Etc.

Etc.
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“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.” — Terence McKenna

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<p id="walk-light">"...Walk Through The Light..."</p>

“…Walk Through The Light…”

I just took a short road trip and as happens now that my blog is up and running, the outing brought me into contact with people who – surprise! – have questions about what it was like to experience an awakening. Though I enjoy sharing my experiences, I’m equally fascinated by what it is that’s bringing each person to the point of asking such questions, especially those who can’t quite put their finger on what it is that’s calling to them. I also enjoy how these conversations re-ignite the spark of wonder permanently embedded into my psyche by what the awakening revealed.

On the way home I got to hang out for a few hours in the Seattle airport and between people watching and scrolling through the daily headlines, I was reminded that billions of fellow humans are very much caught up in the ‘separate self’ part of their story. Some portion of me relishes living during a time when a noticeable wave of change appears to be moving through our collective awareness, watching with a delicious sense of anticipation as other minds begin to pick up the same questions I’ve just made my way through for I know how much mind-blowing astonishment lies just around the corner for them. (As Ram Dass would say, “yummy, yummy, yummy!”) But on the days when I get jazzed about what I’ve already experienced, I also feel a deep sense of eagerness to get on with the awakening already! It just so happened that as these thoughts resurfaced again a few days ago, I was chilling to Vocal from Madrugada and realized the lyrics were reflecting my frame of mind perfectly. Clearly, the collective consciousness speaks through many voices.

click to listen

Vocal

You better run, you better run
You better not wait too long
You better run, you better run
You better run for you have a heart
So let’s start, so let’s start
So let’s start, tear it all apart
You better run, you better run
You better run for you have a heart

Well, oh, well, oh, you know it’s only so much I can take
I buried my head in that pillow for a million days
So, oh, oh well, I’m sorry but I do not care to wait
Dare not walk through the light
Dare not walk through the light

Your vision’s traveled far today
So why don’t you run away
Your vision’s traveled far today
Like in the times when you say
I have a cry, I have a cry, and I will not be contained
I have a cry, I have a cry, and I will not be contained, no

Oh well, oh you know it is only so much I can take
Buried my head in that pillow a million days oh, oh
Oh well, I’m sorry but I do not care to wait
Oh, dare not walk through the light
Dare not walk through the light, oh

top image: Grant Ritchie

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Glas

 

Glas   by   Aeon Video

Blown glass is one of my favorite forms of art. In this Oscar-winning documentary short, jazz music and 1950’s film are combined to contrast the art of handmade crystal with the machine production of glass bottles.


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Wrapping up this round of posts on the arts with a few more, beginning with these short video clips in which six teachers share their perspectives on the role of art and the artist in society. Teachings of this type have deeply informed my mindful journey back into the world of form and have helped me to glimpse the larger human story embedded in all works of art and creation.

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Terence McKenna
'Art & Artists'
"I have great hope now for art produced by the interaction of human beings and computers."
Deepak Chopra
'The Role of the Artist in Society' (excerpts from the documentary 'Mythic Journeys')
"The artist is the social conscience of a society."
Dr. Carol Becker
'Art's Role in Society'

"Society has to be able to observe itself … and what allows a society to do that are the producers of art and culture"

Eckhart Tolle
'On Conceptual Art'

"The moment you give it your complete attention, every little thing is alive and miraculous and beautiful."

Jordan Peterson
'Why You Need Art in Your Life'

"A real piece of art is a window into the transcendent."


Rupert Spira
"'Why Make Art?'
"The purpose of art is to take the senses on a journey back to the source of perception, which is pure awareness."

