Tag Archives: Enlighten

Tea Reflections… A Lovely Cup of Tea -Jaime Oliver

18 May

Jaime Oliver is a food alchemist and food revolutionary. I highly respect Jaime for his infinite passion, culinary talents and especially his health advocacy. He taught me how to cook after all. I used his Food Revolution book and YouTube videos as guides. As they say, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I was finally ready to learn.

Although I have just started my culinary journey, Jaime Oliver gave me the supportive push to begin. He is such a passionate and gifted teacher. I love to learn from him. He taught me the excitement of cooking through creative expression. Jaime is like an alchemist experimenting and creating in his kitchen laboratory. I am always thrilled to discover his new creations.

{I hope to include more posts on Jaime Oliver in the future}.

 

Jaime asks, “what is your ‘hot toddy’ and herbal drink of choice?”

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In this short video clip, Jaime teaches about herbal teas, herbs and spices; their medicinal/healing properties; how to experiment with flavours; how to make a lovely cup of herbal tea. He uses the cancer-fighting, antioxidant-rich turmeric which also happens to be high in iron. Jaime tells us that you can absorb more iron when you add citrus fruit {vitamin c}. He notes that spices {e.g. cinnamon and fennel seeds} are packed with micronutrients. Herbs are full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals {e.g. thyme is full of calcium}.

Jaime says that heated fruit extracts beautiful flavours; conversely, chilled tea has a different flavour spectrum. I can attest to that as I love to drink hibiscus tea both heated and chilled {which is technically dried hibiscus flowers. My love of hibiscus is profound. I have made hibiscus popsicles in the past. They are so refreshing in the hot summer days}.

Tea is one of my favourite ways to hydrate {along with chlorophyll water}. I drink tea all day and I can agree that it is a lovely way to start and finish the day. How better to reflect on life than over a cup of tea? Most people invite you to go out for coffee but I prefer tea. What about you?

What soothes the soul better than a cup of tea? I agree with Jaime that tea is comforting and therapeutic. Perhaps tea could end wars, mend broken hearts, awaken creative passions, give birth to enlightening ideas and heal relationships? Well, that might be a little unrealistic. The truth is that tea is my elixir of life.

What about you?

Or are you a coffee connoisseur?

Have you tried to make Jaime Oliver’s herbal teas?

What are your favourite teas?

{I hope to explore the science of tea and its healing properties in future tea reflections…

I will also include my favourite teas}.

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Further Research...

Jaime Oliverhttps://www.jamieoliver.com/

Jaime Oliver’s YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/JamieOliver

Food Revolution Book by Jaime Oliverhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8435032-jamie-s-food-revolution

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/jamies-food-revolution-rediscover-how/9781401310479-item.html

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For the Love of Tea…

-V.

Psychoanalysis As Archaeology in Penny Dreadful

14 May

Dedicated to O…

Freud famously described psychoanalysis as archaeology, the unearthing of meaning layered deep beneath an “expanse of ruins.

In television and movies it’s closer to a detective story.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/28/arts/television/28stan.html

Penny Dreadful Dr Seward & Vanessa Ives

In their first meeting, Vanessa Ives {Eva Green} and Dr.Seward {Patti LuPone} explore the intimate relationship between {potential} patient and psychologist.

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This brilliant scene from Penny Dreadful illustrates how a alienist/psychologist/therapist/psychiatrist excavates the truth through words, gestures/body language, actions, etc. Although it is the first time that Vanessa Ives and Dr.Seward meet, the alienist sets her boundaries. Since it is a preliminary consultation, she has to assess if Vanessa will be her patient {“if I take your case”}. 

Vanessa’s gestures are psychoanalyzed {why are you scratching your hand? Why were you doing that?}. Vanessa replies shyly that she had an itch. Dr.Seward says “no, you didn’t” with conviction. To Dr.Seward, the scratching of the hand is not as it appears; it connotes nervousness/anxiety. Every gesture speaks volumes to the alienist/psychologist/psychiatrist

Vanessa sees Dr.Seward’s observations as a challenge. She says, “this is a challenge. You’ll see if I am worthy of study.” Her astute observations about Dr.Seward’s criteria are accurate. Through prelimiary psychoanalysis, the therapist is trying to assess if Vanessa is worthy of her time, energy and talents. Is she worth having as a patient?

Dr.Seward warns Vanessa, “I am not your friend or your priest or your husband. I am your doctor. You come to me to get better because you are ill- no other reason. Do you understand that?” She sets her professional boundaries clearly. The purpose of therapy is to heal Vanessa of her illness.

Dr.Seward’s compassion shines through despite her tough demeanor. She asks Vanessa, do you understand that you are ill- not bad, not unworthy- just ill? Depression often tricks a person into thinking that they are unworthy. It tells many lies. The therapist must convince the patient of their depressed state instead of internalizing a depressed identity.

She resassures Vanessa that there are “no emotions unwelcome in this room.” Vanessa is encouraged to release her emotions because it is cathartic to do so. Dr.Seward is also communicating to Vanessa that she will not be judged. She is free to speak and express herself as necessary. She also warns her, “if this process doesn’t appeal to you, the door is there.” It almost sounds like she is testing Vanessa or interrogating her at times.

The turning point is when Vanessa takes control of the narrative. She says with a smile, “you don’t want me to leave…because I scratch my hand. You find that telling…those phobias that interest you.” She assures the doctor that she might interest her as a patient. Vanessa notes that Dr.Seward doesn’t need the ten shillings but she does need interesting people to collect. Dr.Seward disagree with her by saying that she takes patients on to cure them. Vanessa asks, what the difference is between collecting and curing?

