You have no idea just how much power you posses. It’s buried deep within you. That power can be accessed at any time. All you have to do is turn your attention within, and recognise that you do have value, that you do have worth, that nothing is impossible for you to achieve because you are an individualised aspect of the very thing that created this reality to begin with.
Consider mental illnesses an individual chemico-biological problem has enormous benefits for capitalism. First, it reinforces Capital’s drive towards atomistic individualisation (you are sick because of your brain chemistry). Second, it provides an enormously lucrative market in which multinational pharmaceutical can peddle their pharmaceuticals (we can cure you with our SSRI’s). It goes without saying that all mental illnesses are neurologically instantiated, but this says nothing about their causation. If it is true, for instance, that depression is constituted by low serotonin levels, what still needs to be explained is why particular individuals have low levels of serotonin. This requires a social and political explanation; and the task of repoliticalising mental illness is an urgent one if the left wants to challenge capitalist realism.
—  Capitalism Realism - Mark Fisher

There are so many of us who have issues with mental illness and it’s almost impossible to share individualised tips for everyone in Study Break Down’s #happyhealthystudy series, so today we’re sharing some more generalised tips for studying with mental health!




Franz Hartmann -  Macrocosm and Microcosm (Theory and Practice), “Cosmology or Universal Science (Containing the Mysteries of the Universe, explained by means of the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians)”, 1888.

1. The dualism of God and Nature: Yeats sometimes uses Nature as partially synonymous with God, both being the goal of primary Phases, God from Phases 22 to 28 and Nature from Phases 2 to 8, in which sense  Nature is the true image of God ; however in other places he differentiates them, seeing the movement from Phase 1 to Phase 15 as the movement towards Nature and the movement from 15 to 1 as towards God. In this sense, Nature, as individualisation and linked to Man, is linked with the antithetical. Both aspects of this dualism are present in this diagram.

2. The two groups of circles or spheres, God and Nature, are given seven stages, lettered TINCTUR, moving both inward and outward. The antithetical and primary Tinctures are the dualistic motive force of the Universe through the tension between them.

3, After the central monad, each subsequent level is divided into four quarters, although this does some violence to triadic aspects within the divisions. Each Person of the Trinity is  1 and 3 , however, in the divine circle the Trinity is given a fourth counterpart, “Verbum in Natura”, the Word in Nature, linked in the 4th midpoint circle of God Father, God Son and Holy Ghost, with the Virgin and Child, which corresponds quite closely with Yeats posited Matrix (womb), as the mirror in which the Trinity, but specifically the Holy Ghost, is reflected. In the natural circle, the three Paracelsian elements (sulphur, mercury and salt) are joined by a fourth, Corpus or Body, which apparently corresponds with the form of the Ultimate Matter. Although there is no immediate correspondence between these and the four Principles and four Faculties, the scheme is consonant with this type of division and Yeats suggests specific correspondences between the Principles and Christian and Neo-Platonic divisions, and a four-fold structure dominates the geometries of A Vision.


“The rings are, of course, symbolic of the Laws of Karma. The position Saturn holds in space is indicative of the fact that a person cannot incorporate the energies of the furthest planets - Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, into his individualised consciousness without first passing the various tests of personal responsibility so that he proves himself capable of handling the energies of a more evolved state.” - Alan Oken

Saturn in the first house:
The illusion of being trapped in his own skin leads the first house Saturn person into a dark tomb with himself acting as the cruel prison guard. The individual may feel as if his own individuality and unique expression is wrapped in a tangle hold and only amounts in shame. When he smiles, the years drip away, and a fabulous, glow crosses his face like a beaming light. His smile is his most unforgettable feature.

Saturn in the second house:
When the planet of value, Saturn, finds itself in the second house of value, the individual is driven toward finding, sustaining and retaining what he finds personally meaningful and resourceful. While some manifestations of this placement relate to acquiring material possessions, the second house jewels stem further into the soul riches that make his heart sing. This can be diamonds, people, feelings, God, comforts, security and establishing a sense of ownership over things that make him feel.

Saturn in the third house:
Despite his gentle and thoughtful expression, the individual can become so caught up in his self conscious fears he struggles to release his words. Once he finds his mental niche, his brilliant mind is unmatched in expertise.  It’s like the third house Saturn person watches his life pass by through the sepia lenses of someone who has lived a million times over.

