The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

shivering gargoyles

with 2 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Gilman, Gilman, Gilman.

That note, attached to governmental correspondence, was signed Gilman. Impossible, unbelievable, and beyond sane reasoning… Gilman. As your humble narrator scuttled along in miserable mood, that certain day, I became convinced that my name was being called from some unknown point beyond the bulkheaded fence lines adorning that sewer fed ribbon of urban lore called the Newtown Creek.

I first heard the voice, while deep in denial at the Pulaski Bridge, a whispered gutteral which seemed like an isolated phenomena.

from wikipedia

Tutti Acceptance typically contains the concept of approval, it is important to note that in the psychospiritual use of the term infers non-judgmental Acceptance is contrasted with resistance, but that term has strong political and psychoanalytic connotations not applicable in many contexts. By groups and by individuals, acceptance can be of various events and conditions in the world; individuals may also accept elements of their own thoughts, feelings, and personal histories. For example, psychotherapeutic treatment of a person with depression or anxiety could involve fostering acceptance either for whatever personal circumstances may give rise to those feelings or for the feelings themselves. (Psychotherapy could also involve lessening an individual’s acceptance of various situations.)

Notions of acceptance are prominent in many faiths and meditation practices. For example, Buddhism’s first noble truth, “All life is suffering”, invites people to accept that suffering is a natural part of life. The term “Kabbalah” means literally acceptance.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Isolating myself in a guilty agony, hiding behind dark sunglasses and a long iPhone playlist which had finally wound- inevitably- to the darker side of Patti Smith, I skirted the Creek and made for the River of Sound.

Overwhelmed by its inevitability of oligarchy, I noticed that the auditory hallucination that my name was being called from the water had abided, and the decision to make haste for the safety of almond eyed Astoria was wise, back to the loving arms of Our Lady of the Pentacle and the unquestioning devotion of my little dog Pazuzu.

from wikipedia

Karma is the belief held by some major religions that a person’s actions cause certain effects in the current life and/or in future life, positively or negatively.

For example, if a person always does good deeds then it is believed that he or she will be “rewarded” for his or her behavior with fortunate events such as avoiding fatal accident or winning the lottery. If he or she always commits antagonistic behaviors, then it is believed that he will be punished with unfortunate events.

According to Buddhism, inequality amongst living beings is due not only to heredity, environment, “nature and nurture”, but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate.

Perplexed by the seemingly inexplicable, apparent disparity that existed among humanity, a young truth-seeker approached the Buddha and questioned him regarding this intricate problem of inequality:

“What is the cause, what is the reason, O Lord,” questioned he, “that we find amongst mankind the short-lived and long-lived, the healthy and the diseased, the ugly and beautiful, those lacking influence and the powerful, the poor and the rich, the low-born and the high-born, and the ignorant and the wise?”

The Buddha’s reply was:

“All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.”

He then explained the cause of such differences in accordance with the law of cause and effect.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Slipping and stumbling, my denial and self imposed hermitage blossomed into anger and rage, surely- the note signed by Gilman was nothing of the sort. The same agencies which have directed their gaze upon me are attempting to rub my nose in their power and my inability to react.

from wikipedia

Environmental determinism, also known as climatic determinism or geographical determinism, is the view that the physical environment, rather than social conditions, determines culture. Those who believe this view say that humans are strictly defined by stimulus-response (environment-behavior) and cannot deviate.

The fundamental argument of the environmental determinists was that aspects of physical geography, particularly climate, influenced the psychological mind-set of individuals, which in turn defined the behaviour and culture of the society that those individuals formed. For example, tropical climates were said to cause laziness, relaxed attitudes and promiscuity, while the frequent variability in the weather of the middle latitudes led to more determined and driven work ethics. Because these environmental influences operate slowly on human biology, it was important to trace the migrations of groups to see what environmental conditions they had evolved under.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Attempting to bargain with this malicious universe called New York City, a foul harlot indeed, I wandered into the empty corridor in a tightly compressed state of mind. Encounters with security men, and other creatures of the street not mentioned in the posting, formed a silo of despair about me.

