Thursday, May 25, 2006

Net Neutrality, Catholic Insanity, and the Tao of Hogwarts

YouTube has posted a good video on Net Neutrality (which apparently comes via Amy Goodman's wonderful Democracy Now! channel). If video is how you prefer to get your activist perspective; if that's what gets you onto the backs of your local Congressional dweebs, then that's what we need. It's an issue that I've hammered at lately in writing on Geek Wednesday, and it's something that can further disable what's left of this democracy, if the neocons and their corporate money machines have their way.

It may also be time for some of us to lay it on the Catholic Church again. I've written about this before (here and with Terry McKenna, here); and now I see that last week, the Pope at last decided to "sanction" a pedophile priest.

So, what was the punishment for this creep? Burning at the stake, the way they did it in the old days? Imprisonment in one of those catacombs? Tickets to a Madonna concert or hard time at Dan Brown's house?

No to all those, gentle reader. The offending priest was sentenced to..."renouncing the celebration of Mass." He will not be indicted, convicted, imprisoned, forced to pay the families of the boys he abused, or even made to go leather and studs on himself, like that albino. He won't be allowed to say Mass, that's all.

It's moments like these when I wonder if there just might be something to all this parallel Earth/multiverse stuff that the New Age crowd talks about (and that has even gotten a little bit of press among the NASA bunch). They say it's right here, around, beside, and within us: just turn your awareness, your noumenal body, around in just the right way, at the perfect moment, and you're in it—the reality of which this pit of delusion here is but a smoky reflection.

What would such a place be like? I think of Lennon's famous song: no priests, no guns, no governments, no corporations, no FOX News, no nations, no competition, no blood in the streets. Lots of action, human effort blending into the stew of Nature, dancing, singing, music on every corner. Unabashed nudity; sex without condoms in a world without disease. Death gratefully accepted as the natural course of life, another turn in the dance of life. Consequently, light-bodies streaming around the people and places where their physical forms had lived and loved. No one is afraid there; fear is not the coin of psychological commerce that it is here. Where Love pervades, fear has no room to insinuate itself.

But we're back here, amid the distortions that our collective delusions have created for us. So we have to read stories like that one about the Pope delivering a pat on the wrist to a creep who should be banished to an eternity in Hell or the ladies' underwear section at Wal-Mart.

So what can one do to awaken an Earth that is obsessed with the outcome of American Idol or the meeting between Bush and Blair (as if anything meaningful can come of either)?

I suppose you can start by awakening yourself, a little each day. Then, as you follow that path, go outward and test the limits, push the boundaries, wherever you find or feel them. This is the way of the child, and in the field of action, the child is wiser than the adult.

Find out what is implicitly not permitted by your culture, your government, your corporate master. And then try it. Do something like this every day, as if it were some kind of self-developmental exercise or a practice of self-discovery. It is.


As some of our regular readers may be aware, I've been working on a revision of my Tao of Hogwarts book, which is now in the hands of a very capable agent. Part of the revision involved something that is a little risky, from both a literary and a legal standpoint. I tried writing small paragraphs of text in which the Harry Potter characters spoke to the themes I was addressing in the book. I'll quote one section I did for Harry himself below. If you're a Pottermaniac like me, and you have some feedback on how I did, send me an email; I'd love to hear from you.

"If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin." (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, p. 299).

Harry, you’re about to enter your final year at Hogwarts. Is it even possible to capture the lessons learned over these six years in a few words?

“In fact, it’s possible to do it in one, but it’s a word that needs some explanation. It’s love. You heard what Dumbledore said, right at the end of the first year—it’s about love. That’s what saved me as a baby; that’s what brought me the help I needed in facing the basilisk; it’s what made Prongs ride again when the dementors attacked; what made those things happen in the graveyard; and what rescued me from Voldemort’s possession at the Ministry.

“But let’s be clear about this: I’m not talking about some weepy, sentimental kind of love—you know, the kind you see on TV or in Muggle greeting cards. The love I’m talking about is different, and I think, more real. It’s a kind of force…of attraction. Maybe it’s some sort of power or principle that I don’t fully understand yet. Hermione once told me about something she had read in a book she was assigned for Muggle Studies. She said that Muggle scientists talk about something called “quantum gravity;” that it’s a force that attracts bodies in space as if they were bundles of light—like the light-stream from a wand. Seems crazy, but that sounds like the sort of thing I learned from Dumbledore.

“There’s something else that might have a lot to do with what happens next. I remember something Dumbledore told me in that long talk we had after Sirius died—you know, when I nearly trashed his office. He said there’s a room in the Department of Mysteries that is always locked, and contains something that is stronger and greater than anything else down there—even the death veil and the time jar. Dumbledore told me that I have this…something…inside me, and that it had saved me from Voldemort’s possession.

“I have a feeling that I might have to go there, and see what this thing is; how it’s stored there and what it does. I think I might need it to find all these Horcruxes, you know. I think it’s probably some other force, like Fate—maybe it’s the river that opens into that ocean of Love that Dumbledore talked about, that has saved me so often before. I also wonder whether it might save me from having to kill, because that’s something that really scares me—the idea of having to kill.

“I don’t want to have to kill Voldemort, or anyone else, for that matter. I want to find those horcruxes, and I want to see Voldemort’s power finally destroyed, of course. But I don’t want to have to kill him—no more than Dumbledore wanted to kill him. I think that the last force in the Department of Mysteries might help me there—that it will help me finish what I have to do without having to kill. If Voldemort has to die in order for our world to continue, then I hope he is forced to kill himself.”

No comments: