Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hate Rally in Charlottesville

What's going on in Charlottesville is what I expected. To repeat what I said after the election: 'I'm shocked that I'm not more shocked. I'm sad that I'm not more sad. The fair America you think you're defending...never existed. It's not dead. It was never alive.'

For 6 months I have been watching MSM bury a figment of its imagination. They have used this 'imagination nation' to accuse POC of not being positive enough to strive or smart enough to achieve. They have used this fake America to convince me that I'm crazy, lazy, un-patriotic or -best of all- that I am the one who is a reverse racist or the one who hates. For yrs, Blacks have been saying to college-educated whites 'you are living in a fantasy.' So now you bury your imaginary America. In Charlottesville, in Ferguson, in a Charlotte church's basement.  I was never the angry or crazy one. There is going to be a lot of suffering ahead. But not blindness. Not fantasies of that other America. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ignoratti

I don't believe in Illuminati. 
Ignoratti are the real global terror. 
It's a conspiracy of the willful and woeful. 
Stupid rich white men doing stupid rich white men things.
Suckered out of money by con artist 
preying on by bloodsuckers who can sniff the hate.
Ignoratti never acknowledge the blindness of bigotry
marked them as easy targets.
They double down on hate, 
directing it to the cons and the con systems,
they have inoculated themselves from 
revelation or self-examination
through the means of a cash infusion. 

Ignoratti file lawsuits to protect the rights (aka money)
 of the stupid, hateful, and rich. 
KKK, Kremlin, and Koch. 
What a lovely group of cucks.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Get What You Want: August 2017

1.
EWG Public Theatre
deadline: August 31st
Website: ewgapplication.publictheater.org/Programs--Events/Emerging-Writers-Group/

The Emerging Writers Group is a component of The Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers. It creates a fertile community and fosters a web of supportive artistic relationships across generations. Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group, and provides continued program support through the Time Warner Foundation.

Writers are selected bi-annually and receive a two-year fellowship at The Public which includes a stipend. Staged readings of works by Emerging Writers Group members are presented in the Spotlight Series at The Public. The playwrights also participate in a bi-weekly writers group led by The Public’s literary department and master classes led by established playwrights. Additionally, they have a chance to observe rehearsals for productions at The Public, receive career development advice from mid-career and established writers, and receive artistic and professional support from the literary department and Public artistic staff. Members of the group also receive complimentary tickets to Public Theater shows, invited dress rehearsals, and other special events, as well as a supplemental stipend for tickets to productions at other theaters.


2.
YALE DRAMA SERIES COMPETITION RULES
 Deadline: August 15th
Website: https://yup.submittable.com/submit/20322/yale-drama-series

The Yale Drama Series is seeking submissions for its 2018 playwriting competition. The winning play will be selected by the series' current judge, Ayad Akhtar. The winner of this annual competition will be awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of his/her manuscript by Yale University Press, and a staged reading at Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theater. The prize and publication are contingent on the playwright's agreeing to the terms of the publishing agreement.

There is no entry fee. Please follow these guidelines in preparing your manuscript:

1. This contest is restricted to plays written in the English language. Worldwide submissions are accepted.

2. Submissions must be original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations, musicals, and children's plays are not accepted. The Yale Drama Series is intended to support emerging playwrights. Playwrights may win the competition only once.

3. Playwrights may submit only one manuscript per year.

4. Plays that have been professionally produced or published are not eligible. Plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production or that have been published as an actor’s edition will be considered.

5. Plays may not be under option, commissioned, or scheduled for professional production or publication at the time of submission.

6. Plays must be typed/word-processed, page-numbered, and in Yale Drama Series play format.

7. The Yale Drama Series reserves the right to reject any manuscript for any reason.

8. The Yale Drama Series reserves the right of the judge to not choose a winner for any given year of the competition and reserves the right to determine the ineligibility of a winner, in keeping with the spirit of the competition, and based upon the accomplishments of the author.

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS:
The Yale Drama Series Competition strongly urges electronic submission. By electronically submitting your script, you will receive immediate confirmation of your successful submission and the ability to check the status of your entry.

Electronic submissions for the 2018 competition must be submitted no earlier than June 1, 2017 and no later than August 15, 2017. The submission window closes at midnight EST.

