Search Results for Urban Legend
A kind of modern folk tale of highly questionable veracity but told as if true.
Urban legends often invoke strong emotions and are passed on by word of mouth, through the print media or via the internet.
Ghost stories, vampire tales and the fanciful idea of creepy things living in city sewers would be just some examples.
Urban legend is said to differ from mythology, especially urban myths, in that myths usually carry some kind of supernatural connotation, along with the contemporary understanding that they are essentially untrue.
And unlike myth, urban legends apparently linger in the imagination as if they may be true, however exaggerated they might become.
But this distinction seems spurious when we consider that many Hindus, for instance, really believe that the myth of Krishna is not myth but reality, as do many Christians take literally aspects of the Bible which arguably are mythic.
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Jim Hendrix (Johnny Allen Hendrix, 1942-1970) was a legendary rock guitarist and songwriter whose innovative, haunting, and almost voodoo-like technique has influenced music and musicians to this day, to include the classical violinist Nigel Kennedy.
Hendrix’s song lyrics often point to a kind of gnosticism – “Have you ever been experienced? Well I am.” He also sings about his psychiatric diagnosis: “Manic Depression’s a frustrating mess.”
Although his work touches on mysticism, it seems to be influenced by heavy drugs and arguably not a form of mysticism that leads to a healthy spiritual life.
For decades it’s been rumored that Hendrix put LSD tabs underneath his headband while performing live. So drug-filled perspiration from his forehead would apparently flow down into his eyes to be absorbed there into his bloodstream, almost like a time-release mechanism that kept him high. (Another version of this urban legend is that he cut his forehead before putting the LSD tab on top of the wound, and then covered it with a headband.)
Hendrix died in 1970, probably due to an unintentional overdose of sleeping pills, taken after a night of partying. He was only 27 years old, an age which seems to have an uncanny and tragic significance in rock music.
His career and death grouped him with Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones as one of the 27 Club, a group including iconic 1960s rock stars who suffered drug-related deaths at the age of 27 within a two year period, leaving legacies in death that have eclipsed the popularity and influence they experienced during their lifetimes. Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse were later added to this list, also dying at the age of 27.¹
In hindsight, its tempting to ask if Hendrix’s life would have turned out better if only he’d hooked up with some kind of spiritual guide or director.
It’s a moot point, of course. His greatness as a guitarist was probably linked to his lifestyle choices. So we might say that he was a great artist but not a great mystic.
Having said that, he certainly didn’t let fame go to his head:
“I feel guilty when people say I’m the greatest on the scene… Your name doesn’t mean a damn, it’s your talents and your feelings that matter. You’ve got to know much more than just the technicalities of the notes; you’ve got to know what goes between the notes.”
- ICT Pick: Jimi Hendrix, “West Coast Seattle Boy” (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Jimi Hendrix Motivation | Music Monday (krismbeal.com)
- An Unfortunate Anniversary – Jimi Hendrix and What Killed Him? (musiccourt.wordpress.com)
- Quick Fact – Jimi Hendrix (joetroiano.wordpress.com)
- FABTV: Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock ’69, “Fire” (fabsugar.com)
- Are You Experienced? Rock Legend Jimi Hendrix [Photos] (wcbsfm.radio.com)
- Did Jimi Hendrix and Ted Nugent ever Jam together (wiki.answers.com)
- Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child (rikrawling.wordpress.com)
- VIDEO: Jimi Hendrix Death Announcement (ABC News 9-18-70) – RIP Jimi, The Experience Always Lives On! (psychedelichippiemusic.blogspot.com)
- Quotation of the Week: Jimi Hendrix (4) (irom.wordpress.com)
The internet (a.k.a. WWW, World Wide Web, the web, the net) is changing so rapidly that every time I come back to update this entry (that is, every few years), I find it hopelessly outdated.
First developed by the USA military in response to the Russian Sputnik satellite of 1957, the web really came to maturity in the 1990s, but free Telnet access had been available in the US since 1975.
Since dominating the market in the 90s, the web remains relatively new and fast changing. And although it didn’t create a global utopia, the internet does represent a whole new vista for mankind’s ability to share information.
Not just a massive, worldwide encyclopedia, the web is a medium – some would say “space” – where those with access to a computer and an ISP (internet service provider) may create their own web sites to express personal views, share information, communicate or sell goods and services.
In its beginnings, many hailed the internet as the new organ of democracy, others saw it as the royal road to riches. Then came the so-called dot.com winter where a large number of internet businesses went bust. Early idealistic and get-rich-quick thinking about the internet was gradually replaced by a more realistic view of its tremendous potential.
Although an exciting media technology, the web operates within existing global structures. As such, its economic and transformational potential depends on a variety of factors and, at bottom, choices made by human beings and their governing bodies.
While the web continues to get bigger and faster, specialty features like customized headline search involving RSS (really simple syndication) and various applications (Apps), in combination with new wireless technologies have made the internet an even more effective tool for gathering information. And social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, Flickr and free software like Skype have pretty much changed the way we relate as a species.
All this change has taken place with a simultaneous growth in hardware. Computer processors are always getting speedier, and short and long term memories larger. So a good computer of just a few years ago is really just a mediocre one today. And anyone who surfs the web a lot will be able to tell the difference in less than two seconds flat!
- Celebrating Marshall McLuhan (sandmanhotelgroup.wordpress.com)
- Further Reflections on McLuhan, TV, and the Web (billives.typepad.com)
- Internet can be crucial to a teen’s psychological development (scienceblog.com)
- McLuhan At 100: Five Things To Read (huffingtonpost.ca)
- Addicted to the Internet (laurenlocks.wordpress.com)
- Early Media Prophet Is Now Getting His Due (nytimes.com)
- Minutes to a Healthier You: Walk Away From the Laptop (fitsugar.com)
- ‘Finding yourself’ on Facebook (eurekalert.org)
- Marshall McLuhan’s legacy: Don’t downplay the comic books (cbc.ca)
- Internet Addiction Quiz (mraybould.wordpress.com)
In folk religion, world myth and urban legend, Lycanthropy is the ability of a human being to change into an animal. Lycanthropy can result from a curse. But when the transformation is undertaken willingly, the animal is usually the most powerful creature in its environment.
In Europe and Northern Asia, the so-called Shamanic ‘power animal‘ usually takes the form of a wolf or bear. In India, the tiger features prominently. Africa‘s most popular power animal is the leopard.
Lycanthropy also refers to a kind of psychological frenzy where one believes or fantasizes about being a wolf or a werewolf.
Psychologically speaking, “the wolf” this could represent anyone who at first appears normal, even admirable. But over time he or she makes little slips (i.e. parapraxes) that reveal some deeply entrenched character flaw or unresolved complex.
- Werewolf Myths and Legends (socyberty.com)
- [Festival of Fright/Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Werewolves from The Savage AfterWorld (savageafterworld.blogspot.com)
- 1991 Alka Seltzer Commercial Starring Guillermo Del Toro as a Werewolf (collider.com)
- Wolfman Official Site Launches (screenrant.com)
- Editor’s Selections: Scary Things and Classic Experiments [The Thoughtful Animal] (scienceblogs.com)
- 28 reviews of Underworld (rateitall.com)
- Werewolves prowl in a dystopian future (search.japantimes.co.jp)
- 5 reviews of Wolf (rateitall.com)
- Federation-Apocalypse Session 140c – A Family Connection (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Jersey Shore Cast Reenacts Twilight [Jersey Fresh] (jezebel.com)
Numerology is the ancient and contemporary belief that there’s an intimate connection between numerical quantity, the workings of the universe and, by implication, future events.
Numerology has roots in India, China and Greece.
Hindu culture was the birthplace of the concept of zero. The Hindus invented the base-10 number system used today, which was brought to the West by Arabs scholars, who further refined the decimal system.
The Mayans also used zero in a base-twenty numeral system.
The Chinese allocated numbers on a sacred board, the Lo Chou, and believed that even and odd numerals represented different objects and conditions (e.g. day and night, white and dark, hot and cold, fire and water, sun and earth).
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras advanced number theory to new heights, applying it to the study of ratios and geometry, often integrating this with the idea of cosmic interconnectedness.
In his discussion on his concept of synchronicity (the belief in meaningful coincidence), the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung cited the idea of recurring numbers as an illustration of one type of synchronicity.
While Jung points out that synchronicity refers to personally meaningful coincidences, he also warns against actively selecting stimuli from the environment to supposedly “discover” phenomena such as recurring numbers. In addition, he does not advocate a secondary interpretation based on (or distorted by) an unresolved complex.
But since it seems that no one is psychologically perfect, this creates a problem for Jung’s theory. At what point of mental ‘healthiness’ does genuine, unaffected synchronicity appear, and biased, false synchronicity depart?
One could argue that today’s physics is a kind of numerology. This is particularly easy to understand within the branch of astronomy called astrophysics. As Freeman Dyson points out in his book, Infinite in all Directions, many advanced theories about cosmic connections are still being worked out and incomplete. Also, they usually encounter rival theories that might better account for the phenomena they try to describe or predict.
