14 N°14 Jan.–February 2010
Photography by Tracy Marshall
Editorial Beyond The Pale by Éric P. Lemoine
n the latest book of the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, the eleventh and last of the Wizard’s Rules is revealed —not taught but rather shown, in the form of a highly sought after book. The book is unveiled to be all blank. [as explained by the Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander] The rule of all rules. The rule unwritten. The rule unspoken since the dawn of history […] The only way to express it, to make sure that you would grasp what he was intending to tell you, was to give you a book unwritten to signify the rule unwritten. —Chapter 65, p. 592, U.S. hardcover edition
The use of the blank book as a symbol is hardly anything novel; tradition has it in runes for instance, with the blank rune, called “wyrd” (fate, destiny) incorporated in the set. More than being a mere plot twist, what do these remind us of? First, that far from being a curse, the blank page is also a blessing in the promises of an entirely new universe that you can fill up with your imagination. Second, that what we perceive is irremediably shaped by our interpretation, our values, our beliefs. What do we see when we see this cover? A white horse? Not just a white horse. For instance, does it make us feel good, excited, or cold? Perhaps it makes you feel good —if you have a liking for horses, or if you enjoy the colour white; and perhaps not so much, if you are an Oriental or someone living in cold lands for whom white may be a symbol of death and the great beyond. Even if you don’t consciously think about the associations, they are present nonetheless, and very often are blended in your perception so well you don’t even remember you have put them here. We are comforted in living behind the familiar paled fences of our associations, and yet constantly opening a fresh eye onto our world should be a regular endeavour for us. For we may not notice it or even consider it, but everything is new each time we look at it. And a new setting means new opportunities, even if looking for them seems beyond the pale.
Email for inquiries and submissions firstname.lastname@example.org Cover artist Tracy Marshall Design and publication Éric P. Lemoine
ISSN 1760-4796 Contributors to this issue
Rob Arteman (USA) Lee Krush (Canada) Emma Bevan (UK) Begoña Landi Pienaar (Portugal) Jean Blenkhorn (USA) Sheila MacGregor (USA) Rachel Brookes Finlay (Spain) Kenneth MacSween (USA) gregory chinon (France) Tracy Marshall (Spain) Judyette Clarke (USA) Sharon Mendenhall (USA) Rachel Brookes Finlay (Spain) Scott Neighbour (Canada) Rick Daddario (USA) Bill Pate (USA) Jean-Baptiste Duret (France) Anet Paulina (USA) John Hawkins (Canada) Kia Pletinckx (Belgium) Sabine vom Hoff (Germany) Peter Pynchon (USA) Bill Ingle (USA) Jenifer Ransom (USA) Richard Kendall (USA) Jeremy Key (USA) Peter Wood (UK)
This 14th issue of Wisp is like the first blades of grass emerging from the ground after a long winter pause. Next issues may still be released infrequently, nevertheless you are most welcome to stay in touch and send us your feedback, e.g. on Facebook
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“Firstly, there is no such person as Death. Second, Death’s this tall guy with a bone face, like a skeletal monk, with a scythe and an hourglass and a big white horse and a penchant for playing chess with Scandinavians. Third, he doesn’t exist either.” Neil Gaiman – The High Cost of Living
Inside Editorial — Beyond The Pale
Éric P. Lemoine • p.2
The Art of Living Glass
Tracy Marshall, Rachel Brookes Finlay • p.5–7
Sabine vom Hoff • p.8,10
Peter Wood • p.8
Set You Free
Anet Paulina • p.9
Seth Speaks To Me
Rich Kendall • p.11–13
The Upholstery of Dimensions / Buddhafly
Kenneth MacSween • p.12–13
Emma Bevan • p.14–16
Bill Ingle • p.17
Anet Paulina • p.18
Vajimukha, The Horse-Headed Self
Elikozoe • p.19
Blessing of Hope
Lee Krush • p.20–21
The Search for the Nine
Sharon Mendenhall • p.22–27
Art Is Everywhere, altered mouse-trap
Jean Blenkhorn • p.26
Visiting Spirits in Northern California
Peter Pynchon • p. 28–29
Antelope Slot Canyon
photography by Peter Pynchon • p.30–31
The Enchantment of Chanting
John Hawkins • p.32–35
Exchange with Nadishana
Tracy Marshall, Tara Stewart • p.36
Jenifer Ransom • p.37
The Middleton File
Scott Neighbour • p.38
Gozen’s Love • p.40
Begoña Landi Pienaar, Bill Pate & Rick Daddario • p.41
Tiles of the Year
Jean-Baptiste Duret • p.42
Whisper Zone (continued)
Kenneth MacSween, Judyette Clarke, Sheila MacGregor • p.43,45
Robotman's Energy Exchange (Pt. 5)
Rob Arteman • p.44–45
photography by Kia Pletinckx • p.45–47
You could stand me on a beach until the end of times, and never would it occur to me to try to make it into windows. Bill Bryson
Arte en Vidrio Creations, by Tami and Dani • see p.6–7
Inquiries email@example.com or phone +34.952386997 JAN.–FEBRUARY 2010
The Art of Living Glass
by Tracy Marshall & Rachel Brookes Finlay
“ racy, you just HAVE to come and look at this!” Rachel exclaimed, beckoning me towards a stall at the Gaucin Art and Craft Fair. “Isn’t it magical?” I had to agree, I’d never seen such unusual and enchanting glasswork — wonderful quirky creations of colour and light, a feast for the eyes, crafted with such imagination as to transport one instantly to another world, a fairy land. Tami, half of the “Arte en Vidrio” husband and wife team, was happy to answer our questions, and informed us that she and her husband Dani worked on the same pieces together, and have shared many past lives. We inquired about custom made windows and Tami explained that she reads the energy of the people who commission special projects. Naturally, I was intrigued, and wanted to know more. What is the secret when people love their work so much that they do it for fun? The wondrous energy of fun emanating from the glasswork was palpable. Tami agreed to an interview for Wisp ezine, and we arranged to meet her in her apartment in Torremolinos. Tami and Dani’s glasswork is never symmetrical, so it was a surprise to find that they live in a very symmetrical apartment block, in the middle of a busy city. "I know I look like I should live in the country,” Tami said with a smile, “But I love the city, I love the energy and the people.” The apartment was full to the ceiling with enchanting glass concoctions, and broken vases, and all manner of objects that may be incorporated into the creations. Dani showed me one piece with a combination of blue Delft china and dark blue glass, saying how much he loved that dark blue colour. Tami told us that they have a friend with an antique shop who gives them any broken china or glass objects, and remarked that even if a valuable piece of china is broken, it is still beautiful incorporated into one of their designs. Tami started off as a teacher of art, and Dani as a graphic designer. They often work together on the same painting, as well as working together on the glass items. They love what they do passionately, and never consider it to be work. All day, every day, they create their delightful pieces, simply because that is what they enjoy doing most.
Q: When did you start working together? Tami: It started when we were in kindergarten, biting each other! Then we met again in high school. My trousers were covered in sketches, which was forbidden then, and we went to movies together, and then we got married. We have always worked together, and painted together on the same paintings.
We were looking for another dimension, to make something else, and we discovered the glass, which I love, and also the metal, which I love. We have plans for the future, to make other things. My plan is to work with a sculptor who works with nets and wire, at least for four months to learn everything, a new avenue. As well we want to start plating natural things, leaves and natural things to covert them into jewellery, and add them to our glasswork.
Q: Will you stop selling the glass at the art fairs? Tami: No! We love it, we love it! Not just selling the things, but we love the contact with the people. Even if I was a millionaire, I would still go to the markets, I love it, we both love it, connecting with the people. Tami, who channels using automatic writing, explains about Dani's communications with several entities.
Q: When Dani channels, does he trance channel or is it automatic writing? Tami: No, mine is automatic writing; he uses another way with some ceremonies of water and light. He goes out of body, knows everything, and then comes back.
Q: Does he write any of it down? Tami: No he tells me, and I remember it all. I believe in angels, I work with them. They give me designs, I know them by the designs. I know exactly which one is which! The personality, the style, the colours… When I’m working I’m floating and asking “Which one comes now?” When I start, I place many pieces of glass and whatnot in front of me, and then it goes automatically. I meditate a lot so I can clear my mind and stop thinking, and then, it comes. Intuition, you have to believe in it, listen to it, develop it all the time. You get a lot of power, not a power to control because controlling is absolutely bad, therefore we don’t believe in a main religion, because it’s a way of controlling. I believe in just one belief, to go down the main road and see the light. Life is simple, we complicate it. If you just desire something, then you will get it, because you leave the desire to the universe, and you will get it when the time is right. It’s a simple way. The law of attraction. It’s not a matter of what you deserve, if you think in positive ways you will attract it. You will see how simple it goes! Every time I come home I have a parking space! And every time I say thank you. All the time we're thinking of the upside and downside and feeling like a victim of life, but we are not victims! I’m so glad that I was born an Israeli, this is the main thing that leads me to my belief. I’m always asking questions and looking for answers, and the Kabbalah is full of light, and so many answers, it is amazing. I am connected to the centre online and every day I get the answers to my big questions, it’s like it’s written to me! But you have to be open, and to accept that there is god, there is light, there is love, you have just to use it, and just spread it, because people are so closed and shrunken. There are so many ideas and so many views, you can’t change a lot but your own surroundings, and it is like throwing a stone into water — it ripples. Like you now, you start thinking about what I’m saying. You know it from the inside, and then you’ll speak to someone else and so on.
mother, father, like my brother, I know all the relevant parts we had before in other lives together and it helps, it helps to communicate now, and to help complete karma. We have three adopted children, one of them is very spiritual. She is amazing, and she channels too, and always has the answers. I feel so glad to have her, she’s like a part of my incarnation, to finish my karma. It’s amazing how it comes. She’s deep like I don’t know, I can’t find the bottom of her. It’s a way of living. You have to accept it like part of your existence. When you start getting to know people who are transmitting on your level of energy, you flow together, it’s really amazing, and that’s why I will never stop doing the markets, because I love meeting people. The people who don’t approach me, it doesn’t matter, it’s not the same energy. It’s like turning on the radio, you adjust the frequency and tune in. A long time ago my uncle died and I got together with him “outside” and he told me that he wanted to talk to his son. I asked him “How do you want to talk to him, maybe he doesn’t know how” and he said “It’s so easy! You pick up the phone” he said, in words I remember so well, “And you dial with the intention of connecting with someone, and it is exactly the same if you want to connect to someone “outside". You just pick up the phone and you talk to him.” After Dani’s grandmother died — he was very close to her — one night he picked up the phone and heard her voice, and talked to her. There are stories like this all over the world, you just have to let yourself. Don’t ever say no! Because no doesn’t exist in the universe, and it goes over the no, doesn’t understand the no. If you say “I don’t want,” get rid of the no, and it’s “I do want it,” and then you get it as a punch!
Q: You get what you focus on… Tami: Yes! If you say I don’t want to get a cold, and you get a cold, if you take the no out, it’s like saying I want a cold. We got so many punches all over us, we had to look for the reason why, and I got so many answers for the why from myself, inside, from me, and from the angels that are always around me. We are fed up with the religions, fed up with the violence… What next, what next? And the next is simplicity. Simplicity is the answer.
Q: When you meet people do you instantly get a sense that you've known them before? Tami: Yes! Sometimes it’s embarrassing because I’m so like “Oh hi!” and you feel the love and the bond, and sometimes they don’t know. My daughter, for sure is part of my soul. For sure, for sure. Like my
Q: What is your favourite piece? Tami: My husband!
by Sabine vom Hoﬀ What is important about Neptune? Not the doing of the right thing, not the doing of the wrong thing… The connection with self is important, self is not a thing: self is the essence. When I am awake, whether I sleep or not, I am connected with my essence. Simply the connection with self is the expression of trust… because there is no ‘no trust’ of self. Trust is necessary when I am disconnected, then I am looking for some ‘thing’ I can project my trust upon; but there is ‘no thing’ [outside of self] so the expression of trust projected upon a thing is never calming, nor satisfactory. The German word for satisfaction is Befriedigung… where there is the word ‘Friede’ — peace. So satisfaction is the peace within me and the peace within me is, when I am aware of my essence, the connection with myself. This state of beingness exists only in the now — it includes the past and the future, but it is not the past nor is it the future. Being in the now and connected with self, I am aware of the beliefs, the truths, the blueprint: they are like walls — I respond to them or not, that is my choice. I can also merely be aware of them and let them be; when I don’t respond, they then pass like a tone of a song. Or I can see them as precious stones, but when I hold tight to them, I express responsibility — I pretend to be the owner. When I am the owner, my concentration is upon them to the exclusion of all else — that requires effort and the effort is tension. When I merely perceive them, touch, smell, hear, see or taste them — they are a piece of music, which I enjoy. Whatever I choose is not important — as long as I sense the connection with my self. When I am connected with my self, I am aware of the impulses: they need not be translated into thought (although they may, as the inner voice) ; by following the impulses in the moment all desires are met, perfectly. That is the real satisfaction.
Legitimising Yourself by Peter Wood I’m sure several of you will have experienced the dropping into consciousness of a phrase which when first heard arrests your attention. Years ago as I was just getting started on the Seth material and I heard the words ‘truth is a relative proposition within the spacetime continuum’… Where did that come from? That wasn’t me so where did it come from? Of course, it didn’t take me long to figure out it was me, the inner me, but with the mark of knowing that is a realisation that if you sat down and tried to think it up, it wouldn’t happen — they arrive quite spontaneously. I was musing recently on the idea of walking down the high street or it could be any shopping centre and thinking “who the hell are all these people in my reality?” I don’t even know them! I will never speak to any of them or brush shoulders with them, I don’t know why they are there that day or where they are going, some of them I will only see the backs of! Okay, there are a couple I might buy a coffee from but again, who are all these people in my reality? I decided not to intellectualise what we all are capable of doing with the material and mused on it and then heard these words ‘they are all moving
in probable synchronicity with you.’
…‘probable synchronicity’? That sounds good, never heard that before! So now I’m thinking: is that a legitimate phrase, has it been used before? — and I decide to google it. No, never been used as far as I can tell. So it’s one of those moments that is open to us all and this shall remain a keeper.
