Friday, August 28, 2015

Words of Power: 10th Anniversary Edition

Frida Kahlo -El Sol y la Vida, trans. "Sun and Life" (1947)

I launched Words of Power in August 2005, so this month marks the site's tenth anniversary.

To celebrate the milestone, I have added eleven new posts to my ongoing narrative. (These eleven posts are backdated, so that they appear in their correct chronological order.)

Five of them are more "Epiphanies," initially published via my Instagram feed:
The other six new posts constitute a series of brief excerpts from the work of great woman writers and philosophers. This series was initially posted via my Facebook page. It furthers the exploration I shared in Notes on the Ascendancy of the Feminine in Psyche (Human and Divine), a talk I included in my tenth book, Planetary Emergency/Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary (2014). In that talk, I featured the life and work of nine great woman mystics and nine great woman artists and photographers. This continuing concentration seeks to contribute to the supplanting of history with herstory for the collective healing and transformation of our species:
If you resonate with the content of this site, and would like to support my work, all four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from Amazon.com in both soft cover and Kindle editions:
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Epiphanies (Samhain 2014 - Summer Solstice 2015)

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Simone de Beauvoir: "... And Truth Rewarded Me."

Charlie Phillips - Grave Stone of Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, in Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

Henri Cartier-Bresson – Simone de Beauvoir (Paris, 1945)
From the writings of the bold, brilliant Simone de Beauvoir --

“I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.” (The Blood of Others, 1946)

“In spite of so many stubborn lies, at every moment, at every opportunity, the truth comes to light, the truth of life and death, of my solitude and my bond with the world, of my freedom and my servitude, of the insignificance and the sovereign importance of each man and all men ... It is in the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our life that we must draw our strength to live and our reason for acting.” (Ethics of Ambiguity, 1947)

“The present enshrines the past—and in the past all history has been made by men.” (The Second Sex, 1949)

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” (The Second Sex, 1949)

“It was said that I refused to grant any value to the maternal instinct and to love. This was not so. I simply asked that women should experience them truthfully and freely, whereas they often use them as excuses and take refuge in them, only to find themselves imprisoned in that refuge when those emotions have dried up in their hearts. I was accused of preaching sexual promiscuity; but at no point did I ever advise anyone to sleep with just anyone at just any time; my opinion on this subject is that all choices, agreements and refusals should be made independently of institutions, conventions and motives of self-aggrandizement; if the reasons for it are not of the same order as the act itself, then the only result can be lies, distortions and mutilations.” (Force of Circumstances Vol. III, 1963)

“Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it. Psychiatrists have told me that they give The Second Sex to their women patients to read, and not merely to intellectual women but to lower-middle-class women, to office workers and women working in factories. 'Your book was a great help to me. Your book saved me,' are the words I have read in letters from women of all ages and all walks of life. If my book has helped women, it is because it expressed them, and they in their turn gave it its truth ...” (Force of Circumstances Vol. III, 1963)

“Society cares about the individual only in so far as he is profitable. The young know this. Their anxiety as they enter in upon social life matches the anguish of the old as they are excluded from it.” (The Coming of Age, 1970)

“I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me.” (All Said and Done, 1972)

"In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation." (Quoted in Bisexual Characters in Film: From Anaïs to Zee, 1997)

In the early 1950s, the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir visited the writer Nelson Algren in Chicago. During that visit, Algren's friend, the photographer Art Shay, took some candid photos of de Beauvoir.
If you resonate with the content of this site, and would like to support my work, all four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from Amazon.com in both soft cover and Kindle editions:
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Wave


San Francisco, August 2015

The wave rises. You close your eyes. It crashes in upon you. After few hours, another wave rises. The interlude is rarely as long as a day, and never as long as a week. After the wave breaks, an utterance is demanded. From deep within. However articulate that utterance is, it is still no more than a gasp or a howl. And yet, all the joy of all the beings is held in that gasp, like a great strand of kelp, and it wraps itself around all the suffering of all the beings, and the two great strands of kelp undulate in a sacred dance of awakening and arousal. Until the surf is all out again, and it is time for another wave to come crashing in. Invariably, this one too is infused with the joys and sorrows of all beings everywhere. And yes, invariably, as it crashes over you, another utterance imperative arises. So you speak it all out loud, again and again, and each time it is wholly new and yet the same as it has always been. You feel every grain of sand the wave carries with it. Yes, you feel every sand grain and you hear every sand grain's story, all at once -- as if from the inside out. 

