Sunday, April 29, 2007

Duncan's new video!

Here is my friend Duncan's new video for his song about living in Ehime ("Love Princess").

And here are clips of the Osaka Aquarium on top of a De-Phazz song.

Here is the progression of a painting and the Goodbye Song I recorded for one of my students.

And the short video i made last year of my trip to kansas. There is a longer version too. Let me know if you want a copy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A few wonders

this is a new video i made for Jane and Kate. The original (below) was too long to upload in full quality, so i made this shorter version. enjoy! Can you spot me at the end helping carry the taiko?

and this is the original version.

And I just re-uploaded this old video. The quality is much better now.

Camping, Sumo, and a little book review

Well, It’s finally here. Now millions of tiny green flickering faces adorn all the trees, flapping like flags, the branches dance butoh naked, slowly swaying like seaweed. The flowers are out, the perfumed air and ladybugs on backpacks and dandelions, birds, bugs bugs bugs bugs bugs are back and black and blue and green. A green gecko lives in my stairwell; brown turtles line the creeks, sitting in the sun like old men waiting for the bus.

The delicate, rubbery white cherry blossoms fell like flakes, turned brown, and then dissolved away.

Speaking of all these new, sparkling, light-emitting leaves, I just read that trees produce more leaves than necessary for their survival. Abundance really does seem to be the way of Nature. Birds continue to sing when the mating and nest-building season is long gone. Supposedly humpback whales (who have a neo-cortex like us) sing long, intricate songs that can last over forty minutes. These songs seem to be an outpour of the richness of life, going far beyond the announcement of a position in the ocean.

I read that in a book called The Radiance of Being by Allan Combs. The title might turn you off (or turn you on) but far from being an airy fairy book about new age spirituality, this book is a highly respected integral look at chaos theory and the brain, as well as a tour of the major evolutionary theories past and present. It is the Winner of Best Book of the Year of the Scientific and Medical Network of the U.K.! Yeah, and it fuckn rocks and is a necessary book for anyone that likes science, evolution, and spirit.

I’m also working on “The Super Sensual Life” by Jacob Boehme, a mystical classic. Boehme was a German philosopher priest and artists alive in the late 15, early 1600s. He was actually censored for heresy and silenced for seven years by his own town council, but nonetheless, he produced some twenty-nine books on philosophical theology, and was quite a teacher in the alchemical and mystical sects of the day.

Now I'll explain the pics at the top. One morning the entire school picked up their chairs and went down the street to the local shine to Sumo wrestle. All the boys had to do it. And none of the girls got to. Sumo is a mans-only sport here. "But what if a girl wants to do it?" I asked the female PE teacher. “No Girls want to. Too dangerous.” And indeed, there was blood spilled that bright, beautiful day. Cherry blossoms fell on us too.

Also are pics of a camping trip some friends and I took to the ocean. I liked how the surfers all took their shoes off before entering the beach.

At the ocean we found caves and rocks with holes in them, shells and jellyfish and pinecones, all radial designs. Circles, symmetry, order, structure. These tiny jewels scattered across the beach (the subjects of paintings) complemented perfectly the book I’m reading now about symmetry and chaos found in nature called Crystal and Dragon. It’s awesome. All artists should definitely check it out immediacy. Crystal and Dragon by David Wade. It's a picture book. Also, Art Forms in Nature by Biologist/artist Ernst Haeckel is like the Magic Mirror of MC Escher: a fuckn crazy deep and delicate study of divine form and a necessity for any artist (Mark, Charlie, Mike, Sam, I hope you are searching amazon right now. and dont forget the David Wade book.)

I’m also currently reading Suicide Dictionary by Paul Lonely. He sent me a pdf of the book so that I could help him create an illuminated version one day. The book comes out in November. This…masterpiece is by far one of the most pleasurable literary discoveries I have made in my life. Its kind of like when you meet a professor who seems to know everything you do and more, and everything they say you drink in madly, and every moment is pleasure even to the highest of intellectual ecstasy. (God I want to go back to school!) Lights are Lit, and holding the lantern the professor leads you deeper into the caves of your interests, illuminating secret rooms and puzzles along the intricate passages, and then they suddenly take you out of the cave, and you get to see the mountains, and whole valleys and villages you did not expect to find stand naked for you to investigate. And then the professor’s lights become a fountain of stars illuminating entirely new planets and galaxies. As for the book... direct experiences of integral conciousness and concepts (floating fully felt in the darkness of languageless mind) are shaped into poems. This magician weaves together the wisdom of the integrated mind into a beautiful quilt to sit and meditate upon.

