Now Reading: The Teachers of Gurdjieff

by Rafael Lefort.
Book Description
When The Teachers of Gurdjieff was first published some 25 years ago, it made a very considerable stir. George Gurdjieff was one of the most famous mystics before the war, a teaching master who had many fashionable and influential pupils. He had a striking appearance and manner of teaching, one that was to prove influential. The meaning of his teaching and the sources of it were a puzzle. How did he come by his knowledge? What was to become of it? These were questions that engaged many seekers.
Yet, with the rapidly changing focus of our era in all things, not least spiritual, this is in some real part a book of another time. From the time of Gurdjieff’s operations to the early ’70s, many in the West were discovering, for the first time, the older religious and spiritual traditions of the East. After his death, Gurdjieff’s followers were running groups in “the fourth way”; travelers set out to India, Tibet, Japan, Turkey and other parts east to find their Buddhists, Tibetan Buddhists, Sonoran Shamen, and the rest. Schools began, seekers sought and found, sought again, found again.

Today, everything is available and exposed on the table, and anybody can connect with any technique at any time. And the possibilities are endless, highly intellectual, highly emotional, highly sensual. How many different forms of yoga, zen philosophy are there, and is a lifetime enough to find a proper combination, or is the answer closer at home.

This book offers, among the adventures of the search and the souks of Baghdad and Aleppo, striking and timeless advice to those interested in finding spirituality. Its appeal is far beyond that of one seeker in one era, but offers us information, today, on how to evaluate different forms of teaching, how to study, and even some tantalizing information on the role of Jesus.

Excerpted:
You are scrabbling about in the sand, attracted by pieces of mica to knit together and make a window, not realising that the sand itself is capable of being transformed into the purest glass.–

From The Teachers of Gurdjieff
At Amazon: The Teachers of Gurdjief

Playing on the Ipod: Iggy Pop – Life

Iggy Pop: I’ll tell you about punk rock: punk rock is a word used by dilettantes and, uh… and, uh… heartless manipulators, about music… that takes up the energies, and the bodies, and the hearts and the souls and the time and the minds, of young men, who give what they have to it, and give everything they have to it. And it’s a… it’s a term that’s based on contempt; it’s a term that’s based on fashion, style, elitism, satanism, and, everything that’s rotten about rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t know Johnny Rotten.. but I’m sure, I’m sure he puts as much blood and sweat into what he does as Sigmund Freud did. You see, what, what sounds to you like a big load of trashy old noise… is in fact… the brilliant music of a genius… myself. And that music is so powerful, that it’s quite beyond my control. And, ah… when I’m in the grips of it, I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I’m talking about? Have you ever, have you ever felt like that? When you just, when you just, you couldn’t feel anything, and you didn’t want to either. You know, like that? Do you understand what I’m saying, sir?

At Amazon Iggy Pop – Open Up and Bleed. The Biograph

Now Reading: Journey to the End of the Night

Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit, 1932) is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

This semi-autobiographical work follows antihero Ferdinand Bardamu through his involvement in World War I, colonial Africa, and post-WWI America (where he works for the Ford Motor Company), returning in the second half of the work to France, where he becomes a medical doctor and sets up a practice in a poor Paris suburb, the fictional La Garenne-Rancy. The novel also satirizes the medical profession and the vocation of scientific research. The disparate elements of the work are linked together by recurrent encounters with Léon Robinson, a hapless character whose experiences parallel, to some extent, those of Bardamu.

As its title suggests, Voyage au bout de la nuit is a dark, nihilistic novel of savage, exultant misanthropy, leavened, however, with an ebulliently cynical humour. Céline expresses an almost unrelieved pessimism with regard to human nature, human institutions, society, and life in general. Towards the end of the book, the narrator Bardamu, who is working at an insane asylum, remarks:

…I cannot refrain from doubting that there exist any genuine realizations of our deepest character except war and illness, those two infinities of nightmare,”

42

The answer is 42 !! AFTER pondering the weighty question of the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have come up with an answer: 42.
That is, our galaxy weighs three times 10 to the power of 42kg – a number written as 3 followed by 42 zeroes, which has echoes of author Douglas Adams’s fictional answer to the question of life, the universe and everything in his series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

More here