January 29th, 2014

A. H. Almaas: Living as a Cosmic Individual

Pascual

“The moment you go from ego to non-ego you experience not only that you are one with all human beings but that you are one with everything.”

“You realize that the consciousness that has been compacted within boundaries has no boundaries. It is everywhere. Consciousness is the basic substance and nature of everything.”

“The truth you realize, then, is that who you are is not the product of your childhood, is not your body, is not a sense of limited individuality. You are some-thing that is everything, and you are seeing now the nature of everything, not only on the essential level, but on the level of Being itself, on a nondifferentiated level, a nonseparated level.”

“This does not mean, though, that you are no longer an individual. You will not lose individuality in the way you might imagine; the individuality will simply be one facet of who you are.”

“It’s like the example of the hand. In the beginning you think you are the finger, moving around, doing things. When your knowledge goes beyond the individual, beyond the ego, you find out you are the hand. You don’t lose the fingers by being the hand. The fingers are still there, the individuality is still there operating; however, it is part of something larger.”

“And you are that something larger. At the same time, you are also the individual. Your attention is sometimes the finger and other times the totality of the hand. Then you live as what is called a cosmic individual.”

A. H. Almaas

Opening photograph: Clouds, Birds, Moon, Venus by Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual.



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January 27th, 2014

The Grammys: Porn Yes. Protest No.

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Like I’ve done every year since I was a wee lad, I watched the Grammys last night. Which was more of a long slog through tepid, dish-watery music with lotsa nostalgia and female artists stirring hormones (shock!) to confirm their viability in the pop marketplace, which isn’t much of a vital music milieu anymore.

When a friend asked me at dinner recently to name my favorite albums from last year, I couldn’t think of any. Singles stood out, yes. But cohesive productions, works that normally qualify as an ‘album’? Not so much. There was engaging music, for certain, but it was found on obscure paths, from esoteric artists or labels or autodidact home studio aficionados. That New Zealand’s lovely Lorde won two awards last night was a nice compensation for the long train of tedium.

Gone are the days when a creation of genius, like Stevie Wonder‘s Innervisions, would command a pile of Grammys. Now it’s target group, marketing department-derived music that translates instantly into cash for the dinosaur labels. During her acceptance speech last night, some country artist thanked Mercury and I thought: Oh cool, she’s into astrology; but then recalled how that used to be a big label.

So, is it surprising that the big winners last night were robots? Artists that didn’t even speak but osmotically conveyed gratitude through other entities on stage. Very much the reverse of how Daft Punk comprised their album: by siphoning off the best melodies and riffs from previously established hits from Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder and others. I enjoyed Daft Punk’s album, I have a copy, and it’s fun to put on when I’m cleaning the house and thinking about Donna Summer‘s Bad Girls — which I used to clean the house with. Back in the 80s.
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January 24th, 2014

Astrology’s House of the Rising Sun

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“And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy and God, I know I’m one…” — Alan Price

“Mystery is the only addiction I wholeheartedly recommend.” — Scott Peck

 
My friend and colleague Wonder Bright posted a post on her site yesterday where she dove into the contradictions related to astrology’s 12th house. The sort of diving a lot of 12th house Sun people do. An inquiry that’s easy to understand, given astrology’s grab bag of 12th house horrors.

As defined by classical astrology, the 12th house of the birth chart is a cluster of fallen positions, people and milieus. And modern interpretations are no better, creating what I call a ‘death-by-euphemism’ blanketing; where New Agers and their notions of transformation and the collective unconscious (huh?) have defanged the 12th house to the point of parody.

Traditional astrology explains that because the 12th house makes no proper Ptolemaic aspect to the ascendant, the 12th house and its activities go ‘unseen’. This same idea applies to the 2nd, 6th and the 8th house too. Over time, the life events and conditions associated with each of those houses can become problematic. In other words: If I am not consciously aware and actively involved with the circumstances involved with each of those houses I will, most likely, fuck things up.

Jesus, there’s nothing like an individual’s relationship to money (2nd and 8th houses) and the consequences related to finances, to drive said person to the brink of addiction or crime; which, of course will land them in the 12th house, that of prisoners and jailers and drunkards and debtors (and a bunch of other Charles Dickens‘-like characters), where he or she will abide and live like a slave (a classic 6th house theme.)

So all of this seems valid to me because the ascendant is the particular lens through which I view reality and reality views me. If certain of my activities and affairs fall beyond my eye of awareness (my ascendant), well, most likely there will be blood. And sweat. And certainly tears.

Personally, and maybe because I have Leo rising and Leo doesn’t like to think of anything related to the self as being artificial, I have never jibed with the Jungian confluence of the first house with the persona, the mask that one wears to present himself to the world.

Mmmmm. No, sorry. My Leo nature is the real deal. Read more



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January 22nd, 2014

New Cosmix! In A Landscape 3 The Finale

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A new year, a (sort of) new month – a mid-week — and some new music.

I’d wanted to cull some ‘best of moments’ from 2013 (and perhaps I still might) but in the interim I’ve uploaded this third, and final mix, from the In A Landscape series.

Lots of mid-range movement going on here, with some classics from Eric Satie, Yo-Yo Ma, Boards of Canada and a rare track from Annie Lennox, a haunting a cappella version of an old Eurythmics track that appeared on Dave Stewart‘s soundtrack for the 1989 film Lily Was Here. It’s quite amazing.

Enjoy, and please, as always — share your comments below.

mixcloud_in_a_landscape_3


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January 18th, 2014

Essence and The Necessity of Personality

“In order to develop from any of the three ordinary types into higher orders of being it is necessary to crystallize and temper essence into a permanent and unifeid “I.”

This is done mainly by instigating a struggle between essence and personality.

Both essence and personality are necessary for this work: essence must have personality or it will not wish to develop. Personality provides the material to study, the obstacles to overcome, the temptations to resist, the delusions to invalidate, and in the process of struggling with and testing itself against personality, essence gains in strength and maturity.

This battle is what Islam calls the holy war (jihad) and in this war the more evenly matched the opposing sides, the greater the intensity of combat and the more thorough the destruction and renewal entailed.”

– Kathleen Riordan Speeth

from The Gurdjieff Work © 1989. Tarcher/Putnam


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