Free to Choose

The past reflects eternally between two mirrors -the bright mirror of words and deeds, and the dark one, full of things we didn’t do or say.” 
― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

In the second episode of Shantaram, available on AppleTV, Lin steps out of his friend Prabaker’s tent in one of Bombay’s sprawling slums. He looks around at all the people in the bustling slum who are looking at him and wonders if they are afraid of him and hate him. He knows he doesn’t belong there, but fate has put him there.

Thinking to himself, he says something like this: “It is what people know about themselves that make them afraid of you.

In A World…

I rewound and watch this moment again. I was not expecting a nugget of wisdom in this drama. But, there it was…something real, something true, something very pertinent to the world we live in now. Today, no matter where you live, we live in a world….

…where MAGA Republicans think all Democrats are evil beings who drink the blood of children. This belief makes liberals and Democrats not really human. If they aren’t really human, then that makes it all right to kill them, all of them.

“Oh? You don’t believe me?”

Listen to this man right here. He’s the man with the littlest Wiennie of them all. The man in the middle touting hate, lies, deception, stories of separation, fear, and division. He’s Steve Bannon.

Steve Bannon Swears Revenge On His Democratic Enemies After Being Sentenced To Prison — Politicus Media; 10.2K subscribers

This little man, Trump’s Rasputin, knows that a democracy divided is easy to control. And he wants to control everything. Look at his beady eyes and scrubby stubble. He’s a tormented man doing everything to create confusion, chaos, and destruction so he can rise as a Christ for a world of sinners. If you have not seen CNN’s special report Divided We Fall, it is time to watch it.

CNN SPECIAL REPORT: STEVE BANNON, DIVIDED WE FALL Reported by Drew Griffin

Oh — you don’t trust CNN?

You say it’s the radical left touting Joe Biden’s radical agenda…and before that it was Hillary….and before that it was Obama…and before and before…

How far back should we go with the blame game and ‘I don’t trust you‘ contest? To Adam and Eve? Is it really that nasty little snake who started it all?

If you’re playing this game, you have already swallowed the Red Pill, and it’s working its toxic poison deep inside of you. It’s a poison that makes you deeply afraid of others and deeply afraid of your own shadow. And, you probably should be deeply afraid of your own shadow.

That is what Lin is aware of while standing alone in the slum of Bombay. That sneaky shadow that lives inside all of us casting its evil intensions and desires onto everyone else, except for you.

If you are playing this game, you have joined the ranks of people who violently participate in the denial of diversity. You do this to legitimize your own violent fear of anyone who doesn’t walk like you, talk like you, look like you, act like you, or think like you. You secretly believe and harbor a wish to bring into being a world that obeys and worships you.

The dirty little secret is hidden deep inside of you is a greedy, little, bloodthirsty thing who rages and whines about inflicting pain and suffering onto others. You want to do this so that you can enjoy your comforts and privileges. You need to do this because how would you know you are enjoying comforts and privileges unless others are suffering?

When you get called out on your racism, homophobia, antisemitism, and racism, you rage. You rage against the radical liberals who are merely pointing out your evil shadow. But, you don’t want to see the evil inside of you. So you build a wall. It’s a really tall wall that is made from the seething anger and rage boiling inside of you. If anyone gets too near, it burns like a living fire.

‘God damn it!’ if anyone is going to penetrate you inner wall and see that howling, wounded, frighten, greedy thing that lives inside of you.

That thing…. that scoundrel, that fiend, rascal, rogue, fraudster, trickster, beast, son of a bitch, deviant thing, loser, weirdo, cry baby, stupid brutal bastard, and bully. But guess what? So am I, and so is everyone else you know. We all have this evil thing living inside of us.

It never goes away. It bubbles and boils and burns inside us all. It pursues and terrorizes us in our dreams. Lin says, “A dream is when a wish and fear come together. A nightmare is when they are the same thing.”

Remaining ignorant of your evil being merely locks it inside of you where it is hidden behind the carefully constructed idea of yourself (your persona: the role you play in your community and for your family). It is your personal internal prison cell behind the giant wall that you built to conceal your evil being. You built the wall so well, most of the time you can’t even see your evil being locked inside your mental prison cell with you.

This thing inside of you is relentless and torments you night and day. In an act of utter desperation, you spew it out onto others and shout in a voice dripping with rage and fury:

“There! There is the boogeyman!

There is the Devil!

There is the Evil Thing that must be annihilated!”

Or, if the other person (the boogeyman) was once part of your exclusive club of people who know the Truth and what is really going on, you might shout:

“Hang Mike Pence!!”


In a world where Putin calls the people of Ukraine Nazis. Never mind he is the one acting like the Nazi. He is the one full of hate. He is the one who has driven out close to a million Russian men because they don’t want to fight in his barbaric, poorly equipped, and pretty bad army. He is losing. So he resorts to lies and double downs on stupid while waging his limp, impotent Nuclear Weiner.

Do not be fooled by Putin’s weak, victim-based, impotent hysterics! He is exactly the type of man who would push the button.


In a world where Iran’s Moral Police beat up and kill young women simply for wearing their hijab too loosely. But it is themselves they are really policing. They are afraid that if they see a single strand of hair sticking out from a hijab, their Limp Weak Weiner will grow. And if this happens, they are afraid they’ll lose control and turn into the Devils they know themselves to really be deep, deep down inside. This corrupt and bankrupt regime has already killed 272 young people and beaten and/or tortured 1,110 others.

In each world outlined above, each man’s rigid, inflexible thinking and bullshit is camouflage for the shitty little men they really are. They lust after power and cluster together helping each other hold onto power and control in their stinking palaces riddled with long, long corridors of terror.

Maps of Hate

This is what the corruption is and this is what it does to human beings. It is a kind of moral bankruptcy. It takes root inside individuals who find each other and clump together in groups that try to take control in order to enforce their style and way of thinking. If they do get control, they quickly create systems that exclude diversity and impose their way of doing things in brutal ways meant to terrorize everyone else into compliance. When a government becomes populated by such individuals, it turns into a structural system of terror bent on brutalizing anyone who is not exactly like them.

There are three main mappable categories of this deadly psychic virus: Dictators, Terror Groups, and Hate Groups. But the corruption lives inside everyone and is readily expressed in every day transactions. You see it in families, in workplaces, in schools, between friends and lovers. It thrives in ignorance and lack of self-awareness. It particularly loves to reside inside narcissists!

Dictators of the World

Current World Dictators
This is a comprehensive, up-to-date list of the world's current dictators and authoritarian regimes. In 2022, there are 57 dictatorships in the world. We define a dictator as the ruler of a land rated “Not Free” by the Freedom House in their annual survey of freedom. See the interactive map and photos below or click to visit the current dictators category.

Of course, the dictators of the world will point to all the yellow areas of this map and claim, “There! There is the evil capitalists who are draining the world of resources and polluting our planet!

They are not entirely wrong, expect they think in black and white, good and evil, right and wrong. They split the world into opposite halves. Then, they step inside the Good Bubble, created entirely inside their mind and spew out their pent-up boiling hate, vengeance, and destructive tendencies on everyone else. They never take responsibility for themselves. They are the consummate victim, and always the hero in their narcissistic story. And so, it is in this way that we (the human race) will split the planet into two unreconcilable halves and all die together in a seething puddle of hate.


Terror Groups

One step behind dictators and authoritarian rulers of the world are terror groups such as Boko Haram, ISIS, and Taliban (which actually managed to retake control of Afghanistan bumping them back up to the dictator map above). The map below shows terror groups around the world and provides a list of largest terrorist groups worldwide.

These are groups of people who twist words and religions to bolster their brutal causes. They are mostly stateless centers of terror who are trying to grab some land and people who they can crush and ruin.

2021 Global Terrorism Index
Overall Terrorism Index Score: GTI is a composite measure made up of four indicators: incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage. To measure the impact of terrorism, a five year weighted average is applied.

Hate Groups

One step behind terror groups are hate groups. Rather than centering their brutal activities in one spot or country, hate groups operate like a distributed network that hock, sell, and propagate hate. It is easier than ever to breed hate with the advent of the Internet and people who live their lives online.

Hate groups traffick outrage and outlandish accusations designed to divide the world into Us and Them, into people you can trust and people you can’t trust. Hate groups are insidious and invade peoples minds like a drug. Once you become addicted to hate, it is an addiction that is harder to kick than heroin. It is a poison to your mind that is more destructive than Meth. Hate literally changes the neural pathways of your brain.

The following images are from Jigsaw, an incredible website that helps you visualize hate.

Red Pilling: Signalling allegiance to a group or ideology often becomes an all-consuming project for extremists. Even once an extremist has been formally admitted into a group or online forum of extremists, formers described the need to prove themselves as “down for the cause” or “white enough” by committing more and more time and energy. This performance of dedication often escalates in a competitive fashion, resulting in hate speech and violence.
Red Pilling: The rise of informal white supremacist communities online over the last 20 years has made it easier to find, join, and become radicalized into white supremacist groups. Whereas groups in the past might have recruited at white power rock shows or amenable bars, online radicalization no longer requires this investment of in-person time and physical vetting. Today a person can spend hours online moving through increasingly radical content and discussion forums. The immersive nature of these online forums and communities can create a “new normal” that contradicts offline social norms28. This also means younger children and teens, who could not be recruited at bars or white power concerts in the past, can more easily join white supremacist groups at impressionable ages. One former interviewed had entered a white supremacist forum at age 13 and, drawn to the provocative memes and secretive chat forums, had adopted national socialist beliefs by 15. By 18, he was part of a neo-Nazi terrorist organization proscribed in the UK.
Formal and informal extremist groups often coexist online, playing complementary roles
White supremacy is a globally networked movement

Another excellent mapping project is the Hate-Map using real time data of hate events to create a map that shows hotspots and how hate is growing worldwide.

Interactive Hate Map | You need to go to the site embedded in the Hate Map, but as you zoom into an area, the number of incidences increases in the the places that appear white in the map above this one.
The Hate Map is populated with data submitted both by our internal researchers, the public and our network of volunteers. This data largely stems from publicly available news-sources and consolidations of information from other public data-sets and records. Existing records are however often limited in scope and fail to give a comprehensive picture of the global activities of the far right ranging from spread of propaganda and low-level activities through major terrorist incidents.
All data in the Hate Map is verified and quality controlled by internal researchers who are experts on far right extremism and experienced in the field of open source intelligence (OSINT) building on public sources and providing verifiable documentation before it is made available in our public-facing database and dashboard. Our researchers take great care to verify sources where there might exist any doubt. Links to external sources are provided for all our database entries in order to ensure that the public further can verify any incident independently.
Our dataset is cross referenced against the work of other institutions and organizations mapping the far right in order to ensure as comprehensive a picture of the global situation of the far right as possible, in keeping with the highest academic standards.
The Hate Map is a living document and both recent and historic events are added and verified on a daily basis. -- The Hate-Map

The Playbook

Regardless of if you are a dictator; an authoritarian ruler; a leader or member of a terror group; a leader or member of a hate group; a narcissistic boss, sibling, friend, or parent, you play from the same dirty handbook. That book repeats one mantra over and over, which is to inflict as much pain, terror, and suffering on your enemy (which is anyone who does not agree with you) while constantly claiming to be the victim. And if you can’t win that way, then you have the right to destroy everything.

This attitude, belief system, behavior is all a big cover up of who you really are. It is a smoke screen and distraction because deep, deep down inside yourself you feel inferior, impotent, dithering, confused, frighten, and like a limp Weiner. That’s why you run around the world hurting everyone else. If you can’t have it your way, then you want to be the first to destroy it!

Looking at these map, it is pretty clear we are not doing very well as species. No wonder we are not paying attention to Climate Change. Perhaps we won’t need to after all. The way things are going we will blow ourselves up before nature cleans us off the surface of the planet with climate disasters that are only getting bigger and more deadlier by the year… and this trend is only going bigger and badder not the other way.

Perhaps we all better stop, take a deep breathe, and listen to the Whale Songs again. The ones Vermont biologist Roger Payne captured and brought to us in the 1970s!

Songs Of The Humpback Whale – by Dr. Roger Payne
Gordon Snyder; 494 subscribers

Yetzer Harah

I realized this thing Lin said in the second episode of Shantaram is part of the puzzle of the Yetzer Harah.

I first heard about the Yetzer Harah while listening to Alan Watts lectures who describes it like this:

So, in Hebrew theology incidentally. That there is a thing called the yetzer harah. And in the beginning of time when God created Adam he implanted in him the yetzer hara and the yetzer hara means that wayward spirit. He put something funny in man so that man would be a little odd and it was a result of the yetzer hara that Adam was tempted by Eve who was tempted by the serpent to eat that famous fruit. And, but the Hebrew believes that everything that God created is good. Including the Yetzer Hara. Because if it hadn’t been for the yetzer hara, there would have nothing ever happened. Everybody would have obeyed God and God would have said well this is kind of a bore. 

Now that you see, you can’t you can’t just get up to someone and say disobey me, because if they do there are varying you. See that’s a double bind. Say to somebody disobey me but God is much more subtle than that. He didn’t tell Adam to disobey he told him to obey. 

But suddenly he put this yetzer hara thing in like that so that, God would say well I’m not responsible. For this thing’s going to happen on its own because what everybody wants is something to happen on its own. And everybody wants that. 

Because you see, this sensation of being you. This curious lonely center of awkward sensitivity, subject to the most peculiar feelings and pains and anxieties and all that sort of thing all that. Is an essential prerequisite for feeling something else. These two experiences go together. -- 2.4.9 Way Beyond Seeking Part 2; Alan Watts Organization

In short, the Yetzer Harah is why we do evil things, why we fear people we don’t know, why we wage wars, why we cheat each other… pretty much why we are living in the mess we made of the world today.

Shantaram tells the story of how Lin made a mess of his life (surely guided by his inner Yetzer Harah that tempted him into making a lot of bad choices that landed him in prison). Then, Lin makes a courageous choice, escapes from prison, and gets a second chance to live his life, which he is messing up again–gosh darn it!

I’m only on episode 2…so Lin is probably going to embark on different mistakes. And I bet he is going to grow from these mistakes because Lin demonstrates the capacity to reflect on his new situation and past mistakes, which pushing open the door of the prison cell inside your head, just a little bit, but if you look…there is vast and beautiful field of wisdom beyond your prison cell behind your wall of ignorance.

Is wisdom perhaps the reason God implanted the Yetzer Harah into man at the very beginning?

I suppose we will never know because clearly we are going to kill each other long before we can collectively learn how to embrace diversity and celebrate life in all its many facets and ways of being in the world.

Images For Archetypal Animations

Feature Archetypal Animation

Cucuy: The Boogeyman
Free Evil Fiend Art Prints and Artworks
Alice In Wonderland Clip Alice Falls Into a Rabbit Hole 2010 HD
Shop Alice Falling Down The Rabbit Hole Designs in Fabric
White rabbit runs and falls into a hole

Music: Down the Rabbit Hole: Emma Wallace [1] Rabbit Hole    2:02


Second Archetypal Animation

I was searching for exactly what Lin said to himself when he woke up the first morning in his friends tent in the Bombay slum. I could not find it, but I found a lot of other great quotes from Gregory David Roberts who is the author of Shantarm. So, I have sprinkled these in between the credits of where I found the images for this animation.

