Saturday, December 21, 2013

Adding to my archive of all the funky Zappa stuff I never got to see or hear till YouTube came along...





Friday, December 20, 2013

THE CHRISTOS MYTHOS (revisited)

Cosmic Serpent by NahimaArt
Subject: [magickriver] The Christos Mythos
Date: Sat, 03 May 2003 13:07:01 +0800
From: Antares
Organization: Magick River
To: Magick River Network 



This is in response to Sherry's incisive comments about the "Christ" mystique and how it fits in with our innate ability to free ourselves from external control mechanisms, reclaim our self-governing, self-navigating skills, and regain self-mastery through self-knowledge.

At 14, I attended a Presbyterian Sunday School on a fairly regular basis but, by the age of 15, had begun seriously questioning everything that was preached. At 16, I was generally agnostic, verging on atheistic (I was fond of describing God as an Atheist :-).

And yet, throughout my entire adolescence (or perhaps even when I was 7 or 8) I remember chatting telepathically with an entity I called "Jesus" (my mother was a Methodist, my dad a freethinker) in my own childish way. By the age of 15 or 16 I was aware that this "Jesus" character was actually my own Higher Self - a really kind and wise entity, totally accepting and extremely cool, never scolding or judging, just happy to be my best friend.

At 19, I found myself staring (completely stoned on marijuana) at my own reflection in the mirror and coming to a sudden conclusion - nay, an explosive revelation - that "Christ" was not a personal name, "Christ" describes a state of being or consciousness. And that state can also be called Universal Compassion or All-Embracing Love... what Buddhism calls the Bodhisattva, the next step beyond Buddhahood wherein the enlightened soul vows to remain in embodiment to serve those as yet unawakened. From agnosticism I crossed over into my own species of Gnosticism and began to devour all manner of esoteric knowledge. Mythology became "Mytheology" and History became "Mystery." "Jesus" became "Yeheshuah" (IHShVH) = "The Word Made Flesh" or Spirit-as-Matter (and vice versa).

Later I began to understand other implications of Christhood: that it was a mystical force denoted by a specific syllable or syllables - "Chi-Rho" or "Kri" - found in Sanskrit as "Krishna" and "Kris"; in Greek as "christos" or "crestes" - and that it was a code for a complex mythology involving Divine Rulership and the idea of Evolutionary Perfection, as in the Crest of a Wave, or the Family Crest. Some etymological research yielded the notion that the idea of Anointment - the ritual preparation of a candidate for a Heroic task or ascending a throne by massaging his or her body with fragrant unguents, known as "chrisma" in Greek (which may well be connected with the word "charisma") - was subliminally associated with the practice of greasing meat before grilling it, which may sound grisly to the modern sensibility but which has deep roots in all Sun-god myths wherein the deity is sacrificed to nourish his or her tribe - as in the Hiawatha legend or the Feast of the Eucharist.

[I just received an email from Ramsha suggesting that the word "christos" can be traced all the way back to a a Vedic term meaning "semen." Stands to reason: Christ as Divine Impregnator, Cozmik Hyperzoon, Sacred Groom, etc]

Anyway, to keep this brief, I discovered many more levels to the idea of the Christ than is to be found in conventional Christianity - and since I view Christhood as the state of being towards which all humanity is aspiring, it was only natural that I used the term Christos as a code name for my Core Self. In other words, the Christ for me is not some deity to be worshiped but a state of initiatory consciousness to be attained through direct experience. That's why I have no problem with the expression "Christ consciousness." It's something we're all going to experience sooner or later.

I'll begin typing out the chapter on the 'Three Christs' from Ashayana Deane's VOYAGERS II. If I can get it done tonight, it will be posted tomorrow [http://www.magickriver.net/3-Christs.htm].

I was excited by the information revealed therein because I've long felt that there was a multidimensional mystery yet unsolved in the entire Palestine Project that initiated the advent of the Christian Era. But no one had a grip on the whole story. Ashayana's version may not be all there is, but to my mind it's a good start, and much of it feels right to my cellular memory.

With love,
Antares
~xXx~


[First posted 3 December 2006]


Saturday, December 14, 2013

David Icke & Jordan Maxwell in conversation: The Agenda to Control Planet Earth



David Icke and Jordan Maxwell in conversation about the agenda to control Planet Earth, meeting again for the first time in 15 years. Wonderful stuff.

http://projectavalon.net
http://davidicke.com
http://jordanmaxwell.com
bill@projectavalon.net

[Brought to my notice by Shalamee Campbell]


Thursday, December 12, 2013

ANTOINE DUFOUR ~ A MAN AND HIS GUITAR (repost)









I stumbled on this consummate fingerstyle acoustic guitarist based in Canada in November 2009 during the hostage crisis in Mumbai. Found this man's focus and dedication to his craft entirely soothing and therapeutic. Check out his homepage!

[First posted 19 August 2011]



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Jeff Liebermann on science & spirituality ~ a stimulating 14-minute lecture



Jeff Lieberman, an MIT-trained artist, scientist and engineer, makes a scientific argument for mystical experience. He asks us to challenge our perception of what we are, our relationship to the universe, and our relationship to one another. Our minds are "thought-generating machines." What we would happen if we could turn off the machine? If we could transcend our individual experience of the world?