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This scene is when Dr.Seward really showcases her talents as the skilled alienist. She ends her analsysis with the metaphor of the ouroboros. {The snake eating its tail is a symbol of infinity}. In essence, Dr.Seward is telling Vanessa that she is trapped in an endless cycle of unhappiness as she constantly tortures herself.

12 Monkeys End At The Beginning

The ouroboros from the 12 Monkeys television series from Syfy

Dr. Seward (to Vanessa Ives):

“I already know what’s wrong with you.

You’re unhappy. You’re isolated.

You think you’re the cause of this unhappiness and are unworthy of affection so you’ve few friends.

Recently you lost something you think very important- your lover, your faith, your family, or all three.

You blame yourself for this, so it makes you neurotic and you don’t sleep and don’t eat anything healthy anyway.

You used to take care of your appearance, but you’ve lost interest in that, so you avoid mirrors.

Sunlight bothers you, so you avoid that too, about which you’re guilty because you think it’s unhealthy and even immoral not to like the sun.

You’re not a woman of convention or you wouldn’t be here, but you like to pretend you are so people don’t notice you.

But you sometimes like that as well, and can dress to draw the eye. But then you think the men who look at you are fools, or worse, to be taken in by such an obvious outward show.

So, instead you’re drawn to dark, complicated, impossible men, assuring your own unhappiness and isolation because, after all, you’re happiest alone.

But not even then because you can’t stop thinking about what you’ve lost, again, for which you blame yourself.

So the cycle goes on, the snake eating its own tail.”

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I highly recommend watching Penny Dreadful.

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These scenes convey the brilliant acting of Eva Green, Patti LuPone and the work of the creative teams behind Penny Dreadful. It also highlights the emancipating insight that one can gain from psychotherapy. I have been in psychotherapy and it is one of the best decisions I have made. The internal work is so challenging and often painful but it is worth it in terms of healing, personal development, self-discovery, growth, etc. I highly recommend it.

The key is being ready to open yourself up to examine your memory palace/the locked rooms in your mind and finding the right alienist/psychologist/therapist for you.

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P.s. I plan to do posts about the television shows Penny Dreadful; 12 Monkeys; the alienist; etc.

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Further Research…

Penny DreadfulPenny Dreadful’s Internet Movie Database Page

Eva Green..Eva Green’s Internet Movie Database Page

Patti LuPonePatti LuPone’s Internet Movie Database Page

12 Monkeys12 Monkey’s Internet Movie Database Page

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Peace & Psychoanalytic Love,

V.

The Art of Listening In HBO’s In Treatment…

12 May

Listening is truly a lost art.

In Treatment Dr Paul Weston's Hand Gestures

How often do you encounter people in life that you can tell are obviously not listening? It is the most common experience.

Sadly, it has become rare when someone actually listens to you and values what you have to say. 

In Treatment Talk To Me

In Treatment was a half an hour drama on HBO that starred Gabriel Byrne. The show was about the art of listening, psychotherapy, dysfunctions, neuroses, ethics, fears, self-sabotage, mental illness, relationships, conflict, trauma, pain, suffering, healing, resilience, etc.

Compassion and humanity are at the root of psychotherapy and In Treatment respectively. They speak about the deep need to be listened to without judgment. I have a great respect for psychology. It was one of my areas of study and I have intuitively known it is my vocation since childhood.

In treatment was even studied in universities at the time {I am not sure if it still is}. Counselling psychology students discussed in treatment in classes. Its pedagogical purpose was to teach students how to live their potential as psychologist and to help their clients heal.

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In Treatment is like a prism that reflects the spectrum of humanity.

It can be Shakespearean in its dramatic storylines, intimate revelations and profound intellectual discussions.

{Side note: this is Paul’s wave machine in the introduction}.

It is a cerebral show that dives deep into the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole of the psyche. In treatment relies heavily on the art of acting. Gabriel and the rest of the cast really shine in this thirty-minute drama. The skilled actors play off the script, each other, emotions and body language. They have no special effects to rely on- just their acting skills. {Side note: Gabriel won a golden globe for his performance. Many other actors and the show itself were nominated for numerous awards}.

Gabriel’s character is the compassionate Dr.Paul Weston.

He is the wounded healer, secret keeper, listener, teacher and psychologist.

In Treatment He's Listening

Psychotherapy is based on trust and vulnerability- spiritual and emotional nakedness. There is a strong emotional connection between Paul and all of his patients. First, he has to earn their trust and convince them to trust him and open up.

He must analyze their issues beneath the masks they wear.

He has to discern the truth from lies, distortions and projections.

All of his patients have complex problems and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour.

Some are based on the complexities of being in a relationship and sharing a life with someone despite conflicting personalities or desires. With Jake and Amy, Paul is a mediator between them. He uses conflict resolution, helps them clarify their real issues/emotions and helps them decide on their course of action.

Others are more individual problems with roots in childhood.

Regardless of how the trauma manifests itself, what is evident is that Paul is responsible for his patients.

In some cases, he is the only person that his patients have to rely on. 

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In treatment examines many themes. One is the issue of transference.

Transference can happen in the therapeutic process. The psychologist has to maintain their boundaries and respect their professional code of ethics.

How do you treat a patient that thinks they are in love with you?

What if they insist on their declarations of love?

What if they play mind games and employ manipulation?

How do navigate that?

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Intergenerational trauma is another topic that is examined in the show.