This is how it is. The far shore is behind you.

-- Richard Power



#strangerinastrangeland #notruthoutsidethegatesofeden #troubadourskilledbeforetheyreachBombay #passionofthepoet #pathlesspath #pearlofgreatprice #wildmagic #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #lifeofayogi #greatgoddess #sakti #siva #songofsongs #tantrikaknows


If you resonate with the content of this site, and would like to support my work, all four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from Amazon.com in both soft cover and Kindle editions:
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Susan Sontag: "In Place of A Hermeneutics, We Need An Erotics of Art."


Susan Sontag Photo Credit: Annie Liebovitz
Brilliant insights from the writings of Susan Sontag:

“All great art contains at its center contemplation, a dynamic contemplation.”

“To me, literature is a calling, even a kind of salvation. It connects me with an enterprise that is over 2,000 years old. What do we have from the past? Art and thought. That’s what lasts. That’s what continues to feed people and give them an idea of something better. A better state of one’s feelings or simply the idea of a silence in one’s self that allows one to think or to feel. Which to me is the same.”

"Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art." (Against Interpretation, 1966)

"To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world—in order to set up a shadow world of ‘meanings.’" (Against Interpretation, 1966)

"Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable." (Against Interpretation, 1966)

"In place of a hermeneutics, we need an erotics of art." (Against Interpretation, 1966)

"If within the last century art conceived as an autonomous activity has come to be invested with an unprecedented stature—the nearest thing to a sacramental human activity acknowledged by secular society—it is because one of the tasks art has assumed is making forays into and taking up positions on the frontiers of consciousness (often very dangerous to the artist as a person) and reporting back what’s there." (Styles of Radical Will, 1968)

"The notion of art as the dearly purchased outcome of an immense spiritual risk, one whose cost goes up with the entry and participation of each new player in the game." (Styles of Radical Will, 1968)

"Literature is dialogue; responsiveness. Literature might be described as the history of human responsiveness to what is alive and what is moribund as cultures evolve and interact with one another". (Styles of Radical Will, 1968)

"To have access to literature, world literature, was to escape the prison of national vanity, of philistinism, of compulsory provincialism, of inane schooling, of imperfect destinies and bad luck. Literature was the passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom ... Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom." (Styles of Radical Will, 1968)

“Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”

"I don't want to express alienation. It isn't what I feel. I'm interested in various kinds of passionate engagement. All my work says be serious, be passionate, wake up."

If you resonate with the content of this site, and would like to support my work, all four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from Amazon.com in both soft cover and Kindle editions:
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Nocturnal Intelligence

San Francisco, August 2015

Disguised as a statue, this nocturnal intelligence braves the sunlight. Moon after moon, season after season. Abiding, enduring, ceaselessly vigilant. Motionless, on a steel ledge. Ignored, unheard, unrecognized. In a teeming metropolis, on a lost world. When the Wild Goddess returns, this nocturnal intelligence will spread its strong black wings and glide over the torn up streets. To feast on small creatures of truth and beauty emerging from the long hidden soil of the soul. 

#shamanicpower #shadow #psyche #soma #strangerinastrangeland #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #troubadourskilledbeforetheyreachBombay #notruthoutsidethegatesofeden #tantrikaknows #Gaia #greatgoddess 

If you resonate with the content of this site, and would like to support my work, all four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from Amazon.com in both soft cover and Kindle editions:
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Only True Sanctuary

San Francisco, July 2015
On the long journey into the night of of this life, the deep, abiding embrace of Soma and Psyche is our only true sanctuary. It moves with us, wherever we go, which way we turn, and it is often simply called "Shadow." On this journey, there are treacherous mountain passes, with verdant gardens hidden within. And there are desolate wildernesses, with ever-flowing springs hidden within. And yes, traveling on, there are moments in which there is so much to say that the only way to articulate it all is to surrender to utter silence. The revelation wrapped within the veil of such moments is that this listening is the singing of that great song that cannot be sung. Yes.

