Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To the Aztlan Station


The word simply stood out to me in the context of understanding the nomadic cosmopolitanism of old: Aztlan. The etymology is uncertain. It is an Aztec word. Some say it means "to the North." Others say the "place of the egrets" or the "place of the four rivers."
While others maintain it is the "white land" and refers to the sandy, salty, desert lands of the Southwestern United States. Aztlan is frequently associated with the Southwest. But if one lets one's imagination go, the "white land" (visually analogous to the "place of salt") could yet be a snow covered Canada where salt becomes ice or moving back further into migrational lore, Siberia herself.

There is a natural tendency among the descendants of the so-called "native" tribes in North America to romantically see Aztlan as a political rallying point, a feature of self-identity, and who will begrudge them this but the notion of a global nomadic cosmopolitanism has far broader connotations. It is a tale of exchange and travel, a tale of portents and omens, a tale of following the flight of herons down through the continental river ways into the lands of mystery. These are not the artificial ways of the great iron horse but the deeply magnetic and humble ways of the great blue bird.

The Aztlan Station is the place of atunement then to these ways of travel and life. Guided by the stars and the flight of the birds shall we leave the Aztlan Station for parts unknown leaving the kings and priests of the cities behind? Will the world yet be a mysterious journey across, to and from the great Northern homeland of Aztlan and then beyond yet to the milky way where the nectar of life will be churned forth.

There are things yet understood by the great map makers showing the ways through the movement of the heavens and the call of the great river birds inland toward the mountains. The Cosmic global innuendo emerges at the closing of the Fifth Age pointing to the great arts of the cosmopolitan time keepers, citizen of all continents, toastmasters to kings, friend to wanderers. Keep one's eye open then to the call of the birds, I say, for they are the creatures who see the lay of the land guiding us to new worlds beyond the slaughter houses of politics.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sausage Thoughts



Eating flesh, the domain of the flesh, the world between earth and sky, akin to stuff of plants, the very media of the animate, the flesh, this is where we live and breathe. We know that stars are born and they die. We have seen trees fallen in the forest. In an early gesture against the paparazzo, in the 1960's, Yugoslav actress Sonia Romanoff attacked photographer Rino Ballirari for having published an unflattering photo by planting an ice cream cone, ice cream first, into the photographer's forehead one evening.

The light of the moment, the triumph of the hero, the allure of the flash of battle, the twinkle of seduction all come and go never to be known again in the same way. World as sausage, world as lover, the refrain is deflecting, ridiculous, avoidant. But that begs the question of question of mustards: French's, Grey PuPon, Durkee's? And shall we feast or shall we famine? The political season is heating up and one of the candidates is really chopping up the the spare organ of the body politic beyond recognition to portray himself as some kind of war deity. Sausage I say. The question at hand is whether we shall picnic with our neighbors or just remain a blood thirsty rabble?

Oh that we might wander the world in peace seeking our light. That we get our sausage at the ball park and the next country over. These are the important things: that we have trees in our cities, that we have minstrels beneath bridges, that we promote international dance competitions, that we have a cupboard well stock with diverse relishes and that we eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. It is mistaken to believe that we must put someone up in the big house. In the timeless words of the venerable blues man and carnivore Keith Richards "why are we fighting?"
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Friday, July 18, 2008

The End of Idealism



I am in need of confession. Picking on comments made in a dialog Noam Chomsky had in the 1960's really is not all so fair, but I appreciated the opportunity to deal with the terms suggested. Philosophical self-consciousness has a certain allure. Especially where we have seen principles deeply rooted in history become incorporated in institutions, principles like representative government, due process and the availability of the writ of habeas corpus. And dealing in the realm of honing and refining definitions certainly gives rise to a kind of clarity, not necessarily the moral clarity that is inherent in working with the imagination in the genres of the novel and the like, but nevertheless some kind of clarity.

