Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Symbolism of the Hermit tarot card

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

In his upraised right hand the hermit holds a lamp, shining in the darkness.This is in the Rosicrucian Symbolism, LVX from the latin lux meaning light. The extending of the light. You see this again in the teaching of Jesus, "let your light so shine before men so they may glorify your father who is in heaven."

The hermit is holding up and outwards the lamp to guide those who are journeying still the path of evolution.


Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

He is holding out the light of his realization to those of us who are following, so we that we will not become lost in the unknown, so we have a point to which we can put our steps. The hermit is the Bodhisattva, the lord of compassion, the lord of enlightened love.

Frodo inspired by Gandalf, showing compassion to a creature as low as Gollum.

It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson

Frodo shining his own light

This is the hermit, the dweller upon the heights, the light shower. The hermit is standing up on the mountain of attainment.

"We now have but one choice, we must face the long dark of Moria. Be on your Guard, there are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world."

The hermit is clothed in grey, but with the upraised right arm you can see a white sleeve indicating of course the Kether. Represented also by his white beard and by the white snow of the mountain peaks. Snow is frozen water. Here this represents the mind-stuff, the stream of consciousness. Here we see it frozen as snow. Kether has come to Earth, is made manifest and tangible. It's not for nothing that the Himalayas are amongst the most sacred mountains of the world.

They think Saruman, the established white order, approaches. "Do not let him speak, he will put a spell on us." The order that has lost its way. The order that has lost its way must and will be faced and vanquished by one who already faced his demons. Isn't it tragic how rulers throughout history fail to grasp these teachings?

"Gandalf? Ah yes, that was what they used to call me. Gandalf the Grey. That was my name. I am Gandalf the White, and I come back to you know at the turn of the tide."

There is a saying, selfish salvation there is none. When you realize that your essential self is one with all other beings, then their wellbeing is as important to you as your own. That's the meaning of the teaching, love thy neighbor as thyself.

Grey is the color of Chokmah, of wisdom. The perfect blend of the pair of opposites. This being is no longer of yang or yin, this being is the Tao, the Way. So he is a master of wisdom clothed in the grey of the secret wisdom. And he holds the staff, but the staff is at rest, it's in his left hand, because he has completed the journey. There is nowhere now to go, he has become one with all that is. He is the manifestation of the One, which is all.

Real love arises from the recognition of our oneness. You are me, I am you, we are a part of eachother. There is no true separateness. This is why in finding the divine in oneself, one finds all.

This is the beckoning light that calls the souls to the mountain of attainment, this is what encourages us, what makes us undertake the journey. Sometimes lonely, sometimes sad, over borders of challenges. Avoiding the pitfalls and landfalls of false teaching and egoistic practice. But in time we come to the snow peak and above us stands the hermit.

This is why the masters have said: The way you are now, at this very moment, you listening to this, wherever you are, whatever state you find yourself in. No matter what you think of yourself, the masters say, that where you are now, they too once were. The masters of Wisdom, the buddhas, the bhosavet, they're all a part of humanity, they're not aliens. This is the great encouragement that we learn from them, because they have done it, we can too.

So they say, where you are now, there I was. And where I am now on this summit of attainment, standing out against the great void that appears as darkness but is actually a light beyond any earthly light. Where I stand now, you will surely come to be. Because that is the purpose of creation, and its unfolding. Its unfolding, the completion of its evolution.

The hermit inspires the righteous king.

The letter assigned to this card is Yod, which is translated as Hand. I'm often reminded here of a Tibetan image, where the embodiment of compassion is shown as having a thousand arms and on the palm of each hand there is an open eye. The eye is the most sensitive part of the human body, that shows vision, insightfulness, compassion streaming out upon all beings, upon all things.

Words (not in italic) are by David Goddard - Symbolism of the Tarot (MP3 series).

"The last pages are for you."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Symbolism of the Strength tarot card

The Woman in white is directing the Lion to her will. The power of shakti, the power of strength, also known as kundalini is usually working through the subconscious levels. It is the power of life. It renews every single cell of your body. It renews and heals every aspect of you through the subconscious level.

