Table from the BFA Exhibition

Table from the BFA Exhibition
Table from the BFA Exhibition © 1999 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting
This Work was one of several in a series I created for my BFA exhibition back in 1999. The BFA show was based on images from my dreams that I tried to remember via a dream journal/sketchbook. I’m not exactly sure what the symbol on the paper that the hands are holding means, but it was a part of the dream that I remember in detail, along with the composition of the painting including that window in the distance that sort of backlit the room, making it difficult to make out the details of the features on the individuals in the meeting room. The framing of the room is odd looking as the walls don’t seem to match up, but that too was a part of the dream.

In many of my dreams the architecture and location of images in a composition I see in detail seem to have some sort of deep and profound meaning to me. At the time that I created the BFA show I was studying Carl Jung’s theories on dream archetypes. I believe that both a location in a dream as well as the individuals can become archetypes. That is why we have dreams that are located in the same, or very similar settings multiple times throughout our lifetime.

I do not practice magic or the black arts (well at least not directly even though art creation itself is a bit of a magical act in some ways), but do sometimes read about these things as they interest me somewhat since they are sort of related to psychology and art history, both of which are topics I have a lot of interest in…

I think that new age ideas about astral kingdoms created via meditation practices are directly related to lucid dreaming techniques that we all experience at some point in our lives and that the architecture, objects, and figures (archetypes) we see and interact with in our dreams can play somewhat of a major role in the worldview and in that way can psychologically help us alter the world around us… but it’s not truly ‘magic’ – it’s psychological manipulation and self therapy techniques that can alter the way we think about the world as the objects, places, and things in our dreams are really our subconscious thought patterns communicating with our conscious brain, picking up patterns and connections that we may never have noticed before, allowing us to become aware of things in a new light that we have not seen them before consciously, etc. Dreams can and do play a role in our waking world realities every day whether we acknowledge it or not.

#legacy

#legacy
If you don’t want stuff online – don’t put it online… If you enjoy life as a curmudgeon with no social interaction with anyone on the internet, stay offline. If you enjoy life, sharing, and friendship, go ahead and get online and share your life stories with everyone.

In other words, SOCIAL NETWORKS exist for BEING SOCIAL…

If you don’t like your pics shared on facebook, don’t put them on facebook and other websites, including but not limited to studio photos websites, youtube, photo sharing sites, etc.. If you want them shared, put them online. If you want to privately share them with one individual, email exists… Anything on facebook has a link to share next to it, even if your privacy setting is set to private – SO DON’T THINK SOME SILLY LITTLE PRIVACY SETTING WILL MAKE THINGS COMPLETELY PRIVATE AND NEVER PUBLIC – doing so you are fooling yourself — much like someone who wants to protect their money by putting it in a pillow case or something – that’s the first place people look… If you do put them on websites and want to limit who can see them, password protect them and only share the password with who you want to see them… however, after they lose the password, or you do, don’t expect to ever see them again since they are basically buried in an online dusty ol closet… from dust to dust… photos that are never seen are no good since art exists only when there is a viewer of what is created. Photos never seen are like phone calls that are made in to a cell phone that is turned off. Even passwords are not 100% effective in protecting things… ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET IS CONNECTED TO SOMETHING ELSE ON THE INTERNET… As long as there is anything online it can potentially be seen by someone someday. It may take a hacker a little while to get your password figured out, but someday, as long as the server exists and someone can try to get it they will get at it… for some breaking passwords is much like solving crossword puzzles… it’s a hobby. Your little password isn’t going to stop someone that really wants what your password is protecting, just like a glass window isn’t going to stop a burglar from breaking in even if it has a siren on it.

Matthew 5:15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. …. When lamps are put under beds or in dusty old closets they tend to burn blankets, clothes, etc. after a while. All photography is a form of capturing light… lights typically come from light sources such as lamps. This little light of mine – I’m gonna make it shine…

One reason that I like things to be public is because it’s kind of nice to know that someone someday may see that I existed here that may never have known of me before… a legacy is created… words of wisdom passed on to next generations. Images of our lives are made to have a meaning that is passed on down in our culture hundreds of years from now after the hard drive on whatever computer I’m using today is long dead and gone… but backups of photos and statements and ideas are all out there on multiple servers backed up for the many or even just one to eventually find.

If the afterlife does not exist (I think it might just exist personally, but sometimes I, like everyone else question it), all we have is this life. It’s a short, fragile thing… It’s definitely worth sharing with others, don’t you think? Have you started creating your legacy yet? Isn’t it time?

inspiration: theosophy

http://theosophy.org/

http://www.phx-ult-lodge.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosophy

http://www.katinkahesselink.net/his/theosophy-art.html

http://albertis-window.blogspot.com/2011/05/mondrians-evolution.html

http://www.schikelgruber.net/art/mondrian.html

http://www.radford.edu/rbarris/art428/MondriananddeStijl.html

Modrian's Evolution

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd-hp.htm

BFA Show – Comic


Comic
Oil on Canvas
© 1999, Jeff Thomann

This image was one of the 3′ x 3′ works I did for my BFA show. This, along with the other images in the show were derived from dream imagery. I had started several dream journals in college, and the images for this show were painted versions of some of the images from those journals.

Capturing dreams in a journal is not always easy. I ‘cheated’ a little some of the time that I was doing these images since I had to come up with some of the dreams to put in to the paintings. I did this by sleeping with the lights on and covering my eyes when I slept, and I kept the sketchbooks and journals next to me within an arms length of where I was sleeping, and would start writing as soon as I awoken from a dream. Covering the eyes while the lights were one forced me to remember the dreams as I awoke when the light hit me eyes. However, I had to work quickly to put the dreams down in the book as quickly as possible before my conscious waking mind took over the subconscious train of thought and started putting too much ‘real world’ left brained stuff in to the images and cause/effect relationships and stories beyond what the dream actually contained that I was trying to capture. You have a very short span of time to do that sort of thing if you dream journal as the waking mind sort of takes over within 5-10 minutes or so after you wake up.

There is a lot I learned about dreams in doing this. My dreams are very much based on architectural ideas and archetypes. Many times multiple people in real life will join in to one being in a dream… creating a construct of sorts.. and these archetypes/constructs play roles. Dreams really do have a meaning and reflection that comes from the waking world, and there is a method to them. If you every try to dream journal, you can learn this methodology and the meaning behind the dreams. Most dream interpretation books are way off. It’s much much more personal than any of those can every really get to the real reality of because every person’s personal archive of images that they draw upon from their own waking lives is unique to them… I might make more posts about this in the future. There is a LOT to dream journaling.