Shantaram TV Review

“Civilisation, after all, is defined by what we forbid, more than what we permit.” 
― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

“Fear dries a man’s mouth, and hate strangles him. That’s why hate has no great literature: real fear and real hate have no words.” ― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

“For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain the world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love; the passionate search for truth other than our own. With longing; the pure, ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on.” 
― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

“The past reflects eternally between two mirrors -the bright mirror of words and deeds, and the dark one, full of things we didn’t do or say.” 
― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

Charlie Hunnam And Shubham Saraf Tell Us About How The Spirit Of Chaos (And One Drunken Night) Fueled ‘Shantaram

“While I was chained to a wall and being tortured, I realized, through the screaming of my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.” ~ Gregory David Roberts

“The truth is that there are no good men, or bad men,’ he said. ‘It is the deeds that have goodness or badness in them. There are good deeds, and bad deeds. Men are just men – it is what they do, or refuse to do, that links them to good and evil. The truth is that an instant of real love, in the heart of anyone – the noblest man alive or the most wicked – has the whole purpose and process and meaning of life within the lotus-folds of its passion. The truth is that we are all, every one of us, every atom, every galaxy, and every particle of matter in the universe, moving toward God.” ~ Gregory David Roberts

“It’s forgiveness that makes us what we are. Without forgiveness, our species would’ve annihilated itself in endless retributions. Without forgiveness, there would be no history. Without that hope, there would be no art, for every work of art is in some way an act of forgiveness. Without that dream, there would be no love, for every act of love is in some way a promise to forgive. We live on because we can love, and we love because we can forgive.” ~ Gregory David Roberts

Charlie Hunnam Fell In Love With India While Working On ‘Shantaram’ But Also Fell Severely Ill!

“There’s a truth deeper than experience. It’s beyond what we see, or even what we feel. It’s an order of truth that separates the profound from the merely clever, and the reality from the perception. We’re helpless, usually, in the face of it; and the cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love, is sometimes greater than any heart would willingly pay. It doesn’t always help us to love the world, but it does prevent us from hating the world. And the only way to know that truth is to share it, from heart to heart, just as Prabhakar told it to me, just as I’m telling it to you now.” ~ Gregory David Roberts

“Love is the passionate search for a truth other than your own; and once you feel it, honestly and completely, love is forever.” ~ Gregory David Roberts

“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.” ~ Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram
Inde. Bombay ou Mumbai, il faut choisir son 

Music: Shantaram (Chapter Four)Various Artists [1] Aeternum    9:16 [2] Inner Fire – Yuriy from Russia Remix    9:15

The Tyger

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

First Archetypal Image
Tyger Tyger, burning bright… | Music: Tiger King [1] Tigers are Forever    0:42

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 


Second Archetypal Image
In what distant deeps or skies… | Music: In What Distant Deeps Or Skies | Kabanjak

In what distant deeps or skies. 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand, dare seize the fire? 


Third Archetypal Image
And what shoulder, & what art… | Music: Tiger (Extended Version) Joon Moon

And what shoulder, & what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand? & what dread feet? 


Fourth Archetypal Image
What the hammer? what the chain… | Music: [12] The Blacksmith Stomp – Radio Edit  (4:19)| Noble Jacks

What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? what dread grasp, 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 


Fifth Archetypal Image
When the stars threw down their spears… | Music: Tyger Qntal

When the stars threw down their spears 
And water’d heaven with their tears: 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 


Sixth Archetypal Image
Tyger Tyger burning bright… | Music: Priviet (Easy Tyger Remix) | Pierce Fulton [1] Priviet – Easy Tyger Remix  

Tyger Tyger burning bright, 
In the forests of the night: 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


To hear it read, go to The Tyger BY WILLIAM BLAKE (The Poetry Foundation)

Sources for Archetypal Images

Feature Archetypal Animation:

Tiger Predator Fur Dangerous Big Cat Feline | Alexas_Fotos | Alexa  •  Steh über den Dingen  •  Member since Jan. 6, 2015  •  #62

 Tiger Siberian Tiger Big Cat Zoo Predator | Joachim_Marian_Winkler | Deutsch  •  Member since May 2, 2016

Tiger Siberian Tiger Snow Predator Carnivore | Pixel-mixer | Marcel Langthim  •  Age 74  •  Regio Bodensee/Schweiz  •  Member since July 12, 2015

Tiger Swamp Big Cat Wild Cat Jungle Water | andibreit | Andreas Breitling  •  Himmelkron/Bayern  •  Member since June 14, 2016

Tiger Head Face Feline Wild Cat Big Cat Animal | blende12 | Gerhard G.  •  Deutschland  •  Member since March 25, 2014  •  #144

 Tigers Cub Tiger Cub Mother Snow Snowy | WikiImages | Deutsch  •  Member since Dec. 13, 2011

Music: William Blake’s The Tyger | Charles Szabo Music

First Archetypal Image

 Tiger Animal Wildlife Mammal Sumatran Tiger | No-longer-here | English  •  Member since Jan. 25, 2013

Tiger Swamp Big Cat Wild Cat Jungle Water | andibreit | Andreas Breitling  •  Himmelkron/Bayern  •  Member since June 14, 2016

Sparkler Lightbulb Spray Candle Spark Star Splatter | Myriams-Fotos | Deutsch  •  Member since Nov. 10, 2015

Forest Path Lights Nature Trees Night Woods | jplenio | Joe  •  Munich/Deutschland  •  Member since Jan. 9, 2018  •  #420

Eye Manipulation Galaxy Creative Artificial | VISHNU_KV | vishnu vijayan  •  Age 28  •  kerala/India  •  Member since Aug. 29, 2016

 Architecture Skyscraper Perspective Glass Windows | Pexels | English  •  Member since March 26, 2016

Music: TIGER KING | Tiger King | [1] Tigers are Forever    0:42

Second Archetypal Image

Fantasy Clouds Woman Castle Sun Heaven | KELLEPICS | Stefan Keller  •  Deutschland / Germany  •  Member since March 22, 2017  •  #239

 Fantasy Beautiful Dawn Sunset Sky Cloud Women | peter_pyw | Peter  •  KUALA LUMPUR/Malaysia  •  Member since July 19, 2016

Tiger Feline Savage Wild Animal Zoo Animal | WenPhotos | wendy CORNIQUET  •  Age 61  •  Parly/France  •  Member since Dec. 21, 2015

Barn Owl Bird Flying Wings Owl Bird Of Prey | dannymoore1973 | danny moore  •  Age 48  •  hawick/scotland  •  Member since Dec. 25, 2015

Hand Fire Finger Burn Flame Light | Inactive account – ID 12222786

Fire Flame Burning Combustion Heat | Hans | Hans Braxmeier  •  Neu-Ulm/Deutschland  •  Member since Nov. 24, 2010

Music: In What Distant Deeps Or Skies | Kabanjak

Third Archetypal Image

Female Long Hair Back Shoulder Lips Nose Girl | garyporephotography | Gary Pore  •  Age 41  •  Adelaide/Australia  •  Member since April 21, 2017

Mountain Colors Paint Colorful Art Abstract

Mountain Colors Paint Colorful Art Abstract | Leolo212 | Antonio López  •  Murcia/Spain  •  Member since Jan. 23, 2020  •  #453

Hands Heart Red Paint Heart Shape Art Group Paint | Pexels | English  •  Member since March 26, 2016

Angel Ali Heart Aquila Clouds Fly To Dream Float | Inactive account – ID 6557056

Pirate Seafarer Captain Sailors Evil Halloween | sik-life | Felix Lichtenfeld  •  Age 32  •  Jever/Deutschland  •  Member since March 6, 2016

Tiger Cat Predator Carnivore Wildlife Animal Wild | tony241969 | Age 53  •  London/England  •  Member since April 17, 2017

Music: Tiger (Extended Version) Joon Moon

Fourth Archetypal Image

Hammer Sledgehammer Mallet Tool Striking Hitting | stevepb | Steve Buissinne  •  Age 72  •  Sedgefield/South Africa  •  Member since June 4, 2014

Chain Security Metal Iron Metal Chain Chain Link | analogicus | Tom  •  Andernach/Deutschland  •  Member since Feb. 25, 2018  •  #178

Metallurgy A Ferro-Alloy The Electric Arched Furnace | kepinator | Slovenčina  •  Member since March 10, 2017

Brain Anatomy Abstract Art Branches Computation | GDJ | Gordon Johnson  •  USA  •  Member since June 3, 2015  •  #51

Anvil Ironworks Blacksmith Forge Tool Rust | nightowl | USA  •  Member since Dec. 21, 2010

Forest Dark Magic Surreal Trees Mysterious Nature | jwvein | J.W.Vein  •  Konin/Polska  •  Member since June 8, 2017  •  #453

Dry Head Skeleton Fear Death Die Dead Head Dry | Engin_Akyurt | Engin Akyurt  •  Age 41  •  Türkçe  •  Member since Nov. 1, 2016  •  #21

 Tiger Head Face Feline Wild Cat Big Cat Animal | blende12 | Gerhard G.  •  Deutschland  •  Member since March 25, 2014  •  #145

Music: [12] The Blacksmith Stomp – Radio Edit  (4:19)| Noble Jacks

Fifth Archetypal Image

Manipulation Monkey Animal Fire Wire Shooting Star | janrye | janrye  •  Denmark  •  Member since Feb. 20, 2017

Mermaid The Sea Maid Mythical Creatures Ocean | Mysticsartdesign | Mystic Art Design  •  Deutsch  •  Member since July 3, 2014

Heaven Clouds Cloud Shape Swelling Cloud Weather | geralt | Gerd Altmann  •  Freiburg/Deutschland  •  Member since Sept. 15, 2012  •  #45

Water Drops Blue Liquid Clear Macro Wet Splash | InspiredImages | UK  •  Member since Sept. 27, 2013

Shiva The Hindu God Shiva India Rishikesh | InspiredImages | UK  •  Member since Sept. 27, 2013

Kyoto Japan Statue Jizo Japanese Religion Culture | JordyMeow | Jordy Meow  •  Age 39  •  Tokyo/Japan  •  Member since April 16, 2015

 Tiger Animal Wildlife Mammal Sumatran Tiger | No-longer-here | English  •  Member since Jan. 25, 2013

Music: Tyger Qntal

Sixth Archetypal Image

 Tiger White Tiger Asleep Big Cat Wild Cat Feline | Pexels | English  •  Member since March 26, 2016

Forest Trees Mystical Light Mood Mysterious | pixel2013 | S. Hermann & F. Richter  •  Germany  •  Member since April 9, 2016

Diwali Navratri Religious Worship Holiday Hinduism | vinnyspice | English  •  Member since Oct. 22, 2018

Music: Priviet (Easy Tyger Remix) | Pierce Fulton [1] Priviet – Easy Tyger Remix  

Happy Year of the Tiger!

A Stormy Moment

The wind’s in the willows

My heart is in two.

The wind’s in the willows…my heart is in two| Music: 50 Shades of Purple | Songs For the Brokenhearted by Maria Paloma

I sit being billowed

Thinking of you.

Thinking of You… | Music: Molly (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic at the Disco) | Lil Dicky

The wind’s in the willows

It’s starting to rain.

It’s starting to rain… | Music: Thunderstorm & Rain (Sleep & Mindfulness) | Sleepy John

I sit getting drenched

Both with droplets and pain.

I’m getting drenched… | Music: Pain PinkPantheress | [1] Pain    1:39

Poet unknown, but I found a copy of this very same poem in Chapter 55 of a Timeless Place.

For a dear friend who shared this poem recently. I love its imagery and was inspired to animate parts of it with Archetypal Animations.

Have a beautiful and soulful day.


Following are sources for the images and music used to create each Archetypal Animation. All images for this blog come from Pixabay and all music is from Spotify. To hear the music, just click the little sound box in the upper right-hand corner of each animation.

You can follow my Pixabay account to see collections of spectacular photos I have encountered in my searches for images for Archetypal Animations. And follow my Spotify account for meditative and powerful playlists of musicians I have discovered in my search for musical soundtracks for Archetypal Animations.


Feature Archetypal Animation:

UnderWater Fashion Woman Art Water Tank Fine Art | Engin_Akyurt | Engin Akyurt  •  Age 41  •  Türkçe  •  Member since Nov. 1, 2016  •  #25
Willow Tree Winter Light Color Sky | elvina1332 | Эльвина Якубова  •  Age 29  •  Каспийск/Россия  •  Member since Jan. 22, 2018  •  #869
Match Smoke Match Head Sticks Matches Burn | roegger | Deutsch  •  Member since Nov. 25, 2014
Girl Nighttime Lantern Oil Lamp | Greyerbaby | lisa runnels  •  Age 59  •  magee/united states  •  Member since Jan. 13, 2012
Love Heart Valentine’s Day Red Affection Hearts | marcosaasilva | Marcos Silva  •  Age 58  •  Macaé/Brasil  •  Member since Nov. 19, 2016

Music: Day 28: Mantra for Moving Forward (So Dar Keha) | Meditative Mind


First Archetypal Animation:

Weeping Willow Willow Tree | MabelAmber 👀 who will one day  •  make you hide…/your face in your hands 👀  •  Member since Sept. 6, 2015
Heart Broken Nature Love Leaf | Modman | Kevin McIver  •  Age 59  •  English  •  Member since April 22, 2015
Hourglass Shattered Broken | Heather_Ann | Heather Plew  •  Age 32  •  Grapeview/USA  •  Member since Jan. 25, 2018
Heart Crack Broken Pain | chadkrue17 | Chad Krusenstjerna  •  Age 25  •  Lynnwood/United States  •  Member since Aug. 24, 2015

Music: 50 Shades of Purple | Songs For the Brokenhearted by Maria Paloma


Second Archetypal Animation:

Abstract Background Grey Billow | yadiyadi | English  •  Member since Jan. 28, 2013
Background Abstract Etherial Billows | yadiyadi | English  •  Member since Jan. 28, 2013
Paraglider Leisure Sports Free Flight | JACLOU-DL | JackieLou DL  •  La Baie du Mont saint Michel/France  •  Member since June 10, 2017  •  #72
Woman Face Light Painting | Inactive account – ID 19833603

Music: Molly (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic at the Disco) | Lil Dicky


Third Archetypal Animation:

Weeping Willow Willow Tree | MabelAmber 👀 who will one day  •  make you hide…/your face in your hands 👀  •  Member since Sept. 6, 2015
Window Glass Water | Pexels | English  •  Member since March 26, 2016
Rain Umbrella Pavement Red Black | nikondian | Souvick Ghosh  •  Age 32  •  Kolkata/India  •  Member since July 22, 2017
Cloud Heart Love Wind | Kranich17 | Michaela  •  Germany  •  Member since Jan. 6, 2019  •  #332

Music: [1] Thunder & Rain Sounds, Pt. 01    1:05 | Thunderstorm & Rain (Sleep & Mindfulness) | Sleepy John


Fourth Archetypal Animation:

Hand Hyperhidrosis Sweating | BarbaraBonanno | Barbara Bonanno  •  Massa (MS)/Italia  •  Member since Feb. 20, 2015
Scream That Weather Breath | Engin_Akyurt | Age 41  •  Türkçe  •  Member since Nov. 1, 2016  •  #25
Under Water Fashion Woman | Engin_Akyurt | Age 41  •  Türkçe  •  Member since Nov. 1, 2016  •  #25
Under Water Fashion Woman Art | er Water Fashion Woman | Engin_Akyurt | Age 41  •  Türkçe  •  Member since Nov. 1, 2016  •  #25
Under Water Fashion Woman Art | er Water Fashion Woman | Engin_Akyurt | Age 41  •  Türkçe  •  Member since Nov. 1, 2016  •  #25

Music: Pain PinkPantheress | [1] Pain    1:39

My small insight in animating parts of this poem is:

Keep moving forward no matter the weather inside or outside.

Every emotion, feeling, and mood is rocket fuel powering us ever forward through new beginnings and endings on our endless and indestructible journey through the feeling of being.

It is only through the dark that we know the light.

It is only by descending to our deepest depths that we can reach our highest heights.


One more insight, actually it is a synchronicity between working on this poem and a movie that my husband and I watched last night. We saw a BBC version of Great Expectations. Neither of us had ever read Charles Dickens book nor seen any of the movies made about it.

Both of us were spelled bound by the convoluted beautiful tale Dickens weaves through all his stories. We were particularly captivated and appalled by Miss Havisham.

"Humiliated and heartbroken, Miss Havisham suffered a mental breakdown and remained alone in her decaying mansion Satis House – never removing her wedding dress,..." -- Wiki

Here is a sense of the depth of despair she has descended to and refuses (or cannot) let go of in this complicated story.

great expectations | miss Havisham
57,082 views, Jan 2, 2012

Her endless pain bends and distorts her until she appears more dead than alive, more witch than beautiful maiden, which she was. Still she clings to her unendurable pain, the consequences of which ripple through and define the rest of her life and beyond.