In this respect too, I think it is interesting to note the approach Jurgen Habermas of the Frankfurt School focused on Post-Modernism observes with respect to the exercise of representative power by the United States in the post 9/11 environment. Besides the observation of the risks of preemptive action in light of the historical truth that temporal power is fleeting power, so appealing to the reason that suggests the adherence to overriding norms, Habermas characterizes the nature of the structure advanced in democratic preemptive adventures as a "liberal hegemony." "Liberal" because the moral basis of the action is a kind of self-referential dependence on ethical certitude born of the success of liberal principles and "hegemonic" because this is a kind of action that moves beyond principle and international convention into a moral universe only prescribed by the moral certitude of the actor. The implications for process and the history of ideas is staggering.

In the short sighted motivation of achieving some kind of material security the national character from an idealistic perspective is debased in the delusion that self-interested action is ethical action. There is a kind of atavistic assumption here that some inherent goodness adheres as the result of the historical standing of the actors where they have arrived at this time and place with great power. There is no consideration of the possibility that departure from the idealistic underpinnings of historical standing is destructive of the educated view that gave rise to the historical principles at stake in the first place. Consciousness of the dissonance in behavior at odds with emergent standards is overlooked in favor of considerations that require power to be exercised no matter what norms of experience are breached or what self-imposed limitations are acknowledged. In this light philosophically categorical exercises give way to disingenuous displays of cunning. The language of principle becomes only instrumental in deceit. The balance of the past and future inherent in projects of idealism is sacrificed.
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Toward a Red Buddhism



I am wondering if this is what Noam Chomsky's anarcho- syndicalism looks like:
On the Eastern Front, it was becoming almost impossible for many Russian officers to maintain military discipline. Early on the morning of February 17 [1916] a number of front-line cavalry squadrons were issued with live ammunition and ordered to ride to cavalry headquarters some distance behind the line. They were not told of the purpose of this manoeuvre. ‘Soon’, one of their number, Georgi Zhukov, later recalled, ‘everything became clear. From around a street corner appeared a demonstration carrying red banners. Spurring on his horse, our squadron commander, followed by other squadron commanders, galloped towards regimental headquarters, from which a group of officers and factory workers had emerged.’

A ‘tall cavalryman” then addressed the assembled soldiers, telling them that the working class, peasants and soldiers no longer recognized the Tsar. ‘The Russian people’, he said, ‘wanted an end to the slaughter of an imperialist war; they wanted peace, land and liberty.’ The cavalryman ended his short speech with a call for an end to Tsarism and an end to the war. ‘Though there had been no command,’ Zhukov wrote, ‘the soldiers knew what they should do. They shouted and cheered, mingling with the demonstration.’
Gilbert, Martin. The First World War, New York: Henry Holt & Company (1994), p. 313.

I know this is a historical reference and its hard for me to believe that Chomsky is advocating something of the same species as a soviet federation. And I further suppose that he is confusing domains somehow in speaking of anarcho-syndicalism as appropriate for the governance of a technological state. I suppose further the problem is Chomsky's introjecting his personal impulse toward freedom into a consideration of governance. While it is true that limited self-government purports to acknowledge the natural entitlement to freedom inuring to mankind, this certainly has a greater operative viability in a frontier context. Maybe technological frontiers can sustain the spatial dynamics required or maybe true freedom is to be found only out on the spiritual frontiers. That is not to say that the two realms may not have common elements.

So then in this context let us consider the pending proposition: "Toward a Red Buddhism." Now while the word "red" may rightly be associated with the totalitarianism of a worker's state as historically pursued in the failed Soviet experiment, it might also refer to a kind of conflagration. And to the extent that this is referred to material domains the problematic issues inherent in cycles of violence surely arise. But then now let us consider Buddhism or the spirituality of awakening. In this light a "Red Buddhism" becomes a conflagration of spiritual awakening. The issues of coercive governance then become de minimus. The point under consideration becomes the agni yoga or fire yoga as a path of personal liberation. Shall the dross of coercion then be refined in the fire of personal awareness?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Anarcho-Syndicalism

Well the British may not be taxing our tea anymore but I am suspicious that somebody is. Its been a sad week in the great nation, the surveillance state ever creeping forward with the new version of the FISA law that passed the Senate this week giving telecommunications immunity from civil liability like they were the freakin' sovereign or something. I guess these days being a big corporation is good enough. Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh. I mean being in a consumer society these corporate behemoths are necessary for the material improvement of existence, I guess, theoretically at least. Like a comment said on a blog I was reading earlier this week, "its like I just woke up one morning and I was living in the Soviet Union in the 1950's." For those of you who are not so up on your history, this is not such a good thing.

