How New World Wine Resurrects Old Religion
I used to be a regular at a wine bar in San Clemente, a beach town in California where my wife and I lived when we were first married. The ‘Tuscan’ decor of the place was a little too vivid for my taste, but the wine was priced right and the owner was a great conversationalist. He would tell us stories from behind the bar about his travels to vineyards in Chile and New Zealand, and he had a charming populist streak. When people got too pretentious about the wine, he would roll his eyes and say: ‘Relax, it’s just a beverage.’
He was wrong about that, of course. Since its invention more than 8,000 years ago, wine has always been more than just a beverage.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jul 16, 2014 -
Your parent dies. You hurt. You weep. You mourn. You do and say the necessary things even as your daemon’s disciplined askesis has you (against your will) coldly taking notes on what the emotion feels like, how others around you react to the death, what the corpse of your parent looks like, how you feel while looking down at it, what voids there are in that feeling, what pretenses, what posturings
. It's all part of finding your daemon that dwells perpetually in the Condition of Fire
. Other entries in Dan Simmons'
series On Writing Well
posted by shivohum
on Jun 11, 2013 -
Touched By Your Presence, Dear:
Ex-Blondie songwriter and bassist Gary Lachman (aka "Gary Valentine") blogs (and is interviewed) about his books on Jung, Steiner, Ouspensky, and Sixties mysticism, and his time spent toiling in the fields of Crowleyana and The Gurdjieff Work.
posted by darth_tedious
on Sep 14, 2010 -
is a unique music blog devoted to "idiosyncratic research in electronic and experimental music, sound and acoustics, mysticism and technology" with special focus on the early history of electronic music.
posted by speicus
on Jul 30, 2010 -
Yesterday was the birthday of Dr. John Dee
). This extraordinary
and brilliant man was a mathematician
, astrologer, astronomer
, navigator, map maker, alchemist, hermetic philosopher, and adviser
in matters practical and arcane
to Queen Elizabeth 1st
. History has
sometimes been unkind to him
because he embraced science and mysticism together
), believing both to be facets of the same universal thing. His unfortunate experiments in conjuring
angels with the
alchemist Edward Kelley
are probably to blame. Kelley asserted that the
angel Uriel had instructed him to swap or share wives with Dr. Dee. This, unsurprisingly, led to the end of their association. 16th century celestial wife-swapping
was going too far. However
, Dr. Dee was a true Renaissance man
and a gifted scholar
. You can visit his black obsidian magic Aztec mirror
at the British Museum.
posted by infini
on Jul 14, 2010 -
Savitri Devi Mukherji.
Born Maximiani Portas in 1905, this French woman of Greek and English extraction would, in pilgrimages to Palestine and India, experience a series of strange awakenings - that she was a National Socialist, that she was a Hindu, that the two were entwined in the struggle against the Judeo-Christian order, and that Hitler
was the living incarnation of Kalki the Destroyer, the final avatar of Vishnu. Known to many as "Hitler's guru," she stood at the forefronts of Hindu nationalism, Nazi mysticism
, Holocaust denial, animal rights
, and the international Neo-Nazi movement. The Lightning And The Sun
, her most famous work, most directly espouses her philosophy, but perhaps the best place to start would be Long-Whiskers And The Two-Legged Goddess
, which is her autobiography as filtered through her many cats. Her nephews were Communists; her own mother was active in the French Resistance; and according to some, the daughter would have shot the mother dead for it. The world is not be a better place for the Savitri Devis of the world, but her presence made this world like none other
posted by Sticherbeast
on Sep 10, 2006 -
A landmark rigorous study
, 36 years after Walter Pahnke's Good Friday
study ocuments the ability of psilocybin - the chemical in "magic mushrooms" - to trigger mystical experiences. 16 of 24 participants, who had no history of psychedelic use, rated the drug episode (after 2 months) to be among the 5 most meaningful experiences in their lifetime. A longer 40-year follow-up
by MAPS on those who took LSD under the supervision of psychiatrist Oscar Janiger in the 1950s, found qualitatively the same result.
posted by daksya
on Jul 10, 2006 -
The Meaning of Life
according to various rather famous people (Dennett, Fukuyama, etc). I'm watching the Dennett video at the moment and it starts rather weakly, but, by midway through, is rolling along nicely. With topics like "being good without god" and "the anthropic principle" it struck me as relevant to a couple of recent askmefi threads
Dennett: [pause] i guess i'll say it again, more slowly...
(oh, and the player interface is rather delicate - give it time to load and click play a few times...)
posted by andrew cooke
on Oct 1, 2004 -
Dear Leo, Dear Mohandas
"The longer I live -- especially now when I clearly feel the approach of death -- the more I feel moved to express what I feel more strongly than anything else... the doctrine of the law of love unperverted by sophistries. Love... the highest and indeed the only law of life".
The Kingdom of God Is Within You
(full text available) is Leo Tolstoy
's tractatus of "Christianity
Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life", a primer of (among other things) the doctrine of non-violence
. Among the many fans
of the 1894 book was an imprisoned
Hindu barrister, a "half-naked fakir"
if you want, a certain Mohandas
who was fascinated by "the independent thinking, profound morality, and the truthfulness"
of the book
. So he ended up writing fan letters to the great Russian man: who warmly wrote back to his young Indian "friend and brother". The old wise Christian anarchist
and the shy, insecure young man
who sparked a revolution: to paraphrase another wise, badly-dressed , pacifist old man
, "Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such men ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
posted by matteo
on Jun 17, 2004 -
Our discussion of the human condition centers around a basic but seldom accepted or understood idea: We are "asleep", compared to what we could be. We are caught in illusions while thinking we are perceiving reality.
On Waking Up
by Charles Tart
, who provided my introduction to Gurdjieff
. I am currently reading his Living The Mindful Life
. As a perusal of his site will reveal, he is interested as well in the psychedelic experience, altered states, the paranormal, psi, out-of-body experiences, near death experiences, remote viewing and the whole woo woo schmear. All these are of less interest to me. He does provide a good introduction to Gurdjieff, however. There are more links within.
posted by y2karl
on Jun 15, 2004 -
Out of the mist of the beginning of our era there looms a pageant of mythical figures whose vast, superhuman contours might people the walls of another Sistine Chapel. Their countenances and gestures, the roles in which they are cast, the drama which they enact, would yield images different from the biblical ones on which the imagination of the beholder was reared, yet strangely familiar to him and disturbingly moving. The stage would be the same, the theme as transcending: the creation of the world, the destiny of man, fall and redemption, the first and the last things. But how much more numerous would be the cast, how much more bizarre the symbolism, how much more extravagant the emotions!
Into the Gnostic.
Of magicians, miracle workers, saints and sinners of early Christianities and other mystery religions--including but not limited to Valentinus
, Simon Magus
, the Winged Hermes
, the Gospel of Thomas
and the Gospel of Mary
, among many other Apocrypha
, the Cathars
and Apollonious of Tyana
. Not to mention Philip K. Dick
posted by y2karl
on Nov 30, 2002 -
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff.
Charismatic and controversial, infamous for introducing the enneagram
, claimed by the Sufis
, linked to the little known Yezidis
, (More here
--and his school
--have their detractors, whether religious
. His ideas can be difficult
, abstruse and are ultimately beside the point. His thesis can be reduced to this
: We are asleep, mere machines, acting from habit rather than volition. The goal then is to wake up and stay awake. And that is where the Work
comes in. ( A bit more within)
posted by y2karl
on Aug 6, 2002 -