Archive for December, 2014

John Beckett ~ Unfortunate Effects of Joseph Campbell

I love Joseph Campbell, too, but I found this post by John Beckett quite timely, in that he pushes back against the implementation of a “monomyth” at a time of fairly strong pressure to lump everything into one pot. While I love the rising recognition of our planet as a primal and holy force, I also feel caution that we don’t lose subtlety, uniqueness and local culture in our search for the one, the only, the all-encompassing, authoritative global myth.

Does a “Mythos for Planetary Culture” really require that we all believe the exact same thing? Or could we love our planet, recognize Her divinity and inherent value, yet go even deeper into our local heritage, the local spirits of place, and those Elemental and energetic beings who unfurl the veils, through engaging a very much embodied Nature, rather than an abstract concept of the One True Myth that supplants all other myths? Doesn’t that sound just a tiny bit like … (gasp!) the “elite”‘s coveted One World Religion? Are we so afraid of our differences that we can only integrate them by painting over everything with a different colored but still monochromatic brush?

A few highlights from John’s article:

“In his search for universal themes, Campbell combined and conflated widely differing myths into a ‘monomyth’ – a soft polytheism of mythology that claims all myths are aspects of One Myth. One critic called this ‘a (Joseph) Campbell soup of myths that loses all local flavor.’”

“Another source of confusion is our evolutionary instinct to divide everything into good/bad, helpful/harmful, like me/Other. When we get to know people of different religions and we see they’re basically good, we move them from the ‘Other’ category to the ‘like me’ category. And if someone else is ‘like me’ then I may assume that deep down they must be seeking the same things I seek. This is not an accurate assumption.”

“We don’t have to say ‘deep down you’re just like me’ in order to get along with another person or a different religion. We don’t have to assume they’re seeking the same things in different ways. We just have to respect their inherent dignity and worth and trust they’ll do the same for us.”

As always, I enjoy John’s unpacking and rearranging of commonly accepted beliefs and structures. His process, as much as anything he concludes, offers an excellent antidote to that collectivist urge to erase all differences into a homogenous blob, instead of learning to recognize and celebrate the vastness of Nature, Imagination and the ever unfolding Creation. Here’s the full post.

Catalog Housecleaning for the New Year

In case, like me, you have somehow found yourself on the exponentially growing list of direct mail marketing catalogs, I wanted to share two of the biggest “rent” sites that share all your data with companies you’ve never heard of.

http://www.abacusalliance.com (Select Opt-Out at the bottom of the page, and then follow instructions to remove your name.)

http://www.datalogix.com (Select “Privacy” at the bottom of the home page, and then follow the instructions.)

Although these both look like UK companies, they apparently cover the US, as well, since I could almost build a tiny house with all the catalogs I’ve received since October. New Year marks a fresh start, so why continue to pollute the Earth with “Earth friendly” shopping catalogs?!

For non-gardening related catalogs, you might need to phone Customer Service and specifically ask them to remove you from their “rent list.” If you can find a particularly chatty phone rep, s/he might even tell you what service rented your name in the first place. That’s how I learned about the two links above.

Bumped up comment from reader Sophia: “The best company I know in the US is Catalog Choice. Been using them for years and they are great.”

Wishing you all a Happy (de-cluttered) New Year!

Cracks in the Wall

Chip, chip, chippin’ away at the old, official walls of 3D-ality:

Major update: apparently, the first article I linked to was satire. Bummer and tough to tell these days. Sorry about that! I have, in fact, heard of many discoveries of giant skeletons in the US, particularly as I used to live in Wisconsin. The Smithsonian did not, however, admit to destroying the evidence that is mysteriously missing from the Smithsonian. Here’s a different post regarding the giant skeletons from Wisconsin.

Thanks to Mia for this one:

Medical Marijuana – Growing a new economy in America – “It was not long ago that both mainstream celebrity physicians Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Sanja Gupta denounced the use of medical marijuana.

“The cannabis plant was demonized and reefer madness reigned in the minds of middle class America. Both have since done their research and publicly stated they were mistaken. In fact, the use of marijuana for medical purposes was endorsed 100% by each of them. Sanja Gupta produced a television special showcasing his investigation and the miraculous cures he has witnessed with people suffering from a variety of illnesses.”