If you are submitting your play electronically, please omit your name and contact information from your manuscript. The manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the play's title, a 2-3 sentence keynote description of the play, a list of characters, and a list of acts and scenes. Please enter the title of your play, your name and contact information (including address, phone number, and email address), and a brief biography where indicated in the electronic submission form.

If you would like to submit an electronic copy of your manuscript please go to: https://yup.submittable.com/submit.

HARDCOPY SUBMISSIONS:
The Yale Drama Series Competition strongly urges applicants to submit their scripts electronically, but if that is impossible, we will accept hardcopies.

Submissions for the 2018 competition must be postmarked no earlier than June 1, 2017 and no later than August 15, 2017.

3.
Blue Ink Submission (American Blues Theatre)
Deadline: August 31st
Website: http://americanbluestheater.com/blue-ink-submission-guidelines/

Submissions will be accepted July 1, 2017 through August 31, 2017 @ 11:59pm. The winning play will be selected by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside and the Ensemble. The playwright receives a monetary prize of $1,000 and a developmental workshop or staged reading at American Blues Theater in Chicago. Cash prizes are awarded for finalists, and semi-finalists too.

There is a $5 administrative fee. All proceeds of the fee are distributed for playwrights’ cash prizes.

4.
Beijing Playhouse
Deadline: August 30th
Website: http://www.beijingplayhouse.com/

Beijing Playhouse is looking to identify writers who have previously produced comedy stage plays who would be interested in having their works adapted for the Chinese market. Seeking modern comedies and farces with 6-12 cast size with a strong production track record.

For Beijing Playhouse’s 2019/2020 season we may be looking for modern comedies that are specifically about China and targeted to the Chinese market. We are also looking for playwrights who are interested in having their produced comedies localized for a Chinese audience.

We’ve localized other plays to great success by introducing Chinese characters and settings and jokes into these shows. Taking a tried and tested story, like Snow White or A Christmas Carol, and localizing it for the Chinese audience has proven very popular.

While these traditional shows have been successful, there appears to be stronger interest in localizing a very modern comedy. So we’re looking for authors who are interested in the Chinese market. Our goal is in keeping the gist of a playwright's story and tightly written script, but resetting it in a Chinese location, changing jokes to Chinese jokes, changing some characters to Chinese characters, and adding Chinese language.
Beijing Playhouse is the English theatre in Beijing; for the last 12 years the largest locally produced-in-English theatre in the country. We produce standard US theatre chestnuts like Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Romeo and Juliet and Wizard of Oz. Last December we did an audience interactive pantomime version of A Christmas Carol. So theatre producers here are looking to us to bring and adapt good shows from the US.
The particulars around rights/royalties would be worked out with the playwright.
Send inquiry to broadway@beijingplayhouse.com

5.
Irvington Town Hall Theater: Stage Door Playwrights Festival (November 11-12, 2017)
deadline: Sept. 1st
website: http://www.irvingtontheater.com/theatre-festival

The ITHT Stage Door Playwrights Festival celebrates original plays developed by local and NY metro area playwrights. It is dedicated to providing an arena for theatrical exploration of significant historical and modern issues that are relevant to our times. It strives to put a spotlight on the power of words and artistic expression that will enlighten and inspire audiences. It will give playwrights the opportunity to present a one act play or portion of their work in a staged reading or as staged as they prefer as part of a festival setting. It will further enable playwrights to harness the power of audience feedback through audience engagement with writers, casts and notable theatrical professionals in a Q&A session after each theatrical showing. We encourage inclusion of diversity of themes and populations as part of the goals of this festival. Each play will be a one-act that runs for no longer than one hour. We are looking for family–friendly productions as well as adult productions. The festival will run on Saturday November 11th and Sunday November 12th.

We offer a blank stage, lighting and sound. Each playwright can present as they wish in terms of highly rehearsed, costumes, props etc. Chosen playwrights are in charge of casting and getting their own director. ITHT will provide the stage manager and production manager for the festival.

Play Prerequisites

Seeking submissions of One Acts 45-60 minutes long or portion of play that are self-contained and can be performed for an audience with their clear understanding of content.

