Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013.09.02 — Scratch the Uncertainty Witch Haiku fushigi

Well, this is now getting just too silly, but M.L. von Franz's book Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales cannot seem to stop generating small and odd fushigis.

Yesterday, after I had finished posting the blog late at night, I picked up my current book read to read a few pages before going to sleep. So I resumed reading Animus and Anima and no sooner had I begun to read than I read the following:
The Baba Yaga has a very long nose with which she scratches around in the stove. Witches often have a certain phallic aspect, a huge thumb or toe or nose, as here. That is why the Baba Yaga is dangerous — she is everything, father and mother, male and female, symbols of totality and thus of the Self. But they represent a preconscious totality, the Uroborous, from which the male has to break free in order to live his authentic life (p99).
This is amusing because I wrote a Tanka-like poem for the WSS Haiku thread, in response to one written by M in which he included the name Sabrina, which brought to mind the teenage witch.

So I wrote:
an itch for witch scotch

From scratch he drank scotch
To scratch his itch for more scratch.
Till he met Old Scratch
he found peace watching his watch
wishing Sabrina was there.
I didn't think this worthy of blogging until I read a few pages later (p102) about uncertainty and Wolfgang Pauli because of course, I had 15 minutes earlier finished blogging a post within which I include Pauli and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Here's what I read:
Spinning [referring to Baba Yaga's house that constantly spins on legs] certainly has to do with the movement of the unconscious psyche in general, and with the autonomous activities of the complexes in particular. We always try to interpret a dream as a compensation of the conscious situation. But besides this, it seems as if the unconscious is a living system which can move by itself. This is very difficult to prove, because one can always say that such and such has been called forth by the conscious ego. But we know from mythology that we must always reckon with arbitrary, autonomous events.

There is a parallel situation in modern physics, where we know now that there is a spontaneous, arbitrary movement in matter, movement which does not obey the law of causality and which cannot always be predicted. For example, you cannot predict when a particular uranium atom will fall apart. We do know the exact, definite number of years for uranium to become lead — that is, its 'half-life,' … But we still cannot answer the question, 'How does each atom know when it is its turn?' Physicists can't predict just which atom will disintegrate (fn) (p102).

fn: "The physical phenomenon of radioactivity consists in the transition of the atomic nucleus of the active substance from an unstable
early state to its final state (in one or several steps), in the course of which the radioactivity finally stops. Similarly, synchronistic phenomenon, on an archetypal foundation, accompanies the transition from an unstable state of consciousness into a new stable position …. The moments in time when the individual atoms disintegrate are in no way determined by the laws of nature." (Letter 37, Pauli to Jung, in Wolfgang Pauli and C.G. Jung, Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958, p.41
And since Animus and Anima seems to be a fushigi magnet, here is an old one I'd noted last year but didn't blog at the time. It began with a muscorn post in the WSS I wrote and posted on 2012.10.15:
PANDORA: I wasn't busy, when I was in the trade, like I am now that I am in a place of meditation and prayer.
GUY: [Laughs] That must mean you weren't popular when you were hooking!
PANDORA: [Laughs] Funny, I never thought of that. No, oddly enough, it seems to me that, ultimately, attractiveness isn't as important to men as women think it is [fushigi addendum see CW below].
GUY: That doesn't make sense!
PANDORA: Really? When men buy 'girlie' magazines, how much time do you think they look at the woman's eyes or face?
GUY: [Pauses, face a little red] But that is just plain sad! And now I'm embarrassed to be a member of that sex!
PANDORA: [Laughs] Well, don't be. It would seem that what men generally find the most attractive is a ratio of waist to hips which just happens to be associated with the highest rates of fertility. Men's 'desire' is linked to a ratio regardless of actual weight or shape, and the face and eyes are not the dominant factor.
GUY: But then you are saying that we are just reacting to biological imperatives! I don't believe that, especially coming from you, here!
PANDORA: [Smiles] To deny the physical roots of your existence is to deny who you are. Impulse and action are not the same. Nothing stops the conscious mind from embracing urge and desire as both natural and necessary. But in the end, both are only a possible expression out of the 10,000 acts available to the conscious mind.
GUY: But you make that sound simple! That's not fair!
PANDORA: Fair? Fair is simply the colour of hair, and as ephemeral. [Laughs. Pandora's exercise to not laugh having yet again gone astray. And as she laughed, she wondered: is my laughter instinctual? And laughed even louder.]
Well, on the 17th I read the following:
In our story the mountain opens like a cup and the girl is caught in it, showing that the feminine aspect is trapped in matter. But the mountain is of glass, and it is not dark. … In the glass prison one can look out, one has a complete view, but one is still cut off. Glass is also an insulating material, so here the glass mountain alludes to being cut off from the emotional, feeling life. Glassy people are stiff — you can make contact intellectually, but there is no heart in them, no feeling contact.

