Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

25 April 2010

Another cat referral

I have more to say
about the topics I've been writing about, but today
I spent time with my cats.

Sometimes it's the best thing to do.


I invite you to read the story of my deaf Turkish cat, Pişi.  It's actually a story about me, and one of the rather extraordinary challenges I faced during the first year I lived in Turkey.  As with all the stories on these blogs, it goes backwards.  And as with many entries by me, it has four parts. 

It's a good story, with a relatively happy ending.

More to come, though, on cats, palindromes, creation, and all that other good stuff. . . .


Our bodies
Are the avatars
That we have chosen to occupy
While we live out this lifetime
On this domain called

Our bodies embody
And imitate
The divide that occurred
When the All
That is God/Allah/Yahwey
Felt the desire
To see Him/Herself

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness
And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
And over the cattle, and over all the earth,
And over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;
Male and female created he them.

Male and female, for the male and female embody
The two parts that God had to assume in order to be able
To see God.

Our physical bodies are the imitation
Of the instant of creation,

Which is the instant

Of division

Within our physical bodies, too,
There are two sides –
Two sides of our brains;
Two sides of our beings.
We each contain two
And at the center of the two
Is a shimmering essence
Like a mirror

And if we can find that mirror,
And look in that mirror,
We can see ourselves in our

That mirror is the soul.

That mirror is in the center
Of the mind.

This concept is so simple, yet
So complex:

We live in a world that is
Continually imitating
The Original Act of Creation
And the essence of
The Original Act of Creation
Is division:
Division necessitated by Desire,
Desire to observe
In our perfection.

At our very cores,
We understand
That this is what we
As humans, on this glorious earth
Are trying to do.

We are trying to enact what God sought to do
At the moment of contraction
And division,
That is:
We are here to help God see himself,
His totality
In the creation she produced for that very reason.

We can be deceived
By false mirrors:
Lakes, and shopping center windows,
And full length slightly
Distorted mirrors
Nailed to our bedroom doors.

We can be deceived
And led to believe
That the image of God is embodied
In the exterior of our bodies,
When in fact our outer form is only
The exterior part of the apparatus,
The avatar,
Fitted with the necessary exterior
Accessories to help us live
On Earth
As we attempt to see
All of God.

All of God is not
In your bedroom mirror;
All of God resides
Within you.

Your body is a sacred temple
Designed to help you explore
The creation God made
When he sought to
Create himself.

Your body imitates
The moment of creation
Your body is
The moment of creation
If you let it be so.

There's another part to this:
The body's relationship with
The Earth.
Because Earth, too,
Is part of the imitation of the moment of Creation
Earth is continually creating
Tearing down,
Creating again.

Like us, every day.

Dare I say that the Earth and the Sun
Are bodies, too,
Organisms created
In divisible parts
To imitate and perpetuate
The moment of the
Initial Creation
For as long is it might take
For us all to figure out that that is what's going on.
That's why we're here:
To acknowledge the
And Supremacy
Of the Entirety
That, in a moment of weakness, got it into its head (before it even had a head) that it
wanted to behold itself.

Makropolis is a diva, remember

. . . . and in that sense
I am all divas
who have lived over the past
400 years or so

Whenever I hear a woman singing
from her heart and from her soul
reflecting in her words
her torment,
coupled with her dreams of a

I hear myself.

For instance,
here I am,
singing a song that is all about my life:

23 April 2010

The Fall of Man, According to Makropoulos

At the fall of man
we were torn asunder.  
Our downfall was our desire
to see ourselves. 

Let me tell you the story
of the Fall of Man,
according to Makropoulos:

(source: Technabob )

Now for a little more self promotion:  If you want to see the logic that led up to this last claim,
you have to read the entry that precedes it. And you will probably need to read this to understand that, so just face it: you're caught in a dangerous cycle.

Lurianic Kabbalah helps us see that the fall of man is associated with
the moment at which
God felt a need
to see himself.

That is the fundamental element
of our Fall,
(ie: please read: the Fall of Man is, in this reading, directly linked to the moment of Creation.  Basically, I'm reading Biblical Genesis stories alongside the stories that have typically been considered "mysticism."   I see them as parallel stories, and all act metaphorically.  And they're honestly all kind of based upon the same question:  "How the hell did we get here?"  Now I honestly don't know if anyone else  has made an attempt to parallel the Biblical story of Creation with the mystical stories about the absolute moment of Creation.  I imagine someone has, and if I look long enough in internet land, I'll find out who did it, and when. . . .