Saturn in the fourth house:
Fourth house Saturn people are saturated in the search for a meaningful inner experience. A place of comfort, a sanctuary of retreat away from the world is the longstanding lullaby that soothes their psychological complexes and unfulfilled childhood needs. The world melts away on the sail through their rich inner world. Houses breathe to them

Saturn in the fifth house:
More than anything, the fifth house Saturn person wants to be loved. There may be a gaping hole in his chest he feels he can’t fill, as though he is unworthy or somehow defective and unlovable. He may be desperate to feel that soul-saturating, particle shattering love, although he blocks himself and self isolates from these opportunities. 

Saturn in the sixth house:
The individual can be a disciple of the highest order, a spirit here on earth to offer out arms in service and healing riches. There can be a high level of nervous tension and digestive upset with Saturn in the sixth. Health tends to be a priority of life, strange or wavering health problems can seem like fate

Saturn in the seventh house:
 Without love, the individual may experience harsh feelings of self deprecation and inadequacy, but Saturn won’t stand by while he enters relationships out of loneliness and not love. He will be forced to love the person in the mirror before he is given free reign amongst others.

Saturn in the eighth house:
The 8th house is a torrential journey through dark channels of the psyche and unconscious, the breathing and the expired, the graveyard of ashes and rebirth. The raw and forceful tugs of Saturn force a steady and contrarious experience. Such streams create a battleground of mental and transcendental power. This is a spirit capable of extending between between the material world and the supernal, co consciously. 

Saturn in the ninth house:
Dane Rudyhar discusses the idea of Saturn in the ninth being forced to provide concrete and personalized application to the mystical experience. That is making magic, there can be no tricks, illusions, or acceptance in blind faith. Symbolism becomes rich in everyday life and a direct reflection of the illuminated God within. Saturn in the ninth is the disciple of the cosmos, the magician of all spiritual law, the master of the material plane, pouring the cosmic fountain of pure wizardry.

Saturn in the tenth house
There is something magical and crackling about Saturn in the tenth. Like they are a wizard of every time period in history, holding an hourglass filled with sorcerers dust, cradling the orb in their hands that knows how to turn far away dreams into something real and wonderful. This is Saturn’s royal progeny, his golden child, the one he will carry under his wing and thrust into glory.

Saturn in the eleventh house
The eleventh Saturn person may disappear from the social scene for days or even weeks on end. The individual may also prefer to eschew entertaining interpersonal contact until he is ready. There is a deep fondness for privacy. His inner circle is likely small and the people that know him best may know a completely different personality altogether than outsiders

Saturn in the twelfth house
Saturn here screams from the subconscious in search of recognition for the interconnection between all beings, God and the universe; calling for an obliteration of the ego in return for sewing themselves amongst the tapestry of wholeness. Saturn in the 12th are forced to submit to the collective, despite their intrinsic, overwhelming illusion of separation.


[art by nicoletta ceccoli]

Consider mental illnesses an individual chemico-biological problem has enormous benefits for capitalism. First, it reinforces Capital’s drive towards atomistic individualisation (you are sick because of your brain chemistry). Second, it provides an enormously lucrative market in which multinational pharmaceutical can peddle their pharmaceuticals (we can cure you with our SSRI’s). It goes without saying that all mental illnesses are neurologically instantiated, but this says nothing about their causation. If it is true, for instance, that depression is constituted by low serotonin levels, what still needs to be explained is why particular individuals have low levels of serotonin. This requires a social and political explanation; and the task of repoliticalising mental illness is an urgent one if the left wants to challenge capitalist realism.

Mark Fisher, Capitalism Realism.

Aquarius - The New Age Frequency

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”  
―    Nikola Tesla

As we move beyond the spiritual Age of Pisces into the secular Age of Aquarius, the world’s frequencies shift in gear and spray a new vibration to which human consciousness can experience and align with. As we enter the age of individualisation, technology, science, and the 5th dimension of love and creativity, children of the Water Bearer Aquarius emit the frequencies of the New Age. Aquarian people are vessels that provide new and innovative divine information for progression. Such individuals born under Aquarius experience the ultimate gamut of the intuition and sorcery granted by the Aquarian Age - telepathy, clairvoyance, the art of mass influence, and the electric psychic energies of their ruler, Uranus. Deliriums and hallucinations are considered pathology, but only from the realms of scientific reality. Aquarius symbolizes a sign where material is merged with meaning; and so clairvoyance, telepathy and dreaming become guiding forces. This is especially aligning with the energies of the Aquarian Age.

