Wednesday, December 26, 2012

7 Unrules of Polyamory

There have been several posts on this site about polyamory that have pulled a significant amount of traffic (about 10,000 and 8,000 and 6,000 hits respectively.) 
Previous posts:

This is a friend of mine, I think she looks cute as hell
(though that's beside the point) and hope that in leaving her
un-named she won't rip my balls off.
Because isn't the juxtaposition just fucking precious?
All of them dealt with different elements of the topic, and all in a rather tongue-in-cheek way. I would like to clear up a few issues about this topic in what I hope is a more straight-forward way. I am doing this because I have been approached by many strangers that seem confused about some rather simple elements of this issue.

So, here are 7 un-rules of Polyamory. Enjoy them, and remember that they are un-rules, and can only at best be understood as guidelines. I hope they spawn some discussion that doesn't come down to argument over labels. The curse of polyamory is labels and laws and rules and taxonomy. Drives me nuts, and honestly, it's not necessary unless if it's a fetish of yours. If it is, enjoy your fetish, but it's not a fetish of mine, so please, let me have mine and you can have yours.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Full Metal Orgasm and SEXPUNK

NATEFER
One of many possible outcroppings of both cyber-punk cyber-erotica and cyber--...(tenatacles?) is the indie-produced Full-Metal Orgasm. I wanted to point your direction that way, while opening up the stage to more varied discussion of genres and sub-genres around this area. I of course have no had my coffee, nor any FUCKING coffee at all because of this FUCKING holiday, and my dependence on the local indie cafes around here... so we can expect more typical write ups on here as per our usual... oh who the fuck am I kidding. Here's a bit about Full Metal Orgasm.


Full-Metal Orgasm is a sexy and intelligent adult fiction eMagazine for the digital age. Inspired by a multitude of media and figures such as Heavy Metal magazine, Shirow Masamune, ReiQ, Penthouse Comix, Jun Tsukasa, Demitys, Toshio Maeda, Jin-roh, Pop Chaser and Robot Sex Life, it encapsulates the best of otherworldly sex. From stories featuring gynoids to tentacles, transhumans and aliens alike, FMO calls upon new and veteran writers, artists and other creatives to spawn new worlds and sexual fantasies without boundaries -- all downloadable to your favorite device in DRM-free PDF and mobi formats. Available on the Kindle, and for direct sale from the publisher. More information at http://sexpunk.tumblr.com or search online for Full-Metal Orgasm.

"The nature of modern life is obsession..."

Here are a few more if that does it for you:

How does this relate to mythology? I refer you to our mission statement. Thanks for all the fish.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Friday, December 14, 2012

Extreme Futurist Festival 2012


XFF2012 PROMO from EXTREME FUTURIST FESTIVAL on Vimeo.
Extreme Immersion!

Are you a Futurist? Are you assured that we are going to burn ourselves out as a species in the next century? Are you an artist set on using these tools we have while we have the time, or an optimist set to create an army of Nanobots (or Nanobats, if you live in Gotham) that will cure cancer? There is room for all these perspectives and more at this years Extreme Futurist Fest (XFF for short) being held in Los Angeles. And December 21 and 22 2012! What a time for it. End of the world, man! This even will feature:
  •  Speakers (Randal A. Koene, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Dr. Ben Goertzel, ...)
  • Music (Lydia Lunch, Negativland, ...)
  • Art (Kevin Mack, Shayna Yates, James Curcio, ...)
  • Films (H+ the Digital Series, Surf Now Apocalypse Later, Tragos, ...)
  • Vendors (Grindhouse Wetwares, Re/Search Publications, Mythos Media including the recent Words of Traitors and Rachel Haywire's Acidexia, ...)
  • ...and, you guessed it, a great deal more.

This event is not one to miss no matter your outlook. Find out more on the website, and show up if you can. You don't need to be a "believer" to show.

Just pick up a ticket, bring equal parts skepticism and wonder, and the rest will be history.

As you can see, I should be there, short of an airplane crash or getting flagged as a terrorist. So... see you there! -J

As featured on Disinfo.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Traversing Imaginary Landscapes

I recently discovered this book by happenstance, and am sorry that it wasn't one of the books that I had in my research arsenal when working on The Immanence of Myth. It is right up the alley of what I was trying to express in the sections on the mythologies of science, at least for the most part, and I would highly suggest it as a companion work to that book, or vice versa.
"In the Beginning was the Word are the words that begin the Gospel that establishes the quintessentially Western cosmology in which the world is a word, a sound  that unfolded space through time. Our word "cosmology" still echoes with the reverberations of that Johannine vision of seven Greek syllables  seven deeply resonant vowels that, like the opening of Bach's Art of the Fugue, set forth the theme that has the architecture of its variations implicit within it. From the seven syllables of Creation t the seven seals of the Apocalypse, the story of our world is the sound it makes in its passing. It is only after the opening of the Seventh Seal that there is silence in heaven of half an hour.
In telling the story of once upon a time in gospel, myth, or fairy tale, in returning in the imagination or the time of the arche, it is not so much what one says that builds a world, for once can say that the world began in wind or water or word, but it is the telling itself that sets up the structure of identification, the narrative structure that gives form to time and space. When the newly born infant moves its arms and legs in rhythm to its mother's speech, it does not yet know the mother's language, but the sounds themselves set up a relationship of Self and Other that is the fundamental arising of a world." (Imaginary Landscape). 
We may consider so many other models of cosmology, from the Logos and representational models of cosmology that emphasize the word, such as in the Sefer Yetzirah, the original (recognized) Qabbalistic text which lays out the basis of creation as the permutation of a divine language, the Torah itself "made of fire" Or we might consider the more pictographic and fanciful cosmology of the Pueblo Indians, who show a 4-fold creation story that at once calls to mind elements of the Osiris myth and the ascention of Shiva and Shakti in the Kundalini serpent in the Tantrik traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism  (As diverse as those two traditions are otherwise.) Regardless, this idea holds true, and it is with this concept of cosmology and narrative that we enfold ourselves without our world and at once make sense of it and find our place within it.

