Blasts from the past and other matters

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Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:37 pm

A customer on the gateline at Aldgate Tube station today said, "Hello, Ed."

I looked at her, thinking 'WTF?', and then the penny dropped...

Ruth was a student I taught in 1985-6. That's nearly half a lifetime ago. She introduced me to her teenage daughter, who hadn't been conceived when I last saw Ruth.

Hugs all round.

Ruth was nice enough to describe me as "an inspirational teacher" back in a previous life when I used to lecture on Performance Art. I demurred, saying I was probably more chaotic than inspirational in those days. When I asked what on earth she was doing in Aldgate (she lives, or lived, in north London), she said she was directing a play at a famous nearby community centre, Toynbee Hall on Commercial Street. So I suppose, if she's still interested in the subject after all these years, I must have lit a spark of some sort.

This was the second occasion in the past couple of months when I've had such an encounter. I think I've already mentioned here the middle-aged Lycra-clad cyclist who caught sight of my laminated name badge and asked whether I come from Ealing, West London (which I do). Not knowing the bloke from Adam, I denied it because company policy states we don't give out such personal information to punters, in order to protect staff from vengeful nutters. Off he went, saying that he'd had an "old school chum" of that name in his class. Since I didn't much like my school and didn't have many chums there, this seemed implausible. But, thinking it over afterwards, I realised that if he knew about Ealing, he must have known me at school. But...who was he? I still have absolutely no idea. A lot about one's physical appearance changes between 15 and 55.

This is not the first or second time I've found that writing things down- and I've been delving deeply into my past recently with the London Underground retrospective writings- makes odd things happen. Marianne Faithfull had just the same attitude to songs: singing about certain things make them occur.

The above phenomenon is what Hackney-based psychogeographer Iain Sinclair terms "The Shamanism of Intent"- or at least that's what I understand by his use of the term. (Sinclair can often be an impenetrable writer.)

Any such startling encounters with people from your own past to relate? Any thoughts on the Shamanism of Intent?






Last edited by eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:36 pm

...I've been unearthing and refiling stuff this past week due to a shift in circumstances and came up with a diary I disciplined myself to write an entry in every day for about 6 months last year. It blew my mind. Time's moving so swiftly I barely remembered any of it.

...what is psychogeography?

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:52 pm

blue moon wrote:what is psychogeography?

The term originated with the Situationists, was honed to a fine art by Iain Sinclair, and then degenerated into weekly columns in the Sunday broadsheets by Will Self and others.

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:19 pm

...The Shamanism of Intent didn't save Wovoka and the ghost dancers Sad

edit:

" ‘The poet’, [Sinclair] claims in a 1979 interview, is distinguished by the way in which he or she is necessarily ‘drawn to a specific location; to activate a monologue that is already available there’: ‘Place needs the person to give it voice. Place activates the poet’. Nearly twenty years on, such a poetics is re-iterated in Sinclair’s essay ‘The Shamanism of Intent’, in which the contemporary shaman’s ‘sickness-vocation’ is explicitly defined as the capacity to ‘re-enchant place’ through ‘working their own turf’. For the true artist as shaman: ‘The life-force of the city is measured in the candlepower of its keepers, the activators of place’. The writer is a chronographer, ‘hungry for place as expressively potent, place as experience…as a trigger to memory, imagination, and mythic presence’ "

...so you are the Underground Man ?

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:51 pm

blue moon wrote:...The Shamanism of Intent didn't save Wovoka and the ghost dancers Sad

Who they?

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:54 pm

blue moon wrote:...so you are the Underground Man ?

Yep. The shaman descends into the netherworld, communes with the spirits and brings back health-giving advice and counsel for the benefit of the tribe.

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:44 pm

eddie wrote:
blue moon wrote:...The Shamanism of Intent didn't save Wovoka and the ghost dancers Sad

Who they?

...people who made ghost-shirts to protect themselves against bullets and danced to restore their dead.

Arapaho ghost shirt


" Lakota Souix Shirt on Display
The "Ghost Dance" shirt of the Lakota Souix indians which was on display at the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Galleries in Glasgow for over 100 years, is to go on permanent display at the museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society. The shirt had been bought by the Glasgow museum from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show which visited the city in 1890 . Glasgow Council agreed last year to return the shirt, which is sacred to Souix tribe."

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:59 pm

eddie wrote:
blue moon wrote:...so you are the Underground Man ?

Yep. The shaman descends into the netherworld, communes with the spirits and brings back health-giving advice and counsel for the benefit of the tribe.

"Notes from the Underground Man" (Dostoyevsky). Pity he got the title first!


