Pop culture

The Ides of March a-cometh (but you can hop over them as well!) – March 2015 Astrology

The Death of Caesar (1798) by Vincenzo Camuccini

The Death of Caesar (1798) by Vincenzo Camuccini

Carl Boudreau posted his thoughts on March 2015 yesterday over on FaceBook and it caused quite a tizzy among some readers who automatically jumped the gun and read it in the negative. But really, it’s not all bad. Read on.

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Seeming Cause for Grave Concern

There is an exact Uranus/Pluto square on March 16th. Uranus and Pluto will both be direct during the exact square. This strengthens and sharpens its explosive, disruptive potential.
The negative potential of this square is further aggravated by the effects of Mars conjunct Uranus and square Pluto. Both will be exact on the 11th, a few days before the Uranus/Pluto square on the 16th (New York Time). This powerful and harsh set of aspects suggests a sharp peak in abrasive rhetoric, repressive politics, confrontation, and, brutal and violent aggression. Realistically, we do have to expect some disturbing events in March. Political and economic pressures will come to a head. On the individual level, health and employment issues, domestic and legal issues will come to a head.
It seems to get even worse. There is a total solar eclipse on March 20th, the Vernal Equinox, and a total lunar eclipse on April 4th.
These eclipses can trigger long-pending disasters or release destructive pressure that has been building unnoticed in the background of structural integrity has been compromised over a period of time. That is why, for example, bridges suddenly collapse or pipes rupture….On the individual level, employment, health or domestic issues can reach crisis levels.

Protective Coloration
The Mars/Uranus conjunction and the Mars/Pluto square on the 11th will, indeed, make the last Uranus/Pluto square on the 16th seem worse than it is. Don’t be fooled….In reality, all it will do is set up those still committed to a dark and negative outcome for a fall as we head toward two total eclipses in a row.

The eclipses are not the universally, uniformly dark omens some might think. Eclipses can bring important issues to a head, ending costly debate and controversy. They can bring answers to longstanding questions and do all of the above in our favor. Eclipses can also remove unrealistic possibilities from consideration, leaving us to devote our energies to more realistic options.

Eclipses might not always resolve issues to our complete satisfaction. But by closing out old business, eclipses create fresh starting points, allowing us to move forward less heavily encumbered by the past.

The upcoming eclipses deepen the sense of uncertainty and foreboding surrounding these outcomes…… Going into March, we could be looking at defeat. Going into April, we could be looking at victory, or at least an agreeable compromise.

We are now moving into an energetic set up that favors the kind of inner changes and soul searching that can fundamentally change the social, economic and political dynamic.

Do not allow a few admittedly hard and potentially destructive aspects convince you to abandon hope or to drop your plans for the future.

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The Ides of March have historically been linked with the assassination of Julius Caesar which marked the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. The former was participatory, elected and democratic (as much as it could be I guess, for the ancient world). The latter, fascistic, driven by ego and the cult of personality. In general, it heralded a time of uncertainty, change, confusion, unfettered expansionist imperialism and of course war. In many ways it does not sound all that different from the world we live in today.

I would also argue that there is absolutely nothing to say that there could be a “reverse” Ides of March, where the fascistic and unilateral can reverse itself to become pluralistic and participatory OR the seemingly fascistic and unilateral ends up benefitting us all.

Map of the proposed XL Key Pipeline.

Map of the proposed XL Key Pipeline.

A few examples automatically come to mind. President Obama recently vetoed the XL Keystone Pipeline project. Of course American Republicans and right-wing Albertans who are in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet (Harper is a native Albertan and has rewarded his lackey friends in the tar sands and oil businesses handsomely) who were pushing the XL Pipeline project to Washington lobbyists have gone apeshit. Meanwhile First Nation’s groups and environmentalists are rejoicing. No one, besides those in the oil industry wanted the XL pipeline project to happen. The people have spoken.

You can put this pipe, you-know-where, Mr. Harper!

You can put this pipe, you-know-where, Mr. Harper!

Another thing, the FCC has deemed that the internet is staying free and open and that it is far too important for telecom companies (who are under the control of the NSA incidentally…) to privatize and look after it’s security. Net neutrality has won. Again the people have spoken.

Not gonna happen now, Baby!

Not gonna happen now, Baby!

What also needs to be pointed out is that these things also did not happen by themselves. Activists, bloggers, journalists, researchers, just basic concerned citizens have been working their asses off for years to make sure their concerns about these two topics have been heard. They didn’t stay at home or talk about it over dinner with a friend or two like some limousine liberals do. They did something, anything. Sometimes you can work yourself to your bone for years and have nothing to show for it and then one day, something shows up for all the effort you put in. The point being, the universe works as a pendulum and sometimes it works against you and at other times, in your favour. It’s up to you to read the ocean and decide which wave you’re going to surf.

surfer

The dark night of the soul which started for many, many people, myself included, back in 2008 due to a series of difficult astrological configurations which are setting off some very deep energies, far below the surface looks like it is coming to an end. All I can say is hang in there, keep holding on to the raft because the island is about to appear on the horizon. I’m personally in complete agreement with both Carl and Steve Judd (his global forecast is below) – this is a time to look after yourself.

Make sure everything is A-OK before the real change happens. Catch problems before they happen. Check the pipes and the plumbing in your home. Change the batteries in your home fire detector. Go for a lymphatic drainage massage. Get your annual medical check-up. Get your eyes checked. Book a few sessions of acupuncture. If you’re a lady, go for your annual gynecological exam. Get your teeth cleaned and checked up on. If there is a demonstration for an issue you are passionate about, just show up, sign a petition, whether it’s about stopping the installation of smart meters in your neighbourhood, stop the continued poaching of endangered rhinos for Vietnamese millionaires,  funding an animal shelter or rehabilitating stray dogs. Just pick something YOU care about.

Abby Martin of RT fame, has just ended her run at the wildly popular show she hosted “Breaking the Set”.  I suspect many guys liked watching her because let’s face it, she is pretty hot. I like her immensely because she is strong, smart, articulate and passionate and did a kick-ass job interviewing people and presenting her point of view on a host of “controversial” issues that the stupid mainstream media would never touch with a ten foot pole. If I were a journalist, she is exactly who I would like to be like.

Watch her closing video and pay close attention to her message.

It says it all.

Categories: Ch-ch-ch-changes, Politico, Pop culture, Prophecy, Raise your EQ | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

What “Pleasure Principle”?

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Another girl in this world was getting on a bus to go home got raped, burned and dumped in a roadside ditch.

Typical Turkish dolmus

Typical Turkish dolmus

Ozgecan Aslan, a Turkish psychology student got on a dolmus, a shared mini-bus, on her way home from her university in Adana to Mersin. After her friend got off the dolmus, she was left alone with the driver. When he stopped the dolmus to rape her, she fought back by pepper-spraying him. He then apparently stabbed her and hit on the head, knocking her out. His father and friend then helped him burn her body to get rid of the evidence and dumped her in a dried river bed in a forested area.
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There have been the usual protest marches and arrests in the wake of this incident as women across Turkey have protested. Some people are pointing fingers at the political culture of Turkey these days. Erdogan despite making Turkey very wealthy this last decade, is also a sympathizer of very conservative strains of Islam, where women should wear head coverings, women should not have sex outside of marriage, and a woman’s sexuality and freedom are controlled and dictated by men, either her husband, her father or her brother.
Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond  both 16 at the time of the crime, were convicted in juvenile court for the rape of a minor in the Steubenville High School rape case.

Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond both 16 at the time of the crime, were convicted in juvenile court for the rape of a minor in the Steubenville High School rape case.

Some people say the problem is Islam. I don’t think so because like the rapes in Hindu India the past two years have shown or the latest statistics of rape on American college campuses, it’s not religion which is the problem, it’s the culture and to get even more specific, it is the way women are viewed and perceived as, as agencies for male utility, I think.
There is an insidious campaign of violence taking place against women around the world. It’s not just the usual suspects of stupid trust fund frat boys, religious authorities and out-of-touch police officers but also includes famous celebrities, billionaires and even university philosophy professors.
In some ways, as much as I hate saying this, I’m not surprised why male violence against women has suddenly become more pronounced. It’s a backlash. Women now outnumber men on many college campuses. They are the ones getting advanced degrees, becoming professionals, making their own money and doing as they wish. That’s fantastic but for lack of a better word, I think it also makes many less-confident men feel “useless” and that’s where a lot of the rage is stemming from.
From Stats Canada.

From Stats Canada.

I think many of these types of men feel like they have lost control of the situation and don’t know how to deal with it. Just look at Henry Makow’s site and it’s enough to make you lose your lunch. If you are a man, and your whole life, and before that your father, grandfather, great-grandfather, your nation, your culture, your religion, your world told you, promised you that you are better, you are stronger, you can get anything you want, anytime you want, women are there to serve you, you start to internalize this message. Repetition is a powerful form of indoctrination.
Two Japanese women shopping together

Two Japanese women shopping together

This “problem” is so bad in traditional Japan that young Japanese female professionals are putting off marriage and children, continue to live at home with their parents and spend all their money on high-end clothes, purses and vacations instead of marrying some goon who they have to serve hand and foot on. The Japanese government went so far as to call these women “spoiled girls” and how this behavior is destabilizing Japanese society with their unusually low birth rate and the Japanese are now considering the unthinkable…allowing immigration just to keep their economy growing.
When outside reality doesn’t jive with your internalized reality or internal dialogue, it usually causes a very uncomfortable feeling called cognitive dissonance and that’s when usually something goes “Pop!”. For example, It’s when a sexually starved guy living in some one-donkey village his whole life who watches hard-core porn constantly, then assumes women really act like this all the time and can do all those things if you say the right words to her or corner her into that situation.
Women's number one killers are usually domestic partners.

Women’s number one killers are usually domestic partners.

I had mentioned male utility earlier on, that men can usually look on women as something of use to them, someone who performs a function for them (I am aware that women also unfortunately do the same thing to men as well).
I sometimes wonder if men AND women even know how to begin to perceive of themselves beyond those old “roles” or labels of mother, wife, husband, father, lover, fuck-buddy, cook, house-cleaner  or whatever and just learn to BE. I think part of the problem is language itself and how associated memes and images are attached to certain words play out in our mind.
Mom from the 1950s. This is not coming back, anytime soon and you'd better get used to it.

Mom from the 1950s. This is not coming back, anytime soon and you’d better get used to it.

When I read the word “mother” a certain imprinted image shows up in my mind along with associated behaviors of what’s “normal” and “not normal” for a “mother” and I might forget to look at the unique individual behind the word. A clichéd meme takes over the actual individual and it is because of this, I think, it is going to take an ungodly amount of work, brutal honesty, self-reflection and psychic energy for all of us, particularly men,  to willingly deprogram our baggage and expectations on each other and change those memes.
Meanwhile, while the women of Asia Minor are showing up strength, the women in the “West” are exposing their sexual and psychic vulnerabilities en mass it would seem. “Fifty Shades of Grey” (FSOG) made over $90 million dollars at the box office this past weekend even while the film itself is complete shite.
Scene from FSOG, from Youtube.

Scene from FSOG, from Youtube.

I have nothing against erotica or BDSM by itself, especially if it concerns consenting adults, then that’s their own business what they do in the privacy of their own lives. A key part of BDSM is the power play between partners, who is dominant, who is submissive and FSOG plays again on the cliché of a dominant, powerful male (Christian Grey is a billionaire industrialist) exerting control and power over a submissive female student, hapless to his whims and desires (and money). The fact that these books and film are so popular I think exposes the women who fall for this fantasy of something deeply troubling on a psychic level. It’s about giving your power and your control away to someone else to make you happy (or get you off), even if it is on a physical level. People in the BDSM community might then say that’s when the trust comes in. I don’t know.
A "sub" waiting for the "dom"

A “sub” waiting for the “dom”

Personally, I don’t get it. The best sex is usually when there is a strong presence of mutuality involved (which is why I think simultaneous, mutual orgasm is the Holy Grail of trashy romance novels). I don’t find anything remotely arousing about playing a limp, pleading rag doll to some He-Man sex machine or vice versa.
“There are few people on the left who grasp the immense danger of allowing pornography to replace intimacy, sex and love. Much of the left believes that pornography is about free speech, as if it is unacceptable to financially exploit and physically abuse a woman in a sweatshop in China but acceptable to do so on the set of a porn film, as if torture is wrong in Abu Ghraib, where prisoners were sexually humiliated and abused as if they were on a porn set, but permissible on commercial porn sites. A new wave of feminists, who have betrayed the iconic work of radicals such as Andrea Dworkin, defends porn as a form of sexual liberation and self-empowerment. These “feminists,”… are stunted products of neo-liberalism and postmodernism. Feminism, for them, is no longer about the liberation of women who are oppressed; it is defined by a handful of women who are successful, powerful and wealthy—or, as in the case of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” able to snag a rich and powerful man. A woman wrote the “Fifty Shades” book, as well as the screenplay. A woman directed the film. A woman studio head bought the movie. This collusion by women is part of the internalization of oppression and sexual violence that have their roots in porn. Dworkin understood. She wrote that “the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die. The Left cannot have its whores and its politics too.”

Gail Dines, along with a handful of others including Jensen, fearlessly decry a culture that is as depraved as Caligula’s Rome.

“The porn industry has hijacked the sexuality of an entire culture and is laying waste to a whole generation of boys,” she warned. “And when you lay waste to a generation of boys, you lay waste to a generation of girls.”

“When you fight porn you fight global capitalism,” she said. “The venture capitalists, the banks, the credit card companies are all in this feeding chain. This is why you never see anti-porn stories. The media is implicated. It is financially in bed with these companies. Porn is part of this. Porn tells us we have nothing left as human beings—boundaries, integrity, desire, creativity and authenticity. Women are reduced to three orifices and two hands. Porn is woven into the corporate destruction of intimacy and connectedness, and this includes connectedness to the earth. If we were a society where we were whole, connected human beings in real communities, then we would not be able to look at porn. We would not be able to watch another human being tortured.””

One image I found rather galvanizing about Ozgecan’s funeral was when the Turkish women refused to back down from the threats from the imams and carried her coffin in a show of solidarity and sisterhood. Normally in a Muslim funeral, it is men who carry the coffin and go to the grave site for burial. These women refused to back down and took the role into their own hands. It might just be a small symbol but it’s usually symbols which back up ideas which go on to transform the world in good time.
The women of Turkey and Ozgecan's funeral coffin.

The women of Turkey and Ozgecan’s funeral coffin.

Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Shift of the Ages effects, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Diversity Card

diversity

As per my last post, I have been very busy with other projects which is why I have not been writing much at all. Even though I still watch what’s happening everywhere, even if the intent to write is there, the energy isn’t. The thing with starting your own business, you’re always told how much insane amounts of hard work is involved but until you actually start getting your hands dirty, you don’t realize how EXHAUSTING it really is. You’re constantly researching, networking, constantly meeting new contacts, following up and starting the process, over and over again. The thing with networking, it’s like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets but at times, some aspects of it can eerily parallel with what is happening in the larger world.

Case in point: The diversity issue (or lack thereof) which this year’s Oscar race has sparked (not helped of course by actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s ill-informed, unfortunate use of words which practically caused a media melt-down).
Ben, don't worry about it. It's all good.

Ben, don’t worry about it. It’s all good.

Now, the superficial, flighty side of me only pays attention to things like the Oscars as a fluffy distraction. They are just films after all, here today and forgotten about by next year. However the blatant lack of diversity and opportunities for persons of color or other minorities in the entertainment business and film-making industry as a whole has always rankled my nerves. Do any of you remember the show “Romper Room”? I used to watch it as a kid and I remember with sadness when the host would call out names of the kids she saw through the Magic Mirror at the end of the show. I knew I had one of those names which would never be called out.
I don’t understand why we’re living in a world which accepts a 5th re-boot of the Spiderman or Batman franchises in as many years but doesn’t see anything wrong in the lack of mainstream films, actors, narratives or stories focusing on, empowered and strong women,
persons from the LGBT community,
Australian Aborigines,
Muslims,

I think the last Muslim to ever be nominated in an acting category was Omar Sharif for “Dr. Zhivago”, where he played a Russian

Asians,
Haign S. Ngor won an Oscar back in 1984 for "The Killing Fields"

Haign S. Ngor won an Oscar back in 1984 for “The Killing Fields”

or Native Americans
Personally, I’ll watch “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” or “Thelma and Louise” any day over “Die Hard”.
If anything, whenever Hollywood  does cast someone “ethnic”, it’s usually a form of tokenism, at best, and always some kind of secondary or tertiary role, never a main one. At worst, it’s just plain ignorance and racism. Hollywood also has a long and ugly history of using “brown face” and similar devices in films.
The actress Merle Oberon was half-Indian but she was always depicted as “exotic”.
Jean Simmons donned brown face to play an Indian girl in “Black Narcissus”.
So did Hugh Griffith in “Ben Hur” to play an Arab sheikh.
Sir Alec Guinness donned brown face to play an Arab king in “Lawrence of Arabia” and a Hindu Brahmin priest in “A Passage to India”.
And who can ever forget the most embarrassing example of all, Mickey Rooney playing a Japanese man in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”?
The leaked Sony emails also showed up how truly bigoted and racist many Hollywood execs and studio heads are. So is anyone surprised that when persons of color are cast, they are usually portrayed according to negative stereotypes which reflect their worldview (evil, scummy Arab Muslims  in “American Sniper” or dysfunctional African-American families like in “Precious”) instead of being portrayed in a more positive, empowering or sympathetic light?
You can't pay me enough money to go see this movie voluntarily.

