Tag Archives | Books

Ever Rethinking the Lord’s Prayer: Buckminster Fuller Revises Scripture with Science

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via Brain Pickings:

A secular definition of divinity as a curiosity-driven love of truth bent through the prism of our subjective experience.

“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science,” Einstein wrote to a little girl who asked him whether scientists pray, “becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man.” “The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive,” Carl Sagan seconded, “does a disservice to both.” And yet the oppression of religious doctrine over scientific thought has persisted for centuries, fromGalileo to some of today’s most celebrated minds.

In his 1981 classic Critical Path (public library), legendary architect, designer, inventor, theorist and futurist Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895–July 1, 1983) explores the subject with his singular blend of philosophical fringe-think, love of science, and cosmic poetics.… Read the rest

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What Happens To Your Brain When You’re Lost In A Book?

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Photo: B.Davis2003 (CC)

Entitled “The Neuroscience of Harry Potter,” this Fast Company story investigates what happens to your brain when you’re truly lost in a book:

Let’s do a casual experiment. Here’s a brief passage from the first book in some obscure fiction series called Harry Potter:

A bush on the edge of the clearing quivered. … Then, out of the shadows, a hooded figure came crawling across the ground like some stalking beast. Harry, Malfoy, and Fang stood transfixed. The cloaked figure reached the unicorn, lowered its head over the wound in the animal’s side, and began to drink its blood.

And here’s another passage from the final book of the series:

He got up off the floor, stretched and moved across to his desk. Hedwig made no movement as he began to flick through the newspapers, throwing them on to the rubbish pile one by one; the owl was asleep, or else faking; she was angry with Harry about the limited amount of time she was allowed out of her cage at the moment.

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Consciousness in the Cosmos

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The Immortal Mind is now available.

via Reality Sandwich:

Your consciousness is not your consciousness.

It is the manifestation of the longing of the cosmos for itself.

It comes to you through you but not from you.*

*A paraphrase of Khalil Gibran’s words about children in The Prophet:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you.

The beyond-the-brain consciousness—the consciousness we encountered in our review of near-death experiences, after-death communication, medium-conveyed and instrumental transcommunication, past-life recollections, and in experiences suggestive of reincarnation—is not a material entity in the manifest world. It is an intrinsic element in the Akasha, the deep dimension of the cosmos.

The idea that consciousness belongs to a deeper dimension of reality is a perennial intuition. The great spiritual masters, poets, and even scientists have been telling us that consciousness is not “in” the brain and is not part of the world in which the brain exists.

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Long Live the Old Flesh: David Cronenberg’s ‘Consumed’

71luh+wAwxL._SL1500_via Pop Matters:

I took a film studies course during my undergraduate program that was focused on the works of Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, probably the most visible Canadian filmmaker after James Cameron. I remember that the professor introduced Cronenberg by saying that he actually never originally set out to be a director. Rather, he wanted to be a novelist. It was just happenstance that he started making films.

Well, here we are more than four decades into Cronenberg’s career (I’m counting early works such as Stereo and Crimes of the Future), a period that includes films such as Scanners,Videodrome, The Fly, A History of Violence and countless, countless others, and Cronenberg has finally gotten around to fulfilling his early dream. At the age of 71, he has finally published his debut novel, Consumed. And, pardon the pun, there’s a lot to chew on here.

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So, You Want To Be A Porn Star?

81FRYScBcYL._SL1500_There is something unique about porn stars. It isn’t just the fact that they fuck a lot of people on camera, although that is surely attention getting. It goes deeper than that.

Society is obsessed and captivated with the sex industry. The men and women who work in the industry are often either adored or derided. But with every fantasy comes reality. So what is the reality for the stars in this business?

Some believe that porn stars must be different than the rest of us, and maybe even deficient in some way. They have to be right? Not just in what they do for a living but deep inside. How could someone spend their days having sex for money, and on camera no less? What is wrong with them? How could they do it? Aren’t they ashamed?

