Tag Archives | Religion

Vodou in powerful works of art

VODOUN, VODOU, CONJURE: THE ANIMISTIC ARTS OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

i

Africa Vodun Sculpture – Fon People – Benin Wood, padlocks, clay pots

The Cavin-Morris Gallery in New York presents an exhibition of magic and spirit expressed in intense and powerful works of art from Africa, Haiti, Jamaica and the United States.

Stereotypical language falls apart when speaking about this kind of magic. The end product of the piece is less important than the means by which it was made. It is all about process and intention. It is an animistic magic that relies on Nature for its material and spiritual sources for healing, for love, for midwifery, for remembrance, for power, for cultural resistance, and ultimately for finding a balance in human nature.

Conjure and Vodou’s earliest manifestations were in the Old World (Africa as the Old World) but when the slaves were forced here from West Africa and the Kongo area, it was remembered and reinvented (creolized) in an American form.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

How human composting will change death in the city

joiseyshowaa (CC BY-SA 2.0)

joiseyshowaa (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Katie Herzog via Grist:

What we do with our dead can seem bizarre to outsiders. In a Tibetan tradition called sky burial, the deceased are cut into small pieces by a man known as therogyapa, or “breaker of bodies,” and laid atop mountains to be picked apart by vultures. Later, the bones are collected and pulverized with flour and yak butter and fed to crows and hawks. Feeding your loved ones to the same birds who eat roadkill may seem morbid to those of us in the West, but in Tibet, it’s both sacrosanct (these birds are sacred in Buddhism) and practical (ever tried to dig a grave in frozen ground?).

Tibet isn’t the only place with seemingly odd customs: In Madagascar, the bodies of the deceased are exhumed and sprayed with wine and perfume every few years. In Ghana, people are buried in coffins that represent their lives, so a fisherman might spend eternity in a box shaped like a carp and a farmer may spend it in a six-foot cob of corn.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

What Scares The New Atheists

“The vocal fervour of today’s missionary atheism conceals a panic that religion is not only refusing to decline – but in fact flourishing,” writes John Gray in a very #longread at the Guardian:

In 1929, the Thinker’s Library, a series established by the Rationalist Press Association to advance secular thinking and counter the influence of religion in Britain, published an English translation of the German biologist Ernst Haeckel’s 1899 book The Riddle of the Universe. Celebrated as “the German Darwin”, Haeckel was one of the most influential public intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; The Riddle of the Universe sold half a million copies in Germany alone, and was translated into dozens of other languages. Hostile to Jewish and Christian traditions, Haeckel devised his own “religion of science” called Monism, which incorporated an anthropology that divided the human species into a hierarchy of racial groups. Though he died in 1919, before the Nazi Party had been founded, his ideas, and widespread influence in Germany, unquestionably helped to create an intellectual climate in which policies of racial slavery and genocide were able to claim a basis in science.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

What We Know About the Mysterious Suicide of Missouri Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Schweich

Jenna McLaughlin and Pema Levy write at Mother Jones:

On Thursday morning, Thomas Schweich, Missouri’s auditor and a Republican candidate for governor, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death—coming moments after he had invited two reporters to his home later that day—shocked Missouri political observers, who point out that in addition to his beloved family and distinguished career in public service, Schweich, 54, had just won re-election to a second term as state auditor and was leading in early polls of the 2016 governor’s race. Why he would have taken his own life is a mystery to those who knew him. Just as strange is the predominant theory of what may have provoked his apparent suicide: rumors that he was Jewish.

