Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Liber Novus

I finallly received my massive copy of The Red Book by Carl Jung from BarnesandNoble.com.  This is the book I've been waiting a long time to read.  It serves as the basis of everything Carl Jung did (and, based on the little I've read so far, it also serves as the refutation of everything he did).  I'll comment on it more after I've read it, probably after the holidays.  I tried reading some last nigh after work, but I was tired and cranky and thought Jung was being too whiny.  That is definitely not the mentality I want to be in when reading this book.

Lately, I sort of been wondering what's coming next.  It seems like mysteries are being revealed lately.  We know who Deep Throat is, for instance, and now the Red Book has been published.  Granted, a few people have been allowed to read it over the years, but Jung's family was firmly against publishing it.  It was only the fact that partial copies of the text were discovered in places outside of family control that forced them to take this step.  It was only Deep Throat's failing health that made him reveal who he was. 

It really is an interesting time to be alive (which is not necessarily a good thing).  We've seen the coming of the millennium, the electronic age, the beginning of the space age (though that seems to have stalled), and we'll get to see the end of the Mayan calendar in three years and the culmination of so much speculation.  I wonder what the next apocalypse after 2012 will be?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brahma

If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near,
Shadow and sunlight are the same,
The vanished gods to me appear,
And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
1856 [1857]

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Day at the Races

I've created my own calendar.  I've actually created two, but I'll just talk about the one.  It's predominately a solar event-oriented calendar with the four solar events (the two solstices and the two equinoxes) as its main festivals.  The idea for it came during a class on literary criticism when I was bored.  I remembered that the Egyptians had considered the sun to be a different god depending on its position in the sky.  When rising, the sun was Khepri.  At noon, it was Ra.  At sunset, it was Atum.  I decided to apply this to the year as a whole.  The year can be divided in two, a light part and a dark part.  The dark of the year is the period between the Autumnal and the Vernal Equinoxes when the nights are longer than the days.  The light part then occurs between the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes when the days are longer than the nights.  The sunrise of the year is then the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of the light.  So this is associated with the god Khepri.  The noon of the year is obviously the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and therefore associated with the god Ra.  And the sunset is the Autumnal Equinox, associated with the god Atum.  Which just leaves midnight, the Winter Solstice.  Keeping with the sun god theme, this can be associated with Amun.  Amun was considered the hidden sun, the sun at night.  Other associations are possible here, such as Horus as a child, but Amun keeps the pattern better.

The other four festivals are nature festivals that I've also associated with other gods.  Beltaine I've associated with Horus (as a man, not a child), Imolg with Min, Lughnasadh with Set, and Sahmain with Osiris.  Of course, these are all the sabbats of the Wiccan/Neopagan calendar, but their origins are very ancient (Christianity: The Origins of a Pagan Religion by Philippe Walter, to cite just one source offhand).  

Also, the sun is Horakhty during the twelve hours of the day (Horus of the Two Horizons) and Khnum (the Ba of Ra) during its twelve hours of the night (according to the Amduat).  By the way, Khnum is an old creator god, originally pictured with a bulls head, who became identified as Ra's Ba and was given a ram's head.  This is because the Egyptians never met a pun they didn't like.  The Egyptian word for ram was also ba, because, well, baaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Yes, this does take the Egyptian gods out of their context, and some people might object to that.  However, even in ancient Egypt, gods changed context all the time, as with Khnum.  I'm not doing anything that every ancient culture didn't do.  I've researched each god (and continue to do so), and I think each placement is appropriate to the symbolism of that god.

I'm still working on developing this calendar.  The other one's on hold for the moment, though I'll get back to it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Night at the Opera

I've recently become an opera fan.  I never used to like the opera until earlier this year when I went to see one for the hell of hit.  Seeing an opera is a whole different experience than just listening to it.  But where did I see an opera, you ask?  Chicago?  I could've gone into Chicago and seen one, but actually I saw a live broadcast (well, the encore anyway) at my local movie theater from The Met.  They transmit some of their operas to six of the seven continents (I'm sure that the scientists on Antarctica are sorry they're missing out).  I've even gotten my friend Ken interested.  We have so far gone on two of the gayest "man-dates" that two straight men can go on with the possible exception of going to see The Wiz.  That would be THE gayest.  Apropos of nothing, my friend Mike knows the entire score to The Wiz by heart.  Just thought I'd mention that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baby's First Villanelle

I've been experimenting with poetic forms and wrote my first villanelle last night.  It's definitely not going to revolutionize the poetic field, but it does fulfill all the requirements of the form.  In trying to think of what to write, I immediately went to Shakespeare, the patron saint of the English language.  I'm provisionally calling it "Modern Trickster."

