Monday, January 31, 2011

Modern Day Shaman: Big River Man

I watched an amazing documentary this weekend about an amazing man, Martin Strel, "Big River Man." I was amazed at what a Dude he was. There is nothing pretty about him. He doesn't try to be something he's not. He is, to sometimes a fault (If I can say that), utterly honest with himself even to the misfortune of those around him. For it, he is highly misunderstood, and yet, his presence still commands total attention and respect. After all, he has swam all of the largest Rivers in the World in effort to bring attention to the necessity for clean water, and to save what remains of the natural world.


As the documentary unfolded, I appreciated his down-right honesty and his infectious charisma for his cause. Still, as he swims further down the Amazon, I realized I was not just watching a man with a cause, I was seeing someone on a spiritual jurney. Every paddle of his arm brought him one stroke closer to the center of himself. Every kick of his foot propelled him deepr into the unknown along the river banks of the Amazon, as well as his own relationship to the Earth he was swimming to so desperately raise awarness for.

Far down the river, he transcends into what he refers to as, "The Forth Dimension." I have seen no man with such determination to achieve his goal, even if death was to be the inevitable outcome. He refused to stop. It was as if his expedition had turned into a suicide mission of the highest order. Doing so, he faced the truest depths of what it means to be alive, by way of experiencing the energies of his body as nothing more than reflections of the water and land he had become a part of. Like all deep revelations, it was a truly terrifying and beautiful experience.

This brings me to the ancient days of the Shaman. The Shaman, Witch Doctor, what ever you might call them, often forced themselves into hallucination by ways of Physiological Drugs, starvation, or forcing upon themselves extreme physical distress. These are only the three most obvious ways to transform our consciousness in order to experience visions of insight. This was exactly what Martin Strel endured to the highest order. So doing, he was transported to the mystic realm where the energies of life flow from the roots of the subconscious in effort to relate the deeper nature of the natural order of life. To me, he is perhaps one of the greatest men alive today for his achievements. Still yet, he  is a man's man. He is not some stereotypical, wanker-peon who only speaks and does not act. He is not your standard vegan (Nothing against Vegan's here), animal-rights activist guy, who sits in mens support group so he can better deal with his emotions. No! He is a red-blood, alcohol-drinking, gruff unkempt man of little words. But, when your Martin Strel, you need only to swim the largest rivers in the world and come face to face with the heart of darkness, to prove your greatness as a modern day Shaman of the highest order.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Quantum State: 11'th Dimension of the Soul


A quantum state is now observable with the human eye. The strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe -- a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that traveling through time may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers. 


And it's all because of a tiny bit of metal -- a "paddle" about the width of a human hair, an item that is incredibly small but still something you can see with the naked eye.


UC Santa Barbara's Andrew Cleland cooled that paddle in a refrigerator, dimmed the lights and, under a special bell jar, sucked out all the air to eliminate vibrations. He then plucked it like a tuning fork and noted that it moved and stood still at the same time.
That sounds contradictory, and it's nearly impossible to understand if your last name isn't Einstein. But it actually happened. It's a freaky fact that's at the heart of quantum mechanics.

To even try to understand it, you have to think really, really small. Smaller than an atom. Electrons, which circle the nucleus of an atom, are swirling around in multiple states at the same time -- they're hard to pin down. It's only when we measure the position of an electron that we force it to have a specific location. Cleland's breakthrough lies in taking that hard-to-grasp yet true fact about the atomic particle and applying it to something visible with the naked eye.

Pathway to the Inner Parallel

What does it all mean? Let's say you're in Oklahoma visiting your aunt. But in another universe, where your atomic particles just can't keep up, you're actually at home watching "The Simpsons." That may sound far-fetched, but it's based on real science.

The multi-verse theory says the entire universe "freezes" during observation, and we see only one reality. You see a soccer ball flying through the air, but maybe in a second universe the ball has dropped already. Or you were looking the other way. Or they don't even play soccer over there.