I listen to a lot of Alan Watts, and he talks a lot about letting go because there is no way to hold on to it. It can be pleasure, pain, money, status, whatever it is a person is tempted to hold on to. He also talks about peaks and troughs. You can’t have one without the other.

I immediately sought to find an example of what would happen to a human being who only held onto pleasure. A person who refuses to see, feel, or know their own pain. I could not think of a literary example, but my mother-in-law sprang to mind.

I realized a person who holds on to pleasure also is beaten and battered into more of a monster than a human being by this force–for pleasure is an energy just as pain is energy. We feel these energies as emotions inside of us.

A person who clings to pleasure becomes dim, shallow, and cruel. They become a person who takes pleasure in other people pain, misfortune, and sorrow. They have forgotten their soul needs food to grow and that consuming someone else’s pain is a pretty poor substitute for their own.

To grow, a soul needs to sink into the depths of being a mortal being. Denying their own pain and suffering, cuts them off from other people and slices themselves in half. A person who clings to pleasure becomes the same type of pitiful monster that Miss Havisham becomes due to clinging to her pain.

You can follow my journey in exploring what happens to a person who clings to pleasure through my Big Sky Series.

Traveling to Big Sky Country — September 22, 2021 — Moab — Junction
26 views
Premiered Oct 15, 2021

Have a beautiful day!

Winter Solstice | Light & Time

Behold, the Power of the Fading Light

I recently finished watching  Wallander  on my local PBS station that playback back to back episodes for over a month for their Thriller Thursdays. I had begun watching Wallander years earlier (probably 2016 when it first came out), but due to public television fundraising or something like that, I never saw all the episodes until now.

The final episode is called The Troubled Man where Kurt is in a race against time as he embarks on his final case — the disappearance of his daughter’s father-in-law. It is a complex convoluted mystery that starts and ends with this poem: Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströmer. Ever since hearing it, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I found this reading of the Half-Finished Heaven by the London Buddhist Centre.

Life with Full Attention | Awareness-raising poems | ‘Half-Finished Heaven’ by Tomas Tranströmer
438 views, Feb 25, 2021

I decided to animate key lines of this poem by creating moving musical archetypal images–the ones that have become my signature artwork on this site. Archetypal images as explained by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. He suggests archetypes are archaic forms of innate human knowledge passed down from our ancestors. Kendra Kelly writes in an article for the verywellmind, “Jung believed we inherit these archetypes much in the way we inherit instinctive patterns of behavior.” Indeed, Jung further postulated that archetypes are mirror images of instinctual responses that have been modified by conscious awareness. An archetype is an unconscious collective reservoir of information of what happens to people each time they make a choice to act different from what nature would have otherwise dictated through instinctual responses.

Indeed, archetypes form a psychological body much in the same way that ears, eyes, nose, arms, liver, spleen, and heart form a physical body. Just as individuals can choose to treat their bodies in different ways (e.g., some people recreate by doing drugs while others find joy and relaxation hiking outdoors), individuals fill the void of possibilities that an activated archetypes opens up inside of them in different ways (e.g., some people act on violent, criminal impulses others choose to direct their anger and rage in less violent and destructive ways).

See this well-written article about Carl Jung’s views on Crime and the Soul. And so without further ado, here is the Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströme along with my individual interpretation of images activated by each line.

The Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströme

  1. Despondency breaks off its course.

First Archetypal Image for First Stanza

Despondency | Music: NKOHA – My friend | See below for attributions of images used to create animation

2. Anguish breaks off its course.

Second Archetypal Image for Second Stanza

Anguish | Music: AND ONE.”ANGUISH.”.(DEVIL AIRLINES.)(12” LP.)(1991.) [PHONOS by D.J. JOSE GIMENO & D.J. EDU SOLER. 90’s] | See below for attributions of images used to create animation

3. The vulture breaks off its flight.

Third Archetypal Image for Third Stanza

The vulture breaks its course | Music: PURPLE EYES ~ Pachislot Akumajo Dracula Lords of Shadow | See below for attributions of images used to create animation

4. The eager light streams out, even the ghosts take a draught.

Fourth Archetypal Image for Fourth Stanza

Even the ghosts take a draught… | Music: ALBUM: SPOOKY MALL | LIL Runners |
10 SONGS • 10 MINUTES • NOV 14 2021 on Amazon Music

5. And our paintings see daylight, our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Fifth Archetypal Image for Fifth Stanza

Watch out for raptors! | Music: The Velociraptor Song | 1,812 views, Jun 4, 2019

6. Everything begins to look around. We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Sixth Archetypal Image for Sixth Stanza

They walk in the sun by the hundreds | Music: Thomas Bergersen – Cry (Sun)

7. Each man is a half-open door, leading to a room for everyone.

Seventh Archetypal Image | Seventh Stanza

I Am the Door! | Music: The Doors classic Break On Through (To The Other Side)

8. The endless ground under us.

Eight Archetypal Image | Eight Stanza

Endless ground | Music: Music for the 8th archetypal image is from Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days.

9. The water is shining among the trees.

Ninth Archetypal Image | Ninth Stanza

Shining Waters | Music: Shining Water by BUIWUI on Spotify

10. The lake is a window into the earth.

Tenth Archetypal Image | Tenth Stanza

At the end of the world | Music: At the End — A mix for the end of the world (part. 1) The National Parks

Winter Solstice | Ancient Pagan Day of Ritual for Peoples of the Northern Worlds

While the winter solstice marks the “beginning of winter” in the Northern Hemisphere as marked by the longest night of the year. The same day is marked by people in the Southern Hemisphere as the beginning of summer as they experience the longest day of the year.(See article in Business Insider for a full view of the nature of time and light as experienced by life on Earth).

Across the Northern Hemisphere, peoples of all times and cultures and religions took note of when the dwindling light finally relented its steady march to darkness and turned the other way. Earth probably owes this time honored pattern to a collision with another planet thought to be about the size of Mars. This colossal collision s a hypothesized to have occurred way, way back at the dawn of the creation of our solar system when an ancient planet called Theia collided with early Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. The impact knocked ancient Earth off its axis titling it so that it wobbles back and forth with the Northern Hemisphere facing towards the sun for six months and then the Souther Hemisphere. It also is thought to have created the moon and could have been a critical conveyor of water to our planet. [Image from Universe Today | A Cataclysmic Collision Formed the Moon, but Killed Theia by Evan Gough | 2/2/16]

Due to our fantastic ability to focus consciousness like a beam of light, humanity has built up a vast reservoir of knowledge like this, but our ancestors were no less clever–they simply had different ways to explain what they were experiencing. Especially significant events such as the dwindling of sunlight that made food hard to find and increased the need of ancient man to find shelter. If Earth one day never wobbled back to warm the Northern Hemisphere, it would spell doom for millions of living organisms that inhabit these realms of the planet.

Just a small representation of the diverse celebrations marking the return of light to the Northern Hemisphere include:

  1. Saint Lucia’s Day, Scandinavia.
  2. St.Lohri, Northern India.
  3. Dongzhi, China.
  4. Newgrange, Ireland.
  5. Soyal, Hopi of Northern Arizona. .
  6. Yule, Northern Europe.
  7. Santo Tomás Festival, Guatemala.
  8. Stonehenge, England.
  9. Saturnalia, Ancient Rome.
  10. Toji, Japan.

There are many more Winter Solstice celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere besides these. In my previous blog, Satan’s Sister & Santa Claus, I explore the colonization of these vast, diverse Winter Solstice celebrations as the ancient roots of Western Civilization stretched far into the northernmost regions of Europe, and then far beyond to become a dominating force around the world imposing a worldview that “sees humans as dominant over nature and feels natural resources should be used for the benefit of humanity. The western worldview puts man first and declares human beings as superior to all other living and non-living things in the environment. ” — Environmental Worldviews: Western & Deep Ecology

Feature Archetypal Image for Satan’s Sister & Santa Claus
First Archetypal Animation from Satan’s Sister and Santa Claus

For the ‘civilized’ Romans colonizing northern Europe long ago, this is where the barbarians lived. Even today, their fear mixed with disgust and desire to control and gain more loot for themselves looms large in the psyche of modern Western man. Conduct a Google search of barbarian, and you will find tons of images of primal Germanic-Nordic warriors.


All this is a long way of saying that we are complex beings with written histories that are highly biased to glorify the conquering tribes. Or if not completely conquered, the assimilation of whole groups of people into a larger and/or more technological advanced group. But we also have psychic histories that are stored in the collective well of consciousness, the one Carl Jung helped to bring into the sphere of the long, narrow beam of Western consciousness.

Here, nothing is lost or forgotten. Here, a completely soft-spoken, normal, well-adjusted modern man can turn into a barbarian in a split second when some sleeping archaic archetype is trigger into action. When we fail to grow as conscious beings, we can easily succumb to the power of our sleeping psyche.

Consider Robert S. Palmer, 54, of Largo, Fla. who pleaded guilty in October to assaulting law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon during the Jan 6 assault on the Capitol. The Washington Post reports that he had thrown a fire extinguisher — twice — a large plank and then a four- to five-foot pole at police before he was struck with one rubber bullet. At his sentencing, Palmer said, “I’m really, really ashamed of what I did. I was horrified, absolutely devastated to see myself on there.” — Fla. man sentenced to 5 years for attacking police, the longest Jan. 6 riot sentence yet by Tom Jackman, 12/17/21

He will now serve 5 years in prison for his actions that he himself is ashamed of committing almost a year ago. How does an average, law-abiding citizen go from a normal man to a berserker capable of murder?

The Old Norsemen knew how. They cultivated and embodied a whole class of warriors known as berserkers. Men who put themselves into a trance-like fury making them furiously violent and out of control.Wiki Berserker | Images from Wiki and Google Berserker search

Got to admit that there are striking similarities between depictions of ancient Norse berserkers and the Jan 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol–mainly furious white men in a rampage. This is the ugly under belly of Western Civilization beaming brightly for all to see. The barbarian is alive and well in modern times. It has not been vanquished nor destroyed in the minds and psyches of modern men and women. It only needs to be tripped or triggered to roar vividly back to life.

And so, here we are back to the barbarian. This is why I choose the poem by Tomas Tranströme for on this shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere we are reminded of our finite time on Earth and the question begs to be asked what kind of life do we wish to choose for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for everyone else. It is all connected–individual actions are connected to collective actions that are connected to our shared reality.

I like Tranströme’s poem because it mines the deep archaeological cervices where valiant, cowardly, noble and ignoble parts of our all-too-human-soul lie forgotten but very much ready to take over control of the reins guiding our thoughts and actions in the world. His poem helps modern men and women who scarcely have a moment to think a thought for themselves anymore to pause and sink deeper into who they really are as living, conscious beings on a miraculous planet chock full of life.

This is what ancient Winter Solstice celebrations paid tribute to–the miracle of life on Earth. This is something all humans everywhere and through all times felt and perceived and celebrated. It is what the early Christian missionaries understood and so moved the birth and celebration of Jesus to this time of year to harness and redirect this powerful flow of collective human consciousness. It is what Tranströme’s poem hints at, very delicately but in a dynamic, compelling, numinous way. This shortest day of the year is an opportunity to feel and remember who and what we really are.


Archetypal Analysis

The interpretation of Half-Finished Heaven by the London Buddhist Centre is different from my interpretation as captured in the animated musical images above. However, rather than negating my personal interpretation, the Buddhist Centre’s interpretation widens and broadens the archetypal image that offers a glimpse into a room for everyone as captured by Tranströme’s seventh stanza of his poem. This room is the rich reservoir of humanity’s collective consciousness–as illuminated by the light of our collective conscious attention and as sleeps in the depths of our collective unconsciousness.

What follows is not a detailed analysis of the images above but rather an accounting of what used to create them. The power of an archetype always lays inside of you and what is evoked in your heart and mind. [Note: My division of Tranströme’s poem does not necessarily conform to his original publishing of this poem as available in The Half-Finished Heaven: Selected Poems and other publications featuring Tranströme’s work.]

Feature Image

Image from:

The Candle

 / GRACI

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Image from:

Shutterstock | Child with Candle

Image from:

Baby’s first party trick! Little boy celebrates his first birthday by trying to eat the flaming candle on his cake

Image from: Peakpx

Also reminds me of Shadow and Bone book and TV series on Netflix, which was a super great story!

Image from: Cloud land by stevemidkiff | Blogs about faith

“If we want to know what clouds of affliction mean & why they are sent
we can’t flee away from them in fright with closed ears & bandaged eyes.
Fleeing from the cloud is fleeing from the God’s love behind the cloud.”

Image from: Wheel of the Year: Yule

“What is the meaning and symbolism of Yule on the Wheel of the Year? Yule is the time of the rebirth of the Sun at the winter solstice, a time for parties, gift-giving, and more. Join our virtual discussion group on Zoom or follow our livestream on your YouTube channel.”

Image from: Pagan Solstice Rites Lurk in Holiday Celebrations

“The confabulation of pagan and Christian symbolism for the Winter holiday. “It is not the birth of the Sun but rather that of the Son.”

When the Church became ascendant in the Empire, it did all it could to squelch the festival, but like many popular pagan customs, it was so integrated into many daily lives that it inevitably influenced how Christmas, by then assigned to the same calendar day, was observed.

Music for the Feature Archetypal Image is Magic Forest — Winter Solstice on Ice. This is a beautiful song filled with mystery, wonder, and magical being in a world full of life.

Magic Forest
2,245 views, Apr 9, 2017

First Archetypal Image | First Stanza

Despondency breaks off its course.

Album cover for Despondency by Dead in the Manger — available on amazon music

I was drawn to the image first. The parallel to this poem, the winter solstice, and Christmas is very interesting. I hadn’t expected these connections when I selected this image.


Despondency

Published: Dec 23, 2008 by Celeosia on DeviantArt | Pencil

This is simply a beautiful piece of art that captures the feeling of despondency inside of me. Please visit Celeosia’s site to see this piece and more of her work.


Despondency Poster by Sergej Bag as shown and available for purchase on

Fine Art America - Buy Art Online

Another beautiful and compelling piece of art that captures the feeling of despondency for me.


This is my work. You can see how I used it in Tribute to Cider

Tribute to Cider | 105 views, Jan 1, 2020

This video is a Tribute to Cider. She is our beloved dog who we lost suddenly and tragically two days before Christmas of 2019. She was 11 years and 1 month old. She was a senior dog, but she was full of life and acted like a puppy always. Our illusions about reality can break and shatter into millions of tiny pieces so suddenly, and how they prevent us from really seeing reality. Hang on to all those who you love be them people or pets or our beloved planet Earth. I began these drawings 7 months before Cider’s death.


Music for the archetypal image of despondency is My Friend by NKOHA, which is beautiful, haunting, and enchanting–capturing the sweet silence of despondency and the betrayal of something sacred that often leads to this powerful emotional force within us.

NKOHA – My friend | 342,298 views, May 16, 2018

Second Archetypal Image | Second Stanza

Anguish breaks off its course.

Digital album cover for Anguish by Anguish
Design and Layout by Paul Romano
Sculpture by Darla Jackson


This is art created Jerry Yi Chang who describes this piece as:

This drawing depicts anguish as an all-consuming emotion that is difficult to detach from.

Found on Dr Becky Inkster’s website.


The Thing in Tribute to Cider

Tribute to Cider | 105 views, Jan 1, 2020

Anguish 180, 2016

Stainless chain

Created by Seo Young-deok, South Korean, b. 1984

This is a stunning work of art that absolutely captures the feeling of anguish in me. This piece has sold, but visit his gallery to see more of his brilliant work.


Another one of Seo Young-deok‘s pieces that is both stunning and haunting.


Anguish 18, 2013

Stainless chain

Also by Seo Young-deok

The missing face of this figure is especially poignant and evocative of the powerful emotional currents of anguish.

