Rev Raz

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Everything posted by Rev Raz

  1. I say "this is the best ___ all day" pretty often. So let's say I'm in morning traffic, instead of letting it get me down, I could say "this is the best traffic I've been in all day!" and laugh about it. Of course, if I only use it for blah experiences it loses it's magic, so I also use it for wonderful things. I can really "recharge" the phrase if I use it on an experience that is not only the best of that day but the best ever =)
  2. Hi Cynastry. I've never tried skype. Feel free to share your experiences here or via private message. I enjoy reading stuff like that.
  3. Jeristew, It is always easier for me when there is a real live drum vibrating not just my ears but my whole body. Perhaps there is a shamanic circle that meets in your town or a nearby city. It's unfortunate that salvia divinorum is no longer legal in your state. I've heard of an even more powerful plant helper (ayahuasca) but it contains DMT and is therefore illegal everywhere in the USA. But last I checked people could visit Canada for the experience. A couple of months ago I was exploring a wild place near my home and came across an interesting legume, so I checked into it and discovered it was Desmanthus Illinoensis, containing quite a bit of DMT in the roots. I also learned some people brewed what they call "prairiehuasca" from a mixture containing the roots of this plant. Maybe someday the federal government will stop controlling our spiritual options. But even if they did, I would continue to work with drum-induced trance. Good luck.
  4. As an empiricist, I believe what I experience myself. If the experience matched Christian testimony of Jesus and Heaven etc, then I would possibly regain a creed that I had rejected long ago. But such an experience would have to share my heart with other experiences that speak different truths, so I think I would still believe in alternate paths and keep my respect for those who follow them.
  5. May you get well soon Peter and in the meantime may you remember you are appreciated
  6. Very interesting. It made me curious to read further, so I searched for an online version and read some more. Thanks
  7. Unfortunately he's not around to answer the specifics of your question, but "let them know, let them love, let them remember" seems specific to benevolent practices.
  8. Here is a translation of Cassius Maximus Tyrius, known as Maximus of Tyre, a pagan teacher from the 2nd century AD: For the God who is the Father and Creator of all that is, not to be named by any lawgiver, is not to be uttered by any voice, is not to be seen by any eye...Let all men know what is divine, let them know, that is all. If Greeks are stirred to the remembrance of God by the art of Phidias, or the Egyptians by the worship of animals, or others by a river, or others by fire, I will not quarrel with their differences. Only let them know, let them love, let them remember. I find myself very much in agreement with this. What do you think?
  9. When I am at my best, creatively, I've noticed that my spirit isn't really the one doing the creating, but there is another one feeding it to me. I think of my spirit at such times to be more conduit than source.
  10. I just now read the story and wanted to comment that it resonates with me. Experiential reality is what ultimately matters. Physical reality is just a means to that end, and sometimes not necessary for it.
  11. I remember an interview with Clive Barker who said "The word 'why' is the enemy of art". I agree, but what I am pondering in this thread isn't really explaining art but rather the source of it. You make good points, and yet I think the source is sometimes beyond the person. For example, when I feel the urge to wrote a poem or compose a song, the process feels like I am more instrument than artist. It is as if I am allowing a spirit to possess me and move me. The driving purpose is expression although the product could be made to decorate, after the fact. But if someone asked me to write some background movie for a video, the experience is very different. Instead of openning up and letting some force move through me, it is more about taking things I am already familiar with, mix and match, and see what I can fit to the target. It's as if all of the elements come from myself, not some unseen spirit. So in this case, the purpose is decoration, even though the product could very well express something too. Of course, it isn't as black and white as I'm making it. When the driving force is expression, I can filter the channel. When the driving force is decoration, I can allow the channel to work with me. This then seems like a collaboration between muse and artist. Right, I can't speak for someone else, but I can say that in my own experience the conscious mind plays an administrative role, or in other words I can allow or refuse it from happening. But whether it is available to happen is beyond my control. For example, I want to work on my novel but find myself at a blank page just waiting and can't think of anything. Other times something might spring into my mind and it would be easy to grab something and write it out but I'm not really in the mood. It's like I'm the manager of the company who can post a job opening but has to wait for someone to fill it. I can decide when the store is open but can only hope someone won't call in sick that day. Yeah, I think it's often a kind of resonance between the art and something within the audience. For example, the following two works of art resonate very differently with me, one to my spirituality and the other to my ego: Yeah me too. I can't think of a doctrine that is 100% art. Psalms are only a part of the body of scripture. Maybe religion needs a practical side in order to be successful in gaining followers. Yeah, I agree. I've known some people who speak of art as uselessly frivolous, but when you get to know them more intimately there is still some appreciation. I don't know. Sometimes I feel a kind of "scene empathy" and it feels like the surroundings are trying to say something. Is this the result of a spirit acting on the scene or an illusion of it? I don't know. I know what you mean. But still, an interesting thing about programming languages is that they call the commands "statements" and functions "expressions". But even then, the computer doesn't write it's own program, but instead computes what the programmer states and expresses to it. So when a computer produces something that evokes and artlike response in viewers, the role is medium, not artist. Seems that way to me. But what if there was nothing about art in a robot's computer program, but after running about in the world for some years it started to express something that seemed like art? No such robot exists, AFAIK, but if someday it did, it would make me wonder. Yeah, I don't think computers are advanced enough for that. I don't know what the future will bring. If a computer somehow/someday appreciated something, would I recognize that it did? Probably not
  12. Do you think there is a difference between the source of art which expresses and the source of art which decorates? Is one more inspired than the other? Is the source of inspiration the subconscious or a spiritual source or something else? If different sources are possible, would you consider some to produce invention and others art? What about the source of art appreciation? Is there a spiritual influence? If the source of a religion is inspired writings, would you consider that religion to be a work of or collection of art? Is art a universal capability of humans, or are some people unable to produce or appreciate it? Can only artists be human? Or do you recognize non-human art, such as something expressed within a wilderness scene, or by an animal or flock, or even an entire ecosystem? Would such art be accidental or channeled somehow from a spiritual source? Does the sky make art, either by cloud or stars? Can a computer be programmed to express original art? Can a computer be programmed to appreciate art?
  13. blesses you, yes you.

