Saturday, March 5, 2016

Beginning my PhD, New Projects and More!

It has been a long time in the making, over twenty-five years of research regarding the Celtic-speaking peoples and their lost and fragmented beliefs, or what many consider today 'Druidism', but I have been dedicated in my pursuit since 1991. All of my game designing and Celtic related novels, even film scripts are connected to its basic ideas in some way, and I have been piecing together the vast remains of that era. Just as Tesla could understand the Earth's Magnetics and Electricity, and Einstein Gravity and Relativity, and each made it their own life's work, Stephen Hawking's work with Black Holes, I have really dedicated my own life secretly behind the scenes to unraveling the 'World of the Druids', and their philosophies. Their cryptic designs and fragmented concepts and lore make clear sense to me in the same way that Tesla, Einstein and Hawking (et al.) could understand their various fields.

I wanted to know who and what they were really were. Not what people told me they were. Not the Romans, Greeks, and especially not the wacko New-Age/Neo-Pagan Gurus today who are absolutely a universe away from that world. To better comprehend it all, logically, I had to learn the languages, past and present, and the prevailing theories of Celticity and Prehistoric European religion(s), and philosophies. The matter grew complicated many times over in the decades.

No one has yet figured the ancient beliefs of the Celtic peoples, or the teachings of the Druids, or the extent of where they went in Celtic Europe. All books about the Druids repeat the same information and only give some different angles in places, but generally share the same data without daring to explore anything deeper. This had always puzzled me. The top minds of Celtic Studies would write the same information time and time again essentially, if that, or take a harsher view towards the Druids and view them as barbaric knife-wielding priests bent on murdering innocents with a primitive religion (as Christian and Roman sources tell us). I do not see it this way, as the evidence betrays a very profound and deep philosophical system. 

During my first two degrees I expanded my understanding of the material and Celtic Studies likewise grew into new and profound theories and views regarding who the Celts were and are today. This increased and advanced my own work, even simplified it. Using Einstein's own words, 'If you cannot explain it to a child, then you do not understand it yourself.' Now, after these many years I have it broken down to what could be a new startling and groundbreaking perspective on Druidism, Metempsychosis, which goes hand-in-hand with Celticism in Europe. I am about to start on my PhD in Celtic Studies from the University of Exeter (Studhyansow Geltyon dhyworth an Benskol Keresk) and finally put all of this data, decades' worth, into the thesis. I now hope my dissertation will prove this in a few years....

There is so much that I can expand it into nearly two more studies, lengthy, and will, extrapolating with early Pythaogorean Hellenic sources and other related materials, it will be unlike anything anyone has ever written on the Druids. I see it as a pivot-point in our already changing view on early man's religion from the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron-Age in Britain and Western Europe.

In essence, my interest in the Celtic Otherworld and Faery-folk goes back to the early 80's, and searching for that hidden spark of 'magic' in music and life. So this has been my life's pursuit from the earliest days. It is the core of who I am in the end and the basis of everything I have really ever done and sought, now culminating in my Doctoral work at last. The only difference is that, when I was younger, growing up in a very disjointed, culturally illiterate society in Oklahoma that was ignorant about the 'Celts', I didn't know who they were until the mid-80's. This was thanks to the BBC series, the famous six episode set of shows, and that fact that I was told of my own Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Related projects, are several books dealing with the faery-folk of which I am teaming up with well-known authors Dr. Alan Kent and Kevan Manwarring on one of my books. These faery themed books are a new direction in my own writing and are related to my PhD research, as everyone will later find out.

On the Troll Lord Games front: the Codex Germania is completed, and now the Codex Slavorum is next in line with editing and art, leaving the large and monumental Codex Classicum. Following in the wake of those books will be the supplemental adventures. Smaller but wondrously fun books to immerse yourself into the Germanic and Slavic worlds of gaming.

Separately, the blog of another fellow author, and the head of my English Department in which I teach at, Steven Wedel, has gained a global and viral attention lately. If you haven't kept up with our state's problems, education is being reduced down to its barest level of funding by an uncaring government. They have stripped away our funds, and continue to do so without comment coldly. It is the usual case of thoughtless politicians, never the educated or ones experienced as educators, dictating how education should be managed. I come from a town where a similar dilemma was already underway by an uncaring ego-driven, over zealous, local government hell-bent on ridding the town of its legacy, arts and eventually culture (from what little it possessed to begin with). Now, added to the state-wide nightmare caused by the Governor and her cronies, Oklahoma is really set on destroying teachers and ensuring that children will never be fed, given decent funds for their proper education and emerge as broad (and open) minded individuals, ready to break this pattern of self-inflicted ignorance. 

Ironically, I sit and write at the crux of anti-intellectualism in our country in Oklahoma, and it hurts every minute. The majority find their 'facts' in the media and by Social Media in general, or by their Religious 'Leaders', and disdain academics. They waste time and money battling over placing the Ten Commandments at the State Capital instead of focusing on making our students acquire a better education, THAT is their priority. Ignorance is plenty and it speaks heavy. Phone zombies, as I call them, are everywhere, and yet, having access to the Internet and all of the history, science and information of Mankind, they choose to linger on gossip and other petty nonsense. It is beyond Oklahoma I know, but here it is endemic. Being normally a history teacher since 2002, I remember that other times in history, scholars and teachers that were distrusted and campaigned against by the government: examples of this occurred by groups such as the Nazis, Qin Shi Huang, Stalin and many others who suppressed the spread of knowledge because it might harm their seat of power. When teachers and scholars are shunned by those in power and then the populace, as this State, and country, have done, then we are in dreadful times.

When Creationism and Religious Dogma is mandated as law over scientific and logical education and thinking, then things have begun their downward spiral into oblivion. I do not consider personally a scientist valid, or his or her, methodologies or words so, if they are a Theist and openly profess to a belief system. That would be contrary to the rational approach of Scientific Thinking and at odds. One cannot believe in some invisible Space Daddy on one end, in which you cannot prove through these same methodologies, and then be expected to act the part of scientist as well (especially when lives might be on the line due to your intervention).

This is not meant to give an answer or rant, just a quick observation of the problem. By this August, I have been teaching for fifteen years, in both Higher and Public Education, and the subjects I can teach cover the breadth of over a dozen or so at the moment. After my PhD is finished, this will grow to larger depths and range of over twenty topics I am qualified to teach - if not more. What is sad, is that my home state and home-town, frown upon intellectualism and being unique more than ever. The 'Buddy System' has thrived here forever and poisoned every aspect of life and now completely strangled it until nothing is left. Aside from these religious-minded politicians physicially closing our schools personally, or stepping into our classrooms and censoring what we teach, and they are getting close to that...we do not have much left. The students do not fully realize the danger they are in. My seniors do, and are savvy to the threat, but are powerless to stop it. 

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