Tag Archives: Philosophy

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.

Tricky Reflects On The Seductive Powers Of Ego…

27 Jan

Tricky/Adrian Thaws is an artist that is unequivocal.

He has no peer.

Tricky is a Humble Musical Genius…

He was one of the original members of Massive Attack and he is credited along with them for inventing the genre of trip hop {although it is a label that he rejects}.

In this video clip, Tricky reflects on the seductive powers of ego.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebQ9nQmiRuY

Tricky disregards music critics and writers but instead embraces his listeners. He has disdain for the term “fan” as it is derived from the word fanatic. Tricky feels that it is derogatory; instead, he calls them like-minded people. For Tricky it is his listeners that really matter. He says a lot of what guides his career is a dedication to his listeners.

Tricky calls what music critics write as forgettable, disposable and devoid of meaning as “his music will still be there after the magazine has faded and gone.” He concludes that music criticism is not really real. {Any loyal Tricky listener will notice the connection to his songs “for real” and “really real”}.

Ego is a very dangerous element for Tricky. He observes,

Ego is a very dangerous thing to play around with. Ego will get you quicker than coke, quicker than heroine, quicker than drugs, drink…In this business, it’s all those things. You got cocaine, you got heroine, you got alcohol, self-abuse…Everybody knows what they can do to an artist. The ego is just as dangerous as all of those…When you start to take yourself too seriously…

What I always remember…now it is my turn and one day no one’s going to be interested in what I’m doing and there’s going to someone else…there’s going to be a new Tricky. There’s going to be a new kid that someone’s talking about. I’m going to be a has been…an artist of back then. I’m going to be an old school artist. I might still have people that are in to what I’m doing but the interest is not going to be there. Every dog has his day. So it’s just short-term now, appreciate it and better hope you got something else to go on to because you can’t stay in the limelight. You can’t stay a now person. You can’t be the in person.

When I’m 50, whatever people think about me, if I, people will say if I changed the face of music. That aint’ going to matter. You know what I mean? It’s going to be someone else who changes the face of music or what people write about. You can’t really take yourself too seriously. You got to have fun. You got to feel like you’re lucky… I could be out there doing construction work. I could have a job where I get up at four, five o’clock in the morning and work on the road all day. That’s a hard job. Now I go around the world doing press and playing shows.

Ego don’t come into it…”

It is this gratitude that sets Tricky apart as he completely removes ego from the equation. His humility and work ethos are so refreshing in this age of ego and narcissism. I completely respect Tricky, his music and his philosophy. I have been an admirer and listener of his music for so many years. Tricky’s music has been a continuous healing soundtrack in my life. His music continues to sing to my soul and like any timeless love affair, I can honestly say that this love has only intensified with time. I deeply appreciate Tricky’s music/art, talent and humility. I am always fascinated to know more about Adrian Thaws, the brilliant yet humble man behind the artist Tricky.

*Happy birthday Tricky!!!

I love and respect you, your music/art more than ever.

Please keep creating more.

Thank you from the depths of my soul.

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Please enjoy Nothing’s Changed by Tricky & Francesca Belmonte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSpmnjbomx0

Tricky performs Nothing’s Changed featuring Francesca Belmonte –

“Success has got nothing to do with happiness…”

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For more information…

Tricky…http://www.trickysite.com/

Francesca Belmonte…http://francescabelmonte.co.uk/

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Peace & Namaste….

Reflection for today…Unforgettable -Jim Morrison

15 May

“I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star.

Everyone stops, points up and gasps “Oh look at that!”

Then- whoosh, and I’m gone…

and they’ll never see anything like it ever again…

and they won’t be able to forget me- ever.

―Jim Morrison 

Jim Morrison…Poet/Writer/Musician/Artist/Free Spirit/Beautiful Soul

verdillac:” It hurts to set you free, but you’ll never follow me, the end of laughter and soft lies, the end of nights we tried to die, THIS IS THE END! ”

Jim Morrison’s Grave in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
It is a pilgrimage for Jim Morrison admirers to visit his grave and pay their respects…

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James Douglas Morrison also known as Jim Morrison was a free spirit, poet, artist, writer and musician.

He is one of those artists whose art has a timeless impact on humanity.

Jim was a lover of literature, philosophy, music, poetry, art, drama, shamanism, independent and critical thinking, etcetera.

He had many intellectual, creative and artistic interests.

Later in his life he was developing a stronger affinity for the blues and poetry.

I would have loved to see how Jim would have evolved as an artist and human being.

For now his admirers can read and listen to his work- the creative gifts he left us.

Jim will never be forgotten…

He is unforgettable.

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Please enjoy Jim’s Smile…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMhiDCZXU2k

I adore his smile!!!

It is like he has a secret- so mischievous…

{Jim’s smile could melt the coldest heart}.

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Please enjoy Bird of Prey by Jim Morrison…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ft37338Okc

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Have you read Jim’s poetry books?

What are your favourite Doors‘ songs?

What are your reflections on Jim Morrison?

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For more information on Jim Morrison…

https://thedoors.com/home

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Many more Jim Morrison posts are coming up in the near future…

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…To Be A Philosopher -Henry David Thoreau

27 Sep

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts,

not even to found a school,

but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates,

a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.

It is to solve some of the problems of life,

not only theoretically, but practically.”

Henry David ThoreauWalden (1854), p. 12

"The heart is a symbol of love, of emotion, the center of our Selves. Wings represent freedom, divinity, and transcendence..."

Heart of Wisdom Symbolic Mandala by: Cristina McAllister at Gypsy Mystery Arts.
Please go to:
http://cristinamcallister.blogspot.ca/2011/01/art-spotlight-heart-of-wisdom.html for more information. She goes into an even deeper analysis and explanation on her blog. It is trully fascinating. 

According to the artist Cristina McAllister:
“The heart is a symbol of love, of emotion, the center of our Selves. Wings represent freedom, divinity, and transcendence.
Together they suggest the form of an owl – an animal sacred to Athena, ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, civilization, strength and strategy. Owls have been revered throughout the world as messengers of sacred knowledge, insight and intuitive awareness, as well as scholarly pursuits.
At the top, a Native American shaman’s eye offers wisdom and protection. In many tribal cultures, shamans serve as intermediaries between the human and spirit worlds. They interpret omens and offer insight through mystical, as well as practical means, in effort to protect and guide their people.
Below twines a pair of snakes. These creatures signified wisdom to the ancient Egyptians, Jews, Gnostics, Eastern Indians and Chinese. The notion of snakes being wise was based on observations of their behavior. When hunting, snakes appear to think deeply and consider every move before acting.
Also present are two West African adrinka symbols. Sankofa, or “return and get it” (above the winged heart) represents the ability to learn from the past. Nyansapo, or “Knot of Wisdom” (at bottom center) indicates intelligence, wisdom and cleverness.”

Buddha Mind Voyager

Photo Courtesy of: Unborn Mind Zen Blog
http://unbornmind.com/myblog/2012/02/23/now-voyager/

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This quote begs the question…Do you love wisdom enough to live in wisdom?

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Life Hurts More Than Death -Jim Morrison

1 Sep

People fear death even more than pain.

It’s strange that they fear death.

Life hurts a lot more than death.

At the point of death, the pain is over.

Yeah, I guess it is a friend.”

Jim Morrison

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I just had to include one of my favourite songs by The Doors as it is relevant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lofF2p0_cJs

“This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again…”

-The Doors, The End

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Do you agree with Jim?

Why or why not?

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For more information on Jim Morrison and his band The Doors,

please visit:

http://www.thedoors.com/index.php

Peace & Namaste…