Tuesday, March 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
  • 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
  • D'Aularies' Book of Greek Myths
  • D'Aularies' Book of Norse Myths
  • State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America
  • Paradise Lost-Milton
Actively Reading
  • Skinwalkers-Tony Hillerman
  • State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America
  • Watchmen-Allan Moore
  • About Grace-Anthony Doerr
  • Discovering The Mind-Walter Kaufmann
  • I Am A Strange Loop-Douglas Hofstadter
  • Paradise Lost-Milton
  • The Mythic Image-Joseph Campbell
Listening To
  • Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
  • Re-Arrange Us-Mates of State
  • In Rainbows-Radiohead
  • Asleep At Heaven's Gate-Rogue Wave
  • Chant­-The Benedictine Monks of Santo de Silos
  • Perotin-Hilliard Ensemble
  • The Verve Story 1944-1994
  • Gossip In The Grain-Ray LaMontagne
  • 69 Love Songs-The Magnetic Fields
  • Rubber Soul-The Beatles
  • Abbey Road-The Beatles
  • Mysteria-Chanticleer
  • Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
  • The Fountain
  • Secrets of the Code
  • 2001
  • Watchmen
  • Amélie
  • Gojira
  • Matrix Reloaded
  • The Power of Myth
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Matrix Revolutions

space interlude

I didn't include these pieces within the "book", but just read them today and felt that I should offer them up in the the same spirit but as an interlude after "let us prey".

I can really see my thoughts taking shape here.  Maybe it will help you on your journey?

So here is the Interlude:
(Know that I was responding to the idea of literal aliens that I wrote about in "let us prey".  That is to what the "responses" pertain.)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

it's Savage

Driving home this evening, I was thinking about an idea that most people have a problem with.  It is the idea that Jesus was married.  Now my thought really didn't have anything to do with this. My thought was that an unmarried teacher is a dubious teacher.  Should one trust one that hasn't really entered into this life by binding their soul to another?  Campbell said that one's three great moments were one's birth, marriage, and death or funeral (I forget).

Joseph Campbell had a real partnership with his wife.  I'm told that Jung did as well.  Freud was a cliché of the order that he wrote about--a triangle w/ his real connection w/ his wife's sister. "Erotic Jesus lay with his Mary's/loves his Mary's"  I can get behind the idea that Jesus had a wife.  He was that kind of teacher.  Rush Limbaugh sure seems to have a heck of a time w/ marriage.  I don't believe Eckhart Tolle is married (I could be wrong).

I suppose I think of this now because of the essays I've been reading by Brian Takle about the matrix movies 2 and 3.  These essays are located here.  He stresses the importance of the characters' love relationships in the films for the development of their humanity.  I agree.  And yet it seems that we still value the idea of the wise old man teacher.  The ascetic.  That is why everyone got so pissed about The Da Vinci Code.  Jesus can't be human, he's God!

Probably Dan Savage is as good and trustworthy as he is precisely because he is a teacher that has been "married" now for some time.  He has a wonderful piece about his decision to get married on This American Life. Of course, he is not legally married however.  For Christ's sake, (and I mean that literally) could we let people Mar[r]y who they want?

Anyway, this is what I was thinking about tonight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hey Jaspal!

I'm trying to get your attention.  I don't think you have a blog proper.  I see that you are well traveled in the synchromystic by-ways however.--I would probably have more luck if I called you out in a more traveled spot, like The Blob or Secret Sun or something, but that would be a bit untoward, perhaps.

Anyway, I finally started reading the essays you suggested a million years ago, a life ago! Theses essays by Brian Takle deal w/ The Matrix film series.  They are beyond incredible.  I don't think I was ready for them when you suggested them Jaspal.  (Are you Brian Takle?) Thanks for pointing me toward these.   They are helping me understand my own journey, one that I feel I've completed to a point.  I think I finally dropped Jake Chambers and have left Never Never land.  It has been my contention that my father's generation has had a reluctance to grow up.  And this has to do with the boomer generation's selfishness and their inability to become the father.  It has to do with their own relationship to their parents, ego, validation, Freud, Jung, etc.  This was the big lesson in my "culmination".

I want to share this:  I started reading Hofstadter's I Am a Strange Loop again.  Incredible.  I suggest reading from Chapter 3, "The Causal Potency of Patterns" the section about The Careenium that starts on pg. 45 of my version and concludes the chapter on pg. 50.  It is a perfect metaphor for understanding why Synchromysticism works.  Check it out!