You can’t pay me enough money to go see this movie voluntarily.

Instead practically every year, there always some “coming of age” film about another white, quirky, awkward teenager from some affluent suburb with divorced parents or has issues around sex (“Juno”, “Thumbsucker”, “The Kings of Summer”, “Youth in Revolt“).
Michael Cera in "Youth in Revolt"

Michael Cera in “Youth in Revolt”

Every 10 years or so, there’s always a film which belongs to, what I call the “Idiot-Savant” genre. Again, usually white, male, misunderstood geniuses with challenging personalities or life circumstances due to their mental condition and/or intelligence (“Charly”in the 1960s, “Rain Man” in the 1980s, “Shine” in the 1990s, “A Beautiful Mind” in the 2000s, “The Theory of Everything”and “The Imitation Game” this year alone).
Not to minimize the Holocaust but there has been many Hollywood films on that atrocity or related to it over the years (“Schindler’s List”,“The Reader”, “Life is Beautiful”, “The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas” right off the top of my head) When it comes to other genocides I can only think of two, “Hotel Rwanda” about what happened in Rwanda and maybe “Ararat” about the Armenian genocide in 1915. I have yet to see something about what happened in East Pakistan in 1971, Cambodia in 1975, Algeria in 1954, Hispaniola in 1492 and many, many others.
I would love to see a Hollywood and a viewing public that sees and can accept a manly hunk like Idris Elba go toe-to-toe for leading-man roles with other equally manly hunks like Clive Owen or Mylène Jampanoï  becoming a Bond girl as easily as Denise Richards.
I think it should go to Idries.

I think it should go to Idris or Clive.

It’s not just film.  Activism around diversity, for the moment, is happening in the margins but it is inching closer and closer to the mainstream. I see this in the corporate world now and particularly in my networking discussions. Corporate culture has always been very strict, regimented, formal, conservative and about keeping the status quo. If you’re 1) male 2) white and 3) tall, you’ve basically got it made and you’ll more easily be considered for leadership and managerial positions. However, if you’re female, ethnic and petite (like me for instance) you have to work doubly hard to even get a chance to get your foot in the door, let alone an interview. Industrial psychologists call it the mirroring effect. The gist of it being that you will probably hire and consider people who are most like you first because that’s your comfort zone and it takes a huge amount of work to really see your own inherent racial biases clearly and work against them, which most managers either don’t have the time nor interest to do.
It’s a shame really that so many people don’t get it or don’t want to get it. I’ve already written why even in nature and in ecosystems, diversity is usually key to ensuring long-term survival of certain species and the ecosystem itself. Homogeneity is a dangerous place to be in for extended periods of time. I’m of the persuasion that the closer human systems come closer to mimicking natural ecosystems, the better off we’ll all be. That goes for the corporate world and the film industry as well.
Don’t believe me?
Watch this and really pay attention to what Ted Carns is saying in between his lines about disposability and setting an example to others.
Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The Power of The Small

Whenever something is wrong, it means something is too big. If the stars in the sky or the atoms of uranium disintegrate in spontaneous explosion, it is not because their substance has lost its balance. It is because matter has attempted to expand beyond the impassable barriers set to every accumulation. Their mass has become too big. If the human body becomes diseased, it is,  as in cancer, because a cell, or a group of cells, has begun to outgrow its allotted narrow limits. And if the body of a people becomes diseased with the fever of aggression, brutality, collectivism, or massive idiocy, it is not because it has fallen victim to bad leadership or mental derangement. It is because human beings, so charming as individuals or in small aggregations, have been welded into over-concentrated social units such as mobs, unions, cartels, or great powers.” 

What Professor Kohr warned us of 50 years ago has now, I think, come to pass or at the very least, it’s a symptom of what I’ve been noticing lately on a number of different fronts. Kohr was one of the fathers of the “small is beautiful” movement and increasingly this idea isn’t just applicable to nation-states (which should be abolished anyway IMHO), mega-states, empires, mega-cities  and mega regional trading blocs (i.e EU, AU and the possible North America Union which some folks have been warning and talking about for years) but to banking, corporations, our consumption patterns, our energetic footprint, the waste we produce and yes, even ourselves. 
 
Black Friday was a couple of weeks ago and what once started as a strictly American phenomena has now unfortunately spilled over into Canada and the UK. Just watching the clips of mobs of people rushing into stores, attacking each other and even in several cases, killing each other, for a bunch of crappy , cheap stuff is enough to make even the most jaded person’s stomach turn. It’s easy to say and point out that this only happens in the lower rungs of society at places like Wal-Mart or Tesco but I’ve observed this mob-like vulture attitude among well-heeled women in upscale department stores as well. Boxing Day is another day I barely venture out for  – I try to do all my shopping online now just to avoid crowds. It just makes me wonder what the hell has happened to us? Are we in some kind of collective haze or coma where we can only feel alive by over-consumption?  Have mega-box stores and shopping complexes become our new temples?
keep-calm-and-don-t-buy-anything
(BTW Here’s a small trick for some of you stylish fashionista or frugal types:  I usually do my homework to figure out what I REALLY need.  Scour the secondhand and thrift shops  to see if there’s a model or copy there (You would be very surprised to find out what people get rid of these days – Last year I  scored a brand-spanking new Le Creuset enameled Dutch oven, the kind that lasts lifetimes, with the sticker still on it. Retail $400. I got it for $5. ). I then go long in advance, to stores, boutiques and such for stuff that I really need, pretend I’m going to buy something, try on the models of jeans or sweaters I want, to get my perfect size, take note of the brand, manufacturer, name and model of items, take pictures on my phone,  feign regret to the sales girl that nothing fits, read product user  reviews at places like Consumer Reports, Amazon or Makeupalley.com and then go on ebay, etsy or the outnet and buy it or something very similar usually at a much, MUCH cheaper price. It’s my way of sticking it to “the man” and it works like a charm every time  😀 )
These are seriously taking off now.

These are seriously taking off now. Though I’m not sure how you can swing it if you’re raising a family.

There is also the tiny home movement which I think is just fabulous. It gets rid of mortgages, frees people up from debt and forces a truly minimalist lifestyle where instead of being preoccupied with finances and keeping up with the Jones, you can now put your attention towards things that matter.  I really don’t understand why on earth anyone would need a McMansion. Honestly, what do you do with 3 living rooms???? 
I think the urban agriculture and community sponsored agricultural (CSA) are also a part of that trend. Instead of giant farms run by evil multinational conglomerates like Monsanto, producing GMO crops, it’s a movement towards growing and eating locally, making better use of our urban spaces and land, teaching people especially kids, where food really comes from and eating better quality, nutrient-dense food.
 
Speaking of food, I also think many of our illnesses comes from our diets. I just finished reading Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s blockbuster best-seller “The China Study” and I think he makes an extremely compelling argument. Simply put, our affluence is literally killing us, particularly our meat-based protein and dairy consumption. We’re eating too much of the wrong foods. He compared the diets of Americans to the Chinese and guess what? They hardly have the same incidences of illness, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s,  immune system illnesses and  nervous system illnesses as we do. Dr. Campbell basically outlines the benefits of a largely vegan diet but his 80-10-5-5 rule is just as effective (80% fruits and vegetables, 10% grains, 5% meat-based protein, 5% plant-based protein).
If you seriously want to transform your life in an easy way, you cannot beat making Mason Jar Salads. I make these every Sunday now and they keep the whole week in the fridge. Talk about an easy lunch!

If you seriously want to transform your life in an easy way, you cannot beat making Mason Jar Salads. I make these kinds of salads every Sunday now and they keep the whole week in the fridge. Talk about an easy take-to-work lunch! (Photo from organizeyourselfskinny.com)

Banksters complain that the banks are “too big to fail” and to some degree they are right. Bureaucratically bloated organizations like central banks often are. When you place all your eggs in one basket and if the basket falls, there go all your eggs. I know in light of the 2008 financial crisis, lots of people started taking their money out of banks and such and placed it in spots like farmer’s credit unions and cooperatives. I think it’s a smart move. Instead of having giant transnational banks, tying up everyone’s cash, small community-based financial institutions are probably going to end up giving you better service and more stability in the long-run.
Jesus cleaning a leper.

JC cleaning a leper.

 
Spiritually, if there are any traditions which champions the cause of the small, I would say it’s Taoism and the very early Christian Church. Early Christianity was actually quite revolutionary and subversive  in face of the giant Roman Empire. It was about working with the poor and disenfranchised. I mean you read about old JC and who did he hang out with? Lepers, prostitutes, the disabled, the poor and the sick.  It’s something which bloated organizations like the Vatican, the (very rich) Episcopal/Anglican Church  and some of these strange and extremely wealthy  American denominations like Foursquare International (which many CIA members are a part of) need to think about.
 
Taoism also worked along similar principles. It originally championed the causes of the elderly, the poor, women and children in face of the warlords who ruled ancient Confucian China. However even in its practices and teachings,  Taoism was always about realizing that in  becoming smaller, you become stronger and wiser. It’s teachings are full of anecdotes to get this idea across like the virtues of being a small, flexible blade of grass instead on an ancient, giant old tree. The blade of grass makes it through the storm untouched but the rigid tree doesn’t. 
 
I’m going to close off with a quote from Benjamin Hoff’s Taoist classic, “The Te of Piglet”
“It is very hard to be brave,” said Piglet, sniffing slightly, “when you’re only a Very Small Animal.” 
Rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: “It is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us.” 
Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Astrology for December 2014 – Life is Returning

Centaur-yugiohfanatic1s-stories-22777020-262-359

Carl Boudreau has not yet posted anything for December 2014’s astrological outlook on his Facebook however for those of you who love his way of seeing things, he recently did an awesome interview which is chock-full of insights.

Sagittarius is my favourite sign (right after my own sign of  Aquarius, of course…). Traditionally, Sagittarius  is depicted as the centaur, the half-man, half-horse beast of Greek mythology who were known as prophets, powerful healers and astronomers full of ancient wisdom and learning. When I think of typical Sagittarius prophets, I automatically think of the likes of William Blake (Nov.28), Noam Chomsky (Dec.7), Norman Finkelstein (Dec.8), Arthur C. Clarke (Dec.16) and Frank Zappa (Dec.21).

frankzappa

What I really love about Sagittarius energy is that because of its ruling planet, Jupiter, the planet of luck and abundance, it brings in lots of very positive, progressively oriented energy.

Old Man Saturn, the planet of karma and restriction, has finally left Scorpio and has entered Sagittarius. (It’s not a coincidence that a plethora of sex abuse scandals suddenly broke out in the last few months particularly the ones involving Bill Cosby, acclaimed Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi, and the ongoing investigation involving pedophilia and the British Political Establishment. That’s classic Saturn in Scorpio for you.)

Bill Cosby selling Jello Pudding Pops.....uh....no thanks. Gross.

Bill Cosby selling Jello Pudding Pops…..uh….no thanks. Gross.

Classic Sagittarius energy is what Steve, who used to run the popular blog “Philosopher’s Stone UK”, did. He shut down Philosopher’s Stone UK and started up a new blog called “Phoenix is Risen”, taking a much more pro-active, positive  and progressive outlook which emphasizes possibilities and solutions instead of the usual fear-mongering and doom and gloom many conspiracy-theory websites unfortunately tout.

But now with Saturn and a whole group of other planets who have either already entered or are about to enter Sagittarius, one of the most positive, expansive places within the zodiac, it means one thing: things are going to start to look up for those of you who put in some effort. One of the things I learned when I spent time with First Nations Elders, they always hammered this one rule: The Spiritual world is always ready to help us but they can only help us halfway, they can only help those who decide to help themselves first.

Categories: Ascension, Pop culture, Raise your EQ | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dis-Imagination and De-Schooling Zones

“Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question. ”

Ivan Illich in “De-schooling Society”

I’ve always been a bit of an eclectic.
I think it might have started in high-school. I was somehow “saved’ by my older cousins who were about 7-8 years older than me and thanks to them, when I was 7, I was listening to David Bowie, T-Rex, Roxy Music, ELO and AC/DC. By the time I was 11, I was listening to U2 (long before the “Joshua Tree” and before Bono became a pompous ass) and by the time I entered my teen years and the hellish suburban kids I had to go to high school with who were busy listening to Madonna and New Kids on the Block, I was already knee-deep into what was then considered, “underground and alternative” musical acts like The Smiths, Bauhaus, New Order and of course Depeche Mode.

New Kids on the Block (please kill me now)

1980s Boy Band, New Kids on the Block (please kill me now)

This spilled over into everything else. In my 15-year-old mind, I figured if what was considered “popular” in music was such crap, and alternative music was so much better, then this principle had to hold in other spheres of human creativity and endeavor like film, literature, news outlets, books, writers, politics, fashion, design, art etc. In hindsight, I was right. So whenever I hear someone contemporary cite an intellectual, or a book or an idea which is either forgotten about, retired, out of fashion, out of print, hard-to-find or long-dead, I’m suddenly fascinated and want to know more.

Hermes silk scarves START at $500 each. Each season they make a limited number of each design which are usually pretty cool. This one commemorating Quebec is now a collector's item. Good luck ever finding one on the cheap.

Hermes silk scarves START at $500 each. Each season they make a limited number of each design which are usually pretty cool plus they literally never go out of style. This one commemorating Quebec is now a collector’s item. Good luck ever finding one on the cheap.

Maybe it’s because they aren’t as accessible or as ubiquitous as Kim Kardashian’s ass, but growing up the geek that I was (and am) I always found that thinkers of yore sometimes said the best truths simply and didn’t need every social media site and gizmo under the sun to say it. Quite often they also had great ideas and solutions to problems which no one knew about nor heard about but for whatever reason, everyone these days, particularly young people feel the need to re-invent the wheel when there are hundreds of ideas around which with a little research, reading, understanding, maybe some tweaking and implementation would be just enough to get us to the next stepping stone. (Wouldn’t it be great if someone somewhere created a bank of ideas so that people know where to look for this stuff the world over?).

I also do think there is something sinister at work. When a public intellectual is *too* good, if their ideas are *too* amazing and more importantly may actually work in real life, they are quite often deemed as “dangerous”. I do think The Powers That Be are very good at marginalizing them, demonizing them, silencing them and making their work hard to find and forgotten so that the public remain in ignorance. The thought police didn’t end with George Orwell folks. Look at the treatment of original, intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein and you’ll see what I mean.

The term “inverted totalitarianism”  is used to describe what the government of the US (and its allies I would also add) is on its way to becoming if they haven’t already. The gist of it is this: inverted totalitarianism is described as a system where corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy and where economics trumps politics. In inverted totalitarianism, every natural resource and every living being is commodified and exploited to collapse as the citizenry are lulled and manipulated into surrendering their liberties and their participation in government through excess consumerism and sensationalism.

Chris Hedges recently sat down with retired professor Sheldon Wolin . It’s an 8 part interview and clocks in at 3 hours. Still, it’s probably one of the most illuminating and important discussions of modern Western political history about WHY everything is wrong nowadays I’ve seen in a long, long time. If you want to add some new brain cells, it is well worth a watch.

In the past 2 decades, particularly in North America, more funding has shifted towards faculties of Management, Business, Law, Dentistry and Medicine and why universities left and right are downsizing or outright getting rid of things like Arts (history, anthropology, philosophy, classics), Social Sciences, Liberal Arts and Religious Studies, Cultural Studies, etc. The academy was once a place where you went to get an education and broaden your horizons. Now, it’s a place where you go to get a skill-set. Simplistically, an education meant gaining knowledge (and maybe if you’re lucky, some wisdom) for the sake of gaining knowledge and building up on that so that our knowledge base would expand and grow. A skill-set is something which is usually marketable and used to serve the market economy, like data. It has become corporatized. 

Cultural Studies professor Henry Giroux explains it beautifully above. He finally had enough of it in the States and left Penn State and made the move up to Canada. If you want to learn something new or read groovy books your professor never mentioned, you basically have no choice these days except to go out there and read them on your own. To paraphrase Giroux, schools (and all formal institutions I’d add) have now become “dis-imagination zones”.
Quick example: How many of you ever heard of Ivan Illich or Jacques Ellul? Have you ever read them? Did any of your teachers or profs ever mention them? Do you know anything about them?
Don’t feel bad because I didn’t either.

Jacques Ellul - Technology Critic. Historian. Sociologist Theologian of Hope. Ethicist. Activist

Jacques Ellul – Technology Critic. Historian. Sociologist
Theologian of Hope. Ethicist. Activist

I recently came across those names thanks to some interviews I watched of film maker and former monk Godfrey Reggio, who did the Qatsi film trilogy (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi ). Upon further investigation and reading, I was gobsmacked. Both Ivan Illich and Jacques Ellul were deeply influenced by Christian theology and spirituality but eventually left them behind to become social thinkers and theorists. Jacques Ellul became a big-time Christian anarchist thinker while Illich became a very influential social thinker in leftist circles, particularly in Latin America.