[Thanks to Hock Soh for alerting me to this video]

Monday, November 25, 2013

UMNO'S HOUSE OF HORRORS (Part Three)

(Photo courtesy of Howsy)

NAJIB: UP TO MUSLIMS TO DECIDE ON SAIFUL'S ACTION

"According to our system, any individual accused of sodomy can clear his name the Islamic way or through the courts and Saiful has chosen the former. It is up to the people to make their own conclusions.

"I have said from the beginning that this issue is a personal matter between Saiful and Anwar and has nothing to do with the Barisan Nasional," Najib told reporters after meeting Umno's Permatang Pauh by-election machinery in Butterworth yesterday.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Come on, Najib, you gotta do better than that if you seriously intend to try your hand at stand-up comedy after your parole. So, the whole sleazy sodomy affair is, by your own admission, only a sandiwara (puppet show) to dissuade Malay voters from voting against Umno? In effect, it has EVERYTHING to do with Barisan Nasional's desperate fight for survival. The very fact that you were quoted right after you chaired an Umno meeting on the Permatang Pauh by-election makes your statement reek even stronger. If the entire matter were strictly "a personal matter" between Saiful and Anwar, why would every Umno big gun be making stupid, self-incriminating remarks about the ridiculous allegations? From the home minister to the deputy prime minister and even the prime minister himself - all of you have seen fit to stick your fat necks out "to ensure Saiful gets justice." How laudable... I mean, laughable!

Many of us got suckered into believing at first that you, Najib Razak, were personally responsible for orchestrating this pigheaded plot to fix Anwar. After all, you publicly admitted to having given "counsel" to Saiful Bukhari in your own house just before he lodged that mischievous police report. However, our best source of political gossip, Raja Petra Kamarudin, gleefully informs us that the real mastermind behind Sodomy II is Umno legal adviser Shafee Abdullah (pictured left).

Now that Shafee has been fingered and exposed, the police black ops against Anwar will have been scuttled - hence the decision to appeal to Malay sentiments by getting Saiful to swear on the Qur'an that Anwar Ibrahim forcibly sodomized him. What exquisite timing - right on the eve of nomination day for the Permatang Pauh by-election! Oooh, I can just picture a motley bunch of besongkoked Umno conspirators huddled together in secret conference rooms, drinking kopi-O kau and plotting and scheming Anwar's downfall...

Another influential blogger who calls himself Tulang Besi (Iron Bones) pinpoints Abdullah Badawi's detestable son-in-law and his fatcat capitalist cronies in the media as the ones responsible for this ill-conceived attempt to smear and neutralize both Anwar and Najib with a single scandal. Stands to reason, no prizes for guessing which smirking, slimy jerk once boasted he intends to be PM by the age of 40...

Not a hope in hell, Khairy!


[First posted 16 August 2008]

UMNO'S HOUSE OF HORRORS (Part Two)

SHAHRIZAT LAUNCHES A MAMAK-STYLE JIHAD!

From Malaysiakini: "Wanita Umno has reportedly declared a "jihad" or holy war to prevent opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim returning to Parliament in a by-election this month.

"It is a jihad because this individual should not be given the chance to destroy the country's political stability and prosperity," women's wing deputy chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said, according to
The Star newspaper.

Shahrizat, a former cabinet minister, lost her seat in Parliament to Anwar's daughter Nurul Izzah in landmark March elections that handed the opposition unprecedented gains against the ruling coalition.

"If we allow him to lead the country, he would lead us to destruction," she said as she launched the women's wing campaign for the Aug 26 by-election in Anwar's home state of Penang.


Oh, Shahrizat, Shahrizat! It saddens me to hear you say such horrible, wicked things about my esteemed friend Anwar Ibrahim. The only time I recall meeting you was at the launch of the last KL International Litfest. Remember what I told you? "Shahrizat, you're the only BN minister I don't mind being photographed next to!" I thought you were intelligent and charming and your kids were beautiful and friendly. But how I can maintain those positive feelings towards you now that you've revealed your true colors? You're just another corrupt and misguided Umno hypocrite. If you had any foresight or wisdom you would have quietly hopped over by now, instead of going down with the KD Umnoputra. I know Abdullah Badawi was very nice to you after you lost your parliamentary seat to Anwar's astoundingly attractive daughter, Nurul Izzah - he kept you on the Umno payroll and made sure you still earned a big fat salary as Ng Yen Yen's stand-in.

It's quite clear now you're only in politics for the money and false glamor. If you were sincere about serving the rakyat you'd have considered joining DAP, PKR, or even PAS! Umno is the party that has very nearly destroyed Malaysia through systemic corruption, unmitigated greed and total abuse of power - and a large portion of the credit for that goes to your Supermamak former PM!

Those of us whose perceptions haven't been clouded by BN's sleazy largesse view Anwar Ibrahim as the nation's best hope at this juncture for genuine reform. There isn't a single Umno politician we can trust to do what's required. 

Zaid Ibrahim made a feeble attempt to overhaul the judiciary and was instantly shot down by his Umno colleagues. Shahrir Samad no longer inspires at all. Indeed, Shahrir is now the Umno ghost that talks utter cock which nobody even bothers to quote. You were perhaps the last hope for Umno - and now you've blown it with your despicable misuse of the word "jihad"! It reveals how shallow, self-serving and narrow-minded your understanding of Islam actually is.

Well, the upside of it all is that we can now torpedo the Umno flagship without having to worry about collateral damage - because the sinking vessel is transporting nothing but soiled goods anyhow.

Action stations! Fire one! Fire two! Fire three!


[First posted 16 August 2008]

UMNO'S HOUSE OF HORRORS (Part One)

RIGHT: Pin-up shot of Saiful Bukhari in a baseball cap that has been circulating the internet; Pederasts Anonymous have expressed Socratic interest in this promising young man and invited him to be their mascot

SAIFUL BUKHARI AZLAN ON MALAYSIAKINI:

"I swore in the name of Allah at the Federal Territory Mosque this evening in accordance to the teachings of Islam and as advised by religious scholars and teachers that I was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim."

What is Saiful saying? Islam teaches people to swear in the name of Allah (whose own credibility, credentials, and existence have yet to be established to everybody's satisfaction) whenever accused of any behavior deemed to be an offence? Any boy as pretty as Saiful will have had a long history of being "hit on" by males as well as females. By the age of 23 he ought to have learnt how to accept or refuse such erotic advances. To now claim he was forcibly sodomized by a 61-year-old man with a bad back defies belief - unless he was drugged and raped, which is a whole different scenario. Anyone who has ever attempted penetration of a tight anus will attest that this is virtually impossible without the the acquiescence, consent and wholehearted cooperation of the person to whom the anus belongs.

Penetration by force would result in tissue damage, bleeding and scarring easily detectable by even a cursory rectal examination - and we already have the sworn testimony of the good Burmese doctor at Hospital Pusrawi that no such signs of forced entry were discovered. Apparently a subsequent rectal examination of Saiful Bukhari at Hospital Kuala Lumpur also confirmed that there were no signs of forced entry. Saiful can swear on every book in the world till he's blue in the face - but that won't alter the results of the rectal examinations. Unless, of course, Saiful has an extremely accommodating and elastic anus that allows him to be sodomized by a rogue elephant and still show no physical signs.

Alpha blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has disclosed on Malaysia Today: "At 2.30pm on Wednesday, 25 June 2008, Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) II Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof (shown right in a 1998 file picture) met Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in room 619 of the Concorde Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Prior to this secret meeting, Rodwan and Saiful spoke on the phone at least eight (8) times."

Now this is an extremely detailed disclosure which suggests that somebody within the police force is extremely unhappy with the dirty business at hand and has chosen to be RPK's "Deep Throat." I didn't hear any reporters questioning Saiful at yesterday's press conference about his connection with SAC Rodwan Yusof (who has been accused of helping Musa Hassan falsify evidence against Anwar Ibrahim in the 1998 sodomy allegation instigated by Mahathir). No doubt Saiful would have replied: "I will answer that in court later."

"The oath I've taken was done voluntarily and it was done to uphold the truth as a Muslim, a Malay and a Malaysian."


Saiful Bukhari sees himself as primarily a Muslim, then a Malay, and lastly a Malaysian. I'm sorry, Saiful, but being any of those doesn't add any credence whatsoever to your oath. The Umno chaps all claim to be Muslim, Malay, and Malaysian - and that has never stopped them from lying through every orifice just to cling on to power.

"I understand that if the allegations and oath that I've taken under the name of Allah are not true, I will be cursed by God and tragedy and curse will come upon my family and the generations after me forever."

Even if God lets you off light, Saiful, you can bet your arse you will be spat at and shunned by a lot of people for stooping so low just for a bit of cheap publicity and a "scholarship" from Umno. But please leave your fiancée out of this curse business - I'm sure she had no idea what she was in for. Curse your father (pictured right), if you like; he looks like someone already accursed.

"I've taken this oath to prove that my allegations are completely true. This is the best way for me to attain justice in the world and the hereafter and for me to redeem my pride and dignity as Allah is the only place where I can complain to."

Load of crap, boy! Taking that oath on the Qur'an proves only one thing: you're convinced that other Muslims will be inclined to believe you're telling the truth, and that's what this evil game is really about - to poison the minds of Muslim-Malay voters against Anwar Ibrahim, the greatest threat Umno has ever faced in its entire history. And if you truly feel Allah is your recourse, why did you bother going for a rectal examination at Hospital Pusrawi before lodging a police report on 28 June as instructed by your Umno handlers?

"I've done this for God and I took my oath in the house of God, that I was humiliated and sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim and I do not wish to lie to the world as he has done."

You twisted little shit, Saiful! Umno is NOT God! You've been offered filthy lucre to "sacrifice yourself" to save Umno from Anwar Ibrahim - and you saw a golden opportunity to attain global notoriety as Anwar's political assassin - exactly like Mark David Chapman believed he would forever be remembered as the fuckwit who shot John Lennon.

Saiful, an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God would already know what a "good" boy you are (no need for you to
sumpah on the Qur'an, that's only for show); an all-powerful God would have intervened to protect your chastity from being ravaged. God the omnipresent also resides in your anus and, for all we know, probably relishes the occasional rectal probe!

