Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nevill Drury

Nevill Drury MIGHT be a spiritual guru type person.

I think I added a bunch of these people in a row. But I could have interspersed other people in the middle.

Well, we shall see.....

Okay. Yeah. Lord Wiki says Drury does have a spiritual connection.

He's a publisher; and I guess he published some metaphysical stuff.

Baby Nevill was born in England in 1947. Lord Wiki doesn't give an exact date.

He moved to Australia when he was ten. That would be 1957, or it could have been the beginning of 1958.

He has a Masters of Arts degree in anthropology from Macquarie University. One of my friends just enrolled there, and I made sure to remind her that this is where The Wiggles went to school.

Drury's publishing career began in 1976. He worked as a managing editor for Harper and Row and Doubleday.

Harper and Row later became Harper Collins. Harper Collins has so many imprints....including Australia's Angus  and Robertson.

Doubleday is now part of Random House.

It seems like most books these days are published by a very small handful of publishing companies. It's like how almost every food product is owned by a small number of food companies.

It bothers me that the whole world seems to be controlled by a few huge corporations.

In 1981, Drury helped to establish an art book imprint called Craftsman House. It looks like the company was still publishing books within this decade. Drury worked for them as publishing director from 1989 to 2000. I wonder if the company is still in business?

Well, here's a 2002 article from The Sydney Morning Herald about Craftsman House. It says that a woman named Rhonda Fitzsimmons bought Craftsman House. Fitzsimmons seems to feel she saved the company from folding. Yet, some other people are angry at her because she's done annoying things like refusing to pay authors their royalties. Fitzsimmons feels she doesn't owe royalties to authors published by the previous owner. What? That sounds crazy to me! She sounds a bit like the Rhonda I wrote about yesterday...not giving people the money that is owed to them.

I don't see a current website for Craftsman House, so I'm wondering if they did eventually go under.

At some point, Drury also did the bookstore thing. He was the manager of a metaphysical bookstore in Sydney called Adyar Bookshop. They're still in existence. Their website says they've been around since 1922, and they're owned by The Blavatsky Lodge of the Theosophical Society. Cool.

I like the three objectives of the Theosophical Society. They are:

1. To Form a nucleolus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour. Wouldn't race be color...and if not, what does colour refer to? Is it how tan you are?

2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science. I like that they encourage learning. Learning is lovely.

3. To investigate unexplained laws of nature, and the powers latent in human beings.

Well, at least on the surface; this seems like a group I could like.

Back to the bookstore....

It recently moved locations. It used to be on Clarence Street. Now it's on Bathurst Street. I'll try to find it on Google Maps.

It's close to Town Hall Station and St. Andrew's Church. It's not too far from the west side of Hyde Park.

Anyway, I don't know how long Drury was manager of the bookstore....or when. It might have been before he worked for the publishing companies.

Strangely, while thinking/writing about the sentence above, I had one of these weird flashes. I wrote a post about it before. Basically, I had this amazing dream sometime in my childhood. It gave me this FEELING. I can't really explain it. Sometimes I have flashes of the dream...or flashes of feelings from the dream. And I believe the dream MIGHT have been connected to Australia in some way. Maybe the bookstore is a clue. OR maybe reading about metaphysical bookstores led my mind into connecting to thoughts of my metaphysical-feeling dream. Who knows. Any atheists reading this can believe the latter. I like to believe the former. We can all choose the explanations that make us most happy and comfortable.

Drury doesn't just publish. He writes as well. He writes about Shamanism and other occult stuff.

He wrote a biography of an Australian witch named Rosaleen Norton. I'm definitely adding her to the list....unless I already have her.

Nope. She's not on the list yet. I had thought maybe I had encountered her name while searching for occult people that one July evening.

Anyway, I think I'm done with Lord Wiki. I'm going to feed Jack and myself some breakfast. Then I'll look elsewhere.

I'm back. Speaking of weird stuff and breakfast....

Yesterday Tim made his own bagels. I don't think it's something he's made for us before. Although when I expressed surprise, he reminded me that he had spent many years working at a bagel shop. But I think this might have been the first time he tried making them on his own...in a home kitchen.

