Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Storms

 



 

I usually post a Comment towards the end of the month, however, nearing the end of September there began to be a increasing awareness of an impending storm. It was very distraction due to the projected size of the storm and the unpredictable nature of it. The location of the landfall kept changing so it made it difficult for the people of Florida to plan emergency actions.

After leaving our area for 4 days we returned and faced several days of clean up for ourselves and our neighbors. Consequently the September Comment did not get posted and I am posting the October first reading which turns out to be not only timely but prescient.



XVI

This month's Comment comes from the October 1 reading, p. 302

October                  "Storms"


In the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico massive storms appear nearly every summer. Known as Hurricanes these giant weather events can cover hundreds of square miles with winds in excess of 130 miles per hour (200kph). Huracan was a foundational god of the Mayan pantheon whose vast power caused devastation and flooding. I have spoken to more than one resident of the Gulf coast who believe that the great storms named for this god have a living conscious personality.


Comment

Can a weather phenomena be conscious? Does it know what it is doing or where it is going? The ancient civilizations had many names for "weather gods" or "storm gods". Tempestas the Roman deity of violent storms is the origin for our word "tempest". Perun the Slavic god of storms was also the king of gods as was Zeus the Greek god of weather. Horus the Egyptian god of activities in the heavens was the personification of the Pharaoh.

The point here is that we have thought about this question for thousands of years. Where in our mind do we put storms? They appear at times to have a psyche of their own while in other instances they are seemingly random. Yet there is something oddly conscious about their random nature. Perhaps we are surrounded by forces that have their own agenda regardless what we say or do.


Roseus Arx (October)

As seen above is "The Rose Tower", (archaic: Roseus Acx) comes to us from the ancient Rosicrucian movement that interpreted the Cross with a rose signifying steadfast love. In the illustration we understand the celestial rose is only obtained by climbing the tower (stem) which has many thorns that are the afflictions and bad luck of our mundane life. Our goal a reunion with the wisdom of the rose.

A Collection of Daily Epiphanies... The Other Road Ahead

This road is about travel however it is not a straight line Interstate Highway where you can get somewhere very fast but not see anything interesting. Nope. The Other Road is an elliptical narrative like driving a country road with many twists, turns, side trips, and roadside attractions of hidden knowledge, ancient wisdom, and magic. It will build your spirit one daily stop at a time.


The recent hurricane has interrupted many services so if you want to order the book please click below and send a request.  We will get back to you within 24 hours. 

You can purchase my book, The Other Road Ahead, by clicking HERE
















                                                         Make a Donation








Saturday, August 27, 2022

Expressions---D S Reif

 

Zell House, 8"x10" oil pastel, 2014 



 My paintings are in the thread of American Expressionism with the use of color and line to express a poetic mood or inner vision that is as informed but not dictated by the outer vision of reality. In other words I am not a slave to the image that my senses see. Instead I rearrange the product of my senses into a form that opens the door to the larger Gnostic* view of light and spirit: the light reflected from objects and the impact they make on humans.  

"American Expressionism is a 20th-century visual art style or movement that first took hold in New England and later spread throughout the United States by artists like Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and others. While the word expressionist was used in the modern sense as early as 1850 but was fleshed out by the Czech art historian Antonin MatΔ›jček in 1910 as the opposite of Impressionism: "An Expressionist wishes, above all, to express himself... (an Expressionist rejects) immediate perception and builds on more complex psychic structures... Impressions and mental images that pass through ... people's soul as through a filter which rids them of all substantial accretions to produce their clear essence [...and] are assimilated and condense into more general forms, into types, which he transcribes through simple short-hand formulae and symbols."1

"The term Figurative Expressionism arose as a counter-distinction to "Abstract Expressionism." Like German Expressionism, the American movement addresses issues at the heart of the expressionist sensibility, such as personal and group identity in the modern world, the role of the artist as a witness to issues such as violence2 and corruption, and the nature of the creative process and its implications. These factors speak to the movement's strong association with the emotional expression of the artist's interior vision, with the kinds of emphatic brushstrokes and bold color found in paintings like Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night and Edvard Munch's The Scream that have influenced generations of practitioners. They also speak to the rejection of the outward-facing "realism" of Impressionism, and tacitly suggest the influence of Symbolism on the movement, which sees meaning in line, form, shape and color.3"

 

The painting, Zell House, (above) is a good example of my use of Expressionist values where color has been used not to record a actual representation of reality but to set a mood and ask the viewer to consider light and shadow in a more mystical manner. 