Please see more here. On a cynical note, I will note the recent push for GMO hemp and/or marijuana, so please do keep an eye on the potential Trojan Horse with this one. Until now, the outlawed hemp and marijuana have remained natural, growing like literal “weeds.” Inviting GMO’s into this field seems unnecessary and potentially sinister, so if you’re a marijuana or hemp fan, please proceed with awareness and intention.

It’s still interesting to see this former wall continue to crack, as both could radically transform our economy and accepted “realities” in food, fuel, medicine, building materials, and consciousness. Just this weekend, David’s dad relayed a story of a family friend who has suffered from Alzheimer’s for decades making a suddenly lucid transformation due to an experimental marijuana treatment. No one could believe this woman’s dramatic ability to remember names, remain in a consistent version of reality, and operate independently after needing full time care for decades.

Again, here’s the link for the full article.

Reskilling for Sustainable Living: Ways to Learn New Skills

As we approach that time of New Year’s Resolutions, you might want to consider reskilling — moving forward by looking backwards, acquiring old fashioned skills that are “new” to you. David and I and many of our local friends have been consciously reskilling for years. We find the process both fun and empowering. This post tells you how to get started if you feel led this way.

The Druid's Garden

Everyone, to some extent, is a product of their culture. Our culture’s formal education system teaches a set of skills that are claimed to be beneficial and practical for functioning in present society. Certain sets of skills are privileged, and others are simply not taught, and in some cases, skill sets that are deemed no longer relevant are lost from the collective knowledge of many communities and families. Unfortunately, many of the skills of the past that are needed to help us transition to a lower-carbon and lower-fossil fuel society have been lost as newer generations weren’t interested in learning them or because these skills are no longer part of any community or family educational system.  This is where the concept of reskilling can come in.

What is reskilling?

“Reskilling” is one of the terms that often comes up in the sustainability and permaculture communities. The concept of reskilling is…

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About Those Shadows ….

Please remember balance in all things.

Yes to this: “One must have chaos within oneself to give birth to a dancing star.” ~ Nietzsche

But also yes to this: “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” ~ Nietzsche

Kintsukuroi: Broken Places are Golden

Thanks to Jamie for this beautiful post! I especially love Wu Wei, since Wu Wei Zi is “Schizandra,” the main character of my novel, who acts in such a manner. Also, painting discarded, old doors into powerfully intentioned and coded portals is my favorite form of art to practice. Thanks to Tania Marie for bringing this blog to my attention.

Sophia's Children

A piece of pottery that broke, was repaired with gold, and is now Kintsukoroi. Do you see the Rune symbol?(Image shared on a Kintsukoroi post on Camiimac.) A piece of pottery that broke, was repaired with gold, and is now Kintsukuroi. Can you see the Rune symbol? (Image shared on a Kintsukoroi post on Camiimac.)

I admit, the sheer beauty of some of these words calls me to them and inspires me into their mysteries!

Kismet, Wabi SabiWu Wei (the art of non-doing), and Kintsukuroi, for example. Each has its own mystery, its own invitation to us.

Kintsukuroi, for its part, is the exquisite inclination to see the potential beauty in and then make art from the shards of something that’s broken.

As Leonard Cohen sang, “There is a crack … a crack in everything; that’s how the light shines through.”

Those working the magic of Kintsukoroi piece things back together, using precious metals like gold, silver, and I’d suggest copper, because it’s beautiful.

Why do they do this? Why do…

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Caring Spirit

Tania Marie's Blog

caring spiritDaily Thought from Shakti Gawain’s Reflections in the Light: Daily Thoughts and Affirmations:

~ The spirit of giving ~

Take a few minutes to reflect on how you give of yourself to the world. Often we get caught up in the frenzy of buying and giving things. Look at the ways you give appreciation, friendship, energy, time, love, and affection, and give of your special talents and abilities throughout the year. Acknowledge yourself for having enriched the lives of others. Spend some time loving yourself for the giving light that you are.

I honor myself for all that I give.

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