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Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

19 Nov

A glimmer of the sort of stuff that mental masturbation is made of. Full podcast streaming and available for download below: Philosophy Bites presents Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

It seems as though plato thought change was a sign of illusion. its as if the real world existed behind the change, the illusion of puppets, and was timeless: an immutable form of the real thing.

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The Courage to Create

6 Oct

The Courage to Create by Rollo May

A Book Review


Memories, Dreams, Reflections [Carl Jung]

10 Aug

Memories, Dream, Reflection by Carl Jung and Anne Jaffe took me a good portion of the summer to read from cover to cover. This auto/biography has provided a great deal of meaning and symbolic significance to my personal perspective. I interacted with the text, reading and writing with a pen and highlighter handy; below are a few of many sentences extracted from the book that speak volumes in the space of a few sentences.

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.

***

“Bidden or not bidden, God is present.” Carl Jung, the eminent psychologist, had this quote carved over the front door of his Zurich home, as well as on his tombstone. It is an English translation of the Latin “Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit”, a quotation he came across when studying Erasmus. The words are said to originate from the reply given by Delphic Oracle to the Spartans when they were planning a war against Athens: “Yes, the Gods will be present, but in what form and to what purpose?”

***

Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away an ephemeral apparition.

When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.

***

When people say I am wise, or a sage, I cannot accept it. A man once dipped a hateful of water from a stream. What did that amount to? I am not that stream.

I am at the stream, but I do nothing. Other people are at the same stream, but most of them find they have to do something with it. I do nothing. I never think that I am the one who must see to it that cherries grow on stalks. I stand and behold, admiring what nature can do.

There is a fine old story about a student who came to a rabbi and said, “In the olden days there were men who saw the face of God. Why don’t they any more?” The rabbi replied, “Because nowadays no one can stoop so low”.

One must stoop a little in order to fetch water from the stream.

***

Dream Journal Free Write

22 Jul

Dream Journal Free Write

Last night I had a dream epiphany.

Over the course of my life, and underlying theme and realization across dreams is the appearance of a pen with red ink.

During my dream, I realized I was realizing this in a dream when I lifted the veil of dream illusion and saw a pen with red ink was writing it out. This scared the crap out of me. I felt like a puppet, where I was controlled unbeknownst to me throughout the course of my dream when I really focused ( and I still believe this to be true because it is true the pen with red ink is all over my waking sleep). My dream analysis in my dream is this was a split of my personality. The red ink pen was interpreted like a student. It is my self-criticism writing and expressing my deviations from ideal. Upon waking and reflecting on this dream, however, the God-fearing the epiphany inspired in me and puppetry sensation and what I saw was a glimpse at the predestination predetermination fate and collective unconscious level.

Before I feel asleep I was thinking about synchronicity: Carl Jung’s theory of acausal parallelism.

After the red ink dream.

Play this song while you read about the second dream. I listened to it on repeat yesterday, and when I turned it back on again today, the colors and spirit of the song bled into the same residual sentiment of my dream.

Bigger Than My Body [John Mayer, Heavier Things, 2003}

Dream #2: A narrative type of dream, again like two night ago, it stuck me as unusual because it was in the first person and a narrative.  The first dream of the night latent with symbols and thinking outside myself is more my typical dream. Or perhaps, the type of dream I awake with a memory of experiencing for that very reason. Regardless, my narrative dream:

Valentines Day. I was at the bay of a large body of water, a river I am supposing because of the bridge that crossed it was in the distance. A very foggy and cool crispy day, and yet, the sky was cloudless. Dreary grey February. Many people, my family and other city folk who filled the spaces, were hanging out at the bay. There was a sky writer. Valentines day. There was already some writing in the sky from one love to another, and seemingly out of nowhere, another daring  sky writer appeared. He wrote in humongous capital letters, dropping  hundreds of feet to assert the message in perfect script. He was writing my name: E. M. I. L…..suddenly, the earlier letters fogged together and he started to finish the name he was actually writing: Elana. The last letter was A. He plunged down from the top going to make the bottom line, and BOOM! The plane ignited on fire and exploded in front of all of the waterfront onlookers.  The planes torpedoed into the river and the pilot, tangled in his own parachute, splashed along with the smoldering hunk of metal and propellers.

