Magic – Mysticism


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.

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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?

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

The Internet has allowed for the emergence of some truly prolific comics. These aren’t the “sunday funnies” of your local newspaper, which are becoming duller by the passing week as the paper medium itself slowly fades away.

I have to rank Sinfest and The Perry Bible Fellowship as the top two webcomics. I’ll allow Tatsuya Ishida of Sinfest to speak for himself:

I have discovered a way to live life in a state of perpetual orgasmic ecstasy, unbothered by the cruel vagaries of life. It’s perfectly legal, no drugs involved, no crazy meditation regimen, no change in diet or beliefs or lifestyle. It’s healthy, no side effects, no hangover, just pure bliss round the clock, 24/7. Problem is, I can’t articulate the secret method in words. There’s no verbal way to demonstrate how I’ve achieved this state. As much as I’d like to disclose the mystery to you all it resists all known forms of communication. Except one. The comic strip. I can transmit my esoteric knowledge through my comic strip and through my comic strip alone. There’s no other way. So you must keep reading, every day, all the time, forever. Buy all the books at least four times. Reminisce on particular strips in your free time, learn punchlines by heart, impress your friends with your knowledge of Sinfest. Whatever you do, you must keep reading. But now for a limited time eligible women can receive my wisdom through special tantric exercises with me as their personal guru. After only ten, twenty sessions of intense hands-on nude full-contact sensual massage therapy you too can experience The Super Duper Tatsuya Joy. Act now! Operators are standing by.

That may sound exhagerated but he’s right. You must visit Sinfest daily (and go through his archive) for the Zen of Tatsuya or else there will be no enlightenment for you!

I especially appreciation his portrayal of God as a hand in the clouds manipulating puppets (usually of the devil), as well as his beautiful version of Buddha. 

Sunday, April19, 10pm ET/PT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 2 /PRNewswire/ — From Amazon jungles to the American Plains, British mental wards, Swiss labs, New York mansions and Grateful Dead shows, the history of hallucinogenic drugs is as fantastic as the visions the drugs produce. Wade Davis, is a modern-day anthropologist, author (“The Serpent and the Rainbow”) and protege of one of psychedelia’s most intrepid forefathers — Richard Evans Schultes. Davis traces Schultes’ life’s work as one of the greatest botanist-explorers of
the 20th century and reveals an illustrated history of the world’s most mind-altering plants and substances in: PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY.

Winner of the prestigious 2008 CINE Golden Eagle Award, the documentary follows the career of Schultes, who journeyed into far-flung areas in search of ritualistic healing medicines known to produce powerful visions: Peyote, mushrooms, Ayahuasca. Davis, a former student of Schultes at Harvard and author of Schultes’ biography (“One River”), travels to the exotic locations Schultes once voyaged to, seeking the same experiences. Along the way, set to the music of the Grateful Dead and featuring input from experts such as Dead co-founder Bob Weir, plus Dr. Andrew Weil, and LSD inventor Dr. Albert Hofmann, the documentary reveals how hallucinogens got from jungle shamans to the hippie generation. Questions arise about the attitude toward psychedelics: their great potential benefits versus perceived harmful side effects. Why is it that so many ancient cultures consider hallucinogenic plants — a medicine given from God, while in today’s culture they are outlawed, and even reviled. PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY is a long, strange trip that began decades ago, but is probably nowhere near its end. Even now, new uses for hallucinogens are being sought and tested by leading universities and medical institutions.

PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY is produced and directed by Peter von Puttkamer of Gryphon Productions Inc. along with producer Sheera von Puttkamer and co-producer Wade Davis. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Michael Stiller.

An exhibit of Richard Evans Schultes’ photographs will run at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Historyin Washington, DC, April 16 – November, 2008.

Casting spells through words. Magic through spelling. This is our “free speech zone” – for now. Let’s not give that up.

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