Also I read a super piece in The Believer about video games and art this morning.  Tom Bissell, one of my favorite journalists, is in conversation with the the voice of criticism for the art form of video games, Heather Chaplin.  Check it out! 

I have a new blog too.  After Easter, I won't be making anymore posts here.  Go there for further adventures.

Thanks.  Glad to be a part of our little world that we all inhabit here.
Be well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


certifiable |ˌsərtəˈfīəbəl|
1 able or needing to be certified : encephalitis was a certifiable condition | little hope for certifiable progress.
2 officially recognized as needing treatment for a mental disorder.
informal crazy : the world of fashion is almost entirely insane, the people who work in it mainly certifiable.
certifiably |-blē| adjective

I'm sure this isn't a unique thought, and it makes perfect sense in terms of the nature of the things I'm interested in, but do you ever get the feeling that the mythic, tradition-stories that we've based our societies upon are actually about you?  I can't shake the feeling that my wife and I are living the book of genesis.  It's universal so yeah, but sometimes I get the distinct impression that it is "our story".  Like, there really is only one moment and all of history is taking place now.  The linear of time isn't.  Our life and day to day is writing the Hebrew bible.

Anyway, I need to wash the dishes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


-We willing go to our death (sleep) every night.  When we are resurrected (wake up) we have new life.

Notice upon what The Hanged Man hangs.  It is the Tree of Life, and his sacrifice has brought forth green shoots.  He hangs from his right (conscious) side, and willingly accepts his fate.  He is going through the cross, which is the symbol for our material world.

I think a portion of my journey lately has been to unpack the symbols in the garden.  This has been a constant theme for me: Paradise Lost/Paradise Regained.  I think I'm breaking the code, but these image statements are not literal enough for most Americans to be happy with my findings.

Let's talk about Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain.  I think this film helped me to solidify some of the things that I've been thinking about now for a while.

-first, how about a caveat?  I say much here with a level of authority that implies that I know what I'm talking about.  The underworld is dark.  I'm trying to understand, and I'm speaking my mind.  However, I could be wrong and will likely disagree with much of what I say in three months time.  I seek truth, but believe very little.  This is my practice now, but I'm willing to abandon it when it ceases to work.  Our images need to stay transparent to the transcendent or else we will be trapped in the images. (Can you tell I've been listening to Joseph Campbell?  I have a bunch of his radio appearances from the 80's on CD.  Please give him credit as well as Banzhaf for this symbolic interpretation.)

So the important statement to keep in mind about creation has to do with the nature of creation, namely that, "This Place Is Death."  Life is death.  Life feeds upon life.  Life requires death.  Creation demands a sacrifice.  Jesus is a symbol of that sacrifice.  There are others.   This is the mystery.  We are the monsters that we fear.

Naturally, we are removed in this modern age from the sacrifice.  We don't have to do our own killing.  We are removed.  In ages past, the meal prayer thanked the key animal for their sacrifice.  One didn't thank God for the meal.  One thanked the animal for its death, and the tribe built their religion around this sacrifice.  They worshiped the animal as god because he sustained them (and because they understood that the divinity wasn't out there, but infused in all creation.)

We are mindless killers now.  Eating without respect.  Again, how we eat is the most important decision we make, and it should be made mindfully.  This is the sacrifice.  This is the mystery. Killing our God so that we may live.

So, Aronofsky's The Fountain.  It is The Tree of Life that is sustaining the astronaut.  The tree of life is compared to both her (Eve) and him (Adam) in the film.  There is a progression from wholeness to separation to wholeness that our cycles celebrate.

Hmmm.  The death of the Rachel Weisz character and the Death of the tree are the same story. Jackman is hanging onto something that he needs to let go of.  From death comes life.  That was her acceptance, that everything must die, must go through the cross, a symbol for the world.  To live is to die.

Let's unpack that a little bit.  Campbell states of the cross that it is a threshold. We can see this as its use as a verb implies:  a crossing, to cross over.  It is situated between eternity and time. It represents that passage of eternity into time and, of time into eternity.  The divine transcendent has come into the world of substance and time , into being and thus has accepted those limitations.  On the other side of life, the individual yields his individual self to the transpersonal divine through his death.  Our world (material/time) is represented by the cross, and the transcendent divine, the One, the OM is crucified by coming into the world and splitting in two, a deviation from whole.  The individual goes through the cross of the world, and eventually yields his individual life of time and substance to the transcendent.