One moment later, he appeared. Walking out of the water like his legs grew the length to match its depth, be began walking towards the shore, unscathed. I ran and rushed to meet him, asking if he needed anything, an ambulance, anything. A long procession of children carrying memorial plane scraps in two single filed lines were walking behind him (where did they come from?) and a posse of people from the sky writing company brushed me off:” Silly girl, we have procedure for this you know, he is fine, just an accident, and did you see the form of those letters, he almost finished, Perfect!” They were women and men with blonde hair and those cell phone that attach to your face hands free in grey formal business attire. I watched the process of children following them arise from the river, and I awoke.

And Fish Don’t Blink.

30 Jun

When you stare out into the universe, the universe stares back.

Now, imagine a fish.

The philosophical statement and the concept of a fish fit into a common associative category, or at least, it feels like the two fit together better than they don’t fit together.

I’m still reading Memories, Dreams & Reflections by Carl Jung, and once again, a simple statement he made in passing warped my mind into a whirlpool.  He was describing a dream of his with a fish which he referred to as “…an unconscious and mute fish…”

It seems strange to me that unconscious and mute were explicitly stated: both are implicit assumptions when conceptualizing a fish. From there my mind wandered, wondering if unconscious and mute were used to describe the fish as a literary function, like an inverted mirror, functioning to point out to the reader that the non-fish and human characters in the dream are vocal and conscious creatures.

When you stare out into the universe, the universe stares back; however, the sense or feeling of the universe staring back is elusive and evades all quantification and calculations that could prove this using the scientific method. Such is the way of transcendental beliefs and a test of spiritual resolve: faith is acknowledged in silence.

A fish underwater may stare at the surface, and from above one may stare back. However, the mute and unconscious fish does not know the presence as the presence knows it, sensing it yet not with a mutual understanding.

Infinity is two-sided. Staring into the universe is the infinite, and staring into the unconscious is infinitesimal: macro and micro representations of infinity.

Truth is constantly unfolding, and at this moment the above statement is my closest understanding in investigating my associate between the philosophical statement and the idea of a fish.

Balance

28 Jun

The following excerpt from Alan Schneider’s book Doors in Disguise builds on his discussion of the Creation Diagram. This diagram, shown on the left of the page, includes the seven major chakras and the triad, diad, and monad. In this excerpt, he relates this diagram with conscious existence.

Balance

Alan Schneider

One of the interesting characteristics which can be noted about the symbols on the Creation Diagram is the fact that they all display what the biological sciences refer to as radial symmetry, that is, they all are uniformly constructed around a central point. And the symbols of the Diagram can be said to be harmonically balanced around a common axis. In theory, a radially symmetrical element can be rotated around the central symmetrical axis up to the rate at which the material of which it is composed can no longer remain intact against the resultant centrifugal forces as these increase with that rate. At this point of transition, the element fragments, usually by exploding apart.

The symbols of the Creation Diagram are ideal forms and therefore are not subject to physical destruction. Their “rate of rotation” is shown as “zero” in order to clearly reveal their esoteric form to the Seeker. But in the manifest condition of dense form in the physical plane of expression, all of the symbols are always acting in rotation. This movement is the vibration of consciousness which we experience as the world. Consciousness can be characterized as an interactive vibration of complex physical, spiritual, and mental forms. This is directly related to the combined rates and direction of rotation of the Creation Symbols. When we observe any phenomenon, whether simple or complex, we are always “registering” a global recognition of that phenomenon’s composite vibration, which is composed of the interaction of all the rates and directions of rotation of all of the Creation Symbols which are active in the phenomenon’s consciousness expression. We may or may not be aware of this perception, but it is nonetheless occurring, and the Seeker can make great progress by focusing on the world of events in this way. Additionally, I feel constrained to mention here again that everything is a form of consciousness originating in the Tetragrammaton, even a common pebble, a speck of dust, or an atom.

