Meaning of Life


How to start your day with a positive attitude:

  1. Create a “new folder” on your computer.
  2. Name it “George W. Bush”.
  3. Send it to the trash.
  4. Empty the trash.
  5. Your computer will ask you: “Do you really want to delete “George W. Bush”?
  6. Calmly answer, “Yes”, and press the mouse button firmly…

Taken from R.A.Wilsons site. This is perhaps a little bit old (for both the author and Bush) but still ridiculously funny.

I was intrigued by the following video, which reminded me of Grant Morrison’s comment about how civilization is a process going through what Stanislav Grof has dubbed the Basic Perinatal Matrices. In other words, a birthing process.

I followed a link and the end of the first video to find the following. It’s an interesting, well produced piece that I mostly agree with.

The previous video then directed me to this website: Perceiving Reality Watch the flash in full.

Although I don’t agree with absolutely everything, it’s not a bad explanation of how most of us (myself included) exist in our day to day lives. It’s not a bad take on the notion of “reality tunnels” we’ve discussed at length here at Animam Recro. My problem with what has been said is that it’s an overly positive take on the nature of reality. For practical purposes, this is an excellent and very functional way of operating, but nature can destroy and take away just as much as it can “bestow”. I love the production quality yet couldn’t get the sensation out of my head that I was being sold something.

It turns out the site is a promotional piece for the Bnei Baruch Learning Center. And in fact, I wasn’t being sold anything, at least not something I had to pay for. This website offers free online Kabbalah lessons to anyone with the time and interest. It’s open to everyone and claims to not promote any religion, accepting individuals of all backgrounds. Hey, at least it’s not The Secret, right?

Here is a video description of what the institute offers. This is also where I have a few qualms with the program.

I’m always wary of certain phrases and ideas in teachings such as this. First, in my view it’s the unnecessary emphasis on “authenticity”. The use of this concept is maybe one of the oldest marketing tools known to man. We don’t want to follow an unauthentic system, we want the REAL thing. What does that even mean? Next comes the obligatory reference (on their website) to an unbroken chain of teachers that have passed down the teachings throughout history. We really need to get over this kind of talk. Everyone claims this, even Zen Buddhism goes back to the flower sermon, right? As teachings age, their connection to past teachers should not be used as a form of legitimization. The proof is in the pudding as they say. It either works or it doesn’t, you either follow it or you don’t.

Second, the following phrases also make me worrisome:

“…find out who you really are.”
“…learn the real rules of the game.”
“…a unique illumination revealed only through the study of authentic Kabbalah texts.”
“…an illumination that reveals your life’s true purpose.”

These wordings work like a magnet on individuals looking for meaning in their life. The problem is that when you build up a teaching like this and someone dives into it, the person may often come out equally blocked off to the world as when they entered it. The path of spirituality is a winding one, you never know where someone may get stuck and how they discern their current state to be “who they really are”.

And of course, as a teaching you always have to claim that you offer something that no one else in the market has to offer. But criticisms aside, this may be actually one of the best spirituality programs online I’ve had a chance to glance at. The fact that it’s free, rather technologically advanced, and promotes notions that are pretty spot on, it makes me want to learn more.

I hereby announce a challenge! I think Pavel and I should download a few of these free lecture videos, watch them and make a podcast for discussion. What do you think?

TheraminTrees and QualiaSoup created this insightful video. How’s your reality tunnel organized?

Here is the second part of our podcast. We discuss other significant activities on our blog such as the Fellowship of Friends, prescription psycho-pharmacology, media, conspiracy theories, Scientology and more.

The volume on the recording is low, so be prepared to turn it up.

Listen

The Monochromatic Knight and Pavel a.k.a The Sheik

We have decided to put a book end on the current version of this blog. In some ways this is our goodbye to AnimamRecro as you may know it. Due to the lack of personal posts in the previous year, we felt it was only appropriate to create a podcast reflecting on where we have been and where we are today.

If you’re interested in hearing the voices of AnimamRecro for the first time, here’s your chance.  Here is the first part of a 2 hour recording.

The volume on the recording is low, so be prepared to turn it up.

