Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Pluto Hath Done

Jupiter enters Capricorn and the story comes out.
"Japanese monks and nuns hit the catwalk in Tokyo on Saturday in a bid to spread Buddhism among younger people in this rapidly aging society. The fashion show opened with a buddhist prayer set to a hip-hop beat at the centuries-old Tsukiji Honganji temple, where nearly 40 monks and nuns from eight major Buddhist sects showed off elaborate robes in an effort to win back believers.
Buddhist monks traditionally wear simple black robes. But to appeal to more fashion-conscious youth, the monks wore green and yellow clothes, some with gold embroidery. Others wore elaborate, multi-layered garments.
More than 1200 years after it first arrived from mainland Asia, Buddhism in Japan is in crisis.
Many of us priests share the sense of crisis and the need to reach out to people. We won't change Buddhism's teachings, but perhaps we need a different presentation that can touch the feelings of the people of today."
Mari Yamaguchi. Associated Press
It only took 1200 years but better late than never. Not that modern times are an improvement, but traditions have to be flexible. Pluto rooting out all the decayed religious matter, but not saying exactly what will replace it to fulfill human spiritual longing. I suppose hip-hop is a fair interim selection. The good ol' godlovin' USA still has her influence intact. What ever is next?

36 Comments:

Blogger Tseka said...

i find this very odd.

19/12/07 6:49 AM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

I find all the religious traditions far too limiting and colorful advertising probably won't overcome the root cause problem. When once delves into the various saints and visionaries of these faiths there is a lot of richness. But once you are "there" what need for the rest of the structure it took to produce the insights which transcend it? There needs to be a new structure to further these insights and make possible new transformation. It's being built now I think.

19/12/07 11:50 AM  
Blogger jm said...

I think this exposes the full hypocrisy of religious order in no uncertain terms. I've been trying to make this point about Buddhism which has been erroneously held in higher regard as far as the hierarchy goes. They are all in this together and Pluto has done its job.

Religion equals fashion, while body parts fly in the cradle of civilization. It will be a couple more years before it ends and many years to sink in but hopefully the money lavished on these institutions will find a better outlet.

The underlying message here is the upcoming Aries-Capricorn transit which will be about the young and the new vs. the old and traditional. Japan is full of aging boomers and they will have interesting developments as we will.

Any sentimental illusions about the major religions of the world should be taken care of by now. I think group worship is problematic in general. Social concerns take over until it becomes a catwalk like this. It's such a personal thing. Then the political horror which has been going on forever. At least some stripping of pretense will help. Maybe this is a good sign, so ludicrous, indicating enough loss of power for the moment. The kids won't buy it.

I did also read an article decrying the appearance and style of the new pope. As tragic as it all is I'm also amused at mankind. Fashion IS god.

There needs to be a new structure to further these insights and make possible new transformation. It's being built now I think.

It's always being built. It's the massification of anything that ruins it. But real spirituality goes on and always will. It's hard to go solo but that's the best guarantee of preservation. Solo or thereabouts.

19/12/07 12:35 PM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

Solo is good :-) I've always liked pairs, trios and even small groups too from time to time.

19/12/07 12:41 PM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

I found this quote today on the train and it struck me as similar to the sort of shift that "Pluto Hath Done" with me lately

"Harman's thinking had changed since the crystal cabinet. Where it once centered on things, places,people, and emotions, it now was mostly figurative--a complicated dance of metaphors, metonymies, ironies, and synecdoches. With billions of facts--things,places, and people-set into his very cells, the focus of this thoughts had shifted to the connections and shades and nuances and recognition side of things. Emotions were still there--stronger if anything--but where his feelings had once surged like some big, booming bass overpowering the rest of the orchestra, they now danced like a delicate but powerful violin solo" -Dan Simmons, Olympos

19/12/07 12:50 PM  
Blogger jm said...

perhaps we need a different presentation that can touch the feelings of the people of today, say the priests.

This is also pertinent and maybe I should do a post on it.

The Mars in Cancer being involved with the Pluto exit in Sagittarius, plus the new moon in Sag and the full in Cancer are all about this. Cancer (feeling) and Sagittarius (religion). The real emotional sensations need to be addressed, since the longing is genuine. Empty rituals are frustrating the collective, including the celebrity religious show. The fake icons that have all been part of this. The thrill is gone.

One thing I find interesting in this country is the pregnancy epidemic among the goddesses. I think the people find it hard to worship them as they once did. The pregnancies seems like a fashion statement too, hardly an earth mother symbol to arouse genuflection.