Any genre can be submitted

Play must be an original work

Family Friendly plays on topics that are appropriate for young audiences are encouraged for afternoon slots

Plays must be printed out completely as part of submission

Pages must be numbered and script should be in standard play script format

Estimated running time must be indicated

6.
ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art
deadline: September 18th
website: http://www.abladeofgrass.org/fellowship-program/

We are looking at the process and relationships of socially engaged art projects.

We see the aesthetic qualities of socially engaged art here—in how alliances are formed and maintained, the way disparate stakeholder groups are coordinated, how power dynamics are navigated, and how bridges are built between many different types of people in a socially engaged art project.

We create content that illuminates and deepens understanding of these relationships. A primary goal of ABOG is to make the “invisible” parts of socially engaged art visible. We do this through documentary films and field research that are artist-led, and are grounded in the perspective of project participants, as well as publications, web content, and public programming.

We also use this focus on process and relationships to advocate for a more expanded sense of what art is, how artists can work in communities, and how art might be integrated into everyday life. Our field research, documentary films, and other content serve as the basis for curriculum, toolkits, and consulting that enable more artists to work in partnership with non-artist stakeholders.

The deadline to apply is September 18, 2017, 11:59 PM (EST)

Fellowship projects become the focus of:
A short, engaging documentary film directed and produced by RAVA Films
Field research that utilizes action research methodology
Web content and public programs
A biennial publication
Curriculum and advocacy that advance the field of socially engaged art
Two dedicated opportunities to engage a cohort of peer artists

To realize this partnership, artists receive $20,000 in minimally restricted support.

Issue-Based Fellowships
ABOG-David Rockefeller Joint Fellowship in Criminal Justice

This fellowship examines the transformational roles artists play in a criminal justice context.
Applicants working in criminal justice are automatically considered.

ABOG Fellowship for Contemplative Practice, in partnership with the Hemera Foundation

This fellowship supports artists who work with the intersection of social practice and contemplative practice.
Applicants who would like to be considered will be asked to answer two supplementary questions in the online submission form. Click here to learn more and read FAQs.

7.
Sky Cooper New Play Prize
deadline: August 31st
website: http://www.marintheatre.org/productions/new-plays-program/new-play-awards

Norton J. “Sky” Cooper established the New American Play Prize at Marin Theatre Company in 2007 to celebrate the work of the American playwright and to encourage the creation of bold, powerful new voices and plays for the American stage. The Sky Cooper Prize will be awarded annually to either an established or emerging playwright for an outstanding new work. The play selected as the Sky Cooper winner will receives a $10,000 award and a developmental workshop as part of the theater’s annual New Play Reading Series. The winning play will also be considered under option for a full production at MTC as part of the theater’s annual main stage season.

8. 
Urban Stages: Words by Women
Deadline: August 31st
Website: http://urbanstages.org/

To encourage the development and production of plays by women, we put out a special call for our Words by Women Reading Series periodically. These plays are given special attention and considered more immediately by our Literary Committee. Plays must be written by female playwrights. While not mandatory, we encourage casts with a majority of women and plays exploring social issues facing women today. Plays may have been developed or produced elsewhere, but never produced in New York City.

While not mandatory, we encourage casts with a majority of women and plays exploring social issues facing women today. Plays may have been developed or produced elsewhere, but never produced in New York City.

Submit plays to:
Urban Stages
555 Eighth Avenue, RM 1800
New York, NY 10018

write WORDS BY WOMEN on the envelope you send your play in.

Full-length plays only:

- scripts must be firmly bound
- No changes or revisions accepted after submission
- No double-sided pages.
- 7 actors or less (unless otherwise noted)…doubling is fine

With your submission, please include:

- Biography and/or author’s history of the play
- Character breakdown
- Brief synopsis of the play.
- A small SASE envelope for a response letter.
  *Whole plays will no longer be returned. All plays will be recycled.

-There is no limit to submissions.
-Subject matter and character variations are open.

-There is no submission fee.

It usually takes up to six months for us to read and process your script. We ask that you do not call or email our offices to inquire on the status of your play. Plays from overseas and throughout the United States are accepted and considered.
BUT special attention will be given to playwrights who live in or near New York.

We recommend not spending extra money to send your play express, overnight or via other expensive services.  We accept plays year-round and for special deadlines, we accept plays postmarked on the deadline date. For special deadlines, late plays are just entered among our general year-round submissions.