The nerve endings of Aquarians are the electrically charged sixth sense into the words, needs, and feelings of others. The Aquarian Age indicates the fulfilment of 5th Dimensional communities and the ascension to the 5th Dimension of love and creativity, and this is an intrinsic quality and flair in the Aquarius archetype. Like the Aquarius, the corresponding Age is set to overturn known social convention and breathe fresh air into the mundane and outdated. Electric Aquarians will send shockwaves through the world’s holy water and arouse all sorts of spiritual friction, high voltage and drastic changes and possess a hypnotic influence over the collective mass consciousness. The sign of Aquarius is at home in this Age, and it is truly time for the Air intelligence to shine and realign the world with their progressive virtue, rampant intellectualisation and belief in unconditional equality. They are already well informed and visionary when it comes to the themes and energies of the Aquarian Age. The promotion of the free, the radical and the reformist will streak through all known societal structures.

The Aquarian frequency is low, cool and refreshing. This is much like the breath of fresh air orchestrated by the divine for our planet during this New Age. As Jesus waits in the home of Aquarius, the eleventh house, the Water Bearer nourishes humanity with new insights, expansion and the promise of finding a peace that is truly individualised. Jesus will return, but he will return within us, and Aquarius is the mirror of this phenomenon. The key themes around the Aquarian incarnation including self actualization and individualisation will be echoed as an intrinsic development of each and every soul, as the patriarchy of religion and government slips away from grip. Traditionally in Astrology, the sign of Aquarius is understood to associate with heavenly or esoteric energies, and was introduced in Atlantis alongside its neighbour sign, Pisces. Here the water of Aquarius is baptising the new world, sensing our connectedness and responsibility for, the future of humanity. Humanitarian issues like asylum seekers, poverty freedom of movement, speech, thought and association are all concerns to which the Aquarian and its Age intend to align with justice. Aquarians hold their memory of the starry vault of heaven and cosmos from which we emerge, and lure or souls to return to these worlds and return to play with the galaxies far away.


art by                                                                                                                                                                                            oxanabasil                        

This is one reason why so few people in a post-Fordist economy, outside of the “creative” elite at least, identify with the content of their jobs. There is very little to identify with. While entire communities and cultures were built, rightly or wrongly, around the identity of being a coal miner or steelworker, all that remains for most service workers is the abstract form of “work” itself.

Here the appeal of the “hardworking people” trope becomes evident. Even if they hate their jobs, and experience nothing but alienation from their working lives, the formal status of “working hard” remains one of the few ways people can gain self-respect in a society that has destroyed the old avenues of working class emancipation.

But note that the term is “hardworking people”, rather than “class”. This is an appeal to a working world formed by individualised contracts and powered by negative solidarity: a world where as long as I have to work ever harder in a meaningless job in order to survive, then I’m going to make damn sure you do too.


As ever when I post links involving economics to any degree, bear in mind I know as much about economics as David Cameron knows about pop music (substitute “a muddled impression of Keynes” for “The Smiths”). But I enjoyed reading this long essay on wealth creators, hard workers, and bullshit jobs in a bullshit economy.


The purpose of life, including our human life, is the evolution of consciousness. The aim of our human existence is to become as fully human as possible, to realise or make real the full potential inherent in the human condition. This applies to all levels of being human, to the biological, the emotional as well as the mental level.

Instead of seeing yourself as just a personality with a mind and a body, imagine yourself as part of an individualised life-stream that flows eternally towards increasingly higher levels of consciousness. This life-stream builds itself different personalities as vehicles for its flow of consciousness. You are one of these temporary vehicles. Your personality is temporary, the present cutting edge of your life-stream as perceived in our space-time.

The aim of your life-stream at this level is to develop a vehicle that allows the full expression of your soul suitable for travel beyond the human condition. When this is accomplished, no further personalities are needed. As an ascended being the life-stream can now traverse the trans-human conditions of consciousness.


This evolution of consciousness normally is a slow process and most personalities are not aware that they are part of an evolutionary growth. However, as the personality comes closer to perfection, it does become aware of its purpose and it begins to long for spiritual unfoldment. Before this spiritual awakening, the personality may already have believed in God and followed a religious faith in the traditional way. But there is a difference. In the traditional religious life the believer may try to follow the doctrines of his faith the best he can, but he basically remains on the same slow evolutionary path of consciousness.

