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Medium 9780253205667

Nine: Female Powers of Healing

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

The forty-one girl knights. Although the Bear Spirit may on occasion appear in the form of a female bear, his power seems to be predominantly male. There is another posture, however, which apparently summons a special kind of female energy.1 The posture first came to my attention early in 1985 in a publication about antiquities from Tennessee.2 The stone sculpture, created about A.D. 700, represented a woman who had her arms placed on her chest in a special way, so that her right hand came to rest above the left (see pl. 31). Subsequently, I saw the posture also in Marija Gimbutas’s book about ancient Europe.3 The terra-cotta figurine, once more a woman (pl. 32), was much older (5th millennium B.C.), but there was no mistaking the position of the hands. I was anxious to explore the posture, but in neither case was there any indication about the position of the legs, and I was at a loss about what to do about that.

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Medium 9780253000958

Words Addressed to Our Condition Exactly

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

In the fall of 1971, seeing that I was floundering, a veteran teacher who had I floundered himself when he was twenty-five gave me a book by a writer he knew down in Kentucky. “You might find some guidance here,” he said, handing me The Long-Legged House.

It was a paperback edition, small enough to fit in a coat pocket, printed on cheap paper, unassuming, not the sort of book one would expect to confirm or change the course of a life. The cover illustration showed a cabin perched on a steep riverbank, with a view across the stream toward green ridges fading away into the distance; a curving flight of stone steps led to the uphill side of the cabin, which rested on the ground, while the downhill side rested on poles, evoking the long legs of the title.

The author’s name, Wendell Berry, was unknown to me, but his photograph on the back recalled men I’d known while growing up in rural Tennessee and Ohio. He wore a work shirt unbuttoned at the throat, with a T-shirt underneath and striped coveralls on top; beneath a billed cap, his face lay in shadow, the mouth slightly open and jaw set as if he were catching his breath in the midst of sawing or plowing. In the faint background of the photograph, instead of the usual desk littered with papers or shelves of books, there were blossoms, as of hollyhocks or fruit trees in flower. The biographical note identified him as a teacher and farmer, as well as the author of three collections of poetry, two novels, and the slender book of essays I held in my hand.

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Medium 9780989175913

16. Science: Our Blind Torchbearers

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
There is no physical universe – period, full stop.

A ridiculous statement, perhaps, so it should be easy to disprove, but it can’t be disproven. Objective knowledge itself is impossible, meaning that science can never rise above non-probable conjecture. Hence, all science is obviously and inescapably pseudo-science.

We could stop right there, but let’s not........... See All Chapters
Medium 9780253000958

Reasons of the Body

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

My son has never met a sport he did not like. I have met a few that left an ugly tingle—boxing and rodeo and pistol shooting, among others—but, then, I have been meeting them for forty-four years, Jesse only for twelve. Our ages are relevant to the discussion, because, on the hill of the sporting life, Jesse is midway up the slope and climbing rapidly, while I am over the crest and digging in my heels as I slip down.

“You still get around pretty well for an old guy,” he told me last night after we had played catch in the park.

The catch we play has changed subtly in recent months, a change that dramatizes a shift in the force field binding father and son. Early on, when I was a decade younger and Jesse a toddler, I was the agile one, leaping to snare his wild throws. The ball we tossed in those days was rubbery and light, a bubble of air as big around as a soup bowl, easy for small hands to grab. By the time he started school, we were using a tennis ball, then we graduated to a softball, then to gloves and a baseball. His repertoire of catches and throws increased along with his vocabulary.

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Medium 9780253204677

Chapter 8: A Legion of Demons

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

In addition to the African variant of demonic possession, there are innumerable stories also of another type, which we will here call the Eurasian variant, because it is reported from India and China, as well as from Christian Europe. In a number of characteristics this Eurasian form of possession agrees with its African counterpart. In both, the noxious spirit entities invade their victim uninvited, but have to wait until a path opens for them, a breach of sorts in the personality of their intended victim. Their presence is signaled by illness. If a trance is ritually initiated, the spirits reveal their presence. Healing is accomplished by dislodging, expelling, that is, exorcising, the malevolent being.

But differences emerge all along the line, with the African variant in each instance simpler and at the same time much more sinister, which confirms its greater antiquity. In the African variant, the invaders are always ghosts. In Eurasia, on the other hand, there is a great variety of such evil beings. According to European folk belief, for instance, also fervently held by Protestant fundamentalists in this country, there is a whole slew of demons, associated with Satan as his entourage, fallen angels and unredeemed humans, roaming the earth, eager to possess, corrupt, and plague humanity. In the Christian West, the principal guardian of the tradition about demons is the Catholic church. According to a contemporary catechism,1 devils or demons represent temptation, confusion, deception; they are inimical to humans, barring their entrance to heaven.