Alex is not even aware of the impact of how his father murdered his grandfather traumatized him. He is also not conscious of how his childhood and his father’s toxic masculinity traumatized him.

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How do you deal with the emotional impact of listening to people’s problems all day?

Many psychologists go to their own psychologist for therapy and to consult about their patients. Paul goes to Gina for this purpose. Their relationship is quite strained but he desperately needs that outlet.

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Some quotes from this video stood out to me in particular…

“It is hard to see so many people in pain and not be able to do anything to help them in some way.” -Paul

“Maybe helping is easier than feeling the pain.” -Laura

I can attest to this feeling of helplessness. It is very painful for me to see or know that someone is in pain without being able to do anything to ease their suffering.

Laura’s observation has some merit. Sometimes it is easier to help than feel. Sometimes it just hurts too much.

“We are not Gods, we can’t save anybody.” -Gina

Gina’s statement is true.

We cannot save anybody.

We can only help them to save themselves.

“It is possible to live in a world where people panic, where people let each other down, where they disappoint each other but still help each other out.” -Paul

I think this is the most realistic observation.

It is still possible to help each other despite our flaws and limitations.

Paul asks Alex where he wants his therapy to lead him. He answers painfully, “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.”

There is something in Blair Underwood’s voice when he says “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.” We can all relate to this sentiment.

“I thought that is what we are on the earth for- to help each other- to step up to the plate when somebody needs us.” -Paul

I have to agree with Paul.

I think it is noble to derive your life’s purpose from altruism and compassion.

Finding meaning in helping others is something I can deeply relate to.

“There are other places where you can feel safe and here in this room is one of those places.” -Paul

The therapist’s office is like a sanctuary from the chaos of the world.

Paul really wants to help his patients find their own answers to enlighten themselves, empower themselves and solve their problems.

With Sophie, Paul wanted her to have her own epiphanies.

In this scene, Sophie has empowered herself enough to confront her father on his abandonment and absence as a father.

Paul’s role is not to be the judge but to guide them to reconnect and re-establish their relationship. The journey is painful but worthwhile.

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Paul’s observations/analysis is incisive.

He really gets to the root of his patient’s suffering.

{It reminds me of Robin Williams’ character the psychologist Sean McGuire in Goodwill Hunting}.

His patients always challenge him and often test his boundaries.

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It should be noted that Paul has his own problems to contend with.

I think it is vital to observe that psychologists are human and imperfect. They have to deal with their own life and its challenges while trying to help others heal and figure out their life’s labyrinth.

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Happy birthday to Gabriel Byrne today!!!

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Further Research

Gabriel Byrnehttps://www.byrneholics.com/

Gabriel Byrne’s Internet Movie Database Page

In TreatmentIn Treatment’s Internet Movie Database Page

In Treatment’s HBO Page

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Have you watched In Treatment?

What did you think?

You can watch it on HBO’s website {for a price}.

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Rest in peace to Irrfan Khan who recently died {April 29th, 2020}.

He brilliantly played Sunil in the third season.

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Peace & Compassion,

-V.

Reflection for today…Critical Reading -Henry David Thoreau & Tupac Shakur

13 Sep

* Editor’s Note: Today {September 13th, 1996} marks the 23rd anniversary of Tupac’s tragic death at the age of 25.

Rest in Peace Tupac.

We will continue to celebrate your life and your legacy.

{Things are not the same without you…}

https://2paclegacy.net/today-marks-23-years-since-tupac-was-killed/ 

In this reflection, I wanted to explore the intellectual and poetic side of Tupac that is rarely discussed {the same happens with Jim Morrison the lead singer of The Doors}.

I hope to explore other artist’s reading lists in future reflections.

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“Readers are plentiful;  

thinkers are rare.”  
Henry David Thoreau

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Tupac Shakur was always hungry for knowledge.  

He was a voracious reader and student of life. His passion for learning and social justice advocacy was a part of his essence. 

Tupac’s intellectual power came from a vast knowledge of eclectic topics. He loved to explore esoteric, the metaphysical and philosophical topics. This study became the foundation for his song lyrics and life philosophy.

His mother, Afeni Shakur, had already instilled in him a revolutionary education as she was a member of The Black Panthers. She passed on her wisdom and Tupac continued to polish the jewels.

Tupac was truly an autodidact {a self-taught person}. He would educate others through his song lyrics.

Tupac Shakur Smiling

“Before his tragic death at age of 25, Tupac rapped about poverty, violence in the black community, police brutality, black empowerment, political strategy and spirituality.” https://www.blackfaves.com/story/11-books-tupac-shakurs-bookshelf-still-relevant-today/

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In this short video, Tupac’s first manager Leila Steinberg discusses Tupac’s love of literature and critical thinking.

Tupac Shakur and Leila Steinberg

Leila Steinberg is an artist and community organizer who began working with youth twenty years ago in the San Francisco Bay area. As the daughter of a criminal defence attorney, she grew up surrounded by the workings of the justice system and took a front row seat at the personal tragedies and socio-economic pressures that turn so many at-risk youths into hardened felons. Steinberg helps them connect with their hearts and turn anger and pain into creativity.
AIM promotes artistic expression as a way to handle problems as opposed to choosing violence, drugs or other forms of escape. As the program facilitator, Steinberg sees confronting pain as the best way to move past it. She believes self-awareness is a key to making better choices.

