"Whatever words I say to explain this love, when I arrive at love, I am ashamed" -Masnavi Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Allah Hoo Allah Hoo
“No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.” Nathaniel Hawthorne
Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind - Ajit Varki and Danny Brower's "Mind over Reality" Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It’s proof of modern society’s deepest sins: delusion, repression, irrationality, cynicism and manipulation. It’s the failure to be able to tell fact from fiction, and, worse, the devastating failure to know oneself. Deniers are the ones who can’t face the fact, the ones who insist that everyone else is wrong even when the weight of evidence is crushingly against them. Although a gift for self-deception may have saved our ancestors from despair, it might also be our downfall.
“To be nobody but myself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else—means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting. e.e. cummings
“Everything strange, everything amazing, everything that eludes established norms is marvelous,” Alejo Carpentier’s The Kingdom of This World - the “marvelous real.”
People V. The State Of Illusion (an examination of our perceptions, beliefs and imagination)
One example of magic realism occurs when a character in the story continues to be alive beyond the normal length of life and this is subtly depicted by the character being present throughout many generations. On the surface the story has no clear magical attributes and everything is conveyed in a real setting, but such a character breaks the rules of our real world and the fantastic character of the story would turn out to be an abnormal occurrence like someone living for two hundred years. “Art is not purely representative of a reality,” she says. “It speaks at a deeper, symbolic level and how we navigate our way through life.... Marvellous is about the extraordinary and the bizarre and then coming together with the real.” Nicola Levell
The Wild Swans At Coole by William Butler Yeats
The trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water mirrors a still sky; Upon the brimming water among the stones are nine-and-fifty Swans. The nineteenth autumn has come upon me since I first made my count; I saw, before I had well finished, all suddenly mount and scatter wheeling in great broken rings upon their clamorous wings. I have looked upon those brilliant creatures, and now my heart is sore. All's changed since I, hearing at twilight, the first time on this shore, the bell-beat of their wings above my head, trod with a lighter tread. Unwearied still, lover by lover, they paddle in the cold companionable streams or climb the air; Their hearts have not grown old; Passion or conquest, wander where they will, attend upon them still. But now they drift on the still water, mysterious, beautiful; among what rushes will they build, by what lake's edge or pool delight men's eyes when I awake some day to find they have flown away?
This is about the gentle pain of personal memory and living in a time when “all’s changed, changed utterly" and that they will never be the same; contrasts sharply with the swans, a sign of permanence, an emblem for something that appears to stay the same. For a brief moment the swans represent something beautiful that he can hold onto. And sometimes, in life, that's all we need. We need to find things that we love, things that make us appreciate what the world has to offer, even if these things only remind us that along with lots of pain and heartbreak, there are things to be grateful for and to find the beauty in life, however fleeting—and why we should dig it entirely.