We'll see where it all lands. This aging goddess, nonpregnant and with the help of Capricorn, might find a niche in the flux.

19/12/07 12:51 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Trios are my favorite.

19/12/07 12:51 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Emotions were still there--stronger if anything--but where his feelings had once surged like some big, booming bass overpowering the rest of the orchestra, they now danced like a delicate but powerful violin solo"

Very very intersting mpk, and just what I was talking about. This is a fabulous quote and what I've been thinking about emotion-wise. The overstatement vs, the subtle and genuine. I am not a fan of emotional manipulation which is the norm, especially through abuse of music, and this quote is music to my weary ears.

This is what I'd love to see and where my own music could find a home in the world. The beautiful nuanced toned-down expression of emotion. Omg.

19/12/07 12:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Lets go back to the monstrous cathedrals and the spine tingling music echoing through infinity. All well and good but it's too disconnected from the real everyday emotion of living and applying spirit. The people get this megadose, especially during Christmas, and I think they feel they've paid their spiritual dues. The problem with excess. Fleeting, momentary.

The whole idea of magnifying spirit to be out of human reach is problematic. Small music venues are coming back and maybe worship in general will fragment and become more individualistic amd more subtle. The group element can add to a point.

19/12/07 1:08 PM  
Blogger jm said...

That quote is great mpk. Thank you again.

19/12/07 1:16 PM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

The whole idea of magnifying spirit to be out of human reach is problematic

We have Mega-fries and Mega-churches but neither is doing much good. It's clogging up the arteries. And the people don't even know what the "big thing" is when they see it. The big thing happened earlier in the show, but they completely missed it. What are these particular Buddhists thinking? The people don't know what it is anyway so we might as well lure them in with advertising? Or is it the institutions that have forgotten?

19/12/07 2:21 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Well said. Clogging the arteries.

What are these particular Buddhists thinking?

Money. It's a business like everything. Some monks are austere, but many temples are wealthy and are used to 1000s of years of luxury. The religions were tied in with the royal courts historically so they've become accustomed to favoritism. Those that were out of favor were subject to persecution so it's a complicated web.

This event is also complicated. In a way it's a good sign that they are serving the people even if totally misguided at this point. The fact that the people are refraining from abject worship is excellent. The underlying trend is important. It doesn't mean lack of spirituality, it means they've probably had enough bullshit and the monks are making fools of themselves revealing their own lack of serious religion.

And as horrific as the hip-hop and fashion are, the idea of color and music is a good one. The ponderous, dark, depressing, authoritative, joyless approach to ritual will fail ultimately. Would that the archaic rules dissolved as well.

How to blend joy, morality, togetherness, and metaphysical perception is a challenge, no doubt. Music is fundamental and they're still working on it. If the young had more power I think we'd be better off. Too much kowtowing to elders, ancient teachings, etc. is not good. Just enough for continuity and that's it.

So Pluto dismantled the extreme power of the religious hierarchy, symbolized by the death of the last monstrous pope. Now we have space to fill which I think should take time.

It's funny to me, ludicrous, ridiculous, and pitiful. The humiliations of religion now turned back to the priests dancing piously to hip-hop. What a circus. Fellini saw it. But I see hope somewhere beyond the horizon.:-)

19/12/07 2:51 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Pluto rules wealth, so the transit has stripped the churches. They're desperate.

I saw a film called Water which was about the horrible treatment of widows in India according to ancient scripture. Several years ago there were violent protests and the film couldn't be made in India. They relocated and fianlly the film was released. A scathing criticism of religion done with grace and beauty. At the perfect time. People are ready. Made by a Capricorn.

19/12/07 2:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Then we get to the crux of Sagittarius. There's a reason the sign rules religion and advertising. Everything has to be advertised in some way to appeal to the masses. The characteristic of enthusiasm is the fundamental which ties sports, religion, and all things connected with fiery enthusiasm into the same fabric. All the fanfare. The search for transcendental experience is the same in all these things.

The desire for exuberant religious release and ecstasy is common to everyone and how we attain it is the question. That's the problem with mass worship and the dilution of sincerity.

Then comes the problem of salesmanship which is inherently dishonest, although can be fact-based. So in the end the big question is, "How much dishonesty-exaggeration" is acceptable?"

Maybe the only way to stay perfectly honest is to refrain from trying to convince others. You can see the puzzle.

