Saturday, January 31, 2009

Paper Trail


On My Night Stand
  • McSweeney's #24
  • The Mythic Tarot-Sharman-Burke, Greene
  • The Mythic Image-Joseph Campbell
  • Discovering The Mind-Walter Kaufmann
  • The Hero With A Thousand Faces-Joseph Campbell
  • The Stars-H.A. Rey
  • Metamorphoses-Ovid, trans Rolfe Humphries
  • Vacation-Deb Olin Unferth
  • Remainder­-Tom McCarthy
  • Tarot and the Journey of the Hero-H. Banzhaf
  • Everything That Rises-Lawrence Weschler
  • Reading Like A Writer-Francine Prose
  • Deep Economy-Bill McKibben
  • The Shape of Things To Come-Greil Marcus
  • Black Elk Speaks-Neihardt
  • Your Code Name Is Jonah-Edward Packard
  • Parzival-Eschenbach
  • D'Aularies' Book of Greek Myths
Actively Reading
  • The Mythic Tarot-Sharman-Burke, Greene
  • Tarot and the Journey of the Hero-H. Banzhaf
  • The Godfather-Mario Puzo
  • McSweeney's #24
  • Remainder­-Tom McCarthy
Listening To
  • Radio Retaliation-Thievery Corporation
  • Atlantic Rhythm And Blues: 1947-1974
  • Next Stop Wonderland
  • Discovery-Daft Punk
  • In Rainbows-Radiohead
  • Dear Science-TV On The Radio
  • Vanilla Sky
  • The Stepford Wives
  • The Fisher King
  • Hello Dolly
  • Tropic Thunder
  • Hell Boy II: The Golden Army
  • Pineapple Express
  • Lost in Yonkers
  • King Kong (2005)
  • Mr. Mom
  • City Slickers
  • Mamma Mia
  • Burn After Reading
  • The Happening
  • The Wrestler
  • Meet The Fockers

Du mußt dein Leben ändern!

Luc Viatour

So, If you read my Temperance/soul guide post, you might have come to the conclusion that my guide (anima) through the belly of the whale is Nicole Kidman or Audrey Tautou with their role determining which pole: The Star or The Moon. But I've thought about this, and that isn't quite right. For the most part, they are both "Stars". I picked and chose to go with Audrey Tautou because of the novelty of both she and Nicole Kidman being The Chanel models. I've thought about types though, and clearly Audrey and Nicole are both "Stars".



The sun, the heavenly role model of all heroes must reverse directions at these two points every year [Cancer/Capricorn]. The same applies to all the heroes, who cross a threshold at both points. If the journey through the night started after The Hermit. . . , The Moon means emerging from the water depths and returning to the light. Since ancient times, Saturn, who astrologically corresponds with this card, has been seen as the guardian of this threshold.
The Moon card is frequently misunderstood today because we primarily connect the moon with romantic images. But here it means darkness, night, and the deep exploration of the the inner spaces [emphasis mine]. The Moon has pushed itself in front of the sun and darkened the light (= eclipse of the sun), a natural phenomenon that was usually considered to be a bringer of misfortune and has always been experienced with fear and unease (195).
The card shows a ford, the place of a possible crossing that is always dangerous, and a narrow path that leads to the gray towers which were first seen on Death. They are the heralds of the heavenly Jerusalem, symbol of the highest good we can attain.
However, the path there is difficult and dangerous. It is guarded by a dog and a wolf. While the dog (as already seen on The Fool) represents the friendly and helpful forces of the instincts, the wolf embodies their dangerous and destructive aspects. It corresponds with Cerberus, the hell-hound of Greek mythology, whose task it is to make sure no soul escapes from the underworld. Although the goal, the place of redemption, the heavenly Jerusalem, is already within reach, an extremely difficult tightrope walk must be survived (196). [It is easy to get to hell, to the underworld, but more difficult to return home.]

The corresponding danger on the path of the hero lies in becoming enslaved to the dark aspect of the anima, and therefore being led into lunacy by the inner female guide. [Watch out Jake! Which aspect is Robin?] Particularly as it is the actual nature of the unconscious to be bipolar and ambivalent, the guide of souls also behaves in quite a paradox manner (197).
~Tarot and the Journey of the Hero. Banzhaf, Hajo. Sameul Weiser, Inc. 2000: York Beach, Maine.

