News Briefs 26-03-2015

My reaction when my Buddhist cousin showed me the new tattoo he got made to symbolize 'Impermanence'...

Thanks to the a-hole who scraped my car last night, for teaching me the concept of car paint impermanence.

Quote of the Day:

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

News Briefs 25-03-2015

Will the elves save us from the robots?

Quote of the day:

Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.

Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

Child Medium? 4-Year-Old Girl Brings Message From Dead Great-Grandmother

The video below seems like the usual playful moment between a loving mother and her 4-year-old daughter; making funny faces at the camera, sharing hugs and kisses, and talking about the woman's grandmother, who "went to heaven" last November at the age of 93.

Then, right at the end, the girl delivers quite the bombshell:

From Jaime Primak Sullivan's Facebook page:

I am freaking out - I can't even find words. I don't know what to think or say or do- there is no way Charlie could know this. My grandmother called me this name growing up- there is NO WAY Charlie could know. I am shaking.

Of course, skeptics would say the whole thing was staged, and it's true there's no way we can verify whether little Charlie didn't know her great-granny called her mom by the name 'Jamila' --or if the girl was queued as it's the opinion of some members in the comments below. But if true, then this little incident might be another confirmation that little children, still untouched by the 'social conditioning' we all grow up with, are more sensitive and still in touch with "the other side."

Now, whether this 'other side' is another dimension of existence in which our dearly departed still live in some immaterial form, or is rather a state of consciousness in which the Time is non-existent and all things and beings remain in a state of interconnectedness, that's something for which we don't really have any answers... yet.

Have your children shown similar 'mediumnistic' abilities? Share your stories on the comments below

[H/T Above Top Secret]

News Briefs 24-03-2015

The end is n.........ot nigh.

Quote of the Day:

Knowing that you are going to die is, I suspect, the beginning of wisdom.

Terry Pratchett

TechGnosis: Erik Davis talks with Jason Silva

We've featured a number of Jason Silva's wonderful monologues here on the Grail over the past few years, and counterculture writer Erik Davis is one of our long time favourites (he's also a Darklore contributor). So I'm sure many readers will enjoy this long-form, sit-down chat between them both on 'Techgnosis: Technology and human imagination'.

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News Briefs 23-03-2015

Mysteries. Today's flavour: historical.

Thanks @anomalistnews, @tobadzistsini, and @djp1974.

Quote of the Day:

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Collective Brainwashing & Modern Concentration Camps

This is a clip from the highly-recommended film My Dinner with Andre (1981), which you can actually watch complete on Youtube. Incredible how after more than 30 years, this discussion seems more relevant than ever.

The movie mentions Findhorn repeatedly, which is a famous spiritual community and education center founded in Scotland in the early 1960s, based on the mutual cooperation between Man and the spirits of Nature. Robert Ogilvie Crombie (a.k.a. Roc), the illustrious Scottish mathematician is also mentioned in the film; Crombie was one of the original founders of Findhorn, and used to be hardcore materialist until they day when he allegedly had an ecounter with a faun, at which point his life experienced a dramatic shift toward Mysticism, magickal practices and communication with elemental entities --The book The Gentleman and the Faun [Amazon US & UK] is based on those encounters.

[H/T tobadzistsini]

News Briefs 20-03-2015

“Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us.”

Quote of the Day:

“…Every man is a Microcosm, and carries the whole world about him.”

Thomas Browne

Fall of the Gods: What Caused the Collapse of Teotihuacán?

Before they became an empire, the Mexica --aka the Aztecs-- were a nomadic tribe looking for a place to settle. On their way to Mexico's central valley they passed through the ruins of a monumental city; so impressed were they with the majesty and sophistication of the ancient metropolis, they concluded no mortal men could have been able to build it.

They named the place Teotihuacán: The city where Men became Gods.

To this day, and despite some impressive archeological discoveries in recent years, there's still a lot of mysteries surrounding this Pre-Columbian civilization --our remaining ignorance is best highlighted by the fact that, after all these years, we still don't know the original name of the city, and are forced to identify them with the term given by the Aztecs. We know that by 450 AD Teotihuacán was the most powerful city in all of Mesoamerica, its influence reaching even the remote nation-states of the Maya in the south-east jungles; we also know that its end was not peaceful, given the evidence that its major monuments were burned around 550 AD. But why exactly did Teotihuacán fall into ruin?

Linda Manzanilla, an anthropologist with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México has published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which she proposes Teotihuacan's collapse was not due external threats or natural catstrophes, but caused by internal clashes between groups with differing economic interests.

Manzanilla is basing her claims on her examination of parts of the ruins, along with an analysis of human remains and other artifacts that have been found in the area. She suggests that because of volcanic eruptions in the first and fourth centuries, people were forced to move from the southern basin, and wound up in Teotihuacan, which resulted in a mix of ethnicities. Activity markers, nutritional patterns, isotopes and ancient DNA analysis showed that the immigrants (some of whom brought specialized skills along with them) tended to live on the outskirts of the city in different neighborhoods and were given specific jobs by businessmen that helped to bolster the economy. But it also led to rivalries between the neighborhoods. As time passed, she believes that tensions arose between wealthy businessmen, neighborhood leaders and those that were part of the government. The tension was increased, she claims, by the government insisting on retaining control of all natural resources. Eventually, that tension boiled over and the result was an angry mob of people burning down major parts (administration and ritual buildings) of the city and trashing sculptures and other iconic structures, and eventually to total collapse of the city.

Manzanilla's theory supports another separate study --in which she also collaborated-- performed by academics from the Institute of Investigations in Applied Mathematics and Systems (IIMAS), who created a mathematical model which supports the theory that Teotihuacán was not ruled by a centralized authority --i.e. a king or emperor-- but rather was organized in a "co-government" represented in a collective, managerial division of the different neighborhoods conforming the city. This theory IMO might explain why recent attempts to discover the tombs of Teotihuacán's rulers have so far proved unsuccesful.

All these new ideas about Teotihuacán paint their culture more like an economic enterprise than a colonizing army. It's almost as if they were the Templars of ancient Mesoamerica --and just like their European counterparts, they attracted the envy and resentment of too many enemies.

In our modern times in which the 1% think of themselves as living deities, the ancient city where Men became Gods has now become a soberly prescient cuationary tale.


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News Briefs 19-03-2015

In a society where sanity is obligatory, the insane carries out a one-man revolution.

Thanks to Cármen Aristegui.

Quote of the Day:

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”