Midnight. Half moon. Swiftly moving clouds. San Francisco roof top. July, 2015.

-- Richard Power, author, speaker, yoga teacher

#passionofthepoet #lifeofayogi #pathlesspath #tavernofruin #savagebeauty #notacaravanofdespair #notruthoutsidethegatesofeden #strangerinastrangeland #psyche #soma #sakti #siva #yinandyang #shadow #troubadourskilledbeforetheyreachBombay #tantrikaknows


If you resonate with the content of this site, and would like to support my work, all four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from Amazon.com in both soft cover and Kindle editions:
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Great Song: Life & Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller,  Edited with an Introduction by Richard Power,
Foreword by Coleman Barks. Available now via Kindle and Nook
"I know I'm NOTHING," Joe once bellowed, "no-thing, no-thing ... just a wild-assed spark of the Infinite functioning in the finite." -- Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller (Maypop, 1993), p. 80

The legendary American sage Joe Miller was a retired vaudeville and burlesque entertainer, with an 8th grade education. He never traveled to the East. But the East came to him.

Visiting Tibetan teachers called him a "Lama" and a "Tulku." Visiting Sufi teachers called him "Murshid" (Master) and "Madzoub" (Idiot of God). Visiting Indian teachers called him "Swami" and thanked him for his Darshan. Visiting Korean and Japanese teachers recognized him as a "Zen Master." He was given numerous unsolicited titles, but never used them. Joe shared the deepest teachings for free. He said he was not a teacher, he said he was "just a friend." He never took any money from any of us, he said he lived off his "rich uncle" (i.e., his social security check). Hundreds of people gathered in Golden Gate Park every Thursday morning to take a walk with him. His only official affiliation was with the San Francisco Lodge of the Theosophical Society. 

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller is a collection of his talks and oral history. It is a powerful artifact. I composed, edited and annotated the manuscript before Joe's death and added a in-depth introduction after his passing. Originally published in print form in 1993 by friend and colleague Coleman Barks (Maypop), Great Song is now available in an electronic edition: 
Some years ago, Coleman granted me the electronic rights to Great Song so that the work could live on. But I held off publishing this electronic edition of Great Song until after I had completed my quadrilogy of books on the Yoga of Primal Reality (in reverse chronological order):
This series of books offers vital context for a 21st Century appreciation of Joe Miller's message. And there is need of a Great Song for the Great Shift that we must undertake, individually and collectively.

I encourage you to dip into all five works, and share them with others.

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Sunday, July 05, 2015

True Parents

San Francisco, July 2015

Gaze into the night sky. You are that endlessness. Have you found your true parents? Mine were a Celtic raven goddess and a one-eyed Norse wayfarer. Do you feel the blood coursing through the limbs of your body? Every red drop is a distant galaxy. 

You are so much more than your troubles. The five elements themselves are no less than the sealed envelope that carries the love letter that you are! Open it. Read it aloud. The silence is already astonished, having written that love letter so long ago. 

#notruthoutsidethegatesofeden #strangerinastrangeland #tavernofruin #savagebeauty #sakti #shadow #pathlesspath #passionofthepoet #lifeofayogi #pearlofgreatprice #greatgoddess 
#troubadourskilledbeforetheyreachBombay #tantrikaknows

If you resonate with the content of this site, and would like to support my work, all four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from Amazon.com in both soft cover and Kindle editions:
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com

Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller - Available Now Via Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble)

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Epiphanies (Samhain 2014 - Summer Solstice 2015)