-- oh what, are you telling me you don't know Lurianic Kabbalah?  Well, howdy do.  I don't mind explaining it, if you can stay with me that long.  My problem is that I'm channelling, and I'm following a line of logic that is coming to me from my body, my heart, my soul, and my brain.  Oh, please understand by now that when I say that something is coming to me, what I'm saying is that this message is coming to me through my body, and my body, like your body, is an apparatus, and avatar, if you will, that we developed so we could look at ourselves.  You may have to go back to my earlier entry to understand this.

Our bodies, in many ways, are the products of earth that we (the earth 
and it many developments) developed 
so we could come to comprehend that we are always caught in the act
of looking at ourselves. It's kind of like humans are organs.  We are, in fact,
the most important organ on the entity that is known 
as earth.

Maybe this will make you feel better:
we, the inhabitants and children of the physical earth, are the manifestation of the other half 
of God.  .   .   I'll  come back to that.  I think that's a pretty big idea to interrupt a minor thought with.
Remind me to read this again.

I wanted to explain Isaac Luriah:  Mr. Luriah, who was a mystic (I now know, after 400 and some years, that I too am a mystic), Mr Luria had a very nice vision of his own to help me see what I'm trying to piece together now.

I don't know why
HE had this vision.  But he did.  

So his vision went like this:

According to Mr. Luria, 
who was trying to answer the question of:
why were we ever created in the first place?
we were created because there was a moment when God,
which, by the way, is Life, The World, and Everything,
 wondered what the hell He Looked Like.

Yeah, that's right -- God, the Everlasting, Eternal, all-knowing, unnamable, 

Yeah, that Guy -- suddenly decided

He Wanted To See Himself

Now, honestly, why would God want to See Himself?

But he did.  

So he kind of had to produce his other side, so he could see it.  He couldn't produce
because to produce himself would be to produce
Double Everything
(two two two mints in one!),
and honestly
that's just not possible.

So the best he could do was
Half of Himself.

That's right: when God felt the desire to see himself, or herself, 
or whatever is self to God

("self" by the way, is a word which, in English, is a mirror word.)

when God felt that desire, she literally had to cut himself
in half
and he found herself looking at his other half,
which, well, in English at least,
means he -- if he is male -- found himself looking at a woman

or perhaps God was the woman, and he was using the Other self
to help him see himself.

Oh, Lord, I hope to God this makes sense:

Let me say that again:
who really has no reason to want to see himself, because he is everything
he wants to see himself.

How the hell does he do that?

He has to produce a space outside himself 
in which he can hold
(if God, which is Everything, can Hold Something, because why the hell would Everything want a hand?)
an apparati
by which 

may look at himself

A mirror.

       now that's an interesting thought: that God produced a mirror so he could see himself.  God produced a surface with the capability of reproducing the face of God.  Now, that's something you can't get at the Dollar General.  

Now in Lurrianic Kabbalah, 
At this moment of deciding that he wanted to see himself,
God contracted
as a woman suffers contractions while giving birth
so he could produce a space
in which he could hold a mirror or something like that
in Lurianic Kabbalah,
that mirror was composed
of spinning, stunning
rods and spheres,

(Now if you can't see penises and vaginas in that imagery.
well, you're just not being honest
with yourself.)

So, let me say that again: God wanted to see himself.
God had to produce a space 
somewhere in everything
which is 
everything he had to create a space
in which 
he could
HOLD a mirror.

This also meant he had to produce a mirror and 
some kind of apparati for holding a mirror

(I should say, any good Lurianic Kabbalist is just spinning and turning right now, reading what I'm writing here,
but I hope they take the time to read again.)

Anyway, all this spinning of 
rods and spheres 
was supposed to produce 
the representation of God
if you get what I mean:

I'll say it again
God, who was everything, got this idea
He wanted to see himself,
He had to create a space inside of of everything, 
where he could produce some kind of
by which 
he could see himself.

God had to produce
a mirror.

and I guess he did have to have a hand to hold it
therefore he produced a body
among other things,
has to have a hand to hold a mirror.

that suddenly
when God felt a desire
to see himself,
he had to divide himself.
he had to produce an apparati
through which he could see himself

Either or: mirror or exact opposite.
That's what he did.

Well, I'll tell you,
if your brain is in a twist right now, or
if you're so sick of me saying the same thing
over and over again,
just imagine how I feel.


I personally prefer the idea that he had to produce half of himself.