Steinberg is committed to helping people who fall through the cracks of society. In 1995 she began a series of specialized programs for youth within the juvenile justice system and those residing in residential treatment facilities. As hip-hop music became the expression of today’s youth, Steinberg began training artists to develop voices powerful enough to reach a generation. While conducting poetry workshops in Northern California, she met Tupac Shakur and he became a regular participant in her class. They shared a vision of developing a space where each artist in attendance is encouraged, inspired and motivated to address social change in their work. Tupac referred to Leila as the “bow” and himself as the “arrow.” –http://www.pinlight.com/leila.htm

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This clip is from the movie Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel.

It is said to be a “documentary examining the politics, music and life of Tupac Shakur.”

This is the description from the Youtube video…

This is a list of books read by Tupac during his lifetime including while he was at the Baltimore School of Arts and in prison. They are presented in no particular order. The topics include Black history, the afterlife, religion including Zen, war, women’s liberation, music, and poetry. Reading these books, it is clear how they moulded Tupac’s thinking and language. This is a handy list of good reading material if you ever find yourself locked up.”

 One Hundred Years of Solitude
Written by: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1984
Written by: George Orwell

Ah, This!
Written by: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

All God’s Children:
The Boskett Family and the American Tradition of Violence
Written by: Fox Butterfield

All You Need to Know About the Music Business
Written by: Donald Passman

And Still I Rise
Written by: Maya Angelou

Art of War
Written by: Sun Tzu

Assata: An Autobiography
Written by: Assata Shakur

At the Bottom of the River
Written by: Jamaica Kincaid

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
As told to: Alex Haley

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is
Written by: A.C. Bhaktive-danta Swami Prabhupada

Black Like Me
Written by: John Howard Griffin

Black Sister:
Poetry by Black American Women, 1746 to 1980
Edited by Earlene Stetson

Blues People
Written by: Amiri Baraka

Catcher in the Rye
Written by: J.D. Salinger

The Complete Illustrated Book of the Psychic Sciences
Written by: Walter B. Gibson and Litzka R. Gibson

The Confessions of Nat Turner
Written by: William Styron

The Destiny of the Nations
Written by: Alice A. Bailey

The Diary of Anais Nin
Edited and with a Preface by: Gunther Stuhlmann

The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
Written by: E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil

The Grapes of Wrath
Written by: John Steinbeck

Great White Lie:
Slavery, Emancipation and Changing Racial Attitudes
Written by: Jack Gratus

The Harder We Run:
Black Workers Since the Civil War

Written by: William H. Harris

Here and Hereafter
Written by: Ruth Montgomery

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Written by: Maya Angelou

I Shall Not Be Moved
Written by: Maya Angelou

Imitation of Christ
Written by: Thomas a Kempis

In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens
Written by: Alice Walker

Initiation
Written by: Elisabeth Haich

Interesting People:
Black American History Makers

Written by: George L. Lee

James Baldwin: The Legacy
Edited by: Quincy Troupe

Kabbalah
Written by: Gersham Scholem

Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Written by: Ira Peck

Life as Carola
Written by: Joan Grant

Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs
Written by: Linda Goodman

Makes Me Wanna Holler
Written by: Nathan McCall

The Meaning of Masonry
Written by: W.L. Wilmshurst

Moby Dick
Written by: Herman Melville

Monster:
The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member

Written by: Sanyika Shakur

Music of Black Americans: A History
Written by: Eileen Southern

Mysticism
Written by: Evelyn Underhill

Native Son
Written by: Richard Wright

Nature, Man and Woman
Written by: Alan W. Watts

No Man Is an Island
Written by: Thomas Merton

Nostradamus: The Millennium & Beyond
Written by: Peter Lorie

The Phenomenon of Man
Written by: Teilhard de Chardin

Ponder on This: A Compilation
From the Writings of: Alice A Bailey & the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul

The Practical Encyclopedia of Natural Healing
Written by: Mark Bricklin

The Prince
Written by: Niccolo Machiavelli

The Psychedelic Experience:
A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Written by: Timothy Leary, Ph.D., Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., Richard Alpert, Ph.D.

The Psychic Realm
Written by: Naomi A. Hintze and J. Gaither Pratt, Ph.D.

A Raisin in the Sun
Written by: Lorraine Hansberry

Roots
Written by: Alex Haley

Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools
Written by: Jonathan Kozol

Secret Splendor
Written by: Charles Essert

Serving Humanity
From the writings of: Alice A. Bailey

Sisterhood is Powerful:
Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement
Written by: Robin Morgan

The State of the World Atlas
Written by: Michael Kidron and Ronald Segal

Social Essays
Written by: LeRoi Jones

The Souls of Black Folk
Written by: W.E. Burghardt DuBois

Teachings of the Buddha
Written by: Jack Kornfield

Telepathy
Written by: Alice A Bailey

The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Written by: W.Y. Evans-Wentz

Thoughts and Meditations
Written by: Kahlil Gibran

Tropic of Cancer
Written by: Henry Miller

The Visionary Poetics of Allen Ginsberg
Written by: Paul Portuges

Wisdom of Insecurity
Written by: A.N. Watts

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Written by: Robert M. Pirsig

Copied from: https://www.thuglifearmy.com/index.php/tupac-reading-library.html

{Goodreads also has an alternate list of books that Tupac read}.

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For more information…

Henry David Thoreau…http://thoreau.library.ucsb.edu/thoreau_life.html

Tupac Shakur…http://2pac.com/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000637/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/23942.Books_Read_by_Tupac_Shakur_

Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel Movie…http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314806/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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Peace & Poetic Love

-V.

Reflection for today…All I Want In This World Is You -Haruki Murakami

29 Jan

“I have a million things to talk to you about.