Ivan Illich

Ivan Illich

Ivan Illich in particular fascinates me. A full-on polymath and polyglot who lived the life of a wandering ascetic monk, fluent in 10 languages (including Ancient Greek and Latin) and wrote in 4 of them, Illich wrote on topics as varied as education to medicine to law and was described by some as “an archaeologist of ideas”. The central theme in all his writings was basically “How do we make things better and how do we make them work, keeping in mind the human element here?” As a former priest, he never lost sight of the spiritual element to these questions. His obituary in The Guardian sums it up including the fact that, like Noam Chomsky these days, he was a bit of a “problematic” public intellectual in his day to the establishment especially to his higher-ups at the Vatican.

Illich at CIDOC

Illich at CIDOC

He’s mostly remembered for his books, ” Deschooling Society“, “Tools for Conviviality“, “Medical Nemesis“, “The Right to Useful Unemployment and its Professional Enemies“, “Celebration of Awareness” as well as establishing the Centro Intercultural de Documentación (CIDOC) in Mexico. From 1961 – 1976, CIDOC attracted quite a number of intellectuals from all over the world particularly those who were leftist or anarchist in leaning a sort of anti-university. It became a good place to exchange ideas. Too good in fact. With CIA input and the Vatican, it was eventually shut down (of course). The gist of all of Illich’s work was that by dissecting institutions and analyzing how they have been corrupted, we can come to understand why institutions like medicine and education have a tendency to operate and work in ways which are opposite to their original purpose and therefore become counter-productive. Once you understand why something doesn’t work, you then know what NOT TO DO.

For those of you who like to read, are in activist circles or just simply like to think about how to build a better mouse-trap, the likes of Illich, Ellul, Giroux and Wolin are a godsend.
In some ways I’m glad I DIDN’T read them in school. To have done so probably would have defeated the purpose of their writings anyway.

Categories: Ch-ch-ch-changes, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Think like the Illuminati, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

November 2014 Astrological Outlook

(For those of you who want Carl Boudreau’s astrological outlook, here it is.)

November is looking like a Scorpio super-month on steroids.

With a whole host of planets, including Old Man Saturn, affecting the most intense of astrological signs it would seem, everyone is going to get a dose of *something* this month.  (I admit, I have my own astrological biases and Scorpio is NOT one of my favorite signs.)

It is represented as a Scorpion, it’s poisonous tail ready to strike anyone who touches it the wrong way. If you look at older astrological treatises from the Middle Ages and beyond, Scorpio can also be the Soaring Eagle in it’s more enlightened form (as seen on the Tarot card for the Wheel of Fortune)

The Fixed Signs, clockwise from top left, Aquarius, Scorpio, Taurus and Leo. Also the four creatures mentioned in the Book of Revelations in the Bible, the man, the eagle, the ox and the lion.

The Fixed Signs, clockwise from top left, Aquarius, Scorpio, Leo and Taurus. Also the four creatures mentioned in the Book of Revelations in the Bible, the Man, the Eagle, the Lion and the Ox reading the Book of Destiny. The Sphinx sitting on top of the wheel is in reality a composite of all 4 creatures, face of a man, body of a lion, hindquarters of an ox and the wings of the eagle

 

or the seedy Lounge Lizard it it’s less-evolved form…

Sleazy salesman Herb Tarlek from "WKRP in Cincinnati" who was constantly after Jennifer.

Sleazy salesman Herb Tarlek from “WKRP in Cincinnati” who was constantly after Jennifer, the buxom, blonde receptionist.

Astrological lore suggests that that there are more saints and sinners born under Scorpio which is in line with it’s reputation as the sign of extremes. Nothing is half-way, nothing is half-assed. It’s always everything or nothing. In it’s highest, purest and  most spiritual form, the Soaring Eagle becomes the Phoenix, who periodically dies to only rise out of it’s own ashes, stronger and more magnificent than ever. Because of this, many Scorpios are also known as very powerful healers since they understand, even subconsciously,  the secrets of self-renewal and self-regeneration.

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It would seem that the many planets affecting Scorpio (and therefore wherever Scorpio sits in your chart) suggest that things are either going to be changed voluntarily on your part (and make it easier on yourself) or it’s going to be imposed on you, which is never easy.

Be kind to yourselves.

Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Pop culture | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

The Mess of Identity

 

In the last few weeks, I have been beginning to see some extremely encouraging signs of change, even incremental, small ones, in the way public discourse and conversations are taking place.

First of all I am extremely pleased that American comedian Bill Maher has finally been exposed as the Islamophobe that he is and that it took not only a well-respected academic like Professor Reza Aslan to do it….

but a Hollywood actor like Ben Affleck as well

Yup.

Yup.

I admit, I used to like Maher, particularly the way he lampooned the ultra right-wing nut jobs in the US but his racism and all-too-obvious dislike of all Muslims became very clear over time. (I remember watching an episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” when Nobel Peace Prize winner and the father of microcredit, Dr. Muhammad Yunus was on the show. Maher was condescending, rude and made snide remarks which Yunus did not catch, but the rest of the panel did. It was painful to watch)

antimuslim

Aslan and Affleck were trying to point out that “Islam” is not some homogenous, monolithic entity which is bloodthirsty all the way through and that a few bad apples is not representative of the whole barrel.  Maher (and that annoying pseudo-intellectual poser Sam Harris) don’t seem to understand how culture differentiates Islam from region to region.

This Turkish woman is Muslim but that doesn't mean that she dresses or acts or lives like Muslim women in Saudi Arabia....

This Turkish woman is Muslim but that doesn’t mean that she dresses or acts or lives like Muslim women in Saudi Arabia….

...like these women.

…like these women.

A Muslim in Bangladesh will be very different from a Muslim in Turkey, Pakistan or a Muslim in Saudi Arabia. It’s like comparing hard-core Opus Dei Catholics in Spain to say Catholics in Ireland, Mexico, Poland or Catholics in rural Quebec. Their expressions of faith will be very different from place to place, in large part due to culture. Maher does have a few Muslim friends, namely Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, two Muslim “spokespersons” who experienced the worst aspects of Islam themselves (via the fatwa in Rushdie’s case and female genital mutilation in Hirsi Ali’s case) but they only reinforce his opinion of what a bunch of savages most Muslims are deep down inside. The backlash against Maher and his ilk, mostly from non-Muslims has been surprising and encouraging. I didn’t expect that.

The problem isn’t just Maher and Harris. Those two are examples of the “acceptable” forms of racism rampant among Western liberals and progressives and right now, Islamophobia is quite acceptable. It’s the poster-child of “good” racism.

A few weeks ago Henrik Palmgren of Sweden’s Red Ice Radio, a show I normally listen to from time to time because of the interesting guests Henrik is usually able to score, had an interview with David Icke and it was really disappointing to say the least. Palmgren was baiting Icke over issues of race, immigration, multiculturalism, the legacy of colonialism and cultural purity. It’s painfully obvious to anyone who wants to hear it. Icke, to his credit, walked right over that pool of quick-sand and I have a strong feeling he knew what was going on and saw right through it. (Thumbs up, David!).


We just had Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend while Americans had Columbus Day, or as many American cities and states are increasingly adopting in place, Indigenous People’s Day . That would have been unthinkable even ten years ago. When I was growing up in the 1970s and 80s, it was still (good) cowboys and (bad) Indians, like in John Wayne movies. Now it’s in people’s faces right on mainstream network TV. John Oliver and RT especially killed it.

This is the kind of image of "Cowboys and Indians" I was exposed to while growing up...

This is the kind of image of “Cowboys and Indians” I was exposed to while growing up…

Identity politics can get super messy, super quickly. I understand how people can get passionate or have very strong feelings about these issues. I mean I don’t consider myself a practicing “good” Muslim Indian Bengali-Canadian by any stretch of the imagination (if that were the case I would have never discovered the joys of sipping iced-cold vodka martinis), but I can’t help but feel angry or step up and say something when I see the carnage in Gaza and the media blaming it on “Muslim extremists” or have my blood boil over when I see how Muslim men abuse vulnerable girls in England or keep dozen of wives as prisoner sex-slaves in Saudi Arabia. I also get angry when I observe the media coverage over a spoiled, white American college girl who ends up doing something stupid while on holiday versus the long-standing incarceration of an innocent, eloquent black dissident and writer like Mumia Abu Jamal.

Mr. Bad-Assery himself, Mumia Abu Jamal

Mr. Badassery himself, Mumia Abu Jamal

I don’t think it’s so much about identifying yourself as “this” or “that”. Yes, our differences are worth celebrating and understanding, it’s what makes us all different and unique and interesting to each other. It gives life spice and flavor. Sometimes it goes wrong and you get cultural appropriation. Sometimes it goes right and you get a wonderful new mix of ideas and culture creating something completely original and beautiful. From a spiritual point of view, it might mean I’m Bengali Canadian in the here and now. I might end up Swedish and male in the next round or maybe I was an Austrian Jew in the last round. Who knows? Who cares? That’s not the issue. It’s really about making the conscious decision to walk in someone else’s shoes for even a minute and base our actions on that.

I’m going to close off with something Mumia Abu Jamal wrote and which Professor Noam Chomsky recently read out loud for a documentary about Mumia (from 14:50 in the video below) . I think it perfectly sums up our commonalities over our differences.
“In truth, none of us are whole, as in “finished”, for we are all beings who are still in the process of “Becoming”. We are trying to live in the midst of struggle against forces that try, daily, to confine, constrain and restrict our being. In a sense, these forces are as powerful, relentless and invisible as gravity. There but not “there”. Dig me? So we seek to heal in a place that is profoundly unhealthy; consumerism, patriarchy, white-supremacy and inquisitiveness are things that grip us all. We are all fish, swimming in that proverbial dead sea of materialism, seeking fresh water where we can wash our gills. Our challenge, it seems to me, is to be, or become, sensitive, feeling and loving beings, who seek to better the environment into which we were born. Speaking of liberal clichés, we must “Make it Better”, and it is that very doing, that becomes a part of our being, for we join in our hearts, minds and mouths and our bodies, in the struggles of those unfree amongst us. In a real sense, we become them. I think that was the life message of folks like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and why we remember and revere them. We felt them. And Martin gave up the ghost for garbage men in Memphis. Malcolm reached out to brothers in the Arab and African worlds and became a part of them. In many ways, they redefined who *we* were and became a part of us, through their impact on our lives and our consciousness.”
Categories: Ascension, Conspirio, False prophits, Politico, Pop culture, Think like the Illuminati, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Back in Town

Lucy-Doctor-is-in-no-Charlie-Brown-4-5-12

 

So I’m back.

For a little while anyway 🙂

I hope all you Shifters had a great summer even if it was a mildly crazy one.
Israel’s annual summer “mowing the lawn” in Gaza, the way world opinion of Israel, particularly in mainstream America has shifted (when someone of Jewish heritage like Jon Stewart has jumped ship and gone over to the Palestinian side, then you know you have lost the propaganda war)….
… crazy female celebrity photo hacks aka “The Fappening”
Just because Apple Inc. tells you iCloud is unhackable doesn't mean that it is. Apple can tell me that purple hippos exist in Siberia too but that doesn't mean I have to believe them either. Want privacy? Don't save it on a digital device especially in the age of the NSA and in light of the Edward Snowdon leaks since there is no such thing as privacy.

Just because Apple Inc. tells you iCloud is unhackable doesn’t mean that it is. Apple can tell me that purple hippos exist in Siberia too but that doesn’t mean I have to believe them either. Want privacy? Don’t save anything on a digital device especially in the age of the NSA and in light of the Edward Snowdon leaks since there is no such thing as privacy anymore.

….a new Islamic Boogeyman called ISIS  (whatever happened to Boko Haram and the Nigerian girls or was that last month’s flavour?)….
isis
…another horrible child exploitation sex scandal being exposed in Britain while officials knew damn well what was going on….
A pox on every last one of you - Clockwise from top left: Umar Razaq, Razwan Razaq, Mohsin Khan, Zafran Ramzan. A few of the men who abused the young girls.

Clockwise from top left: Umar Razaq, Razwan Razaq, Mohsin Khan, Zafran Ramzan. A few of the men who abused the young girls, a pox on every last one of these jerks

 

ebola-outbreak_1
…and good old Scotland giving the British Crown a wonderful scare showed that the last few months were far from uneventful.
Scotland_rude_sign_3042426k
On a deeper level (for me anyway) it just shows that the cracks are getting harder to ignore. The illusion of smooth appearances is breaking up and public relation machines and traditional propaganda tools aren’t cutting it anymore.
I had a lot going on as well.
I still do.
Wonderful travels and wanderings, strange, magical coincidences, deeper spiritual insights and an unexpected connection to the spiritual master I feel closest to, I’ll be sharing with you what went down with me as well.
Hang tight.
We’re far from landing and calling the trip over.
Skydiving pug
Categories: Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, Pop culture | Tags: | 8 Comments

Saying “NO” is Always an Option

no

 

I’ve been watching this story about shooter Elliott Rodger closely. What I find particularly interesting is that this young man’s neurosis and mental health issues have been documented online and are still there for the world to see. Go over to his YouTube channel and try watching some of his videos without cringing – it’s practically impossible especially when you have someone talking to the camera and saying out loud things like “I’m magnificent” or “I’m so beautiful, how can these sluts not love me, it’s not fair. I’m a supreme gentleman”.

sxx

How come no one saw this coming when it’s clear he suffered from alienation, depression and probably Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Much has already been written up online about his misogyny, his mental health issues, his involvement with “Men’s Rights Movement” forums, and how misogyny has been woven into the general culture, how some men feel entitled to the bodies of women at any time, any place, any how and the many, many insidious forms it can take.
What I would like to focus on is that I think there are many factors at fault here. Yes, the general cultural milieu we live in IS violent but to some extent I think many women have also internalized it and THAT needs to change.

There are many Elliot Rodgers out there and while I am in no way trying to downplay what happened in California, things like that are a fact of everyday life in other parts of the world. On a visit to my aunt and cousins place in Bangladesh during my teen years, I remember my cousins enthusiastically introduced me, their “Canadian cousin” to all their friends and one friend in particular I still remember very well. She was quite a beautiful girl if you were to look at her profile from her left side, but after seeing her entire face, you would have gasped. Half her face had been practically burned away by battery acid.

Ayesha Akter was attacked by a distant grandfather. Acid attacks were quite frequent in Bangladesh, usually due to rebuffed marriage proposals, affairs, or financial problems.

Not my cousin’s friend. Ayesha Akter was attacked by a distant grandfather. Acid attacks were quite frequent in Bangladesh, usually due to rebuffed marriage proposals, affairs, or financial problems.

The story was that a local boy wanted to marry her (Bangladesh at that time was very, very socially conservative, no pre-marital sex whatsoever, no dating, if you’re interested in someone to hook up with, you have to marry them, arranged marriages were the norm, which is why girls were often married off at a very young age) but she wasn’t interested. Since the rejection or rebuff was not something he could deal with in such a patriarchal culture, he and his friend conspired together, broke into her home in the middle of the night and threw the battery acid on her face while she slept. He figured if he couldn’t have her, no one else could either. It was quite an epidemic for a while and finally when the government of Bangladesh finally criminalized the act with severe penalties, did the practice finally abate somewhat.

Protesting against domestic violence in Turkey.

Protesting against domestic violence in Turkey.

People often ask me why I didn’t stay on in Turkey and marry there given that Turkey is known for attracting thousands of women every year because of the availability of very handsome and willing men. The reason is that something like 40% of women in Turkey face domestic abuse. I had enough Turkish female friends there who were social workers tell me as much, that I would have been used for my Canadian passport and citizenship and then discarded. There was no way I was going to get involved and take that risk.

Part of the problem if why violence against women continues is that there often isn't enough support to fund services like women's shelters and training programs.

Part of the problem of why violence against women continues is that there often isn’t enough support to fund services like women’s shelters and training programs.

Now, some of you might say that Bangladesh and Turkey are Muslim countries, that’s part and parcel of Islam. Look at those assholes in Boko Haram in Nigeria or Female Genital Mutilation in Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance. That’s just not true. I have a friend who worked as a police officer in Sydney, Australia and domestic abuse is quite prevalent there as well among the Anglo-Aussies. I have another friend here in Montreal who, for a time worked as a 9-1-1 operator and dispatcher and the calls for domestic abuse came in from all quarters and the Number 1 category of domestic abuse incidents actually came from a White male/Asian female partnerships. When I did my stint as a spiritual caregiver in Washington, DC, I saw many, many cases of brutal domestic abuse in the trauma bay among African-American women. Mind you, these are anecdotal examples but it shows how widespread the problem is.