*Words by Women submissions ARE eligible for The Emerging Playwright Award.

9.
BETC New Generation Residency
deadline: September 1st
website: http://betc.org/programs-events/generations/

THIS OPPORTUNITY IS FOR PLAYWRIGHTS WHO ARE PARENTS OF AT LEAST ONE CHILD 18 OR YOUNGER. Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC) is now accepting submissions for our next Generations residency competition. In order to support the work of parent playwrights, BETC is seeking full-length plays written by a parent with at least one child under 18 years of age as of September 1, 2017. The winning playwright will receive: a week-long workshop residency in Boulder, Colorado, with daily rehearsals, culminating in a staged reading of the selected script; the chance to rewrite and revise during the week as part of the script development experience; a stipend for travel and lodging; a $500 prize; and a $500 childcare stipend to defray the costs associated with childcare during the residency. During the residency, the selected play will be rehearsed with a cast of professional actors, director, and dramaturg. The week will culminate in a public reading. The residency will take place in May 2018; specific date arrangements will be made directly with the winning playwright. Competition submissions are due by September 1, 2017. Entry Guidelines: Plays must be in the English language. Scripts that have been produced by Equity or professional companies or that have been published are ineligible. We will consider scripts that have had a workshop, reading, or academic production. Scripts may not be under option or scheduled for production or publication as of September 1, 2017. BETC will negotiate an option on the winning play and have right of first refusal on the world premiere production. The winning play will receive full consideration for production in an upcoming season. You can view past competition information and full submission guidelines on our company website. Please note: playwrights submitting through the NPX are not required to submit additional materials beyond your tagged script. If your play is selected as a finalist, BETC will reach out for additional support materials as needed. The application deadline is September 1, 2017. Our winning playwright will be notified by December 1, 2017.


10.
Breckenridge Creative Arts: Tin Shop and Robert Whyte House Residency
Deadline: September 29th
Website: http://www.breckcreate.org/opportunities/tin-shop-call-to-artists/

Breckenridge Creative Arts seeks to present innovative work that is new to Breckenridge and Colorado. BCA encourages applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics, and welcomes artists engaging in the broadest spectrum of artistic practice.

With excellence, diversity, and relevance as core values of BCA, our goal is to continue to introduce the Breckenridge community and its guests to the works of regional, national, and international artists of the highest caliber. A multi-layered programming team guides BCA’s artistic vision and curatorial framework. Our experienced team of arts professionals shapes the artistic quality of programming selected to ensure the highest international standard while truly reflecting the unique character of Breckenridge.

The Tin Shop and Robert Whyte House provide opportunities for artists to live and work on the Breckenridge Arts District campus. Artists are invited to stay for a minimum of two weeks and up to several months, depending on program needs. Each facility features a fully furnished studio apartment upstairs and a low-tech working studio on the main level. Artists are selected based on the excellence of their work and public participation abilities. Our guest artist programs provide time and space for artists to work in mediums of their choice. In return, we ask that artists host open studio hours and workshops that engage all facets of the community, including the local school district.

Support: Private housing; Wireless internet connection provided in living area; Spouses/partners allowed for full stay; Children allowed for full stay; There are many opportunities for artists to earn income during their residency through workshops, educational programs, lectures, and demos. Artists may have the opportunity to exhibit their work at a local gallery.
Costs: There is no charge for artists to stay at the Tin Shop. Artists are responsible for all transportation costs, food and materials for personal work.

11.
UCROSS Foundation Residency
Deadline: October 1st
Website: https://ucrossfoundation.submittable.com/submit

Artists, writers and composers from around the United States and the world, in all stages of their professional careers, are invited to apply to work on individual or collaborative projects. Fellows are chosen by a panel of professionals in the arts and humanities in a highly competitive application process.  The quality of an applicant's work is given primary consideration.  Final invitations for residencies are extended at the discretion of the Ucross Foundation.

There are two residency sessions annually. Application deadlines are March 1 for Fall Session, which runs from August through the first Friday in December, and October 1 for Spring Session, which runs from March through the first Friday in June.  Residencies vary in length from two to six weeks. Applications are only accepted by online submission.

