Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Keeping It Semi Current


Taking Ya'll Back Part 2


Taking Ya'll Back Part 1


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jesus, Parables and Metanoia

The following sprang from an argument I had with this cat that is thinking about joining the priesthood:

As I experience it, Jesus’ parables are akin to thought experiments, similar to Zen koans. Instead of spoon-feeding the knowledge to his students/followers, Jesus chose to make them work for it. He could have just sat behind a lectern and pontificated upon the glories of the universe, but he chose to allow his adherents to suss it out for themselves. For the student of this type of thinking, one has to be willing to allow themselves to be in a state of confusion—if they do not immediately understand the teachings. It is sort of like being in kindergarten and you teacher asks you, ‘what has a face, arms and hands, but no legs or feet?’ You and your classmates are naming every single animal on earth, when that one super-smart kid in the class casually intones, “A clock.” After this intonation, the room is stunned into silence. And in a few minutes, the rest of the class breathes ‘clock’ in an awe-struck whisper. And from that day forward, it is very difficult to look at the world the same way again. Things are not just how they appear on the surface, and they cannot be taken as such any longer. We learn that even the most mundane of situations and objects can become something totally different, depending on where you are standing. As Heraclitus said, “You cannot step into the same river twice.” At this moment—when the most innocuous thing becomes a thing of depth—this is when the mystery starts. This is the doorway to wonder. And when you add the element of salvation to it, the world, as you once knew it, is no longer available to you. That is, if you continue on the path of attempting to find the meaning/s of the parables.

To unearth the meaning of parables, one has to accept the fact that what you may have gleaned from it may not be the same as the other travelers following the same path. There are no generally correct or incorrect answers; only what is right or wrong for the individual. This open ended interpretation is hard for many people to accept due to the fact that most people’s environments are ordered in such binary fashions: diurnal day cycles, beginnings and endings, impregnation and eventual birth; all these things serve as pretty concrete structures (restrictions) for an individual’s life. It is the ability to move beyond the finite and wrestle with the metaphors that blanket the world, that is the most beneficial aspect of parabolic teaching. One gains a since of a multi-faceted worldview, but loses direct communication. Sometimes the student has to do so much by his or herself that, they may try to conjure hidden meanings for things/situations that are as mundane as they appear:

“Why did you give me this apple? Did you want me reflect on Eve’s dilemma?”

“Um…no, you looked hungry, and I had an extra one.”

This solo-searching, this auto education has been lost as Christianity developed into the world power that it is today.

Now, Christianity is grown more concerned with God swooping in to save the day, at an appointed time: Apocalypse. This belief presents several problems; a few of these problems are listed below:

- Only those that believe a certain way will be saved when God returns to earth.

- It puts the spiritual development of a person into the hands of an unseen god, and leaves them at the mercy of the clergy who claim to speak for said god; utilizing their interpretation of their god’s word.

- It turns life on earth as more of a one-night-stand instead of an experience that deserves to be lived to the fullest.

If Christianity eschewed the concept of Apocalypse and went back to its roots of embracing self-change, metanoia, many of the problems that plague modern-day Christianity would be non-factors. Everyone would be allowed to spiritually develop at their own speed, without being weighed down by the fear that they would not be ready for God’s return. In the metanoia worldview, the entire world would be a lesson and one learns from it what they learn from it, and there is no right or wrong, as long as the individual is going through some sort of positive change that allows him or her to get closer to the source, the abyss, the godhead, or perfect union with all. If this idea came back, its motto could be:

My enlightenment is not your enlightenment.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Your turn...

What's up? I know that the whole having to create a Blogger account to post a comment sucks, but we would really love to hear from you. This blog wasn't created just so Ayize and me could showboat. The initial intention was to have a place where we could post work (fiction, non-fiction, photos) from other AfroGeeks/Alterna-Blacks and sort of have an on-line spot where we all could comment on geek culture from a Black point of view. This POV isn't restricted to just Blackness, because Blackness isn't a stand-alone thing. Blackness intersects with gender, sexuality, spirituality, class, education and almost every other damned thing you can think of. We truly want to hear from you. If you are interested in posting, you can send your work to either of the following.

Ayize's email: jahpuba@gmail.com
Shawn's email: gmonkeymass@earthlink.net

Segue: For those of you that dig our logo, you have my main man Roy Miles (www.biddies.us) toymaker and graphic designer extraordinaire to thank for the illness. I gave him the idea and old boy finalized it in under and hour. He’s a damn genius. By mid-Summer, we should have some t-shirts ready for you to rock.

Segue #2: Posting will be a bit sporadic over the next few weeks. Ayize is in Morocco and I got a book deal and have to have the final draft in fairly soon.

Segue#3: Run, not walk, and cop TV on the Radio’s Return to Cookie Mountain. One of the best albums of 2006.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Get some stickers

I want to get a s sense of how many people check in with us on a regular. I’m talking how much fam we got out there. So here’s the deal, hit us up with a comment at jahpuba@gmail.com and I’ll send you a gang of these stickers. Put them up and send us pictures and I’ll post you on Afrogeeks. Don’t worry about postage and all that. I got you.

America good. Rest of the world BAAAD!

There is a sublime sense of fulfillment I get out of watching Americans get tortured. No No No, I have not joined the Taliban or the Pentagon, it’s just after traveling the small byways and highways of this planet I’ve found that, with the possible exception of Germans, American are the rudest people on the face of the earth. Knowing full well that an entire economy is based on their dollars, I’ve seen Americans haggle over set prices for things like socks and sweets bought on a corner store. The economic difference to us is the difference between a dime and a quarter, but we Americans fight as though it would break our banks to give a little more. Plus we are a nervous and scared bunch. We wont ride the trains, drink the water, talk to the natives, or even shake people’s hands. It’s hilarious when a native person invites an American into their house and the American is afraid of the gesture. AFRAID! These fears seem totally unjustified and so we must construct proper reasons to be terrified of other human beings who simply don’t live as we do. And that’s where a good old fashion horror flick comes in.

Continuing in the new tradition of Hostel, an excellent play on words as well as movie, Turistas gives the American tourist a reason to “Take the Plane” to the tropical remote destination in rather than “the Bus’ with the common people. I don’t want to give away too much of the film but let’s just say when vindictive organ harvesting is at the heart of a plot (Pun intended), the movie can’t be all bad. The first three quarters of the film read as a post-colonial exposition on indigenous rage, but the last part of the film functions as the vindication of white male hertronormativity, with the lead Caucasian male worrywart taking up his role as hero most valiantly. Luckily, we had a brief foray into the old American myth of the cocaine crazed negro about halfway through the movie, which is always a funtime for me.

More thriller than horror flick Turistas doesn’t match the true joy that was Hostel (20,000 to kill an American, 15,000 for a Canadian, 10,000 for the Japanese), but it does function as a great guard rail for middle American fears of cross oceanic flights and inter-continental bus rides. Written in the crimson blood of infinitely rapeable white women and their cognitively deficient male counterparts are the words “Stupid Americans Stay out! We don’t want you here!” Let’s hope we’ve taken the time to study up on the native tongue.