• Tag Archives culture
  • Thievery Corporation

    thievery corporation Awesome world inspired electronic genre crossing band.

    ” A departure from the political tones of the last couple of releases, Saudade is, according to Wikipedia, a Portuguese word that describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. A very fitting title for the atmosphere of the music, more than just first class Electro Bossanova, this album has range of feeling, great production and is yet another fantastic release from Thievery Corporation. ” – dlgale1947 @ discogs.con

    Check out: Heaven’s Gonna Burn Your Eyes
    Vocals by Emiliana Torrini on The Richest Man In Babylon album [around 14.03 minutes in]


  • Ain’t Nothing but a Thing!

    Today’s: Mind Nugget.

    We fear that which we do not understand. Today I was afraid of performing an Oracle database process, my fear stayed with me up until the precise moment it didn’t. And this is not dissimilar to life really.

    The process itself was straightforward, yet I was afraid because it was unknown to me, something I had not encountered before. I feared everything before that process and the possibilities of everything after it. The moment I executed the process my fear was gone, cleared from the deep murmurings of the mind.  A fitting analogy then for how we experience life, the importance of truly being aware of the present moment. We are not present in the past nor can we experience the future, so why the fear?

    J.K Rowling’s Hermione had it right. “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.

    Why fear the future or worry about the past, we exist in neither plain.

    Live now.

    Love now.

    Fear not the past, it cannot be changed.

    Fear not the future. It hasn’t happened.

    And certainly don’t fear the present, by the time you do that moment will have passed.


  • Society and Human Consciousness

    Society and Human Consciousness by Jiddu Krishnamurti

    [The relationship between conditioned minds]

     

    I have long been gripped by a particular piece of audio used in the opening few minutes of Trance-Formation by Max Igan and for a long while I was unaware to whom it belonged to, however after digging deep I discovered they are the words of Jiddu Krishnamurti – a philosopher, a spiritual speaker, and a reluctant messiah. The following entry is an interpretation of Krishnamurti’s words and an earlier piece of writing on the same subject, the two pieces are wonderfully complimentary of Society as a System, and The System as an analogy of Society.

    We have created this society…

    An immoral destructive civilised society to which we are responsible.

    We have surrendered our fundamental selves to the building of a system that ultimately recognises a society not of individuals but of personalities, of ranks and status.

    We are trapped by this society, this system of apathy and suffering. We are conditioned (which is to say that we have inherited a conditioning) to which we no longer think outside of ourselves, our needs and wants, we cannot see beyond society and its influences.

    Some have fought against this conditioning.

    People have tried to cause change. Groups, sects, cells, whatever they have identified themselves as, they have formed together to cause change.

    Change in politics, change in government, change in territory or in wealth and power.

    To change society…

    But society is the relationship between people. And that is the problem, that is the crisis…

    It is not a political crisis, or economic crisis, or a crisis of war…the crisis is with ourselves, it is an internal crisis.

    The great struggle is not between nations but between individuals and themselves, their perceived selves, their I. We cannot change society but we can change our conditioned minds, each of us.

     

    The only way to change the System / Society is simply by becoming fundamentally aware of ourselves, by understanding ourselves, by weakening our conciousness beyond the thinking mind – and this follows nicely onto a previous post: I Am Nothing, which describes the journey of this awakening, and was inspired by another spiritual speaker, author and teacher Eckhart Tolle.

    The following is the opening words to one of Krishnamurti’s lessons, of which are the inspiration to the above writings and mentioned content.

     

    The System

    The System.

    There is no beating it.

    It will continue to be long after we are gone.

    But we can stand outside it.

    We can choose to see it, and by seeing it we can withdraw from it, learn not to be influenced by it, and with help we can separate ourselves from it.

    But time’s hidden hand comes into play when we least expect it, this vision becomes weakened as life gets in the way, and slowly we become integrated into the thing we have long protested.

    To many this process is transparent, and to many it appears as something positive, something to aspire to.

    Often it is wrapped in false progression, a promotion at work or the promise of more money, more responsibility, and in time we become an advocate of the system.

    Some are so hopelessly blinded by it that they actually believe they are doing good, but in the same breath manipulate and recruit others into forgetting their own values.

    Status becomes the poisoned apple of choice – and they soon become entirely lost.

    However there are those who remain resilient, often rejected poorly paid and with personality disorders, they may be among the homeless, the depressed, or the drug dependants, but they have withstood the system.

    You see none of us are born into the system.