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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:58 am

blue moon wrote:"Notes from the Underground Man" (Dostoyevsky). Pity he got the title first!

Fuck Dostoyevsky. My title's better: "The Well of Shadows".

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:14 am

...didn't you mention the I Ching said something about a well when you looked at it years ago?

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Doc Watson on Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:33 pm

every so often like Eddie I meet a former pupil froim my teaching days . They are usually very pleased to see me and we spend a few moments locked in the past .
One ended sadly. I went to the schol reunion and talked to the mother of an ex pupil . She said her son would like to see me . So I arranged a time for us to spend together which went well . I wrote to him a couple of weeks later and almost via return malil I received a letter from his mother telling me he had taken his own life.
I knew from talking to his mother there were issues in his life , but we both hoped they had been resolved.

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:40 pm

Lately I've been running into the grown versions of kids I haven't seen since they were in primary school.


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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:27 pm

blue moon wrote:...didn't you mention the I Ching said something about a well when you looked at it years ago?

You must be the most perceptive poster on this board, and you're quite right: I worked for 7 years at Shadwell tube station, after consulting the I Ching about whether or not to enlist in the London Underground and arriving at hexagram 48, The Well, Chang. At the time, I could make little sense of the accompanying text but I eventually learned that the parish of Shadwell was for centuries a series of murky evil-smelling drainage ditches. Some might say not much has changed. Shadwell: the Well of Shadows.

The title also plays with the Elizabethan term for an actor/player: a 'shadow' Hence Macbeth's:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

....which I apply in the book to several of the customers, at Shadwell and elsewhere.


Last edited by eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:33 pm

Moony and Doc

Do you mind if I print a copy of this thread when it's run its course and stick it in the book, with due acknowledgements?

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:01 pm

eddie wrote:Moony and Doc

Do you mind if I print a copy of this thread when it's run its course and stick it in the book, with due acknowledgements?
...thought you'd never ask.
...in that case would you mind if I point out a spelling error (I'd hate to inadvertently offend you).

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:41 pm

eddie wrote: Ruth was nice enough to describe me as "an inspirational teacher" back in a previous life when I used to lecture on Performance Art. I demured, saying I was probably more chaotic than inspirational in those days.

I'm anticipating your assent eddie.
The quote is from the first post on this thread
Demure means coy, which I don't think you mean, and if so, you can't put a 'd' on the end.
Demurred means to mildly protest (double 'r').

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:07 pm

Doc Watson wrote:every so often like Eddie I meet a former pupil froim my teaching days . They are usually very pleased to see me and we spend a few moments locked in the past. One ended sadly. I went to the schol reunion and talked to the mother of an ex pupil . She said her son would like to see me . So I arranged a time for us to spend together which went well . I wrote to him a couple of weeks later and almost via return malil I received a letter from his mother telling me he had taken his own life. I knew from talking to his mother there were issues in his life, but we both hoped they had been resolved.
...that's sad, doc. I hope he received your letter.

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:31 pm

eddie wrote:A customer on the gateline at Aldgate Tube station today said, "Hello, Ed."

I looked at her, thinking 'WTF?', and then the penny dropped...

Ruth was a student I taught in 1985-6. That's nearly half a lifetime ago. She introduced me to her teenage daughter, who hadn't been conceived when I last saw Ruth.

Hugs all round.

Ruth was nice enough to describe me as "an inspirational teacher" back in a previous life when I used to lecture on Performance Art. I demured, saying I was probably more chaotic than inspirational in those days. When I asked what on earth she was doing in Aldgate (she lives, or lived, in north London), she said she was directing a play at a famous nearby community centre, Toynbee Hall on Commercial Street. So I suppose, if she's still interested in the subject after all these years, I must have lit a spark of some sort.

This was the second occasion in the past couple of months when I've had such an encounter. I think I've already mentioned here the middle-aged Lycra-clad cyclist who caught sight of my laminated name badge and asked whether I come from Ealing, West London (which I do). Not knowing the bloke from Adam, I denied it because company policy states we don't give out such personal information to punters, in order to protect staff from vengeful nutters. Off he went, saying that he'd had an "old school chum" of that name in his class. Since I didn't much like my school and didn't have many chums there, this seemed implausible. But, thinking it over afterwards, I realised that if he knew about Ealing, he must have known me at school. But...who was he? I still have absolutely no idea. A lot about one's physical appearance changes between 15 and 55.

This is not the first or second time I've found that writing things down- and I've been delving deeply into my past recently with the London Underground retrospective writings- makes odd things happen. Marianne Faithful had just the same attitude to songs: singing about certain things make them occur.

The above phenomenon is what Hackney-based psychogeographer Iain Sinclair terms "The Shamanism of Intent"- or at least that's what I understand by his use of the term. (Sinclair can often be an impenetrable writer.)

Any such startling encounters with people from your own past to relate? Any thoughts on the Shamanism of Intent?

...so eddie, are you saying:

You excavate old memories. The process of writing them down...makes odd things happen
Marrianne Faithfull says she sings them into existence.
Sinclair terms the phenomenon "The Shamanism of Intent"

discuss

...maybe the collective unconscious manifesting?
(too weird?)



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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:50 pm

eddie wrote:
blue moon wrote:what is psychogeography?

The term originated with the Situationists, was honed to a fine art by Iain Sinclair, and then degenerated into weekly columns in the Sunday broadsheets by Will Self and others.

psychogeography...does this pertain to the way the land shapes development, how place affects behaviour?

I'm interested in the concept of a ...I don't know the German word for land/place, but if you added the suffix geist (in the manner of zeitgeist), then I'm interested in that. In the idea of some places having a strong spirit (sorry can't think of a more accurate term...'field', 'force'?). Many Indigenous cultures have specialist persons to 'read' the land.

Also I'm interested in the idea that places where events of great moment have occurred contain a residue of the emotional output engendered by the event, and that some people channel this.

I realise this sounds weird but remember I grew up travelling through wild places. (shrug)

edit: and I'm very sensitive to the word 'weird'.




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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:30 pm

eddie wrote:This is not the first or second time I've found that writing things down- and I've been delving deeply into my past recently with the London Underground retrospective writings- makes odd things happen. Marianne Faithful had just the same attitude to songs: singing about certain things make them occur.

The above phenomenon is what Hackney-based psychogeographer Iain Sinclair terms "The Shamanism of Intent"- or at least that's what I understand by his use of the term. (Sinclair can often be an impenetrable writer.)
My cousin who is very "spiritual" gave me some papers that were supposed to be a manual to success. I didn't like reading that, I thought it was stupid. They explained that for example a man always painted himself alone or women alone and he was always alone with no women. Then they told him to paint himself with the women to attract that circumstance... and it worked. Although I thought it was stupid I did the same and I did it sincerely focusing on what I wanted to achieve, like I was already there. I won't bother to say what it was because it would sound stupid but for me it was very important. It was something that didn't happened in almost ten years and a few months after I drew it it happened

The other day I was playing with my brother, we were throwing a ball inside the bin from the opposite side of the room. We spent a lot of time trying to get the ball in but it didn't enter. But I had a brilliant idea hehe: I took the ball and standing beside the bin I threw it easily in and then I said joking "now next throwing is gonna get the ball in"... and it did.

But I think I don't take this seriously...

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:53 pm

blue moon wrote:would you mind if I point out a spelling error

Thanks.

You missed another, Ms Picky: Faithfull- two 'L's

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:56 pm

...I made money at uni proofreading the uni prospectus...i can't help myself.

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:02 pm

blue moon wrote:...so eddie, are you saying:

You excavate old memories. The process of writing them down...makes odd things happen
Marrianne Faithfull says she sings them into existence.
Sinclair terms the phenomenon "The Shamanism of Intent"

discuss

...maybe the collective unconscious manifesting?
(too weird?)

That's about the size of it, and I'm by no means the first writer to have pointed out this strange phenomenon. The events I describe above are small fry compared to previous episodes of this kind I've experienced.

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:07 pm

Could this be related to

Synchronicity (wiki)

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events, that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung in the 1920s.

The concept does not question, or compete with, the notion of causality. Instead, it maintains that just as events may be grouped by cause, they may also be grouped by their meaning. Since meaning is a complex mental construction, subject to conscious and unconscious influence, not every correlation in the grouping of events by meaning needs to have an explanation in terms of cause and effect.

...

Jung was transfixed by the idea that life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order, which he and Pauli referred to as Unus mundus. This deeper order led to the insights that a person was both embedded in an orderly framework and was the focus of that orderly framework and that the realisation of this was more than just an intellectual exercise but also having elements of a spiritual awakening. From the religious perspective synchronicity shares similar characteristics of an "intervention of grace". Jung also believed that synchronicity served a similar role in a person's life to dreams with the purpose of shifting a person's egocentric conscious thinking to greater wholeness.

...

One of Jung's favourite quotes on synchronicity was from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, in which the White Queen says to Alice: "It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards".

'The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam to-day.'
'It MUST come sometimes to "jam to-day,"' Alice objected.
'No, it can't,' said the Queen. 'It's jam every OTHER day: to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.

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Re: Blasts from the past and other matters

Post  eddie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:12 pm

blue moon wrote:Marrianne

Sp. Marianne.

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