Thursday, May 31, 2007
Chow Yun Fat brilliantly plays the ruthlessly tyrannical, late Tang Emperor Ping, in Zhang Yimou's The Curse of the Golden Flower, which I saw recently. The spectacle is incredible but one is left cold at the end of the film - perhaps this was Zhang's intention - to show how empty egoism is. The likable characters could have been explored in more depth so that they could have functioned more as a contrast to the nastiness.
Ping shows how much damage just a single egomaniac in power can wreak, not only on his country, but on those closest to him.
I Don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet but basically everyone dies, except for Ping and a few court officials and servants left to sweep up the gore and millions of yuan worth of crushed chrysanthemums, at the end. A bit like Hamlet really.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Cioran's life was tainted by fascist tendencies in his youth but he is an interesting writer.
He thought that Paul was a disaster for Christianity. I agree.
Among the critics of Paul the Apostle was Thomas Jefferson who wrote that Paul was the "first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."
The anti-semitic, misogynist strain in Christianity originated with him.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Shun all pride and jealousy.
Give up all idea of 'me' and 'mine'.
As long as there is consciousness of diversity
and not of unity in the Self,
a man ignorantly thinks of himself as a separate being,
as the 'doer' of actions and the'experiencer' of effects.
He remains subject to birth and death,
knows happiness and misery,
is bound by his own deeds good or bad."
Monday, May 21, 2007
Perhaps the self is like a beam of light; it can be considered as both a wave and a particle. From the Western point of view the self is a discrete particle, but from the Eastern, non-dual perspective it is a wave in a continuous pervasive medium from which it is inseparable.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Giorgio Ghisi (1520-1582) Italian engraver
- The Dream of Raphael, or Allegory of Life
The meaning of this strange allegorical engraving has never been fully explained but perhaps represents a philosopher, weary of a rather rugged looking world (materialism?) where misfortune pursues him in the form of harrying dogs (the senses?) and falling stars (dis-aster). He leans on a dead tree (the fruitless search for materialistic knowledge?), and is preparing to cross a treacherous sea (the mind?) where sea-monsters and submerged rocks threaten. On the far shore the Goddess of Wisdom invites him to an idyllic world of idealised and ordered flora. The rainbow in the background evokes the bridge between Earth and Heaven.
"Desire and anger
are objects of the mind,
but the mind is not yours,
nor ever has been.
You are choiceless,
- so live happily."
The Ashtavakra Gita (Song of Ashtavakra), also known by the name Ashtavakra Samhita, is an influential nondualist Vedic scripture traditionally said to have been spoken by the Sage Ashtavakra, though its authorship is not known with certainty. There is little doubt though that it is very old, probably dating back to the days of the classic Vedanta period. The Sanskrit style and the doctrine expressed would seem to warrant this assessment. It presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta with a clarity and power very rarely matched. The Ashtavakra Gita does not date itself or brand itself to any region, culture, or peoples, although it does contain Hindu-specific references, especially in the final chapter entitled 'I am Shiva' where it is proclaimed in the final verse that the author is in truth one with God.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Spot the individual
Recently I stumbled onto a neo-viking website - some sort of men's lib organisation in which members reconnect with their inner heathen. Someone had written a piece about the ego, and what a relief it had been for him to find a spirituality that didn't "buy into all that New Age, Buddhist guff about dissolving one's ego in the Supreme Being" and celebrated the passionate individuality epitomised by the adventurous Viking spirit. He felt that ego-dissolution was a form of slavery. "The Vikings had gods that didn't expect humans to be their slaves, but inspired them be individuals."
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Painting of the Chakras in the the subtle body
Here's a rough, speculative outline of the succession of world powers and how they may relate to the mundane chakra system:
Mooladhara Chakra - corresponds to Australia
Though not an empire as such, Australian aboriginal culture is probably the oldest continuous culture. Australia may have cradled the most advanced culture in the world 40, 000 years ago.
Kundalini - corresponds to India,
Legendary Empire of Sri Rama - 10, 000 BC? Indus/Saraswati River Civilisation - 3000BC.
Swadisthana Chakra - Africa (left aspect of Swadisthana)
Void - Middle East,
Nabhi Chakra - Mediterranean, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey.
Roman Empire, Napoleonic Empire (right aspect of Nabhi). Ottoman Empire, European colonisation.
Heart Chakra - Britain (left aspect of Heart)
Visshuddhi Chakra - USA (right aspect of Visshuddhi)
Currently acknowledged as the world superpower.
Agnya Chakra - China (left aspect of Agnya),
Many have speculated that it will replace the US as the main world superpower.
Sahasrara Chakra, Himalayan region,
Seat of future world government? (Reasons why this region could be chosen for this purpose are given in an earlier post)
NB. The Roman Empire has been identified as the hegemony for the Nabhi Chakra but it could be said that China was equally powerful. China has been a continuous seat of power for thousands of years, but perhaps it's greatest influence is yet to come.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
of Monotheism: there is only one Self.
"Know that this existence is neither you nor other than you.
You do not exist; yet you are also not a nonexistence.
Your existence is not someone else;
nor does your nonexistence make you someone else.
Without being and without not-being,
your existence and your nonexistence
is Allah's being."