Supporting The Andy Crowley Saga (and not with money)

Please Consider Offering Comments, Reviews, Shares and Insights

Calling all readers!

As I pound the last four chapters of Part Two of the Andy Crowley saga into the Glass Grimoire, I would like to invite any who are reading to offer feedback on the story so far.

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For a passion project that I’ve never had any intention of charging gold pieces for, the enthusiasm of the readership is the energy that fuels the endeavour.

I hope some of you will consider commenting under the chapters. Whether it’s offering some philosophical, occult, spiritual or RPG discussion; suggesting a story idea or character development opportunity; or perhaps sharing the 70s/80s rock song that best encapsulates the spirit of that chapter, I envision a lively conversation amongst a community that would join me on this mystical odyssey beyond the relative mundanity of magicless Earth.

Knowing that I wax whimsical and romantic here, I propose to the most generous among you, that reviews and fan art would be especially helpful!

And finally, please share The Andy Crowley Saga wherever you can. The social media buttons below can help with that. The more the merrier to be sure!

If you think it rocks, please help it roll!

Dave

Books for Stranger Things fans — Bookidote | Book Reviews

If you are a hardcore fan of Stranger Things like me, you would binge watch everything from Season 2 and then got stuck of having nothing to do after… But, luckily for us, there are books ! 😀 So here are some books that can delay your withdrawal symptom of Stranger Things feels for a […]

via Books for Stranger Things fans — Bookidote | Book Reviews

When I close my eyes to imagine the Andy Crowley Saga, the art of Jack Kirby is what I see

Every medium has its defining creators, those men and women who utilized the capabilities their canvases provided and pushed those capabilities to their outmost limits. The ones who defined their medium and influenced every single creator that came after. The ones whose influence is still palpably felt in every aspect of their chosen canvas. You […]

via The King: How One Man Defined a Medium — FourColour Media

Black Friday, Meditation & the Hamster Wheel of Identity Construction (Re-Post)

Conspicuous Consumption

is the Disease of Disconnection

 

Last week, I shared the below graphic to show how I see meditation and mindfulness as a phenomenon that offers escape from the compulsion toward the self/ego/identity-fabrication that results in the imprisoning ME construct.

Though admittedly one person’s perspective and merely a stepping stone toward the much more complex notion of what meditation is, it was accepted with enthusiasm and much debate, some of which ventured into the realm of the socio-economic reasons why human beings need to meditate to become mindful in the first place.

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Fretting-Regretting Consumer (Left) Mindful Meditator (Right)

Is it possible that we are drawn to meditation by a desire to reacquire a natural inclination to a mindful state of awareness we have lost? A return to Eden one might say.

How is it that submitting to the peace of the present moment has become something elusive and seemingly beyond reach of modern, civilized humanity? Shouldn’t we be predisposed to this disposition?

Does it really make sense that our seemingly default state of awareness is anxiety, stress and regret?

It’s weird if you ask me.

But you know what else is weird?

BLACK-trample-your-neighbour-for-50%-OFF-a-popcorn-popper-FRIDAY!

That’s weird too.

As someone formerly afflicted with careers in political science, journalism and advertising, I have come to believe that the reason the modern default modality of consciousness is a perpetual state of being anxious about the future, dissatisfied with the present and regretful about the past is because we are programmed by our society and its institutions to be this way.

In other words, people are conditioned, socialized and trained to be the exact opposite of what mindfulness implies and meditation achieves.

Why? To what end?

Well, Black Friday about sums it up.

Simply put, the individual with a mindful consciousness: the one who is intrinsically satisfied; the one for whom identity construction and longing for outside approval of that constructed identity has ceased to be the driving imperative of consciousness doesn’t NEED the latest version of the hippest phone brand to be satisfied with existence.

And so mindfulness is not preferred because it does not serve the interests of a consumption driven economic growth paradigm that likes its people perpetually

  • uncertain about what they have achieved
  • disappointed with who they are
  • obsessed with who they should be
  • preoccupied with identity construction, and
  • seeking validation of that construct

so that they are always

  • shopping, and
  • working so they can shop

From marks in school to how current our phone model is to how our asses look in our pants, the preferred modality of consciousness — the modality that has been engineered to serve the interests of the few at the top — is that which constantly scans outward for approval of the ME construct and invests every waking moment stitching the outer clown suit of being piecemeal into existence using everything from political affiliations to the painstakingly selected brand of coffee one waves prominently about as one saunters into work each morning.

They want us fractured, disoriented and jonesin’ for the next thing that will make others stand up and take notice of how on-the-ball, ahead-of-the-curve, plugged-in, awesome-smelling, slick-operating, and blinky-trinky AWESOME we are!

All this, despite the fact that it’s impossible to ever hit all the targets that move ever backwards! For ain’t it the absolute truth that what’s nifty today is nasty by tomorrow?

Welcome to the hamster wheel.

What they DON’T want are the awakened ones. And especially ones who buy into that tree-hugging, hippy-dippy, kung-fu, one-with-reality hokum! Those ones aren’t shoppers. Those ones won’t stay chained to their desks.

