Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Bowl

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Super Bowl 47 weaves together several disparate narrative threads that this blog has been following over the last seven months. The singing of "America the Beautiful" by Jennifer Hudson and a 26-member choir of Sandy Hook Elementary school children is the most obvious example. For many people of who were struck by the synchronistic connection of Dark Knight Rises and the horrific shooting on Dec. 14th, their first thought on hearing that the Sandy Hook students would perform was this:


Fortunately nothing of the sort happened. We were assured that Bane was nowhere to be found. While this demonstrates once again the probable inability to make accurate predictions with this material, the significance of this synchronicity should not be downplayed. While "Sandy Hook" flashes on screen for only a frame or two of DKR, the viral package map released before the movie clearly indicates that Sandy Hook is "Strike Zone 1" of Bane's campaign of terror. The stadium scene above happens in the fictional Sandy Hook of Gotham City.

Strike 1
It's a bad day to be a sports fan. Bane has Gotham Stadium set in his sights and it's his first "strike zone." What exactly will he do at each strike zone? We have no idea, but we're willing to bet the stadium is going to need some repairs once the foe is finished with the location. 

This was written in December of 2011. To have the Sandy Hook choir sing at a football stadium, and especially at the first Super Bowl following the tragedy, understandably triggered a wave of concern. And yet nothing occurred -- almost nothing.

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Tales Told of Jim and John


At 13 minutes and 22 seconds into the third period, the power for at least half the stadium mysteriously went out. The blackout, unprecedented at the Super Bowl, occurred when the score was 6-28 with the Baltimore Ravens leading. The readers of my last post on James Joyce will understand why the fine hairs of my neck stood on end when I first heard of this.

22 is essentially Joyce's number -- he was born on 2/2, was 22 in 1904, etc. -- and Jan. 13th, also the 13th day of the year, was when Joyce died in 1941. 628 is the number of pages in the Wake. These three numbers in particular were key to my entire article.

William Klaus of iAhuasca has provided further connections. The San Fransisco 49ers coach is Jim Harbaugh. His brother, John, is the coach of the victorious Baltimore Ravens. Brother against brother. Jim, or James, against John.

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James Joyce's own brother was John Stanislaus Joyce Jr., and Joyce used himself and his brother as partial models for Shem and Shaun in Finnegans Wake. The two brother coaches of the Super Bowl, then, are living manifestations of the warring brothers/Hero Twins archetype that are central figures in both the Wake and this blog.

Aside from the blackout, the other unprecedented event of Super Bowl 47 was the record 108-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones. Klaus points out Jones' initials -- J.J.! Joyce set the most famous of his books, Ulysses, published in 1922, in 1904. From 1904 is a 108-year cycle ending in 2012. And, symbolically with this return perhaps, a new cycle of revelation starts this year.

The last post revealed what I think concerns the deep structure of Finnegans Wake. I made the absurd claim at its conclusion that Joyce was an embodied expression of what Dick called "cosmic consciousness." Absurd, but then the next day, the day after Joyce's birthday, all of this happens. Did Joyce arrive to tip his hat for anyone who was paying attention? http://img1.etsystatic.com/002/0/5221237/il_fullxfull.353167453_6g55.jpg
The blackout lasted for 34 minutes and the Ravens ended up winning 34-31 over the 49ers. An interesting, if pessimistic, post on the GLP Forum identified the blackout of half the Superdome as an example of yin and yang polarity. This polarity extends, once again, to the Cain and Abel rivalry of the brother coaches. It also is reflected in the names of the two teams -- the Ravens are dark and the 49ers are golden and filled with light.

I also found it interesting that the Ravens are named after the famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe died in Baltimore in 1849 (a fact I'll be returning to). The 49ers, of course, are named after the California Gold Rush of 1849. 1 plus 8 plus 4 plus 9 equals 22. And to top it all off, James Joyce's father, John Stanislaus Sr., was born on the 4th of July, 1849.

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An Evil Genius


The poster on GLP views the Super Bowl power outage as part of an occult conspiracy. This could certainly be the case. Those concerned with the connections between the Dark Knight shooting, Sandy Hook and Super Bowl 47 also hint at occult plots and sinister forces.

This is not to be sniggered away. Esoteric orders have always given tribute to Secret Chiefs. Hitler spoke of being afraid of a "new man." Gnostics have traditionally held that this world is under the sway of malevolent Archons. And even the so-called father of modern rationalism, René Descartes, hypothesized that is was quite possible that an evil genius -- essentially a Gnostic-type Demiurge -- has us all trapped in an illusion that we take as being real.

