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October 7, 08
Some thoughts on the latest Ferment and specifically 'Earthiness and Vision', which was in my postbox a couple of hours ago when I sent off three TAFE assignments:
Of course you are well familiar with the 'Tantric' saying 'One must rise by that by which one falls', not to mention Sri Ramakrishna's equation of money and shit (which reminds me - did you ever see 'The Singing Detective' by the great Dennis Potter? On ABC TV? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Singing_Detective)). One could make a case that one of the neuroses of our time, at least in the 'developed' world, is exactly this avoidance of the earth. You mention the "other elements in non-Indian cultures which express a similar earthiness", but I was powerfully reminded of Ramakrishna's vision of Maa's tongue touching everything. Perhaps, in the 'forbidden' world of 'Tantra', the process is unique in uniting the numinous and the 'profane' in this way. I'm also reminded in this way, from my own (mis)adventures, of the energetic transgressions of the late punk-rock pervert GG Allin ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gg_allin), whose "live performances...typically featured wildly transgressive acts such as Allin defecating and urinating onstage, rolling in feces and often consuming excrement (coprophagia), committing self-injury, performing naked, taunting people to perform fellatio on him, and committing violent actions toward the audience-often doing many of these things more or less simultaneously."
Allin felt that he was returning rock 'n' roll to its true, inherently rebellious roots, stripping away the layers of falsity which had been imposed on it by major labels and industry pressures. He also said that his transgressions were necessary to make him 'feel anything at all'. Perhaps he may have been psychotic, but he was found sane to stand trial at one of his many arrests and convictions.
Of course, once one has coaxed several children through the mysteries of toilet training - not to mention spending ten years changing nappies - the mysteries of this kind of 'earthiness' can come to seem somewhat threadbare. That's life - Allin's audience, being mainly teens and twenty-somethings, might have been shocked to see (and feel) Allin defecating in his hand and throwing a turd into the audience; someone who is familiar with two-year-olds might be rather less dramatically impressed. Perhaps this has some relevance to the conflation of food and excrement as well; not forgetting the fact that much of our food comes from the decay of other materials; worm casts make some of the best fertiliser around...)
As to Esperanto profanity, as you know this is one of my interests. It's often pointed out that the poor range of English profanity only includes references to body functions and insults to Jehovah. I've always thought that any language is incomplete until it includes its own body of 'stinging words', and perhaps in time it will evolve a broader vocabulary in this line. As an illustration, for what it's worth, as you know in my own dystopian futuristic mythos in the world of 'Anzacia', the inhabitants speak a heavily-modified form of Esperanto, complete with its own newly-evolved sets of profanity. As the values of the society have partly been derived from the crusading anti-Communism of the late Objectivist Ayn Rand (author of those illiterary 'classics' 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged'), terms used neutrally in present-day Esperanto to describe Marxists and Communists have become near-ubiquitous terms of mild pejoration, even though everyone on that future world has long since forgotten their original meaning. Rand's anima becomes the misunderstood cuss-word of the new Aeon...has anything really 'evolved'?...
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July 13, 08
Namaste! Been planning to send you a long-delayed e-mail, subject being feedback on languages. However, intense pressure of work delayed it until the new Ferment came out, 4 which many thanks as ever. I felt a little less guilty when I found that you'd generated plenty of feedback on the subject, but I was just sitting down to write some stuff to you on the subject (having first finished three TAFE assignments this week and a band rehearsal yesterday), and I was looking on English-Wiki about the history of 'Speranto when I found the link for William Auld;
, whom, as you will observe, published his Esperanto translation of Jurgen in 2001.
Now that's a mature language! Speaks volumes more than anything else I could ever say...I'll havta start learning it now...where will I begin?