But according to Luria, those spinning spheres and rods
fell before the reproduction was
In other words, God dropped the mirror,


probably because it was his first experience of
holding one.
and when the mirror fell, when the glimmering rods and spheres
they shattered.
they shattered.

And humanity's task ever since then
has been to put the mirror back together
so we could see the face
of God.

Or so God could see
his own face.







An Abuser is. . .

An abuser is a one who has been abused.
It is a one who has been held in violent positions
and had violent things done to them.
.  .  . . .things that tore away at the very core of their being.

And if the core of the abuser's being is good,
(which most likely it is,
because all humans are essentially
So if the core of their being is good,
the abuser will hide the abuses they commit,
because they understand
what goodness truly is.

And sometimes they get angry at goodness, and want to do
horrible things to it
because the abuser's good core has been abused
and he wants everyone to be as bad
as he or she
himself or herself
to be.

That is the logic of an abuser.
It's hard for us to understand
that his intents have
always been good.

Always grounded in the good.

How much an abuser can or will abuse is directly proportionate to how much
the abuser has been abused.

So if the abuser has been damaged
torn to his very core
by the abuse of another,

he doesn't even remember
what goodness is.
He has to imitate it
and hope
he gets it right.

After living as many centuries as I have,
I know this well,
for I am a woman.  And
most women
spend a large portion of their lives
with abusers.  Abusers masquerading as men
and scared to death that someone will find out

they were abused.
Because to be abused is to NOT be treated as
To be abused is to NOT
be treated as equal.
To be abused is
to be treated
as an equal part,
to be treated
at all
but rather to be insulted
to be ignored
to be
or perhaps
not to be

That is what it is
to be abused.

And only someone who has had that script
committed to their bodies,
committed to their brains
could in turn abuse with such intensity,
could abuse so much
that they would like to kill.
For killing is the response
to the ultimate abuse.
In other words:
if one has been
so abused
that they wanted to die
they will abuse til
their victim wants to die
or until
they are

So think of it this way
like a palindrome,
and our bodies
are the template
for our thoughts
and our souls.

And the actions
that are performed
on our bodies
are the actions that
are inscribed onto our souls

which are the vessels of thought.
Thought is the matter that is produced
when the body and the soul

Thoughts guide our bodies.

Now this is a huge logical chain that you really have to be following with me.
The way I'm writing this is so
antithetical to the way
a person should write on the internet. 

So if you've been with me this long
and you still understand, I wonder
 if that means you would say I'm smart

Or am I crazy?  Am I walking so close to the edges
of my brain that I've produced another reality
completely?  Isn't that what it is,
to be crazy?  To live so fully in another
reality, that you don't realize any more that
it isn't real?

Is that crazy?

It's kind of strange because I see another palindrome
in that too.   And this one is pushing outwards
because the brain has two sides, you see.
And at the center of the brain
is a thin shimmering line
that is a mirror.

A mirror is a technology
(and an old one at that)
that imitates the mirror in
our minds.

at the center of our minds
is a primoridal mirror
that helps
us witness
the continual repetition
of god's initial encounter
with god's self. 
or rather, it helps
us witness
the continual repetition
of the initial encounter between
God's two halves.

And it will keep functioning that way
until we recognize that
that is in fact
what we are supposed to be doing.

At the fall of man
we were torn asunder.

Our downfall was that we wanted
to see ourselves.

Our reparation comes when we recognize
that this is true.

Let me tell you the story
of the Fall of Man,
according to Makropoulos:

(that by the way, is the blog entry that precedes this one, and I beg you to refer to it to maybe even help you understand this one.)

When God saw himself, we saw the physical form of
the woman, which is by far the more beautiful
half of humanity, because she has the responsibility
of imitating god
she has the responsibility of
the creator
she is the face
 of the creator

woman is the creative force

the ALL

that you see and desire to see;

the man IS the mirror,

the one with

the capacity to reflect

half of


In addition

. . . . the man is also

The Other Half

of God,

the element he produced so

He could

reproduce himself.

This is not to put down


or mirrors,

but rather it is to make it clear that

the male half

has a few different functions:

it helps the female half

see how extraordinarily beautiful


that is . . . the beautiful thing that is God


But also,
since god is imperfect as long as she is divided
and looking at herself,
it was most efficient to produce a mirroring device
that had two functions.

God does, after all, have a little German in him; she is quite economical in design concepts.

So the mirror also had the physical capacity to reproduce the disparate body that was once

the double of God,

until the two of them figured out

what the hell is going on.

Why are you over there

and me over here?

And why am I

a woman?

why am I


why was I


to live




Because I have to tell this tale.

and now, the sun . . . .