Set You Free
ran with you out of the jail Right past the sleeping guard We slipped through the unlocked door Escaped the prison ward In yet another time and place
We tunneled through the ground Digging in the hard-packed dirt Until the light we found And here I find you, once again In a prison of your own making I want so much to show you, my friend That freedom is yours for the taking This time the walls are not concrete The bars not made of steel The fortress now is in your mind Feelings you won’t let yourself feel The prison guards live in your head The bars encase your heart Let go your fears and choose instead The risk of a fresh start Come fly with me, I’ll set you free We’ll soar above the trees Come run with me through open fields Let your true self be revealed
photography by Sabine vom Hoff
Seth Speaks To Me Chapter 20
Badeta Le Orleato Mar Lon Tor Far-Ata by Rich Kendall
very once in a while I would spend a few days in Elmira with friends, and this week I took advantage of such an opportunity. I arrived in Elmira on a Thursday afternoon, and with class not scheduled until Tuesday I had plenty of time to relax. I then remembered that on Friday nights Jane and Rob often had informal gatherings at their apartment. I called and asked if I could join them and was given the okay. Besides myself, only a few other people showed up, none of them regular class members. Seth rarely came through during such occasions but Jane was still Jane; meaning “small talk” lasted only so long. I wasn’t working at that point in my life and casually mentioned the fact that I had gone on welfare to help me get by.
Like anyone, Jane’s buttons could be pushed at times and my welfare comment did the trick. Jane had been on welfare for much of her early life, charged with taking care of an invalid mother, and receiving little help from a father who took off for parts unknown shortly after Jane had been born. For Jane, being on welfare was not a minor footnote one tosses out with the same nonchalance with which one might mention a movie they recently saw. After expressing her anger and displeasure in response to what I had just disclosed, informal gathering or not, Jane went into a Sumari trance and spoke the following words to me: Badeta Le Orleato Mar Lon Tor Far-Ata. She then translated them into English— “The bread is stolen from the seagulls.” This innocent little get-together was turning out to be more than I had bargained for.
After expressing her anger and displeasure in response to what I had just disclosed, informal gathering or not, Jane went into a Sumari trance and spoke the following words to me: Badeta Le Orleato Mar Lon Tor Far-Ata. She then translated them into English— “The bread is stolen from the seagulls.” This innocent little get-together was turning out to be more than I had bargained for.
As the evening progressed Jane started reading some of the letters she recently received from fans. Since the publication of her first book a steady stream of letters would arrive at her doorstep regularly. Written by people from all walks of life, some were simply expressions of gratitude for the work she and Rob were doing, while many others contained requests for help from either Jane, or Seth, or both. One of the letters she read that night was from a nun who was discussing masturbation. Jane picked up that I was having a reaction to this letter and asked me what was up. What I really wanted to say was that I just remembered I had a very important appointment in town and had to leave right away, if not sooner. But we can never really outrun the contents of our own consciousness. I explained that my reaction had less to do with the letter’s contents than the fact that for some reason it triggered a very unpleasant memory within me. Without going into any details I simply stated that in my early teens I had been raped. Hardly a word was spoken in response to what I had just revealed, either by Jane or the other folks present, and as the night ended I thought that was the end of the story. Oh how naïve we can be. A few days later it was time for Jane’s regular class. What a pleasure it was to be able to just walk over to her house instead of being stuck in an automobile for five hours. During class the subject of secrets came up and not looking at anyone in particular, Jane said, “There is someone in this room who has a secret that if told will help someone else in this room.” A cryptic comment indeed and one that was met with complete silence. She then repeated exactly what she had just said, which was once again met with silence as it seemed no one had any inkling as to what she was referring to. No one that is, except me. I could feel my vocal chords starting to tighten as I instinctively knew she was referring to the secret I had shared a few days earlier at that Friday night get-together. But there were a few problems here. In the past I had told that story to my friends but sort of changed the ending. In the version I had related to them I was never raped, but hit the guy over the head with some metal object that was sitting on the floor and then ran out of the apartment unscathed, and more importantly, untouched. In the words of my dear departed grandmother: “Oh Vey.” To tell the true story in front of all my buddies as well as all the other people sitting there that evening was something I was not eager to do. But because of the kind of person Jane was, one often felt more comfortable in that room than anywhere else on earth. So I took the plunge. After I finished telling my story one of the women in class started to softly cry. She then told of how she was sexually abused by her father as a child. Suddenly it was like an invisible hole opened up in the middle of the room from which poured out in rapid succession a veritable potpourri of sexual secrets. Most of these secrets had been living underground for years; and in some cases had been buried for decades. People began to share all kinds of painful details about sexual experiences they had encountered in their life. One of my friends admitted for the first time to being gay. Even though that possibility had been a source of speculation in the past, it took guts for him to volunteer that information, for he could have simply said nothing and continued to hide. When all
was said and done and the dust finally settled, we sat in a room littered with “dirty” little (and in some cases big) secrets, but we all survived. Actually there wasn’t one negative or judgmental response to anything that was divulged that evening. As for me, I was relieved to have finally released a secret I had harbored for a very long time. I’m going to share that experience in greater detail in the hope that by doing so someone somewhere might be helped in dealing with an unpleasant experience in their own lives that may at times still haunt them. When I was fi fteen years old I used to hang out in Greenwich Village in New York City. It was quite different from the way it is now. It was a gathering place for musicians, songwriters, artists, anarchists; anyone who felt they didn’t fi t in with the mainstream of society. In other words, it was tailor made for me. So here I am one evening sitting alone on a bench in Washington Square Park, thinking I had some kind of street smarts and could deal with anything that might come my way. But street smarts don’t come from growing up in a neighborhood where all you see are middle-class white Jewish families. This black man then appears out of nowhere, sits down next to me and offers to share his bottle of wine. I readily accept and it wasn’t long before the world took on a much rosier glow. At some point he suggested that we continue the festivities back at his apartment. Even in the semi-inebriated state I had slid into, something told me this invitation had strings attached to it that I might not want to deal with. But not listening to that little voice inside my head I got into a taxi with him and off we went. His apartment was located in a part of the city I wasn’t familiar with, and after a short time he started to come on to me. Being fi fteen-years old and a virgin as far as heterosexual or homosexual sex was concerned, I started to get pretty damn nervous. I told him I wanted to leave and go back to the village. He said that was fine and he would accompany me back, but first needed to get something from the bedroom. A few moments later he returns from the bedroom, walks up to me, and in one smooth motion takes out this humongous butcher knife which is now resting an inch from my throat. He then stares at me with the coldest eyes I have ever seen and commands me, “Take off your clothes.” I refuse. With the knife now held right against my neck he proclaims, “I’m not jiving with you, take off your clothes, right now.” I knew this was no idle threat. So I took off my clothes and he
proceeded to repeatedly rape me in a most painful manner. The knife sat silently by the edge of the bed, ready to pounce should it detect any movement on my part to escape. When he was done he told me he had to run some errands but that he loved me so much he couldn’t bare to think of me leaving him, so it was best that he chain me to the bed. Somehow I was able to find enough presence of mind to convince him that I loved him too; and there was no need to chain me to the bed for I would gladly be there when he returned. He left the apartment and I waited a few minutes before bolting for the door. Once outside I started running and running and running as tears streamed down my face. I didn’t know where I was but found a train station and finally made my way back to my parent’s house in Queens, New York, where sex of any kind was not a subject to be openly discussed. I can’t even imagine what the reactions would have been had I revealed what I had just been through. I went to my room and tried to sleep. As the days progressed I struggled mightily with feelings I couldn’t identify, much less manage. This went on for close to a year. When I would sit on a train and a man would sit down next to me, black, white, or whatever, and his elbow or arm would even slightly brush up against mine, I would start feeling this intense anger followed by excruciating mental pain. I had no frame of reference for the kind of mental turmoil I was in. It took some time before I began to understand that the anger and the pain was being driven by one element more than anything else, and that element was a sense of shame. Perhaps had I gone to some counselor trained in such things they would have pointed that out to me right away, but I wasn’t able to bring myself to speak to anyone about the event, at least not in a truthful manner, until that Friday evening get-together at Jane’s apartment, and then in class a few days later. I was now also able to be more honest in recognizing the part I played in the creation of that event. It wasn’t that I consciously knew the exact way things would unfold, but at that time in my life I was feeling confl icted about my sexuality. While I was for the most part drawn to women, there was a part of me that wanted to experience sex with another man, though I wouldn’t admit that to myself on a conscious level; much less bring myself to willingly seek such an encounter. So my solution was to create a situation where I would be “forced” into having such an experience; a poor solution for sure.
The Upholstery Of Dimensions Exiled kings and forensic guardian’s Narrative dance within speech implications Delivered by brides who were married in gardens While Solomon’s radar determined the venue. Aerial subsets in fountains of riddles Are practiced by worlds that befriended convection Embedded response and applied renovation Raised transient questions through astral commitment. The centerpiece of immortal fortune Recognizes the gems of omission As cities no longer connected by roads Is this cruise a fiction in visceral code? Kenneth MacSween Buddhaﬂy, artwork by Kenneth MacSween More at http://ufoba.multiply.com
One of the ways in which my world-view changed as a result of going to Jane’s classes was the way in which I viewed events. No longer were events one-dimensional affairs, but were now multifaceted in shape and design, with each facet holding clues that were meant to lead us to other places besides “Colonel Mustard in the Library.” With that in mind there is a detail related to my rape experience that is worth mentioning. There was a moment when I was with this man in his apartment and asked him his name. He paused in the oddest way and replied, “Just call me Justice.” Earlier in this book I described the reincarnational drama that took place during my first class, where I was a judge presiding over a trial with the accused having committed what was considered to be an immoral sexual act. The person I passed judgment on during this trial was one of the members of class who was there that evening, and also just “happened” to be homosexual in this life. The justice the judge dispensed during that trial was supposed to have been very harsh, and in writing this chapter I could see how this trial and my rape experience intersected in ways I hadn’t thought of before. I also think that when highly charged events occur in our lives, aftershocks ripple outward (or better yet inward), and are felt in some way by all of our other aspects. The ripples from my rape experience may very well have served as an impetus for that judge to reexamine his ideas about justice, with both of us over time trying to clarify or expand our understanding along those lines. As I sat on a bench that evening in Washington Square Park and grappled with certain probabilities regarding my sexuality, I think the judge from a different kind of bench grappled with similar issues. Unfortunately in both cases the bread ended up being stolen from the seagulls. For that I am truly sorry. I hope in sharing this experience I will have in some way returned at least a small portion of what I took from others in other lives.
he was dizzy with excitement, fear and pride… at last, she had completed the annual Climb. The members of her tribe parted as she limped through on bruised feet, cut and sore from gripping the cliff face. Their voices became hushed, their eyes glittering with anticipation —would she now survive the dive into the river far below? Atai focused on her breathing, the calm place in her mind that she had learned to focus on with the priestess who trained them all. She recalled how to slow her heartbeat in order not to panic as she waited to burst back out of the river, and stepped nearer the edge, clearing her mind of the excited cheering and whispers of her tribe. She looked out over the river, then walked to the very tip of the cliff. Curling her toes around its rough edge, she gazed down at the waters of the river. Some of the clan had tales of how it swallowed you if you were not worthy and spat you out when it merged with the sea. But Atai knew as she looked down, down and down beneath her, that the river was a giver of Life, that it fi lled their thirsty mouths with cool water and fed them fish from its clear depths. As she lifted her arms to signal she was ready for this leap, this initiation into adulthood, the crowd gasped behind her. As the adrenaline coursed through her body, Atai focused on what lay ahead, determined to succeed. She crouched down low, then as quick as a dart dived over the edge of the ancient cliff. Atai fell fast from her rocky perch. It seemed such a long fall from above, but suddenly the ice cold grip of the river claimed her outstretched arms. Atai kept calm, fl icking her body around to face up and out of the waters. Her heartbeat slowed as much as she dared— knowing that if she took too long to surface the river would have no choice but to claim her for its own. With her limbs working hard in the freezing water Atai thrust upwards, her
lungs beginning to burn with the effort of not inhaling the water. She at last burst out of the waters into the sunlight and the air! Atai was almost overwhelmed by the many emotions and sensations as her body tried to keep afloat, breathe the cool air deep into her lungs, and grin all at the same time; she was ecstatic! Then, a noise, faint and far above her. Slowly she realised it was the sound of the clan, far above on the rocky cliff, cheering and shouting in her triumph! Atai swelled with pride —even as she prepared for her next task. Once she had heaved her weary body up onto the bank of the river, Atai must now wait for the first animal to cross her path; be alert, aware, and wait quietly until a creature actually did crawl, fly, or run past. Despite the elation of her successful dive, she also felt exhausted and welcomed this moment to sit still on the grass and await her ‘spirit’ or ‘totem’ animal. In the sky, no birds flew overhead, the grass lay undisturbed by insects, and the river showed no sign of leaping fish. The air became still and heavy with intent, and Atai wondered if her spirit guide would ever reveal itself. As her breathing became more regular and the damp of the waters dried on her tingling limbs, Atai heard a faint drumming noise. Then she saw huge clouds of dust rising above the trees in front of her. The drumming was turning in her direction. She rose to her feet as a herd of galloping horses burst out of the trees and into the open space in front of Atai. Her heart leaped as she realised this magnificent animal was her spirit guide! Slowing a little as they entered the clearing, some horses glanced around nervously, others were snorting loudly.