Still I was left with one delight over the holiday and that was finding this video clip of a discussion between Michel Foulcault and Noam Chomsky (Part I and Part II). Foulcault becomes so pleased with himself at one point that he nearly levitates and Chomsky declares himself to be, on no uncertain terms, an "anarcho-syndicalist". I am not sure exactly what this is but I am going to think about it. I am pretty sure it is different from what a couple of people I have met claimed to be when they professed to me that the were "benevolent" anarchists. These folks probably suggested that they were "benevolent" to distinguish them selves from the anarcho-assassins who shot Archduke Ferdinand. I am not sure whom Chomsky is distinguishing himself from in proclaiming the virtues of syndicalism.

I checked with Wikipedia and this is their definition of syndicalism:

Syndicalism is a set of ideas, movements, and tendencies which share the avowed aim [to] transform capitalist society through action by the working class on the industrial front. For syndicalists, labor unions are the potential means both of overcoming capitalism and of running society in the interests of the majority. Industry and government in a syndicalist society would be run by labour union federations.

But Wikipedia doesn't define "anarcho-syndicalism." And besides that hasn't the time passed to transform society on the "industrial" front. What I want to know is who is going to transform society on the psycho-technological front? I am just sayin'. And if one's political theory is all caught up in labor who is going to get to make a pompous ass out of one's self consuming all the damn goods? Honestly, sometimes I think these philosophers should think these things through.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Interdimensionality

Now with the great Ubu having casually cast an approving glance, and the tonal of the the nation having taken an odd turn toward corporate hegemony, the allure of interdimensionality is poised as both an opportunity and a necessity. Near nudity but with spiritual modesty is the season's glowing rage. All one may otherwise need to survive is a healthy stock of Helado's Mexico All Natural Fresca Strawberry Premium Ice Cream on a stick. Light opaque scarfs and intricate batik sarongs help to soften the shock of pure nudity and holy basil aromatherapy helps balance out the rigors of moving from shadow to shadow through long summer days. This is the essence of the practice of interdimensionality inasmuch as the dark cool gateways of travel through unconstituted emptiness in time becomes practically second-nature. One may listen then for shadows and the deep traveling tones that emanate from nothing and go nowhere. It is in the emerging from these hidden journeys that one is most likely to find a soul mate but only once. The necessity of deep abiding in even the dark anomalies of character is required but only to the point of releasing light-heartedly into an engaged disinterestedness. White cotton shirts and khaki wear are always a fall back ensemble when one tires of traveling nakedly in the green cool shades and a seven week feast of blueberries and roast pork will be a perfect repast for one's return to the light.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Pianist

Bob of "moviesbybob" fame (that's a youtube screen name) suggested that I watch The Pianist, a 2002 film by Roman Polanski about a classical pianist who survived the holocaust in Warsaw. This film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2002 and is based on the life of Wladyslaw Szpilman who before the war worked as a piano player for Warsaw radio. Watching the film culminated a bizarre flow of information that came to me as I tried to wind down from two weeks of intense consuming heady work and included exposure to new information about the rapid replenishment of depleted oil fields through geomechanics, the predictions of World War I, World War II and the invasion of Iraq by Albert Pike an American Grand Mason of the Scottish Rite, and plopping in a copy of Southland Tales without any idea what it is about on the very day that this futuristic movie released in 2005 was primarily set: July 3, 2008. And more ironically as I broke a way from an online debate concerning unconstitutional surveillance to watch Southland Tales. The milieu of Southland Tales is an Apocalyptic surveillance state America. Moby does a nice job with the soundtrack for this satire.

The journey also encompassed exposure to youtube.com expose's on Silvia Divinorum and Don Juan. The trip has been a veritable journey in syncromysticism. Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating psychotropics here but if we can see how people access new points of view by whatever methods then the trip toward some perceptive flexibility is enhanced in understanding.

