Photo Sparks Along a Country Road

December 31, 2013

 

“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.”

Hasidic Saying

I walk daily along a country road that runs parallel to a river after a bend.  I’ve just bought a second hand Pentax K-r camera and since this is the first time I’ve owned a “proper” camera I’d take it on my daily walk.  I’m especially enthralled by the close up macro capacity of this camera which opened another level of looking and seeing in my walk.

So every photo here is taken as I walk along my country road- except the pictures of Buddha, Jesus and Rumi :-)

I Walk Daily 1

While walking I try to be aware of myself  by focussing on sensations of my feet touching the ground, the flies landing on my skin, the breeze touching my face and bare arms while attending to my breath. I often say hello to the cows and bulls if they’re nearby. I even try my version of cow talk by bellowing out loudly MMMOOOO!! They just look at me, don’t reply and often just run away.

 

I Walk Daily 2

 

It’s my attempt of walking meditation – an extension of Buddha’s suggestion:

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“When walking, the practitioner is aware, ‘I am walking'; when standing, is aware, ‘I am standing'; when sitting, is aware, ‘I am sitting'; when lying down, is aware, ‘I am lying down.’ In whatever position one’s body happens to be, one is aware of the position of the body. When one is going forward or backward, one applies one’s full awareness to one’s going forward or backward. When one looks in front or looks behind, bends down or stands up, one also applies full awareness to what one is doing. One applies full awareness to wearing the robe or carrying the alms bowl. When one eats or drinks, chews or savors the food, one applies full awareness to all this. When passing excrement or urinating, one applies full awareness to this. When one walks, stands, lies down, sleeps or wakes up, speaks or is silent, one shines his awareness on all this.” So said the Buddha.

 

 

I Walk Daily 4

While walking I’m also aware of the chattering monkey mind climbing and swinging on mental vines in my skull. To calm the monkey and to see the chattering thoughts as clouds passing by I recite a mantra.  This mantra is the Trisagion chant I learnt in the Orthodox Church as a child. It is an ancient Christian prayer believed  to be an expansion of the angelic cry recorded in Revelation 4:8 :

The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”

I Walk Daily 5    Below is the chant in Greek and the translation in English.

Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.

   Agios o Theos, Agios ischyros, Agios athanatos, eleison imas.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

 

I inwardly chant this in Greek while watching my breath.

I Walk Daily 34

The words of the Trisagion are enhanced by the beautiful tune of the chant. You can hear a version of this chant here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbVBC1zQll4

I Walk Daily 6

I Walk Daily 7

I also love the quote below from Rumi, the great Islamic scholar and mystic, founder of the Whirling Dervishes:

I Walk Daily 8  “I searched for God among the Christians and on the Cross and therein I found Him not.
I went into the ancient temples of idolatry; no trace of Him was there.
I entered the mountain cave of Hira and then went as far as Qandhar but God I found not.
With set purpose I fared to the summit of Mount Caucasus and found there only ‘anqa’s habitation.
Then I directed my search to the Kaaba, the resort of old and young; God was not there even.
Turning to philosophy I inquired about him from ibn Sina but found Him not within his range.
I fared then to the scene of the Prophet’s experience of a great divine manifestation only a “two bow-lengths’ distance from him” but God was not there even in that exalted court.
Finally, I looked into my own heart and there I saw Him; He was nowhere else.”

 

 

If everything is in tune and there descends a silence within which may only last as long as a breath cycle or a few seconds then the words of this Hasidic saying come alive for a nano moment:

“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.”

I Walk Daily 9

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At the end of the bamboo grove I always eat fruit in season – winter an orange or mandarine – home grown, and in summer  stone fruit – peach, plum or apricot. I relish the taste, feeling the life force zing of fresh fruit as I look across the river to the mountains in the distance. At times a pelican may fly overhead or a hawk dive down to the field. Always there are ducks gliding over the river’s surface.