With the spiritual awakening, spiritual growth becomes the main focus of this personality. The slow evolutionary process now becomes a spiritual revolution, not only in regard to the speed of the growth of consciousness but also in regard to the overthrow of established values. This spiritual revolution may take place within the confines of an established religion or it may happen outside a religious faith. Within a religion, these awakening spirits will sooner or later come in conflict with established doctrines. They may try to revolutionise or restore their church to its highest ideals and eventually become mystics or saints or martyrs or just start their own church or sect. Most established religions had at best an uneasy relationship with their mystics and (later) saints.

In any way, whether the awakening and subsequent spiritual growth takes place within or without an established religion, the awakening personality will begin to follow the spiritual guidance that comes from within rather than the established rules and doctrines of church and society. Spirituality is no longer something that one does on Sunday mornings or other established times and according to established rules, but rather it becomes the central purpose and focus of life. With this, we may say that the personality is now on the spiritual path.


While the real goal of the spiritual path is the same for all, there are many different roads that one can travel and one may even travel without a road. Also the goal may be described in different terms without always recognising that it is the same goal. This is so because we all have different starting points and different preferences and opportunities. Many spiritual travellers will not expect to reach their goal in their present lifetime, while others may realise that they do not really need to travel anywhere.

Some of the better-defined roads are the different forms of Yoga, the Tao, the Gnostic teachings, the Rosicrucians and various ancient and modern Mystery Schools. While the Mystics are generally regarded as a distinct group, they really travelled each on his or her own individual path. At present Ascension teachings through books and channelled guidance attract many followers. These teachings are largely individualised outgrowths from the writings of the Theosophical Society since the end of the nineteenth century.

Looked at from a different perspective, we may say that there are two different approaches that often intermingle in each individual spiritual path. One is the path of the Doer or the Magus, while the other is the path of the Knower or the Mystic. The Doer mainly works in the world as a healer, alchemist or white magician, trying to master the non-physical energies and forces. The Mystic, on the other hand, follows mainly the inner path, seeking Union with the Divine Self and in the process becomes a Knower and a teacher. However, ultimately Knower and Doer both become one.


The recorded experiences of the many mystics in all religions is of particular interest because we can learn from these what the spiritual path looks like when it is not guided by specific verbal or written teachings. Most of these individuals in past centuries did not know that there was such a thing as a spiritual path and that others had travelled the same or a similar route. They just felt a longing to come closer to God and to feel at one with Him, to melt into Divinity like a drop of water becomes one with the ocean.

Each of them had different experiences and many of them walked only part of the way, but by constructing a composite picture from a large number of their writings we can discern a distinct pattern of the typical mystical path. Few mystics seem to have travelled all of this ‘typical’ path, but this may be because we can see only one life-time of a multiple-life-time journey. This typical mystical path may best be described as a five-stage journey and we may easily see its relationship to contemporary spiritual practises.

The Awakening:

The spiritual awakening is the beginning of the mystical path and also of the spiritual path in general. It may be sudden or gradual. Often it comes as an emotionally overwhelming 'mystical experience’, possibly ending a period of great emotional torment and suffering. Another frequent setting is during a spiritual initiation ceremony, such as presently during water baptism for 'Born-Again Christians’.

Others may have this awakening experience during an especially intense prayer or meditation or drift gradually onto the path by attending workshops or reading spiritual books. The latter as well as others coming to the path because of philosophical considerations turn out to become like the 'mental mystics’ as compared to the 'emotional mystics’ who had their mystical experiences mainly at the emotional level.

This initial peak experience may last for hours or days with gradually declining intensity. Commonly it is a combination of deep feelings, such as universal love, with profound spiritual intuition or insight, although depending on the personality traits the emotional or the mental component may dominate. Also psychic phenomena are frequently involved in the form of visions and voices.

–  Walter Last

Art By:  WhimsyRomance&Fun

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As history reveals, decisions about which crimes American culture diagnoses as “crazy”, and which crimes it deems as “sane”, are driven as much by the politics and anxieties of particular cultural moments as by the innate neurobiologies of particular assailants. Perhaps more importantly, the focus on mentally ill crime effaces narratives that, by default or by design, fall out of collective purview. Again, understanding a person’s mental state is vital to understanding their violent actions. But focusing so centrally on individualised psychology isolates the problem onto lone “deviants” while making it ever-harder to address how mass shootings might reflect cultural as well as individual states of mind.