To apply, each applicant must complete a Ucross Foundation Residency Application Form and provide the required materials, including two letters of recommendation, a project description and a work sample as described in the Application Guidelines. There is a $40 nonrefundable application fee.  There is no fee for a residency.

Current work is requested. The nature of the work sample submitted should correspond to the nature of the work you propose to do while in residence. An applicant's work sample is the most significant feature of his or her application. Unless work is interdisciplinary, i.e., the various genres interconnect, each applicant is encouraged to apply in a primary discipline and submit a work sample and project description, which emphasizes this single discipline. Competition for residencies varies seasonally and with the number of applications.

WORK SAMPLE: should be representative of the genre in which you plan to work while in residence. Writing samples should be double-spaced. Appropriate samples are as follows:

PLAYWRITING: one complete play*

SCREENWRITING: one complete screenplay*

12.
MacDowell Colony
Deadline: Sept 15th
Website: http://www.macdowellcolony.org/

The MacDowell Colony provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees.

MacDowell Fellows are selected by our admissions panels, which are comprised of a revolving group of distinguished professionals in each artistic discipline who serve anonymously for three years.

The Colony accepts applications from artists working in the following disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. The sole criterion for acceptance is artistic excellence, which the Colony defines in a pluralistic and inclusive way. MacDowell encourages applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics, and welcomes artists engaging in the broadest spectrum of artistic practice and investigating an unlimited array of inquiries and concerns. To that end, emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply.

MacDowell is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability. No one with the AIDS virus, ARC, or HIV shall be denied admission as long as he/she is otherwise qualified. The Colony offers barrier-free access in all main buildings and some studios.


13.
2018-2019 Cullman Center Fellowship
Deadline: September 29th (now open)
Website: www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/fellowships-institutes/center-for-scholars-and-writers/fellowships-at-the-cullman-center

The Cullman Center’s Selection Committee awards up to 15 fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers—academics, independent scholars, journalists, and creative writers. Foreign nationals conversant in English are welcome to apply. Candidates who need to work primarily in The New York Public Library's other research libraries—the Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Science, Industry and Business Library—are not eligible for this fellowship, nor are people seeking funding for research leading directly to a degree.

The Cullman Center looks for top-quality writing from academics as well as from creative writers and independent scholars. It aims to promote dynamic communication about literature and scholarship at the very highest level—within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows’ published work.

A Cullman Center Fellow receives a stipend of up to $70,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources. Fellows work at the Center for the duration of the fellowship term, which runs from September through May. Each Fellow gives a talk over lunch on current work-in-progress to the other Fellows and to a wide range of invited guests, and may be asked to take part in other programs at The New York Public Library.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

In Remembrance of My Aunt Dolly: Int't Woman of Mystery and Adventure

My childhood coin collection started when Aunt Dolly came back from London handed me some coins with Queen Elizabeth II's face etched in the medal. I had never touch or seen anything but American money. What the hell is this? She told me that these were coins from England. My adolescent mind was blown: other money, other countries, other customs, otherness. In one instance I made a quantum leap into awareness: there is an entire planet of otherness. Something as simple as this blew my adolescent mind. I looked up London and the UK. On her next trip she brought me back coins with different languages on them and even some paper money. France, Italy, Germany, Greece. I began reading about these new worlds. I kept the coins in an old wooden jewelry box. When I was bored I would put some of the coins in my hand and -with eyes closed- try to guess the nation by the indentations around the edges and the feel of the different faces. I would memorize the different rectangular shapes of the paper money and then I imagined I was a blind person who could travel with through my supernatural ability of touch. I would pick up a German Mark and be in Berlin looking at the Wall, or hold a Franc in my hand in order to go to the Eiffel Tower. Aunt Dolly taught me that being Black wasn't synonymous with being provincial. I didn't have to be small. My life is limitless and as diverse as the currency of the world. I started putting the coins in different plastic bags, sorting them by country and amount. I keep the paper money at the bottom of the box. Whenever I felt constricted or confined, I could reach into my coin collection. When I went to Mexico for the first time I remembered Aunt Dolly and I wanted to bring her back some pesos, but I knew she already had them. When I was in London I set aside some British pounds in her honor. When my childhood body was stuck in Florida, she gave me my first 'mental passport' to explore. She was my travel companion in this life...and she will be there in the next. Rest in Peace, Aunt Dolly. I love love love you.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Marlton House Memories

On Thursday I have a meeting at Marlton Hotel. I am excited to be back on my old stomping grounds, but on very different terms. A decade ago I lived in the same building when it was a scuzzy, partial-dorm for New School University. I was a grad student and RA for the students. Marlton housed both students as well as old-time pimps, drug dealers and chess hustlers who worked Washington Square Park for money (and couldn't be kicked out b/c of NYC tenant laws). No one thought anything of putting up hayseed freshmen in a building where prostitutes would ride the rickety elevator after a long night of work. I remember finding little baggies of cocaine spilled across the stairs to the student lounge, presumably from a late-night of debauchery. I remember a Swiss student going on a coke bender b/c I was the RA on duty that had to 'bring him back down to earth' and tell him he had 24 hrs to immediately leave the dorm forever. There was another student who was starring in porn movies while still in school.

Every room was a tiny studio with a bed, desk, closet/dresser combo, and a minifridge/mini-microwave. Old wiring and dusty circuit breakers meant that almost all excessive electronics were banned so -of course- everyone had hot plates in their room, DJ turn tables, and video game consoles that would short circuit a floor and plunge everyone into darkness. Each floor had a shared bathroom at the end of the hall and the pipes would knock and scream. The Hell's Angel bikers would hang out down the block at Grey's Papaya, a 24-hr hot dog stand where you could get the greasiest 99 cent hot dog smothered in stinky sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Students, bikers, homeless, and hookers would be there late into the night scarfing down dogs with the obligatory pina colada drink that was just flavored sugar water dispensed by the gallon. Hell's Angels would then go roaring by the Marlton Dorm at around 2 or 3 am during the week and back to their HQ in the East Village.

You couldn't keep the windows open during the day because the wind might change directions and blow black chimney smoke from a nearby building into your room, covering everything in black soot.

Electric Lady Studios (where Jimi Hendrix recorded) was across the street. Manhattan Theatre Source (great little theatre) was also across the street and near the legendary TLA Video Store. There was one laundry mat for the entire block and it was run by a pervy, ruddy-faced Russian guy who would ask me over to his place while I washed my clothes. I would smile and pretend like I couldn't understand what he was saying b/c of his thick accent until he would get embarrassed and drop the matter. I found out later that he would ask many of the students over to his place, so maybe he was just trying to be friendly...or maybe he was going to chop us up into little pieces and make love to the severed parts; I guess we will never know!!

This was NOT NYC in the 1970s or even the 1980s. This was in the 21st century. This was Marlton House 10 yrs ago. The property was sold, gutted, and turned into a luxury hotel. Grey's Papaya is gone and is now a high-end juice bar. TLA Video has been closed for over 10 yrs and nothing is in its place. The entire block smells like french bread and fruitty soap. Oh well.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Course in Miracles and Diamond Cutter

I am listening to an audio book of the ACIM-inspired book "The Disappearance of the Universe" while reading Geshe Michael Roach's "The Diamond Cutter." Over the last few years I have returned to both sources again and again. I think they represent part of my trinity: science, spiritual, psychology. Disappearance takes care of the psychology while Diamond handles the spirituality. And then for science I have been interested in "The Physics of Miracles." and some other quantum mechanics texts. It seems like there is a link of pure non-duality between the material science of the West, spirituality of the East, and the point where the East and West meet in the creation of modern psychology and our understanding of the mind.

There are still discrepancies between the three branches in my mind. But the gap between the three is closing as I continue to review the material. ACIM doesn't claim to be a religion, but it's a psychological practice of forgiveness that can be performed by atheists. Christians, Buddhists, anyone. And while "Diamond Cutter" originates from Lord Buddha, the principles of the ultimate wisdom can be practiced by anyone as well.

I feel like I'm getting closer to understanding the mind-body duality of the world and the journey toward pure non-dualism. According to ACIM most religions of the world deal in duality. Buddhism is considered a step above because it is -at least- addressing non-duality. For me, the issue that I have been thinking about for years can be boiled down to a few discrepancies.

1) hypothesis that Buddhism connects us back to the oneness of the mind, but that there is still one more step after that: connection back to God.  Conversely ACIM states that it is seeking a reconnect with God and would rather skip that intermediary step.