Music for the archetypal image of anguish is Anguish by Devil Airlines. It is particularly chilling and haunting as it captures musically the terrible cycle of captors and captives that leaves so many people in warped and mangled states of anguish.

AND ONE.”ANGUISH.”.(DEVIL AIRLINES.)(12” LP.)(1991.) [PHONOS by D.J. JOSE GIMENO & D.J. EDU SOLER. 90’s]

Third Archetypal Image | Third Stanza

The vulture breaks off its flight.

Image from: Why African Vultures Are Collapsing Into Extinction | National Geographic


Image from: Ruby the Turkey Vulture | Portland Aududon — In 2007, a woman called the Wildlife Care Center to report that a friendly Turkey Vulture was hanging around her property near McMinnville, Oregon. It had flown down to the ground and thrown an acorn at someone’s feet, slept on the woman’s porch, followed her around and into her barn, and jumped onto her arm.


Image from: Absurd Creature of the Week: The Magnificent Bearded Vulture Only Eats Bone. Metal, Dude | Wired Magazine

The beautiful bearded vulture feeds almost exclusively on skeletal fragments.


Image from: Vultures, tongue orchids: why are rare species here in UK? | Birds | The GuardianVisit | The Guardian

The Egyptian birds are one of a number of foreign visitors, but why have these continental drifters fled north?


Image from: Why we should all love the vulture by Matilda Battersby | BBC Earth

Have a bone to pick with the scraggy vulture? Just remember they’re vital as nature’s waste disposers – which is why their decline is very bad news…


Music for the archetypal image of the vulture breaks off its flight is OST: PURPLE EYES ~ Pachislot Akumajo Dracula Lords of Shadow. I chose song for its sound, which is edgy, uncanny, unearthly, eerie, which are all qualities that an image of a vulture can evoke–after all they are a bird strongly associated with death. And so is count Dracula come to think of it. Perhaps this stanza of the poem suggests even death breaks off its path in the light of life.

OST: PURPLE EYES ~ Pachislot Akumajo Dracula Lords of Shadow | 117 views, Apr 20, 2018

Fourth Archetypal Image | Fourth Stanza

The eager light streams out, even the ghosts take a draught.

Image from: How To: Remove a Broken Light Bulb

If a light bulb breaks in the socket, we’ve got three tricks to help you safely extract it, without damaging your light fixture.

By Katelin Hill and Bob Vila | Updated Oct 30, 2020


Image from: How To: Remove a Broken Light Bulb

If a light bulb breaks in the socket, we’ve got three tricks to help you safely extract it, without damaging your light fixture.

By Katelin Hill and Bob Vila | Updated Oct 30, 2020


Image from: Red Stage Means Beam Of Light And Drama

Red Spotlight Indicating Stage Lights And Illumination

iStock Photos Photographer:

StuartMiles


Image: Ghosts Alcohol GIF


Music for the 4th archetypal image is from Spooky Mall by LIL Runners (Available on Amazon Music). I felt the sample I found to have the perfect mix of mysterious, spookish, and uncanny, which felt right for this 4th stanza of Tranströme’s poem. I am afraid you have to have Amazon music or listen to the sample embedded in the animation above.

ALBUM: SPOOKY MALL | LIL Runners | 10 SONGS • 10 MINUTES • NOV 14 2021

Fifth Archetypal Image | Fifth Stanza

And our paintings see daylight, our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

The Fortune-Teller — probably 1630s by Georges de La Tour French

Darting eyes and busy hands create a captivating narrative between otherwise staid figures, each of which is richly clothed in meticulously painted combinations of color and texture. La Tour has taken on a theme popularized in Northern Europe by prints and in Rome by Caravaggio: an old Roma (traditionally known by the derisive term “Gypsy”) woman reads the young man’s fortune as her beautiful companions take the opportunity to rob him. — Visit the Met Museum online to learn more about this painting


I lost this one… sorry


Sun Painting

Sunlight–reflected and refracted–paints an ever-changing color composition.

Created by artist Bob Miller, this classic Exploratorium exhibit is a “live” painting that uses light from the Sun as its palette.


Image from: Why Is Northern Light Best For Artists?

  • Post by Chris Chalk on 29th January 2017 about painting

The confluence of light and paint seemed important in this stanza.


Image from Ice Age Wiki: Rudy is a Baryonyx that lived in an underground world during the Ice Ages. He makes his appearance in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs where he is the main antagonist.
I am pretty sure this stanza is referring to cave paintings but something adorable and deadly caught my attention with this image, and so it found its way into this animation. Perhaps a nod to man’s deadly ice-age, dinosaur side laying asleep deep inside his psyche until something triggers it wide awake!


Another image of Rudy who appears through mist to Buck.

I really love this red dinosaur!


Music for the 5th archetypal image is from The Velociraptor Song from Press Play Picture House. Watch out! This song really gets in your head!!! I love it, and I feel it really does speak to a feeling buried deep in this stanza of Tranströme’s poem. I think he is hinting at the ancient, primal parts buried deep inside of us and barely illuminated by our individual small flickering flames of consciousness. They really can catch you inside the deep recess of your soul, the parts hidden in the dark.

The Velociraptor Song | 1,812 views, Jun 4, 2019

Sixth Archetypal Image | Sixth Stanza

Everything begins to look around. We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Image from the Facebook community:

Randomly pointing up at the ceiling/sky just to see how many people look.

Pretty funny!


Image from article in The Atlantic:

The Exhausting Work of Tallying America’s Largest Protest

A pair of political-science professors are combing through news stories and individual reports to estimate the number of people who demonstrated on Saturday. By Kaveh Waddell — I was there:

Sustain the Flame | 84 views, Mar 26, 2017 | Promo

Sustain the Flame – Full (Best Version) Women’s March on Washington 2017 | 211 views, Apr 19, 2017

Image from The New Yorker: The Wisdom of the Crowd By Hendrik Hertzberg, September 22, 2014

“Don’t follow leaders,” the bard of Hibbing once advised. “Watch the parking meters,” he added.

Teens – People’s Climate March — DC | 6 views, Mar 23, 2019

Image from Wired:

Why Women (and Men) Are Marching Today, According to Twitter Data

An analysis of tweets based on 40 march-related keywords and hashtags reveals the topics marchers are prioritizing.

I interviewed over 30 people at the DC Women’s March that took place in 2017.

Sustain the Flame — Part 1 | 31 views, Apr 17, 2017 (The full version got blocked… investigating this)

Image from article in Elle: Portland Protester ‘Naked Athena’ On Why She Stripped Down
My nakedness is… my expression.”

And don’t miss my blog about Naked Athena and her power.

Naked Athena
Feature archetypal animation for Naked Athena

Image from Crowd Png Image File – People Crowd Walking Png, Transparent Png
I liked the long and endless feeling that this image adds to the animation


Music for the 6th archetypal image is from by Thomas Bergersen – Cry (Sun). This is a powerful, compelling, hair raising symphony of voice and musical instruments that captures an endeavor, which is what this stanza makes me think of and feel.

Thomas Bergersen – Cry (Sun) | 1,478,514 views, Feb 4, 2015

Seventh Archetypal Image | Seventh Stanza

Each man is a half-open door, leading to a room for everyone.



Image from An Open Door

Photo credit: Brad Smith, “An old door in an abandoned log house”
An old door in an abandoned log house uploaded to Flickr on January 31, 2007, by Brad Smith.


Image from A Half-Opened Door is Half-Opened Happiness

Everyone who lives life intensely has, at one point or another, experienced what I like to call a half-open door. We know it can get complicated, but we only get one shot at life and at finding what really makes us happy while living it. Part of our happiness depends on knowing which doors to shut and which to fully open. It’s extremely healthy to remember that a half-opened door is half-opened happiness.


Image from: Door | Spremberg, Germany, Urban Exploration

Here are some other spectacular photos on this site —


Music for the 7th archetypal image is from The Doors classic Break On Through (To The Other Side). Definitely works for this image!

The doors – Break On Through ( To The Other Side )
33,341,576 viewsMar 6, 2013

Eight Archetypal Image | Eight Stanza

The endless ground under us.

Image from: Endless Facebook Group | Party Entertainment Service

Image from: Fine Art | Endless Dream (International Awards Winner)

Image from: Abortion and the People Seeds Thought Experiment | Philosophical Disquisitions

Wow — the source of this image really surprises me. I didn’t expect this one! Never heard of the People Seed thought experiment.

Or I got it here: Floating dandelion seeds

Music for the 8th archetypal image is from Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days. Honestly, this is the best darn song for the feeling I got from this line in the poem.

Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days [FULL ALBUM STREAM]
4,665,008 views, Apr 11, 2017

Ninth Archetypal Image | Ninth Stanza

The water is shining among the trees.

Image from: Sunlight through trees images | Shutterstock — a few others from this site are:

Image from: Sunlight Through Trees | Pinterest

Image from: Sunlight Through Trees | Pinterest | Other images from this site

Image from: Liquid Light Tools | Denis Smith | A few other photos from this site —

Music for the 9th archetypal image is Shining Water by BUIWUI on Spotify.


Tenth Archetypal Image | Tenth Stanza

The lake is a window into the earth.

Image from: DreamsTime Photos

Image from: { stars falling down } | Random Musings | Other images

Music for the 10th archetypal image is At the End A mix for the end of the world part. 1 The National Parks. This is an awesome song and perfect, absolutely perfect for this last stanza of this amazing poem.

The National Parks – Introducing “A Mix For The End Of The World – Part 1” | The Record By USRN
46 viewsOct 6, 2021

We Are Indeed Tranströme’s Half-Finished Heaven

We the people of this beautiful Earth. And winter’s fading light is a stark reminder of our own fading life–for no living being exists forever. Each of us has a limited amount of time to be (truly be) in this Half-Finished Heaven or this Half-Finished Hell for both are possibilities inside of us. And we choose, as conscious living beings, which one to inhabit moment by moment.

It is because of this dwindling light of life that each of us must face that I would like to dedicate this post to my dear friend Brian Bergman. He passed away suddenly 4 months ago to this day. I only found out last week that he had died. This is a video that he helped me make back in 2016. We always talked about making more. Life is precious and fades too fast, just as the setting sun almost disappears during the winter months.

The Persuaded | Last DJ on Earth | Mini series

Be well. Take care. And Happy Winter Solstice to you on this good and longest night!

Satan’s Sister & Santa Claus

Field of Souring Souls

Satan’s sister slithers through fields of drying, souring souls…

Satan’s Sister | Music: Dance with the DeadMoon Runner | Images: girl pyramid head; Pyramid head woman on the field; Lady Pyramid Head (Cassandra W); Sorceress/Witch

Sundering Sinners

Seeking sinners to pluck and pulverized into a poison…

Hel Feasts Tonight | Music: Al Bid-Aya — Jedi Mind Trick | Images: HEL goddess of by LeneMa7991; Morrigan, Goddess of Death; Hel- The Norse Goddess of Death; Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of Death; Delire- Goddess of the Fallen

Santa’s Spiked Glögg

That she uses to spike Santa’s holiday Glögg.

Santa’s Spiked Glögg | Music: Evil Christmas Carols (Panda Smash Presents). Sean Wesche. Album. 2006. | Images: Santa Claus Having a Christmas Drink (Free Photos); Dumbledore (The Ending Of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Explained); Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) suffers in excruciating pain (Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes – and Our Own); Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, played by Richard Harris
 (Warner Brothers); Smashed Santa Claus (Too Much to Drink)

Archetypal Image Analysis

First Archetypal Image:

Is Satan’s sister good or bad?

Your answer is unique and utterly up to you based on your attitudes, beliefs, upbringing, and current circumstances. At first, as I searched for images of what Satan’s sister might look like, I had no idea of what I might be looking for.

I wondered whether she should look ugly like a wicked witch, gender neutral, or bewitchingly beautiful.

I stumbled upon Félicien Rops (a Belgian artists who lived between 1833 – 1898) finding his uncanny image of Satan. I found it on a poetry website and immediately thought–sure this could be what Satan’s sister looks like–sinister, sterile, and scary.

Satan Semant l’Ivraie’ – Félicien Rops (Belgian, 1833 – 1898) | National Gallery of Art

I felt I was definitely on the right track, but sought a clearer image. As I searched for one, I stumbled upon Pyramid Girl. I knew at once this was a better rendering of Satan’s sister. She is beguilingly beautiful and utterly alien at the same time–a spine-chilling duality exists about her.

Then, I found another Pyramid Head Woman in a field. This was the next line of my poem, which sealed the deal this was the image I was searching for.

Pyramid head woman on the field [1920 × 1080]

I have never encountered Pyramid Woman before, but obviously she is well-known by others and depicted as a victim and an invincible warrior. I felt this duality was another key aspect to be embodied by Satan’s sister. I found two more images embodying these qualities created by an artist at the Stan Winston School of Character Art. Here I learned her apron is made of human skin, very creepy indeed and a perfect outfit for Satan’s sister.

The last image used in the archetypal animation just grabbed me. I suppose it is all the gold and skeletons. Satan’s sister would certainly be involved in collecting the dead. She would also be a devilish seductress–beautiful and scary at once.

Sorceress, witch, art, skeleton, golden, stairs, yannick bouchard, woman, fantasy, mayan, girl, skull, HD wallpaper

So this is the process for how the first archetypal animation was created.

What does it mean?

That is something for you to fill in.

During his life, Carl Jung came to understand all human beings share common archetypal patterns of behavior and belief as demonstrated through customs, rituals, and myths. Certain recognizable psychological patterns and images appear over and over again between cultures and times. They live deep inside the psyche of all human beings and contain collective memories that pop into action when of specific circumstances and situations are encountered. They act much like instincts do, but archetypal patterns are more like instincts altered by consciousness.

Jung described archetypes as empty templates ready to be filled by the psychic forces triggered into action by external events. These invisible templates provide imprints of all the possibilities and consequences of choices and actions triggered by the situation.

The music for this archetypal image provides vital context and background like a fantastic fabric for space-time beings to experience things. This music is fabulous, providing texture, vibrance, and life to the image. It is Moon Runner by Dance With the Dead.

DANCE WITH THE DEAD — Moon Runner | 76,253 viewsMar 1, 2014

Second Archetypal Image:

Does she sunder souls for pleasure?

Again, the answer is up to you.

In creating this image, my search took me into the realm of mythic goddesses. It did not take long to understand many of the goddesses associated with death carry the blade of time with them. Death is inevitable as a mortal being and the goddesses associated with death embody this reality.

The Goddess Kali is the Divine Mother in Hinduism and known to be fierce and cause destruction of all evils, including ignorance. She is considered to be the master of death, time and change. When I found this image of Morrighan, my search focused in on the Celtic and Nordic goddesses of death.

Morrighan — Celtic Goddess of Death

“Morrighan is also known as Phantom queen or Morrigu. In Irish mythology, she is known as the Goddess of Death, who is associated with mainly war, battle, and death. She is also famous because of her foretelling death in the battle. Because of her association with war and battles, she is also known as a great warrior who determines which warriors walk off the battlefield.” — 21 Gods & Goddesses of Destruction, Death & Underworld

Hel is another goddess of death rising from the myths of the Nordic peoples.

Hel — The Norse Goddess of Death

“She is the ruler of the underworld and death. She is the daughter of Loki and Angrboda. Her appearance is pretty hard to explain, but it is half blue and half flesh-colored with some gloomy texture downside. She has a hall called Eljudnir, and it is a strong belief in Norse Mythology that it is the hall where mortals go who do not die in battle but of natural causes or sickness.” 21 Gods & Goddesses of Destruction, Death & Underworld

This is another compelling rendering of Hel drawn by LeneMa7991.

Germanic Gods: HEL goddess of death

And this is another depiction of Morrigan that I found on the website of The Druid Way.

The Irish Morrigan, Goddess of Death and Guardian of the Dead

Another goddess of death I found was Delire. She is not the goddess of Death in general, but instead the goddess of the Fallen, much like the valkyries of Norse mythology.

Delire | “You have served well soldier. It’s time to retire.”

