Friday, November 12, 2010

Islands in the stream of consciousness

One of the mixed blessings of social networks such as Facebook is the way it includes you in the random stream of consciousness of persons you have not really spent time with for years, maybe for the better part of a decade. It can be a more satisfying form of conversation than the old fashioned face to face method. Be honest. How many times have you rehearsed a conversation in your mind ad nauseum, only to have all your careful strategies dismantling with the other person's first response, and you leave, after half an hour, feeling vaguely cheated, feeling your mind is still unspoken. Well, no more. Most of us have fiercely embraced the practice of thought broadcasting, probably with a secret so-there-now-they-know warming our hearts.

Earlier this week, a woman whom I've seen only once briefly in the past ten years, asked in her status line: does love have an expiry date? And that got me thinking...

I once read about a British couple who kept a 29-year old meat pie in the back of their freezer... because they bought it from the place they met just before it closed down... obviously the meat pie had long ago ceased becoming useful as food, but it had transcended into something completely different for them. Just like society institutionalized the messy madness of spirituality and mysticism and called it religion, it claimed the insane chaos of love and called it marriage...

In our ever-changing universe, everything changes our world and by extention, us, because we are ourselves the change flowing through our universe.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rewinding the holodeck of reality

In the past week, an intriguing video trended on youtube and in news media. The clip, showing one character in a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film talking animatedly into what appears to be a cell-phone has at least some viewers speculating whether this can be taken as proof of the future existence of time travel. Believers site other mysteries, such as the discovery of a Swiss watch found inside a Chinese grave sealed for 400 years, while unbelievers point to a 1924 Siemens patent for a hearing device that somewhat resembles a cell phone. If you haven't seen it yet, here's one of the clips:

Charlie Chaplin was an entertainer known for exerting a high degree of creative control in his movies. From 1917, he operated as an independent producer, using his own studios. He had been one of the founders of United Artists, a corporation dedicated to distributing the works of himself and other similarly minded actors such as Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Some of the people who worked with him, joked that if he could have played all the parts in his movies himself, he would have. For 'The Kid', for instance, he shot more than fifty times the amount of footage needed in his quest for perfection. Leading a person to wonder what he would have made of the unscheduled appearance of an 'extra' extra from the future...

The movie that features the alleged time traveller is called 'The Circus'. Although it won him his first Academy Award in 1929, it is not mentioned at all in his autobiography. According to the website, the production was plagued by various misfortunes. Gale force winds destroyed the set before filming began and later on, a fire destroyed sets and props. Bad handling at the laboratory rendered much of the early footage unusable. At one stage, footage already shot was in danger of being seized by lawyers as assets of his studio became a matter of dispute in his divorce from Lita Grey. The legal battle also delayed filming by several months. Just before completion, part of the circus rig was stolen from the set as part of a student prank. Could all these stresses have contributed to a slip in his notorious attention to detail...?

As commented to some of the videoclips, Charlie Chaplin was highly creative in adding visual gags and testing his audience with visual riddles, people behaving oddly. In the same movie, for example, he included a boxing match between identical twins - which was filmed using the same actor and double exposure techniques. If this shows the unexpected synchronicity of strange behaviour depicted in a film from the past prophecying a future reality, one has to remember Leonardo da Vinci, who sketched helicopters and parachutes.

Theories abound. If the 'time traveller' is talking on a cell phone, that has to suggest a second time traveller somewhere, i.e. the person being spoken to. Or it this a ghost from the future? A time slip such as was apparently witnessed by two British ladies visiting Versailles in 1901? One of the more complicated theories suggest a holographic visitor, who is projecting from a future location, and makes much of comparing the density of the shadow of the 'time traveller' with that of the person preceding him/her.

Or perhaps it's just the cosmic joker at play again, teasingly lifting a veil to reveal the true nature of cosmic consciousness underlying and underlining all our actions.