All I want in this world is you.

I want to see you and talk.

I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.” 
Haruki Murakami,   

Norwegian Wood

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Please enjoy All I Need by Radiohead…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9IODJdi3GA

Radiohead – All I Need [live From the Basement]

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Radiohead came to be my favourite band out of all the many bands/artists that I love.

I simply adore them.

My faith in humanity, life and love is restored when I listen to them.

When I watch this video, I am reminded of how much musicians and artists are so necessary in this world. They are vital because they are alchemists who can transform pain and suffering into beauty and enlightenment.

They are also healers that greatly contribute to the healing of the world. 

I have a great reverence for musicians and artists.

They are doctors of the heart and soul.

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For more information…

Haruki Murakami…http://www.murakami.ch/main_3.html 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3354.Haruki_Murakami

Radiohead…http://www.radiohead.com/

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Peace & Cosmic Love…

Reflection for today…Reverence For Music As Art -Jack White

2 Jan

Jack White has a deep reverence for music as an art form.

Jack White Photo Courtesy of: http://cdn.soundpublishing.com/reverb/7Jack-Whitesas1.jpg

Jack White Has Got So Much Soul…

In this short video clip, he elaborates on his creative fuel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=289ZMP76RHU

Jack White on why he makes music

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Jack’s desire to create something new is the nucleus of his creative process.

He vehemently rejects the usual paradigm of the rock musician lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll {although he says it is a heavy metal way of thinking}.

Jack says, “That’s not creating. That’s not art. That’s not trying to exist in a place where you are sort of mimicking God in a way, in a small tribute to try to create something brand new that didn’t exist before and to see if it can change people’s emotions…”

I love everything Jack said but particularly the notion of musicians mimicking God with their creative tribute. We have all heard the phrase “rock god” in reference to certain rock n’ roll musicians. Jack’s version is a lot more humble and realistic. He only claims to mimic God and not actually be a god. His reasons are very pure because he only wants to create art and provide a conduit for people’s emotions. Music has the transformative and cathartic power to alter people’s emotions. Music therapy exists to help people heal. 

Jack’s impetus for being a musician is derived from his creativity. He wants to share emotions and create an experience for his listeners- an emotional connection born from an artistic experience.

Jack ends the video clip with this observation,

“Partying and all those things and meeting people is kind of boring. It’s easy to do that in a bar. That’s for people who really have no idea what to do with themselves, I think. That shouldn’t be associated with art.”

It seems as though his artistic vision is quite clear and that he is a serious artist. Jack deeply loves and respects music. He has a higher vision for art; perhaps one of elevated consciousness and transcendence. Art can be so many things to different people. It can cathartic or destructive. It can be haunting or enlightening.

Whatever art is, it should not be dismissed.

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Please enjoy I’m Shakin’ by Jack White…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkcGuZHPbKk

Jack White – I’m Shakin’

*I am a fan of Jack White but especially The White Stripes. When I first heard The White Stripes all those years ago, I simply fell in love with their music.

I have yet to hear his other bands The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.

 What about you?

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I really enjoy watching this video…

I am quite enamored with his dancing.

It brings a smile to my face.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQls2xs9-zY

Jack White – I’m Shakin’ (TSC – Ogg)

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What do you think about Jack White’s reflections on music as art?

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For more information…

Jack White…http://jackwhiteiii.com/news/

The White Stripes…http://whitestripes.com/lo-fi/news.html

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Peace & Creative Love…

Reflection for today…Questioning Identity -Tilda Swinton

21 Apr

“I’m basically interested in identity, and I still find fascinating the question,

how do we identify ourselves, and how do we settle into other people’s expectations for our identity?”

Tilda Swinton

 

Tilda channels David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego…

Tilda is a Rebel Rebel…

Tilda is a huge David Bowie Fan…

“The other day, I was going through the airport security and I was searched by a male security guard. I’m very often referred to as “Sir” in elevators and such. I think it has to do with being this tall and not wearing much lipstick. I think people just can’t imagine I’d be a woman if I look like this.”

“You’re always playing yourself.
It’s all autobiography, whatever you’re doing.
It’s using them as a kind of prism through which to throw something real about yourself, or something relaxed at least.
Because the last thing you want is to look like you’re acting.”

Tilda Swinton in Candy Magazine

Tilda is a Futuristic Cosmic Mermaid…

Tilda as a Cosmic Space Goddess…

Tilda Laughs At The Status Quo…

Tilda Transforms Through Make-up Artistry…

“These photographic performances and the opportunity they afford me to play with the shapes and attitudes of this lexicon are thrilling to me.”

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Tilda Swinton is a brilliant actress and performer {one of my favourites}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2Zajvjm4LI

She has performed “the maybe” where she sleeps in a glass cage for performance art.

Tilda’s recent performance at MOMA {Museum of Modern Art}…

Tilda is a fascinating artist and human being.

“It’s a real comfort zone for me to feel alien.”

It should come to no surprise that she is a writer.

If you have ever hear her speak, you will be struck with her grace, intelligence and eloquence.

Her natural beauty radiates outwards.

*

Tilda tends to favor a more natural and androgynous look.

The pictures from Candy magazine depict her in drag make-up.

These pictures are in juxtaposition with her usual natural aesthetic.

Scottish actress Tilda Swinton relishes in androgyny, artistry and creativity…

*

Tilda is so intriguing to me not only as an actress/artist but as a thinker and human being.

She says that a recurring theme in her work is the question of identity and the question of transformation.