I Walk Daily 24

After eating the fruit, I take three deep breaths and now aloud, chant the Trisagion followed by the Lord’s Prayer said in the original Greek.

I Walk Daily 35

The only beings who hear me are the flowers and trees nearby, birds nesting, insects buzzing around, lizards near my feet scurrying away and the river and breeze. I ponder on the meaning of this prayer amongst the “lilies of the field”. I wonder why the word translated as “daily”, the Greek word “epiousion” is a huge mystery because the only time it is used in Greek is in this prayer and no one knows what it means! Here we have a set of words memorised by millions and millions with a hidden mystery word – “epiousion”. I like to think that the “bread” the prayer is referring to is the “sparks of the soul of things”.

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I keep walking trying to be present, trying to be in the moment all the way back home. Once at home I try to re-member the tiny moments of awareness that sparked across my synapses and along the river’s edge.

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The Australian Election – An Astrological Forecast

August 27, 2013

The forecast below was made on 27 August, 2013.  It was wrong about who will be PM but psychologically was kinda correct. When Rudd accepted defeat he was surprisingly “happy” as the chart showed about his emotions on the night. Abbott may well have experienced a jolt when he recognised his win carried the weight of responsibility of Prime Ministership.

Regardless, I was wrong in my prediction  and I’ve learnt something. One of the things the exercise of drawing up the charts did was it gave me hope for a week. It was also a great mental/emotional exercise in that the process allowed an objectification of feelings and thoughts, so allowed me to be more detached. If the result is seen as a secondary consideration and the process, the means of arriving at the result, is primary then the exercise was a success. This is by no means a rationalisation of getting the wrong result. It is a statement of fact. As the saying goes, it is the journey not arriving at the destination that is the fun part. This is true of astrologising.

Will I do it again? Yes, for all the reasons I stated above. It was an interesting exercise in ordering my feelings, intuitions and thoughts about the Australian Election, 2013.

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The chances of accurately predicting an election by pollsters and journalists are pretty dismal. In the USA most media predicted a Romney win and we know what happened. If I toss a coin, there’s a 50:50 chance of being right. That’s not bad compared to some political commentators’ predictions.

Last year I came across an interesting article  that said nearly 80% of astrologers who attempted, accurately predicted the 2012 USA Election outcome at least 3 months and one 26 years before hand! In his 1976 book “The Astrological Chart of the United States, from 1776 to 2141” Gar Osten  wrote that the year 2012 would see the “re-election of the incumbent president”.

Intrigued I looked further into it because an 80% correct result is not bad considering most mainstream media had written Obama off before the election. A prediction 26 years beforehand is mind blowing.

I looked into each of the astrologers’ forecasting methods and predictive techniques. I wanted to filter out all approaches that were foreign to my approach and/or would require a level of expertise I didn’t have. By the end of this looking I found one I could adapt to my approach.

It was the simplest.

Now, I’m aware that most of you reading this have a critical and sceptical view on Astrology.

For this reason, I’ve wracked my brains over how to structure what I want to say about the coming election because I use Astrology as a tool for understanding life. If I wasn’t using this tool to make sense of current political atmospherics and wrote an opinion piece instead, I’d have no worries because it would have no entrails. Why am I concerned with entrails? Because people say Astrology is like entrail reading and by saying so, throw an Art that works with Time into the recycle bin.

The stars and planets I’m concerned with are archetypal forces, mytho-poetic currents within humanity. Astrology for me is a means of exploring the edges of rational thought as it touches the unknown. The  horoscope is  like a semi permeable membrane, it can suspend the ordinary associative processes of the mind and allow a different kind of attention to manifest. This attention, striking off from the symbolic elements of the horoscope gives a different kind of mind environment. Psychologists call it imagination.

Sometimes, in flickering moments it can be vision. A “vision – feeling” into another world that is holographic in structure, energetic and alive. In these rare glimpses, a human and the universe are seen as the same organism. As above so below, Hermes Trismegistus says. A different  relationship exists between things – or at least that is what appears when astrological Sun glasses are worn.