by Emma Bevan As they trotted towards Atai, one looked directly at her. Fascinated, the initiate was compelled to walk forward a little as the white mare walked out from the herd and walked towards the young woman. She held out her palm and the beautiful horse stretched out her neck and sniffed the hand, nibbling the outstretched fingers with her bristly lips, making Atai giggle quietly. The young woman and the mare regarded each other, their eyes reflecting each others' understanding. The proud mare bent her head and allowed Atai, trembling with delight, to stroke her flowing mane. She then turned slowly back to the herd, and they began to trot out of the clearing and reenter the trees. Atai stood, transfixed by this momentous encounter, her heart pounding with excitement and joy. The horse was considered to be a faithful guide to the Otherworlds. For Atai and her tribe, it symbolized stamina, endurance, and faithfulness; the mare especially was associated with the feminine aspects of nurturing and fertility. These ancient beliefs were well-known by the young woman. She had absorbed all the stories and teachings of her elders, curled up at their feet each night by the fire. She understood now that not only was her guide one of stamina and endurance —borne out by completing this initiation at her young age— but her journey was to be a meaningful and spiritual one. Atai shook herself from her reverie, realising she had a long trek back to the path (where one of the men would have been sent to help her home on their own horses), and set off light of heart and of foot, for she knew she would now have the respect and responsibility she sensed she had always deserved… ‘This walk feels so different now’ Atai
The young woman and the mare regarded each other, their eyes reflecting each others’ understanding —the proud mare bent her head and allowed Atai, trembling with delight, to stroke her flowing mane —then she turned slowly back to the herd, and they began to trot out of the clearing and re-enter the trees.
thought to herself, as she picked her way along the overgrown tracks that meandered through the forest. She knew all the paths well, almost as though she had created them herself. Atai had always explored the forests and rivers, learning the names and uses of the plants, and the habits of the creatures that shared the land. Whilst her feet trod their familiar route, Atai let her mind wander over the day’s spectacular events. It was if she had been dreaming —‘But,’ she spoke out loud, ‘It IS all true!’ “Are you so happy that you talk to yourself?” Startled out of her thoughts, Atai looked up to see one of her clansmen waiting on his horse, grinning broadly, with her mount standing beside him at the end of the path. ‘Buka!’ — she blushed as she swung herself up onto the smooth mottled back of her mare. Atai, still flushed with the thrill of her encounter, quickly told him about her dive, and the beautiful creature that had approached her. “Is your companion still worthy of you, now you have conquered both the Initiation and connected with the white mare?” Buka teased her, though they both knew he was thrilled with her success. Atai grinned. ‘I think both she and my human escort will suffice for now’ she countered. ‘Will all the tribe be back in the village when we arrive?’ Atai knew there was always a feast following the test, whether to celebrate the success, or acknowledge the passing of those who did not make it. She shuddered suddenly, remembering the sad acceptance in the eyes of Sare’s mother last year. Buka saw at once where her mind was wandering, and urged his horse into a gallop, knowing Atai’s mount would follow and that its rider would have all such thoughts blown from her head. Atai snapped her head up and instinctively gripped with her knees, feeling her mare’s muscles bunch underneath her as she pushed forward to keep up with Buka’s ride. She immediately realised exactly what his intention was. Smiling, she crouched low over her horse’s mane, squeezed her legs tighter and willed the mare to run faster. Atai lay almost flat against her horse’s neck. ‘Let us see how fast we can fly!’ she whispered to the mare, tightening her grip around its body. Buka’s horse was only inches ahead now, and Atai was able to cut across a bend in the path and steer her horse in front. “Now we see how bold she is!” cried Buka joyfully as his cousin sped past, urging his ride into a gallop also, but too late —Atai was glancing over her shoulder, the wide smile on her face glimpsed briefly before she once more bent forward over the neck of her sturdy horse. As the mare’s hooves thundered down the old track, Atai looked down and watched with admiration the grace with which the animal moved, each muscle contracting and extending; ripples and shadows running across the surface of its skin, as though a river was flowing over the horse —then sat up a little as she
Preikestolen in Norwegen, from Wikimedia Commons (Ritchyblack) JAN.–FEBRUARY 2010
helped the mare negotiate her way over some fallen trees —slowing a little just to tense her hind legs, the little horse lengthened her neck and leaped over the trunks and branches. ‘Whoooo!’ Atai yelled —the mare’s leap mirrored the joy in Atai’s heart. Buka, close behind, was full of admiration for his cousin. Although only nineteen harvests had passed, she was unlike many her age. Even as a baby, she had possessed a querying expression, one that told you she was one of the Old Souls. Atai slowed her mare to a trot; the track widened as they neared the village. Buka pulled his horse up beside her, just slightly further back . “Why do you not ride head to head, cousin?” queried Atai. “This is your day Atai” Buka smiled, “And I have had my triumphant rides into our village. This is your moment. I have had the honour to be chosen to escort you home. You must enter first and I will be right behind you.” Buka paused; he knew Atai was not one for attention and she often slipped quietly out of village gatherings when they threatened to overwhelm her, but today she would have to remain until the end of the feast. He knew she would be needing support to make it through the ceremony. “I know the thoughts passing through your head, kind Buka, and I will be needing someone to keep me focused, I am aware of that.” His cousin smiled up at him. Atai slowed her horse further, taking deep breaths,wanting to ride in looking as confident as possible. ‘Can I appear unruffled? Can I use my breathing techniques from the dive to help me here?’ Atai asked herself, and found the answer that was returned to her was ‘Yes.’ ‘I return humbled by my passage into adulthood, full of joy and gratitude’ she murmured, sending positive thoughts out to the ancestors, and the spirits of the trees and rocks around her. As Atai chanted this to herself quietly, she focused on slowing her heart again, not as dramatically as for the dive, but enough for her not to allow the tight band of panic grip her chest and throat, as tight as the vines that almost choked the trees around them, an image that had often
haunted her when she was summoned to a large gathering. Buka observed the play of shadows upon Atai’s face, and knew she was preparing for what would be for her a potentially intimidating ritual which marked the end of the Initiation. As both riders fell into a more calm and reflective state, the two horses fell into step with one another, and meandered down the path that led to the village. Atai, head bent, concentrated on her breathing. The young woman’s green eyes half-closed; trusting her horse, relaxing into the rhythm of the hoof-beats and her heart. The riders’ attention was caught by the scent of the ceremonial fires, and then they heard the excited chatter and singing of their tribe. Atai rode forward into the clearing of the village where a great cheer greeted her. Her father stepped forward to help her from the horse, her sister approached with handfuls of moss and herbs with which to wrap Atai’s swollen feet, and her mother kissed Atai’s forehead in the solemn tradition with which an Initiate is greeted, then grinned and threw her arms around her daughter. Suddenly, people were crowding, questioning, cheering, congratulating as the wave of people swept them into the hut. Her family managed to steer Atai to the side where they huddled in the corner, sank gratefully down onto the soft furs. Their time together now was limited and they would have to wait until the morning to be able to talk; so, quick hugs, trying to thank Kela, her sister, as the cool, soothing herbs were wrapped tenderly around her feet and secured with leaves, whispered congratulations, loving smiles —before the crowd finds them once more and ushers Atai and the fellow survivors of the leap towards the middle of the hut. For a moment she glimpsed the great table where their leader was sitting, dark eyes watching each that danced and sang in front of the fire. Atai peered through the smoke to see which other participants of the Initiation had already arrived. The atmosphere was familiar, yet she felt the extra excitement as today she was to be honoured too. The room grew hotter and louder as the last of the successful divers arrived. Buka had pushed forward, seeking his cousin;
his eyes found hers, and she could see clearly his question reflected there —was she ok? Atai quickly scanned down her body with her mind, and found to her surprise that yes, she was doing fine, the crowd and the noise were bearable; so she grinned back at Buka, nodding —yes, yes, I am fine she mouthed over the heads of the clansmen. She felt exhilarated, for she had not once felt the tightness pull around her chest or throat. Could the experiences of today have already changed her so much? These thoughts were snatched away as she was grabbed by the shoulder and spun around. The Initiates were required to dance around the fire as the rest of the tribe sang their praises, stamping their feet as they chanted, the dancers picking up the rhythm. The singing, chanting and dancing, the pungent fumes from the herbs thrown into the fire, the heat of the flames, whose shadows danced along the walls, the hypnotic sounds of the stamping and drumming, all combined to send the dancers into something of a trance. The mesmeric pull of the ceremonial rite tugged at Atai’s mind and heart, and she was completely absorbed into the beat. The ancient rituals , at once both comforting and exhilarating, were calling to her soul and to her blood.
Climate change by Bill Ingle
o one knows with absolute certainty what is happening and what will happen — there is only opinion and belief, however well informed, or not, by credible data and analysis. Obviously climate change is not just a scientific issue — it is a political hot potato, thoroughly intertwined with economic, energy, lifestyle, and endless other issues. Eventually any fact of significant climate change will be evident to all residents of the planet, regardless of causes, although it could be decades before this comes to pass. Of much more immediate interest to me, personally, is climate change as symbol, both as a divisive and rancorous issue — with a potential for uniting humanity — and as possible genuine and major planetary physical change.
The fact that this is a planetary symbol is telling, and at a time when every nation and every person is impacted by the continuing effects of a global economic crisis. This happens as increasing numbers of earth residents are connected, electronically, in a way that has never occurred before — this fact, too, is intertwined with climate change, as beliefs, opinions, and perceptions travel great distances, nearly instantaneously. (Is this external connectivity symbolic of an inner connectivity that has long been hidden as humans have focused on the outer world?) This happens even as various forms of religion run out of steam in many places and minds, violence and terrorism erupting here and there, partly in reaction, even as the issue of climate change highlights the clash of science-inspired belief with religious belief. (Many point out the similarities between zealots of science and religious eschatological movements, each sharing portents of doom and injunctions to change personal behavior before it’s too late.) Such a potent symbol suggests a range of scenarios; someone else may be better suited for calculating the odds of any particular scenario manifesting, but the highly charged nature of all of this suggests it’s approaching something, a bit like a limit in the calculus. Note how less global versions of highly charged situations developed — for example, in that situation in which Christianity arose. This symbol, and the situation it encompasses, is much larger, involving far greater numbers of people, in a highly connected world. I’m given to understand that such situations attract particular concatenations of consciousness, beings for which no adequate words exist in present Western societies, vast psychological gestalt beings that include endless ordinary people in their constitution, emanating a powerful “energy” not at all defined in present science, although familiar to practitioners of tai chi, whirling dervishes, and many others of various traditions and persuasions. Very likely someone like Simon Magus was quite familiar with it, if such a person ever existed. So — what shall arise? Who shall appear? What kind of drama will develop and what shape shall it take, inspiring new science and religion spanning myth? Who will star in the drama? This is all very exciting, once anyone looks beyond the cacophonous confl ict of belief, the endless argumentation, the accusations and belittling, the usual them and us divisions.
photography by Tracy Marshall
Open Heart by Anet Paulina
ou have to protect your heart,”
heart a little less, and the cycle continues. Older, wiser, and tougher, we learn to survive in the world by not allowing ourselves to be fully vulnerable.
“Always keep the upper hand in a romantic relationship. Remain a challenge,” are dictums frequently repeated by another acquaintance. Like the first man, he is handsome, intelligent, and professionally successful, yet has not been able to create and sustain a fulfi lling long-term relationship with a woman. He also has chronic heartburn that sometimes is almost unbearable.
It never occurs to most of us that the reason we perceive that others don’t love us completely is because in closing our hearts, we not only restrict our capacity for giving, we shield ourselves from receiving! Others sense our capacity for openness (or the lack of it), and they respond in kind. A constricted, shielded heart may give us a false sense of protection, but in fact we are blocking ourselves from receiving love as well as from giving it.
a friend tells me for the umpteenth time, conveying the advice to himself as much as to me.
The friend who often speaks of protecting his heart has excellent health habits and follows a pristine diet, yet was diagnosed with a “widow maker”: a combination of factors that predispose a person (typically a male) to experience a heart attack or stroke without warning, particularly if he is subject to extreme stress. This man’s doctor advised him to literally protect this heart! The closed-heart state is not unique to males. In energy healing sessions, I often perceive what feels like a hard shield in front of a woman’s heart area. Numerous men have such a shield as well, and it also is typical for me to sense a constriction or closing of their heart chakra energy. I sometimes call the heart shield a “turtle shell,” as that is what it feels like to me. I can’t blame people for feeling the need to protect their heart. By the time most of us reach adulthood, we have experienced heartbreak in some form, be it from a lover, friend, or family member that we perceive failed to return our love or fulfi ll our expectations. We are hurt, so we constrict our heart energy to protect ourselves from further harm. Eventually we may open our heart again, but usually not as fully as we did the first time. Typically at some point we experience heartbreak again, so the next time we begin a relationship, we open our
The heart is the focal point of our life energy. Regardless of the apparent external cause, every physical death is actually a heart failure. In essence, the person has stopped the flow of life energy. In most people, it is a gradual process that occurs over decades. Little by little, they shut down the flow of this abundant energy until it is insufficient to sustain their physical body. Conventional wisdom and “common sense” tell us to be guarded in loving and cautious in trusting. These seem like reasonable choices; no one wants to invite hurtful experiences or be played for a fool. Yet in our vigilance to protect ourselves from harm, we may inadvertently be erecting a wall that not only blocks access to the most joyful experiences life can offer, but ultimately shortens our physical lives as well. Many people die inside long before their physical heart fails. Perhaps it is worth taking the chance of being open — trading the risk of being hurt for the joy of living without defense. As I was completing this article, I opened two heart-shaped dark chocolates wrapped in foil imprinted with a message. The messages said, “Go where your heart takes you” and “Discover how much your heart can hold” — suggestions as profound as any advice I could offer.
The Horse-Headed Self by Elikozoe Like many ideas coming straight from an imagination’s stretch, this drawing began as a simple pencil sketch intended to represent something I had not come across yet: a mythical horse-headed being. The whole image was supposed to convey not an idea of violence, but of serenity and grace. Occidental mythologies which I read a lot about in my childhood abound of such hybrid characters; and one can think of the Minotaur or centaurs. However, their persona were generally impulsive and bent towards aggressiveness and violence… Keeping on that original idea, I chose to use a background evoking ancient Greece, and as horses were usually linked to Poseidon, the trident seemed coherent.
Vājimukha It remained a sketch for a while, and one day, as I decided to rework it, my researches brought me to a strikingly similar image in ancient Cambodian art, named Vājimukha, Vāji meaning horse, and mukha, face. It was part of Vishnuite art, and supposed to represent one of the avatars of Vishnu, the supreme God in Hinduism. Inconsistencies in the legends highlight an ambiguous aspect of this being. Depending on descriptions, it also could be a demon (Daiytas), or a form assumed by Vishnu, however, in both cases associated with the loss of the sacred texts, the Vedas. Known by the names Hayasivas or Hayagrivas, he protects the Vedas from the demons Madhu and Kaitabha.
In another version, at the end of times, the demon Ajnana (Ignorance) steals the Vedas and carry them down to hell (Rasātala). Hayagriva retrieves them and gives them back to Brahma.
Kalki The tenth of Vishnu’s avatars, Kalki —for “white horse” (or Kalkipurana, Kalkyavatara)— is yet to manifest on Earth. It is interesting to notice that exegetes are not unanimous on his form. Is it a man mounted on a horse, or simply a horse ? One should know that the horse is thought to represent the beast or physical form of “evil”, hinting at a very Oriental reflection on the initial idea: unlike the Minotaur, the monster is not merely annihilated but becomes integrated, as if “evil,” the shadow part of self, were but a part of an indivisible whole, one has to acknowledge and accept to transcend it…
BatōKannon • 馬頭観音 Name of a manifestation of the Buddha Kannon (Kuan Yin), Kannon-Bosatsu 観音(菩薩) who is also represented with a horse-head in Japan ; a wrathful deity, his power of salvation operates on the realm of animals. This wrathful form is worshipped in Tibetan Buddhism. Hayagriva is thought to beget 108 forms whose powers are to cure diseases, especially skin diseases as severe as leprosy —such diseases are traditionally related to waters and to the serpentine spirits inhabiting them, Nagas).
More about the horse-headed divinity of East and Far-East, also know as Hayagriva or Batou Kannon…
Blessing of Hope
by Lee Krush
reative and independent thinking requires solitude. As a poet, a writer, a song composer and an artist, Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) naturally craved for an isolated idyllic surrounding, but his heartfelt love for his people turned him into a social reformer. He was the first to physically introduce rural reconstruction in India, and yet Tagore could have been one of the most misunderstood men during one’s lifetime. When Tagore was in his late twenties, he was requested by his father to take up responsibilities as a landlord in East Bengal, his immediate response was: “I was a poet, a scribbler — what did I know about such matters?” As he started his duties in the villages, what captured his heart the most was the natural beauty of the changing seasons, and the pleasant rustic lifestyle in the countryside. After coming into close contact with all kinds of people, gaining their trust so much so that they would tell him their stories, he became concerned with the social injustice and poverty these villagers were suffering from. It was only then did he come out of his hermetic poet’s life, and began a life of action to serve his countrymen. A humanitarian at heart, he wanted to make changes to improve their living conditions, but he also realized that simply helping in a charitable manner could not solve the issue: “I did not think helping from outside would help. I began to try and open their minds towards self-reliance.” But it was not an easy task to change those who believed suffering was a consequence of their past-life sins, and the rigid caste system further reinforced their hopelessness. With this in mind, Tagore started his school in Santiniketan. His intention was to
create a friendly atmosphere for young children from different social backgrounds, where they were not forced to memorize information, but were free to express themselves according to their personal inclinations in the most natural surroundings — for the innermost truth could only be found within the Self. His ideal was to follow the ancient Indian hermitage, when knowledge was offered freely to the students. He sold everything he had to establish Santiniketan. As the reputation of his school grew, it became too expensive and complicated to operate it in his idealistic way. He started charging fees reluctantly, though he believed that an atmosphere had been created. Perhaps this spirit of independent thinking was inspired by his father, Debendranath, who originally bought the lands near Bolpur and named it
Rabindranath Tagore in Kolkata (circa 1909), author unknown (source Wikimedia Commons) Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), also known by the name Gurudev (“divine mentor”), was a Bengali poet, philosopher, visual artist, playwright, composer, and novelist whose avant-garde works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and earned him the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1913.
When Tagore started his school in Santiniketan, his intention was to create a friendly atmosphere for young children from different social backgrounds, where they were not forced to memorize information, but were free to express themselves according to their personal inclinations… Santiniketan, which means Abode of Peace. Tagore recalled his father as someone who “…knew that truth, if strayed from, can be found again, but a forced or blind acceptance of it from the outside effectually bars the way.” Seekers of Truth are often the lonely ones. They must distance themselves from the fervent but confused crowd, so as to maintain their clear vision of the whole. What Tagore impressed me the most with is that even when he was deeply involved in a political movement, being pushed from all sides over a seemingly unquestionable goal, he was still able to perceive the menace of methods of which this goal was to be achieved. When the Swadeshi
Movement in Bengal turned violent in between caste and creed, he withdrew himself from it in spite of his leading role and started his own rural reconstruction in his family estates, which included Hindu and Muslim tenants alike. He was misunderstood by his countrymen for not taking part. Dignity of the soul meant much more to him than fighting for the sake of a national pride. Scorned by his fellow countrymen — a people he deeply loved — Tagore transformed his personal crisis into literature. His reflection on the Swadeshi Movement could be reviewed in Home and the World. Though I am not suggesting that it is an autobiographical account of the entire event, his detailed description of the psychological development of his characters in this world re-
Blessing of Hope, continued from page 18
nowned novel creates an illusion, which makes one believe that it could very well be his personal experience. Mahatma Gandhi became lifelong friends with Tagore. Once again, he did not join Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement. Not because he did not have any opinions on the political situation regarding his homeland, but exactly because he did that he was afraid of submerging himself within it, knowing full well that it was in our human nature to overlook reality, whenever people were being put into a self-defensive opposition. He could not bare to suppress his instincts for any cause — as heroic as it might be. Later on, it was because of Tagore’s genuine concern over Gandhi’s weakened state, and the probability of India without her leader, that Gandhi decided to break his fast with Tagore being by his bedside. Instead of being directly involved in politics, he founded his Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan in 1919. With its motto “where the world meets in one nest” Visva-Bharati University was an institution to encourage understanding between East and West, and the study of different cultures. Driven by a sense of mission, Tagore worked hard on becoming fully bilingual after turning fi fty in order to express the urgency of global cooperation. His main objective was to speak up against militant nationalism, and his insights on patriotism resonate a timeless tune in our contemporary troubled era. Over the years, he had over-stressed himself with his extended international travelling and lecturing. Moreover, he began to feel worn out by the misinterpretation of his unwelcome truth. Confronted with his growing doubt about finding an immediate solution for a peaceful relationship between nations and his ever weakening health, Tagore emerged himself in a new creative endeavour — without any previous formal training he started painting in his late sixties. As prolific as he was with his writings, he produced approximately four hundred sketches and paintings in different mediums within two years. His style could be regarded as the pioneer of modern Indian art.
In his essay A Poet’s Teﬆament delivered on the poet’s seventieth birthday, Tagore expressed his view of self-reflection on the meaning of his existence: “…I can now realize that I have but one introduction to the world — which is that I am a poet and nothing else.” After winning the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1913, Tagore could have easily enjoyed a comfortable life in the countryside of Bengal, and focused his creative energy on writing poetry. He admitted that it was his ambition which took him to the West. But I believe this ambition was not meant for acquiring personal gain; it was because of his love of freedom and his eagerness to create a harmonious world that he carried on humanitarian work.
It must have been over fi fteen years since I first encountered Tagore’s words. My literary interest had drifted to all directions in time. It was only a few years ago when I started reading the series of Seth books produced by Jane Roberts and her husband, Robert F. Butts, that I remembered Tagore again. As I read Seth’s words I kept thinking to myself, “Didn’t Rabindranath Tagore say that?” The concepts of these two Speakers are in unison. However, Tagore is not just profound in thinking, but his words are also extremely lyrical and eloquently expressed.
Ever since the outbreak of the First World War, Tagore had repeatedly emphasized the danger of nationalism, organized propaganda, and the accumulation of militant power. When he first appeared in the West for his lectures — wearing a long beard and dressing in a long robe, his foreign audiences thought that he had the mystical aura of an oriental prophet. But he saw himself as a rather ordinary man, and took it for granted that with sincerity his humanitarian ideals could come across eventually. Needless to say, it was too much for one humble pacifist to stop the giant machine. The poet lived long enough to witness the outbreak of the Second World War, but not long enough for the Independence of India. Nonetheless, on his eightieth birthday he left us with a blessing of hope in his essay Crisis in Civilization: “I look back on the stretch of past years and see the crumbling ruins of a proud civilization lying heaped as garbage out of history! And yet I shall not commit the grievous sin of losing faith in Man, accepting his present defeat as final. I shall look forward to a turning in history after the cataclysm is over and the sky is again unburdened and passionless.”
Find more inspiring quotes and images on Lee Krush’s flickr set dedicated to Tagore http://ﬂickr.com/gato-san http://bit.ly/8MHURn
The Search for the
Erato Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Milumet Erato Red
If humanity were a tree, she would be its roots that dig deep into the heart of Gaia and wrap themselves tightly around core issues, and in doing this anchors humanity so that it can grow from sapling to straight and tall and mighty. The Milumet Muse is the belief system of sexuality, and she is as red as blood, or the flocked wall paper of a Vegas casino. She is the still dark waters that run so deep you could not know bottom unless she speaks in the voice of sunset over the Grand Canyon. Erato has a social art to cherish, as she defines love in the most pleasurable manner of deep connection, and it spills out and flows across the mental landscape like a river of appreciation. She combines the physical being with its own deep rooted spirituality in such a way that we recognize her energy in the orgasm of no separation. If your most personal spiritual experience was during sex, then you know Erato well enough to also recognize her in the iron soaked soil of Arizona, or the wise red face of a Native American hero, or the backbone of strength in the physical body. Erato is all about grounding, as her red energy flows downward from the sexual organs through the bottom of the feet, and she reminds humanity of its heritage with the environment as well as any Indian myth that storytells about the red race of mankind. She is also represented in the teeth that provide the body nourishment, like the roots of a tree feed the tree in such a way that it knows itself as spirit. Erato is the New Age movement in the early nineties that erased the word religion, and replaced it with spirituality. Erato moves slowly, but with determination, like Suzanne who takes you down to her place by the river, and feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China. And just when you want to tell her, that you have no love to give her, she gets you on her wavelength, and lets the river answer that you've always been her lover.
by Sharon Mendenhall
was sitting in a seminar one sunny afternoon, where the guest speaker was describing the many levels of existence according to The Michael Teachings, none of which I can remember in this moment because I’m sure my mind was wandering at the time. But he caught my attention when he drew a line at the top of the list and exclaimed, “Above all the levels were the nine beings, of which no one knows who they are.” My brain buzzed as I smiled to myself and thought to myself, “I know who they are.” Yes, I know who they are. I know them on an intellectual level, and on a intimate energy level, having been introduced to each one individually. Allow me to clarify at this point, because if you are looking for nine beings, you’ll be chasing your own proverbial tale, much like the deleterious search for the illusive Families of Illuminati. The nine are not beings, they are states of being, and therein lies the rub. According to both Elias and Seth, there are nine families, or pools of consciousness, or nine psychic races. But as I began to investigate them on a personal level, I like to describe them as nine states of being, through a focal point of the personification of energy using the example of the nine muses of Greek myth. Each essence family is associated with a particular muse and a particular color.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/lfdeale/sets/72157622955216394/ (or http://tinyurl.com/SearchForThe9)
Urania Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Gramada Urania Orange
“For the name of each Mousa, they say, men have found a reason appropriate to her… Ourania, because men who have been instructed by her she raises aloft to heaven (ouranos), for it is a fact that imagination and the power of thought lift men’s souls to heavenly heights.” –Diodorus Siculus 4.7.1 I often think that Urania’s feet don’t touch the floor, but when I blink and look with physical eyes, I see them anchored in cement. How can that be? How can Gramada organize, classify, and put so much under the scrutiny of the microscope of science? How can she so adore technology, and so implore new direction? And yet Urania is the favorite of her grandfather Uranus, who secretly gave her the key to the sky and heavens, so that she may enter the realms of the museum that Clio JAN.–FEBRUARY 2010
curates. Clio who has been vouchsafed the power to know the hearts of the gods, and the ways by which things come to be. Urania wanders in her dream body, grasping those ideas that fascinate her, and molding them into a shape and form like no other. Urania, the Einstein of original thought. And it is Urania that can walk the delicate balance between a concrete mathematical formula, and the vapor imagination that spawned it. Not necessarily to the extent of the schizophrenic Nobel Prize winner, John Nash, but flying high with her invaluable wings of world view. And indeed a beautiful mind. Urania makes contributions outside the spotlight of attention, in a manner that changes the course of history. She holds the globe in her hands, and she looks to the heavens pregnant with the multitude of stars of brilliance. Urania can pluck any star, and make it fit into her pocket so she can bring it back with her. If you check Urania’s chambers, you will see them glowing with the dust of other dimensions.
original artwork • Portraits in the Characters of the Muses in the Temple of Apollo, by Richard Samuel (oil on canvas, 1778) Orange Urania is the combined sexuality of red Erato, and the passion of yellow Vold. She is the brilliance of fire beneath a cold blanket of respectability. She is the initiator. She is the orange magic hour of dusk, halfway between daylight and night, that shadows all in black. Urania desires to reproduce in its many aspects. Everything begins with Urania’s original ideas, formed intentionally for the Vold to immediately reform, modify, crusade for, and implement. Urania is the ornate art of the early 1900’s, and her brain looks like filigree. She is as orange as the painting of Flaming June, and as orange as the invention of psychology, and as orange as the belief system of science. Without Urania society would have one foot nailed to the floor. She is anything but dull.
Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Vold Melpomene Yellow
Drama Queen I highly recommend that everyone immediately download a frontal photo of Melpomene, print it out, and post it somewhere in plain view, as one of America’s Most Wanted. If her picture were on a playing card, she would be the Queen of Clubs, ready at any moment to club you over the head. But actually it’s more like a swift kick to the yellow gut area. Melpomene has a unique way of pushing your belly button.
This is in case your signal door bell rings, and you focus through the reality peek hole, and you see Melpomene staring back at you, you know NOT to open the door until you are ready. Melpomene is the Jehovah Witness of messengers, and you cannot be yellow-bellied when dealing with the Vold muse. You have been thusly warned. Unfortunately, I opened the door before I was ready. Melpomene is intense, and definitely there to rearrange your mental furniture, whether you like it or not. The Gramada are the formers, but the Volds are the re-formers, that directly follow and bite at the heels of humanity with a Chupacabra attitude until it changes. Not that Melpomene isn’t entertaining, because she is, as she shuffles through the door in her high top Doc Martins, that double as the cothurnus, one hand grasping tightly to her camouflage of tragedy, and one hand brandishing a sword. Melpomene, from the chanting melodia, by which she charms the souls of her listeners, acts the classic tragedy with precision and motivation. She is hardly a victim. Her intent is to make you feel, as she is the yellow belief system of emotion. Melpomene projects outward as strongly as a Yoga master can knock you over with chi. If you’re not buying into her tragic story, she might kick and scream, or cough and sputter, or wave her sword demanding compassion and understanding equal to her own. Melpomene hears the call of the distant drummer, the off stage prompting, and she reflects by prompting society to greater heights, or more options of arrangement. Melpomene receives the cue, and gives us a clue, the mistress of modification. Her heart is on her sleeve, her head is in the sky, her vision is far sighted, and her tongue can be as tart as a lemon.
Thalia Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Thalia’s Story Thalia wants me to tell you this story cause she was there. It was in the seventies, during the time of the Sumari flower children, but some were not feeling like Sumari flowers and had gone off to fight a useless war we now call Vietnam. During the last days of the war the god Chaos had taken over, and it was obvious there was no rhyme or reason. No resolution or solution. It was just a matter of pure survival. And there existed in that time a group of people who’s intent was to save lives, rather than take them, the medics. But it was too much to handle. Bleeding bodies were strewn everywhere like a Greek tragedy. Some of the bodies of our young warriors were lying in stacked pine boxes with flags draped over them, waiting to be shipped home to heartbroken parents. It was heavy with doom. It was the time of the triage, where those who seemed to be wounded beyond help, were left to die in favor of those who perhaps could be helped. Kronos had made linear time a life or death situation. Mortal people were making god like decisions of who lives and who doesn’t, quick and fierce like the fire and lightning god of the Old Testament. But the medics needed to survive. You can’t help someone out of the quicksand if you jump in there with them. They were at the embassy, which was fenced and guarded, and they felt they could at last have a rest. So they had parties.
Melpomene is the heat of the noon day sun, and the release of a good cry. Her poetry is that which unites humanity in common bond. She is the songstress of the fountain of vitality that is the blazing golden dawn of energy. She is the art deco of the thirties, sleek and energetic, that pushed society into the industrial age with paintings of cars, trains, ships and planes. And she waves at you in a leather cap and goggles holding a glamorous cigarette.
Ilda Thalia Green
Giant feasts, with drink, music and love making, in spite of young starving children waving their hands through the bars of the fence crying out for a morsel, only a few feet away. And yet, in their collective memories, they recall the voldy intense time the best time they ever had. The best parties. The best taste of food and wine. The best sound of music. The best love making. Thalia says you don’t begin to process pain until you laugh. Laughter opens the doorway to other options. It takes one outside that steel box of automatic responses. The more outrageous the joke, the better. Every joke is another option opening up. A different viewpoint becoming evident. If one is in pain, and only focuses on the pain, pain reinforces itself and creates more pain reflected outwards as physical reality. And it recreates it in the moment, moment after moment, after moment. Every moment a brand new beginning, an entire new universe, but creating pain over and over and over, like the hamster in the wheel. One tiny little smile, one slight upturn of the corners of the lips, lights the eyes and causes them to shine a little brighter. The muscles down the neck relax and the heart opens with welcome hands. The energy centers flare outwards and reach to the far horizons of other choices. You can’t grit your teeth and laugh at the same time. The iron mask of camouflage breaks away, and there is freedom of restriction. So make us laugh Thalia, you little wood nymph Tinkerbell, that flutters from flower to flower like a butterfly, depositing the pixie dust of healing humor on the petals of the mortal blooms. HAIL HOLY!
Calliope Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Sumari Calliope Blue
Calliope, the First Born Out of the blue, out of nowhere she appeared. I remember it was this season last year. I had stated my intent to learn all I could of the muses And how they relate to the essence family that fuses. Since she is my muse in rising It shouldn’t be too surprising That she was ﬁrst born to me In a time when I was dancing with glee. Sumari knows the beneﬁts of playfulness. The Greeks are Sumafi in intent, and I can’t think of a better word than inspiration to define the gentle feather like touch of a muse. A zephyr of vibration and feeling, or just plain celestial music. You can’t hold inspiration, like you can’t hold your breath for long, it’s meant to flow in and out again. Each breath is a new beginning. The Sumafi Greeks knew. Each muse represents a kaleidoscope of feeling or poetry in motion. And the Sumari expresses in unique creativity that adorns Gaia in a life that imitates art. Sumari is the creator of all things artistic, and she sings in paint, music, sculpture, dance, and written or artistic expression of all forms. It is her domain. The Sumari are not the teachers, they are the doers, the examples, being highly creative, extremely unique, and sometimes bordering on eccentric. They are not introverted or shy, but do not align with societies, governments, or religions. They do not conform to the norm. They plant seeds of movement within a culture with the instigation of new ideas and initiate great change, but then like Seth says, they don’t hang around to mow the grass. They are best known as the “pot stirrers.” They appeared within our culture as the “flower children,” the expressers of love and freedom. They are the muse for the individual expression, which is why Calliope sings to the hero in us, the one longing for freedom. It is a freedom of expression. It is the deep seeded desire of the search for THE truth,
like THE truth actually existed. And yet, it is a basic knowing that all things are true for each individual and unique perspective. Sumaris understand unique. They are unique personified, and the belief system of truth. Sumari’s don’t care about accuracy the way Sumafi’s do, they care about the tone of the expression. Sumaris are temporary. They do not establish cultures to be lasting, they are more encouraging of creativity in society. Within history there are evidences of cultures that were Sumari influenced. Sumer is a Sumari culture. Sumaris are the Speakers or the vibration of the blue throat chakra of communication. Subjectively, we all know Sumari. They are obvious. So we all know Calliope, no matter how she presents herself. I recall when I first tried to connect with Calliope as I had asked her what the hell is a heroic epic? But she didn’t answer right away, instead she waited for me to relax and become playful. Calliope communicates best when one is playful, or in that realm of easy time. When Calliope, the Speaker sings to you, she doesn’t need words, she expresses in the tone of the state of being, the way the Sumari language expresses. Or her words may be the nonsense verses of the “Dead Can Dance,” that sound like the most beautiful and barely remembered foreign language. Or you can make up your own words to her music if you desire, she doesn’t mind. By co-incidence my daughter had a CD of calliope music. We put it on, grabbed some scarves, and danced around like fools, but within that action I suddenly discovered the energy of Calliope singing to me in the vibration and tone of Sumari blue. And in that moment she told me the meaning of the heroic epic, within her terms of feelings and remembrances. Calliope’s playful voice is that of the merry-go-round, vocalizing in its unusual tone and timbre of steam whistle. The instrument calliope projects loudly and great distances, like the voice of the Speaker that commands attention. Either she sings a delightful song that can’t help but gladden your heart, like “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee.” Where you can image yourself flowing down the river of life, captain of your own ship of direction. Or a heroic epic, like “America the Beautiful” or “God Bless America.” It was “God Bless America” that connected me to Calliope.
I was connecting with not the poetry of words, but with the poetry of sound, that causes us to stand in allegiance and put our hands on our hearts, and feel deeply the hero in each of us. Do you remember that feeling after 9-11, when playful Hollywood contributed to the war effort by giving a telethon? And how no one, except perhaps Willy and the Boys knew all the words, but the intensity of the feeling of heroism and community was inspiring. I remember that I couldn’t help but sing along. It is that feeling… that childhood memory… that inspiration one had when playfully riding proudly upon the back of a painted Pegasus, holding tightly to the spiraled unicorn horn, while moving ever upwards and forwards, reaching out in earnest for the brass ring of accomplishment. It is the siren voice of Calliope that calls to the hero in each of us as we journey. There is no voice more beautiful.
Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Tumold Euterpe Indigo
Giver of Comfort Of all the muses the Tumold muse was the hardest for me to get to know. I called for her several times, and she didn’t show. Oh yeah, I can find her in my backyard as the deep indigo night, or on my television as ER or Bewitched. Then I realized that Euterpe had shown up several times, I had just failed to recognize her because she has a split personality. I should have also seen her in CSI, or Dead like Me, or episodes of Six Feet Under. Generally Euterpe is calming and easy to be around as her very nature is to restore. She is healing, whether she touches you physically with outstretched hands, or touches your soul with the remembrance words of Mnemosyne. Her mere presence is the energy of the mystical healers that weave their way into every culture and hold the cherished positions of priest-magician. Euterpe is often royalty. She is a natural interpreter that reads energy like a dime store novel. She reads people, creatures, landscape, song, events, and collects these into tidbits that increase her knowledge of her own essence being. Euterpe engages you in enchanting
dialogue that radiates the hue of calming indigo, for she is the belief system of perception. She holds your heart in her arms, and perceives the tune of many heads, bearing within her sensitive ability the most adequate vibration to calm the pending fear, or sooth the worst demon. Her intent is not to heal, it is to remind others that they themselves hold the ability to return to the natural state of being at any time. Her lyric poetry are the words of the opera, the libretto of human suffering, within a haunting chant that manages to ease the beast of burden. Her melody is an orchestration of harmony, in the timbre of the compassion of empathy. Her knowledge is knowing not to repair, but remind, and she often appears in society as mass disengagement when Gaia herself is ill. When aligned, Euterpe will extend the greatest effort, determined as the intent of a doctor to save lives. When she slips into episodes of rescue and fix it, she has a tendency to overmedicate, even under the best circumstances. But even if the operation is totally successful, the patient will eventually die, and this is Tumold’s shinning glory of belonging. Euterpe knows death. She has perceived it up close, dismembered and rotting, but she also sees beyond that one brief moment of choice. Euterpe is the euthenics of life and the euthanasia of death. Euterpe is the master of the music of the Gorgones, and she plays the poetry of the flute that hypnotizes the Medusa snakes that haunt the head. Euterpe is comfort personified.
The muse Euterpe is a master of creative exchange, and you know when her inspiration is present, for there is a magic power in her words and hands, both composed like lyrical poetry. She is the joygiver, the giver of comfort whose music is the tender flute. She sings like the wind blowing through the reeds, or the gentle voice of windchimes brushed up against a zephyr. Euterpe belongs to the Tumold family and she is enamored of the rich vibration of indigo, for she wraps it around her like a silken sari, and the red dot on her forehead is the focal point of her third eye. Euterpe is the host of the belief system of perception, her vision direct and piercing
like a stare, or soft and compassionate like a gentle smile that relaxes, even if hidden behind her veil. And she is the fire tender for all humanity. Euterpe is known as a healer, but she does not heal, what she does is to end suffering, and there is a difference. She is the blue spark in fire and the euthanasia of compassion. Often her fire burns hot and destroys like any wild fire through any overgrown forest, but her intent is restoration, like a phoenix fire, where the most magnificent is born of ashes. And Euterpe is magnificent. She is the sunset on horizon.
Terpsichore Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Zuli Terpsichore Purple/Violet
The Whirler I can’t even look at the Zuli muse without feeling pangs of jealousy towards her perfection of body and movement. She is the personification of the Greek adoration of the human physical form. She is art imitating life. The grace of a ballet dancer, or a stripper at the pole, or a football player. Physical beauty so immense it’s often called pornographic, but it’s admiration of the physical body attuned to every cell and molecule, meeting every physical challenge, and often excelling to the point of medals. Her art is the Olympics, and she is as purple as a Cirque Du Soleil costume. She is the muse of choral song and dancing. Depicted with the lyre, and plucking with plectrum the strings of the physical image, so to make it sing in the poetry of dance. She is the master of capabilities, and the mistress of salacious. She hones the human image that patient Borledim manifests. She is the striving of Apollo, and the attractiveness of Aphrodite. The kiss of youth and flawlessness, and the image of strength and potential. She is US in a cowboy hat and boots, ready to take on any challenge. She is buff Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, or the agile Neo in Matrix, adapt in the oriental arts of movement of chi. She is whirling acrobatics, twirling square dances, or a high flying swan dive. She is awesome in the manifestation of her poetry of the flesh. She is living art.
Art Is Everywhere
by Jean Blenkhorn
Polyhymnia Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Borledim Polyhymnia Pink
Everything, Borledim, is Sacred The Borledim muse is the rapture of childbirth and the colors of the sunrise of a new day. She is the rudimentary of relationships and the peace of a dying dove that knows itself as transformation. She is the weightless wings of flight that chooses to touch upon both the moist earth and the outstretched branches of the most far reaching horizons, that caresses with the effectiveness of a feather. Polyhymnia is the gentle kiss of flora and fauna that decorates Gaia in the most glorious of manifestation, and she sings to the purple mountain majesty and amber waves of grain. She sings to the calm indigo night and the spotlighted golden moon. She sings to the orange autumn season, and the black hole of connection. She sings to the blue/green that is the atmosphere between sky and land. She is the pink blush of embarrassment and the rose flush of viewpoint. She is the nursing mother of nurture, and mother nature personified. She is the velvet rose flower that is the gasp of the gods, the joy of mortals, and the glory of bloom for only the sake of beauty. She is the fragrance of red Erato enhanced with green garlands of appreciation love and healing. Her eyes reflect the silence of meaning, and the mist of a soundless voice. She is most grace-full of the Muses, and the very breath of inspiration. She is the pink belief system of relationship, and expressed her nurturing poetry through the baby boom.