Originally posted by coeyymarie

Aries ~ Practicing Psychology 

It seems commonplace for many Aries to enter psychoanalysis or psychiatric fields. If this is not a profession, the mind’s activity is likely an intriguing interest. This could relate to the Aries assignment, to integrate a personality, to thread an expression with the building blocks of experience. Aries rules the first house of self radiance and activates the entire light of the sun at the moment of first breath. It is the cosmic duty of Aries to create an identity which can express the whole solar light. The experience of Aries associates closely with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This being the pattern of attaining Psychological needs, Safety, Love and Belonging, Esteem and Self Actualisation for one’s Self. Aries focus their energy attaining primitive experience to development of individualisation. Abraham Maslow was appropriately so, an Aries.

Aries contains impulsive energy that is largely raw and primitive. Their self, psycho introspection is not so much driven by knowledge, but by the need to understand the human condition, appropriateness, and behaviour to model. The archetype of Aries is the child. They can largely lack the ability to self reflect or objectively analyze their character. Aries seem to acutely study other people and their reactions. Their curiosity can span into all forms of psychology and the why’s and how’s of human behaviour. Aries can be acutely sensitive to abandonment because they rely so tremendously on other people to model their self actualization and understand typical reactions. This reflects their duality Libra. The sense of ‘unrealness’ or nonexistence when other people are not present. Aries individuals are constantly reforming themselves. There is no collective past or bleary trauma. Nothing exists but a clear sparkling canvas, ready to be coloured into a cosmic rainbow. Researching psychoanalytic fields satiates the Aries process of developing insight into human conduct. The Aries personality seeks to understand social cues. There may be largely confusion when confronted with social demeanour. It could be typical for the Aries to be perceived as flamboyant, hyperactive, and elaborate, or sometimes inappropriate and offensive. They will try all things to see, discover, and learn how to be. 

Aries people commonly psychologically test love ones and friends. They can create continual crises and conflict to understand boundaries and expectations. Aries are threading the fragments of a new personality. A brand new galaxy taking its first baby steps on earth. The Aries lives multiple lives in one. It can be typical of Aries to frequently change positions, opinions, and values, contouring a new self to align with what has been learned and experienced. Aries can throw this inflammatory internal conflict into external reality, and the individual may need a fair amount of counsel or psychoanalysis to understand their own conduct. By the time we move onto Taurus, we begin to fixate on the universe more deeply, concreting the past and containing the personality. Sometimes I think Aries get so many headaches because their vessels are constantly bursting with new experiences and sharp threads of a new personality being stitched together.


House by Mickey Muennig

Muennig is an important proponent of organic architecture, creating highly individualised structures that express the dreams of his clients, while complementing the natural environment.

Neoliberalism has by now woven its key tenets (choice, freedom, responsibility, individualisation) and mechanisms (quasi-markets, outsourced provision, payment-by-results) through the very fabric of modern welfare states across the world. This ‘governmentalisation of government’ (Dean, 2002) – the reflexive and strategic enfolding of governmental ends into its very practices – can be understood both as an inevitable step in liberal government’s perennial fear of governing too much and as an alternative instrument to discipline subjects’ behaviours alongside direct paternalistic interventions (Dean, 2002: 50). As Soss et al. (2011: 3) describe, the neoliberalisation of welfare systems reflects the expansion and intensification of the market logic “as an organizing principle for all social relations” (Soss et al., 2009: 2) as well as to “the state as an instrument for constructing market opportunities, absorbing market costs, and imposing market discipline” (Soss et al., 2011: 3). In doing so, and quite unlike the view of markets as ‘natural’ spheres in classical liberal economics, neoliberal arrangements of welfare systems recognise the artificiality and fragility of markets and the need to constantly create, advance and protect market mechanisms and ideologies. As such, neoliberalism leads to more rather than less state involvement and intervention – a rollup and roll-out of the state rather than any roll-back (Brown, 2003; Schram et al., 2010).
—  Whitworth A (2016) Neoliberal paternalism and paradoxical subjects: Confusion and contradiction in UK activation policy. Critical Social Policy 36(4): 3

Aries can psychologically test their loved ones, and themselves, by creating continual crises and throwing conflict into harmony. They can throw the battle they feel inside, partly coming to understand being human, into their external lives. This makes for combat in both experiences. 