I’m reminded of a Zen saying, “Don’t look at the finger pointing to the Moon, look at the Moon.”

All this astrological stuff is just a pointing finger.

This is not the place to argue the case for this ancient Art. If you are interested in how I perceive Astrology please click on these links on my blog.

An Experiment With Astrology and the I Ching 

Astromusings 

An Astrological Turning 

I recommend if you want to know more about astrological symbolism as used here visit Wikipedia’s Horoscope . At times I will link other keywords to brief you.

Here goes – if my prediction is wrong, blame it on my reading, not the stars.

“If there is dust on our lens, we see dark spots in the heavens.” Carlos Suares

Astrology has a method that forecasts “background” emotional weather of people for a certain time and place. By looking at the position of planets passing over the birth chart, astrology reveals the feelings engendered by the relationship between the planets and their position. The angles between them and their position in the chart speak. It is a language. It’s kind of geometrical / numerological in nature. Forget science, there’s no science to this – it is structured guessing using faint star signals from the symbols. It is always an approximation, a walk into the dark.

 There’s no question that becoming Prime Minister would make either Rudd or Abbott smile, if not dance. Losing would be devastating and a stiff upper lip not enough to hide it.

How will Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott “FEEL” at 6 PM  September 7, 2013? I assume by then Australia would know who won the election, unless it’s a hung parliament.

Who will be happy and focussed, looking forward to leading this country as PM? Kevin or Tony?

Who will be shocked by losing and wondering what went wrong? Tony or Kevin?

Who will be happy?

Who will be sad?

Who will be Prime Minister?

The method I’m using shows what feelings / energies are present in the charts of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition at 6PM September 7, 2013.

The chart with the best “feel good” vibe is the winner. The prize being government.

Some interesting information:

This will be the 5th Federal Election held in September (1914, 1934, 1940 & 1946)

The 1914 vote is the only September election to have seen an incumbent government defeated.

There has not been a Scorpio Prime Minister elected in Australia since Federation.

That last bit is important because Tony Abbott is a Scorpio. Kevin Rudd is a Virgo.

Prediction

 Kevin Rudd will be PM with either a Labor majority or a hung parliament.

How did I come to this conclusion?

 Please look at table below which shows what each sign/symbol represents so I don’t have to show each symbol every time I mention it. I am trying to interpret an astrological view point to those who are not literate in star language. For the purposes of this post all you have to do, if you are not familiar with astrological symbolism, is look at the charts and refer to the tables below to know what symbol and position they represent.

 Blog Prediction Zodiac Planets

Kevin Rudd’s Transits Chart for 7 September, 2013 at 6.00PM

Blog Prediction Rudd Transits 7 Sept 2013

Above, in the centre is Kevin Rudd’s Birth Chart and the positions of the transiting planets on the outside. It shows the planets’ positions on September 7 over the planets’ positions at the time of Rudd’s birth – the transits. The planets are always moving and when transiting planets “touch” sensitive points on the birth chart, stuff happens. (Planets in Astrology)

 Rudd’s chart shows the transiting Sun  in a section of the chart where mind expansion and open feelings predominate – philosophy, higher learning, travel are among the many meanings elicited by the Sun in that section – called the ninth House. (Houses in Astrology) Also here, there is a focus on communications – with people face to face and through media (transit Mercury over Sun).

I would call the feelings shown as positive, happy, calm and confident.

Notice the crescent shaped symbol of the Moon outside the circle is very close to the line separating the 9th and 10th House. Beneathe the Moon  is Jupiter and both are near the line. This line is the Midheaven, one of the 4 most powerful positions – the Angles of a chart. It is at the top of the chart and is the most public point. It relates to social standing and reputation. It represents our public face and our overall sense of responsibility and standing in our society.

It is in this context, the Prime Ministership of our country.