Thus the king [in imprisoning his daughter] is trying to cut off the feeling contact between the princess and her suitor. He wants to stop life, so that there will be no future king to replace him. Every ruling system has the tendency to resist and petrify the flow of new life.

The many instinctive patterns which higher animals have get into conflict [with the instincts]. Man is the only being on this planet who can rule his instincts. That is what consciousness was given to him for. Think of the lemmings in Norway who migrate in huge numbers, probably so that by changing places they will not destroy the land completely and will continue to have food. But if they are headed towards the sea, they cannot change their route but continue until they are drowned in following the driving instinct. This is a destructive aspect of instinctive nature, and only consciousness can achieve control over such a mechanism (16-7).
[CW fushigi Addendum - 2013.09.05]
I have been editing and finishing this blog, and yes, it was supposed to be short. Well, the fushigis keep on happening. This morning I talked with a co-worker. She told me that while staying at a hotel, she went to the car to get water. And she was asked by a man in his fifties 'How much do you charge?' She explained to me that she was wearing sweats, had been driving for three days, hair was a mess, and wasn't wearing make-up. I didn't see the association this morning, but only as I was re-reading this before posting it. Here's how she amusingly chatted it in FB:

CW: Anyway, his question. He got so red in the face. First off this guy looked like he was someone like [Jimmy Stewart], quiet and inward, doesn't like socializing.
He asked me how much I charged.
ME: LOL! No way?!
CW: WTH is it with me attracting old weird men.
I'm serious!
ME: So, did you ask him how much he would pay?!
At least he was the right sex! [I was referring to a man trying to pick me up a few weeks ago.]
CW: headdesk
ME: And you were scared of the truckers! LOL!
So, what did you say?
CW: I told him to fuck off of course.
ME: :-(
CW: What? What would you have me do?
ME: Thank him, but that he couldn't afford you.
CW: I did tell him he couldn't afford me.
Then told him to fuck off.
Well, I began this blog post on Sept 2nd. I returned to work on the 3rd, and smiled when, at about 6:10am, while driving to work, I heard the following lyric:

Come Northern nights from Norway
Come sunrise from the East
Come Wicked Witches in the West, we're South-bound with the beat
And all the lions, prides and preachers come down into the street
It turned out the song is called Brighter than Gold by The Cat Empire.

LOL! I was getting reading to shut down my ramble by finding the cover for the album for Brighter than Gold from The Cat Empire web-page when I came across an interestingly titled song:
Protons, Neutrons, Electrons.
Here's the lyrics, which also align with the theme of this fushigi:
I've done too much of some things
And not enough of others
Just like all life lovers
I've changed and changed,
And changed and changed
From one thing to another.
I've had complicated dealings
With complicated feelings
And I've cut and bruised and torn.
I made blinds on the windows of my mind
with the time that my back once wore.
I'm a single person in this universe,
And I am here to say to you:
On the day that I die
I'll just give a smile
And fly into the blue!

Cause we're all just-
Protons, Neutrons, Electrons
That rest on a Sunday
Work on a Monday and someday soon
We'll be singing the old tunes
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-doo
I'll be sitting on the porch with you
Then I'll die and I'll
Fly off into the blue!

