The Sword of the Fifth Element and the Long Tail

There’s a ‘long tail’ – or long tale – to the things we create, if we live (and believe) long enough and don’t forget too much but let it all simmer on a long-term ‘back burner’ – or perhaps call it an athanor, or alchemist’s oven, which would slowly heat ingredients to fuse them together.

An example from many in my life here at Dreamspace recently: the short epic love/sacred quest story set in ancient Cornwall and Aeden. I wrote this spinoff/sidetrack from the epic Apples of Aeden about a decade ago, printed and hand-bound it with embossed covers, uploaded it as an ebook, free here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/153457 and gradually forgot about it as uptake was slow and feedback online almost non-existent. But brother John (of Greenstone Pictures and now flying solo at www.boyfellinpond.com sees a beauty to it and the possibility of a short film, and has commissioned me to make a new edition of even greater ornateness as the centrepiece of the film development… complete with silver medallion of the Forging of the Sword of the Fifth Element. …which is handy because I have been getting a passable silversmithing setup going here at dreamspace gallery and workshops. www.dreamspace.nz

Here’s a draft of the design for the medallion. Watch this space… the book and the medallion – and the film, should we be spared – will hold much sacred magic, long incubated in the Harris brothers’ Athanor…

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The Hedonomatrix

hedonomatrix copy

Who said the road to hell, or at least dehumanisation, wasn’t fun? Late last night it coalesced in my mind as a coherent pattern, a syndrome. I christened it the Hedonomatrix. There may be other, better, names – I haven’t checked. By any name, it is now (to my mind) officially a Thing, as the millennial younglings say. A coming grand unification of unbridled consumerism, narcissism, online video entertainment, virtual reality, gaming….  Almost instant gratification of our hedonistic desires in the 3D world (triggering of floods of dopamine, the pleasure/addiction hormone)  through import megastores which provide cheap knockoffs of everything; and in the digital, increasingly virtual world, personalised low-cost, zero responsibility versions of everything – even, horribly (and yet seductively), of people – robotic sex partners, friends, slaves… It is all one movement, having one ultimate goal: everything now, everything virtually free, pay a digital rent and you get it all, and it never answers back, never demands responsibility or asks for help doing the chores. It is the Hedonomatrix. Plugged into this, who would bother to go out and vote, let alone argue politics in a badly heated hall? Who would bother going out to amateur theatre or craft shows or art exhibitions, when the very best ever produced is available when and if (only if) I want it, and otherwise it minds its own business, does not intrude into my hedonistic bubble?

And even this is only a temporary compromise. The Hedonomatrix client is really just filling in time until the digital Heaven is available, when we can upload our entire consciousness into the virtual AI-generated world where we will all have perfect ‘bodies’, never get sick or grow old, and are essentially Gods and Goddesses, living in endless gratification of our every imagining.

Could this actually be a good thing? Only if the powers that create it are benign, AND only if the powers that created our 3D existence in the first place are not – or were merely blind forces of swirling atoms and energy fields. I can’t believe this, mainly because if we are products of blind forces, our very minds are too and have no reason to trust logical intuition, or ethical intuition, or any thoughts our brains may have. And where in the blind swirl of atoms, does consciousness arise? No, the Consciousness, the understanding of reason and good and evil, is prior to these atoms, and therefore has its reasons for creating matter, this whole complex we call the Universe.

So, let’s keep true to the meaning of the Earth, this amazing mixed 3D existence, with all its trials and learnings, and resist the sickly sweet allure of the amoral digital heaven we are being offered. Let us be real men and real women, and explore the deep, divine meaning of our lives, and seek true happiness, not in the dopamine of hedonism but in ordered responsible (serotonin producing) learning, loving and creating. I realized last night that the main obstacle to my Lifegym idea (see www.lifegym.nz) is this growing addiction to the hedonomatrix. Why go work out creatively in 3D with others of like mind and all their flaws too, when we can just plug in to the hedonomatrix? Sigh… is it doomed?

(See ‘The Hacking of the American Mind’ for much more on the seductive consumerist addiction spiral of dopamine chasing versus the disciplined happiness path which produces serotonin, the ‘happiness hormone’)

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Lifegym gears up

Lifegym card Aqua copy

Dear friends  – (Pun alert…) Get off that treadmill! Become a misfit! (It’s a lot of fun having this position just to left field of the sport and fitness industry! There are so many puns…) We do coffee with wholecream milk…:) For that and so much more, run on down to 61 Carnarvon St, Gisborne, or pilates your mouse to http://www.lifegym.nz and vigorously explore strange new lands of the mind and spirit (under construction as I speak) – and the neglected realms of the creating hand and eye! Free downloads and videos of workshops to come – from philosophy to ferrocement – follow the blog and get notifications by email. I hope to make the website an interesting place of creation too..

This is a huge coming-out for me, but (like the aging Zarathustra) I was like a bee that has gathered too much nectar – I had to take it to the hive, or lose altitude and become one of those bees you see, lonely, dragging themselves along the ground… There’s just so much I want to share, my shyness and reticence will just have to stand aside.. This will be a good journey for all involved, I believe – do consider joining us!

