March 03rd, 2014

Oscar’s Glamour and the New Slave State

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The Oscars is never a one-day happening. 

There’s the day before, when all of the Xanax supply in Hollywood is emptied out to oblivion, sending Pfizer’s stock to the moon. And where the plebeians plan their evening and guest list around the event. Like the Pope coming to town, for the Catholics who like to tailgate.

And then there’s the day of — where, once again, the collective mindset has revealed to its bad self that — albeit unconsciously — Hollywood (well, Los Angeles really) is not just a city but an entire thought-form that has replaced the spiritual instinct for most Americans. “I’m headin’ West, gonna become a star!”

From the blue whales in the Ocean of Auteurs, to the krill that hanker each week for the kitsch of The Real Housewives of Orange County — no one escapes what occultist Alice Bailey deemed in her book (titled the same): Glamour — A World Problem.

Now, this of course is different on the East Coast, where it is DC that holds the lure. But DC’s a version of power and fame that skirts very close to a sort of primal/tribal evil — so it isn’t as sparkly and ‘fun’, but as a bloodsport we Americans do honor it, but not in the line of beauty, the way we do Los Angeles. As Clinton-Gore strategist Paul Begala once noted: “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people.”

And then there is the day after the Oscars, which many of us have lived through today. It’s rare to hear someone announce and be proud of it, like in the old days, that they don’t own a television or “I never watch the Academy Awards.” Even when I do hear that, I sense lying and perhaps shame, in the same way I’m certain the parents of the Little Match Girl didn’t want that story leaked or linked to their family line. Read more



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December 19th, 2008

A Pre-Solstice Gift of Nothingness

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Buddhism anticipated the reluctant conclusions of modern psychology: guilt and anxiety are not adventitious but intrinsic to the ego. According to my interpretation of Buddhism, our dissatisfaction with life derives from a depression even more immediate than death-terror: the suspicion that “I” am not real.

The sense-of-self is not self-existing but a mental construction which experiences its own groundlessnes as a lack. This sense-of-lack is consistent with what psychotherapy has discovered about ontological guilt and basic anxiety. We usually cope with this lack by objectifying it in various ways and try to resolve it through projects which cannot succeed because they do not address the fundamental issue.

So our most problematic dualism is not life fearing death but a fragile sense-of-self dreading its own groundlessness. By accepting and yielding to that groundlessness, I can discover that I have always been grounded, not as a self-contained being but as one manifestation of a web of relationships which encompass everything. This solves the problem of desire by transforming it. As long as we are driven by lack, every desire becomes a sticky attachment that tries to fill up a bottomless pit. Without lack, the serenity of our no-thing-ness, i.e., the absence of any fixed nature, grants the freedom to become anything.

– David Loy Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 92 Vol. 24

Opening photograph:Untitled by Brassaï. 1932


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Filed Under: Buddhism and Depth Psychology and Ego
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