Empire’s should be measured by their legacy, not their longevity. Quality, in terms of what influences endure, is how to judge an empire’s contribution to the world. The British Empire’s legacy is one that has had a positive effect on the lives of billions.
It’s ironic to watch people complain and condemn, in English, the British Empire and its colonies in a medium invented by an Englishman (the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee).
It’s reminiscent of that sketch in Monty Python’s Life of Brian in which the rebel leader asks the question, “What have the Romans ever done for us?!”
One by one the answers come: the aqueduct, sanitation and public health, the roads, irrigation, medicine, education, the wine (very popular), public baths, public safety, and peace.
Of course it’s true that there were terrible events, cruel people, catastrophic errors of judgement and other examples of the corruption of the human soul but then there were all these things in every empire before or since.
If the British Empire is to be judged only on these aspects then so must every other one and it’s surprising just how many there have been.
The capacity for cruelty and barbarism at one end of the spectrum, and spiritual, artistic, and scientific achievement at the other end is something that all humans possess.
The net result is that the British Empire may not have lasted the longest but it was the biggest (23.8% of the world’s land area) and its influence is being felt all over the world today, and that’s likely to continue for many years ahead.
The list of British inventions is long and comprehensive. It covers just about every aspect of human life. If you want a more detailed list you can divide this down into lists of English, Scottish, and Welsh inventions.
All the above are practical things. They are inventions that have contributed to the worlds of engineering, medicine, agriculture, science, technology etc.
They have enhanced people’s lives making them better and more productive. They have enriched and improved the lives of billions.
The list of inventions don’t take into account Britain’s contribution to the world in terms of everything from art, culture, music, government, architecture, and language, to sports, the postal service, and sense of humour.
The English parliamentary and judicial systems were adopted and absorbed by many former colonies. English is the first language of over 400 million people. It’s also spoken and understood by about 1.5 billion people around the world.
Oh, and let’s not forget what we won the Battle of Britain and held out against the Nazis when the rest of Europe was under the jackboot.
Despite all this, mention the British Empire anywhere and you’re likely to provoke some vitriol from those obsessed by the Slave Trade. Briton’s make an easy target for these arguments because we are, generally speaking, open and honest about our country’s past.
However, the people who cannot see anything else but this part of our history are often the same ones who seem unable to confront the Arab nations about their participation in the northern and eastern African slave trades.
Nor can they admit to the uncomfortable truth that many Africans become wealthy by participating in the slave trades with both the Europeans and the Arabs.
It should be apparent, even if it is only grudgingly admitted by some, that the net result is of British Empire’s legacy is one of enormous good to the world.
It is recognition of this combined with the long and fascinating history of Britain from the Stone Age to the present that makes me proud to be British.
It is also what draws millions of tourists to visit Britain each year to marvel at our landmarks, whether they were built 500 or 5,000 years ago.
In the years to come that influence will continue to reverberate around the world but it’s not a series of waning ripples from a past event. It is a strong pulse emanating from the beating heart of Albion as it continues to grow and develop as a nation.
Kate Bush fans who also have a passing knowledge of occultism may have noticed the similarities in the lyric of her song Lily and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.
Lily is the sixth track on the 1993 Red Shoes album. It was also the opening song at the Before The Dawn performances at the Hammersmith Odeon in 2014. It’s not hard to understand why she choice this particular track to start the show when you know what the song is about.
I’m not an occultist but like many I’ve read a few books so as soon as I heard the song I recognised the evocation in the words. However, before we look at in more detail it’s perhaps best if we establish a baseline for what follows.
If you took an iPhone 7 back in time 500 years and showed it to a priest you may be fortunate to be met with curiosity and wonder. You could just as easily find yourself arrested and end up experiencing a long and excruciating execution as a witch or magician in league with the Devil.
Top Tip: If you should find yourself transported back to the earlier Elizabethan era look up a chap called John Dee. He would be more likely to be curious rather than suspicious.
We often talk about scientists making discoveries. In other words, they uncover something that has always existed and now it is revealed. What was once esoteric or occult eventually becomes familiar and clear. The advances in technology in the last 150 years are proof of that idea.
So far, so what? What has any of this got to do with a Kate Bush track and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram?
Well, in order to appreciate the LBRP you have to take a step out of physics and into metaphysics. You have to accept that things are not proven here but they can be experienced and still have an effect.
The LBRP is a space clearing ritual designed to clear an area for further work, for meditation, or it can used simply to establish as an exercise in ritual and visualisation complete in itself.
It was originally devised by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and in the decades since it has been tweaked and amended by various practitioners.
It’s a basic ritual that is widely used by those following the Western Mystery Tradition.
There are plenty of websites and YouTube videos that describe and demonstrate how it is done so if you’re interested in it I suggest you go ahead and explore. Here is one such explanation.
If you read through that description you will notice that it involves imagining the presence of the four Archangels; Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel. Powerful stuff.
However, all the ritual paraphernalia, incense, and robes don’t mean a thing if you can’t imagine what is described. You need to be able to see and feel their presence for the magic to work.
It’s true that magic is all in your head and just your imagination. The thing is people underestimate the power of the imagination and the effects that it can have on your reality.
A true Magus or anyone will a flair of these things will be able to execute this ritual in their mind’s eye without lifting a finger.
If you’ve read any self-help or NLP books you may be aware that your body and mind don’t know the difference between what you physically see and what you strongly imagine.
So if you imagine things strongly enough you will generate that reality. By imagining yourself to be strong and confident you will be start to feel that way.
It’s a psychological trick that is used widely, particularly in sports in which the competitor imagines himself or herself winning, lifting the trophy to rapturous applause.
The theory behind the LBRP is that this has an effect outside your mind too. It clears the area of unwanted astral gunk and purifies the space ready for meditation or other work. It’s a bit like a chef giving a kitchen a thorough clean before starting the prep for the evening’s service.