On the Road

Photobucket
On the Road
Oil on Canvas
© 1999, Jeff Thomann

For a while in college I was fascinated by the idea of driving and the metaphor of how the car becomes a part of one’s self – an extension of the inner self in a variety of ways. Much of my art since that time has revolved around the idea of the journey, and seeing the landmarks on the road we see daily both in cars and outside of them. Roads that parallel highways and exit ramps and overpasses – tunnels to new places, and exits and entries on the highway of life fascinate me both visually, spiritually, and emotionally. We are all on journeys every day. Do we take the time to see what we are passing or just let it pass us by?

The strange philosophy of EA and AE.

I’m not really sure I even want to post this, but think it’s something worth posting, and thinking about… This post will be edited later and more will likely be added since there’s a lot to talk about here…

EA was the diety of water

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ea_(Babylonian_god)

AE is a breathy sound that is very similar to what seems to be the way Yahweh is pronounced.  Yahweh is the name of God in the Jewish and Christian Religions…  The ‘breathe of life’ has a lot to do with this idea too. 

Both EA AND AE are very similar to sounds that man makes when he is urinating or defecating… ???…  the sound of the A at the end seems like it may be closer to the sound that comes when someone is breathing out while urinating and the E at the end the sound that is closer to what someone is making when straining to make a bowel movement?…  interesting connection – eh?

In Buddhism and other Eastern religions the ideas of breathing has a lot to do with a lot of things, and the idea of chi has a lot to do with it too… the idea is that Chi is stored inside of an area near the stomache – coincidence?

Adam was the ‘universal man.’  Surely the universal man occassionally had some flatulance, especially if he was eating apples sometimes.

Some new age ideas evolve around the idea that the sound MI (you know the sound after Do Rand RE in the musical scale) has some religious/philosophical/healing powers.  This is a tone/pitch that could be related to both EA and AE in some cases..?

The hoax/rumor/myth of Jabulon that’s online is an story about how freemasons tried to connect JAH, BAAL, and ON, i.e. Jah as in Yahweh (Jewish God), Baal (Lord/Master the Phoenician/Cannanite God) , and Osiris (Egyptian God)… it’s mostly false according to online sources… but it’s just an interesting idea that could be applied here… maybe all religions all basically have the same beginnings?

As the pressure is released the feeling of relief that comes may be what the original originators of the religions were inspired by and amplified as their thoughts of gods?

Blashemy?  Maybe… interesting connection/coincidence – maybe?  Just something to think about…

God be with you.

Assertive Bill of Rights:

Assertive Bill Of Rights (from When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith):

I have the right to be the ultimate judge of my own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon myself.
I have the right to offer no reasons or excuses to justify my behavior.
I have the right to judge whether I am responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.
I have the right to change my mind.
I have the right to make mistakes – and to be responsible for them.
I have the right to say, “I don’t know.”
I have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
I have the right to make decisions without using logic.
I have the right to say, “I don’t understand.”
I have the right to say, “I don’t care.”

Basic Principles of The Artist’s Way:

BASIC PRINCIPLES
1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy, pure creative energy.
2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life — including ourselves.
3. When we open oursleves to our creativity, we open ourselves to The Creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is conter to our true nature.
7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction
8. As we open our creative channel to The Creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

CREATIVE AFFIRMATIONS
1. I am a channel for God’s creativity, and my work comes to good.
2. My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them.
3. As I create and listen, I will be led.
4. Creativity is The Creator’s will for me.
5. My creativity heals myself and others.
6. I am allwed to nurture my artist.
7. Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.
8. Through the use of my creativity, I serve God.
9. My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
10. My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
11. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
12. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
13. As I listen to the creator within, I am led.
14. As I lisetn to my creativity I am led to my creator.
15. I am willing to create.
16. I am willing to learn to let myself create.
17. I am willing to let God create through me.
18. I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
19. I am willing to experience my creative energy.
20. I am willing to use my creative talents.

5 basic skills of drawing (from The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards)
1. The perception of edges
2. The perception of spaces
3. The perception of relationships
4. The perception of lights and shadows
5. the perception o fthe whole, or gestalt

6 and 7 are for Art with a capital A.
6. drawing from memory
7. drawing from imagination

In order to gain access to the subdominant visual, perceptual R-mode of the brain, it is necessary to present the brain with a job that the verbal, analytical L-mode will turn down!

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Over the last few days, I’ve decided to start getting organized again and make more plans on how to get motivated and move forward in my life and in my art.

The cgtalk forum thread over at
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 got me thinking, and as I noted over there, I’m starting to work with a few notebooks and sketchooks now.

I started the Artists Way again, and am at least trying to do the Morning Pages again. I had given up on that a month or two back because my allergies were really hurting me a lot, so making the time to get up earlier in the morning then necessary to write down the 3 handwritten pages needed for that every day was too much.

We also were going through some personal crises type of things recently that was having big emotional impact on me… My mother-in-law passed away April 10th and her funeral was on the 14th. In the last couple of years my wife has lost her mom, dad, and last living grandparent as well as a six month second cousin who she never got a chance to meet that now rests in peace next to her mother and grandmother. All of these tragedies make me realize how fragile life is an how short it is, and how important it is that I start following the Artist’s Way more strictly since, as the book discusses, it really is ‘selfish’ to have talents and skills and not share them with the world or take the time to perfect those skills and talents as a gift to myself and those around me, even if it does cost a bit to do so in the form of art materials, etc.

I’ve started a notebook that is acting sort of like a diary and daily planner type of thing like the one described at http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 and http://studium.tobiasdeml.com/2011/04/02/making-your-life-more-efficient-than-ever-before-the-notebook-battleplan/
I’ve also started a second notebook that is a to do list similar to the one listed at http://www.erica.biz/2010/getting-things-done/.

As mentioned at http://advancedphotosolutions.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-you-need-grimoire.html we all need to do this sort of thing, especially if we focus on technical things like art, computer programming, game development, and hacking, all of which are sort of niche areas that I have some interest in on some levels.

The calander/diarly/battleplan book is sort of a daily summary thing so far, where I’m keeping small notes on mostly everything I’m doing that is of some importance in my life daily and out of the ordinary. This is sort of a reflection guide that tells me what I’ve done and when I’ve done it that will come in handy later since the calander part of it you do forwards to backwards and then back and forth… so each page has dates that are months apart so you can sort of mentally review what you did earlier that year or last year and keep your mind fresh and clear on where you’ve been so you know where you are going…

The Morning Pages notebook I’m doing is just a bunch of loose leaf papers in a 3 ring binder I keep on the coffee table and I enter 3 handwritten pages in the mornings. If I just ‘have’ to sleep in an hour I only do one half page or one page as time permits before work. I don’t try to sleep in much, but if I had too much caffiene the night before, or allergies are extra-ordinarily bad that caused me to loose sleep, or stomache is upset or loud neighbors disturbed rem time, I’m not oppossed to skipping the morning pages and just doing a shorter version since it’s all about getting healthy and wealthy on a lot of emotion and psychological levels, and you can’t be too healty or wealthy if you are lacking sleep…Eventually if that 3 ring binder is full, I might either bind the pages in some other way (likely using leather, yarn or something, or just buy another 3 ring binder… Plan on doing this the rest of my life essentially, so it’ll take up a lot of room over time I suspect.