If you are interested in scrutinizing a copy of your own (or just appreciating a gifted visionary from the past)...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Dance

Picture an enormous hall or valley, where a massive consciousness festival is taking place. Many dances are happening at once in a thousand different styles. You are dancing, dear reader, and so am I. Some are caught up in the thick of the movement. Some are watching our dance, while others remain engrossed in other performances. Some stay only briefly, before moving on, and even we are watching other dancers from the corners of our eyes. As we perform, as we become our different and very individual perfomances, but are we really separate from other styles, other movements. Someone watching from above would see the various styles interacting with each other, creating a pattern together that is not visible to individual performers. It's all related.. it happens on large scale and small scale, what you see is what happens where-ever you choose to look.

This is life, my friend, the beautiful, terrifyingly magical game of life...

The enigma of togetherness:

Together we have something that is not at first apparent. How do you explain connection to a loner? Someone who has never witnessed the process of a jigsaw puzzle being completed, would never know or understand the function or purpose of one single puzzle piece, if he saw it on its own, out of context. He might look at the fragment of the picture and wonder about the oddly irregular shape of its edges and never guess the mystery of what it truly is. (t.y.m.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fairy tales and mind games

Years ago, I read 'The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales' by Bruno Bettelheim, a book that discusses and illustrates at length the necessity of grotesque and violent elements in children's fairy tales, and the role of their psychological truths in understanding emotions. More recently, 'Mirrormask' by Neil Gaiman, brought those theories to mind. Mirrormask, while not being one of those ancient fairy tales, functions in a similar way. It's unsettling, because its scenery is exaggerated and symbolic. As if to make a point about this inner landscape being off the map, there are no page numbers. Its characters behave like archetypes in dreams. They express fears and hopes that don't make sense in the real world, because they don't belong to the world of the senses, but rather to the untouchable theatre where emotions play out their eternal battles for supremacy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sitting on a Wall (Playing with Meditation Part One)

Wanna participate in a quick work-out for your imagination? Here goes: Picture yourself sitting on a wall. Okay, it's uncomfortable, but as a kid, you never noticed this, because from such a unique vantage point, you could see for miles and miles around. Now go back to being that eager little person who didn't mind sacrificing a bit of discomfort to gain an awe-inspriting new viewpoint... go back to the times when the state of your clothing (or what you wore) was someone else's worry. Sit there, feel the warm sun-drenched stones under your rear end, your legs swinging free, one on each side of the barrier and open your mind's eye real wide.

So what's on the left side of the wall? Green pastures, with farm animals grazing peacefully, or a beach party at sunset with the music blaring and lots of beautiful eye candy, parading their sexy grooves for your benefit. Hey, it could be a concert or a fireworks display. Just keep watching inside and let your mind surprise you. The longer you keep at it, the easier it gets. After all, your mind needed no lessons in learning how to dream at night. When you were young, it was very easy to turn a living room chair into a pony, so why did you stop staging your wishes within the arena of your eternally watchful soul?

Right side of the wall? Let me tell you what I found when I did this. A train station. Yes! And there was a train about to leave, and where it was heading.... I'll leave that one up to you. Trains go anywhere, when your thoughts lay down the tracks - over the ocean, through mountains, through the fiery and fearsome center of the earth. Once you teach your mind to travel, there are no limitations in where you can go.

Hope you indulged in a few moments of dreamy fun and feel invigorated by something too real to dismiss, something that happened nowhere except in the sanctuary of your own mind, and who's to say it didn't happen...

With a nod and a bow to my imaginary friend and accomplice.... (t.y.m.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I liked the idea of 'Persepolis' long before I ever got the chance to read it. If you are unfamiliar with this amazing graphic novel, in brief it is the autobiography of Marjane Satrapi, chronicling her memories of growing up within the narrow restrictions of the Iranian Revolution. She shares her experiences in short, themed segments,inserting a lot of wry humor to soften the confusion of political turmoil, the emotional toll of exile and the hardship of homelessness in a foreign country. There is the absurdity of studying life drawing with a fully veiled model and the nerve-racking obstacle course of dating without attracting the notice of the
Guardians of the Revolution. This book opens a door to a secret world and through a highly expressive style, renders it easily accessible to the rest of the globe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


A few weeks ago, I ran into someone I used to know from my days of playing in an all-girl metal band, and after we exchanged updates on musical activity or non-activity, gossiped a little about who made it, who didn't and why, I asked how he defines success. His answer: 'Success is an audience." Do I agree? Well, by that definition, nearly everybody should all be hugely successful, because thanks to social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, we do all have our audience, whenever we want it. Some of us do not even realize how watched we really are. But, celebrity culture can be the most fickle of beasts. It does not like things to stay static. There has to be movement. Whatever is up there, must come down to keep its entertainment value. And the fallen still attract the ferociously hungry attention of all manner of vultures. So I amend. In my opinion, success is applause. At least I hope it is. And I hope that, whoever you are, if you are reading this, you may know the warmth of a few moments of genuinely heartfelt applause.