Tilda Swinton in W Magazine {August 2011}

In this clip, she discusses identity and transformation….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEIFzoBgNe8

“Society circumscribes us and we play into this feeling that we have to pick one identity and stick with it and any natural transformation within our spirit is to be resisted at all costs.

If there is some great shift in someone’s life one is to feel nothing, but shame and failure, that’s the thing I am constantly drawn back to.”

“There is something insane about a lack of doubt. Doubt, to me anyway, is what makes you human, and without doubt even the righteous lose their grip not only on reality but also on their humanity.”

What keeps her engaged in performing and acting is the moment of shift and doubt in one’s identity.

“There’s such an effort to try and explain people.”

Tilda Removes The Wig/Veil/Metaphorical Mask…

Tilda The Transformer…

*

Gender, identity and beauty are such an intriguing topics which I hope to explore in future posts.

“Tilda does not always play women; she has played Mozart on stage, an Elizabethan nobleman in Orlando (1992) and an androgynous angel, Gabriel, in Constantine (2005).”
-Internet Movie Database

*

Please enjoy the fascinating video of master make-up artist Joseph Harwood as he transforms himself from a male/androgynous appearance into a female appearance.

{Joseph really shows us how make-up is art and how you can express yourself and construct our own identity}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBxGwTEc0AQ

Joseph answers questions about androgyny and gender…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cAYU7D0wfY

To watch more of Joseph’s make-up artistry videos…

http://www.youtube.com/user/jhmemoires

For more information on Joseph Harwood…

http://www.josephharwood.com/

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Please enjoy David Bowie’s new song “The Stars Are Out Tonight”…

Tilda Swinton & David Bowie…An Artistic Dream…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH7dMBcg-gE

*

I am most grateful for a class I took called “sociology of gender relations” because it enlightened me about gender.

This class also brought to my awareness the struggles of women, gay people, transgendered people and other types of minorities.

More than anything this class convinced me that everyone deserves equality, there needs to be more love, compassion and acceptance in the world and that we should collectively fight discrimination of all kinds.

*

For more information on…

Tilda Swinton…

Tilda and Bjork…

please visit her internet movie database page…

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842770/

Twitter…https://twitter.com/NotTildaSwinton

David Bowie…http://www.davidbowie.com/

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I would love to read your thoughts on this post or about gender, identity, androgyny and/or beauty.

What are your favourite Tilda Swinton performances/films?

What are your favourite David Bowie songs/albums and alter egos?

What are your alter egos?

Tilda Swinton…a brilliant artist/actress/chameleon

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Creativity & Intelligence -Albert Einstein

12 Apr

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

-Albert Einstein

{The beautiful marriage of creativity and intelligence…}

Do you think that creativity and intelligence are interrelated or do you think that they are separate entities?

Does “creative intelligence” exist?

Do you think that creative expression can heal?

Can creative expression be a spiritual practice?

How do you like to express your creativity and intelligence?

Are there other creative outlets that you would like to try?

Would you rather stay with your favourite forms of creative expression?

{I would like to try many creative outlets…music {being a DJ and learning to play an instrument}, photography, jewellery design, graphic design, interior design, fashion design, teaching {the alchemy of education}, cooking, gardening, cinematography, graffiti artist, painting, sculpting, origami, making art on Etsy and Deviantart, learning photoshop, make-up artistry, typography, calligraphy {the art of beautiful writing}, dancing, yoga, meditation, etc }.

There is so much to choose from in a possible creativity palette.

{Some of these creative possibilities can even be a spiritual practice e.g. Buddhist monks creating mandalas for meditative purposes}.

Tibetan Buddhist monks creating a mandala...

Photo courtesy of: http://www.buffalo.edu/

I would also like to do some writing and research to develop a thesis into a possible book.

Of course, working on and hopefully improving this humble blog is a favourite creative outlet.

*It must be noted that creative consumption is also part of the creativity & intelligence equation.

Your creative diet is vital for your creative expression.

I love to read other blogs in order to inspire, educate and enlighten me.

Thank you for all of your hard work fellow blog lovers!!!

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Ideas Are Like Fish -David Lynch

7 Feb

“Ideas are like fish.

If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water.

But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.

Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure.

They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.” 
David Lynch

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

David Lynch Discovered that The Key To Consciousness & Creativity is Meditation…

Catch Your Big Fish…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgI2g5-ADCg

Ideas…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPc1N7kf_AQ

On Ideas…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2RFMCmfRmc

David Lynch On Ideas…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFxahLEqdV0

The Idea is the Whole Thing…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWGlfi2C8F0

 How to Translate an Idea into Reality… 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbX_4ebnoYI

 Ideas Are Like Fish…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQGb3WFEhLQ

Ideas are like fish – IMinnovation interview…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EZUleng_mk

David Lynch on Meditation and Creativity… 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJv6CKVM0nk

David Lynch on Creative Intelligence: Dive In & Stay Regular…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwi4zkSow-0

David Lynch: Lover of Creativity, Consciousness & Meditation…

David Lynch nurtures his creativity by meditating and expanding his consciousness.

David Lynch says that we are all creative beings…
We just have to dive into the ocean of consciousness via meditation and catch the big fish…

His theory of creativity is the most brilliant explanation of creativity I have ever heard.

It is simply genius!

*

For more information on David Lynch, please go to his official website: http://davidlynch.com/

Peace & Namaste Friends…

Reflection for today…Use Buddhist Teachings As A Catalyst -Dalai Lama

28 Jan

Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist;
use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Butterflies: A Symbol of Metamorphosis
Photo Courtesy of: http://till-we-droop.tumblr.com/

I love how inclusive Buddhism is.