Others go the other route, they are starstruck by porn stars. They are in awe of the lifestyle, or what they consider it to be.… Read the rest

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From Dictatorship to Democracy

Screen shot 2014-10-30 at 4.49.09 PMFrom Dictatorship to Democracy

Last night, whilst watching TV, a very interesting documentary was on, called How to Start a Revolution. I had never heard of the book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” before, nor how it had been instrumental to the Velvet and Orange revolutions of Eastern Europe, not to mention several other popular uprisings around the world (Arab Spring, etc.). The methodology in the book are tried, tested and have worked all around the world.

The 198 rules (in the appendix) are a road map to peacefully overthrowing a repressive regime and may represent human-kinds last best hope of changing our seemingly inevitable course towards climate induced species extinction.

This should be required reading for anyone who has any wish to change the current oligarchical status-quo of psychopathic elites willing to kill us all for a few more dollars.

You can read the full book here

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Americans Ban Books on Poverty and Class

Not only are some Americans trying to remove books on sex and religion (not to mention evolution) from schools and public libraries, now they’re going after books dealing with poverty and class, reports the Guardian:

Late last month, for the 32nd year in a row, Banned Books Week was marked across the US. Spearheaded by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, the annual salute to the freedom to read has become a fixture. It aims to counterbalance perennial challenges to the content of books and efforts to get them banned, usually from schools and libraries.

The ALA collects information on which books are objected to and reports on prominent recurring themes that tend to generate moral or ideological indignation. Subjects such as religion, race, gender, sexuality and allegations of sexually explicit content or offensive language frequently top the list.

Berkeley Heights NJ public library books and shelves

More worrying, however, is the recent rise in efforts to get books banned that cover poverty and social class.

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Revolutionaries of the Soul

soulIn western societies, the canon is the greatest ally to social conditioning and nation-building. Schools and media echo it with great alacrity. There are even prizes, ranging from local to international (and very prestigious, as well as remunerative), assigned to sundry representatives of the canon. The significance of such prizes is twofold: further to establish and divulge the canon, and to enroll clever minds in its service. The resulting world is deceptively varied but in fact univocal. Most of us are led to believe that that’s all there is and, often, believe it we do. Then, one day, some of us stumble on something that seems completely extra-canonical. We either dismiss it as sheer nonsense or, to our surprise, we are attracted to it—and the doors of a whole new world are swung open.

Gary Lachman’s Revolutionaries of the Soul: Reflections on Magicians, Philosophers, and Occultists is just the sort of book that those of you who have overdosed on the platitudes so incessantly dished out by the canon-enforcers will enjoy reading.… Read the rest

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What are you reading this October?

31CLp9ZsBiLA couple of weeks ago, I asked the Disinfo crowd which movies everyone had seen and/or planned to see. I just thought I’d do the same for books as my movie post garnered some decent discussion.

I’m currently reading Polish Postcommunist Cinema by Ewa Mazierska. So far, it’s okay. Mazierska gives a decent overview of the cinematic climate after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In the first part, she analyzes films through popular genres such as police/gangster films and heritage cinema. I sometimes think genre studies can be a bit reductive and, so far, Mazierska’s overviews have been brief and sometimes underdeveloped. I am looking forward to her discussion of The New Cinema of Moral Concern and women’s cinema. However, I’m still wading through the genre breakdowns.

Have anything interesting you’d like to share with the rest of us? Anything I can add to my Goodreads account? I don’t usually give out my social media information, but I’d be willing to connect on Goodreads.… Read the rest

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Generation Hex Chapel of Sacred Mirrors retrospective (2005)

‘Welcome to – how do you say – “a hole in history itself.’
This book is about magic, and about Generation Hex, teenagers and young adults who practice it.’

– Jason Louv (from Generation Hex, Introduction)


 From Binding the Occult

For those of you that weren’t around during it’s heyday it would be hard to understand. There was no proper term for it. I could say Hyper Culture, I could say Ultra Culture, there were a million different terms for what was going on. It was a movement. The internet was still fresh and new. It had been born from some chaotic cesspool and out from it came a storm of ideas and people who were steeped in all sorts of eclectic occult knowledge. One, especially a sixteen year old boy, could just bathe in. Here was a world where the only books I could easily find were by a witch named Silver Ravenwolf, and suddenly I am diving into ideas that until recently were completely obscure.

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