Dear WordPress….

And so, WordPress, it’s farewell. I’ve held off writing this post as I’ve been busy publicising the new co-authored book I’ve been writing and that’s taken priority.

But now it’s time to have my say (which I’ve done before, here and here) about your new Block Editor, which is set as default with no chance of returning the original Classic Editor which was so easy to use. So straightforward. So deviod of confusing techie buttons and blocks and bits to fiddle around with.

So de-motivating too if, like me, you want to write without having to second guess how the hell to get your ideas down without needing to plod through a load of new symbols to find what you want.

And such a killer for any creativity, not to mention making everything much more stressful – for me at any rate.

I wrote to you about the Block Editor and had some interactions with a few of your “Happiness Engineers” (what a job title to live up to!). To be fair, they all responded and did their best, according to their brief, and offered help, even a video. Unfortunately, all the help offered was routes I’d already sussed out for myself and found them unsuitable as they were – here we go again – confusing, stress-making and for me, made blogging a chore rather than a pleasure.

So full marks to the Happiness Engineers for being helpful, but no marks for making me feel happy or doing as I’d requested, which was to reinstate the Classic Editor for me as default.

The Happiness Engineers – four of them in all – asked how they could help and I wrote (mindful that several other bloggers I know, techies amongst them, were having difficulties & disliked the new editor):

You can help by properly restoring the Classic Editor rather than making it an option using the main Blocks Editor, which you have foisted on users. I don’t like Blocks, I’ve tried it and it’s taking me at least twice as long to write posts while I try to figure it out. Even switching to the Classic Editor option, it’s nowhere near as easy. It’s taking up a lot more time now to write a blog post and I’m feeling very demotivated. It’s taken the spontaneity out of my creativity and basically I loathe it. Please restore the Classic Editor as it was. A lot of other users have expressed dismay at this change. I am seriously considering whether I wish to continue with WordPress. I’ve read your help sections for the questions below and it sounds as if you’ve decided you’re determinedly on this new track with Blocks, so maybe I’m wasting my time giving you this feedback.

The response was:

I wish we could set the Classic editor on the WordPress.com dashboard as your default editor, but it has been retired so it is not possible. Yes, it might have a learning curve, and while I do understand that it might take some time – I promise that it will be worth the effort.
I understand that you don’t like the new editor style of editing with blocks so I wanted to offer two other options:

These were options I’d already tried so it was starting to be very Groundhog Day-like. I replied:

I appreciate your encouragement and your offers of help, but I really don’t want to travel through this learning curve and I certainly don’t agree with you that it will be worth the effort of learning something which excites me about as much as a dirty wet dishcloth. And wastes my time as I struggle to make sense of it. Be aware that not all bloggers as techie-minded, and even those that are this way inclined are pretty irritated by the new, all-pervasive Block editor.

So there you have it, an edited account of the saga. But with the same end result, and with my decision to head off and away from WordPress and on to pastures new, which I’ll be posting about when I can face tangling with the blocks again.

This may not be a very creative post, but it’s one I needed to write and get off my chest. Oh yes – and I’ve written it all in LibreOffice Writer so I can (hopefully!) paste it straight in. Let’s see….

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Why “Piercing the Eggshell”?

Some may wonder why the title of the new biography of Bruno & Louise Huber is Piercing the Eggshell. This post – written by my husband and co-author of the book – gives a brief explanation.

As outlined in the book, astrological psychology is very much based on the view of the human psyche adopted by Roberto Assagioli’s psychosynthesis – encapsulated in his ‘Egg’ model. The psychological ego lies within the dotted egg, in its conscious and unconscious guises. The transpersonal (spiritual or higher) self lies at the top and just outside the egg itself. The boundary of the egg is dotted, to illustrate the permeable nature of this relationship, i.e. that this higher self can be connected with.

It is easy to see that the stronger the ego becomes, the more materialistic the person becomes, the less she is open to the higher self, the less permeable is the shell of the egg. In the extreme case the habitual ego is effectively encased within a hard shell. The possibility of higher connection has all but disappeared. It is not difficult to identify individuals in the world where this is apparently the case. Their name is legion.

For most of us the shell is permeable, but the layer of habit is quite strong. Some effort and perseverance is required to connect to our higher faculties. This is where astrological psychology can help.

In the book Astrological Psychosynthesis, Bruno Huber extended the Egg Model into his own Amphora model, a version of which is shown on the cover of Piercing the Eggshell, incorporating the Egg on which it is based.

The Amphora relates the Egg to astrology, and shows a way upward towards our spiritual nature. The ego lies, as before, within the Egg, reflected by the ego planets [Sun, Moon, Saturn] supported by the tool planets [Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter]. The Egg has been opened out at the top, showing Uranus as the planet which helps ‘break through’ the shell of the ego, Neptune as the universal love at the ‘neck’ of the Amphora, through which we must pass before the transformation with Pluto.

So that’s it – an astrological path to growth of the individual ego towards becoming a better version of themselves. The gift of Bruno & Louise Huber.

And that’s why the title is Piercing the Eggshell.

Piercing the Eggshell – the story of Bruno and Louise Huber

Slideshow of Bruno and Louise Huber at various seminars in England, Switzerland and Germany with some of their students from all over the world

What did you do during the first big lockdown on 2019?