I am that merry wanderer of the night;

I dance and laugh and shout and sing

more than Puck ever did at his height.


I wield an awesome might

yet am as fragile as a hummingbird's wing.

I am that merry wanderer of the night.


Long I gaze at any thrilling sight

and raise my voice and let it ring

more than Puck ever did at his height.


I don't give a damn about wrong or right.

To me the same is a worker or a king.

I am that merry wanderer of the night.


I'm always ready for a fight

and long to give a head a ping

more than Puck ever did at his height.


I am the whiskey with the bite

that lights the fire that makes souls zing.

I am that merry wanderer of the night

more than Puck ever was at his height.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thoughts of Death

This post is appropriate to the season.  Fall is the time when everything dies, and Halloween is the time when the veil between life and death is the thinnest and the dead may return (hopefully not as zombies).  It's the only time of the year when it's socially acceptable  to put up images of skulls, skeletons, and other morbid things.

Which got me thinking: what can we know about what happens after death?  And my answer is: nothing.  Once our bodies die, once our brains die, all our knowledge ceases.  Everything we can know comes from our experiences, and all our experiences are created by our brain.  Everthing.  It's all chemical and electrical processes.  When your brain's dead, you can know nothing and experience nothing.  Near-death experiences, you say?  I can wire your brain up and cause you to have one just by stimulating parts of your brain.  I can inject you with a drug called DMT (I think) that will cause you to experience alien abduction even though you're in a bed in a lab being watched by doctors all the time.  Any experience, whether "real" or not, is a function of your brain.

Now let me tell you a lie.  Let me tell you that there are two types of knowledge which we'll call lower and higher.  The lower knowledge I've just described.  We'll use it's Latin name, scientia.  On the Tree of Life, it's represented by Malkuth (the Kingdom), the tenth and final Sephirot.  It's also called Shekinah, the Presence.  In one version of the Tree, it takes two forms.  It takes the familiar form with Malkuth at the bottom.  There's an earlier form, however, with no Malkuth.  Instead, more towards the top, there's a Sephirot called Daath.  Daath represents the higher knowledge.  I prefer to use the Greek word gnosis for this.  This knowledge isn't dependent on experience; technically, you can't experience it.  It's beyond all experience and knowledge (scientia).  It's the great dilemma of every single mystical system I care to name how to experience that which cannot be experienced.  I said this was a lie, didn't I?  It's a lie because words can't explain what brain can't know.  The paradox is that all mystical systems try to explain it anyway in order to get its followers to experience it.  That's right, the it that can't be experienced.  Or even talked about.  Yet it is on both counts.

On this Tree, Daath falls and becomes Malkuth.  In a sense, this represents the formation of the ego.  An infant doesn't conceive of itself as a separate being.  The ego is the mental construct that allows us to think of ourselves as a separate and independent being apart from everything else.  The knowledge of ourselves as everything is lost (so to speak, since its not really knowledge at all) and the knowledge of ourselves as ourselves begins.  I was watching the movie Excalibur recently, and Merlin expressed the same thing I'm saying.  He talked about an earlier time when everything was one.  During this time, the sword of power was forged.  My friends asked how a sword could be forged during a time of oneness and peace.  My response was that it's forging probably ended the time of oneness.  The sword can be a representation of the ego.  In some mythology, the sword is forged, broken, and re-forged (as happens in Excalibur).  This can represent the initial formation of the ego, its disillusionment that it's really separate (or even real), leading to its destruction and re-formation.  The re-formed ego realizes it's an illusion, but a necessary one.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Rene Descartes obsession with proving his existence began in childhood.  Freud was so right.


Young Descartes one day said, "Mother,

my enemy is my new little brother.

He's created an illusion

as part of your delusion

that only he exists and no other."