Back to the Eastern Mind

The last element of the archetypal animation is the music, which circles us back to the eastern mind and the wisdom of the upanishads that are treatises on Brahman-knowledge, which is knowledge of Ultimate Hidden Reality. I chose the song Al Bid-Aya by Jedi Mind Tricks from their album The Bridge and the Abyss. It is haunting and beautiful and utterly perfect for this topic if you listen to their official video of this song.

Al Bid-Aya | 122,715 views, Jun 21, 2018

Third Archetypal Image:

Why is Santa’s Glögg spiked?

For the third archetypal image, I baffled myself with its own imagery. Why is Santa popping into this otherwise dark and haunting poem? And why is Satan’s sister spiking his holiday Glögg with the broken up bits of sinners?

Perhaps Santa is serving somewhat like a cosmic hero of goodness and good cheer. He has so much of it, he is able to consume dangerous amounts of collective sin down to the dregs on behalf of all of us to ease our misery and allow for a time of good cheer. This though made me think of Dumbledore who drank the poisoned water so Harry could destroy a ‘horcrux’–a thing of great evil that if not destroyed would led to the downfall of everyone they know and love.

This last archetypal animation is the most elusive to take accounting of for it veers straight into the Christmas season–a time when many people make a considerable effort to show a spirit of good cheer and collective good will. Why? Because it is a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus; however, as an excellent Washington Post article points out, ‘Dec. 25 is not the date mentioned in the Bible as the day of Jesus’s birth; the Bible is actually silent on the day or the time of year  when Mary was said to have given birth to him in Bethlehem. The earliest Christians did not celebrate his birth.

This article further states the first celebration of Jesus’ birth took place ‘around 200 A.D. — to have taken place on Jan. 6. Why? Nobody knows, but it may have been the result of “a calculation based on an assumed date of crucifixion of April 6 coupled with the ancient belief that prophets died on the same day as their conception,” according to religionfacts.com.’

It was moved to December 25 to piggy back on pagan celebrations (such as “The Golden Bough”) that occurred during this time. Especially as practiced by the fierce and wild tribes of northern Europe–the Celtics, the Norses, and many other germanic tribes who celebrated the shortest day of the year, which signaled the return of light to their barren and frigid northern lands.

Good Olde St. Nick

Christmas underwent a further transformation with the elevation of St. Nicholas as a patron saint of Christmas. He was a real man, a Bishop, who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was known for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it.

Image from the St. Nicholas Center | www.stnicholascenter.org | The Man Behind the Story of Father Christmas/Santa Claus

Christmas took another dramatic turn with the popularization of Santa Claus as the legendary man who encircles the world in one night flying in his sleigh to give good boys and girls around the world presents and delights. Holiday specials such as Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, which showed the transformation of the real man St. Nicholas into the superhero Christmas giver of cheer and goodwill worldwide.

Santa Claus Is Coming!

It is a delightful Christmas story. One I watched every year as a child for Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without Frosty, Rudolph, and Santa Claus!

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town — The Full Movie | 7,476,556 views

So what is up with this spiking Santa’s tea with the broken up bits of sinners, obviously people who were not on Santa’s Good List to get toys and presents at Christmas time.

Santa and Dumbledore

Is this image referring to the self-sacrificing ability of some individuals who are capable of far more good deeds than the rest of us to ease our burden for a time?

This idea reminded me of Dumbledore drinking the poison water so Harry could destroy another ‘horcrux’. Perhaps Santa and Dumbledore represent a certain type of individual, or better yet, these characters are archetypes of a powerful curative force that lives inside of us and allows a human being to endure pain and suffering, even unto death, for the good of others.

This seemed to be on the right trail and so the images I found included these.

Image from Freepik: Santa having a drink

This definitely could be Santa enjoying a holiday Glögg left out for him. Then, images of Dumbledore to establish the connection between the two.

Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, played by Richard Harris
 (Warner Brothers) | JK Rowling defends Dumbledore on Twitter: Seven things you might not know about the Hogwarts headmaster — A look beyond the half-moon glasses at the Harry Potter franchise’s most enigmatic character
Image BY SYDNEY BAUM HAINES/JUNE 15, 2021 10:05 PM EST | The Ending Of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Explained

The Purpose of the Poison

And of course Dumbledore drinking the poison, which turns out to be the most important image and article of everything explored here.

Image from: Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes – and Our Own | Featured image: Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) suffers in excruciating pain in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) as he swallows the harmful potion he made himself drink. ‘This potion might paralyse me, might make me forget why I’m here, might cause me so much pain I beg for relief. You are not to indulge these requests. It’s your job, Harry, to make sure I keep on drinking this potion, even if you have to force it down my throat.’ Like Dumbledore, we make promises which we go on to contradict, creating fascinating ethical dilemmas for those around us. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

This article, Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes — and Our Own that was written by James Clark Ross and published 21 April 2020, is what my psyche was trying to convey to me as I assembled the final animation for this very short and not very good poem. He writes:

We like to think of ourselves as unified agents. With apparent clarity, we take ownership of who we are and the decisions we make. But we are misled. Clarity assumes consensus; and, underneath ‘ourselves’, motivations divide us.

Of our conscious thoughts, we form beliefs which immediately retreat, dematerialise, or mutate beyond recognition into new tokens. Of our unconscious desires, feelings pass by and vanish, having never really existed. Who we are—what we believe and what we desire—is unstable, uncertain, and transient.

This is troubling. For how can we be sure that one part of ourselves persists through time? We can only claim who we are on unsteady ground.

More, are we in conflict? If we don’t coordinate our motivations with unity, disloyalty will always be within us: we will always be fighting ourselves.

Who will your friends side with?

Welcome to a lesson on division and disloyalty.

Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes – and Our Own

by James Clark Ross, 21 April 2020

Who Are We Really?

Clark is getting at the division raging inside of ourselves. Jung also spoke of this inner divide saying:

The greatest sin is to be unconscious.”

— C.G. Jung quotes from Quotefancy.com

Our world is very complicated and most of us are taught to operate in it like very small, spoiled children. We are taught to not question the system but to go to work at nine, come home at 6, squeeze all the housework, time with children, spouse or friends into 4 or 5 hours, go to sleep, wake up and do it again. Why? So we can be good consumers for the system that we must depend upon to sustain us or else we can’t go on.

But should we really want to go on? Is our current system of a modern life really so great? Is it so glorious and so out-of-this-world that we are willing to commit to most of our adult life to being good and obedient consumers? Is that what we really want?

Alan Watts often posed this question, what do you really want? Do we really want to play the social games of who is the boss, who can have more and who should have less, going to work at places that are mind numbing and super boring only to get laid off when we get too old or its not convenient (Nomadland captures this reality brilliantly).

NOMADLAND | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures |7,704,318 viewsDec 14, 2020

What Do We Really Want?

For most of us living in modern Western societies, we wake up one day (at the far end of 50 something) and realize–my life has been a great big drag.

Dopedreamz & Alan Watts – Life’s A Drag ft. Ty and Nick Swan | 179 views, Jul 1, 2013
Happiness is NOT the Meaning of Life – Alan Watts | 1,183,376 views, Feb 27, 2018

If we ever wake up, we may realize we’ve been consuming and entertaining ourselves to death. Thus, the passed out Santa Clause by the fire place.

Image from People are leaving Santa milk over traditional sherry because he’s changed his ways

The final element of this archetypal animation, a musical piece with a diabolical edge –the Evil Christmas Carols.

Frosty’s Death March | 179 viewsOct 28, 2015

Nevertheless — Please Have A Very Happy Holidays However You Celebrate

And know it’s never too late…

A Christmas Carol 2009 Christmas Day Scene | 162,224 views, Jul 1, 2019

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti and the Buddha

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti | Just What is Reality

This show originally aired on Mar 24, 2017 on Snap Judgment. A description of it appears below. I have chosen to highlight this story here for two reasons: 1) schizophrenia runs in my family and because of this understanding another person’s experience of reality is essential, and 2) what is real anyways?

Western culture’s understanding of reality is severely (even fatally) lopsided. To successfully navigate the collective challenges our world faces in the coming decades (e.g., climate change, political upheavals, economic reversals and hardships, pandemic, water shortages, food insecurity due to climate change and unfair economic conditions, etc., etc.), we need to reconnect to our inner worlds, to who we really are deep, deep down beyond the fading illumination of our fragile ego’s consciousness rays of knowing.

Description of The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: In 1959, psychiatrist Milton Rokeach brought together three schizophrenic men who believed they were Jesus Christ, hoping to cure them of their delusions. But over time, his methods became dangerously amoral.

Thanks to Richard Bonier and Ronald Hoppe for their help.  Additional thanks to Peter Shyppert as the voice of Milton Rokeach.

You can buy The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, Rokeach’s book, right here.

Producer: Stephanie Foo

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti and the Buddha | Animation by Genolve

The Map to the Disappeared | Just What is Truth

Before The Three Christs Of Ypsilanti aired on Snap Judgement, a tragic and compelling story about a mother’s quest to find her disappeared son aired. Glynn Washington introduced this story with a quote everyone likes to say when they are trying to one up someone else’s reality. The infamous quote is:

The truth! You can’t handle the truth!”

But no one remembers where this saying was first said. Glynn tells us where it was first said and that what was said after this notorious saying was said, the more important idea followed and this is what we have forgotten… what everyone has forgotten when we get into arguments over The Truth.

The Map to the Disappeared is essential listening if you are at all interested in understanding truth at the deepest levels of being.

Map to the Disappeared | JULY 22, 2021 | Artwork by Teo Ducot

God As Reality | Just Who Is God

Carol Anthony touches on the same relativeness to reality as the psychiatrist Milton Rokeach came to realize in his misguided experiment devised to cure the three schizophrenic men of their delusions that they were each Jesus Christ (The Three Christs of Ypsilanti ). In her book The Philosophy of the I Ching, Anthony writes:

"The entire business of the I Ching is to re-affirm our knowledge of God as the higher power, not only as a vague, intuitive knowledge, but as a conscious, practical, intimate, everyday knowledge. This means that we materialize the reality of God out of the mists of our unconscious into the full reality of consciousness. We may know intuitively that someone we love is unfaithful to us, but when this knowledge surfaces by evidence into consciousness, it produces such a shock that it is hard to understand the difference between these two sorts of knowing. We may know someone is dying of cancer for a long time, but the fact of their death produces an unexpectedly strong emotional response. How do we explain this? When the ego leads our personality, the conscious mind disbelieves what we intuitively know; moreover, the ego insists that conscious reality is the only reality--in this case it does not want to believe that death exists. When death, the objective fact happens, the conscious mind is unprepared, and the ego disappears in the ensuing shock. One's knowledge of God is similar. In the beginning of self-development, we know about God intuitively and theoretically; we may have occasionally experienced the higher power, but afterwards we gave rationalized the experience as some quirk of our imagination; soon, it seems it never happened at all. Our intuition of God, through this process has become dimmed. Through self-development, however, we come to experience the reality of God as an everyday fact of life. We experience God directly, not only in small ways, but in big ways, so that even the smallest errors of perception are swept away. This daily relating to the higher power gradually erases every particle of doubt." -- p. 60-61
And God said, “Let there be light.”

Tribute to Carl Jung | Just Who Are You

Drilling even deeper down on the relativeness of reality that we experience as human beings, Alan Watts beautifully illuminates just how profound relative reality is between human beings in his Tribute to Carl Jung, who had just died on June 6, 1961. Watts and Jung knew each other and were friends. Despite pursuing very different vocations, both men shared profound understandings of deeper truths hidden inside the heart and soul of all men and women, regardless of when in time they existed or where they existed in the world. These deeper, darker truths are a result of man becoming conscious in the sense that he knows when he is happy or sad enabling him to focus this self-reflective form of consciousness like a spot light or a laser to do things in the world and to take very focused, specific action to achieve narrowly focused goals.

In his tribute to Jung, Watts focuses on a speech Carl Jung gave to clergy men. While Carl Jung was not a pastor, his father had been, and so he knew the doctrines of the Christian faith and religion in a very cognizantconsciousheedfulmindfulsensible, and sentient way. In a gentle but enigmatic way, Jung challenges the pastors to think beyond the bible stories and Christian doctrines they preach about every day.

He invited the clergy men to step beyond the pale of their Christian beliefs and traditions and onto a new bridge of understanding he had helped to build in the Western world as one of the early pioneers of psychoanalysis (Freud) and analytic psychology (Jung). Carl Jung understood that Western mind needed this new science of psychology to understand things that the Eastern mind had understood for centuries.

Watts understood this too. This is why he focused on this speech Jung gave to the clergy men. Watts reads most of this speech in the video below and explains why it was probably the most important work Jung left behind for his fellow human beings. Watts understood how important it was (and continues to be) to challenge the percepts and premises upon which the modern Western world is based upon. The Western mind remains incredibly focused and fixated on its abilities to perceive, apprehend, learn, discover, and figure out how the outer world works, and this is a powerful ability that has enabled Western culture to gain dominance in the world and emboldened its belief that Western man was meant to reign supreme over all living beings and things. However, this is an exceedingly lopsided system of belief that will end in disaster for all living beings on Earth as the whole world stands on the precipice of existential threats capable of producing mass extinction events that could take out the human race forever.

Tribute to Carl Jung — 1961 — Alan Watts | 234,071 views | Premiered Aug 21, 2020

The Eastern mind holds the key to our global existential predicament. This is what Jung came to know through his work as a psychologist and was confirmed when he came to know Richard Wilhelm who was the West’s foremost translator of the I Ching. And this is what Alan Watts emphasized in countless lectures. And it is the meaning behind the title of this blog The Three Christs of Ypsilanti and the Buddha. We need each other to survive in the coming century that is going to require great outer knowledge of the world (which the Western mind has excelled) as well as require great inner knowledge of the world and human nature (which the Eastern mind has excelled).

The world today needs skilled consciousness astronauts just as much as it needs astronauts of the cosmos. The challenges inside (especially for the Western mind) are just as great, if not far greater and unpredictable as the challenges of exploring and understanding outer space.


Carl Jung Quotes | Just What Is Consciousness

“God is a force that acts inside you.” — Carl Jung

“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”  ― C.G. Jung, The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition


“Nobody can fall so low unless he has a great depth. If such a thing can happen to a man, it challenges his best and highest on the other side; that is to say, this depth corresponds to a potential height, and the blackest darkness to a hidden light.” ― C.G. Jung


“The erotic instinct is something questionable, and will always be so whatever a future set of laws may have to say on the matter. It belongs, on the one hand, to the original animal nature of man, which will exist as long as man has an animal body. On the other hand, it is connected with the highest forms of the spirit. But it blooms only when the spirit and instinct are in true harmony. If one or the other aspect is missing, then an injury occurs, or at least there is a one-sided lack of balance which easily slips into the pathological. Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal.” 
― C.G. Jung

The Great God Pan | Music: Album: Mythical by Dream Black; Song: Mythical

“…the mind that is collectively orientated is quite incapable of thinking and feeling in any other way than by projection.” ― C.G. Jung


Carl Jung never said: “There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” 
What Dr. Jung said in two separate and unrelated statements was: “Seldom, or perhaps never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crises; there is no coming to consciousness without pain.” ~Carl Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology, P. 193



“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 99. 


“It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself.” ~Carl Jung, CW11, Para 391


“Only that which acts upon me do I recognize as real and actual. But that which has no effect upon me might as well not exist.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 757.


“Here each of us must ask: ‘Have I any religious experience and immediate relation to God, and hence that certainty which will keep me, as an individual, from dissolving in the crowd?'” — Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 564


“For when the soul vanished at death, it was not lost; in that other world it formed the living counter pole to the state of death in this world.” ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 493


“Behind a man’s actions there stands neither public opinion nor the moral code, but the personality of which he is still unconscious.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 390


When Nietzsche said “God is dead,” he uttered a truth which is valid for the greater part of Europe. People were influenced by it not because he said so, but because it stated a widespread psychological fact. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 145.


Yet it [Nietzche’s “God is Dead”] has, for some ears, the same eerie sound as that ancient cry which came echoing over the sea to mark the end of the nature gods: “Great Pan is dead.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 145.