[First posted 16 August 2008]


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Remembering Paul Ponnudorai (20 November 1961~7 July 2012)

Too bad I missed Paul's 50th birthday gig at CJ's Pub & Restaurant on 20 November 2011
THE MUSICIAN’S MUSICIAN
22 December 2007

Paul Ponnudorai has been called the ‘greatest musical interpreter of our time’, but who is he?

With his long hair and easy-going demeanor, it’s easy to dismiss singer-guitarist Paul Ponnudorai as just another musician playing in a pub. But one listen to him and you’ll know he’s definitely not just hired musical help.

His fans (many of them musicians themselves) know him as the guy who can turn a tune on its head and make it an extraordinary piece of art. They bandy superlative terms like "genius" or "musical phenomenon" when describing him.

When his name popped up in a feature article in Time magazine in May this year, wherein the writer called him "possibly the greatest musical interpreter of our time," they thought his time - no pun intended - had come.

But it hadn’t. Ponnudorai still plays Thursdays to Saturdays at Harry’s bar at the Esplanade - a gig he’s had for five years. In a straw poll we conducted, many didn’t even recognise the name and one actually asked if he was "the guy who started that famous shop in Little India." (FYI: That’s P Govindasamy Pillai.)

While failure to hit the big time despite a plug from Time magazine might bug younger musicians, Ponnudorai is nonplussed: "(The Time article) was certainly a nice compliment, but I don’t think of myself as a guitar hero. I’m known and, yet again, not. I play because I love to play and sing. It keeps me happy. And if I can touch people with it, even better. Because having something is no fun unless you share it."

Ponnudorai will be sharing the music on Saturday with local jazz legend Jeremy Monteiro and American greats Tuck and Patti at the Esplanade as part of Monteiro’s annual Christmas concert series - an event the jazz maestro started five years ago.

Rehearsing in Singapore with Jeremy Monteiro (keyboard) & Howard Levy (harp)
"When people see him, I’m sure they will be blown away by his ability and his singing," said Monteiro, 47. "Tuck and Patti have called him a ‘phenomenon’. The people who come to the show will come away with a better understanding of who Paul is."

Still, knowing how apathetic the Singapore audience can be, Monteiro is well aware critical acclaim is not necessarily followed by fame. "If you’re good, you should be famous," said Monteiro. "But it’s not always so. Like some musicians are famous, but are they good? Paul is definitely good - one of the best kept secrets of the music world."

The story of this secret started in Ipoh, Malaysia, where Ponnudorai grew up. He picked up the ukulele when he was four and the guitar at six. A left-hander, he taught himself to play right-handed and learned to keep time by playing to the creak of an old ceiling fan. His musical influences spanned from opera to country, courtesy of his father, who would play music at home.

But Ponnudorai never thought he’d be a musician. It was his brother who invited him to play during happy hours at a piano bar in Kuala Lumpur. Said the bachelor: "And as the story goes, I walked into a bar and I never walked out."

Since then, Ponnudorai has led what many would call "a full life," although he’s only a youthful 46. He’s had to endure threats from jealous musicians wanting to cut his fingers off, and played to gun-toting gang members in nightclubs - where they made him play Wham!’s "Careless Whisper" 17 times non-stop once.

He’s also won the hearts of some of the greatest musicians, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans, guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and vocalist Bobby McFerrin.

Ponnudorai's only album was released in 2005
He’s survived two car crashes, with the second in 1992 resulting in him having brain surgery. "I was worried, after the second accident, about the extent of damage," he explained. "I was afraid to pick up the guitar."

But a few months later, a musician friend of his asked him to come on stage and jam with him. "I said: ‘No, I haven’t played the guitar in months.’ And he said: ‘Look, you believe in God, don’t you? Have faith.’ So I did go up and I played - and I haven’t stopped playing since!"

And though he may have a few regrets, Ponnudorai says the music makes up for it. "I think if I could have afforded higher education I probably would have missed out on these experiences I have garnered over the years playing music. I would not have had the interaction with people, spanning a period of 28 years. I don’t think any amount of money could buy that experience or pleasure. You know they say it’s the journey that counts, not the destination. I believe that’s true. I’m enjoying the journey right now."









MUNSHI AHMED FOR TIME
10 May 2007

A man who is quite possibly the greatest musical interpreter of our time performs every weekend at Harry's - an ordinary bar in a Singaporean shopping mall. There, before a half-empty room, while soccer matches are screened and waitresses ferry beer and fries, Paul Ponnudorai sings with astounding virtuosity, accompanied only by his Spanish guitar. His voice swoops and growls with the range and soulfulness of mid-period Stevie Wonder, and his fluid, polyrhythmic style of guitar playing appears to have little precedent. But it is his choice of material, and the inventiveness with which he arranges it, that cloaks Ponnudorai in the aura of genius.

Ponnudorai's style is to deconstruct a hackneyed standard, reassemble the parts in startlingly creative ways, and then perform it with a passion that nobody has previously dared. Thus the campfire dirge Five Hundred Miles becomes a spine-tingling R&B ballad, dripping with anguish. The Beatles' chirpy Can't Buy Me Love is transformed into a complex jazz exercise, incorporating some of the Karnatakan rhythmic phrases of Ponnudorai's South Indian ancestry. The Cascades' saccharine Rhythm of the Rain metamorphoses into the purest Burt Bacharach, with unexpected chord changes and lush melodic lines.