Essence Family Associated Muse Color
Sumafi Clio Black
Ode to Clio
Oh, sister of Calliope I know you can see in me An explosion of creativity That sparks like the electric bolt that it is. I beg you give pause To my cause Maybe not applause But just a noticing in passing thought
For secretly, I covet the Clio award All that Sumafi records It is the highest reward For it is Clio that recognizes accomplishment. I’d be so honored. Dear Clio; I know you don’t have the easiest job, and that it gets hot under that long black robe of the educators, the ministers, and the judges, the elite of society. And the belief system of duplicity that you know the best, is the plague of society, the continual paradox, the black or white riddle that cannot be solved. A demand for Justice, where there is no need for Justice. Everyone creates their own reality, how more just can it get? And that you even attempt to give balance to that paradox of bad and good, right and wrong, amazes me, for the attempt itself is Titan, and as ugly as the fierce two headed dragon of fear. You are St. George the dragon slayer, armed only with tooth and nail, and I highly respect your tenacity of repetition. I respect your love of accuracy, and that you are the natural born teacher of acceptance. You straighten the crooked images on the wall, you dust the nooks and crannies of the cortex, and you oversee the history of a culture. You are the black hole of connection that will transport us all at light speed into a brand new dimension of reality. And I noticed your energy ﬁrst in 1995, as I began to objectively shift, and I called upon you for assistance in understanding. You set the pace, although it’s not a race. Miss Clio with your red penciled fingers, you do often correct my punctuation while I’m still speaking it. But sometimes I depend on you to dot my I’s and cross my T’s. Other times I’m lying with my fingers crossed, hoping you don’t catch me. Often times you harp the Abso-lute. Other times you sing the sweetest tune of praise, with honey covered words of wisdom that drip in the sweetness of success. Behind every accomplished person is the Sumafi muse, or perhaps in front. I’d like to think that we are side by side, arm in arm, traveling the same path, in the same direction. As compatible as fraternal twins can be. (Sumafi and Sumari.) Dancin’ and singin’ all the way. Much Love, Sis
in Northern California by Peter Pynchon
ndian Grinding Rock (Chaw’se) is in a shallow valley in the Sierra Nevada foothills where Miwok Indians lived as hunter-gatherers 150 years ago. White miners polluted streams, killed the fish, depleted the deer, spread diseases, and disrupted the food sources. A Grinding Rock forty feet long with pocked holes where women ground acorns into meal is all that remains. It has 1100 cavities which is the largest number of grinding mortars in a single place in North America. A Round House (hun’ge) was erected by local Miwok Indians in recent years for ceremonies and dancing. When I visited, a man was tending a sacred fire and I asked if I could enter. He asked if I was Indian. I said, “No.” He said, “You look Indian.” My complexion came from my mother who had Persian ancestry, so I said, “I am Iranian.” He said, “That is good enough. Come in.” The Fire Tender showed me how to turn in respect when coming in, and how to walk around the sacred fire. The smoke twisted and danced through sunlight streaming in from a large ceiling hole. We talked. Fire Tender said he was part Lakota (a tribe in the northern U.S.) and he told of spirits that people experienced here. Visions were described with short sentences and long pauses, and I felt as if portals to a spiritworld opened and I saw the scenes he described.
photography by Peter Pynchon
Recently, I performed a fire ritual with the Rig Veda and knew that the Persian Zarathusthra performed fire worships. I asked Fire Tender for guidance on how to do the fire ceremony. He told me to offer tobacco in four corners for the four directions and then to offer tobacco into the fire so it will rise as smoke to the Great Spirit. My friend and I then were shown a sacred rock that looked like a huge (six foot) bear claw print with a round pad in the middle where women ground acorns. Fire Tender pointed to a hill where people were buried and I was told that departed spirits are here. I felt honored because most Indians don’t say where their ancestors are buried. When parting, I was told to shake hands with the hand closest to the heart. The grasses looked vividly green, there were pine trees seventy feet tall, oak trees with acorns, lizards sunning and scampering, deer grazing, wildflowers on hillsides, and bird calls echoed off the valley walls. Cougar and bear often are here.
In a later visit, a fresh mound of dirt was on the hill of departed ancestors. A piece of bark with hundreds of woodpecker holes was laid on it. A slim stick was stuck in the dirt. I sat and played a low keyed flute and felt ancestors in the quiet between the notes. I asked for their wisdoms and personal guidance, and received responses. I spoke to their Great Spirit and heard nothing – or Nothing. I learned, for me at this moment, that spirits come through the Ancestors. A magnificent Stellar’s Jay with it’s black head crest hopped nearby. He had messages. I realized his ancestors and the huge Valley Oak trees (mo’lla) lived here when the Miwok’s thrived years ago. Near the Grinding Rock, I heard faint voices of women talking and the rhythms of grinding acorns. I saw no one. Months later, a friend and I visited Borax Lake in the Coastal Mountains where Paleo-Indians lived 10,000 years ago. This location was discovered in the 1940’s when three inch Clovis points (used on spears) were found. Similar Clovis points were used to kill mastodons in what is New Mexico. Archaeologists believe the first North American colonizers arrived from Asia along the Pacific Coast before an ice-free land corridor opened in the north. At the end of the last Ice Age, Ancients lived along Borax Lake when the weather was much colder and very rainy. This oldest Northern Californian Indian site is near a glassy black obsidian quarry where points (arrowheads) were made for hunting and trade. Mt. Konocti, a dormant volcano that erupted 10,000 years ago, is within miles. The Indian site now is in an abandoned walnut grove. When we arrived, three mule deer were surprised and ran away. I played a Native American flute and they stopped and perked their ears and listened. They were like Ancients still residing here. Other inhabitants are ducks, sandpipers, various birds, rabbits, deer, raccoon, squirrels and hawks. The area is imbued with spirit. I asked for the Ancients to speak and I heard an old man. I called him Grandfather. He told me of the people’s simple life at the Lake. I heard children playing and was surprised by a deepening sensing. When playing the flute, a woman was dancing among the trees. In places like this, I felt one can be easily drawn into realities separated by thin veils.
The area is imbued with spirit. I asked for the Ancients to speak and I heard an old man. I called him Grandfather. He told me of the people’s simple life at the Lake. I heard children playing and was surprised by a deepening sensing. When playing the ﬂute, a woman was dancing among the trees. In places like this, I felt one can be easily drawn into realities separated by thin veils. I walked and saw scattered obsidian chips on the ground — evidence of Pomo Indians who lived in this area 150 years ago. Descendents live nearby. Archaeologists excavated deeper and found obsidian artifacts dating to 12,000 years ago. A low hazy autumn sun warmed the quiet lake basin. We could tell that winter was coming and imagined people here for 9000 years.
photography by Peter Pynchon JAN.–FEBRUARY 2010
Antelope Slot Canyon Navajo Reservation, Arizona photography by Peter Pynchon
On the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona is an amazing narrow sandstone canyon carved by water that first dripped into cracks and later swirled and carved magnificent shapes. The moving sun illuminates the reds and oranges. One of the Navajo guides played her Native American flute inside which echoed beautifully. I know that not everyone enjoys rocks, yet I love using photography to capture the graceful forms in the constantly shifting light. During certain months of the year and for a short period of the day, light beams enter the canyon —and then they disappear.
The Enchantment of
Chanting by John Hawkins
eople in the western world have a strong, clear, but only partial perception of what chanting is all about.
Religions in the west —Abrahamical religions— are very rudimentary and even primitive, being only a couple of thousand years old at best, compared to the ancient teachings available in India, Tibet, and several other places on the planet, mostly in the east. In these rare and special areas of the planet, long lineages of sages have painstakingly passed on ‘tried and true’ teachings about consciousness to select members of every new generation, for many thousands of years, mostly by word of mouth! This represents a priceless resource for Planet Earth and her people that far surpasses all the oil in the Middle East, all the gold in (wherever there’s lot of gold), and all the tea in China. I am re-reading the Bhagavad Gita after twenty years with a new understanding that Krishna is the spark of All That Is that is situated in my actual physical heart. I have a personal relationship with this spark of divinity in my heart. Paired in my heart with Krishna is my own source self or Soul, celebrating along with Krishna this unique and eternal relationship. The relationship of these twin divinities within us is like two birds in a tree. One is fl itting about enjoying the sweet and bitter fruits (our Soul) and the other is simply observing the first with infinite, unfathomable qualities including interest and compassion (All That Is). Chanting is one of the spectacular fruits of these resources that demonstrates the power and transcendence of these teachings. It turns out that based on the exhaustive and scientific methods and understanding accumulated in the Vedas, chanting a mantra can actually change your state of consciousness.
Isn’t this what is being offered, albeit mostly unsuccessfully, as the benefi t, value and the veritable fruits, albeit mostly reserved for the fortunate few, of our own religions? This divinely rooted ability to change our state of consciousness from one that —let us say— limits, or vexes us, to one that soothes and relieves us by releasing our restrictions, meanwhile expanding our potential exponentially. Isn’t this what prayer, communion and confession are all about, attaining a new state of consciousness? The problem in the west, of course, is that we have been attempting to deny consciousness as a concept with any reality or meaning for several hundred years or more, with varying but not inconsiderable degrees of success, especially in the modern era. Accepting the idea that each one of us can learn to change our consciousness is tricky for a society that, as a matter of course, hardly deigns to acknowledge consciousness as a legitimate topic of discussion, let alone a valuable or helpful constituent of everyday reality.
Kris Offers Chanting (Summer 2009) [This is excerpted from my homework for Kris’ online workshop entitled, “Search for Self” where he expanded on his presentation of chanting and related information.] With the chanting that Kris has given us I feel that I not only have an enduring connection with my own Source Self, but I have a budding relationship with the Param Atma, the spark of All That Is in my heart —the same Param Atma in everybody’s heart, except that I have a unique relationship with this Glorious Being, [as does everybody.] Chanting, properly done, becomes a basically foolproof method for focusing our concentration on the transcendental layer of our being. And of course we all know what happens when we concentrate on something!
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For me the highlight was that it is our ability to hear, and the mental discipline that is required to hear, that is the basis of any spiritual learning. From this I come up with the idea that a disciplined mind enables us to hear transcendental sounds, and this is the basis of spiritual learning. And I have a clue about what constitutes a disciplined mind. Kris mentioned in this session that true listening may often require us to set aside the instant opinions that the mind generates. The mind, like the irrepressible legs of a 2-year-old learning to walk, knows that it is supposed be responsive. It knows its job is to come up with an assessment of any given stimulus, and it does so reflexively, even when completely uninformed. Thus the power of the chanting becomes even better understood because it is all about disciplining the mind and truly listening. And finally, the highlight from the last session would be the idea that a set routine, such as chanting at the same time every morning, is very beneficial. It is very grounding for me spiritually and has health benefi ts also. But the main benefi t is in setting a consistent tone for every day. This lays the groundwork for events later in the day where my energy may begin to create what Kris calls a self-effulgent effect. Since I am a creature of habit anyway, and have always loved routines, this information is very comforting to me. The only thing is the content of the routines. This is where new priorities are emerging!
My Personal Experience with Chanting (Nov. 2009) [Chanting produced an immediate and noticeable effect on my everyday life. This is excerpted from a blog about my emerging understanding of new perspectives being afforded to me, seemingly by doing this chanting.]
Kris tells a wonderfully evocative story about service. Think about your hand. It is an almost autonomous aspect of your physical body, very expressive and functional. But how can the hand eat or drink? It cannot nourish itself in that way because it lacks the parts required for these functions. However the hand is admirably suited to bringing food and drink to the mouth of its owner. In doing so it performs a service and also nourishes itself. When we give loving, personalized devotion to the Divine in our heart we are nourishing our Whole Selves and the payoff is grace, the personalized support and nourishment we experience in every part of our lives as a reflection of that. And getting into a transcendent state of consciousness —entering a state of grace— does change our experience of things here in the mundane world. ’mundane’ may not be the best word for our ordinary, everyday state of consciousness because I don’t mean to devalue it in any way. Let’s call it the Focus State —as in experiences as a focal personality. That said, there is no question that the transcendent state of consciousness represents an expansion of our mundane experience. It’s just a fact. Especially when it is discovered that the transcendent state encompasses all of the mundane states of consciousness because it is the very source of them.
Direction in Consciousness This implies to me that there is at least an implicit “direction” within consciousness. When we expand our understanding to the transcendent state and perceive, even for a few moments, how our mundane, everyday states of consciousness are supported by, and depend upon this transcendent state, there’s no turning back from this perspective for any of us. It’s like the first time the world saw a picture of… the world from the moon. Sometimes a new perspective is a game changer.
A set routine, such as chanting at the same time every morning, is very grounding for me spiritually and has health beneﬁts also. But the main benefit is in setting a consistent tone for every day. This lays the groundwork for events later in the day where my energy may begin to create a self-effulgent effect.
Experiencing transcendence means a literal, qualitative difference in our state of consciousness even if only a seed has been planted to blossom later. Something essential and intrinsic changes when we expand our conscious perception to that layer of our being. So how does our everyday experience of things change as a consequence of our tasting the nectar of this transcendent state of consciousness? Put in other words, how does somebody who knows they are eternal, immortal consciousness, full of wisdom and bliss, how does such a person’s everyday point of view change? The first thing is that there’s been a curious ‘leveling of the playing field’ in my everyday life. The idea is that there has been a balancing and harmonization of what has always been a basic willingness to more or less cheerfully participate in whatever happens to be going on in my life. For instance, for me there’s always been a big difference between bouncing out of bed early on those wonderful days when I can do anything I want, and me crawling out of bed late after stealing a few more minutes, on the days when I have to go to work. Now that I am chanting every morning, I get up at 6 whether I’m going to work or have the day off. This means that for the first two hours of my day, from 6 to 8, I do the same exact thing every day. So the change I’m noticing is how I get up when the alarm goes off at 5:45!
At Some Level, There’s No Difference! There is virtually no difference in my mood upon arising now, whether I have to work that day or not. In a metaphorical way you could say that I have set up a transcendent platform in my day where for two hours every day is the same. During this period, it doesn’t really matter much what’s going to be happening for the rest of the day. In the same way inhabiting, even in a small way, the transcendent platform of consciousness we find a place within ourselves that is not swayed by the senses. Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that I don’t create bad things in my life anymore. I’m saying that this doesn’t mess me up the way it used to.
Revisiting my newfound equanimity about whether or not I am at work or doing what I want. I don’t want you to think that work has ever been such a burden. And for that matter, I have even had issues lately with what I get up to at home alone, so this whole thing is not simple or cut and dried.
Transcendence: A New Platform Expression, Engagement, Exploration
The point for me is that in either environment there is a significant portion of me that is fairly unimpeded in its pursuit of its interests, no matter which set of sense data is being processed by my mundane consciousness at that particular time. By establishing this new platform for my identity and consciousness of myself, I have created, or better, become aware of, a playing field quite independent of the events in time and space that surround me. And the remarkable thing is that this transcendent state of consciousness is perfectly comfortable and natural for me. Even though it is beyond, and untouched by any sense experience we have ever had, this realm of consciousness is one where we find ourselves perfectly at home, once we adjust our focus and perception to recognize it.
And it turns out that the transcendent state is not some kind of soft, billowy void or emptiness. No such thing. As we begin to inhabit the transcendent state we start to notice things, to make friends and initiate projects in this realm of our being. It can get quite busy and there is no end of potential and opportunities. Needless to say these transcendent encounters, experiments and observations can be conducted in virtually any sense environment since they are operating from a realm that is independent of the sense environment.
Easier to Direct Attention in the Mundane World And here’s another thing. Because I have a foothold in this transcendent state of consciousness I am finding it easier to steer my attitude and intention in the mundane world. This I put down to not being buffeted by the sense experiences as much, however swirling and animated they might be, and thus being able to negotiate any necessary or desired maneuvers of attitude and attention unimpeded.
When I say that the transcendent perspective ‘levels the playing field’ of mundane experience, I don’t mean that it takes anything away from this layer of experience. [except perhaps our potential to overwhelm ourselves, but that’s good thing!]
I know this sounds a tiny bit paradoxical but it boils down to not caring —I know that sounds awful. What I mean is lack of judgmental concern, compassionate caring is good. It’s about understanding that ultimately, no matter what happens in any sense environment, this other transcendent place that we all live, knowingly or unknowingly, is not touched by any of that. [This gives us a place to be that is not—ever— overthrown, by any sense input.]
The joys and sorrows are still here in full force, but they are informed by a perspective that is not moved by them. Or better is not overwhelmed by them. [we can choose to be moved, even transcendentally]
And, on another note, I have noticed that some of the big things and mostly some of the little things that I want to get done, just seem to get done. Almost like they’re doing themselves!
If all you have is the world of sense experience, then what happens in your sense world is ‘do or die’ so to speak. But when we become aware of a platform of our awareness and perception that is independent of sense data, untouched by time, and not bounded by space, everyday experiences are actually enriched even though they are bound to be leveled to a degree.
Never ‘Either’ ‘Or’ – Always ‘And’ As an eternal immortal consciousness full of wisdom and bliss, all sense experiences are something I have chosen and created for the value and meaning inherent in them. Thus sense experiences graduate from being almost random streams of meaningless events impacting us day by day, and hour by hour, they graduate to being deliberately and intentionally chosen experiences for their inherent potential for value fulfi llment. Quite a different perspective.
For instance, I had a lovely experience with my Vision Board a couple of weeks ago. […] I quickly glanced at the other things on the board, aware that I had not really looked at it for years. Examining the board I noticed at least five things that had come true, or were about to come true. For instance, I had a lovely experience with my Vision Board a couple of weeks ago. I was showing my new cleaning boy (actually a man in his early forties) around my apartment so he would know what he was getting into when he agreed to clean it. As we passed my Vision Board, hanging in the hall outside of the bathroom, I noticed the picture of a big bag of money, with a big dollar sign on it. This struck me because the reason I was hiring this cleaning boy is that I had recently inherited a tidy sum, quite unexpectedly, and could suddenly afford all the things that I had been putting off.
In other words the big bag of money had appeared in my life! I quickly glanced at the other things on the board, aware that I had not really looked at it for years. Examining the board I noticed at least five things that had come true, or were about to come true. Like goal number 3, about cleaning and de-cluttering my apartment – the very reason I was showing the cleaning boy around! Spooky!
Innate Gracefulness — We Are Emerging Avatars of Our Whole Selves Not to beat our drum here or anything, but the word itself, and even some of the ideas behind the fi lm ‘Avatar’ come directly from Vedic literature, philosophy and language. Any particular sage in any particular era of human life can be thought of as an ‘avatar’ of Krishna or ATI, that is to say a constitutional expression —as much as can be expressed in impermanent terms— of some suitable subset of the infinite and irreproachable qualities of All That Is, expressed as an actual personhood —in the flesh, as it were. Ongoing at the heart of all of us is the highest possible expansion of possibilities about whatever means the most to us in any particular moment. Chanting allows our innate awareness of this inner gracefulness and perpetual fulfi llment to unleash itself in both transcendental and mundane perceptions. This is chanting! We only needed a way to focus our concentration on these transcendental aspects of ourselves, for all of these innate inner and outer glories to become apparent to us in our everyday perceptions.
Resources Google any of the Sanskrit terms, Vedic, Vedas, Avatar, Krishna, etc, for more information. For more of my blogs on various topics, visit yourfaithfulreporter.com For the latest materials from Kris, visit KrisChronicles.com
Exchange with Nadishana Nadishana on the Ancient Kuzhebar Culture “...For ancient Kuzhebarans time was non linear, that’s why it is impossible to ascertain with exactitude, where is the beginning and the ending of their culture. It can be, that it was coming to us from the future... Some relics of this early civilization belong to the Mesozoic and the Palaeosoic, although contemporary science supposes there was no human race then. This paradox is assignable to the fact, that ancient kuzhebarans were able to create their own tunnels of reality, live in different worlds, epoches and places... “ (Z.Puzdicustskuskst “Embryonal stages of development of the soul in the Ancient Kuzhebar’ culture”, P. 14, Publishing House “Area of Thought”, Ymambaba, 2001.) What is “Kuzhebar”? • One of the tales says, that the name comes from the word “kuzhebor” (-bor means forest in Russian), a mythological forest, where protoplants were growing. There are more versions, but now it is impossible to say, which one is right, because ancient Kuzhebarans were able to create alternative tunnels of reality and had the ability to exist in many times and places simultaneously. Speaking about the Ancient Kuzhebar culture as being very old, is simply a convention. It means only, that the first artefacts, which were found in the small Siberian village Nizhny Kuzhebar, belong to an ancient period of history.
Nadishana has agreed to answer some of our questions for Wisp, here are a few notes from the interview (with our thanks to Tara Stewart.) Nadishana, why are you so passionate about folk instruments? Because ethnic instruments have a potential which modern western instruments (mostly) doesn’t have any longer. Due to the evolution, those instruments became very “polished and clean” in many senses. They are very well optimized to play music in twelve tone equal temperated scale. Ancient ethnic instruments are “raw and unpolished” and mostly suitable to play wide range of ornamentations and timbre variations. If you know how to use their power you can touch special things in human beings, which you cannot access with modern familiar instruments. Ancient overtone instruments have direct access to some magic inside us. What I’m trying to do is to combine the power of those two kinds. It is a very challenging and interesting task. What role does trance state play on playing different types of instruments —e.g. strings as opposed to percussion or woodwind? Well I don’t know your definition of ‘trance state’, but let’s say for me ‘trance
state’ means: having the control of your playing and in the same moment letting the sorcerous element of music express itself. This kind of state is not easy to achieve because it is the combination of a discipline and freedom (sounds like contradiction). Usually what I see around is just one of them. This is the aspect of music which you cannot learn. And as far as you have it, it doesn’t matter which type of instrument you’re playing: wind or stringed. What sort of feelings or energy differences do you get playing in nature as opposed to urban performance settings?
Could you explain us the basic principles of the Ancient Kuzhebar religion? • The Ancient Kuzhebar culture was steeped in the use of the Laugh. In Ancient Kuzhebar Humour and the Laugh were considered to be the most serious spiritual and psychic-energetic practice. One of those practices was called “The Yoga of Laughter”. Unlike in our culture, in Ancient Kuzhebar the laughter was not the antithesis of seriousness, but it was the part of it. There was even a separate caste “the monks of Laughter”. The world of ghosts was well known in Ancient Kuzhebar, but ancient Kuzhebarans didn’t worship them like they do in other cultures. They considered them to be forces, representants of other dimensions with whom one could interact or ally. Man creates gods as gods creates man. What was the Ancient Kuzhebaran view on death? • It depended on the way the person gave meaning to death. One prefers an absolute end, another takes a new body in body shop and some chose the deathless state. There were so called “Twenty Deathless’” in Kuzhebar as the result of the first genetic experiments of the Ancient Kuzhebar arch-father “Yagdyn Staroy”. These creatures are still alive and we have just detected two of them. Ancient kuzhebarans could transform in their consciousness sex, death, all phenomena and objects, impart them any meaning they wanted, depending on their intent. Are there many people, who cultivate the Ancient Kuzhebar culture? • Not so many. May be we simply don’t know all of them. Find out more on Nadishana’s website.
As far as i am in a trance state as described above, it doesn’t really matter. What was the first music you remember? I consciously made this question hard to answer for myself. The first music I remember was some song which I heard from radio when I was a child. I did some things to forget it. So now I don’t remember it anymore.
http://nadishana.com Vladiswar Nadishana is a Russian virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and composer from Siberia who creates his own unique and innovative approach to world fusion music — the creative synthesis of different musical traditions of the world on the basis of contemporary technologies. He plays on more than 100 instruments of the world, including self-created ones. He elaborated the unique playing technique on each of his instruments and his own approach to advanced digital audio editing called “sound microsurgery”.
Song-Distance Relationships by Jenifer Ransom
Love is a song, just as implied in the cliché about lovers “making beautiful music together.”
hen we first fall in love, that song is strong and indeed beautiful, echoing through our hearts. It’s a transforming experience, and as we perceive the essence of the beloved, we feel far more in touch with our own essence, or soul. But what often happens is that we think we need the other to be and act a certain way to “hear” this music and feel the feelings. And most of us take it for granted that we need to be physically with the other for the song’s continuance. What we need to realize is that the song is in us, the love is in our hearts, and separation is an illusion. To our five-sensory selves, this seems ridiculous, but not to the quantum physicists such as John A. Wheeler, who said: “There’s no out there out there.” Excerpted from The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot:
In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris a research team led by physiciﬆ Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the moﬆ important experiments of the 20th century. You did not hear about it on the evening news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading scientific journals you probably have never even heard Aspect’s name, though there are some who believe his discovery may change the face of science. Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumﬆances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to inﬆantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the diﬆance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart. This phenomenon is called “non-locality.” As it relates to affairs of the heart, it also means that we are always in communication, always inwardly connected.
In fact, my all-time favorite book about love relationships, by Carol K. Anthony, is titled Love, an Inner Connection. She makes the point that in a true love relationship, the two are able to feel the connection even when they are thousands of miles apart. When we no longer feel this, it is because we have allowed doubts, fears, and other manifestations of the ego to get in the way. Love and ego dominance just don’t mix. Unfortunately, love is particularly subject to control by the ego, or as it is sometimes called, false personality. “The love relationship, of all relationships, is the most threatening to the ego pride system,” writes Anthony. “It is, therefore, vulnerable to the ego’s attempts to control it. For that reason, and despite the fact that love is the one experience which most exposes us to growth and fulfi llment, it is also the most avoided of relationships. No other relationship is as capable of destabilizing the neat, orderly world of the ego.” The perfection of love and transcendence of ego comes with the deep knowing of oneness with the beloved. As the great poet Hafiz wrote in one of his “ghazals”:
O wind, if you’re passing through the resplendent rose garden, be sure to blow this message to our beloved: “Why have you coldly thrown us out of your heart? In time, even our name will escape you.” O Hafiz, the beloved’s heart is one with thine, thus, you can never be apart. Let your tears flow, gentle as the dove, radiant as wine, scattering the seeds of what you know for the bird of reunion to feed on.
[In Love, an Inner Connection, Carol K. Anthony] makes the point that in a true love relationship, the two are able to feel the connection even when they are thousands of miles apart. When we no longer feel this, it is because we have allowed doubts, fears, and other manifestations of the ego to get in the way. The message of rejection and indifference is from the ego, while the assurance of oneness is the song and the poetry of love. So the pitfalls of long-distance relationships are really not so different from the pitfalls of love relationships in general. Currently, the old paradigms in our world, our old ways of doing things, are crumbling, making way for the new. We can see this with the economy and many other aspects of our lives, including relationships. The Internet is certainly a big part of this—it is now usual for us to connect with people living on the other side of the world, and we often find we feel more in sync with them than with the next-door neighbor. I also see that rather than being defined by our relationships, we are moving toward becoming more centered in ourselves. For example, it is far more acceptable these days to remain single, and it is understood that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely. The “song-distant relationship” is one where we believe we can only hear the song of our heart and feel the joy of love when in the presence of the beloved. But when we listen with our inward ear, see with our inward eye, and open our hearts to the love that is always there for us, we can soar with that song and that joy. Then, we realize (real eyes) we are always connected, always one, and at the same time, complete and whole in ourselves.
The Middleton File
by Scott Neighbour
The following interview was conducted by EXPLAIN Magazine at the Pineridge Asylum on December 3rd, 1956. Dr. Johnathan Bridgeson discusses the unexplained disappearance of a thirteen year old boy named Gordie Middleton from his locked room at Pineridge. [a click is followed by the shufﬂing of chairs and soft, inaudible muttering] Explain Magazine (EM): All right… I’m recording. Are you comfortable? Good… let’s get started then… please just speak into the microphone in front of you there. Dr. Bridgeson (DB): Is this good enough? (EM): Yes… yes that will be fine. Thank you for doing this, doctor. Now, could you please state your name and title within this facility for the record? (DB): I am Doctor Johnathan Bridgeson, head of the childrens ward here at Pineridge Asylum. (EM): And how many children are in this ward at the moment? (DB): Currently, there are five subjects… three male and two female, each with different degrees of psychosis. (EM): I understand you had a young boy by the name of Gordie Middleton in your care earlier this year. Could you tell us how he came to be in your care? (DB): Of course… Gordie came to us in the later part of March. He was exhibiting severe delusions… hearing voices and seeing things that weren’t really there. He had been in an adoption home and his caregivers had given up on trying to reason with him. After assessing him, we decided it was best to take him into our facility.
(EM): You say he was hearing voices and seeing things. Can you be more specific? (DB): In the fall of 1955 he ran away from the Pleasant Hill Home. His abrupt disappearance from there was aired in mystery, too. He took no belongings with him. The night watchman said no one left through the only exit in the building and the windows were barred and secure. For five months Gordie was missing. The home had all but forgotten about him when, on the late hours of March 27, 1956, he suddenly reappeared. (EM): Wait… reappeared?… What do you mean? (DB): According to the Mistress at Pleasant Hill, on that night there was commotion in the sleeping quarters. She and the night watchman went to see what was going on. When they entered the room, Gordie Middleton was sitting on the floor surrounded by the other children. He was wearing strange clothes and babbling about another world. He had minor wounds and a fever, so he was brought to the nurses station. (EM): Was his babbling due to the fever? (DB): No… the next day his fever broke and he still went on about how he’d gone to visit a place he called Tween. He was adamant in that he needed to go back. That’s when we were called in. (EM): Did he further discuss this place he called Tween? (DB): Indeed… in great length. I tried to diagnose his condition but it was… difficult. He was extremely lucid and his descriptions were incredibly detailed. In his mind, he had, in fact, been to another world and trying to dissuade him of that
fact would be like trying to tell you that you weren’t really here doing this interview. Gordie was an artistic prodigy… painting mostly… and he sat one day and painted what he said was Tween. (EM): Really?… Did you keep any of his work? (DB): Yes, I did. [the shufﬂing of papers can be heard and after a short while, a gasp] (EM): … Oh my… incredible… (DB): Isn’t it? As you can see, we weren’t dealing with one who’d lost all contact with his reality. (EM): Let the record show that Doctor Bridgeson has shown me an incredibly detailed painting of a cityscape of sorts. Strange flying machines and huge towers with a sort of mix between medieval and futuristic buildings. And all this set in what appears to be the top of a vast mountain range. No words can properly describe what I’m looking at right now… . (DB): After Gordie painted this picture I sat with him and asked him more about this place. He told me that it was all around us but we couldn’t see it. He said our history was written in the words of the past and Tweens’ history was written in the spaces between those words. Between the tick and the tock of time was Tween. It was all very bizarre, but the conviction in which he told his stories was contagious. (EM): Tell us about the night Gordie disappeared. (DB): It was Halloween night. I remember the date… October 31st, not because of Halloween, but because I was listening to the radio as Britain and France invaded Egypt over the Suez canal fiasco. All through that day Gordie was withdrawn and when
I asked him what was wrong he’d said he was listening to what was happening in Tween. He’d told me he was going to be leaving that evening. (EM): Wait… he TOLD you he was leaving? (DB): Yes… he’d said he had unfinished business there and it could wait no longer. (EM): And what was your reaction to that? (DB): I had debated sedating him so he wouldn’t hurt himself trying to escape the room but, after a discussion with him, he agreed that he would spend the night in restraints. (EM): What kind of restraints? (DB): Standard leather wrist and ankle straps… nothing on the chest as he wasn’t exhibiting any violent behavior. After we strapped him in and as I was leaving the room he called to me. He’d said, “Thanks for everything Doctor B… maybe one day I’ll see you again.” He said it with such finality… that was the last time I ever saw him. (EM): Where did he go? (DB): Gordie Middleton was restrained in a locked room. That locked room was under watch and the whole building was set up for security. If I had to answer your question with what I know, if I had to answer “Where did he go?”… I’d have to say… Tween. [a long silence hangs in the air before more incomprehensible mumbles and sounds are heard… followed by a final click]
photography by gregory chinon
l’hopital dans la foret
Constant Cosmos by Gozen’s Love
alentines Day. Not quite a day for visiting a haunted, Abandoned Asylum, yet I’ve ne’er been one to do things normally. Ashley, my fiance at the time, was at my mother’s house in Alabama with me, which is where we spent our first Valentine’s day. We did the usual lovey-dovey things that lovers do on that day though, later that night Ashley suggested we visit the asylum I’d told her about a time or two during the course of our relationship. See, Ashley had been with me and experienced unusual things. With me, she’d seen living shadows, people appearing and reappearing, psychic phenomena, and felt things most humans aren’t aware even exist. She was new to it all, howe’er. It’d been years since I’d stepped foot in that old, burned out asylum, yet at the time, I wasn’t aware what a part in my life that place would soon play.
Valentines night. Ashley and I hopped in the car for the hour’s drive from Jasper to Tuscaloosa. Upon arriving at the entrance to the Asylum, Ash held my hand very tightly as she gazed down the dark, creepy trail leading to our destination. The trail was a long one, granted, lined with knarly old, leafless trees. It was about 10 o’clock or so; maybe a lil before, like 9:45-ish on a very dark, cold February night. She clenched my hand as if her life depended on it, for, as we neared the old haunt, she could see it spreading out from behind the trees to its full size and enormity. The white plantation home at its center gave way to large, three-story brick buildings to each of its sides. Ashley told me that she’d only thought places like this existed in horror movies. She went on to say how intimidating the building was. Feelings of foreboding and melancholy filled her. For reasons she couldn’t explain and didn’t want to explore, she felt misery radiating from the building as we stopped to stand at the end of the circular driveway across from the entrance. Ashley could go no further. I wasn’t aware of it at the moment as I didn’t see the woman in plantation-style attire on first glancing. Ashley was transfixed on the woman, the two exchanging glances. What had my attention at this point, when Ashley came to a dead-halt in her tracks, was the building itself. I’d been there before, as stated, yet back then, it was all torn up and damaged… the front doors burned out and missing. This night with Ashley, howe’er, is another story… All the windows were intact, the doors stood pearly-white in the moonlight—much like the rest of the center building—standing perfectly intact and with shiny glass as if new and polished.
My first thoughts were that maybe after all this time, the city had decided to remodel it and perhaps prepare it for some kind of use. It was like a plantation home, which is what I have found to be the basis of the rest of the building which had been built on and around o’er time. That night though… Ashley and I had slipped back into the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. I have discussed this with Elias as in time to come, this building would later become like a friend to me. In this moment, howe’er, there was no mistaking what both Ashley and I saw.
I attempted to bargain various options with her in how to handle her fear and need for distance twixt her and the building and my desire to explore, but to no success. She’d be haunted by the woman for days after that, fearing that somehow for some reason, she’d find us and torment us for being there. I did my best to assure her that was not the case. I explained all that I knew about these types of situations, yet that was not enough to pierce nor penetrate Ashley’s fear and the reality of the experience for her.
Before I could get a good look at the woman once Ashley mentioned her, Ashley managed to free herself from her petrified fear and run. She gripped my hand determined not to let go, but to run. She was more fearful that the woman whom she later claimed was dead and ghoulish, would attack us in some way if we lingered too long. Ashley felt we weren’t wanted there and practically dragged me away with her. It’s funny as the more frightened Ashley grew, the more fascinated with the situation I became. I wanted to investigate and check it out, but Ash would not have it. She believed our lives were in danger— both of us. She wasn’t aware that this was the norm for me… stuff like this. She wasn’t recalling all my brushes with death and the unusual, or even those events she’d experienced with me. This was the most real and frightening thing she’d e’er felt or experienced in her life, she’d tell me on the drive home. In that moment of panic, all Ashley knew was that she was terrified and our lives could be potentially threatened.
I would show Ashley pictures people took of the asylum that we found online. In the photos, the building was depicted as I remember it: all burned out and decaying, falling apart and dying. She found herself confused and frightened all the more as the photos were not what we saw. She was curious, though, if the building would be the same, or like they are in pictures, if we were to return. I was more than welcoming the idea of another trip back there, yet her fear proved greater than her curiosity…
It was around the same time I reconnected with my long-lost brother, who was also into these types of experiences. I’d told him I could show him things, and I thought after what Ashley and I experienced, this would be a great start to helping him find his own answers to the mysteries of life that he’d been seeking long before we reconnected. So, he and I got some modest, basic equipment together and revisited the asylum, Ashley deciding to stay behind. It is this very story that is the beginning of my brother and my adventures together…
I AM THAT I AM… Feeling a bit sick
Through Spaces Not Seen Going through life picking up pieces never seen never heard always remembered yet not knowing where they go. But they go where I choose, whether they fit or not they are my cracks, my pieces, no one but me can change and rearrange. End Of Story.
From Within A Soul – 2010
Artwork by Begoña Landi Pienaar • www.becreations.jimdo.com
photography by Tracy Marshall • Blue Diamond Dog, Artwork by Rick Daddario
Tiles of the Year by Jean-Baptiﬆe Duret
Find all the tiles’ signification and more at thejorid.net
The idea of the tilendar is another creative way of incorporating the tiles in our timeline for the year to come. The principle is to compose a picture where a tile (or an association of several) would be displayed as the main theme of each month. You’ll find below the pictures used for the 2010 tilendar.
Of a Tile’s Inner Text Intimate vastness Exotic in content Contrast resounding In crackling darkness
Encoded dialogue Hand made in vantages Graphic involvement’s
The Concerns of Man
Perennial as the ocean tides Immediate contact
Storms against the shore
Are the concerns of man
Applied to surrounding
Tidal waves of discontent
Its sensory output
Sent crashing into foam And rising ever again
Surface of language In tactile horizons
To spray upon the beaches of his soul.
Alludes to the grasp Of a Tile’s inner text.
Kenneth MacSween, 2007
Goofenoff: Continuing… Robotman: Greetings Professor! I’d like to talk with you some more regarding your intent in sharing information with us. Goofenoff: Very well. There are many sources of information available to you presently, with the intent of offering support for the objectification of your shift in consciousness. We offer our sharing to you in alignment with this intent but from a slightly different perspective.
Robotman’s Energy Exchange by Rob Arteman
We have chosen to share the information with you with the intent of reaching levels of doofus-ism beyond anything ever conceived throughout all of your history, so to speak. To put it more succinctly, our intent is to tickle the shift out of you! Robotman: Wow! I’m quite ticklish, so I could end up shifting all over myself! Goofenoff: Most probable! Robotman: So what if I have a serious question? Goofenoff: Take the first two words of your question with 8 ounces of water, and don’t bother calling us in the morning! The expression, “So What!” can be your answer to every so called serious question! Offer an example! Robotman: Okay, I’m trimming my nose hairs and my hand slips. The trimmer goes into my eye and pops it out of the socket! Goofenoff: So What! See how easy that is?
Robotman: Uhhhh… Not really! Goofenoff: Wimp! Okay, start by examining what benefi ts might result from this experience. You could notice a loose shoelace that could have resulted in your stumbling, in addition to your regular face to floor explorations, and having an experience of harmfulness to yourself! Or more likely, the damage to whatever that wrecking ball between your shoulders comes in contact with! No more walking around with your zipper down! Watch your own lips form the meaningless tripe that you normally express! We are understanding that experiences which are deemed important are the ones which come to mind when you consider the expression, “So What!” Therefore, it is unlikely that you would happily choose to express, “So What!” during great traumatic expressions! Therefore you may alter the expression to “So What ARE the choices that I can perceive of presently?” Are you able to think of many choices that are available to you regarding the example expression you have just offered? Robotman: I’m kinda blank right now!
photography by James Butler
photography by Kia Pletinckx Goofenoff:: Really?… No kidding! (Laughs!) We are understanding that you do experience difficulty within certain processes of thought. Or more accurately, the process of actually forming your own thought. Presently, you have not actually drawn enough energy to you for the formation of an actual thought. But we can share with you that all of your other focuses are sharing their energy with you in support of the remote possibility of such a ground breaking event, should it occur! While you may be somewhat overwhelmed and potentially fearful of the experience, within your present expressed energy, the thought generated would be similar in grandeur to that of a staple! Where the potential for pulling many discrete items together in an organized manner exists, it just gets jammed up in the mechanism! Very well then, we shall offer you some examples! You could choose to attempt to reinsert the eye back into its socket… You could choose to ignore it. You could choose to seek help from others! Seeing, with your one good eye, what you have just done, you may choose to soil your trousers! You could choose to run through your dwelling, panic stricken, and notice that you are also able to see where you are running from, as easily as, where you are running to, simultaneously! You could choose to go shopping for customized sunglasses or finally achieve success in using eye drops! Robotman:: I didn’t realize I’d have all of those choices! I could finally understand what people are referring to when they say they aren’t able to see eye to eye! Or the phrase, “Look me in the eye and say that, turd biscuit!” Truth is, I still don’t know why mom said that to me! However, I’ve always known that I wasn’t her favorite after overhearing her tell friends that after meeting me, the pope would be pro abortion! Goofenoff:: Correct! Robotman:: So, the term “So What!” is suppose to help in directing my attention away from just reacting to what I’m creating to allow a greater chance of seeing my choices, correct? Goofenoff:: You are correct, and to help disconnect your automatic pilot responses. By intervening with their automatic actions, most individuals allow for a greater ease in seeing more choices. As for you in this situation, you could use your dangling eye to tell you that your dandruff shampoo isn’t working! You may ask one more question before we terminate our session today. Robotman:: Okay… what is a seven letter word for curing frustration?
On a sunless day trees stand as sentinels over a cold, gray land. Placid lakes breath in silver moonlight and the world feels forlorn. The sweet song of the Meadowlark fades distant in my memory and dull red chimney tops sigh soft smoke ribbons. Stillness baths my soul in melancholy interrupted only by an occasional push of the wind against the shutters. Ah, but this gloom cannot keep its hold when the sun returns to play. as days stretch out and birds return. Sky will put on her mantle of azure blue and the lake will seem excited as a grand lady, adorned with a million diamond sparkles. Crickets will rule the night and I will sleep with my windows wide open. And scarce will I remember that sunless day when the trees stood as sentinels Over a cold, gray land. ~Sheila MacGregor ~ January 19, 2010
Goofenoff: CLICK! Robotman:: Hmm… he hung up! Oh wait… hung up is seven letters! But, what does that have to do with separation from a frustrating element? I’ll have to remember to ask next time!
Winter Wonderland, by Kia Pletinckx http://kia909.multiply.com
We would welcome any kind of personal writing, artistic works, poems, essays, etc.
Photography by Tracy Marshall
The intention of WISP is to provide a place for personal stories; inspirational, light, humorous, challenging or anything in between… and beyond.
http://wisp.focusphere.net Wisp e-zine — Issue #14 — January–February 2010
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