“All opposites are of God, therefore man must bend to this burden; and in so doing he finds that God in his “oppositeness” has taken possession of him, incarnated himself in him.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 664.


“It is quite right, therefore, that fear of God should be considered the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 664.


“Both are justified, the fear of God as well as the love of God.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 664.


“The East bases itself upon psychic reality, that is, upon the psyche as the main and unique condition of existence.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 770.


— All above quotes come from Carl Jung Depth Psychology,


“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. When you gaze long into the abyss, the_abyss_also_gazes_into_you“. — FriedrichNietzsche 03:33 (from Philo Calist on Facebook)

The Abyss | Music: The Abyss by DBMK — Paradise/Intro

Can you handle the truth of who you really are deep down far inside beyond the warm illuminating rays of ego consciousness? I know you can, but it does take work. Time to get to work.

Death Comes… Remembering Sasha

Death comes…

…like a cold winter wind blows leaves from trees

Cold Wind

…like a fire burns wood

Fire Burns

…like a wave crashes onto a distant shore.

Waves Crash

Death does not ask: “Are you ready?”

It comes of its own accord and is as unstoppable as the setting sun whom not even great Hercules could catch and push back to its noon day stance in space and time.

Death Does Not Ask

Death leaves a hole that can never be filled…

…except with love.

Death Leaves A Hole that Cannot Be Filled, Except With

Cherish your beloved ones…

…human, animal, and our living Earth.

Cherish Your Beloveds

Remember Always

Love is the most powerful force in a universe of fragile fading light.

Love is the Most Powerful Force
Wings Will Fly — Remembering Those We’ve Lost

Who are you thinking of today? Have you let them know? Even if your beloved one has passed away, you are just a thought away from their shining love in your life.

Tahiti & the Thing

“You’ll see what I’ll do son,” the old woman caterwauls.

Let’s go Caterwaul at the moon tonight!

“I’ll go to Tahiti and buy a thing!

Met Thing T. Thing from the Addams Family. Maybe this is the Thing she wants to buy?!

“I’ll buy a thing so you won’t have anything!”

Nothing…Nothing…Nothing...will keep me from you…except money, money, money

That Won’t Solve Anything

“That won’t solve a thing mom.”

“I don’t care,” the old woman howls as her hands wave wildly in mid-air.

I don’t care

I Don’t Care…Just as Long as You Get Nothing!

“Just as long as you get nothing!

“And your good for nothing brother gets nothing!

“I’m going to spend everything!

“On me!

Me! Glorious Me! I’m so Twistedly Awesome!

What About the Grandchildren?

“What about the grandchildren mom? Don’t you care about them?”

Those brats!”

“I don’t care about them.”

“I don’t care about anyone or anything,” the old woman growls as she devours her vowels.

I only care about me, me, me, me, me…

Feed me more Seymour!!”

They’ll Get Nothing

“They’ll get nothing.”

“You’ll get nothing.”

“Nobody will get anything expect me!”

“You’ll see son!”

“I’m going to go to Tahiti to spend everything on a thing just for me!

The Evil Eye of Zoran

With that, the Old Lady Smiles

With that, the old woman smiles.

She smiles the same old, worn-out smile she’s smiled for 89 years.

She’s smiled that smile so many times, it’s creased permanent lines into her thin, translucent skin.

Even when she’s not trying to smile, you can see that creepy, old, tired out smile.

Gone, gone, Gone with the Wind

The Son Sighs

The son sighs and looks down at his knees.

He watches a dust bunny creep across the floor.

Only silence rebounds in the empty, desolate house full of dust ball for nothing living dare stirs in a place like this.

All he ever wanted was a reasonable mom who could show a smidgen of love, but she had none to give.

The Beautiful, Creative, Powerful Sound of Silence

One Beautiful Moment of Silence

But in that great big beautiful moment of powerful, creative silence, a smile springs to his face.

Then, he pulls out his phone and says:

“OK mom, when do you want leave to Tahiti? I’ll book it one way for you need not return because for you to spend everything on a thing in Tahiti I’ll need to sell the house that way you can spend everything on a thing just for you!”

And That is the End of the Story

And that, my friend, is the end of the story for you see, the son finally knew his horrible mom, the one who’d wrecked his childhood and ruined his manhood, was finally going to be gone, gone, gone, swallowed whole by her insatiable greed!

One More Thing

This is a highly distilled, and frankly absurd, dramatization of something I observed (but then again, maybe not). Real life is always much more complicated than a fanciful story such as this. However, such stories can be useful in identifying archetypal emotions and forces that constantly play inside for every human being (be they still human and not some other thing) has good and fowl forces vying for our time, attention, and action in the world.

The Moral of the Story

The moral of this story is:

If humanity continues to spend tremendous amounts of time and precious reservoirs of conscious attention on matters such as these, then the mounting issues swirling around impending catastrophic climate change will never be addressed, nor meaningful action taken. In the end, we will all be swallowed by our pride, self-absorption, vainglory–be it at the personal-family level or interpersonal-community level or be it between states and nations. We will all suffer the fate of our unconsciousness.

Carl G. Jung writes: “Western man has no need of more superiority over Nature, whether (this nature be) outside or inside (i.e., one’s inner nature). Has has both in almost devilish perfection. What he lacks is conscious recognition of his inferiority to the Nature around and within him. He must learn that he may not do exactly as he Wills. If he does not learn this, his own Nature will destroy him. He does not know that his own Soul is rebelling against him in a suicidal way.” — p. 83, Psychology and the East

What will you do with your precious plot of consciousness today? More importantly, what will you do with your unconsciousness?

Sisyphus — The Living Myth of Now

Sometime last fall, while biking, the word Sisyphus popped into my mind. I did not know what it meant. I knew it was familiar, but I could not remember why. It’s a weird word. Not a word you hear on a daily basis, not even a word you hear on a decade basis, unless perhaps you are a scholar. But, it kept popping into my mind randomly at least a dozen times or more into the beginning of 2021.

I Was Just Looking for Something Good to Watch

I was looking for a new series to watch on Netflix. I’d finished a score of good series, and then hit a patch of bad ones. I wanted something good…something I could sink into and get lost inside. I was looking for something like the shows I had recently finished watching such as:

Outlander

Outlander: I never read Diana Gabaldon‘s books, but once I started watching this series, I was hooked. I was trying to find a replacement for Masterpiece’s Poldark series based on Winston Graham’s books, which is absolutely amazing. And when I saw Ronald D. Moore was producing this series, I was intrigued because his last big hit series was the updated Battlestar Galactica series, a TV drama I loved immensely in the 70s, and Caprica (this tells the tale of how that fictional human civilization fell by showing how the Cylon androids took over their worlds, but then it got abruptly and cruelly canceled before the whole story could be told).

Outlander does not disappoint from the very first episode onward. Its characters are complexed, nuanced, and compelling. The series does not rush the story, reveals each character honestly and humanely, and tells the tale in a captivating, mysterious way. Each season builds upon the last one. The characters grow as the times change around them. The difficulties and battles feel real and vital. Each character has layers of complexities that influence their choices and actions, just like real people do, making the story relatable; indeed, a symbol that transforms the complexities encountered in novel and unexpected ways. And isn’t that what you are really hungry for when you sit down to watch a story?

OUTLANDER – Season 1 Trailer | 5,355,359 views • Aug 6, 2015

His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials: I never read Pullman’s novels but I loved the Golden Compass, which was made for the big screen in 2007. However, due to the financial crisis of 2008/2009, the next parts of this series never materialized. Then in 2019, HBO teamed up with BBC to reimagine this fantastic tale for the smaller screen/TV. They did an amazing job translating a complicated story to the screen. I found it believable, compelling, and thrilling. The characters are complicated. You think you’ve pegged one as evil and then realize later critical nuances that force you to reconsider your views. They mystery of the story is revealed slowly and unevenly, so you have to guess or imagine for yourself why this or that happened. Each new character has something new to offer in understanding the whole story. The special effects add to the story rather than overly dominate it.

His Dark Materials: Season 1 | Official Trailer | HBO | 7,892,118 views • Oct 3, 2019

I love this scene where the researcher and scholar Mary talks to Dust, then she realizes the Dust itself are the Angels. (From His Dark Materials | Season 2, episode 4. The Tower of Angels).

His Dark Materials – Mary talks to Dust (Angels) | 26,773 views • Nov 30, 2020

She asks: “Angels are creatures made up of shadow matter of dust?”

The Mysterious Something answers: “Yes.”

Mary further inquires: “And shadow matter is what we call spirit?”

The Mysterious Something replies: “From what we are, spirit, from what we do, matter. Matter and spirit are one.”

Mary asks: “You’ve always been there?”

The Mysterious Something says: “Making, stimulating, guiding.”

Mary queries: “So does that mean angels have intervened in human evolution?”

The Mysterious Something answers: “Yes.”

Mary asks: “But why?”

The Mysterious Something says plainly: “Vengeance.”


Now, I wonder what that means? I didn’t find out in Season 2, so waiting for Season 3. But after that exchange, Mary starts working with the I Ching–which is our world’s equivalent to the Golden Compass from Lyra’s world. Because of Mary, I got the I Ching for my birthday and learned to read the yarrow straws. I supposed that now I too am talking to the angels.

I use good TV drama like a support system, especially during this year of COVID where social distancing has put so many of us into isolation to extremes. My own Indra’s Network was already partially destroyed and broken. The connections I still maintained with friends and family were sorely stretched by time and distance. They were incredibly nourishing when time and attention permitted, but these moments were punctuated by long bouts of silence and little to no meaningful interactions with people who care.

Good stories, powerful dramas are ways I have found that soothe and nourish my soul, especially during times when kindness and caring human contact is in short supply.


Liz Cheney

As I was working on this blog, Liz Cheney spoke before Congress on the eve before the impending vote tomorrow (5/12/21) to remove her from her leadership position as the 3rd most powerful Republican Leader in the House. Republicans are doing this to her because she took a stand not to support Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. She named Trump as the chief sower of doubt in the hearts and minds of Americans.

The Dark Force

By the way, the I Ching says doubt is the Dark Force. Now, who is being a superhero here in the United States on this very day of May 12, 2021? Who is growing the fabric of time and space rather than ripping it to tiny shards of broken light?

Doubt — The Dark Force (Animation by Genolve)

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead warns the soul of a dying individual not to follow the illusionary images and lights they have created inside of themselves and then projected into the world around them. They did this because they did not understood their true Self in life. They did not descend and understand their true identity as a space-time being. They did not understand the meaning and purpose of life. Death is a time thats unravels the net of confused pain each individual becomes entangled within throughout the course of their life on Earth. To not do so, condemns the eternal soul to return again and again and again–sometimes (perhaps often) as a lesser being in order to learn the lessons not mastered in the life before. This returning can occur again and again for the world of rock and buildings and money and power is like water–it continually flows, dissolving everything in time.

Those who use the power of the Dark Force may indeed achieve tremendous riches, success, and power on Earth. However, all this will turn to dust and scatter into nothingness at the time of death. Nothing here is permanent. At death, we lose everything. Nothing that we thought is real is real. If we don’t let go of everything we have clung to in life, the tiny light of consciousness every human being is born into at the beginning of their life will be born into another painful life, again and again and again.

Those who peddle in doubt and fear can live 10 billion, million lives, each one diminishing his/her original source of light until there is nothing left of that light.

Leonard Cohen narrated a beautiful documentary about the practices and wisdom contained and known within the Buddhist tradition. It is elegant knowledge, beautiful knowledge. It shows how we can grow as space-time beings, as we are suppose to grow, rather than collapsing into smaller and smaller living beings.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead (1994) – Narrated by Leonard Cohen | 90,513 views • Oct 28, 2019

“People make hell realms out of their own anger. They make worlds out of passions, out of envy or complacency. We project our emotional states, and then believe it is the real world. But no matter what, everyone longs for compassion. Everyone wishes to be awake. So the best thing is to develop genuine compassion for all living beings and for ourselves too. And our compassion should extend beyond our friends and family and the people we like. It must extend to all people and to all living beings.” — From Documentary about The Tibetan Book of the Dead

This is how to wake up as a living conscious being.

The OA

The OA: This series is a mind-bending SyFy fantasy that often leaves viewers with more questions than answers. Word has it this is one of the reasons this show was cancelled after season 2 when 5 seasons were planned. Apparently the average viewer does not have the attention span or interests to dabble in complexity–perhaps this is the inevitable end to Carmel Marvel storytelling–everything has to be blunt, not complex, and nothing left to the imagination, much less to dabble with moral ambiguity. I loved this series. I guess I drank the Kool-aide and became part of its cult following late. And I agree with 110% with Brit Marling that storytelling in America has become not as good as it could or should be.

The OA | official trailer (2016) Netflix | 53,112 views •Dec 13, 2016

When the show was cancelled, one viewer went outside of Netflix’s headquarters and held an 8 day hunger strike. Refinery29 interviewed her and wrote a compelling article about why she did this.

"Emperial Young is on day eight of a hunger strike. It’s not over the burning of the Amazon, or gun violence, or the latest controversial move by the current Commander-in-Chief. Young, 35, wants Netflix to renew The OA for a third season — and she’s willing to go to extreme lengths of what she calls “internal violence” to make it happen.
“We are living in a time where it seems that things are going to go very badly,” explains Young in front of the Netflix building in Hollywood, where she has been protesting since August 15 and hunger striking since August 19. “The response to that has been ‘Okay, we’re going to make darker, grittier television.’ But in times of darkness, light is most important, and The OA is filled with light. We need something to let us know, ‘Yes, we can do something,’ because all the media around us is telling us that these are dark, grim times and there is nothing you can do about it.”
Created by Brit Marling and creative partner Zal BatmanglijThe OA tells the story of Prairie (Marling), a blind woman who returns after years in captivity with her sight restored. Season 1 of the series mostly exists within the narrative that Prairie tells a group of soon-to-be friends about her time in captivity and before it, in which she transcended time and space and found herself in alternate dimensions. Along the way, the show tackles themes of trauma, and of the importance of a human connection amongst it. Young isn’t wrong about The OA being different: There’s a hopefulness to The OA that is unmatched by more gritty prestige TV offerings like The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, even Game of Thrones.

Learning about this woman, Brit Marling and Zal Batmangli came and brought her water. Afterward, Brit posted this about her reaction to OA’s cancellation and how storytelling in America has become not as good as it could or should be.

The series was conceived by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, and they began working on the concept in December 2012.

This is no small thing that Emperial Young and Brit Marling are drawing our attention to in this protest and post, particularly this part: “… the role of storytelling and its fate inside late capitalism’s push toward consolidation and economies of scale.” This is a post about Sisyphus: Is Late Capitalism and its push towards consolidation and economies of scale perhaps not the rock Sisyphus not pushing up the mountain getting it to the top after great effort only to have it fall back down to the bottom again and again and again.


Invisible City

Invisible City (Brazil): This is a new Brazilian fantasy that is streaming on Netflik television series created by Carlos Saldanha that is based on a story co-developed by the screenwriters and best-selling authors Raphael Draccon and Carolina Munhóz. It is in Portuguese, so you have to read subtitles if you are only an English speaker. I was born in Brazil and once knew Portuguese, but have forgotten all of it. I loved listening to the characters speaking in Portuguese. It felt familiar and lovely. It is a musical language and the music in this series is alive and vibrant. I soon forgot I was reading subtitles and got lost in the rich and depth of storytelling unfolding through this complex, invigorating story. The characters are treated with dignity and respect. The puzzle of the drama unfolds in surprising reveals that add depth to the story and bring this mysterious world into vivid view.

Invisible City Official trailer (HD) Season 1 (2021) | 86,811 views • Feb 5, 2021

Glitch

Glitch (Australian): This is an older series that begins with a bang when a police officer and a doctor face an emotionally charged mystery as seven local residents inexplicably return from the dead. It is three seasons long, and the first two open up so many innovative ideas and possibilities, but season 3 falls flat on its face and destroys all the wonder and the miracle being explored, in my opinion. I am glad I watched it because I learned what I do not want to do as I write my tale.

