Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Cyrkle: The Visit (1967)

The Cyrkle was a short-lived American rock and roll band active in the mid-1960s. The group charted two Top 40 hits, "Red Rubber Ball," and "Turn-Down Day". I don't really rate these ditties, they are attempts at yuk commercial psych-sploitation jinge jangle wibble wobble. This track however, is a different prospect. If it is elevator music, we may call it "Jacob's Elevator".

The band was formed by guitarists and lead singers Don Dannemann and Tom Dawes (who also played bass guitar), who met while studying at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Dannemann enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1966. The other members were Earle Pickens on keyboards and Marty Fried on drums. They were originally a "frat rock" band called The Rhondells but were later discovered and managed by Brian Epstein, who was best known as manager of The Beatles. Epstein found out about this band when his business partner, New York attorney Nathan Weiss, heard them in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Labor Day of 1965. Epstein became their manager and renamed them. John Lennon provided the unique spelling of their new name, which is a reference to the circular roundabout known as Centre Square, located in downtown Easton. They were produced by John Simon.

"The Visit" is the 2nd track from the 2nd album Neon (1967) released on the Columbia Label. The album was re- released on CD in 2001 by Sundazed.

Arranged By – The Cyrkle
Arranged By, Producer – John Simon
Brass, Strings, Woodwind – The International Brotherhood Of Brindle Makers Marching Band & Chowder Society
Drums, Tambourine, Finger Cymbals, Triangle, Gong, Vocals – Marty*
Guitar, Bass, Sitar, Vocals – Tom*
Guitar, Vocals – Don*
Keyboards – John Simon, Michael*
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Bob Cato

Osho Energy Darshans

The term  "Energy darshan" first appears in Osho material from Feb 1976 to denote events, where people would be invited by Osho to come close and be touched or guided to allow "their energy to move" while in specified postures. Sometimes Osho would ask another sannyasin in attendance to stand behind the recipient, hold their hands or whatever. These "shaktipat" (energy transmission) events were a regular occurrence with Osho.

In Feb of 1979, Darshans became wilder, more extravagant and on a much larger scale, coming to involve the whole ashram. The "mediums" Osho asked to assist in these energy transmissions became more numerous, and exclusively women, where before there had been occasionally a man.

With recipients of the energy transmission, those on whom Osho's energy was focused; in the past it had always been just one person at a time, with the occasional exception of two closely-related sannyasins, but soon it became several, which also entailed more mediums.

Another feature was music. It is not known when exactly musicians were added to this energy soup, but it would not have been long after the mediums. As of this writing, no specific guidance has been found in Osho's words to direct the musicians and indicate precisely when this happened. The music consisted of many instruments but it was central to the form that no rhythm or melody be created. It was loud and chaotic and fast, building to a crescendo and then ebbing or suddenly stopping. Many drums and other percussion were included, as these are the most "primitive" instruments, and least likely to induce any "civilized" or conceptual "music appreciation" and "purest" in terms of energy.

Osho spoke many nights as this phenomenon took shape, after the "talking darshans", people getting initiated, coming and going and asking questions. The excerpts below are recorded in chapter 22 of Won't You Join the Dance? taken from various Darshans.

All three of you start feeling the energy moving upwards -- feel pulled upwards. All feel together as if one energy. Just take it up. Don't be afraid. Feel pulled up. If sounds start arising, allow it. Now feel the energy going back down, just as if the whole energy is going down, as if you are disappearing into the earth.

Perfectly good. Things are perfectly good. Keep it (a box) with you and whenever you need me, just do the same experiment: sit silently, first start feeling energy going up. Raise your hands and feel pulled, and keep a tension being pulled, for at least five to seven minutes. Then relax, and then feel you are disappearing into the earth; even if you fall onto the earth, fall, and then rest for four or five minutes. This will give you tremendous transformation.

Completely forget yourselves; just become energies, all together, all four of you. Let it become a dance together. Just stop all movement. Be perfectly still. Be utterly like statues.

Just do one thing: the energy is at the sex centre, so all of you pull the sex centre up and then relax it, pull it up and relax it, seven times, not more than that. If any sounds start coming, feel orgasmic, feel sex energy moving upwards. Feel ecstatic. Let the energy become pure bliss. Be in a dance.

Pan's Labyrinth: The Pale Man & Ofelia's Katabasis

I think few would disagree one of the most affecting scenes in Guillermo del Toro's fantasy masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth is Ofelia's encounter with the spooky Pale Man; a scene which is reproduced above and miraculously still available on Youtube despite just about every other enjoyable film clip having been removed by avaricious film companies. On the several times I have seen this scene, I have ranged from initially shock, through to a mild sense of feeling disconcerted about the way it Pan's out (see what I did there?).

The scene comes neither at the beginning or the end of the film. Despite it's dark content standing out from the other scenes by a country mile, it does not represent a climax in terms of the plot; it is just another stage Ofelia must accomplish to satisfy her larger quest. To any occultist, it is very obviously a scene depicting Ofelia's necessary descent into the Underworld to conquer the dark forces around her and ascend transformed. This is the Jungian archetypal journey; the katabasis of any hero/ heroine;
  • In Greek mythology, the descent of Orpheus into the Underworld to rescue Eurydice
  • The stories of Odysseus, Lasarus, Castor and Pollux
  • The crucifixion/ resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • The suspension of Odin from Yggdrasil, or the Hanged Man of the Tarot Major Arcana
  • Nyneve's seduction and entombment of Merlin.
  • Or in the modern age; the death of the wizards Gandalf and Dumbledore, and their subsequent reincarnation (albeit Metaphorical for poor Dumbledore). 
  • Another katabasis I noticed was the wounding (blinding) of Neo from the Matrix before he goes to the Machine City in Matrix Revolutions. This gives him 'second sight'. 
The Hanged Man, pointing down below. 
In the Jungian narrative of the Tarot, card XII is the door to the Underworld sequence

Odin's Katabasis and Discovery of the Runes

Merlyn by Alan Lee
for T.H. White's The Book of Merlyn (1977)

There is no doubt Ofelia must make this journey in order to ultimately succeed. But the thing that disconcerts me about the Pale Man scene is that, as any Jungian occultist knows, the hero/ heroine must pay a heavy price for their immersion in the Underworld. They must lose something, or effectively die in order to defeat the forces of darkness.  And, all Ofelia is able to offer the Pale Man is the head of a measly (and rather stupid) faery. Not much of a sacrifice. Much better if Ofelia was caught by the Pale Man, and struggles free or is transformed in the manner of Goya's painting Saturn Devouring His Son. OK, the scene is jarring enough with the depiction of the magnificent terror of the Pale Man (by comparison to the other gentler scenes), but in order to be truly compelling as an esoteric fable, it was necessary if you ask me. Sure, use any 'magic' or cinematic techniques & tricks to gentrify the experience, or restore Ophelia, but no getting around it; she must give something up of herself to pass through to the other side.

Illustration from Jung's Red Book

Goya's (1819- 1823) painting: Saturn Devouring His Son

In Japanese folklore, a yokai (ghost) known as a Tenome correlates to Guillermo del Toro's Pale Man. When alive, the Tenome was blinded and murdered. Instead of having eyes on his face he has empty sockets (or none at all depending on the depiction) and instead has eyes on the palm of his hands. He sees by waving his hands in front of him as he walks. He is a vengeful spirit that chased down those that get too close and consumes his victims bones.

Japanese Tenome

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Irides of Carolyn Jones

I must say in a highly fawning and cloying way that I think Carolyn Jones as Morticia from the Addam's Family was a woman of unsurpassed beauty and demure elegance. With that revelation out of the way it is no surprise that I was googling images of said icon, some of which have innocently crept into this blog. What was a surprise (to me), as I was looking through her images when I came across a colour photograph of her, and I inwardly thought "Hmm heterochromatosis in the digestive zones of her iris; I wonder if she suffered constipation?" I realise this is not a normative thought process, but given my professional proclivities, I will seek to explain all. What was quite a staggering surprise is that after suspecting Carolyn Jones had lower bowel issues from looking at her eyes in photographs, I discovered she had died, bravely and tragically as it happens, of colon cancer at the age of 53.

The great naturopath and iridologist Bernard Jensen said "Death begins in the colon" and did a great deal of work to link iridology with toxic states of the colon, both clinically and in his educative work. As a naturopath, he was firmly of the opinion that systemic constipation (accumulation of mucus and morbod matter in the lower bowel) was a primary cause of autointoxication, oxiditive stress, mesotrophy, and failure of the organism to contend with metabolic homeostatic demands; the allosteric load postulated by functional medicine practitioners today. This is the milieu from which cancers arise. Below is Jensen's reflex iris map. For our purposes, it is only necessary to note the two innermost concentric zones are the site of the gastrointestinal reflexes.

Heterochromatosis is the condition whereby the inner zones demonstrate a different (usualy darker) colour than the outer zones. It is a pigmentation of the central part of the iris, around the pupil and colarette. The colour may be brown, yellow, or orange. In such a location it can indicate tendency for digestive disturbances. Below are a couple of irides (not of Carolyn Jones) to illustrate heterochromatosis in the digestive zones. It's not an uncommon trait, but coupled with other adverse immune weaknesses and inflammatory states (which we don't have the detail to see in Carolyn Jones's photos), it can be problematic. 

A central heterochromia is a genetic marking & multidimensional sign, in this case the orange pigment located within the internal collarette, pupillary zone and pigmented throughout the collarette border have a tendency to gastrointestinal disturbances, bowel irregularity, systemic constipation, family history of blood sugar imbalance, emotional stress of fear & betrayal. It is interesting to note during her career hiatus, Carolyn Jones took to writing her only book which was a poisonous diatribe against certain characters within the Hollywood community, and the heartlessness of the movie industry generally.

I have reproduced a couple of the best (that is most illustrative) colour photographs of Carolyn Jones, which indicate her heterochromatosis. There are several other photos which are of sufficient quality but appear to have been photo- edited to remove this charming but pathological feature. Notwithstanding the misfortune they convey, I think her eyes are utterly beguiling. Their tragedy and beauty call to me from the other side. Eyes truly are windows to the soul.