Comparisons could be made with José Feliciano, the Puerto Rican singer-guitarist who had 1960s hits with stylish remakes of songs like California Dreamin' and Light My Fire. But Ponnudorai is better. His ability to dice songs up, look into their hearts and perceive the common veins connecting every genre has won the attention of top international players who go to Singapore on tour. Harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans, drummer Billy Cobham, guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and vocalist Bobby McFerrin have all been in the audience. In 2002, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis showed up at a performance and was so taken by it, he grabbed his instrument and leapt onstage to play alongside a startled Ponnudorai, who did not recognize him. "He told me 'Ever since I got off the plane I've been hearing about nothing but you,'" Ponnudorai recalls. The pair jammed together for the next two nights.

Photo by Jack Hoo
Marsalis was referring to the buzz Ponnudorai generates among local and overseas musicians. Among the public, it is another matter. If you watch Ponnudorai play, there will typically be a handful of fans near the stage. Everyone else will be at the other end of the room, noisily drinking and making a mockery of Singapore's reputation as a city at the forefront of smoking cessation. The kind of musician that the world produces only a few times in a generation is in the house, but the laity barely notice.

[Read the rest here.]


Thursday, November 7, 2013

9/11 was the excuse for global fascism to rear its ugly head. Who has benefited most from this colossal exercise in mass mind control?



Published on 26 Dec 2012

This is the 1-hour version of our 1½ hour groundbreaking documentary 9/11: Explosive Evidence ~ Experts Speak Out which is available for purchase as a DVD in our online store or as a download or video-on-demand at http://www.911ExpertsSpeakOut.org .

Public Broadcasting Station, Colorado Public Television (cpt12.org), have courageously thrust themselves at the forefront of our nation's public service media network. CPT12 recently aired this powerful and controversial film as a featured premium during their Summer fundraising campaign.

The PBS national website then posted the re-broadcast which quickly became one of their "Most Watched" as well as "Most Shared" programs on PBS. 


It has been more than 12 years  since that fateful day in September and more and more people are becoming aware that they haven't gotten the whole story on 9/11. Over 1700 architects & engineers are leading the way at AE911TRUTH, with dozens of additional professionals joining them in this documentary to put their careers on the line in their demand for a new independent investigation. High-rise architects, structural engineers, scientists, physicists, chemists, scholars, educators, firefighters, forensic fire engineers, demolition experts and others have put together a ground-breaking scientific assessment of the events at the World Trade Center.

The sudden, complete collapse of the third skyscraper on 9/11, WTC Building 7 at 5:20pm, is now being seen around the world as "the smoking gun" which disproves the official story about 9/11. These experts also introduce additional "overwhelming evidence" for a controlled demolition hypothesis at WTC which is disturbing to say the least.

The film does not speculate, and empathizes with viewers by also presenting the most popular segment of the film, which introduces the professional perspectives of eight psychologists who explain some of the reasons why it is so hard for people to face the scientific evidence. This is the most scientific and compelling 9/11 documentary film to date, containing vital information that demands action from all of us. We can no longer afford to ignore the World Trade Center evidence.

Please support the organization which made this program possible by purchasing the DVD or making a tax-deductible donation at http://www.AE911TRUTH.org.

Shortened 58.5 minute version for promotional use. Please support AE911Truth by purchasing the DVD, downloading it or watching it now at http://www.911ExpertsSpeakOut.org

If you are truly impressed with the vital nature of our work we encourage you to make your tax deductible donation (We are a 501c3 non-profit organization) at http://www.AE911Truth.org


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Entheogenic Art of Alex Grey (revisited)


entheogen |enˈthēəˌjen; -jən|
noun - a chemical substance, typically of plant origin, that is ingested to produce a nonordinary state of consciousness for religious or spiritual purposes.

entheogenic |enˌthēəˈjenik| adjective - ORIGIN 1970s: from Greek, literally ‘becoming divine within’; coined by an informal committee studying the inebriants of shamans.

Alex Grey was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 29, 1953 (Sagittarius), the middle child of a gentle middle-class couple. His father was a graphic designer and encouraged his son's drawing ability. Young Alex would collect insects and dead animals from the suburban neighborhood and bury them in the back yard. The themes of death and transcendence weave throughout his artworks, from the earliest drawings to later performances, paintings and sculpture. He went to the Columbus College of Art and Design for two years (1971-73), then dropped out and painted billboards in Ohio for a year (73-74). Grey then attended the Boston Museum School for one year, to study with the conceptual artist, Jay Jaroslav.


At the Boston Museum School he met his wife, the artist, Allyson Rymland Grey. During this period he had a series of entheogenically induced mystical experiences that transformed his agnostic existentialism to a radical transcendentalism. The Grey couple would trip together on LSD. Alex then spent five years at Harvard Medical School working in the Anatomy department studying the body and preparing cadavers for dissection.