“We are all free to live in illusion, and we are all free to Seek the Truth.”

The Red Book

10 Jun

The Red Book by Carl Jung

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In the rare books room at Powell’s Books, I stumbled upon The Red Book on display, pages free for the flipping. The images Jung used to express the active imagination told the story when the dutch failed to translate (for me).

They Resonate. Deeply.

Modern Russian Art

9 May

Moving Slides Study Guide: Part II

The Hypostases

7 May

The Neoplatonic hypostases in relation to other esoteric systems of thought:

This diagram shows Consciousness in terms of progressive gradations of subtle worlds and aspects/substrates (of Physical, Emotional, and Mental), as well as increasing Transformation and Transcendence

The Spiral Dance – Special 20th Anniversary Edition A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess, by Starhawk — extended excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Between the Worlds

The moon is full. We meet on a hilltop that looks out over the bay. Below us, lights spread out like a field of jewels, and faraway skyscrapers pierce the swirling fog like the spires of fairytale towers. The night is enchanted,

Our candles have been blown out, and our makeshift altar cannot stand up under the force of the wind, as it sings through the branches of tall eucalyptus. We hold up our arms and let it hurl against our faces. We are exhilarated, hair and eyes streaming. The tools are unimportant; we have all we need to make magic: our bodies, our breath, our voices, each other.

The circle has been cast. The invocations begin:

All-dewy, sky-sailing pregnant moon,

Who shines for all.

Who flows through all…

Aradia, Diana, Cybele, Mah…

Sailor of the last sea,

Guardian of the gate,

Ever-dying, ever-living radiance…

Dionysus, Osiris, Pan, Arthur, Hu…

The moon clears the treetops and shines on the circle. We huddle closer for warmth. A woman moves into the center of the circle. We begin to chant her name:

“Diana…”

“Dee-ah-nah…”

“Aaaah…”

The chant builds, spiraling upward. Voices merge into one endlessly modulated harmony. The circle is enveloped in a cone of light.

Then, in a breath — silence.

“You are Goddess,” we say to Diane, and kiss her as she steps back into the outer ring. She is smiling.

She remembers who she is.

One by one, we will step into the center of the circle. We will hear our names chanted, feel the cone rise around us. We will receive the gift, and remember:

“I am Goddess. You are God, Goddess. All that lives, breathes, loves, sings in the unending harmony of being is divine. “

In the circle, we will take hands and dance under the moon.

“To disbelieve in witchcraft is the greatest of all heresies.” Malleus Maleficarum (1486)

Burning Couch

2 May

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Words of Wisdom: On Art & Sacrifice

2 May

Joseph Campbell serves me as a source of inspiration, spiritually and academically. Campbell was inspired by Carl Jung. Their words articulate notions that stir something deep within me and resonate greatly, like a ball rolling around a Tibetan bowl.

The word “ART” can be simply said to be the synonym of Beauty. It is defined as the collection of beautiful, creative things. It is the expression of your imagination. It is the skill acquired by experience, study, or observation. It is an occupation requiring knowledge or skill. It highlights the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects and implies a personal, non analyzable creative power (Joseph Campbell).”

“Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being (Carl Jung).”

Research Notes to Self

28 Apr

Memories, Dreams, Reflections ..by Carl Gustav Jung

Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious ..by Carl Gustav Jung, R. F. Hull (Translator)

Synchronicity; An Acausal Connecting Principle. ..by Carl Gustav Jung, G. Adler (Editor), R. F. Hull (Translator)

Alchemical Studies ..by Carl Gustav Jung, Herbert Read (Editor)

The Aryan Christ : The Secret Life of Carl Jung ..by Richard Noll

The Basic Writings of C. G. Jung (The Modern Library) ..by Violet Staub De Laszlo (Editor), Carl Gustav Jung