Some night I see the world with its winds and its whirls,
And I feel undefeated
But every day I see the girl with the strawberry curl,
And I'm too shy to meet her.
Some nights I go to bed,
There's a ghost in the air above my head,
And I tremble.
Sometimes I eat KFC
Other times I give up meat
And I just eat lentils.
I'm a singe soul on this big blue ball,
And I am here to sing a song
About the day that I was born
Till the day that I'll be gone
And the song won't last for long,
Cause we're all just


And enemy is a remedy to a malady in your melody
If you're strong not brittle.
And a friend is a friend
Is a friend to the end and it's AH so simple
A man is a man and a woman is a woman
But the times we are living in demand
That a man can change from a man to a woman
And a woman can demand to be a man.
We're just flesh with socks and locks and frocks,
And I am here to say to you!
On the day that I die I'll just give a smile and fly into the blue...

Cause we're all just

Well, that's it. An odd fushigi blog.

Or at least I hope that it is done! Sheesh!

Addendum 2013.09.5 10pm
Sigh. It will never end. I forgot that last night, before going to bed, I picked up a recent book. No real plan to read it, but was curious, so thought I'd take a look. The book is The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul's Conquest of Evil. Here is what I read in the intro:
The method — or, rather, habit — of reducing the unfamiliar to the well-known is an old, old way to intellectual frustration. Sterilizing dogmatism is the result, tightly enwrapped in a mental self-satisfaction, a secure conviction of superiority. Whenever we refuse to be knocked off our feet (either violently or gently) by some telling new conception precipitated from the depths of our imagination by the impact of an ageless symbol, we are cheating ourselves of the fruit of an encounter with the wisdom of the millenniums. …

It is because they are alive, potent to revive themselves, and capable of an ever-renewed, unpredictable yet self-consistent effectiveness in the range of human destiny, that the images of folklore and myth defy every attempt we make at systematization. They are not corpselike, but imp like. With a sudden laugh and quick shift o place they mock the specialist who imagines he has got them [and life, Newton-like,] pinned to his chart. What they demand of us is not the monologue of a coroner's report, but the dialogue of a living conversation. And just as the hero of the key story of the following series … is brought to a heightened consciousness of himself through his humiliating exchange of words and rescued from a disgraceful, completely odious death, so too may we be instructed, rescued perhaps, and even spiritually transformed, if we will be humble ourselves enough to converse on equal terms with the apparently moribund divinities and folf-figures that are hanging, multitudinous, from the prodigious tree of the past (pp3-4).
Now is that it?

NOTE: Baba Yaga Image is the creation of Scott Brundage. Please visit his blog to see more of his illustrations: Scott Brundage Illustration

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013.09.01 — Joyce Murray and Stephen Lewis fushigi* or 'just' coincidence?

My friend SD, his daughter SD2 and I went to see the Bard on the Beach production of Hamlet. This is my second time to it. (Quick review included — gratis, below.)

This was the first time I met SD2, of whom SD has spoken frequently and with great love and admiration. The time spent driving and waiting for the show was filled with interesting conversation. SD2 mentioned that she was going to see a Stephen Lewis talk: African Grandmothers Tribunal: Seeking justice at the front lines of the AIDS crisis (Sept 7, 2013).

Our conversation meandered, and at some point I mentioned to her that I presented a paper — On the Self-Corrupting Nature of Electioneering - And an Alternative — at the BC Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. I mentioned that BC MLA Joyce Murray was present in the audience when I presented my paper.

A little later on I told SD2 about my interest in fushigis. In a fairly typical fashion, she lumped them in with coincidences. Further discussion, including quantum physics and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and the connection between Jung and Quantum Mechanics via Wolfgang Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in Physics. In the end I concluded, rather lamely, that the connection between fushigi events is energy.

Now things get weird. At the beginning of the show, the announcer thanks the sponsors, tells us to shut off our phones, and put away cameras, etc. The usual stuff. And then something new, the presence in the audience of a BC MLA. To the best of memory of going to the Bard since 1998(?), in excess of 120 seen performances, I have never heard announced the presence of a politician. And the politician present was none other than Joyce Murray. So SD2 commented 'Is that a fushigi?' 'Yes, a small one.'