I really haven't too much to say about this now, except to thank a fellow blogger for keying me into it.  I think so much about cycles and the earth, but this recently released video forces me to think a little about another celestial body, the sun.

I'm sure I'll have something to say about this in the next few days. . . .

20 April 2010

so I have this talking cat. . . .

There's nothing like self promotion, right?

So I'm going to redirect this blog for the day to my other blog, where I think Makropoulos was possessed by the spirit of a cat. . . .

Here's a key or two on the language:

Pişi is a jellicle cat that lets me live with her.  What's a jellicle cat?  Follow this link to a poem by  T.S.Elliot, especially his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, or brush up on the musical Cats.  Sorry, that was a trick sentence; it actually had three links in it, if you include the video that follows:

Squeak is a jellicle cat, too, but  Pişi is the more demanding cat.  That doesn't mean she's stronger, though.

I'm the Big-Two-Legged-One.

Pişi is also deaf, and came back to the U.S.A. with me when I moved back here, after living in Turkey for four years.

And here is some of her story:

18 April 2010

Respect It

Seeing ourselves in the mirror

I used to tell people that I wished I could see myself when I walked through a door.  Any door.  I wished I could see the physical impression I made, the whole me, the me with my strengths, and all my visible weaknesses.  It has taken a long time to be able to do that.

Then I had a lover who was my mirror, and I saw how beautiful I was capable of being,  but also how vulnerable.  Because I did not know the impression I made,  I was so wrapped up in my inner life, my outer life was neglected, and that naivete was written all over my demeanor.

It's true: mirrors have become terrifically important to me these days, as an image, as a motif, as a way of understanding.  See my earlier entries on mirrors and the palindrome.  If you dare.

One of my favorite themes from Rumi is this, which is said to be the saying of the "everlasting and eternal Lord":
"I am not contained in the heavens or in the void
or in the exalted intelligences and souls; 
but I am contained, as a guest,
in the true believer's heart,
without qualification or definition or description,
so that by the meditation of that heart
everything above and below may win from Me
abilities and gifts.
Without such a mirror neither earth nor time 
could bear the vision of My beauty.
I caused the steed of My mercy to gallop
over the two worlds. 
I fashioned a spacious mirror."
From this mirror appear at every moment
fifty spiritual wedding-feasts;
pay attention to the mirror,
but don't ask me to describe it.

The mirror; the vanishing point; the reflecting surface; the point of juncture where the two reflected sides of the palindrome meet.  This juncture is the abode of God.

Sometimes we get so hung up at the imperfections that we see in the mirror.  That zit, for instance, right below my eye.  It's slowly going away, but I know it's there, because I can even see it, just at the lower range of my vision.   I could become so obsessive about it, trying to hide it with make-up, or I could just let it be.  I've been letting it be, taking a small delight in the fact I can see it a little, and each time I let myself be conscious of it, I remember what I saw in the mirror that morning.  That imperfection unites me with my whole self, if that makes any sense.

But I also know it's there because of all the chocolate I've been eating.  So I'm trying not to eat so much chocolate.

Google earth is amazing.
Google earth makes it possible to see stuff like this:

This is the volcano erupting in Iceland.  (source: FromTheOld )

Or this:

(source: gearthblog )

(This was actually taken from the Space Station traveling overhead.)  This is a result from the Chilean earthquake.  Also the following entry, which includes images of Haiti after the earthquake.

Getting cameras up into the distant skies over our planet gives us the opportunity to get a mirror image of ourselves, flaws and all.  Remember the awe the world felt the first time it got an image of Earth from outer space?  Yes, this planet is beautiful!  But right now it's erupting, showing us some pimples and fractures, and points of change.

My question is simple: how can we go on ignoring them?  The earth is trying to tell us something about itself.  It's showing us something we all need to see: what our collective self looks like as it goes spinning through space.

We can either keep ignoring it, being so self-involved that we can pretend it doesn't matter.  Or we can pay attention to the signs.

And some stop being so self-indulgent.

Satellite Photos of Haiti Before and After the Earthquake

Satellite Photos of Haiti Before and After the Earthquake

Posted using ShareThis

I'm probably a miserable blogger

I like words way too much.  And I write many of them.  And on some level, I expect my readers to actually want to read them.  All of them.

Many of my key words are motifs, to a symphonic-like texture that I hope comes close to being able to hold the meaning I'm trying to express.  If I just said it, straight out, I'd probably be put away, one way or another.