Listen

The Monochromatic Knight and Pavel a.k.a The Sheik

This video reminded of A History of Evil in terms of style.

An interesting interview with Dr. Christopher Hyatt, an important member of the Regardie/R.A.Wilson/Leary posse who very recently died from cancer. Given the content of AnimamRecro, it was almost impossible not to post the video here.

Let it be a small celebration of his life, his mission and the persona that he projected to the outside world.

Reclaim your mind!

We recently discussed Alan Moore on Animam Recro. The Mindscape of Alan Moore is a documentary about the creator of such masterpieces as Watchmen and V For Vendetta. The film is a available for your viewing pleasure here.

Via BoingBoing
Alan Moore, the individual in V for Vendetta
Alan Moore on Spirituality

The Knight recently posted a short video of Alan Moore being interviewed on his magickal views. Unknowingly he reminded me of an insight I have gained last year from reading V for Vendetta, one of Lana Moore’s masterpieces.

Alan Moore is an English author, most famous for his work on comic books such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, Watchmen or From Hell. Some of his more famous works have been adapted into films, with varying (lack) of success. Alan Moore does not limit himself to writing comic books, among his other areas of study are literature, poetry, music, drama, occultism and magick. His occult interests interest me as they are one of the prevalent influences evident in his literary work.

do what thou wilt

V for Vendetta deals with a dystopian future in which an anarchist fighter who calls himself V wages an uncompromising war on a fully totalitarian British government. This parallel reality gives us a view of a Britain whose citizens have very little personal and political freedom left, most of it being given away by themselves in return for personal security as a result of a brief nuclear war and a subsequent coup d’etat by a fascist group offering immediate protection to the citizens.

One of the reasons why V for Vendetta (both in the film and comic book versions) gained such popularity in recent years is the way that individual security and personal freedom have been changing in recent years, closely resembling the story told in V for Vendetta. The so-called ‘war on terrorism’, (a war, which should be noted, by definition can’t be won) has been given as an excuse both in America and Britain to pass legislation that takes away more personal freedom than most people realise. Personal and political freedom is being quickly exchanged for perceived security from a danger that can’t be protected from, or if you are more cynical, does not exist. Leaving us…
V is an anarchist, he doesn’t believe that it is necessary to give away freedom to receive security. He doesn’t believe in chaos and disorder either. His beliefs can be summed up by a quote from Aleister Crowley: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’ V agrees with Aleister Crowley that it is possible to know one’s True Will, True Will being the true calling, potential and will of an individual, rather than needs, desires or wishes that are constantly experienced and which control most personal decisions and choices. V calls this process of discovering one’s True Will ‘escaping the prison’. He ‘escapes the prison’ of his perceived needs, wishes and desires by being physically imprisoned in a concentration camp, where he and numerous other ‘test subjects’ are infected with a chemical virus, which apart from V kills all its recipients. He is physically imprisoned and lacks control over what happens to him, which makes it possible for him to awaken the parts of him, which can’t be controlled by anyone but himself. This episode gives V the intelligence, strength and knowledge to escape his prison and ultimately single-handedly challenge the government.

My favourite part of the comic book plays out on pages 148 – 172, where V puts another person, his disciple if you wish, or a girl he met by chance if you prefer, through a similar experience in order to produce the same effect, the same process of awakening. Perhaps the most revealing way of describing the effect would be to copy the last part of their conversation:

V: Welcome home.
Evey: You. You did this to me. You did this to me, yuh-you. Oh god. Yuh-you hit me, and cut off my hair… it was you. It was you all this time… You… tortured me… Oh, you tortured me…
V: Because I love you. Because I want to set you free.
Evey: Because…? Set me free? D-don’t you realise? Don’t you realise what you did to me? you nearly drove me mad!
V: If that’s what it takes, Evey.