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An occult conspiracy of this sort does not imply simply the use of esoteric rituals and symbols, etc. Such a conspiracy indicates a manipulation of reality, a willed molding of time and space, in a fashion that is just not possible for ordinary humans bound by the laws of physics as they are usually understood.  Occult powers are being employed. The siddhis are being wielded against us.

Over the last decade or more, many conspiracy theorists have evolved towards the acceptance of this type of conspiracy -- whether they attribute it to space aliens, demons, fourth-dimensional entities, etc. -- because things do not seem to be explainable in any other way. Synchronicity, especially, is something that utterly baffles conspiracy theorists. Mere human conspirators would not have the ability to play with time in the way that synchronicity demonstrates.



So in order to remain within the conspiratorial paradigm, these theorists have to postulate an even greater non- or trans-human conspiracy. Obviously when this path of thinking is taken speculation (and paranoia) is endless.

In the case of the Super Bowl 47 synchronicities referred to above, however, we've got to ask -- what does Joyce have to do with the occult conspiracy? Why would such synchronicities be of use to any conspirators -- human, alien, demon or otherwise? How would occult conspiracy theory answer these questions? By suggesting that Joyce is a demonic source? By asserting that these particular synchronicities are actually meaningless?

If the last is true, how would such a theory confirm that any of the synchronicities and correspondences that it highlights and propagates -- like the Dark Knight/Sandy Hook connection -- do have meaning?  

To be consistent, to be really open to the truth in all of its utter weirdness, we must accept the possibility that it all  has meaning. But is it all conspiracy? This is also an open question.

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Undermining The Very Fabric Of Reality


The last post discussed the idea that Joyce represents the Cauldron hexagram of the I Ching. The Caudron is an intrinsically positive symbol. Cauldrons can be used to cook food in, to make alchemical experiments with, or to brew medicines like ayahuasca within. They are chambers of creativity and nourishment. 

Cauldrons are vessels that contain liquid but are heated with fire. In this post, I'd like to explore the symbolism of a different type of vessel, one more exclusively associated with water. This is the bowl, like the Super Bowl, but more specifically it is the toilet bowl. Toilet bowls are also necessary because they take in waste. They assist in elimination instead of creation. In general, bowls hold liquid. The danger with bowls, though, is that occasionally what they hold cannot be contained.

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Slavoj Žižek, in his excellent documentary, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, discusses the difference -- and the horror -- of when a toilet works in its proper fashion and when it does not. 

In our most elementary experience, when we flush the toilet, excrements simply disappear out of our reality into another space, which we phenomenologically perceive as a kind of a netherworld, another reality - a chaotic, primordial reality. And the ultimate horror, of course, is if the flushing doesn’t work, if objects return, if remainders, excremental remainders, return from that dimension. The bathroom: Hitchcock is all the time playing with this threshold.

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Žižek goes on to describe how in the movie Psycho, after committing his bloody crime in the shower, Norman Bates meticulously, carefully, scrubs and cleans ever inch of the bathroom. Not a trace of his evil-doing remains visible. But it is still there. The bath, the bowl, in a sense stills contains it. And it has the potential of letting it well up, once again, to the surface. The bowl can overflow.

The work of erasing the stains, keeping at bay this chaotic netherworld, which threatens to explode at any time and engulf us. I think this is the fine sentiment that Hitchcock’s films evoke. It’s not simply that something horrible happens in reality. Something worse can happen which undermines the very fabric of what we experience as reality.

This primordial, even excremental, fear that the toilets will overflow, that all of our fears -- every dark thing that we have repressed -- will somehow be revealed and mess up our comfortable lives, is the secret to good horror. Žižek points to just this scenario in Coppola's The Conversation. Unlike in Psycho, the toilet bowl refuses to let the blood and gore of the murdered victim be kept hidden within it.

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Elsewhere in his documentary, Žižek applies this idea to film more generally:

When we spectators are sitting in a movie theatre, looking at the screen... You remember, at the very beginning, before the picture is on, it's a black, dark screen, and then light thrown on. Are we basically not staring into a toilet bowl and waiting for things to reappear out of the toilet? And is the entire magic of a spectacle shown on the screen not a kind of deceptive lure, trying to conceal the fact that we are basically watching shit, as it were?

Watching shit. Waiting for the dirty contents of our own unconscious minds to fill the screen, and secretly hoping they do not spill over into our real lives. If, as many people think Kubrick implied, the movie screen is a monolith then it is also a toilet bowl. The blackness comes from the same source. What comes out of it can disgust, enlighten or horrify.



I'd like to take this in a broader way than even Žižek or Kubrick want to go. All screens, all media, all spectacles, are potential cauldrons or toilet bowls. The archetypal substance that wells out of them is the same but we, in a sense, choose to view it from our own perspective. Occult conspiracy theorists view it all as being shit. Perhaps us lovers of synchronicity take it as a type of medicine. Is it both? Is it either? For now, let's sift through some shit.


 

Passage Through Water


Jennifer Hudson sang "America the Beautiful" with the Sandy Hook kids at the Super Bowl, but almost exactly a year before she was also at the centre of a major media spectacle. On Feb. 10th, 2012 Hudson appeared on CNN with music producer, Clive Davis. Davis claimed in this interview that Hudson had the potential to rival his famous protégé, Whitney Houston. The next day, Feb. 11th, Whitney was found dead in her bathtub. The day after that, Jennifer Hudson gave an emotional tribute to Whitney at the 54th Grammy Awards by singing "I Will Always Love You."



The idea that Whitney Houston was sacrificed by the Illuminati spread like wildfire throughout the web, with the usual sources providing occult conspiracy analysis. Although this may seem like old news, as the anniversary has just passed it is worth examining some of these anomalous details and especially how these details fit into the series of "mega-rituals" conducted over the last year.

The coroner was asked not to remove Whitney Houston's body from the Beverly Hilton Hotel until after Clive Davis' celebrity pre-Grammy party, held in the same hotel where Whitney died just hours before. It later emerged that Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, herself almost drowned in a bathtub on the same floor of the same hotel just a day before her mother was found dead in the bathtub. 

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Reportedly just hours before her death Whitney had been quoting verses from the Gospel of Matthew  (3:13-17) about the water baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist (coincidentally, this event was originally celebrated on Jan. 13th, the day Joyce died.)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.

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Did Whitney have a premonition of her own watery death? Such speculation only increased after people viewed what was to have been Whitney's last appearance in the media. Two days before her death she and her daughter appeared suddenly, with her hair still wet from swimming in a pool, at a TV interview with Clive Davis and singers Monica and Brandy. Whitney handed Brandy a still mysterious note and told her daughter to kiss Davis. Brandy celebrated her 33rd birthday on the 11th, the day Whitney died.

Another popular singer, Lady Gaga, also has an important connection with Feb. 11th and Whitney Houston. During the 2011 Grammy Awards, Lady Gaga revealed that she when she was writing her hit song, "Born This Way," she imagined Whitney was singing it in order to boost her own confidence. "Born This Way" was released on Feb. 11th, 2011.

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At the 2012 Grammy Awards, on Feb. 12th, aside from Jennifer Hudson's moving tribute to Whitney, the biggest stir was caused by a performance by Nicki Minaj. Her debut of "Roman Holiday," which featured the attempted exorcism of her male alter-ego, "Roman Zolanski," was immediately pegged as a Satanic Illuminati ritual. The connection of Roman and his exorcism with Roman Polanski and Rosemary's Baby was undoubtedly intentional. And with this, Minaj or her publicists cleverly linked this show with a sync rabbit hole that has no discernible bottom.

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Minaj had just the week before performed with Madonna at the hafltime show of Super Bowl 46. This blog has extensively examined certain ritual aspects of this show, especially the possibility that it represented a ceremony to mark the collective passage through the Abyss. Once again, the M-letter standards held aloft during the performance may have symbolized the 13th path, also indicated by the Hebrew letter Gimel and identified with the High Priestess, of the central pillar of the Tree of Life which passes through the Abyss.


It's interesting that Minaj was about the only performer during the show to not bear the letter M. Instead she wore the letter N. In the present reckoning, this would identify her with the 14th path (also Daleth) joining Chokmah and Binah, which the 13th path intersects after passing through Da'at. This is the N of Madonna's MDNA. If Madonna is the Priestess, is Minaj the Empress? Is this why she arrived with the Pope at the Grammy's a week later? 



Madonna's Super Bowl performance last year recalled a similar performance in 2008 at the grand opening of the Atlantis, The Palm resort hotel in Dubai. This performance/mega-ritual also featured a comparably clad High Priestess declaring "Behold, Atlantis Rising!" while massive scenes of the collapse of civilization and the resurfacing of the sunken continent were projected onto the resort's walls. I first learned of this from Christopher Knowles' excellent analysis back in 2008.   