The thing about The Pianist, though, that was so striking in its classical and elegant realism was, by way of contrast, the brutality of the Nazis. That the Nazis were a brutal group is no news, but I do not believe I have ever encountered anything that brought this point home in the way The Pianist does. Perhaps it is in the contrast of the fundamental decency of the lives of Szpilman and his family with the craven brutality of Nazism. There is nothing sensational or exploitive about the film. It is shot from the point of view of a sober, unflinching eye. And this mundane humane steadiness perhaps shocks the system that has been so conditioned by exaggerated gratuitous violence in our media. The lingering question then in these expeditions is then "what we may be?" not so much in our context but in our perceptions.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Rose of the World


Now a century or more or elapsed since Madame Blavatsky and G.I. Gurdjieff began to publish reports of shamans, yogis, holy men, fakirs, Babas, snake charmers, Hesychasm, dervishes, theocratic societies, solitaries and brotherhoods deep in the heart of Central Asia. In the United States brutal torture at the borders in the Global War against Terror has received some political imprimatur and there is a nagging certainty that all our electronic telecommunications are being monitored by those who who would coerce us. The question remains as to whether there are practices that allow us to step out of our habits of being and find the resources of creativity necessary for a free dynamic survival beyond the social context of this coercive violence . Will we find ways to act that will allow us to enter new fields, to pass beyond cultural borders, to transcend selfish motives? Shall we explore entry into a spiritual understanding with the the rest of the population of the world without having to proselytize, convert, coerce or convince, instead seeking a dialog and exchange where the integrity and autonomy of the other is recognized with the freedom to be like the next pedal in the spiral unfolding of the Rose of the World?

The Rose of the World is a phrase stemming forth from the mind of the Russian spiritualist Daniel Andreev from a Siberian prison camp in the 1950's. He saw the necessity of a pluralistic, socially engaged, governing spirituality to combat the dark forces of coercive surveillance and torture he encountered in Soviet Russia. But these political crimes know no national border. They are the result of a fallacy of spirit that universally possesses demons and tyrants.

There are then critical questions pending before us as it becomes increasingly clear that a world exists beyond our own border's and that we share the planet with billions of others, not to mention devas, plants, spirits, animals, elementals, winds, clouds, rivers, streams, grains of sand and rocks. Sit quietly today and observe yourself and what you do naturally and habitually as you sit quietly and see if you have the power to do something else for the world, just for the fun of seeing if changing your thinking is possible. This we shall call "being like a drop of morning dew upon the pedals of the Rose of the World." Shall we start with discovering ourselves and take the good news of our discoveries out to our borders to share beyond ourselves in a gesture of sublime spiritual cross-pollination and co-creativity? What note will you sound in the grand symphony of being?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dragon Fire Leaves Constitution in Ashes

The ribs at the Hunan Palace were particularly good last night and there was a bubbly salsa DJ scene at the El Monte Sagrado. Folks out by the fire pit chattered until 3:00 AM and the moon and clouds portrayed a eerie fan dance upon high. So the 2008 Summer Solstice has come and gone with the Constitutional fire wall guaranteeing privacy gutted by a fearful, greedy Congress that has cynically exploited the publics Constitutional hopes and opposition to the war to finally align with the rogue war dictator against their constituents. And who fiddled as the Constitution burned? Testifying in the House Judiciary Committee Scott McClellan confirmed what most of us already knew: that Bush's political strategy was a fig leaf of blatant Rovian lies including the strident fearful propaganda leading up the Iraq invasion. But in expanding FISA and excusing the President's lawlessness Congress has collectively turned and hollered over their shoulders "so what?" Most of the folks at the Hunan Palace and dancing at the El Monte were oblivious that the legislative imprimatur was yesterday given to the spawning dragon seed of the Executive Branch beast now genetically aligned with craven multi-tentacled organism of the societe anonyme . Back in the day this alignment of government with corporate interest through the theater of violent coercion was commonly called "fascism." But see how temporary even our clearest understandings can be? This dragon hatching was attentively coddled in the name of "freedom."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

FISA: Why is it that the Democatic Congressional Leadership Hates the Constitution?

I was somewhat heartened last week when the Supreme Court announced its Boumediene decision and focused on the checks and balances of our Constitutional system as a design against tyranny. Earlier in the week Congressman Dennis Kucinich read his 35 articles of impeachment on the House floor. It seemed like some sense of balance, sanity and restraint was returning. But then a stunning compromise to FISA legislation was announced today. Apparently, with little public review, the House of Representatives will vote on the bill tomorrow.

Now it appears Congressional Democratic leaders Steney Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi have conspired with the White House to compromise on the FISA bill pertaining to intercepts of communications both coming in and out of the country and abroad and effectively forgive the illegal behavior of the President. They may vote against the bill, but make no mistake about it, the bill would not come up for a vote without the permission vested in their leadership. And so all is not as it seems. The bill significantly pertains to the illegal warrantless wiretapping of American citizens the past seven years. And though the program was found be illegal by both advisers to the President and Federal Courts, Bush has continued to maintain that he possesses the ability to ignore the constraints of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution under legally questionable opinions regarding his "war" powers. Because the new bill seeks immunity for him and the telecommunications companies he must not be so certain that he was right. So through the bill he will seek to avoid accountability for his actions.

But now if the proposed compromise FISA bill passes the house tomorrow and the Senate next week and is signed by the President, the issue of whether the President acted illegally will magically disappear. The compromise lets the telecommunications giants who executed Bush's warrantless invasions of our privacy off if they can provide a court with evidence of a request from Bush & Co. stating wiretapping Americans was legal. But why should Bush’s opinion with respect to legality be a get out of jail free card? Just last week Justice Kennedy writing for the majority in Boumediene clarified that, Constitutionally, it is the Supreme Court who says what the law is, not the President. To allow the President to make his own laws, he said, amounts to the kind of tyranny the Constitution was designed to protect against.

Where has the Bush administration shown any kind of facility for rendering accurate legal opinions? The Justice Department was sufficiently corrupted that an attorney general resigned. We have seen how far afield the opinions as to what is legal have been in the torture arena. And, as stated, the opinions as to wiretapping produced by Bush are premised on his interpretation of his unlimited wartime powers. By passing this Congress, in the face of a flawed system of self-serving overreaching executive branch legal opinions, is ratifying these excesses and signing away any respect for legislative checks on the executive. Why is Bush yet garnering gestures acknowledging his good faith? And that this is being done at last minute with only one day of public review in a way that characterized so many bits of legislative fiat by the Republican Congress prior to 2006 says loads about what interests are truly being protected. The war may have been trumped up, based on lies and planned prior to 9/11 but because of the “national emergency” Bush will be forgiven. Its all been theater to introduce more coercion into the American social fabric and its mind boggling how dishonest and cynical this power grab is as it appears to be going down.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mango Accompaniments

With grilling season upon us, and the mango visions from last Summer's adventures still dancing in my head, in the domain of spontaneous accomplishments a nice mango chutney sprang forth from my kitchen this week. A diced mango, half a chopped yellow onion, an ounce of roughly minced cilantro, two chopped pepperoncini, healthy splashes of red pepper Japanese vinegar and olive oil and a dash of cracked pepper came together to create a respectable embellishment to the emerging Summer grill. At 69 cents each one mango created a respectable chutney and a delightful taste modestly suggestive of a robust joie de vivire.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Psychonautic Notion


These Siberian roots are a perfect gateway for imaginal (0r out of body) travel. One must simply find the pathway to the underworld, not the hell world, but the world of elementals and potential. Such travel does not necessarily lead to a change of circumstances but can assist spirit in understanding choices. There are some that recommend seeking a guide once through a portal like the root bound opening suggested but one really will not know what you will find unless you take the adventure.

The psychonautic tradition is an old one and the unexplored territory vast. It is recommended that you not attempt an adventure to center of the universe, for example, when first getting started. Travel is best after midnight and before 5 am. Put your troubles aside and get into your body and then let your mind's eye travel through the ceiling or out a window or door to the portal and then cautiously descend. You will find that your spirit body will have followed.