"In symbolism, the circle always represents the undivided whole, what is original, or expressed in graphic terms, paradise.  But the cross or the square corresponds to--just as the associated number four--the earthly hemisphere, the world of time and space (Tarot and the Journey of the Hero, 61)."  Thus, the cross is between wholeness and separation.  It is between separation and unity.  Paradise + Paradise Lost + Paradise Regained.  --Or let's express the formula as such: OM(nothing) + Thing

The + is the between.   It lies between the transcendent and materiality.  (But didn't Jesus and others achieve both states at once?  Divinity in materiality.  Wholeness in individuation. Heaven on earth? Yes, but before we are resurrected, we need to be crucified first.  We have to yield!)

-Which brings us back the film, The Fountain.  Time.  This is the theme.  My interest is the symbols.  What is the tree?  The first father stuff says that "he"(Jackman) is the tree.  The "rings" on Hugh Jackman count the ages that he has lived on his quest, to conquer death. 

How does he conquer death?  And the answer?  To save the world, he must die!  "Finish it!" she says.  But he is unwilling to let go.  He is caught between The Hanged Man and Death.  He is on the cross, but he will not let go.  He wants to live forever, but in order to do that, he must die first.  He will not yield, there is not acceptance, only fear.
The Hanged Man also corresponds to a piece of fruit on a tree that has become ripe and now must let itself fall in order to produce new life and new fruit.  It experiences this act of letting itself fall as death.  If it refuses to let go, it remains hanging on the tree and will gradually rot there without having produced new life (Tarot and the Journey of the Hero, 126).
But death is not the end.  There is much more journey left.  (Am I talking literal death or metaphorical ego death?  Does it have to be a physical death?  Things are loose and shifting. Our ego must die, but our substance also must die too.)

The conquistador seeks the fountain of youth for his queen.  This is the story that the Rachel Weisz character writes about her situation, about her marriage.  The characters do correspond to the archetypes too though.  The feminine has to do with nature, with the round, with cycles, and allowing things to happen.  The masculine is civilization.  He wants to control things, to make things square.

She allows death to happen.  He wants to control it, to cure it!  So his quest is for the tree of life, not knowing that this is already where he is.  He wants to be with his wife so he is alone working to save her instead of with her now.  He is in a confrontation with time, not understanding that the fountain of youth is located in the now, in the is, in the eternal moment. His quest leads him to eden, to paradise, to the flaming sword protecting the tree of life.

Where is paradise?  New York?  The Kingdom of God is within you!  Central Park is an external symbol for your heart which we elaborated as the entire earth.  This is paradise.

This is also your mother.  Psychologically, we all (of us guys) marry our mothers, yes?  So what do the symbols of the garden mean?  Interesting the symbol for earth is a cross, eh? What sustains us?  Or better, who sustains us?

EVE (the mother)

Now the image of Lillith makes more sense.  She is the tree of life.  Paradise.  Wholeness. Mother.  Earth.  The sustainer of life.  Life literally issues from her.  Odin hangs upon this tree. Jesus is crucified on this cross.

So, what is the snake then?  What is the apple?  And are these static symbols?  Maybe, but I will show some variations of symbolic meaning hopefully bringing revelation to you and to me.
Prior to this, I want to bring the Tarot back in once more to elaborate something that I've just come to understand that underscores the tree of life and the cross upon which Jesus hangs.

As you well know, I've been reading a book that elucidates the hero's journey through the major arcana of the Tarot.  As noted in my post the wheel, the hero's journey is a cycle best illustrated by the sun, thus the journey traces a circle of both light and darkness creating parings of stages on the journey above and below.  These pairings of stages represent opposite ends of the same pole thus communicating a relationship above and below.  I described some of these relationships and linked them with their corresponding planets last time.

The parings?:  Magician/Wheel; High Priestess/Strength; The Empress/Hanged Man; Emperor/Death; Hierophant/Temperance; Lovers/Devil; Chariot/Tower; Justice/Star; Hermit/Moon.

 We see the Hanged Man and the Mother together.  She is nature, and nature requires sacrifice for sustaining life.  This  then is the meaning of The Emperor and Death pairing, forming a relationship together.  The Emperor's reign is limited.  Finite.  His end, and change revitalizes the world energies and stirs the stagnation.  She, the mother, nourishes him, but she requires his death for the payment of this nourishment.  So . . .
Tree Of Life



Adam + Eve

Paradise Regained

Tree of Life
The Fountain