I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire a-flame, But something rustled on the floor, And some one called me by my name: It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air. Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
The Song of the Wandering Aengus by W.B. Yeats
Owen Barfield - Rediscovery of Meaning
“A strengthening and deepening of the activity of imagination is the only way in which we can really begin to have to do with the spirit...We “creatives” are to act as a bridge spanning the gap between the spirit and matter.” The Rediscovery of Meaning, Owen Barfield (a collection of lectures and essays about language and the imagination on the importance of meaning and unity to address the problem of meaninglessness and fragmentation in society)
We are well supplied with interesting writers, but Owen Barfield is not content to be merely interesting. His ambition is to set us free. Free from what? From the prison we have made for ourselves by our ways of knowing, our limited and false habits of thought, our "common sense." These, he convincingly argues, have produced a "world of outsides with no insides to them," a brittle surface world, an object world in which we ourselves are mere objects. It is not only what we perceive but also what we fail to perceive that determines the quality of the world we live in, and what we have collectively chosen not to perceive is the full reality of consciousness, the "inside" of everything that exists. Saul Bellow
"Saving the Appearances, like pretty well everything else I have written, is about the evolution of consciousness... seeking to establish on various grounds that this must be seen as the progressive metamorphosis of a universal or generalized consciousness, which embraced both man and nature, into the individualized and alienated self-consciousness we have today; and further that there are indications that this contraction seeks to be followed by an expansion from the new center thus created" " Owen Barfield
Our task is to realize that "the great world of formative thinking is still there, awaiting us"; and to actually reach "the etheric in fully conscious experience of thinking." As we scan the news each day, we are reminded again that "the preservation of continuity in Western Civilization depends on how many and how active may be the spirits which shall succeed in doing this"
Under the spell of a dark delusion, the forces of darkness never have to recruit. They just sit patiently waiting for people to come knocking, which they always do. It is the nature of some people in these worlds to do wrong: not because they are bad or stupid or even because they are duped, but because it’s in people to damn themselves if the price is right, something enduring in our character, to a truth of sorts that never burns itself out. Gambling our eternal soul on the chance that we will somehow get away clean. With fools for fuel, hell is always stoked. But the world in which we seek to undo our mistakes is not the world in which they were made. Geoff Pevere on Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor
The Silk Road Project is a cultural and educational organization that promotes innovation and learning through the arts. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded the Project in 1998 with a vision of connecting the world's neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe. The Project takes inspiration from the historical Silk Road trading routes, employing the Silk Road as a modern metaphor for sharing and learning across cultures, art forms and disciplines. “Passion-driven education liberates students and gives them the self-confidence to discover who they are as individuals and how they fit in the world.” YO-YO MA
Martha Wainwright - Proserpina (written by her late mother, the folk singer Kate McGarrigle) "It's the last song my mother wrote, and of course I also think that she wrote it for me, and for Rufus," "Proserpina" recounts the story of the creation of the seasons by the Roman goddess Ceres, who withholds the world's bounty for six months every year in protest about her daughter's abduction by Pluto, lord of the underworld.
and the clearing of all traumas, fraud and other irregularities in the Aquarian Age that stand in the way of love
The race to the riches of the Far North as Arctic ice melting at record pace. The rush to develop the Arctic’s resources for mining, minerals, oil and gas exploration and transportation. 18 companies recently won exploration licences in Norway’s Barents Sea. Shipping is increasing through Russia’s northern waterway. And Finland is forecasting $200-billion worth of development in mining and oil in its Arctic region over the next 10 years.
Maude Barlow - Blue Future
Maude Barlow - Blue Future, Protecting Water and People by four guiding principles to a more just, sustainable world for to us all: Water (drinking water and sanitation) Is a Human Right and must be more equitably shared.; Water Is a Common Heritage (of humanity and of future generations) and must be protected as a Public Trust (water must not become a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market); Water Has Rights Too (make our human laws compatible with those of nature); Water Will Teach Us How to Live Together..
Karl Kraus was an Austrian satirist Who was for most part sole author of the influential magazine Die Fackel (The Torch) which was like a blog that everybody who mattered in the German-speaking world, from Freud to Kafka to Walter Benjamin,found it necessary to read and have an attitude toward. Kraus was especially well known for his aphorisms. In Kraus's chronicling of crimes against truth and language in The Last Days of Mankind (or Humanity), he's referring not merely to physical destruction, but a world being created by the infernal machine of technoconsumerism (While we are busy tweeting, texting and spending). Kraus was the first great instance of a writer fully experiencing how modernity, whose essence is the accelerating rate of change, in itself creates the conditions for personal apocalypse. “We were complicated enough to build machines and too primitive to make them serve us.” Kraus Project - Jonathan Franzen
Kraus Project - Jonathan Franzen
In his remarkably advanced treatment of harmony and rhythm, Chopin banished the ordinary from his music and opened the door to an emotional ambiguity that continues to intrigue listeners. The luminous textures and haunting melodies he used to express his thoughts added to the piano's sound and range of color shadings that no one before him had imagined were there, but that all who have followed recognize as his. The same is true of the harmonic question marks one finds throughout his music — the equivalent of a look of gentle longing. He created a slimmer oeuvre than his important contemporaries, but every piece he produced was a pearl.