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Twittermancy

I love divination.  Who wouldn't?  Mostly, different forms of divination tell you a lot about yourself and only maybe about your future.  Just recently, I heard about a a new form of technomancy called Twittermancy.  It's a program that uses Twitter posts as divination tools.  You input a word, click the generate button, and get a random sampling of words from Twitter.  Just to test it out, I put in the word 'future.'  Oddly enough, contained in my random matrix of words was the phrase "god is yourself."  Read my last couple of posts to see why this phrase leaped out at me.  There could be something to this.  There was also the phrase "get magic information."  A reference to technomancy, perhaps.  Then there was the phrase "knees is trust."  I don't know what that means.  There's probably a danger here of reading too much into this.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just a penny?

There's a difference between a maze and a labyrinth.  A maze is a problem to work through.  You go in one end, find the correct path, and come out the other end.  A labyrinth, on the other hand, is something to be experienced.  You enter, follow the path to the center, and return, exiting out of the entrance.

Joseph Campbell believed that the Hero's Journey and schizophrenia were very similar.  Both deal with an inward journey and archetypal forces.  The Hero masters these forces.  They lift him up, like a boat on the water.  He goes on the journey and returns from it changed.  The schizophrenic, however, is overwhelmed by these forces.  He drowns in them.  He has a problem that he has to work through.

When the Hero reaches the center of the labyrinth, he experiences something.  "A sight to see" as some poet says.  The Hero experiences his or her own divinity, the spark of god that is in us.  How can this not change someone.  I call it an experience, or a sight, but it's beyond all understanding.  Mystical traditions have been trying to explain it for millennia, but all words are inadequate.  Even mine.

Thinking that you're god is a delusion.  You have a problem and should seek psychiatric help.  You could have schizophrenia or megalomania.  You have a maze to go through.  But knowing you're god means you've been to the center and seen for yourself.  Good for you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's pronounced Bose.

Hieronymus Bosch said to Mary,

"Your lips are as red as a ruby.

Their color goes well

with my image of hell

and is a match for you personality."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vox Dei

I read the new Dan Brown novel, The Lost Symbol, and I'm in two minds about it.  The big reveal at the end is more than a little disappointing.  In fact, the novel as a whole doesn't stand up to its two predecessors.  

But...

There is a message in this book that's important.  This book does contain the secret of the ages.  And it's a secret that, when you tell people it, they don't believe you.  Even if they do, it's not something that it's just enough to know or believe; it's something you have to live.  Here's the secret: you are god.

I told you you wouldn't believe me.  But it is the secret and has been expressed throughout the ages, from the sacred sparks of the Kabbalists to the Thou art That of the Hindu Upanishads.  Aldous Huxley has a book called The Perennial Philosophy thats collects sacred scripture from around the planet that expresses that secret.

So, in the book, Robert Langdon has to solve the secret of the Mason's Pyramid to find this out.  Why?  What's the point?  In the ancient mysteries, especially those of the Elesius, initiates found out this secret not by being told it but by being led through an experience that would alter their consciousness and change their lives.  In other words, it wasn't just enough for them to know they were god, they had to live as if they were god.  It's not enough for anyone searching for the secret to be given it immediately; they have to struggle for it to discover it's true value.  Only then is Hiram Abiff lifted from his grave, and only then is the lost word rediscovered. 

Joseph Campbell tells a story about a guru and his student.  The guru one day tells his student that everything is god and that he is god.  The student is stunned by this and leaves the guru's house in a daze.  He walks down the street of the village pointing at things.  "That dog is god, I am god.  That cart is god, I am god.  That fruit vendor is god, I am god."  So on and so on.  Coming down the street toward him is an elephant with a driver on its back.  The driver sees the student and starts yelling at him to get out of the way.  The student just stands in the middle of the street, still dazed.  "That elephant is god, I am god."  The elephant finally knocks the student aside with his trunk and continues on.  After lying still for a few minutes, the student stands back up and, without dusting himself off, walks back to the guru's house.  The guru, who's been standing at the door watching everything, meets the student.  "You told me I was god."  The guru says that yes, he did.  "You told me everything else was god."  The guru again agrees.  "Then why, if I am god and if the elephant is god, did the elephant knock me aside?  It could have killed me."  "Because," says the guru, "you didn't listen to the voice of god telling you to get out of the way."


Monday, September 21, 2009

Cheese?