The TO DO list is something new that I’ve not done before. I used to do to do lists in excel and notepad some for daily and weekly stuff, but never one that I wrote out by hand and updated every day. I’m finding that writing the stuff down and actually crossing it off as I do it gives a nice sense of accomplishment, and a motiviation to actually do what I put down there every day in the morning after I do the Morning pages… I want to get really detailed with this to do list and add all sorts of various technical things in it eventually every day. That way it’ll act sort of as a grimoire type of thing along with the daily calander/battleplan book.

I’ve also got a couple of voice recorders. I bought them several years back to record sounds when I was getting in to 3d animation a little in 2005 or so, but never did much with them. Now I pack them with the ‘manbag’ type of laptop case I carry with me everywhere to record notes to myself on the way to or from work and also to just do various sounds. Sound driver on computer is glitchy though, so can’t always listen to what I record there… Need to fix that eventually but not sure how. I DO NOT CARRY A LAPTOP with me ever, so don’t even think about trying to steal it from me if you see the laptop bag. All that I carry with me is a paper notebook, a cheapo mp3 player and a cheapo voice recorder in there, and somedays a cheapo digital camera somedays, lol.

Over time I might scan these various notebooks and put them online somewhere at least as backup… Also might buy myself some more external hard drives (only got one small one right now) to save backups to and actually keep one at my parents house that I’ll do backups to on a monthly basis or something going fowards.

All this writing and organization is helping me think clearer and be organized. The morning pages sort of ‘clear my mind’ in the morning. The other two notebooks help me ‘clearly define my daily goals’ and keep track of what goals I’m getting done and not getting done daily so I can become more productive as an artist and guide myself towards where I want to and need to be.

If I’m not doing all this, which is the way I used to be, my mind becomes unclear on what I need to do and when I need to do it, so I would find myself watching forums and emails or youtube and movie channels for hours without being productive. I’m probably one of the few people that call myself a painter but have not painted or sketched a lot in years… Hopeing to change that… Hoping to do small skill challenges and things to increase my skills in drawing and painting to where they were back in college, if not go beyond that level, far beyond it… to the professional level I want to be at, and that I know I can be at with a little practice… daily practices… practices that will be in that to do list that I will actually do and cross off as I do them! 🙂

I do plan to buy acid free sketchbooks too, but that, along with other art expenses will be something I’ll tackle one thing at a time… Art materials don’t have to be super expensive, and to do lists and stuff like this don’t need to be on acid free paper since scanners exist. The old me would have just not suited for anything but acid free sketchbook paper, but that’s silly and way too darn expensive just for writing stuff like the morning pages and to do lists…

The Artist’s way

A couple of weeks ago one of my friends on Facebook posted about the difficulty of doing a week with no media because she was working through the Artist’s way. It was very ironic because Facebook is a form of media. Anyways, that sounded like something interesting to me, and is something I had vaguely remembered seeing or hearing about some many years ago somewhere… so I went to Banes and Noble and bought the The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice.

It’s actually 3 books in one, but the first book is a 12 step process that you are to do one chapter of weekly, but according to the forums some do it in more then one week per chapter or even a month a chapter, etc. It’s a very cool process. The first chapter deals with doing “morning pages” and “artist dates” where you have to write 3 pages out every morning to sort of clear the mind of thoughts that sit and hinder your creativity unless you get them out somehow, and going out somewhere to explore the art world around you for inspiration about an hour or more a week.

It is a neat little process, and it’s been about a week since I started this. I am looking forward to working through the rest of the process.

Find out more about all of it over at http://theartistsway.com/

a dream…

I think this is the first time I’ve ever used this blog to record a dream. I used to keep dream journals way back in college, but didn’t keep them much after college for some reason. Anyways – the dream I had, which is why I’m now up — Tekla and I were in a small dorm room type of apartment. There was some rustling out in the hallway. Peeking out the door, which was not locked, I saw several people that lived in the apartments down the hall and across from us there in the hallway… looking down… near the bottom of the doorway, just outside of the door, there was a couple of the younger people in the group of about 8 or so handling a number of squiggling worms. I felt highly offended because it seemed as though they were trying to put the worms under the door to let them in to our room/apartment. There was some sort of fear about squishing the worms since some were black and some were nromal pinkish colored earthworms. … so they might be poisonous on some level?

The reason I awoke – after we thought we’d killed them all, and the college aged kids out in the hall had left, and we had gone back to bed, one of the half dead ones that had been flung on the floor inside of the apartment in the scuffle was still moving, and a blackish furry one that looked like a catepiller sort of had crawled on my back, near my shoulder blades… this was reality kicking in with dreams because when I awoke, laying on my side, I was having problems breathing, and could feel tingling sensations in my upper back, neck and shoulder blade areas. The place with the most tingling was where that darn worm was crawling in the dream.

I usually cannot remember dreams, but when I awake from dreams due to physical reasons like this, I do sometimes remember them. In college in order to facilitate remembering dreams more often then I normally could do, I would sleep with the lights on, and cover my eyes, or block the light from them with little blanket mountains near my head. The instant transformation from dark to light would caused shock of awakening the concious mind enough that it was able to capture the main elements of the subconsious dream, but I had to write darn fast to make the real elements of the dreams appear on the dream journal — waiting seconds too long would allow the now highly active conscious mind to make up details of the dream that were not really in the dream, but are logical enough they could have plausibly been in there… a half a minute or so is all this would take to happen before the “new brain” would cover the details the “old brain” made in the dream so to speak. … keeping dream journals as I did in college helped me to realize that dreams are really the subconscious mind playing around with elements of reality, whether it is various images and scenes actually seen, or the physical reality of pain in slumber — an emergency 911 type of call to the self from the unconscious mind for self protection to keep the self from going in to cardiac arrest, etc.

…………
Today (actually yesterday now that it’s after 1 am) I was reading about Jung and Freud a bit. Jung’s idea(s) about individualism are similar to the idea of the Holy Guardian Angel/seeking the true self in various religions/and Imago idea in Harville Hendrix’s books that I mentioned in this blog before somewhat.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/1452091/CARL-JUNG

Jung’s idea about the psychic unconscious and the future, etc. is something I remember having a bit of a keen interest in when I took psychology class in college. It’s that weird element of religion, mythology, psychology, art, alchemy, and other things that is somewhat similar to a lot of ideas/themes, etc. that roll around in my head sometimes that draws me towards sort of identifying with him on a lot of different levels.

Some of the links I have on facebook posted tonight and links in delicious from the last few days are about art therapy, psychology, and a really interesting Nam June Paik reading in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art book that I like to read a lot now and then to get in to the mindset behind what a lot of various artists have done/where thinking about at various times when they created art. The Art and Satellite (1984) reading is the one I’m talking about. Lots of interesting things in there…

at one point it says, “There is no rewind button on the betamax of life. An important event takes place only once. The free deaths (of Socrates, Christ, Bo Yi and Shu Qu) that became the foundations for the morality of three civilizations occurred only once.”

Then it goes on to talk about how art in the future will need to integrate various parts of the world like satellites do sort of… electronic signals bouncing around connecting different parts of the world, in the same way that electric signals in neurons bouncing around in our brains and bodies make us work… a hodge podge of pieces working together in cohesivly.

That’s a pretty deep sort of thing to think about… sort of reminds me of the weird idea of the thetan alien germs bouncing around in what I read about scientology and posted about here before on some level.

The truth is I think we all are somewhat connected… with ourselves in the conscious/unconscious way and with others on some levels, which might be psychic on some levels.

I remember reading something in some literature class once about how the indians see the same stories played over and over throughout time… same story a different take on it with different characters all doing the same thing – that’s the sort of stuff I think Jung was talking/thinking about… it’s something we can all relate to as a sort of unconscious collective. It’s something that makes the blogsphere go round… It’s something that keeps news channels full of stories 24/7. It’s something that makes us all relate to one another empathically. It’s something that keeps religions going.

We all want to feel the connections and connectivity between ourselves, our world, and our conscious and unconscious minds. We are not single beings, but multiple parts working together as a single being, so who is to say God isn’t somewhat similar — or maybe God’s dreaming state is like that… which is our entire universe/multiverse/megaverse… maybe Buddhist/Zen has it right and reality is just a dream. I think there is a bit more to it then that, but that line of thought is somewhat similar to what I think Jung was grasping at… and it is somewhat similar to what Nam June Paik was getting at too…

we all are interrellated and see the diamond that is the world from different angles. War does not have to happen any more then people have to hit themselves in self-mutilation when they are thinking thoughts that betray their religion, etc.

The harmony and peace of coexistence is something we should strive for within ourselves and our worldwide society. Constant bickering and disagreement are ok… it’s ok to agree to disagree. What is not ok is when you try to force your ideas on others. You cannot control the other, nor should you. Even those imprisoned have their own brians, own thoughts, own reality that is different then the reality the prison guard is trying to enforce upon them. If we would all start thinking about this sort of stuff more, maybe the amount of wars in the world would decrease. Maybe the violence and idiocy would lower…

Maybe there could be real world peace like Jesus was striving for, like Socrates hinted at, etc. Maybe we can stop the hatred, violence, and people trying to find themselves but doing so in silly ways by trying to push their ideas on others and come to a real harmonious concensus…

I know, I know… lots of typos here… keep in mind is’t 1:30 now and I’m tired and trying to think all of this through, lol. I might put some of my old dream journaling on this blog someday, but am not sure if I will or not. Anyways, I guess I’ll try to go to bed now. Lots of interesting stressful things coming up later today/this morning at work… stuff I need a little more rem time to get between now and then in order to be able to deal with it in a logical manner..

Good night/morning. Have a great day. Stop trying to push your thoughts on to others. Part of the focus of art is to leave things open to interpretation on some level. Just because you see things your way does not mean your mind about it won’t be changed a bit later on, or that you have the whole picture.. so stop trying to push your interpretation of things off on others as the only true and right way to see it.

Imago/HGA/Thetans

Over in my delicious links blog at http://mastermesh.wordpress.com I’ve recently posted quite a few links related to Mormonism, the occult, and a few other things that are related…

In thinking about all of that, I think there’s a lot of similarities…

In psychology, one area of relationship therapy studies the idea of the “Imago” is the subconcious ultimate love in your life, which was created through various psychic wounds you received over your youth which actually causes you to seek out a lover that has certain traits similar to those that wounded you the most in the past, mostly when you were a child, but also at any time in your life, which usually is why people seek out lovers with similar traits to their parents – who is the most caring relationship they’ve had, but also the most damaging on some levels.

I propose that the Imago and the Holy Guardian Angel idea in magic are really sort of one in the same. This also has to do with self esteem on some levels. Some claim the HGA is seperate from the self – which is just like the Imago, and that connecting with the HGA one gains control over the self – which is just like the HGA and Imago idea. Some also claim that there is a “higher self” in magic involved which is similar to HGA but seperate and more based on the magician changing themselves rather then talking to the HGA. That has to do, I think, with the ego and self-esteem in psychology. Magic isn’t really all that magical. Scientology’s cleansing thetans in order to gain control of one’s life and moving to a higher level is not much different of an idea then cleansing the mind’s of past psychological wounds – gaining control of the self, or any other religion’s various similar topics.

Scientology claims to hate psychology, but ultimately, they seem to have the same exact goal – cleansing the mind to gain control of the self. Magic and really just about every other religion on the face of the earth seems to have the same sort of goal – gaining control of the self to get in to contact with the higher self, which should be the real self. It’s the same whether it’s following the commandments Moses obtained, following Islamic law, cleansing the Thetan aliens from the self (which are really sort of like alien “sin” germs), seeking enlightenment through the Lightbringer in Freemasonry, wrapping yourself up as a mummy to live forever in your own temple as the ancient Egyptians did, seeking cleansing through confession as Catholics do, seeking others on the internet who share your ideas as the Brights and freethinkers do, seeking ways to get to Kolob’s holy light as Mormons do, or seeking to overcome real or imagined demons in order to talk to the Holy Guardian Angel so that you can gain control over the self and seeking your true self…

Walking the dog in the morning.

In the mornings when I walk our dog, it is a peacefully quite and serene time. The rest of the world is not fully awake. Some lights are always on though, even if the sun is not up yet shining in it’s glory. In many ways I feel as though I am walking through an Edward Hopper painting. It’s a peaceful calm, yet there is still some movement – some signs of life.

There are many small shops in the town we live in, and I walk past the display windows. Some businesses keep their lights on to deter crime. Others are completely dark. It is interesting to peer in to the windows of these closed shops as I stroll by with my four legged companion. I sometimes take a digital camera with me to shoot the display windows and various interesting patterns that the street lights create. There is an an artful beauty to it all, which many will never witness. That is why I take my photos. There is an entire interesting beauty to it which I’d like to show the world. I see myself, both as a painter and photographer, as someone pointing people in ways that will open their eyes to the beauty around them. Observation is a powerful thing – and it can bring you to recognize your place in the world. It can help you understand more of the connections between a variety of things and mankind.