The feelings shown with the various combinations of the Moon, Jupiter and the Mid Heaven line include strong rapport with people and a deep intuitive understanding between them and Rudd. I think it will have something to do with the cutbacks Abbott plans to make along with the inequitable PPL. The planetary combinations also show that Rudd will be able to feel out the mood of the people so that he appeals to their deepest emotional concerns.

Having the Moon in the 10th House is also good for public relations.

Along with the planets nearby, Jupiter has Uranus opposite it at the bottom of the chart. Uranus is the planet of freedom and release. This combination shows there is a deep transformation happening in Rudd’s subconscious. His whole experience of the world will be quite different after this transit. The chart shows that he will feel liberated and vindicated.

He will be mentally sharp and alert because transit Mercury  is conjunct Sun in the 9th House. He will be very conscious of his purpose in leading Labor, and it enables him  to express that purpose clearly to others. His expression will be vigorous and impressive.

Along with this he has tremendous intellectual and mental energy conferred by transit Mercury conjunct Mars. This means that Rudd will feel he is able to work with his mind much longer than usual and accomplish quite a bit. This will give him more confidence about leading Australia as PM.

Kevin Rudd’s chart at the close of the election shows very positive feelings and thus has “feel good” vibes.

This points to a win.

Tony Abbott’s  Transits Chart for 7 September, 2013 at 6.00PM

Blog Prediction Abbott Transits 7 Sept 2013

Abbott’s chart shows the Sun in the 8th House. When this transit happens (it lasts about a month every year) there is significant psychological adjustment and transformation. Traditionally this is the House of Death, meaning Endings of things. In this context it means a death of some aspect of himself. On a more material level there is great concern about resources and finances. I believe it shows the end of his aspiration to be Prime Minister.

It is not a happy place to be so I would say this planetary combination has a  “bad feel” vibe.

It is not all bad because he has a good aspect /angle (sextile 60 deg) between the transit Sun and the Sun of his birth chart. This shows an integration of his energies and that he will be able to work effectively with others.

Abbott also has a good angle (trine 120 deg) between transit Jupiter and the Sun which shows he will be calm and confident and feeling he can do anything. He will also be able to see events clearly and plan well.

This is definitely a “good feel” vibe.

Note that the angle between Jupiter and the Sun is not as strong as a conjuction where the planets are on top of each other. All the strong “good vibe” points in Rudd’s chart are conjunctions.

Transit Moon directly opposite his birth chart Moon shows powerful emotions making it difficult for him to see any point of view other than his own. Strong potential for disagreement because he will feel his own interests and desires are opposed to others. This feeling may have something to do with losing election.

This is a “bad feel” vibe.

Transit Mars makes a conjunction with Uranus of Abbott’s birth chart. No other transit is more conducive than this one to sudden upsets, rash behaviour and surprising incidents. This will be the shock in finding he has lost the unloseable election.

This is a very “bad feel” vibe.

However, the transit of Saturn conjunct the Sun is what clinches my forecast that Abbott will lose the election. The energy of Saturn holds back the energy of the Sun. Saturn confines and restricts it so that he feels limited to do only certain things. Abbott will feel thwarted and his vision of becoming Prime Minister is now confined to the bin of history.

This also is a very “bad feel” vibe.

When you weigh both Astrological charts from the point of view of  being “happy” it is obvious that Kevin Rudd has the Prime Ministership.

I can only see two possibilities from the above – Kevin Rudd becomes Prime Minister with a Labor majority or in a hung parliament. Whichever – the next Prime Minister will be Kevin Rudd.


The First Chip on My Shoulder

July 29, 2013

Post Image Tweets1

 

I remember as a kid living in Redfern slums of 1960’s, the first time we rode our bikes (made from parts in the tip) to the Cathedral near Victoria Park. We rode past the nuts & bolts warehouse on Cleveland St where we got our big brass nuts to file down to rings for our fingers. We didn’t use them always but they were cheap DIY knuckle dusters. Up the hill and into Victoria Park.