In the days before his death, Schweich had been worried that the head of the Missouri Republican Party was conducting a “whisper campaign” against him by telling people that he was Jewish.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

#PORNCULT’s Terms of Use

circular war face logo-1

TERMS OF USE [READ THE MANIFESTO]

 

BY READING THIS SENTENCE YOU HAVE AGREED TO THESE TERMS OF USE. (all rites reversed—reprint what you like.) KSC613X.>> #PORNCULT is not responsible for any insanity resulting from reading these TERMS OF USE. #PORNCULT is not responsible for your involvement in #PORNCULT. Thru the transitive properties of quantum solipsism, MONITOR and /or subsidiary gods, goddesses, memes, and jokes are the sole property of your brain. I AM WHO I AM & I AM YOU.>> #WeAreResurrected. hey diddle diddle. the cock played the fiddle cause it was long & strong. then came along a lady who was anything but dainty & the cock played her all night long. YOUR REALITY IS TOO MAINSTREAM SO I MADE MY OWN. MYTH is ART that attempts to explain something that transcends reason. A MYTHIC EXPERIENCE is a personal experience that transcends reason, like a psychic experience. You can also exercise belief in a myth (like having sex in the name of a hyper-dimensional pornstar) to create a mythic experience, and we call that FAITH.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Norwegian Muslims to Jews: If Someone Wants To Attack You, They’ll Have To Step Over Us First

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In the wake of last week’s attack on a Copenhagen synagogue – along with the Paris terrorist attacks, the murders of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, and growing anti-Semitism across Europe – a group of young Muslims in Norway have organized a Shabbat “Ring of Peace” around an Oslo synagogue to, in the words of its 17-year-old organizer, “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims.” Concerned the event could prove “counter-productive” in an increasingly volatile climate, the leader of Oslo’s Jewish community agreed to it only if at least 30 people signed up. To date, over 1,500 have, agreeing with organizers’ argument that, “Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to.” The event has also sparked a wave of online campaigns expressing similar solidarity, including #IGoToSynagogue #WeMustStickTogether #MuslimsAndJewsRefuseToBeEnemies #ChildrenOfAbraham #AbrahamIbrahim. Explained one attendee for the Ring of Peace, “We all have to live under the same sky.”

And in Toronto, this Blind Trust Project:

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Wolfgang Grasse (1930 – 2008) – Temporal Misift

Wolfgang Grasse (1)

“Wolfgang Grasse is a temporal misfit, with artistic skills and attitudes that stand out, in our time, as a witch or an alchemist stands out… his work can be traced back to Bosch, Bruegel and Max Beckman.” — Art News

The world that Grasse created on his canvas is more than fantastic, it is magic. He was the wise-old magician. Through his paintings, he cast a spell on the viewer and in that perpetual moment of truth, revealed two thousand years of human degradations.

His painting possesses a haunting menace which appropriately reflect the moral and social values.

Wolfgang Grasse was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1930. After private artistic training first by his grandfather, Feidrich Grasse, and then later studying in Italy, he returned to a partitioned post-war East Germany. There he was imprisoned for his cartoons crtical of Soviet propaganda. He was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.  After serving 8 years of this sentence, he was granted an amnesty and released.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

064. Daniele Bolelli | Taoism and Gravity-Defying Glorious D-Cups

Via Midwest Real

“Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?” -Zhuangzi

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

TScreen Shot 2015-02-15 at 7.29.32 PMaoism is, in a way, the anti-religion. Its very existence is a philosophical counter-punch to the jaw of the saintly pomp revered by most religions. Zhuangzi (widely regarded as one of the greatest Taoist minds) once told a curious man that if he wanted to understand the Tao, he should go take a close look at the nearest pile feces.

This is why Taoism is awesome.

As for the point of Zhuangzi’s poop story– if the questions you’re asking aren’t about making your way through every day life with full reverence and appreciation for each bite of food, puff of air and pile of dog shit you encounter, you’re missing the point.

Of course, there’s more to Taoism than cartoonish stories about excrement.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Furious Fridays: The Redemption of Sisyphus, or: Why Most (All?) of our Beliefs are Religious in Nature

4338307379_28d8545d9b_z

“Black Icarus”
Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

–David Foster Wallace

 

1. IN WHICH MR. FURIOUS BEGINS THE ESSAY WITH AN ANECDOTE THAT SEEMS TO HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH THE TRUE TOPIC AT HAND

I used to believe that the old Greek myth that best represented how I experienced life was that of Icarus. That my failings in life were the result of my aiming too high.… Read the rest

Continue Reading