Sunday, September 23, 2007

O.J.Simpson and the Habits

Adrenaline oozes out of tiny glands, filling his body with supreme energy. His heart is beating a little faster as he walks with his head high. The pounding in his chest continues, he can hear it pumping, creating a soundtrack of his life movie.
At this moment he is more aware of himself than he has ever been, he is alive, breathing, soaring. His palms sweat, he moves quickly, decisions are mere impulses, his body acts, his mind follows. He moves like an animal, intent in its direction, one goal in mind…everything is clear.

After narrowly escaping a murder conviction a decade ago, OJ Simpson he has again found himself in a legal drama. He is charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in what he said was an attempt to retrieve sports memorabilia stolen from him.

OJ is in trouble again, not because anything was stolen, but because he has a strong habit he is unaware of. Its results are obvious- the legal predicament - but the impulse that led him in the direction of jail remains a mystery. His machine chases after the memory of energy and wakefulness, the alertness that comes from living on the edge, with one hand on a gun- yielding the power of life and death.

The same impulse is expressed thousands of ways, depending on the machine. One might parachute, or eat chocolate ice cream, or make love.

It is the impulse to wake up, to feel energy moving in every direction, to feel the body and be completely alert.

But all of them are habits, ultimately just an image of wakefulness when done by a sleeping machine. They are repeated often, out of habit, unconsciously.

Some manifestations have more intense consequences, like jail or death, but they come from the same place at the most basic level.

OJ, unaware, repeats the habits he learned as a child, following the example of adults in his life. A slave to his machine habits and impulses; perhaps wondering why he is in tight silver shackles again.
He has learned nothing since 1994, he has not learned to control his machine. He is still a victim of his own habits. He will continue making the same choices, hanging with the same surly people, repeating the same habits until he has a moment of understanding, when he can see himself from the outside- perhaps then he will understand who is in control.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


As humans existing in a world beyond our immediate control, we have developed habits that attempt to provide a sense of stability. One manifestation of this can be seen in the way we cling to our ideas, morals, images, thoughts and feelings as "fixed." Thinking, believing perhaps, that they are and have always been true and will always be correct.

Lucifer, among modern Christians, is associated with Satan and the Devil- they are one and the same. Like all our common perceptions- about the world, our environment, ourselves- an idea changes and evolves…it is not fixed and has never been stagnant.
Always, where there have been people, myths, stories, and words have been morphing, in a state of evolution.
What many Christians consider common knowledge: the story of Lucifer as the fallen dark angel; has been added to, developed, changed, embellished, and re-written.
"The scholars authorized by ... King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated ... largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place.
Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and --- ironically --- the "Prince of Darkness."
Christians believe that Lucifer, the being, has existed since, or near, the beginning. But the concept of Lucifer as Satan did not appear until the Bible had gone through many translations of the old testament (from Hebrew, to Greek, to Latin).
A Latin word, Lucifer means bringer, or bearer, of light (lucem ferre), known in Roman astronomy as Venus (the morning star).
"In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah (which is the only place Lucifer is mentioned) is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference."
This story and now common belief for millions has not always been a truth, it has changed. With every translation with every new interpretation, new layers and meanings are added.

It is important to notice how easily we settle into a "fixed" idea, perception, or interpretation . Religion, sense of self, morals…a multitude of image-like perceptions.
And precisely because we change, because our stories change, it is important to notice. We should open our eyes,expand out heart and senses and notice just how much is in flux, sometimes it takes centuries, sometimes only a couple of years, but the change happens. Allowing the process, noticing it, seeing how all is ever changing…this will open up space for our fixed images to break.
Perhaps the lines will become a little more blurry between us and them. The words we associate with our own identity may shift or lose their importance and maybe our mask will begin to melt.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Cult of the Amateur

The book, The Cult of the Amateur, by Andrew Keen, examines the cultural revolution being spawned by Web 2.0 and its millions of users. He argues that this new form of media and information sharing is killing our culture, replacing experts and professionals with speculative, no-talent amateurs. Where there were once cultural gatekeepers- publishing houses, editors,
curators; with the web, anybody can post a video, regardless of quality. This, he says, is destroying our publishing, music, and news-gathering industries.
While much of the blogs are opinionated rants, and newspapers and television have dumbed themselves down for the general public; there is a space, a need that this new venue fills. It allows, like never before, the ability for people to move their energy.
Why limit creativity?- that amazing urge, that indescribable need to "do"? This is an outlet for people to express themselves, create books and t-shirts, artwork and express anger in the form of rants.
Most of the time they are not award winning pieces of work, but they are testaments to energy allowed to flow, ideas and attention that was brought to the surface. The physical content merely reflects what once was.
It is the energy we cannot see with our eyes, but it is physical and real nonetheless. It has moved through the machine. The end result, good or bad, is that it journeyed. And that is what we strive for, to move and transform our energy.
There have always been artists and writers, scientists and musicians who were not considered great in their time. The professionals Mr. Keen sentimentally desires were once themselves amateurs, perhaps rejected from the professional world.
Everyone must start at the beginning- an unknown. We should be careful to idealize "professionals." They are the living vessels that energy used to create. But they are not alone in this. Lightning can strike in more than one place.
We do not create for titles, we create because we must. It is always wonderful when the general public engages and responds to the product, but we labor for something much greater. We move our energy to transform ourselves, our space, our perceptions and perceived limitations. We create for the beings and realities I have no words to name.