Highly recommended.

(If you are interested, please read Michael's review below.)

You know what, why don’t I just do this. It’s long overdue.

David’s Book Review

Actually, no. ill do it later.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

my god.

I just read that the Phelps family is planning on picketing the funerals of the victims of the VT shooting. The Topeka, Kansas based Westboro Baptist Church, known for anti-gay protests at funerals of military personnel, posted a press release on its website Tuesday indicating that its members plan to picket memorial services for the 32 individuals killed at Virginia Tech on Monday. The release said in part: "WBC to picket memorial services for 32 students massacred at Virginia Tech—in religious protest and warning: God is punishing America for going the way of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah…." The only individual Virginia Tech victim currently on its website’s listing of upcoming picketing is the April 21 funeral of student Ryan Clark, which is scheduled to take place in Evans, Georgia. Luckily, I think a number of states including Georgia have enacted laws to restrict picketing at or near funerals.
[Thanks Howard Friedman for the story]
As my Dad pointed out to me at my sister’s graduation, (at which the Phelpses picketed) the more these nuts trot themselves about, the more they become a symbol of the need for tolerance.

They, of course, think that everything is governed by the will of God, and bad things happen to people who deserve it. Can’t blame them for holding that mythical perspective. I just don't understand why creating more pain in this sinful world helps achieved their religious goals. Is this really the “Good News” to them? They must not be very happy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

the Virginia Shootings and a conversation with Jenny

my good friend Jenny in Austrailia recently forwarded me this message:

Do you remember February 1993 when a young boy of 3 was taken from a
Liverpool shopping centre by two 10-year-old boys?
Jamie Bulger walked away from his mother for only a second, Jon Venables
took his hand and led him out of the mall with his friend Robert Thompson.
They took Jamie on a walk for over 2 and a half miles, along the way
stopping every now and again to torture the poor little boy who was crying
constantly for his mummy.

Finally they stopped at a railway track where they brutally kicked him,
threw stones at him, rubbed paint in his eyes, pushed batteries up his anus
and cut his fingers off with scissors. Other mutilations were inflicted but
not reported in the press.
(What these two boys did was so horrendous that Jamie's mother was forbidden
to identify his body.)

They then left his beaten small body on railway tracks so a train could run
him over to hide the mess they had created. These two boys, even being boys,
understood what they did was wrong, hence trying to make it look like an

This week Lady Justice Butler-Sloss has awarded the two boys anonymity for
the rest of their lives when they leave custody with
New identities.They will also leave custody early only serving just over
half of their sentence. They are being relocated to Australia to live out
the rest of their lives.
They disgustingly and violently took Jamie's life away and in return they
each get a new life!

If you feel as strongly as we do, that this is a grave miscarriage of
justice, copy this entire email and paste into a new email then add your
name at the end, and send it to everyone you can!

I couldn't sign it. I didn't quite know why, but since Jenny is my
good friend, I decided to just write as if she were next to me:

"Its my understanding that both boys came from violent families and
were abused ( and I don't think
10-year-olds really know the severity of their actions (even if they
know it's wrong.) I sure didn't clearly understand right from wrong
when i was that age. I did some pretty crazy things. Nothing so
disgusting and violent as these two boys, but things that I now see as
morally wrong. Anyway, I strongly believe in rehabilitation and second
chances. And if you think they get a new life free from their crime,
well, i don't think that's very realistic. they will take what they
did to the grave. Those boys are suffering more than we can imagine.
Id like to know what Jamie's mother thinks."