Sean Carroll, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology and a popular author, accepts the scientific basis for the multi-verse -- even if it cannot be proven.

Cleland has proved that quantum mechanics scale to slightly larger sizes. The next challenge is to learn how to control quantum mechanics and use it for even larger objects. Do so -- and we might be able to warp to parallel universes just by manipulating a few electrons.

E8 Root System; Particle Field

What does any of this mean for Parallel Earth? Allow me to elaborate. At a young age I personally experienced the break down in time through my observations in Deja vu: The exact or nearly similar situation recurring as if living them a second time. I believe Deja vu is but a reflection of the energies of our subconscious as it travels through variable fields of energy beyond the confine of our perceived time. Thus, within our dreams, we experience the energies of who we are, or might be in a parallel state.  Our soul, the streaming energy that constitutes our life, is not limited by the constraints of the physical world in which our bodies, our physical form, exist. Therefore, just as the experience of our soul is not limited solely to the body it inhabits, nor is it limited to the time in which the body exists.

With this concept in mind, I have opened myself to what I might refer to as the eleventh dimension of my soul. Thus, allowing my spirit-being to receive the energies of a reality that Parallels our own. Although the work I have created may be classified as a work of fiction, I like to think that it is a moderately accurate account of the truth of humanity as they exist in a Parallel Universe, and thus a reflection of our own inherent truth. The energies of my soul exist as the medium through which these revelations and accounts come into realization to be recorded as my literary and visual observations. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Star Wars: My Early Inspiration. (What and what not to do)

I was raised a Preachers son. Could any of you have guessed that? Bet not. Ever since I was in kindergarden, I experienced conflicted feelings for the religious tradition I was being raised in. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, I'm just saying the shoe did not fit. So, how does this bring me to Star Wars? Allow me to explain.
Can you see the ever-burning question in my eyes?

All conflict must experience resolve. Star Wars gave me resolve at my early age. It gave me the Force, a feeling that I could relate to at an early age. You see, it didn't come with the whole Father, Son, and Holly Ghost thing. It didn't come with Adam and Eve or the Ten Commandments. I didn't have to struggle to put the pieces together in order to understand what the hell I was hearing. What it did come with was the Force: a simple concept of the flow of spirit through all life itself.

Fast Forward about twenty years, I turned twenty-five. I felt a bit insane, like I couldn't live in this world; that I was wickedly out of place. In effort to understand my own mind, I began to write what has become the epic, contemporary Mythology that attempts to explain the world we live in by understanding it through a Parallel Reality, a Parallel Earth. With this said, I began the process with absolutely no idea of where I was going, what to expect, or what would happen.
Back to Star Wars. I began to understand the world of Star Wars on a more intimate level and could really appreciate what George Lucas had created through not only adult eyes, but through the eyes of my  attempts at creating my own world. Crafting something of such epic proportion is not easy.

After about four of five years of work, I came out the other end and was excited about my magnificent story. It was sure to blow minds. Then I read it. Ugh! I failed. Still, along the way, I experienced many feelings of accomplishment. Refusing to give up, knowing full well that the story was peppered with juicy bits of brilliance, I decided I was going to break up what had become an 1,100 page first Draft (Yes 1,100 pages of 'What the Hell was I thinking!') and turn it into a trilogy. It worked for George Lucas right? Why not me?

Thus began the long journey again. Upon completion of writing the first third, I had the same experience. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. And still, at the end, I knew it wasn't ready.

About this time, I heard George Lucas was working on Star Wars, "The Phantom Menace" and reveled in the idea of seeing how Darth Vader became who he was. Also, I had begun reading Joseph Campbell, one of Lucas's mentors. These two things led me to great revelations. First off, reading Joseph Campbell opened my mind and revealed to me the depth that I needed to create to achieve my message. Also, upon watching Episode I, "The Phantom Menace" I realized I didn't want to back-peddle with my story. It became apparent to me that George Lucas was limited in how he could tell his tale because of the limits of the back-story from his first and ultimately superior Trilogy.

