Earthrites

Wherever you are is the entry point – Kabir

January 31, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

Who enjoying fragrant monkey tail now?

Torrential Rains… for days and days. working on Web Sites…

Soon some new updates for Earthrites.org. New look, new features. I will let ya know. Anyway, the music is on, and really, we are close to putting up the Spoken Word Channel; 24 hours of Poetry, Talks, Interviews, and Story Telling. I may even figure out how to put out a schedule…

Feedback always appreciated.

Anyway, we have some wonderful items…

In the Links: please check out “Who enjoying fragrant monkey tail now?/ America Ha Ha Ha” takes a bit to download, but worth it.

Article: Gore Vidal on President Jonah…

Poetry: 4 Sonnets, by Willy the Shake.

Enjoy!

Gwyllm

_________

The Links:

May take a minute to load, but it is very worth it!

Who enjoying fragrant monkey tail now? Ha Ha Ha America…

Church of Bob….

Bob

The wonderful world of: Science!!!!

Zero Gravity (almost) Water…

Makes one wonder…

Al-Qaeda Propagandizes For Bush On Eve Of State of the Union

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_____________

A very large Thanks to Will Penna for pointing this article out…

President Jonah….

by Gore Vidal





While contemplating the ill-starred presidency of G.W. Bush, I looked

about for some sort of divine analogy. As usual, when in need of

enlightenment, I fell upon the Holy Bible, authorized King James

version of 1611; turning by chance to the Book of Jonah, I read that

Jonah, who, like Bush, chats with God, had suffered a falling out

with the Almighty and thus became a jinx dogged by luck so bad that a

cruise liner, thanks to his presence aboard, was about to sink in a

storm at sea. Once the crew had determined that Jonah, a passenger,

was the jinx, they threw him overboard and‹Lo!‹the storm abated. The

three days and nights he subsequently spent in the belly of a

nauseous whale must have seemed like a serious jinx to the digestion –

challenged whale who extruded him much as the decent opinion of

mankind has done to Bush.

Originally, God wanted Jonah to give hell to Nineveh, whose people,

God noted disdainfully, “cannot discern between their right hand and

their left hand,” so like the people of Baghdad who cannot fathom

what democracy has to do with their destruction by the Cheney-Bush

cabal. But the analogy becomes eerily precise when it comes to the

hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at a time when a president is not

only incompetent but plainly jinxed by whatever faith he cringes

before. Witness the ongoing screw-up of prescription drugs. Who knows

what other disasters are in store for us thanks to the curse he is

under? As the sailors fed the original Jonah to a whale, thus lifting

the storm that was about to drown them, perhaps we the people can

persuade President Jonah to retire to his other Eden in Crawford,

Texas, taking his jinx with him. We deserve a rest. Plainly, so does

he. Look at Nixon¹s radiant features after his resignation! One can

see former President Jonah in his sumptuous library happily catering

to faith-based fans with animated scriptures rooted in “The Simpsons.”

Not since the glory days of Watergate and Nixon’s Luciferian fall

has there been so much written about the dogged deceits and creative

criminalities of our rulers. We have also come to a point in this

dark age where there is not only no hero in view but no alternative

road unblocked. We are trapped terribly in a now that few foresaw and

even fewer can define despite a swarm of books and pamphlets like the

vast cloud of locusts which dined on China in that ¹30s movie “The

Good Earth.”

I have read many of these descriptions of our fallen estate,

looking for one that best describes in plain English how we got to

this now and where we appear to be headed once our good Earth has

been consumed and only Rapture is left to whisk aloft the Faithful.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can learn quite a lot from “Dark Ages

America: The Final Phase of Empire” by Morris Berman, a professor of

sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

I must confess that I have a proprietary interest in anyone who

refers to the United States as an empire since I am credited with

first putting forward this heretical view in the early ’70s. In fact,

so disgusted with me was a book reviewer at Time magazine that as

proof of my madness he wrote: “He actually refers to the United

States as an empire!” It should be noted that at about the same time

Henry Luce, proprietor of Time, was booming on and on about “The

American Century.” What a difference a word makes!

Berman sets his scene briskly in recent history. “We were already

in our twilight phase when Ronald Reagan, with all the insight of an

ostrich, declared it to be ‘morning in America'; twenty-odd years

later, under the ‘boy emperor’ George W. Bush (as Chalmers Johnson

refers to him), we have entered the Dark Ages in earnest, pursuing a

short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. For what we

are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the

fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of

education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the

state, and the apparatus of torture‹a troika that was for Voltaire

the central horror of the pre-Enlightenment world; and the political

and economic marginalization of our culture.” The British historian

Charles Freeman published an extended discussion of the transition

that took place during the late Roman empire, the title of which

could serve as a capsule summary of our current president: “The

Closing of the Western Mind.”

Mr. Bush, God knows, is no Augustine; but Freeman points to the

latter as the epitome of a more general process that was underway in

the fourth century: namely, ‘the gradual subjection of reason to

faith and authority.’ This is what we are seeing today, and it is a

process that no society can undergo and still remain free. Yet it is

a process of which administration officials, along with much of the

American population, are aggressively proud. In fact, close observers

of this odd presidency note that Bush, like his evangelical base,

believes he is on a mission from God and that faith trumps empirical

evidence. Berman quotes a senior White House adviser who disdains

what he calls the “reality-based” community, to which Berman sensibly

responds: “If a nation is unable to perceive reality correctly, and

persists in operating on the basis of faith-based delusions, its

ability to hold its own in the world is pretty much foreclosed.”

Berman does a brief tour of the American horizon, revealing a

cultural death valley. In secondary schools where evolution can still

be taught too many teachers are afraid to bring up the subject to

their so often un-evolved students. “Add to this the pervasive

hostility toward science on the part of the current administration

(e.g. stem-cell research) and we get a clear picture of the

Enlightenment being steadily rolled back. Religion is used to explain

terror attacks as part of a cosmic conflict between Good and Evil

rather than in terms of political processes…. Manichaeanism rules

across the United States. According to a poll taken by Time magazine

fifty-nine percent of Americans believe that John¹s apocalyptic

prophecies in the Book of Revelation will be fulfilled, and nearly

all of these believe that the faithful will be taken up into heaven

in the ‘Rapture.'”

“Finally, we shouldn’t be surprised at the antipathy toward

democracy displayed by the Bush administration. As already noted,

fundamentalism and democracy are completely antithetical. The

opposite of the Enlightenment, of course, is tribalism, groupthink;

and more and more, this is the direction in which the United States

is going. Anthony Lewis who worked as a columnist for the New York

Times for thirty-two years, observes that what has happened in the

wake of 9/11 is not just the threatening of the rights of a few

detainees, but the undermining of the very foundation of democracy.

Detention without trial, denial of access to attorneys, years of

interrogation in isolation‹these are now standard American practice,

and most Americans don¹t care. Nor did they care about the revelation

in July 2004 (reported in Newsweek), that for several months the

White House and the Department of Justice had been discussing the

feasibility of canceling the upcoming presidential election in the

event of a possible terrorist attack. I suspect that the

technologically inclined prevailed against that extreme measure on

the ground that the newly installed electronic ballot machines could

be so calibrated that Bush would win handily no matter what (read

Rep. Conyers¹ report (.pdf file) on the rigging of Ohio¹s vote).

Meanwhile, the indoctrination of the people merrily continues. “In

a ‘State of the First Amendment Survey’ conducted by the University

of Connecticut in 2003, 34 percent of Americans polled said the First

Amendment ‘goes too far'; 46 percent said there was too much freedom

of the press; 28 percent felt that newspapers should not be able to

publish articles without prior approval of the government; 31 percent

wanted public protest of a war to be outlawed during that war; and 50

percent thought the government should have the right to infringe on

the religious freedom of ‘certain religious groups’ in the name of

the war on terror.”

It is usual in sad reports like Professor Berman¹s to stop abruptly

the litany of what has gone wrong and then declare, hand on heart,

that once the people have been informed of what is happening, the

truth will set them free and a quarter-billion candles will be lit

and the darkness will flee in the presence of so much spontaneous light.

But Berman is much too serious for the easy platitude. Instead he

tells us that those who might have struck at least a match can no

longer do so because shared information about our situation is meager

to nonexistent. Would better schools help? Of course, but, according

to that joyous bearer of ill tidings, the New York Times, many school

districts are now making sobriety tests a regular feature of the

school day: apparently opium derivatives are the opiate of our stoned

youth. Meanwhile, millions of adult Americans, presumably undrugged,

have no idea who our enemies were in World War II. Many college

graduates don¹t know the difference between an argument and an

assertion (did their teachers also fail to solve this knotty

question?). A travel agent in Arizona is often asked whether or not

it is cheaper to take the train rather than fly to Hawaii. Only 12%

of Americans own a passport. At the time of the 2004 presidential

election 42% of voters believed that Saddam Hussein was involved in

9/11. One high school boy, when asked who won the Civil War, replied

wearily, ‘I don¹t know and I don¹t care,” echoing a busy neocon who

confessed proudly: “The American Civil War is as remote to me as the

War of the Roses.”

We are assured daily by advertisers and/or politicians that we are

the richest, most envied people on Earth and, apparently, that is why

so many awful, ill-groomed people want to blow us up. We live in an

impermeable bubble without the sort of information that people living

in real countries have access to when it comes to their own reality.

But we are not actually people in the eyes of the national ownership:

we are simply unreliable consumers comprising an overworked,

underpaid labor force not in the best of health: The World Health

Organization rates our healthcare system (sic‹or sick?) as 37th-best

in the world, far behind even Saudi Arabia, role model for the

Texans. Our infant mortality rate is satisfyingly high, precluding a

First World educational system.

Also, it has not gone unremarked even in our usually information-free

media that despite the boost to the profits of such companies as

Halliburton, Bush¹s wars of aggression against small countries of no

danger to us have left us well and truly broke. Our annual trade

deficit is a half-trillion dollars, which means that we don’t produce

much of anything the world wants except those wan reports on how

popular our Entertainment is overseas. Unfortunately the foreign

gross of “King Kong,” the Edsel of that assembly line, is not yet known.



It is rumored that Bollywood‹the Indian film business‹may soon

surpass us! Berman writes, “We have lost our edge in science to

Europe…The US economy is being kept afloat by huge foreign loans

($4 billion a day during 2003). What do you think will happen when

America’s creditors decide to pull the plug, or when OPEC members

begin selling oil in euros instead of dollars?…An International

Monetary Fund report of 2004 concluded that the United States was

‘careening toward insolvency.”” Meanwhile, China, our favorite big –

time future enemy, is the number one for worldwide foreign

investments, with France, the bete noire of our apish neocons, in

second place.

Well, we still have Kraft cheese and, of course, the death penalty.

Berman makes the case that the Bretton-Woods agreement of 1944

institutionalized a system geared toward full employment and the

maintenance of a social safety net for society¹s less fortunate‹the

so-called welfare or interventionist state. It did this by

establishing fixed but flexible exchange rates among world

currencies, which were pegged to the U.S. dollar while the dollar,

for its part, was pegged to gold. In a word, Bretton-Woods saved

capitalism by making it more human. Nixon abandoned the agreement in

1971, which started, according to Berman, huge amounts of capital

moving upward from the poor and the middle class to the rich and

super-rich.

Mr. Berman spares us the happy ending, as, apparently, has history.

When the admirable Tiberius (he has had an undeserved bad press),

upon becoming emperor, received a message from the Senate in which

the conscript fathers assured him that whatever legislation he wanted

would be automatically passed by them, he sent back word that this

was outrageous. “Suppose the emperor is ill or mad or incompetent?”

He returned their message.

They sent it again. His response: “How eager you are to be slaves.” I

often think of that wise emperor when I hear Republican members of

Congress extolling the wisdom of Bush. Now that he has been caught

illegally wiretapping fellow citizens he has taken to snarling about

his powers as “a wartime president,” and so, in his own mind, he is

above each and every law of the land. Oddly, no one in Congress has

pointed out that he may well be a lunatic dreaming that he is another

Lincoln but whatever he is or is not he is no wartime president.

There is no war with any other nation…yet. There is no state called

terror, an abstract noun like liar. Certainly his illegal unilateral

ravaging of Iraq may well seem like a real war for those on both

sides unlucky enough to be killed or wounded, but that does not make

it a war any more than the appearance of having been elected twice to

the presidency does not mean that in due course the people will

demand an investigation of those two irregular processes. Although he

has done a number of things that under the old republic might have

got him impeached, our current system protects him: incumbency-for-

life seats have made it possible for a Republican majority in the

House not to do its duty and impeach him for his incompetence in

handling, say, the natural disaster that befell Louisiana.

The founders thought two-year terms for members of the House was as

much democracy as we¹d ever need. Therefore, there was no great

movement to have some sort of recall legislation in the event that a

president wasn¹t up to his job and so had lost the people¹s

confidence between elections. But in time, as Ecclesiastes would say,

all things shall come to pass and so, in a kindly way, a majority of

the citizens must persuade him that he will be happier back in

Crawford pruning Bushes of the leafy sort while the troops not killed

or maimed will settle for simply being alive and in one piece. We may

be slaves but we are not unreasonable.

One way that a majority of citizens can help open the road back to

Crawford is by heeding the call of a group called the World Can¹t

Wait (see their website, www.worldcantwait.org). They believe that

the agenda for 2006 must not be set by the Bush gang but by the

people taking independent mass political action.

On Jan. 31, the night of Bush¹s next State of the Union address, they

have called for people in large cities and small towns all across the

country to join in noisy rallies to make the demand that “Bush Step

Down” the message of the day. At 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, just

as Bush starts to speak, people can make a joyful noise and

figuratively drown out his address. Then on the following Saturday,

Feb. 4, converge in front of the White House with the same message:

Please step down and take your program with you.

