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This Sacred Land

Posted December 17th, 2010 at 09:56 AM by chas
Updated December 17th, 2010 at 11:44 AM by chas
"This land is your land
This land is my land
From California
To the New York island
From the redwood forests
To the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me"

--Woody Guthrie
American Depression Era folksinger

Bear awoke in the womb of the earth, where the silence took over whenever the tour guide stopped talking, which was often. Because the Earth was the tour, and the Park Ranger wanted us to experience her. The empty darkness went on forever outside of our flashlights, which made a tiny island of light, deep underground in Carlsbad Caverns, N.M. Bear sniffed the air, as they walked from the main chamber into small passages, past amazing rock sculptures made by Mama Earth from stalagmites, stalactites, and plain old big rocks. Rocks everywhere, with a flow of water here and there. And the air was not musty, but alive with currents drifting through the entire maze universe of caverns and tunnels....
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A 'Blasphemous' Secret

Posted December 16th, 2010 at 09:01 AM by chas
Updated December 5th, 2014 at 07:53 AM by chas
--YHWH, The Old Testament

"Blasphemy: 2. The act of claiming the attributes of God"
Funk and Wagnall's Standard College Dictionary

For those of you wisely following the order of my new blog posts--#1 The Spark and #2 Antique Road Show--for maximum literary effect, its time here in #3 A 'Blasphemous' Secret to talk about Monotheism and Modern Times. And yes, I am going to reveal The Secret of the Universe, so stand by for that.

Now each of the major monotheistic religions has a Secret Mystical Branch. In the Jewish tradition, into which I was born, its the study of the Kabbalah, about which you can easily get basic information these days, just like everything else, from books or online. On the Christian path its Esoteric Christianity (I was in a Gurdjieff/Ouspensky/Nicoll spiritual school for a while). For Moslems, its Sufi (I'm partial to the poetry of Rumi and Khayyam, the tale of Attar...
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Antique Road Show

Posted December 16th, 2010 at 06:14 AM by chas
Updated December 16th, 2010 at 12:15 PM by chas
"The beloved figure of the Monkey King represents the undisciplined human consciousness, whose thoughts and attention meander as they will..."
--Commentary, Journey to the West
(Three volume complete edition
Foreign Language Press, Bejing)

In Xian, the Chinese end of the Silk Road, you stand above a football field worth of 1:1 scale military miniatures, and try to imagine them all painted in every detail of their elaborate period costumes, as they once were in their glory--each sculpted with the unique face of an actual individual. You take in the fact that this huge field is only one of several. The rest still lie buried underground, guarding the forbidden tomb of the legendary First Emperor of the Chin. Now, that was a figure collector! Later this city was Chang An, the capital of the cultured Tang Dynasty, and this era is dramatized as you sit in the People's Hall of Severe Communism, watching a staging of Sun Wukong's attack in the undersea...
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The Spark

Posted December 14th, 2010 at 10:25 AM by chas
Updated January 22nd, 2015 at 08:37 PM by chas
by Chas

"Is is real, or is it a legend?"
"Oh, its a real legend!"
--Wandering Minstrel,
Avatar, The Last Air Bender

Many year ago, I was washing my hands in a men's room when a formally dressed fellow appeared at the next sink over, finishing up his own business, and asked me what I was doing in an almost empty building on an off hour. I was actually performing one of a series of 30 minute original radio plays about the life of the major Greek cultural hero Theseus on the Greek radio station COSMOS FM down the hall.

I'd met a fellow student in a story telling class at the New York Open Center who hosted his own show, and, since he'd asked me to return after the first one, was in the process of reformatting from a simple one person narration to shows with question and answer discussions following each episode, which would eventually have a regular cast, accompanying music, and other...
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