An Original Master Piece
As the years progressed, I wrote two novelettes on the history of Parallel Earth as well as a movie script. Each time I ran into the same problem, I was left unfulfilled because I didn't know the whole story. One thing the new Star Wars Trilogy let me know was how limiting it would be to my stories, my mythology,    if I tried to fit them into a template that didn't work. Just as my understanding of spirit could not fit the mold of contemporary Christianity, my story no longer fit the mold from my earlier drafts.

For so long I had existed and written about the tail end of my world. I knew the characters, their history, and what happened to them. With this knowledge, I decided I didn't want to pull a George Lucas and create my best work first, only to compromise my creative license in the end, I had to go back to the beginning and start there. Novel idea? This marked the beginning of, "Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil."
There is no redemption for his creation!

Nearing completion on what has become the book One of Seven, I knew I had made the right choice. Of coarse years have passed. Life has happened. I now have two daughters. My wife and I have been together sin '96 and my perspective on life has changed. Life itself, and the process thereof, has now lent itself to the process. The messages in the story do not ring hollow.  Like all great mythology, the stories are rooted to my relationship of the experience of the individual to the world in which they live. To me Parallel Earth is a matter of the historical and factual experience that my life has become. Just as we come into maturity over years of living, so too has my understanding of what it means to be alive. My MYTHOLOGY, the tales that unfold in Parallel Earth, stands as a testament of my own maturity and my relationship to this world. I do not wish for my tales to regress into adolescence as Star Wars had. I would rather them age with wisdom and maturity as we are all destine to do ourselves.

P.S. Sorry about the long post. I look forward to your comments. Hope you enjoyed it.

Scott Clark

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tattoos: A History and Mystic Message


tattoo is a marking made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons. Tattoos on humans are a type of decorative body modification. The first written reference to the word, "tattoo" (or Samoan "Tatau") appears in the journal of Joseph Banks, the naturalist aboard Cook's ship "The Endeavour", in 1769: "I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition".


Tattooing has been practiced for centuries worldwide. The Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, traditionally wore facial tattoos. Today one can find Berbers of Tamazgha (North Africa), Māori of New ZealandArabic people in East-Turkey and Atayal of Taiwan with facial tattoos. Tattooing was widespread among Polynesian peoples and among certain tribal groups in theTaiwanPhilippinesBorneoMentawai Islands, Africa, North America, South America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Japan, CambodiaNew Zealand andMicronesia. Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing, the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world.

Tattoos have served as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, amulets and talismans, protection, and as the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures. Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person. Today, people choose to be tattooed for cosmetic, sentimental/memorialreligious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs (see criminal tattoos) but also a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture. SomeMāori still choose to wear intricate moko on their faces. In LaosCambodia, and Thailand, the yantra tattoo is used for protection against evil and to increase luck. In the Philippines certain tribal groups believe that tattoos have magical qualities, and help to protect their bearers. Most traditional tattooing in the Philippines is related to the bearer's accomplishments in life or rank in the tribe. Among Catholic Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, tattoos with Christian symbols would be inked on to protect themselves from the Muslim Turks.

Artist: Paul Booth

To me, tattooing is a way to express one's own personal experience of life by way of displaying it as art that resonates with their soul. It is to say, I am mythologizing my life and understanding my experience on a mythical level. So the recorded images etched into my skin become the story that is my life; not the story of the day-to-day, but rather the tale that should transcend my physical presence. Each image, or combinations thereof,  stands as a milestone of spiritual transformation. It's meaning goes deeper then the image itself, all the way to the core of one's soul. 



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Home Town Brevard

I live in one of the coolest small towns in the good old USA. Brevard, in Transylvania (No Fangs Required) county, is almost like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the area is also referred to as the Land of Waterfalls; there are over four hundred waterfalls in the area, as well as thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails that wind their way through the mountain woods of Pisgah National Forest.