Aleksandar Hemon's “The Lazarus Project”
Aleksandar Hemon's “The Lazarus Project” Aleksandar Hemon describes his narrator’s (Brik) hazy, trancelike state of being, in which dreams, memories, death and a life-after-death intermingle. Living with an acute sense of the loss of his homeland and, so, the loss of his identity, he struggles “through permanent confusion.” Trying to remember the events of the day before falling asleep, Brik engages in a ritual he calls his “nightly prayer, a contemplation of my presence in the world.” But sometimes, he confesses, “a violently involuntary memory of a dream emerged in my mind, like a corpse released from the bottom of the lake.” In this one eerie, watery image, Hemon suggests the many ephemeral layers of disassociation from reality — the morass of memory, lost memory, dreams and the death of dreams — in which Brik exists. This constant sense of a living, permeated loss is partly what impels him to try to uncover the story of Lazarus Averbuch. And that search is inextricably bound up in the how and why of storytelling. “The Lazarus Project” is Brik’s search for his moral stride. “All the lives I could live, all the people I will never know, never will be, they are everywhere. That is all that the world is.”
The dislocation of exile and the challenge of inventing a new life. I do have a sense of displacement as constant instability . I excised and exterminated that precious, youthful part of me that had believed you could retreat from history and hide from evil in the comforts of art. Art establishes a space for continuous dialogue. In that space our experience is deposited and recreated by storytelling or poetry so that we can fully confront it. Fictional characters allowed me to understand what was hard for me to understand. Storytelling need makes no distinction between fiction and non-fiction. Ultimately literature gives us the sense of community. Aleksandar Hemon - The Book of My Lives
VITAMIA ("My Life") - a fresco of human emotions that draws on an immense diversity of musical colors and nuances. Nuovo - Gianmaria Testa
Shekinah: The Intimate Life of Hasidic Women Opening a dialogue with a community that is so often misunderstood, (and is often deeply reluctant to let anyone deemed an outsider in), but nonetheless are a lot like we are. Exploring the possibilities of looking at the world in a different way and dissolving misconceptions. Beneath the surface lays the potential for a much richer and more mystical life, if you want to see it.
Ghazal-The Rain with Shujaat Husain Khan & Kayhan Kalhor
Winter Journey: songs from Schubert's 'Winterreise' a song cycle for voice and piano (words on Wilhelm Muller's poem)- the search as the essential aim of life. “I will play you a cycle of terrifying songs; they have affected me more than has ever been the case with any other songs. These songs please me more than all the rest, and in time they will please you as well.” Franz Schubert In Winter Journey, via twenty-four short poems about sadness, loneliness, defiance, and resignation – a sort of intimate diary of a frustrated man, we enter the landscape of the soul of a lonely man coming to terms with the loss of his beloved. As a stranger I arrived, As a stranger I shall leave. It is now winter and the hero leaves his adopted home in the dead of night, writing a farewell message to his beloved (Good Night). As he leaves the town crows shower him with snow from the roofs (Looking Back) and he begins a painful journey, constantly tortured by memories of his past happiness (Frozen Tears, On the River, The Watercourse). As he leaves the town he is joined by a raven, possibly symbolic of a death wish (The Raven). Eventually he arrives at another town (Solitude) where it seems that he stays for some time as he writes of the post arriving there (The Post). The cycle ends with a particularly bleak image. An organ-grinder or hurdy-gurdy man has a pitch near the village where he plies his trade ignored by the villagers and harassed by dogs. It is ironic that in this final poem the poet asks if the hurdy-gurdy man will set the poet’s songs to music, an invitation that was ultimately accepted by Schubert.
Modest Mussorgsky - Night On Bald Mountain
Winter Journey: songs from Schubert's 'Winterreise'