2) In Buddhism the issue of God is never fully addressed, probably because it is hard to prove the existence or non-existence of a changeless Being in a world that is changing. Instead Buddhism focuses on interdependency and the indivisibility. Interdependency is the positive or shifting image based upon karma. Indivisibility or suchness or emptiness is the foundation or screen that karma is projected on to every moment. But to be clear that screen doesn't exist from its own side. It only exists with the object and it has no levels of change according to scripture. Emptiness of a pen exists and it is changeless and then when that pen is destroyed the emptiness goes away immediately, as oppose to karma which deteriorates. Of course higher levels of Buddhism says that even karma is destroyed every single moment, even though it appears to grow.

In ACIM they claim that anything entangling with matter isn't real or the ultimate and so the world is a byproduct of my neurotic mind. So even studying the highest form of interdependency doesn't result in the ultimate, because it's still about my mind. Granted, the mind being addressed is the quantum mind that is out of time and space. And according to ACIM this is the mind that Buddha got in touch with and that it's still very powerful, but still one step removed from God. ACIM also claims that once someone has attained a mastery of self to reconnect with that ultimate quantum timeless mind then it's very easy to reconnect with the God that stands outside of time and space as well.

3. Extension vs. Creation. ACIM differentiates between masters and angels. Angels were never born, masters were born. Masters came into the world and corrected themselves. They were created through a mistake of duality, just like all bodies. Angels couldn't be created because God doesn't create. Therefore angels are an extensions of God. This seems like splitting hairs but I do wonder about that difference of extension vs. creation. And if angels are an extension and I have to rejoin with God through forgiveness, is there a part of me that is also that 'God extension' which is buried underneath my worldly mind as well as the quantum mind out of time.

4. Forgiveness = emptiness = quantum wavicles.

If forgiveness is the psychological process and emptiness is the scholastic and meditative quandary to consider, is quantum wave/particle split the physical embodiment in the world. According to science all is energy and it is just waves of energy. And then when my focus is pulled toward something that wave condenses or seems to condense into a particle or point. This becomes matter. In Buddhism there is a Master Kamalashila meditation which posits the questions: if you can't see atoms with the eye, how could you ever see an elephant since it's made out of atoms. Now, of course we can see an elephant but the question is 'how?' Elephant is a mental image or a point, but technically an elephant is just waves of energy that has no form. It's condensed into form when I focus on it and think 'elephant.' So quantum physics claims that there is a wavicle: something that is both a wave and a particle at the exact same time until it's forced into a point by mental awareness. And this creates the separation between 'me' and 'them.'

So I am wondering if there is any way to combine the Master Kamalashila meditation of mental images with the forgiveness practice of ACIM and the study of wavicles?


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Driving into Overtown

We missed our exit off the highway. My mom wanted to use the HOV lane which was blocked off from normal traffic, so when it came time for our Wynwood exit we were trapped. Once the lane ended I got off in downtown Miami. I turned the car around and we found ourselves in Overtown. The buildings were still crammed together along tightly packed streets of fluorescent tropical colors. The main area of Overtown was two blocks of buildings. I saw a fenced-in field where some cocks were feeding.

Driving through the old neighborhood rekindled my mom's memories. She said that in the 1960s you could walk from Overtown to the beach. This was before the highways and walls blocking in the vibrant neighborhood that used to be called the Harlem of the South. The segregated beach was Virginia Key and it was a hidden gem. My mom said white seemed to prefer the stretches of uninterrupted white sands. Blacks ended up with the beaches with palm trees and blue crabs hiding in the grass. She said there was a toy locomotive that would snake along Virginia Key beach. Beachgoers would ride the locomotive in between the bushes and at various points. There was a dance floor, and snack bar.

The groceries stores were owned by the Chinese, although my mom couldn't remember whether they were Jamaican Chinese or Chinese. Each grocery store had a ledger and you would buy things and it would be put in your ledger and subtracted from the paid amount. When a customer's ledger reached 'zero' they had to put more money down.

There was a restaurant called Nasty Man's, that had flies in the window (this I actually know because I've used this detail in one of my plays). She said the whole vibe befitted the establishment's name so she stayed away.