Kate standing in the woods atop Mount Mitchell, NC.



Not to far around the bend is Dupont State forest, well known for its many waterfalls, equestrian, and mountain bike trails. Then, less that an hour drive, I we can be in the Smoky Mountains National Park or Nantahala National Forrest.

Kate and Izzie, My Daughters, catching butterflies in the Creek Bank



Here in Brevard, time seems to have stood still for the most part. They close of the streets in down town four times a year for large festivals. And to boot, we have white squirrels here. Yes, they really do exist. And we have a White Squirrel Festival to prove it.

Brevard, White Squirrel



My appreciation for the beauty of thus landscape is what led me to begin work on my novels almost thirteen years ago. I was always aghast with the idea of emerging from the woods to face society again. My desire to understand how the world had come to its present state is what led me to embark on the epic journey of understanding how we, humanity, have come to this bold and conflicted existence that exploits nature. So yes, you might say there are some environmental issues that are raised in my Novel, but not so much as this influence is directly obvious. The story must serve the thoughts that service the ultimate message. But the message must not inhibit the flow of the story. Trust me, it is a unique balance to strike.

Me standing beneath Looking Glass Falls

Friday, January 21, 2011

Heavy Metal Music: It's Mythic Message

Heavy metal music, some love, others hate it. But let's think about it, it is their HATE which fuels the fire of those awe-inspiring Guitar and Drum Masterworks that can hardly be touched in speed, intricacy, and innovation that few other music forms can accomplish; extreme jazz and good symphonic music are exempt from this list.

Artist: Slayer -- Disciple (God Hate Us All)  



Let us ask ourselves the question, "What message does this vile music provide this world gone mad! It is hateful, aggressive, and mocks the many religious and government institutions of the world." Or does it? Could it not be the brutal truth we experience through this dark satyrical take on the world?

To me, the music is beautiful for the sheer intensity of anger and frustration that it conveys. It is honest, and reflects the non-politically-correct, brutal honesty about the world we can experience no where else. Heavy metal, with its many sub-genres, stands a beacon for the cumulative discontentment of humanity as we exist within the malign world our governmental and religious institutions force upon us. There is magic in their ruthless discourse. Their lyrics shout forth a accurate reflection of the world today, as well as where it is going. This is the heart of it's purpose; to tell us what we dare not face ourselves.

Artist: Meshuggah -- Bleed



The ultimate Mythic message hidden with the many CD covers (Yes, I still like my cds, not downloads.) is that we are truly lost. Just as the ancient myths of the world spoke of the trials each culture faced thorough history, so this too is what heavy metal music tells us today. Just as the ancient cultures of the world changed their myths to better understand their changing environment and ritualize it into their culture, so too does metal music today.

With all of this beings said, you might wonder how this has influenced my novel. Well, you might ask yourself, how hasn't it? I experience vivid imagery through so many lyrics. They inspire me and inform me of the world around me through another individuals personal and spiritual interpretation of the energies of the world as the exist today. Listen to, "Iron Man by Black Sabbath" and interpret the meaning behind the lyrics. Listen to the subtle melodies of Opeth on their Damnation album, and you will be witnessing the beautiful grace that takes place between the spirit world and our reality, it is that magical. And lastly, sit back and admire the raw power of any Pantera album from front to back; it is a genuine treat which I still engage in regularly to this day.

Artist: Megadeth -- Peace Sells but who's buying

  

I urge you watch the videos posted here and leave your comments. They are each strong examples about the message.  I would love to here what you have to say.

Enjoy,

Scott Clark

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dreams: A New Spirit Awakens

The other morning, just before I was waking for work, I beheld a vision. Tucked low in a darkened corner, I perceived a creature, almost sub-human, gazing out at me. Moments later, I found myself face to face with this spirit. He was grotesque. Many of the apparitions in my dreams are. But there was a peace about him. When he looked at me, he spoke in a way that seemed very honest, despite his outward appearance.