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, No. 1 : Psychiatric Studies ..by Carl Gustav Jung, R. F. Hull (Editor)

Dreams ..by Carl Gustav Jung, R. F. Hull (Translator)

Encountering Jung on Mythology (Encountering Jung) ..by C. G. Jung, Robert A. Segal

Essays on a Science of Mythology : The Myth of the Divine Child and the Mysteries of Eleusis (Mythos : The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythol) ..by C. Kerenyi (Contributor), Carl Gustav Jung

Flying Saucers ..by Jung, Carl Gustav Jung

The Freud/Jung Letters : The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung (Bollingen Series, Xciv) ..by William McGuire (Editor), Ralph Manheim, R.F.C. Hull (Translator), Sigmund Freud

The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead ..by Stephan A. Hoeller, Stephen Hoeller

Introduction to Zen Buddhism ..by Daisetz T. Suzuki, Carl Gustav Jung

Man and His Symbols .. by Carl Gustav Jung

Secret of the Golden Flower : A Chinese Book of Life ..by Tung-Pin Lu, Richard Wilhelm, Cary F. Baynes, hua Liu, Carl G. Jung

The Undiscovered Self .. by Carl Gustav Jung

Symbols of Transformation ..by Carl Gustav Jung, R. F. Hull (Editor)

Mysterium Coniunctionis : An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy ..by Carl Gustav Jung, Herbert Read (Editor)

Psychology and the Occult ..by Carl Gustav, Jung, G. Adler (Editor), R. F. Hull (Translator)

The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga : Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C.G. Jung (Bollingen Series, No 99) ..by Sonu Shamdasani (Editor), Carl Gustav Jung

Spiritual Pilgrims : Carl Jung and Teresa of Avila ..by John W. Welch

Homer-The Iliad: Book XVIII (I Seek This When I Need This)

11 Apr

Bk XVIII:468-617 Hephaestus forges Achilles’ armour

With this, Hephaestus returned to his forge, turned his bellows on the fire, and ordered them to begin. The set of twenty nozzles blew on the crucibles, sending out a varying blast of air at need, aiding his careful efforts as required, at every stage of the work. Into the crucibles went stubborn bronze, tin, precious gold and silver. He set up a great anvil on its block, and took a massive hammer in one hand and a pair of tongs in the other.

Then he first made a shield, broad and solid, adorning it skilfully everywhere, and setting round it a glittering triple rim, with a silver strap attached. Five layers it had, and he decorated it with subtle art.

On it he showed the earth, sea, sky, the tireless sun and the full moon, and all the constellations that crown the heavens, the Pleiades, Hyades, great Orion, and the Bear, that men also call the Wain, that circles round in its place, never bathing in Ocean’s stream, while gazing warily at Orion.

On it he showed two fine cities of mortal men. In one there were marriage feasts, and to the light of blazing torches, the brides were led from their rooms and through the city, to the sound of wedding songs. Young men circled in the dance, whirling round to flutes and lyres, while women stood in their doorways gazing. But the men had gathered in assembly, where two of them were arguing a case, contesting the blood price to be paid for another’s death. The defendant claimed he had paid all that was right, putting this to the people, but the accuser refused his acceptance, and the pair of them sought arbitration. Both were cheered by their supporters, whom the heralds firmly restrained. The Elders sat on the sacred bench, a semi-circle of polished stone, receiving the speaker’s staff from the loud-voiced heralds, and rising to give judgement in turn. At their feet lay two talents of gold, the fee for the one who gave the soundest judgement.

The other city was besieged by two armies clad in glittering armour. Their plan was to attempt to sack it, or accept instead a half of all its wealth. But the citizens resisted, and secretly were arming for an ambush, their beloved wives, the children, and the old left to defend the walls, while the rest set out, led by Ares and Athene, all made of gold. Tall and beautiful in their golden clothes and armour, as gods should look, they rose above the smaller warriors at their feet. Another scene showed them by a river, a watering place for the herds and a likely place to mount their ambush, and there they were seated in their bronze armour. Then in another two scouts were posted, waiting for sight of a herd of sheep or glossy cattle. Then there was shown the herds’ arrival, with two herdsmen behind playing flutes, ignorant of the cunning ambush. Then the ambushers were seen, rushing out to attack them as they neared, quickly cutting out the herd of cattle and the fine white flock of sheep, killing the herdsmen. Next, the besiegers were shown, sitting in assembly, or rising at the sound of cattle, or mounting behind their high-stepping steeds and racing towards the action. And finally he showed the ranks in battle at the river, attacking each other with bronze-tipped spears. Strife and Panic were at work, and ruthless Fate, here laying her hands on one man freshly wounded, there on another still unscathed, and next dragging a corpse through the chaos by its feet. The cloak about her shoulders was red with human blood. Just like living men they seemed to clash and fight, and drag away the bodies of those killed.

On the shield also, he depicted fallow-land, soft, rich, broad and thrice-ploughed, and on it ploughmen were driving their teams to and fro, and where they turned at the field’s end a man held a cup of honeyed wine in his hands to give to them, so they were eager to wheel about at the end of the rich furrow. Behind them the field, though made of gold, looked black as if it had been ploughed, a wonderful feature of the work.

On the shield also, he showed a royal estate, where labourers were reaping, with sharp sickles in their hands. Armfuls of corn were falling in swathes along the rows, while sheaves were being bound with twists of straw. Boys were gathering up the armfuls and carrying them to the three binders, while the king, staff in hand, stood joyfully and silently beside them. Heralds in the background beneath an oak were readying a feast, dressing a great sacrificial ox they had slaughtered, while women sprinkled the meat with white barley ready for the labourers to eat.

On the shield also, he portrayed in gold a fine vineyard laden with grapes, though the clusters of heavy fruit were black, and the vines were tied to silver poles. Round it was a ditch of blue enamel, and outside that a fence of tin and a single path led to it, that served for all the coming and going of harvest time. Girls and youths, were joyfully carrying off the ripe grapes in wicker baskets, while in their midst a boy sang of Linos, in a sweet treble voice, to the pleasant music of the clear-toned lyre. They all skipped along, with a chorus of cries, beating the earth in time, with dancing feet.

Then on the shield he showed a herd of straight-horned cattle, in gold and tin, lowing as they trotted from their byre to graze at a murmuring stream beside the swaying rushes. Four herdsmen, also in gold, walked beside them, and nine swift dogs ran behind. But in the next scene two savage lions in amongst the leaders were gripping a bull that bellowed loudly, dragging it off, pursued by youths and dogs. The lions had torn the bull’s flank open, and were devouring its innards, lapping the dark blood, while the herdsmen tried in vain to set the swift hounds on them, the dogs scared to grapple, but running in barking, then leaping aside.

On the shield, also, the lame master-smith added meadowland full of white sheep, in a fine valley, with sheepfolds, huts and pens.

Then he inlaid an intricate dancing floor like that which Daedalus once made in spacious Cnossos for long-haired Ariadne. Young men, and girls worth many cattle, were dancing there, their hands clasping one another’s wrists. The girls wore white linen with pretty garlands on their heads; the young men fine-woven tunics with a soft sheen, daggers of gold hanging from their silver belts. Here, they danced lightly with skilful steps, like the motion a potter gives his wheel when testing it out to see how it will run. There, they ran in lines to meet each other. And enjoying the lovely scene, a host of people stood round about, while a pair of acrobats whirled among them, keeping time to the dance.

Finally, round the rim of the solid shield, he laid out the mighty stream of Ocean.

When the large heavy shield was done, he made a breastplate for Achilles that shone brighter than flame; a massive helmet to fit his head, a fine one cleverly embossed with a crest of gold; and greaves of pliable tin.

And when the lame god had wrought the armour, he took it and set it down in front of Thetis. Then she swooped like a falcon, from snow-topped Olympus, bearing Hephaestus’ gleaming gift.

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