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Gaming Music Gallery

To wrap up this first round of posts on the art of computer gaming, here’s a small gallery of soundtracks that demonstrate not only the range of musical styles found in gaming but some of the best work being done in the industry. For music that’s emotive with dashes of energy, check out Journey or The Unfinished Swan. Ori and the Blind Forest reminds me more of a Studio Ghibli or Disney soundtrack with its range, large sound and sweeping movements. The smaller and charming music from DVA is anything but routine and invites multiple listens whereas the soundtracks for Ibb & Obb and Hohokum are the type of meditative electronica that makes for a chill gaming session – or a good work session when playing in the background while blogging (true story – listening to Hohokum at this very moment). The images below link to freebies offered on Youtube for your listening pleasure;  please consider supporting the artists of any of these creations you want to enjoy repeatedly. :)

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Gaming Art Gallery

It seems only fair to share some samples of the gorgeous computer generated art I was raving about in the previous post. Whether it’s a photo-real moonlit beach or a stage full of wooden marionette puppets, these beautiful digital environments practically beg to be explored and enjoyed.

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<p id="on-gaming">On Gaming</p>

On Gaming

Appreciating The Art & Peaceful Play Of Computer Gaming

Would you like to know the – tenth, let’s say tenth – thing I realized right after awakening? Within a few minutes, literally, I recognized that computer gaming would never again hold for me the same importance that it had until that moment. This thought brought a feeling of loss because I lloooooove me some computer gaming, so much so that in 2016 I spent a considerable number of my pennies on a computer hardware upgrade (which I actually took pics of in true geek fashion) so I could jump onboard the VR (virtual reality) bandwagon. My super happy plan in late-2016 was to finish a project management contract and take a 3-month break from work to slip off the planet into the worlds of cyberspace. Then the awakening happened and all those plans ceased to exist.

After awakening and then spending months pushing through my outdated notions of what it means to be spiritual, I came to point where I recognized that my next challenge would be to come back to the world without getting lost in it. Though I was no longer clear on what specific work I’d be doing in the future, I was clear in my understanding that I should not withdraw from the material ‘noise’ of the world but should engage with it on a creative level. I felt called to resurrect my longstanding and long-neglected interest in artistic creation and to marry that with the skills I had acquired professionally over the years and see what happened. And if this approach seems a little cavalier, blame that on the spiritual teachers who encouraged me to indulge in such recklessness(!).

It turns out that many who awaken are left facing the challenge of finding a new purpose in life, one that feels more true to the newly revealed self. In response to those asking for help in finding this purpose, many teachers advise two things – patience and engaging in the act of creating. Patience makes the time for a practice to develop, bringing the stillness that carries insight. Acts of imagination and creation hook us into the mainline of Source consciousness, the wellspring of all inspiration. Whether through singing, painting, writing – any act of creating is recommended as a way to help quiet the egoic mind and invite inspiration and insight; I’ll share some of these teachings in the next gallery.

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What happens to our sense of ‘me’ after death? Does our consciousness reincarnate in another form to live another life? How should we prepare for our death – and what does that even mean? Insights of the type shared by these six teachers in this video gallery helped me discover a new perspective from which to grapple with such questions about the transformation that is death.

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Alan Watts
"A Happy Death"
In this 8-min excerpt from one of his many lectures, Alan invites us to embrace the other half of the natural rhythm that is death.

"You can only die well if you understand this system of waves… that you are just as much the dark space beyond death as you are the light interval called life. These are just two sides of you because 'you' is the total wave. See, you can't have half a wave. Nobody ever saw waves which just had crests and no troughs. So you can't have half a human being who is born but doesn't die; half a thing. That would only be half a thing."

Shakti Maggi
"Nothing Dies, The Endless Kaleidoscope"
Though the video quality is less than ideal, Shakti Maggi's concepts on death and 'reincarnation' (my term, not hers) come through with the loving clarity that is her hallmark in this short 4-min. video.

"The body, it is simply a movement of energy arising from the stillness of your being …[during death, this movement] will be simply receding back into stillness."
Adyashanti
"Death: The Essential Teachings"
In this 5-min. video, Adyashanti describes how the process of aging can lead to the wisdom and freedom of letting go.