19/12/07 3:17 PM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

The desire for exuberant religious release and ecstasy is common to everyone and how we attain it is the question.

And when we attain it then what does it mean? Do we keep re-attaining it? It seems to me that for those that seek ecstasy, obtaining it is almost guaranteed. Furthermore, it can be learned, there are techniques of ecstasy. But the ways in which it is attained and our initial experiences color our memories and present perceptions.

19/12/07 3:36 PM  
Blogger jm said...

And when we attain it then what does it mean? Do we keep re-attaining it? It seems to me that for those that seek ecstasy, obtaining it is almost guaranteed.

Maybe it's part of survival and comes in natural intervals. There's an element of ecstasy in a good laugh.

The loss of control of ecstatic experience appears to be necessary, but I think newness is part of it. I've found that the displacement of reality lessens with familiarity.

19/12/07 3:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

And when we attain it then what does it mean?

I think it could be the absence of meaning. Pure sensation with no control or translation.

19/12/07 4:00 PM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

I think it could be the absence of meaning. Pure sensation with no control or translation

It can make everything new. I've used ecstasy to completely change. I can equate it with shape shifting as well. If I want to shape shift, first become ecstatic. Then there is a sort of "tabula rasa" state and I can make the shift. I can do it to some extent, but I wonder how far it goes. Can people really shift into literal animal forms for example. How much of the techniques remain hidden or lost?

19/12/07 4:09 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I don't know about literal shape shifting but does that really matter? If all the sensations of the animal are experienced, that would be the same, wouldn't it? Maybe better.

How do you become ecsatic, unless it's a secret to be guarded?

Sometimes I think these shifts happen automatically in humans and it's a matter of cognition.

19/12/07 4:25 PM  
Blogger jm said...

It can make everything new.

The Golden Key.

19/12/07 4:27 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I also think literal shape shifting might be in the eye of the witness.

There's little doubt in my mind that the memory of all life forms are in our minds and can be accessed. I often feel like the animals are observing us as if they know more than we do. They get along with us better than we do among ourselves and I think better than they do, too, in the natural predatory world they inhabit. It's hard to tell who's more advanced. We want to shapeshift into their forms, yet I doubt the reverse is true. Most of the time we don't prey upon them and I think they like us for that.

19/12/07 4:35 PM  
Blogger m.p.k said...

I'm thinking there is a qualitative difference between ecstasy as part of a group ritual and that which is entered into alone.

19/12/07 5:48 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I'm sure there is. I would think you can go further alone not having to keep tabs on anything human outside your boundaries, but there could be added sensation with the group. It takes nerve to go out alone.

I've been doing it alone for the past few years and it's been tricky. I find myself grasping in my mind at times for connection to another but I think if I keep working with it I can eventually get past the person to person boundary. I think I'll get there as I mature.

We do have a sort of mental buddy system programmed for safety, I believe, and it could be hard to get past it. Not for the faint, the outer dimensions.

I think all rituals have a limiting effect. I think they're supposed to. They're really mundane. The further one goes I think the less one would need of a repeated pattern. Not applicable. Maybe for re-entering.

19/12/07 6:04 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I find that I'm very ritualistic in mundane affairs and I like it. But when I travel out, I go unprogrammed.

19/12/07 6:07 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Group rituals restrain me, There are some, however, that allow for individual movement within and timing as well. But these don't rely on a common activity.

I lived in a house of advanced seekers once in India and the ritual we developed was a coming together on the portico by the Ganges every few hours or so. A brief one. Then most would go back to solo activities. We ate together and played music at night. The nighttime draws the group closer. I was very young then.

19/12/07 6:13 PM  
Blogger jm said...

These are good thoughts.

19/12/07 6:16 PM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

Ecstasy can take so many forms. How about directed versus undirected? The magical idea of raising directed ecstatic group power, like the cone of power. Or A musical group that is the focal point of the audience's ecstatic journey. Individual ecstatic states can also be directed or undirected.

I had a thought about ecstasy directed toward God. Anything directed toward God or the creator or whatever we want to call that field gets evaluated according to universal principles, not aimed with "god power" with any groups particular will. This is protecting us in some cases from some of these less conscious "organized" groups.

When directing magical power, I don't direct it toward the field of the creator, but I do ask that this field filter out anything that would break the rules and create more karma. Directing it right at the field would probably just dissolve it. I've use this kind of power less and less as I age. I just don't really know if it is necessary to the unfolding of my path or to the world's benefit.