I had a wonderful economics professor in college, originally from the western tribal areas of Pakistan, close to Peshawar. She did her MA and PhD at the London School of Economics, was a devout Muslim, mother and wife, she was also quite a feminist. I used to have long conversations in her office about why men, not just Muslim men, but many men abuse women. Her reply was that those men who brutalize and abuse women, deep down are scared, they’re scared of the day when women realize, that they don’t need these men as much as these men need the women. They’re afraid of being outed as needy, incompetent and therefore “weak”. It drives them crazy to see a woman who is free to make her own choices and doesn’t need or want anyone (i.e him) so the only way they can take back control of the situation is through violence to reinforce that message that the woman is “owned” and under control. Another part of the problem is that women in some cultures, are conditioned to treat their sons like some sort of prince, that the focus of attention within families is always the son, not the daughter (hence female infanticide in places like China and India) but if mothers were to shift or adjust their attitudes just a little, it would go a long way towards enforcing attitudes of gender equality and fostering respect towards girls.

Two Turkish boys dressed up in faux-royal finery for their circumcision ceremony.

Two Turkish boys dressed up in faux-royal finery for their circumcision ceremony.

Much of what I see in spiritual literature is about saying “Yes” to life and living our truth. While I don’t disagree with that, I also think part of saying “Yes” to life also means saying “NO” loudly and clearly and without any fear of blowback when the occasion calls for it. To otherwise muffle our voices ultimately holds us all back.

Categories: Ch-ch-ch-changes, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

No Sleep till Brooklyn…sorta

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge

Like I had posted last weekend, I attended the Brooklyn talk “New Directions in North American Yoga” which Carol Horton and Roseanne Harvey gave.
The talk was quite insightful and I pretty much agree with everything that Ivan Nahem wrote of the discussion over at Yoga Teacher Magazine. One point which was touched on in passing and I think would have been nice to discuss was the issue of the cultural appropriation of yoga but unfortunately time did not permit it. I also think it would have been interesting to see a wider discussion of yoga outside of North America but like the title indicated, it was a discussion of yoga within the North American context only. With global power and economic dynamics changing, this century will easily belong to Asia. New, emerging and insanely monied financial power centers are flexing their muscles and popping up like Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai and Mumbai and the other BRIC economies which leads me to believe that the days of North America setting the global “beat” on cultural issues are not indefinite…and that goes for yoga as well.
The old learning models are going.

The old learning models are going.

Towards the end of the talk Carol talked about the breakdown of the guru/disciple model of learning citing scandals like Osho, Bikram Choudhury and John Friend and instead suggested that maybe the next model will be one of networking, like a web, where disciples/students learn from various teachers depending on their specialty or focus. I would just add that the web of learning is now global as are the options and any discussion of a network of learning or idea-sharing needs to include that as well.
Learning different things from different teachers in a network.

Learning different things from different teachers in a network.

As for New York City itself, I have this strange relationship with that city.
On one hand NYC is everything you ever heard about and more. It really is senses working overtime to paraphrase that old XTC song. Bigger, faster, richer and just more (add adjective here)er  than you can imagine.
A pug dressed up as Scarlett O'Hara, at  the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

A pug dressed up as Scarlett O’Hara, at the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

I love to visit, my usual stomping grounds are the West Village, East Village especially around St. Mark’s/Tompkins Square Park and Morningside Heights. NYC along with San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, is probably the best place on Earth for serious people-watching. It’s practically a microcosm of Planet Earth, people from all corners of the globe concentrated in this one city, all shapes, sizes, colors, political affiliations, spiritual affiliations, etc.  Just think of the most obscure category you can come up with like “Nestorian Christians” or “Yazidis” and I’ll bet money that they probably have their own neighborhood somewhere in the greater NYC area.
New Yorkers during their annual No Pants Subway ride

New Yorkers during their annual No Pants Subway ride

As much as I love the excitement, the vibrancy and the mind-boggling amount of things to take in, it’s not a place I don’t think I can ever live in. The stress of living there is just unbelievable and you see it quite clearly etched into the faces of the people there. Just because of the cost of living, you must have your game face on all the time, you have to be “ON” all the time and depending in what industry you work in, you have to be either assertive or flat-out aggressive, you have no choice or else you’re going to be flattened out.
Crowded-Subway-Station
I’m a real stickler for vibes and energetic interference and just because of the densely populated nature of NYC, you constantly have someone in your face all the time. It’s really not surprising why yoga studios and day spas offering massage therapy sit practically on every corner. You need them just to offset the insane amounts of stress which living in NYC generates.
I mean there are a few other equally frantic cities like London, Paris, Delhi and Istanbul but these are also very old, ancient cities. They have spots, usually of spiritual significance, which are linked to the far, distant past which you can easily escape to and it is very easy to slip into a deeper meditation or lose your sense of time and experience a deeper reality in those places.
The Roman Cistern in Istanbul

The underground Roman Cistern in Istanbul

New York, like Toronto or Sydney is a New World city. They are very young, they don’t have that link to our far past and quite often those spiritual spaces they create, in my experience, somehow feel synthetic and not nearly as grounded or organic as more ancient, older places do.
The Cloisters, part of the Met Museum.

The Cloisters, part of the Met Museum

I’m going to close off with a quote from Aivanhov and perfectly captures the conundrum of anyone who is faced with the choice of having a lot of money and accumulating things while losing their sense of joy or having little but remaining at peace despite it all. I’m sure everyone as well as New Yorkers deal with this all the time.

“Having a taste for things is so much more important than owning them – This is why, for those who lack nothing, it is better if money remains of secondary concern. You can see what life is like for so many business people – all that time they spend in the office and at meetings.  When they leave, it is so they can race around from one end of the globe to the other without seeing anything of the regions they pass through or of the people who live there. And that is how their sensitivity to what is beautiful and poetic in life eventually becomes dulled. So, what was the point of amassing a fortune? They cannot even enjoy the advantages it gives them, as they have destroyed that something in them that gives the most exquisite flavour to things, events and people. And that is what is sad: to have the possibility of acquiring anything you want but to feel no joy from it, except the vanity of owning it.  So if you have to choose between these two situations – owning a lot but no longer being able to appreciate it, or owning very little and keeping your taste for it – choose the latter, and the smallest thing will give you joy.”

– Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
Categories: Ascension, New Energy Centers, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Travels, Yoga | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The Veneer of Spiritual Specialness

Mike Myers as a guru.

Mike Myers as a guru.

“True initiates, true disciples present themselves in a simple, natural manner and are always approachable. Why do you wish to impress others and attract their attention with superior airs? You will say: ‘But are we not to manifest our spiritual accomplishments?’ You must not hide them, and you must not display them either. Since you are working on yourself and are busy modelling and sculpting your inner being, let this show in the features of your face, in your behaviour, and in your gestures. But you yourself, stay simple and natural. Why demand recognition with affected behaviour? Since you follow a spiritual teaching, know that your qualities of wisdom, purity, and nobility will show through your expression and your attitude, without any need on your part to assume all sorts of poses to advertise it. Allow your inner work to speak for itself, and even without your realising it, it will bear witness to you. In your wish to help others, you are probably going to absorb some impurities, but do not worry. Think of water and tell yourself that you can follow its example. Yes, water, which is so transparent, so innocent, comes down to earth to absorb all the impurities of the creatures here. Then, one day, it merges with the ocean, and recovers its original purity. If you complain of being defiled, taken advantage of, and diminished, it is quite simply because you think of yourself as a pond, or even worse, a small puddle. Instead of identifying with a puddle, identify with the ocean and you will feel that nothing and no one can soil you. Then, in time, you will be seized by the rays of the spiritual sun which will take charge of your purification, and by rising into space, you will leave behind all the impure elements you have absorbed on your journey.”

– Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

[To my batch of new readers and followers, thank you and welcome. Also, get used to the Aivanhov quotes in this blog. Aivanhov was a Gnostic, Bulgarian mystic and spiritual master and I’m a huge fan of his teachings.]

Aivanhov here is talking about what another late metaphysician, Stuart Wilde called “The Cult of the Chosen One”.
You know what I’m talking about, right?

John Friend, before the fall.

John Friend, rock-star yogi, before the fall.

Those people you meet at either some spiritual group, New Age gathering or at a yoga studio/mala who boast about who is more spiritually advanced than you, who has had more spiritual experiences that you, who has more spiritual faculties awakened than you and then use that as a selling point to make you feel bad about yourself and lure you into their own cult of personality. Unfortunately, many so-called teachers and gurus also display this stupid tendency, and in my book that’s an automatic red flag and a sign to stay the hell away because it’s ego-driven, not based on anything compassionate or genuineness.

quote-pride-makes-us-artificial-and-humility-makes-us-real-thomas-merton-126335

One thing I learned with my time with some of the First Nations Native tribes is that genuine and authentic Elders and wisdom keepers work with absolute humility. Humility in this sense is not about putting yourself down and thinking less of yourself but rather thinking about yourself, your issues and your stuff less. They don’t say very much, they certainly don’t advertise themselves online or put out brochures and they don’t really boast about their abilities on Facebook or Twitter. Rather, once they’ve accepted you as a student or feel you’re ready to receive teachings, little by little, in their actions, you start observing that they may actually know some really neat stuff worth knowing.

Mental telepathy is one ability many sadhus claim to have.

Mental telepathy is one ability many sadhus claim to have.

Hindu lore especially around the sadhus, or the Muslim Sufi ascetics known as fakirs are rife with stories of supernatural abilities, like levitation, the ability to prognosticate the future, forcing a mango tree to grow in front of your eyes from seed, mental telepathy, telekinesis, tricks like producing ash out of thin air like Sathya Sai Baba used to do or walking on water (which is why the story of Jesus walking on water isn’t such a big deal in India). Native American tribes and Siberian/Mongolian shamanic tribes talk about people with the ability to be skin walkers. Practically every culture in the world has stories of people who display what we would consider to be supra-natural ability.

A Siberian shaman.

A Siberian shaman.

Much of the spiritual literature in Hinduism, Sufism, and Buddhism are unequivocal about these abilities which they call “siddhi” and say that should you develop siddhi along your path to Enlightenment/Oneness, don’t pay any attention to them. These are just the little foothills of distractions on the way to the real mountains towering behind them.

Uri Geller and his bending spoons.

Uri Geller and his bending spoons.

So in case you ever meet someone who does have siddhi, like bending spoons or knows how to see your future on a polished fingernail and uses that ability to somehow convince you to join their group or follow them, I would just quietly suggest to give them a pass. Most of them are just trying to distract you. If you’re hunting for big game, this is just small fish in comparison.

Also, the next time you encounter someone who boasts about being “more spiritual” and tries to come across as more special than you, don’t say anything. Instead, just watch their actions closely because that’s where you’ll find your answer and find out everything you need to know about that person.

As for real teachers and real spiritual masters, I can only speak for myself and from my own experiences but I find the legit ones, their words have a consistent ability to almost have an immediate effect on you. They consistently have a knack for getting to the heart of any matter, quite often using simple words, not complicated jargon, which then resonates on such a deep level with you that you just automatically “get it”. Quite often, you’re not the same afterwards or you start looking at the world in a different way completely, and usually for the better.

Teachers and teachings are everywhere. You just got to know how to look and pick up what you need for your journey. They show up in unexpected places and ways and it’s up to you to pick up the trail of cosmic breadcrumbs.

I had written about a little-known Canadian seeress named Alma Rumball about two years ago. Alma is an example of someone whose works have much to teach us should we want to listen. Recently a documentary about her extraordinary life story was finally uploaded to Youtube and it is well worth a watch.

Enjoy.

 

 

Categories: Ascension, False prophits, Pop culture, Raise your EQ | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Shadow of Ayn Rand

A typical kind of Ayn Rand quote which lures people in.

A typical kind of inspirational Ayn Rand quote which lures people in.

For those of you who don’t know anything about  Ayn Rand aka Alisa Rosenbaum, settle in.

Rand made her name with her main two novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”, both books depicted men and women who were industrialists and CEOs in heroic terms. While we may not have Odysseus, Achilles or Jason leading us anymore, instead we can now look up to Howard Roark, Dagny Taggart or John Galt, because in essence, due to the grace of their “genius” and “productiveness”, we are all somehow allowed to live and like dogs happy to get table scraps, we should be grateful for whatever they  throw at us.
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By themselves, the books aren’t bad. In fact, I’d even say that “The Fountainhead” is an alright read and the film with Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal and Raymond Massey is interesting to watch only because Cooper and Neal started a torrid affair during filming which scandalized Hollywood at the time.
Dominique Francon (Patricia Neal) staring down Howard Roark (Gary Cooper).

Dominique Francon (Patricia Neal) staring down Howard Roark (Gary Cooper).

Rand has always been popular with young readers or those readers who are young in mind (Read: immature) which I think explains her ongoing popularity. When you’re young and philosophically immature, it is very easy to fall for the romantic notions of heroism which Rand paints in her books. It’s only when you get a little more sophisticated, you realize that Rand’s ideals of heroism and grandeur bear an eerily close resemblance to Nietzsche’s ideal of the “Super-Man”, a concept and philosophy Adolf Hitler then used to fuel some aspects of Nazi ideology.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Rand was also a racist. Big time. You don’t have to look any further than this interview she gave on the Phil Donahue show back in the 1970’s especially from 5:57 onwards.
She also had peculiar ideas on female political leaders (from 2:25)
She was also a miserable human being.
I don’t say that because of the YouTube videos where she shoots herself in the foot. I say that because when I didn’t know any better, I too fell in love with her books back in the 9th grade  (yeah, I was a nerd). As a result I read of on all the rest of her works including “Anthem”, “For the New Intellectual”, “The Romantic Manifesto”,  “The Virtue of Selfishness”,“‘Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” as well as the two biographies done by her closest associates for years, “The Passion of Ayn Rand” by Barbara Branden and “My Years with Ayn Rand” by Nathaniel Branden, her onetime intellectual heir turned lover. I’m not going to discuss the dirty laundry of her life, only to say there was lots. Lots. She had no problem treating anyone like dirt especially if they got in her way and this included her husband, her sister and eventually, the Brandens. This justified her philosophy of selfishness, I think.
Friends in high places. Rand and her husband, with former president Gerald Ford and chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.

Friends in high places. Rand and her husband, with former president Gerald Ford and chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.

I also don’t think it is a coincidence either why the political and economic ultra-right wing in the United States fall hook, line and sinker for Ayn Rand, like Rand Paul or former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan (the same jerk who oversaw the financial meltdown of 2008) who was a personal friend of Rand’s for many years and attended her weekly talks at her NYC apartment.
Prominent economist Jeffrey Sachs can’t stand Rand  and he sums it up best in this video (from 2:49), especially on John Galt’s speech in “Atlas Shrugged”. It’s about the absence of any compassion whatsoever. And big business and CEOs alike would like to think that like Rand’s heroes, they too are heroic, and because of their privilege and talent, also deserve to earn and take anything they want…never mind workers rights or paying taxes which give funds to keep a community alive for municipal services like libraries or fire trucks.
Only they are wrong.
Sears Roebuck & Company is about to go under any day now and that’s due in large part to their idiot CEO who tried installing Ayn Rand’s brand of laissez-faire capitalism into the business. The result? Virtual bankruptcy for a company which lasted almost for over 100 years.  Great productivity, eh?   Rand had very strange ideas on misogyny, physical looks and the “halo effect” and obnoxious businessmen. You can read it all here.
It’s no secret that Lululemon’s former CEO Chip Wilson used to worship at the altar of Ayn Rand. In fact, they had several campaigns highlighting Rand’s work including using the famous question “Who is John Galt?” in one of their ad campaigns as well as strongly pushing their ambassadors to attend the culty and creepy LandMark Education seminars until fairly recently, all in the pursuit of “greatness” to use Chip’s word.
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So when you have a company like Lululemon which provides clothing for what some people still consider to be a spiritual practice like yoga, which is all about trying to become a better human being, it did seem a little strange to see the disconnect between yoga and Ayn Rand’s philosophies and beliefs which border on the survival of the fittest. (Thankfully lulu has decided to downplay the Ayn Rand angle but nonetheless, this is the sort of thing people need to be aware of.)
What’s the lesson to today’s tale? If you ever encounter a company, a person, a celebrity who professes to love Ayn Rand and her ideas, I would only say watch them closely because I can almost guarantee that you will be dealing with a juvenile, not an adult.
Choose your ideals wisely.

 

Categories: Conspirio, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Yoga | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

When Life is Up For Sale

ATTENTION: NSFW and some disturbing content below and links. For mature readers only.

As I wrote earlier, I’ve been on a film kick lately. I’m usually attracted to stuff which explores metaphysical themes anyway so I struggled with writing this blog post and whether to publish it or not. I then decided, that as disturbing, ugly and painful as some aspects may be, in the end, the message is too important to pass up.

Pier Paolo Pasolini was a bit of a genius polymath. A writer, journalist, art critic, poet, painter, actor, novelist, philosopher, intellectual, political commentator, and finally, film maker and director, there was not much on the creative side of culture he did not study or work in. More than a little ahead of his time, Pasolini often stumped or enraged the critics of his day and nearly 40 years after his death, people are just starting to understand him and his work with a deeper appreciation, mostly because for his uncanny foresight and prescience of the world to come.

