Tompkins Square, 02 April 2013
I did a reading last night about finding a sense of purpose and this is what came through. The I Ching is spookily amazing. This one includes a guide to meditation.
Hexagram 22: PI
Inside, the strength of
simplicity and self-knowledge.
Outside, the beauty of
acceptance and gentleness.
This hexagram encourages you to cultivate a quality of grace in your relationships and in your general way of being. In this way you gain a power greater than any other to open a way through obstructions in your dealings with others. Good fortune is yours if you concentrate on bringing more grace to your thoughts and actions now.
It is human nature to want to use forceful ways to try to get what we want from others and from life. Our egos encourage us to act aggressively, to speak boldly, to intimidate others, to “buffalo” our way through difficult situations. This false power can be momentarily satisfying to our ego, and temporary victories can be won in this way, but genuine power and lasting progress come from a different kind of strength altogether.
They come from inner strength, which is characterized by a steadfast devotion to the principles of humility, simplicity, equanimity, and acceptance. By gradually letting go of the vain, bullying energy of the ego and accepting the quiet guidance of the Higher Power, one acquires the substance that makes ongoing good fortune a possibility.
This is a time to relinquish self-important maneuvering. Instead, return to stillness and contemplate the inherent wisdom of the principles of the Sage. By practicing quiet strength within and gentle acceptance without, you acquire a grace that dissolves all barriers to progress.
In the beginning, one must walk slowly and carefully. Do not assume that you know the answers or need to force a solution. Remain modest and allow the Unknown to guide you.
Hexagram 52: KÊN
KEEPING STILL, MOUNTAIN
Still your emotions through meditation.
Receiving this hexagram is a sign that you need to quiet your emotions so that you can think clearly. To answer the clamorings of the ego with action now is to invite misfortune. The I Ching counsels non action and the stilling of the emotions through meditation.
It is the nature of having a body to have strong feelings and impulses. However, if we allow our thinking to be controlled by them, we cannot act with the gentleness, neutrality, and graceful wisdom of the Sage. Instead, we move rashly when we ought to keep still, or we solidify when we ought to remain fluid. Therefore it is necessary to quiet the body and its inferior elements so that our thoughts and actions may be clear and balanced.
Three things are advised. First, sit quietly in a self-supporting position with your back straight and eyes closed. Second, observe the flow of your bodily emotions. Do not judge or resist them; the simple practice of watching them come, linger, and go without acting on them allows you to gradually separate them from your thought processes. Third, turn your inner conflicts over to the Deity for resolution.
The help of the Higher Power is only made available to those who ask for it in a disciplined way, who make an offering of their stillness and mindfulness. Through meditation we reduce the influence of the inferior elements and make it possible for the Sage to assist us. Keep still as a mountain now and you will be rewarded with good fortune.
It does not take striving…There could be an intention. In fact, for most of us there needs to be some intention. But it’s profound relaxation…You could be striving for the rest of your life and it’s not going to work. It’s not going to bring intimacy. It’s not going to bring you to any sense of true realization. Certainly, not to touching peace…It’s about relaxing back, not about tensing and going after things.
link: Tara Brach’s Site
Excerpts from a dour new book on the collapse of America, and how it has been destined to happen since its founding.
There is a story, probably apocryphal, of a Native American scouting expedition that came across the starving members of the Donner Party in 1847, who were snowbound in the Sierra Nevadas and resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. The expedition, which had never seen white people before, observed the Donner Party from a distance, then returned to base camp to report what they had seen. The report consisted of four words: “They eat each other.” Frankly, if I could summarize the argument of Why America Failed in a single phrase, this would be it. Unless Occupy Wall Street (or some other sociopolitical movement) manages to turn things around in a fundamental way, “They ate each other” will be our epitaph.
In addition, all of the data over the last 20 years show that Americans are not very bright, and not even the bright ones are very bright—it’s not merely a question of IQ. A Marist poll released on July 4, 2011 showed that 42 percent of American adults are unaware that the U.S. declared its independence in 1776, and this figure increases to 69 percent for the under-30 age group. Twenty-five percent of Americans don’t know from which country the United States seceded. A poll taken in the Oklahoma public school system turned up the fact that 77 percent of the students didn’t know who George Washington was, and the Texas Board of Education recently voted to include a unit on Estee Lauder in the history curriculum, when they don’t have one on the first president. Nearly 30 percent of the American population thinks the sun revolves around the earth or is unsure of which revolves around which. Etc. etc. How can such a population grasp a structural analysis of American history or politics? They simply aren’t capable of it.
Tocqueville said it in 1831, and it is even more true today: Americans simply cannot tolerate, cannot even hear, fundamental critiques of America. IQ has very little to do with it. In an ontological sense, they simply cannot bear it. And if this is true for the “best and the brightest,” then what does this say for the rest of us?
America was founded within a conceptual framework of being in opposition to something—the British and the Native Americans, to begin with—and it never abandoned that framework. It doesn’t really have a clear idea of what it is in a positive sense, and that has generated a kind of national neurosis. I mean, we were in real trouble when the Soviet Union collapsed; in terms of identity, we were completely adrift until the attacks of 9/11 (just think of how frivolous and meaningless the Clinton years were, in retrospect). War is our drug of choice, and without an enemy we enter a kind of nervous breakdown mode.
All you need to begin the practice of magic is concentration, imagination and the ability to laugh at yourself and learn from mistakes. Some people like to dress up as Egyptians or monks to get themselves in the mood; others wear animal masks or Barbarella costumes. The use of ritual paraphernalia functions as an aid to the imagination only. Anything you can imagine, anything you can symbolize, can be made to produce magical changes in your environment.
Björk re: elves, “It’s all about respect. You know.”
(at about 04:20)
My god. I’ve had these kinds of arguments. They’re exhausting to have and in the end, no one has changed anyone’s mind. It’s like we’re living in two different worlds and breathe different air. Fascinating to watch though.
Penn Jillette is baffled by religious Americans.
Not for the squeamish, but they put some seriously cool video to this song. Horror classics with classic industrial.
Film clips from: Fright NIght, Near Dark, Nosferatu, Phantasm, The Omen II, Sleepy Hollow, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Nightmare On Elm Street 2, Alucarda, Satánico Pandemonium, Zombie, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, Clownhouse, 976-Evil, Hellraiser, Return of the Living Dead, Halloween III, The Omen, Shaun of the Dead, C.H.U.D., Fear No Evil, Angel, Night Watch, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“Our rich cultural history is one of the unfortunate victims of the pathetic cultural battle between Creationist and Neo-Atheist cliques. Were the founders of the United States hardline Christians? Secular humanists? Just typing these questions, I’m bored already. Thankfully, there’s evidence they weren’t either, seems like a good number of them were Alchemists.”
In Da Club
with Mr V and Miss Patty, by Copyright