Unexpectedly, along with my other half Barry as co-author, I researched and helped compile a biography of Bruno and Louse Huber, pioneers of the Huber Method of Astrological Psychology. You can hear how we came to do it from this short video we’ve made to launch the book, published on 10th November 2020.

This non-predictive use of astrology combined together with psychology is now used worldwide as an astrological psychological tool to help people realise their own potential and, ultimately, contribute to making the world a bit better than it is right now.

The Huber’s story is a fascinating, real-life one, and tells of the obstacles they had to overcome, the sacrifices they had to make and the determination they had to hold on with in order to realise their vision of doing something for humanity.

It wasn’t easy, but these two were people were very special, driven and motivated beyond personal gain and in pursuit of more spiritual goals and the evolution of humankind. They were influenced and helped by Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli, who founded Psychosynthesis, and they founded the Astrological Psychology Institute in Zurich in the early 1960s.

Since then, their well-researched approach, teaching and books on what is now known as The Huber Method, is used in many countries around the world. It focusses on personal and spiritual growth and on moving us as participating humans, into living our lives as kinder, and more aware people.

You don’t need to know any astrology to enjoy it as it’s an intriguing stand-alone read, but if you do understand some astrology you’ll probably get a lot more from it – and if you don’t know any astrology it might inspire to find out more. The photos and the few charts it contains are all in full colour.

Piercing the Eggshell is available from all good booksellers, from Amazon and from the APA Book Shop. Click on this link to see this short video of us talking about the book

youtu.be/zPBoLzt8jJ0

But best of all, go read it and be impressed – not that we wrote it – but by what these two remarkable people did and what their gift to humanity is.

The techie problem

I totally agree – it’s a WordPress mess – and I shall be coming back to this topic as I have my own thoughts and experience of the new block editor, as does my dog! (see Barry’s link to this)

I can't believe it!

I was a techie once, helping to produce mainframe software – probably still am in many ways. Techies understand the intricate workings of the modern world, the technology, the apps, the website mechanics… The job of techies is to produce products that help life in the real world, that society increasingly relies upon. Even WordPress is evidently powered by techies.

The problem with techies, particularly the cleverest of them, is arrogance. I remember many of them. They know their field better than almost anyone else, and do not suffer fools gladly. They know they are right. Even when they are wrong.

And that’s the problem. Their expertise is technical, and does not necessarily relate well to real life. The early software systems learnt the hard way that so-called usability is of vital importance, and that includes carrying your customers forward with you as you develop the technology. Woe betide a…

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Marfa’s mysterious lights

The town of Marfa in Texas is close to the border with Mexico, and not so far from sections of Trump’s Wall, which I wrote about in my previous post.

It’s a small town, with some attractive Art Deco buildings, like the Palace, shown above. It has a rather classy 1950s style hotel, The Paisano, where the stars of the 1956 film “Giant” stayed whilst filming took place. It’s a stylish hotel, slightly old fashioned, certainly characterful. I’ve stayed there twice with family whilst on a road trip, and on the last visit our son and family were accommodated in the Elizabeth Taylor Suite – yes, she was in the film along with James Dean and Rock Hudson, and she stayed there! It was rather chinzty, definitely the lap of luxury in the 1950s, but maybe not to your taste if you like modern styles.

Marfa is suprisingly progressive for a small town, as it’s a centre for art and creativity of all kinds. There are enterprising galleries and craft shops, and the Chinati Foundation, an art museum, is based there in the surrounding desert. The grocery and health food shop I went into there was the best stocked I’ve ever seen, near galleries which are open for visitors to pop into and see what’s new in conceptual art. Not my favourite art form, but when in Marfa, go and take a look! This clean white, striking building is a gallery.P1060849 (2)

On the desert road leading to Marfa, there is a surprising art installation by the side of the dusty desert road. Prada in the desert displays shoes and handbags, but it’s not for real – or is it…? Maybe that’s what conceptual art is about? It’s signifcance ususally escapes me!P1060822

So what of Marfa’s mysterious lights? Out in the desert, a short drive from Marfa, there’s a viewing station which people can go to at night to see if they can spot any of the famous Marfa lights, which seem to beam and float across the surrounding desert and come from a certain direction. Some say that they’re the lights of UFOs flying across the desert, some say they’re the headlights of cars on a distant freeway and yet others claim they’re made by the release of a natural gas which appears in luminous globes. Basically no-one knows, but whatever, it’s a good story and certainly worth going to see them and checking them out.

When I went there is was night time and it was cold out in the desert. A dwindling group of tourists in the viewing area were getting excited at seeing lights floating and glowing across the darkened desert. I was there with my son and we both thought it was pretty obvious that they were distant car headlights. The viewing area emptied and we were almost the last there. Getting cold, we started to head back to the car and I took one last look, not in the direction of the car headlights phenomena, but looking to the left of the direction of the bright lights.

I saw a ghostly, faintly glowing globe of light quite close to where I was standing. It had an ethereal greenish glow and it lasted a matter of seconds before it disappeared. I’ve no idea what it was – maybe a bubble of natural gas – who knows? I’d seen A Marfa light, but whether or not it was one of THE Marfa lights, I can’t be sure.

It did for me though, and I was glad to get back into the warmth of the car and back to the 1950s ambience of The Paisano for our overnight stop.