He also worked at Harvard's department of Mind/Body Medicine with Dr. Herbert Benson and Dr. Joan Borysenko conducting scientific experiments to investigate subtle healing energies. Alex's anatomical training prepared him for painting the Sacred Mirrors (explained below) and for doing medical illustration. When doctors saw his Sacred Mirrors, they asked him to do illustration work.

Grey was an instructor in Artistic Anatomy and Figure Sculpture for ten years at New York University, and now teaches courses in Visionary Art with Allyson at The Open Center in New York City, Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, the California Institute of Integral Studies and Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.

In 1972 Grey began a series of art actions that bear resemblance to rites of passage, in that they present stages of a developing psyche. The approximately fifty performance rites, conducted over the last thirty years move through transformations from an egocentric to more sociocentric and increasingly worldcentric and theocentric identity. The most recent performance was WorldSpirit, a spoken word and musical collaboration with Kenji Williams which was released in 2004 as a DVD.

Grey's unique series of 21 life-sized paintings, the Sacred Mirrors, take the viewer on a journey toward their own divine nature by examining, in detail, the body, mind, and spirit. The Sacred Mirrors, present the physical and subtle anatomy of an individual in the context of cosmic, biological and technological evolution. Begun in 1979, the series took a period of ten years to complete.


It was during this period that he developed his depictions of the human body that "x-ray" the multiple layers of reality, and reveal the interplay of anatomical and spiritual forces. After painting the Sacred Mirrors, he applied this multidimensional perspective to such archetypal human experiences as praying, meditation, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth, nursing and dying. Grey’s recent work has explored the subject of consciousness from the perspective of “universal beings” whose bodies are grids of fire, eyes and infinite galactic swirls.


Renowned healers Olga Worral and Rosalyn Bruyere have expressed appreciation for the skillful portrayal of clairvoyant vision his paintings of translucent glowing bodies. Grey's paintings have been featured in venues as diverse as the album art of TOOL, SCI, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana, Newsweek magazine, the Discovery Channel, Rave flyers and sheets of blotter acid. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including Feature Inc., Tibet House, Stux Gallery, P.S. 1, The Outsider Art Fair and the New Museum in NYC, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil. Alex has been a keynote speaker at conferences all over the world including Tokyo, Amsterdam, Basel, Barcelona and Manaus. The international psychedelic community has embraced Grey as an important mapmaker and spokesman for the visionary realm.

A large installation called Heart Net by Alex and his wife, Allyson, was displayed at Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum in 1998-99. A mid-career retrospective of Grey's works was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in 1999. The large format art book, Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey has been translated into five languages and has sold over one hundred thousand copies, unusual for an art book. His inspirational book, The Mission of Art, traces the evolution of human consciousness through art history, exploring the role of an artist's intention and conscience, and reflecting on the creative process as a spiritual path.


Transfigurations is Alex's second large format monograph containing over 300 color and black & white images of Grey's work. Sounds True has released The Visionary Artist, a CD of Grey's reflections on art as a spiritual practice. ARTmind is the artist's recent video exploring the healing potential of Sacred Art. Grey co-edited the book, Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Chronicle Books, 2002). The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, a long-term exhibition of fifty works of transformative art by Grey has opened (Fall 2004) in New York City. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter, Allyson Grey and their daughter, the actress, Zena Grey.

Cosmic Christ
The Alex Grey Guitar

[With special thanks to Melissa Lin for introducing me to Alex Grey! First published 23 December 2008]


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

John Lennon would be celebrating his 73rd birthday right now....



But I doubt he would have enjoyed turning into a grouchy old fart like Bob Dylan.

Happy Birthday, Johnny... wherever you are.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

What brand of smartphones and tablets is ideal for UMNO BARU members?

UMNO (1946~1988) ... UMNO BARU (1988~?)
UMNO BARU president elected by 191 corrupt division chiefs
UMNO BARU vice-president in charge of homo affairs
Suck my keris!
UMNO BARU faithful ever ready to lie for their party
UMNO BARU thug threatening innocent bystanders with his shoe
UMNO BARU in the digital age, preparing for the Great War in Cyberspace
Who says the mentally and morally retarded can't use smartphones?


[First published 25 April 2012]


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

TESTOSTERONAL OVERDRIVE, TERRITORIALITY... AND THE MALAY MALE (revisited)

Self-portrait @ sixteen
I was only 16 when I met Azizah at a "grownup" party where couples were slow-dancing and drinking alcoholic beverages. My classmate Suhaimi had invited Johnny Khoo and I to the party. As a fifth form student in Batu Pahat High School I was still a Walt Disney kid and as naïve as Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

One afternoon I saw Suhaimi sitting alone in the school canteen, busy rolling a balut (reefer). "What's that you're smoking?" I asked. Suhaimi winked and said conspiratorially: "We call this ganja." I had no idea what he was talking about so Suhaimi explained that in English it was known as marijuana. He pronounced it "mari-jew-anna."

I was horrified. "Suhaimi, you're my buddy and I care about you, so please listen to me and stop this dangerous habit before it destroys your life."

Suhaimi grinned and nodded amicably but didn't bother arguing with me. Nor did he offer me a toke on his glowing reefer. Two years later when I had my first joint I thought back to this early encounter with "illegal substances" and felt like a complete twit. What a namby-pamby twirp Suhaimi must have thought I was! But he was kind enough not to mock me and I'm still grateful for that.