Let's see what we've got here now, and try and remember what It was I was going to say. Saturn. Moon. (Titan) Apollo. Star. Anima. Guide. Sword Bridge.
Mostly, I was interested in showing you my "other" type:

So this is my "moon". This would be the polar opposite to my "light" Australian "star" (Olivia, Nicole, Naomi). She is my "dark lady", my sin.

I'm not crazy about Katie Holmes to continue w/ the Tom Cruise theme, but it is interesting how much she looks like her in this photo:

I guess this post is about temptation. That is the message I got as I went back over it again. To make our return we will have to resist this temptation, and remember what Jesus said, enter through the narrow way for broad and great are the ways that lead to destruction.

We have to make our way over the sword bridge is what I'm saying. Speaking of bridges, there is another one in my life that I just realized. [-update: I also noticed tonight 2/1/09, that Wall-E lives on a destroyed overpass, another bridge to Nowhere.] I've been watching a ton of Jeff Bridges movies lately from Tron to Iron Man. I'll work that up soon. Cross back carefully!

Monday, January 26, 2009


A Collection of Associations/Synchronicities

I saw these two movies next to one another at the local video store and it made me pause.  I probably need to see There Will Be Blood again.  It did a nice job of laying capitalism bare. What did he have at the end?  Or, what did Charles Foster Kane have at the end of his life? Everything?  Nothing?  What was the treasure that Indy discovered?

Bridge To Nowhere

"The bridge connecting New York with Brooklyn hung delicately over the East River, and if one half-shut one's eyes it seemed to tremble. . ."   ---Franz Kafka, Amerika

So this was a theme that was coming at me a bit.  I kept seeing this image of a destroyed bridge. Both sides were connected to nothing.  I'll see if I can find an image.  I found the destroyed bridge.  It is the Brooklyn bridge.  It is our connection to eden, and it is destroyed.  What does that mean?  

Contrast this idea with my recent "jumpers".  Do they add up to something?  Does the bridge to nowhere indicate that we must jump?  I haven't seen Cloverfield, and probably I should.  I know that the B.B. gets destroyed in that movie too.  I have some more associations.  Let's begin with Will Smith and I, Robot and I am Legend.  It is amazing how similar these two films were.

In both of these films Will Smith is haunted by his past in flashbacks and dreams. Both feature a song he listens to when he wakes up:  Bob Marley: "Three Little Birds", Stevie Wonder: "Very Superstitious".  The number 10:01 seems to resonate with both films.  Both films are about the awakening of consciousness.

"The huddle" in both films really stuck with me.  The Zombies huddle together in the darkness, and we see this as Will Smith chases his dog (!!!) into the darkness of the apartment building. The outmoded robots huddle together in the darkness of the shipping containers.  The darkness needs to be made conscious.  Will Smith is the light (he's Hancock after all).  He is bringing the light of consciousness to us (united states).  We are the robots and zombies huddling together in the darkness.

It took me three days to watch I am Legend.  I get scared pretty easily, and when I would reach a spot (where the fear of the monsters was too great, not the monsters, just the fear mind you) I would stop for the night.  I watched The Happening last night.  Boy, what a horrible movie, eh?  It was interesting though.  Like an anti-zombie movie.  All we can do is stand in horror and watch as these unconscious zombies destroy themselves.  Kinda the point of the movie though. The zombies usually come for us, but not these.  They are us, and we are destroying ourselves.

Both of the above Will Smith films feature the broken bridge motif as well as the 10:01 (if memory serves), but the still that floored me when I saw it sometime last summer was this:

This is Times Square, and Will Smith is the last man on earth.  This is an idea that resurfaces. What's interesting about this image though is the melding of the Superman and Batman logos. They are antithetical.  Superman is the "sun god" and Batman is the "dark [k]night".  The logos (a word which means the word of god, also a ship in the Matrix) together are a union of opposites.  Will Smith is ALone in Times Square.  He is the union of opposites.  He is the saviour, the Christ (a word which means anointed--think of any other folks like this?)

Before I speak about our new president (precedent), I want to share a few more associations. Toward the end of the summer,  I was reading the first Octavian Nothing book.  At that same time, I was being pummeled with 8's, patriotism, Boston, founding fathers, revolution, etc.  I didn't see Hancock until the Fall, but it was part of this.