The old sandstone buildings were Cathedrals with my 12 year old perception. We talked about it, me, Nikos, Spiro and Raymond – our
aboriginal mate whose parents owned the only TV in our block. We decided that if it was a Cathedral it had to be Church of England. Our
Orthodox churches were smaller. It was years later that I realised it was Sydney University. I had no idea what a university was. My parents and I migrated from a Greek village to Australia when I was 4. You could say we were agrarian peasants catapulted to the Industrial Age where my father’s first job was at Port Kembla Steelworks.

 

The first time I attended a party on Orientation Week at Sydney Uni I sat with some guys who were all raving about Kings Rowing. I had no idea what they were talking about. So I asked, “What’s King Rowing?”. Boy, did that stop the conversation. They all looked at me as if I had two heads, then one of them said, “What?” and shook his head. I said, “Well, is there Queens Rowing?” That didn’t go down well either.

 

A guy with red hair said, “Are you on a Commonwealth Scholarship?”

 

I was proud of that, so I said yes.

Then someone else asked, “Do you get a living allowance?”I said, “Yep – full independent allowance,” again feeling proud of my  achievement.There was silence, they looked at each other and one blurted, “So, you’re poor!”

They all laughed and turned away from me. I think that was when I got a chip on my shoulder about private school graduates who row boats with gold rings on their fingers.

English: Inside the Great Hall at the Universi...

English: Inside the Great Hall at the University of Sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Reporters Without Media Mogul Borders

February 25, 2013

Citizen Journalist

I wrote Reporters Without Media Mogul Borders as a comment to a post by Sally Baxter Pity the poor journalist…  on the blog  Australians For Honest Politics. The blog is dedicated to Citizen Journalism.

Reporters Without Media Mogul Borders is an idea which takes into account the rapid move away from old media onto Social Media. The idea is an attempt to introduce participatory and democratic processes into journalism using the new mobile web technologies.

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Readers by partnering with regional newspapers could be joint commissioners of stories forming a hub interconnected by the web. This hub can be across the country, indeed from across the planet, which can employ reporters to investigate issues of importance to local communities.

Readers would raise funds by crowd sourcing, perhaps using the model that GetUp uses to raise funds for advertisements in old media. Instead of using funds to pay for advertisements the funds would be used to pay for a reporter’s commission to write / investigate story. The local newspaper could provide the administrative infrastructure. There could also be a tiered system of influence in the choice of reporter by readers. For example, a donation of $100 ( or whatever amount) is made would allow the reader to help choose the reporter for the story. Reporters could send their CV / application which would be accessible to the donaters on the web and those who donated the prescribed amount could choose the reporter to do the job by online voting.

People who do not donate can still be engaged in the funding by buying the individual story that has been commissioned by readers like themselves.   The model of local action with global transmission already exists with organisations such as Avaaz. We can take the idea of Reporters Without Borders to its logical conclusion – Reporters Without Media Mogul Borders.


The veritable basis of symbolism – Rene Guenon

January 26, 2013

All that exists, in whatever mode this may be, necessarily participates in universal principles, and nothing exists except by participation in these principles, which are the eternal and immutable essences contained in the permanent actuality of the Divine Intellect. Consequently, it can be said that all things, however contingent they may be in themselves, express or represent these principles in their own way and according to their order of existence, for otherwise they would be purely and simply nothingness. Thus, from one order to another, all things are linked together and correspond, to come together in total and universal harmony, for harmony is nothing other than the reflection of principial unity in the manifested world; and it is this correspondence which is the veritable basis of symbolism.

Rene Guenon, Autorite spirituelle et pouvoir temporel ( from studies in symbolism compiled by Michel Valsan in the posthumous book “Fundamental Symbols – The Universal Language of Sacred Science.”)

guenon


Light and Glass – pictures from home

January 3, 2013

Carlos Suarès – a Unique Qabalist

November 21, 2012

Carlos Suares

Carlos Suares (1892–1976) was a painter, writer and Qabalist. Qabala, also known as Kabbalah and Cabala is generally thought of as the esoteric side of Judaism. Carlos Suares spent over 40 years intensely studying the Qabala and he writes of the Qabala as a science of undifferentiated energy written in code embedded in the Bible, particularly Genesis and the Song of Solomon.