She wrote back:

Hi David - thanks for your comments - I respect your point of view as
always, but I have to add something here.
I understand what you say about 10-yr-olds and their understanding of right
and wrong and consequences and severity of their actions, - I've had
children of my own and have taught children for years, and have been a
nurse, - but you can't generalise here and a lot depends on upbringing,
amongst so many other factors.
I was abused, physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally, on a regular
basis from age 5 through 15, by a sadistic and brutal stepfather, and
watched helpless as he repeatedly beat my mother senseless.
My mother was a hopeless alcoholic who was powerless to protect me and my
I've been homeless and lived on the streets in poverty for a period of
months as a teenager.
Consequently, I have grown up - NOT a sadistic killer, but a kind, caring,
sensitive 'normal' human being. I have never physically attacked anyone or
intentionally caused harm or distress. I've raised 3 sons who are themselves
kind caring human beings.
All this means is that I believe there are no excuses for this behaviour -
everyone has a choice - even 10-year-olds.
We're all here to learn - and if these boys are here to learn - whatever -
then they've got to face the consequences of their actions - whatever that
may be. I believe in rehabilitation too, definitely, but I don't believe in
protecting the 'feelings' of the perpetators of violent crimes at the
expense of the victims and their families.
Sure the boys must be suffering - but you ask what Jamie's mother thinks - I
can tell you as a mother she'll be already suffering unspeakably. I'm not
sure I could live with that myself.
Anyway, these are just my thoughts, and as I said, I respect your view. I'm
just coming from my position as a mother.

then I wrote back: I totally agree with you now that the children's
upbringing is not
necessarily relevant (and i bet many killers had loving families) but
those ten-year-olds are gone. the 18 year old boys now standing with
the same name i dont think are the same people. Im not the same as i
was when i was ten. I bet they are getting released because the
professionals agree that these boys are not the same ones that did the
crime, and so need to be released. (or else, do you think they are
getting an early release to save money or something? i dont know).
And who knows...maybe we shouldn't deny the world whatever
contributions these two souls can make. I just dont know if im in a
position to choose.
why do you want them to stay in prison?

Jenny to me
mmmm..... good point - I'm not sure if I want them to remain in prison ...
not sure WHAT I want for them to tell the truth (except to grow and become
whole) - And I can't help thinking about that little boy's last moments. - I
guess I just hope that the authorities know what they're doing... heaven
knows mistakes have been made before. But if something good can come of it
all then so be it.
.... I guess time will tell.
Thanks for helping me see it from a different perspective ... I guess we all
have something to learn from things like this, ne?

And then I sent this back.

my eyes watered when you said you just wanted them whole. ah... you
opened me up to a deeper form of compassion.

and thank you for bringing these issues to my attention. I of course
felt this incredible anger towards those two boys, and there is no way
they can just get off so easily! i was wishing harm upon them for
their stupid, sick behavior. who did they think they were? Savage
monkeys? Demon toys? and your email fit right in with my immediate
reaction to the shooter responsible for the 33 dead in Virginia.
Well, I'm breaking over the shootings right now. all of this sickens
me this sickens me. It's as if the world can't keep quite for very
long. Not saying that there isn't constantly killing and suffering,
but right when I begin to forget about it, an event like this happens.
and im also reminded of those two children who tortured and murdered
that little boy, and i cant stop thinking about how deep and sick our
problems are here on this planet.

What causes such things? Some would say its simply Satan. Easy
answer. But If Satan is of God, then its also God's doing. Well, that
might work for some. Its evil. The killer was evil. This seems
unlikely. Unless evil is another word for confusion or sickness. It
seems to me that the shooter was not very happy or sane or whole, and
they must have been suffering deeply to manifest such violence and
inhumane unlove. Violence is always caused by suffering. or so it

I immediately think of the university shooter's family. How they must
all be suffering. God it's too much. And of course the friends and
family of the other 32 killed. all those crying mothers and brothers.
To hear that their beloved son or daughter or friend was killed today
at school by a madman. Each one of those people, including the
shooter, was cared for and loved by somebody, their mothers at least,
and then lost. It's easy to feel intense hatred and anger toward the
shooter. I sure did. But was this man sane? Surly sanity doesn't
manifest as such a cruel and unusual action. Although it happens
everyday in this world, and more and more frequently (and younger and
younger), these acts of violence and cruelty are shocking news for us.
We can't believe it! It's outrageous! This moral outrage is clearly
a sign that we collectively know this isn't normal behavior. Is
abnormal, rare, and shocking, and should not be! We collectively seem
to share a lot of moral values (some of which we didn't necessarily
have five thousand years ago when we were sacrificing children to the
gods and torturing slaves and whathaveyou. Our morals have evolved,
and these killers are dragging their feet and causing horrible rug
burn for the rest of the world.