It can help you see the small things that you don’t always notice as you rush past in a fast paced hurry to get to the next thing so that you can sit and wait, sit and wait, sit and wait until it is time to hurry again to the next pointless thing you will do, whether it’s sitting like a couch potato listening to the bobble heads on TV tell you various myths of their false stories which has very little eductational purpose to it other then to fill your head with useless knowledge, going to work daily to do other people’s jobs so that they will pay you money that they obtained in ways that are typically not really honerable underneath it all, or rushing home along paved highways that destroyed the beauty that was once there so you can sit in your house which will not be carried with you in to the next life and watch the 10′ o clock news about the angry protesters fighting a war against a war that should never have been started in the first place but was because no one stood up for the rights of life and compassion at the beginning and just let things rush on and on and on til they got to where we are now as the mindless masses listened to the shouts of the arogant ignorant who were rushing and rushing, never taking the time to stop and think, never taking the time to realize what the powers of creation could do, and instead chose the path of destruction, which has caused entire nations to be destoyed throughout the course of history over and over and over again… Why is it that people like listening to John Lenon songs after a war, but not before it? Something to think about…

I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but it just seems that many times we rush around doing things that ignore our basic essential needs to connect with one another and the world around us. We should make it more of a priority to listen to the birds chirping, watch the river flowing, study the patterns of the tree bark growing, be in awe of the things our ancestors have created that are still visible in the old parts of our cities, see the squirrels running and jumping, watch the grasshoppers, see the ants crawling in the grass that we miss when we walk past this hollowed ground daily, constanly being in a hurry to rush past as fast as possible… constantly hurrying to get to the next place to sit and wait – slaves to our society, obeying the rules that others set up for us, not thinking about how to live our lives the way we want to live them in harmony with nature and our neighbors.

fantasy stuff… role playing… virtual reality… art – back to the basics

I’ve been kicked out of Entropia Universe a few days now since Vista went kaput on my computer and I don’t have a restore cd that works. I hate HP for not putting the restore cd in the box when they ship it out and rely on a hard drive restore that may or may not work when you need it… and then they want you to pay them lots of cash to buy a restore cd that may or may not work since their blasted hardware is junk that relies on partitions on a hard drive that might get corrupted someday (which happened to me I think)…

I am trying to figure out a way to make Entropia Universe work under Linux, but it’s not promising. I got the installer to work fine under Wine, but now need to install Direct X on wine and a few other things, and even then, it still might not work.

In the mean time I’ve been reading some of my old art books, studying some old drawing books more, and also reading a lot of old role playing books and things. Future posts will probably have more scans of my drawings and paintings, but might also have some other more philisophical thoughts, thoughts on role playing, stage lighting, animation, and a number of other things. Being offline in the virtual reality I spend so much time in has started to get me ‘back to the basics’ on a variety of trains of thoughts that I had several years ago and wanted to follow through back then but didn’t because I got too distracted with this other “virtual world”… I enjoy fictional worlds as a means of escaping reality sometimes – but it’s very easy to take it overboard with a super hyper imagination and make that false reality in to your over-arching real reality sometimes… Its something we all do on some level – people think about their soap operas while they work… or maybe their comic books… maybe something else. We all have hobbies, and most of us don’t have the ultimate job that keeps our attention that we love so much that we never think of anything else — anyways, I’m getting back to the basics mentally and physically on a lot of various levels at the moment…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapism

German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere “daydreaming” or “escapism” from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.

you know you are right – and wrong too.

shit nitty pops
sheenennenneybops
shin -n-nine eh pops?

This right here is why
lyrics cannot be done
without some notation…

notation that’s in rotation…

That’s right.

Yeah, yeah.

Sin -n- Nine
eh bops?

Sign and wine
eh pops?

Shit and Knit A Pop.
——————————–
Poems are visual.
Sounds are Lyrical.

Both can be hysterical.

Both can be read wrong
Both can have more than one meaning.

Welcome to the world of the artsy fartsy.

Here we shit and knit a pop
as we bebop
and
Shine and wine

We dine and wine and whine and shine
Studying Sine and why it’s different
then a nine.

Cheshire cat
must still be on attack
this Cinco de Mayo
=============================
Fives and Fives are not nines…
But they might just be a part of sine

Spelled S-I-N.

Is the sin a winning?

Maybe it’s whining…

or it’s wining and a dining?

Tomorrow there’s half a moon
no crescent any more… at least a night…

Maybe Cheshire is whining while logic is dining
and it’s a dying, at least for a night, odd delight…?
==================

It’s no wonder rock stars repeat, and repeat, and rinse and repeat again.
Logic is low jack and there’s no mo jack. Brain’s a burning and a spurning.

=====================

fighting with yourself is hard to do.
You know you are right…
and wrong too…

=====================
Brain fire
It’s a fire in the spire
the wheels are a turning

Bright Light
Flash of brilliance.gone in a minute.

Forgotten and long lost.
That’s why you got to WRITE IT DOWN!

Do it now… you crazy clown.
———————
A bunch of junk that you do thunk
but most gets tossed aside

that is art. Welcome to the far side.
It’s a bit bumpy and a bit lumpy…

It’s that leftover goo
flowing from you that most would like to see.

interesting gel, colorful hell,
maybe a joyous yell.

Creativ-aty
=====================
Dammo in the Jammo
Jibber and a Jabber
What’s going on?

Jinx and the Jonx
conspired a song

a bit of a sock hop
if you will in the
crazy beautiful hills.

Jamma approved
through and through

Rock did roll on-and-on
all through the night
and in to the day.

Mysterio walked
as he talked

on and on – and onandon.

Bab-y-lon did Jah-ba-on.
Jabber on and on –
and on and on

Crazy Arma did get it on.
gooving and a tubin.

They jabbered on and on
and on and on…

but not really…
not uni-verse-sally…

(Sally from the valley)

just locally…

and the groove went on
and on. Near the Warm bonfire
they did chatter and a clatter.

Stay tuned for more
after this commercial break.
======================
bzzz bzzzz bzzzz

nERVEs!

nEurons in ACTION!

eLeCtRoTHeRApY!
IT’S ELECTRIC!

bzzzzzz…

———————

Happy Cinco de Mayo.

Turbo Tapping – Stress Relief – Acupunture without needles…

8/17/2012 update… link below doesn’t work any more… Try this instead:
http://www.garythink.com/eft/eft-tutorial.html=========

Turbo Tapping is an interesting form of stress relief/self hypnosis that I find useful on occassion. It seems sort of silly, but it really does work. I mainly use it to relieve pain in my fingers and hands after typing all week long at work. I do a lot of database stuff at work, so my hands are find on Monday, but by Thursday or Friday, it feels like my fingers are nothing but stubs of pain that are there to do nothing but drive me crazy. It’s pretty sad really, especially since the painful fingers make me not want to do a lot of artwork since drawing, computer animation, painting, and especially sculpture usually requires a lot of work with the hands.