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Medium 9781771870801

THE SNAKE-GRASS HILLS

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
“The Snake-Grass Hills” by Patrick Lane begins with a stolen rifle in the hands of a nature-loving boy who hopes to spot a rattlesnake while exploring in the foothills. Instead he encounters death on a larger scale when he comes across a rotting, maggot-infested steer carcass.
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Medium 9780253000958

Voyageurs

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

In morning mist on a northern river, a slab of stone tumbled from a boulder into the water, where it came to life and floated, turning into a sleek black head that swam in circles dragging a V of ripples behind it. A beaver, I thought, as I watched from shore. But no sooner had I named it than the creature bobbed up and then dove, exposing a long neck and humped back and pointed tail. Not a beaver, I realized, but an otter. I was pleased to find a label for this animate scrap, as though by pinning the right word on the shape-shifter I could hold it still.

Presently a second otter, then a third and fourth broke free of the boulder and slithered down into the mercury sheen of the river. They dove without a splash, their tails flipping up to gleam like wands in the early sunlight, and they surfaced so buoyantly that their forepaws and narrow shoulders lifted well out of the water. Then one after another they clambered back onto the rock and dove again, over and over, like tireless children taking turns on a playground slide.

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Medium 9780980184822

Heartless

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
The chair Marla vacated does not stay empty for long. A fifty-something engineer named Arthur appears and waits for permission to sit down which I give with a slight gesture. That may seem overly formal, but for Arthur it’s actually an improvement. The first time Arthur came to speak with me he sat in a half lotus at my feet, which made me a little buggy. After I coaxed him up into a chair we spent an hour disabusing him of his tendency to equate enlightenment with divinity. It’s still hardwired into his thinking that the teacher must be regarded as an elevated being, so he never sits without permission and always speaks with formality. Arthur doesn’t live in the house but he’s a frequent visitor, especially in spring when the gardens need so much help.

Arthur tells me he wants a technique. Rather, he wants the technique. I really only have one technique and everybody who comes to the house soon learns what it is from other students, but, oddly, nobody seems to practice it until they receive it from me. I’ve laid it out many times and tried to put it in the public domain for the use of whoever wants it, but it has remained strangely proprietary, as if the only way it can work is if it comes directly from me. There’s really not much to it, but I guess there’s not much to closing your eyes and repeating a mantra or counting your breaths either........... See All Chapters
Medium 9780971435223

Alternative People

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
"Human spirituality isn’t this dinosaur trapped in the past; it’s an evolutionary process and it’s happening right now, all over the world. We can change the world, make it a better place for everyone. Maybe I’m not talking about people who are fully enlightened the way you think of it, but people who are awake in their own right, all sorts of very inspired people: artists and musicians, teachers and parents, people full of loving kindness and open hearts and fundamental decency who’ve seen that the path of the heart has its own riches and rewards. Intelligent, successful, thoughtful people…”

I try to cut him off but he cuts me off.

“Let me continue,” he continues. “I’m talking about deeply, authentically spiritual people....... See All Chapters
Medium 9781608682652

4. The Divine Feminine: Meister Eckhart Meets Adrienne Rich

Matthew Fox New World Library ePub

Meister Eckhart Meets Adrienne Rich

Motherhood (the powerful Goddess)

— ADRIENNE RICH

The maternity bed is in the Godhead.…God lies like a woman on a maternity bed who has given birth in every good soul that has learned to let go and is initiated.

— MEISTER ECKHART

Women’s spiritual quest takes a distinctive form in the fiction and poetry of women writers. It begins in an experience of nothingness.

— CAROL P. CHRIST

In her profound poetry and essays, feminist poet and author Adrienne Rich offers insights from a woman’s perspective that often parallel some of Eckhart’s. Rich writes about “the dream of a common language” (the title of one of her books of poetry), and I propose that in Eckhart there is, at many crucial places, a common language and a common concern with women’s history and language. In this chapter I will draw on both Adrienne Rich’s poetry and her brilliant study of motherhood, which qualifies as a study of the Divine Feminine — for she writes, “Motherhood (the powerful Goddess).” Entitled Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, her book is a tour de force through the history of womanly power and disempowerment. In chapter five, we will also consider Eckhart’s relationship to the women’s movement of his day, the Beguines.

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Medium 9780253204677

Chapter 3: Healing in Umbanda

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

Continuing with our review of positive spirit possession, we want to treat Umbanda next. This Brazilian religion has a complex history, with its roots reaching back into Africa, Europe, and Indian America. The sugar plantations in the northeastern part of Brazil employed African slaves in the sixteenth century. They brought with them their own religious observances from Dahomey, the Congo, and Angola. They also carried along the Yoruba tradition, a syncretic form of which evolved into Haitian vodun, which we touched on in chapter 1. Gradually, beliefs concerning the Catholic saints of the plantation owners and the African gods began to overlap; they became syncretized. When in 1888 the slaves were emancipated in Brazil, they began moving south, into the cities that offered jobs in their developing industries. Once there, the Afro-Brazilians started cult centers for the practice of their various religions. These were already syncretic, some even incorporating American Indian traits. But they varied according to which of the African traditions was predominant.