Stonehenge Depicted in 17th Century Atlas (1645)
An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation, striking appearance") is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective ... Famous epiphanies include Archimedes's discovery of a method to determine the density of an object ("Eureka!") and Isaac Newton's realization that a falling apple and the orbiting moon are both pulled by the same force. -- Wikipedia

Joyce gave the name epiphany to certain short sketches he wrote between 1898 and 1904, and the idea of the epiphany was central to much of his early published fiction. Through his education at the Jesuit schools at Clongowes Wood and Belvedere College, Joyce was steeped in Catholic religious ideas. He even suggested that there was a certain resemblance between the mystery of transubstantiation in the Catholic mass and what he was trying to do as an artist, changing the bread of everyday life into something with permanent artistic life. In making this claim, Joyce envisaged himself as an artist/priest of the eternal imagination through whom the flesh becomes word. It’s no surprise, then, that he adapted the idea of epiphany to suit his own artistic ends. Joyce himself never defined exactly what he meant by epiphany, but we get some idea of what it means from the way in which the character Stephen Daedalus defines it in Stephen Hero, an early version of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Stephen says that epiphanies are a sudden and momentary showing forth or disclosure of one’s authentic inner self. This disclosure might manifest itself in vulgarities of speech, or gestures, or memorable phases of the mind. -- James Joyce Center

Here are links to 22 more epiphanies. Some originated as Facebook statuses, some as Instagram posts -- in a period of time stretching from Samhain 2014 to Summer Solstice 2015.

Not every Facebook status or every Instagram post, of course. Just those I feel should be included in this ongoing Words of Power narrative. Most will also find their way into my next book.

As with 115 other epiphanies collected in Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in An Age of Global Peril (2010), User's Guide to Human Incarnation: Yoga of Primal Reality (2013) and Planetary Emergency, Personal Emergence: Path of An Evolutionary (2014).
-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)
https://soundcloud.com/wordsofpower/

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from Amazon.com
 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Three Prayers of Real Power

Odilon Redon - Design for A Prayer Rug (1909)
I will share another Bodhisattvic secret with you. You won't find it in the 84,000 shlokas (at least not expressed so nakedly). There are three prayers of real power.

The most powerful of them is simply "Thine, not mine, be done." This prayer is impeccable.

It is the way of the Tao. It is appropriate in all circumstances. It inherently acknowledges the irrelevancy of our own notions, and flawlessly aligns us with the inexorable turning of the great wheel. It is inviolate and infallible. 

There are two other prayers of power (although the first prayer underlies them both). 

There is a prayer for those who do harm, and a prayer for those who are lost in their own dreams. For those who do harm, simply pray that they get what they need. Not what they imagine they need, but what they actually need -- at the soul level. Because what a harmful person needs most is to encounter justice, i.e., to be confronted by the consequences. For the harmful person, the reckoning is the quickening. This prayer is a formidable weapon. I have wielded it victoriously in battle. 

For those who are lost in their own dreams, simply pray that they get whatever they imagine they want. Not what they need, not even what they really want (often a mystery), but rather what they imagine they want. Consider the dreamer who is offered a choice between accepting the rare gift of real medicine or pursuing some dream-within-a-dream gift that promises so much more than it can deliver. Yes, the dreamer will almost invariably choose the futile pursuit of the dream-within-a-dream over accepting the rare but tangible gift of real medicine.

So simply pray that the dreamer achieves what she or he dream-desires most. If attained, it will turn out to be very different than what she or he had imagined, and the bitter experience will hasten that person's arrival at the place of great disillusionment. And for those who are lost in their own dreams, that great disillusionment is the quickening. 

Yes, yes, "May all beings be well, may all beings be happy" is THE bodhisattva prayer (the one you will find in the 84,000 shlokas). But think of it as the exoteric version, and think of these three prayers as the esoteric versions, the tantric versions. 

There is, of course, a dimension of prayer beyond both the exoteric and the esoteric, but its nature is unspeakable. These are Bodhisattvic secrets. They are open secrets. There is no need to hide them. Only those with eyes to hear and ears to see will understand. As for the others, well, let us pray. 

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

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