily see that you go into and out of mild hypnotic states on a daily basis - when driving home from work, washing the dishes, or even listening to a boring conversation. Although these situations produce a mental state that is very receptive to suggestion the most powerful time for self-change occurs in the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.
In this mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed and they release all worries and doubts that normally occupy their mind. A similar experience occurs while you are daydreaming or watching the TV. You become so involved in the onscreen antics that worries and everyday cares fade away, until all you're focused on is the TV. In this state, you are also highly suggestible. That is why when a hypnotist tells you do something under trance; you'll probably embrace the idea completely. However, your sense of safety and morality remain entrenched throughout the experience and should either of these be threatened you immediately wake!
A hypnotist can not get you to do anything you don't want to do.
So while in such a state, when we are highly suggestible and open to new beliefs, a skillful hypnotist, whether in person or via a recording, can alter life-long behaviours and even give us new ones! personal development

Anonymous said...

Neurolinguistic Programming

In the early 1970s in America Richard Bandler, then a young college student studied the work of Fritz Perls and later Virginia Satir and found that he could reproduce their high-level therapy skills to a degree that even surprised him. Bandler seemed to have a natural ability to mimic (model) the language patterns by Virginia and Fritz.

At the University of California at Santa Cruz, Bandler who was well versed in the teachings of patterns in mathematics and computers teamed up with a college professor, John Grinder to help him understand the processes that were at work. Soon Bandler and Grinder, who used what he knew about patterns in linguistics, created a new model for personal growth called NeuroLinguistic Programming.

Bandler and Grinder had set out to model the hypnotic skills of Milton Erickson. They had astounding results. They built a communication model about human "thinking" and "processing" and used that model of how we see images, hear sounds, reproduces smells and tactile experiences in our mind to track and model the structure of subjective experiences.

Sounds very complicated but really it works very simply. Here is an example as used by Paul McKenna - probably the best & most successful hypnotist in the world.

Close your eyes and think of a negative memory. Become involved in the situation as best as you can. Feel the emotions that you felt, see the things you saw and hear the things you heard.

Now take that memory and project it onto a mental screen seeing yourself in the picture. Put a frame around the picture and view it as if it is an old photograph. Next drain all the colour from the picture and shrink the screen to the size of a matchbox.

Have the feelings associated with the picture decreased in any way?

Another good example of NLP involves Anchors. Have you ever smelt a certain perfume or aftershave and had it remind you of a certain person or situation? Gone to a certain place that brings feelings long forgotten flooding back? Or been in any situation that creates emotional responses that would not normally be associated with it? Well if you can answer yes to any of these then you have experienced anchors. Some anchors are associated with positive feelings and some with negative emotions. However, you should be aware that anchors can be consciously installed or already existing ones altered. Here is an example:

Think of a time when you were really happy. If you can't think of one then imagine something that would make you feel really happy. See what you would see, hear what you would hear and feel what you would feel. Really get into the picture and try to experience it as though it were happening now.

Now brighten the colours and make them richer. Increase the volume. Make the picture bigger, brighter, louder. That's it and more and more....

Now press your first finger against your thumb and fully experience your happy feelings. Do this everyday for 2 weeks and you will create an anchor that will instantly recreate these feelings. Whenever you want to feel like that again just press your thumb and first finger together and wham the feelings will come flooding back! Don't believe me? Just try it and see!!! self-hypnosis

web hosting small business said...

Start Making Money Today.. Why wait

I would like to tell everyone I know about a new web site for web hosting small business... If you are looking on ways to mkae money starting a business and need a site to host it on . Visit http://webhost-er.com/ Today

low cost web hosting said...

HEEEEEELLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOO BLOGGERSSSSSS..

I would like to tell everyone I know about a new web site for low cost web hosting... If you are looking on ways to mkae money starting a business and need a site to host it on . Visit http://webhost-er.com/ Today

Anonymous said...

Neurolinguistic Programming

In the early 1970s in America Richard Bandler, then a young college student studied the work of Fritz Perls and later Virginia Satir and found that he could reproduce their high-level therapy skills to a degree that even surprised him. Bandler seemed to have a natural ability to mimic (model) the language patterns by Virginia and Fritz.

At the University of California at Santa Cruz, Bandler who was well versed in the teachings of patterns in mathematics and computers teamed up with a college professor, John Grinder to help him understand the processes that were at work. Soon Bandler and Grinder, who used what he knew about patterns in linguistics, created a new model for personal growth called NeuroLinguistic Programming.

Bandler and Grinder had set out to model the hypnotic skills of Milton Erickson. They had astounding results. They built a communication model about human "thinking" and "processing" and used that model of how we see images, hear sounds, reproduces smells and tactile experiences in our mind to track and model the structure of subjective experiences.

Sounds very complicated but really it works very simply. Here is an example as used by Paul McKenna - probably the best & most successful hypnotist in the world.

Close your eyes and think of a negative memory. Become involved in the situation as best as you can. Feel the emotions that you felt, see the things you saw and hear the things you heard.

Now take that memory and project it onto a mental screen seeing yourself in the picture. Put a frame around the picture and view it as if it is an old photograph. Next drain all the colour from the picture and shrink the screen to the size of a matchbox.

Have the feelings associated with the picture decreased in any way?

Another good example of NLP involves Anchors. Have you ever smelt a certain perfume or aftershave and had it remind you of a certain person or situation? Gone to a certain place that brings feelings long forgotten flooding back? Or been in any situation that creates emotional responses that would not normally be associated with it? Well if you can answer yes to any of these then you have experienced anchors. Some anchors are associated with positive feelings and some with negative emotions. However, you should be aware that anchors can be consciously installed or already existing ones altered. Here is an example:

Think of a time when you were really happy. If you can't think of one then imagine something that would make you feel really happy. See what you would see, hear what you would hear and feel what you would feel. Really get into the picture and try to experience it as though it were happening now.

Now brighten the colours and make them richer. Increase the volume. Make the picture bigger, brighter, louder. That's it and more and more....

Now press your first finger against your thumb and fully experience your happy feelings. Do this everyday for 2 weeks and you will create an anchor that will instantly recreate these feelings. Whenever you want to feel like that again just press your thumb and first finger together and wham the feelings will come flooding back! Don't believe me? Just try it and see!!! lucid dreaming