Every life is precious.

Everyone has buddha nature.

Everyone has the potential to reach enlightenment.

I know Buddhism is a religion but I see it as a way of life.

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Compassion Is The Key To Enlightenment -Buddha

15 Dec

“For those of you who want to attain enlightenment,

do not study many teachings.

Only study one.

What is it?

It is great compassion.

Whoever has great compassion has all Buddha’s qualities in his hand.”

-Buddha

om.mani_.padme_.hum_

Compassion Mantra: Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum
“All the teachings of Buddha are contained within the six letters, also it is the embodiment of the compassion Buddha Avalokiteshvara. Tibetans believe that praying or chanting the mantra will increase your compassion and make closer your connection to the Buddha Avalokiteshvara eventually achieving Buddhahood.

COMPASSION FOR MY TORTURER A MEETING WITH PALDEN GYATSO

Photo Courtesy of http://www.wiseattention.org/blog/2012/04/01/palden-gyatso/
This photo accompanies a sobering and inspiring article entitled,
‘Compassion for My Torturer’: A Meeting With Palden Gyatso.”
Written by: Vishvapani on http://www.wiseattention.org/
“Tibetan Buddhist monk, Palden Gyatso, spent 33 years imprisoned by the Chinese and drew deep on his Buddhist practice to survive his brutal treatment. He escaped to the West to tell his story and I met him in London to discuss his experiences his searing memoir, Fire Under the Snow.”

Angelina Jolie Photographed by: PER-ANDERS PETTERSSON
The caption on his website:
Darfur Refugees
“Angelina Jolie, the Oscar winning actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, holds a mentally disturbed boy, as he is tied with a rope in a camp in Oure Cassoni, Chad, 2007.
Angelina Jolie met the 7 year-old boy while spending two days visiting Oure Cassoni, a refugee camp close to the Sudan border.
Almost 27,000 refugees lives there and it was opened in 2004.”
“I also spent time with SOS Children’s villages staff, and we visited a 7-year-old boy that was held with a rope to a pole by his family.
This to keep him from wandering away, they said.
According to SOS, the boy saw his village bombed when he was 3- years old.
He hid alone in the bush for 2 days before his family found him and they all fled across the border.
SOS Children’s villages launched an emergency relief program for refugees from Darfur in 2006.
They focus on providing psychosocial care for traumatized children and their parents.
They presently care for about 230 children and adults.
Many have been living in the camp since 2004.
Many children experience symptoms such as nightmares, bedwetting and behavioral problems.
These children are often in a state of anxiety and they often have hallucinations. The children attend group therapy sessions where they play, sing and paint.
They work closely together with UNHCR and International Rescue Committee in the camp.”

Angelina Jolie: Humanitarian, Social Activist & Beautiful Soul

Audrey Hepburn: Humanitarian, Social Activist & Beautiful Soul

Peace & Namaste Friends…

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Reflection for today…The Manifesto of Encouragement -Danielle LaPorte

20 Oct

The Manifesto of Encouragement

“Right now:

There are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.

Someone you haven’t met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.

Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.

Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spirit to alight the hearts of all of God’s children.

A farmer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, “nourish them.”

Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you.

Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favourite food is, and treat you to a movie.

Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you — for free.

Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals and passes on.

The next great song is being rehearsed.

Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.

Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.

Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they’ll be thriving like never before. They just can’t see it from where they’re at.

Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to ARRIVE, will get precisely what they want — and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in it’s reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and render it all “So worth the wait.

Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche — this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.

Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.

Someone is fighting the fight so that you don’t have to.

Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe. Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.

Someone is regaining their sanity. Someone is coming back from the dead. Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable. Someone is curing the incurable.

You. Me. Some. One. Now.”

Danielle LaPorte

Copied & Pasted from: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/inspiration-spirituality-articles/the-manifesto-of-encouragement/

“Danielle LaPorte is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com, which has been called the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.”

Please visit her website for some inspiration and wisdom…She is so brilliant. I just “discovered” her and will most likely be doing more blog posts about her and her writing.

If you want more inspiration and wisdom from Danielle, please go to her website: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/ to sign up for her newsletters.
You can choose to receive via email a “daily truthbomb”, a “somewhat weekly” newsletter and a “monthly digest” newsletter.
I am signed up for all of them and highly recommend them.

Her book The Fire Starter Sessions is at the top of my reading list.

Danielle has generously provided the first chapter of her book for free on her website. You can read it on Scribd or download it in pdf format. Please click on this link: The Fire Starter Sessions Chapter One.

Peace & Namaste Friends…

Photo Courtesy of Anastasia Photography
From their blog at: http://anastasiachomlack.typepad.com/laughter/2009/11/inspired.html

Reflection for today…The Seduction of Consumerism -Chuck Palahniuk

28 Aug

“Are these things really better than the things I already have?

Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?” 

― Chuck PalahniukLullaby

Art by Barbara Kruger

*

This incisive quote reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk’s other novel Fight Club which was made into an enlightening film called Fight Club– one of my favourite films. 

{I highly recommend watching Fight Club because of the acidic social commentary, intriguing story and excellent acting}.

Here is the trailer in case you are interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUXWAEX2jlg

In essence, Chuck Palahniuk is alluding to commodity fetishism. The term that Karl Marx invented to describe how commodities are being fetishized and given an intrinsic value. It analyzes how the means of production and the relationships between consumers and workers are being obscured. {I apologize for the poor definition but I hope to elaborate on this in future posts}.

