Tuesday, October 30, 2007
All that changed one August evening. Myra was at home asleep. It was the night the Oil Peaked. In Tokyo, the price of oil went through the roof, shutting down their commodities exchange. The same thing happened in Moscow, Cairo, Berlin, Reykavik. By the time everyone in America woke up, the whole world had changed. Gasoline which the day before had cost a mere $4.50 per gallon was now $25 per gallon. It didn’t make a bit of difference to Myra, who had no car to fuel, only her body, but it did make a difference to millions of commuting Americans, especially those who neglected to fuel their gas tanks the night before.
With only expensive petroleum to fuel the economy, well, it didn’t last long. People simply could not afford to drive 50 miles to work and back for more than a couple of days, long enough to pick up their last paychecks. To make matters worse, a ferocious summer storm swept through central Illinois, dropping softball-sized hail and massive straight-line winds. People had a lot more on their minds than expensive petroleum and missing days in their cubicles.
The plants in the greenhouse were confused. They always received daily attention, but they weren’t watered for several days in the beginning of the Time of Crises. Many of the weakest plants withered to nothing in the August heat and humidity. Then the hail came and the winds blew. The hail crashed through the glass roof. Crash! Crash! The plants were shocked as shards of glass came hurtling down, with their slicing pain. But then, the rain came. It was cool and refreshing, drenching. The plants had never felt actual rain before, and they imagined this must be what it is like to be born. The sun shone the next day, and they stretched to the sky, and they realized they were alive.
Many tropical plants did not survive the first open winter, although it was mild. The big conifer stretched its boughs wide to shelter as many as it could. Just when the plants thought the end was near, the spring winds started to blow and the warm rain kissed their needles and bare branches once again. They grew. Their roots stretched forth and broke open the plastic pots which thought to contain them. Even the cacao tree, up on concrete blocks, reached down its roots to the concrete floor, littered with leaves and bird poop. It was manna to chocolate.
When Myra stopped in, years later, to see what had happened of the plants in the greenhouse, she was amazed to see that they were flourishing. The concrete floor was not discernable. Even the walls were barely standing. What with the changing climate, even the tropical plants were doing well. The lime tree was profuse in sweet blossoms. And Myra remembered the dismay she had felt when she worked there as a caretaker, and of the good thoughts her fellow zomban Badger had told her–even potted plants have the ability to break free and rewild themselves. She was glad at last it had been realized.
[I'm not sure what props are, but many of them go out to Badger, who inspired this vision in my summer of working in a 115 degree greenhouse. Thanks, bro.]
Sunday, October 28, 2007
From observation, it’s obvious to me that under normal circumstances, a human’s body, consciousness and spirit (or however you do or don’t want to break it down for ease of understanding what the hell we’re talking about), they’re bound tightly together. So, to help get myself happier and more enlightened, I puzzle over my human body/temple’s architecture and feng shui and make it work for me. To this end, and as long-time followers of this blog may remember, I’ve tested out several systems of physical conditioning- da kung fu, American bootcamp stylee, parkour, all good shit. For what I want, though, this newest routine is hard ta beat. It’s easy as can be, it makes me vigorous, and people have been sayin’ I should make money on the side as a model because I’m lookin’ so fine, which of course puts me in a good headspace. The story starts a couple months ago.
“Have you a physical routine, to go with your Jesus as yogi schpiel?” Werebrock had given his ear to an Indo-European guru of “Ascension”. The guru’s words rang beautifully, but whispy-like as the man’s childish body; Werebrock felt the lesson needed something fleshier to gain traction in his brain. Did the man’s herald of Jesus incorporating yogic gnosis into his teachings seem far-fetched? Try a little Gospel of Thomas and judge for yourself:
“3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.”
If you interpret the “Father” in this saying as a transcendental “Christ consciousness” that gives you access to paradise now (as you breath), it’s right in line with the enlightenment you’d see at a Krishna Temple. So far the reason for his zany zeal could not responsibly be rejected out of hand.