    We are not imprisoned by the system, we walk into it with smiles and open doors, we build our own bars and gladly throw away the keys.

     

    Future Writings:

    It is becoming apparent that my journey into Beyond The Thinking Mind, Zen, and many of my spiritual wanderings and philosophical questions are all connected, and indeed at the heart of all is human nature, the mind and I. And so many of these posts will start to form a connected web featuring references from and links to other existing posts.

    Jiddu Krishnamurti


  • I am nothing

    If I talk to myself, who is talking to who. I have split my mind into two me’s. But wait, look it this saying again “I have split my mind into two me’s” – well this creates three entities – the two me’s and the I that split them. It is this I that we can never “know”, it is this I that we truly are. This I is not something, some object or version of me, it is nothing, – or better put it is no thing. It is not my name, nor my personality, these are simply more splits, more externalisations – more interpretations of the true I.

    I am not a name, I am not my person, as my person changes, it grows old, its cells are ever changing and it, the body, is not permanent. Yesterday, tomorrow, later, as I type this, these moments have passed or are yet to come, but they not a part of who I am, they do not belong to my now, to I.

    The events, jobs, possessions, do not make up who I am. My nationality, age, parents, are not part of who I am, they are what I perceive them to be, what I see them as in my mind. I see my couch, but it does not belong to me, my lounge is littered with furniture and shelves and these occupy my living space but they are not in my inner space, they share no connection.

    I watch my thoughts pass by but I do not belong to them, I stand back away from them in a stillness, I let them go by without following them, they are not I…. Understand that I do not need to let them go, because I was never holding onto them.

    Spirituality and Happiness – teachings by Eckhart Tolle

    The above interpretation was inspired by a teaching from Eckhart Tolle, click here. Eckhart Tolle is a learned spiritual teacher of Beyond The Thinking Mind and many other Zen and wider spiritual teachings, he is also a gifted public speaker and offers many talks, lessons and guided meditations – his online site can be found here.

    Advice for those who would follow:

    Of course we can read the many self-help books, the many excellent literary works on Zen, spirituality, the many Buddhist teachers, journals on Thought, guided meditation texts, however at a primary level these have already lost their essence through their inevitable transformation into text (the core data, the true lesson, has been converted into information – a book). Books adhere to a format – chapters, titles, structure, language and vocabulary – in my experience it is best to first listen to a teaching, cast away all preconceived notions of structure and simply have dialog with a teacher. There is nothing wrong with reading but the written word lacks the organic spontaneity of speech, the immediate awareness of dialog, the connection.

    Applying awareness to life

    Having been introduced to a new (or very old) way of thinking, a way of finding that attentive stillness, stepping into that spatial calmness, what then would happen if we apply this knowledge to the scenario mentioned previously in On Speaking and Listening? If as children we were guided down this path, would we then have the ability to truly listen, to speak truly? How would this affect our Western culture, our ingrained way of life?

    Whats next?

    The concept of I, oneness, is something fundamental to Zen Buddhism, here we have had an introduction, a window into finding that inner space, but I am to explore further – and exploring is exactly how we [ I ] perceive these lessons, its an exploration of the spaces behind thought, behind the busy mind, beyond the this and that. I look forward to publishing more soon.


  • On speaking and listening

    “The louder a man shout’s, the more profoundly he’s wrong” (Gallagher 2009)

    One early evening, around 5.30pm, I caught a bus from Northampton town centre, a routine commute after work, travelling back to my home town Kettering. It was a slow journey and I was in a particularly stilled frame of mind, senses keen and thoughts clear. I decided to listen in to the conversations of my fellow passengers. It dawned on me that many of us, given the correct social setting, will talk and talk and talk, without communicating a single interesting idea, without contributing anything of substance to the discussion. Why is it that we to0 often invest such energy into talking but fail so triumphantly at not actually saying anything of consequence.

    The art of storytelling, of truly connecting to a person through speech has been lost. Television, smart phones, social media, and cultural shifts at large have made the once tribal celebration of speech, the art of talking, unnecessary. We now communicate feelings more aptly through abbreviated digital messages than we do through talking. Spiritually connected to the wafer-thin glass-fronted box of lights than we are with each other.

    And if we have lost the art of talking, how then does this affect our ability to listen?