In the fiction I write, I postulate that reductionism run amok — the needless and arbitrary parsing and delineation of reality by way of labels, categories, designations, measurements etc. is what separates us from grace. It is the primary theme of my work.

Rightly or wrongly, I propose that the grace of the oneness that emerges when we cease (as much as is possible for us) to draw lines and impose fabricated division on an inherently unified reality is what I call mysticism. And also, rightly or wrongly, I identify mindfulness as achieved by meditation as the condition of nesting in this unity of being and reality / perceiver and perceived.

I offer for discussion that the misery in our world results from holding ourselves in the state of exile from grace that manifests when, either by the wide strokes of the paint roller of religion, or by the fine-tipped pen strokes of science, we impose our swaths and scribbles upon a reality that rewards us most for doing no more than being with it as it is.

The lines are everywhere and without thinking too hard or meditating for too long, it begins to become obvious why they are there.

Divide and conquer.

The lines have become so pervasive we no longer realize that they are arbitrarily defined and thereby imaginary! Lines in the sand, all of them: shifting and insubstantial — though most certainly NOT inconsequential!

Lines between blacks and whites; between conservatives and liberals; between Christians and Muslims; between Americans and Mexicans.

They all divide though none of them are real!

Now let’s return our attention to the point of this article: that high, holy, celebration of consumerism: Black Friday.

We come now to lines upon the lines. As though there can never be too many bars in the cage. As though nations, races, religions, political parties, alma maters, and sports team loyalties weren’t enough, we are invited to the next level.

Mac-users and PC-users; Android-users and iPhone-user; this-kind-of-car-driver and that-kind-of-car-driver; rock and disco; Coke and Pepsi; My-watch-records-how-many-steps-I-take-guy and poor-me-my-watch-still-only-tells-me-what-time-it-is-MAN!-I-need-two-fingers-of-scotch-to-dull-the-pain-guy : (

We’ve succumbed to a civilizational enterprise in social engineering that has managed to make me-being-better-than-you even better!

All of this is why we are disconnected. All of this is why we are unfulfilled.

Because they want us shopping. They want us working. They want us warring.

To my point. Conspicuous consumption of junk we don’t need to preoccupy us with the construction of false identities we don’t need has become the cultural imperative of our civilization. And we do it all only because we don’t yet get that we don’t need to.

And we will continue to do it until, I would argue, we use the door off the hamster wheel that becomes more and more accessible to us all every day.

Meditation: the vast, silent, borderless way back to the embracing grace of a reality free from the arbitrary delineations that set us against one another (not to mention setting the constructed outer self against the inner relative absence of that notion).

So I invite you again to ponder the above meditation/mindfulness graphic — this time in the context of Black Friday and these two statements.

  1. Identity Construction has become the primary enterprise of beings in our civilization and the means by which they become trapped on the seek approval-shop-work-repeat hamster wheel.
  2. Meditating toward mindful, transcendent awareness beyond the ME construct offers the promise of moving through our programmed preoccupation with identity construction and stepping off that hamster wheel.

“Jim & Andy”: Jim Carrey & a just-in-time era of mysticism

Self-construction as incarceration

Self-deconstruction as liberation

Readers of my blog know well by now my thesis that the conspicuous-consumption-driven-subservient-puppet-worker-voter society that has been engineered for us relies on our obsession with identity-construction.

I am, I own, I like, (drive, wear, eat, listen too), and with increasing frequency “I am outraged by” are the building blocks of the ego-construct (aka I, me, insert name, nationality, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, political party choice (usually one of two), favourite brand of blue jeans, mobile phone and operating system preferences here).

Identity-construction, by design, is the raison d’être of good citizens of Western culture because obsession with engineering and embellishing a desirable and validated self-construct is what keeps us shopping, working, worshipping, warring, voting and obeying.

The problem with all this is that smart people have know for millennia that serving the delusion that the self is something real and not something compiled of arbitrary delineations is in truth a recipe for a perpetual cycle of toil and disappointment.

Cutting to the chase, cessation of self-construction — usually via meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Please indulge me as I share, yet again, a diagram I have created to show my take on why this is.

consciousness3

Meditation Schematic (Fretting-Regretting Consumer vs. Mindful Meditator)

My serial fiction, the Andy Crowley Saga, is built on this concept of the arbitrariness of reality as defined by ego. I often wonder why I came up with this and have speculated that I am not alone in the pursuit of the new mysticism.

I offer that, for me anyway, my mystical journey is a kind of convulsive reaction to witnessing and acknowledging the now certain fact that Western culture and its self-construction-obsession-fuelled consumption-driven aristocracy has run out of road.

I feel strongly that we are in the early days of a cultural revolution that embraces ancient mystical perspectives to replace the hyper-quantifying, hyper-delineating, reductionist experiment that has brought us to the brink of ecological, economic and social ruin.

As someone who was born between the same arbitrarily delineated lines on a map (Canada) as Jim Carrey, I know his work well. As a mystic, I have watched his personal transformation in recent years with vested interest.

