dimanche 27 mai 2018

The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle.

Christopher Hitchens 
Here is another analogy, one that has been used before. Fling your arms wide in an expansive gesture to span all of evolution from its origin at your left fingertip today at your right fingertip. All the way across your midline to well past your right shoulder, life consists of nothing but bacteria. Many-celled, invertebrate life flowers somewhere around your right elbow. The dinosaurs originate in the middle of your right palm, and go extinct around your last finger joint. The whole story of Homo sapiens and our predecessor Homo erectus is contained in the thickness of one nail-clipping. As for recorded history; as for the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Jewish patriarchs, the dynasties of Pharaohs, the legions of Rome, the Christian Fathers, the Laws of the Medes and Persians which never change; as for Troy and the Greeks, Helen and Achilles and Agamemnon dead;as for Napoleon and Hitler, the Beatles and Bill Clinton, they and everyone that knew them are blown away in the dust from one light stroke of a nail-file.

Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow
Mysteries do not lose their poetry when solved. Quite the contrary; the solution often turns out more beautiful than the puzzle and, in any case, when you have solved one mystery you uncover others, perhaps to inspire greater poetry

Richard Dawkins
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 
Through the unknown, unremembered gate 
When the last of earth left to discover 
Is that which was the beginning; 
At the source of the longest river 
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for 
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always– 
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded 
Into the crowned knot of fire 
And the fire and the rose are one.

There’s only one place to find the peace we want. And each of us is capable of finding it. The secret, is silence. Peace is found in silence, because silence is home. Silence is where truth resides. Silence is where God speaks. It’s not easy to put this idea into words, as words are so rudimentary. Words tell only part of the story. We have to discover these things for ourselves. We have to make room for our own silence. To go beyond the chatter in our mind. To reach the mind beyond the mind.

Dan Pedersen

L'Arbre de Diane
Alejandra Pizarnik

Pour une minute de brève vie
unique les yeux ouverts
pour une minute le temps de voir
dans le cerveau de petites fleurs
dansant comme des mots dans la bouche d’un muet

elle se dépouille au paradis
de sa mémoire
elle méconnaît le destin féroce
de ses visions
elle a peur de ne pas savoir nommer
ce qui n’existe pas

Elle saute la chemise en flammes
d’étoile en étoile
d’ombre en ombre.
Elle meurt d’une mort lointaine
celle qui aime le vent.

Présence d'ombre

Quelqu'un parle. Quelqu'un me dit.
Extraordinaire le silence de cette nuit.
Quelqu'un porjette son ombre sur le mur de ma chambre.
Quelqu'un me regarde avec mes yeux qui ne sont pas les miens.
Elle écrit comme une lampe qui s'éteint, elle écrit comme une lampe qui s'allume. Elle marche en silence. La nuit est une vieille femme la tête pleine de fleurs. La nuit n'est pas la fille préférée de la reine folle.
Elle marche en silence vers la profondeur la fille des rois.
De démence la nuit, de temps nul. de mémoire la nuit, d'ombres toujours.

street art, sticker, downtown Montreal 2018

samedi 26 mai 2018

Memoir of a Murderer (2017)

No matter what men pretend, they are only one accidental bite away from utter fallibility.

Ernest Becker
Shirley Baker • Manchester 1966
Resist USA and support north Korea to save neighbors and ourselves

En Géorgie, à la frontière avec la Turquie, se dresse la forteresse de Souram dont les murs ne cessent de se lézarder et de s'écrouler et qui selon la prophétie ne pourra être achevée que si un jeune homme se fait emmurer vivant dans ses fondations... 

Le réalisateur (Sergueï Paradjanovest d'abord envoyé en camp de travail puis déplacé dans une prison ukrainienne où il est maintenu en "régime sévère" jusqu'à sa libération en décembre 1977. Pendant cette période d'enfermement, il écrit une vingtaine de scénarios et surtout il s'adonne à la peinture, aux collages, à la fabrication de costumes, d'objets et ce sont plus de six cent créations qu'il réalise pendant ces années d'internement. Il anime également des ateliers pour les détenus, les initie à l'art et à la création, et c'est tout cela, associé à une foi grandissante, qui l'aide à traverser l'enfer.

Après sa libération, Paradjanov survit en vendant des objets personnels et grâce au soutien d'amis et de voisins. Il ne peut plus exercer son métier de cinéaste car il n'est plus officiellement considéré comme réalisateur par les autorités ; et lorsqu'un studio d'Erevan accepte courageusement de produire l'un de ses projets, le ministère fait pression pour que celui-ci soit abandonné. Sa seule réalisation est une "ciné lettre" personnelle, Le Signe du temps, qu'il tourne en solitaire en 1979. Il est à nouveau arrêté en février 1982 à Tbilissi pour une accusation de pot-de-vin. Il est blanchi en novembre de la même année et libéré mais pendant quatre années encore les portes des studios lui restent fermées. C'est finalement grâce à l'appui du Premier secrétaire du Parti Communiste géorgien, Edouard Chevarnadzé, qu'il parvient enfin à tourner un nouveau film co-réalisé avec son fidèle ami Dodo Abachidzé, La Légende de la forteresse de Souram, mettant ainsi fin à quinze années d'ostracisme.

jeudi 24 mai 2018

« The effusion of interpretations of art today poisons our sensibilities. In a culture whose already classical dilemma is the hypertrophy of the intellect at the expense of energy and sensual capability, interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art » (Sontag, Against Interpretation [1966], 2009, p. 7).