Remember you can return to your self at any time but its important to remember how to get back. But really do think about a guide, on this side or in the psychopompic realm. I am thinking about offering consultations regarding the dimensions of such spirit travel. Leave a comment if this interests you. With enough interest I will get a link to arrange for such services up. The important thing to remember is that these practices are not a panacea but a tool so along with the adventure it is important to cultivate a spiritual ecology.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Buzz That Won't Go Away

So former press secretary Scotty Mac insinuates in his new book that our mighty Prez authorized the leak of the identity of a covert or secret agent, Valerie Plame, who worked undercover as an energy consultant while clandestinely assessing Iran's nuclear program. The outing of Valerie Plame is old news. The VP's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was found guilty of criminal perjury and obstruction of justice because he lied to the FBI about about his involvement in the outing. Its one thing to get a bunch of guys you would have liked to have been in your fraternity and play war king in a colonial mansion in the center of Washington, DC, but you know finking on our secret agents, that's kind of low down and dirty. Could get someone killed needlessly who had their life on the line for the Country at the whim of the political vanity of an elected official with a penchant for planting stories in the press.

You know the sad thing is that VP and Prez just are so impressed with who they are they won't come clean with the People on what went down. Congress has had to subpoena records of what they told investigators but looks like the Prez is saying "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, secret war, people get killed, I have to protect Mericans," or something pretty close to that. And its really sad when a bunch of Senators release a report sayin the Prez and VP were just making things up out of thin air, no basis in any known credible intelligence, to take us into war with Iraq. So now the Prez and VP say that they think they know something about Iran and war maybe necessary, but you know they already screwed our sources. And don't for a minute believe that all this war stuff is not about someone's buddy makin some money. Is this really how we want to do these things? I am just sayin. At least they could have the dignity to tell Congress and the Public what really went down including what actions they took they thought were necessary because of intelligence passed on by Saudi Arabian agents. You know the Prez had no problem misleading Congress with a sentence about what British agents were supposed to have known.

Nocturnal Musings

Summer heat will stifle a full expression of shadow gestures appropriate to the advancement of police state thinking in DC. Still its never to early to piece together Autumn ensembles. A black wool navy watch cap and jack boots are the staple items for expression that contrasts the "organizations" with the "people." Silver accessories round out the fit: swans, lightning bolts, chains and spirals have the most edgy potential to generate that certain "umph" so crucial to conversation starters. Black leather gloves are a must. But for now we can remember the 4oth anniversary of the "Summer of Love." Sunbursts, free toes, patchouli and that certain freedom from "lift and support" keep the hot days relaxed and relevant. The emergent Uranus/Neptune Square energetically recalls the loosening of repression so prevalent in the '60s. Seek psychedelic bluegrass and farmers' markets. Its a good time to get to know one's wild crafted herbs.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ambivalent Airs


For the statist counter-cultural statement the Kremlin South-Gate motif is a subtle yet happily conformist norm during the political season. Deep emeralds, brick red, dull gold and pure white trim send that lurid, conservative but primitive vibe suitable for the challenging ambiances of changing venues. Red, white and blue accessories help with complementary dissonance. A gesture toward the peasants works for foot wear just to affirm that acquiescence to the siloviki is not a given.

Cherry Blossum Spring 2008

With the cherry-blossom silk blouse being the rage especially over light weight steel gray slacks, the tone for impression in this election is here. Tank-tops and breathable shoulder wear sporting floral patterns with jeans should tone down the otherwise courtly politico wear in Denver come August. Its time for novelty as the zeitgeist will be completely overturned by January 2009. The emphasis will move beyond neo-classical beauty into a completely global tribe innuendo. Hints of beads, sandals, on the go practicality should be the number. By the time Radiohead hits the Hollywood Bowl in late August the oppressive airs of marketing uniformity will have lifted. Still long term commitment should be something you should consider. Its the Venus/Athena thing that will eventually overwhelm the prevailing culture of mendacity.