  14. Just wanted to say 'hi" and mention that your belief in various religions being "another path to the same destination" resonates with me.

  15. Why seek ordination? In my case, it is because of the state's involvement in spiritual matters, especially regarding the blessed union of two spirits. Otherwise, there would be no need to carry a card or be registered in a book somewhere. Behind the scenes, spirit beings (whether one names them angels or allies), respond to the urgings and negotiations of priests and shamans and laypeople regardless of their official status.
  16. I don't know how I would react to such a diagnosis. Reports like these are a reminder of my mortality, and the importance of quality time with loved ones. Thanks for sharing! =)
  17. Congrats, and it seems to me that fortune cookie knows something. I hope u saved it for the lucky numbers on the back
  18. Thanks for the kind words. I've been fortunate to have met some eclectic practitioners. Also, speaking of Salvia Divinorum, the latest Shaman's Drum has some great articles on healing uses.
  19. Hello from the D/FW bible belt! A couple years ago we worked with an alternative funeral company we learned about thru a hospice of the family member that had died. They got us a permit to hold the memorial service on the shore of Lake Arlington. Try this google search. If you work with a company like that and pre-pay it, I doubt the family would go against it. I think I would like to be remembered in a planetarium. Us D/FW peeps should start a congregation, eh?
  20. I think collecting the best from various sources could be labeled "eclectic". For example, I've known some "eclectic pagans". Christians prefer the term "non-denominational".
  21. Enjoyed reading "Field of Babies" in the open pulpit today. Very powerful message!

  22. Anything that reminds me of spiritual stuff. Also anything I put into use for ceremony. Lately I've been listening to "native" flute music after morning prayers. During shamanic ceremonies there's a lot of drumming and rattling going on. Some examples that come to mind... When I was a child, I remember really feeling the instrumental music often played after communion. Once we are sightseeing at Santa Fe NM and there was this miraculous staircase exhibit in a chapel that had some angelic choral music playing. I considered it hokey at first. Nevertheless, it added to the reverent mood which was also helped by the chapel setting. Wind chimes puts me in a reverent mood. Not the string of chimes the drummer plays, but the ones that hang in the wind. Yesterday morning I was sitting on the back porch and a mockingbird was singing. It got to me in a prayerful/reverent mood, even coloring the mexican neighbor's happy oompah music in a sacred light. "Now Thank We All Our God" is a personal favorite church hymn. Around Christmas, I love the feeling that comes from singing "Adeste Fideles". I also get shivers when I hear a fine voice singing "Ave Maria". I like some contemporary music, like anything by Nicole Nordeman (especially "Rolling River God"). Shpongle's music wakes up a more primal spirit in me. Powwow music is great at night when sitting at the fire pit. For calling the spirits and drum-induced journey, it is very helpful. And meditative ambient music can change "doing my chores" into something more like a ritual. Is music essential? No. I see music to spirituality like a car to travel. You can get by without it. I make room for both, and they enhance each other. I tend to be aware of changes more than continuums. The same goes with speaking. It is good to pause once in a while during a reading or sermon. If the people are nodding off, one thing to ask ourselves as ministers is "am I talking too continuously?"