Magically directed ecstatic power I definitely see as being much less mitigated than when it's being all aimed at the divine source. Most of these organizations claiming to direct it to God are liberally skimming off the top.

I hope this makes sense, it's hard for me to put into words.

19/12/07 10:30 PM  
Blogger jm said...

This is a lot to contemplate. Because I am so Uranian and Sagittarian I don't direct it. The ecstasy. You have so much Saturn that directing it makes perfect sense, if it really can be directed.

Magical power and ecstasy are separate, I think. I would think magic can be directed more easily.

Ecstasy means displacement, so I gather that is out of body or the existing reality. If this is so, I think it disperses away from personal control into pure sensation. Release.

Magic is an art form, I believe, and it sounds to me like it should be directed.

I've use this kind of power less and less as I age. I just don't really know if it is necessary to the unfolding of my path or to the world's benefit.

Necessary to both. Some people are born with the skills and can develop them and use them to great benefit. I know you're one. Maybe you are aware of the dangers and responsibilities now. Pluto through your 12th house in the last 12 years would have taken you in and down to the source, and now coming out onto your Capricorn ascendant, you have the opportunity to develop it beautifully.

I know what you are talking about...directing toward divinity or not. I experience it in music. I've directed it to the divine and missed the people I think, so I feel like I should look at the people and give it directly to them. This is hard. I usually close my eyes a lot and feel for the divine connection, but I know I lose them to an extent. I'd like to do that maybe part of the time, but the earthlings are the ones who need it most.

Very interesting.

19/12/07 11:12 PM  
Blogger jm said...

You and I share the Mars-Neptune contact. You with Mars in Pisces. This is physical use of illusion in everything we do. Magic, fantasy. Making the unbelievable appear in physical reality.

Anything directed toward God or the creator or whatever we want to call that field gets evaluated according to universal principles, not aimed with "god power" with any groups particular will. This is protecting us in some cases from some of these less conscious "organized" groups.

Good points. I think it might be necessary to separate entirely from the group's will. Take the lead, with god as accompaniest, allowing us to shine forth through our personalities.

Maybe it's a link to god through the group as a whole. Like a completion of a circuit.

19/12/07 11:23 PM  
Blogger jm said...

There is something very telling me to about the ancient Buddhist prayer becoming physical through hip-hop. It's crazy but there is something behind it. Do we dance with god or sit obediently in penitence? Not participating, letting the priests carry on. Are we in awe and paralyzed or moving together with this god, almost as an equal?

These are the problems religious ritual is facing. The American Negro danced with god and danced their way to the Civil Rights Movement and amendment of the Constitution. The Movement started in the prayer houses of the South. I think we should become less afraid of god. See the entity more like us.

19/12/07 11:34 PM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

You have so much Saturn that directing it makes perfect sense, if it really can be directed.

The direction happens beforehand. This is how it can be done. Before entering the state, you pick the direction. If you don't pick it, then it could go anywhere. An old teacher of mine said "Be specific, or potluck will show up at your door". Then when you are in it, you aren't in control, but it's OK, your original intention carries you thru, and you come out where you aimed for.

You and I share the Mars-Neptune contact. You with Mars in Pisces. This is physical use of illusion in everything we do. Magic, fantasy. Making the unbelievable appear in physical reality.

This is so insightful! Yes I have spent years perfecting such illusions. It's funny when people want to know how it's done. If I break it down for them they're always surprised how hard it is. Why would they want to work so hard at something that isn't practical? Yet this is one of my favorite things. I love working on these things. To me they are highly meaningful. I like finding the fulcrum, the balancing point and then to play there.

20/12/07 10:43 AM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

I think it might be necessary to separate entirely from the group's will. Take the lead, with god as accompaniest, allowing us to shine forth through our personalities.

It can work both ways. The solo musician and the dynamic energy of the band.

20/12/07 10:48 AM  
Blogger m.p.k. said...

Do we dance with god or sit obediently in penitence? Not participating, letting the priests carry on. Are we in awe and paralyzed or moving together with this god, almost as an equal?

Dance! :-)

20/12/07 11:02 AM  
Blogger Tseka said...

dance!!

20/12/07 6:12 PM  
Anonymous yeshe_choden said...

Definitely, dance.

And definitely, set intention.

Isn't it interesting that Pluto in Sagittarius also saw the rise of Burning Man? :-)

20/12/07 9:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Yeshe, that is a great point. I wonder what it symbolizes.

20/12/07 10:16 PM  

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