Posts Tagged With: materialism

The Non-Negotiables

Watch this video, pay particular attention to the QUALITY of the souls here, not the dogma and theology involved:

Honestly, people like the anchorites described here freak me out (in a good way).  India has a long, long tradition of wandering fakirs, hermits and sadhus which I’m sure many of you have heard of or seen if you’ve ever visited India.

Sadhus in Nepal

Sadhus in Nepal

Likewise Tibet also has a long tradition of yogis, monks or nuns going into seclusion for long-term meditation. Fewer and fewer of them exist with each passing year and the sad part is as they go, so do the teachings as well, since much of their insight is not based on dogma and jargon but rather direct experience.

However, I had no idea that anchorite monks and nuns still existed in the Orthodox world. Whenever I hear about such pure souls like these, it makes me wonder how they can still exist in this age of globalization, instant gratification, nuclear bombs and digital communication. How they can literally devote their entire life to contemplate and attempt to understand the Infinite in solitude and in remoteness.

Modern-day hermit, The man Who Quit Money, Daniel Suelo, living in the wilds of the Utah canyons around Moab.

Modern-day hermit, The Man Who Quit Money, Daniel Suelo, living in the wilds of the Utah canyons around Moab.

It got me wondering about the nature of genuine spiritual seeking and I’m pretty sure there are different levels of it. In my opinion, the demarcation line is, without question,  the market economy. I know I’ve gotten flack for this in past blog posts but you simply cannot mix spirit with money. I firmly believe that. It was what was taught to me by my first teacher back in Cappadocia as well as the Native Elders I spent time with in Canada and the US. If you do, it won’t last for very long and there’s always inevitably some blow-back. But the very fact that it doesn’t last long should also signal right away the level of authenticity and genuineness involved. It’s like fast-food for the soul. It satiates the hunger for like a minute but the hunger comes back even stronger than ever after a while.

Sure, you can sell your abilities, do tarot readings, astrology readings, psychic channelings, yoga classes which emphasize stretching instead of hard-core Vedanta, books based on your insights if you’ve got an aptitude and talent for it or suggest donations for services rendered, but I don’t think you can sell genuine and authentic teachings which usually come from very deep, painful and hard-won experiences and you certainly can’t sell such intensely personal experiences. They either happen to you or they don’t. You either get it or you don’t. When I watch the people who yell the loudest, “Why not?”, I can almost guarantee you’re probably dealing with someone who can’t even imagine a life which exists outside of the capitalist market economy. Yes, I get it, we have to eat, but we’re not just animals trying to eke out a life. I think we’re more than that.

Anarchist thinker and writer Jacques Ellul, elucidated perfectly in his many books why anarchism is the only political and economic model which allows man to become truly human.

Anarchist thinker and writer Jacques Ellul, elucidated perfectly in his many books why anarchism is the only political and economic model which allows man to become truly human. If you don’t have  time to read his books, there’s a lot of videos worth checking out on Youtube.

This isn’t going to be an anti-capitalist rant. My own anarchist inclinations and sympathies are pretty evident to those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now. Maybe I’ll write in another blog post why I’m an anarchist, but I really do think anarchy is the only system we’ve got which acknowledges human beings as creatures with spiritual and social potentials to be fulfilled, not just economic ones. Minds far greater than mine have already written about how radical a philosophy capitalism is and how in its extreme forms eats up everything in sight, all resources, water, land, air, human beings, bodies, life, love, sex, food, shelter, everything and the obsession of infinite growth, infinite productivity and infinite profits eventually starts cannibalizing on itself. We’re already seeing it happen. When a society enters that stage, life and society becomes unbelievably coarse and human life isn’t worth a hill of beans.

The thing with authentic spirituality is that it leads you away from this world, from an existence which is based on a material, mathematically deterministic Cartesian model towards something which very often cannot be quantified and pinned down. Capitalism is its purest form, engulfs you even deeper into the material and physical. There’s literally no room for the soul there. Therein lies the conflict.

Sure, there are many things which money can’t buy, but have you ever noticed they’re usually the first qualities to be missing in a person who is so utterly engulfed in the material, they don’t even “see” what they’re lacking? The lack of manners, character, decency, class, integrity and moral fortitude? Unfortunately, these types are everywhere.

Ultimately, it is about what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable in your own life and your own spiritual journey. The only thing I can add is that when it comes to matters of the spirit, there are some things which are non-negotiable, no matter how you cut it.

Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, Politico, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 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

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

50 Ways to Starve the Beast

This is a fantastic article from The Organic Prepper which literally anyone can put into use ASAP. While I don’t see myself raising chickens (#42) anytime soon or growing my own tobacco (#43), there are some really great ideas here for anyone who seriously wants to live a more sustainable and less materialistic life.

The text below is entirely Organic Prepper’s. I’ve added some of the pictures and some of the links.

Enjoy!

**********************

keep-calm-and-starve-the-beast

A term coined in 1985 by an unnamed staffer of the Reagan administration was “Starve the Beast”.  This referred to a fiscally conservative political strategy to cut government spending by paying less in taxes.  So, in the original sense, “the Beast” was the government, and people were to starve the beast by spending less and using loopholes, therefore paying less in taxes.