Film poster of  "The Canterbury Tales"

Film poster of “The Canterbury Tales”

 

Pasolini had made a trio of films called the Trilogy of Life, which included “Decameron”(1971), “The Canterbury Tales”(1972) and “The Flower of the 1001 Nights”(1974) which in themselves were bawdy, lusty but joyful depictions of human sexuality. There is a joy and playfulness in the Trilogy which is pretty obvious to anyone who takes the time to watch them. Pasolini was no prude. He was openly gay in a time and culture when that was socially unacceptable and no doubt that bled into his work.

Criterion Collections DVD jacket cover for "Salo"

Criterion Collections DVD jacket cover for “Salo”

His next and final film was the mother lode.
In 1975, Pasolini did Salò, (or The 120 Days of Sodom), based of course, on the notorious book by the Marquis de Sade. Only Pasolini changed the setting completely and placed it in the final days of Fascist Italy in the 1940s. (Before I go any further, I should warn anyone who wants to watch this film or take it lightly that this is a VERY disturbing film, and not in a slasher-horror film kind of way. Even if  nothing is real in the film and props and fakes were used, the content is very troubling. You have to be very, very , very strong to watch it and should weaker, more delicate souls watch this, it will affect you on a subconscious level so you’ve been warned and need to take personal responsibility if you decide to watch it.)

The 4  aristocrats, representing Royalty, Clergy, Law, and Political Leadership

The 4 aristocrats, representing Royalty, Clergy, Law, and Political Leadership

The film instantly was banned in practically every country in the world because of its graphic depictions of sexual mutilation, sadism, mental and physical torture and coprophagia. It remains banned in Malaysia and Singapore even now. There’s not much to the plot, only in Republic of Salò, the Fascist-occupied part of Italy, in 1944, four wealthy men of power, the Duke (Royalty), the Bishop (Religion/Clergy), the Magistrate (the Law), and the President (the Leader/Executive), agree to marry each other’s daughters as the first step in a debauched ritual. They recruit four teenage boys to act as guards and four young soldiers (called “studs), who are chosen because of their large physical genital endowments. They then kidnap nine young men and nine young women and take them to a palace near Salò. Accompanying them are four middle-aged prostitutes, also collaborators, who recount arousing stories for the men of power, who, in turn, sadistically exploit their victims.

The four older prostitutes.

The four older prostitutes.

The story depicts some of the 120 days at the palace, during which the four men come up with even more abhorrent tortures and humiliations for their own pleasure. The film follows four different segments inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the Anti-Inferno, the Circle of Manias, the Circle of Shit and the Circle of Blood. I am not going to recount what happens in the film, you can read that elsewhere, but rather focus on what the film and it’s aftermath really shows up.

The kidnapped.

The kidnapped, at right.

Reader, this film will break your heart and your shake your will to live.
I had to force myself to watch it through and had a good cry afterwards but as horrific as the scenes and actions are, there is a method to the madness here and I understand what Pasolini was trying to warn us of. Pasolini understood what market forces ultimately do to human beings, human souls and human bodies. When life becomes commoditized to market forces, that’s when the real torture begins. When you lose respect for life and look at it as a commodity, you lose your ability to feel any empathy and start treating others as objects to your own whims and inclinations – and the results often do end up becoming horrific.

Various contestants from the reality TV show, "The Swan" where candidates show up for extreme plastic surgery and surgical makeovers.

Various contestants from the reality TV show, “The Swan” where candidates showed up for extreme plastic surgery and surgical makeovers.

Pasolini saw the writing on the wall back in 1975, before globalization really took hold of the world, before drug cartels controlled economies and before Banksters, Royalty, Religion, Law and Political Leaders hoodwinked the public to pay for their gross ineptitude and greedy appetites. He understood and saw all too clearly what the final outcome was going to be and started to ring the warning bell in the most brutal, urgent way possible. Unfortunately, he paid the price for it with his life. Shortly after production wrapped, Pasolini was brutally murdered in what many suspect was a Mafia hit. He was run over by a car, several times in a row, and pictures of his mangled, crushed body were published in the newspapers, shocking the Italian public even more. Somehow man and myth became one.

Matching gold toilet and bidet, from the Dubai Boat Show.

Matching gold toilet and bidet, from the Dubai Boat Show. Does anyone really need this?

 

The antithesis of “Salo”, a film which argues very well against this materialism, I think is “A Canterbury Tale” (1944) by the dynamic duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Set in wartime England, and like Geoffrey Chaucer’s original story of a group of eccentric pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral, it follows three young people: British Army Sergeant Peter Gibbs, US Army Sergeant Bob Johnson (played by real-life Sergeant John Sweet), and a land girl, Miss Alison Smith.

(L toR) Sargeant Bob, Alison and Sargent John

(L toR) Sergeant Bob Johnson, Alison Smith and Sargent Peter Gibbs

The group arrive at the railway station in a small Kent town of Chillingbourne, near Canterbury, late on night. Peter has been stationed at a nearby Army camp, Alison is due to start working on a farm in the area, and Bob left the train by mistake, hearing the announcement “next stop Canterbury” and thinking he was in Canterbury. As they leave the station together, Alison is attacked by a mysterious assailant in uniform who pours glue on her hair, before escaping. The remainder of the film is about the three of them sleuthing to find out who is”The Glue Man”.

That’s just the plot. It’s also a meditation on why nature has to be protected at all costs, the true cost of war and technology in human terms, the joy of childhood innocence and that miracles do happen. Chaucer’s pilgrims travelled to Canterbury to “receive a blessing, or to do penance”.  It’s really at the end which brings the film to a glorious, spiritual conclusion where each of them receives a blessing. (If you’re feeling lost or adrift, watch “A Canterbury Tale”.  It will help you find your bearings. )

The film also highlights The Pilgrims Way, an often-forgotten walking pilgrimage route which still runs through the English countryside ending at Canterbury Cathedral, and not unlike Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. The route is actually far older than the medieval pilgrimage route we know it as today and dates back to the Iron Age. (Quite often people doing the Pilgrim’s Way looking for blessings, end up doing penance and those looking to do penance end up with blessings. In other words, the route is some sort of karmic balancer and that is why I strongly suspect there’s a very powerful and still-pure ley line along that route.)

Map of The Pilgrim's Way.

Map of The Pilgrim’s Way.

Powell and Pressburger may have made the film in 1944, far earlier than Pasolini’s film, but I’ll leave you with the words of Sergeant John Sweet who played Sergeant Bob Johnson in the film. Sweet died in 2011 but he gave an interview in 2001 which is on the Criterion DVD of the film, when he returned to Canterbury for the first time after 57 odd years.

“When I say heads raised in the film, I do mean the spiritual, I mean that very much. This is about the human spirit. Indeed. I realized it yesterday. I saw it …clearly on the film, but I’m a little older and I know a little more than I did when I was 27… And today we’re hungry for this, without knowing how to move on it. …We’re hungry for something… For meaning. We’re talking about meaning… And we’re all short of it. We’re all trying to get it from science or from technology or…or mobile phones. And that’s… that’s silliness. There’s no spirituality in it or in the internet or facts or mobile phones…. It’s a poor, poor substitute for the spirit.”

Categories: Ascension, Conspirio, False prophits, Politico, Pop culture, Prophecy, Raise your EQ, Think like the Illuminati, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Some Mysticism in Some Films

The National Library and Archives of Quebec

The National Library and Archives of Quebec

One of the few benefits of living in Quebec is that it is easily the most leftist place in North America with strong socialist leanings. Yeah, our taxes are high and we have bad roads with winter potholes which will do a number on your car maintenance bills. However that also means extremely affordable university education, fantastic community services and wonderful public libraries with excellent collections in many languages with speedy inter-library loans.

Inside the library

Inside the library

It’s a very rare public library that can say it carries the entire catalogue of the Criterion Collection of DVDs. For those of you who aren’t film buffs, the Criterion Collection produces the most amazing versions of all those art house films you’ve read or heard about but never had the chance to watch. Those films and directors which are often quoted by more mainstream movie directors or those covered in basic courses in film studies and communication, like Luchino Visconti, Akira Kurosawa, Ken Loach, Alex Cox and countless others. The Criterion DVDs also contain those extras like rare documentaries on the making of, interviews with surviving actors or directors.

Boss. The mystical poet of cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky. If Rumi had been a filmmaker, the closest approximation would have been Tarkovsky. His gravestone in Paris reads,"To the man who saw the Angel."

Boss. The mystical poet of cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky. If Rumi had been a filmmaker, the closest approximation would have been Tarkovsky. His gravestone in Paris reads,”To the man who saw the Angel.”

You gain a special insight and understanding about the art form and a basic free education in film studies (Film was always considered an art form by the Europeans and more of a business by the Americans, with few exceptions which is why the “look” and message is so different.). Once you watch the masters at work, you begin to have the ability to discern when fifth-rate Hollywood directors try oh-so-hard to copy them or insert scenes in their films which have been “inspired” by the real maestros (and usually fall flat on their faces).

Scarlett O'Hara in Victor Fleming's classic "Gone With the Wind"

Scarlett O’Hara in Victor Fleming’s classic “Gone With the Wind”

...and Steven Spielberg's rip-off version at the end of the film "War Horse"

…and Steven Spielberg’s rip-off version at the end of the film “War Horse”

One thing the Americans could never do was portray spiritual and serious mystical ideas on film effectively. I don’t know why, maybe the puritanical religious history has something to do with it or the lack of exposure or understanding of religious traditions outside of the strictly Protestant/Catholic framework until fairly recently. When they do, it either comes across as New Age-y like “What Dreams May Come” or like “City of Angels” (an excretable version of the original German masterpiece “Wings of Desire”) or it has to be based on biblical or religious dogma like the more recent “Noah”. Mysticism, because it is so porous and open-ended, does not lend itself well to the medium of film.

Russell Crowe as Noah (you're kidding me, right?)

Russell Crowe as Noah (you’re kidding me, right?)

When it’s done in the hands of directors, who themselves may have the best credentials technically but have low spiritual insight or maturity, the films usually fall flat like in the case of Martin Scorsese‘s “Kundun” (which is why I think he keeps repeating the same themes and keeps making the same gangster film all the time – he doesn’t have very much range IMHO).

Kundun (1997) a film about the Dalai Lama. Movie was nothing to write home about.

Kundun (1997) a film about the Dalai Lama. Movie was nothing to write home about.

When it’s done right, the results are beyond fabulous and keep you running back for more.
The films can haunt you for days and more often than not, raises more questions, which then forces you to re-watch the film with these questions in mind – and the process keeps repeating itself from there. Andrei Tarkovsky’s entire body of work and especially “Andrei Rublev” (read the user reviews at the bottom), Wim Wender’s “Paris, Texas”, Louis Malle’s “My Dinner with Andre” or Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue, easily come to mind here.

Recently I stumbled on the works of British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger aka “The Archers”. There has already been volumes written on them to say nothing of the countless PhD dissertations on their work, but what I would like to focus on is the almost-lyrical mysticism which seems to pervade their films, most notably in “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp”, “I Know Where I’m Going”, “A Matter of Life and Death”, “Black Narcissus” and “The Red Shoes”.

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger at work. They had one of the most successful working partnerships in British film history

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger at work. They had one of the most successful working partnerships in British film history

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Roger Livesey and Deborah Kerr at the beginning of General Wynne-Candy's career

Roger Livesey and Deborah Kerr at the beginning of General Wynne-Candy’s career

This is a film about missed chances, realizing the truth of the matter a little too late and looking back on life. For anyone who has had to live with regret and then had to make the best of it, the film will ring true especially for you. The film follows Major General Clive Wynne-Candy (Roger Livesey’s performance of a lifetime) from 1902 until 1942 and watches the changes in culture played out in the theatre of war. Particularly from when war was once fought by gentlemen to when war became an outlet for brutes.

Probably one of the best close-up shots of an actor ever.

Probably one of the best-looking close-up shots of an actor, ever. A gentleman, moments before his fight.

Powell and Pressburger took the piss out of war and the British idea of “empire building” and even had Winston Churchill and the British War office on their backs for making this film, particularly for showing up the humanity of a German highborn soldier. The war propagandists of the time just couldn’t take it because the film refused to take sides. This was a film which was not supposed to be made but 70 years later has finally been restored to its original form and is now becoming recognized as the masterpiece it was. An undercurrent theme of lost love also runs throughout the film. English actress Deborah Kerr plays 3 characters in this film, a different incarnation of Clive Wynne-Candy’s Twin Soul at different stages in his life.


I Know Where I’m Going (1945)

Looking out towards Kiloran from Mull.

Looking out towards Kiloran from Mull.

A tale about Destiny, Fate and Love (and I capitalized those words on purpose here). Wendy Hiller plays Joan Webster, an ambitious young lady who is engaged to be married off to the much older but very wealthy industrialist Sir Robert Bellinger. The wedding is to take place on the remote Scottish island of Kiloran in the Western Hebrides and the only way to get there is to catch a boat from the island of Mull. Setback after setback hits Joan as a sudden storm and windy conditions prevent her from leaving Mull and Joan meets a dashing naval officer named Torquil MacNeil (again, Roger Livesey at his most handsome I find) who kindly offers her to stay at his friend’s home.

Captain MacNeil doesn't have eyes for anyone else but for Joan.

Captain MacNeil doesn’t have eyes for anyone else but for Joan.

The storm lasts a few days and with each passing day Joan and Torquil’s unsaid feelings for each other become deeper and more apparent. Joan, fearing that she is going to lose everything she has worked so hard for in her life if she stays any longer, tries to flee but Mother Nature, the Fates (and especially Captain MacNeil) have other ideas. Set against the harsh beauty of Northern Scotland, this film has a solid cult following and hundreds of fans of the film have made the trek to the filming locations over the years. No one can quite explain WHY the film seems to resonate with so many people, but I personally think that the mysticism of the story, the atmospheric Scottish landscape and excellent acting all have something to do with the films longstanding appeal.

 

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

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Here, Powell and Pressburger decide to tackle Death, Life after Death and the Power of Love. David Niven plays Peter Carter a pilot who jumps out of his plane and doesn’t die. Death has been robbed and a trial has been set and Carter has to argue for his life before the powers that be. Problem is, Carter has fallen in love during his “stolen hours” which has complicated matters somewhat.

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Roger Livesey (who many speculate was an alter-ego of Michael Powell’s) is Dr. Reeves, who looks after Carter and ends up having to defend him against historical persons in a heavenly court of law. Really, at its heart, it is about the redemptive power of love on Earth and speculates wildly on life after death, the nature of Time and why we are really here. It’s worth watching just for the “Stairway to Heaven” sequence alone and the laughable “English Culture vs. American Culture” trail. Be warned, stereotypes abound.

Black Narcissus (1947)

How does one balance out sexuality with spirituality? More often than not, many spiritual teachings talk about squashing those feelings and sentiments – usually with disastrous results and “Black Narcissus” shows up how these instincts can sometimes go wrong. Very wrong. Based on story by Rumer Godden, the film is set at a convent high in the Himalayas where the wind never stops blowing. The convent itself used to be a bordello but has since been converted. The exotic, sensual but isolated surroundings eventually get to the nuns.

Sister Ruth -Yikes!

Sister Ruth -Yikes!

Having a mentally unbalanced, but sexually repressed nun in the form of Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron) and a walking stud-muffin like Mr. Dean (David Farrar) doesn’t help matters in the least. The entire film was shot on a soundstage in England, very far from India yet you’re taken in completely. The fight between the “good” nun and the “bad” nun will leave you on the edge of your nerves.

The Red Shoes (1948)

How does the artist answer his or her true calling, remain faithful to it in face of outside pressures particularly, Love? Can two great passions, such as love and the artistic impulse truly occupy the same space? Loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, it follows the rise of a ballerina Vicky Page (real-life ballerina Moira Shearer) from relative obscurity to the heights of artistic success, all under the watchful eye of an artistic Svengali ballet impresario Boris Lermontov. Moira falls in love with a composer and that places her role as prima ballerina within the touring company at odds with Lermontov who has even bigger plans for her. Upon telling him of her wishes to follow her heart, Lermontov declares, “A dancer who relies upon the doubtful comforts of human love will never be a great dancer. Never.”

I'm positive Darren Aronofsky copied a lot of ideas from "The Red Shoes" and used them in "Black Swan"

I’m positive Darren Aronofsky copied a lot of ideas from “The Red Shoes” and used them in “Black Swan”

The highlight of this film is the actual ballet sequence which runs for 15 minutes during the middle of the film and is probably the most surreal, beautiful piece of film-making ever committed to celluloid. A young woman sees a pair of red shoes in a shop window, which are offered to her by the demonic Shoemaker. She puts them on and begins to dance with her beau. They go to a carnival, where she seems to forget about the beau as she dances with every man she comes across. She attempts to return home to her mother, but the red shoes, controlled by the Shoemaker, keeps her dancing. She falls into a netherworld, where she dances with a piece of newspaper which turns briefly into her beau. She is then beset by grotesque creatures, including the Shoemaker, who converge upon her. They abruptly disappear, leaving her alone. No matter where she flees, the shoes refuse to stop dancing. Near death from exhaustion, clothed in rags, she finds herself in front of a church where a funeral is in progress. The priest offers to help her. She motions to him to remove the shoes, and as he does so, she dies. He carries her into the church, and the Shoemaker retrieves the shoes, to be offered to his next victim. (In the case of the fairy tale, the red shoes can be read as any earthly enticement).