You can read about Turbo Tapping over at http://www.emofree.com/articles/turbo-tapping.htm That article talks about how to overcome addiction with Turbo Tapping. I’ve tried that before, but have found it not to be too effective in that area of my own life, but maybe it’ll work for you. However, I do find that it is a bit of a stress relief and pain relief.

If you choose not to get the free manual over there, like I did about a year or two ago when I first started this stuff, the process is not too hard… it involves tapping at an area on your or another person’s body very lightly and repeatedly, sort of to get an effect like accupuncture, but without the needles… the primary areas, if I remember correctly, listed in the manual are the on the eyebrow – near where it connects to the nose, on the eybrow, near the other end of the eye, just under the eye, just under the nose, just under the lips on the chin, in the middle of the breast plate area, right under the armpit at the edge where it connects to the chest, thumb in the area between the knuckle and the rest of the hand on the side furthest from the other fingers, on the index finger in the same location – just below the knucle and on the side closest to the thumb, middle finger in the same place, then skip the last two fingers and go to the flabby part of the hand on the side where the pinky finger is that’s located half way between the pinky and the wrist on the side opposite from the thumb… and finally don’t tap, but gently rub the area on the top of the hand between the index finger and the ring finger up and down from almost back to the wrist, up to in between those two fingers… reading the manual can get you more info on how to do it all, but that’s the basics of it, or at least the main areas I focus on.

The manual also says that you only need to do one side instead of both since the chi flows even on both sides of the body or something, but I find that after doing the rubbing on the top of the hands, it’s sort of nice to start the whole process over, and this time do the oppossite side – focusing on the eyebrows and hand that you didn’t do the first time, etc.

Also, before you start, if I remember correctly, the manual talked about a “sore spot” that is a tender area on the breast, just about an inch or so above the nipple that you can rub back and forth to get this all started. That and the area on the hand in between ring finger and middle finger are sort of similar locations that you can rub both before and after doing a session to sort of get the blood flowing, or the chi running or whatever the heck you want to call it. Just be careful to avoid weird looks by doing this in private instead of out in the public, lol.

Inspirations – http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/

Clarissa left me a little comment over at https://jeffthomann.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/mall-small-19-drawing/ talking about her friend’s website at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/ so I figured I’d visit and do this Inspirations posting about it. I have not really done many (read any, lol) inspirations postings up til now that have to do with anyone’s art that I did not know about before now. Time to change that, and start exploring the art world in these here intra-web tubes.

As indicated at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/page8.php wordsaroundtown.com is owned by Kevin McCartney Studios.

Kevin appears to be a very good photographer.

The words around town site seems to be made of various pictures that Kevin has taken and converted in to fonts to spell out words.
He’s using the forms he finds in his compositions as letters.

As stated in the site, Kevin has a real enthusiasm about this obscure typographical artform…

The challenge of finding objects around us that we normally pass by everyday without a second glance which look like letters has been exciting and fun!

Finding the hidden beauty in everyday things that we often pass by without a second glance IS, in my opinion one of the great things that exploring art does for people that get in to art.

Finding the invisible forms as Kevin is doing and making it visible is sort of a theme that has run through art for many years. It is an obscure idea that can be traced back to the Surrealist movement, especially in Salvador Dalí’s paintings… but the idea actually goes back a lot further than that.

Trompe-l’œil means “fool the eye” and that phrase is what is best used to describe or categorize this form of art. Actually, almost every form of 2-dimensional work that goes back to the earliest known cave arts is somewhat in this to some degree – since after all making a window out of something that is not a window as paintings do is fooling the eye so to speak.

It’s all about hidden messages or meanings, and really being a keen observer of the world in order to see the form and the way that simple basic design principles can allow multiple things to happen in the same plane.

The idea of bringing the reality of the 2-dimensional canvas of a painting or photograph in to the viewers plain sight so that it’s simple beauty can be observed in and of itself outside of all other rules and principles of creating illusion is a very modern idea that is seen over and over and over again in 20th centrury art. That’s why I say that genres like Cubism, Op-Art, and a lot of other genres that focus on the 2-dimensional existence of the plane in an artwork are MORE REALISTIC than simple little paintings that pretend to be windows showing pretty landscapes or cityscapes that most other people classify as Realistic…

Is it realistic to pretend that the 2 dimensional surface on a wall is something other than a surface on a wall? Sure there can be little pictures in there, just like there is on that flat plane you are looking in to to see these words, or that you will view tonight as you watch Prime Time TV… but isn’t it more realistic to acknowledge that what you are looking at is really a 2 dimensional flat surface?… as Kevin has done by seeing the letters in his photographs?

Some folks even take this sort of idea in photography to a whole different level in the form of Photomosaics… After all, if a photograph is really just a bunch of dots made up of 4 colors, CYMK (Cyan Yellow, Magenta, and blacK), it makes sense that each photo is balanced more towards one of those 4, so it makes sense to use an entire photo as one small element in a larger picture… Actually, given enough time and photos, photomosaic technology could go to a whole new level and allow an infinite amount of images to exist hidden inside of a set of photos… the first level would look like something from space, then as you approach it to the airplane level it would phase and each level as you get closer and closer could phase in to a new image, hidden… only to dissolve as new ones come in to play. The hidden typography that Kevin is searching for is a little different than Photomosaics, but not completely. There is a lot of similarities there – searching for what is hidden in plain view.

It’s strange but all language and all these ideas that get thrown at us daily in these little windows that are not windows are something that connects us all as a society. People from 200 years ago would think we are crazy staring at computers and tvs and spending as much time as we do daily on these devices that are really 2 dimensional boxes producing light. Works like this make people think. They can become kitsch or cliche sometimes if overdone, but they do start to open the mind, and let people begin to question reality itself on some level, which, in my opinion is what all great art should do.

Keep looking for the hidden meanings Kevin. Your typographic photos are amazing. Keep spreading the Love.

A few thoughts about illustration… copyright, trademarks, why “Work-for-hire” is EVIL… and Zombies, or actually Golems Really due exist!

While I say I love illustration, and want to get in to the illustration field, I think it only fair to give you a little bit of background about me, and some of my own personal biases and things about illustration… In the wide world of illustration, usually the client always comes first. The artist does work for the client. The artist creates things, but seeks approval from the client at each step of the process. The preliminary concept art is just thought of as something to hand to the client to seek approval. The client and artist then have a disucssion and talk about things, and go to the next step… and the artist continually changes the idea to be in agreement with what the client is wanting since the client has the ultimate say as the artist is seeking payment for the work from the client.

A little bit of a philisophical problem that I have with that sort of thing, at least in my own works, is that I consider each work of art that is created in every stage of creation as a seperate and unique art form… something that is not just a preliminary work for something later, to be discarded like pretty wrapping paper that is torn apart as a Christmas present is opened. The process of creation has multiple stages. Quick little doodles done in a sketchbook are just as valid as a final work of art as something that’s been re-worked three hundred times by an illustrator or designer that is seeking permission from his or her client.

