Volume 3 Issue 6
On This Day: Bernie Madoff, the founder and chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was arrested and subsequently convicted of fraud. The Ponzi scheme he was involved in was the biggest such fraud in the history of the United States. And while he incarcerates in his luxury cell, writing books to make more money off of the ‘suckers’, we believe he deserves a national holiday to remind us of the profound greed that is destroying Western culture.
Gridless: At some point in the history of cities, the organic street pattern disappeared as an option for the city planners. Business loves the industrial efficiency of the perpendicular map. Humans, on the other hand, love to meander in a state of wonder, even if they’re rushing to and from their jobs. This guerrilla sign, parked high on a post in downtown Toronto, is a smile-inducing reminder of what life should be. Just be careful no to meander into traffic or into the nine-to-fivers hellbent to make a buck—that could be dangerous.
Zen Rebel: Despite the mythologized and typecast image of Marlon Brando as a thug, rebel and hell-raiser, the reality was quite different. Known by the Hollywood barons for his uncompromising ways and lack of respect, Brando was embarrassed to be associated with the shallow and illusionary world of cinema but accepted the paycheck for what it was. In private, he read and studied Zen koans, practiced quietude, and was an early western practitioner of yoga. Very unlike the all-too-familiar image in the photo.
Spatula Time: Commercial make-up and hair products are often regarded as vile by Conch purists, who tend to opt for less invasive and more healthy ingredients as they bring their being into balance with the planet. For those of you who cannot shake the salon industry just yet, you might want to at least consider the amount of chemical waste that this culture is responsible for. That’s what Greencircle would have you do, if nothing else.
Walk Like an Egyptian: One of the first written accounts of UFO contact was recorded on Egyptian papyrus over 3,400 years ago. It describes foul-smelling discs of fire about sixteen inches in diameter. “These things became more numerous in the skies than ever. They shone more than the brightness of the sun and extended to the limits of the four supports of the heavens.” Have a look at the Tulli Papyrus and imagine yourself witnessing such a thing in the desert.
Yoga Moment: Vairagya, often referred to as ‘uncolourdness’, expresses the idea that one must not let one’s emotions be coloured by the various things and ideas which emerge before us. Indifference, dispassion and non-attachment convey a similar meaning. When one observes the feeling of difficulty and ambition colouring the mind, he should begin to think of what he is doing and not of the result. Success will accrue if one does fixate on the goal and maintains fields of energy around the nervous system. Click the icon for a visual example.
Coffee With Or Without: Coffee houses have historically served as meeting places for the exchange of fresh and often provocative ideas. Green Beanery in Toronto’s Annex continues this centuries-old tradition by hosting a series of thought-provoking discussions. In this age of intolerance toward dissent, where unconventional views are often shouted down if not banished entirely, they aim to become a sanctuary for those who seek the information needed to make informed decisions on important issues of the day. Join them if you feel your daily coffee is beginning to stare back at you.
Biodanza: Similar to contact improv and ecstatic movement, the Biodanza group attempt to “encourage the human community to take action through dance to improve the well-being of all its members. These means consist of actions geared to helping those of its society who are more fragile in order to improve their life.” It’s another fine example of the healing strength of joyful movement. If you reside in Quebec and are looking to dance freely, this might be the group to help you out.
Primal Clay: For those who have experienced the malleable joy of crafting objects out of real clay, you would know how remarkably healing the process can be, even if the by-product always resembles a turtle. With people gravitating away from devices and wanting to reconnect with the earth, it doesn’t get earthier than making a clay pot. Here’s one person’s story—and her art is worth seeking out.
Starry Starry Night: Sentient beings are having a difficult time with robots. We share a strange giddiness about the idea but rarely stop to consider the ramifications of a world that becomes a bit too perfect. It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to envision how machinery could one day mimic the emotional depth of our own life experience, but as the feature image suggests, they could develop a sense of wonder and creativity too. Sadly, before it reaches such utopian heights, it is and will be tested out in typically violent ways.
Pale Blue Dot: This qualifies as required viewing and should be shared with everyone struggling to come to terms with their personal responsibility of being human. It’s Carl Sagan at his best, teaching us gently and wisely of what goes on in the greater scheme of things.
Dance Lite: It’s not unusual for dancers to fall out of their groove, to lose their sense of equilibrium and flow. Emotional turmoil, low energy or simply a planetary alignment may be the cause. Sometimes, it requires a reminder of what it means to flow in the moment of the music. Here’s an old NHC article that may give you some hints on what might be missing.
Fries With That: Chris Jordan’s artistic statements summarizing the innate ecological problems of our times are worth paying attention to even if the imagery is mildly disturbing (but not in a gratuitous shock kind of way). The message is clear even if you don’t particularly sympathize with the urban pest known as the seagull.
Here And Now: The bumper sticker is somewhat of a lost media statement in our modern age of conformity. People are very reluctant to devalue their automobiles for the sake of any cause. However, sometimes we find a sticker that deserves attention, thanks to our photographers who keep a look out for these things. (photo by Rei)