« What is important now is to recover our senses : we must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more » (ibid., p. 14).

mercredi 23 mai 2018

lundi 21 mai 2018

Hasta la Victoria, no cry !

Mona Hatoum, So Much I Want to Say, 1983
watch on Vimeo
The lowest, the most downtrodden, the most miserable of Shikastans will watch the wind moving a plant, and smile; will plant a seed and watch it grow; will stand to watch the life of the clouds. Or lie pleasurably awake in the dark, hearing wind howl that cannot — not this time — harm him where he lies safe. This is where strength has always welled, irrepressibly, into every creature of Shikasta.

Doris Lessing, Shikasta
Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else could you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place …. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that does not make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.

Richard Dawkins
I am neither the mind, intellect, ego nor memory,
neither the ears nor the tongue nor the senses of smell and sight,
neither ether, air, fire, water or earth.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.
I am neither virtue nor vice, neither pleasure nor pain,
neither mantra nor sacred place, neither scripture nor sacrifice.
I am neither the food nor the eater nor the act of eating.
I am consciousness and bliss.
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

I am beyond all things.
I am everlasting, self-luminous,
taintless, and completely pure.
I am immovable, blissful, and imperishable.

I am without thought, without form.
I am all pervasive, I am everywhere, yet I am beyond all senses.
I am neither detachment nor salvation nor anything that could be
I am consciousness and bliss. 
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Atma-Shatakam / Nirvana Shatakam
The Song of the Self
by Adi Shankara
788-820 CE
There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.

Ray Bradbury Farenheit 451
Rowena Morrill (1977)

dimanche 20 mai 2018

Abdel Kader Haidara at home among full of ancient manuscripts chests rescued from the library in Timbuktu.
Abdel Kader Haidara saved thousands of books from Al-Qaeda and ISIS

National Geographic. 
The Timbuktu Wells where the Tuareg climb down the hand carved staircases to the muddy waters at the bottom of the well.  Shot in December 1993 while crossing the Sahara desert north to south.
Hundreds of skulls line the floor of a Dogon sacred burial cave used to hold the remains of ancestors and respected elders. A hogan, or spirtitual elder, sits at the cave’s entrance, overlooking his village in the Bandiagara Cliffs of southern Mali, West Africa

National Geographic
The remarkable thing about Orwell is this: he’s not a genius. He lived only 46 years; he never went to university; he never had a steady job, he never usually had a steady publisher. He will never be forgotten because he managed to disprove imperialism, Stalinism, and fascism in one lifetime. He made imperishable raids on its territory that no one’s ever going to forget, all of the time ill, all of the time poor. It shows how much a person of average integrity and intelligence and education can make, if they have a little courage and a little intellectual honesty.
Having been among the bullies and among the bullied at different times of his life, Orwell had an innate understanding of what Nietzsche called the “master-slave” relationship. He knew that there are guilty thrills to be obtained from domination, and he also realized what few people fully appreciate– that there are also guilty thrills to be had from subjecting and abasing oneself. Animal Farm and 1984 can be read, independently of their time and place, as a strong preventative medicine against the mentality of servility, and especially against the lethal temptation to exchange freedom for security: a bargain that invariably ends up with the surrender of both

Christopher Hitchens on George Orwell
We can always be sure of one thing—that the messengers of discomfort and sacrifice will be stoned and pelted by those who wish to preserve at all costs their own contentment. This is not a lesson that is confined to the Testaments.

Christopher Hitchens

samedi 19 mai 2018

Peter Ralston - the Book of Not Knowing

Monkeys are superior to men in this: 
when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.

everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.

[Aldous Huxley] compared the brain to a ‘reducing valve’. In ordinary perception, the senses send an overwhelming flood of information to the brain, which the brain then filters down to a trickle it can manage for the purpose of survival in a highly competitive world. Man has become so rational, so utilitarian, that the trickle becomes most pale and thin. It is efficient, for mere survival, but it screens out the most wondrous part of man’s potential experience without his even knowing it. We’re shut off from our own world.
I went to see the Beatles last month… And I heard 20,000 girls screaming together at the Beatles… and I couldn’t hear what they were screaming, either… But you don’t have to… They’re screaming Me! Me! Me! Me!… I’m Me!… That’s the cry of the ego, and that’s the cry of this rally!… Me! Me! Me! Me!… And that’s why wars get fought… ego… because enough people want to scream Pay attention to Me… Yep, you’re playing their game…

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test