Glitch Season 1 | Trailer | Now On Netflix | 753,177 views • Feb 23, 2016

I was so bothered by how they ended this series, I went on online to see if others were too and found this great blog: Old Ain’t Dead | Reviews of movies and TV focused on women … specifically Season 3 (so if you intend to watch Glitch, save this site for later because there are definitely spoilers, including my comment there).

Image from Virginia DeBolt‘s blog site: Old Ain’t Dead | Review of Glitch, Season 3

Carmel Marvel Syndrome

When it comes to science fiction and fantasy, I have come to realize I am picky, and not all are the same. In fact in the United States, we are suffering from what I have come to term the Carmel Marvel Syndrome. It is a widespread a syndrome that is dumbing down how stories are being told in books and reimagined on screens. The good-bad divide in Carmel Marvel stories is stark, uncreative, and boring. Nothing is left in-between–you are either the good guy or girl or you’re the bad one. The bad ones almost always lose in the end, but you get there in terribly unimaginative, brutal, evil ways…as the good guy or gal finally finds a morsel of moral or spiritual strength and prevails. Romance is reduced to uninspiring sex scenes that clearly come from basal fantasies of pale males.

What bothers me most is Carmel Marvel storytelling is that they are not honest to the characters. They tend to stripe away their complexity and humanity and force them to do things against their character’s moral underpinnings. Yes, imagined characters have moral underpinnings, they are real and must strive for meaning, purpose and dignity too. I am not going to explain this now, but Carmel Marvel stories like to put their characters into highly contrived situations that they would never do unless forced to by their bored and uninspired creators. They are put into these situations purely for entertainment reasons, which really translates to money. Because Carmel Marvel producers and creators hope for billions and billions of viewers–and they think only highly fantasized modern gladiators well do this. After watching such a sickly story, nothing sticks or stays in the psyche or soul from the story. That is because there is nothing real there. There is nothing nearing the human experience of meaning, truth, reality, or wonder. Everyone knows these types of stories are junk food for the soul. They are cheap imitation of images meant to trick, deceive, and fill you up with a whole lot of nothing, just like if you ate only Carmel candy for all your daily nutrient requirements.

Then I Stumbled onto Something Spectacular: Sisyphus

So let’s get back to that word Sisyphus that kept popping into my mind.

After being disappointed by another Carmel Marvel HBO series, I switched back to Netflix to hunt for a new series to watch. That’s when a 2021 Netflix out of South Korea caught my eye. It was called Sisyphus! Normally, I would have put it on my To Watch Later list since it required reading subtitles again. But because of the synchronicity, I thought what the heck, go for it!

I loved it! And I discovered that I love the Korean way of telling stories!!!!

Sisyphus | Official Trailer | Netflix [ENG SUB] | 1,028,877 views • Feb 9, 2021

The fabric of this story is rich woven with little bits of gold and silver throughout the 16 episodes. Each one takes the viewer on a journey, revealing a little bit more in surprising ways that adds depth to each character, even the evil ones. The villains have backstories that are as complex as the heroes. Villains and heroes alike are treated honestly and no high tech short cuts are used to substitute good storytelling. Throughout the 16 episodes, the viewer enters a journey (a world) that grows more and more complex as you go: you grow as the characters grow.

Sisyphus masters the art of subtle storytelling. This is a subject I briefly touched upon early in my blogging efforts in a blog questioning if Collective Transformation Possible. In it I talk about the Black Magician and the White Magician and their roles in our human psyche. I drew them while listening to a Chinese business-financial scholar talk about Trump’s power play back in 2018 with China on trade. (It’s didn’t end well by the way… this power play Trump tried… for Americans or for Trump who placed the livelihood of hundreds of small soybean and other farmers in jeopardy.)

ipMsMPXYSn+mGdxpvt3aSA
Notebook drawing Yin-Yang by Bébé

Dr. Peter Chen pointed out Western ideas of negotiation are quite different from Eastern ideas. He said in Chinese, the most similar word they have to negotiation is tánpàn, which means talking and judging. For the Chinese, it is considered the dark side of economics with the East preferring to focus on conversation when working out deals. However, there are huge differences in how conversation is conducted by a Western diplomat versus an Eastern diplomat. By Eastern standards, Westerners are considered low-context communicators (i.e., direct and forceful, which can be considered very rude by Eastern standards). Eastern culture dictates a much more high-context style of communication, which is reserved, relies more on body language, and is based on relationships. 

The Black Magician and the White Magician

This why I loved Sisyphus. They tell this story using a much more high-context style of storytelling. I also love listening to the actors speak Korean. Every word they utter is full of meaning, purpose, and emotion. The tone and way a word is said is more important than the word itself. You understand a song by how the singer sings it, so too with Eastern languages. They are full of images, meaning, context, and emotion. And isn’t that what we are really craving in watching or reading a story? Deep meaning and purpose? Sure, lots of people will say they just want to escape into something entertaining… but if you discover something about yourself and others while doing so, isn’t that a whole lot better. Stuff that stick to you and makes you a better individual… helps you grow as a conscious living being?!

Even though we deny how powerful and essential good storytelling is in Western culture, we are starving for good, wholesome, spirituous stories that fed our souls as well as our fractured, confused minds. Stories that awaken sleeping spirits needed to defeat doubt: the force that splinters our psyche and traps us in endless delusions and illusions that only make us smaller, meaner, and contribute to the demise of all life on Earth.


A new friend I’ve made during runs with Pumper (another mom of dogs and kids) recommended another Korean Netflix show called Crash Landing on You. I didn’t think I would like it better than Sisyphus, but I love it even more. The depth of each character grows and spills out in unexpected ways in each episode. And don’t miss the little peaks at the very end after you think the episode has concluded. Not always, but often, they show you something not shown earlier. It is often something that fills in a gap and fills out the depth of the character–how they are thinking, perceiving, and acting in the world. How they are transforming through time and space.

Crash Landing on You | Official Trailer #1 | Netflix [ENG SUB] | 2,327,897 views • Nov 29, 2019

My friend Fabian Navin has just posted something very insightful about why I loved this show. The Facebook embedding is not working, so I am copying below what Fabian has posted (go to his site above to see more of his posts):

*Warriorhood in Marriage and Relationship* Conscious fighting is a great help in relationships between men and women. Jung said, “American marriages are the saddest in the whole world, because the man does all his fighting at the office.”
When a man and a woman are standing toe-to-toe arguing, what is it that the man wants? Often he does not know. He wants the conflict to end because he is afraid, because he doesn’t know how to fight, because he “doesn’t believe in fighting,” because he never saw his mother and father fight in a fruitful way, because his boundaries are so poorly maintained that every sword thrust penetrates to the very center of his chest, which is tender and fearful. When shouts of rage come out of the man, it means that his warriors have not been able to protect his chest; the lances have already entered, and it is too late.
Michael Meade has suggested that both marital partners begin by identifying the weapons that have come down through their family lines. Perhaps the woman has inherited the short dagger, used unexpectedly, and the spiked mace, which she swings down late in the argument onto the foot soldier’s head. The husband may have inherited a broad sword, which he swings when frightened in large indiscriminate circles; it says “never” and “always.” “You always talk like your mother.” He might add the slender witticism spear to that.
Some people also use the “doorway lance.” When the argument is over, and the woman, let’s say, is about to go to work, the man says: “By the way,” and the lance pins her to the doorframe.
Man and wife might say which weapons he or she plans to use in the particular fight coming up. During such preliminary conversations the man’s warrior and woman’s warrior are welcomed in the house and honored. A good fight gets things clear, and I think women long to fight and be with men who know how to fight well.
When both use their weapons unconsciously or without naming them, both man and woman stumble into the battle, and when it is over the two interior children can be badly wounded. The adult warrior inside both men and women, when trained, can receive a blow without sulking or collapsing, knows how to fight for limited goals, keeps the rules of combat in mind, and in general is able to keep the fighting clean and to establish limits.
Marie-Louise von Franz once told a story about a woman friend. “This woman had gone through several marriages. Each marriage would go well until an argument came. Then she would throw a fit, and say damaging things. The terrible quarrels would continue, and finally the man would leave. One day we heard she had found a new husband, and we said, ‘Oh-oh, here it goes again.’ But something else happened. A few weeks after the honeymoon, the same old quarrel arrived and she brought out her poison and said terrible things. The husband turned pale, but to her surprise, said nothing, and left the room. She found him upstairs packing his bags. ‘What are you doing?’ she said. I know,’ he said, ‘that I am supposed to act like a man now and shout and hit you, but I am not that sort of man. I will not allow anyone to talk to me in the way you have, and I am leaving.’ She was astounded. She asked him not to leave, and he didn’t. The marriage is still going on.”
This story is not perfect. If a woman has a fair argument, it is not right for the man to leave; he should stay and fight. But von Franz’s use of the word fit implies that her friend had a habit of going over the line into possession. Her fits belonged metaphorically to Kali’s realm, rather than to the human realm. Men cross that line often as well. The inner warrior can tell a person when the partner is on this side of the human line, and when on the other side.
Marion Woodman remarks in The Ravaged Bridegroom, “Anger comes from the personal level, rage from an archetypal core. . . . The rage in both sexes comes out of centuries of abuse.
If it is taken into relationships, it destroys. Attacking each other in a state of possession has nothing to do with liberation.” The interior warrior in both men and women can help them to fight on the human plane. If men and women have only soldiers or shamed children inside, they will have to settle for damaging battles constantly. ~Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men
From Fabian Navin | May 13, 2021

I am totally hooked now on the Korean way of telling stories!!

The stories we tell can liberate us or chain us to the rock we must push up the mountain of life only to watch it fall back down, again and again and again, like poor old Sisyphus. Who do you want to be in life? How are you going to become the best version of yourself, a better person than you have been so far? How will you grow you fragile light of consciousness and help others do the same?

Collective Storytelling: The Stories We Tell Become the Myths We Live

— Myths Are Passages Channeling Energies That Can Hold Us Together or Tear Us Apart

The Storytelling Species: Makers & Players of Reality Bubbles

Part 4 in The Storytelling Species Series

The truth of any civilization is that it is not a monolithic, inanimate thing. Human civilizations live. They are complex living entities that are fed and sustained by each individual living within it. Because of this, civilizations can die when they become sick or too rigid to flow with the pressurizing forces of time.

Many years ago, long before humans where considered human, the motivation to live together in groups was pretty straight forward—survive. Lots of species on Earth live in groups or herds or packs or flocks because it is beneficial to individual survival. Of course, individual sacrifices are required to live harmoniously in groups. For example, there always seems to be many more low status individuals than high status individuals in a group. However, overall the enhanced survival benefit of being in the group rather than outside of it tends to be a powerful motivator.

The structure of groups and how they operate is determined primarily by instincts. There are lots of similarities in instinctual responses between species because all life has had to adapt to common environmental challenges on Earth, making lots of similarities of group life between species. But, there are plenty of examples of uniquely tuned instincts species have evolved to equip them to thrive in very specific niches, making very unique group structures–consider what it would be like to live inside a beehive.


What Are Instincts?

“Instincts are inborn complex patterns of behavior that exist in most members of the species, and should be distinguished from reflexes, which are simple responses of an organism to a specific stimulus, such as the contraction of the pupil in response to bright light or the spasmodic movement of the lower leg when the knee is tapped. The absence of volitional capacity must not be confused with an inability to modify fixed action patterns. For example, people may be able to modify a stimulated fixed action pattern by consciously recognizing the point of its activation and simply stop doing it, whereas animals without a sufficiently strong volitional capacity may not be able to disengage from their fixed action patterns, once activated.[1] Instinctual behavior in humans has been studied, and is a controversial topic.”

– From Wikipedia

I will let Dr. Robert Sapolsky tell you about instincts and how human beings are exactly the same in these fixed action patterns as any other mammal on Earth, but also utterly unique in how we use fixed action patterns to do things as individuals and groups. He is a professor of biology, neurology, and neurological sciences at Stanford University. He has possesses an impressive body of field research and artfully combines his mastery of his field with a charismatic ability to communicate with others, allowing him to make complicated concepts understandable to just about anyone.

The Uniqueness of Humans by Robert Sapolsky | Stanford University | 233 views • Dec 25, 2018

This is one of his shorter talks that it is well worth listening to if you have ever wondered about human behavior and why we do the things we do. In this talk, Dr. Sapolsky dispels every myth of how humans are unique and different than animals; however, in each instance where we act exactly the same as everyone else here on Earth, he also points out how we do it bigger, more extravagantly, and ostentatiously than any other animal on Earth, and that makes us utterly unique.

Living in groups is one of the things we do as humans that is utterly different than other animals on Earth. When we live in groups, we do it with pizzazz and with style. We like our groups to proceed in a manner and approach that generates vast, complicated, and intricate social systems that operate more like ecosystems, allowing the humans existing within them to seemingly live outside of or beyond the constraints of nature. No other animal lives quite like humans do in groups–that is for sure. Our precocious ingenuity has allowed us to occupy just about every livable niche on the planet. And when we encounter a non-livable niche, we can change it so we can live there too!


Stories of Hermits

It is possible to live utterly alone as a human being and still survive. There are many stories of hermits and monks who have lived alone for years, decades, their entire adult lives. Many are fabled to do this in order to overcome and master their most primal fixed action patterns. But some simply do not want human interaction or the entanglements that human relationships entail. These are important stories. However, our current collective story is not one about a world populated by 7.8 billion hermits. I doubt Earth could even sustain 7.8 billion human beings living utterly alone and unconnected to each other.

For a modern true tale of a man living utterly alone, Snap Judgement tells a riveting tale titled The North Pond Hermit.

Image from Snap Judgement | The North Pond Hermit – Snap Classic | Artwork by Teo Ducot

Snap Judgment Description:

There was a legend in central Maine, about a hermit who had lived in the woods, unseen, for 30 years. Then, in 2013, the police arrested a man named Christopher Knight.

To learn more about Chris Knight’s story, be sure to check out Mike Finkel’s book, The Stranger In The Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit. 

Check out The North Pond Hermit Song by Stan Keach.

Produced by Joe Rosenberg, original score by Renzo Gorrio & Andrew Vickers


Why Do We Need to Care About Instincts?

To me, this is simple. If we do not bring our conscious awareness to bear on our daily lives, we are destine to act based on fixed action patterns (e.g., deeply encoded urges, impulses, and instincts). When we live in an unconscious manner, we do not feel and thus cannot fulfill our full potential as a human being. We live rather as our parents, forebears, and ancestors lived seldom taking a moment to consider if what we are doing now, what we have been taught to do and think and believe, is right for the moment we are living in.

When we do not bring our conscious awareness to bear on our constantly changing circumstances, our preprogramming is bound to kick in and run wild. Acting in this way stagnates our spark of consciousness as individuals and as a species. It can even make us lose consciousness, going backwards as an individual or a group (devolving rather than evolving).

In addition to instincts, human beings (being so darn clever and unique in how we live in groups) also bring cultural precepts, religious doctrines, community rules, and all the decrees, commandments, and directives deemed necessary to live in big, complicated societies and civilizations. We willingly agree to abide by these rules whenever we join a new group or alliance or club or clique. It’s the price we pay as human beings to belong to things we think benefit us in some way or another. In highly technological, modern societies, this can add up to be a lot of groups to which an individual must belong. If a person is not careful, this sort of belongingness can end up sabotaging the amount of and quality of consciousness that can be brought to bear, without fear or favor, to our situations, circumstances, struggles, and challenges encountered in life.

When we act unconsciously to our circumstances, we often fail to apprehend, understand, and act in ways that are needed to maintain harmony in our life and in the lives of those around us. Instead, we often end up acting no better than a troop of baboons. However, because we are human, we tend to put highly creative and imaginative spins on making our lives more miserable and difficult than they need to be, if only we would have brought a little more attention and consciousness to the situation, which would have allowed us to see the bigger picture and understand the interconnections present in all events transpiring here on Earth.


Stories Act Like Glue Holding Complicated Groups Together

So what keeps us from tearing each others faces off (like baboons can do when their status is provoked by a young upstart or lower status member)? What allows us to work together in more or less harmonious ways within our massive social conglomerations?

