When I remember Sue Castigliano, I think of almost naked dancers vaulting above the gold-tipped horns of Cretan bulls, to the sound of waves breaking in the distance. Wandering with the ghosts of an exploded island empire, I enter the doors of a library that I first thought was an octopus. When I think of her, I see wheat bound in sheaves…
“It is said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Luckily, the teacher may also choose to appear when the student is not at all ready. She drags him, if need be kicking and screaming, into a new, more direct, but also more paradoxical relationship with the self…”
Are we meant to have certain experiences, or to connect with certain people rather than with others? The more romantic among us are used to thinking that there may be one true soul-mate for each person. It is less common to imagine that friends or teachers may also play their parts in this apparent drama of predestination.
What can films tell us about reality? In a deep-ranging dialogue drawing on the philosophical ideas of Martin Heidegger and looking at works by Terrence Malick, Wim Wenders, Stanley Kubrick, and other celebrated auteurs, two contemporary aesthetic thinkers reflect on the ways in which cinema brings us into a deeper, stranger relationship with the world, and our being in it.
Global transparency offers an unspoken invitation for us all to forge a new paradigm of personal integrity. The Internet, our own collective mirror, stands as a challenge for us to face ourselves for the first time fully in all our humanness.
I am a spiritual care provider in a hospice setting, and just as everything in life seems to be upended these days, given new urgency compelled by nausea, so is my thinking and feeling about my role…
It is time to face facts. Capitalism is the root of all our problems, and yet the path out of capital is more uncertain than it has ever been. The dream of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, of a globalized online consciousness unifying the mental sphere into a higher state of being, has been rendered excessively naive….
We are powerful enough to burst through the artificial narrative-bubble of projections of power-over, and step together into the brisk air of the real world in all its complexity—painful, wonderful, multiplicitous. If, in that fine first inhalation of fresh air, we take in a deep moment of peace, we may hear the aspirations of all living things…
We need mass subversion—simple non-cooperation and defection to favorable alternatives. This can look like “opting in” to visions of humanity that you do prefer, the futures you would like to inhabit, by investing your diverse capital in alternative ways.
Perhaps there is a common ground for humankind that runs deeper than the machinations of a “power-over” mythology. Let us envision a more optimal design that meets more needs through respecting life’s innate capacity for intelligence and beauty.
Our human desires and emotions are oftentimes the “hooks” that memes use to attach to us. Once a meme has colonized us, it can profoundly guide our actions in the world. Therefore, we need to develop discernment to parse the beneficial memes from the malicious ones.
The power Trump commands is given by us—our attention, our deference, our minds, hearts, lives. In little ways, we can retake control of how and to what purposes we deploy our minds and spirits.
The common myths and meaning on which the U.S. was founded are breaking down, strained by the gnashing confrontation of incompatible, co-occurring narratives. This is long overdue and much needed. Yet powerful interests are trying to seize this shaky moment by trumpeting archaic, toxic narratives that reinforce and advance oppressive agendas in society.
This conversation series is concerned with how the monstrous, epic drama of our present-day reality is animated by subtle winds of power. We will explore creative strategies and discuss critical issues relating to developing our embodied consciousness as individuals/collectives—while cultivating more effectual ways to wield our often invisible yet immanent power.
To continue a policy of escape, retreat and regression is mutually assured destruction. We need to face, and learn from, our difficulties.
This essay series aims to penetrate to the roots of power and the shaping of material conditions through memes and through minds. I also discuss what is happening to us on individual and collective psychological levels, as we are forced to confront and grapple with certain popular myths about ourselves, our nation, and our global civilization.
We are always living in a story, always present in a myth. The key is to possess mindfulness towards worldviews and their presence in the awakened self—they are analytical frameworks of the mind that first allow the universe to be experienced in a specific manner and then formulated into pure, specific “understandings” about the nature of that universe.
This metanarrative that has been constructed to explore a possible Platonic worldview is enough of the whole to make a holographic, fractal revival of Plato himself inside his mythopoetic mind.
The strength and sincerity at which each of the Greeks in the Symposium pursues his or her own experiences towards a lived philosophy of love is inspirational for a culture of Self, some of the original self-believers.
From the first creation event of Timaeus that heralds a universe (the one and only) into the perceptible in giving a reality, this perfection persists into Plato’s Republic, a world of its own that deals with society and its paradigms in the social creature called humanity and its just longings.
From [this] indivisible awareness, the mystic sage is fully able to tap into the eternal mind of god, something that would smooth out a translation in terms of human consciousness—and that would give the creative impetus to imagine a text like Timaeus.
The entire purpose of this work will not so much argue but re-imagine and challenge Plato, such that it breathes the warmest breath of reconsideration, rereading, and re-admiration into the Platonic dialogues.
The more deeply I’ve looked into heavy metal music and its use of imagery from the Book of Revelation, the more I discovered a very remarkable thing—that heavy metal music is doing the Book of Revelation. In its style, in its values, in its ethos, heavy metal is doing the Book of Revelation in musical form.
The global political landscape today reads like something straight out of Revelations. On a daily basis, we read shocking stories of the cruelties imposed by those in power. Education and healthcare are being gutted, families are being broken apart, minorities are being senselessly attacked, discrimination is being legalized, dissent criminalized, and corruption institutionalized. The very fabric of society is becoming undone before our eyes, and tyranny is rearing its ugly head.
We were lost. Daddy sucked on a fat cigar, leaned across the steering wheel, stared at the dark road up ahead and let out a stream of four letter words, which my mother told me never to repeat. She snapped off the radio, got real quiet. The car filled with smoke, my eyeballs burned. I rolled down the window, gulped the night wind, and squinted at the crescent moon…
In Western culture what is “feminine” has become associated over time with what is evil or immoral… This frightening view of the collective, akin to the archetype of the Terrible Mother, is what drives a lot of the global political and social narrative.
It seemed unthinkable. A narcissistic reality show star with an authoritarian personality and a highly volatile temperament was elected to the highest office in the land on a platform of bigotry, xenophobia, and bullying. He was quite possibly the least qualified man to ever make it to the general election, let alone win the election. Yet against all expectations, here we are.
If new myths are born, re-tethered to something sacred, they must be brutally immediate, possessing unavoidable gravity, poignant, fragile, they must be anything but contrived, planned, and developed with the intention of bringing us the sacred. (She does not come to us on a platter. More likely, the platter will have your beating heart on it.)
Most of us have, in some form or another, if not a philosophy of time, at least a mythos of time.
“It would be hard to communicate to someone growing up today just how widespread was the fallout from the threat of the Atomic Bomb. From July 16th, 1945, when the first bomb was tested over the Jornada del Muerto Desert, its occult light had continued to throw shadows from each object. The danger was not abstract; it was imminent, and it changed our whole way of looking at the world.”