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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why Do I Love the Noir Genre?

The philosophy behind the noir genre is diametrically opposed to my personal philosophy, but I know we have all been there, done that, if not in this lifetime, in some other one.


I am reading Best American Noir of the Century, a collection of short noir fiction, compiled by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler. It was today's kindle daily deal, offers I now receive via email thanks to my sister-in-law, Ann. 


In the Foreword, Ellroy says:
"Noir works, whether films, novels, or short stories, are existential, pessimistic tales about people, including (or especially) protagonists, who are seriously flawed and morally questionable. The tone is generally bleak and nihilistic, with characters whose greed, lust, jealousy, and alienation lead them in to a downward spiral as their plans and schemes inevitably go awry. Whether their motivation is as overt as a bank robbery, or as subtle as the willingness to compromise integrity for personal gain, the central figures in noir stories are doomed to hopelessness. They may be motivated by the pursuit of seemingly easy money or by love–or, more commonly, physical desire–almost certainly for the wrong member of the opposite sex. The machinations of their relentless lust will cause them to lie, steal, cheat, and even kill as they become more and more entangled in a web from which they cannot possibly extricate themselves. And, while engaged in this hopeless quest, they will be double-crossed, betrayed, and ultimately, ruined. The likelihood of a happy ending in a noir story is remote, even if the protagonist’s view of a satisfactory resolution is the criterion for defining happy. No, it will end badly, because the characters are inherently corrupt and that is the fate that inevitably awaits them."
and in the Introduction ... 
"Noir sparked before the Big War and burned like a four-coil hotplate up to 1960. Cheap novels and cheap films about cheap people ran concurrent with American boosterism and yahooism and made a subversive point just by being. They described a fully existing fringe America and fed viewers and readers the demography of a Secret Pervert Republic. It was just garish enough to be laughed off as unreal and just pathetic enough to be recognizably human."
I really enjoy the genre, particularly in film.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Constance Braden at El Rincon Social Houston



Constance is my yoga teacher, who began drawing seriously a few years ago. I find her imagery intriguing. It is highly individual and is based upon dreams.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Till Next Time, Nicol Williamson! Fare Thee Well!

Stages of Spiritual Unfoldment: The Fifth Stage, Regeneration



 In the Fifth Stage of Spiritual Unfoldment, we begin to hear (or at least sense) the messages of the Inner Teacher. Here he has the form of an outer, established leader in the hierarchy of religion; the inner meaning is of the true and invisible spiritual leaders of this planet. They are constantly sending out their insights, which are then "heard" or realized by those who are tuned to that level of wisdom; then those beings transmit it at a slightly lower level of energy, to those who are focused on the slower rates of vibration, known to us as matter, or the physical plane. The messages of the invisible hierarchy are always concerned with principles, they never interrupt us when we are busy planning our life events, and they are always unifying, never separative.


Once a person has developed the capacity for interior hearing, they begin to reverse the direction of the energy flow through themselves. Instead of taking in the "outer" energies, and responding to them, spiritual aspirants are receiving higher energies, taking them into their vehicles (their various bodies, from finest to most dense), and from there releasing this pure loving and unifying energy to the entire planet, and especially to those with whom they are intimate. When there is a crisis, they work on remaining stable, and continuing to send out positive, unifying and loving energy.


The resulting condition is that of Regeneration, signified by The Sun; it is not the end of the process of spiritual unfoldment, but the beginning of changing the body into a Body of Light, regenerating our spirits and thereby, our bodies.

On Death ...

I am currently reading a compilation of Alice Bailey and Dwal Khul's writings, in the book Ponder On This


To avoid violating the copyright, I will try to restate what I have just read about death and the dying process.


Death is simply the process of focusing consciousness on a higher plane, and is closely related to sleep. A spiritual aspirant works on the higher planes while the physical body sleeps. When he or she dies, they continue their work, but without the return to the body consciousness. For the average good person, there is not much change, and they may not even realize the physical body has died.


To quote directly:
"For the wicked and cruelly selfish, for the criminal and for those few who live for the material side only, there eventuates that condition which we call 'earth-bound'. The links they have forged with earth and the earthward bias of all their desires, force them to remain close to the earth and their last setting in the earth environment. They seek desperately and by every possible means to re-contact it and to re-enter."
and:
"Death, as the human consciousness understands it, pain and sorrow, loss and disaster, joy and distress, are only such because man, as yet, identifies himself with the life of the form and not with the life and consciousness of the soul, the solar angel ... The moment a man identifies himself with his soul and not with his form, then he understands the meaning of the Law of Sacrifice; he is spontaneously governed by it; and he is one who will, with deliberate intent, choose to die. But there is no pain, no sorrow, and no real death involved.
...The intent is for man to die, as every man has to die, at the demand of his own soul. When man has reached a higher stage in evolution, with deliberation and definite choice of time, he will consciously withdraw from his physical body. It will be left silent and empty of the soul, devoid of light, yet sound and whole; it will then disintegrate, under the natural process, and its constituent atoms will pass back into the 'pool of waiting units', until they are again required for the use of incarnating souls."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Spiritual Unfoldment, Stage Four: Organization