    Like those on the bus, often our egocentric nature relentlessly drives us to have our say. Our inability to sit back and absorb a conversation results in nothing more than driving a conversation into a debate, a verbal abyss where no wisdom is conveyed nor any connection made. Now this may be expected on a cramped bus, already swamped with the noise of traffic and commuters, but let’s now take this example and place it in a care setting, or among the elderly, or in a therapeutic environment where listening is fundamental to all those involved.

    In a care-home environment, often the only pleasure for its residents is to be listened to – the opportunity to tell a story and rejoice in having somebody kind enough to listen, to share in their experience. Empathy cannot be achieved without being able to listen, and in the fields of psychotherapy this is essential, it is primal and it is something modern man has forgotten. When working with Kettering MIND the following exert was given to me on the instruction that I read it before beginning my training in the skills of listening:

    To hear, one must be silent, says a wise man to his apprentice in a fantasy novel. The silence extends to calmness, as far as possible in the physical setting, but in any case within the listener. Yet the silence is far from passive: active listening, albeit watching, thoughtful monitoring of oneself – all go to make up the skills of listening, enabling us the better to hear what the speaker is really saying. Only then dare the helper presume to speak.” (Jacobs, 1985)

    At the end of a particularly riveting lecture on Business Information Systems I, having remained silent throughout the discussion, I was asked my opinion on the subject. More to satisfy my tutor’s curiosity than contribute, I spoke my mind. Just before I left the lecture hall my tutor pulled me aside and said this: I talk little but what I say is profound. This has stayed with me over the years, and has confirmed the importance of active silence, of truly listening.

    Like a virus, this slow decay of our ability to talk and listen may affect our other senses, a slow death of the instincts transforming us into slaves of our own advances.

    We live busy stressful lives, always connected and available on-demand, indeed actor and comedian George Carlin one described modern man as “a high-tech low life”, “a top gun bottom feeder” “a raging workaholic, and a working rageaholic” – spoken with true wisdom during his his 2005 stand-up, Life is worth Losing

    During a 6 mile walk through rich fragrant blossom filled streets my senses were on overdrive, I stopped at nearly every tree, every flower, and simply breathed the air, filling my very soul with sunshine. I realised then that smell is potentially another endangered sense – think about it – when was the last time you walked down the street and simply smelled? When did you last smell a flower, when was the last time you acknowledged the freshness early morning rain or the sweetness of blossom, the earthy smell of fresh tilled soil?

    This deprivation of sense may be seen to effect memory – and with dementia on the increase in the over 60s are all these things contributing factors? Are we really that disconnected to our instinctual primal abilities – are we dead on the inside?

    [recommended reading: The Alchemy of Voice by Stewart Pearce: yes it’s a form of self-help book but I discovered this great read during my studies in 2004, its informative writings on the origins of speech and its use in modern times was enlightening, and complimentary when looking into the art of listening – how often do we listen to ourselves (listen to how we speak not just what we say)?

    —[more on this to come]—

    * Gallagher, B: The Prisoner: 2009, AMC and ITV television miniseries.

    * Jackons, M, 1985

     


  • Lady In The Water

    Water has memory, it remembers who we were and sees who we now are, it senses the greed of men, water also remembers those things we have forgotten. Emotion, the spirit, kindness, guardianship, love and the future.Like many of M. Night Shyamalan’s films [allegedly] you will either love or hate this film. When I first saw this film I rented it from my local Blockbusters store (now closed down), the check-out guy gave me such an encouraging review of this film, and yet I have also spoken to people who hate it. I myself think it’s a work of art, the photography is amazing, each frame is meticulously shot and establishes a vivid visual style. The acting is sublime and made me an instant fan of Paul Giamatti.

    lady in the water

    A water Narf named Story dwells in a small deep communal pool at a building called The Cove, Story has been sent to fulfil her purpose, to try and make men remember how to listen. She meets Cleveland Heap a man who believes he has no purpose, a man of great knowledge and a man who lost everything. Every being has a purpose, sometimes we just need reminding who we once were.

    Story’s purpose is revealed through a gathering of 12 people, the vessel, guardian, a symbolist, a guild, one who has no secrets, seven sisters, and the healer.

    No one is ever told who they are.

    A word about which format best to view this film; I would not bother with it in blu-ray, it has been over-treated with such a high contrast that many of the shadow details are gone entirely, the dynamic colour range has been far too compressed and over saturated. The films soundtrack also sounds flatter. – This is far better viewed on DVD (in my opinion).

    This is an emotional film, it stirs the soul – calm waters run deep, and indeed this film is about water – something us Pisceans know all about.