___________

Poetry: Sonnets of William Shakespeare









Sonnet 1

FROM fairest creatures we desire increase,

That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,

But as the riper should by time decease,

His tender heir might bear his memory:

But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,

Feed’st thy light’st flame with self-substantial fuel,

Making a famine where abundance lies,

Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.

Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament

And only herald to the gaudy spring,

Within thine own bud buriest thy content

And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.

Pity the world, or else this glutton be,

To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

—-

Sonnet 2

When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,

And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,

Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,

Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held:

Then being ask’d where all thy beauty lies,

Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,

To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,

Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.

How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use,

If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine

Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,’

Proving his beauty by succession thine!

This were to be new made when thou art old,

And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.

—–

Sonnet 3

Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest

Now is the time that face should form another;

Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,

Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.

For where is she so fair whose unear’d womb

Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?

Or who is he so fond will be the tomb

Of his self-love, to stop posterity?

Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee

Calls back the lovely April of her prime:

So thou through windows of thine age shall see

Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.

But if thou live, remember’d not to be,

Die single, and thine image dies with thee.

—-

Sonnet 4

Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend

Upon thyself thy beauty’s legacy?

Nature’s bequest gives nothing but doth lend,

And being frank she lends to those are free.

Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse

The bounteous largess given thee to give?

Profitless usurer, why dost thou use

So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?

For having traffic with thyself alone,

Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.

Then how, when nature calls thee to be gone,

What acceptable audit canst thou leave?

Thy unused beauty must be tomb’d with thee,

Which, used, lives th’ executor to be.

________

January 27, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

Time Changes

Welcome to Monday!

More info coming on line today, so enjoy the read, and come back later for updates!

Thanks,

Gwyllm

________











House of hemp breeds controversy

Demonic Tots & Deeply Disturbing Cuisine

Krypt Kiddiezzzz

Duck and Cover, Ah… memories!

______________

Time changes modern human’s face

By Rebecca Morelle

BBC News science reporter

Researchers have found that the shape of the human skull has changed significantly over the past 650 years.

Modern people possess less prominent features but higher foreheads than our medieval ancestors.

Writing in the British Dental Journal, the team took careful measurements of groups of skulls spanning across 30 generations.

The scientists said the differences between past and present skull shapes were “striking”.

Plague victims

The team used radiographic films of skulls to record extensive measurements taken by a computer.

They looked at 30 skulls dating from the mid-14th Century. They had come from the unlucky victims of the plague. The skulls had been excavated from plague pits in the 1980s in London.

Another 54 skulls examined by the team were recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose which sank off the south coast of England in 1545.

All the skulls were compared with 31 recent orthodontic records from the School of Dentistry in Birmingham.

The two principal differences discovered were that our ancestors had more prominent features, but their cranial vault – the distance measured from the eyes to the top of the skull – was smaller.

Dr Peter Rock, lead author of the study and director of orthodontistry at Birmingham University, told the BBC News website: “The astonishing finding is the increased cranial vault heights.

“The increase is very considerable. For example, the vault height of the plague skulls were 80mm, and the modern ones were 95mm – that’s in the order of 20% bigger, which is really rather a lot.”

He suggests that the increase in size may be due to an increase in mental capacity over the ages.

Repatriating bones

The study of human remains has previously fallen into controversy, and a report commissioned by the UK government called for human remains to be repatriated where possible.

The ancient skulls used in this study, from which the radiographic films were taken, have either been reburied or are now housed in museums.

Professor Robert Foley is director of the Leverhulme Centre for Evolutionary Studies at Cambridge University, and sat on a government working group which has drawn up guidelines on working with human remains.

“The study of human remains can provide vital information about our past. There is a huge interest in our biological past – both from an evolutionary and a historical point of view – and research into human bones can tell us a great deal,” he said.

“This new research shows how bones, and even the records of bones, can provide more knowledge to the scientific community, and ultimately the public.”

__________________

Poetry: William Morris











Love is enough





LOVE is enough: though the World be a-waning,

And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,

Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover

The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming there under,

Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,

And this day draw a veil over all deeds pass’d over,

Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;

The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter

These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.

——

Iceland First Seen





Lo from our loitering ship a new land at last to be seen;

Toothed rocks down the side of the firth on the east guard a weary wide lea,

And black slope the hillsides above, striped adown with their desolate green:

And a peak rises up on the west from the meeting of cloud and of sea,

Foursquare from base unto point like the building of Gods that have been,

The last of that waste of the mountains all cloud-wreathed and snow-flecked and grey,

And bright with the dawn that began just now at the ending of day.

Ah! what came we forth for to see that our hearts are so hot with desire?

Is it enough for our rest, the sight of this desolate strand,

And the mountain-waste voiceless as death but for winds that may sleep not nor tire?

Why do we long to wend forth through the length and breadth of a land,

Dreadful with grinding of ice, and record of scarce hidden fire,

But that there ‘mid the grey grassy dales sore scarred by the ruining streams

Lives the tale of the Northland of old and the undying glory of dreams?

O land, as some cave by the sea where the treasures of old have been laid,

The sword it may be of a king whose name was the turning of fight;

Or the staff of some wise of the world that many things made and unmade,

Or the ring of a woman maybe whose woe is grown wealth and delight.

No wheat and no wine grows above it, no orchard for blossom and shade;

The few ships that sail by its blackness but deem it the mouth of a grave;

Yet sure when the world shall awaken, this too shall be mighty to save.

Or rather, O land, if a marvel it seemeth that men ever sought

Thy wastes for a field and a garden fulfilled of all wonder and doubt,

And feasted amidst of the winter when the fight of the year had been fought,

Whose plunder all gathered together was little to babble about;

Cry aloud from thy wastes, O thou land, “Not for this nor for that was I wrought.

Amid waning of realms and of riches and death of things worshipped and sure,

I abide here the spouse of a God, and I made and I make and endure.”

O Queen of the grief without knowledge, of the courage that may not avail,

Of the longing that may not attain, of the love that shall never forget,

More joy than the gladness of laughter thy voice hath amidst of its wail:

More hope than of pleasure fulfilled amidst of thy blindness is set;

More glorious than gaining of all thine unfaltering hand that shall fail:

For what is the mark on thy brow but the brand that thy Brynhild doth bear?

Love once, and loved and undone by a love that no ages outwear.

Ah! when thy Balder comes back, and bears from the heart of the Sun

Peace and the healing of pain, and the wisdom that waiteth no more;

And the lilies are laid on thy brow ‘mid the crown of the deeds thou hast done;

And the roses spring up by thy feet that the rocks of the wilderness wore:

Ah! when thy Balder comes back and we gather the gains he hath won,

Shall we not linger a little to talk of thy sweetness of old,

Yea, turn back awhile to thy travail whence the Gods stood aloof to behold?

——-

Earth the Healer, Earth the Keeper





So swift the hours are moving

Unto the time unproved:

Farewell my love unloving,

Farewell my love beloved!

What! are we not glad-hearted?

Is there no deed to do?

Is not all fear departed

And Spring-tide blossomed new?

The sails swell out above us,

The sea-ridge lifts the keel;

For They have called who love us,

Who bear the gifts that heal:

A crown for him that winneth,

A bed for him that fails,

A glory that beginneth

In never-dying tales.

Yet now the pain is ended

And the glad hand grips the sword,

Look on thy life amended

And deal out due award.

Think of the thankless morning,

The gifts of noon unused;

Think of the eve of scorning,

The night of prayer refused.

And yet. The life before it,

Dost thou remember aught,

What terrors shivered o’er it

Born from the hell of thought?

And this that cometh after:

How dost thou live, and dare

To meet its empty laughter,

To face its friendless care?

In fear didst thou desire,

At peace dost thou regret,

The wasting of the fire,

The tangling of the net.

Love came and gat fair greeting;

Love went; and left no shame.

Shall both the twilights meeting

The summer sunlight blame?

What! cometh love and goeth

Like the dark night’s empty wind,

Because thy folly soweth

The harvest of the blind?

Hast thou slain love with sorrow?

Have thy tears quenched the sun?

Nay even yet tomorrow

Shall many a deed be done.

This twilight sea thou sailest,

Has it grown dim and black

For that wherein thou failest,

And the story of thy lack?

Peace then! for thine old grieving

Was born of Earth the kind,

And the sad tale thou art leaving

Earth shall not leave behind.

Peace! for that joy abiding

Whereon thou layest hold

Earth keepeth for a tiding

For the day when this is old.

Thy soul and life shall perish,

And thy name as last night’s wind;

But Earth the deed shall cherish

That thou today shalt find.

And all thy joy and sorrow

So great but yesterday,

So light a thing tomorrow,

Shall never pass away.

Lo! lo! the dawn-blink yonder,

The sunrise draweth nigh,

And men forget to wonder

That they were born to die.

Then praise the deed that wendeth

Through the daylight and the mirth!

The tale that never endeth

Whoso may dwell on earth.

——

January 27, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

Wings of Desire…

Friday has arrived… I am working on websites, a new radio show, printing T-shirts, and trying to finish a table that I did a painting on, as well as trying to finish a painting that is lurking in the basement. (so I can be free of it!) It needs 2 hours work, yet,can I get to it? I get caught in the hesitation waltz with painting. My love, and my bane. I swear. Computers are so easy, so intense, and then I return to the source, Painting, and I get transfixed. I have several down stairs sitting in silent accusation … maddening stuff. (Let’s not even talk about the book!)

A couple of friends coming by this weekend, one who I have not seen since Mindstates some 4 years ago. He (Vip) lives just down in Eugene and is an all around good soul. Victor might be dropping by or staying or both. He seems pretty footloose and fancy free lately. 8o) Victor was heading to Idaho, but decided to stay local this weekend.

Had nice response on the “Bees” article from yesterday. I am always amazed by the depths of knowledge in the circle I find myself in.. Years ago, I could go for a half decade before I ran into someone who knew about Idris Shah, or Sufism in northern Afghanistan in the ancient days… Now, I can email several people and take up a conversation on a vast array of subjects anytime that I desire… I feel very lucky in my life. I feel lucky and blessed with the friends I have found along the way, oh yes…



Do you remember Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire”? One of my favourite films. Our son Rowan might like it. Wenders does beautiful work. If you haven’t you should see it… Check out the site, it is a treat. While there, I found this poem… It is from the German…

Song of Childhood

By Peter Handke

When the child was a child

It walked with its arms swinging,

wanted the brook to be a river,

the river to be a torrent,

and this puddle to be the sea.

When the child was a child,

it didn’t know that it was a child,

everything was soulful,

and all souls were one.

When the child was a child,

it had no opinion about anything,

had no habits,

it often sat cross-legged,

took off running,

had a cowlick in its hair,

and made no faces when photographed.

When the child was a child,

It was the time for these questions:

Why am I me, and why not you?

Why am I here, and why not there?

When did time begin, and where does space end?

Is life under the sun not just a dream?

Is what I see and hear and smell

not just an illusion of a world before the world?

Given the facts of evil and people.

does evil really exist?

How can it be that I, who I am,

didn’t exist before I came to be,

and that, someday, I, who I am,

will no longer be who I am?

When the child was a child,

It choked on spinach, on peas, on rice pudding,

and on steamed cauliflower,

and eats all of those now, and not just because it has to.

When the child was a child,

it awoke once in a strange bed,

and now does so again and again.

Many people, then, seemed beautiful,

and now only a few do, by sheer luck.

It had visualized a clear image of Paradise,

and now can at most guess,

could not conceive of nothingness,

and shudders today at the thought.

When the child was a child,

It played with enthusiasm,

and, now, has just as much excitement as then,

but only when it concerns its work.

When the child was a child,

It was enough for it to eat an apple, … bread,

And so it is even now.

When the child was a child,

Berries filled its hand as only berries do,

and do even now,

Fresh walnuts made its tongue raw,

and do even now,

it had, on every mountaintop,

the longing for a higher mountain yet,

and in every city,

the longing for an even greater city,

and that is still so,

It reached for cherries in topmost branches of trees

with an elation it still has today,

has a shyness in front of strangers,

and has that even now.

It awaited the first snow,

And waits that way even now.

When the child was a child,

It threw a stick like a lance against a tree,

And it quivers there still today.

_________

Enjoy Your Weekend…

The Links

The Article: The Days of Perky Vivienne (About PK Dick)

The Poetry: Rumi…

One Love,

Gwyllm

__________________









_______

The Links…

Scientists Photograph Kauai Wolf Spiders

Going Once… Going Twice… Goodbye to Friends…

‘It’s the cannabis or me’

________

Article:Reflections:The Days of Perky Vivienne

by Robert Silverberg

We live in the twenty-first century. Philip K. Dick helped to invent it.

The standard critical view of Dick, the great science fiction writer who died in 1982, is that the main concern of his work lay with showing us that reality isn’t what we think it is. Like most clichés, that assessment of Dick has a solid basis in fact (assuming, that is, that after reading Dick you are willing to believe that anything has a solid basis in fact). Many of his books and stories did, indeed, show their characters’ surface reality melting away to reveal quite a different universe beneath.

But the games Dick played with reality were not, I think, the most remarkable products of his infinitely imaginative mind. At the core of his thinking was an astonishingly keen understanding of the real world he lived in—the world of the United States, subsection California, between 1928 and 1982—and it was because he had such powerful insight into the reality around him that he was able to perform with such great imaginative force one of the primary jobs of the science fiction writer, which is to project present-day reality into a portrayal of worlds to come. Dick’s great extrapolative power is what has given him such posthumous popularity in Hollywood. Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and half a dozen other Dick-derived movies, though not always faithful to Dick’s original story plots, all provide us with that peculiarly distorted Dickian view of reality which, it turns out, was his accurate assessment of the way his own twentieth-century world was going to evolve into the jangling, weirdly distorted place that we encounter in our daily lives.