The Fourth Stage of Spiritual Unfoldment begins with Key 0, The Fool, who symbolizes freedom, the spirit, breath, and the truth that all things are possible. We feel this when we are young, and deep inside, we are forever young. The human spirit is indomitable. Though this spirit descends into the slower vibrations of what we call "matter", it remains itself.


Below him is The Emperor, Key 4, also known as "he who sets in order". This is our human power of Reason. Not simply intellect, but a higher form of reasoning. He also represents Vision. When we decide what we want to be, do or have, we begin by affirming that it is possible. Then we must have a vision. We must imagine ourselves in the situation we desire, vividly, and use our Reason to make a plan. The Emperor is associated with the eyes and the head. He is correlated with the sign Aries, first sign of the zodiac.


Then we must take Action, which brings us to Key 11, Justice, which means Action or Karma. This Key is associated with the middle of the zodiac, the sign Libra. Even if our action is the wrong one, it is better to do something than to idly dream, or worse, become emotionally paralyzed by indecision. If the action takes us in a direction that is not right for us, it will become clear quickly, and then we can revise our plan and go in another direction. Key 11 is associated with the kidneys, which filter and cleanse the bloodstream, eliminating any undesirable particles. Anything we do, say, think or feel charges the bloodstream with chemicals, so it behooves us to do our best to think positive thoughts, especially about ourselves. The chemistry of the human body is complex and any strong thought or feeling is communicated instantly to the entire body.


Finally, Our plan will be implanted in our subconscious mind during Sleep, the function attributed to Key 18, The Moon, known as Organization, and associated with the final astrological sign, Pisces. Repeated visualizations are transmitted to the cells and gradually, those with the new concept of ourselves (according to our plan) become the majority of cells. Once they do, we must inevitably be transformed into a new person, in accordance with our Vision.


So we have the beginning, middle and end of the zodiac represented in this stage. To recap: realize that ANYTHING is possible; formulate a reasonable PLAN to become, have or do what you desire most; then take ACTION in that direction; and finally, use repeated suggestions, particularly at night just as you are falling asleep, to implant that plan in your CELLULAR CONSCIOUSNESS.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

WOWEE WILLEEEEE!





We saw Willy Porter live last night at The Mucky Duck here in Houston, and he was spectacular! I have heard his recordings, but they pale beside his solo performances.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Osprey Sends for EVERYONE!

What do you mean, 'everyone'?
EVERYONE!
When she was planning her Level 60 Bash, Osprey decided to invite EVERYONE in glitch.com to attend. I hesitated, saying what do you mean, everyone ... Sheesh! I regret that! FYI, watch this video clip from Leon, the Professional, where Gary Oldman sends for everyone!

Osprey's Level 60 Party was a SMASH!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Spiritual Unfoldment, Stage Three: Revelation



Stage Three begins with the human power of Creative Imagination; our ability to create images of what we desire is based upon our power of memory. We recombine ideas, forms, thoughts, and so forth, to make something new. The virginal High Priestess of Memory becomes the pregnant Imagination; The Empress. Add the emotional power of Desire, and the likelihood of creating from these images is very high.

These images work through the seemingly mechanistic cycles of the Universe, shown in the Wheel of Fortune. There is a clear ebb and flow in our lives and in the Universe itself, including our personal cycles of daily events, and outward to the rotation of the planet round our daystar, and out again to its circling of the galactic center; The galaxy itself is, of course, in motion as well, and for all we know the conglomerations of stars and planets, dark matter and so on, may be part of an even larger rotating, incomprehensibly large system! But back to our level ... impressing the desired outcome upon the mind on a daily basis is more likely to deliver results than is doing it sporadically, or skipping from desire to desire. 

The lowest Key shows the results; Nature unveils herself to us, and our Mind being a holograph of the Universal Mind, we have the same processes as it does. We are meditated, as well as meditating. The Star shows us our seven inner whirling centers of Light, our chakras, with an eighth central star of Unity. In Key 15, The Devil, the background was absolutely black. Then in Key 16, there was the lightning flash illuminating the sky, and now the sky is a peaceful dark night full of luminous stars. At this stage, we can imagine what we need to do to become personalized centers emitting invisible Light. Our petty desires, as they are fulfilled, lead us to deeper desires, the desire to be compassionate, to give to the world, rather than only taking what is available to us.