The purpose of the Aries incarnation associates very much with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This is the pattern of attaining Physiological needs, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem and Self Actualization for ones self. Aries spend their life focused on attaining the primitive elements for the development of individualisation. Abraham Maslow, was also appropriately so, an Aries. 

Sun-Moon: Aquarius

aquarius sun, aries moon: selfish, headstrong, impatient, bright, trailblazer, zeal, eager, unpredictable, individualisic 

aquarius sun, taurus moon: confident, fearsome, obstinate, faithful, trustworthy, arrogant, leader, rigid, obsessive, concerned

aquarius sun, gemini moon: free, happy, unemotional, shallow, wise, keen, mobile, prideful, outgoing, mysterious, restless

aquarius sun, cancer moon: patient, sympathetic, accepting, perceptive, imaginative, romantic, offbeat, withdrawn, insecure

aquarius sun, leo moon: theatrical, kooky, chaotic, arrogant, funny, impulsive, absent-minded, stubborn, thoughtful, bewildering

aquarius sun, virgo moon: distant, objective, intelligent, critical, uptight, faithful, devoted, bright, friendly, stressed, detached, sensitive

aquarius sun, libra moon: musical, peace-loving, dreamy, trusting, accepting, friendly, imaginative, utopian, pleasant, open, tolerant, fanicful

aquarius sun, scorpio moon: free-spirited, extreme, wild, enduring, selfish, forceful, creative, strong-minded, aggressive, missionary

aquarius sun, sagittarius moon: irresponsible, tolerant, eccentric, independent, philosophical, drifter, uncommitted, irreverent

aquarius sun, capricorn moon: impatient, inventive, fearless, enthusiastic, independent, secure, intolerant, ambitious, genius, cheerful 

aquarius sun, aquarius moon: unusual, detached, insecure, independent, impulsive, inconsistent, unclear, thrill-seeking, uniquely charming

aquarius sun, pisces moon: helpful, kind, clairvoyant, humble, innocent, generous, sensitive, wise, dreamy, visual, humanitarian 

Fuck Your Hard Work


Recently, I interviewed a dozen of my former classmates, now aged in their late thirties and early forties, to see how their lives differed from those of their working-class parents. Was it true that Britain was becoming classless, and people more individualised? Had this generation embraced the ‘flexibility’ apparently offered by the global labour market? Or did they yearn for a return to the certainties of a job for life?

I quickly discovered that the answer to all three of those questions is no. Superficially, my classmates appeared to have climbed the social ladder. They had to wear suits for work, not overalls, and they had fancy-sounding job titles: they were all ‘analysts’, ‘consultants’ or ‘managers’. But in reality, their lives were little different from those of their parents, most of whom had worked in the factories and shipyards of 1980s Tyneside, or (in the case of their mothers), in shops or as office cleaners. What bound them to their parents was the experience of really hard work: ‘they worked hard for us’; ‘I work very hard’ were phrases I heard repeatedly. Their supposedly middle-class lifestyles were built on credit and debt, and on the insecurity of zero-hour, or temporary, or part-time contract work. ‘Flexibility’ did not inspire them; strangely enough, most of them wanted to work close to home, and close to family and friends, and didn’t relish having to move jobs at the whim of their employers.

Perhaps more surprisingly, none of them exactly relished returning to the alleged certainties of the past. That’s the postwar past, the 1950s and 1960s, often mythologised by politicians as a time of job security, affluence and upward social mobility. In reality, Britain never experienced entirely full employment, working-class ‘affluence’ relied on the expansion of credit agreements; and only a tiny minority of people travelled from a manual working-class home into a profession. These were years when working-class people had greater bargaining power than ever before, because of demand for their labour and the progressive reforms introduced by the 1945 Labour government. But there has never been a time when capitalism existed without the exploitation of most people, most of the time.