The UFO people think that a alien ship has crashed in Needles, California.  The conspiracy theorists think that it was a secret, experimental government aircraft.  What I would like to know is, what do the flying cheese people think happened?  I want to know because I think those people have a completely unbiased and objective view and will carefully consider all the evidence.  If there are any flying cheese people out there, I ask that they post their view in the comments section.  Thank you.



Monday, September 14, 2009

A Breather

I have been working like a dog for the last couple of weeks and haven't had time to do any updates.  I did get a chance to go to the Bristol Renaissance Fair with my friend Ken, and I've been writing some poetry.  I'll post pictures of the Fair and some poems probably tomorrow.  I'm trying to get hold of my friend Mike now.  The man just doesn't answer his phone.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Now what about Croquet?



There are conspiracies everywhere people.  Be ever vigilant!


Abner Doubleday ran

a most amazing scam.

He put a Masonic sign

in his ball field design

and enthralled America (and Japan).


Monday, August 24, 2009

Why I Don't Watch Public Television

I should watch public television.  I'm exactly the kind of person who should.  I'm extremely educated, and I like the arts.  Hell, I've even recently started watching Opera.  Yes, Opera.  I discovered that local theaters show broadcasts from the Met.  I've also discovered that watching Opera is so much better than just listening to it.  

So why don't I watch public television?  Let's take tonight for example.  I came home from work, turned on the tv, and saw a listing for a show called Too Jewish?  It's a taping of a one-man show by a guy named Avi Hoffman.  This caught my eye because I've actually been studying Judasim lately.  I've been reading books and even listening to audio lectures from a Orthodox Jewish website (www.aish.com).  No, I'm not converting.  But I study different religions.  They fascinate me.  I've studied Buddism, Hinduism, Taosim, Confucianism, Manicheianism, Gnosticism, tribial religions of various continents, and world mythology in general.  As for Christainity, I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school my whole life and have just had enough; as for Islam, you're next.  This is your only warning.

So I turned on the program and what did I see: a pledge drive thingy.  What the fuck?  Okay, if you want to ask for money, do it.  Take a minute and do it.  This thing lasted for 20 minutes.  I took a bath, came back, and they were still asking for money.  This is the worst thing you could do if you want people to watch your programming.  Which is a shame; I'm finally watching what I tuned in to watch, and its great.  But pretty soon, they'll do another money thing, and I'll get disgusted and turn it off.  Hopefully, I can find this show on DvD.  I'll already checked Amazon, and they don't have it. 

Oh well, end of rant.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My First Post

Since this is my first post, I thought I start out with a funny story.

I was recently staying at my friend Mike's house (www.mikepoore.net) while he was away. I had just gotten back from buying food (since Mike has nothing in his fridge except beer) and realized I'd forgotten a few things. I got back in my truck and rushed over to the local CVS. After running in and grabbing a couple of items, I realized that I had to take off my pants.

No, I'm not a pervert. At least, not a public one. As I was approaching the checkout counter, I felt something moving in them that wasn't me. I patted around, felt a sting, and realized: I had a bee in my pants. I was sure it was a bee because, well, I'd just been stung for one, and also because I'd had to let two out of my truck window on the way over. A third must have crawled up my leg without me knowing.

I stood there for five minutes, stranded in indecision. An employee was nearby; I considered telling her the situation and letting her stand in front of me while I pulled my pants down. Finally, I carefully walked to an area of the store that was empty (and had some displays that I could hide behind) and depantsed myself. There was a red mark on my right inner thigh where I'd felt the sting, but there was no bee that I could see. Maybe the bee had gone back down my leg? Aren't bees supposed to die after they sting? And since I'm asking questions: was I about to die from a massive allergic reaction to bee venom? I had no idea since I've never been stung before.

With a lot on my mind, I pulled up my pants and walked back to the counter and paid for my stuff. No one had noticed what I'd just done. As I was getting in my truck, I dropped my pants to my ankles and hopped into the driver's seat.

Red mark, no bee. Then I sucked my stomach in a little.

There was the bee, crawling around on my underwear by my right hip. I gave it a little swat, and it flew onto the steering wheel. It rubbed one antenna with its leg and flew out the window I opened for it. The bee had been through so much already, I decided to be kind.

So endeth my tale of the bee. Hopefully, when the bee tells the story of being in my pants, it will also be kind.


Just Read: A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin, My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, The Gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

Currently Reading: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch