Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The thoughtful student, in scanning the religious history of the race, has one fact continually forced upon his notice, viz., that there is an invariable tendency to deify whomsoever shows himself superior to the weakness of our common humanity. Look where we will, we find the saint-like man exalted into a divine personage and worshipped for a god. Though perhaps misunderstood, reviled and even persecuted while living, the apotheosis is almost sure to come after death: and the victim of yesterday’s mob, raised to the state of an Intercessor in Heaven, is besought with prayer and tears, and placatory penances, to mediate with God for the pardon of human sin. This is a mean and vile trait of human nature, the proof of ignorance, selfishness, brutal cowardice, and a superstitious materialism. It shows the base instinct to put down and destroy whatever or whoever makes men feel their own imperfections; with the alternative of ignoring and denying these very imperfections by turning into gods men who have merely spiritualised their natures, so that it may be supposed that they were heavenly incarnations and not mortal like other men.
This process of euhemerisation, as it is called, or the making of men into gods and gods into men, sometimes, though more rarely, begins during the life of the hero, but usually after death. The true history of his life is gradually amplified and decorated with fanciful incidents, to fit it to the new character which has been posthumously given him. Omens and portents are now made to attend his earthly avaṭāra: his precocity is described as superhuman: as a babe or lisping child he silences the wisest logicians by his divine knowledge: miracles he produces as other boys do soap-bubbles: the terrible energies of nature are his playthings: the gods, angels, and demons are his habitual attendants: the sun, moon, and all the starry host wheel around his cradle in joyful measures, and the earth thrills with joy at having borne such a prodigy: and at his last hour of mortal life the whole universe shakes with conflicting emotions.
- The Life of Buddha and Its Lessons, by H.S. Olcott. 1912. Interesting passage. From the sublime to the mundane: Kanye West, along with many other popular rappers, thinks this song is about him.
by Judy Dater, 1974
Adam’s little brother Sam’s blog…
Charles Jencks is the American landscape architect and designer behind this incredible flight of stairs. Called The Universe Cascade, it has 25 landings that mark the important shifts in cosmic history. Starting at the top, in the present day, and descending down, visitors are moving through 13 billion years of cosmic evolution. The steps finally disappear into the dark water below, which represents the mystery of the origin of the universe.
Pretty girls in their late teens, wearing combat boots, talking excitedly about Italo Calvino in the lending library in the back of the boutique.
Matthias Heiderich, I like this dude. Young self-taught guy in Berlin.
Fantastic. Focus on the abject is reminiscent of Diane Arbus, without the exploitativeness that I find distasteful with Arbus. Love how Sherman by acting as subject and viewer, subverts male gaze, or perhaps better, acknowledges the reflexivity of the male gaze in a media saturated environment. The idea of exploring the construction of identity through a constellation of shared reference seems especially relevant in the age of social media.