It's only with alchemy or with yoga that this power is consciously manipulated to accelerate evolution. But it is the purified subconscious, the tainted subconscious cannot touch this, as it would burn itself or would hurt itself.

The Green Lion
The Lion is the ruler of the Animal Kingdom, it represents the summit of the animal kingdom and all other kingdoms beneath it, the vegetable and mineral kingdoms. All of physical life before humanity.

The Green Lion is photosynthesis. Plants have the ability to turn sunlight into substance. They take the radiant energy streaming from the stars and from our own particular daystar the sun, they make form, they make bodies, holding that solar energy. And all other lifeforms derive a lot of their energy from eating the vegetable kingdom. Or from eating animals that have in turn eaten from the vegetable kingdom.

The Green Lion, the force of life in its ordinary state.

The Red / Gold Lion
But when it is deliberately concentrated upon, deliberately focused and sublimated, to bring to great intensity, the Red or Gold Lion represents the Kundalini force. In the east the Red/Gold Lion is symbolized by a tiger.

Skillfully direct the fire of life.


Amazing how a cartoon made to sell toys has such powerful symbolism. "I have the power" to turn the Green Lion with Gold potential into the Red (= same to Gold) Lion.

The garland of roses is the secret of the power of the White Woman over the Lion. She has a symbol of infinity over her head. The garland of roses around her and the Lion make up the same infinity symbol. It is also the symbol for the Holy Spirit. The symbol in the Christian tradition for the Kundalini.

The Father is the Superconsciousness, maker of all things visible and invisible. The Son is the self-consciousness, the waking self. The Holy Spirit that unites the two is the Subconscious which is the vehicle of Shakti.

The relation of the subconsciousness and the kundalini must be based on Love. There must be a trust, an intimacy, a caring for each other. This constitutes the skilled working. The Great Work isn't completed by violence, it's not done through harsh regimes of self-denial, of fasting, of unnatural practices that hurt the body. It's not done by philosophies that encourage and warp the suboncious mind by feelings of either disempowerment or elitism. The path of evolution is wholeness.

Where alchemy, like the forms of yoga is fearless, is that it takes the entire human being onboard. Nothing about the human being is rejected. Because it's recognized that all aspects of the human being are essentially sacred.

This is the love that is fearless, it shrinks for nothing. Because it knows itself to be at one with everything else, no matter how unpleasant the masks may be that present themselves before it. True spiritual growth is the path of wholeness and becoming one with the whole. Not saying these people I don't want, these things I don't want, I don't like that kind of thing or even or person. It's recognizing oneness with all that is.

This power is the fiery chariot.

Words by David Goddard - Symbolism of the Tarot (MP3 series).

Death at School: Parents Protest Dangerous Discipline

Seriously, just how messed up are Americans in positions of authority? If school officials did any of this to my children, nothing would protect them from me.

Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time

Timothy Leary (1920-1996) had an enormously varied career as a West Point cadet, clinical psychologist, psychedelic drug researcher, activist philosopher, popular culture icon, prolific author, sloganeer, gubernatorial candidate, prison convict and escapee, personal computer advocate, and iconoclastic figure on the American landscape. He used virtually every form of media available, from books to stage performances, from records albums to computer software, from academic lectures to bumper stickers, to get out his message of personal transformation based upon humanist principles and cutting edge science and technology.

Timothy Leary was without question one of the most controversial figures of his era, if not the 20th century. He was a polarizing figure in a time of generational conflict, a bold challenger of the status quo. (Perhaps his most enduring mantra is “Think For Yourself. Question Authority.”) The author of some 30 books and nearly 400 research papers, essays and articles, he interacted with many of the leading intellectuals of his era: Aldous Huxley and Arthur Koestler, Charles Mingus and Thelonius Monk, Marshall McLuhan and Ram Dass, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.

The timeline can be browsed as a slide show by using the right and left arrows on screen, or by jumping to a date on the navbar. The READ MORE link on each slide will take you to the full-length copy for that time period. A note on using the back button and bookmarking: When you use the back button it will always take you back to the first screen for that time period, and you will have to click READ MORE again to see the text.

