spirituality

Garrison Keillor: The ghosts of Christmas that never was - and probably never will be

Beautiful piece by Garrison Keillor here:

R.W. waited for hours for the other two spirits and then went to sleep. When he awoke, it was Christmas. A fat, lumpy stocking was plopped in a chair. A note said, "Bob." It had licorice in it, and a rubber ball, a puzzle, a book and a big Christmas orange.

It was a proper, large navel orange with thick skin, fresh, fragrant, and the smell brought back all the jolly Christmases Past when they played whist and laughed, and the bubble lights twinkled, and the radio played carols. Grief and misery tend to be amorphous and make everything taste bitter, but small things, such as a well-turned sentence, the chorus of a song, a cup of peppermint tea, Jane Austen, an orange, have some power to break the spell.

Mother Jones: 12 climate tipping points, and the tipping point in human perception to stop them

A heavy article at MotherJones.com investigates a dozen "tipping points" for global warming, any of which could cause sudden and catastrophic climate change - and asks about the thirteenth tipping point, for our perception of it all:

IN 2004, JOHN SCHELLNHUBER, distinguished science adviser at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the United Kingdom, identified 12 global-warming tipping points, any one of which, if triggered, will likely initiate sudden, catastrophic changes across the planet. Odds are you've never heard of most of these tipping points, even though your entire genetic legacy—your children, your grandchildren, and beyond—may survive or not depending on their status.

what does karate teach us?

Posted to the CyberDojo:

"Daisy Heskett" (address elided) writes:

> Does karate "really" teach us not to fight? Is it more
> of a thing where a karate person knows the limitations
> of what they can do whereas a street fighter wants to know
> his? So the street fighter will be more willing to fight not
> knowing he can kick his butt kicked.

Hopefully a karate student has given a lot of thought about what's
worth fighting over, and has come to the conclusion that not many of
things that people fight about are worth it.

BBC: "Faking it as a priest in Japan"

The BBC reports on gaijin acting as "priests" in Japanese wedding ceremonies:

"I was living in Sapporo, studying Japanese, and I needed the money. It's far better paid than teaching in a language school," he said.

"Being a fake priest is big business in Japan - I've done a TV commercial for one company," he added. "In Sapporo, there are five agencies employing about 20 fake priests. In a city like Tokyo, there must be hundreds."

The fake Western priests are employed at Western-style weddings to give a performance and add to the atmosphere. These are not legal ceremonies - the couples also have to make a trip to the local registrar.

Daniel Pinchbeck's psychedelic shamanist apocalyptic vision

As those who know me know, I have nothing against the appropriate use of "psychedelic" or "entheogenic" substances. Far from it. But I have to shake my head when someone starts taking their own feedback-saturated perceptions too seriously, as seen in this Rolling Stone profile of Daniel Pinchbeck:

This was all before Pinchbeck himself started making some very unusual claims. After separating from the heiress in 2003, he made a trip to Hawaii and the Amazon with an incredibly hot abstract painter and Santo Daime priestess, sunbathing nude with her by the Hawaiian cliffs. In the Amazon, he received a transmission from God, in the form of Quetzalcoatl, a mystical bird-serpent in Mayan myths. Quetzalcoatl told Pinchbeck that he is a prophet -- all those times in his life when he thought he was a loser, because his birthdate happens to be in June 1966 (666), and his surname happens to be a fancy word for "false gold," were signs that one day he'd be chosen to transmit some very special, intradimensional knowledge to the planet. Here it is: The world as we know it is about to end -- on December 21st, 2012, the last day of time in the Mayan calendar.

David Byrne on "Jesus Camp"

Apparently there's a new documentary out, Jesus Camp, about a religious indoctrination summer camp. David Byrne comments in his blog:

There were some perfect sound bites — at one point Pastor Fischer instructs the little ones that they should be willing to die for Christ, and the little ones obediently agree. She may even use the word martyr, which has a shocking echo in the Middle East. I can see future suicide bombers for Jesus — the next step will be learning to fly planes into buildings. Of course, the grownups would say, “Oh no, we’re not like them” — but they admit that the principal difference is simply that “We’re right.”

SubGenius in trouble: "Why a goat?"

When I'm at Starwood, I always make it a point to attend the Reverend
Ivan Stang's "rants", always entertaining and thought-provoking. This time,
though, Ivan had a story to tell that was more frightening.

It seems that a lovely SubGenius
lass, Reverend Magdalen, is stuck in a custody battle with her ex over
their young son. Ok, sad, but common. What's uncommon is that the ex used
photos of her from the SubGenius's "X Day" celebration (held at the
Brushwood Folklore Center, same location as Starwood).

just journaling: post-Starwood

A week after Starwood...still adusting to Mundania....so hot, sapping energy, haven't finished unpacking yet...

Trying to cultivate yin, get my house in order, catch up on paperwork and house
projects after two months of travel, Saiten, FSG, Chicago/Milwakee for the AOBTA convention, Starwood...and spend some quality time with the dogs, especially after Picollo getting sick while I was in Chicago. And back to Zelda's after a few weeks away.

Happy Yuri's Night!

April 12th is the 45th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's space flight. In 1961 he made a single orbit in a flight lasting 108 minutes, becoming the first human being in space.

I'm celebrating with a beer at a bar in Fell's Point, but all over the world more organized celebrations are taking place. (Even on Antarctica!)

Looking up at the full moon in the clear spring sky, I think of how at liftoff, Yuri shouted, "Poyekhali!" - "Let's go!" Here's hoping we, as a species, do.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - spirituality