If you love watching serious films as much as I do, do yourself a favour and find these movies. They just don’t make them like this anymore, that’s for sure.

Categories: Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Those unseen things | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Law of Exchange

“Tell yourself that all human beings are your brothers and sisters, and if you learn to accept them, with their weaknesses, their shortcomings and the difficulties they create for you, you will attract the benevolence and support of heavenly beings.  Never be like those people who turn away from others on the pretext that they are inferior.  Such ignorant people do not know that when they do this they are transgressing the law of exchange and that, as a consequence, the divine world will refuse to make exchanges with them.  It is up to each one of us to find out how to establish true contact with others.  May scientists be happy to give their knowledge and the wise to give their light, and may those who receive them be delighted to have been taught and enlightened.  May the strong be happy to support the weak and the rich to help the poor, and may the weak and the poor be grateful to feel they have been helped.  All those who refuse to allow their wealth to circulate, in whatever sphere, are like stagnant water. They will never discover the meaning of life, for life can only be found in free circulation and exchanges. Just because people are different from you, it doesn’t mean you have the right to mistreat them or ignore them. You will do better to try to understand them.  In this way you will be establishing a good habit, which will then protect you from many dangers. You meet people who think they are so important.  They think they don’t have to make any effort for little ants. But maybe one day they will find themselves, like in fairy stories, having to sort thousands of grains of wheat, barley or rice in a few hours, and then they will be very pleased when the ‘ants’ come to their aid. Or else they will be bound tightly hand and foot, and a little mouse will start gnawing at the rope to set them free. 

Lucy noticing the mice gnawing away the ropes around Aslan at the Stone Table in an animated version of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"

Lucy noticing the mice gnawing away the ropes around Aslan at the Stone Table in an animated version of “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”

You will say, ‘But those are fables, fairy stories for children!’ If you like… The mice and the ants represent those people you mix with that you tend to look down on.  But who knows?  Perhaps those people you were able to show some respect, because they deserved it, will one day come to your rescue. There are invisible beings who can come down to help us, and if you want them to pay you a visit and to stay, you must prepare the right conditions in yourself.  Yes, never forget that divine beings are always ready to visit you and that they seek a place to dwell in your heart, soul and spirit, so they may work and bring you their riches.  It is only people’s negligence and lack of appreciation for their presence and help that keeps these entities away. They are fully aware that human beings are imperfect, weak and silly, and yet they excuse them and do not let this stop them. On the contrary, they say: ‘Oh, what a state the poor things are in, they need help!’ But if they see that people do not appreciate what they bring, they leave. Not because they need to be respected or thanked, no, but because they know that ingratitude prevents people from profiting from the blessings they are offered.

– Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

I am, in small degrees , a supernaturalist.

That probably doesn’t jive with a lot of people (and that’s cool) but I do firmly believe that all that we can see, hear, touch, smell and taste is not all that there is (Is it just me but isn’t it strange that 4 of our 5 senses are centered around the head? Are there others in other parts of the body and they are just dormant?).

Microbacteria in your tummy

Mycobacteria in your tummy

There’s much more, we just haven’t been able to quantify or record these things mostly because the instruments, physics and mathematics just aren’t there yet. It’s all relative. I mean if you were to go up to a feudal serf in medieval France and show him a picture of a what a real microbe or virus looks like and explain to him that it is living underneath his fingernails or on his skin when he doesn’t take a bath after six months, he’d probably run screaming off to the local church official and have you burned alive. That microbe may not have been something which anyone could see, quantify or touch back then, but it doesn’t change that it was still there. Thankfully, germ theory changed a lot of things. That’s what I mean by relativity.

No. Just no.

No. Just no.

Likewise, I do think, like what Aivanhov suggests, there are lifeforms which populate this universe way beyond us. Mostly good, some bad but because I think evil has its limitations, the more benevolent forces are far more advanced in form and expression. I’m not talking about Ascended Masters bullshit and all the crap many New Agers sprout. I don’t think they are in a form we can even relate to except perhaps in flashes of insight, sudden intuition and those all-too-rare moments of pure transcendence or grace. However, if the quote is true and they are indeed ready to help us, it also means we have to hold up our end of the law of exchange as well.

Greek Orthodox icon of Seven Archangels. From left to right: Jegudiel, Gabriel, Selaphiel, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, Barachiel. Beneath the mandorla of Christ-Emmanuel are representations of Cherubim (blue) and Seraphim (red).

Greek Orthodox icon of Seven Archangels. From left to right: Jegudiel, Gabriel, Selaphiel, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, Barachiel. Beneath are representations of Cherubim (blue) and Seraphim (red).

I think what is stopping so many people to practice that law of exchange is 1) Fear, fear that if they give anything away, they will never have anything to show for it  and 2) Greed. We are living in a world culture which is largely predicated on class-warfare and with the “Haves” displaying a horrific culture of entitlement. Too many people thinking that if they display any form of kindness, decency, gentleness or compassion, there will be less of it to go around to them.

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This culture of entitlement has many, many expressions. From an impossible diva like Jennifer Lopez who has it written into contracts with the hired help that they are not to make eye-contact with her at any time to Generation Y college grads who get upset that they may have to work on a project which requires a longer attention span, of say a mouse.

Moll girls at play. From Vice.com

Moll girls at play. From Vice.com

I recently read about the phenomena of the “moll girls” in Australia over at Vice. It’s mostly girls, usually in their early 20s, mostly from upper middle class to upper class backgrounds acting like thuggish boys. I mean binge drinking, fighting with each other physically, even fighting with boys as a gang, sleeping around randomly as a form of “empowerment” usually at clubs and bars. Generally acting very boorish and vulgar and throwing a fit at even the hint they may not get what (or who)  they want in the next 10 seconds.

the original "Queen of Mean", Leona Helmsley

The original “Queen of Mean”, Leona Helmsley

Whenever I watch people who give off that “I’m Entitled to do Anything I Want” vibe, I always detect fierce anger underneath…as well as deep hurt. Somehow, somewhere along the line, something damaged them. I’m not justifying that behaviour but I do think it’s a scar that they carry around and it manifests in other ways

A typical group of socialites as featured in New York Social Diary.

A typical group of socialites as featured in New York Social Diary.

When I used to work at non-profits, many of the charity fundraising events were chaired by local socialites and I have to say, they are easily the rudest, bitchiest, most self-absorbed and neurotic women I’ve ever come across. Many of their husbands were captains of industry so they were, in short, bored, flaky trophy wives. They used to treat us at the non-profits like we were their domestic help and would often get away with it unless you said something and put them in their place. I don’t think many of them were happily married or for that matter were even in love with their husbands (most of their husbands were really old and not particularly attractive…). I think because in some ways, they were disempowered in some areas of their lives, they tried to exert extra power in other areas to compensate.

The wedding of Jackie Kennedy to Aristotle Onassis. The two Kennedy kids, caroline and JKF Jr. don't look very happy, do they?

The wedding of Jackie Kennedy to Aristotle Onassis. The two Kennedy kids, Caroline and JKF Jr. don’t look very happy, do they?

It was rumored that Jackie Kennedy, when she married Aristotle Onassis, one of the stipulations  was that she was required to have sex with him 3 times a day at anytime he wanted and she would have an expense account which allowed her to spend $10 000 – $15 000 a day at high-end New York department stores on anything she wanted. Do the math.

Thanks but no thanks, I’d rather be happy, unhindered, minding my own business and free to see, experience and receive the magic this world and life has to offer.

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Categories: Ascension, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up, Those unseen things | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Rock the Noosphere

Watch this interview with veteran character actor Harry Dean Stanton. The whole interview is awesome but pay close attention particularly around 3:16

Ecology teaches us that the Earth’s biosphere is the sum total of all the Earth’s ecosystems and is comprised of a complex interaction between the Hydrosphere (water), Lithosphere (Earth), Atmosphere (Air).
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Astrology and the Native American medicine wheel teaches us of 4 Elements which are Air, Earth, Water and Fire (Chinese medicine includes Metal and Wood).
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To me it becomes obvious that the biosphere model is missing Fire and I think, like what Harry Dean Stanton says, that’s where the Noosphere steps in.
Noosphere: A postulated sphere or stage of evolutionary development dominated by consciousness, the mind, and interpersonal relationships (frequently with reference to the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). 
In other words, it’s the biosphere of thought or the collective consciousness.
Throw something new into it and it suddenly has a ripple effect and people start thinking the same thing suddenly. Some people also call it the Hundredth Monkey Effect but to me, I think it’s a natural extension of evolution. I also think the internet has a huge, huge part to play in that (so long as it remains uncensored and free of course).
2010-10-27-Neurons-Internet-Galaxy-Map-Comparison-Compare
We like to think that *THIS*, all this stuff around us is the end of evolution but I disagree completely with that assessment.
If you're going to tell me that aiming to live in suburban sprawl like this is the end-all and be-all of human existence, you know where you can go...

If you’re going to tell me that aiming to live in suburban sprawl like this is the end-all and be-all of human existence, you know where you can go…

Evolution by itself, means that change is the name of the game and that we will continue to evolve. In terms of how that will happen, your guess is as good as mine. Some people say it will be a few more thousand years before our pinky toes disappear completely.
Bye-bye pinky toe? Hmmm....

Bye-bye pinky toe? Hmmm….

Other groups claim that new chakra centers will open up in the body including a lovely pink one.
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All I can say with any semblance of certainty is that this month is some sort of a cosmic opening. The stars are telling us as much. I’m not going to be blogging very much this month since I have other projects which I’m polishing up on but I’ll end with this: Throw in your most wildly utopian, idealistic, outlandishly evolved, hopelessly romantic thoughts. You just never know how it will be picked up 😉
Copyright Roger Dean 2014

Copyright Roger Dean 2014

Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Shift of the Ages effects, Those unseen things | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

In Praise of Common Decency

"Ashram" by Russian artist and mystic Nicholas Roerich

“Ashram” by Russian artist and mystic Nicholas Roerich

“It is natural to appreciate men and women for the gifts they possess. Whether they are writers, artists, scientists or even athletes, one cannot but marvel at their talents and sometimes even their genius. But is this any reason to neglect their moral qualities? Are they good, fair, honest, and generous? Often this consideration is secondary, and it is only talent that people notice. It is talent that everyone tries to cultivate, since; it is for this that people are so highly esteemed. This is why the earth is now populated with capable, talented people. It is incredible, there are swarms of them, but why are all these abilities, all these talents, all these geniuses unable to save the world? On the contrary, it could even be said that they are contributing to its destruction! We often hear people say: ‘Ah! He is so gifted; he has so many abilities that he can be forgiven everything!’ Well, this is very bad reasoning. Someone who is particularly favoured by nature must, on the contrary, make great efforts to uphold, to crown his gifts and talents with moral qualities. Otherwise, instead of becoming what he should be, a benefactor of humanity, he behaves like a thief! Many people tend to believe that the fame and fortune they have achieved are a justification for their way of doing things. Since up until now they have been successful, it must mean that they were in the right, and they can continue to impose their own views and their own decisions on everyone else. What an illusion! Material success is no proof of their good judgement. On the contrary, wisdom should make them more prudent – and also those who admire them, those who stand by and exclaim: ‘It is extraordinary! What activity; what energy!’ They say that such people are afraid of nothing. But to be afraid of nothing does not demonstrate the virtue we call faith, but rather that which we know as presumption. And not only do the presumptuous eventually take a fall, but – as history has shown us time and again – they drag others down with them!”
 
-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
 

Eleven prominent bankers have committed suicide in the last 3 months.

Under normal circumstances, you could easily dismiss it as either a spate of bad luck or unfortunate coincidence but since I have a naturally suspicious outlook on things, I think the timing is extremely eerie. Not unlike the number of bankers who killed themselves in the immediate aftermath of the start of the Great Depression of 1929, things literally did not start to look up economically until after World War II in 1945.

depression-headlines

War, unfortunately has always been the economic engine which keeps things humming along. I have a feeling those bankers saw the writing on the wall and decided to do themselves in and I DON’T find it coincidental in the least that suddenly the war drums are drumming vis-a-vis Russia over the whole issue of Ukraine and the Crimea. 

In short, they are using war to save the economy. Again.

war-is-money

If Crimea goes the way the US wants it, Venezuela will be next on the hit-list and after that…well… the list is pretty obvious by now, no?

I like this Aivanhov quote because it shows up the real stupidity behind politicians, industrialists, businessmen, bureaucrats, technocrats, professors as well as many mainstream artists and performers. In short, just about every acting party who is part of this reality hack. True, they may very well be the smartest minds in the room, and usually coupled with charisma, talent and good looks, that makes for a potent and heady mix, but not a single one of them, for all their knowledge and talent ever demonstrates any selfless kindness, wisdom and above all, humility which is the level where the real problem-solving will happen.

Public 'intellectual" and political commentator Niall Ferguson is a right-wing, imperialist apologist. Watch him closely.

Public “intellectual” and political commentator Niall Ferguson is a right-wing, imperialist apologist. Watch him closely.

When someone does, you never hear about it, mostly because I think we live in a world where those aforementioned qualities are not celebrated and therefore doesn’t sell print or generate hits and internet revenue. There’s no place for wisdom and humility when you’re on a world stage which is all about ego, vanity and control.

TAOLife-C_S_-Lewis-Humility-is-not-thinking-less-of-yourself-but-thinking-of-yourself-less_

Some of you may laugh at me or dismiss me as a flake for following the lives of old Hollywood actors and rock musicians like I do, but I have found that there are many lessons in examining some of those lives.

You know. There is something to be said for aging gracefully...

You know. There is something to be said for aging gracefully…

It’s no secret to my regular readers that I intensely dislike Madonna. True, she is an extremely shrewd business-woman and she has achieved more than any of us ever will in our lives with respect to the music she has made, the revenue she has generated, the number of albums she has sold and how she was one of the first artists to publicly embrace the LGBT community.  However, I find her to be an ugly human being. It’s her character. Her calculating nature, arrogance, attention-whoring and unending vanity which does it in for me.

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Whenever I look at her, all I can ever think about is Oscar Wilde’s book, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” where Dorian makes a deal with the devil and stays eternally beautiful and youthful on the outside, all the while committing heinous acts. Meanwhile a true image of him hidden away, shows up his real reflection and visage, aging and becoming the beast-like character that he really is. It’s not *just* Madonna, practically everyone in the public eye is like that, particularly in professions like politics, sports and entertainment.

On the other hand,  there are a handful of artists who I’ve noticed seem to become better and better at their craft as they age, and in some cases, even become more beautiful and graceful (minus plastic surgery) and about whom I’ve never heard bad stories or gossip.

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They may not have been the smartest, most talented or even the most good-looking persons but they often demonstrated kindness, humor, wisdom and generosity. They usually led low-key lives, didn’t seek the limelight too much, and seemed to be very happy in their personal lives.

I think of Audrey Hepburn,

Audrey Hepburn in Ethiopia for UNICEF. She helped out UNICEF because UNICEF helped her during WWII while her family were hungry in Holland during the Nazi occupation.

Audrey Hepburn in Ethiopia for UNICEF. She helped out UNICEF because during WWII, as a child, she and her family went hungry in Holland during the Nazi occupation and she never forgot the hunger children feel.

James Stewart…

It wasn't until he was way past his prime, could James Stewart play psychologically complex characters and pull them off fantastically, like Scottie Ferguson in "Vertigo", recently voted the best film of all time.

It wasn’t until he was way past his prime, could James Stewart play psychologically complex characters and pull them off fantastically, like Scottie Ferguson in “Vertigo”, recently voted the best film of all time.

Sir Alec Guinness…

Yup. That's Obi Wan Kenobi from "Star Wars" playing a Hindu Brahmin priest in "A Passage to India" and nailing it.

Yup. That’s Obi Wan Kenobi from “Star Wars” playing a Hindu Brahmin priest in “A Passage to India” and nailing it.

and Paul Newman….

Paul Newman used to joke that his salad dressings and popcorn made more money than his movies, which funded his camps for disadvantaged children.

Paul Newman used to joke that his salad dressings and popcorn made more money than his films, which funded his camps for disadvantaged children.

and more recently Bryan Adams, Isabella Rossellini, Jeff Bridges and Pierce Brosnan.

Former model, now actress and producer, Isabella Rossellini is looking more and more like her mother, Ingrid Bergman, with each passing year.

Former model, now actress and producer, Isabella Rossellini is looking more and more like her mother, Ingrid Bergman, with each passing year.

I don’t understand why people don’t talk about and celebrate common sense and common decency more often. I think if the general culture was infused with more of those qualities and made THAT the new normal, we’d have less to worry about in places like the Crimea and Venezuela and it would expose these narcissistic power hungry freaks in Washington DC, Brussels and London for who they are to everyone.