Evey: I hate you. I hate you because you just talk junk and you think you’re so good that you don’t have to make any sense! Nothing you say means anything. You say you love me, and you don’t because you just frigten me and torture me for a joke… You say you want to set me free and you put me in a prison…
V: You were already in a prison. You’ve been in a prison all your life.
Evey: Shut up! I don’t want to hear it! I wasn’t in a prison! I was happy! I was hu-happy here until you threw me out.
V: Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.
Evey: That’s warped! That’s warped and evil and wrong! When you threw me out I went to live with somebody. I… I was in love with him. I was happy. If that’s a prison, then I don’t care!
V: Don’t you? Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. he knew affection and tenderness but only briefly… Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom?
Evey: H-how do you know? How did you know what happened to Gordon?
V: It’s not an uncommon story, Evey. many convicts meet with miserable ends… Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one. Taken out behind the chemical sheds … and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells, the weight of their chains, the unfairness of their sentences.. I didn;t put you in prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.
Evey: You’re wrong! It’s just life, that’s all! It’s how life is! It’s what we’ve got to put up with. It’s all we’ve got. What gives you the right to decide it’s not good enough?
V: You’re in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You’ve been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there’s a world outside.
Evey: Shut up! You’re mad! I don’t want to hear it!
V: That’s because you are afraid, Evey. You’re afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You’re afraid because freedom is terrifying…
Evey: I can’t feel anything! There’s nothing to feel! Leave me alone!
V: Don’t back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. Woman, this is the most important moment of your life. Don’t run from it.
Evey: I don’t know what… you’re… Oh god. Oh god. I can’t… breathe… Asthma. Whuh-when I was… a little guh-girl…
V: Good. You’re almost there. Go closer. Feel the shape of it. Your mother died. They took your father away. There’s a little girl, Evey, and she’s screaming…
Evey: A-huh… aa-huhh… Oh, make it stop. Mummy, daddy, please make it stop. What… are you doing to me? Oh, I can’t breathe…
V: You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body.
Evey: Oh. Oh, I can feel it… oh, what is it… oh, I’m going to die, I’m going to burst…
V: You said you’d rather die. You faced the fear of your own death, and you were calm and still. Try to feel now what you felt then…
Evey: I… uhhh. oh god… I felt… huhh… I felt… like… an angel… Oh god, I’m so scared, I’m so cold. What’s happening to me?
V: The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside. Don’t be afraid. Try to stand. Try to walk. The lift will take us up to the roof.
Evey: To… the roof…? Outside…? I don’t want… to be blindfolded…
V: No, Evey. No more blindfolds. All the blindfolds are gone.

The most common way of understanding V for Vendetta is as a social and political commentary. After reading the comic book I was left with the feeling that that is only the very top layer of the meaning that V for Vendetta seeks to convey. V’s awakening and Evey’s initiation are both very powerful episodes in the main plot, explaining where the knowledge and information needed in order to understand oneself, not to mention knowledge needed in order to transform society is to be gained. Consequently, I find it difficult to limit the importance of V for Vendetta to its political and societal message. For me it is primarily a story of the individual, explaining the true meaning of the word. We build our own prisons.

nines_poster.jpg Someone once expressed the opinion that ‘Butterfly Effect’ is comparable in quality to one of my all time favorite films, ‘Donnie Darko’. I disagree and have been waiting for another film to outdo it. Perhaps my hopes were too high for ‘Southland Tales’ and although it is a great film, which I await to see again in better quality, it had failed to capture the same essence of ‘Donnie Darko’. Richard Kelly’s first film will always have a special place in my heart, but I think it may have found a new contender.

‘The Nines’ is sort of like ‘Donnie Darko’ meets ‘The Fountain’ with a modern and quite timely twist. And for those of you who are fans, it’s quite Grant Morrison-esque. Not wanting to spoil the experience too much with my already excessive praise, I must mention that the film also defies genres, leaving the viewer in expectation of what could possibly come next.

This film is executed perfectly! If you like the ideas on this blog then you’ll LOVE this film. Do not read any synopses or reviews… just go out and see the film! Go!

P.S. Look For The Nines (or 23, to each their own)

Update: If the film wasn’t cool enough already…

The director of the hit 2007 movie ‘The Nines’ says he’s been monitoring BitTorrent for its inevitable leak: “Sony, Interpol and the MPAA will do their best,” he says, “but as the guy who made the movie, I honestly want people to see the movie. If the only way you’re going to watch The Nines is illegally, so be it.”

Via Torrent Freak
Download: The Nines Torrent

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