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For William Blake, as noted in an earlier post, the rising of Atlantis also signified the upward movement of a kind of third pillar reuniting the Old and New Worlds and identified with the coming of the New Jerusalem. The symbolism of the two rituals, in Dubai and at the Super Bowl, are thus the same.

It's fairly easy, then, to make the assumption that there is an occult narrative tying together the mass spectacles of recent years, and especially of 2012. Many also make the link between the Madonna/Whitney/Grammy ritual sequence with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, beginning on Feb. 6th, the day after the Super Bowl, and continuing on into the Torch Relay of the London 2012 Olympics. The whole of last year can be read as a non-stop ceremony to aid in the passage between Ages.



Four


Super Bowl 47 appears to be a continuation of this narrative. This time it was Beyoncé who performed at halftime, and while the esoteric symbolism of her show was perhaps not as in-your-face as Madonna's, it is clearly there. Like Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé has also performed in other recent mass spectacles. The most notable was her lip-synching of the US national anthem at Obama's second inauguration.

Obama swore his oath of office on two Bibles -- one owned by Abraham Lincoln and the second by Martin Luther King. Both of these men were of course assassinated, and so it is interesting to consider the deeper significance of Obama's choice of Bibles. The public inauguration also happened to occur on Martin Luther King Day.

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The conjunction of Bible, Lincoln and Obama also takes us back to the tenth anniversary ceremony for 9/11.  On this occasion Obama read from Psalm 46 (foreshadowing Super Bowl 46), Bloomberg read from Macbeth, and Bush read a letter by Lincoln. All of these are connected.

Obama also has a curious contact with Whitney Houston's last place of residence. Just days after the singer was found dead on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton, the president spent time at the same hotel before attending a fundraising event. A coincidence? Occult conspiracy theorists obviously think otherwise.

In a similarly dubious connection, the secrecy and strange rumours surrounding the birth of Beyoncé's daughter, Blue Ivy, also provoked speculation concerning Whitney's passing. Such secretive circumstances, after the child was born on Jan. 7th, 2012, brought immediate comparisons with Rosemary's Baby (which again recalls Minaj's Grammy performance). A bizarre rumour that even more bizarrely went viral claimed that Blue Ivy spelled backwards, Eulb Yvi, is the daughter of Lucifer.

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To put any credence into the Eulb Yvi rumour, or to further suggest that Whitney was a sacrifice for the child, is clearly ridiculous, but certain uncanny coincidences remain. Ivy is the equivalent of IV or four in Roman numerals. The obsession of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, both born on the fourth of different months, with the number four is well known. This number appears to play a large role in this narrative.

Blue Ivy was born on the fourth floor of a hospital entirely rented out by her parents. Whitney Houston died on the fourth floor of the Hilton. Obama, the 44th president, stayed briefly at the Hilton four days later and arrived at around 4:40 p.m. Madonna's MDNA concerts had four parts, Transgression, Prophecy, Masculine/Feminine, and Redemption, which are are reminiscent of the four-part Fall and Redemption cycle in both Finnegans Wake and the four ceremonies of London 2012.

Gushing


All this is shit, not necessarily bullshit, but shit nonetheless. It gushes out of our screens. It sticks to us. Like junk food, we begin to crave ever more of it. Is there a significance to any of this? Are we uncovering a vast and nefarious esoteric occult agenda, or has the Spectacle itself found an even subtler means to attract an audience -- "occult conspiracy" as viral marketing? Have we mistaken the backed-up effluent of a broken toilet bowl for the nourishment and wisdom flowing out from a cauldron of plenty? 




Or could these two be the same thing? Anyone who has been paying attention over the last year might also be thinking that this is all old news. Sophisticated conspiracy theorists and sync heads could dismiss this as celebrity gossip and unoriginal pop theorizing. This is true. None of this is particularly new or original. Regurgitated shit never is. Pop always wells up from the toilet. So why dwell on it? 

Perhaps it's not meaningless. Perhaps it's something far stranger than even occult conspiracy. Perhaps it all does involve James Joyce. It is a narrative that needs to be reexamined, recontextualized, in order to fully grasp what is occurring at this moment.

These events mainly took place around the festival season of Imbolc in early February of last year. A year has now passed since this time, and on the first anniversary things appear to be culminating. Brigid is once again offering inspiration. The chaotic netherworld can no longer be kept at bay.

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