As Europe Erupts Over US Spying, NSA Chief Says Government Must Stop Media

With General Alexander calling for NSA reporting to be halted, US and UK credibility as guardians of press freedom is crushed

The most under-discussed aspect of the NSA story has long been its international scope. That all changed this week as both Germany and France exploded with anger over new revelations about pervasive NSA surveillance on their population and democratically elected leaders.

NSA Director General Keith Alexander, earlier this month. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

As was true for Brazil previously, reports about surveillance aimed at leaders are receiving most of the media attention, but what really originally drove the story there were revelations that the NSA is bulk-spying on millions and millions of innocent citizens in all of those nations. The favorite cry of US government apologists -–everyone spies! – falls impotent in the face of this sort of ubiquitous, suspicionless spying that is the sole province of the US and its four English-speaking surveillance allies (the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
There are three points worth making about these latest developments.
First, note how leaders such as Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted with basic indifference when it was revealed months ago that the NSA was bulk-spying on all German citizens, but suddenly found her indignation only when it turned out that she personally was also targeted. That reaction gives potent insight into the true mindset of many western leaders.
Second, all of these governments keep saying how newsworthy these revelations are, how profound are the violations they expose, how happy they are to learn of all this, how devoted they are to reform. If that's true, why are they allowing the person who enabled all these disclosures – Edward Snowden – to be targeted for persecution by the US government for the "crime" of blowing the whistle on all of this?
If the German and French governments – and the German and French people – are so pleased to learn of how their privacy is being systematically assaulted by a foreign power over which they exert no influence, shouldn't they be offering asylum to the person who exposed it all, rather than ignoring or rejecting his pleas to have his basic political rights protected, and thus leaving him vulnerable to being imprisoned for decades by the US government?
Aside from the treaty obligations these nations have to protect the basic political rights of human beings from persecution, how can they simultaneously express outrage over these exposed invasions while turning their back on the person who risked his liberty and even life to bring them to light?
Third, is there any doubt at all that the US government repeatedly tried to mislead the world when insisting that this system of suspicionless surveillance was motivated by an attempt to protect Americans from The Terrorists™? Our reporting has revealed spying on conferences designed to negotiate economic agreements, the Organization of American States, oil companies, ministries that oversee mines and energy resources, the democratically elected leaders of allied states, and entire populations in those states.
Can even President Obama and his most devoted loyalists continue to maintain, with a straight face, that this is all about Terrorism? That is what this superb new Foreign Affairs essay by Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore means when it argues that the Manning and Snowden leaks are putting an end to the ability of the US to use hypocrisy as a key weapon in its soft power.
Speaking of an inability to maintain claims with a straight face, how are American and British officials, in light of their conduct in all of this, going to maintain the pretense that they are defenders of press freedoms and are in a position to lecture and condemn others for violations? In what might be the most explicit hostility to such freedoms yet – as well as the most unmistakable evidence of rampant panic – the NSA's director, General Keith Alexander, actually demanded Thursday that the reporting being done by newspapers around the world on this secret surveillance system be halted (Techdirt has the full video here):
The head of the embattled National Security Agency, Gen Keith Alexander, is accusing journalists of "selling" his agency's documents and is calling for an end to the steady stream of public disclosures of secrets snatched by former contractor Edward Snowden.
"I think it's wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000 – whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these – you know it just doesn't make sense," Alexander said in an interview with the Defense Department's "Armed With Science" blog.
"We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don't know how to do that. That's more of the courts and the policy-makers but, from my perspective, it's wrong to allow this to go on," the NSA director declared. [My italics]
There are 25,000 employees of the NSA (and many tens of thousands more who work for private contracts assigned to the agency). Maybe one of them can tell The General about this thing called "the first amendment".
I'd love to know what ways, specifically, General Alexander has in mind for empowering the US government to "come up with a way of stopping" the journalism on this story. Whatever ways those might be, they are deeply hostile to the US constitution – obviously. What kind of person wants the government to forcibly shut down reporting by the press?
Whatever kind of person that is, he is not someone to be trusted in instituting and developing a massive bulk-spying system that operates in the dark. For that matter, nobody is.
Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian. A former constitutional lawyer, he was until 2012 a contributing writer at Salon.  His most recent book is, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. His other books include: Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican PoliticsA Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, and How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism.

