Enquiring squirrels would like to know.
Archive for the ‘Awe & Thunder’ Category
Image Credit: Joe Woolhead
Image Credit: David Kozlowski
Image Credit: Barbara Brackman’s Material Culture,
Drapetomania was a supposed mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused black slaves to flee captivity. Today, drapetomania is considered an example of pseudoscience, and part of the edifice of scientific racism. The term derives from the Greek δραπετης (drapetes, “a runaway [slave]”) + μανια (mania, “madness, frenzy”).
Cartwright described the disorder — which, he said, was “unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers” — in a paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana that was widely reprinted.
He stated that the malady was a consequence of masters who “made themselves too familiar with [slaves], treating them as equals”.
“If any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy. They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children to prevent and cure them from running away.”
In Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race, Cartwright writes that the Bible calls for a slave to be submissive to his master, and by doing so, the slave will have no desire to run away.
In addition to identifying drapetomania, Cartwright prescribed a remedy. His feeling was that with “proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away can be almost entirely prevented.” In the case of slaves “sulky and dissatisfied without cause” — a warning sign of imminent flight — Cartwright prescribed “whipping the devil out of them” as a “preventative measure”.
The “Secret Quilt Code” of the Underground Railroad Quilts
“The monkey wrench turns the wagon wheel toward Canada on a bear’s paw trail to the crossroads. Once they got to the crossroads, they dug a log cabin on the ground. Shoofly told them to dress up in cotton and satin bow ties and go to the cathedral church, get married, and exchange double wedding rings. Flying geese stay on the drunkard’s path and follow the stars.”
Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Undergrouind Railroad by Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard, Ph.D. (Anchor Books: New York, 1999) explores the idea that a “secret quilt code” was in place during the era of the Underground Railroad. The book is based on the early 1990s oral testimony of an elderly black quilt vendor from South Carolina, the late Ozella McDaniel Williams [read full article]
Photograph by Kate Andrews
Jenny Bowker on the inspiration for her quilt:
My daughter brought an encyclopaedia of contraception home for a school project. I was fascinated by the range of shapes and played with them – using fleshy colours for backgrounds, and colours which do not belong in the body in the IUD’s.
My son commented that they looked like an explosion in the Barbie aisle. I worry that Barbie is teaching our children the wrong values – a need for a long thin body with big breasts, a wardrobe full of satin gowns, a palomino horse, a caravan, and Ken, forever sealed into his jocks.
In looking for a different symbol of fertility I used images of old symbols – the Venus of Willendorf and others like her. To further emphasise the fertility theme you will find the phases of the moon, quilting to suggest the tree of life in some places and a uterus and ovaries in others, and cowries – symbolising woman in the South Pacific where I grew up.
“I am an Australian quiltmaker married to a diplomat (retired now). I have lived about fifteen years of the last thirty in the Middle East. This blog started in Egypt, and has morphed back to Australia with our return”
Jenny’s quilt was the first example of Goddess-themed contemporary textile art I had ever seen. It left a huge impression….possibly reopening my eyes as an Artist and Scamp and tilling the soil for the idea (at least) that such creativity is also within my grasp. I had to get over my emerald green envy first of Jenny’s talent and that of all the other textile artists.
Actually it’s not their talent I was formerly envious of………it was the income level of their husbands that allows them to spend all day quilting, and many other things that I could not have languaged back then, 10 – 20 – 25 years ago.
Is quilting a spiritual path? I dunno, I’ll ask my cat who sleeps under the hoop.
Image and all text nicked from Jenny B’s website.
In most Aboriginal cultures, the sun is female and the moon is male.
The Yolngu say that Walu, the Sun-woman, lights a small fire each morning, which we see as the dawn. She paints herself with red ochre, some of which spills onto the clouds, creating the sunrise. She then lights a torch and carries it across the sky from east to west, creating daylight. At the end of her journey, as she descends from the sky, some of her ochre paints again rubs off onto the clouds, creating the sunset. She then puts out her torch, and throughout the night travels underground back to her starting camp in the east.
The Yolngu tell that Ngalindi, the Moon-man, was once young and slim (the waxing Moon), but grew fat and lazy (the full Moon). His wives chopped bits off him with their axes (the waning Moon); to escape them he climbed a tall tree towards the Sun, but died from the wounds (the new Moon). After remaining dead for three days, he rose again to repeat the cycle, and continues doing so till this day. The Kuwema people in the Northern Territory say that he grows fat at each full Moon by devouring the spirits of those who disobey the tribal laws.
Because the Australian Aboriginal culture is the oldest continuous culture in the world, it is probable that the Australian Aboriginal people are the world’s oldest astronomers.
