Not quite a blog…
This not-quite-blog is written by writer and philosopher Dr Will Buckingham. My main, public-facing site where you can find out about my work is over on willbuckingham.com. This is more a scrappy notebook for ongoing thoughts and work in progress. Coherence is not guaranteed. But some visitors may find this interesting nevertheless. Find out more on the About page.
On a Shoestring
Running a bunch of websites and newsletters... on a shoestring.
Playing with Prognostications
On Taking the Yijing Seriously
This paper was written for the 2022 Yijing World Summit Forum. It’s about play and divination, and it won the 2022 first prize for essays on the Yijing (优秀易经论文一等奖).
This is a draft of the paper that I gave as a recorded video, so isn’t in final form. I could find a place to publish it, but I’m too lazy and/or have other things to be getting on with, so I’m going to just share it here.[Read More]
In pursuit of Baba Vanga
The blind seer of Petrich.
I’m back in Bulgaria for a few weeks this summer, and — because I’m thinking a lot about divination at the moment — I find my thoughts turning to the enigma that is Baba Vanga.
Vanga is Bulgaria’s most famous prophetess. And not just famous in Bulgaria: a few years ago in Myanmar, I saw a series of books about historically notable lives in a bookstore, all in Burmese. There were four books on display: Confucius, Elton John, Adolf Hitler and Baba Vanga. It was an bizarre conjunction of names. And Vanga’s inclusion was particularly striking.[Read More]
Divination and love in the Symposium
Divination belongs as much to love as to knowledge
A curious definition of divination from Plato’s Symposium 188 c-d:[Read More]
Cicero, the universality of divination, and surplus knowledge
Knowing more than we know
Divination is one of those things that seems obscure, belonging to the fringes and the margins. But then when you start to look, you find that it is everywhere. In the Roman Republic, Cicero testifies to the universality of divination.[Read More]
Some notes on Plato, divination and madness
Divination as a gift from the gods
For Plato, divination is always tied up with madness — but that it is not to diminish it.[Read More]
Wisdom, love and philosophy
Is philosophy the love of wisdom, or is it the wisdom of love?
Returning to some old notes on wisdom and love in the philosophy, for a class I’m writing. And they still seem relevant to my interests.
Is philosophy the love of wisdom? Or it is, as Levinas says, “the wisdom of love” (or “the wisdom of love in the service of love”)? — Serres, too, argues the latter in his pamphlet En Amour Sommes-Nous des Bêtes?[Read More]
Thirty-six kinds of divination to try at home
Some practical advice
Future, fate and free will
The universe surprises itself....
Divination is not just about knowing the future in advance. It’s also about knowing how to manage the present — and perhaps also how to manage the past.
And if we anxiously use divination to see what the future will be like, it’s not clear that — in our own minds at least — we’re asking to know something preordained. Nor do we want to know exactly how things will be.
Instead, we want to know the kind of thing the future will be like. And we want to know how we can offset or avoid the bad stuff and how we can increase the amount of good stuff. We want to play the future to our advantage.[Read More]