Also check out Once Opposed, Key Lawmakers Back New Anti-NSA Bill

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Guest Blog - General Semantics by Conor O'Higgins

Korzybski's Structural differential

Alfred Korzybski developed a system he called General Semantics. It was one of the biggest influences on Robert Anton Wilson, NLP and cognitive psychology. It's fallen out of popularity recently, maybe because Korzybski never was much good as communicating it to popular audiences. This article is part of an attempt to jazz up General Semantics a bit.

The diagram below is one of the key tools in General Semantics. Korzybski called it the “structural differential”, which shows Saint Alfred's knack for picking ugly terminology. (In this article, I use my own chosen terminology for most things, not Korzybski's.)
The structural differential is a simple map of different levels of Being. Students of General Semantics study this diagram over and over again until they stop muddling the levels.

(open the image in a new window)

Studying this diagram helps you become conscious of which level you're talking about. You don't stop abstracting; you just become aware of when you're doing it. It's ok to read a menu. Eating a menu is not such a good idea.

The map is not the territory, and the map always deletes information from the territory:
  • Only one 25-quintillionth of the electromagnetic waves that exist at WIGO get picked up by the senses.
    (see comments)
  • At the Perceivable level, visual images are comparable to two 576 megapixel cameras shooting video at 100 frames per second. Two layers down, at the Label level, nothing remains but: “I saw a cat. It was black.”

The map is not the territory, and the map adds to, generalizes and distorts the territory:
  • A 590nm wave at the WIGO level gets turned into “orange”. “Orange” does not exist at the WIGO level.
  • At Level 2.0, there's a blind spot where the optic nerve enters the retina. Somewhere in 2.5, the brain makes up some fictional content and puts it in there instead.
  • Also in 2.5, traits get added in, so that the things that show up at 3.0 are sexy, frightening, gorgeous, stinky etc. (The Impressionist painters were obsessed with getting this point across.)

This is not illustrated in the diagram, but higher levels influence lower levels too. Influence runs in both directions. Words influence behavior, which is a level 1.0 thing. Interestingly, the labels and language we use at level 4.0 change the brain so much that the settings on the filters at 2.5 change. (There's a ton of psychology studies making this point, such as and Words can change your BS. Change your BS and you change your reality-tunnel. 

It's not uncommon to get up into really high levels of meta-meta-meta-comments. For example, this article is at least level 8.0; it is an article about a response to criticism about a book.

Some people mostly ignore levels 1-3, and live in a labyrinth of labels. An organism generates a description, another organism reads it and responds to it, another responds to that - this can go on for a lifetime, and there's sometimes pretty good money in it. There's no need for facts, for the body, for mindfulness, sensation, or the real world. You can get lost in symbols and call yourself an intellectual, but you'll get paid more if you call yourself a lawyer. Korzybski had a technical term for it; he called it 'bla-bla'.

Pragmatism saves us from bla-bla. Pragmatism means always judging Beliefs (which are Level 4.0 things) by whether they can successfully affect and predict happenings at levels 1, 2 and 3. Kaos Magick is also called Results Magick; it doesn't judge Beliefs by whether they are good Beliefs; it judges them by whether they get Results.

This is known as Keepin' It Real.

I have taken a vow to Keep It Real; I only write about things that get results. I am writing about General Semantics because it gets great results. It uses books, diagrams etc. (Level 4.0 things) to reprogram the filters at Level 2.5 to create a calmer, clearer, less confused, less unrealistic, saner, happier reality-tunnel at Level 3.0
Reprogram your filters, before they reprogram them for you!

By Conor O'Higgins (Thanks very much Conor!)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tom Robbins on Robert Anton Wilson - Not believing in anything is the hallmark of a truly free man

via RAW fans

Contract with The Universe

Exclusive: Glenn Greenwald Will Leave Guardian To Create New News Organization

Good news for journalism! The reporter who broke the NSA story promises “a momentous new venture.” A “very substantial new media outlet” with serious backing, he says.

Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer and blogger who brought The Guardian the biggest scoop of the decade, is departing the London-based news organization, for a brand-new, large-scale, broadly focused media outlet, he told BuzzFeed Tuesday.
Greenwald, 46, published revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of American and British domestic spying and about officials’ deception about its scope. He said he is departing for a new, “once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity” with major financial backing, the details of which will be public soon.