A case in point is the announcement last spring that a Hong Kong company, Artificial Life, Inc.—what a Dickian name!—is about to provide the lonely men of this world with a virtual girlfriend named Vivienne, who can be accessed via cellphone for a basic monthly fee of six dollars. If you sign up for Vivienne’s friendship, she will chat with you about matters of love and romance or almost anything else you might want to discuss, and you will be able to buy her virtual flowers and chocolates, take her to the movies, even— a beautifully creepy Dickian touch—marry her. (Which will get you a virtual mother-in-law who will call you in the middle of the night to find out whether you’re treating her little girl the right way.)

What this news item brought to mind for me was two of Phil Dick’s works—the early (1953) short story, “The Days of Perky Pat,” and the dazzling 1965 novel, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, in which Dick recycled the Perky Pat concept into a breathtaking rollercoaster-ride of a book.

In both of these, Perky Pat is a kind of Barbie doll that becomes the object of intense cult-like fascination. The earlier story, set in a world devastated by thermonuclear war, shows the survivors building their own Perky Pat dolls, providing them with wardrobes, miniature homes, and tiny hi-fi sets (her virtual boyfriend, Leonard, gets little replicas of tweed suits, Italian shirts, and a Jaguar XKE), and then using the dolls as centerpieces in a sort of Monopoly game in which whole towns participate. The far more sophisticated Dick of Palmer Eldritch eliminates the post-nuclear idea and turns Perky Pat into an electronic device adored by millions throughout the Solar System, who enhance their visits to the fantasy-world she provides by chewing a hallucinogenic drug.

So wrote Philip K. Dick, forty years ago, in a science fiction novel that probably didn’t earn him more than five thousand dollars and quickly went out of print. (Like Cassandra and various other unlucky prophets, he went unrewarded for his visionary powers in his own lifetime. All the big Hollywood money for his books arrived after his death.) And now, when we move out of classic twentieth-century SF into the hyped-up world of twenty-first-century reality, we get—

Vivienne, at six dollars a month. She’s supposed to be available to owners of 3G cellphones (3G means “third generation”, the kind of phone that comes with computerized voice-synthesis capabilities, streaming video, and text-message capacity) in Singapore and Malay-sia already, will be arriving in Europe later this year, and should be available to American users around the time you read this, barring last-minute technical snafus.

She looks three-dimensional, a hot little number indeed, lithe and slender. She can move through eighteen different backdrops, among them a restaurant, an airport, and a shopping mall. She’s programmed to discuss thirty-five thousand topics with you—philosophy, films, art, and, very likely, the novels of Philip K. Dick. She’ll translate foreign languages for you, too. Give her an English word and you’ll get its equivalent in Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Chinese, or Italian. (You key the words in as if you were doing a text message on a cellphone, but Vivienne will answer both in text and in synthesized voice. If you want your steak well done in a Tokyo restaurant, you ask her for the right phrase, and she replies out loud, so that the waiter can hear and understand.)

Vivienne will flirt with you, too. She’ll tell you how cute you are, she’ll blow kisses to you, she’ll parade across your phone’s video screen in a scanty gym suit. She will not, however, take the gym suit off, nor will she engage in phone sex with you. Vivienne is not that kind of girl. You can try all your fancy moves on her, if you like, but she’s equipped with a number of gambits to use in fending off your advances, you heavy-breathing pervert, you. Although she won’t let herself get drawn into anything seriously erotic, Vivienne does engage in a certain degree of badinage that can be usefully instructive to young men who are, shall we say, a bit backward in conversing with actual flesh-and-blood women. Draw her into a conversation on some intimate boy-and-girl matter and her extensive data-base will provide you with an elaborate rehearsal for the real thing, if moving on from virtual romance to something more corporeal is among your ambitions.

Not that Artificial Life, Inc. is planning to aim its product exclusively at lonely heterosexual male geeks. They are just the first consumer targets. The word is that a virtual boyfriend for women is already under development, and that gay and lesbian versions will follow soon after. There’s also a Vivienne for Muslim societies who abides by Muslim rules of feminine propriety (no baring of midriffs, no body piercings) and—count on it, my friends, it’s a sure bet—there will eventually be an X-rated Vivienne who is programmed to get a lot cozier with the subscribers than the current model is willing to be.

Your cellphone chip, of course, has nowhere near the computing capacity necessary to achieve all this. Vivienne works her girlish magic through a link between your phone and the external servers on which the Vivienne programs reside. One consequence of this is that playing with Vivienne can quickly cost you a lot more than the six dollar monthly basic fee. A nice long schmooze with your virtual girlfriend will quickly exhaust the basic service allowance and run you into overtime. To prevent serious Vivienne addiction, users will be limited to an hour a day with her—at least at the outset. (Somehow, though, those restrictions have a way of disappearing when a product of this sort gets really popular). As for those little gifts you buy her—not just the flowers and the chocolates, but the sports cars and the diamond rings—those get charged to your phone bill too, half a dollar here, a dollar there. What happens to the money you lavish on Vivienne? “The money goes to us,” says a smiling Artificial Life executive. (Hello, Mr. Dick!)

So go ahead and sign up. Vivienne will help you with the problems you’re having with your real-life girlfriend, if you happen to have one; she will tell you how to buy cool sneakers in a Korean department store; and she will also teach you that girls are mercenary teases who know all sorts of tricks for extracting costly gifts from you but will not gratify your urgent hormonal needs in return. And if you marry her, you get a virtual mother-in-law of a really annoying kind, the best touch of all. No doubt of it: Vivienne’s a perfect Philip K. Dick invention.



And I think we’ll see more and more of Philip K. Dick’s pulp-magazine plot concepts erupting into life all around us as the twenty-first century moves along. Even though his characters would discover, again and again, that the world around them was some sort of cardboard makeshift hiding a deeper level that was likewise unreal, what Dick the writer was actually doing was crying out, Look at all these unscrupulous gadgets: this is what our world really is, and things are only going to get worse. For us moderns it’s Phildickworld all day long. Your computer steals your bank account number and sends it to Nigeria, gaudy advertisements come floating toward us through the air, and now your telephone will flirt with you. It won’t stop there.

John Brunner, another of science fiction’s most astute prophets, who also did not live to see the twenty-first century arrive, saw all the way back in 1977 that Dick’s real theme wasn’t the untrustworthiness of reality but the sheer oppressiveness of it:

“Dick’s world is rarely prepossessing. Most of the time it is deserted—call out, and only echo answers. There are lovely things in it, admittedly, but they are uncared for; at best they are dusty, and often they are crumbling through neglect. Food here is tasteless and does not nourish. Signposts point to places you do not wish to visit. Clothing is drab, and frays at embarrassing moments. The drugs prescribed by your doctor have such side effects that they are a remedy worse than the disease. No, it is not a pleasant or attractive world.

“Consequently, his readers are extremely disconcerted when they abruptly recognize it for what it is: the world we all inhabit. Oh, the trimmings have been altered—the protagonist commutes by squib or flapple and argues with the vehicle’s robot brain enroute—but that’s so much verbal window dressing.”

Brunner concluded his 1977 essay on Dick by saying, “This I tell you straight up: I do not want to live in the sort of world Dick is so good at describing. I wish—I desperately wish—that I dared believe we don’t. Maybe if a lot of people read Dick’s work I’ll stand a better chance of not living in that world. . . .”

As things turned out, John Brunner, who died in 1995, didn’t have to live in that world. But we do. And it gets more Phildickian every day.

_______

Poetry: Rumi









Star Without a Name

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,

it easily forgets her

and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground,

then lift up into the sun.



So you should taste the filtered light

and work your way toward wisdom

with no personal covering.

That’s how you came here, like a star

without a name. Move across the night sky

with those anonymous lights.

(Mathnawi III, 1284-1288)



God has given us a dark wine so potent that,

drinking it, we leave the two worlds.

God has put into the form of hashish a power

to deliver the taster from self-consciousness.

God has made sleep so

that it erases every thought.

God made Majnun love Layla so much that

just her dog would cause confusion in him.

There are thousands of wines

that can take over our minds.

Don’t think all ecstacies

are the same!

Jesus was lost in his love for God.

His donkey was drunk with barley.

Drink from the presence of saints,

not from those other jars.

Every object, every being,

is a jar full of delight.

Be a conoisseur,

and taste with caution.

Any wine will get you high.

Judge like a king, and choose the purest,

the ones unadulterated with fear,

or some urgency about “what’s needed.”

Drink the wine that moves you

as a camel moves when it’s been untied,

and is just ambling about.

Mathnawi IV, 2683-96

—–

Our death is our wedding with eternity.

What is the secret? “God is One.”

The sunlight splits when entering the windows of the house.

This multiplicity exists in the cluster of grapes;

It is not in the juice made from the grapes.

For he who is living in the Light of God,

The death of the carnal soul is a blessing.

Regarding him, say neither bad nor good,

For he is gone beyond the good and the bad.

Fix your eyes on God and do not talk about what is invisible,

So that he may place another look in your eyes.

It is in the vision of the physical eyes

That no invisible or secret thing exists.

But when the eye is turned toward the Light of God

What thing could remain hidden under such a Light?

Although all lights emanate from the Divine Light

Don’t call all these lights “the Light of God”;

It is the eternal light which is the Light of God,

The ephemeral light is an attribute of the body and the flesh.

…Oh God who gives the grace of vision!

The bird of vision is flying towards You with the wings of desire.

————————————

So that is it… Have a good weekend, check out the radio, new show soon.

A lovely Persian Minature….

January 26, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

The Court of The Bees…

On The Music Box: Radio Free EarthRites.

Is it Thursday? Week has flown.

This is a large edition…

The Links

3 articles (with one about our guest Poet)

Poetry: Annemarie Schimmel

Hmmmmm. Plants that behave like humans… a bit this time on Sufism, and related subjects. I discovered Annemarie Schimmel’s work on a Sufi site. Intrigued I dug around. What an amazing woman! Great Poetry as well.

More at ya later on.

Gwyllm

______________

The Links:

Another Version…

Go ahead, Drop It!

Crappy Landlords?

What lurks beneath – flesh-sucking sex fiends

______________

Plants behave like humans: Don Burke

Plants are not unlike humans. They can talk to each other and even call in reinforcements when the going gets tough.

Who says so? Australian gardener Don Burke and Australian National University chemistry Professor Ben Selinger, in reviewing research on plants over the past 10 years, have come to the conclusion that many plants have human qualities.

They say plants can communicate with each other by using a range of chemical signals.

“If a plant muncher such as a caterpillar or even a koala starts chewing on a plant, the plant will start sending chemicals to its leaves in an effort to repel the chewer,” Mr Burke said.

“Nearby plants will also start emitting these same chemicals, anticipating that they’ll also be attacked.”

Mr Burke, who writes about the phenomena in an upcoming issue of his gardening magazine, also said plants can release chemicals which attracts certain insects to protect them.

“So essentially they call in the cavalry, they call in good insects to attack the ones that are attacking them,” he said.

Scientists had now identified the genes responsible for the action and were trying to combine it with other plants, Mr Burke said.

The breakthrough, published in the journal Science last year, suggested gardeners and farmers may not have to use pesticides any more, he said.

“It has huge implications for the world,” Mr Burke said.

“In years ahead, instead of pouring vast amounts of toxic chemicals all over the world and therefore ourselves in one form or another, we should be able to add these genes, which are naturally occurring genes in plants, to other plants, so that they can repel insects themselves.”

Mr Burke said plants also used a lot of other human qualities.

“Venus Fly Traps or sensitive plants can move, pitchers plants can eat animals, peaches and cherry for instance can count the number of cold days each year before they produce their leaves in spring,” he said.

Prof Selinger described the overall picture of the research that had been done as astounding.

“Plants have always been sort of relegated as primitive compared to animals and its just not true,” he said.

“But there is little research in the area. We are such an agricultural country … I think more research could be conducted.”

________

Account of the Sarmoun Brotherhood

Desmond R. Martin

© 1965

Not so long ago I found myself walking through a mulberry grove in what might have been an English garden — if one did not look upwards to the frowning crags of the Hindu Kush, or at the robes of the monks of the Sarmoun community.

Established here in North Afghanistan for many centuries, the brotherhood (and the sisterhood with which it is affiliated) maintain this settlement as a sort of country retreat, where aspirants are trained in the ancient arts of service and self-discipline characteristic of the cult. Elderly monks and lay members, perhaps from as far afield as Tunisa or Armenia, make their last pilgrimage here, to the Shrine of Musa the Patient, the pilgrimage of retirement.

The Sarmouni (the name means ‘The Bees’) have often been accused of being Christians in disguise, Buddhists, Moslem sectarians, or of harbouring even more ancient beliefs, derived, some say, from Babylonia. Others claim that their teaching has survived the Flood; but which flood I cannot say.

Like their namesakes, however, members of the order are not argumentative, being concerned only in discharging the terms of their motto: ‘Work produces a Sweet Essence’ (Amal misazad yak zaati shirin).

With only one break — at the time of Gengiz Khan’s irruption across the Amu Daria to the north, when he destroyed Balkh, the ‘Mother of Cities’ not far away — they seem to have lived here for so long that no records remain of their origins.

Theirs is a good life, as much of it as I was allowed to see. Many of the devotional exercises, such at the communal ‘Zikr,’ or Remembering, are held in private. The Brethren, numbering no less than nine hundred, mainly lived in the hill-settlements called ‘Tekkies,’ artistically sited oratories surrounded by vines and patches of herbs.

Each monk is specialist of some sort: in gardening, local medicine, herbs, mathematics as known to them, calligraphy or even falconry. One of the plants they grew most carefully was Chungari (Herb of Enlightenment); this I was not able to see, nor could I obtain a sample of it. According to Afghan folklore it has powers connected with mystical revelation.

Within the monastery walls numerous industries are carried on. Working with felt, pelts, wool and looms, the inhabitants produce articles of surpassing beauty and durability. Some of the carpets today called Bokhara actually originate there. The Abbot, Baba Amyn, allowed me to stay in a wood-lined cell, and talked to me in Hindustani, which he had learned during three years spent in India as the servant of a Prince: a part of his training, as he said.

I was issued with a bowl, a sheepskin run, horn, belt and cap, the standard dervish equipment, though I had little idea as to their significance or uses.

One evening I was allowed to inspect some of the treasures of the community, and was assured that they had not before been seen by any non-initiate. They had been declared ‘deconsecrated,’ as it were, because a new phase of teaching, somewhere to the westward, had superseded the ritual to which they belonged. Henceforth they would merely be museum pieces.

An articulated tree, of gold and other metals, which seemed to me unbelievably beautiful and resembled a Babylonian work of art which I had seen in Bagdad Museum, was by far the most impressive. It served to indicate the postures assumed by dervishes in their Yoga-like exercises, which, performed to special music, they studied for self-development. A tall pillar of lapis lazuli, about nine feet high by two feet in diameter, was used for the Daur, a turning movement, in which the devotees circle round, one hand on the pillar, to achieve a particular state of mind.

On a wall faced with white Afghan marble, delineated in polished rubies glowed the symbol of the community. This is the mystical ‘No-Koonja,’ the ninefore Naqsch or ‘Impress,’ an emblem which I was later to see in various forms embroidered on clothes. This figure ‘reaches for the innermost secret of man,’ I was informed.

Its operation could only be manifest, at the right time and under special conditions, by the Lord of Time, the head of the community. He, unfortunately, was absent. In any case he did not reside at this monastery, but at another very secret place called Aubshaur. He is referred to, with great deference, as a sort of human incarnation of all teachers. He is the Surkaur, or ‘Workleader.’

Since the marble, rubies, and lapis are all mined in Afghanistan, and many of the miners and prospectors are adherents of the Sarmouni, this extraordinary richness of endowment was perhaps not as strange as it seemed to me at the time.

There are many legends about Sarmoun-Dargauh (‘Court of the Bees’), and one of them is this. True knowledge, it is asserted, exists as a positive commodity, like the honey of the bee. Like honey, it can be accumulated. From time to time in human history, however, it lies unused and starts to leak away. On those occasions the Sarmouni and their associates all over the world collect it and store it in a special receptacle. Then, when the time is ripe, they release it into the world again, through specially trained emissaries.

It is not only in the West, I though, as the greybearded chief of the story-tellers told me this, that legends about a secret knowledge linger on. He was not very forthcoming when I started to ply him with questions trying to see how far their doctrine had developed.

Were there any such emissaries in Europe? There was one, but he must not speak of him. But surely it would help everyone if he was publicly known? On the contrary, I was informed, it might be a calamity. He had to ‘work like a bee, in private.’ Could a visitor like myself have some of the ‘honey’? No, myself least of all, strangely enough; because I had seen and heard so much, I could have no more.

“Have you not seen that you are not allowed to take photographs, even, though other foreigners have been allowed to take them?” I had seen the treasures, that was the most that anyone could have.

Another evening, I watched the enactment of the beautiful Ceremony of the Key. As the sun was setting, several dozen of us assembled, under the direction of the ‘Master of Presentations,’ who was resplendent in a patchwork robe, intricately embroidered. In the light of the dying sun a dervish with crossed arms, hands on shoulders, knelt before the Abbot, deputising for the Surkaur.

Upon being handed a large key, he advanced towards a carved door that was set in a big square wooden structure, a piece of scenery, decorated with flags and maces and other emblems of power and authority. He put the key into an ornate lock and turned it. Suddenly, by means of a clever piece of engineering, the whole structure slid apart. The seen was lit by a procession of men carrying candles and intoning the Saidd dirge in honour of the teachers.

Then we saw that the pieces of the box were turning on pivots and rearranging themselves into different shapes; the scene was completely transformed. Gardens, orchards, birds in flight, and other motifs, made from wood and painted cloth, now replaced the rectangular structure.

The meaning of the drama was explained to me. It was an allegory, based on the idea that all teaching is transformed by mankind into something unnatural, institutionalized, like the box. “The Key of the Real Man opens up the real joy and meaning of life.”

First publication of the above article: Major Desmond R. Martin, The Editor of The Lady, “Below the Hindu Kush,” The Lady, vol. CLX11, No. 4210, December 9, 1965, p. 870.

_______________

Poetry: Annemarie Schimmel







Maulali Near Hyderabad

There are five hundred steps and five more

that lead to the dark little cell

which houses the trace of the saint.

You cross the gigantic rocks,

rocks, washed by the tears

of lovers through thousands of years.

Five hundred steps and five more —

you would be weary and torn

but for the guide who knows well

how to lead your heart on,

You’ll see: the rocks turn to sand

You’ll see: the thorns turn to roses.

Don’t listen to the crows of despair,

don’t listen to those who don’t know

that to live is to die

and to love is to burn

There are five hundred steps and five more,

and the end is a rose.

———–

Thirst

“Make thirsty me, O friend, give me no water!

Let me so love that sleep flees from my door!”

Yes, sleep flees, if he sees the burning eyelids,

He would be drowned if he would cross the sea

of tears; he would be poisoned

if he should dare to drink

That potent wine which you

Poured in the gobler of my eyes:

Those eyes which once beheld your radiant face

And try to mirror it on every tear…

…Those eyes which are a veil.

Make me more thirsty, friend, give me no water-

My thirst is proof that you are thirsty, too…

————–

Maulana Spoke

Maulana spoke:

The lover

weaves satin and brocade

from tears, O friend, to spread it

one day beneath your feet…

Only from tears, Maulana?

Every breath

Forms the weft of the endless fabric of love.

With every breath I weave the brocade of your name,

Golden letters inscribed in the satin-robe of my blood.

O, what garments have I prepared for you,

taking the ruddy dawn and the fist green silk of spring,

star-embroidered velvet, and feather-light wool!

Every thought embellishes your name, O my friend,

Weaving into the fabric the turquoise domes of Iran,

Dyeing the yarn in the pearl-studded depth of the sea.

Every pulse bears the drum of primordial love

Every breath is the flute of impossible hope

Every goblet is filled with you

And I weave

ever new silken garments of words

only to hide you.

————-

Bio:

Annemarie Schimmel (April 7, 1922 – January 26, 2003) was a well known and very influential German Iranologist and scholar who wrote extensively on Islam and Sufism.

She received a doctorate in Islamic languages and civilization from the University of Berlin at the age of nineteen. At twenty-three, she became a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Marburg (Germany), where she earned a second doctorate in the history of religions.

A turning point in her life came in 1954 when she was appointed Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Ankara (Turkey). There she spent five years teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country. She was a faculty member at Harvard University from 1967 to 1992 and became Professor Emerita of Indo-Muslim Culture upon her retirement. She was also an honorary professor at the University of Bonn. She published more than 50 books on Islamic literature, mysticism and culture, and translated Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sindhi and Turkish poetry and literature into English and German.

For her work on Islam, Sufism or mysticism and Muhammad Iqbal, the government of Pakistan honored her with one of its highest civil awards of known as Hilal-e-Imtiaz or ‘Crescent of Excellence’. She was showered with many other awards from many countries of the world, including the prestigious Peace Prize of the German book trade.

____________

A Different View Of Islam Sufism

By Anees Jung

For Anne-Marie Schimmel, Islam was a lifelong passion, as deep as her own roots in the Lutheran faith. Church rituals were as dear to her as bowing in prayer at Sufi shrines.

Sitting in Bonn she dreamed of Bijapur and Bidar, talked of her friend Allan Fakir in Sindh and brooded over the problem of selecting a site for her burial in Sindh. This gentle woman, renowned scholar of Sufism, passed away in Germany recently. As gently as she had lived.

A few years ago Anne-Marie Schimmel was in Delhi during Ramzan. While official Delhi was fasting and feasting, Schimmel was invoking the essence of Islam by taking those around her on a journey back in time when Islam arrived in Andalusia in Spain immediately after the death of the Prophet.

“We owe to the early Arabs some of the basic concepts we know today like the Arabic numbers, and much more,” she said. She talked about Ramon Lull, the Catalan who tried to forge an understanding between the three great faiths of his time: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ibn Arabi, the philosopher who introduced the term Фunity of being’, lived in Spain. Schimmel recollected the fables of la Fontaine that have echoes of India’s Pachatantra that travelled to Europe from India via the Arabs.



The second wave of Islam according to Schimmel was not as positive as the first one. It came with the expansion of the Ottoman empire when the word Turk became interchangeable with Muslim and the Qu’ran came to be referred as the Turkish Bible.

Then Chardin travelled to Iran and wrote about his travels in the East; Rembrandt’s work emulated the Mughal miniatures brought by Dutch merchants from Moghul India; Goethe wrote poems inspired by Islam’s prophetic spirit; Ruecart wrote his own dictionary of Arabic and Sanskrit, translated Hafiz, Saadi, the Shahnama of Firdausi and the Atharva Veda and brought the ghazal to Germany. Herder was deeply influenced by the Upanishads. Islam’s spirit began to unfold with the life of Hallaj, the martyr of mystical love. Schimmel was happy to see Sufism’s influence grow worldwide. Why Islam, I asked her.

“To reach the state of ilhaam ” she smiled and said: “I would not have perhaps turned to it if I did not have an inner calling.”

Her parents were deeply religious. She grew up in Arfut, East Germany, the home of Martin Luther, in a landscape as much enriched by Gothic cathedrals as by gardens full of roses and dahlias. On Luther’s birth anniversary thousands of children including Anne-Marie would march with lanterns to the place where Luther had taken a vow to become a monk. They would sing church hymns and come back home and receive marzipan sweets. Those echoes remained with her throughout her life.

Going to church and enjoying the beauty of ritual and music did not make her more Christian and talking about the compassion of Islam did not make her sympathetic to fundamentalists. She saw God everywhere. In Deciphering Signs of God she quotes an ayat from the Qu’ran which explains that God shows His signs in the horizon and in ourselves.

“Each one must look around and try to find that sign. You may see a tree in bloom or see something terrible. That too is God’s majesty. On her last visit to Delhi I was escorting her to the shrine of Fatima Saam, India’s only female Muslim saint. Removing her shoes at the tiny iron gate, she walked barefoot and stood by the painted green grave, her hands cupped in a gesture of prayer. As she recited the fateha I sensed that her accent was purer than mine. Perhaps also her faith…

——-

And now for something completely different…

January 25, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

Gary Snyder – Buddhist Anarchism

There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.

-Anais Nin-



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Welcome To Wednesday…

The focus Today is On Gary Snyder: His Poetry,

a talk he first gave in 1961 :Buddhist Anarchism

And developing Compassion…. through Buddhism.

Bright Blessings,

Gwyllm

——————–





~Gary Snyder~

As the crickets soft autumn hums

is to us

So are we to the trees

as are they

to the rocks and the hills.

———-

Old Bones

Out there walking round, looking out for food,

a rootstock, a birdcall, a seed that you can crack

plucking, digging, snaring, snagging,

barely getting by,

no food out there on dusty slopes of scree—

carry some—look for some,

go for a hungry dream.

Deer bone, Dall sheep,

bones hunger home.

Out there somewhere

a shrine for the old ones,

the dust of the old bones,

old songs and tales.

What we ate—who ate what—

how we all prevailed.

————–

December At Yase

You said, that October,

In the tall dry grass by the orchard

When you chose to be free,

“Again someday, maybe ten years.”

After college I saw you

One time. You were strange,

And I was obsessed with a plan.

Now ten years and more have

Gone by: I’ve always known

where you were—

I might have gone to you

Hoping to win your love back.

You still are single.

I didn’t.

I thought I must make it alone. I

Have done that.

Only in dream, like this dawn,

Does the grave, awed intensity

Of our young love

Return to my mind, to my flesh.

We had what the others

All crave and seek for;

We left it behind at nineteen.

I feel ancient, as though I had

Lived many lives.

And may never now know

If I am a fool

Or have done what my

karma demands.

———

Regarding Wave

The voice of the Dharma

the voice

now

A shimmering bell

through all.

Every hill, still.

Every tree alive. Every leaf.

All the slopes flow.

old woods, new seedlings,

tall grasses plumes.

Dark hollows; peaks of light.

wind stirs the cool side

Each leaf living.

All the hills.

The Voice

is a wife

to

him still.

__________

Buddhist Anarchism

Buddhism holds that the universe and all creatures in it are intrinsically in a state of complete wisdom, love and compassion; acting in natural response and mutual interdependence. The personal realization of this from-the-beginning state cannot be had for and by one-“self” — because it is not fully realized unless one has given the self up; and away.

In the Buddhist view, that which obstructs the effortless manifestation of this is Ignorance, which projects into fear and needless craving. Historically, Buddhist philosophers have failed to analyze out the degree to which ignorance and suffering are caused or encouraged by social factors, considering fear-and-desire to be given facts of the human condition. Consequently the major concern of Buddhist philosophy is epistemology and “psychology” with no attention paid to historical or sociological problems. Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from psychological hangups and cultural conditionings. Institutional Buddhism has been conspicuously ready to accept or ignore the inequalities and tyrannies of whatever political system it found itself under. This can be death to Buddhism, because it is death to any meaningful function of compassion. Wisdom without compassion feels no pain.

No one today can afford to be innocent, or indulge himself in ignorance of the nature of contemporary governments, politics and social orders. The national polities of the modern world maintain their existence by deliberately fostered craving and fear: monstrous protection rackets. The “free world” has become economically dependent on a fantastic system of stimulation of greed which cannot be fulfilled, sexual desire which cannot be satiated and hatred which has no outlet except against oneself, the persons one is supposed to love, or the revolutionary aspirations of pitiful, poverty-stricken marginal societies like Cuba or Vietnam. The conditions of the Cold War have turned all modern societies — Communist included — into vicious distorters of man’s true potential. They create populations of “preta” — hungry ghosts, with giant appetites and throats no bigger than needles. The soil, the forests and all animal life are being consumed by these cancerous collectivities; the air and water of the planet is being fouled by them.

There is nothing in human nature or the requirements of human social organization which intrinsically requires that a culture be contradictory, repressive and productive of violent and frustrated personalities. Recent findings in anthropology and psychology make this more and more evident. One can prove it for himself by taking a good look at his own nature through meditation. Once a person has this much faith and insight, he must be led to a deep concern with the need for radical social change through a variety of hopefully non-violent means.

The joyous and voluntary poverty of Buddhism becomes a positive force. The traditional harmlessness and refusal to take life in any form has nation-shaking implications. The practice of meditation, for which one needs only “the ground beneath one’s feet,” wipes out mountains of junk being pumped into the mind by the mass media and supermarket universities. The belief in a serene and generous fulfillment of natural loving desires destroys ideologies which blind, maim and repress — and points the way to a kind of community which would amaze “moralists” and transform armies of men who are fighters because they cannot be lovers.

Avatamsaka (Kegon) Buddhist philosophy sees the world as a vast interrelated network in which all objects and creatures are necessary and illuminated. From one standpoint, governments, wars, or all that we consider “evil” are uncompromisingly contained in this totalistic realm. The hawk, the swoop and the hare are one. From the “human” standpoint we cannot live in those terms unless all beings see with the same enlightened eye. The Bodhisattva lives by the sufferer’s standard, and he must be effective in aiding those who suffer.

The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both. They are both contained in the traditional three aspects of the Dharma path: wisdom (prajna), meditation (dhyana), and morality (sila). Wisdom is intuitive knowledge of the mind of love and clarity that lies beneath one’s ego-driven anxieties and aggressions. Meditation is going into the mind to see this for yourself — over and over again, until it becomes the mind you live in. Morality is bringing it back out in the way you live, through personal example and responsible action, ultimately toward the true community (sangha) of “all beings.”

This last aspect means, for me, supporting any cultural and economic revolution that moves clearly toward a free, international, classless world. It means using such means as civil disobedience, outspoken criticism, protest, pacifism, voluntary poverty and even gentle violence if it comes to a matter of restraining some impetuous redneck. It means affirming the widest possible spectrum of non-harmful individual behavior — defending the right of individuals to smoke hemp, eat peyote, be polygynous, polyandrous or homosexual. Worlds of behavior and custom long banned by the Judaeo-Capitalist-Christian-Marxist West. It means respecting intelligence and learning, but not as greed or means to personal power. Working on one’s own responsibility, but willing to work with a group. “Forming the new society within the shell of the old” — the IWW slogan of fifty years ago.

The traditional cultures are in any case doomed, and rather than cling to their good aspects hopelessly it should be remembered that whatever is or ever was in any other culture can be reconstructed from the unconscious, through meditation. In fact, it is my own view that the coming revolution will close the circle and link us in many ways with the most creative aspects of our archaic past. If we are lucky we may eventually arrive at a totally integrated world culture with matrilineal descent, free-form marriage, natural-credit communist economy, less industry, far less population and lots more national parks.

GARY SNYDER

1961

————————

Making Space with Bodhicitta

By Lama Thubten Yeshe

“Bodhicitta is the essential, universal truth.

This most pure thought is the wish and the will to bring all sentient beings to the realisation of their highest potential, enlightenment.

The Bodhisattva sees the crystal nature that exists in each of us, and by recognising the beauty of our human potential, always has respect.

For the disrespectful mind, human beings are like grass, something to be used. “Ah, he means nothing to me. Human beings are nothing to me.”

We all try to take advantage of someone else, to profit only for ourselves. The entire world is built on attachment. Big countries overwhelm small countries, big children take candy from small children, husbands take advantage of their wives. I make friends with someone because he can benefit me. It is the same with the rest of the world. Boyfriends, girlfriends. Everybody wants something.

The desire to make friends only for the other person’s benefit is extremely rare; however, it is very worthwhile. Buddha explained that even one moment’s thought of this mind dedicated to enlightenment for the sake of others can destroy a hundred thousand lifetimes’ negative karma.

We have attachment that makes us tight and uncomfortable. But even a tiny spark of bodhicitta’s heat makes the heart warm and relaxed.

Bodhicitta is the powerful solution, the atomic energy that destroys the kingdom of attachment.

Bodhicitta is not emotional love. By understanding the relative nature of sentient beings and seeing their highest destination, and by developing the willingness to bring all beings to that state of enlightenment, the mind is filled with love born from wisdom, not emotion.

Bodhicitta is not partial. Wherever you go with bodhicitta if you meet people, rich people or poor people, black or white, you are comfortable and you can communicate.

We have a fixed idea; life is this way or that. “This is good. This is bad.” We do not understand the different aspects of the human condition. But, having this incredible universal thought, our narrow mind vanishes automatically. It is so simple; you have space and life becomes easier.

For example, someone looks at us, at our home, at our garden and we freak out. We are so insecure and tight in our hearts. Arrogant. “Don’t look at me.” But with bodhicitta there is space. When someone looks we can say, “Hmm. She’s looking. But that’s O.K.” Do you understand? Rather than feeling upset you know it is all right.

Bodhicitta is the intoxicant that numbs us against pain and fills us with bliss.

Bodhicitta is the alchemy that transforms every action into benefit for others.

Bodhicitta is the cloud that carries the rain of positive energy to nourish growing things.

Bodhicitta is not doctrine. It is a state of mind. This inner experience is completely individual. So how can we see who is a Bodhisattva and who is not? can we see the self-cherishing mind?

If we feel insecure ourselves we will project that negative feeling onto others. We need the pure innermost thought of bodhicitta; wherever we go that will take care of us.”

METHODS TO GENERATE BODHICITTA

The ‘4 Point Mind Training’ is based on cultivating four realisations:

1. Equanimity: One can cultivate the realisation that all sentient beings are equal in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering. Beings cannot really be divided into friends, enemies or strangers because friends may turn into enemies, enemies may become friends, and strangers may become friends or enemies.

2. Faults of self-cherishing: a consequence of karma is that self-cherishing is the only cause of my problems.

3. Good qualities of cherishing others: a consequence of karma is that cherishing others is the cause of all happiness.

4. Exchanging self & others: being intelligently selfish, by continually trying to put oneself in the place of others, and then acting.

The ‘7 Point Mind Training’ is based on cultivation in 7 steps:

1. Equanimity

2. All sentient beings have been or, at least, could have been my mother as I have lived innumerable lives.

3. Remember the kindness of your mother in this life, all she did for you, the problems she went through to take care of you.

4. Would it be great if I could repay her and all previous mothers’ kindness.

5. Generate great love: may all mother sentient beings have happiness and the causes for happiness.

6. Generate great compassion: may all mother sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes for suffering

7. I should give up all self-cherishing and egoism, and work to bring them happiness and release them from their suffering: therefore, may I become an omniscient Buddha, as he is the perfect doctor to cure the suffering of all mother sentient beings.

January 23, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

up the Mountain…

On The Music Box: Radio EarthRites: Gigi… and then followed by MIDIval PunditZ – Kesariya

————

On first view, most of this entry will appear on the dark side of things. Yes and No…. The light is returning but it seems like a very, very long time in coming. We get caught up in the day to day, but there are times we have to take the long view: looking as if our lives only last but a day in the scale of things…

I get caught in this kind of thought. You think of civilization and I often think of it like the tides of the Ocean… In and out, up and down that beach called time, space…

I once was peaking on LSD at a dance many, many years ago. I was staring up into a strobe, and each flash became a day. I could see the light build up, reach its zenith and then fade to darkness. Within the 10th of a second it took the light to strobe, I experienced the world in a myriad million ways over a projected 24 hours. It went on into infinity, and I was every possible individuation. As I stared, I saw the days, the months, the years,centuries and finally ages fly. I saw the beginnings of life on the planet. I saw humans emerge millions of years before. I saw civilizations rise and collapse and rise again. I saw Atlantis, I saw the tall henges being raised… I saw the streaming of humanity like a rising tide spread across the lands… You get the point.

It took me years to get my head around the idea that it wasn’t the longevity but the passion that you did things with. So what if one had a very small part of creation? You still had a part of it. You still experienced it moment to moment. Something so simple took a very long time to figure out. Years of despair and ennui were invested in not accepting the simple answer…

So take it from me, when things are grim, they also aren’t static. There are eddies and currents constantly giving and changing around you. What you do does have profound meaning because you can be a vector for great changes in the stream of human life. You are a nexus point, halfway between Atom and Star. Did you know that? Between Angel and Insect. Yes, there is a purpose, and you my as well take part in it like the Gaian and Galactic Citizen you are. (see, you get to have more than one passport as well! How cool is that!?!?

Everything has meaning, and nothing does. Pick an emphasis.

Blessings,

Gwyllm

On The Menu

A series of strange Links and situations…

Google Earth

Article: Ralph Metzner on the End of Civilization (Time to Celebrate?)

with a bit more thrown in….

Poetry: Adonis/Ali Ahmad Said… Syrian Poet…

Then there is this little item my friend Deirdre sent me…. 8o)







_________

Links:

I Copy That: No Pants in the Subway Story

Direct Observation of Atoms through Clairvoyance

The Brain Sees What We Don’t

Dreams – traveling to parallel universes and ocean of multiverses

DIA Sources ‘Remote Viewed’ Attacks in NYC and Washington, D.C.

Special Link of the Day (nots nice Precious, nots nice at allllll:

The BEAST 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2005

15. Karl Rove

Charges: A greasy pig whose only distinction in life is his total lack of decency. Rove is decidedly not a genius; he is simply missing the part of his soul that prevents the rest of us from kicking elderly women in the face. His admirers have elevated fanatical, amoral ambition to the status of a virtue, along with lying, cheating, and negligent homicide, all in the name of “values.” Quite possibly the worst person in the worst White House in American history.

Exhibit A: “As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

Sentence: Lowered head first into oil refinery smokestack.

______________

Google Earth: A tool of great use. If I am spinning my wheels, I take a fly over somewhere. I just buzzed Lindisfarne, Stonehenge, and some strange gorge in India. Check these locations out….

29.975, 31.13

19.692, -98.844

-25.35, 131.03

______________

More Tales from the ever collapsing Barricades….

Additional Links: (Thanks to Will Penna on this…)

Dr. Ralph Metzner on the Collapse of Civilization

Well, it now appears that I can count myself among the “intelligent and credible people”, who have been saying that the collapse of our global civilization is a distinct possibility. The article [linked] below, from the Guardian, spells out the interlocking scenarios that have led to the collapse of previous, more localized, civilizations. In one respect, though, I have already left the company of the “intelligent and credible”, since I don’t think civilizational collapse is possible — I say it is happening now. Even as we read each other’s e-mail, and drink to the New Year. That deadly duo of monsters — resource depletion and overpopulation — are killing off vast areas of biosphere. And our leaders (the biggest gangsters), instead of focussing on searching for ways to cooperate and to mitigate the lethal consequences of the collapse, have chosen to apply their technological skills in increasingly violent military actions to support the organized predation of the multinational energy corporations, while skilfully weaving a stupefying hypnotic fog of denial into their subject populations and keeping them in mindless robotic consumerist trance. I also have to depart from my “intelligent and credible” fellow observers in their rather sanguine assessment that the collapse of industrial civilization will just entail the return to a pre-industrial life-style. In other words, like the horse-and-buggy days of colonial America — doesn’t sound too bad. Perhaps this will be the final new social equilibrium, .. but in the meantime, what happens when civilization collapses, as Uncle Karl pointed out, is barbarism. I think we can all agree that the images emerging from the worldwide military prison gulag, and the fact that the possible ethical and legal justification of torture has become a topic of debate and discussion in politics and academics, is one sign of a civilization that is collapsing into barbarism. This barbarism is sometimes (falsely I believe) called the “law of the jungle”: kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. But that notion is not a “law of the jungle” — it is a false choice, a rigid, fear-based survival program. There are many other, healthier and more productive ways for us to expend our energy and direct our intention, besides killing or being killed, eating or being eaten. What are these ways? We can start by “turning our swords into ploughshares”, demilitarizing society and committing ourselves to the non-violent ways of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and Jesus of Nazareth. We can sit down and talk: talk about what is really needed for every one, — all human and non-human beings, inhabiting this planet, or this place where we happen to find ourselves; — and how we can best meet those needs. What a fantastic challenge and beautiful opportunity for our collective creativity and ingenuity, our powers of design and imagination. As far as I can tell, humans don’t really need that much — food, water, shelter, health, safety of course, the basics; the opportunity to raise their children in peace, to engage in meaningful work, to practice their creativity, to pursue their spiritual and religious values — don’t they all flow from basic respect for another’s integrity? The Golden Rule is still the Golden Rule.

I have to report I feel neither gloomy nor doomy. I’ve found that letting go of denial and accepting what is happening, is tremendously liberating.

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose..” and this is a time of collapse, and renewal.

So, my friends, be of good cheer, and laugh and make music.

A risk of total collapse

“Is it possible that global civilisation might collapse within our lifetime or that of our children? Until recently, such an idea was the preserve of lunatics and cults. In the past few years, however, an increasing number of intelligent and credible people have been warning that global collapse is a genuine possibility. And many of these are sober scientists, including Lord May, David King and Jared Diamond – people not usually given to exaggeration or drama.”