As a Buddhist i like to believe that Satan-as-Confusion did cause
this. And when we wake up and discover the sanity and spacious care
deep within (Clarity), we also find that we never want to harm anyone
but only help others awaken to how beautiful and whole they already
and always are.

Guns, and our fuct up society that could produce such a sick bird...I
think of the idea that terrorists like this man in virginia and those
two ten-year-old boys are like the canneries that fell sick due to
the poisons surrounding them in the caves. That metaphor actually
stretches far, to Plato's caves and whatnot, but above that it simply
helps me grapple with the fact that no one develops alone. "It takes
a village". And if it's a chemical imbalance, then the blame can't be
on the sick person.(I dont buy that previous bad karma and now their
living it out stuff. I just dont think the Jews were solely
responsible for the Holocaust. or people who get cancer brought it
upon themselves from some bad or unskillful action done in the past?
thats silly. It takes a village, and an ecosystem, and a world
history, and an oil spill.

If the cause was simply the sick and twisted mind of the natural born
killer, then that is beyond our control. nature creates deformed
babies. its natural deformity, asymmetry, caos. which actually, when held in contrast
with symmetry and wholeness, creates a kind of symmetry: duality. this type of symetry is nessisary for our universe: light adn dark, hot and cold, order and caos. And this symetry in nature is very functionable. There seems to be a mingling of order and disorder found in every aspect of nature, so we can justify crazy actions that way.

If the torturer somehow thinks he will get lasting pleasure from
harming others, then it was confusion that clouded his judgment, and
that is due to years of conditioning and conforming to the
pre-rational, psychotic molds of samsaric karmic mind. Or maybe, in
the case of the two ten-year-olds, it was that Child's Play movie they
watched the week before. I guess it appeared they mimicked one of the
murder scenes in that movie.

Or maybe it was the rape of the mother, or the unloving parents, and
unloving world, and unloving god, and unloving self! there is no end
to the blame. The world produced the terrorist, and so the world
feels the terrorist's wrath.
And the poor terrorist never gets any peace and quite.

What purpose in the evolution of our species can these acts of evil
possibly have? Maybe they help us awaken to the utter preciousness of
life and death a bit deeper than before. The families of the dead
3-year-old boy, as well as the dead students in Virginia, might now
feel more compassion towards others who have lost children due to
violence. and this facilitates higher stages of development in
cognition (the ability to take on other perspectives) and compassion
(the ability to care). And victims families may value their own lives
more then ever before now. Maybe this helps evolution progress into
higher and more complex modes of being. that makes some sense. it
helps spread compassion and ultimately more happiness.

But still i think of the killer's family. It's harder to find a
support group for people in their situation. They, like the parents of
the two ten-year-old boys, will undoubtedly get hate mail and violence
for many days and nights, from their community who should be
supporting them. They will probably suffer in ways we cannot imagine.
They will be blamed for something they could not have prevented, and
will also blame themselves for things they thought they could. This
has become a very long train of thought. i think ill put it on my
blog. do you mind if i post our conversation? I might just mention
bits of it?
In love,

Jen to me:

Absolutely - please feel free to use the conversation - it's given me much
food for thought and it's all steps, hopefully, to a greater understanding
of the world. Your blog is such a great conduit for that. I love the magic
of communication - exchange of ideas & inspiration - sometimes just a few
words can enrich a life, and sometimes maybe even save a life.
I'm shocked, too, at the senseless loss of life in Virginia, and at a loss
to understand what events in his life might have combined to bring the
gunman to this point. I wonder what devastating core beliefs could have
dragged someone to such depths of despair & loathing.
Such a waste of life - all those dreams and aspirations ... It's so so sad.

I love your honesty & insight David.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Integral Naked Nerds

Here are two spiritual nerds talking about reality. i love this stuff.

after i saw this i felt so huge. Ken has a great gift of being able to clearly point out that expansive awareness.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

it's in our hands

“Hamani” is when we go to the trees and eat food and drink beneath them with friends. (One can do this alone, of course, and I actually recommend it!) The greatest thing is when the flower petals fall on you and everything around you. Eating outside is actually always an incredible experience.

