This is a site for news on the arts, spirituality, the ecosystem and politics.
The focus is on information that will hopefully guide the reader to a more holistic space. Here we highlight the positive, aware that at this crucial phase in history and planetary evolution energy directed towards the creative and constructive will attract ever increasing harmony. All are invited to read, watch, listen and contribute.

“In framing an ideal we may assume what we wish,
but should avoid impossibilities”
Aristotle

Stefan Abeysekera

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Latest Article

Festival For The Eye And I

Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta

 

I was away when Fareed Uduman's paintings first saw the fluorescence of an exhibition, at the Gallery 706 in Colombo. I was then lucky to come across a copy of the book of prints that also include his poems and cartoons. 

I look forward to seeing the originals at the Lionel Wendt from January 6th, 2012, and if you can also get a copy of the book, you got yourself a good deal. 

I'm no fey aesthete. Nor a scrivener of paintings. Yet I was thrilled to find the portrayals of the book compelling – here is art from everyday life that yet made the familiar seem quite strange, and made you look again and again.


Art

Bernini Tara
Chagall - Bernini - Tara

Brahma
Brahma

Modi Shiva Jesus
Modigliani - ShivaNataraja - Rembrandt


Bernini

    

AwareNow Diary 23/12/11

 

by Stefan Abeysekera

The milieus are open to chaos, which threatens them with exhaustion or intrusion. Rhythm is the milieus' answer to chaos - Deleuze

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” Einstein.

 

'There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.' 

Meister Eckhart (1260 - 1327)


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"Agora" - an essential new film about Hypatia, the great female mathematician and philosopher of 4th century Alexandria - http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100721/REVIEWS/100729996

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Define and narrow me, you starve yourself of yourself.
Nail me down in a box of cold words, that box is your coffin.
I do not know who I am. I am astounding lucid confusion. 
I am not a Christian, I am not a Jew, I am not even a Muslim.
I do not belong to the land, or to any known or unknown sea.
Nature cannot own or claim me, nor can heaven, nor can India, China, Bulgaria,
My birthplace is placelessness,
My sign to have and give no sign.
You say you see my mouth, ears, eyes, nose - they are not mine.
I am life of the life. I am that cat, this stone, no one.
I have thrown duality away like an old dishrag,
As one, one, always one.
So what do I have to do to get you to admit who is speaking?
Admit it and change everything. 


Rumi


 

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Questions From a Worker Who Reads

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished
Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
Did the masons go? Great Rome
Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song
Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
The night the ocean engulfed it
The drowning still bawled for their slaves.

The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?

Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the Second won the Seven Year's War. Who
Else won it?

Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every ten years a great man?
Who paid the bill?

So many reports.
So many questions. 

Bertolt Brecht

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'Intention is the core of all conscious life. It is our intentions that create karma, our intentions that help others, our intentions that lead us away from the delusions of individuality toward the immutable verities of enlightened awareness. Conscious intention colors and moves everything.'

 Master Hsing Yun, "Describing the Indescribable"

"Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which
everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe
returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of
the universe unmanifest. Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge
with it. It is your own true nature, it is home."
- Tibetan Book of the Dead

 

"Wake Up" - Jack Kerouac's book on Buddhism.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1958, Kerouac published his groundbreaking novel The Dharma Bums, which met with great acclaim and has since been heralded as the opening salvo of an indigenous American Buddhism. This fall, Viking is repackaging that novel in a 50th-anniversary edition while also releasing Kerouac's unsung and long-forgotten tale of the Buddha's life, published in book form for the first time. The titular theme of "wake up" is rehearsed throughout Kerouac's story of Prince Siddartha Gotama, who left an indolent but meaningless life of riches to embrace asceticism and enlightenment. Drawing on multiple sutras and accounts of the Buddha's life, Kerouac focuses on Gotama's renunciation of worldly things by repeating that trope with several other wealthy characters who forsake riches in favor of nirvana. The prose is as meandering as it is beautiful, with Kerouac's Buddha spouting memorable sayings about sensation, illusion, emptiness and suffering. If there is an almost evangelistic zeal to this loose collection of axioms and Buddhist conversion stories, Kerouac at least states that openly: "The purpose is to convert," he explains at the outset. 
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"Nobody needs to go anywhere else. We are all, if we only knew it, already there. If I only know who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am. 
What in fact I am, if only Manichee (believer in dualism) I think I am would allow me to know it, is the reconciliation of yes and no lived out in total acceptance and the blessed experience of Not-Two. 
In religion all words are dirty words. Anybody who gets eloquent about Buddha, or God, or Christ, ought to have his mouth washed out with carbolic soup. Because his aspiration to perpetuate only the "yes" in every pair of opposites can never, in the nature of things, be realized, the insulated Manichee I think I am condemns himself to endlessly repeated frustration, endlessly repeated conflicts with other aspiring and frustrated Manichees.
Conflicts and frustrations - the theme of all history and almost all biography. "I show you sorrow," said the Buddha realistically. But he also showed the ending of sorrow - self-knowledge, total acceptance, the blessed experience of Not-Two"

Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)

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Watched "Hurt Locker" last night. What a shocking series of technically efficient life denying films the recent string of Oscar best films have been! 'No Country For Old Men', 'The Departed', 'Crash', 'Million Dollar Baby'... "Slumdog" of course an elliptical exception...What next from this pass-the-hemlock, soulless mindset? "Avatar" at least had a message worthy of Gaia.

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Ken Wilber on 2012 predictions:
http://diydharma.org/2012-aquarian-age-and-nature-evolution-ken-wilber

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THIS IS THE GUN, AND HERE’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO WITH IT
He is 17 years, wearing white shirt white slacks, he’s on his way to pick up a sheet of paper that’ll tell him his future. He won’t know his future until he gets off the coughing bus outside his broken school. Looking out the window at a sea endless as the road the sand the palms he won’t see that when he gets off that bus, steps on that road that he’ll be met by two men his age, a little older, less lettered, maybe, more limber, maybe, all three in uniform, one white, two green. They will ask where he’s heading. Hearing that he’s about to take the next turning ahead they will raise a gun and make a hole in his head, watch him, a boy like them, fall to his knees, his shirt turning a shrill colour that will soon be rust. The sea behind the school sends an invitation through the palms and broken windows. It falls on the road, next to the fallen schoolboy who has stopped perspiring.
Sheets in a fallen exercise book flapping.

R. Stephen Prins - Colombo

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction."

Howard Zinn:  historian, author and activist who passed on last week.
See his "A People's History of the United States"

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I've just watched a documentary on Piero della Francesca which focussed on his painting The Resurrection. Completed around 1460 its a remarkable work using new techniques of perspective and it presents an image of the risen Christ that is mysteriously and irresistibly triumphant. With the advent of the flamboyant Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, della Francesca was forgotten and The Resurrection was plastered over in the 17th century. The plaster crumbled away however and by the early 20th century art lovers were making pilgrimages to Sansepolcro in Tuscany to see the remarkable rediscovered work.
At the height of the Second World War an Englishman named Antony Clarke was in charge of the bombing of Sansepolcro not knowing that the Germans had already retreated. Suddenly Clarke, an intellectual, remembered an essay he had read as a youth by Aldous Huxley called 'The Best Picture' in which Huxley described it as the best painting in the world. He realized that this very painting was somewhere down below him and he halted the bombing. The della Francesca masterpiece was safe.
One wonders about the power of the written word and whether Huxley found out about the long term effect of his short essay. Today there is a street in Sansepolcro named after Antony Clarke.

'Along The Road' is still in print, Paladin Books.

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James Cameron's 'Avatar' has the aura of a typical Hollywood blockbuster. But below the surface (often literally) of standard action, romance and stunning special effects lies a story of enormous contemporary relevance. This is a tale of human exploitation and the danger inherent in destroying cosmic harmony. Its about imperialism and ecosystems, and Cameron's creation of a deliciously lush other-world (of which there may be millions, who yet knows) sensitizes us to what goes on in our own quotidian world and our treatment of nature and indigenous people. Unconsciously Cameron has taken us a step closer to Teilhard de Chardin's Omega Point, Sri Aurobindo's Overmind. And its just around the corner at your local cinema.


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The centre of the cosmos is each event in the cosmos. Each person lives in the centre of the cosmos. Science is one of the careful and detailed methods by which the human mind came to grasp the fact of the universe's beginning, but the actual origin and birthplace is not a scientific idea; the actual origin of the universe is where you live your life.
'The centre of the cosmos' refers to that place where the great birth of the universe happened at the beginning of time, but it also refers to the upwelling of the universe as river, as star, as raven, as you, the universe surging into existence anew.

Brian Swimme

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The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religion.

Albert Einstein

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