A quick side rant, because I spent so long typing up Fredy Perlman’s work. I’m asking myself, “What if Moses and his wandering ex-workers collective realized that, if there were ever gonna be a promised land, it was wherever the heaven they happened to be, on whatever uncounted day of manna gobbling, wilderness wandering they were? So footloose and fancy free, the Sons of Levi could not reasonably be expected to have murdered their ecstatic, fertility worshipping family. Those infamous wanderers might have sung “This Land is Our Land” with the Canaanites, instead of killing them and despoiling the land they’d cared for. They could have thrown roof parties on olde-timey cob houses, danced out in wild olive and carob groves together, sipped henbane mead and toasted their cousins’ different styles of freedom.
Anyway, the guru was smiling after Werebrock’s practical question. “Have you seen the 5 Tibetan Rites?” Werebrock flashed back smiling and confessed his ignorance. It always comes back to Tibet with New Agers, and this idea pinged around as a whinny in the back of his throat, and then the other guy giggled and they laughed together. “Heuh, lait mhe show you.” The child-like swami said this with a satirical tone, affecting the accent of a Hindustani Kwikee Mart operator.
The yogi’s demo was simple. First he spun around like whirling dervish; then he did some leg lifts, bent backwards, did the table and then a version of downward dog. Seemingly pretty mundane, like the secular yoga Werebrock had practiced at the Y as a kid. But there was something different about these poses. If I had taken still photographs to show you, and then you saw Werebrock doing the poses, you’d be right to charge us with prestidigitation. Werebrock was kind of impressed! The guru said the “Rites” got a body’s chakras glowing in unison, and that a British explorer had brought them back from Tibet early last century. Werebrock had been reading some Celtic neo-pagan lit that suggests a connection between ancient Celt spirituality and chakras, and this excited Werebrock to the extent that some direct quoting is justified:
“It is very possible that the Celts, from their exposure to Eastern cultures (they used to be one), knew about the light centers, what the Hindus call charkas. Hints are given about this in legends and tales, such as Taliesin’s “shining brow” and the “power spot” on Diarmuid’s forehead. When Cu Chulainn was filled with power, he is described as having fire around his head, an obvious reference to the crown center being open. There are few references beyond these in Celtic literature. However, there are enough other spiritual practices among the Celts that are similar to those in the East to realize that both cultures knew many of the same principles.” (“The Light Centers”, D.J. Conway’s By Oak, Ash and Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism, pg. 68)
“3 Places Upon a Bard where Blood may be Drawn:
FROM HIS FOREHEAD
FROM HIS BREAST
FROM HIS GROIN
[Author’s note: There is a section in the Book of Pheryllt, which mentions these exact same three body-points as being the 3 energy vortices (“sources of Awen”) of the body, similar in theory to the seven Eastern chakara meridians. The Pheryllt equated the ‘Groin’ center with darker/feminine/earth energies/3 darker colors of the spectrum (e.g. violet, indigo & blue); the ‘Breast’ being the green/balancing/androgenous center; the ‘Forehead’ emanating the lighter/masculine/celestial energies/3 lighter colors (e.g. yellow, orange & red)].” (Prologue of Douglas Monroe’s The 21 Lessons of Merlyn: A Study in Druid Magic & Lore)
Fuck YEAH I want my head to burst open and erupt in holy fire! Where do you sign up? Maybe this is how to go about doing so- Werebrock adopted the 5 Tibetan Rites as praxis. In case you didn’t make that non-teleological jump with me, consider that Werebrock had been on a frustrating hunt for mistletoe to use in neo-Druidic ritual. After eventually learning that Mountain Gardens is too high an ecosystem for it to grow, he mostly/temporarily gave up the search. As he was letting go, a yogi teaching supposedly ancient globalized spirituality shows up. His connection between Palestine, India and Christianity reminded Werebrock of the Indoeuropean origin that connects many Vedic believers and us Celts’ ancestors. So connection there. Then the guru shares a process for getting the chakras in sync and keeping in good health, which must be prerequisite for the Kundalini awakening that sets your head on fire in New Age thought.
Hot dawg! Did you ever notice that dawg spelled backwards doesn’t spell gawd?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Got an "Ah HA!" moment to share. Twas reading this old National Geographic, October 1985, and in it der's a great article called "Arabia's Frankincense Trail". There was lots in there for one to be diggin' on- tree crops, the history of the mysterious obelisk at the center of Mecca, beautiful unisexual clothing- but this paragraph from page 492 really fr-geeked me out:
"Until a few decades ago dark blue indigo loincloths were prefeered by the tribes of "blue men," the Bedouin of southern Arabia. Even during the chilly highland winters, they claimed, a mixture of indigo and sesame oil rubbed on their naked chests and legs kepth them warm. On small farms around Bayhan the indigo bushes (Indigofera tinctoria) still grow."