Listen to what Yasu wrote on his blog about airports.
"The airport has a special atmosphere like making people’s feel excited. I always feel like jumping and running in front of people and cant stop talking and laughing. So is the train station, but the airport has much stronger power than the other.
It is because of people in the airport, who are always happy to expect something new happens at the different worlds. All people before departure have full of energy, which is like right before spring season. The spring exploded everything after long hibernation. Look at beautiful cherry blossoms. We don’t need any lights when we walk under the blooming flowers at night. The Flower in spring has more bright than anything else. Before exploding, everything has to save energy to take actions. That is exactly same situation which people have before departure at the airport. We are able to feel their energetic bodies coming out of its deep hearts, releasing excited strong power. That power gives us special feeling easily as we passed by.
Secondly, the airport is the gate for being capable of going anyplace we want. We can go to the other sites of the earth from there, or even different planets, which mean that we can feel freedom. We can do wherever we want from there. We can touch the blue innocent sky. The beginning of place to catch enormous dreams is merely the airport…especially Japan is surrounded by ocean. We are isolated from continental people but we would love to make friends with them because we feel lonely, I guess that is one of reason we always stick to the United States. That is to say we feel something special when we are at the airplane. The airport is the gate for exploring a large number of possibilities for change the circumstance. I love that place."

And listen to what my friend Michael Garfield says about evolution: “This is the one definition of evolutionary progress deemed conventionally acceptable by current science: a blooming of diversity within a transcendent-yet-immanent whole.”

Immanent: existing in, and extending into, all parts of the created world. This reminds of a great meditation called looking deeply (Thich Nhat Hanh's version of this with a piece of paper is still my favorite. Hanh says nothing can "be" by itself. Instead it must "inter-be" with everything else. He calls our existence “interbeing.") Lets take this moment to look deeply into our hands. Ask yourself "what needs to exist in order for my hand to be there?" What is an intrinsic feature or support element of my hand? What is immanent to my hand? Well, my parents are in there, obviously. I'm essentially half my mom and half my dad, (and since I wasn’t exactly planned for like the other siblings were, a family joke is that a lousy spermicide manufacturing company is an integral part of my existence and I should write them a thankyou letter for making such a lousy product.) So my hand contains my parents and a contraceptive company, and that leads of course to my parent's parents, who have to be there, and their parents, and all my ancestors back forever to the very first one. What amazing sex they all had, and they all ate foods and saw the world and died glorious deaths. All my ancestors have to be there for my hand to be here now. Can you see your ancestors when you look deeply into your hands? Can you see my ancestors?

The sun is most definitely in my hands too, for without the sun I could not be alive. And if I am not alive, then I cant have these hands, so yes, of course the sun is in my hands. And the trees are in there, which gave me food, fruit and air and energy and bones and blood from the beginning of my life, and whose energy is now transformed into my hands, to some degree. And the tree grew from the dirt and dead leaves and energy from other trees, and from the rocks and the rain. So the clouds are in my hands, whose fallen bodies fed the trees, and fed my body. Water is inside of my hands (as well as Air, Earth, and Heart, Mind, Matter, Light, you name it, its there in my hands.) All these things are inside my hands, support my hands, create my hands, and so they can be seen within my hands when I look deeply.

Exactly how I see and feel and experience my hands relates to my perception, which is my mind. And because my mind is identical to my perception of my hands, it’s there in my hands too. Mind, light, ancestors, trees, clouds, farmers, rivers, mountains, stars, atoms, governments, wars, religions, fruits, berries, nuts, chickens, cows, grasses and insects, and of course, my self, mind, and spirit, All inside my hands. Right there, shining out from these scratched palms.

And where are my hands? The list of parts that make up the existence of my hands is long and full of everything whatsoever, but nowhere on that list was anything called "hand." No separate hand can be found. This is what is meant by the saying "your hand is empty." It’s empty of separateness, empty of inherently existing on its own accord. When looked at deeply, hand dissolves as a solid, singular, separate entity or concept, and opens up to overflow in fullness, like a tiny mirror reflecting infinity, and thus, "your empty hand is full." It’s empty of "hand" and so is full of everything else. Empty and full are two sides of one coin or one experience or one reality or taste.