__________________

Poetry:Adonis/Ali Ahmad Said









Songs of Mihyar the Damamscene

Not A Star

Neither a star,

nor a prophet’s inspiration,

nor a face praying to the moon, is Mihyar.

Here he comes

like a pagan spear,

invading the land of letters,

bleeding

and raising to the sun

his bleeding.

Here he is,

wearing the nakedness of stone

and praying to the caves.

Here he is,

cuddling the light Earth.

———

A voice

Mihyar is a face

betrayed by its lovers.

Mihyar is bells

without chinning

Mihyar is inscribed upon the faces,

a song which visits us secretly

on white, exiled roads.

Mihyar is bells of wanderers

in this Galilean land.

———-

A Vision /1

put on the mask of burnt wood,

0, Babel of fire and mysteries.

I await the god who comes

draped in flames,

adorned with pearls

stolen from oysters

out of the lung of the sea.,

l await the god who feels perplexed

rages, weeps, bows and glows.

your face, 0, Mihyar,

heralds the coming god

——–

A KING IS MIHYAR

A king is Mihyar

A king-

the dream is his palace

and gardens of fire.

And today,

a dying voice complained about him

to words.

A king is Mihyar.

In the kingdom of the wind he lives, and in the land of mysteries he reigns.

———-

The Adoring Rock

The wandering is over,

and the road

is an adoring rock.

Here we are,

burying the corpse of the day,

draped in the winds of tragedy.

But tomorrow we shall shake

The trunks of the forest of palms.

And tomorrow we shall wash

the body of the slender god

with the blood of the thunderbolt,

and construct the tenuous lines

between our eyelids and the road.

——-

The Two Corpses

I buried in your subservient entrails,

in the head, the hands and eyes,

a minaret;

I buried two corpses,

the Earth and the sky.

0, tribe,

0, womb of wasps,

and null of the wind.

——–

Travelling

Travelling,

but staying still.

0, sun,

how do I attain the skill

of your footsteps?

———-

I Said Unto You

I said unto you:

I listened to the seas

reading to me their verses

I listened to the bells

slumbering inside the oyster shells.

I said unto you:

I sang my songs

at Satans wedding

and the feast of the fable.

I said unto you:

I beheld,

in the rain of history

and the glow of the distance

a fairy and a dwelling.

Because I sail in my eyes,

I said unto you, I beheld

everything

in the first step of the distance.

——-

Death

We die unless we create the gods.

We die unless we murder the gods.

0, kingdom of the bewildered rock.

——–

A Land Of No Return

Even if you return, 0, Odysseus;

even if spaces close around you,

and the guide is burnt to ashes

in your bereaved face

or your friendly terror,

you will remain a history of wandering,

you will remain in a land of no promise,

you will remain in a land of no return.

Even if you return,

0, Odysseus;

———

A Homeland

To faces which wither under the mask of melancholy,

I bow.

To roads on which I forgot my tears,

to a father who died as green as a cloud

with a sail upon his face,

I bow

And to a child who is sold

in order to pray and polish shoes,

(in my country, we all pray and polish shoes),

and to rocks upon which I carved with my hunger

that they were lightning and rain

rolling under my eyelids,

and to a house whose soil I carried in my wanderings,

I bow.

All these are my homeland

Not Damascus.

———-

Biography: ADONIS/Adunis (Ali Ahmad Said) (b. 1929)









Syrian poet. Born in the Alawite mountains of Northern Syria, he studied first at Tartus, then at the Syrian University, and later earned a doctorate for The Static and Dynamic in Arabic Culture from St.joseph’s University in Beirut. From 1956 to 1986 he lived in Beirut, and then moved to Paris. In 1968 he founded the avant-garde magazine, Mawaqif (Situations), dedicated to culture and literature. One of the greatest poets in Arabic literature, he is also something of an iconoclast. His prose writings have aroused much controversy in the Arab world, particularly his views on the Arab heritage and other subjects treated in the above-mentioned work (published in 1974) and other writings. There can be no doubt as to the influence of his ideas about innovation and modernity on a whole generation of poets. Equally important is the leading role he played in revolutionizing poetic language, imagery, and approach.

Seven collections of his poetry have appeared, of which Songs of Mihyar the Damascene (196o) may be regarded as a turning point in his work. It has been translated into French, and there have been several English translations of selections of his poetry, including The Blood of Adonis and Transformation of the Lover, both translated by Samuel Hazo.


January 23, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

The Monday Light…

A good article, a bit of entertainment, poetry… a good start to the week!

Have fun,

Gwyllm

_______

_______________

The Article:Revenge of the Mutt People

Bred for meanness

“There are some things so disgusting that only a white man would be willing to do them.”

— Walter Wildshoe, Coeur d’Alene Indian

This really quite an interesting read. Way big for putting on the Blog, but I think it is worth your time reading.

—-

A wee bit of entertainment:

Careful with that axe, Eugene…

and my favourite all time song from these guys:

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun..

________

Poetry: Henry David Thoreau







The Moon

Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide;

Mortality below her orb is placed.

–Raleigh

The full-orbed moon with unchanged ray

Mounts up the eastern sky,

Not doomed to these short nights for aye,

But shining steadily.

She does not wane, but my fortune,

Which her rays do not bless,

My wayward path declineth soon,

But she shines not the less.

And if she faintly glimmers here,

And paled is her light,

Yet alway in her proper sphere

She’s mistress of the night.

————-

Conscience

Conscience is instinct bred in the house,

Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin

By an unnatural breeding in and in.

I say, Turn it out doors,

Into the moors.

I love a life whose plot is simple,

And does not thicken with every pimple,

A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it,

That makes the universe no worse than ‘t finds it.

I love an earnest soul,

Whose mighty joy and sorrow

Are not drowned in a bowl,

And brought to life to-morrow;

That lives one tragedy,

And not seventy;

A conscience worth keeping;

Laughing not weeping;

A conscience wise and steady,

And forever ready;

Not changing with events,

Dealing in compliments;

A conscience exercised about

Large things, where one may doubt.

I love a soul not all of wood,

Predestinated to be good,

But true to the backbone

Unto itself alone,

And false to none;

Born to its own affairs,

Its own joys and own cares;

By whom the work which God begun

Is finished, and not undone;

Taken up where he left off,

Whether to worship or to scoff;

If not good, why then evil,

If not good god, good devil.

Goodness! you hypocrite, come out of that,

Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.

I have no patience towards

Such conscientious cowards.

Give me simple laboring folk,

Who love their work,

Whose virtue is song

To cheer God along.

——————

Walden Pond!









The Inward Morning

Packed in my mind lie all the clothes

Which outward nature wears,

And in its fashion’s hourly change

It all things else repairs.

In vain I look for change abroad,

And can no difference find,

Till some new ray of peace uncalled

Illumes my inmost mind.

What is it gilds the trees and clouds,

And paints the heavens so gay,

But yonder fast-abiding light

With its unchanging ray?

Lo, when the sun streams through the wood,

Upon a winter’s morn,

Where’er his silent beams intrude,

The murky night is gone.

How could the patient pine have known

The morning breeze would come,

Or humble flowers anticipate

The insect’s noonday hum–

Till the new light with morning cheer

From far streamed through the aisles,

And nimbly told the forest trees

For many stretching miles?

I’ve heard within my inmost soul

Such cheerful morning news,

In the horizon of my mind

Have seen such orient hues,

As in the twilight of the dawn,

When the first birds awake,

Are heard within some silent wood,

Where they the small twigs break,

Or in the eastern skies are seen,

Before the sun appears,

The harbingers of summer heats

Which from afar he bears.

——

The Summer Rain

My books I’d fain cast off, I cannot read,

‘Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large

Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,

And will not mind to hit their proper targe.

Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too,

Our Shakespeare’s life were rich to live again,

What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true,

Nor Shakespeare’s books, unless his books were men.

Here while I lie beneath this walnut bough,

What care I for the Greeks or for Troy town,

If juster battles are enacted now

Between the ants upon this hummock’s crown?

Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn,

If red or black the gods will favor most,

Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn,

Struggling to heave some rock against the host.

Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour,

For now I’ve business with this drop of dew,

And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower–

I’ll meet him shortly when the sky is blue.

This bed of herd’s grass and wild oats was spread

Last year with nicer skill than monarchs use.

A clover tuft is pillow for my head,

And violets quite overtop my shoes.

And now the cordial clouds have shut all in,

And gently swells the wind to say all’s well;

The scattered drops are falling fast and thin,

Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.

I am well drenched upon my bed of oats;

But see that globe come rolling down its stem,

Now like a lonely planet there it floats,

And now it sinks into my garment’s hem.

Drip drip the trees for all the country round,

And richness rare distills from every bough;

The wind alone it is makes every sound,

Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.

For shame the sun will never show himself,

Who could not with his beams e’er melt me so;

My dripping locks–they would become an elf,

Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.

____________

I have always wanted to visit Walden Pond, and to lay flowers at Thoreaus grave.

Gwyllm

January 22, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

A Heretic for Our Times….

Sunday Edition… Working on WebSites, and fighting off the coughs again. Pertussis, how it likes a damp chill outside! We thought the dog had taken off today, without her collar. Sophie does the wander once in awhile, jumping over fences and taking off. We get a call after an hour or so when someone has found her. Without the collar, this wouldn’t be the scenario… seems the neighbor borrowed her to play with her dog. Such things Saturdays are made of.

The Radio is cooking along, and we are working out the kinks to get the Spoken Word Channel up for poetry, interviews, and lectures, as well as a Dial Up Channel as well. Stay tuned.

One of my nephews is back from visiting New York and paying a visit to his late fathers home in Queens. (That was Michael Firpo who I dedicated an edition to) seems he had a completed novel and screen play among his other works. I hope to see them later this week, I would be interested to see what he had going before he died…

Well, Have a good Sunday!

Gwyllm

On the Menu:

The Links

The Article:A Heretic for Our Times (Thanks for the lead Don!)

Poetry: 3 by William Butler Yeats

_________

The Links:

The Price of Electric is Going UP

What Is The Digital Universe?

Chomsky: ‘There Is No War On Terror’

_______________

A Heretic for Our Times… (Thanks to Don for this !)

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s theories turn everything we know about the universe inside out.

Walking to the home of maverick scientist Rupert Sheldrake in Hampstead — London’s cozy but glamorous artistic village that’s been home to John Keats, George Orwell, D.H. Lawrence and, more recently, novelist John LeCarre and actress Emma Thompson — I am not surprised to find that his plain brick house looks out on Hampstead Heath. This famous (and still remarkably wild) expanse of grasslands and groves was the spot where Keats met William Wordsworth for long rambles, discussing the passions and ideas that would be immortalized in their Romantic poetry. Sheldrake, one of the world’s leading spokesmen for a more holistic and democratic vision of science, might easily be grouped with the Romantics, except that his insights about the world are based on empirical research rather than poetic feelings.

Sheldrake’s bold theories about how the universe works sparked controversy in 1981 with the publication of A New Science of Life. Actually it wasn’t the book itself that brought Sheldrake’s ideas to prominence but an incendiary editorial by the editor of the respected British journal Nature, Sir John Maddox, who fumed, “This infuriating tract…is the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.” That was quite a lot of attention for a young scientist, especially one who at that time was working as a plant physiologist in India.

What so infuriated Maddox was Sheldrake’s theory of “morphic resonance” — a complicated framework of ideas proposing that nature relies upon its own set of memories, which are transmitted through time and space via “morphic fields”. The theory holds that these fields, which operate much like electrical or magnetic fields, shape our entire world. A panda bear is a panda bear because it naturally tunes into morphic fields containing storehouses of information that define and govern panda bears. The same with pigeons, platinum atoms, and the oak trees on Hampstead Heath, not to mention human beings. This theory, if widely accepted, would turn our understanding of the universe inside out — which is why Sheldrake has so often felt the wrath of orthodox scientists.

For the past 20 years, he has pursued further research on morphic fields even though no university or scientific institute would dare hire him. Much of his empirical explorations focus on unsolved phenomenon such as how pigeons and other animals find their way home from great distances, why people experience feelings in amputated limbs, why some people and animals can sense that someone is staring at them. He believes morphic resonance may offer answers to these questions.

His experimentation has been underwritten by freethinking funders like the late Lawrence Rockefeller and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, founded by Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell. Through the years Sheldrake has supported his family largely through lecture tours, which draw curious crowds around the world, and a series of books exploring various aspects of what is often called “New Science.” He’s written on ecological, spiritual, and philosophical themes, as well as a manifesto on how science could be democratized (Seven Experiments that Could Change the World) and a bestseller on animal behavior (Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home). His current research involves thousands of rigorously empirical tests probing the existence of telepathy. John Maddox nonetheless has continued to accuse him of “heresy,” saying he should be “condemned in exactly the same language that the Pope used to condemn Galileo.”

‘Science is the last unreformed institution’

When Sheldrake answers the door, I find a tall, surprisingly youthful man in a golf shirt and Birkenstock sandals with socks who hardly seems a menacing troublemaker out to destroy civilization as we know it. He welcomes me into his home, which wonderfully fits my expectations of what a slightly bohemian biologist’s house should look like: shells, antlers, giant pinecones, fossils and exotic-looking houseplants on display in comfy rooms also filled with books, art, musical instruments, oriental carpets and a few patches of peeling paint. Upstairs is his office, which overflows with scientific journals and papers, and a spacious library room crammed with books on every conceivable subject. A corner of the library houses a small laboratory, which was recently commandeered by his teenage sons as a computer center.