“I begin our study by saying that the Qabala is a science and that The Sepher Yetsira is a precise and accurate treatise on the structure of cosmic energy, written in a hidden code. This should not be a surprise: all the physical sciences are nowadays, written in cipher codes. If the code referring to the letters E, M, C was unknown, Einstein’s equation, E=MC2, could not be understood. The mystery of the Qabala is simply due to the fact that the cabalists are not aware of what its language is and to the ignorance both of the analogical mode of thought characterising this language, and of the necessity of connecting this text with modern scientific research, instead of with the archaic stages of a science. In this they are like people who call themselves great physicians because they spend their time studying Archimedes, or mathematicians because they know Euclid by heart. This kind of scholarship is no more than an intellectual diversion, contributing nothing to our strife-riven world, or to our present consciousness which has lost its past mythological illusions and is in the process of bridging religion and science…”

He makes the point that in reading the Autiot (the letters of the Hebrew language) and making the effort to connect with the “meaning” the reader partakes in a transformation of consciousness, even if the reader does not “understand” the apparent associations of the sacred letters – the Autiot.

I noticed when reading the Cipher of Genesis that a certain quality of energy became manifest in my mind. It is difficult to describe but it was more like ingesting a psychedelic substance in tiny doses with one’s eyes and the mind was a stomache digesting these letter – number doses. After making the effort to “understand – digest” the input of the letter – numbers a feeling of lightness and focus appeared. Like I say, it is difficult to describe and to even call it “reading” does not do the effort and material ingested justice.

By showing that the energising properties of the Autiot have a dual cosmic flow, the way to an essential stage of modern physics is cleared: the study of consciousness, in its material manifestations, as energy.
–Suares, Sepher Yetsira p.41 (Carlo Suarès)

In his book, “The Second Coming of Reb YHSHWH : The Rabbi Called Jesus Christ”  he presents his stance on what The Kingdom of Heaven is.

“The Eight Propositions”

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). And this would be the keynote of the New Era. Here are the eight propositions:

1. Seek your total individuality. Don’t write it down anywhere. Don’t give it a name. Any definition of yourself is a deceptive hideout.

2. You will not find your total individuality. It is your total individuality that sees you, that witnesses your doings. It acts in our space-time continuum but is not restricted to it.

3. Your total individuality is your soul. It abides in the indeterminate plurality of universes. Because it is alive, it is evolving. Because it is outside of time, its evolution is only the time that you need to permit it to find you. Because it is multidimensional, it contributes to the composition of an Ecclesia. It is one and innumerable.

4. Your soul will not find you as long as your consciousness is made of the stuff of false evidences created by your mind: as long as you do not feel a sense of suffocation in those space-time false evidences.

5. The death of false evidences is a psychological death, announcer of resurrection. Each false evidence denounced opens a window in the inner space where the measurable dies.

6. This death of the measurable in the inner space is a personal experience. All that is said to you about it will prevent it from occurring. Do not listen to the professionals of any religions.

7. Beyond this death, our infinitely multiple individuality reveals to our present person that we are only one of its multifarious manifestations. We then meet the other manifestations of our soul spread out through history, still present and alive.

8. So this consciousness emanating from our soul integrates its earthly past and also its future. It knows itself continuous, without limits. It is all-consciousness, it penetrates every consciousness, it understands every consciousness, and that understanding is love.

The Sephiroth Cube

I suggest that you read his books so that you get a first hand account of the “energy” transmission mentioned above rather than have someone like me give you my filtered and flawed interpretations. Indeed, I would be lying if I said that I understand Carlos Suares’ Qabala. All I can say in truth is that I am in awe of what he brings and one day I hope to get an inkling, a taste of his understanding.


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