Below I have posted some of my earlier work using the image of structures as an apparent focus. To me they have never seemed to represent structures rather they are representations of figures I have seen.  An old house becomes an abstract symbol that I can reformulate with other similar shapes that I have seen.  At the end of the work I can honestly say that they are things I have experienced but perhaps not during the same event. 

Structures below are examples of both color and line exaggeration to make the point that these are not intended to be an exact representation. 

*Alexandrian 

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Figurative_Expressionism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expressionism

2https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/may/14/art-apocalypse-otto-dix-first-world-war-der-krieg-in-pictures

3 Ibid, Wikipedia




Untitled, 8"x10" Oil pastel, 2015 

                                     
Untitled, 8"x10", Oil Pastel, 2015 
                 

                         
🌹➡➡  Perennis is an independent voice in a world increasingly repressed, controlled, and throttled. It has never been associated with any political party and has resisted the hidden hand of censorship.  It takes a lot of time to research, compose, and post in an era of rising prices and diminishing resources. Please consider the Donorbox below and help us out.*  πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

*I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   

                                                          Make a Donation






Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Cats and Dogs

 


 

XV

This month's Comment comes from The Other Road Ahead, August 19 reading, p. 256

🌹➡➡  Perennis is an independent voice in a world increasingly repressed, controlled, and throttled. It has never been associated with any political party and has resisted the hidden hand of censorship.  It takes a lot of time to research, compose, and post in an era of rising prices and diminishing resources. Please consider the Donorbox below and help us out.*  πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

August 19              Pets


Although several have kept us company I can say that we have never owned a cat. Even if we have fed and taken care of their every need they have maintained a personality nurtured in some far off jungle where each sound and slight movement registers as a studied calculation filling out an archetype deep inside their collective existence. This calculated understanding of the world includes me even if I don't belong there.


Comment

Cats and Dogs

In these days of war, depression, and uncertainly we can turn to our pets for some comfort. These animals are innocent bystander to the world outside their little realm. Chaos can rain down on us, everything can seem to go wrong that can go wrong, but the life of our pets is constant. They are there for us to stroke, or play with, feed them, watch them sleep, and wonder what they are thinking. The ancient Egyptians believed cats had a god-like stature while Scythian civilization thought dogs were magic.

Neither of those observations seem wrong to me. These non-human creatures have the unique ability to take over our lives and bring joy regardless the dark clouds that hover over our world.


Illustration of the Month (above representation)


Day Moon

 (August)

There are several interesting elements in this drawing. The design with a group of lilies is an endearing image that resonates deeply for us. The lily is the symbol of eternal life interpreted as grace, regeneration, or resurrection while the number three has magical implications. The magic triangle or triad of body, mind, and spirit forms the dream of spiritual perfection.


All of our re-prints are available at: Art Reprints   


A Collection of Daily Epiphanies... "The Other Road Ahead"

This road is about travel however it is not a straight line Interstate Highway where you can get somewhere very fast but not see anything interesting. Nope. The Other Road is an elliptical narrative like driving a country road with many twists, turns, side trips, and roadside attractions of hidden knowledge, ancient wisdom, and magic. It will build your spirit one daily stop at a time.

You can purchase my book, The Other Road Ahead, by clicking HERE














Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version ceased to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. 



*I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   

                                                          Make a Donation




Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Cloister

 




This month's Comment comes from the July 12 reading, p. 217

XIV

July 12        Cloister

Sometimes I want to go somewhere to get away from the modern world but there doesn't seem to be anywhere to go. I'm in the digital world and no matter where I go I'm still here. What I really need is a place that is quiet to be alone with God like an ancient abbey. I need to go inside myself to the abbey I seek.

Comment

This month is a vision of a cloister on a hill somewhere untouched by the material world. Perhaps you can identify with a place that welcomes all people to a sanctuary where earthly struggles are resolved.


 Alexandrian Church of Gnosis

****


This month's Illustration from the book (top left)

Resolution (July)

The rose is the ancient emblem of steadfast love and the heart of compassion which symbolized Lord Christ who was the triumph of love. The yang aspect of the Sun is paired with the rose creating a complex engine of creation. Given the Moon and it receptive yin nature transforms the boundless energy of the Sun into the transcendent lily described by Goethe in the "Green Snake and the Lily".