Later in the day, Tim called his sister to wish her a happy birthday. She told him that she had tried to make bagels very recently. Tim was quite surprised, and informed her that he had done the same. I guess it's some kind of sibling-bagel bond.

Anyway, back to Drury.

This esoteric website has an article written by him. It's called "Magic and Cyberspace: Fusing Technology and Consciousness in the Modern World".

He talks about how the Internet can be used for role-playing. We can become something that we're really not. I'm totally fine with this, as long as everyone KNOWS a game is being played. I know sites are out there for people to use their imaginations. That's fine, and fun. I think there's a huge difference between doing that, and LYING. When I talk to people on the Internet, I expect them to be who they say they are. I would not be happy or easily forgiving if I found out they were lying.

There's stuff I want to say about dishonesty, but I don't want to give certain media hungry individuals time on my blog. Let's just say I'm disgusted and leave it at that.

Drury says, It comes as no surprise, then, that neopagans and occultists of all descriptions have been quick to embrace the Internet as a new means of communication.

Okay. Yeah. But there's also a ton of Christians, Atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. embracing the Internet.

Drury seems to be connecting cyberspace experiences with psychedelic drug experiences. I've never done the latter, so I can't personally compare.

Drury says that Steve Jobs went to India and did a lot of Acid. Wow.

I'm starting to understand this article. Maybe the connection is that drugs give people a sense of connection...oneness with the universe. And the Internet does the same thing. It's really connecting all of us. It's mind boggling to me that this is happening to us....that I can reach out and talk to people far far away....instantaneously. We live in a world where your best friend no longer has to live in your neighborhood. They can live on a whole different continent.

Oh. I'm glad I've decided to consider myself Neopagan. I can really relate to some of the stuff that Drury says about them.

He says here.... Neopagans generally regard technology and magic as interchangeable. Ever pragmatic, they seem to be primarily concerned with what works.

Yeah. That sounds like me. I try not to stick with a limited dogma...especially with stuff like health. I feel a lot of people make a strict choice between Western and alternative medicine. My feeling is if works for me, I'll use it.

When I'm not feeling good, I take immunity tablets...you know things with Vitamin C, zinc, and various herbs. It almost always makes me feel better (knock on wood!) People will mention that they've heard it's just a placebo. I say, Fine! If it's a placebo and it works...bring me my damn placebo!

I'll happily try alternative medicine even if scientific studies show it doesn't do anything. But I also don't shy away from Western medicine. We go to a regular Western medicine doctor. I take Western medicine painkillers.

I'm the same with spirituality stuff. I'll try different practices and products. If it works, I'll keep using it. If it doesn't work, I'll lose interest. In my case, most stuff does NOT work for me. I've tried so many things to increase lucid dreams....gemstones, herbs, meditation stuff, music, tea, vitamins, etc. None of it has worked for me. I don't regret buying most of it though. The tea tasted good. The gemstones are pretty, and Jack helped me invent a fun game with them. The vitamins are healthy otherwise.....

Drury's article talks about how pagans in the Bible Belt can use the Internet to access like-minded people. I think this concept can apply to anyone who lives among people that they differ from. I live in Fort Worth--a Republican cow-eating Christian city. How could a Pagan, more-left-then-democrat, vegetarian survive in a place like this?

The Internet doesn't just help us find like-minded folks far away. It helps us find other fringe people close by. I met my best friend in Texas through the Internet. And well, she actually is a Republican cow-eating Christian, but she homeschools her kids. So we have that weirdness in common.

The Internet is probably responsible for the recent growth in homeschooling families. We can now easily find people out there who are as weird as us. We don't have to feel so alone. There's strength in numbers.

Here's an interview with Drury in a Pagan journal.

Drury was born in the same year and same town that Aleister Crowley died. I'm not sure who that is. He's not the guy who started the Satanist religion, is he?

No. He's a British occult guy.

Who am I thinking about then?

Ah. Anton LaVey.