Categories: Ascension, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Think like the Illuminati, This is why the planet is screwed up, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What “The Flintstones” shows up about Hollywood

I’m convinced that if you watch this episode of “The Flintstones” called “Dino Goes Hollyrock” you have everything you’ll ever need in order to understand Hollywood.
It touches on cosmetic surgery, fake public personas, seeing celebrities when they are “off” and understanding the importance of your real home and where you come from.
Here’s Dino in love with Sassie…
Dino vendo TVeditada (Custom)
Dino meeting Sassie on the set…
Dino and Sassy
Dino’s reaction to being told his tail is “too big” and needs to be “cut off”…
SASSY
Sassie showing her real self up…
Sassie Wig
Including taking off her fake eyelashes…
Sassie Lash
I bring this up because of last week’s Oscars. I know its last week’s news for whatever reason, my FaceBook feed is STILL full of annoying Oscar stories. For some reason people find it to be almost as important as finding a cure to cancer or a new, habitable planet…
 Even then, watching the Oscars is like watching a train-wreck, you don’t really want to watch it but try as hard as you may, you can’t look away either.
To me it reminds me of a really bad version of high school prom or graduation…
The prom scene from John Hughes 1980's classic "Pretty in Pink"

The prom scene from John Hughes 1980’s classic “Pretty in Pink”

Everyone dressed up in all their finery, and on occasion, hitting it out of the ballpark…
There was only one woman ever who could rock polka dots AND stripes at the same time and that was Audrey Hepburn...with the help of French designer Hubert de Givenchy, towering behind her.

There was only one woman ever who could rock polka dots AND stripes at the same time and that was Audrey Hepburn…with the help of French designer Hubert de Givenchy, towering behind her.

And at other times not…
Demi Moore caught the bike-shorts-are-cool craze in the mid-1980s. This is what happens when you allow actors to do something they are not qualified to do (in this case fashion  design)

Demi Moore caught the bike-shorts-are-cool craze in the mid-1980s. This is what happens when you allow actors to do something they are not qualified to do (in this case, fashion design)

Everyone is full of fake smiles and shiny eyes and air-kissing each other when in reality most of them want to get into a fight with each other. Everyone having to sit down quietly and politely applaud on cue, even for musical numbers you’d rather boo off the stage. I honestly don’t think I could have sat in that auditorium, with a straight face, without cringing especially while Bette Midler was singing “Wind Beneath My Wings”, probably the cheesiest song of all time. (I’m going to spare you and NOT put the video here since I classify it as noise pollution).
However, I do love it when something “off” happens and even for a millisecond, you see people’s true colours flash.  Like when the screenshot of squares of all the nominees appear with their faces and you watch them the second the winner is announced, and just for that 1/1000th of a second, you see the bitterness, the rancour and the disappointment before the congratulatory smile appears.
Poor Leo, always a nominee, never a winner. Chin up Dude, you're in good company which includes Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton and Barbara Stanwyck.

Poor Leo, always a nominee, never a winner. (Chin up Dude, you’re in good company which includes Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton and Barbara Stanwyck)

You really can’t hide things for very long, no matter how hard you try.
You also see the politics of the Hollywood establishment come out as well. I mean English actress Vanessa Redgrave was persona non grata in some Hollywood circles after her remarks about “Zionist hoodlums” back in the 1970s. (Honestly people, grow up.)
La Swinton wearing a scarf designed by Bella Freud

La Swinton wearing a scarf designed by Bella Freud as featured in Vogue magazine

So I was very happy to see every girl’s current crush, English actor Benedict Cumberbatch photobomb the likes of U2.
Here you have, one of the most mythic rock bands U2, all trying to look serious and dignified, sucking in their cheeks, posing with their best angle for the camera and suddenly you have this  Tin Tin lookalike Jack-in-the-Box, springing up out of nowhere, just stealing their thunder completely.
Ben

Ben

Tin Tin

Tin Tin

To me, it showed that this guy has a very, very keen sense of humour and is able to see through the whole thing completely. He knows it’s a game and he’s not taking himself too seriously while he’s playing it. That makes him instantly cool and very rare in Hollywood terms.
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Dear Tracy Tabernacle, Not only is your baby brother an “old soul” as he was rightly referred to by one of his drama teachers, he’s also a beautiful one. Please help him to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground, his heart in the right place and all the star-dust from getting into his eyes too much.
By every account, he's a really nice guy.

By every account, he’s a really nice guy, a good guy. (Photo: Helen Rushbrook)

Dear Ben, should you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods and filming at Mel’s Studio and getting tired of hanging around film industry types, there are a couple of great pubs in town we can go to for a burger and a pint because I’d be very curious to hear your thoughts on the following: why there is a dearth of plays from the Continent being put on these days in the English speaking world? Excluding Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” which has been done to death, it would seem that the plays of the likes of Schiller, Pushkin, Lessing (esp. Nathan The Wise) and further afield, Tagore, can easily be updated to a modern setting, modern dialogue and modern scenes. The themes are universal enough and anyone can relate to them. Why do you think there is a bias? About the Iffland Ring, Bruno Ganz deserves to hold it, but I’d wager that Klaus Maria Brandauer would be a close second; What do you think? Ben Whishaw in “Bright Star” or Noah Taylor in “Flirting”? If you could meet Wim Wenders and ask him a question about “Wings of Desire”, what would it be since I understand that’s one of your favorite films? I chatted with him once about the film and we ended up talking about Rainier Maria Rilke and how Rilke and Plato may have subconsciously influenced him in writing that film.
The poet Rainier Maria Rilke influenced Wim Wenders in no small part.

The mystical German poet Rainier Maria Rilke influenced Wim Wenders in no small part.

I’d also like to compare notes on the following with you: You walked away from death 4 times,  so did I (I’ve only written about 2 of the 4 times). How did you feel each time you did? My first reaction is to get angry. I understand your great-grandfather was consul general  in Turkey for Queen Victoria. My grandfather worked directly with all the Governors of Bengal during the 1930s under George V. Incidentally, how did you like teaching English to the Tibetans? I taught English to the Turks for 3 years and loved it. I know you love doing extreme sports, (so do I, albeit in smaller doses) and enjoy going to rock concerts (I’m usually in the front row at any show involving Radiohead, Depeche Mode or Arcade Fire) so I understand the adrenaline rush-thing from these sorts of activities but how do you balance that need at times particularly in light of the enormous amounts of quiet concentration and study needed when preparing for a role?
Lastly, I’ve never made Banoffee Pie before, which I know is one of your favorites. However, my Strawberry Tiramisu (which I make with shavings of Toblerone chocolate, custard pudding, ladies fingers, Bailey’s Irish Creme and fresh June strawberries of course) has been known to induce mania.
Give me enough notice and I’ll whip up a batch for you.
Cheers Dude!
Strawberry_Tiramisu_hero-5e2be19a-22c0-492b-837d-1cb4859fbd23-0-472x310
Categories: Politico, Pop culture, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Things are Heating up ….Again

Like I posted earlier, I had a feeling something was about to go down soon. Initially I thought it would involve the Olympics, but it turns out the event may have been wrong but the neighborhood is correct.

It's the gas pipeline, stupid

It’s the gas pipeline, Stupid

Unless you’ve been living under a rock it’s hard not to notice what is happening in the Ukraine these days. America and Russia’s Cold War antics have been resurrected…again. There are tons of websites, blogs and news outlets which are providing very insightful commentary on the situation but it should be obvious that the United States is trying to begin regime change…again. Putting in a bully leader of their choice in a different country…again. It certainly doesn’t help matters when the  US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, was caught saying on a recorded phone conversation “Fuck the EU” which Russian authorities promptly released to the world. It doesn’t help matters when it’s also come out that the US has invested over $5 billion dollars to start regime change in the Ukraine. (Look who is sponsoring the video event below as evidenced by the logo on the screen)

It should also come as no surprise, that drunkard, trigger-happy Senator John (Wayne) McCain has been pushing this “war” and is getting back at Vladimir Putin, most likely for not participating in the war against Syria and vetoing the motion at the United Nation Security Council and for providing amnesty to Edward Snowden. My personal opinion is that I think big-time NWO insiders,  Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Soros are behind it all. Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor. He’s also ethnically Polish and for many historical reasons, Poles have despised the Russians. Brzezinski’s family was also Polish nobility who lost everything when the Soviets took over Poland and made it communist and I think that would explain Brzezinski’s openly fanatical hatred of Russia going back decades now. 
Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski

George Soros

George Soros

 

Billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros, of course is the financier of his Open Society Foundations, which have been behind nearly every “revolution” in most Eastern European countries. He plays the same playbook over and over again, namely creating NGOs, funding them, usually for marginalized groups,  whose causes are then “used” to challenge leadership of those countries where he would like to see regime change and funding these “Color Revolutions”
 
It was blatantly obvious in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics when suddenly LGBT NGOs were crying foul about Russian discrimination against them. (To be perfectly clear, I have absolutely no issue with the LGBT cause, I have many friends who are gay, lesbian and bisexual whom I love dearly.) But if discrimination against the LGBT in Russia is so heinous, how come I never heard about it earlier before the Olympics? If it is as bad as the media have been depicting it, surly we would have heard about it years ago via Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch? Why didn’t I hear about it years ago? Why did the issue suddenly come to the forefront right before the Olympics?
putin_rainbow
Like I’ve written earlier, I don’t think Putin is an angel BUT he’s completely correct in classifying NGOs as “Foreign Agents”. (NGOs acting as intelligence-gathering apparatuses under the guise of international development  and international aid is nothing new. It’s not a coincidence that Sargent Shriver, President John F. Kennedy’s brother-in-law, founded the Peace Corps at the height of the Cold War to operate in countries which were part of the Non-Aligned Movement. That’s not to say they don’t do good work in impoverished areas and that’s not to say that all persons in international development are automatically agents or spies, but doing good humanitarian work is not their only raison d’etre…)
Ukraine is a big country. There are huge differences in the ethnic make-up and culture from East to West and North to South. The eastern and southern parts are more Russian in character while the northern and western feel more affinity towards Europe. The people there should decide who they want to align with. I don’t think the US or the EU should be telling other countries who to vote in and especially not those persons who they can pay off and install so they have access to key natural gas pipelines.
800px-Russians_Ukraine_2001
If you really want to have fun, watch CNN for 20 minutes on the Ukraine issue then switch over to RT and watch their coverage of the Ukraine issue for 20 minutes. Both sides have blatantly obvious biases. The truth is buried somewhere in between, I think.
Also, like I posted earlier, Britain has been hit with epic flooding in recent weeks and months. It would seem the flooding of Somerset County, where Glastonbury Tor is located, has been deliberate. The Tor is very literally the spiritual heart of Britain, and intimately tied in to the legends of the Druids, King Arthur, Merlin (who was a Druid), Avalon and even further back, to Atlantis. It would seem that if the Tor’s clean energy and its holy wells and springs are polluted, then Britain would follow.
avalon-burrow-mump
I don’t think all hope is lost. I think the old Druids were smarter than that. They wouldn’t have placed all their eggs in one basket. I think there are places in the British Isles which are just as powerful energetically as the Tor only they are dormant…for now. Places where the energy needs to be re-activated by those people who are wise enough and sensitive enough to do it. Offhand, I couldn’t tell you all the places unless I walked all over the place there and did some serious investigation and research, but I can say, without doubt, that Alderley Edge is a potent spot where the energy can go either way, which ley line readers and dowsers would be smart to investigate.
The view of the village of Alderley from Castle Rock.

The view of the village of Alderley from Castle Rock.

These days, millionaire footballers and their vulgar wives make their homes there but in earlier times, legends of the Edge abounded.  English novelist Alan Garner immortalised the Edge in his fantasy books, particularly “The Weirdstone of Brisingamen”  but he based the stories largely on local myths and legends.  However, I’ve always believed some of these old myths and stories have a kernel of truth in them somewhere.  God knows, if I were in the UK right now, that’s where I’d make a beeline towards to do some work.
weirdstone-radiotimes2
Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, New Energy Centers, Politico, Pop culture, Think like the Illuminati, Those unseen things, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Business of Love

Now, I’m going to tell you about Spencer.

You may think you’ve waited a long time. But let’s face it, so did I.  I was thirty-three.

It seems to me I discovered what “I Love You” really means. It means I put you and your interests and your comfort ahead of my own interests and my own comfort because I love you.

I love you.

What does this mean?

Think. 

We use this expression very carelessly.  

LOVE has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and you cannot help giving. If you are very lucky, you may be loved back. That is delicious but it does not necessarily happen. It really implies total devotion. And total is all-encompassing – the good of you, the bad of you. I am aware that I must include the bad.            

I loved Spencer Tracy.  

He and his interests and his demands came first. This was not easy for me because I was definitely a me me me person. It was a unique feeling that I had for Spencer. I would have done anything for him. My feelings – how can you describe them? – the door between us was always open. There were no reservations of any kind. He didn’t like this or that. I changed this or that. They might have been qualities which I personally valued. It did not matter. I changed them.  Food – we ate what he liked.  We did what he liked.  We lived a life which he liked. This gave me great pleasure. The thought that this was pleasing him. Certainly I had not felt this way with my other beaux. I was looking for them to please me. It is a very different relationship. It’s like a wonderful cocktail party. But it ain’t love….There is an enormous difference between “love” and “like”.  Usually we use the word “love” when we really mean “like”.  I  think that very few people ever mean love. I think that “like” is a much easier relationship. It is based on sense. Love – a blind spot.

“Me: Stories of My Life”, Katharine Hepburn

====================================================

Katharine Hepburn has always been one of my heroes. She played the Hollywood game and beat it down every time, and in doing so, earned the respect of practically everyone there. She also lived her life according to her own rules and never settled or compromised to anyone else’s wishes.

 

KATHARINE HEPBURN IN LOS ANGELES

I read the aforementioned book years ago and this quote, on Hepburn’s relationship to Spencer Tracy always stuck with me as something very insightful and true especially about actually meaning “like” when very often people say “love”.

 Love-vs-like
Now, some people may read the quote and think that’s about female subjugation and being submissive to “The Man”…again, and I would have to respectfully disagree. What Hepburn is saying is that true love is complete exception-making, not out of duty, not out of obligation, not out of guilt, not out of power or need, but rather a very conscious choice, because it makes you deliriously happy to finally get out of yourself and put someone else ahead of you with no expectations whatsoever.  It goes beyond economic and material needs. At that point it, becomes self-actualized love on an emotional and spiritual level.
CAPITALISM KILLS (LOVE)
I think it’s hard for many people in this day and age to get that drift. I’ll be blunt when I say I think capitalism has very nearly destroyed any vestige of selflessness. Relationships, and more specifically marriage, have become transactional where it’s about (and I’m speaking in very generalized terms) economic security and gathering resources for women and children and secured access to sex for men. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
Therefore men who have the most resources can secure the most desirable women who can give them the most sex and women put themselves through torture to become impossible ideals of beauty to secure a mate who can provide for them (hence the Sugar Daddy phenomena, old balding dudes with comb-overs in a Porsche with a girl who looks like a grand-daughter supermodel) .
Anthony Hopkins playing a sugar daddy, with Lucy Punch in "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger"

Anthony Hopkins playing a sugar daddy, with Lucy Punch in “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”

I personally think that whole ideology is repulsive…and sad… too many people lying to themselves. I think the writer who most brings that message home, in all it’s ugliness to its logical conclusion is French bad boy writer and the scourge of the European literati and intelligentsia, Michel Houellebecq, especially in “The Elementary Particles”.
Michel Houellebecq, one of the most brutally honest , but twisted minds out there.

Michel Houellebecq, one of the most brutally honest , but twisted minds out there.

Houellebecq, not unlike his predecessor,  Louis-Ferdinand Celine, is a highly damaged individual but his vision is crystal clear and terrifying…and brutally honest: if you bring economics and talk from the factory floor, into love and relationships (i.e love takes work), like the market economy, there will be very few winners and many, many losers as well.
This is what makes me chuckle about economists and other social theorists; they always forget about the “wildcard factor”, they always forget about the emotional and spiritual dimension to any of their arguments. And quite often, I think, it’s that emotional and spiritual dimension, which either makes things work splendidly…or fail spectacularly. It’s also the very thing which makes things run smoothly in the long run, that’s where the fuel comes from.
FullTankOfGas
I’ve seen this a few times now, where people I knew got married to partners, who on paper and in theory were “perfect”. Similar educational backgrounds, same cultural references and centers of identification, even looked very similar to one another.
When former supermodel Christie Brinkley married for the third time to architect Peter Cook, everyone thought "Third time's the charm" since they looked so good together. Wrong. Cook cheated on Brinkley with a local teenager and what ensued was one of the messiest, nastiest divorces the normally-jaded Hamptons has seen in years.

When former supermodel Christie Brinkley married for the fourth time to architect Peter Cook, everyone thought  it would finally work since they looked so good together and hung in the same circles. Wrong. Cook cheated on Brinkley with a local teenager and what ensued was one of the messiest, nastiest divorces the normally jaded Hamptons has seen in years.