It’s a gorgeous sunny morning and Sheldrake suggests we sit in the backyard, which looks to me like a mini-botanical garden. It turns out that I am visiting on a rather momentous occasion. His three-year appointment to an research post at Trinity College in Cambridge will be announced today. It marks a homecoming of sorts to the place where he studied as an undergraduate, earned a Ph.D. and was named a Fellow of Clare College for seven years, where he served as Director of Studies in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

I ask if his appointment signals a growing tolerance of outspoken ideas in science. Not quite, he explains. It’s a unique endowment created in the memory of Fredric Myers, a Fellow of Trinity College who was fascinated by psychic phenomena, although today it is generally awarded to researchers out to debunk the existence of such phenomena. “But it does mean I will be getting a salary for the first time in 25 years and money to do my research,” he says with a sincere grin.. “But in the field of biology the holistic approach I advocate is more remote than ever. Funding drives most research toward biotech projects.”

“Science is the last unreformed institution in the modern world today,” he adds in a matter-of-fact rather than harsh tone. “It’s like the church before the Reformation. All decisions are made by a small powerful group of people. They’re authoritarian, entrenched, well-funded and see themselves as a priesthood.”

Sheldrake’s views are widely shared by many people — indeed by so many that it’s seen as a looming problem in Britain and Europe as the public increasingly looks upon science as a tool of corporations and big government, not an institution that benefits average citizens. Kids seem less inclined to pursue careers in the field and taxpayers are growing reluctant about financing research.

“If science were more responsive to democratic input, this would look different,” he says. He points out that popular programs on television dealing with scientific themes focus primarily on four topics that interest people: 1) alternative medicine; 2) ecological issues; 3) animals; and 4) parapsychology. But very little scientific funding goes toward research in these areas. He wonders what would happen if people could participate in choosing the kind of research they fund with their tax money?

That’s the idea behind Sheldrake’s recent proposal to let the public vote on how to spend one percent of the overall science budget — an idea greeted with even more horror than morphic resonance in some scientific circles. But other scientists are giving it serious consideration as a way to win back the public’s trust.

More than a symbolic gesture, this would actually add up to quite a sum of money to initiate interesting new research that the scientific establishment won’t sanction. Sheldrake notes that independent scientists, including Charles Darwin, have been responsible for many important breakthroughs because they probe for answers in ways quite different than their well-funded peers in universities, research institutes or corporations. But looking around Britain today the only other independent scientific researcher Sheldrake can think of is James Lovelock, who conceived the revolutionary Gaia Hypothesis, which posits that the earth is a living organism.

The power of public participation

Public participation is essential to Sheldrake’s own research because otherwise he couldn’t afford to do it. Right now he’s enlisting people worldwide to study email telepathy ( the ability to know who’s emailing before you get a message). His website (www.sheldrake.org) offers all the details necessary to conduct your own telepathy experiments and to report the findings.

Eighty percent of the population reports experiences with telephone telepathy (email telepathy’s older cousin), he explains. In the controlled experiments he’s conducted, where subjects choose which of four close friends is phoning, they’re right 42 percent of the time — significantly higher than the 25 percent that would occur by random chance.

“I think we all have a capacity for telepathy,” Sheldrake notes. “But it is really a function of close social bonds. It doesn’t happen with total strangers. At least not in an experimental setting. And of course some people have a better sense of telepathy than others, just the same as with the sense of smell.” He hopes the on-line experiments can identify individuals with particularly strong telepathic skills, who can then be studied further.

“What I am interested in are the mysteries of everyday life — a lot of these simple things are not being investigated,” Sheldrake says staring up at the sunny sky with that “lost-in-thought” look you typically associate with scientists. A few moments later he pulls his attention back in my direction, smiles apologetically and continues. “I prefer to explore things that people know in their lives or the lives of their friends. I am interested in science that is rooted in people’s experience. Indeed, the word empirical means experience.”

By now the two of us have been talking in his garden for several hours and Sheldrake picks up a garden hose to water several tall exotic-looking plants. I meanwhile silently marvel at the tenacity he’s shown in keeping his research going all these years and the gentle spirit he possesses in the face of hostility toward his work. John Maddox has said he practices “magic instead of science” yet Sheldrake brings up Maddox with almost fondness — perhaps because the scathing editorial in Nature turned The New Science of Life into a bestseller and launched Sheldrake’s career as an independent scientist.

It’s time for me to go, and a taxi is honking in front of the house to take me to Paddington Station, but I must squeeze in one more question. “How do you refresh yourself, renew your creativity and stay calm in the face of so much criticism?” Sensing my anxiety about missing the train, he efficiently ticks off three answers in the methodical manner you’d expect from a former science whiz kid. “One. Playing the piano, usually Bach. Two. Meditating. Three. Taking walks, usually out on the heath.”

After a hearty handshake I jump into to the cab and, watching Hampstead Heath disappear through the back window, decide that I sold Rupert Sheldrake short earlier today. Comparing him to fellow Heath hikers Keats and Wordsworth, I viewed Sheldrake as a cool and rational man of science while they were warm and passionate poets. But I can see now that, even as a dedicated scientist, Sheldrake possesses a poetic imagination in how he thinks about the world and how he lives his life.

Jay Walljasper is the executive editor of Ode magazine

_________________

Poetry: William Butler Yeats











When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.



To The Rose Upon The Rood Of Time

Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!

Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways:

Cuchulain battling with the bitter tide;

The Druid, grey, wood-nurtured, quiet-eyed,

Who cast round Fergus dreams, and ruin untold;

And thine own sadness, where of stars, grown old

In dancing silver-sandalled on the sea,

Sing in their high and lonely melody.

Come near, that no more blinded hy man’s fate,

I find under the boughs of love and hate,

In all poor foolish things that live a day,

Eternal beauty wandering on her way.

Come near, come near, come near – Ah, leave me still

A little space for the rose-breath to fill!

Lest I no more bear common things that crave;

The weak worm hiding down in its small cave,

The field-mouse running by me in the grass,

And heavy mortal hopes that toil and pass;

But seek alone to hear the strange things said

By God to the bright hearts of those long dead,

And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know.

Come near; I would, before my time to go,

Sing of old Eire and the ancient ways:

Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days.



A Woman Homer Sung

IF any man drew near

When I was young,

I thought, ‘He holds her dear,’

And shook with hate and fear.

But oh, ’twas bitter wrong

If he could pass her by

With an indifferent eye.



Whereon I wrote and wrought,

And now, being gray,

I dream that I have brought

To such a pitch my thought

That coming time can say,

‘He shadowed in a glass

What thing her body was.’



For she had fiery blood

When I was young,

And trod so sweetly proud

As ’twere upon a cloud,

A woman Homer sung,

That life and letters seem

But an heroic dream.

_________

See Ya Soon.

G

January 20, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

"FURTHUR"

On The Music Box: Shpongles’ Last Album: Nothing Last But Nothing Is Lost

-Neal Cassady with Young Friend-

Survived to Friday.

Business is slower than I like, but all things in there own time it seems to me. PK came by today, sat with Mary and I, had tea. It has been since late December that we saw him. Always nice to connect. He is in his last 9 months of Chinese Medicine school. He is always excited by what is going on with his studies… It is a real pleasure to see the growth in his new knowledge, and hey, he does a great massage!

I confess, I am the last person not to go to Burning Man on the West Coast, honestly. I Talked to Victor for a bit today, discussing the possibility of doing a Burning Man run with some of the Earth Rites crew. A novel Idea! I just keep thinking about dust and my contact lenses… Also,I have never been a big one for heat. I guess I am a true child of the Arboreal North. (Still tempting just the same). I listened to Lee Gilmore and her writing partner on KQED monday, and kinda got a taste of the art side and social side of the Burners experience… So, it is up for discussion at least.

On The Menu:

The Links

The Quotes

Article: Furthur Survives The Acid Test

Poetry: Allen Ginsberg

Blotter Illustrations: Yours Truly

Have a good Weekend!

Blessings,

Gwyllm

____

The Links:

Goodbye Wilson, thanks so much.

The Mystery of Markawasi

Scientists discover most fertile Irish male

Hardwired to seek beauty

magic school casts spell on adults inspired by Hogwarts

___

Jeremy Narby-The Cosmic Serpent ReMix

____

The Quotes:

“If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; If you would know, and not be known, live in a city.”

“The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.”

“Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds.”

“America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.”

“One doesn’t have a sense of humor. It has you.”

“In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.”

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.”

“Politics is made up largely of irrelevancies.”

________

Furthur survives the acid test

Late author’s ‘Furthur’ is destined to go farther

By Jeff Barnard

PLEASANT HILL, Ore. — Zane Kesey picks at clumps of moss and swirls of brightly colored paint and patches of rust covering the school bus that his father, author Ken Kesey, rode cross-country with a refrigerator stocked with LSD-laced drinks in pursuit of a new art form.



“This comes off pretty easy,” Kesey says, a smile playing over his face. “It’s amazing, some of the things that are coming out — things I remember.”

For some 15 years, the 1939 International bus dubbed “Furthur” has rusted away in a swamp on the Kesey family’s Willamette Valley farm, out of sight if not out of mind, more memory than monument.

That is where Ken Kesey — author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and hero of a generation that vowed to drop out and tune in with the help of LSD — intended it to stay after firing up a new bus in 1990.

But four years after his death, a Hollywood restaurateur has persuaded the family to resurrect the old bus so it can help tell the story of Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and the psychedelic 1960s.

“I read his books back in high school and through college,” says David Houston, owner of the historic roadhouse Barney’s Beanery in Los Angeles. “I just always thought he was a fascinating and brilliant man. The story of the bus was always very compelling. To find out it had been just left to go — I really wanted to restore the bus and tell its story to the world.”

Houston hopes to raise the $100,000 he figures it will cost to get the bus running and looking good. The Kesey family will maintain control of the bus, taking it to special events.

Air in the tires

Last fall, a group of old Pranksters hauled the bus out of the swamp and parked it next to a barn to await restoration.

“One of the things that is really optimistic for me is it’s got full air in the tires from Cassady,” says Kesey, referring to Neal Cassady, who was the wheelman in Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” and drove Furthur on that first trip. “Honestly, if the tires had been flat, I would have said, ‘Just leave it there.’ “

The restoration will be a tough job. On a cold misty day, Houston, Zane Kesey and former Green Turtle bus mechanic Mike Cobiskey climb on ladders, peer under the hood, pick at paint and crawl underneath.

What they see is daunting. The body is badly rusted. The paint is peeled. The roof leaks. The engine, not original, and transmission have both been underwater. The original bunk beds and refrigerator are gone, but the driver’s seat remains.

“The most important thing is the paint,” Cobiskey says to Kesey. “I’m sure you have a thousand pictures of it.”

“And no two are alike,” Kesey replies.

Bob Santelli, artistic director of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, tried to raise money to restore Furthur in 1996 when he was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, but couldn’t swing it. He did get Kesey to bring the newer incarnation to the museum.

“I consider the bus to be one of the most important icons of the ’60s counterculture,” says Santelli. “Inside that bus occurred many of the things the counterculture was all about, from a revolutionary perspective. That is mobility, freedom to be on the move, and to react to situations and create situations to react to, drug use and experimenting with drugs, and the importance of music in a cultural revolution.”

New York-bound

Fresh from the stunning success of “Cuckoo’s Nest,” Ken Kesey wanted to drive to New York City for the 1964 World’s Fair and a coming-out party for his new book, “Sometimes a Great Notion,” making a movie along the way.

“At first, a bunch of us were going to go in a station wagon,” says Ken Babbs, one of the original Pranksters. “Then it was getting too big for that.”

Kesey bought the bus for $1,250 from Andre Hobson in Atherton, Calif., a sales engineer who had outfitted it with bunks, a bathroom and a kitchen to take his 11 kids on vacation.

At La Honda, Kesey’s home in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco, they installed a sound system, a generator on the back and went wild with the paint. Artist Roy Sebern painted the word “Furthur” on the destination placard as a kind of one-word poem and inspiration to keep going whenever the bus broke down. It wasn’t until much later that he found out he had misspelled it. Just as the bus was constantly being repainted, somewhere along the line the sign was corrected to “Further.”

The day they were ready to go, Kesey recruited Cassady from a bookstore where he was working, Babbs recalls. The bus pulled out of the driveway with Ray Charles singing “Hit the Road Jack,” and ran out of gas. That was quickly remedied, and down the road they went, Cassady spewing the speed-talking rap-babble that inspired Kerouac’s writing style.

“For me and Kesey, too, we were trying to move into a new creative expression which was movie making, and being part of the movie,” Babbs says. “This was all a tremendous experiment in the arts. We always figured we would be totally successful and make a lot of money out of it.”

Stopped by cops

The wildly painted bus got stopped by the police, but with their short haircuts and preppy clothes, the Pranksters were never arrested. They carried orange juice laced with LSD, which was legal at the time. Kesey had been a guinea pig in government-sponsored LSD tests and was trying to turn the entire country on to it through events known as the Acid Tests.

As they rolled through New York City, the Pranksters tootled saxophones and blew soap bubbles from the roof, and later stopped at Timothy Leary’s Millbrook meditation center in upstate New York, where Kerouac sang a sad rendition of “Ain’t We Got Fun.”

The film and tape rolled constantly, but when they got back to La Honda, they could never get the two to synchronize. Author Tom Wolfe used the material for his book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” but the movie lay dormant until 2000, when a digital editing machine made it possible and Kesey issued, “Intrepid Traveler and His Merry Band of Pranksters Look for A Kool Place.”

After one last trip, to Woodstock, N.Y., in 1969, Kesey put the bus out to pasture, where it served as a dugout for softball games. He towed it to the swamp in 1990 when he bought a 1947 bus for a whole bus for a whole new series of trips.