Gaia by Sabrine
But I digress. Coming back to the party where I met Azizah: I remember her grabbing me by the hand and dragging me to the dance floor. Though I felt awkward and shy I managed to pretend to be cool and sophisticated. I was on cloud nine dancing with the vivacious and extremely friendly Azizah. To top it all she was very pretty too. Before we parted she told me she lived in the Gunung Soga government quarters. She even gave me her address and invited me to visit anytime.

About a week later I found myself driving around the Gunung Soga area with Johnny in tow. My dad, bless his soul, trusted me with his car even though I was too young to possess a driver's licence.

"Hey, let's see if we can find Azizah," Johnny suggested. It only took a couple of turns around the neighborhood to locate her house. We walked up to the front door and boldly knocked. Azizah opened it and broke into a big smile when she saw us. She began chatting with us but made no move to invite us in. A moment later we understood why.

A heavyset bloke sporting a policeman-style mustache suddenly emerged from a bedroom and sauntered to the front door. Azizah appeared a tad nervous as she introduced her fiancé Azlan to us.

Azlan gestured to Azizah and she gave us a weak smile as she disappeared into the kitchen, as if to fetch us some drinks. Her fiancé's hunky body blocked the entrance. "How do you know Azizah?" he asked curtly.

"Oh, we met at a party and she invited us to visit," I began... but Azlan wasn't listening. He took a step forward and kneed Johnny in the groin.

Johnny reflexively got into fighting stance but I put a hand on his shoulder to calm him down. "Let's leave. I don't think we're welcome here."

That was my first experience of testosteronal overdrive, territoriality and the Malay male. It was such a rude and unpleasant shock I quickly blotted the incident from memory.



Thirty-three years later I was reminded of Azizah and her possessive lover Azlan when I saw Huzir Sulaiman's dramatic monologue, Election Day, wherein he played three housemates named Francis, Dedric and Fozi. The narrator is Francis (a freelance copywriter who could be either Indian or Eurasian) and the plot revolves around "the beautiful and enigmatic Natasha" (a rich girl who is neither seen nor heard at any point but for whose affections all three housemates end up vying). Dedric is a Taiwan-educated Tian Chua type human rights activist and Fozi is a fashionably bohemian architect and one-time PAS member in Perak.

At the start of the play Natasha is Fozi's girlfriend and she has just left the house after a spat with him. The action takes place on Election Day, 29 November 1999. As the drama unfolds we discover that Dedric has a crush on Natasha and thinks Fozi isn't worthy of her. Cleverly interweaving acerbic sociopolitical commentary into his narrative, Huzir concludes his one-hour neo-existentialist drama with a chilling revelation: one of the three housemates is actually a Special Branch officer who manages to set up the other two guys for arrest and detention without trial so he can get the girl - and possibly a promotion for services rendered towards the maintenance of the status quo.

Natasha in Election Day represents the ultimate reward: the land itself, a trophy bride to show off to the whole world and in whose fecund and erotic soil the conquering hero can plant his seeds.

Was Huzir Sulaiman cynically implying that the old adage - all's fair in love and war - holds true and that only the completely amoral stand a chance of winning the game?

Anyway, as I began to recall that long-forgotten run-in with Azizah's jealous fiancé Azlan, many complex issues emerged for me to ponder. First of all, why did Azizah invite me to her house? Okay, assuming she found me rather cute and was keen to befriend me, why didn't she warn me about Azlan? Those were the days before cellphones and SMSes, so it would have been a bit harder to plan secret trysts, even if she had passed me her home phone number. Yet Azizah struck me as a free-spirited, fun-loving girl who enjoyed a wide circle of friends and didn't see anything wrong with befriending other guys even if she already had a steady boyfriend or fiancé.

Perhaps Azlan and Azizah had very different views on this subject. I wonder if she eventually married the fellow - and whether she would have been happy being under the thumb of such a control freak who obviously believed it was fine for him to have four wives, but strictly a no-no for a woman to have four husbands.

I made an effort to imagine myself as someone like Azlan, who would shoot first and talk later if he felt his boundaries threatened. A man of action rather than contemplation who probably dismissed people like me as lily-livered bleeding hearts just because we're capable of a measure of empathy - and are therefore more likely to welcome the unexpected rather than barricade ourselves against the unknown.

If I were Azlan and one day found a couple of strange men at the door asking to see my girlfriend, what would my response be? First, I'd ask her if she knew these guys and whether she wanted to see them. If she acknowledged them as friends and was happy to welcome them to the house, I'd probably regard them as my friends too. They'd be served tea and cakes and after a bit of conversation I might find I enjoyed their company and vice versa. Even if they initially had plans to date her, they would probably be glad just to be accepted as family friends.

After all, if I'm fortunate enough to have a really hot girlfriend or spouse, she's bound to be a big hit with almost every guy she meets and they would all wish they could make out with her. And if I didn't attempt to put her on a short leash and respected her sovereignty as a conscious and mature individual, I'd trust her to always be honest with me.