“My partnership with The Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved,” Greenwald said in an emailed statement. “The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline.”
Greenwald said that because the news had leaked “before we were prepared to announce it, I’m not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture.” It will, he said, “be unveiled very shortly.”
A Guardian spokeswoman, Jennifer Lindenauer, also stressed that the writer and his news organization are parting on good terms — though she said The Guardian is “disappointed” to lose him.
“Glenn Greenwald is a remarkable journalist and it has been fantastic working with him,” Lindenauer said in an email. “Our work together over the last year has demonstrated the crucial role that responsible investigative journalism can play in holding those in power to account. We are of course disappointed by Glenn’s decision to move on, but can appreciate the attraction of the new role he has been offered. We wish him all the best.”
The Guardian, with a tradition of rigorous, crusading, liberal reporting and experience with two extremely sensitive international investigative stories — WikiLeaks and the News Corp. phone-tapping scandals — was in some ways a perfect home for Greenwald’s reporting, which in turn offered a huge boost to The Guardian’s American and global prestige.
But Greenwald never functioned as a typical employee of a news organization. He told BuzzFeed in August that he had not shared all of Snowden’s files with The Guardian, and that “only [filmmaker] Laura [Poitras] and I have access to the full set of documents which Snowden provided to journalists.” The Guardian, facing intense pressure from the British government, has continued to publish Snowden’s revelations at a deliberate pace in recent weeks; but Greenwald has moved more quickly on his own, publishing stories in Brazil and India. He said recently that he will also publish stories soon in Le Monde.
Greenwald declined to comment on the precise scale of the new venture or on its budget, but he said it would be “a very well-funded … very substantial new media outlet.” He said the source of funding will be public when the venture is officially announced.
Politico reported later Tuesday that a “philanthropist” would fund the venture. A spokesman for George Soros, perhaps the most famous philanthropist of the American left, ruled Soros out as the backer. “They have had no contact,” Soros spokesman Michael Vachon said of Greenwald.
“My role, aside from reporting and writing for it, is to create the entire journalism unit from the ground up by recruiting the journalists and editors who share the same journalistic ethos and shaping the whole thing — but especially the political journalism part — in the image of the journalism I respect most,” he said.
Greenwald will continue to live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he said, and would bring some staff to Rio, but the new organization’s main hubs will be New York City; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, he said.
The venture, which he said had “hired a fair number of people already,” will be “a general media outlet and news site — it’s going to have sports and entertainment and features. I’m working on the whole thing but the political journalism unit is my focus.”
Greenwald said he looked forward to creating a new organization with “no preexisting institutional strictures on what you can do.”
And he said his move is driven solely by the opportunity presented.
“When people hear what it is, there is almost no journalist who would say no to it,” he said.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Secrecy is the original sin - Timothy Leary

Complete Transparency equals Freedom

"Secrecy is the original sin. Fig leaf in the Garden of Eden. The basic crime against love... The purpose of life is to receive, synthesize and transmit energy. Communication fusion is the goal of life. Any star can tell you that. Communication is love. Secrecy, withholding the signal, hoarding, hiding, covering up the light is motivated by shame and fear. As so often happens, the right wing is half right for the wrong reasons. They say primly: if you have done nothing wrong, you have no fear of being bugged. Exactly. But the logic goes both ways. Then FBI files, CIA dossiers, White House conversations should be open to all. Let everything hang open. Let government be totally visible. The last, the very last people to hide their actions should be the police and the government." Timothy Leary

Unwarranted Surveillance equals Tyranny

Thanks to Conor O'Higgins for this post

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell

quote by Walt Whitman

Your wish cannot include a method you yourself don't know - It must be done in a way that you comprehend

This scene in Fate Zero describes really well how I felt about Magick in the beginning of my dealings with it. (MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT)

 Kiritsugu is a hitman who only eliminates gangsters, his goal is nothing less than to achieve world peace. After a war, he acquires the wish-fulfilling Holy Grail and gets transported into it(s dream).

 The dream shifts to this: