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an explorative journal

Artifacts 8 – fractalized

And now, we enfold your perception into non-Euclidean space.

Click full screen for maximum effect.

2nd Prize @ Visual Music Award 2014 | visual-music-award.de
Created by Pupillendriller.com

Old Gods, New Tricks

Photograph: Reuters
High priest Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson leads an Ásatrú ceremonial procession. Photograph: Reuters

I read a story last week about the construction of a temple in Iceland intended for worshiping Viking-age gods. No, really. Apparently Norse paganism has been experiencing a perceptible comeback in recent years, which is pretty impressive for a religion that had been wiped out by Christianity and considered dead for nearly a millennia. Yep, the old Germanic deities are all getting a new lease on life. Praise be to Odin, the Allfather… just when I had hope for a new Age of Enlightenment.

My first thought was, Marvel must’ve ran a helluva marketing campaign. Turns out that The Avengers movie franchise had nothing to do with it. For the last few decades, a slow-moving interest in the old gods has been gaining global traction. An association in Iceland that promotes faith in Norse gods called Ásatrúarfélagið (Ásatrú Association) has a current head count of 2,400 members. Continue reading “Old Gods, New Tricks”

Artifacts 7 – The Nexus

The image below is a visual representation of a time-invariant psychoperceptual phenomenon known as a Nexus. Look for upcoming posts explaining the Nexus phenomenon, and how it may be avoided.

image via HTDA

(Disclaimer: The Nexus may or may not be a work of fiction, depending on whether you have experienced one.)

Unfocused and unfound

One of the advantages of doing a joint blog is having a writing partnership. Someone to cover things if you find yourself a bit busy. That’s the hope anyway. But when curves get thrown for both of you, then the radio silence sets in regardless (as those of you who have been subscribed for more than a month might have noticed).

We started this blog as an examination of a specific question; the post-atheist experience, moving on after you’ve processed the loss of belief, finding that orienting compass and inspiration in new places.

We also set ourselves on a schedule. A certain number of posts, in a certain time, with regularly scheduled filler in-between.

In addition to life itself having other plans that threw off our writing, the schedule and specific focus became more of an obligation with deadlines, and less of an enjoyable creative outlet.

That eventually led to refocusing by unfocusing; dropping our “mission statement”, an expected schedule, and writing for any purpose other than journaling our interests and curiosities (we’re quite pleased with the redesigned theme too). Perhaps that’s a much better way to uncover things unfound.

We Are Dead Stars

“What is human existence? It turns out it’s pretty simple: We are dead stars, looking back up at the sky.” – Dr. Michelle Thaller, Nasa Astronomer

artifacts 6 – lucky anti-charms

Stop imaginative kids before they become creative adults
Stop imaginative kids before they become creative adults
via liartownusa.tumblr.com

Dreaming with Jeff

The most unusual commercial during the U.S. National Holiday known as the Super Bowl was arguably Squarespace’s Dreaming with Jeff, featuring Jeff Bridges chanting with a meditation bell in a couple’s room while they sleep peacefully (and only Bridges could pull this off; with anyone else it would have been creepy).

Squarespace is a stellar next-gen web development platform with a true social consciousness. They lack the instant community that one gets plugged into on WordPress, but the two platforms are spiritual cousins and I’ve enjoyed using Squarespace previously on a few occasions – and currently to support these guys.

What’s Dreaming with Jeff about? It’s a project by Bridges designed for “too many restless people in need of rest”, featuring guided meditations, intriguing sounds, and stories, all designed to help you relax. And wrapped up in some wonderfully surrealist packaging.

100% of the proceeds go to No Kid Hungry, whether your taste is in vinyl, exclusive collector vinyl, cassette (yes, really) or digital download. Neither Jeff nor Squarespace are making a profit.

Go ahead. You could use a guided meditation from America’s own Zen cowboy. And take an extra step towards ending childhood hunger in America.

Pleasant dreams.

The intersection of moments

“Everything happens for a reason.” That’s a platitude we often hear, called up both in appreciation and consolation for the ups and downs that life throws at us. Lost job, newfound love, missed opportunities, grabbed chances. All for a reason.

Somewhere along the path of letting go of belief (if that’s the path you’re on), whether of a benevolent personal god or simply a vague sense of fate guided by a universe that has something in store for us, you may encounter a sense of the hollowness of those ideas. When the idea of reality having an intention drops away, an understanding sinks in like a shard of glass in the mind.

It is the realization of how incredibly unlikely it is for you to be where you are right now, connected to the significant people in your life. The better the place and the connections, the more the sense of unlikeliness can be terrifying.
Continue reading “The intersection of moments”

Eat This Pizza or Burn in Hell!

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Image credit: Foodie Buddha, Flikr

Last week, while I was working on a coworker’s computer, she abruptly dropped the bomb on me: “So you’re an atheist?”

Uh oh. I haven’t had this conversation in a long time and it’s never been brought up at work before. I deliberately avoid broadcasting this aspect of my personal life while at work. It isn’t relevant to my job and those kind of discussions are usually bad for business – especially here in the South.

Of course, I’ve been vocal about it outside of work for years, so I guess it was only a matter of time before it leaked into the company water cooler.

Continue reading “Eat This Pizza or Burn in Hell!”

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