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Impish Thoughts by Jon Sharpe

Jon talks about The Lincoln Imp

During a visit to Lincoln Cathedral Jon was inspired to improvise on a demonic theme:

Thanks for listening

 

35mm Pentax

It is time to write a few words about the pleasure of using 35mm Pentax cameras. Before I move onto to the reason camera and film are an essential aspect to my creative mind: It is necessary for me to inform the reader I own and have used some exotic film cameras: Hasselblad – Bronica – Leica – Nikon are a few names in my collection. To my eye, the Pentax Takumar lenses extraordinarily resolve the taken image. It is accepted others will have another opinion, and that is fine by me. There is no intention of making a case for better than or superior.

The 35mm Pentax aspect of my WordPress site is an indulgence as is the whole of the site. From the short stories of the early articles to the indulgence of personal and intimate feelings and my obscure observations of life. Surely this is why we all tap the keys? We are leaving an archive of our thoughts, beliefs and prophecies? If this is not the reason, do not waste your time: if the belief is, we are going to make a ‘Kennedy’ or ‘Hitler’ difference we are within an illusion.

My cameras are near my 1958 vintage. I will write of this aspect in other articles. Near 1958? Yes, my favourite lens was made somewhere between 1960 – 2 and my camera’s date of manufacture range from 62 – 73. Many have benefitted from full services (costly), and I intend to have the whole of my collection serviced over the next year or so. This is an investment; I’ll predict fully serviced 35mm metal cameras will demand prices of $1000+ within ten years. How many do I own? It does not matter! I’m content to search for Pentax screw thread cameras in reasonable condition. 

An important consideration is the cameras should be used. Owning a film camera and not exploring its possibilities is like owning a Porsche and leaving it in the garage. The film camera can be considered a Zen object: One of constant learning: My interpretation of Zen is every day is anew – the day ahead is full of potential and a new awareness to possibilities in every facet of life. I’m hoping to portray this in my writing about the Pentax camera as an extension to the eye.

The lenses are named Takumar: And this is an artistic reference to the brother of the original owner of the Asahi Pentax Camera Co:

Takumar is the name that Asahi Optical gave to its lenses, notably but not exclusively those for its own SLR cameras. Named after the Japanese-American portrait painter, Takuma Kajiwara (梶原啄磨 Kajiwara Takuma), whose brother Kumao Kajiwara founded Asahi Optical.

I feel this imbibes an essence of Zen in the product. Other cameras have weight and more professional features: The simplicity of Takumar and Pentax cameras ask for a kindness and respect like no other camera. This is not to write the cameras were cheap to buy: an SV camera was the equivalent to $1500 today’s today’s exchange rate.  I will write about the cameras and lenses in other articles and I will demonstrate the capabilities of the lenses in the articles.

It is my intention to photograph and comment on a specific subject: and as I write about the subjects I’ll also write about lenses, filters and the process of developing film:

Wet photography is a simple process. Once the photographer learns to load the film on the developing tank spiral and load the tank. The film is processed – the developer realises the frames on the film – a stop bath makes the developer inert, and a fixing bath desensitises the light-sensitive negative to light. A film scanner turns the negative image into a positive digital image. On a basic level, this is all we need to be a photographic artist. The analogue photographer is indeed an artist. We see the image and take our time to record the memory.

The film is a connection: it holds the memory: the roll is at the time of exposure: within the camera: it shares and holds the memory: it is a record of the instant beyond digital: and the photographer has to nurture the negative into life.

Digital is better than analogue, better quality, more comfortable to work with and majestic in its simplicity. On a daily basis, the digital camera is superior in every way. However digital does not hold the fragility of the film and chemical process, wet photography demands nurturing – (wet? yes water is involved in the processes) – The whole of film photography is immersive. 

Many years ago I destroyed tens of thousands of negatives: In my mind’s eye, I can see the act of destruction. Upon reflection it was the only way to move into a life which is just beautiful, those images would have held memories of alcoholic insanity. And other nightmares worthy of suicide. Today’s archive will live until my final sleep: there is no reason for anyone to be interested in the way I see life. These negatives will in time be destroyed. There is no concern for this future act, in my final sleep, I’ll be comfortable with the chance my creator gave me to take the images.

I’ll bore people with my thoughts about the Pentax 35mm camera over the next few years. No matter: if one other human, somewhere likes my words, the objective is fulfilled.

For this project, I use one film and developer: Ilford Pan F and Rodinal.

 

Bee Story

sanctuary

sanctuary

On Monday, a little drone lay dying on our south-facing window. When I look at the beauty of nature I’m reminded of the incredible truth. It would not matter if you were a billionaire you could not make the little drone. All of your millions could not make life.

Nature is life. It connects us to unimaginable mysteries. And those mysteries are best left unsolved. Why? Because there is no need to discover ways to make or know life, it is already here and is created by and within natures evolution. 

Man poisons his body, his Being and environment. He demands shortcuts, medical intervention: he says ‘Let me indulge and decimate my body with chemicals and processed products. I do this because the taste is nice, I cannot resist the temptations, another said to me ‘it’s ok’. And science will find a way to cure me, and repair my excess.’ And this is the reason the scientist is today’s Merlin or Morgan le Frey. Eternal – And ‘life better than reality’ are their promises. 