"Why is this interesting?", ya might be asking. Don't know, but here's why I took note. This painting yourself blue brings to mind my "Pictish" ancestors. Who knows what they called themselves, but according to their Wikipedia entry, "The Greek word Πικτοί (Latin Picti) first appears in a panegyric written by Eumenius in AD 297 and is taken to mean 'painted or tattooed people' (Latin pingere 'paint')."
This thread continues into the entry for the plant woad (Isatis tinctoria). Check this out:
"Julius Caesar tells us (in de Bello Gallico) that the Britanni used to mark their bodies with vitrum; this has often been assumed to mean that they painted or tattooed themselves with woad. However vitrum does not translate to "woad", but probably more likely refers to a type of blue-green glass which was common at the time. The Picts may have gotten their name... from their practice of going into battle naked except for body paint or tattoos."
Kym ní Dhoireann has undergone inconclusive and painful experiments, trying to dye themselves blue with woad. Props to their sore ass for trying, and sorry for the dissapointment. But maybe when the dude thinks they're pointing out problems with a woad as skin application idea, they've missed the point. I'll need to look into it further to think it with authority, and that may be impossibe given the kinds of record that Leviathan takes. Ask yourself, though: where would Ceasar and his Legionaires have encountered "Pictish" folk? Consider that those bellicose bastards didn't make many friends- Roman contact with foreigners would have been restricted to times of active bullying. Traders headed South into Roman colonies might have taken the famous advice "When in Rome, do as a Roman", and left their indigenous skin pigment behind. As their red-plumed helmet gets cleaved in two, maybe the Roman foot soldiers did not positively identify their enemy's pigment source. Latifundians wouldn't necessarily allow their captured enemies to continue a complicated, misplaced form of vernacular skin adornment. If you line up the "maybes" we've gone through so far, there is no assurity in the assumption that Julius Ceasar knew much about the Pict's blue-looking skin.
Here's my Ah HA! hypothesis: maybe the Picts wore a woad-based balm for fending off the cold. What's extracted for dye from Indigofera tinctoria and Isatis tinctoria is the same thing, though there's less in the woad. The Bedouins wore an indigo concoction as an adaptation to a harsh highland climate similar to that of Northern Scotland. Now go read about Irish Soma.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Not only that, but they've "ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers."
There's more in the article. So much for a free market! LOL.
A senior NASA official, associate administrator Thomas S. Luedtke, said revealing the findings could damage the public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits. Luedtke acknowledged that the survey results "present a comprehensive picture of certain aspects of the U.S. commercial aviation industry."
The AP sought to obtain the survey data over 14 months under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act."Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey," Luedtke wrote in a final denial letter to the AP.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Werebrock blowing you a kiss.
Human culture and wilderness should always be so complimentary.
The beloved Nicotiana rustica v. Cherokee.
The morning glories have landed!
Wild Root Brew, bubbling under barrels of bird peppers and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).
The Dr. Seuss plant
This swimming hole deserves a famous haiku.
A little bozo faerie.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
'I believe (Fuck It) is a major contribution to the human race' says the Barefoot Doctor in the Foreword. Like a magical modern mantra, just starting to say Fuck It can transform your life. Saying Fuck It feels good. To stop struggling and finally do what you fancy; to ignore what everyone's telling you and go your own way feels just great. In this inspiring and humorous book, John C. Parkin suggests that saying Fuck It doesn t just make us feel good, it is a spiritual act. Indeed, the highest spiritual act. Fuck It is the perfect western expression of the eastern spiritual ideas of letting go, giving up and finding real freedom by realising that things don't matter so much (if at all). But also has the added balls that most of us westerners need to lead us away from our stressed out, uptight, meaning-full lives. Plus, it doesn't require chanting, meditating, wearing sandals or eating beans. So find out how to say Fuck It to all your problems and concerns. Say Fuck It to all the 'shoulds' in your life and finally do what you want (no matter what people think).