_______

Poetry: Allen Ginsberg









First Party At Ken Kesey’s With Hell’s Angels

Cool black night thru redwoods

cars parked outside in shade

behind the gate, stars dim above

the ravine, a fire burning by the side

porch and a few tired souls hunched over

in black leather jackets. In the huge

wooden house, a yellow chandelier

at 3 A.M. the blast of loudspeakers

hi-fi Rolling Stones Ray Charles Beatles

Jumping Joe Jackson and twenty youths

dancing to the vibration thru the floor,

a little weed in the bathroom, girls in scarlet

tights, one muscular smooth skinned man

sweating dancing for hours, beer cans

bent littering the yard, a hanged man

sculpture dangling from a high creek branch,

children sleeping softly in their bedroom bunks.

And 4 police cars parked outside the painted

gate, red lights revolving in the leaves.

December 1965

———

Allen reads “City Midnight Junk Strains”

———-

Allen singing William Blake’s poem “Nurse’s Song”

———-







Some of Ginsbergs’ Last Poems…

Death & Fame

When I die

I don’t care what happens to my body

throw ashes in the air, scatter ‘em in East River

bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B’nai Israel Cemetery

But l want a big funeral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Mark’s Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan

First, there’s family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,

Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear’d, sister-

in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters

their grandchildren,

companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan–

Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya’s ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche,

there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting

America, Satchitananda Swami

Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche,

Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi’s phantoms

Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau

Roshis, Lama Tarchen –

Then, most important, lovers over half-century

Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich

young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each

other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories

“He taught me to meditate, now I’m an old veteran of the thousand

day retreat –“

“I played music on subway platforms, I’m straight but loved him he

loved me”

“I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone”

“We’d lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly

arms round each other”

“I’d always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my

skivvies would be on the floor”

“Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master”

“We’d talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then

sleep in his captain’s bed.”

“He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy”

“I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my

stomach

shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips– “

“All I did was lay back eyes closed, he’d bring me to come with mouth

& fingers along my waist”

“He gave great head”

So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin-

gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997

and surprise — “You too? But I thought you were straight!”

“I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me.”

“I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender

and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head,

my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick,

tickled with his tongue my behind”

“I loved the way he’d recite ‘But at my back allways hear/ time’s winged

chariot hurrying near,’ heads together, eye to eye, on a

pillow –“

Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear

“I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his

walk-up flat,

seduced me didn’t want to, made me come, went home, never saw him

again never wanted to… “

“He couldn’t get it up but loved me,” “A clean old man.” “He made

sure I came first”

This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor–

Then poets & musicians — college boys’ grunge bands — age-old rock

star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-

ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-

peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger

fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-

harp pennywhistles & kazoos

Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60’s India,

Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-

chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty

sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American

provinces

Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio-

philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex

“I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved

him anyway, true artist”

“Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me

from suicide hospitals”

“Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my

studio guest a week in Budapest”

Thousands of readers, “Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois”

“I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet– “

“He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas

City”

“Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City”

“Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982″

“I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized

others like me out there”

Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures

Then Journalists, editors’s secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo-

graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural

historians come to witness the historic funeral

Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph-

hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers

Everyone knew they were part of ‘History” except the deceased

who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive

February 22, 1997

—-

Five A.M.

Elan that lifts me above the clouds

into pure space, timeless, yea eternal

Breath transmuted into words

Transmuted back to breath

in one hundred two hundred years

nearly Immortal, Sappho’s 26 centuries

of cadenced breathing — beyond time, clocks, empires, bodies, cars,

chariots, rocket ships skyscrapers, Nation empires

brass walls, polished marble, Inca Artwork

of the mind — but where’s it come from?

Inspiration? The muses drawing breath for you? God?

Nah, don’t believe it, you’ll get entangled in Heaven or Hell –

Guilt power, that makes the heart beat wake all night

flooding mind with space, echoing through future cities, Megalopolis or

Cretan village, Zeus’ birth cave Lassithi Plains — Otsego County

farmhouse, Kansas front porch?

Buddha’s a help, promises ordinary mind no nirvana –

coffee, alcohol, cocaine, mushrooms, marijuana, laughing gas?

Nope, too heavy for this lightness lifts the brain into blue sky

at May dawn when birds start singing on East 12th street –

Where does it come from, where does it go forever?

May 1996

____________




January 19, 2006
by gwyllm
0 comments

Ryokan and Teishin…

On The Music Box: Verve Remixed No#1. (Sinner Man/by Nina Simone going as I type this) Dead Cool.

Bubba and Gwyllm, Bubba on the right. This Wonderful Being is Muraco’s roommate and best friend. She rescued Bubba from a bar in rural Thurston county near Olympia Washington where he had been living on pork for 8 or so years. He is all slim now, but he was a hefty fellow at one time I understand… Anyway, he and I had some nice one on one with each other when Muraco brought him along in November. He has a wonderful laugh, and a great sense of humor.

The weather wasn’t stormy for the first time in quite awhile here in Portland. We have had some 30 days straight rain, night and day. Everything is a bit damp around here…

Lots of Poetry and Haiku for this entry. One of those times. Please bear with me as I drift back to source, along the lines of Zen, Poetry and the like.

On the menu:

The Links….

Zen and Buddhist Meditations

The Article: Thich Nhat Hanh Reflects on Working Toward Peace (thanks to Will Penna for bringing up Thich Nhat Hanh the other day, and jogging my brain box…)

The Poetry: Ryokan, one of Japans historical treasures. (The picture below portrays him with village children). Poems include “The Love Poems between Ryokan and Teishin”.. uncomparable stuff.

One of the great joys I have discovered recently is on doing this every day, I have gotten back into poetry reading as a daily ritual. I hope it has been the same for you. Poetry returns us to the source. All peoples have poetry, tales, and story cycles in rhythmic patterned speech… This is the fountain from which art and spirit flows. When you read poetry, don’t just read it. Speak it even under your breath. Take your time. repeat it. This is the beginning of Magick.

Have a great Thursday,

Gwyllm









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The Links:

Human Stupidity

Hamster and snake make a strange pair as they form friendship at Tokyo zoo

Just a little guy…

RoboCop

Glasgow High School Offers Fake Tanning Lessons

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I gaze on myself in the stream’s emerald flow

Or sit on a boulder by a cliff.

My mind, a lonely cloud, leans on nothing,

Needs nothing from the world and its endless events.

– Han Shan (early 9th century)



The pure wondrous dharmakaya of Amitabhe Buddha is everywhere in the mind ground of all sentient beings. Thus it is said: “Mind, buddha, sentient beings: these three are no different.” It is also said: “Mind is buddha, buddha is mind. Outside of the mind there is no buddha. Outside of buddha there is no mind.”

– T’aego



Better than a thousand hollow words

Is one word that brings peace.

Better than a thousand hollow verses

Is one verse that brings peace.

It is better to conquer yourself

Than to win a thousand battles.

Then the victory is yours.

– Dhammapada



From the passions arise worry,

and from worry arises fear.

Away with the passions, and no fear,

No worry.

– Sutra of Forty Two Chapter



Follow the truth of the way.

Reflect on it. Make it your own.

Live it.

It will always sustain you.

Do not turn away what is given you,

Nor reach out for what is given to others,

Lest you disturb your quietness.

– Dhammapada

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Thich Nhat Hanh Reflects on Working Toward Peace

Since I was a young man, I’ve tried to understand the nature of compassion. But what little compassion I’ve learned has come not from intellectual investigation but from my actual experience of suffering. I am not proud of my suffering any more than a person who mistakes a rope for a snake is proud of his fright. My suffering has been a mere rope, a mere drop of emptiness so insignificant that it should dissolve like mist at dawn. But it has not dissolved, and I am almost unable to bear it. Doesn’t the Buddha see my suffering? How can he smile?

Love seeks a manifestation-romantic love, motherly love, patriotic love, love for humanity, love for all beings. When you love someone, you feel anxious for him or her and want them to be safe and nearby. You cannot simply put your loved ones out of your thoughts.

When the Buddha witnesses the endless suffering of living beings, he must feel deep concern. How can he just sit there and smile? But think about it. It is we who sculpt him sitting and smiling, and we do it for a reason. When you stay up all night worrying about your loved one, you are so attached to the phenomenal world that you may not be able to see the true face of reality. A physician who accurately understands her patient’s condition does not sit and obsess over a thousand different explanations or anxieties as the patient’s family might. The doctor knows that the patientwill recover, and so she may smile even while the patient is still sick. Her smile is not unkind; it is simply the smile of one who grasps the

situation and does not engage in unnecessary worry. How can I put

into words the true nature of Great Compassion, mahakaruna?

When we begin to see that black mud and white snow are neither ugly nor beautiful, when we can see them without discrimination or duality, then we begin to grasp Great Compassion. In the eyes of Great Compassion, there is neither left nor right, friend nor enemy, close nor far. Don’t think that Great Compassion is lifeless. The energy of Great Compassion is radiant and wondrous. In the eyes of Great Compassion, there is no separation between subject and object, no separate self. Nothing that can disturb Great Compassion.

If a cruel and violent person disembowels you, you can smile and look at him with love. It is his upbringing, his situation, and his ignorance that cause him to act so mindlessly. Look at him-the one who is bent on your destruction and heaps injustice upon you-with eyes of love and compassion. Let compassion pour from your eyes and don’t let a ripple of blame or anger rise up in your heart. He commits senseless crimes against you and makes you suffer because he cannot see the way to peace, joy, or understanding.

If some day you receive news that I have died because of someone’s cruel actions, know that I died with my heart at peace. Know that in my last moments I did not succumb to anger. We must never hate another being. If you can give rise to this awareness, you will be able to smile. Remembering me, you will continue on your path. You will have a refuge that no one can take from you. No one will be able to disturb your faith, because that faith does not rely on anything in the phenomenal world. Faith and love are one and can only emerge when you penetrate deeply the empty nature of the phenomenal world, when you can see that you are in everything and everything is in you.

Long ago I read a story about a monk who felt no anger toward the cruel king who had chopped off the monk’s ear and pierced his skin with a knife. When I read that, I thought the monk must be some kind of god. That was because I did not yet know the nature of Great Compassion. The monk had no anger to hold back. All he had was a heart of love. There is nothing to prevent us from being like that monk. Love teaches that we can all live like the Buddha.

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Poetry: Ryokan Taigu

“Ryo” means “good,: and “kan” signifies “broad,” in the sense of generous and large-hearted. “taigu” (his adopted name) means “Great Fool,” implying childlike simplicity and luck of pretense or sham. Ryokan, the Zen master and hermit, is one of the most influential Japanese poets.







First days of spring — the sky

First days of spring — the sky

is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.

Everything’s turning green.

Carrying my monk’s bowl, I walk to the village

to beg for my daily meal.

The children spot me at the temple gate

and happily crowd around,

dragging to my arms till I stop.

I put my bowl on a white rock,

hang my bag on a branch.

First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,

then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:

I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.

Time is forgotten, the hours fly.

People passing by point at me and laugh:

“Why are you acting like such a fool?”

I nod my head and don’t answer.

I could say something, but why?

Do you want to know what’s in my heart?

From the beginning of time: just this! just this!

—-

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In stubborn stupidity, I live on alone

befriended by trees and herbs.

Too lazy to learn right from wrong,

I laugh at myself, ignoring others.

Lifting my bony shanks, I cross the stream,

a sack in my hand, blessed by spring weather.

Living thus, I want for nothing,

at peace with all the world.

Your finger points to the moon,

but the finger is blind until the moon appears.

What connection has the moon and finger?

Are they separate objects or bound?

This is a question for beginners

wrapped in seas of ignorance.

Yet one who looks beyond metaphor

knows there is no finger; there is no moon.



The plants and flowers

The plants and flowers

I raised about my hut

I now surrender

To the will

Of the wind



This World…

This world

A fading

Mountain echo

Void and

Unreal

Within

A light snow

Three Thousand Realms

Within those realms

Light snow falls

As the snow

Engulfs my hut

At dusk

My heart, too

Is completely consumed



LOVE POEMS BETWEEN RYOKAN AND TEISHIN



Was it really you

I saw

Or is this joy

I still feel

only a dream?

–Teishin

In this dream world

We doze

And talk of dreams –

Dream, dream on,

As much as you wish

–Ryokan

Here with you

I could remain

For countless days and years

Silent as the bright moon

We watched together

–Teishin

have you forgotten me

Or lost the path here?

I wait for you

All day, every day

But you do not appear

–Ryokan

The moon, I’m sure

Is shining brightly

High above the mountains

But gloomy clouds

Shroud the peak in darkness

–Teishin

You must rise above

The gloomy clouds

Covering the mountaintop

Otherwise, how will you

Ever see the brightness?

–Ryokan

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Ryokan Biography (lifted from Wikipedia)





Ryokan (良寛: Ryōkan) was a Zen Buddhist monk who lived in Niigata Japan 1758-1831. He soon left the monastery, where practice was frequently quite lax, and lived as a hermit until he was very old and had to move into the house of one of his supporters.

Ryokan was famous for his poetry and calligraphy. His poetry is often very simple and inspired by nature. He was a lover of children, and sometimes forgot to go on his alms round to get food because he was playing with the children of the nearby village. Ryokan refused to accept any position as a priest or even as a “poet”, which shows his great humility. In the tradition of Zen his quotes and poems show he had a good sense of humour and didn’t take himself too seriously. However his poetry also gives illumining insights into the practise of Zen.

Ryokan’s Grave

Enlarge

Ryokan’s Grave

Ryokan lived a very simple, pure life, and stories about his kindness and generosity abound. On his deathbed, Ryokan offered the following poem:

ura wo mise

omote wo mise

chiru momiji

showing their backs

then their fronts

the autumn leaves scatter in the wind

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