These days the Beast has a lot more tentacles than just the government.  The system now consists of the government and all aspects of Big Business.  Big Agro, Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Food, Big Banking and Big Oil, to name a few.  It seems that now it’s the Beast doing the starving, as small businesses close because they can’t compete with Wal-Mart, the family farm is on it’s way out because it can’t compete with the huge, subsidized Monsanto mega-farms, people are going bankrupt because they can’t pay the outrageous medical bills…

Perhaps it’s time for another financial revolution – one where people group together and use the power of the boycott to starve all the arms of this Beast that would swallow us whole.  If we vote with our dollars, eventually there will, of a necessity, be a paradigm shift that returns us to simpler days, when families that were willing to work hard could make a living without selling their souls to the corporate monoliths.

Every penny you spend with small local businesses is a penny that the big box stores won’t have.  Everything that you buy secondhand or barter for is an item on which you won’t pay sales tax.  Disassociate yourself completely with “the system” that is making Western civilization broke, overweight and unhealthy.  Starve the Beast by taking as many of these steps as possible…

1. Grow your own food (this starves Big Agro and Big Pharma both)

community-garden

2. Shop at local businesses with no corporate ties

3. Use natural remedies instead of pharmaceuticals whenever possible

Chamomile Tea does wonders for a whole host of ills.

4. Homeshool your children

5. Walk or bike instead of driving when possible

cycling_overpass

6. Get care from naturopaths and healers instead of doctors

7. Make paper logs from scraps for free heat if you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove

8. Boycott all processed foods

6a00d8341c39e853ef00e54f12fe298833-800wi9. Shop at local farmer’s markets

photo_04

10. Boycott corporate stores: Wal-Mart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot

no-walmart11. Give vouchers as gifts for an evening of babysitting, a homemade meal, walking the dog, doing a repair, or cleaning

babysitting-coupn-hi

12. Join a CSA or farm co-op

13. Ditch television (and all the propaganda and commercials)

No_Television

14. Participate in the barter system – if no money changes hands, no tax can be added

15. Buy secondhand from yard sales, Craigslist and thrift stores

garage-sale

16. Sell your unwanted goods by having a yard sale or putting an ad on Craigslist

17. Repair things instead of replacing them

handyman_toolsLowres

18. Avoid fast food restaurants and chain restaurants

mcd

19. Dine at locally owned establishments if you eat out

20. Brew your own beer and wine

21. Read a book, purchased second-hand or borrowed

iStock_000003968639Small_xlarge

22. Grow or gather  medicinal herbs

images

23. Give homemade gifts

DSC_0083

24. Attend free local activities: lectures, concerts, play days at the park, library events

The 100 000+ crowd at last year's free Arcade Fire show in downtown Montreal

The 100 000+ crowd at last year’s free Arcade Fire show in downtown Montreal

25. Dumpster dive.

Scavengers' Manifesto_full

26. Play outside: hike, bike, picnic

Remember when kids were out playing in the streets instead of hiding inside glued to video games?

Remember when kids were out playing in the streets instead of hiding inside glued to video games?

27. Mend clothing

sewing-kit-version-2

28. Invite someone over for dinner instead of meeting at a restaurant

backyard-bbq

29. Throw creative birthday parties at home for your kids instead of renting a venue

No way!

No way!

30. Camp instead of staying at a hotel

I've camped in the Grand Canyon, and it's seriously the best way to experience it.

I’ve camped in the Grand Canyon, and it’s seriously the best way to experience it.

31. Bring your coffee with you in a travel mug

products_copper_coffee_travel_mug_cup_lg

32.Do all of your Christmas shopping with small local businesses and artisans

Need cheap but interesting gifts? Head out to a craft fair.

Need cheap but interesting gifts? Head out to a craft fair.

33. Reduce your electricity usage with candles, solar power and non-tech entertainment

34. Drop the thermostat and put on a sweater

35. Bring your snacks and drinks in a cooler when you go on a road trip

photolibrary_rf_photo_of_cut_vegetables

36. Stay home – it’s way easier to avoid temptation that way

a-quiet-evening-at-home

37. Pack lunches for work and school

lunch

38. Make delicious homemade treats as a hostess gift

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39. Close your bank account or at the very least, strictly limit your balance

40. Visit u-pick berry patches and orchards, then preserve your harvest for the winter

images

Making homemade jam and jellies are a cinch.

41. Use precious metals stored at home as your savings account

42. Raise backyard chickens for your own eggs

43. If you are a smoker, roll your own cigarettes – if possible go one step further and grow tobacco

44. Live in a smaller, more efficient home

Sometimes less is more.

Sometimes less is more.

45. Use solar power for lighting or cooking

solar_panels_on_house

46. Collect rainwater for use in the garden

rainwater-collection

47. Learn to forage

Wild ramps, make AMAZINg pesto!

Wild ramps, make AMAZING pesto!

48. Buy heavy, solid, handmade furniture instead of the flimsy imported stuff

The Amish make furniture which are practically indestructible and will last you for generations.

The Amish make furniture which are practically indestructible and will last you for generations.

49. At the holidays, focus on activities and traditions instead of gifts.  Go for a walk or drive through the neighborhood to look at lights, get into your PJs and watch a special movie together on Christmas Eve and make certain treats that can always be expected

Ice-skating on frozen ponds was one of the most fun things we did as kids.

Ice-skating on frozen ponds was one of the most fun things we did as kids.

50. Make your own bath and body products using pure ingredients like coconut oil, essential oils, and herbal extracts

phoney1_1457599c

How do you Starve the Beast?  Please share your suggestions below…

Bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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