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Hi colin thanks for the reply. Left of centre was a comment i was making about Kali and Tantra in general in reference to mainstream religions including Vedantic focused Hinduism, which to my way of thinking are 'Right' as in conservative and dogmatic. I understand that notions of left and right probably mean didly to mother (my)herself, it has more to do with the way i view religion and spirituality in society in general. I have recently acquired a copy of the Mahanirvana Tantra, i just havn't gotten around to reading it yet. At the moment i have been going back thru the Principles of Tantra highlighting the bits i think are interesting and or important. My general thinking about my intent for Homa is for A) another meditation focusing technique B) to venerate fire as Shakti capable of purifying aspects of myself and creating positive change. I also read that fire purifies Mantras and amplifies them. Lastly i've read that Homa can be used to create material and spiritual wealth and 'abundance' in the user and in the locale around where it is performed. If this is true i could perform Homa for not only my own benefit but for the benefit of those in the area where i live. So i'm thinking all of the above, for reasons to do Homa.
Anyways bye for now i hope you continue to get closer to Mother Kali and i look forward to more Ferment. Cheers, Blessed Be and Om shantih.
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May 12, 08
Good morning Shane.
Glad you've been enjoying Ferment. What do you mean by 'left of centre'?
> For quite a few months starting late last year i had not been doing any real spiritual ritual work etc cause i got burnt out from work which basically caused me to become irritable and apathetic towards everything (i'm a disability support worker). However i have been reading 'The Principles of Tantra' by Sir John Woodroffe which i have found to be really interesting for the most part.
Yes, I've found that book very interesting too. The original Bengali author, Siva Candra Vidyarnava, is a impressive scholar and devotee, of an old school...
> It, along with the Aghora books (which i love) has rekindled my enthusiasm to get back to meditation etc. I have created myself a new temple space in the shed (after evicting as many of the redbacks as i could find) and built myself a Homa firepit out near my garden altar. Now i haven't been able to learn much but the basics of Homa and via some divination work have determined the best time for me to to do Homa ritual is the night of the waxing crescent moon. Do you guys and girls do Homa and if so what does your rituals involve and what is the intent of the Homa?
We do a fire meditation at the worship meetings, but it isn't a very traditional homa. Our intent is to focus on sacred fire as the sacrificial pit and the cosy hearth - embodiment of the Goddess and the God...
> Does your intent change from Homa to Homa (i ask this because i have heard quite a few reasons for doing Homa).
I'm aware that homa can be done for various specific purposes, Woodroffe alludes to some of them a footnote to his translation of the Mahanirvana Tantra.Have you looked at that book, by the way? It gives some quite detailed information about homa in Chapter 9. You can read it on the web - though without the footnotes unfortunately - at
In our worship meetings, the intent of the fire meditation itself doesn't change from one meeting to the next, however we sometimes make specific requests or thanks to the God and Goddess shortly after the period of fire meditation..Would you like to tell about the intent of your own homa ritual?
Om Shantih, Colin
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May 11, 08
Good morning Colin long time no yik yak. I have been enjoying Ferment and am intrigued about how you get your inspiration for stories (that esperanto thang was pretty left of centre even for a mag. about a left of centre goddess). For quite a few months starting late last year i had not been doing any real spiritual ritual work etc cause i got burnt out from work which basically caused me to become irritable and apathetic towards everything (i'm a disability support worker). However i have been reading 'The Principles of Tantra' by Sir John Woodroffe which i have found to be really interesting for the most part. It, along with the Aghora books (which i love) has rekindled my enthusiasm to get back to meditation etc. I have created myself a new temple space in the shed (after evicting as many of the redbacks as i could find) and built myself a Homa firepit out near my garden altar. Now i havn't been able to learn much but the basics of Homa and via some divination work have determined the best time for me to to do Homa ritual is the night of the waxing crescent moon. Do you guys and girls do Homa and if so what does your rituals involve and what is the intent of the Homa?
Does your intent change from Homa to Homa (i ask this because i have heard quite a few reasons for doing Homa). Oh well thats my blab for now, thanks... Keep up the weird and eclectic work.
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May 7, 08
Re Ferment 19/1, I'm fascinated by the idea of Zamenhof, Bahaullah and Ramakrishna being on the same 'wavelength'... I certainly like bridge building, and was also interested in Esperanto years ago. Esperanto and Sanskrit... What a scholar you are. I need to peruse Ferment more carefully. In the meantime, Peace and Blessings,
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March 13, 08
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Your article on Aspergers was moving and honest. I wish you well. I salute you!
Barbara Graham, NSW
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20 Dec 2007
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July 7, 07
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March 19, 07
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