Another huge issue in all of that is the “work-for-hire” issue. Many clients want illustrators and designers that work for them to consider their work as “work-for-hire.” According to the way contract law works, art that is created as “work-for-hire” is artwork that the client will own the copyright to. In other words, if an artist creates work-for-hire artwork, the artist will have to seek permission from the copyright owner to republish the work that he or she created, and the same thing applies to and “derivitive” work… that is work that is dervived from the original… That puts artists that work in “work-for-hire” contracts in a really sticky situation since they can never use the work for hire stuff unless they get permission again, which might actually end up costing them money, etc. The derivitive issue makes the bad situation even worse because most artist tend to build a sort of visual library in their subconscious that forces works they create later in life to resemble works they created earlier… which is something they could possibly get sued for if the earlier work was a work-for-hire form of art.

For this reason, I’m not sure if I could ever “really” be a full time illustrator. However, I do like the idea of illustrating things, and creating narrative structures, so it’s possible that I might be able to get in to this field sort of. One reason I really am attracted to using Public Domain stuff as the basis of illustration is that the original copyright owner no longer has copyright over that stuff, nor does anyone else… so it’s free game for anyone… However, writers that no longer have copyrights on their books are probably long gone, and so other people probably have created derivitive works of those books and artforms over and over throughout the years, so it leaves the ancient stuff as content that will be difficult to gain any economic profits off of in a direct manner… since dead writers won’t pay anything usually… That’s why I got interested in Cafe Press, Lulu.com and other similar types of places in my exploration of all of this stuff. The internet has created a lot of new little niche areas for many of us to investigate if we want to take the time to get in to it. There’s a lot to explore and play around with in the huge playground of tweaking public domain concepts, ideas, and works, and redistrubting them with our own little additions, changes, etc.

Eventually, if I do get in to making book covers and interior illustrations for Public domain books I will build up a lot of variety and introduce new fresh ideas, in hopes that maybe someday a real writer that is alive today might ask me to do some works for their books, magazine articles, blogs, etc. If that does happen, this whole work-for-hire issue will likely come up down the road. I guess I’ll cross those bridges if/when I get to that point. Regardless, if you create artwork, this IS something you should be thinking about somewhat. There’s a lot to copyright and trademark laws. I don’t claim to be a lawyer, but do know that this sort of stuff can be a major hassle if you don’t think about it before you dive in to a contract or situation similar to a contract that is all done with verbal agreements, etc.

Do you really want to give away your right to be creative?!?… Just something to think about.

A similar thing to think about – be sure that you are honoring the Copyrights and Trademarks of other… If you want to create a work of art depicting a soda can or car, are you aware that you could be sued by Ford or Coke, or any other company if the work looks too much like theirs? This is especially true of photographs. Speaking as someone that has had some photos removed from Turbosquid a few years ago because Turbosquid received a Cease and Desist Letter from Ford due to the fact that there was a Ford car somewhere in the forground of a picture I shot once, even though it was not the main focus of the composition, I can say this stuff is a reality you SHOULD think about before and while you are making your artworks. The possibility of having to go to court and pay high lawyer fees and court fees just because you clicked your camera in the wrong place is not a fun situation to be in! Ford is probably one of the biggest companies that chases people down for this sort of thing, but any copyright or trademark owner can do similar at any time because copyright and trademark law DOES apply to “derivitive works.”

For yourself, this can be a good thing, as you could possibly sue others if they create artworks that are in your style or just look too much like your work for your liking… However, what comes around goes around, and the you can find yourself on the receiving end of the same issue if you create works that are too much like other folk’s stuff too… which is something we all need to think about a LOT as everywhere you turn today there’s some namebrand, logo, or copyrighted thing in your face 24/7.

Your computer has a logo on it… oops better not photograph or draw it. You want to take a photo of a street – oops there’s a car on it that was created by an automobile company that has a trademark on that design. You shoot a photo of a gargoyle on a building – oops there’s an architect or sculptor somewhere that owns the copyright to that design. You shoot a picture of the sunset – oops there’s an airplane flying low there that was designed by a company with a trademark on that shape. You take a picture of a wall in your house – oops someone has a tradmark, and probably a copyright on the design of that wallpaper… Where is nature? That is one of the few things people can’t copyright… Nope?!?… someone has done a picture of a deer posing in that posture before! YIKES!

If you take a photo of someone, or create any form of artwork depicting anyone – you have even more issues to deal with since there are privacy laws. That’s why you always see notices in various films, literary works, etc. say any resmblence to real people in the characters depicted is coincidental, etc. It’s also why photographers need to get the permission of anyone they photograph, usually in a written form so that they can prove that the permission was obtained. The little photo of Barrack Obama standing next to the China Wall that was put in Times Square by the coat company is just one of the newest little examples of where these sort of issues can come up and cause major problems for all parties involved…

All of these little issues are amplified by the fact that Zombies, or at least Golems really do exist! As mentioned in How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday, corporations and money are both lifeless beings that we give life to… things that are really dead that we give power to.

(*Perhaps the Golem are the invisible corporations and the Zombies are the employees that become “dead” 40 hours a week to serve the golem?*)

Sometimes, actually far more times than we probably want to acknowledge, we actually give our entire lives to these souless, lifeless beings! Corporations are our society’s gods from the ancient world. They don’t really exist but everyone knows that they are there. Everyone talks about them… shares stories about them… We even give them Social Security Numbers and call those Tax Identification Numbers… We give them life through our <a href="Memes“>about them.

Logos and employees are just one sign of their existence, as are all the contracts created in their names… Curators of Universities, CEOs, Company Presidents and others in power in the coporate world, just to name a few, are the priests of this religion that we don’t call a religion, but they are NOT the corporation itself, even if they think they are. They are hired and fired by the invisible zombies or golems that we breathe life into, just like everyone else. The piece of paper that creates a corporation is NOT the corporation itself. The corporations don’t really exist in our world, but we all pretend that they do and continue to bring life to them in our belief in them… continue to pay homage to them every time we think about that brand name we want to pay for, etc…. They are the true gollems that all of us helped bring in to power to submit our entire beings too in some way, shape, or form.

Advertising, and all of the little illustrations that come from it is just one of the many little offerings that are given to these souless, lifeless zombies to help them exist. You can call me a crazy lunatic if you want, but when you really dig deep and think about it, you have got to know that it’s true!

Does this mean I don’t want to be an illustrator. Of course not. I love to illustrate things, tell stories, bring life to the lifeless objects around me.