All of our re-prints are available at: Art Reprints   

****

More like a mural in words than a book...

This road is about travel however it is not a straight line Interstate Highway where you can get somewhere very fast but not see anything interesting. Nope. The Other Road is an elliptical narrative like driving a country road with many twists, turns, side trips, and roadside attractions of hidden knowledge, ancient wisdom, and magic. It will build your spirit one daily stop at a time.

You can purchase the book at:

You can purchase my book, The Other Road Ahead, by clicking HERE










****

Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version ceased to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. 


I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   

   Make a Donation


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Our Modern World

 

 




This month's Comment comes from the June 13 reading, p. 186

XIII

June 13,  Modernism


There is a belief by some that a very distinctive deterioration of Western thinking happened at the end of the Middle Ages and accelerated into the Industrial Age. Then things just got worse until the late 20th Century when people began to question the idea of institutional science and progress and took a renewed interest in the spiritual perspective.

Comment

In 2008 I wrote an essay* about modernism and its effect on our culture. It is still very appropriate today.  (Explainer is highlighted)


WHAT IS MODERNISM?

Without a doubt the most powerful political and social ideology of the past century is something few people have considered. A cluster of dogma has sprung up around the philosophy of positivism, the belief that nothing exists except that which can be measured. From this starting point we have witnessed the rise of positivist science, philosophical reductionism, consumerism and a cultural appendage; modernism. As the director of The Institute for Perennial Studies in the late 1980’s I found that we spent a lot of time researching and critiquing modernist systems as well as examining alternatives. If we learned anything from the experience it is that the negative effects of modernism are ubiquitous. As a belief system it infects all of our thinking. Allow me to share some of our findings regarding modernism and its attendant systems; positivism, an aggressive new materialism, and consumerism.

The first and most noticeable trait of any modernist system is its claim to be "new". Newness is unique to this belief system and is characterized by a cult like following of pundits and pollsters who are always trying to divine the latest trends and impulses for the purpose of forecasting. Newness is celebrated as a sacrament and is its own proof of superiority. The act of being "first" has become an obsession. Post-modernism, advanced modernism, progress, etc., have all laid claim to the mantle "new" at one time or another. Modernism consistently defines its enemies as "undemocratic". Whether it is Kropotkin and Lenin espousing various forms of scientific socialism as an escape from the Old (elitist) Order, the Northeastern establishment promoting corporate liberalism ("free trade") in the new cyberspace of Wall Street, or Coca-Cola selling the universal soft drink to the "new global marketplace", the underlying argument is always the same. We have the wave of the future at our disposal and if you don't get on the bandwagon you are resisting "democratic inevitability".

Permutations of modernism are always heralded by a shower of statistics and other mathematical gadgets. Proving that the tide is running in a certain direction with various empirical methods is an absolute necessity for the modernist. Reliance on measuring social trends is the foundation of political science and public relations.

Modernism eventually fall victim to its own poison. The idea that modernism is itself new is a fallacy. History is filled with secular prophets declaring a "new dawn" or a "new era". Not only in the Christian Bible but in the scriptures of all spiritual traditions there are admonitions against people relying too heavily on their own creations. Babylon fell while lusting after temporal rewards. Jesus reminded us that he was “the beginning and the end” saying that time as well as Creation is the domain of God and “newness” is that suspicious property of Man. The Prajna Paramitas warn the Buddhist not to trust the material world of ever changing “aggregates”.

The Sacred writings of antiquity are replete with similar caveats against newness turning instead to the eternal world within. Allied as it is with the materialist pantheon of science and positivism the present incarnation of modernism is particularly dangerous and pervasive but little changed from past manifestations.

In our research we came to the conclusion that modernism was not the leading edge of an evolutionary continuum rather it is a veneer. In the case of its present likeness the veneer is uniquely corrosive and seeks to dissolve, absorb, or ultimately erase everything that has come before it. Natural resources, indigenous cultures, traditional values, and even history itself is a target for the modernist. Yet, the real sadness is that society has bought into a fad and in the last analysis "new" is predictably ephemeral.


*https://dsreif.blogspot.com/2008/12/modernism.html


This month's Illustration

Marriage (June)

Often producing blooms every day enhancing its reputation for nurturing and regeneration the lily has a feminine or yin aspect. The Moon is also a ethereal feminine symbol traditionally associated with the goddess Selena. The Sun is usually a male symbol whose hard edged energy is soften and reflected in the glow of the Moon making this a grand celestial marriage.