The central image is The Grid.  

(I stole this image from a blog called 

14 April 2010

Pope finally forgives Beatles for past excesses!!!!

A friend posted this on his Facebook page:

Pope finally forgives Beatles for past excesses

Yeah, this is something that I couldn't ignore. I've seen plenty of problems come out of the Vatican, but the current indiscretions are shocking in their badness.  For several centuries, the spin doctors in Rome got very talented at hiding their inconsistencies and sins. But now it seems that in these days of ubiquitous media, it's very difficult to hide errors like this, and you're even more vulnerable if you're in a position of power.

So, the Pope gets caught with his proverbial pants proverbially down around his all too knobbly ankles. What can he possibly do in response to divert attention from this rapidly growing fiasco?

Forgive the Beatles.

Now, if you read the comments attached to this article from the Vancouver Sun, you'll see one person saying that well, it wasn't the Pope after all who issued this act of absolution - it was an unofficial Vatican newspaper called L'Osservatore Romano.  So, the Pope didn't actually forgive the Beatles, that was done by some rabble-rousing nobodies in the Vatican's back offices that have nothing better to do than issue past-due absolutions.

Notably, I did a little Google search that reports that the Pope -- oops, that unofficial Vatican newspaper -- initially issued this pardon in 2008. Here's a link to a Scotsman article that muddies the water a little: it appears that the same Vatican newspaper issued some sort of forgiveness of John Lennon in November of 2008. In fact, here's the BBC coverage of that 2008 act of forgiveness:


However, in 2008 it appears that the Pope only forgave John Lennon.  The more current articles (and there are several available on line) have him forgiving the whole band.

Because of this inconsistency in dates, I kept looking for more official evidence that this act of forgiveness was actually issued recently, and was not an internet hoax of some kind.  And here it is: a New York Times story dated April 12, 2010: "Vatican Gets Around To Praising Beatles."   And here is the Associated Press' video coverage of the story:

The whole thing looks a little bit like a red herring to me.  And a very stinky one at that.  What do absolutions of arguably the most famous rock band in history mean to the Vatican?  Could it be that they do this whenever they want to divert attention away from a particularly distasteful story about them?

I began to scour my aging memory, and the internet's too, for some idea of what might have been going on in November 2008 that may have made the Vatican feel a need to forgive any member of the Fab Four, and I came up with a couple possible stories, including this one:

The Vatican's Gay Witch Hunt Continues (The Guardian; November 20, 2008) that reports on an attempt to purge gay men from the priesthood in a "new low."

and this one:

Vatican might excommunicate activist priest from Lutcher for favoring the ordination of woman (New Orlean's Times-Picayune, via the Metro Real Time News, November 12, 2008

but perhaps even more damning is this one:

Did Vatican know it was about to reinstate Holocaust-denying bishops?  This article was published in The Jewish World  on September 23, 2009, but refers to the 2008 statement of one Bishop Richard Williamson.  According to the article, "The website of the Roman Catholic diocese of Stockholm said Bishop Anders Arborelius and the Vatican ambassador to Sweden had informed Vatican officials in November, 2008 of Williamson's position" that "there were no gas chambers" during World War II.  

 And then, in late November 2008, the Pope - woops, that official, unofficial Vatican newspaper - forgave John Lennon.

Yes, it does appear to me that a pattern is emerging: Vatican makes big whopping unforgivable mistakes?  Counter it by forgiving the Beatles.

I suspect I could research this all night long to build up more evidence to support that claim.

I prefer to offer another one, instead, that these two acts of forgiveness seem to insinuate:

Perhaps John wasn't all that far off the point. Perhaps this Pope feels that the only way to gain the type of forgiveness he hopes this public will grant him is to grant that same kind of forgiveness to a figure who he acknowledges to be at least his equal, if not greater than him: John Lennon and the Beatles.

This could be the ultimate evidence that John was right all along.


11 April 2010

Fingerlips: a love note



My fingers are my lips
as they curl over these keys
trembling with the desire to make contact,
to speak, to even cast a smile
towards you,
who take the time to glance 
or even linger longer

here with me.
But if no words come to me,
you see nothing.
You think I am other wise occupied
perhaps working
perhaps talking
perhaps flirting 
with some living, breathing creature

Don't believe that.
are my current lover--
you who listen;
you who read.
Anywone who comes here
and tries to puzzle
together the parts
I perform here for you:
I am devoted to you.

This space, this tiny sliver
of the virtual domain
is always on my mind,
and I regularly sort through
my thoughts, seeking
the one
worthy of being spoken 
for you.

It is as if my mindwere its own virtual domain.
The strand that this
occupies is glimmering and timeless.

The rest of my mind these days is so cluttered
with timebound tasks
that insist they must be done
And then a day or two later,
I look back at those tasks
that demanded such immediate attention,
and - if I can remember what they were -
I ask myself:
Was that really such an insistent task?
Was it even necessary?

Usually, the answer is no.

The most necessary thing we
have to do
is live fully and love each other,
and treat as holy
the bodies - those earthly avatars -
that we have chosen to use
while in this domain that demands
that we be flesh.
must be our most insistent task.

07 April 2010

Only One Juncture

There is only one juncture where an individual is capable of losing the self,

while also attaining her or his better self at the same time,

(and that is the self without a sense of self)

and that is in the state

of pure love.

Endless Time & The Palindrome

Numbers are the perfect language.  They are simple and pure.  They tell no lies, nor pretend to be more than they are.  They are, simply. Quantities.  Measurable.  Finite.  They strip all of physical existence to its barest essence: being.

The ultimate question IsThereAnInfiniteNumber? boggles the mind because to be able to say "infinity" is to be able to say the unsayable.  Endless time.  The ultimate oxymoron, and the ultimate palindrome:

"endless time"

is the collision between the unsayable (and undefinable, so don't expect me to do so)


the absolutely sayable - for time and the sayable are absolute partners.  To be able to say what one is able to say is to find that moment on that brink of having nothing to say.  And that is a perfect moment.

To be able to say (and represent) those two things at the same time, is to be able to enter into the realm of perfection.

Oh, does that make sense?  The realm of endless time is the realm of the palindrome.  The realm of the palindrome is the realm of collision.  The realm of the palindrome is the realm of resolution.  To see yourself in the mirror is to enter the realm of absolute completion, because you are really only half yourself.

The realm of endless time & the palindrome is the ability to say the Double Negative, The Vanishing Point, which is also the Beginning Point.

This is why theatre is so absolutely amazing; because it is the point at which the live (that which is presented for the first time) meets the re-presented (that which is presented for the first, the second, and the umpteenth time).

Let me say that again: theatre is the place where the presented (live) meets the re-presented (that which is presented for the first, the second, and the umpteenth time).

We, the audience, are the presented, because when we come to any live event, it is the very first time that we, the audience, have presented ourselves into that situation.  We do it authentically, live, with no idea on how we should act or react.     //////////     Performers have re-hearsed so they could re-present an event to us.  An event from which we will, hopefully, learn, because by learning we realize what we should not do again.  That's the essence of tragedy, right?

When living people go to a play, their experience is, in essence, equal to endless time.  Or rather timeless end, because the audience is trapped in the realm of time, and the end is not.

So, ultimately, the realm of endless time & the palindrome - of theatre itself -  is the realm of where the living meet the eternal, which is where the time-bound meet the time-less, which 

When living people go to a tragedy, they are continually satisfied that they are not the ones who are dying as they meet their end.  (And their end is not in their untimely death, but it is rather in the moment of their conjoining with multiple representations of their most feared end.) 

For everyone meets their own death at the moment that they encounter their reproduction. Everyone suffers their own extinction at the moment when they discover that they are reproduceable, and replacable, in duplicate.

Endlesstime & the Palindrome: Tragedy and the Original


As Aristotle says, a tragedy does not have to be focused on character, because characters--individuals who are based on authentic, raw, momentary reactions--are really few and far between.  Most of the people of the world get where they are because they are so good at representing what they think is the right thing to do.  In other words, most people are relatively empty vessels, waiting to be filled.  Easily influenced by the actions of those around them.  Some might say "stupid."  I would not say "stupid," but I would say these people are not "original."  "Original" people are those who are one of a kind, and, quite frankly, there are very few of those, because most people are classifiable and countable.

When you meet a true "original," you know it.  They are unclassifiable.  Just when you think you know them, they surprise you.  They exceed all of your expectations.  They defy your judgements.  They are not quantifiable or countable.  Poor things, they are heavenly things in earthly bodies; it is kind of like they are the bridge between us and the nether world.  They are prophets; they are angels; they are devils, too.  Them embody larger spirits, and it burdens them throughout their lives.

There are not many originals in this world, but it is quite amazing to witness one at a moment of encounter with a clumsy human experience.  They react honestly.  If they trip, they trip, and they don't lie about it.  If they fart, they fart, and sometimes even apologize.  If they laugh, their laugh is infectious; if they cry, the world cries with them.  This is why we often make them the performers of the world. 

There is, however, a multitude of the ordinary.  The ordinary seek out "originals" because they need role models for how to act authentically.  Without those role models all they have to go on are other imitators, like themselves. 

Sooo, that was the premise behind the justification for Aristotle's tragedy: in tragedy, ethical, original characters must re-present a perfect plot (which is, of course a complete action).  It does not matter who the character is who represents that plot, the plot and its lesson will remain the same.  And the real point of tragedy - the lesson learned - is the end result of tragedy.  Aristotle demands that that lesson be an ethical one.  It is most ethical when it is performed by an original character, but one should never forget that it is the action that makes the character ethical.

Indeed, tragedy is fundamentally ethical. And it is ethical because it is very honestly positioned at the juncture of timeless death and the palindrome.  Tragedy attempts to teach us an ethical lesson at the time of our encounter with death, so we will continue to live our lives ethically.  This, too, justifies the claim that the essence of theatre is ritual, and the essence of ritual is theatre.

Because that is absolutely true.

Endless Time & The Palindrome, Last Gasp Before Sleeping

The originals meets the representation of the original performing the answer:

04 April 2010

Dream: April 3, 2010 (Why I Would Not Want to be Barack Obama, Part I)

I had a dream last night.

I was sitting on a bus, far in the back.  This was in a foreign country.  It was a crowded bus, and our route to  where we were going was very difficult.  Lots of traffic.  The passengers all got to know the driver, who was a woman.  Most seemed to feel she was a respectable woman, but I could tell several doubted her driving abilities.

We were almost to our destination, but the last bit of the trip went down a steep mountain road, which brought us off of a plateau and down to a coastline (a bit like the bus ride from Ankara, Turkey, to Izmir (the former Smyrna.)  I was sitting in the back of the bus, and I could see very little, but I knew there was another bus next to us. 

The people around me were getting very antsy.  They had to get home; they had to get on with their lives. 

Well, the other bus moved on - I couldn't see how far ahead, and my fellow passengers started getting very upset.  They took a vote: they wanted the driver to get in the passing lane and go - very fast - down the mountain pass.  As far as I could see, many of them were forming a group, and they were threatening to take the bus by force. 

They wanted my vote in support of them.

I had to speak up.  And this is what I said: 

Of everyone on this bus, only the driver knows the condition of the bus itself.  And what if she happens to know the brakes are bad?  Would she tell us?  Probably not.  There may be a very good reason for the way she is driving.  So be patient and hope that both she and this bus will get us to where we want to be.

I woke up immediately after my little speech, so I have no idea how my fellow passengers responded.  However, awake, I was thinking about Barack Obama.  I think he knows far more about the bus he's driving than anyone should have to know.  He knows the condition of the infrastructure of the U.S.A.  It would be nice if the general public would just let the man drive the bus for a year or two, before trying to take it by force, or any other means. 

Quite frankly, I don't know if anyone would know how to stop a bus as big as the United States of America, if it was hurtling down a mountain pass with no brakes. 

01 April 2010


On Centuries and Years. . . 

I continue to be boggled by the power of the internet to answer questions, and provide new answers, in a matter of seconds.  And so it is with what has happened tonight -- I was thinking about one topic that I've wanted to write about, that being the idea of the macrocosm/microcosm.  As with my other entries, I have something to say about that, in direct relation with what's going in the world these days.  So I started to do internet research which inevitably brought me to Wikipedia, where I was reading about events in the 20th and 21st Century, and I stumbled upon the idea that "The Twenty First Century was the first Century Leap Year since 1600." 

Now, this stymied me for a second, and I wondered if this meant that we were going to leap a century or so.  So I looked up century leap year - "a century leap year always starts on a Saturday, and the February 29th intercalation of such years is always a Tuesday."  And I moved from a concept I did not know to a word I did not know.

Intercalation.  It actually has two meanings, and the one that pops up more on the internet has to do with chemistry: "the reversible inclusion of a molecule (or group) between two other molecules (or groups)."  But it also has this meaning: "the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases."

So intercalation is another technology associated with the management and measurement of time.  

In our current Western Gregorian calendar, the leap year serves to make up for the fact that it takes a little more than 365 days for the earth to circumnavigate the sun, but according to yet another internet source, adding a day every four years isn't quite enough. 