"But certainly, enlightenment is absolutely intrinsically linked with death. There is no deep lasting liberation without death, without dying before you die, without the psychological self giving way. They're intimately linked; you don't get one without the other. They're absolutely linked together."

Rupert Spira
"What Happens to Awareness After Death"
Rupert explains why we experience different states of awareness and offers a description of 'reincarnation' (my term, not his).

"Remember, the body is an appearance in the mind. So when the body dies, just a particular localization of consciousness disperses… Consciousness doesn’t dissolve."


Terence McKenna
"Life And Death"

A 6-min lecture snippet in which Terence comments on the origins of the body and exploring the after-death space with psychedelics.

"So I think what biology is, is the intrusion into 3-dimensional space and time of hyper-dimensional objects. And the other clue to that, that seems an argument for it, is that we do have this thing called 'the mind' but we can't find it anywhere. It doesn't seem to be anywhere… [at death] I think probably these objects retract back into hyperspace - higher space ... we clothe ourselves in matter but we are not matter and so to actually complete a human cycle of existence, you have to go into death. It's where you came from..."

Eckhart Tolle
"How Will You Experience Death?"
In this short excerpt from a radio interview, Eckhart talks about a choice the consciousness will face after the body's death.

"What is left is simply consciousness. Temporarily, perhaps, it will still have - not a physical form but exist as a separate form … the choice may be there of taking on another body or of removing yourself completely. There are many people now - those who are ripe for realization - if you sense within yourself, you will feel whether or not you want to live again."

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A gallery of images painted by C.G. Jung into the original Red Book. Click on the images to see text and notes from Jung and the book’s editor, Sonu Shamdasani.

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Calling The [Psychedelic] Others

 

Calling the Others  by  Simon Haiduk

Of the numerous ‘psychedelic’ videos I’ve seen, this Vimeo short has one of the better depictions of the hallucinatory effects observed in the natural world when under the influence of psychotropics (per my experience :))
Calling the psychedelic Others!”


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The Crossing by Yann Tiersen

 

The Crossing  by  Yann Tiersen

Hold my hand, let’s take the boat
Where you go, we all go
You will keep us warm inside, across the sea, all through our lives
Don’t be scared, just hold my hand

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Art From The Ancient Egyptians

Though we often imagine ancient cultures as being populated by ‘primitive’ peoples, the art and temples of ancient Egypt (5,000 BCE – 400 AD) reveal a civilization with a far more advanced understanding of the material and spiritual world. The symbolic language of the Egyptians carried layers of meaning, the deepest of which was only revealed to graduates of Egypt’s famous mystery schools, during which psychotropic plants – likely mandrake and blue lotus – were used to unlock the deepest secrets of their sacred science.

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Animations of Unseeable Biology

 

Animations of Unseeable Biology  by  Drew Berry

After this post about the amazing form that is the human body, I felt like sharing this example of new computer-generated animations that accurately depict functions of the human cell at the molecular level. More of Drew Berry’s stunning work can be found on the WEHIMovie YouTube channel.


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Ayahuasca Serpents

 

Ayahuasca Serpents  by  TAS Visuals

While pulling together the ayahuasca gallery, I sidetracked numerous times into the vast trove of digital art inspired by psychotropic plants. This short video, in which the ayahuasca serpent theme makes an appearance, is a trippy example. Find more psychedelic clips from TAS Visuals on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.


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Art Inspired by Ayahuasca

Experienced psychonauts assert that specific psychotropics (LSD, psilocybin, cannabis, etc.) provide access to specific inner spaces or ‘dimensions’. As odd as the notion may sound, it’s not quite so hard to believe when viewing the work of artists who’ve encountered the ayahuasca brew. Not only do their complex and colorful images give the uninitiated a peek into the ayahuasca experience but they also make clear – in beautiful details! – the striking similarities among the visions of many people. According to these paintings (and numerous verbal accounts), ayahuasca opens the door to a realm of tropical wilderness full of wise serpents, jungle cat guides, sacred plants, ancient trees, vivid colors and – for many – a Mother Gaia archetype. Here are a few examples of ‘ayahuasca art’ from two widely known artists, Pablo Cesar Amaringo and Anderson Debernardi.