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Medium 9781608680474

Introduction: What Is Meditation?

Patricia Monaghan New World Library ePub

Meditation means many things to many people. To some, it means simple relaxation; to others, a deep blissful surrender to the divine. To some, meditation means rigorously following a prescribed path; to others, it means exploring a path unique to the self.

Meditation can be any or all of these things, but however it is defined, it is always a practice. Whether that practice means sitting still or moving, reading inspirational words or emptying the mind of all words, meditation is something we do. This book will present you with many ways to meditate, but you will not know what works for you until you put the practices into action.

Meditation involves choice. You choose to be present — now, now, now, and now. Meditation is a practice of training your attention by focusing it on something in the present moment, such as a flower, a candle, a sound, or your own breath. Through the practice, the mind settles down.

Meditation is not a religion. It is not a doctrine or something to be acquired. Meditation is play rather than work. While you are playing, your mind is open. As long as you practice with a lightness of approach, you will experience freedom from desire and ambition.

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Medium 9781855750081

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Insight

Christopher Dare Karnac Books ePub

The concept of insight’ is one that is widely used in psychoanalysis, in the systems of psychotherapy derived from it, and in dynamic psychiatry in general. The term is often quoted as if its meaning is readily apparent, but close study soon reveals that it is anything but clear. As Zilboorg (1952) has put it, ‘Among the unclarities which are of utmost clinical importance and which cause utmost confusion is the term insight. It came from nowhere, so to speak. No one knows who employed it first, and in what sense.’ And Poland (1988) remarks, Insight… has never found a comfortable place in analytic conceptualizations’. This view echoes that of Barnett (1978), who complains that ‘our concepts of insight have become so diffuse and expanded, that a sense of futility and frustration often attends our attempts to encompass all into the design of effective insight therapies’.

There appears to be a complex relationship between the psychoanalytic and psychiatric meanings of the term. In psychiatry, ‘insight’ was introduced to indicate the patient’s ‘knowledge that the symptoms of his illness are abnormalities or morbid phenomena’ (Hinsie & Campbell, 1970). This is the sense in which the term has been used in psychiatry since the early years of this century, and remains in use with this particular meaning. Jung, speaking of psychotic patients who have severe intellectual and emotional impairment, remarks that they can have ‘signs of more or less extensive insight into the illness’ (1907). Following Kraepelin (1906), Bleuler (1911), and Jaspers (1913), the ‘absence of insight’ is principally associated with psychotic mental states. However, although the word ‘insight’ has been extended from psychiatry to psychoanalysis, the specific psychiatric meaning has been lost in this extension. It is worth noting that the early use of the term in psychoanalysis was not a specialized technical one. It does not appear in the index of the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Freud, although it is used in a non-technical sense at various points in the text. It would seem that a relatively colloquial word in both German [Einsicht] and English was elevated, at some point in the history of psychoanalysis, to the status of a technical concept. The Oxford English Dictionary points out that the ‘original notion appears to have been “internal sight”, i.e. with the eyes of the mind or understanding’. Among the definitions given are: ‘internal sight; mental vision or perception; discernment, the fact of penetrating with the eyes of the understanding, into the inner character or nature of things; a glimpse or view beneath the surface/ The present, more or less colloquial, usage seems to have been affected by the psychoanalytical technical concept, so that its meaning at times corresponds to that which the Oxford English Dictionary describes as obsolete, i.e. ‘understanding, intelligence, wisdom’.

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Medium 9780980184839

The Little Bastard

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Manhole covers and sewer grates are good to look at. The green lamppost knows its business. I can be very happy staring at a cement floor; not just any cement floor, of course. Still, what kind of yutz takes pleasure in staring at the floor? Williams knew what kind: “So much depends upon a red wheel barrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chickens.” Words can’t say the rightness of a black steel door in a red brick wall. My foot casts three shadows. This is the same breeze that cooled Christ and Buddha under this same moon. What does it all mean? Why, absolutely nothing. If it meant anything, it wouldn’t mean a thing.................

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Zen and the Art of Self-Mutilation

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

I receive many offers from people who want to come be with me. Maybe anyone perceived as a spiritual solution-provider receives this kind of offer, I wouldn’t know. People want to give up everything; their stuff, their money, their very lives, really. They don’t know what to do with them so I guess they figure, why not dump them on someone who seems more qualified, like a mother leaving her baby on the rich man’s doorstep..............

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