I'm not sure how I confused those two guys. Well, both their names start with the same letter.

Drury says he considered the idea that he was Crowley reincarnated; but Drury was born in October, and Crowley died in December.

The interviewer suggests that maybe Crowley was brain dead by then. Yeah. Maybe his soul had already entered Drury's baby body.

When Drury came to Australia, he lived in a migrant hostel for three years.

Daddy Drury was an art teacher.

The family did a lot of traveling. If I'm reading this right, they left Australia to travel the world. Then they returned again.

Daddy Drury returned to England at some point. He got sick and died.

Drury did a lot of traveling in his early years. In reaction to this, he got himself a big house and accumulated lots of stuff.

I moved around a lot as a child. I mean it wasn't as nuts as some people. We moved every 2-5 years. I feel I'm sort of torn about moving. There's this part of me that wants to sell almost everything we own and become nomadic. I hate that we have so much stuff. I want to be FREE. But then there's this other part of me that wants to keep our house forever....mostly because I'm too lazy to do a massive clean up.

I'd love to be a nomad in Australia though. I'd love to just travel from place to place.

Drury believes what made him first interested in the occult was a paperback book called The Dawn of Magic.

He got the book when he was fifteen. He won a math competition. As a reward, he was told he could pick out a paperback book. He picked the magic one, and it changed his whole life.

I love stories like that.

I love thinking that something seemingly insignificant can happen today that will have a huge impact on my life.

Someone new could comment on my blog. We might become friends and eventually meet. Our children might be become friends. Later they may fall in love. Then I can say that my grandchildren are the result of the fact that one day their grandmother committed on my blog.

Yesterday I went through and started looking at my blog entries from last year. I saw a comment on one of my blog entries that had inspired me to write another blog entry. That other blog entry resulted in me having a horrible fight with someone. I saw that yesterday and thought....if that person had never written that comment, I would probably have never been inspired to write the controversial blog entry. I mean I don't BLAME the comment in anyway. And I might have later written a similar entry anyway. But it's just funny how one little thing can lead to something big.

Here Drury says he went to the University of Sydney rather than The Wiggles University. But perhaps he went to both.

Drury says he had a very wild social life....lots of drunken parties.

Around his University time, Drury did some counterculture publications. One was called Chaos, and the other was called Lucifer.

It seems it wasn't just the prize paperback that introduced Drury to the world of the occult. His father was a Theosophist.

Then at some party, he had an exciting drug experience. I guess that pulled him farther into it all.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only occult-leaning person who hasn't had past experiences with mild-altering drugs.

Well, I'm sure there are others out there like me.

Drury gives his viewpoint of the difference between mysticism and the occult. He says that mystics see the world in terms of love and light. Occults believe there is a dark side as well, and this needs to be worked through. I think I definitely lean towards the occult. I don't LIKE evil, but I do believe it's out there.

Yikes. I thought I had just lost my WHOLE post...well, everything after the first few sentences. It all just kind of disappeared....I mean not magically. But I must have pressed the wrong thing somehow. That's never happened to me before. Fortunately, it didn't go through an automatic save, so I was able to close it, and then get back to it.

I did lose a few sentences, but I'll just redo.

I like what Drury says here. The people I regard as my greatest influences have all been individualists and not team players. I don't usually feel I fit in well with any group. And sometimes I don't feel strong and brave enough to be the black sheep. So I need to remember that it's OKAY to be different. And I don't just mean different from the mainstream. I mean in my life....that's a given. But I also don't fit in well with most other alternative people. I don't mean that I fail to get along with everyone. I just mean that I'm kind of caught in the middle a lot of times.

Religion is one example. I'll look at an atheist website and think these people are SO rigid. Can they not have faith in anything? Do they have to so strongly rely on science?

Then I'll go a spiritual website, roll my eyes, and think, These people have their heads completely in the clouds! Do they even know what science is? Why do they put so much faith in anecdotal evidence!