Your hand is everything not-hand, like the sun and the stars and the trees, like how my body is a temple made of the universe; a wave tip playing with other wave tips, movements of the sea. I’m a movement of the sea, and deep inside of me is the sea, Infinity, shining back as Empty Fullness, Freedom and Release and Response-ability, Reality in this moment, the concepts, the dreams, the feelings and friends are all there in the emptiness, reflecting the fullness or holographic nature of every point in the universe, every point being an empty center of a universe that has no center, every point (like Inda's Net) a tiny mirror or diamond reflecting all the other points, and never seeing itself but as a reflection of all the others. Every point is empty of separateness, full of Fullness, and is involved in every other point infinitely. All in All. This is clear when I look deeply into my hands.

Look no further.
Look no further...
It’s in our hands. It always was.
It’s in our hands, in our hands,
It’s all there, in our hands.
It’s all there
In our hands. -Bjork

Great song.

You know, in many ways we are all simply extension of the Sun. We are the growing fingertips of her Light, warmth, and energy. Sun God religions that worship this Powerful source of our lives make a lot of sense to me. But the Sun is just one of those many points into which we can see clearly a creating force or clearing. Every point contains a creative faculty for our existence; so that it is as if we are a grain of salt jumping into the ocean and immediately becoming it. (The Ocean of Becoming, actually. Also known as the "Pleroma."*

Every part of us reflects (and contains) every other part, so that we dissolve into a surrounding ocean of creative points, each one containing the whole, each one empty and transparent and unmoving, and each point a light of mind luminous and colorful and spontaneous and free.

I’m trying to describe the nature of mind, and to those of you who know what I'm talking about will also know that its not this at all, but that this is just another form existing within its creative emptiness, and so I know its all nonsense. But it’s also a beautiful vision (Indra's net inside my hands) and causes the mind to occupy itself with imaging this infinite structure of relationships and light, and the mind has to then stretch to infinity to try to contain infinity within its awareness, and this opens up the heart to include more and more beings into its embrace and care and concern. This story increases the Wisdom and the Compassion in any moment, which creates a new pattern of thought, and a new world-view is built with a higher level of cognition and compassion, which is then lived within and transformed from within (like a dream).

Luckily we all have within us an infinite amount of love and care that our hearts easily open up to look at and to care for infinity (the thousand armed, thousand eyed Avalotitesvara (one eye in each hand) whose image is in the large thanka painting hanging above my shrine, represents this inherent quality of the heart/mind (and reflects an aspect of our deepest/highest nature and potential). One yoga practice I do everyday is imagining this bodhisattva as a tiny being the size of a thumb floating in my chest or behind my eyes. Or sometimes I imagine this deity as it is on my wall, only in 3-D, like a hologram floating in the space in front of me, and I'm sitting at it's feet, looking up at it, loving it, listening to its teachings, amazed at the amount of love emanating from its heart (and therefore, from my own). It's my guru, this infinite heart/mind of the deity, infinitely compassionate, caring, and in love (Christians are known for imaging the image of Jesus or Mary in a similar way). By imaging (imagining) this infinitely compassionate personality, the mind then takes on those qualities in order to imagine them, and this is the reason why Tantric or Vajra (diamond) Yana Buddhism is known as the fastest way to integrating the nature of mind (emptiness) with the infinite form (fullness) in this life. Tantra (including nine or more different Yogas) uses the creative property of the mind to help build deeper structures into the mind and thus into the life. It also uses sex, love, life (dreaming, suffering, and death) as a direct way to explore and manifest this inherent love and unity. Anyone interested: I can also explain the many meanings of the Vajra symbol and mandala (I had to do a report about it and Vajrasattva, the bodhisattva mahasattva, in college. You could also just wikipedia "Vajra" and follow all the links.)

I think I have turned into a kind of preacher (I can hear my friends and family say "David, trust us. You’ve been a preacher for many years.") I think I preach because I love to study and it helps me remember the teachings. It's like practicing with huge flashcards, and I have to recite large teachings to keep them around in my memory. It was fun in college to teach each other all the stuff we learned that week in school. It helped spread the knowledge and prepare us for the tests. Spiritual teachings and tests are like that too.

