Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Richard Wright: 1943 - 2008

What you read in this link, is one of the official articles about Rick's death. It's more than likely, that other Pink Floyd fans have already heard the news. However, I only found out today. Of course, it came as a shock; especially as I did not know that Rick had been suffering from a serious illness. This is very sad news for me; I have been following the band, since I was quite young.

For those who don't know, Richard was a gifted keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist -- and a founding member of the world-famous rock band, Pink Floyd. Much like many other people, I first came across the band, through the album Dark Side of the Moon. It was a part of my Dad's record collection. Little did I know that the LP would change my life.

With albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, I began to realise that music can be very deep. It did not necessarily need to be a passive experience -- something that was enjoyable, but ultimately inconsequential. This was not the case with Pink Floyd, however. Their music was always interesting, because it spoke to my mind, as well as my heart. It was a life-changing album for me.

The structure of the music, as well as the lyrics, was intellectually challenging. Rick 's musicianship and lyrical contributions were immensely important; but they were often forgotten by fans and journalists. Perhaps it's because he never sought the limelight much, I don't know. Anyhow, during his time with Pink Floyd, and when he was working on a solo career, the music was always great.

So many examples of Rick Wright's music are coming to mind. Obviously most people will think of Dark Side Of the Moon, when they hear Floyd; but there were so many other musical high points. This is taking a while to write, because I have so much I wanted to say. It may even be necessary to write another post!

From my perspective, I feel this loss deeply; even though we had never met. You will be missed, Richard.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor's powerful stroke of insight

Jill Bolte Taylor's powerful stroke of insight | Video on TED.com

As somebody else said, this is an idea worth spreading. I saw this a while ago, and I've been meaning to talk about it.

I see this as a really incredible opportunity to discuss how the human animal perceives its own consciousness. I like the fact that these lectures have been made public; because they are really interesting food for thought. My illness has allowed me to experience different states of consciousness, even though it is completely involuntary. I have had many out-of-body experiences; and it has led me to question the nature of consciousness and reality. Perhaps, our brain is able to mediate between several different states of reality, or states of consciousness. Maybe it is the ability to combine those experiences, into something that makes sense, that allows us to function properly within our environment.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Diogenes, the cynic

TEACHINGS OF DIOGENES

All information is from the link.

(c. 412- c. 323 B.C )

A student of philosophy, eager to display his powers of argument, approached Diogenes, introduced himself and said, "If it pleases you, sir, let me prove to you that there is no such thing as motion." Whereupon Diogenes immediately got up and left.


Fantastic stuff. He may have been the first 'cynic'.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Shamen and healers

I am posting this, fully cognizant that today is 11 September. I could say so many things -- the horrific nature of the attacks, the number of lives lost, the number of families, altered forever. However, nothing I say, no matter how heartfelt, can make it better. Nothing I say can turn back time, or reunite families. I can be sorry, though. Reality is sometimes cruel; but, I suppose we must move forward.

I would like to talk about my interest in Shamanic cultures, such as those that exist within the Native American community, and in other populations, throughout the world. I shall readily admit that I don't know as much about this, as I would like to. Also, there are many others, who are far more knowledgeable than myself. However, I have read quite a bit about Shamen; and their role as healers within their own tribes. In many cases, they have an intricate knowledge of the healing properties of various plants and substances. They are sometimes called 'medicine men', too.

The Shaman could be anyone in their community, providing they had the mental toughness and the knowledge required. Often, the Shaman someone who had inside into the frailty of the human spirit. Certain powers and abilities were attributed to them exclusively.

Only they were allowed to use and give access to the vision-inducing plants, such as Peyote. Only spiritual healers were permitted to have knowledge of the spirit world. In some communities, those who were considered to be spiritually or physically hyper aware, abnormal, more sensitive were better candidates for the position of spiritual healer.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Waking Life: review

Yesterday, I was able to see (or maybe to participate in, is a more accurate way to describe it -- I don't feel as though it was an entirely passive experience) the film 'Waking Life'.

The film 'Waking Life'. It is directed by Richard Linklater. I am not sure if the fallibility of human words will be enough to describe the powerful nature of this experience. I shall try.

It deals with many different concepts, points of view, and schools of philosophical thought. Sometimes, the ideas are quite complex -- but they are always presented in an interesting way. It is quite artful and captivating.

From my perspective, the film deals with the many ways in which human beings must be awakened, every so often. Far too frequently, will find that we have been asleep, all this time.

'Waking Life' deals with the nature of reality, consciousness, dreaming, existentialism and enlightenment. It is quite incredible.

I will attach some links, that deal with the ideas in the movie; when I can get the Link function to work.

I'll also buy the DVD.

Monday, 1 September 2008