Small enough to find amusing, but not blog, probably. So why the blog? Well, at the end of the show, one of the actors interrupted the standing ovation to tell us they were collecting money for HIV/AIDS support, with the money going to among other groups, The Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Okay, a quick review of the 2013 Bard on the Beach production of Hamlet. (Adapted from a comment in the WSS Group's Introduction Thread.)

Hmmm. Thank you for asking, Lilian.

I'll start with the set. This theatre keeps the sets simple. The stage is open at the back in such a way that the audience has a view of English Bay and the city's West End and also of the North Shore Mountains. For this set the back opening was 'closed' with 25' high glass doors that slid open. These windows separated the inside and outside of the castle very effectively, with the stage most of the inside of the castle, but the outside when required with the ghost in the beginning and the gravediggers scene.

The living area was very modern in appearance, with white modern couches and chairs. On one side, there was a large flat screen TV/monitor that displayed security cameras images, but which was used as a TV broadcasting news, as well.

Hamlet carried a remote control with him, and he turned off and on music that fit his mood. Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. It was very effective.

The king and queen had security guards with sunglasses, and everyone carried around iPads like they were papers and that were also used for controlling lighting and sound.
Of course, everyone was in modern dress. The costumes were excellent. (The bard's costumes have been amazing, year in and year out.) When Ophelia lost it — and she was very well portrayed by Rachel Cairns — she was wandering around in bra and panties with one of Hamlet's shirts unbuttoned. Sounds corny, maybe, but it added a poignancy to the scene that was startling.

This production was very creative with the play within the play. They used a laptop and a tiny camera to shoot a tiny mock stage with stick puppets. The image of the camera was projected onto a sheet hung at the back of the theatre. VERY EFFECTIVE!

Polonius is shot by Hamlet in error, not stabbed.

The sword fight at the end was the same of course.

The modern setting was seamless. The music choices were nearly perfect. I loved that they they used Gorecki Symphony #3 to count down to Hamlet's death.

The actors and director all met the challenge of the play superbly. This was a memorable and an amazing production. The made very clear that this play is primarily about failures of perception, of basic misunderstanding between everyone. (I was disappointed that the director cut from the performance Hamlet's initial questioning of the wisdom of trusting a ghost to be truthful, but it seems every performance I have seen cuts that bit.) However, little was cut in the 3+ hour performance.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

2013.08.31 — Some Salty Fushigis* and a Poem

Hello. I have been disappointed in my self for not keeping up with my blog work. I love doing my blogs, and yet find myself doing other stuff first.

Anyway, I am struggling to keep my entries short. And, as I have mentioned before, since I do a lot of writing outside of the blog, I have decided to start including some of my creative writing here, too.

First up, a fushigi or two. They are small ones.

On 2013.08.09 I stopped in to buy spices from our local Galloway's, one of the greatest smelling stores on the planet because it is filled with exotic spices and dried fruits, chocolate and candies. Heavenly! Well, I was there to buy my usual stuff, and saw on the counter a small pouch of Smoked Himalayan Salt. So, as was intended by its placement I made it a 'spur-of-the-moment' purchase. No, I've not bought it before.

Later that day I resumed reading Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales by M.L. von Franz. Here is what I read:
Salt has a double aspect. In alchemy, salt is the symbol of wisdom, but it also has a stinging quality of bitterness — the bitterness of the sea comes front the salt in it. Wisdom, wit, bitterness and Eros — all that is associated with salt. Jung says this has to do with a specific feminine feeling of love: wen a woman is disappointed in love, she becomes either bitter or wise, developing a sense of humour or a certain wit. Eros is always combined with disappointment — anon who really loves must risk disappointment; the wisdom of love comes in accepting the disappointment without bitterness (37).