My classmates weren’t necessarily aware of this historical detail, but they were aware that working for a living was unlikely to bring them what they want and need. They didn’t aspire to greater job security because their aspirations didn’t focus on work. They were tentative about admitting this at first. That’s understandable, in a country where politicians of all hues claim that being a member of a ‘hardworking family’ is a criterion of citizenship. Yet as my classmates slowly began to admit, most people don’t see hard work as a virtue. Their aspirations focus on getting more leisure: time to spend with family and friends, doing things they consider worthwhile. That might be childcare, but it might equally be creative or craft work. In a study of 1990s Basildon, the social scientists Alan Hudson and Dennis Hayes found that ‘Basildon man’ and woman – the supposedly arch-working-class Tories – felt disenchanted with a society that offered them meaningless work. Asked about their aspirations, most of this group of manual workers put ‘making a scientific or medical discovery that could benefit the human race’ top of their list. Similar sentiments were evoked by their children’s generation when I interviewed them. They dreamed of winning the lottery – and concurred that they’d use the money to leave work, spend more time with family, and ensure their children didn’t have to work for a living.

This is a sensible attitude. Hard work causes stress, poor health and early death – above all, it has never solved poverty. We work longer hours now than we’ve done for fifty years, yet the gap between the rich and poor has never been wider. Working hard cannot solve an economic crisis. The fact we are all expected to work so hard is in fact a result of economic crisis: a crisis that did not appear in 2008, but has been with us far longer. This is the crisis at the heart of capitalism: a tension between the 1 percent who control the economy, and want to continually increase their wealth, and the rest of us, who are expected to work ever harder, in order to generate profit and to keep us from occupying our time in meaningful ways like questioning or challenging the status quo.

Yet throughout the last century, that strategy has never been completely successful. The history of the working class is often told as a constant struggle for work. But in fact working-class people have constantly strived to reduce the amount of time and effort spent working for ‘them’. For men that meant trying to get into reserved factory work during the Second World War because fighting in 1914 had brought no benefits for ordinary people. For women, it meant leaving domestic service, which was Britain’s largest single occupation until 1939. Thousands of servants simply deserted their posts in the weeks after war was declared, in the knowledge that factories and offices would require their labour. They weren’t enamored of working on an assembly line or behind a desk; but they were aware that clerks and factory hands had regulated hours of work, basic pay rates and in some cases a holiday entitlement. Domestic servants, by contrast, were expected to work six and a half days a week for a pittance: it was by depending on such labour that the professional middle class reproduced itself in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

After the war, the real gains of the 1950s and 1960s were delivered by ordinary people themselves. The Labour victory in the 1945 General Election delivered a welfare state and near-full employment, but more interesting is how ordinary working people chose to exploit these improvements. Factory and, increasingly, office workers mobilised to improve working conditions and, importantly, reduce the amount of time they spent at work. That’s why so many of the disputes in the 1960s and 1970s were over the basic rate of pay, and who distributed overtime. If you’re paid a decent basic wage, then you don’t have to spend evenings and weekends at work, or take on evening or night shifts in order to pay for your mortgage, car or holiday.

Why, then, have people voted for the Tories, the party championing hard workers and entrepreneurialism? Precisely because the Conservatives seemed to offer an answer to many people who wanted to stop working for ‘the man’. The Tories have only ever offered individualistic solutions: home ownership or the chance to start your own business. These promises of social mobility and self preservation have always failed, because only a few can ever possess the wealth and opportunity in a capitalist country. Bankruptcies rose in the 1980s, following Margaret Thatcher’s scheme to fund business start-ups, and owner-occupiers suffered record levels of repossession in the 1990s. Today, those who ‘own’ their homes are in reality in hock to banks, burdened with huge, unsustainable debts.

Solidarity, on the other hand, has delivered important victories, and could offer a real alternative to austerity. Look at the tremendous achievements that collective struggle made over the last century: better working conditions, shorter working hours, an expanded public sector that gave us better jobs and care, democratically controlled housing and free education. The working class has declined as a collective political force, but the desire to help each other out has not – its just that its only outlet is now in worrying about children’s and grandchildren’s uncertain futures. By showing that collective effort can bring huge gains for all of us the Left could justify the redistribution of income and property, which is the only way to create a truly classless society. The political establishment scoff that this is ludicrous, but they have yet to reveal the logic behind their own incredible notion that ‘hardworking families’ can overcome the inequality perpetrated by a powerful elite determined to hang onto their privilege.

Selina Todd, a social historian, is fellow and vice principal of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She is the author of Young Women, Work, and Family in England

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In practice, the attention on the figure of the girl makes social development appear as yet another individualised project. It avoids attention on the structures, systems and networks that actually produce the economic, social and political marginalisation of girls. For example, the search for new markets in Africa and Asia, corruption, colonial legacies, and the War on Terror all deepen poverty and displace hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people. But the international community asks girls to take personal responsibility for their welfare. For instance, Nike Foundation’s campaign Girl Effect portrays girls as ‘co-creators of new solutions’ to poverty. How are adolescent girls going to address state corruption and the War on Terror? No one is denying the agency of girls; indeed, I have documented such forms of resistance. However, we cannot expect girls to do this work in the absence of an authorising environment. Putting the onus of solving systemic problems such as poverty, terrorism and disease solely on girls, rather than calling for political solutions, is in reality contrary to the interest of girls.

The convergence on the figure of the girl should be greeted with skepticism. These campaigns tend to render invisible some of the biggest problems afflicting girls in the global South. In the case of Pakistan, for instance, we can begin by acknowledging the political and economic conditions that make the lives of girls and their families precarious. This would include advocating for living wages rather than simply ‘jobs’. It would involve protesting the exploitation of the country’s natural resources and its people by transnational capital. It would call for legal measures to provide safe working environments, and holding the Pakistani state accountable for re-investing in the enervated social service sectors.
Man is a political animal in the most literal sense: he is not only a social animal, but an animal that can be individualised only within society. Production by a solitary individual outside society – a rare event, which might occur when a civilised person who has already absorbed the dynamic social forces is accidentally cast into the wilderness – is just as preposterous as the development of speech without individuals who live together and talk to one another.
—  Marx - Critique of Political Economy 1859

It is from Hod and Netzach that the ideas of “soul-mating” come. This much abused doctrine means that the more highly individualised and developed a soul becomes, the less chances there are of matching it with another having exactly comple- mentary qualities. Ordinary, run-of-the-mill, mass produced, herd-level humanity seldom has mating difficulties, since they are so similar to each other they fit together within limits of tolerance. Souls who advance or retire behind the wave-crest of average mortals do so at their own risk. The further they go from the so-called “norm”, the fewer of their type will they find to mate with. Yet unless such souls existed, humanity would never rise or fall above its own flat surface, and so would succumb to sheer inertia. It is the ups and downs of life that make it interesting and hold our attention on the business of living.

ELOHIM SABAOTH being the Divine Female Principle in us all, looks for an equivalent mate through humanity in YAWEH SABAOTH at Netzach. This happens on all levels of life. Each must find through others what completes them- selves, and this applies both individually and collectively. If ever such occurred as a fact in this world, it would be the end of humanity, and a happy ending too, but such an event is utterly unforeseeable within any significant time for us here and now. Nevertheless, in striving for such a collective goal individual attainments do happen, which brings this ideal achievement nearer to the rest of us.

The description “SABAOTH” is strictly interpreted as “Hosts” in the sense of armies or combative groups, and here rises the “battle of the sexes” as a concept of an eternal struggle for sex supremacy. On the surface it might appear that the forces of Hod and Netzach were in opposition to each other, but the actual exertion of energy is concerned with maintaining the impetus of polarised potential rather than neutralising two extremities.

This means when positive and negative types of energy encounter each other, there is a resultant force-effect tending to diminish the original energies by its own amount. If this went on indefinitely without replenishment from the first force- supply, energies would simply cease altogether. In human terms, Man and Woman would cancel each other out leaving no remainder. Cynical temptations aside, the race must go on for the time being at least. So there is a “battle” (energy exchange) between Male and Female which in physical terms is the sex act. A resulting child proclaims the victor by its own sex, and continues the “conflict” when it is old enough. This is the “war” which is waged by the sexes on earth.

Hod and Netzach show plainly enough in combination with Yesod the Glory and Victory behind sexual reproduction. They maintain continuity of polarised power between Male and Female on every life-level. Naturally this is not exactly a tranquil process, but it should never be in any sense a hostile one. Enmity of whatsoever kind between the sexes, is entirely wrong. The ideal status should be one of balanced partnership. Two as one. There must be no question of “superiority” but simply suitability. ELOHIM SABAOTH and YAWEH SABAOTH are the God-Aspects originating the pattern we must follow to obtain perfect results. All of us in Earth and Existence are involved with each other in this Scheme. The better we can develop our intelligence with the help of the ELOHIM SABAOTH God-Aspect in us, the better we shall participate in the Plan for Perfection.

Since Hod cannot be properly understood without Netzach, we shall travel along the level Path connecting the two Sephiroth.

- WILLIAM G. GRAY; Qabalah Renovate