Religions have long served a fundamental role in creating and maintaining cooperative groups. Sports can unify and unite groups, even pull different groups together in friendly competition. Food is a great unifier too, so is music. And so are stories, especially mythical stories that activate numinous content in our psyche (I’ll talk more about this in a moment).

Here are some of the foundational stories that have helped create and define Western Civilization. It is a list put together by the BBC of the top 10 stories of Western Civilization. Let’s look at a few:

1.  The Odyssey (Homer, 8th Century BC)

  • Bethanne Patrick, Contributing Editor of Lit Hub, says, “I believe the journey of Odysseus defined a streak of individualism particular to Western culture that has led to much change in the world – good and bad.
  • Kenneth W Warren, Professor of English at University of Chicago, agrees. “The Odyssey has provided the architecture for the quest narrative and template for characterising male and female virtue in ways that shape, enable, and limit our storytelling habits into the present.”
  • Novelist Beverley Naidoo hones in on: “The multiple stories within Odysseus’ 10-year journey home after the Trojan war, while faithful Penelope waits for him and son Telemachus seeks him, have seeped deep into our cultural consciousness. The human elements within this myriad of stories continue to resonate down the centuries, allowing endless reinterpretation.”

2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852)

  • Jenny Bhatt, writer and Contributing Editor at PopMatters calls it “the first widely-read political novel in the US” and “the first work of fiction that openly addressed the cruelty of slavery, human exploitation, the lopsided legal system, the entrenched patriarchy, the need for feminism, and more.” It became one of the most popular books of the century – in the US and abroad – and is credited with radically altering the perception of slavery, with many voters noting its influence on the abolition movement. Its human focus and call for empathy struck a chord among readers.
  • Author and novelist Roxana Robinson says it “told the story of slavery through the eyes of the enslaved, and was one of the first novels to show black characters as fathers and mothers, parents and children – human beings, who were living under inhuman conditions.”  

3. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818)

  • Nilanjana S Roy, novelist and Financial Times columnist, points out: “Frankenstein influenced scientists as well as writers… [and] speaks to the modern fear of the creations that spin out of our control”;
  • Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, is “the quintessential story of the modern world” says Roger Luckhurst, Professor of Modern-Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck College, London. 
  • The compelling story of the scientist who brings a creature to life has become one of the most enduring images in modern literature and beyond, and the monster serves as the “ultimate metaphor”, says Lena Wånggren, Research Fellow in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh.

4. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell, 1949)

  • There is an “uncanny accuracy” says Jean Seaton, Professor of Media History at Westminster University, in the book’s definition of modern tyranny: “Now more than ever, we seem to live in the framework it identified… Even the author’s name – ‘Orwellian’ – conjures up a world of thought control. Its precision about the mechanisms of propaganda and the machinery of oppression has got it banned by every authoritarian regime: they are scared of its power to name horror. It is a handbook for those who want to resist.”
  • All those who chose Orwell’s masterpiece seem to agree on one thing – the novel’s scary prescience. “Big Brother gets all the attention,” says novelist and columnist Nilanjana S Roy. “But it’s the rest, the eagerness to join mobs, to obey, to hurt, that he caught so unforgettably.
  • Or, as BBC Culture Editor Rebecca Laurence succinctly puts it: “The ultimate 20th-Century novel becomes the ultimate 21st-Century novel. Terrifying.”

5. Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe, 1958)

  • Telling the story of the colonisation of a Nigerian tribe from the point of view of an African, Things Fall Apart explodes stereotypes about Africa and brought to life the true impact of cross-cultural misunderstandings. Achebe said that “this was the first time we were seeing ourselves, as autonomous individuals, rather than half-people, or as Conrad would say, ‘rudimentary souls’”.
  • The European colonial narrative could never be the same after this was published. “It’s an empowering African novel: it brought African experience to the world like no other African fiction has”, according to Dominica Dipio, Associate Professor of Literature at Makerere University in Uganda.
  • By changing the filter through which the continent was seen, “The novel showed readers what an African world looked like when it was not being reduced to canned images animated by racist assumptions,” says Ainehi Edoro-Glines, a Nigerian academic. “Achebe’s innovation was to change the conventions of modern storytelling so that instead of seeing darkness any time readers looked at Africa, they’d see what every novel was designed to show – a complex representation of life.

6. One Thousand and One Nights (various authors, 8th-18th Centuries)

  • It gets at the primordial human desire for the story that never ends – which can very easily stand for life that never comes to an end.” Ahdaf Soueif, novelist, writer and commentator, points out: “Many characters, motifs and quotations (‘Open Sesame!’) from this set of stories within stories have become common parlance across the world.”
  • It’s the deepest of wells,” says novelist and columnist Nilanjana Roy. “In medieval & modern times, from writers to singers and film-makers, we never stopped drawing from it.” 
  • Critic Muneeza Shamsie admires “Sheherazade’s courage, intelligence and confidence and fact she succeeds, asserts the power of storytelling and imagination over tyranny and terror – a concept which has strongly influenced the ideals and ideas of our world.
  • Lena Merhej, a comic artist from Lebanon, picked the book “because it gives a subversive voice to a woman that uses it as a weapon for her survival.” 

To see the rest and read all of the reasons why these stories were selected, go to the BBC Culture page (note book images come from this page as well).


We Are An Unfolding Story

One could even say the United States’ Declaration of Independence is a collective story of the highest order and complexity that all its citizens (and even its non-citizens for no country or civilization operates in a vacuum no matter how powerful they have grown) play out every day. And so as it is played out, it is written–an unfolding story through time in space.

I heard an absolutely wonderful TedTalk exploring this very idea of how each and every person is an author of the collective story unfolding in this time, Now. The whole hour was dedicated to Baratunde Thurston who talks about How To Citizen.

Manoush Zomorodi introduces him this way: “And it has been a year of thinking how our actions affect our neighbors, a year of realizing that many of our systems do little for the most vulnerable among us and here in the U.S., a year when the population further splintered over what it means to be an American. And so how do we talk about all this stuff without alienating each other? How do we move forward collectively? And what is our civic duty in the 21st century? These are big questions. And so on the show today, we’re going to explore ideas about How To Citizen with Baratunde Thurston. He’s been working on and thinking about this topic for years. And he recently came out with a new podcast series appropriately called How To Citizen.

Through this episode Manoush and Baratunde explore some of his notable podcasts and TedTalks. The first individuals he brings up is the lawyer and civil rights activist Valarie Kaur and what she calls Revolutionary Love. He tells Manoush, “I picked Valarie as the opening voice in the podcast series, the How To Citizen podcast. I wanted her to offer a spiritual invocation to the whole idea of what it means to citizen as a verb. And that means to commit to each other.”

Valarie Kaur – Breathe! Push! The Labor of Revolutionary Love | Bioneers | 11,619 views • Nov 13, 2019

Thurston highlights something Valarie talks about, which is “In order to love others, see no stranger. We can train our eyes to look upon strangers on the street, on the subway, on the screen and say in our minds, brother, sister, aunt, uncle. When we say this, what we are saying is, you are a part of me I do not yet know. I choose to wonder about you. Number three, in order to love our opponents, tend the wound. Tending to the wound is not healing them. Only they can do that. Just tending to it allows us to see our opponents, the terrorists, the fanatic, the demagogue. They’ve been radicalized by cultures and policies that we together can change.

Another person they highlight is

Co-Parenting as Allies, not Adversaries | Ebony Roberts & Shaka Senghor | TEDxDetroit | 14,939 views • Jan 15, 2020

Thurston says, “So yeah. So to empathize and identify with the idea of hurt and pain and to acknowledge that I have played a role in probably someone else’s life where I was the opponent – to extend that to others, that’s when it makes sense to me, and it’s not just this masochistic endeavor.”

The next person Thurston brings up is Eric Liu (who he likes to call Mr. Democracy).

How to revive your belief in democracy | Eric Liu | 70,525 views • May 24, 2019

(SOUNDBITE OF TED TALK): ERIC LIU: I bring you greetings from the 52nd freest nation on Earth. As an American, it irritates me that my nation keeps sinking in the annual rankings published by Freedom House. I’m the son of immigrants. My parents were born in China during war and revolution, went to Taiwan and then came to the United States, which means all my life, I’ve been acutely aware just how fragile an inheritance freedom truly is. That’s why I spend my time teaching, preaching and practicing democracy.

TedTalk with Baratunde Thurston

Thurston tells Manoush, “Yeah, I had been talking about this project of How To Citizen for years in some form, and I saw his talk at TED about making civics sexy again and these Civic Saturdays events and sermons, all this kind of religious faith language. But the faith was not in an all-seeing, all-knowing deity. It was in very fallible human beings and our institutions.


There is much more to this talk and all of it is well worth your time to listen to in full or to read the transcript if you are interested in a healthy, diverse, thriving, democratic system. But this is why I am zeroing in on language and storytelling. We tell the stories through our thoughts, words, deeds, and actions (or non-actions). We are writing our living systems as we live it.

It is hard to keep a democratic nation. It is hard to balance differences (e.g., different perspectives, needs, desires, beliefs) as expressed and lived by lots and lots of different people from all over the world who have come to live in the United States. In the TedTalk mentioned above, Liu says: ” Democracy works only when enough of us believe democracy works.”

It takes work to keep a democracy. One of the most memorable points Liu made was out democracy does not automatically spring from constitutional rules but from the inner workings of civic spirit–that is us. We all contribute to the quality of this spirit and whether it is healthy or not.

I know it is hard to stay informed and to pay attention to all the things a complicated society like the United States of America requires its citizens know, but this sort of knowledge is important for the system to continually sustain and renew itself. It is tempting to clamp down and claim that one’s own personal set of principles or beliefs are the only ones to follow to move forward. It is hard to compromise and walk another’s path.


Moments of Illumination & Seeing More of the Story

One of things I think the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated is weakness in our existing systems of being around the world. Many of these weakness can be traced back to individuals living unconsciously; people choosing to live in narrow channels and closing themselves off to points of views that are not in alignment to their preconceived ideas and beliefs; people who refuse and are unwilling to see the world from someone else’s perspective–to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.

An interview with Kai Ryssal of MarketPlace demonstrates vividly what is happening to millions of people who have lost jobs and feel like they have been forgotten, even thrown away by our current system of being in the world. A brief clip from this interview that drills down on the fissures in our system and collective way of doing things that is doing us in as a collective is the following:

Ryssdal: When we talked last time, I don’t even remember what I said, but you in essence said you felt you had been forgotten and overlooked. And just to break the fourth wall a little bit here, we kept in touch and you sent us a text in January that said, and this is you now, “I feel so astonishingly betrayed by the systems responsible for protecting and providing for our nation.” Do you as a guy on the lower rungs of the income ladder in this country, do you feel any hope that it’s going to get better post-virus?

Cairns: You know, I really don’t see a lot of silver lining. We are so eager to get back to normal that we’re probably going to ignore a lot of the lessons learned from this pandemic. You know, restaurants and bars are already trying to go back to business as usual. Customers, people in general, definitely want to just go right back to normal. And without some sort of structure, some sort of system in place to help facilitate people taking things easier, I don’t see how this is going to get much better in the future.

Ryssdal: But Neil, if a bar or restaurant opened up around the corner from you and said, “Hey, we can give you 25 hours a week,” would you do it?

Cairns: Probably. Yeah. I don’t think I’d have a whole lot of choice, and that’s exactly the problem — we should. You know, providing for people in situations like mine, like those who are in worse positions than mine, to be able to stay home, to choose when to go back to work in a way that is best for them, I think is really important, and I don’t see any indication that we’re gonna make any attempt to do that.


How to Tell Better Stories

To tell better stories, we need to see each other–everyone. The PBS NewsHour explores this idea in the rising occurrence of hate crimes against Asian Americans. In large part, Trump ignited and inspired this collective hate to be acted out in cruel and brutal ways. He gave a green light to let this hate rip through the delicate fabric that holds us together as an utterly unique collective–something that has never existed on this Earth below at this level, but only if we can keep it, as Thurston so beautifully expresses in the TedTalk above.

In the PBS piece, it is said:

The absence of knowledge is a way of keeping people fighting each other.” Missing in History – The void of knowledge of Asian Americans has and is being replaced by garbage – caricatures of Asians being animals, disease infested, monsters.”

The problem is invisibility. Justice is not a zero sum game. Justice is a fabric that extends across all communities.

PBS NewsHour – March 4, 2021

To tell better stories, we need to see more of ourself by embracing moments of illumination (often triggered by a crisis, a setback, a disaster) to boldly go where we have not yet ventured inside ourself, the realms where our invisible self dwells. Sometimes to tell better stories means we need to see the biases we harbor, the prejudices we protect, and the injustices we perpetuate. Other times it means seeing the power we have lost because we have projected onto someone else. But when we see it exists inside of us too, we grow stronger, we heal, we become more whole inside–we grow as a conscious being. When we finally see we are the thing we hate, we can even transform.

HiddenBrain did a beautiful piece on the power of stories in transforming ourself.

  • Description: The Story of Your Life: We can’t go back and change the past. We can’t erase trauma and hardship. But what if there was a way to regain control of our personal narratives? In the second part of our series on storytelling, we look at how interpreting the stories of our lives — and rewriting them — can change us forever.”

The Power of Myth

This is the power of myths and storytelling. They show us ways to channel the intense energies that surge inside of us when we are provoked by our circumstances. These energies begin as instincts but what consciousness allows us to do is to sees these energies rising before we act on them. This ability gives us a moment to choose an action different than what our innate instincts would otherwise dictate that we do.

In the heat of the moment, many of us may well act on the instinct triggered. However, when we do bring our conscious attention to these moments, we can alter our instincts in a great variety of ways. This is what Jung calls archetypes. They are mirror images of instincts but altered by consciousness. This allows the energy to flow forward in any number of different ways different from how they would have otherwise contained in nature. The number of variations of rising instinctual responses are as vast as the number of human beings who have chosen something differently.

These are the stories of Gods and Goddesses from every culture around the world. These stories tell about what befell a God or Goddess after choosing an altered instinctual response to a situation encountered. Each God and Goddess embodies qualities and energies of our most primal, basic instincts. Together, instincts and archetypes make up the building blocks of the human psyche.

Jung came to believe archetypes are empty templates that we fill anew each time we alter our instinctual responses triggered by circumstances we encounter. They are fluid, flexible, and powerful like water. When we meet our situations and circumstances consciously, we live mythic lives.

A Few Modern Stories Offering Strong Modern Mythic Images to Ponder

A new Netflix series I have loved watching is Invisible City. The trailer says, “What if the legends of your childhood are living in plain sight?” Which of course, they are. This is a beautiful drama that weaves in the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest and its people and animals with Brazilian Folklore entities and deities. Season 1 explores what happens if one of these vital entities gives up.

Invisible city Official trailer (HD) Season 1 (2021) | 69,610 views • Feb 5, 2021
Glitch Season 1 | Trailer | Now On Netflix | 739,777 views • Feb 23, 2016 | This is a fantastic modern remake of the fearsome zombie-monster movie is Glitch that explores consciousness, playing God (or becoming too much like God) and the transformative power of love.
The OA | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix | OA explores consciousness, time, what we think is real, mad scientists, being kids in modern times, choices, reality.
Travelers | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix | Travelers also explores consciousness, time, trying to change our mistakes and the unforeseen consequents of what we cannot possibly know in advance, even what a super smart computer cannot know…
Outlander: Season 5 Official Trailer | If you have not been following this series, you should watch all of them. Season 5 really takes the viewers into very modern questions of: Are you playing God?, birth of a nation, who was really barbaric back then, time, consciousness, love, family.
Succession: Season 1 | Official Trailer | HBO | Truly a modern tail exploring how power is used and abused in our time.

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Part 5 of Storytelling Species Series | Collective Storytelling: Who Is Q & What The Heck Is the Plandemic and Anti-Vaxxers All About?!!

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Weaving Reality — So Many Humans, So Many Versions
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