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Fox and The Whale

 

Fox And The Whale  by  Robin Joseph

The Universe helped me find the perfect first video for a blog about awakening. It’s all here; dreams and journeys and whale song.


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<p id="glossary">Glossary</p>

Glossary

Introducing The Vocabulary Of Awakening

The language of the non-dual, non-path pathway had me reaching for the dictionary a number of times; let me save you some clicking. A few of these terms were just new to me; some seem to be taking on new meanings with new people – awakening, for example – leaving plenty of room for crossed wires and confusion. Hopefully I can help clarify things by providing my (working) definitions of some of the more esoteric terms used on this blog.

  • Esoteric – … just kidding.
  • Awakened -one who has experienced Source consciousness (God, Allah, One Mind…) and the true nature of ‘self’ by achieving a state of consciousness in which thinking ceases and consciousness and physical form separate. The awakened state can be achieved gradually or suddenly. I was awakened but do not yet live ‘awake’ but ‘aware’ and am now in the process of awakening – understanding how to live as Source consciousness.
  • Awakening – the process by which the awakened person cultivates an understanding of the awakened state and begins integrating the new understanding into their life. I think of myself as awakened and awakening but not enlightened.
  • Enlightened – one who lives in a state of grace, a state of ‘awake’, ‘present’, or ‘in the now’; the Dalai Lama.
  • Gnosis – from the Greek noesis; refers to inner wisdom, direct knowing, subjective understanding. Example: I experienced the gnosis…   …then came the gnosis…  I would also call it ‘a remembering’; so far, perceiving a ‘truth’ when in an altered or meditative state feels like recovering a memory (an amazing feeling!).
  • Hallucinogenic – causing hallucinations, an experience involving the perception of something that is not present – a mirage, chimera, fantasy.

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<p id="credits">Credits</p>

Credits

A “Thank You” To Everyone Who’s Helping Me Construct This Blog

If you had told me a year ago that I would need to learn all about blogging software, I probably would have emitted a series of whimpers while slowly collapsing into a pool of melancholy. (Like my cat does when I tell him I will NOT be filling up the food bowl for the third time today … lots of drama.) After years of intermittently working with homegrown intranets, designed-by-committee webpages and complex commercial products, website work had become a task I completed but did not usually enjoy.

So when, during the summer of 2017, I somehow decided that a blog would be my next adventure, I was both looking forward to the creating but dreaded the thought of tackling yet another learning curve for the new software. Turns out, all my worries were for naught; a user referral prompted me to select WordPress as my platform and the rest has been pretty smooth sailing. The WordPress application isn’t perfect but it is rich in features and largely intuitive in design (such things exist!!?). Perhaps even more importantly, the user community is large and generous. If there’s any functionality I can’t figure out, a quick search reveals a dozen solid sources of information, many with video instruction. If there’s functionality I want but don’t have, another search usually reveals one or more free plug-ins that do exactly what I’m after. (Free software! From just some people!) And best yet, it all pretty much does what it says on the box.

I loaded WordPress on August 3, 2017 and had the complete shell you see here constructed in a month – and I enjoyed every minute, I truly did. And because the software was easy, I was able to turn more quickly to the task of writing and damn good thing too since by the time I’d finished creating the site, it was about eight times larger than I had originally planned … (sigh) … Life …

And then there are the pictures! Thousands of big, beautiful, high-resolution images of things amazing, funny, thought-provoking, mesmerizing – all given away by the artists for the price of a ‘thanks!’ or a small donation. What a delight it’s been to lose a few hours just clicking and looking. Pictures can communicate much and now I have a large ‘vocabulary’ at hand. Wonderful.

So – my heartfelt “Thank you” to all the humans involved with delivering these blogging products and support. I have decided you are all wonderful human beings. (updated 2/21/2018) 

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