I can’t guarantee it’ll happen to everybody, and maybe my perception is deceiving me, but every time I listen to a Manly P. Hall talk it ends ups solving a personal problem. Somehow it touches on something I’m struggling with. It’s never obvious from the topic or the title, in this case: I’ve been complaining to myself about not having an ideal space to meditate in. My neighbors are too noisy and nosey, the walls are not thick enough and to top it off, since it started raining there’s a mosquitoes invasion.
In the video after the jump, the legendary Canadian scholar told me about some temple in Tibet that makes the apprentices monks meditate under a huge bell that they keep ringing – Ring Ding Dong/ Ring-a-ding ding ding dong -, the objective being to develop “a complete indifference to interruption”. The absolute quietude has to be internal. Since another sage informed me the idea is to work with what you have, I’ll use the constant noise and blood sucking instead of said bell and go from there. Let the battle begin.
Anyway, to some of us Manly P. is a beacon of hope and a calmed voice in a sea of screams and desperation. To others, he was a Freemason, thus bound to secrecy to the organization, thus cannot be trusted. According to the official story he joined the order in 1954, already a middle aged man, and was recognized as a 33° Mason in 1973. Since your instincts are the only thing you should trust, I urge you to listen to him and decide for yourself if what he says rings true for you or not.
The talk’s title is “Esoteric Alchemy – The transformation of attitudes”, as opposed to the mere transformation of metals and the materialistic approach to the science. It’s absolutely fantastic and you shouldn’t miss it, but since hearing someone speak for an hour without video or anesthesia is a pretty daunting activity, I took the liberty of digesting it for my beloved audience. Below you’ll find S&E’s Companion Guide, it divides the talk in broad topics and includes several key quotes and notes.
May it help the wanderer (you) return home.
“The number and depth of those moments of silence with activity in the production of a work directly influence the true value of the product“
– David Lynch
Unfocused MC/ DC poster out and about in the streets of Caracas.
Saving Venezuela from the curse of Greyface, one poster at a time.
Come inside, you’ll find 2 or 3 lines of opinions about the Oscar nominated movies I’ve seen so far in the order I did so: “Arrival“, “Hell or High Water“, “Hacksaw Ridge“, “Nocturnal Animals“, “Moonlight” and “La La Land“.
Light SPOILERS after the jump, BE AWARE.
So yeah, I didn’t follow through with the whole getting-this-blog-into-shape thing. The world has been incredibly distracting, but I have another excuse: I’ve been writing in spanish. I stopped publishing around when I started with “La Tormenta” a million years ago, and now that the alchemical process is about to give results, I’m getting a head start in reclaiming my old journalistic career back.
It’s been harder than previously anticipated, but I got a semi regular column in Venezuela´s premiere electronic music site Dj Profile, in which I have written about Massive Attack and Justice so far:
1.- http://www.djprofile.tv/mentes-trabajando-independientemente-regreso-massive-attack/ (–> English version)
And I wrote about my favorite female emcees for Spain’s sexyest literary site, Culturetas:
Last but not least, I keep my music tumblelog at the edge of everything with constant updates:
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
I would love to justify my lateness alleging that I was waiting for the new Run The Jewels to drop, but actually I just couldn’t find the necessary silence to finish this beauty until today. Or the will. This December in Venezuela was odd and noisy, even with fireworks out of everybody’s price range.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand… without further ado and starting at the top:
The third mixtape by the half emcee/ half singer from Chicago is half gospel hip hop/ half club music. On my first spin I thought at last, through Chance, I was going to be able to appreciate this new wave of mumble rap the children seem to be crazy about. It features Future, Young Thug and that idiotic kid Lil Yachty and none of those songs make me want to rip my ears off. I even liked “Smoke Break“at first. On repeated listens though, I tend to skip them and the Justin Beaver one. That sound just doesn’t appeal to me even with Chance and his production team in the mix.
As for the gospel, I propose it’s the reason this album didn’t really blew up worldwide. It was critically lauded across the board, the Grammy academy changed its rules just to be able nominate it, Chano appeared in every screen and became a household name, but the music per se got to a point and then stalled. You can talk about God all you want, just ask Kendrick, but.unlike jazz and funk, gospel is completely specific. It has all those catholic connotations and people from other walks of life don’t want to hear that shit. Also, personally, gospel doesn’t speak to me. I have no memories associated to it like most gringos. Anyway, “Coloring Book” didn’t really explode like it was supposed to.
As for Chance, his singing sounds better than ever in this mixtape, the very musical pieces bring out the best in his voice. His rapping though, It’s not on “Acid Rap” level. He’s got some slick lines here and there, but the melodies and not the lyrics were his main focus and the hip hop part suffered. The exception is “How Great”. On that note, let’s talk about Jay Electronica’s verse: Incredible. It’s not even that good by his standards and it’s still one of the bests of 2016.
In conclusion: Overall it’s a good project, parts of it are great, but Chance, do yourself a favor and drop acid before starting on your next one.
BONUS, the clips:
So, I fled to this town in Los Andes, Venezuela to finish the damn novella. I guess its a novel now, “La Tormenta” grew to almost 200 pages, but whatever… I´ll be back soon to get this blog into gear. I have so many plans for it.
Greetings from Boconó,
This blog exists because I need work.
Paying jobs as a writer.
You should hire me and compensate me in Dollars or Bitcoin.
A little about me: I spent the last seven years of my life sculpting my first novel, “La Tormenta”, while my country, Venezuela, fell to pieces around me. The writing process was challenging enough, the hardest endeavour I’ve endured by far, and I also had to deal with devaluation over devaluation, working for a shrinking salary, shortages of everything that’s sacred, all kind of strikes and protests and roadblocks set on fire. Also, people just yapping on and on about all that and the latest sporting event, instead of listening to me whine about my work.
I also had very noisy neighbors.
So, not to brag, but I’m basically indestructible and kind of a Superhero.
In related news, in the downtime I also became a sorcerer.
And now, you can have me as part of your team. Hire me.
Cover art by: Adolfo Malavé, designer extraordinaire.