"In the Julian Calendar a year is a leap year if it is divisible by 4. In the Gregorian Calendar a year is a leap year if either (i) it is divisible by 4 but not by 100 or (ii) it is divisible by 400. In other words, a year which is divisible by 4 is a leap year unless it is divisible by 100 but not by 400 (in which case it is not a leap year). Thus the years 1600 and 2000 are leap years, but 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100 are not."  (Peter Meyer, "The Julian and Gregorian Calendar")

And thus we have this extraordinary practice of getting everyone to add a day every four years, but obviously with some stipulations.  Of course, I always knew the logic behind this practice in some oblique way, but I have never thought of the terrific manipulation that goes on to get us all to agree on when, for instance, April 1 is.  

Fundamentally, every day of the year would and could be April 1, if we didn't insert days and sometimes even months, as the Julian calendar occasionally had to do, to make sure that April 1 lands roughly on the same day every year.

On Days. . . . 

Which gets me to thinking about what a day is - it is nothing but a period of time during which the sun is positioned in such a way as to be casting light in any given direction.  But it also has to do with the position of the planets in relation to the sun and the moon.  If there really is such a slippage between the names and numbers of days and the actual position of the earth as it takes its weary course,  than I find it hard to believe that every time we mark the particular day in September when I was reportedly born, this planet is actually passing the exact solar/lunar/stellar configuration it was in on that blessed day.

So why, ultimately, do we bother?  Why must we have dates and months and years, to count off the time?  

People who count off the time are generally entrapped in their current predicament, and anticipating release, like prisoners.  But what is the nature of the release?  We only find ourselves dumped into yet another term of bondage.  The only true release is death, and no one really wants that.

Life would be so much simpler, I suspect, if we just weren't paying attention.

 On 2012. . . . 

Now all this intersects with another thought I've had of late (yes, just because I've been silent here does not mean I haven't been thinking) that I'm certain a few thousand other folks have been having around that planet: did you notice how short March was this year?  

I know T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but honestly, I often find March to be interminable.  But this year it just went by in a flash.   And it appears that we are hurtling headlong into Spring, after a fairly brutal winter.  (But yes, I have been on this planet long enough to know that April can be the cruelest month, and we may very well still be in for some pretty wicked weather.)  

Still, there are a number of factors that allow me to let the following thought cross my mind:

Wouldn't it be amusing and amazing if the earth was actually capable of turning around in its course, and start going in the opposite direction, and during the period of its turning, the days and the years actually began to turn around and get shorter? 

Now this rather extraordinary line of questioning is directly inspired by my interest and anxiety about the approaching year 2012.  I'm prone lately to take the theory that many of my more pragmatic friends take, that being that the entire 2012 hype is nothing but hype, and in 2013 we'll look back at it with the same amusement that we now look at Y2K.  That's my current preferred state of mind.

But at particular points in any given day or month, I am prone to think about the number of prophetic sources that share a similar interest in the year.  (If we are, after all, to take the accuracy of the year's numbering seriously.)   And whenever I think about that, my stomach drops, a little, the same way it might drop at the top of a steep hill on a roller coaster.  

The most interesting and compelling discussion, though, that gets me a little anxious about 2012 is the one about the change in the earth's magnetic polar shift.  Here's a quote from a website literally called "2012 Magnetic Pole Reversal", which claims that the sun's magnetic field shifts regularly; however,

"Earth’s magnetic field also flips, but with less regularity. Consecutive reversals are spaced 5 thousand years to 50 million years apart. The last reversal happened 740,000 years ago. Some researchers think our planet is overdue for another one, but nobody knows exactly when the next reversal might occur."

. . . . though many are projecting some time in 2012.

No one really knows what happens when the earth has a magnetic field flip - perhaps an ice age.  Perhaps, too, it could be a change or reversal of time itself.  It has crossed my mind that shifts in the length of the year are one symptom of an approaching magnetic shift.

The last thing I want to do is create paranoia.  I'm more fascinating by the idea of being one of the folks around to witness such an event.  But it might be quite the ride.  

Ultimately, for me, I find myself thinking about that message that I received, five years ago now, that I refer to a little earlier in this blog.  It is a message about a Coming, whether it be a First or a Second, of a Christ.  Of a Jesus.  And he will come as a Scholar in the Four Days of the Grid. Or the Fourth Age of the Grid.  It's hard for me to ignore the fact that the leap years and leap centuries have all revolved around the number four, and we are in a leap year century.

We are two years away from 2012 - a stunning fact, as the earth seems to be spinning faster, and the days grow shorter, and our means for measuring time become less and less accurate.  All the more reason to live in the moment.  And to treat each breath we take as sacred.