Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I hate hotmail

I hate hotmail. The last two days I have sat for several hours in front of the computer trying to register a hotmail account. Each time I fill out the page it just refreshes without any indication of what details need changing or adding. After running through random variation applications for a hotmail account I gave up. It only took five hours.

Then tonight I go on hotmail/msn/ to try registering again and it logs me into my new hotmail account immediately. Only problem is, it doesn't tell me which hotmail application it accepted, so I have no idea what the password is. So I have to go through the agonising rigmarole, so familiar from previous hassles with hotmail, of asking hotmail to reset my password.

I reset, and then I sign out and sign back in, and the password I just chose will not work. I have to re-apply to re-set the new hotmail password I just re-applied to re-set!!

It is at this point we leave off this hotmail tragedy with our hero cursing msn in the worst language he can think of yet again. I decided the least I could do was blog about what a miserable, hassle-filled, incomprehensible, time-consuming, unpredictable, difficult, and annoying process it is trying to get a hotmail account.

I remember when hotmail was once actually a good service. That was long before microsoft purchased it. Now it is shit and I only want it because of the IM capacity, and it is making me a miserable hotmail customer yet again. I hate hotmail.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On The True Power of Images in Television and Cinema

It's been several month since I watched any form of concentrated image-presentation. Television and cinema, have been avoided, and online art and the Thoth tarot cards are the most intense form of eye-pleasure I have experienced for the last few months.

The outcome of a seriees of evocations to produce poems was this key insight:


Understand that all image is a evoked and living art-being. Experience of this knowledge ensures that the passive consumer style relationship with media cannot continue. Everything, I repeat, is evocational; but images more so.

No surer evidence of this deepening awareness of the divine source of image is my experience of reading and movies.

I am reading Plato's Timaeus and Tolstoy's War and Peace; these works would not have much of their depth if I had been filling my head with junk imagery. As it is, the piercing and luminous intensity of Tolstoy and the utter simplicity of Plato's genius would not be clear enough to me for a real awareness of them, if my mind were not hungry for imagery.

Tonight however I sat down to watch the last two-thirds of the movie The Rock. I deeply respect this movie for its sublime evocations of patriotism, freedom, and the presentation by Sean Connery of the dilemmas of moral freedom in the social outcast, inadvertently evoking the Trickster archetype in the process. However I was unprepared for the impact of this film on me tonight.

As I watched the shower room scene, which fulfills the premise of duty versus morality implied in the opening sequence of the film, I surprised myself by bursting into tears at the intensity of the images. The sight of the young soldier climbing out of the gutter to die alongside his comrades in a useless battle could not be contained in my eye alone but burst its bounds and flooded my heart with astonishment and grief...

For some images the eye alone is not adequate. The eye must be empty of past impressions so that the image pierces us all the way to the heart. To treat such images as entertainment is to insult the human heart. By watching television and enduring a thousand such shocks of inadequate emotion to the eye, the mind eventually breaks into a mad babble of words, unable to process the intensity of the images without the aid of the heart. This accounts in large part for the misery of chemical depression in the TV-watching West.

The soul is at the same time overfed and undernourished by television. We feed on the sickly flickering light until the mound of white maggots on the couch forget they were a coherent person and become the eyeless eaters in the dark, impervious to hurt or human aim.

If anyone doubt this diagnosis, let him consume three cups of white sugar and sit in front of the tv for three hours. Then he will have no doubt.

Friday, March 21, 2008

On My Reading of Plato's Protagoras and Timaeus

I read Plato's Protagoras this week.

It was confusing.

I think it was intended to be confusing. Protagoras and Socrates talk around the essential issue of virtue without ever hitting on the essence because of their cultural biases.

Look at these guys' huge blind spots:

Both men seem to believe in cause and effect - that every act must have a singular cause. Both men seem to strictly use defintions, as if the definition were the experience itself. Both men fail to refer to direct experience, or to even value it that highly - thought it must be said that Socrates seems the more pragmatic of the pair. Protagoras is a good talker, but is he full of hot air or not? The lack of praxis makes it impossible to assess him. Naturally we are supposed to take Plato's side that the sophists are tossers, but I find myself quite unsympathetic to the lot of them.

Granted the way the conversation is conducted is the height of good manners, and the way Socrates traps Protagoras is highly amusing. I think the message that we may not be able to know what virtue is objectively is fine: humbling and realistic philosophy. And perhaps it is a fine representation of Socrates view itself, rather than Plato's.

All the practicing Neoplatonists I have contacted are theurgists or fringe academics. Both, surprisingly, refer to the Timaeus as their starting point.

So yesterday, good Friday, I purchased the Timaeus at Imprints bookseller and started the read, so different from the outset from the Protagoras, it might as well be a different author. The cover of the Penguin edition is magnificent, incidentally, and it is fantastic value for 13 dollars.

I am only half way through the Timaeus, but it is a very magnificent and beautiful piece of writing.

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