I think I could fit in with Neopagans...somewhat. But not really. There's the whole drug thing. It seems a lot of pagans are into that. And a lot of pagans do rituals. I am SO not a ritual person. That's one of the main things that turned me away from Judaism. I obsessively read about Judaism. I loved it. I even loved reading about all the rituals and traditions...stuff that really had not been a part of my own Jewish-upbringing. Then I went to someone's house, and I think we did some ritual...maybe some ritual hand-washing thing. It just didn't feel right to me. And I don't like closing my eyes to say the prayers over the sabbath candles. I don't like kissing the Torah in Synagogue. It all feels silly to me.

I don't have anything against other people doing religious/spiritual rituals. I just don't feel comfortable doing them myself. I guess I'd rather just watch, or read about it.

I like what Drury says at the end of the interview. He says that occultists should stop with all the secretiveness. We should feel connected. We should be open and share. I agree with this.

If we have knowledge that will help people in the world, we should share it.

I hate websites advertisement that promise a miraculous cure or idea. But you have to buy the E-book to learn about it. I hate when people are greedy with their knowledge. And when they are that way....I usually assume they really don't have something worthy to share.

There's some that say we shouldn't trust that which is free. I'm the opposite. I'm weary to trust any information that is NOT free. Because if it's not free, someone might have an alternative motive in publishing it.

Now a lot of self-help people do make money from their work. But they still provide information for free. An example that comes to mind is William Sears, the attachment parenting guru. He has a helpful website that I've often consulted. But he also has a library of books one can order...or find at the library. I don't put full faith in his ideas and methods. But I have more faith in him then I would in a guru who says I have the answers that will make parenting easy! Buy my e-book and finally be the parent you've always wanted to be! My three steps will change your life!

I think I'm going to stop soon. I need to take Jack shoe shopping. We're going to Disney World soon, and we need to start doing preparation stuff.

It seems my beloved Powells store has a lot of Drury books. I might add some to my wish list. Oh! Speaking of books. I'm reading Stephen King's Duma Key right now. It's kind of funny because it's about supernatural stuff and art. And Nevill Drury's two main interests are supernatural/occult stuff and art. So the book I'm currently reading fits in well with this post. How lovely is that.

Well, guess what. I can't quit this post yet. I just found more good stuff that I can't just ignore.

So I'm going to take Jack shoe shopping and indulge him with a promised ICEE. Then I'll come back and do more work....

Well, I'm back.

After Target, we took a walk around the neighborhood. We saw lots of butterflies, an ant that looked like a bull ant, and a small dead snake.

Now I'm ready to get back to work.

There's an interview with Drury on ABC's The Ark.

Drury says that New Age is an eclectic approach to spirituality. Under that definition, I could label myself New Age. I just don't fit well with the New Age ideas of...well, there being a new age. I don't believe humanity is on the cusp of some mass spiritual breakthrough.

Drury says, It's a blending of re-birth doctrines, self-help, personal growth, and in the modern era of course it's got blended in with psychology and the study of consciousness. But it does originally come from the idea there's a universal wisdom tradition, which applies to all of the great religions, and it focuses on the idea that there are many paths to the same transcendental reality, the same supreme reality, and in a way it's moving away from the concept of an exclusive religious path.

That all sounds nice to me. I'm not a big fan of self-help though. In small doses, it's okay.

Drury says, And I think many New Age people are looking for the idea that you don't have to have religious or spiritual perception based on faith, it can be based on experience, and that experience can also link into the world of scientific observation.

I think that's fine...great. I like combining science and spirituality, as long as people understand that some stuff can't be proved or disproved. Some of spirituality has to come from faith. And if a person IS going to use science, they need proper documentation. It's not right for them to just declare Well quantum physics shows that blah blah blah is true. If you're going to bring up science, then ACT scientific about it. Give me evidence. At least give me the name of the study that was done.

I'm not one of those who's going to shout out pseudo-science just because I might disagree with it. But I'm not going to believe something simply because someone has said, Science has proven.....Most of the interview is about the history of the New Age movement. I don't really want to go into all that, so I'll look elsewhere now.

Actually, maybe I'll stop here. I'm hungry, and Jack wants to watch Arthur with me.

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