from wikipedia

“Forbidden fruit” is any object of desire whose appeal is a direct result of the knowledge that it cannot or should not be obtained or something that someone may want but is forbidden to have. The metaphorical phrase forbidden fruit refers to the Book of Genesis, where it is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As a result of their decision to eat the fruit, Adam and Eve lost their innocence, became separated from God and were exiled from the garden where they were forced to adopt agriculture under less than desirable circumstances for a living.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Finally, as the vapor dulled sunbeams cast those queer shadows which form the tenebrous patterns distinctive of the Newtown Creek and its tributaries during the humid and hot months, your humble narrator was forced into acceptance of the notation- written in atavist hand on a scrap of brown kraft paper which smelled of salted cod- as genuine.

from wikipedia

The Qur’an doesn’t name this tree and it is always referred to as “the tree”. Muslims believe that when God created Adam and Eve, He told them that they could enjoy everything in the Garden but this tree, and so, Satan appeared to them and told them that the only reason God forbade them to eat from that tree is that they would become Angels or become immortals.

When they ate from this tree their nakedness appeared to them and they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the Garden. As a result of their sin, they were removed from heaven and placed on Earth to live and die. Consequently, they repented to God and asked for his forgiveness and were forgiven. It was decided that those who obey God and follow his path shall be rewarded with everlasting life in Heaven, and those who disobey God and stray away from his path shall be punished in Hell.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

By the time I came to Dutch Kills, at the Hunter’s point avenue bridge, I had managed to subsume this fact when I noticed that the hallucination had returned. A gurgling echo, which could have easily been the sound of some unknown machine reverbing along the cement, or some far off car stereo, or some physical effect caused by playing the music on my headphones too loudly for too long.

And I noticed that the vegetation along the shoreline was stained with the colour, and it was swaying against the breeze.

from wikipedia

The Biblical description of the garden says :

Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.[…] The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

There have been a number of claims as to the actual geographic location of the Garden of Eden, though many of these have little or no connection to the text of Genesis. Most put the Garden somewhere between Najaf and Kufa in the Middle East.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One thing I can tell you, lords and ladies of Newtown, is that the search for Gilman- rather than being retarded by this mysterious missive- will be redoubled. Whoever Gilman was, somebody in a high position does not want his story told. The note, written in old timey handwriting, is worrisome.

Gilman, who -and perhaps, what – were you?

from wikipedia

In many myths the chthonic serpent (sometimes a pair) lives in or is coiled around a Tree of Life situated in a divine garden. In the Genesis story of the Torah and Biblical Old Testament the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is situated in the Garden of Eden together with the tree of immortality. In Greek mythology Ladon coiled around the tree in the garden of the Hesperides protecting the entheogenic golden apples.

Similarly Níðhöggr (Nidhogg Nagar) the dragon of Norse mythology eats from the roots of the Yggdrasil, the World Tree.

Under yet another Tree (the Bodhi tree of Enlightenment), the Buddha sat in ecstatic meditation. When a storm arose, the mighty serpent king Mucalinda rose up from his place beneath the earth and enveloped the Buddha in seven coils for seven days, not to break his ecstatic state.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] Enigma, my search for the elusive final resting place of the Massachusetts based dealer in far eastern art has taken me to distant and forgotten sections of the City of Greater New York. I have consulted with asiatic mystics in Manhattan’s Chinatown, visited a heretical Kabbalist in Brooklyn, and have drawn the ire of certain extant allies of the dead man whose influence and reach extend into the federal government and modernity itself who wish me to remain silent on the subject. […]

  2. […] “Enigma, my search for the elusive final resting place of the Massachusetts based dealer in far eastern art has taken me to distant and forgotten sections of the City of Greater New York. I have consulted with asiatic mystics in Manhattan’s Chinatown, visited a heretical Kabbalist in Brooklyn, and have drawn the ire of certain extant allies of the dead man whose influence and reach extend into the federal government and modernity itself who wish me to remain silent on the subject.” […]


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