Before I could decipher what he was saying, I awoke to the sound of my cellphone buzzing away. As I lay waking, I kept thinking about him and was captivated by his unique appearance. I relish the moments when these strange spirits introduce themselves. Often, I wish I could stay and listen in hopes to discover something amazing. But, like all magical moments, they are fleeting.

"What was he trying to tell me?"

Later that day, I set about my normal duties. You know, making breakfast for my girls and getting them off to school, getting ready for a long day of who-knows-what. But, even as my day unfolded, I couldn't shake my experience from that morning. I have always held a strong belief that is very important to pay attention to the visions in my dreams, so without further ado, I focused on his presence.

I came to know much about this strange being and even assigned him a name, which I will not yet mention. Like so many of the concepts in my writing and art, I knew he had to service my larger understanding and interpretation of Parallel Earth. Seeing the humility in his eyes assured me of this. With many pieces of grand architecture to be filled within the construct and formation of the next six novels, I knew he had presented himself in order to find his way, as if to be immortalized, in my second novel.

Allowing my thoughts to flow around his presence, allowing  his presence to invade my vision, He revealed to me his purpose. And so a new spirit, not character, has found his way into this dimension from another realm beyond his own expereince. When I begin writing my second novel, he will whisper in my ear. He will lead me through the shadows and tell me what strange things have transpired in my absence. He will be the kind informer, misunderstood and left to linger in the morose grandeur of a malign divinity.


To better understand who he was, and what he looked like, what horrors he had faced, and those he would continue to endure, I decided to sketch a portrait of him to the best of my recollection. If only you all knew the world he inhabits and the history behind his misfortune, your hearts would bleed for him, and your eyes would weep.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Guardian's of Ga'Hoole: 'Legend of the Guardians'

I just watched Legend of the Guardians last night and was highly impressed on all levels. The story was good. My wife, who read the first book to make sure they were cool for our daughters, assured me the movie did not progress like the first book. Well, with that said, who cares. From my understanding, the script writers took the first two books and combined them into what became the movie. That means they could not embrace all of the small sub-plots going on; what they could do is dive deeper into the understanding of the world as well as expand on the overall visual impact of the story, which could not have been more beautiful.


 

From my reckoning, every frame was perfectly executed with a brilliant combination of light, shadow, and texture, which lent an overall dreamy depth and sensibility to the movie. Most impressive to me though, is the depth of character that was able to be displayed through the ever-evolving media of CGI. You could frame any given shot in this movie as a piece of art in your house. It is that magnificent.


Now, as afar as story is concerned, I'm not going to get into the nitty-gritty here. Kathryn Lasky has used many standard archetypal characters to move her story forward. I'm sure the producers and scriptwriters did their best to represent the life of the characters as illustrated in the books. But, for all of you who have read the, J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings," the character Farimir was presented totally different within the construct of the Novels (or should I say Novel). But, when it came time to film the movies, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh realized they could not put Farimir in the movie as written within the book, because it would have robbed the ring of all it's power, thus forcing the movie to fall flat. So, sometimes, in order for the story to maintain its pace, tone and message, certain aspects of a literary work have to be dropped to carry the momentum and theme of the visual story telling.



All movies divert from their literary counterparts. We know this. Some do it better than others, while some are inspired by, but hardly a accurate representation thereof. For me, I enjoyed story and will own it. Bravo.



