Friday, 31 August 2007
Thursday, 30 August 2007
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
Fortunately Ruskin's new fashion caught on fast and soon everybody was wearing Sideburns, or Ruskinhair as they were originally called. Sideburns became hugely popular in the nineteenth century throughout the Western world and were later adopted in Japan, which had a near national obsession with all things Ruskin. Nineteenth-century sideburns were often much more extravagant than those seen today - very bushy and extending much further down, almost to the chin. Here is the great man himself, at the age of 35, with his sideburns in fine form. There truely is 'no wealth but life'
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Monday, 27 August 2007
Friday, 24 August 2007
It is known that Emperor Rudolf met with leading Kabbalist Rabbi Loew. The Rabbi’s knowledge of the ancient texts was extensive and sometimes quite different from prevailing opinions, especially in his interpretation of the Sephirot, the ten aspects of God which we saw something of yesterday. The Rabbi was a leading member of the Jewish community in Prague just as Kafka's family would be, some century's later.
Thursday, 23 August 2007
The Structure of the Universe
The Tree of Life
A Road Atlas for Heaven
The Structure of the Human Soul
The Pathways of the Kaballah.
As usual Superhero comic books are the most sensible way to learn about stuff.
The comic book Promethia by comic legend Alan Moore explains Kabbalistic philosophy. Sections of the comic map out Kabbala's Tree of Life, the map connecting the sephirot or spheres representing God's attributes (or states of mind). The Sefirot are useful as allegorical representations of the range of human experience. The conceit of "Promethea's" middle act is that Promethea, spends a chapter apiece traveling through metaphorical representations of each of the 10 Kabbalistic sephirot.
In fact, the Kabbala volumes of "Promethea" are thrilling, partly because they're total eye candy. Williams and Gray draw each chapter in a style of its own, with a color palette dominated by the part of the spectrum associated with that chapter's sphere. The panel backgrounds for the "Chesed" sphere are painted with blotchy, van Gogh-inspired brush strokes, suffused with blue; Binah, the realm of the whore of Babalon, is drenched in blacks and dark, tinted grays, with outlines that crinkle like woodcut prints. The colors of the highest sphere, Kether, are traditionally white and gold, and its chapter is illustrated almost entirely in shimmering, pointillist golden yellow.
Moore delights in revealing how everything ties together, all of human characteristics, history, religion and experience.
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
Merkaba: Merkaba is a sacred, healing shape seen here in a Smoky Quartz colour which is a wonderful colour to help with deflecting negativity.
Kabbalah candles, one sniff of which will help to charge you up with natural energy, or perhaps help you relax and attune your energy to that of the invisible sphere. Also included here is the Kabbalah Red String, instruction for which are as follows and it is strongly recommended that you follow the instructions closely:
Have someone you love tie the Red Kabbalah String to your left wrist. First, have them tie the string closely around your wrist with a simple knot. Repeat by knotting the string six more times for a total of seven knots. Now, refrain from negative thoughts or talking about others (referred to as 'Loshen Hara'). Simply recite the 'BenPorat Prayer' (included) and focus on positive character traits to develop during this important meditation.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
"August 21st. Wednesday. Beaten down again, with uncertainty. No letters."
Monday, 20 August 2007
Gershom Scholem (1897–1982), was a Jewish philosopher and historian raised in Germany. He is widely regarded as the modern founder of the scholarly study of Kabbalah, becoming the first Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He studied mathematics, philosophy, and Hebrew at the University of Berlin, where he came into contact with Benjamin. Less notable in his academic career was his establishment of the fictive University of Muri with Benjamin.
Scholem first met Benjamin in 1915, when Benjamin delivered a speech to a meeting of the youth movement Scholem was a member of. Scholem recalls that Benjamin delivered the entire speech without once looking at the audience, but stared at a spot on the ceiling throughout the speech.
Scholem believed in the power of language to invoke supernatural phenomena. In contrast to Benjamin, he put the Hebrew language in a privileged position with respect to other languages, as the only language capable of revealing the divine truth. Scholem considered the Kabbalists as interpreters of a pre-existent linguistic revelation.