"Marriage" can be purchased HERE  


All of our re-prints are available at: Art Reprints   

More like a mural in words than a book...

This road is about travel however it is not a straight line Interstate Highway where you can get somewhere very fast but not see anything interesting. Nope. The Other Road is an elliptical narrative like driving a country road with many twists, turns, side trips, and roadside attractions of hidden knowledge, ancient wisdom, and magic. It will build your spirit one daily stop at a time.

You can purchase the book at:

You can purchase my book, The Other Road Ahead, by clicking HERE











Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version ceased to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. 

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   



                                                     Make a Donation




Sunday, May 29, 2022

Numbers

 


 



This month's Comment comes from the May 14 reading, p. 155




May  14--- Numbers

If we can start by saying that symbolically the beginning comes from the number one which represents unity. Then the number two opens up diversity where conflict can happen but also the possibility of sharing. With the number three comes resolution or one plus two results in three which is unique but has the attributes of its parts. If we can think about numbers for something other than counting a new understanding of our world will begin.

XII

Comment

The use of numbers is so ancient that no one really knows where or when the practice started but it is nearly impossible to imagine a world without numbers. However, the majority of us are only familiar with numbers in their counting function. Many people have studied numbers as an expression of human behavior1 or to predict events. In the Torah (the Old Testament) there is a Book of Numbers which has extensive numerical references which some say have hidden meanings2. Elsewhere in many ancient writings there mystical or occult references to specific numbers. Learning about the various interpretations of numbers is a interesting and rewarding pursuit which will expand our understanding3.

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gematria

2https://numerologynation.com/numerology/

3https://dsreif.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-sacred-art-of-numbers.html


The illustration for May is Grail

Inspired by ancient Rosicrucian symbolism this chalice combines the trinity of Sun, Moon, and Earth into a magical unity of knowledge and wisdom that informed Late Medieval Europe. It was used as a teaching tool to help people understand their place in the universe.


It is available in our store CLICK HERE




More like a mural in words than a book...

This road is about travel however it is not a straight line Interstate Highway where you can get somewhere very fast but not see anything interesting. Nope. The Other Road is an elliptical narrative like driving a country road with many twists, turns, side trips, and roadside attractions of hidden knowledge, ancient wisdom, and magic. It will build your spirit one daily stop at a time.

You can purchase the book at:

You can purchase my book, The Other Road Ahead, by clicking HERE














Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version ceased to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. 

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   



   Make a Donation





Monday, April 25, 2022

Humility

 





This month's Comment comes from the April 4th reading, p. 113


  April 4        Humility

Improving our perception of humility which was at one time called "meekness" can start a dramatic change in our view of the world. Many people believe humility is the same as humiliation or even groveling. This is incorrect. Humility is a spiritual exercise we can practice everyday and anywhere. It is the process of calmly viewing our situation in the light of other people's feelings.

XI

Comment

Another way of seeing this concept is believing humility is also gentleness towards other people. We understand that our actions are part of the larger spiritual activity. This will help tame the urges of our shadow nature and allow life to be "...gentle on my mind"*. Each thing we do can be a prayer or a meditation and part of the ceaseless prayer suggested by the great sages. 

*"...That keeps you in the back roads, by the rivers of my memory, keeps you ever gentle on my mind" John Hartford, (2001)


The April illustration is 

Boehme's Vision (April)

Jacob Boehme (1624) was one of the greatest mystics produced by the Western world. Born in Silesia a shoemaker by trade he was granted visions and dreams that sought to unravel the deepest mysteries. A common man without special education in religion, philosophy, or science he spent his life trying to explain his visions leaving many books to share his dreams of grace coming from Heaven.

All of our re-prints are available at: Art Reprints   

More like a mural in words than a book...

This road is about travel however it is not a straight line Interstate Highway where you can get somewhere very fast but not see anything interesting. Nope. The Other Road is an elliptical narrative like driving a country road with many twists, turns, side trips, and roadside attractions of hidden knowledge, ancient wisdom, and magic. It will build your spirit one daily stop at a time.

You can purchase the book at: You can purchase my book, The Other Road Ahead, by clicking HERE













Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version ceased to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. 

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   


                                                      Make a Donation