Omnium Gatherum: April 6, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 6, 2019

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  • Harry Potter books burned by Polish priests alarmed by magic” — BBC; from the Late-To-The-Party dept.

    BBC Burning Harry Potter in Gdansk

    “Catholic priests in northern Poland have burned books they consider to be sacrilegious, including ones from the Harry Potter boy wizard series.

    An evangelical group, the SMS from Heaven Foundation, published pictures of the burning – which took place in the city of Gdansk – on Facebook.”

  • Harry Potter books burned by Polish priests alarmed by magic – BBC News” — Alex Sumner, Sol Ascendans; from the And-Then-Spank-Me dept.

    “Yes indeed! If these Catholic priests want to burn any books associated with magick and witchcraft, by rights the first book they should be setting on fire is the Bible itself!

    Now I appreciate that some may find this idea a little controversial, so I propose a compromise:

    I hereby give these priests permission to burn the occult fiction novels of Alex Sumner – so long as they pay for them first.”

  • Yearbook Weirdness. From Akron’s 1917 yearbook.” — Craig Conley, Abecedarian

    Conley Yearbook weirdness from Akron's 1917 yearbook

  • The Mormon church’s new ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy” — Lauren Jackson, CNN [HT Ulysses]

    “Claiming to speak for God is a tricky business — especially when God changes his mind, often, on hot-button political issues after receiving immense public backlash.”

  • Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices by Ian A Barker, foreword by Bhakha Tulku Pema Rigdzin Rinpoche, due in May, from Inner Traditions

    Baker Tibetan Yoga

    “A visual presentation of Tibetan yoga, the hidden treasure at the heart of the Tibetan Tantric Buddhist tradition

    • Explains the core principles and practices of Tibetan yoga with illustrated instructions

    • Explores esoteric practices less familiar in the West, including sexual yoga, lucid dream yoga, and yoga enhanced by psychoactive substances

    • Draws on scientific research and contemplative traditions to explain Tibetan yoga from a historical, anthropological, and biological perspective

    • Includes full-color reproductions of previously unpublished works of Himalayan art

    Tibetan yoga is the hidden treasure at the heart of the Tibetan Tantric Buddhist tradition: a spiritual and physical practice that seeks an expanded experience of the human body and its energetic and cognitive potential. In this pioneering and highly illustrated overview, Ian A. Baker introduces the core principles and practices of Tibetan yoga alongside historical illustrations of the movements and beautiful, full-color works of Himalayan art, never before published.

    Drawing on Tibetan cultural history and scientific research, the author explores Tibetan yogic practices from historical, anthropological, and biological perspectives, providing a rich background to enable the reader to understand this ancient tradition with both the head and the heart. He provides complete, illustrated instructions for meditations, visualizations, and sequences of practices for the breath and body, as well as esoteric practices including sexual yoga, lucid dream yoga, and yoga enhanced by psychoactive plants. He explains how, while Tibetan yoga absorbed aspects of Indian hatha yoga and Taoist energy cultivation, this ancient practice largely begins where physically-oriented yoga and chi-gong end, by directing prana, or vital energy, toward the awakening of latent human abilities and cognitive states. He shows how Tibetan yoga techniques facilitate transcendence of the self and suffering and ultimately lead to Buddhist enlightenment through transformative processes of body, breath, and consciousness.

    Richly illustrated with contemporary ethnographic photography of Tibetan yoga practitioners and rare works of Himalayan art, including Tibetan thangka paintings, murals from the Dalai Lama’s once-secret meditation chamber in Lhasa, and images of yogic practice from historical practice manuals and medical treatises, this groundbreaking book reveals Tibetan yoga’s ultimate expression of the interconnectedness of all existence.”

  • Part 2 of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina keeps the Harry Potter influence going. The new episodes deepen the characters and themes and draw on Star Wars and Lord of the Rings” — Noel Murphy, The Verge

    Murphy The Verge Sabrina season 2 Netflix

    “Everyone who’s been enjoying the magician-in-training aspect of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina should be happy to know that the second half of the show’s first season doubles down on its debt to Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer while also drawing some on Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. One of the most enduring ideas popularized by George Lucas and J.R.R. Tolkien is that world-changing powers can easily be misused. In this latest Sabrina run, the heroine’s decision to sign her name in “The Book of the Beast” at the end of the season’s first half means she’s now one of the most capable witches on Earth, and those new abilities are changing her.”

  • Harold Bloom: Anti-Inkling?” — Michael Weingrad, Jewish Review of Books [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “Bloom, though, views Lindsay’s novel as a kind of spontaneous Gnostic scripture. In his reading, Crystalman is the oppressive god, or demiurge, who according to Gnostic theology keeps us locked in the material world and ignorant of our radically free natures. Whether or not this is what Lindsay had in mind, in The Flight to Lucifer Bloom makes the Gnostic content didactically explicit.

    In Bloom’s version, the alien planet Lucifer is inhabited by warring tribes named for ancient Gnostic sects: Marcionites, Mandaeans, Sethites, etc. Lindsay’s Krag is renamed Valentinus, after the much-reviled 2nd-century Gnostic theologian. Meanwhile, the Maskull substitute, Thomas Perscors, has been turned by Bloom into a poor cousin of Conan the Barbarian. He battles the planet’s demiurge with sword and shield but more often struggles to escape the sexual snares of several monstrous yet alluring female deities.”

  • Lust Never Sleeps. Two new books on sex and power.” — Charlotte Shane, Book Forum; about The Trouble with Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power by David Shields and Screwed: How Women Are Set Up to Fail at Sex by Lili Boisvert [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    Shields The Trouble with Men

    Boisvert Screwed

    “We’ve had half a century with The Second Sex, The Dialectic of Sex, Sexual Politics, and all the rest, yet straight men of letters still regard their fossilized sexism and quotidian horniness as windows into existential wisdom. Hard again! the male author marvels while streaming free porn in his book-lined office. What does it all mean?

  • Was the real Socrates more worldly and amorous than we knew?” — Armand D’Angour, Aeon

    “The real Socrates must remain elusive but, in the statements of Aristotle, Aristoxenus and Clearchus of Soli, we get intriguing glimpses of a different Socrates from the one portrayed so eloquently in Plato’s writings.”

  • Handmade Black Skull Dice (Set of 5) from Secret Warehouse

    Secret Warehouse black skull dice

    “Up your game to a hardcore level at the gaming table with this Black Skull Dice Set. Each dice features tiny skulls to represent each D6 roll faces, each intricately handcrafted to add a morbid character. Makes a perfect party accessory or surprise a skull-lover friend. 🎲☠️”

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