Well, thanks for listening and still loving me. I can see you all in my hands and I love it.

* This is from Wikipedia.
Almost all gnostic systems of the Syrian or Egyptian type taught that the universe began with an original, unknowable God, referred to as the Parent or Bythos, as the Monad by Monoimus, or the first Aeon by still other traditions. From this initial unitary beginning, the One spontaneously emanated further Aeons, pairs of progressively 'lesser' beings in sequence. The lowest of these pairs were Sophia and Christ. The Aeons together made up the Pleroma, or fullness, of God, and thus should not be seen as distinct from the divine, but symbolic abstractions of the divine nature….
“Jesus is interpreted as an intermediary aeon who was sent from the pleroma, with whose aid humanity can recover the lost knowledge of the divine origins of humanity. The term is thus a central element of Gnostic cosmology.
Pleroma is also used in the general Greek language and is used by the Greek Orthodox church in this general form since the word appears under the book of Colossians. Proponents of the view that Paul was actually a gnostic, such as Elaine Pagels of Princeton University, view the reference in Colossians as something that was to be interpreted in the gnostic sense.”

“In Gnostic tradition, the term Sophia (Greek for "wisdom") refers to the final and lowest emanation of God.
In most if not all versions of the gnostic myth, Sophia births the demiurge, who in turn brings about the creation of materiality. The positive or negative depiction of materiality thus resides a great deal on mythic depictions of Sophia's actions. She is occasionally referred to by the Hebrew equivalent of Achamoth (this is a feature of Ptolemy's version of the Valentinian gnostic myth). Jewish Gnosticism with a focus on Sophia was active by…

Is any of this interesting? Do any of you study early religions such as Gnosticism? Please let me know.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Molly came! I picked her up in Osaka. I was there a day early (the last one standing at the gate, holding a “Molly Meers” sign, waiting, getting sad looks from strangers) because she told me the wrong day. But no problem. I had a great extra day in Osaka.

Molly spent almost her entire trip on the island of Shikoku, where I live. Shikoku is the smallest of the four major islands of Japan (Hokkaido, the northernmost island, is interestingly the same size as Ireland). Shikoku is most famous for the 88-temple pilgrimage. We visited temple number 51—the strange one with caves and tacky cement sculptures of Indian deities from the 70s. I mostly enjoyed taking pictures of Molly; she is so extraordinarily beautiful. Just look at those eyes and those lips! Her mother, father, and brothers are equally magnificent.

The most impressive place we went I think (besides Chiiori, the 300 year old farmhouse in the mountains) was Kosanji. Kosanji was on a small island called Ikuchi, and it stands as the most extravagant, extraordinary temple I have seen while living here. Modeled after the famous Nikko temple complex in northern Japan, this temple specializes in its intricate woodwork and painting. But it also included a network of caves with waterfalls and thousands of deities carved into the stone. The beginning of the caves represented the hells, and then as we progressed (or regressed, or descended) deeper, we moved into the higher realms, the hungry ghost, then the animal, human, angelic, godly, and then the Buddha realms. When we finally emerged from the womb of the earth, of which every pore is a Deity, there to greet us was a large sculpture of Kannon, (Quan Yin/Avalokisvara) which represents the feminine, the compassion, the grace. And beyond her, far in the distance, perched next to the sea and farmland, was a large white sculpture called the Tower of Light, made from imported marble from Italy. This heavenly playground was open for all to climb on and to touch.

Ands she helped me clean my kitchen. “David, get in here. We’re cleaning your kitchen.” and she gracefully cleaned out my refrigerator, finding the old yogurt and shriveled up carrots that had been lost oh so long ago. God bless her.

I of course also took molly to the secret garden in Niihama and to the shrine by my apartment with the thousand year-old trees. There I followed her around as she touched and smelled and admired each and every old tree. “Oh my God, smell this one!” She’d say. I had never actually smelled the trees before. I had hugged them, rubbed them, pushed on them, even kissed them, but I had never actually smelled them. She taught me a new way to experience the earth. With each friendship I learn more and more ways to experience the sensible delight of nature divine (and I hope my art, like all art, can give you all a new perspective and avenue of worship).

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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