It's absurd to force your partner to vow NEVER to be attracted to any other. However, it's not difficult at all to swear eternal love to somebody - as long as it's not exclusive, since one never knows what inner changes one will undergo over an extended period.

For instance, you may believe you're absolutely besotted with somebody when you're 17 years old, only to realize four or five years down the line - or perhaps even after four or five months - that it was a purely superficial attraction, and that it's time to move on. Even so, one must always be grateful for love and good times shared. It's a very positive thing to continue loving the ones you have mentally and emotionally outgrown or detached from - like your own parents or former teachers, for example.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Azlan is a metaphor for Umno's values of pseudo-nationalism, ultra-ethnocentrism, and erotophobic bi-polarity manifesting as an obsession with sex and power. Azizah symbolizes Malaysia.

As a traditional, patriarchally programmed Malay male, Azlan/Umno believes it is his God-given right to possess and control Azizah/Malaysia. The thought of somebody else - what more a pork-eating Chink? - wanting a share of his prized possession Azizah is enough to trigger a violent knee-jerk reaction.

All very basic, really: without wasting his breath by going into a discussion about the matter, Azlan instinctively knew what Johnny and I were after - his girl! - and since he was a much more mature guy than either of us fifth-formers, he simply turned into a bully-boy to dissuade us from ever approaching Azizah again. Just protecting his own interests, that's all. Nothing personal.



But there's the rub. Azlan saw Azizah as his property - not as a living, thinking, feeling, evolving, autonomous entity. Johnny wanted to punch Azlan in the face but I felt it was prudent to just walk away from an unnecessary fight. It wasn't as if either of us was seriously in love with Azizah. We only wanted to explore the possibilities of befriending this feisty, friendly girl. All very innocuous stuff, really, and it was stupid of Azlan to react so brutishly.

By obeying his own primitive, unthinking, territorial imperatives he had shown himself to be merely a humanoid biped not much more evolved than a gorilla equipped with basic linguistic circuitry. If he had had the good sense to break into a broad grin and quip: "So you guys want to chat with Azizah? Well, I'm her manager and it's going to cost you 50 bucks an hour... each! Actually, I'm engaged to be married to Azizah in three months and if you turn out to be nice fellas, we'll invite you to the wedding."



Well, such an approach might easily have won Azlan two new friends. Instead, he left me with a permanent bad taste about unwarranted jealousy, petty-mindedness and the sheer stupidity of being a habitual control freak. Indeed, I'm convinced that people like Azlan - unless they mature and mellow rapidly enough - won't qualify for admission into the heavenly realms, because we can't have such coarse and loutish souls clogging up the free flow of good feelings in those rarefied frequencies.

Nevertheless, Azlan's violent behavior was undeniably effective. I never attempted again to contact Azizah, though for me she will always represent the beauty, nubility, hospitality and infinite promise my country holds for me - and everyone else who regards her as home. And ever since that time the name Azizah has always held a mysterious appeal for me.

Azizah would be past 60 by now, probably a grandmother several times over. I fervently hope she wised up and dumped that reactionary Umnoish boyfriend of hers and married a Mat Salleh instead. In any case, I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of these days a vibrant, vivacious and extremely attractive young woman named Zamila added me as her Facebook friend, and I later discovered her paternal grandma Azizah was born in Batu Pahat and lived for many years in the Gunung Soga government quarters...


FOR THE SAKE OF SCIENTIFIC ACCURACY ~
 IF NOT POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
Halfway through writing this post it occurred to me that the syndrome I've been discussing is certainly not defined by ethnicity or nationality, nor does it entirely apply to the male gender. It so happened that in this early encounter with "the territorial imperative" the antagonist happened to be a Malay male. He could also have been Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Albanian, Filipino, Zimbabwean, Chinese or Portuguese. Possessiveness is a fairly common trait amongst females too.

Ego insecurity and jealousy are hardwired into our reptilian brains - the most basic, most ancient and primitive component of vertebrate cerebrospinal neural circuitry. In most species the territorial imperative serves the long-range objectives of specific genetic programs in a Darwinian selective process.

Stands to reason that under the harsh, hostile conditions of a prolonged Dark Age, the masculine, warlike qualities would become prominent survival features. However, in an Enlightened Age, this truculent, hooliganistic, shoot-first-talk-later behavior swiftly becomes countersurvival.

Brain supersedes brawn and heart overrides gonads as sentient beings evolve. In effect, the Azlan syndrome is really a residual behavior accumulated over thousands of years when physical might improved procreative odds. In an era when metaphysical vision becomes more relevant and significant as modifiers of human evolution, the gorillaman faces abrupt extinction as the godman takes his place as prime progenitive preference.

Just as Umno has yet to integrate the deeper existential implications of its massive losses during the 8 March 2008 election, a large portion of humanity has yet to acquire the more advanced software that will enable us to constantly be aware of the Big Picture - the larger context of our interactions with other aspects of our constantly expanding selves. Those able to swiftly redefine themselves and their own ego boundaries may be classified as "Cultural Creatives" or civilizing agents. 
Now here comes the good news: according to sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson, who co-authored The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World  (published in 2000), at least 25% of the world's human population now qualify as civilizing agents. I'd call that a critical mass! 
[Firs published 9 May 2009]