The same is true within our very bodies.

In fact, as previously mention on this site, I have been running a sort of web class with the intent of helping people in facilitating creativity and possibly presence of mind. It's a sort of loosely defined system of movement meditation practices.

"Internal Arts will be a series dealing with the creative process in its various guises: from meditative techniques to anecdotal material from independent artists." 

Catch that HERE on Alterati, and at the same time, consider exploring it alongside works like Imaginary Landscape, Apocalyptic Imaginary, and The Immanence of Myth. These books may appear somewhere between dense and obtuse if you are unfamiliar with a certainly philosophical approach, and they all employ an element of repetition to get ideas across. But they also constitute a sort of teaching, the self teaching the self through a deeper exploration of symbols, that cannot be given in a classroom, or certainly not a classroom that merely provides us with facts and figures. They represent the culmination of decades of work between us, and the practices that I'm trying to share in Internal Arts, while I try to pass them along without any pretense of authority, are not easily discovered nor gained.

And I know that I have what most people would consider a verbose way of speaking and writing when I am doing so "naturally" that is out of sync with "the times" and I should really "get with it." I'd like you all to know that I typed this entire paragraph with my middle finger.

Goodnight, friends.


[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Sunday, December 09, 2012

David Mack on sequential narrative.


David really hit it out of the park on this one, in my opinion. I don't really feel like commentary is necessary.

  Read our 2007 interview/conversation.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Music of the Spheres Again Audible, Totemic Animals March

By Brian George

“The heavenly motions are nothing but a continuous song for several voices (perceived by the intellect, not by the ear); a music which, through discordant tensions, through syncopes and cadenzas, as it were (as men employ them in imitation of those natural discords) progresses towards certain pre-designed quasi six-voiced clausuras, and thereby sets landmarks in the immeasurable flow of time.”—Johannes Kepler, The Harmony of the World (Harmonice mundi)
__

In an email about her relocation to Wyoming, Amely Greeven wrote: “I committed to staying through the winter, in a cabin owned by a wildlife photographer. When I went to visit it, deliberating about whether to take the leap, a female moose ambled out of the trees, dipped her sable muzzle into the creek, and then wandered up the jewel-green field next to me—yards from where I was standing. I took that to mean, ‘Yes, come here, and live next to us....’ I felt like Snow White. Will bluebirds come and braid my hair?”

I responded: Whether animals can become the vehicles for higher powers, or whether, by some quirk of a-causal clockwork, they can appear at just the right time and in just the right place in order to make some larger purpose understood, you can certainly feel when something out of the ordinary is going on.

When I was 16, and at the beginning of phase of almost psychotic creative transformation, I experienced, late one night, at 2:00 AM or so, an enormously loud ringing and droning sound. At first, I took this to be some type of bizarre emergency warning system, designed to get each person in the city out of bed, although it seemed like overkill for anything short of an imminent nuclear war. The sound could also be compared to Tibetan chanting: Enormously low, bone-shaking bass notes supported a middle ground of somewhat complex musical geometries, repetitive but chameleonic, and difficult to hear all at once, which then rose into almost inaudible overtones.

When, in the morning, I discovered that no one else had heard the sound, I was, to a certain extent shocked. I was shocked in the way that you are when you find out that your parents have had sex, and that your birth may in some way be connected to this act. On a different level, I had begun, even as it was happening, to suspect that this sound was actually the “Music of the Spheres.” For many thousands of years, perhaps, the volume had been turned down way too low, or else our ears had been plugged with wax. Then suddenly—and no doubt for reasons that were long ago explained, but by temperamental teachers, and in a language we don’t speak—the music became audible.

Internal Arts, now on Alterati.com

Internal Arts, a podcast / web video series will be running on Alterati over the next few months (possibly longer):
Internal Arts will be a series dealing with the creative process in its various guises: from meditative techniques to anecdotal material from independent artists. 
Whether you are a writer, musician, visual or film artist, or just want to learn a little about the ins- and outs- of the creative process from those who struggle to make a living at it, this show is for you. We will also often explore meditative and movement practices that might not necessarily seem connected with creativity or the arts at first glance. 
These are quite possibly more important than all the discussions we will be having about independent arts and media production, as they get us out of the 'the chair,' out of our heads, and back into our bodies. It is in and through our bodies, and nowhere else, that the true creative process begins. We are not brains in bottles. 
It's our hope that you will find these practices and conversations an indispensable part of your own practice.
If you would like to contribute to the show, contact James Curcio.

Subscribe on iTunes to this and other Alterati shows.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Agnosticism - not for dummies




I was having a conversation with William Clark just now while watching Baraka and a number of things I've been thinking about lately all gelled at once.

So let me try to lay out the pieces.

I was talking earlier with another friend, Matthew Grossman, about the role of belief in our lives. Both of us agreed that belief is actually fairly inconsequential. It doesn't much matter what any of us believe. If someone thinks their beliefs are important, they're giving our thoughts too much value. I know plenty of people that change their beliefs and then think they have changed. But they are the same person from the outside. And when people change, it isn't as a result of belief that change comes about.

The next piece of this thought process -- many athiests and religious folk alike have attacked me or looked down on me for saying that if I have to be pushed into a corner on defining my relationship to the divine, it is as an agnostic. "The basis of that is a-gnosis - not knowing," they say. And that's quite right. But who wants to admit that they don't know?

Let me explain. The base religious experience is awe, even terror, or ecstacy (being beside or outside of ones self), and all of it is in the face of an infinity that is beyond measure and comprehension. It is precisely this a-gnosis, not knowing, that is the base of spirituality in a positive sense. This isn't exactly negative theology- that derives from an intellectualization that comes as a reaction or result of religious experience, as a way of defending the psyche from that yawning abyss against which we must profess complete ignorance. If you don't encase yourself in belief (which as I said is unimportant) or the pretension of knowledge about the existence or non-existence of your idea of divinity -- that is, the objective nature of things which transcends all categories of thought -- then you must profess your agnosticism.

Thus may also explain why I say I'm a Taoist when asked what I "am" in this regard. (Though does our relationship to the transcendent define us? I remain agnostic on that matter...) Because Taoism is a religion/philosophy that is defined on the human level by valuing flow, of getting out of the way of ourselves, of allowing ourselves to come into accord with what naturally is, in any situation, of dissolving or even emphasizing loss, and on the divine level it professes a complete lack of knowledge, because knowledge is not the right thing to bring into the house of God.

This is what I believe. Though, as I said, it couldn't matter less.

More on God and the Problem of Certainty.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Plight Of The Messenger


Full Moon Eclipse

November 28th, 2012 / 6 Degrees Gemini

The Messenger gazes toward a foggy sky. It appears dense with cleansing mist. His retreat has concluded, and he prepares to move forward once more, with haste, and re-enter the realm of Truth. Unfortunately, a grievous mountain lay between him and the sunrise. Whoever said the Messenger was not nimble on his feet? He climbs carefully, slowly, each breath invigorating more life into his immortal body.

The Destinies of Man interlace with Sol and Luna as they make their Grand Opposition, though they're charged with separate entities. Sol travels through Sagittarius, the Archer and Truth-Bearer, while Luna at his opposite, the Scattered Source Superhighway of Gemini. Here the Messenger's words and thoughts over the recent past are echoed and enforced. He humbly recalls them while traversing the jagged path:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OH BALLS! Unkle Binky Fails At Everything

OH BALLS! Do you remember Unkle Binky from the 2011 gonzomentary "Clark"?

No, of course you don't, because you were probably high at the time.

Well, here's another thing that was deleted from your recollection in a gigantic cloud of pot smoke. (FUCK YEAH COLORADO!! WOO!) Unkle Binky tried and obviously failed to win the presidency. No one was surprised, but it nevertheless made for some good television:


In other news, you boys and girls are going to have a lot of fun with Unkle Binky shows up in your house in 2013. Just wait.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Internet and Counterculture (Acidexia Intro)

As all the chatter about the “2012 end of the world” dissolves back into the white noise from whence it came, we are still presented a unique vantage point. We can look at once backward and forward on cultural trends, cresting and falling so quickly that in mere decades we can see patterns emerging that may have taken hundreds of years to arise before the advent of digital communication.

Of course, there’s no way a thorough investigation of any trend is going to happen here in the length of an introduction, within the time it takes me to sip my way through a mocha. But that is telling of these times as well. As Palahniuk observed through the mouthpiece of Tyler Durden in his seminal book Fight Club, we are all “single serving size friends, here.” (And is it also a sign of counter cultural mentality that a reference to a book and movie just a decade out of the gates might be considered hackneyed or out of date?) Our observations must also be single serving size, crammed into a 140 character tweet, or a 350 word blog post.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Words of Traitors, digital files unleashed to the lucky few

This past week we sent out a link to the web resolution version of Words of Traitors to those that helped it come into being. (Final stats: 118 full color pages, over 90 illustrations, 7 short stories, more late nights than I can count.)


"I stood out there in the cold crying for an hour. My balls felt like they had shriveled and crawled inside my body. Like I should cut an incision along the side of my thigh and shove them inside there and sew it shut, cut holes in my chest and sew my arms inside, then my legs, my whole miserable body stitched into a quivering, quadriplegic abortion. I called her cell a hundred times. I banged on the door, howling senselessly." —“Schoolgirl Blues,” Words of Traitors
Next on the slate is setting it up for print. And then, building buzz to spin off a comic series? If you'd like to help or be involved please get in touch with me.

And if you didn't donate but want a copy, I've decided to open up the limited edition to purchase on Amazon down the line, until we reach 2,000 sold, at which point it will be retired. This will make pushing it to indie bookstores and possibly galleries easier, while at the same time controlling the flow rate.

Thanks again to everyone that contributed either creatively or financially, and much hope that more will share in what we've created. It's the first full-color art book I've worked on that I've been fairly happy with the end results, while at the same time keeping aware of how we can improve in the future.

-J


[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Friday, November 02, 2012

Remember the Dead

Cando eramos vivos,
Andabamos pol-os caminos;
E agora que somos mortos
Andabamos por entre os hortos
Tocando nas campanillas
E commendo pimentos ...*
-- Song of a troop of revenants in Manzaneda, Trives (Orense, Galicia) cited in Claude Lecouteux's  Phantom Armies of the Night


The Seven Sisters rise high in the Southern Arch reminding us that the time for donning the mask and shroud has come. The celebrations which stretch from Oct. 31st through the beginning of November, known to most as Samhain, All Hallows Eve, the Day of All Saints, Hallow’een, and in Latin countries, Dias de los Muertos, are a time for reconnecting with those of us who have passed on to the next stage of the pilgrimage, who walk the Summerlands, as the Spiritualists say, beyond the thin veil of shifting materia that gives us the illusion we are solely heirs to a body demarcated by the bounds of flesh.

Our remembrance of the customs that attend this time have been blurred by Victorians like James Frazer, whose fear and fascination with sex and death put all of our ancestral traditions on the defensive. However, the work of more recent scholars has begun to untangle the knots of understanding that have obfuscated potent alternative understandings, and provide a much healthier insight into on our relationship with the ancestral dead.

Movement Meditation


Full video: 


For text explanation of the rudiments of standing meditation posture, see Sasha's blog, Shaman Science. And these notes:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Calming The Storm


Full Moon / October 29th, 2012 / 6 degrees Taurus


"We look after nature, and we mamos see that you are killing it by what you do. We can no longer repair the world. You must. You are uprooting the earth, and we are divining to discover how to teach you to stop." -Kogi Tribe


Warning after warning, it matters not. We continue to thrive amongst our sins and spoils--truthfully so--as if our rotten deeds secured us a sacred place among the stars. And here, the illuminations given precursor a dire reality--one that has been foretold, time and time again, dutifully ignored.

Mercury speeds into the focused and impassioned Sagittarius, emerging from the depths of the great Void. He has learned much in the mystic throes of the weaponized Eagle, and returns with dark and sunken eyes.

As his vision returns, and strength fastens, the Messenger is struck by massive waves, the Ocean, at once, seemingly challenging the young god's discourse. An erupting, violent force, the storm, led by a ferocious Neptune, chastises him: "You have been beyond my reach, boy, for far too long!" 

The Winged One is smart, however. He swirls within the coming rain, and wind, and fog, dancing throughout the onslaught, the sharpness of his newly-breached sign granting him concentration to further on.

"I have come bearing gifts," he cries out, consumed by the glaring Neptune's eyes, piercing him through the clouds. "The truth is what you seek!"

"It is too late for truth," Neptune replies. "My waters are angry. My waters are cold. They seethe for justice."

"Then, allow me to deliver it," Mercury states. "They shall have it. I will direct your anger, like lightning, through the children of Earth. Send them a message, perhaps."

The storm seems to subside momentarily, as the angered, emotional Ocean God grasps his mighty trident and lunges it at Mercury, where it lands at his feet. "So be it."

As the Messenger and the Dreaming Harbinger delve into our reality, Mercury, for once, tames the great Neptune, who surges and wretches from within.

"It's just his time of the month, right?" Mercury chides to his brother Mars, the warrior having been called to assist. 

"I feel it is yet another warning," Mars replies. "Soon there will be no leash upon the Great Leviathan, and his rage will be tenfold. For now, we remain steadfast and strong, and hope this brief insight is enough. What of the Conductor and the Death Lord? What messages do you bring from the Void?"

"Ah, they remain at standstill. I have heard whispers of wars beyond dimensions, though I may have only caught a shimmer, or two, of what mysteries they unfold. It seems that they have laid down their arms, if only for a moment. Neptune's storms will subside, eventually, and the matter of life will continue. The damage will be less than unhinging."

"For now," the Warrior replies.

"For now," the Winged One repeats.

And yet, it is the Earth who is at war. The Moon rests in Taurus, charged with Pluto's destructive criticism. Our Sun, as well, tiptoeing through Scorpio, takes council with the cold, icy planet. The three remain in secret slumber, reflecting peacefully amidst the raw power that will eventually crumble our consciousness. 

Bodies begin to change. Those on Earth that remain silent, and still, in quiet meditation, notice them first. Wings sprout from the arches of the back. Some white, some black, some gloriously colored. Soon, everyone comes to know themselves in a different way.

Those who can bravely soar through the storm, up and above the heavens, and wait peacefully among the stars.



[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This Just In

Obama: "It is important for us to respond big and to respond fast [to the Frankenstorm]. We're going to cut through red tape and we're not going to get bogged down in a lot of rules." 

Alex Jones: "Obama's manipulating the weather using HAARP"

Republicans everywhere, circa Nov. 7th 2012: "Alex Jones was on to something. They stole the election using the storm as a cover for chicanery. Look, he even said so himself." 

And that was the day that Alex Jones became their prophet. He then proceeded to have a totally "sober" debate with Glenn Beck, who so totally knew that it was actually one of the many machinations of a nefarious international cabal of Masons and financiers, puppet-masters, if you will. They concluded their day by so totally NOT smoking dmt and so totally NOT talking to the clockwork elves.

[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Fable In Six Parts





As the canopy neared the falling man, the rush of momentum was enough that he felt he’d never stop, and the ground would only continue rushing past him, layers of sediment beneath the earth parting ways—the call of gravity startling the rock and earth as a great school of fish.
Stone would shuffle apart, only ever barely missing the man’s tumbling body, until he reached the core, where he might gaze upon the fiery heart of the planet before continuing on to what could only be perceived as nothingness.
Alas, waves of air condensed around him, signifying a shift in the falling man’s imagination, preparing his body’s consciousness for fatal impact upon the very real jungle floor.
It happened instantaneously.
First, branches snapped at the struggling remains of his parachute, and he prayed statically to remain uncaught in the untamed chaos whipping around him.
His left ribs shattered from sudden contact with a thick, protruding branch, leading him to suddenly detach his chute in a desperate attempt to get out. His body spun and his back checked the long side of another tree, and he continued falling furiously through the thick, humidified air of the tropics.
The ground met him in triumph, where he landed straight and stiff as a board, just the way he was trained months before. It was bare, except for a jutting stone that caught his left shin. He felt the muscle and bone strain; thankful it was only that much. The man let out a cry of pain. His hands clutched the planet, to feel for direct embrace.
That was supposed to be the easy part, he thought.
After a few moments, sounds of the jungle resumed where they’d been startled by his sudden appearance upon the earth.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Children & the Great Blur - On the Initiation of Childhood Innocence, by Guido Mina di Sospiro


All children suffer when they are born to varying degrees,. This is no pessimistic life-is-an-illness-with-a-terrible-prognosis-because-its-outcome-cannot-be-but-fatal rigmarole. Far from it; however, only occasionally childbirth is an entirely smooth process, and psychologists of all schools cannot stop telling parents how important it is to reassure the newborn immediately, to establish the “bond” with the mother, etc., etc. It must be owned that there is a sharp contrast between the liquid womb environment and the outer, dry world of sharp lights and loud sounds. Childbirth can indeed be seen as, or actually be, a trauma.

At any rate, after a successful delivery—let us assume it is a vaginal one, the labor has been brief and the pregnancy as devoid as the delivery of any complications— the infant is in a state which could be defined, if somebody cared to be frank about it, catatonic. It will take months for the infant to start crawling. Later on, the upright posture will be a hard-won conquest. The first vaguely articulated words will send the elated parents into ecstasy, especially when it is their first child who utters his/her first words. But the fact is, it takes and infant about three years, give or take, depending on how “precocious” he might be, to start to come out of the BLUR.

This “blur” designation1 not only sounds remarkably unscientific and unpoetic, but patronizing, which is the opposite of what I mean.

Natural sciences tell us that only humans are helpless for so prolonged a period after their birth. Mammals specifically are all quicker in getting out of the unconscious, or “blurred” state. It is a necessity of nature, lest they should fall prey to all sorts of dangers. The human child, on the other hand, is... stoned, or “blurred,” for a frightfully long period. Most parents the world over rejoice when she starts giving signs of her
coming into her own, by which they mean, her conscious state. An ancient Tamil love poem recites:

... Now that our child has learnt to play,
I feel like one who has virtues attained.

Westerners in particular seem obsessed not only by the notion of extracting the infant from the blur like a bad tooth, which is naturally understandable for in life one does need to have his wits about him—and the sooner the better—but by the far more epigenetic notion of instilling into him the largest possible dose of collective consciousness. By age eighteen, the child, now a girl or boy, will be steeped into the stagnant waters of her/his society’s canons—moral, aesthetic, religious, intellectual or otherwise. Her/his unconscious, the “blur” (s)he was born into, will have been forgotten.

Language is a great ally in this amnesiac process. In monolinguistic environments in particular, those in which the concept of translation, with all its implicit ambiguities, is an entirely foreign one, a language directs and defines the boundaries of the child’s mind. He is faced with rules at every moment, and a rational, causal approach is impressed upon him. Simply put, be it arithmetic, or English, or whatever: From A, follows B; From B, C, and so on.

Yet, it is no easy chore for the child to emerge from the blur. The blur seems to linger, with its blurring effects which the rational, modern-day medicine (wo)man (the elementary school teacher) must get rid of.2

A child’s logic—inundated by lower-order referential processes, and by a (refreshingly) “butterflylike” non sequitur structuring—bears a striking resemblance to that of some dreams.3 So does his (highly tentative) geometry, by which I mean, spatial sense. Very little Euclid to be found there to be sure. His cerebral syntax appears as though it has gone thorough a total immersion in Dadaism, while his temporal perception has very little to do with time intended as mere duration—no concept of the past or of the future, for one thing.

The child is blurred! will comment the rationalist. Let’s help him out of the blur. That is the primary, if undeclared, aim of schooling.

The child knows the secret! will utter the mystic, wondering at the seemingly uncanny prescience of the little one.

A few years ago I was fascinated by logics and, at the same time, was a happy father for the first time in my life. I couldn’t help writing down some of my child’s rejoinders, which at the time struck me as eminently illogical. Similar things were said, later on, by our other two sons, at about the same age. Also, having been for two seasons the soccer coach of two different teams belonging to two different age-groups—6-7 and 8-9—my observations might claim to be a bit more than parochial. (The teams numbered 17 and 13 players, respectively. Ethnically, the children were of diverse backgrounds. There were mainland-Chinese players, Brazilian, Cuban, Cuban-American, WASP, Italian, Mexican, etc.)

There follow some examples:

My son at 2 years, 8 months. An instance of semantic interpolation, in the guise of a
song. I sing:

“I love you dear, oh yes I do / when you’re not near me, I feel so blue...”

He replies, singing the same melody:

“I love you daddy, oh yes I do / when you’re not near me, I feel so... yellow!”

2 years, 10 months, at a restaurant. I say:

“They make wonderful fried fish here.”

My wife adds: “Their mashed potatoes are good too.”4

Our toddler, after having gulped down plain tap-water, holding the glass adds:

“They make wonderful water, here!”

Same age, early morning, our bedroom. I ask T. to brighten the room by opening the curtains. He pulls the rope connected to them downwards, but the curtains close up even more tightly. Then, instead of pulling the parallel rope so as to open them—which rope, nota bene, is the same one, looped around a pulley—he pulls the same one, but this time upwards, and gets, if awkwardly, the desired result.

His logic was actually right on target: it is illogical to presume that (in the elementary mechanistic world) one might get the opposite effect by doing the same movement. If one kicks a ball forward, such a ball goes forward. To make it go backwards, one must kick it backwards, certainly not forward. Likewise, if one has to pull downwards to shut the curtains, then one must pull upwards to open them.

2 years, 11 months. He shows me a model car of a Ferrari in 1/24 scale.

“Look daddy: if you turn the front wheels, inside the steering wheel turns too!”

3 years. T. has been pestering us for a bit too long. I ask him:

“T., please, go play in your room.” To no avail. Then I try: “T., I invite you to go play in your room.” Now, that works! (It only worked once, naturally, but the point is: the verb to invite brought pleasant associations to his mind, from the many parties he had been invited to.)

I could go on, but I think I have illustrated the point sufficiently. Some of the above could belong to an updated Sufi repertoire of anecdotes and stories meant to extricate the would-be Sufi from the prison of linear- and pattern-thinking.

That is, roughly, what I call the blur. The blur is an inborn, endogenetic capacity we all have when just born and, although on the wane, through childhood, for a truly “other” forma mentis.

Many great sages have spent their lives trying to remember. Offhand, I can think of the Sufis’ Dhikr5, whose ultimate goal is a remembering of a very profound sort; Giordano Bruno’s De Memoria, his most esoteric work; Proust’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdu; Rupert Sheldrake’s The Presence of the Past; etc.

On the other hand, we all rejoice when children acquire their awareness, our collective consciousness, and the capacity for thinking rationally. They are out of fairyland, into the real world. But how real can it really be?

My contention is that the spirit, ostracized from the Drunken Universe—the Great Blur, or Overmind, or Other-ness or, from an Eastern perspective, the Tao—when suddenly confined in a fetus, and then in a child, suffers. That may account for all the crying that accompanies early childhood, more or less pronounced according to the individual child’s personality. A newborn is a maladapted wretch, a spirit who, having long partaken of the Great Blur, is now involuntarily forced to forget and forego its very nature, and conform to the asinine pedantry of life in the real world.

By extension, a man’s whole life (a man’s more than a woman’s, for in my opinion a woman is less divorced from her former state of excellence, although she may be entirely forgetful of it) is one of misguided convulsions, unless he tries to remember. The Great Blur, the Overmind, is not only behind us. It runs a parallel life, it is with us, if only we open up to it. When death will come, if we shall by then have remembered (albeit as incompletely as circumstances will allow), the transition back to the Great Blur will be presumably far less painful than its opposite was, i.e., the inception of our life on earth.

Is there a connection between the whirling dervishes’ incantatory dance and the children's delight in
merry-go-rounds? There is indeed. While adult mystics engage in such a circular dance so as to enter an altered state and “remember,” children can ride on a merry-go-round for hours without any dizziness.

From personal experience, I know that, at my age, I cannot endure much more than a few minutes of merry-go-round without feeling the symptoms of motion sickness.

As for children, oughtn’t we consider them as little people? After all, they are little indeed and, as they grow in size, their Otherness diminishes, their blur is forgotten, and we are delighted to welcome one or many more stolid representatives of this species gone astray.

Our thirdborn, 2 and ½ years old, is remarkably “aware.” It is no wonder: with an extroverted personality, the eagerness to emulate his two older brothers, and a multilingual household where English, Italian and Spanish are spoken interchangeably, he is rapidly acquiring consciousness. Our niñera, a sweet 50-year-old woman from the Domincan Republic, is from time to time amazed by his remarks, and exclaims: “¡Como save ese niño!” (Literally: How much does this child know!). From the Great Blur’s standpoint, however, her interjection could be paraphrased thus: “This child is unlearning (or forgetting) at a very sustained pace!”

At the end of teenagehood, the child-adolescent “comes of age.” Thanks to the completed assimilation of the collective consciousness, (s)he becomes a rational idiot, for his/her painstakingly acquired ratiocination is but full-fledged asininity. The more idiotic the adolescent proves to have become, the more delighted his teachers are, displaying all the misérable vanité des (idiots) savants.

But children, our God-given little people, children, aren’t they pretty... gnomes? “Gnome” from the Greek gnómê: judgment, opinion, purpose. Their early utterances—the “alien” ones, the ones we deem nonsensical—might be recognized as a gnomology, an anthology of aphorisms emanating directly from the Great Blur. Their sweet, miniature physio-gnomy does tell us something, just like the gnomon, the pin of a sundial, tells us quite straightforwardly the hour of day—provided the sundial be aligned correctly, of course.

Shouldn’t we revere the gnosis of our adorable little people? I do not invoke the renunciation of the body and things terrestrial, far from it. I am simply at variance with this frenetic deletion of everything apparently irrational and “other” that our society forces upon our offspring. Let them indeed learn geometry and grammar and what have you. But let’s keep the door, or Portal, open. Let it be clear that Euclidean geometry is wonderfully practical for architects and engineers, not for anything profound; that grammar tackles language, not the Logos; that religion is (at very best) the butter, not the milk it originally came from.6

Doctrine will impoverish and eventually falsify any sort of gnosis, no matter how transcendentally truthful. There probably is no predetermined path leading back to inner knowledge. What should be stressed, though, is that Sapientia, Sophia, the Logos, are, and we all knew them when we were part of the Great Blur. Why forget all that that, and then even repudiate something that we do not even vaguely remember anymore?

--

1. I wonder how Piaget, to name but one illustrious child psychologist, would jump at it?

2. Even the child's chronic state of wonderment at everything new she/he comes to know may be interpreted in a rather unusual way: It is really her/his “blurred” unconscious that is appalled by the pedantries and cheap thrills it is going to have to put up with during this brief interlude of terrestrial captivity.

3. It is no surprise that the newborn child sleeps 16 to 18 hours, at least half of which is D-sleep. Conversely, the young adult human spends 16 to 17 hours awake and 7 to 8 hours asleep, of which perhaps 6 hours are spent in S-sleep and 1.5 hours in D-sleep. Both S- and D-sleep, on the average, decrease slightly with increasing age.

4. Incidentally, this dialogue is awful! It sounds like a TV commercial! Also, I don’t like either fish or meat!

5. Is there a connection between the whirling dervishes’ incantatory dance and the children's delight in merry-go-rounds? There is indeed. While adult mystics engage in such a circular dance so as to enter an altered state and “remember,” children can ride on a merry-go-round for hours without any dizziness.

6. Naughty me—I am so tempted to write, rather than “butter”, “rancid, mouse-eaten cheese”!

--
Guido Mina di Sospiro is an award-winning, internationally published novelist born in Argentina, and raised in Italy. He belongs to an ancient aristocratic Italian family, and grew up in Milan in a multilingual home.

He trained as a classical guitarist and studied orchestration with the Swiss conductor Antoine-Pierre de Bavier, who had been Wilhelm Furtwängler’s favorite pupil. The Hungarian composer Miklós Rózsa, who wrote the soundtracks of “Ben-Hur,” “El Cid,” “Double Indemnity,” etc., and won three Academy Awards, used to spend his summers across from the Mina di Sospiro’s seaside home in Italy. Then in his seventies, he took young Guido under his wing and acquainted him with the University of Southern California, where he and Arnold Schönberg had taught composition.