Hancock, Will Smith, is the Christ, again.  He is the union of opposites, Superman & Batman, and he will lead us to the center, out of our sins, toward the authentic, if we follow.  The rising sun is the illuminated self.  It is enlightenment.

Where I'm going with this is toward a question.  Does art imitate life, or life imitate art?  And guess what?  This question is totally irrelevant.  One can't separate the two because they are one.  It is all the same moment.  Our films are a reflection of our moment.  They could be viewed as our collective dream,  but what are dreams?  Most films have one message.  Wake up.

Tom Cruise arrives at this moment in Vanilla Sky.  His life is an illusion.  He can't keep reality and his dreams straight.  Here we see a similar image:  The last man in Times Square.

Of course, his means for exiting the matrix is not a good message for those of us with a tenuous grip on our reality.  Standing under "the vanilla sky" with the twin towers in the background, Tom Cruise's character is prompted by all the people in his life to jump.  That is the exit from the false reality, and the dream (!).

Since we switched gears to Tom Cruise, I noticed an interesting connection of his characters to masks

For good measure:

persona |pərˈsōnə|
noun ( pl. -sonas or -sonae |-ˈsōnē|)
the aspect of someone's character that is presented to or perceived by others : her public persona. In psychology, often contrasted with anima .
a role or character adopted by an author or an actor.
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: Latin, literally 'mask, character played by an actor.'

Logos |ˈlōˌgōs; -ˌgäs|
noun Theology
the Word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order, identified in the Gospel of John with the second person of the Trinity incarnate in Jesus Christ.
(in Jungian psychology) the principle of reason and judgment, associated with the animus. Often contrasted with Eros .
ORIGIN Greek, 'word, reason.'

How to end this unruly deal?  One of the reasons for this post was the cover the most recent New Yorker.  It prompted me into thinking about Octavian Nothing.  The pictures are not as close as they were in my mind, but does illustrate a connection:

So Hancock, eh?  Revolution.  A new country.  An end of the nightmare?  Waking up?  Maybe. Could Barack Hussein Obama be the union of opposites?  Is he the reflection of the Will Smith characters?  Maybe.  What does that have to do with Tom Cruise?  I dunno.  Does that make Obama, the Sun?  His logo[s] attests to that.

Did you notice the music at the close of the neighborhood inaugural ball on abc?  It was the Zion rave music from the matrix series.  Interesting.

-final note:  I think it took me a while to figure out what the "bridge" was saying.

The Bridge To Nowhere

I remembered some wordplay I saw on a reader board.

Is this, the bridge to No Where?

Or, the bridge to Now Here?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Temperance, your guide through the belly of the whale. . .

The tagline for Disney's 1979 The Black Hole is "a journey that begins where everything ends!" which naturally tickles me into thinking about the recent pirate movie which had this tagline "at the end of the world, the adventure begins."  What is this adventure?  Dante took the same trip Easter weekend in the year 1300.

This is what is known as the "night sea journey".  The Odyssey is one such example.  The Divine Comedy is another.  Campbell relates in his definitive Hero WATF that the hero "is swallowed into the unknown, and would appear to have died."  The hero travels to the underworld, into the belly of the whale which is a metaphor of rebirth representing the worldwide womb.  Recall that Dante was invoked at the beginning of The Black Hole and then also at the end.  After they go into the black hole, they travel to hell and then are led by an angel to heaven.  Before this though, while the ship initially travels into the black hole, the camera travels into the Dr.'s eye. Interesting.

I'd like to introduce you to Iris (she is pictured above), the goddess of rainbows, and the messenger of the gods who dressed in raindrops travels between heaven and earth fleetly on her rainbow.  She appears on the card of temperance in The Mythic Tarot.  She is our guide to the underworld, because, she is our anima.
anima |ˈanəmə|
noun Psychology
Jung's term for the feminine part of a man's personality Often contrasted with animus (sense 3).
the part of the psyche that is directed inward, and is in touch with the subconscious. Often contrasted with persona .
ORIGIN 1920s: from Latin, literally 'mind, soul.'

animus |ˈanəməs|
1 hostility or ill feeling : the author's animus toward her.
2 motivation to do something : the reformist animus came from within the Party.
3 Psychology Jung's term for the masculine part of a woman's personality. Often contrasted with anima .
ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Latin, 'spirit, mind.'

persona |pərˈsōnə|
noun ( pl. -sonas or -sonae |-ˈsōnē|)
the aspect of someone's character that is presented to or perceived by others : her public persona. In psychology, often contrasted with anima .
a role or character adopted by an author or an actor.
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: Latin, literally 'mask, character played by an actor.'