After watching “Jim and Andy” on Netflix last night, I am only more convinced than ever that Jim Carrey have ventured far down the road of the same kind of ego-obliteration that Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Hermeticism, and many other esoteric and mystic traditions have long proposed constitutes awakening, enlightenment, salvation, grace — whatever you want to call it.

I get where Jim Carrey is going — and where Andy Kaufman had gone before him. I think he is on to something. I also get why the majority of people will think he has gone crazy. Not everyone can go or get there.

They’ll say, “poor guy, he’s lost his mind.” But they’ll also say, “Lucky guy, he’s lost his mind!”

Guitarist, Steve Vai, and others are now openly speaking of similar things, and meditation (even if it is still far too often wrapped in fanatical scientism to sell it) is being embraced by more and more people. These are just hints of something bigger I think.

I like to think that at the end of economic growth as we cross the peak from an economy of abundance to an economy of scarcity, we are finally acknowledging — perhaps out of necessity — the most fundamental truth of all: that all things are really just one thing.

Maybe here, beyond the reductionist era of selfishness, in the early days of the mystical era of selflessness, “we’re all in this together” has ceased to be something we just say. Maybe, in accordance with ancient beliefs long withheld from popular knowledge, it is finally becoming something we embrace completely.

Check out Jim and Andy on Netflix. For some it will inspire you to continue upon an ancient path that seems like something new. For others, it will be a good place to start asking the questions that lead to liberation from a system that fosters the misperception of wisdom as crazy.

Definitive Sword and Sorcery: Elric by Michael Moorcock

Mighty Thor JRS - Fantasy Book News & Reviews

This is the second in a new series of post I am going to try here on Mighty Thor JRS, Definitive Sword and Sorcery. At least what is definitive in my opinion. I will spotlight some of the best authors and books fantasy has ever known. I can’t wait to share these amazing books, authors, and the amazing cover art and artist. For my second post I am going to go with Michael Moorcock and his Elric stories.

As I become more and more disenchanted with modern fantasy and modern fantasy authors, I find myself going back to the books and authors that got me into fantasy in the first place. So I decided to shed some light on these books and authors. I am going to try and do this on a weekly/monthly basis but we will see how it goes.

If you have some comments, suggestions, recommendations…

View original post 800 more words

►Mythology: “Psychopomps, Border Crossers and Guiders of Souls”🌟.-

La Audacia de Aquiles

►Mythology: “Psychopomps, Border Crossers and Guiders of Souls”🌟:

“Souls on the Banks of the Acheron”, by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl. 1898

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⇒♦ Introduction. Definition of Psychopomp and Sketch of this post:

A Psychopomp is a god, spirit, or demon who is responsible for guiding the spirits of the dead on their journey to the underworld. His role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage. The word comes from the Greek   ψυχοπομπός, which means “conductor of souls.” Psycho– (ψυχο) originally meant “of, or relating to the soul,” while pomps (πομπός) meant “guide” or “conductor.”

Classical examples of a Psychopomp are the ancient Egyptian god Anubis, the Greek ferryman CharonHermes and Hecate, the Roman god Mercury (equivalent: Hermes in Greek Mythology) and Archangel Gabriel in the Catholic religion, to name the most important ones.

Firstly, in the first section (I), let´s look at some examples of Psychopomps in Mythology.

View original post 2,257 more words

Science and Magic are Two Sides of the Same Coin — A Writer’s Path

by Ryan Decaria After much contemplation about writing magic systems, I’ve decided on a new writing philosophy. These guides work for me, but should in no way be considered “writing rules”. In fantasy, I’m going to treat my magic systems like a science In science fiction, I’m going to treat my “pushed” science […]

via Science and Magic are Two Sides of the Same Coin — A Writer’s Path

Invest in that which cannot be taken from you

From Infinitezen on Reddit

Have you ever noticed that how often it is that people who have achieved vast material success seem to live in fear despite it? They fear the next market crash, the next war, the next sickness; anything that might pop their bubble and force them to confront whatever unpleasant realities they might be surrounded by. Ultimately this is why the rich don’t even want to be reminded of poor people and their suffering, because the guilt they feel is just another unwanted source of pain.

The solution? Invest in your brain, your soul, your relationships, your harmony with the natural world. These things also provide pleasure, but without the guilt of selfishness or the embrace of nihilistic hedonism. Remember that for every Hollywood/Wall Street success story there lies a pile of broken dreams from people who based their entire happiness and identity around recognition that was never achieved. Be grateful for whatever is on your plate and make sure to share even if it seems you don’t have enough.

Here is the original post.

Book Review

The Secret Teachers of the Western World

A miracle of a book! It will have you revisiting everything you think you know. Gary Lachman takes what is typically very inaccessible material and makes it easy to understand. And this is as it should be, for revisiting the relationship between consciousness and reality and unravelling our now almost completely reductionist world view is essential if we are to avoid social, ecological and economic armageddon!

Think of it as a crash course in the way humanity is SUPPOSED TO BE vs. the way humanity has been CONDITIONED TO BE to suit an agenda that has served the few. Essential reading!

Check it out.

The Secret Teachers of the Western World