Saturday, March 20, 2010

Notes from a Raven's writing desk to the March Hare, o'er a spot of tea

"...she is not taken by force, but enters Wonderland, or the Looking-Glass World, of her own volition, because she is trying to get there. This expression of agency trumps even Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, wherein her entrance to the Underworld is more explicit—she literally descends beneath the earth—but essentially accidental. Her truly heroic gesture, unambiguous in its intent, is her penetration of the Victorian mirror."

It is the going underground that preserves the body,
so though Persephone is ancient
and Alice long ago became antique
each could pass for sixteen.

They stand close, arms about each other's waist,
faces pressed together -- halves of an apple
cut to show the star of seeds.

They stand on opposite sides of knowing,
balance each other. What Alice lacks in weight
she makes up in fear, heavy as the denser metals.

It is the going underground that gives them
this battered look -- dark crescent moons beneath
the eyes, lips swollen and split at the corners.
Dirt in their scalps, at the roots.

--Stephanie Bolster, from: Portrait of Alice with Persephone

(Pishsalver & Upelkuchen's from my 1/2 guinnea hat):

SECTION 2. --- Other books, principally fiction, of a generally suggestive and helpful kind:
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.
Alice Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll. Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.
— Aleister Crowley
Magick in Theory and Practice Appendix 1

" can hardly comment upon a theme which has been so fruitfully
treated by Ludovicus Carolus, that most holy illuminated man of God."
-From BOOK 4, by Fra. Perdurabo and Sor. Virakam (Aleister Crowley and Mary d'Estes Sturges)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring. Enjoy the Winter.

Ladies and Gentlemen... Step up! Step up!... I, Mercury, the messenger of the gods, invite you... tonight, for one night only... at this very venue... to enter the mind, the very great mind, of Doctor Parnassus!

DOCTOR PARNASSUS’ cabin is tiny. It’s packed with books and memorabilia; Egyptian/Assyrian/Greek/etc., magic trick paraphernalia, and much else. A hanging lantern suspended from the ceiling throws moving shadows. DR. PARNASSUS is slumped despondently on a cramped bed. A plate of untouched food sits on a table in front of him. He has laid out tarot cards. To the right - The Magus.. to the left - The Devil. The next card is The Maiden. He places it carefully beneath The Magus.
And as the waters rose... the people's need for stories grew. Stories that would feed a great hunger. A hunger for more than just understanding...
MR NICK What exactly do you do here? DR. PARNASSUS We tell the eternal story. MR NICK Oh.... What's that? DR. PARNASSUS The story that sustains the universe. The story without which there is nothing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Socrates and Theaetetus chew the fat

... there still remains to be considered an objection which may be raised about dreams and diseases, in particular about madness, and the various illusions of hearing and sight, or of other senses. For you know that in all these cases the esse-percipi theory appears to be unmistakably refuted, since in dreams and illusions we certainly have false perceptions; and far from saying that everything is which appears, we should rather say that nothing is which appears.
Theaet. Very true, Socrates.
Soc. But then, my boy, how can any one contend that knowledge is perception, or that to every man what appears is?
Theaet. I am afraid to say, Socrates, that I have nothing to answer, because you rebuked me just now for making this excuse; but I certainly cannot undertake to argue that madmen or dreamers think truly, when they imagine, some of them that they are gods, and others that they can fly, and are flying in their sleep.
Soc. Do you see another question which can be raised about these phenomena, notably about dreaming and waking?
Theaet. What question?
Soc. A question which I think that you must often have heard persons ask:-How can you determine whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?
Theaet. Indeed, Socrates, I do not know how to prove the one any more than the other, for in both cases the facts precisely correspond;-and there is no difficulty in supposing that during all this discussion we have been talking to one another in a dream; and when in a dream we seem to be narrating dreams, the resemblance of the two states is quite astonishing.
Soc. You see, then, that a doubt about the reality of sense is easily raised, since there may even be a doubt whether we are awake or in a dream. And as our time is equally divided between sleeping and waking, in either sphere of existence the soul contends that the thoughts which are present to our minds at the time are true; and during one half of our lives we affirm the truth of the one, and, during the other half, of the other; and are equally confident of both.
Theaet. Most true.
Soc. And may not the same be said of madness and other disorders? the difference is only that the times are not equal.