Sunday, April 2, 2017

Movie Review: Saban's Power Rangers


So on March 23rd I got to see the movie Saban's Power Rangers in theaters a day before it was released nationwide. All I have to say is that it was EXCELLENT. I had a great time. I went in with almost no expectations. All I wanted was a fun movie with robots fighting monsters, and I got that, but I also got a movie with great characters. I seriously cared about everyone in this film, especially the character Billy Kranston (the Blue Ranger), who I felt was the heart of the whole adventure. 

The story as a whole really resonated with me. A big part of that is that my formative years were the 1990's, and the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers show was a huge part of my after-school curriculum. Regular teenagers gaining phenomenal abilities and technology from an extraterrestrial entity was an amazing premise to me. A little campy, but the traits of strength, leadership, teamwork, and fair play really translated well from the television show to the movie. It's still Power Rangers while being a little bit more adult in its context. The characters all have real world problems that are genuinely relatable while still being part of strange space opera. 

One thing I really enjoyed was the transition of color. The movie starts off in all grey and muted tones but as they progress in their soulic evolution into Rangers, they colors of the film slowly brighten up until we finally have the same bright and vivid comic book like colors from the old television show.

As a whole, the moral or lesson of the movie is somewhat hidden away from plain view, but what I took away from it was to just be yourself and not let your personal issues, fears, or the people around you decide who you want to be. The teens can only become the Rangers once they achieve a certain level of personal enlightenment and can accept themselves and their flaws and realize they can always be better than what is expected of them. 

Excellent film, everyone should give it a watch.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I want to visit the Tomb of Jesus Christ in Japan!


I was in Japan back in 2007, and it was a life-changing experience for me. I met a lot of wonderful people who I'm still friends with to this day. One thing I learned about the Japanese people was how they were predominately irreligious. Rather than being religious, they were more superstitious. Many people aren't against religion, and in fact, some facet of Buddhist or Shintoism is a large part of their life. Instead their secular spiritual beliefs are expressed through charms that are purchased and blessed at local temples and shrines. 

Now each shrine has a particular duty, or deity that it is dedicated to. I visited quite a number of these places while I was there and they were all beautiful. What I didn't know then, and what I found out only recently, was that there is a burial site and shrine dedicated to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Now, had I known about this sacred place I would have made time to go visit this shrine. What a strange anomaly from a different time. Shinto-Buddhist hybrid shrines is one thing, but this is that dedicated to the messiah of a different religion. How strange! I love it!


So according to this new folklore, Jesus spent time in Japan during the "lost years" in the Holy Bible between when he was a young man and before his eventual crucifixion. In Japan Jesus studied the language, culture, and the theologies before returning to Judea. The sign above shows the "truth" behind the bible. How Jesus' younger brother, Isukiri was truly the one who died on the cross! Jesus escaped his own crucifixion and took his brothers remains back to Japan. There, Jesus married a beautiful woman named Miyuko, had children and died at the age of 106 years old! Amazing! He was also apparently a garlic farmer, which is a weird bit of extra information for this tale. This tale of Jesus and his brother is part of a larger series of books, and these texts contain some rather strange information:
"The Japanese original is the work of the self-styled cosmoarcheologist Wado Kosaka (1947-2002), who not only transcribed the original “Takenouchi Documents” but also — according to the preamble to Volume 1 — attracted national attention in the 1970s when he contacted a UFO on live television.

Although the documents described in the book are widely considered a hoax — Kyoto University religious scholar Toji Kamata has called them “fakelore” — they nevertheless contain all sorts of fascinating material, including descriptions of how ancestors of the human race came from outer space, what happened to Atlantis, and where Jesus Christ ended his life (this small town in present-day Aomori Prefecture, of course)." - (Japan Times)


A cross marks the spot where the remains of Jesus supposedly are. I did a bit of research on the documents that say he was buried in this spot, and they are part of a "new religion" called "Mahikari" ("True Light"). I'm not sure if there is much of a movement left with this religion, but there seem to be a few remnants of this existence here and there. Every year, in June, there is a festival and ceremony to celebrate Jesus and Isukiri and their deification. There is also a museum with all sorts of artifacts on display. This all takes place in a little town in Japan called Shingo, in the Aomori Prefecture. That's a long way from Jerusalem, and they say Jesus crossed over Alaska to get there somehow! 

What a far out place. I don't know what to make of it. I'm not even convinced the locals care of the tales are true or not because its such a boon for the economy there every year. On one hand this might be a complete insult to a strict Christian, but on the other hand at least this community is trying to make some sort of connection with such an important religious figure. It's all how you look at it. 

Personally I think this is pretty spectacular, and I really hope I can visit this shrine someday. 


Further Reading: 

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2011/12/25/travel/behold-christs-grave-in-shingo-aomori-prefecture/#.WG2mKFUrKM9

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

http://www.takenouchi-documents.com/

http://therovingroninreport.blogspot.com/2012/04/visiting-grave-of-jesus-christ-in.html

http://travel.cnn.com/tokyo/visit/did-jesus-christ-live-and-die-northern-japan-065383/

http://www.weirdjapan.org/places/tomb-of-christ/

https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/jesus-in-japan-the-little-known-legend-franz-lidz/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-little-known-legend-of-jesus-in-japan-165354242/?all

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/tomb-of-jesus-christ

http://www.sukyomahikari.org/index.html

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dream Journal: Hunter S. Thompson VS. The Zombie Apocalypse



Hunter S. Thompson is probably one of my favorite people to read about. His books are all phenomenal, his personality was outrageous, and his views were so amazingly honest it's no wonder he became the cultural icon that he is. He's one of my heroes if I'm being honest; I have such a high regard and respect for him that it saddens me to know that I'll never get to meet him in person. Thankfully though, this doesn't mean he can't appear as an apparition in one of my dreams. 



So last night I dreamt that Hunter S. Thompson himself wanted to show me and some friends the different classes of society.  Hunter had a sinister sort of grin on his face as he looked at us and how nervous were looked. I was nervous for sure, but I was pretty excited prospect of Hunter taking us on one of his tours. Hunter started to tell us about there being two classes of people; freethinkers and zombies. Freethinkers were often poor, came from small towns or ghettos, and prefer being honest and hardworking than being spoon fed.

I'm not sure if this is how Hunter actually viewed the world, but it is definitely something coming from my subconscious. I do feel that most people are "asleep" or "zombified" to some degree, especially when you consider how wealth can blind you to the real treasures of the world. And if you read any of the works by Hunter, you can definitely see his disdain for those elite people and officials who systematically rob from the poorest of citizens.

Near the end of the dream Hunter takes me and my friends to the second floor of a two story structure. The first floor was filled with good people, who were genuine and kind, and just trying to help one another. The second floor where Hunter took us was filled with literal zombies who looked down from giant windows to stare at the people on the first floor. The zombies seriously hated the people below, and blamed all of their misfortunes and their current states on them. They killed the freethinkers from the first floor out of anger and devoured them in hopes of gaining their happiness.


When Hunter finally forced us to enter the second floor we saw all sorts of riches and treasures, and we were in awe of them. Then we noticed that the zombies were all glaring at us with their red glowing eyes, as if our very existence was disgusting to them. They wanted us dead, and Hunter wanted to ruin their day. Hunter started to fire a shot gun he had brought with him into the air to scare them, then he aimed for their heads and blew their rotten brains out. He told us to start running towards the giant window that was across the way from us.

While we ran and ran, Hunter kept shooting the zombies, challenging them, and cursing them out. My friends and I just ran, scared and exhilarated towards the giant window. The window was something you would probably see in a cathedral as it was arched and ornate, but the glass was pure white. I screamed and asked Hunter why are we going to that window, and he replied that the zombies were afraid too look out this particular one. When we finally reached the window we looked out and saw nothing but a endless white landscape. Hunter told us to jump through, and we obviously refused. He then called us pansies and pushed us through the glass window, which brought in the brightest light I could ever imagine. It was like staring at the sun. 

The dream ended with Hunter telling us to enjoy the experience while we can, and to savor the glow. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Research: The Laughing Buddha



Hotei, or Bu-dai, the Laughing Buddha, is without a doubt one of the most beloved symbols and entities in Eastern metaphysics. Although the mainstream public doesn't know much about him, Hotei is still relentlessly popular and loved because of his laughing face and giant belly. Hotei is a symbol of good luck and fortune, of hope and prosperity, and a protector of children. But, he is not the Buddha. Hotei is a Buddha, and is venerated for sure with shrines and temples and statues dedicated to his visage, but Hotei was just a happy and good hearted Buddhist monk and not the founder of the Buddhist religion.