The Boorong people see in the Southern Cross a possum in a tree
The rising of Venus marks an important ceremony of the Yolngu, who call it Barnumbirr (“Morning Star”) They gather after sunset to await the rising of the planet. As she approaches, in the early hours before dawn, the Yolngu say that she draws behind her a rope of light attached to the island of Baralku on Earth, and along this rope, with the aid of a richly decorated “Morning Star Pole”, the people are able to communicate with their dead loved ones, showing that they still love and remember them. (Sourced from Wikipedia)
Explore the beliefs of the oldest astronomers at Australian Aboriginal Astronomy
Image Credit: Voyages Indigenous Tourisim, Australia
The following text has been purloined from A plain man’s transpersonal notebook. Christopher Wynter is a Tasmanian Transpersonal Therapist and his take on enlightenment (and the whole bellybuttonlintsorting deal) is the sanest, and most practical, I have ever come across. For the beginner who is exploring the Transpersonal, this bloke knows his stuff and there’s no New Age bullshit. For the folks who think they know a thing or two, surfing the plain man’s site is like a glass of fine Cognac beside an open-fire. Offerings include:
enlightenment is never complete — the transpersonal joke
Learning for me is an evolutionary thing. Quite often, when I write from the “Transpersonal Space” to the list – or to somewhere else – there is something in what I write for me – perhaps something that I have not yet put into words – perhaps another perspective from which to view life.
The Cosmic (Transpersonal) Joke
- One thing I have learned during my own Journey is NEVER to say
- “I have completed all there is to complete of my own Psychology” and/or “I know all there is to know” and/or “I am enlightened, illuminated or spiritually evolved”
Firstly this is to say there is an end to the Universe.
Secondly, this is to say “my life is complete and all that is left for me is death” ..
if neither of these apply, then your ego is doing a good job on you and the very next lesson will be the Cosmic Joke –
The lesson of Humility
You will either come down to earth with a very big jolt –
or you will have a great bout of depression –
or you will conspire with yourself to ensure that your next Transpersonal experience is waking up dead.
In the past we have “gurus, teachers and sages” who are quoted as being the definitive authority on the subject of quot;Enlightenment”.
There are not too many of them that are still alive in the Physical body – in fact, when you have a good look at who they are and their life story, most have given up the body, for one reason or other, very shortly after their greatest period of illumination.
That’s the ego for you.
With the flow of the Tao – the simultaneously fractally evolving and involuting Universe – how can one imagine that one can possibly know all there is to know – and say their “illumination” (or their psychology) is complete.
If your illumination (or your psychology) has been the purpose of your life’s living experience – if be-ing is all the “be-all and end-all” objective,
then what you will become is a very bright vegetable existing in a self-induced mesmeristic or stuporific delusion the pseudo spiritual like to call “Blissed out”
There are plenty of stories about the bodies who exist in this state in the caves of the Himalayas – and in some of the Ashrams and Monasteries.
There are even a few Psychologists (including the Transpersonal ones) who claim they know all there is to know – until they have a nervous breakdown because the nerves that tried to maintain that illusion of grandeur finally gave up the ghost.
quite often because (and the picture I get is) they walk round with their heads up their own backsides – thus becoming very constipated .. and .. without a properly functioning anal sphincter, the brain dies ..
This of course, is the ultimate “no-mind” experience.
NOTHING is ever complete
and just to confuse some of you, there is no path that lead to any destination apart from death – with a subsequent re-birth in some other state which depends on your attachment to the regrets of your past experience of what you once thought was your life.
What do you envision for yourself?
Do you have a purpose – or an end goal in what you are trying to achieve? If so, you will, one day, eventually fulfil that purpose – until there is nothing left.
Or – is your definition of being – one of continually living life as an experience of the moment – without attachment – allowing the flow of the Tao – the rise and fall of the tides – the in-breath and the out-breath –
to flow through you – without attachment – continually growing in the fractal evolution which is “Enlightenment” ..
This is the practical application of Transpersonal – The Psychology of ALL expressions of the Unified Field that is Consciousness ..
Just remember – shortly after the moment you (your mind and your ego) thinks you have done “it” .. that there is nothing more left to “do” .. IT will do you .. and you will become the embodiment of the Cosmic Joke
- From the Quaballa,
- Enlightenment comes when the Crown meets the firmament (or when Malkuth meets Keether)
- From Christopher Wynter,
- enlightenment comes when your third eye meets your turd eye and you can see all of your own shit
- However, as Enlightenment is a cyclic thing
just like the Moon and the Sun,
- so the moral of the story is ..
don’t let your head get stuck…
- enlightenment is understanding THAT
The information contained in this site comes from original research carried out over a number of years and is published to encourage debate and self inquiry. Points of view expressed are not taken from any source other than the results of personal research or experience and are not attributable to any other author unless indicated.
Everything we have put in this site is here in good faith:
The material contained in this site and/or provided in any interaction you may have with us is not a substitute for professional advice.
We can only take responsibility for having put this material here for you to read. What you do with it now is up to you. In fact, we don’t need you to believe any of it. We would prefer if you would use it as a guide to you finding your own conclusions about the Possible Human within you.
… updated 21st March 2011.
Image sourced: Miriadna.com