At twenty, after attending the University of Pavia and making a feature film that premiered at the National Cinémathèque in Milan, Mina di Sospiro left Italy to attend USC School of Cinema-Television. Among his mentors were Ernest Lehman, Hitchcock’s favorite screenwriter and, later on, Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson, the celebrated English editor and publisher, who launched among others William Boyd, Peter Ackroyd and Paul Theroux.

Mina di Sospiro’s novel “The Story of Yew” (the memoirs of an age-old tree), published in the UK, is permanently featured on the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and has been translated into many languages, as has “From the River”, the memoirs of a mighty river. Both books have met with critical acclaim.

Mina di Sospiro currently lives in the DC area with his wife and their three sons, and travels often to Europe and elsewhere so as to promote the various editions of his books.

He has recently completed the novel “The Forbidden Book,” co-authored with Joscelyn Godwin, the noted scholar of western esoteric tradition.

[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Monday, October 08, 2012

Kali Yantra Variations


More on the site. 

Also check out :
Amar Shadh Na Mitilo

Amar sadh na mitilo was originally composed by Kamalakanta Bhattacharya and is here sung by Pannalal Bhattacharya. It describes a person who is highly dissatisfied by the cruelty and selfishness of society. The poet desires to escape this world and prays to Goddess Kali for shelter. The lyrics translate to English as follows:
Ma,

My desires are not over, my wishes are not fulfilled.
Everything is coming to an end, o Mother.
From the first day of my life, I wish I would call you,
to take me on your lap, o Mother.
Nobody in this world, loves,
This world doesnot know, how to love
Where there is only sharing of divine love
My soul yearns to be there.
After getting hurt, I gave up desire
After suffering, I´ve forgotten worldly wishes
I have cried a lot, cannot cry anymore
My heart is torn apart.

[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Monday, October 01, 2012

STOP. YOU ARE NOT A MACHINE




This message brought to you by reality.

Now, what are we going to do about it?


[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Friday, September 28, 2012

Where The Buffalo Roam.... The Lakota, the Buffalo Field Campaign, and the Return of the White Buffalo


[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

“Only when the last tree has died,
 the last river been poisoned,
 and the last fish been caught
 will we realize we cannot eat money. ” -Cree Indian proverb 

"They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept one; they promised not to take our land, and they did." - Mahpiua Luta "Red Cloud" Oglala Lakota







You can feel the poisoned earth, bottled up and ready to explode. There is no questioning it. You can feel the anger of every poisoned tree, flower, wolf, and bison. You can feel the strangled roots of Mother Gaia rising up through the cracks in the concrete. We have raped her, stripped her of her resources, and broken and bound her with our barriers and walls and fences. We have sullied and tarnished her with toxic wastes and carbon emissions. We dump the excrement of our civilization into her rivers. We have tarnished her wildlife with our city streets and our pavement. Slowly, but surely, the woodlands turn to concrete. In the name of Progress, we destroy our own back yards. We have sold our children's children out forever. There may be no "seven generations from now," anymore. We are on the eve of destruction, and it has been brought on by our own hands.

Before the meat that you eat is slaughtered, the animals that end up as your dinner are squeezed into a compact and overcrowded area of demolished forest, herded together and packed in wall to wall. They are fed on the excrement and remains of other animals, and they are made sickly and feeble. They are shot with man-made growth hormones and chemicals, toxins that no human should consume. They are thoroughly poisoned, a decision that is overseen and supervised by our Commander In Chief, who in his infinite wisdom has seen it fit to appoint the former vice president of Monsanto to the position of senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. And now, media mogul and founder of CNN Ted Turner has struck a deal with the Montana department of wildlife: In return for providing a ranch on which to "quarantine" Yellowstone buffalo, Ted will be paid in bison to stock his "Ted's Montana Grill" restaurant chain. Cha ching.

We are told that we are free. 

We are not free. We are those cattle. We are being fattened for the slaughter.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Internal Arts and Meditation


A blog has been created to document and share the process of inner exploration, from MM and CAS alum Sasha Lee. Enjoy.




[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Diviner of Death/Rebirth: The 2nd Pluto/Uranus Square




I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.

-Herman Hesse

The wounded dervish spills forth sunlight from the cracks in his skull; an illumined teaching follows the maddened philosopher. Those closest hear his subtle screams, granting themselves a glimpse into the changes to come:

The Young Jackal communes with Osiris, the Lord of the Underworld, newly appointed to assist the great transformations of our time. The portal has been opened, intentions fleeing from wandering souls as seeds in the wind. 

"The paradigm has shifted," the Lord proclaims. "I may not be who you remember, but I am the same destructive vessel."

With that, he plunges his scepter--the Diviner of Death--into the crippled earth, and the ground cracks open as lightning reaches across the sky. Thousands of dead souls wait for his bidding.

As the earth shifts, a chasm forms, and two sides stand at the precipice, their battle to ensue the fate of the dimensional worlds. The Dark Mother, ever hidden and mysterious, sends her children to the Diviner, demons writhing to answer the call to arms, worthy assists in the deconstruction of prolonged reality.

The veiled empress, Nephthys, blooming forth as a milky-white lotus--emerging from the womb of mothers, harbinger of oceans--stands not far from her royal brethren, at odds with an orphaned animal, Absolus. He waits at the square, his mind poised, split in half at the advent of change, ready to oppose, challenge, and deploy constraint. The beast cannot be reasoned with.

On Earth, we busy ourselves with restrictions of the mind, law, and power. Elected officials--

"Hold," Saturn boldly warn as a jolting storm clouds the vision, streaming from an opened Vortex. His voice resonates across the galaxy as an expansive om, reminding us to listen, and when it is to keep silent.

Yet again: the Wounded Healer spills light from crevices atop his head; a sharp education comes forth from the wizened teacher. Nearby, we hear faint cries, giving all the grasp to understand.

The crippled centaur takes council with Pluto, Ruler of the Great Void, the long watcher of our struggling efforts to heal and evolve. The portals opened, all worlds reverberate with one another, answering the great call of alignment.