But after a couple of years, the marriage slides into inertia or the differences, which were once so interesting have now become so unbearable that ending it is the only available option.
WellDUH-99696669708
I might be a Pollyanna but I don’t think love “takes work”. I think it should be as insanely easy as play. I also think, if people were more honest with themselves, they would know right away if it’s really a case of “love” or “like” or “lust”. Love makes you stronger, not weaker. Love makes you happy, not tortured. Love makes you feel secure and at peace, not fearful and paranoid or jealous. Love gives you courage, not doubt. Love opens your eyes wider and makes you want to share your love with others, not hide it selfishly. Love is expansive, not restrictive.
Most of all, love heals, it is a balm.
Rumi-loves-rests-on-no-foundation
Categories: Ascension, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Shift of the Ages effects, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Valentine’s Day is for the Hard of Hearing

no_valentines_day
I really hate Valentine’s Day.
Even when I am in a relationship, I hate it.
The cheap chocolates,
chocolate_hearts
The tacky red and pink hearts everywhere,
Valentines-Cupcakes-Spinkle-Jello
The way restaurants, spas and hotels deliberately boost their prices that week and the way my local wine outlet mysteriously has no sales going on that week.
I find the whole thing to be contrived and another stupid scam to convince people to buy stuff they don’t really need in order to “show someone you care.”
And to the Corporate Man behind all this, I say, “Fuck you.”
Seriously, you know how you show someone you care?
First of all, it’s not just about February 14th. It’s not a date on the calendar. It’s a state of mind.
february_14_valentines_day_calendar
It’s not by buying cheap heart-shaped Hershey chocolates wrapped in red tin foil.
It’s by just being a friend and being present for them when they need you.
WoodstockPerfectFriend
It’s by taking him out for a few rounds of pool when you know he’s had a bad day and not badger him with questions until he’s ready to talk about it.
image001-(6)
It’s by secretly sowing seeds for wild violets all over the yard so come springtime, she’s in for a surprise. Why? Because she mentioned that violets are her favorite flower while you both were on a weekend drive last summer.
yaddo
It’s not by buying some generic cookie-cutter diamond ring. It’s by boning up on Art Nouveau/Art Deco because you found “Art Nouveau/Art Deco Jewelry” one day on your Google search bar.
It’s by wishing him an awesome time if he decides to go to the pro-sports game with his buddies, even if you hate pro-sports yourself.
maxresdefault
In short, it’s about PAYING ATTENTION AND LISTENING.
That’s how you show someone you care. Seriously, the biggest turn-off there is, is being with someone who isn’t paying any attention to you, doesn’t really hear anything you say because they’re too involved in themselves and too busy listening to the internal dialogue going on in their own minds and too busy figuring out what they want without a moment’s consideration of what you may really want or need. I think people forget relationships are two-lane roads.
 boy-girl-xbox
It’s not just Valentine’s Day either. It’s dating and relationships in general as well.
Even if you’re not interested, there are people who can’t seem to pick up a clue. I’ve tried online dating in the past with mixed results. The biggest problem is that (and I’m writing from a female perspective) men don’t really read profiles. They look at pictures, think you’re half-decent looking and send mini messages like “Hi” and clearly did not demonstrate that they even remotely paid any attention whatsoever to what you wrote.
You can write “No kids” and a balding divorcee saddled in alimony debt with three kids suddenly pops on your screen. (If he doesn’t pay any attention to what you wrote on your online profile, do you really think he’s going to pay any genuine attention to you in real life?….)
This video has  many examples of this type of self-delusion or one-way hearing:
 
Even if you do decide to take the risk and meet someone for coffee, they still don’t get it. One time I met someone and it was pretty clear from my profile I’m not into “Casual Encounters”. We met for coffee for a quick 30 minute meet’n greet to suss each other out, found out we had a lot in common, nice guy, pretty good-looking, interesting but no personal chemistry whatsoever but I could see this person becoming a friend. We exchanged a couple of emails sharing information based on the topics we talked about when we met, mostly about music. There was no discussion of anything even remotely intimate or physical.
Not even three days later, I suddenly get a phone call AND a text message at 2:38am. I had my ringer off because I actually have a job I have to go to and need to wake up early for so I slept right through it but in the morning when I saw the messages, it was fairly obvious dude expected a late-night booty call. He tried calling first and since I didn’t answer, he then sent a text message asking “to make plans” for the next evening.
Really?
At 2:38am?
In the middle of the week?
Can’t “making plans for the next evening” wait until the morning?
Clearly not.
super_funny_hilarious_pictures_crazy_fun_laughing_idiots-4238
This is what I mean about not listening properly.
Dude did not “hear” that that there was no chemistry on my side.
Dude was too involved with his hormones to really understand that not everyone is on the same page as he is.
Dude just naturally assumed that because he wanted something from me, I would therefore just as naturally and automatically want the same thing from him too and that just wasn’t the case. He assumed too much and he blew it. We could have been friends. Who knows? Maybe he would have gotten that booty call later on if the friendship eventually caught on fire in the fullness of time. We’ll never know and I don’t care.
That’s one thing I love about getting older, you start seeing through people much better and much faster.
toon2-maxine_patience
Which is why I think Valentine’s Day is a formulaic shortcut for lazies who normally can’t even be bothered.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m going for a session of ear candling, to improve my hearing.
I wish more people would do the same.
ear-candling
Links:
Categories: Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , | 20 Comments

Messages from Dreamland

dreamer

I can be a really bad chronicler at times. Countless spiritual traditions tell us that many of us get messages from the Spirit World every night in our sleep through or dreams and that it’s a question of training ourselves of writing everything down when we wake up while the details are still fresh in our mind.

 Sleep
I’ve tried. I just can’t do it since I am not and never will be a morning person. My biorhythms veer towards the evening and night so come morning time, I’m too groggy and busy stumbling towards my morning cup of tea, never mind whipping out a notebook and remembering last night’s adventures in dreamland.
 
However, I have had incidences of wicked deja-vu. Seeing something which, upon reflection, was something I already saw in the dream state a few days earlier.  I’ve also been lucky in the sense that I’ve never had nightmares. Maybe when I was a kid and watched too many Godzilla or Ray Harryhausen movies and would run into my parents’ room in the middle of the night but beyond that, I can’t complain.
This caused nightmares when I was 5

This caused nightmares when I was like, 5 years old

 
One writer who has admitted that she was regularly blessed with beautiful dreams was the Danish writer, Isak Dinesen aka Baroness Karen Blixen. Blixen was the author of such classics like “Out of Africa” and “Babette’s Feast”  and if you love to read good literature as much as I do, those two are “musts” (and the film versions do no justice to them at all).
Isak Dinesen, at a younger time in her life

Isak Dinesen, at a younger time in her life

This is a strong dream-like quality to her writing, particularly in it’s richness and if you read her body of work like “Anecdotes of Destiny” or “Seven Gothic Tales”, it’s easy to see how coming out of her books is like waking up from a beautiful dream. In my opinion, even if she just wrote 7 books, she was robbed of the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first time by another big-game hunter, Ernest Hemingway, who even admitted to her, that she deserved it more than he did and the second time by Albert Camus.
 
I bring up Blixen because of an incident she recounted in her novella, “Shadows on the Grass” :
When in the thirties I was staying in the south of England with Denys’ (Finch-Hatton) brother, the Earl of Winchilsea, the painter John (Glyn Warren) Philpot came down to paint the portrait of my hostess, who was very lovely.  He had travelled much in North Africa, and on an afternoon when we were walking together in the park he recounted to me an experience of his from there.
Kirby Hall, Home of the Earls of Winchelsea

Kirby Hall, Home of the Earls of Winchelsea

 In the First World War, he said, he had had a shell-shock or a nervous breakdown; he would never feel sure that he was doing what he ought to do.

“When I was painting a picture,” he explained,” I felt that I ought to make up my bank account. When I was making up my bank account, I felt that I ought to go out for a walk. And when in a long walk, I had got five miles away from home, I realized that I ought to be , at this very moment, in front of my easel. I was constantly in flight, an exile everywhere.

Morrocan village

Moroccan village

“It happened by then that I and my African servant in our travels in Morocco came to a small town or village. I cannot really describe the place to you, it looked like any other North African village. It stood in a flat plain, and in itself, was nothing but a number of mud-built huts with an old, broad mud-built wall round it. The only particular thing that I remember about it is its great multitude of storks, a stork’s nest on almost every house. But at that moment when I had come through the gate in the wall,  felt that this was a place of refuge. There came upon me a strange, blissful, calm, a happiness like what you feel when a high fever leaves you. “Here”, I thought, “one can remain.”  “And as now I had stayed in the village for a fortnight, all the time in that same sweet peace of soul and giving no thought to the past or the future, on a day when I was once more painting a picture, an old man, am imam , came up and spoke to me.”I hear from your servant,” he said,”that  you have finished your wanderings and will stay with us, since here you have found rest.” I answered him that it was as he said, but that I could not explain to myself why it should be so. 

“Master,” said the old man,” I shall explain to you. There is something special about our village, things have happened here that have happened nowhere else. It came about, not when I was a boy myself but when my father was a boy of twelve, and he has related it to me as it happened. Turn your eyes to the gate in the wall behind us. Above it you will see a ledge, where two men can sit, for in the old days watchmen were here looking out for foes that might approach across the plain. To this very ledge above the gate, came the Prophet (Mohammed) himself and your Prophet, Jesus Christ. They met here to talk together of man’s lot on Earth and the means by which the people of the earth might be helped. Those standing down below could not hear what they said to one another. But they could see the Prophet, as he explained his thoughts, striking his hand against his knee, and thereupon  Jesus Christ lifting his hand and answering him. They sat there, deep in talk, till night fell and the people could no longer see them. And it is from that time Master, that our village has got peace of heart to give away. “I wonder,” said Mr. Philpot, “whether a clergyman from the Church of England would have told that tale.” 

Like I wrote earlier, I ‘m very bad at recalling my dreams. With few exceptions, there have been times which an entire letter with the most perfect wording was suddenly sitting in my head, a crucial letter which I needed to send to someone. Or plans I needed to act on immediately. I had one dream while I was living in Turkey which I still cannot forget. It was *that* vivid and *that* real and sitting down to write it, came effortlessly. I don’t know what it means, but there is a symbolic message there and like Dinesen’s excerpt above, the similarities are obvious.

————————————————————————————-

March 12, 2001

I dreamt that dozens of people saw Muhammad AND Jesus in Central Park, New York City at the same time, at two different ends of the park.

stock-footage-aerial-panorama-view-central-park-manhattan-new-york

The group of people who saw Muhammad, saw him walk on water and apparently he had all the signs of being *the* Muhammad, according to one eyewitness, who himself was an Islamic scholar and a devout one at that. His name was Aziz, I think. Suddenly, tents were going up on the spot he had been and all the witnesses, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, suddenly had become men and women of contemplation. They renounced their old lives as businesspeople, students, whatever, to merely devote their life to study and think about the Infinite.

As for the other, second group that saw Jesus, well this being New York City in the 21st century, needless to say these are people who are a little aggressive, jaded, cynical and sceptical.   So they needed stronger proof than walking on water. There was a rain of coins, twice. The first time, the coins were a coppery colour, but they were not pennies. They were Abraham Lincoln two-dollar coins, a very , very limited rare edition. That wasn’t enough proof. Then there was a second rain, this time of platinum coins. It was a Jefferson three-dollar coin which has never been made in the first place. Finally everyone caught on, it really was Jesus, but like Muhammad, the two of them disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared.

060_CoinsRainUmbrella_704x395

In my dream, I showed up in the park immediately after the incidents, I didn’t see the actual events. It was not quite yet pandamonium with religious fanatics, the clergy, scientists and reporters but the build-up of the oncoming media frenzy had just started. The park was already full of hundreds of people, onlookers and curiosity mongers, people running everywhere, crying, laughing, chaos.

ny_central_park

I remember walking down one path and seeing these two hacky-sack looking guys, sitting cross-legged on the grass merely staring at the two stacks of coins they had collected in front of them, one stack of each denomination. The guys were totally out of it, in a daze. I looked at each coin. They were real alright, but somehow they looked like they were already starting to melt.

melting-bull

What could all this mean?

Categories: Ascension, False prophits, Pop culture, Those unseen things, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

White Magick play

Great book and fun read!

Great book and fun read!

It should come as no surprise to regular readers of my blog, that I was a pretty geeky kid and one who normally had my nose buried deep within a book most of the time. I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood which has a municipal library which has the highest per capita use in all of Canada outside of a university, which meant their collection was excellent and I had access to some pretty nifty books from the get-go.

Stewart Hall Library and Cultural Center. Someone donated this mansion to the city and  it has been a public library for over 50 years now. Amazing reading rooms.

Stewart Hall Library and Cultural Center    Someone donated this mansion to the city and it has been a public library for over 50 years now. Amazing reading rooms.

One book I remember vividly reading and enjoying  was “The Active Enzyme Lemon Freshened Junior High School Witch”. This was the early 1980s when I was in elementary school and many young people’s books from the 1970s were still on the shelves and one of the biggest trends during the 1970s was the introduction of some occult and supernatural ideas into children’s movies (i.e Freaky Friday) and children’s literature.
John William Waterhouse's painting "The Crystal Ball"

John William Waterhouse’s painting “The Crystal Ball”

I think it was after reading the aforementioned book which kicked off my interest in spell-casting and ritual. If you really sit down and think about it, practically anything and everything can be deemed as spell-casting and ritual whether it’s the Catholic Solemn Mass or watching a goat having its throat slit during Kurbani on a cold Quebec farm (which I had to watch my uncle do several times as a kid), for the Islamic festival of Sacrifice. Formal religion sanctions some rituals and then deems others as abhorrent because it doesn’t jive with its own theology. Kurbani might freak out some Hindus but then the idea of ingesting someone’s blood and flesh, even in symbolic form, during the High Mass may freak out some Muslims. It’s all relative and highly, highly subjective to cultural and religious norms.
You do realize, that this is a form of spell-casting as well, right?

You do realize, that this is a form of spell-casting as well, right?

To me, all types of rituals are nothing more than a different form of prayer and/or meditation. Some people can sit still for hours and meditate on emptiness or on a statue of a fat Buddha or hold a yoga pose for hours.
tumblr_mj458tB8v91r4p4ago1_500
Other people are twitchier than that and need the use of props and ritual to ground themselves and find it easier that way to find that quiet place in themselves.
It all really boils down to intention.
What are you really doing this for?
Is it for yourself, so that you can become richer, better-looking and happier or is it for others?
I bring up the topic of rituals and spell-casting because of some strange events of late. The Satanic New Year is coming up on February 1 and apparently a vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood has been stolen. It is suspected that Satanists are involved according to Italian authorities.
A vial of his blood has been stolen. Strange timing.

A vial of his blood has been stolen. Strange timing.

Also last week’s Grammy performance by Katy Perry did not help matters. The conspiracy research websites and boards are going crazy over what Katy Perry and Beyoncé were up to. Katy Perry in essence recreated a Black Witch’s Sabbath which led to Christian singer and nominee Natalie Grant walking out of the show. Many parents got hot and bothered by Beyoncé’s performance. (IMHO, her performance was all about selling crack, nothing more.)
Beyonce at the Grammys

Beyonce at the Grammys

I don’t have a doubt that there are evil things walking this earth. I watched this documentary yesterday from Vice TV on the “World Most Dangerous Drug”,   scopolamine,   which also has the ominous name of “Devil’s Breath” from Columbia. It has the ability to render people to lose all memory, while remaining conscious and becoming docile and submissive. In other words you start taking orders from others and don’t look drunk or passed out so no one suspects anything. Already horror stories of people getting drugged at clubs and waking up the next morning and missing an organ or finding themselves brutally raped and their homes cleaned out by thieves or having their bank accounts and credit card limits cleared out abound.
The moment we lose our free will is the moment we will lose our humanity. If this drug is a harbinger of things to come and Heaven forbid, leaves Columbia and spreads to major metropolitan areas around the world and governments start using it, you know we will be up the creek without a paddle in sight.
Is Your B2B Demand Generation Program Up The $!@& Without a Paddle
It’s not all bad even if we live in a world which is increasingly focused on the self and nothing else and forget that there are people who are far more selfless than we can imagine. Take for instance aging old Catholic nuns, fewer and fewer each year, who do nothing but pray for the salvation of the world in lonely, isolated convents the world over. That counts for something in my book.
Rose_of_Jericho
Lately, I’ve been reading up on the works of Judika Illes and have been working with some of the spells, particularly with a plant called the Rose of Jericho aka the Resurrection Plant. The plant is originally from the Mexican desert and has that name because of its ability to wither down and then when submerged under water, to become green again. Rose of Jericho water is also considered a powerful talisman and the plant medicine is used to help bring luck, grace and to help revive things back to life. It is a POSITIVE medicine and it cannot be used for anything bad. If you try, it won’t work. Simple as that.
If a plant could sing, I’m sure the Rose of Jericho’s anthem would be from my favorite 1970s band, Electric Light Orchestra’s “Shine a Little Love”
“You Shine a little love on my life
You Shine a little love on my life
You Shine a little love on my life and let me see”
Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, Shift of the Ages effects, Think like the Illuminati, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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