Yesterday, for the first time in almost a year, I purchased a few books. One of these was by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor entitled My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. I devoured it in one sitting. I regret that I came to it so late, since I knew of the book and the author when it first appeared in 2006. I would not only recommend this book as a companion volume to A.H. Almaas’s Luminous Night’s Journey, but also to anyone who finds the work of Carlos Castaneda riddling or impossible. Dr. Jill’s book does provide fresh insight into the neuorological bases for Castaneda’s own experiences and his “sorcerer’s cognition”.
“A guy as personally hampered and sociopathic as Julian may in fact thrive in an inhuman situation like this. Unlike a lot of keyboard-hammering geeks, he’s a serious reader and a pretty good writer, with a jailhouse-lawyer facility for pointing out weaknesses in the logic of his opponents, and boy are they ever. Weak, that is. They are pathetically weak.”– Bruce Sterling, “The Blast Shack”
“The new consciousness structure has nothing to do with might, rule, and overpowering. Thus it cannot be striven for, only elicited or awakened. Anyone who strives for it, intending to attain it mentally, is condemned to failure at the outset. This is also true of those who think that mere desire and the power of imagination, that is, mythically-tinged volition, are sufficient to fully effect the new mutation. And it is equally true of those who believe that they can master the mutation by some machination, for they simply revert to magic compulsion and constraint.
What is needed is care; a great deal of patience; and the laying aside of many preconceived opinions, wishful dreams, and the blind sway of demands. There is a need for a certain detachment toward oneself and the world, a gradually maturing equilibrium of all the inherent components and consciousness structures predisposed in ourselves, in order that we may prepare the basis for the leap into the new mutation”. — Jean Gebser, “The New Mutation” in The Ever-Present Origin.
Before I trundle off to do my Christmas Day visiting rounds, I thought I would post something that bears, significantly, on the last few posts respecting Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and the internet — particularly as it reflects on Bruce Sterling’s take on Assange being a kind of avatar of the internet itself.
“Diplomats are people who speak from nation to nation. They personify nations, and nations are brutal, savage, feral entities. Diplomats used to have something in the way of an international community, until the Americans decided to unilaterally abandon that in pursuit of Bradley Manning’s oil war. Now nations are so badly off that they can’t even get it together to coherently tackle heroin, hydrogen bombs, global warming and financial collapse. Not to mention the Internet.
The world has lousy diplomacy now. It’s dysfunctional. The world corps diplomatique are weak, really weak, and the US diplomatic corps, which used to be the senior and best-engineered outfit there, is rattling around bottled-up in blast-proofed bunkers. It’s scary how weak and useless they are.” — Bruce Sterling, “The Blast Shack”
Since KK emailed me the link to Bruce Sterling’s “The Blast Shack“, I’ve been reading and re-reading Sterling’s sometimes witty (and sometimes not) observations about Julian Assange and Wikileaks. As much as for what Sterling doesn’t say (or contextualise) as for what he does say about the meaning of Assange, I thought I would post something about Sterling’s piece. It’s one of the better commentaries out there about the meaning of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
“Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain looking up at the sky. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway,” NASA’s Dr. Tony Phillips explained on the administration’s official website. “You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it’s not. The rim of the planet is on fire. As you scan your eye around Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once.” — Clear skies offer stellar view of lunar eclipse in GTA, The Toronto Sun