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Archive for Thursday 3rd October 2002 - Rediscovering the lost golden age

The mystical Irish poet, whose pen-name was AE, had his moments of vision. He once found himself back in the lost ‘golden age’. Everything around him was the same, but somehow transformed and made perfectly beautiful. In that state of bliss, he realised that the golden age has never departed, but we can no longer see it – except occasionally, in glimpses.

I am sure that is right. And I also believe that, through practice, dedication and study, one can learn to inhabit the golden age here and now. But what about the real thing – a society where peace and happiness are the normal state, and the heavenly atmosphere makes everything seem glorious? If ever there was such an age, it must have been long ago, before civilisation set in. Certain periods in history have been called golden – the Elizabethan age, for example. But they were just temporary, corrupt imitations. The true, traditional golden age was in times before science and scholarship, before cities and law-makers. One of its names is the age of Orpheus (the sublime musician from the Greek myths), because it was governed by music. Everyone sang and danced together at the regular festivals – always in the same musical modes. It was a state of harmony and enchantment. The years rolled on, eventfully, but the music remained the same, so nothing ever really changed.

Is that just a dream? Could there ever have been such a state on earth? I think there was, because there is proof of it in the pattern of ancient sites across Britain. That is a subject I hope to introduce later.

John Michell

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John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you. We have arranged with our friends at The Daily Mirror for website visitors to order books mentioned on this site.

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Unexplained Phenomena, A Rough Guide Special
(co-author Bob Rickard, rrp £12.99) at the special Mirror Direct price of £9.99 + p&p.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
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