In other words, playing with numbers, even at a very high level of abstraction and complexity, is still playing with numbers…
- Magic numbers: composers and their clandestine codes | Tom Service (guardian.co.uk)
- Numerology Updated for the iPad (themactrack.com)
- numerology Latest News (atomiurl.com)
- Scary Urban Legends – Friday the 13th (atomiurl.com)
- The 7 Secrets of Synchronicity (beliefnet.com)
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In urban legend some magicians, shamans and spiritualists use the word “ticket” as slang for an alleged type of metaphysical punishment or retribution that might result from boundaries being crossed or from other kinds of transgressions.
In the song “Suffragette City” pop musician David Bowie uses the word “ticket” to denote a potential punishment to be meted out in response to another’s undesirable act:
“Don’t lean on me man, ‘cos you can’t afford the ticket.”
As with much of Bowie’s material, there’s much room for psychological, social and metaphysical interpretation but, in this case, it’s doubtful that Bowie is portraying magico-spiritual instead of the more ordinary forms of retribution. However, his lyrics sometimes seem to connote several levels of potential meaning by virtue of his creative genius and, in the 1970′s, perhaps catalyzed by the use of mind-altering substances.
If this sounds like a bit of stretch, recall that Mexican shamans who speak of different metaphysical realms or grids of spiritual power have been using hallucinogenic peyote for many years, this being popularized by Carlos Castenada with The Teachings of Don Juan (1968) and subsequent works. » Space Oddity, Shamanism
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The living dead, sometimes called the ‘undead.’
The idea apparently originates from Haitian voodoo legends.
While zombies are found in B-movies, rock videos, the horror genre, folklore and urban legend, their definition seems to closely relate to belief.
Turrell Wylie notes, for instance, that some believe “a zombie is a corpse which has been brought into a state of animation through supernatural power by a necromancer” (Turrell Wylie, “Ro-Langs: The Tibetan Zombie” in History of Religions, Vol. 4, No. 1, (Summer, 1964: 69-80), The University of Chicago Press, p. 69).
Another understanding is that a person’s soul is magically stolen by a master of the dark arts, making the victim seem dead. The buried body is later exhumed by the soul-thief, becoming a spiritual slave to the evil master.
According to folklorist Alison Jones, the fact that Haitian law prohibits burying and exhuming live persons has lead some to believe that evil voodoo priests use poison to induce a coma in their victims (Alison Jones Larousse Dictionary of World Folklore, New York: Larousse, 1996, p. 468). Thus a variant of the previous magical belief combines the occult and the pharmacological, suggesting that, after exhuming a poisoned comatose victim, a wicked voodoo priest further subdues his victim with psychedelic drugs, who is then used for slavery.
An even more grisly variant of the zombie legend alleges that a victim’s flesh is sold by a sorcerer for human consumption, this being easily discernible because human flesh decomposes faster than animal meat. In such cases the victim’s soul may wander the lands in the hope of witnessing or bringing about retribution.
Stuart Gordon says the term zombie originates from the African Congo word zumbi, which means ‘enslaved spirit.’ Gordon adds that souls bound by a wicked master cannot discern good from evil (Stuart Gordon, The Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends, London: Headline, 1993, pp. 760-761).
Philosophers are interested in the idea of zombies from a purely hypothetical standpoint. E. J. Lowe asks what a being would be like who looks and acts like a human while lacking “the light of consciousness” and, moreover, whether such a being could exist at all (Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 2nd Edition, ed. Ted Honderich, Oxford: 2005, p. 970).
As Lowe puts it:
It may be difficult to determine whether zombies really are possible, but the issue undoubtedly has far-reaching implications for the metaphysics of mind (ibid.).
On the Web:
- Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video epitomizes the zombie myth as expressed in popular culture » http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtyJbIOZjS8
» Borg, Jackson (Michael)
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This list is only partial because we’re revamping the site, starting at zed (zee for all our friends south of the border). And that’s going to throw the alphabetization out of whack. But there’s not much we can do, except await a time when we’re on a platform that sorts with a click.
Entries will still be listed by letter category, though. And an intra-site search will bring up the same clusters as before.
H – Heraclitus
M – Mesmer, Franz
S – Saint Michael Prayer, Soul Loss
T – Trimurti
U – Urban Legend
Gilgamesh is a legendary Mesopotamian king of ancient Sumer as depicted in the Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2000 BCE in cuneiform on twelve tablets of clay.
Renowned for his matchless strength, Gilgamesh went into combat with a rough monster-man, Enkidu who was sent by the Gods to keep Gilgamesh in check.
Although Gilgamesh won the bout, the harrowing battle did humble him. He and Enkidu eventually became friends. The Gilgamesh epic also portrays several accounts, some fragmentary, of a Great Flood.
Ea, the Lord, says he will cause a flood and tells Atramhasis to
Enter [the ship] and shut the door…[Bring in] to it thy grain, thy goods and chattels; Th[y wife], thy family, thy relations, and the craftsmen. [Game] of the field (and) beasts of the field, as many as eat herbs, [I will s]end unto thee, and they shall guard thy door.”¹
¹ Alexender Heidel. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1946, p. 110.
- Gilgamesh The Hero by Geraldine McCaugheran (collectedmiscellany.com)
- a nice quote… (cherishcheese.wordpress.com)
- ENG2110 Gilgamesh (classesofgcsu.wordpress.com)
- Gilgamesh (allysonway.wordpress.com)
- Gilgamesh and The Shadow (literarylew.wordpress.com)
Timothy Leary (1920-1996) was an American psychologist who believed that mind-altering substances such as THC and LSD facilitated self-discovery.
Leary’s ideas remain controversial, not only because he advocated what in many countries is illegal, but also because an increasing body of scientific research suggests that street drugs can be deleterious to users’ physical, psychological and spiritual health.
The Christian scholar J.N.D. Anderson questions whether the experiential quality, orientation and commitment of drug induced mysticism are equal to those of the sincere seeker who aims to know and serve God, and in so doing, encounters grace without chemical intervention or, for that matter, direct personal effort.¹
Some minority groups claim that drugs like THC, if taken ‘responsibly,’ are liberating and therapeutic. But the vast majority of people see illegal drugs as debilitating and enslaving.
Another perspective deconstructs the issue by noting that alcohol was once prohibited but is now legal.
Meanwhile, medical watchdog groups and organizations critical of allopathic medicine say that some legal medications have serious long-term side effects that can be harmful to patients’ health. Tom Cruise, representing the views of the Church of Scientology, has taken an extreme position in this controversy with regard to psychiatric medications, one not necessarily reflecting the varying needs of different individuals over the course of a lifetime.
These contemporary issues about the safety and efficacy of so-called ‘drugs’ and ‘medications’ aside, Leary’s popularity among the hippies of the late 1960′s is attested in the Moody Blues song “Legend of a Mind” (1968):
He’ll fly his astral plane.
He’ll take you trips around the bay.
He’ll bring you back the same day.
¹ See J. N. D. Anderson, Christianity and Comparative Religion, The Tyndale Press: 1970, pp. 20-26. Of course, one could argue that praying the Rosary, for instance, is a technique and therefore an “effort” to attract graces. And other Christians, especially fundamentalists, ask God to “cover them” with Jesus’ “precious blood” in order to be washed of their sins, just as most Christians invoke the “Holy Spirit” to come and shower them with grace. So although many uphold Christianity as a religion where grace comes without any special effort, this might seem a bit misleading. However, the Christian asks, whereas some conjurers may command spirits to protect or assist them–spirits which they believe are essentially under their personal control. Moreover, some meditators say that once they achieve a certain level of awareness, their meditative technique – be it a mantra, the development of inner silence or assuming bodily postures – will undoubtedly lead to mystical experience. By way of contrast, Christians hope for assistance but never command nor expect with certainty, for this kind of attitude is anathema to having a humble relationship with God who created them. In a nutshell, a sincere Christian would never claim to be able to control or have mastery over God’s supernatural graces. And that’s why it’s so distasteful to them when some New Age enthusiasts use the term “Christ Consciousness” as if to imply that, by perhaps listening to a mediation CD or through some other store-bought technique, one can definitively turn on God’s grace like water from a tap.
- Book Notes – Peter Conners (“White Hand Society: The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary & Allen Ginsberg”) (largeheartedboy.com)
- Timothy Leary’s 90th birthday today (boingboing.net)
- SF – Timothy Leary: His Life and Legacy (11.11.10) (hustlerofculture.com)
- Timothy Leary and JD Power & Associates? (boingboing.net)
- Legend Of A Mind: A Psychedelic Celebration Of Timothy Leary (weburbanist.com)
- Hand Cut Paper Maps of Cities by Karen O’Leary (laughingsquid.com)
- ‘Acid Christ,’ ‘White Hand Society’ reviews (sfgate.com)
- What A Bummer, Man! The Psychedelic Revolution Wasn’t Gonna Be Televised (themoderatevoice.com)
- A Young Steve Jobs Extols the Virtues of California [Blockquote] (gizmodo.com)
- Soul Serenade: Ike & Tina Turner, “Come Together” (popdose.com)