THE WRITER'S BACKGROUND
SATURDAY 7th SEPTEMBER 2013
Hello. Having spent some weeks messing around, re-learning what I had grown up with while the technology was developing, I have ended up with something similar, in principle, to that which I first created over twenty years ago! Broadcasting my views digitally, growed and growed like Topsy, until Topsy fell ill.
So, let's hit the nail on the head. Cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. There are many cancers which remain livable and manageable, as well as some completely curable: mine is currently manageable and livable. Further, ageing does not mean copping out, for which reasons I'm back, once more launching forth! This synopsis serving as a preliminary to a full autobiography as I try to clear my home and life of the clutter of some seventy years.
From what vantage point of history do I stand? Inevitably, my fundamental attitudes of right and wrong stem from parental influence. Their attitudes were developed from their perceived view of their own history and were formed from what they considered to be most advantageous for them and their offspring (obviously coloured by conceiving a son in the middle of the Second World War). That they cared for their offspring was a prime motivator, defining who they perceived themselves to be.
A choice factor, developed from their own childhood experiences and their own gathering maturity: my mother's side was trade, my father's father was a civil servant, with trade experience in his family while my father was a professional soldier, working his way through the ranks to retire as a Major, Royal Military Police.
Some parents see only their self-interests, others are preoccupied, as in my parents' case, with an outward sense of responsibility and accountability for their children. To some extent this was influenced by the Church (in their case of England) but was more to do with the expectation of the mores of their perceived social standing. With a father abroad in the army, maternal family background moulded the rather muddled me. Patriarchal influence was diluted through distance and the limited technology of the day.
The maternal muddle devolved from a mix of hard-headed business sense, based on sound practicality; flamboyant business acumen aided by chance of circumstance on stage, in film and managing screen; conflicted with a love of entertainment as audience, while being preoccupied with what the neighbours would think and maintaining a muted upright front to the rest of society.
From that initial geo-social background (the geography being a prosperous Chilterns' market town with strong cultural pursuits) I formed my early opinions, initially mimicking the expected mores of those with whom I identified as being of like-mind, in whose company I felt comfortable. Generally, typical English Public School (they now call them Independents) steeped in four centuries of foundation but caught up in the 19th century bias towards developing future colonial administrators.
The CofE was an inherent part of life's philosophy and attitude, with a diverse involvement in the community. Henry VIII was morally wrong but right for England's security (actually wrong again but that's another issue!) and his unintentional establishment of Protestantism, the sole purpose of which, in my eyes, was to bring Rome to heel for the arrogance with which it presumed to control our England. Therein lies the conflict between my own free-thinking and mix of towing to, yet also arguing against, the established pattern.
Prejudiced perception of the way things were and should remain persisted for a long while, despite my own enlightenment. I never understood why girls couldn't do the things boys did. I should have enjoyed my days in the CCF had girls taken part as they do today! I would have preferred the scouts or pioneers but was pushed into the CCF by my father. Retrospectively, I can see he was right at the time. He was expecting me to be called up but National Service was abolished two years before my time was due.
My 'enlightenment' was perhaps due to my thespian aspirations, encouraged by my mother's younger sister, more open about my Great Uncle Jim, the family's 'unspoken of' professional. It was she who opened my eyes to all aspects of theatre and inadvertently encouraged my early interest in girls, even at the age of 7, which caused some consternation at Convent School. Purportedly following 'the best available' Convent School (itsefl a hive of background intrigue of which I only became aware at a consideraby later age) was my precursor to Preparatory School and further emphasised the motivational conflicts through which I was erratically and somewhat blindly steered.
The CofE's prolonged argument about women priests caused me to drift away and determine my own interpretation on religious matters, leading me to debunk religion, in preference for the wider horizons of philosophy and to determine my view was as wholesome as any priest's.
I describe myself on Facebook as a 'Christian-orientated free thinker and psychic researcher'. Essentially, I am an Englishman, of mongrel breed in an inherent partnership with God according to England's convenience but unquestionably in the stance of protest. That is the conflict: the practicality and historical need for a structure, while being sufficiently open-minded to allow change of attitude, as knowledge and understanding of the unexplainable (and re-interpretation of past pronouncements in the light of those times) develops.
It is more through Life's natural progression of "seeing through a glass darkly and then face to face", than dawning realisation that there are more years behind me than are ahead, that enhances my increasing conviction that this life is merely one dimension of a multi-dimensional existence: that there is indeed spirit and the Christian interpretation on that is at least as good as anything else, having the advantage of acquired familiarity.
I am not so excited by my increasingly assured belief that there is something more beyond this life as to be desirous to leave it sooner than I need. There is only one assured reality and certainty and that is the moment in which we are at any particular time. Beyond that moment, in any direction (future, past, tangential or parallel) is mere speculation but my speculation is increasingly convinced that death is no more than the reverse of birth and if circumstances justifiably dictate, there is no point in hanging on just for the sake of it: just give me the syringe early enough and I'll end the unjustifiable cost of just hanging about.
That is the background of the writer of these pages, so you may interpret his writings in the context of his prejudices.