This quote asks us to re-consider our consumerist urges and desires.

Why do I really want a new thing?

Do I really need it?

Or do I simply just want it?

Why do I want it?

Do I just have a materialist itch to scratch?

Is there actually anything wrong with the one I have or am I just getting caught up in the consumerist zeitgeist?

These are questions we can ask ourselves…

Peace & Namaste…

*

For more information on…

The author Chuck Palahniuk…http://chuckpalahniuk.net/

Fight Club the bookhttp://chuckpalahniuk.net/books/fight-club

Fight Club the film on the Internet Movie Database

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/

Banksy, the mysterious and elusive graffiti artist

http://www.banksy.co.uk/

Reflection for today…The Enlightenment of Reading -Ezra Pound

25 Aug

“Man reading should be man intensely alive.

The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.”

– Ezra Pound

Designed by Dutch firm Studiomeiboom, The Enlightenment illuminates your shelf rather your soul.
Made from plexiglass and lit by an energy-saving bulb, the lamp plugs into an outlet with a standard cord.

*

During my hunt for pictures in the universe of the internet, I came across a brilliant idea from a WordPress blog called: Words&Words.

He has an inventory of all the books he has read.

Recently, he has even added dates. Eventually he says that he will even organize it in alphabetical order.

What a clever idea.

Would you ever keep a reading inventory?

{Most people only keep reading lists}.

Here is the link if you are interested: Words&Words Reading Inventory

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Goodreads is an excellent place to create readings lists and your reading inventory.

It really is a dream website for lovers of books.

Peace & Namaste.

Reflection for today…Enlightenment -Carl Jung

2 Feb

Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light
but making the darkness conscious.”
  -Carl Jung
Carl Jung Reading

Buddha Moon

How can you transform darkness into consciousness in your life?

How can you change darkness into light?

Peace & Namaste…

Diving into Electric Gold: A Conversation with David Lynch about Meditation, Enlightened Film-making, and the Secret of his Creativity

23 Jan

Diving into Electric Gold: A conversation with David Lynch about meditation, enlightened filmmaking, and the secret of his creativity.

Diving into Electric Gold”

A conversation with David Lynch about meditation, enlightened filmmaking, and the secret of his creativity

Interview by Maura R. O’Connor
From EnlightenNext Magazine: http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j37/lynch.asp

 

You may be surprised to learn that the maker of movies such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Lost Highway is an avid spiritual practitioner, but as a remarkably upbeat and ebullient David Lynch told WIE recently, he’s been sitting down twice a day, every day since 1977, to practice Transcendental Meditation. Last spring, Penguin published his book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, in which Lynch writes about how his long-standing passion for meditation has influenced his work as a filmmaker and artist.

WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT: You describe the experience of meditation in Catching the Big Fish as “electric gold.” What do you mean by that?

David Lynch: When human beings dive within and transcend—which means you go to the source of thought, you experience the unbounded and eternal ocean of pure consciousness—it feels like you’ve been hooked in to the cosmic electric factory of bliss and it’s flowing right into you. As I say in the book, the side effect of this experience is that negativity starts to go away. It can’t live in the light of unity. People throughout time have been sitting in meditation, and for what reason? To dive within, experience this field, and unfold their full potential. Their full potential is called enlightenment. Things get so good when you have this experience—it’s electric gold!

WIE: In the book you debunk a common idea that artists need to feel anger, pain, or conflict in order to have a creative edge. Why do you think so many artists these days, as you say, “don’t like the idea of getting happy”?

Lynch: Well, I’m kind of the same way. I don’t want to lose my edge. I don’t want to be some kind of happy goofball who’s laid-back, because sooner or later you’re not going to have any power in your work. If meditation made me that way, I would quit so fast it would make your head spin. But the truth is that meditation leads to the reverse. When you dive into it, you literally and truly grow in creativity and intelligence. Those “big fish,” the good ideas that are ahead of other people’s ideas and are really hip, come from that unified field of consciousness. The belief that you have to be depressed to work is a joke. You can’t work when you’re depressed! That idea is some kind of French thing. I mean, it’s great to get chicks, because they feel sorry for you and cook things for you and take care of you. But if you really want to get into the creative flow, then you have to dive into that electric gold.

WIE: You write that if you were enlightened and doing “enlightened filmmaking,” perhaps your films would not be as dark and as violent as they generally are. What would enlightened films look like? Do you have any examples?

Lynch: I don’t have any examples, but I do think about this from time to time. I believe enlightened filmmaking would somehow portray the whole spectrum and depth of human experience. It would be transcendental filmmaking. It would be the surface and every single level on down, all the way to the transcendent. It would have fullness. It would have unbelievable power, understanding. It could be a simple story, but it would be completely thrilling on all levels. Filmmaking is still pretty new—only 110 years old! There’s still a lot of potential in it.

WIE: How has your initiative to bring TM into the American school system been going?

Lynch: It’s been real good. The foundation is raising money. There are new schools introducing Transcendental Meditation into their curriculum. Every single time it happens, students become absolutely transformed. Their grades go up; they aren’t afraid to go to school; they’re happy inside themselves. When you see kids that are reflecting more and more consciousness, they glow with a new power and become so self-assured you stop worrying about them. I think education should really develop the full potential of the human being, and that all you have to do is give them this simple technique that allows them to dive within and enliven the deepest level of themselves. It’s such a beautiful thing.
“When you dive within, it feels like you’ve been hooked into the cosmic electric factory of bliss and it’s flowing right into you. It’s electric gold!”