Guardians of Ga’Hoole is an epic fantasy book series written by Kathryn Lasky and published by Scholastic.[1][2][3] The series which ended in 2008 with the publication of The War of the Ember has a total of fifteen books. Apart from the main series there are a few more books and spin offs set in the same universe. The first three volumes of the series have been made into an animated 3D film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, directed by Zack Snyder.[4]



The Shadow: Haunting Mysteries of Physiological Depth

Deep down in all of us, whether we can admit it to ourselves or not, resides a killer awaiting to be unleashed upon this world. Deep within the mythos of what I have created in, "Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil," I have come across a deep analysis of this phenomenon as well as the motivation behind its purpose, which will be addressed in later posts. This oblique marvel resides within the deeper aspect of our Shadow-self. The Shadow-self exists in all life, not just humanity, and is maintained through the physical forms of our bodies. But we, humanity, have perverted this darkness through the ideological sense of social and moral order, which only help to further confuse us to the roots of the emotions we experience before the darkness of our own soul. This darkness is the shadow the light of our spirit must endure in order to come into the experience of this life. But, when we cannot identify with this darkness or contemplate its' purpose, we stand to be consumed by the insatiable hunger that arises through our experience of perceiving the unending, haunting beauty that is the shadow, and by so doing, loose what it means to be human. So doing, we succumb to the Daemons that reside, hidden in the pathos of human experience.









serial killer is typically defined as a person who murders three or more people[1][2] over a period of more than 30 days, with a "cooling off" period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based onpsychological gratification.[3][4] Other sources define the term as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone" or, including the vital characteristics, a minimum of at least two murders.[4][5] Often, a sexual element is involved with the killings, but the FBI states that motives for serial murder include "anger, thrill, financial gain, and attention seeking."[5] The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example, occupation, race, appearance, sex, or age group






Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Process of Individuation: Active Imagination

Upon reading the Red Book: 


My long process of understanding this world through my own visions, nightmares and engagements with my unconscious, as well as experiencing daytime visions, is known through Jung's philosophies as the process of individuation. The process of individuation occurs when we engage with the deeper energies of our being/soul and engage the mythic imagery that emerges from our own subconscious. Trying to understand the energies behind my recurring nightmares as well as the dark revelations through my life has led me to create the world I have rendered in my novel. The characters, places and events that come into form within the pages of Parallel Earth are but deeper reflections of my understanding of the Mythic and Mystic phenomenon taking place around us every day. And even though the Novel is character driven, as all mythologies are, because they must be understood through the human experience in order to translate, each character serves as an anchor-point by which a particular ideology and philosophy of life can be identified.


More than anything, the process of understanding the world around me on my own terms has proven liberating. It is my hope that anyone who breaches the pages of "Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil" will find a way to obtain a deeper understanding of self through the characters they become involved with. To sum things up, this marks my confrontation with the unconscious. During this almost thirteen year period, I have developed my theories of archetypes, the collective unconscious, and understood my own intimate process of individuation.[9]






The Red Book, also known as Liber Novus (Latin for New Book), is a 205-page manuscript written and illustrated by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung between approximately 1914 and 1930, which was not published or shown to the public until 2009. Until 2001, his heirs denied scholars access to the book, which he began after a falling-out with Sigmund Freud in 1913. Jung originally titled the manuscript Liber Novus (literally meaning A New Book in Latin), but it was informally known and published as The Red Book.[1] The book is written in calligraphic text and contains many illuminations.



Jung referred to the episode as a kind of experiment, a voluntary confrontation with the unconscious.[4] Biographer Barbara Hannah, who was close to Jung later in his life, compared Jung's experiences to the encounter of Menelaus with Proteus in the Odyssey. Jung, she said, "made it a rule never to let a figure or figures that he encountered leave until they had told him why they had appeared to him."[5]
About the Red Book, Jung said:
"The years… when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.[6]"
The work is inscribed by Jung with the title Liber Novus (The New Book). The folio size manuscript, 11.57 inches (29 cm) by 15.35 inches (39 cm), was bound in a red leather binding, and was commonly referred to as the "Red Book" by Jung. Inside are 205 pages of text and illustrations, all from his hand: 53 are full images, 71 contain both text and artwork and 81 are pure calligraphic text.[7] He began work on it in 1913, first in small black journals, during a difficult period of "creative illness", or confrontation with theunconscious, and it is said to contain some of his most personal material.[8] During the sixteen years he worked on the book, Jung developed his theories of archetypescollective unconscious, and individuation.[9]