"Something has shifted," Pluto remarks. "The perspective has changed. Old is new, and the Earth strives for regeneration."

At once, he raises his rod--the Diviner of Rebirth--toward the rippling sky, and lightning erupts from the apex as the ground trembles in response. Heralding from the higher dimensions, thousands of spirits wait for his instruction.

The sky is charged with purpose, and two halves stand on either precipice, the onslaught to determine the faith of the dimensional worlds. The Ill Witch, demanding and outspoken, writhes as her children cling to the Diviner, purging their ghastly souls from further torment, charging the rod with raw power. Their unworldly existence heeds to the necessity of balance.

The Sleeping Giant, Neptune, rising from churning waves--floating forward from the waters of Life, the arbiter of Creation--stands nearby his destined brother, locked in gaze with the lost practitioner, Absolus. They wait at the square, ever deliberate to conquer the other with war-torn methods, buried by destruction. The generals are unmatched in clarity.

On Earth, we seek through the mystic. As the worlds shift into balance, primal symbiotic selves yearn for egoic sustenance, and beg for what is normal, healthy, and stable.

"You have little of my Borrowed Time," Saturn states, knowing that he too will soon be sucked into the swirling Vortex of All-Worlds. "Once I enter the Great Void, and take upon my brother's armor, it will be through the inner worlds that you receive my foundation."

The ecliptics call eternal alignment with Earth's vibrational fields, and the Sacred Mirror approaches Pluto's grasp. "Allow my forces to rebuild your world," he professes. "My shadows precede the light, exposing that which will take shape. Take shelter within the coming darkness, and you will be born anew.

The Diviner of Death/Rebirth reaches completion, amassing eternal cycles unknown even to ancient stars, acclimating the charged flames of an activated Uranus--the uncompromising shatterer of boundaries--to destroy what no longer serves, and rebuild the Story of Man.



[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Participants Wanted for the Transmedia Revolution!

Hello everyone!

For those of you who have been following my posts here for the last few months, you may have noticed I've been talking a lot about how technology has transformed the publishing industry, and how transmedia storytelling has broken down the barriers between a story and it's audience.

But I haven't really gone into the specifics about how this can be put into practice. There's been a lot of talk about transmedia storytelling, but very few good examples of what the medium is truly capable of.  People and publishers have folded their arms, and decided to "wait and see."

And I don't blame them.  

After all the talk about ground breaking-this, cross platform-that, and immersion-everything, not much has really happened, has it?  There's been a lot of smoke, but no one has lit a match.  

That's about to change.  It won't be long before you'll be participating in a story instead of reading it.  How do I know?

I'm going to help make it happen.

Do I have some amazing new browser plug-in?  Some sort of new transmedia authoring platform?  A storytelling social media network, perhaps?

Nope.  (People always seem to get hung up on the technology...)

The technology of the written word changed how stories were delivered, but not how they were created.  It's the same thing with e-books, film, and television...they are all different methods of delivering the same fictional drug.

It's the story that's important.

What's the difference between slapping a button on a coke machine, and visiting a barista at your local starbucks?


Puff the magic dragon by Ahnamal
A can of soda will always taste the same.  A caramel-pumpkin-spice-mocha-latte with a dash of cinnamon and whip, tastes a lot different if you have him add a splash of pickle juice.

There's only one way to have it your way: ask for it.

Here at Modern Mythology, we know that storytelling isn’t passive.

A good storyteller must actively engage their audience.  A story should be tailored to whom it’s being told to, not diluted and homogenized just to make it more appealing to a potential audience of millions.

The goal of a story should be to make people think, feel, and help them blink away their pedestrian view of the world.  A book or movie should draw you in, engage you, make you a part of it--not run you over.

Films shouldn't blind people with cinematic eye candy, and books shouldn't hypnotize them with pages of sex and violence strung together with a meaningless plot.

But they do, and they will continue to do so, because that's the easiest way for Hollywood and publishers to get your money without you noticing.

It doesn't have to be this way.  Really.

(Unless you're into that kind of thing.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Little Steps Towards Personal Truth, pt. 1




"Kether is in Malkuth. And Malkuth is in Kether, but after another motherfucker." - William Clark


Before I explain to you what that means, I'd like to preface this deviation from my recent political meanderings with an apology. I fully realize that most people are put off by terminology like "occultism", "Hermeticism", or "magic(k)". I will try to remedy this prejudice by making all of my personal examples as clear and concise as I can. As with everything, your mileage may vary. Given that a personal foray into the murky realms of Western Esotericism, alternative psychology, and general semantics is more in keeping with the general workflow of this site than others, it isn't entirely out of place. But I am fully aware of the risk this poses to the overall sociopolitical agenda I have been working towards in the last few months. I could potentially alienate people from me by talking about this. The tendency for the overwhelming amount of humanity is to fear that which they do not understand, and that is unavoidable. There is, as the theologist Alan Watts once argued, a strong societal taboo against knowing one's self.

So be it.

I am a magician. I have been for at least a decade now. I will be coming up on my 26th birthday in 2013. I have been formally crashing my way through the harrowing, awe inspiring and sometimes frustrating world of the occult since I was 16 years old. It is a rewarding path, and I have found it to be ultimately responsible for jumpstarting much of my personal growth as an individual. When I look back on the larval state of my entire being at that tender young age, some of the stupid blunders and mistakes I have made (and often continue to make) are greatly humbling. I owe much of the progress I have made from a clueless, morbidly self-obsessed and disaffected suburban kid into a self-actualized creative person to the serious work I have done with self-integration and individuation: A four-fold process of personal evolution that is psychological, spiritual, physical and psychic in nature. In addition to this, I have come to learn that the universe itself provides the initiatory catalysts, the teachers, and the guides that we need. But only when we are ready for it. "Ask, and ye shall receive. Seek, and ye shall find." The teacher comes when the student is ready.

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