(And thank you Sean Mercer, for the thoughts you shared and the thoughts you ignited. It was good to see you again.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Writer's Resource - A history of violence

Writers and aspirant writers are often advised to 'write what they know'. This could however become a little problematic, when a detailed and hands-on study of the subject matter could land you in a lot of trouble. I am talking, of course, about violence, which features with alaming frequency in literature, movies and television, but (thankfully, perhaps) not so much in the average author's life. While writers can organize access to cops, medical professionals, etc, who may become useful resources in terms of modern violence, the finer points of more archaic ways of separating human beings from their mortal remains can be a little harder to obtain. One place to look would be this website I discovered by chance. There are various articles dealing with specific historical forms of violence, as well as links to book resources that go into more depth. While the content is far from complete, and in some cases, very brief, it still makes a good starting point for authors.

And like I said, don't practice this at home...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Unconquered Territories - the worlds of Geoff Ryman

My awe for Geoff Ryman is enormous, largely for his ability to capture and distill depths of human emotion in unlooked for places and insert it in its truest form in the traditionally soulless medium of science fiction. If you believe maternal love to belong exclusively within the domain of biological life forms, track down his short story 'Warmth', if only to see if your prejudice will really remain standing against the challenge of a young man seeking to be reunited with the robot nanny that raised him. Any author should attempt to explore his novel created exclusively for the internet, '253', a classic excercise in viewpoint. He takes an 8 carriage underground train and gives you a glimpse inside the mind of every one of its occupants, including the driver. 'Air' turns human consciousness into a battleground, when a small, primitive community comes under the sudden assault of instantaneous and total immersion in the vast world of the virtual, by way of an airborne virus. But I've left my first introduction to this gifted author til last. 'The Unconquered Country', an award-winning novella appears as deceptively simple and short as a children's book, but its backdrop is the stark reality of war in Cambodia and its impact upon the soft targets - women and children. But the message is very powerful. Whatever shackles our bodies, within the boundless freedom of our minds and our souls we can find the inner resources to remain unconquered territory.

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Alternative Theory on Twin Souls

What are twin souls? A New Age myth? A Greek legend? A romantic ideal? Or perhaps something completely different?

About six months ago - and it feels so-o-o much longer - my life took a strange and startling direction that I could never have anticipated. It involved a serious challenge to my already threadbare sanity. It also introduced me to more love, magic and wonder than I ever thought possible. But, no more personal details. There's the privacy and feelings of others to consider in this.

Back to theory. The oft-repeated lore suggested one of two origins. One is that twin souls are created separately but simultaneously for each other's completion. The second asserts that twin souls were once separated on a path of self-improvement, as it were, and that they will be reunited once their self-love is perfected. Like God saying, I am splitting you up for your own good, sort of in the way eating green vegetables is for your own good. Is it really that neat and simple?

Does that explain enough of the trauma many twin souls claim to feel when they confront the very idea of that separation ages ago? I wonder...

Maybe what causes souls to split is something different entirely. Could it be that during some incarnations, a soul becomes immersed in such pain, or guilt or fear or whatever negative energy can be absorbed when bad things happen, that it begins to fragment for its own self-preservation. That the only way to deal with some bad experiences is to halve it to lessen the impact. Consider the way an abused child's mind sometimes fragments to birth multiple personalities in order to survive psychologically. Is it possible that our souls sometimes choose similar options, spliting off to lessen karmic echoes that seem too severe to cope with? And would the road to reunion for twin souls involve a path of healing that would involve accepting, embracing and owning our darkest memories and pre-memories before we can move forward as more complete versions of ourselves again?

These are only my thoughts on the subject. Please share yours, whether you agree or disagree...