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Filed under Dreamspace Gallery, Lifegym, Love Beauty Truth and Freedom, Nietzsche, process theory, Uncategorized

Lifegym, but not as we know it

A new possibility for sharing what I know and am – https://dreamspace.nz/2018/04/05/its-life-jim-but-not-as-we-know-it-feedback-invited-on-lifegym-idea/ It would be great to get some responses reactions and suggestions on this… I’m not at all sure I can pull it off, personally, but I’d love to be ABLE to! Usually the big possibilities come with our personal-stuff-monsters close behind them ready to ambush us… so as Zarathustra said to his personal monster, the ‘spirit of gravity’ – “Stopdwarf!” I said. “I – or you! But I am the stronger of us two – you do not know my abysmal thought! That – you could not bear!” So even our monsters must obey us – IF we face them – as often as they reappear to block our way or drag us down. So, whatever I end up doing, I want it to be because of a cosmic possibility, not a personal impossibility… Again, Nietzsche said,

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. – Friedrich Nietzsche

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/friedrich_nietzsche_103819

 Obviously, in this Lifegym I’d be leaning a lot on Zarathustra and Nietzsche… 🙂

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My burnt thumb and the Lost Salmon of Knowledge

For a few days now I’ve been carving my first Pounamu (greenstone/nephrite) from a piece I cut with my newly built diamond saw here at dreamspace – a fish which I was calling the Salmon of Knowledge, from the Irish myth of Fionn:

“The poet Finegas spent seven years fishing for this salmon. One day Finn Eces caught Fintan and gave the fish to Fionn, his servant and son of Cumhaill, with instructions not to eat it. Fionn cooked the salmon, turning it over and over, but when Fionn touched the fish with his thumb to see if it was cooked, he burnt his finger on a drop of hot cooking fish fat. Fionn sucked on his burned finger to ease the pain. Little did Fionn know that all of Fintan’s wisdom had been concentrated into that one drop of fish fat. When he brought the cooked meal to Finn Eces, his master saw that the boy’s eyes shone with a previously unseen wisdom. …”

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_of_Knowledge

Strange things happen when you carve an archetype… Yesterday I got a steam burn on my thumb from my kettle – a first for me in 63 years. Later, swimming at Kaiti beach (where Captain Cook first came ashore in New Zealand), I had the fish in my pocket behind a green plastic doggie bag. It must have slipped out while I was floating on my back in the shallows. We waded back and forth until dusk, then told a young German camping couple what had happened and gave them my card, offering a reward if they found the greenstone fish at low tide. As of this morning, when we looked again ourselves, and the couple was gone, the fish is at large, whereabouts unknown, doing its wise thing out there. I want it back if only to finish carving it, but meanwhile I ponder the magical significance of this happening. It came at a time when I was pondering how to come out and teach my learnings, arts crafts, and philosophy. Perhaps I’m not ready yet. Perhaps when the Fish returns I will be…

Watch this space…

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My dog ate my ‘shorts’ – the Big Short revisited.

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Checking in here to warn of probable impending bursting of the ‘Everything Bubble’ which has been inflating relentlessly for about ten years – I believe now that makes a record length of time between recessions in the US. So, I have ‘shorted’ the market and you should too – or at least get out BEFORE the air starts hissing out. That means if you are lucky or clever or hardworking enough to have capital, seeking a wealth preservation haven – NOT primarily for gain but simply preservation of true value in the face of interest rate hikes, inflation and even hyperinflation. So, not many choices…. Precious metals, freehold land… and? Not much else I know of. Do I sound like chicken Little? Well, you might be experiencing the ‘normalcy bias’ – the tendency to be illogically incredulous of any prediction that the current ongoing status quo is about to end in spite of mounting hard evidence that it IS… (Watch the Big Short, about the guys who saw the 2008-9 collapse coming and bet against the market, when everyone and his dog was saying it was bound to keep going up – and made billions)

Not convinced by my cheeps? Good – I have just waved my arm at the sketch of the big picture. But I have read and watched a lot of very experienced and proven farsighted guys with a lot of statistics and relevant scary facts. Especially by Peter Schiff,  Jim Rickards and also others like David Stockman, Gerald Celente, and Mike Maloney who put out the (I think) excellent free series on Youtube, ‘Hidden Secrets of Money.’ For a start look at this link to a youtube recording of a speech by Peter Schiff: we’re getting to the end of it

So, don’t let the dogs eat YOUR shorts! (Poppy growled a lot when I tried to take her ‘gift’ from her but at least she’s MY dog, not a banker, socialist government currency debaser or Wall Street junk bond salesman.)

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Joy of rhythm and entrainment

Under all our endeavours lie rhythms we normally take for granted: breathing, brainwaves, sleep and waking, digestion… and most vital of all, the heartbeat. On Sunday morning the cat woke me and I noticed I had an irregular heartbeat.  A really irregular heartbeat. Suddenly it was hard to think of anything else but the rhythm. Raewyn took me to the hospital, where the good people whose whole job is to help people when the rhythms get our of order, tested and helped me so nicely I felt a joy and gratitude for them and empathy for all embodied beings.

But after a few hours in the ward time dragged and the spectre of a life so handicapped by fibrillation kept me from even being able to read (!). All the busyness and goals from before the loss of rhythm seemed impossible to return to. I gave up coffee, got out on Sunday night with a withdrawal headache, a beta blocker prescription – and an irregular heartbeat.

Last night the caffeine withdrawal was almost over and I had caught up on sleep, but the heartbeat thing was distracting and depressing. I had read about ‘entrainment’, how rhythms in proximity tend to synchronise, for example two pendulum clocks mounted side by side, and I thought maybe lying heart to heart with Raewyn with her steady beat might help my erratic one get in line again. It was hard to even settle to trying that – the tendency seems to be to nurse the affected parts and protect them. Then I meditated and listened to music. I prayed to get that rhythm back, and vowed to be calmer and meditative. I found I could imagine opening  Dreamspace after all if I was like that, in harmony with myself (what was left of me) and any others who visit the gallery. I went to sleep more calm about the future.

This morning I noticed I wasn’t noticing my heart – the rhythm was back! I am learning, not the way I would prefer, but it is good! I intend to continue with these lessons. I’m back in the most vital rhythm of life – and appreciating all the other ones!

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