The Buddhist religion was founded by Guatama Sidartha after he gave up a life of royalty and dedicated his life to meditation and the eventual discovery of the truths that became the foundation for his teachings. Hotei, was a monk possibly through Chan Buddhism, one of the many sects of Buddhism that branched out through China. Hotei was a kindly monk who didn't so much preach Buddhism, but lived it and allowed his actions to speak for themselves. He owned very little; just his prayer beads, his robes, and a cloth sack to carry goodies and money for children and those in need. The Chinese characters that make up his name read as "Bu-dai" or "Cloth Sack", in reference to the bag he carried; it may also be a reference to his huge belly. So Hotei's real name isn't really known, only his nickname. There is some evidence to suggest his name was actually "Keishi".


The tales of Hotei, and his kindness, traveled with Buddhism to Japan where he was integrated within their cosmology and became one of the Seven Lucky Gods. There, Hotei played much of the same role he did in China, but in addition to all his previous luck blessings, he was also considered to be the "patron saint" of bars and restaurants. Hotei is a jolly and fun loving spirit who enjoys the simplicity of life and just wants others to do the same.  


I probably should have mentioned before, but the word "Buddha" only refers to teachers in Buddhism. In the West we sometimes have misconceptions that Buddha was the "god" of Buddhism, but that's not the case. According to the Lotus Sutra, a sacred text in Buddhism, any living creature can be a Buddha; people, animals, plants, etc., because we can all be great teachers. Although Hotei isn't the Buddha, he is still a magnificient example of a Buddha. A genuine human being who loves all and helps those in need. 


Further Reading:

http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/hotei.shtml

http://www.dharmanet.org/coursesM/31/bodhisattva7b.htm

http://www.existentialbuddhist.com/tag/hotei/

http://www.newsfinder.org/site/more/hotei_pu_tai_maitreya_all_known_as_the_laughing_buddha/


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dream Journal: Hippopotamus Aliens!? My First Dream of the New Year!


I really, really wish I could remember the full narrative of this dream. It was absolutely trippy and cinematic so I wish I could describe it in more detail, but I've forgotten too much of it to make any sense of it. What I can remember is that the locations were all familiar to me, so I must have dreamed of these locations before. The one thing I can remember very vividly though is the main focus of this dream was a humanoid hippopotamus man who was in search of something, or on a mission from somewhere. 


I know that "Hippo-man" was benevolent because he wasn't aggressive in anyway. I've heard that hippopotamus are fairly aggressive in the wild, and are much meaner than their cute appearances let on. I remember Hippo-man was walking upright, and examining his surroundings. I kind of remember him carrying a clipboard but I don't think that's what he was holding. Maybe more of a device like a tablet or iPad, or something similar to that. The environment he was interacting in was huge, like a vacant underground city system similar to the New York City subway, but somehow grander. Old Victorian era architecture was everywhere; buildings, spires, chapels, etc. It was all quite beautiful. 


As to what Hippo-man was looking for, I'm not sure. That information as well as a lot of other information has been lost in my wake state. But I know he was searching for something that concerned me. That's all I got though, all other information is lost. 

Now after a bit of research on hippos and dreams here what I found: 

"Hippopotamus can show aggression in the wild when its territory is threatened or he feels cornered. He is an animal equally at home in the water as it is on land. This gives him the ability to blend into any environment. Hippo is usually a peace loving creature until he feels his home and family are under threat. Then he lashes out, becoming unpredictably dangerous. 
For hippo to visit your dreams, it can symbolize the aggressive characteristics in you. It is a reminder to tap into your hidden strengths. Use your power and influence to achieve the best outcomes. You are more empowered than you think. Hippo can also mean you are being territorial. You feel threatened. Someone or something is pushing you into a corner. Who is overstepping your boundaries? Who is trying to manipulate their way into your life? What is it precisely that makes you feel this way? 
A visit from hippo can also mean your life has been emotionally turbulent for a while and it is a time where this is cleared. This may come from forgiveness, understanding, or just being ready to move on You will find peace and grow into your future." - Dreamstop



 "If Hippopotamus has come into your Dream: 
A Hippopotamus can represent emotional clearing, or emotional turmoil. If it is a baby hippo and you are looking after it the dream may be a indicating that a big event is occurring in your life, one that will grow and claim much of your time. 
To see a group of hippopotamuses in your dream suggests that you need to escape from the daily grind and relax. 
Alternatively, to see a Hippopotamus in your dream often symbolizes your hidden strengths and your aggressive nature. You have more influence and power than you realize. There is also the possibility that it indicates that you are being territorial. Is someone is overstepping their boundaries?" - Spirit-Animals

So, I'm not sure what to make of these interpretations. I feel like they apply to my dream somewhat but aren't perfect fits for how I felt after I woke up. Because last night I spent New Years Eve with my family, drinking and eating, I woke up feeling a bit groggy and tired. Emotionally I felt pretty happy to be in a new cycle, because I have hopes for 2017 being a lot better for me and others than 2016.

