Paradox Lake

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

     I often feel that a paradox is a glimpse of true reality. Translated from Greek it means; what you wouldn’t expect. I’m writing about this because I read this poem today written by Alexander Pope “An Essay on Man” that does a really great job at describing the paradox of what it is to be human.

Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;

Sole judge of truth, in endless Error hurl’d;
The glory, jest and riddle of the world!

Many Styles – Paradox


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Marshalls Karma

Posted: March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized
Eminem – Careful What you Wish for

     In the best selling book “The Secret” the message is simple: The laws of attraction affect everything including thoughts and dreams. What they mean is when you think of bad things, bad things are attracted to you, and when you think of good things, good things are attracted to you. The other 198 pages go on to explain this in detail and provide examples.Karmic Wheel

In the Buddhist scripture The Dhammapada, it says

Mind is the foremost of all
Realities; Mind is the chief and all are mind-wrought. Who ever speaks or acts
with a pure mind, contentment/peace follows him as the wheel of the cart follows
the foot of the ox.

     There are parallel examples in most religious and philosophical texts. It makes you wonder when these concepts seem to be repeated everywhere. At first it seems logical that not being able to detect or measure something means it isn’t there. But many of these ideas seem obvious, and are highly accepted without scientific proof. Could it be, our inability to detect and measure these things, is only an indication of our inability to detect and measure these things?


     I was listening to an old Killah Priest track “Blessed,” and I noticed something at the end of his verse that didn’t really sink in before. I thought it was just another well produced track about how horrible things are. Really it’s an amazing crescendo of negativity into a positive message. The last lines of each verse are “… blessed are those who struggle, god loves you, and wisdom is a principal thing for kings and queens (sample) we’re all blessed.” A subtle mastery in the ironic nature of reality. Props to Killah Priest. On a side note I also have to shout out the producer Y-Kim the Illfigure, because the track has one of the illest bass lines ever created.

Listen for yourself –

Killah Priest – Blessed


     One of my favorite videos of all time: I Who Have Nothing – Jedi Mind Tricks
The message in this video is very similar to the message in chapter 20 of the Tao Te Ching –

Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles
Is there a difference between yes and no? Is there a difference between good and evil? Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox. In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace.
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am. Like a newborn baby before it learns to smile, I am alone without a place to go.
Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing. I am a fool. Oh yes! I am confused.
Others are clear and bright, but I alone am dim and weak.
Others are sharp and clever, but I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea, without direction, like the restless wind.
Everyone else is busy, but I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different. I am nourished by the great mother.

So that was written in 600BC allegedly, and this video was produced in 1997.


Jedi Mind Tricks – I who Have Nothing


Travellin’

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Without taking a step outdoors
You know the whole world;
Without taking a peep out the window
You know the colour of the sky.

The more you experience,
The less you know.
The sage wanders without knowing,
Looks without seeing,
Accomplishes without acting.

     At first reading this excerpt from the Tao Te Ching, it seems that Old Master has told us not to travel. I think travel is important, I think what is being talked about here is the way that you perceive the world. Taoism teaches that everything is a paradox. Even Lao Tzu’s teachings!

     A friend of mine believes he can see the world on television, and that’s good enough for him. It’s just like being there, right? When you watch a video it has been reversed, converted to binary data using a finite grid, encoded, reversed, stored on magnetic or electronic media, transferred, decoded, edited, rendered, formatted, re-encoded, compressed, stored, transferred, stored, decoded and displayed on a 2 dimensional plane as little dots. Really though, watching a video is just like being there, I swear.

     The U.S. has one of the lowest percentages of citizens who have passports, less than 20% of our citizens travel internationally. And yet we have the most aggressive foreign policy, and believe that we are the global leaders in everything. So why do I believe travel is important? Isn’t it obvious? Here ~ listen to Mos Def while you read some famous quotes about it, how else will I force my opinion on you?

Mos Def ft. DJ Honda – Travellin’ Man
  • “One can only really travel if one lets oneself go and takes what every place brings without trying to turn it into a healthy private pattern of one’s own and I suppose that is the difference between travel and tourism.” – Freya Stark
  • “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley
  • “Citizen diplomacy is the way to world peace.”- Pam Mandel from Nerd’s Eye View

  • “Travel is the best education. Nothing opens our eyes more. How can we be global citizens without traveling?” 
- Wendy Perrin from Conde Nast Traveler’s Perrin Post
  • “Life is an adventure! Travel enriches, expands, touches, educates, delights, and connects like nothing else. To know the earth, its people and beauty, one must go.” 
- Jeanne Dee from Soultravelers3
  • “Travel is learning, and learning is a worthwhile use of time. We all have a finite number of days, months, and years left on earth. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking there’s no rush, but actually there is. I urge people not to wait to travel. Go now.” 
- Jamie Pearson from Travel Savvy Mom
  • “For children travel matters because it is a part of their education. They need to learn about different cultures and new languages.” 
- Darren Cronian from Travel Rants
  • “Traveling allows you to press the ‘pause’ button on your own life and go experience someone else’s for a while. Everyone needs a dose of humility, and nothing makes you more humble than seeing just how big the world really is. And because after so long, telling someone in a foreign country you’re American [now] makes them smile again.” 
- Christine Cantera from Miss Expatria
  • “It expands our horizons and increases our understanding of both the world and ourselves. Develops inner confidence in oneself.” 
- Alex Berger from Virtual Wayfarer
  • “Travel opens your eyes, your mind and your heart to the people and places which fill this world.” 
- Michelle Duffy from WanderMom
  • “I travel because in this modern globalized world, one can’t understand it without experiencing new cultures and new places. If we are to move past the divisions of history and get along, we have to have cultural understanding. We can’t put walls up. Traveling helps tear down the walls that lead to misunderstanding and conflict.” 
- Matt Kepnes from Nomadic Matt
  • “Traveling to unfamiliar places makes me see that there is a lot of beauty in the world — landscape, people, art and culture. Taking care of it becomes important.” 
- Kimberly Kradel from Artist at Large
  • “When I travel I never feel like I need more of anything, except for travel itself. It is the triumph of experience over stuff. Best of all it has the same affect on my children, who are clamoring for another trip to Paris for Christmas.” 
- Mara Gorman from Mother of all Trip
  • “Memories of the spontaneous transcendent events that happen during a cross-cultural experience remain vivid for all the years of one’s lifetime.” 
- David Chamberlain of Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel
  • “Imagine taking a break from your road trip through Jordan. You pull off in a small town, distinguished only by a bright blue Mosque set against a backdrop of sand-colored homes and desert. You pull some pistachios out of your trunk and set off in search of a cold drink. At the small family owned shop, barely open during the heat of the day, you’re greeted… not with suspicion, but with joy. The owners refuse your money (you leave a small gift in return) and you are invited to meet the whole family and share your stories over a warm meal. Could you write off all Arabs as angry, intolerant, American haters after that? I’d guess not.” 
- Debbie Dubrow from Delicious Baby
  • “I’m leaving – but I’ll be back…” – Mos Def

Marleys

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

     Always loved Reggae. I like the new stuff but roots is where it’s at. I listened to Bob Marley since I was a kid, but I never really knew his story or why he is so widely loved. I learned a lot more about him when I visited Jamaica. His story is more than just coming from a third world country and becoming an international star, he really is like a musical prophet. He comes from a destitute village in the country and when he gets rich he doesn’t change, he feeds thousands of Jamaicans with the money, his lyrics still have that innate wisdom, and he is still a rebel to war and oppression. In Jamaica he is considered as more of a spiritual leader than a famous musician. Even his children are highly regarded, the Jamaicans I talked to about Bob spoke about his children like they were royalty.
     So why bring Bob into the blog? Because his kids have becoming increasingly popular in hip-hop collabs, and they have a big effect on these songs. There could be many reasons for me to have this opinion. It could be that because of what I know about Bob Marley and his life I’m biased towards liking them. It could be I just like reggae and hip-hop together, they could possibly have secret powers of audio hypnosis, or maybe – they just spit hot fire.
Here’s a few examples (I realize there’s a lot more) – you be the judge.

Afu-Ra ft Kymani Marley – Equality
Nas ft Damian Marley – Road to Zion
Mos Def ft Stephen Marley – Hey Baby
Wyclef ft Ziggy Marley – Everybody wants to be a cowboy

and one from Bob (mixed after his death)

Krayzie Bone ft Bob Marley – Rebel Music


Can’t Stop The Prophet

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

One of my favorite videos – needs no explanation

Jeru the Damaja – You can’t stop the Prophet