August 18-9
And since my 'short' blog has exploded out of control, I'll note an earlier food fushigi. A few weeks previously my wife heard on TV (Dr. Oz I think) about the health benefits of agave. (This echoed something Suzanne Somer's said about agave a couple of years earlier on an Anderson Cooper show.) Well, on the 18th, at the request of my wife, I went looking for Maple Water and Coconut Water, also because of more recent Dr. Oz show (Wednesday the 14th, maybe). Well, the person I asked to help me find that stuff took me to the area they would be in and asked me why I was looking for them. I explained about helping with blood sugar. She pointed out that the Agave Syrup on the shelf, which her parents use to help reduce the sugar in their diet because it is so sweet. Well, the next day, the 19th at 9:15am I accidentally found myself watching Bobby Flay barbecuing on a show called BBQ Addiction. The particular recipe he made for a drink included agave syrup. Until the 18th I didn't even know agave syrup existed.

August 28th
Here is an interesting fushigi addendum — I talked with AF this morning before lunch. During our conversation she commented that she was a perfectionist. I related to her the story about how the Pueblo Indians leave a gap in the line on their pottery so as to not 'perfect' the circle by closing it. Only the gods are allowed to be perfect and a human striving for perfection will invite their wrath. AF then added that it wasn't really her that was the perfectionist, but her inner writer/muse FP who was the real perfectionist. This completed the fushigi that began a few days earlier when I read the following from Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales by Marie-Louise von Franz:
What does it mean … to give the [woman's] shadow something to chew on? Animus possession many take the form of criticizing everybody and everything — and the damnable thing about the animus is that he is quite right, but likely to be wrong in the specific situation. A way to stop the arguing and criticizing is for the woman to say to her animus "If you are so terribly fanatical about what is wrong and what 'should' be, lets look at my shadow." Then there is an impact inside which is very helpful to the woman in sorting out what she really believes.

Women do not have such a desire as men have to be perfect. But if there is a strong animus, then there a correspondingly strong shadow, and by confronting one with the other, women have a change to become conscious. In other words, if a woman has a strong animus, and can overcome her reluctance to knowing her shadow, she can develop a degree of male objectivity about what goes on in her and thereby become conscious. She must learn to tell the difference between herself and her opinions, between her feminine ego and her masculine animus. And if she cannot, she will suffer with endless relationship problems (pg36).
Today (Aug 31) I talked with AF. She is being stressed particularly hard by life right now, and so told me she has started chewing on her tongue, lips and cheeks again. But that, for the first time, she came up with something that helped: she is chewing beef jerky. We laughed at that, at how such a simple thing helps ameliorate the problem, while providing some form of nutrition.

What makes this a funny near fushigi is that M.L. von Franz referred in the citation above to the need 'to give the shadow something to chew on'. Well, AF chewing on herself is an expression from the unconscious, her 'shadow'. Chewing on the beef jerky helps slow down her shadow from destroying her means to express herself.

Also, during my conversation with AF I mentioned how a 13 month old baby girl, who was sitting in the grocery store bask-cart, pointed at my facial hair when she noticed me. The mother explained to me that she has just recently started doing that to the men she meets who are not clean shaven like her father. AF started laughing, because she had done exactly the same thing when she was around 6 years old, pointing to men with beards.

August 28th:
At about 5:12pm I heard on the local news their announcement that the musical group The Proclaimers was playing at the PNE. I smiled at that because about 15 minutes earlier I had burnt The Proclaimers' CD Sunshine on Leith for AF. The previous night I watched for the first time in a couple of months, the dancing show So You Think You Can Dance. I used to watch this every week but this year I have been doing too much writing to allow TV to get in the way and have rarely watched it this year. I was surprised to hear for my first time a slow and odd cover of The Proclaimers' song I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) by Sleeping at Last.

Well, to top this fushigi off, I got an e.mail from SD the following day with a photo of him and his family with The Proclaimers' Charlie and Craig Reid. They had gone to their show.

A Poem! (Or maybe just a poem-like thing.)
Now for some creative writing.
to race a passed memory
from the WSS Haiku Game

The ghost car was idle.
The racer's goals had long since
become memory,
dreams of a thought of the passed
surpassed as if it stood still.