10 Monks Orchard

Have just started a new book titled: 10 Monks Orchard. Here is an excerpt:

“As I look back in time and down upon these lands I can see that life was extremely chaotic. It was a confused existence in many respects but also prosperous. My land, my home, my neighbour’s home, my kingdoms, their kingdoms resembled a puzzled myriad of nation and city states with their own set of laws and civic conventions.  Yet for me and for thousands, no millions like me, farming was our only way of life. This agrarian calling provided for us all; satisfying all of our wants and all of our needs. Our nobles, our rulers, those that rose above us all, provided for our security, as long as we were obedient to that higher God and carried the sword or “long bow” as needed and as required to defend our land, our King, our country, dear God almighty and the Holy Roman Catholic Church. For our horizons were limited, as defined only by our line of sight. What was over the next hilltop or dale, or across a mountain moraine was of no concern or consequence to us, to me or to those around me. I am telling you this as I want you to know how this story evolved.

Our borders were difficult to define, sometime non existent, impossible to nail down. They were almost “Shengan-like” where the Anglo’s ruled parts of France, and the Franco’s had a claim on England. Whereas mighty Spain, rich beyond belief, ruled just about everything else with religious fanaticism and cruelty: especially that hodgepodge of tiny kingdoms and serfdoms known as the Holy Roman Empire. I believe you call this region Germany today. And as I reminisce about these tumultuous times, I can only look back and down over these lands with amazement. That all of these small Germanic duchies and kingdoms of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Austria, Moravia, Hungary, the Low Countries and a host of other small and insignificant nation and city states owed their existence, their freedoms and their security to distant Spain. For Spain, through the Hapsburgs, ruled the Holy Roman Empire with cruel religious impunity.

The Holy Roman Empire was both an oxymoron and a paradox. It was an empire that was holy in name only for it was really under the controlled and violent wrath of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. A church that ruled over the entire western world’s peasant and ruling classes with arrogance and the threat of eternal damnation for the slightest ecclesiastical infraction.

But for all of its arrogance this church also felt that it had a direct two way path with God Almighty himself. A duplex! And for Spain, the richest country in the whole wide known world, was God’s nation on earth. Yes, it was felt by many of us that if God were alive on earth He would live in Spain. For Spain’s power base throughout Europe and her wealth increased exponentially as she open up a whole New World Order with the re-discovery of the Americas in 1492 – with all the potential in riches, seemingly limitless treasures and new territories that that discovery entailed.  But the rediscovery of the America’s and other lands was to become a cruel Spanish and Portuguese exploitation of the highest order. And for what you may ask? Well, for the glory of God the highest and on earth a peace of it to men of goodwill, usually the men of the cloth, whose riches and debauched lifestyle were beyond belief.  Nevertheless, it kept us, the peasantry and ruling class, in line.

Under the spell of their God given rights, the arrogance of Spain and Portugal knew no bounds. Even the Catholic Pope in Rome, that righteous pervert and symbol of medieval debauchery, with his strong arm “Papal Bulls,” recognized the power of Spain and her stranglehold on European Catholic nations and monarchs. In 1493 Pope Alexander VI, a papal reprobate, announced to the known Catholic world through his papal dictation, “Bulls” and papal decrees, which were under-written by the heavenly direction and approval of God himself, ratified the Treaty of Tordesillas thereby giving one half of the known world to Spanish influences and governances while the other half fell to Portuguese control in recognition of that nation’s seafaring exploits, bravado, religious fanaticism and inquisitive Franciscan cruelty. But to me and to those like minded as I, the arrogance of this papal decree or “Bull” would ensure that Catholicism and papal control would remain dominant worldwide. For us this was pure unadulterated papal bull-shyte. Of course nations such as England, my home, and France ignored such foolishness.

It may seem odd to you but absolutism and the Divine Rights of Kings and Queens ruled the day. This made absolute sense to us just as the allegory of creating the world in seven days was also logical for we were but ignorant, superstitious rabble; the great unwashed as the noble and ruling classes referred. The noble classes held sway over all of us on behalf of the ruling class – the Kings, the Queens, the Duchies and Dukes. We were their providers of food and tithe from whatever sources or wares that we could muster and trade for. For taxes, then as they are now, proved to be the anathema of everything we stood for or worked hard to achieve. Yet these ruling classes and the Catholic hierarchical hierarchy were dependent upon our ignorance and superstitious fears to levy taxation as they saw fit such that they could continue their religious wars and reigns of terror. That was our existence for we were that horde of the great ignorant masses that were trapped unknowingly under the yoke and threat of Catholicism. And it was under this yoke that many wars erupted among these nations that were in geographical and homogeneous turmoil with their cultural and nationalistic growing pains. Believe it or not, 100 years of war had just concluded, unofficially, in 1453 whereby a small demure Catholic icon by the name of Joan of Arc had rejuvenated the French Army with a major victory at Orleans in 1429, which ultimately expelled the English out of France for good. Or so I was told. 100 years of war! Can you believe it? And in typical Catholic fashion Joan was burned at the stake for her efforts. There is no telling what punishment she would have received if she had lost. Maybe worse!

Have a great Navy Day



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