Scholem believed that Kafka's works were somehow mysteriously connected with the Kabbalah, saying "to understand the Kabbalah nowadays one has to read Kafka first, particularly The Trial."
According to its adherents, intimate understanding and mastery of the Kabbalah brings man spiritually closer to God and as a result humanity can be empowered with higher insight into the inner-workings of God’s creation.
According to Kabbalist tradition, the Kabbalah was, in around the 10th century BCE, an open knowledge practiced by over a million people in ancient Israel.
Friday, 17 August 2007
Thursday, 16 August 2007
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Speaking of bardashes, this is what I know about them. Here it is quite accepted. One admits one's sodomy, and it is spoken of at table in the hotel. Travelling, we have considered it our duty to indulge in this form of ejaculation. It's at the baths that such things take place. You reserve the bath for yourself and you skewer your lad in one of the rooms. All the bath boys are bardashes. We had our eye on one in an establishment very near our hotel.
Yesterday, my kellaa was rubbing me gently, he began to pull with his right hand on my prick, and as he drew it up and down he leaned over my shoulder and said "baksheesh, baksheesh". He was a man in his fifties, ignoble, disgusting - imagine the effect. I pushed him away a little, he smiled a smile that meant, 'You're not fooling me - you like it as much as anybody, but today you've decided against it for some reason'.
From a letter by Flaubert to Louis Bouilhet 2nd June 1850:-
By the way, you ask me if I consummated that business at the baths. Yes- and on a pockmarked young rascal wearing a white turban. It made me laugh, that's all. But I'll be at it again. To be done well, an experiment must be repeated.
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
Monday, 13 August 2007
Benjamin believed that the Angelus Novus is looking at the past "which lies in ruins before its gaze. The Angelus Novus is being propelled into the future, to which its back is turned, by the storm, the explosion, of progress - the manifestation of a historical consciousness with an understanding of time where every second is the strait gate through which the Messiah might enter. History's true messianic aspect must be returned to the concept of the classless society in the interest of the revolutionary politics of the proletariat itself."
Friday, 10 August 2007
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
As Sunday rolled around, a couple of friends of mine invited me to play football in the nearby park. Off we went but with the very first kick I managed to land the damn ball in the park lake. With the ball lodged against a tree branch in the centre of the lake, totally out of our reach, we were all ready to go home and give up on the football idea.
At that time I had been reading a biography of Sir Sidney Smith (1764 –1840), a British Admiral of whom Napoleon said, "That man made me miss my destiny". Smith was a great hero who triumphed over incredible odds and who never surrendered, never gave up. Imprisoned in a Paris Jail during the Napoleonic Wars he had managed, against unbelievable odds, to escape and make his way back to England. In many ways he seemed unstoppable.
Inspired by Smith I thought, “What would Smith do at a moment like this? He wouldn’t just give in and go home. He would find a way to get that ball out of that lake, and he’d bloody well play football even if it half killed him”. Filled with such inspirational rhetoric I managed to persuade my friends to likewise make an effort to get the ball.
To cut a long story short, after about 2 hours of throwing sticks and bricks at the ball, trying to dislodge it, a group of local Pakistani toughs saw us and started to give us some grief. “What you doing? Can we join in?” It didn’t go well and culminated with me getting pushed into the lake as they ran off laughing.
I skulked off back home to have a shower to get rid of the rank smell of the stagnant lake. I had my date in about half an hour but now all the bravado and enthusiasm had drained out of me. Far from feeling like The Man, like a potential lover, meeting his Cyber lover, I now felt like a man who’d been pushed in a lake by some kids and who still hadn’t managed to get his ball back. I was pathetic, and it was in that state of mind that I went off on my date.
Ah, it didn’t go well, I was restrained and felt under confident, I’d been standing up to my knee's in a lake only an hour before. She was nice, pretty, but my despondency showed and there was no spark. After that day our emails got fewer and fewer. I regretted my mood and tried to get the cyber passion back, but I really was becoming a cyber stalker, so after a while, unlike Sidney Smith I had to give up and just let it lie.