If the Hierophant was the educator who prepares the hero for the journey into the outer world, Temperance can be seen as the soul guide for the journey through the night.  .  .  [T]he soul guide leads us out of our sins by letting us find our center (what is authentic) (151).

But here, in the depth of the night, dwells a very special shadow that we encounter time and again in the course of our lives.  It is our unconscious opposite sexuality, which Jung called the anima or animus.  Both always have, like all inner images, two sides: A light [The Star] and a dark one [The Moon] (163).

"In any case, it is the message of many myths that it is not the loner who reaches the goals, but only the hero who lets himself or herself be led by the soul guide of the opposite sex (165)."

"one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious (167)."
(above quotes from):
Hajo Banzhaf,
Tarot and the Journey of the Hero (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1976).

"Here we meet the ancient underworld goddess Hecate, ruler of the moon, magic and enchantment (72)."  

.  .  .  Hecate, the moon-goddess is an image of the mysterious watery depths of the unconscious.  .  .  Here, in the card of the Moon, we find in the image of Hecate an experience of the great collective sea of the unconscious from which not only the individual but the whole of life has emerged.  Hecate is more than a portrayal of personal depths.  She embodies the feminine principle in life itself, and the three faces and three lunar phases reflect her multifaceted power over heaven, earth, and underworld (73).

.  .  . But the dark waters of the collective unconscious contain both negative and positive, and it is sometimes hard to distinguish its shifting movements from madness and delusion.  It can be a frightening, anxiety-provoking world, for living in the the realm over which Hecate presides means living without knowledge and clarity.  .  .  We have nothing but the dream-world and the Star of Hope to guide us, for this image of the feminine is not a personal one like that of the High Priestess.  It is vague and elusive and impersonal, embodying itself as shifting moods and confusion.  Hecate is never really graspable, for she is a goddess of magic, and initiates the Fool into a world greater than himself, that primal water out of which all life comes [emphasis mine] (74).
~from The Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke & Liz Greene. Fireside, NY: 1986.

They tracked the movement of 28 stars circling the centre of the Milky Way, using two telescopes in Chile.
The black hole, said to be 27,000 light years from Earth, is four million times bigger than the Sun, according to the paper in The Astrophysical Journal.
Black holes are objects whose gravity is so great that nothing - including light - can escape them.
According to Dr Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the results suggest that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit.
'The black pearl'
Dr Massey said: "Although we think of black holes as somehow threatening, in the sense that if you get too close to one you are in trouble, they may have had a role in helping galaxies to form - not just our own, but all galaxies. ~BBC

.  .  .  the card of Hecate, the moon-goddess augurs a period of confusion, fluctuation and uncertainty.  We are in the grip of the unconscious and can do nothing but wait and cling to the elusive images of dreams and the vague sense of hope and faith.  Thus the Fool awaits his rebirth in the waters of a greater womb, dimly aware that his journey of personal development is only a small fragment of a vast unknowable life which spans millennia and which remains eternally fertile yet eternally unformed (74).  ~The Mythic Tarot
However, the work has still not been completed.  Although the monster has been overcome, and the imprisoned soul freed, the hero still has the difficult return ahead.  He or she must find the way out and should not lose the way in the labyrinth of the underworld.  Insidious dangers lurk on this return route and become traps for great failed heroes (192).

As long as the hero is fascinated by the light side of his anima, the star woman, he will also remain enslaved to her dark aspect.  This dark aspect has pushed itself in front of the sun here as the moon.  Only when the hero recognizes that the actual goal, the sun (as a symbol of the self), lies behind this darkness, can he escape from the labyrinth, or the enchanted woods (197).
The guide of souls can also be understood as the power to maintain the proper and necessary relationship of tension between various counterpoles:  masculine and feminine, action and inaction, courage and discouragement, euphoria and depression, but above all, between moderation and immoderation.  The journey through the night, diving into the depths of the unconscious, has led the hero to an enormous expansion of consciousness.  The danger of losing everything at the last moment through a greedy maneuver by the ego, through betrayal or megalomania, is great (202).   ~Tarot and the Journey of the Hero