If I ever dream of the Hippo-man again I will make an update. For now I will take this dream to symbolize my change and as a positive transition into this new year. 

Happy New Year everyone! ❤👽❤

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016!


Happy New Years Eve everyone! I hope you all have a beautiful and successful 2017! This year has been a roller coaster for a lot of us, and filled with various issues and concerns about our global political climate, but hopefully it will all go better than we hope it will. I also know that the various celebrity deaths have brought down the spirits of a lot of us because so many artists we admired and respected have moved on into the next life. It's understandable.

This is a time to let go of all of that. Now we are in a position where we can truly let go of the shortcomings of this year and plan ahead for the future. Hopefully things will go our way, but if not we can still have some hope in what the future will bring. Every moment in life is a time for change, and you're never too bad off that you can't improve yourself or your life in some capacity. Keep your friends and family close, but don't be afraid of making some new friends too. Be more social, go out more often, and try new things. The old you is dead and gone, and the new you will thrive and create a beautiful new way. 

Goodbye 22016! Thank you for the bad experiences and the eye-openers! Welcome 2017, let's see what new wonders await us. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Discordianism



Discordians believe that both chaos and order are equally important. They also believe that chaos and order are both illusions. Their deity for worship is Eris, the Goddess of Discord. The Discordian Society, and Discordianism itself is a 40 year old religious movement centered around their bible, the "Principia Discordia" by Malaclypse the Younger and Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst way back in 1965. 

Discordianism is unique in that it is either a parody of religion, or a true religion that veils itself as a parody. There is no true official governing body, and the Discordians themselves seem to revel in the confusion that their faith brings. After reading the "Principia Discordia", and some of the material written by the reverends and popes of Discordia, I can honestly say that Discordianism is a living and breathing contradiction of itself, and in the best way possible. It really is both a joke and a religion at the same time. You are allowed to choose how you follow Discordiansim without limitations.


The version of the "Principia Discordia" that I purchased is called "Jonesboro's House of Eris' Science and Fnord Committee Presents The Affordable and House Official MAGNUM OPIATE OF MALACLYPSE THE YOUNGER Principia Discordia" which is the original text encompassed in a new format by Rev. Timothy Edward Bowen. It's really quite the beautiful format for this reprinting. It fits very nicely on my shelf alongside my Church of the SubGenius books. It's also the least expensive version of this book you can currently purchase. The "Principia Discorida" is available to read online for free since the book is in the public domain, but I prefer to hold a book in my own hands. I've always felt that was an important part of the reading experience. 


Now, as I mentioned before, there is all sorts of written material created by Discordian followers, and because of the way the religion is founded, it is all canonical to the original source. You can say or write any sort of narrative you like and it will count as part of the liturgies of this religion. There are no limits or true dogma to hold you back. For example, last night I purchased a Kindle book called "The Callipygian Grimoire: Discordian Activity & Spell Book" which was just a series of strange children's puzzles, pictures of Elvis Presley, and bizzare claims of what makes up the Discordian zodiac. Is there any hidden context or philosophy behind the symbols and puzzles of this book? Well, if there were any, they were lost on me. And that's sort of the point isn't it? With Discordianism you are supposed to hide your intentions, confuse your readers and followers, and allow anyone to create anything. 

Discordianism is also one the foundations of what's called "Dischord Magick" or "Chaos Magick" but that I feel is a topic for another day. Trying to understand Discordianism by itself is already starting to make my head spin. All I can really say is read the books, check out the websites, and Hail Eris!

Below are some artifacts, images, links, and other information to start your journey on this confusing path. 











"Please feel free and worship at your leisure."


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http://home.pacific.net.au/~drjon/eris.html

http://www.principiadiscordia.com/

http://www.lazaruscorporation.co.uk/articles/principia-discordia 

http://hyperdiscordia.crywalt.com/