In a strange way, all people that create art, or anything really – letters that you made when you hit the keyboard on your computer (you do know that each letter and phrase is different from place to place in the world which is why there’s different languages that exist – we all breathe life in to our own perception of reality that the elders in our tribe have taught us IS reality and so we make it become OUR reality too), recipies you put together to eat, All Things that we do really… sort of do the same thing, whether it’s for a corporation or their own needs and wants to create. Art itself is something we breathe life in to, and it sort of takes on a life of it’s own in that process. Maybe all of this is something Jesus was talking about when he said you cannot serve God and Mammon?… but in reality, that’s not really possible is it, at least not if we want to live in this world and exist – Give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser…

Anyways, I am a living being, just as you are, and as The Universe’s Creator is. The act of creating things is in some ways the real and ultimate goal and meaning of the universe?… or is it? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be sure to make your works your own, and unique enough that you don’t get sued for copyright infringment by other humans or the golems that exist in our society.

Just something to think about…

Interesting Reading – Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testament

You folks reading this might think I’m nuts doing this many Interesting Reading posts in this short of a timespan, but there’s a lot of various books that I’ve read and/or am in the middle of reading that have a lot of relevance to this blog and life in general really, and are just great books that I think everyone should at least take a glance at some point in time… I’ll probably add more interesting reading posts in the not-too-distant future…

Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testaments is a very interesting book. Asimov, possibly one the greatest science fiction writers of all time, explores the bible from a scientific and historical perspective in this book. He’s an athiest, (and a former Jew I think) but that does not matter. He covers a lot of the historical aspects of each chapter of the Bible in this book from a scientific perspective. There’s not a lot of mushy love and miracle belief talk in the book like you see in a lot of the bible study books that are written by Christians. Also there’s a lot of discussion about geography and history of the locations in the bible, and how each of the main characters in the bible is thought of from a historian’s perspective and how they sort of fit in to the Social Studies and History books. That is something you don’t typically get a lot of with a lot of other books about the Bible. I don’t know that I agree with him on everything (since he is an atheist after all), but I do think he presents a lot of ideas that anyone interested in Religion, History, or Geography, regardless of whether they are Christian or not a Christian might find interesting.

His explanations that seem to explain away miracles or give them a new twist by allowing you to think about them in a different way than the way you might have been taught in Bible School by adding a bit of science is somewhat refreshing, and for the most part does not make the Bible any less relevant or True.

Remember, there are multiple perspectives to our reality… What everyone that witnesses anything experiences is likely slightly different than others that witnessed the same darn thing. It is good to sometimes think about things from a different angle. There might be a slight challenge to your faith in some of the info in this book, but that actually might be a catalyst that will help you gain a stronger faith by reading the book. There is a lot of historical and geographic info in here that you probably won’t come across many other places unless you are theologian and have read a LOT of ancient texts and have a masters degree in religion. It’s good to learn a few new things. and think about things in a different way on occassion! 🙂

Interesting Reading – The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Miguel Ruiz is an interesting book. It talks about a lot of things, but mainly how to handle your internal train of thoughts to become more at peace with the world around you.

The 4 Agreements are
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
4. Always Do Your Best.

One of the many themes in the book is that Original Sin does not really exist since the Fall of Man is just a story in our head… but it is much more than that too…

because our conscious minds that are always trying to make up stories about the world around us to help us understand and cope with the world around us based on our own unique psychological pasts, IS that the true Serpent in the Adam and Eve story… not really a serpent so much as a story teller – something that is constantly feeding us lies about the world that we can choose to believe or not to believe.

In many ways what the book is getting in to is a very DEEP and profound understanding about the world, and how to look at the world. I don’t know if I agree with everything that the book’s author believes, but I do believe that a lot of his ideas presented in the book are applicable to all of us in our every day lives.

Sometimes if we take the time to just shut up that little voice in our head that is telling us the way that things are, based on our own perceptions and mis-conceptions that we believe are Truths about reality we can come to realize that there is a lot more to the world around us than our own little single solitary point of view and can start to see the other sides of the multi-faceted jewel of reality that is hidden in the the story of each individual in the world around us… and can go 3 or 4 steps beyond that and start to come to realize that Reality itself is not really necessarily all that we have been taught, but is something much more than that…

and can come to realize that maybe, just maybe, we really were made in the image of God, like the Story of the Fall of Man tells us that we were, and that there really can be heaven on earth and peace everywhere, at least inside of us, if we just change the way we think about things a little sometimes and stop trying to continue to use our past biases and little lies that we have told ourselves in the past that made our reality a little more black and white than it should have really been.

Many years ago I remember that I had an in depth discussion with a Catholic Priest and he told me that the true Fall of Man is that we forgot that we were made in God’s image… Sex was not the problem… it was that Adam and Eve discovered that they could be their own mini versions of God to themselves, and saw things in their own ways, and started trying to make logic out of things, and taking actions to mold the world around them to suit their own needs instead of molding themselves to the world to be at peace with the world. It’s something to think about… It is a very interesting book. It really gets in to some deep psychology that is very simple on the surface, but has deep implications and can help you see the world around you in a new light.

Don’t continue to listen to that biased voice in your head all of the time assuming that it’s always right and has the true Truth about all of the world around you. Sometimes that voice can be wrong. Sometimes it can have a lot of little biases too it that have come in to creation based on some things that have hurt you in your past that you might not even be aware of today. Sometimes it is good to look at that multi-faceted jewel of reality from a different perspective.

Perhaps if more people started looking at things from more than one perspective, and started to really get in to thinking about the world around them instead of rushing around doing things based on assumptions, lies that they’ve been told or told themselves, taking everything personally and seeking revenge because of that, and being overall morally lazy by not doing their very best in all that they do, the world could become a better place, and we might not have as many conflicts about silly things… maybe there would not be as many battles in governement. Maybe there would not be as many wars. Perhaps we could start to bring peace to the entire world around us, both socially, ecologically, and environmentally.

Perhaps we could get back to the true Reality that we were born to embrace – a Heaven on Earth. That reality does exist today. It’s just a matter of changing your attitude and way of thinking about things to make it more of a reality for yourself. Negativity is all around us. It’s blasted at us in the newsrooms. It’s shouted out in all the advertisments everywhere – “You are not good enough to be happy today – Buy a Coke and put it in the coaster in your Ford Truck today so that you can have a supermodel sit next to you as you get a happy life. It’ll just cost you several thousand dollars… ” Stop listening to the lies. Start trying to find the true Reality. It does exist, and is in your grasp, and this book might just help you find it a little easier.

Interesting Reading…

I’m constantly reading various books, blogs, websites, reviewing new material, reviewing old material, and rethinking about some of the content in those books, blogs, websites, etc.

Moving forward, I’m going to reserve the “Interesting Reading” tag and category in this blog for interesting reading articles, website links, links to books that I’ve come across, new thoughts I’ve got on old material, etc. This is not necessarily for “book reviews” so much as to toss an interesting piece of information that I’ve come across at you to think about a little – a pebble of thought, in to this wide Ocean that is the Blogosphere.