Saturday, July 25, 2020
the falling of dusk after a warm day.
Friday, July 24, 2020
we lack the ability to attend
Ni a fi gbà ogbón ríbí-ríbí.
Bí a ò bá ní ogbón ríbí-ríbí nínú Àì kó oògùn ríbí-ríbí.
Bí a ò bá kó oògùn ríbí-ríbí, Àì wò àrùn ríbí-ríbí.
Bí a ò bá wò àrùn ríbí-ríbí,
Àì gbà owó ríbí-ríbí.
Bí a ò bá gbà owó ríbí-ríbí, Àì rí nkan ríbí-ríbí gbé se.
Is what we use to acquire profound wisdom
Without these penetrating sensibilities
We are incapable of producing potent healing therapeutic
If we lack the capacity to make powerful medicines We will be unable to mitigate deep suffering, profound illness and destruction
If we lack the ability to attend to these forms of extreme disruption
We will not achieve wealth and prosperity
Without wealth and prosperity
We cannot make significant contributions to the health and well being of our community.
(Ifá verse (from Ológbón Méjì, the source of deep wisdom)
AbstractIncorporating Divine Presence, Orchestrating Medical Worlds: Cultivating Corporeal Capacities of Therapeutic Power and Transcendence in Ifá Everyday PracticebyAmy Harriet GardnerJoint Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Anthropology with the University of California, San Francisco University of California, Berkeley Professor Laurence Cohen, Chair
This dissertation focuses on the cultivation of specialized corporeal capacities of therapeutic power and transcendence among Ifá medical-ritual specialists in Yorùbá communities in contemporary Nigeria (and the resonance and implications of their practices within a global context). Rather than interrogate “medical (and/or religious) knowledge” as the object of inquiry, this project explores the power of the learning process –– as a practice of everyday living –– to cultivate, within student-apprentice and healer-sage alike, a distinctive (sonically and spiritually informed) somatic mode of being-in, perceiving, interpreting, and attending-to-the-world, and thus, to orchestrate Ifá’s distinctive medical and religious life-world. In so doing, this dissertation seeks to redress the historical stigmatization of African and Diasporic religions, subjectivities, and knowledges within the scholarly and popular imaginations and to contribute to recent scholarship on sensuous and sacred ways of knowing.An ethnography of embodiment, the senses, and practices of everyday living, this work is fundamentally informed, methodologically and theoretically, by a phenomenological approach and the author’s embodied experiences (as a professionally trained dancer; as a physician; and –– in her extensive training and continuous, on-going learning process –– as an Ifá healer- specialist). Focusing on the embodied and the sensorial as formative principles in, respectively, the mundane and specialized medical-devotional (Ifá) life-worlds of the Yorùbá, this project explores the ways in which the sonically-informed sensorium of Yorùbá society –– as articulated through common and specialized practices of everyday living –– cultivates (and naturalizes) particular ways of being-in, attending-to, and making-sense-of intersubjective experience and the phenomenally given world for the populace at large and for Ifá specialists, in particular.
itself through itself
(from cereal bowl)
Friday twenty forthwashing machine twists, splashessheets from boat and bed
Thursday, July 23, 2020
point worth contemplating
“HUMANKIND CANNOT BEAR VERY MUCH REALITY”
That from T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets, his “answer” to the problems he raised in The Wasteland. Or at least I think it is. I didn’t understand The Wasteland the first time I read it, and my comprehension hasn’t improved much since.
Few lines capture the central neurosis of our age better. Our relationship to reality is not an uncompromised one. It is tarnished, marked by sin, and the refusal to bear responsibility for our actions in it. At the end of C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, Lewis wakes in a fit of horror because he has seen a glimpse of the reality beneath the shadows, the fixed eternal that is the accumulation of a million choices distended through time, and he cannot bear the sight. God, we hear in those pages, is the Fact to whom the universe answers, and the Fact on which all other facts depend. It is a point worth contemplating. (—from Mere Orthodoxy)
It is a point worth contemplating
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
so who knows truly whence it has arisen
Rig Veda, Mandala 10, hymn CXXIX. Creation.
Nasadiya Sukta ("Not the non-existent")
Then even nothingness was not, nor existence.
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?
Then there were neither death nor immortality,
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.
At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.
In the beginning desire descended on it -
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is, is kin to that which is not.
And they have stretched their cord across the void,
and know what was above, and what below.
Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.
Below was strength, and over it was impulse.
But, after all, who knows, and who can say
whence it all came, and how creation happened?
The gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truly whence it has arisen?
Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows - or maybe even he does not know.
(—The Creation in Rig Veda 10:129, A. L. Basham's Translation)
(See also: Seven English Versions of Rig Veda 10:129)
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
loosely knit association
Monday, July 20, 2020
send in the troopers
what is that sound
Zazen is Good for Nothing, by Shohaku Okumura