In truth: All humans should follow knowledge known for millennia. Eat natures food, drink pure water, wander mother earth and embellish the gift of friendship. Friendship? Yes, the number one precursor to a long life is ‘Connection and Communication’.

Friendship is one of the four corners of wellness:

1) Food
2) Water
3) Exercise
4) Friendship. 

My overgrown garden is one of wildflowers. I fill a jug with water and select a dandelion; a few drops of water are poured into the flower. My little friend the drone was dying: I pick him up and place him on the prepared flower. Within a minute, he’s collecting pollen; life returns. You see, my little friend is back to its life purpose. The evidence is that the designs of nature fulfil the promise of life every time. I say goodbye to the drone, my work is done.

We all need a place to thrive.

Jon Talks – Highwaymen

Jon 'Highwayman' Sharpe

Jon ‘Highwayman’ Sharpe

Today Jon Talks about highwaymen. And the source of the saying ‘You’re not any Tom, Dick and Harry’ – Listen on!

 

 

 

My Philosophy of Selfness

I have taken this article from my website page. On Saturday I travelled to London with my friend who was giving a Tedx talk. The Ted team were incredible and the fast running seminar was a test for their expertise. During the drive home I realised many of the brilliant presenters would understand this essay:

My Philosophy of Selfness

1200 Words – Ten Minute Read

It is essential the open-minded thinker reviews the social system he lives within. The human beehive requires drones and leaders: To function well; the system we call establishment has to control the people it is supposed to serve. The failing’s of ‘the system’ affects all of us. One example is causing a social crisis: Is the lack of public housing: this results in public money filling the pockets of private landlords. Government rent subsidy is a shameful waste of taxes which increases the price of homes beyond the reach poor people. A circle of debt is made within a process which is supposed to help the impoverished. The answer is for local government to build new homes which have affordable rent. It would be prudent to ‘cap’ the contribution made to landlords, this would in the long term lower the cost of housing.

The political agenda will promise benefits to secure votes.’Vote for me, and I will pay for your education’ – ‘More schools, will give your child a future’ – ‘More police will make you safer’ – ‘I will secure your rent subsidy’. And truth to tell, these statements are evidence the ‘establishments system’ is not and will never work. Even worse is, social charity removes the possibility of people owning their homes. Because the rent subsidies paid by the government to landlords increases the price of property. The landlords pay higher prices for properties which provide their profits. In effect, this system diverts millions of pounds of tax into the hands of businesses. So insipid is the system; many people decide they will never possess their own property and accept their situation as a fait accompli.

Let us consider the situation further:

Entering into debt is to the benefit of the politician. Once entered, it is difficult to escape the spiral of debt. It could be argued: debt and the imprisonment of rented accommodation combine to control the poor better than any political propaganda. The politician offers financial incentives to vote for his party. The poor man only views the carrot of the politicians lies; he does to care to see the noose of political slavery called rhetoric which supports the bribe. Few can escape the slavery, employed people fund the ‘failing system,’ they are overworked and heavily taxed. Of course, the implication that debt is acceptable and excessive possessions prove they are wealthy means they have a credit card, overdraft and excessive mortgage debt. These debts enforce them to work long hours for little money. In effect, the debt enslaves them to earn taxable income.

It is suggested the ideas in the first three paragraphs must be understood if any hope of living a good life is to be achieved. The key to security is to be free as possible from the system which thrives on the slavery of debt. Of course, few will come close to considering the probability these ideas contain an element of truth. The key to security is to be free from debt and own your own home. Once achieved one is relatively free from the control of the institution.

An open-minded individual understands the reasons why citizens are indoctrinated by the illusion of accumulated possessions. People in the Western World are lead to believe possessions, excess wealth and pointless accumulation are indicators of wealth. This is far from the truth. An intelligent individual will realise living within one’s means is, in reality, an accurate interpretation of the words ‘successful’ and ‘wealthy’. He will understand why millions of people work for little money and accept debt as a standard way of life. He will understand why people accept the only reward for a lifetime of toil, is the possibility of a decade of retirement before the end of life. Ultimately, the open-minded thinker will understand that it is the social system’s indoctrination which leads a majority of citizens to believe their existence is the best they can expect.

Exchange the word ‘life’ for ‘compromise’ and reassess the life journey:

‘The Philosophy of Selfness’ helps the open-minded thinker discover different ways of considering the ‘compromise’. An acute observer may begin to suspect society is a vacuum which takes all. He may also see nothing is given in return for his contribution apart from manipulative rhetoric. We should accept the danger in this way of thinking: Those who openly acknowledge the realities will be seen by the closed-minded majority as selfish, and be assigned demeaning titles such as; anti-social, ignorant, without compassion.

An individualist may refuse to give to charity. A choice believed by many people to be the attitude of a mean or greedy person. I wonder how deeply the idea that charity impoverishes humankind is considered? Why is it unacceptable to ask if the percentage of taxes which becomes charity and foreign aid is sufficient contribution? Why is it unacceptable to offer the opinion that the sales of arms and ammunition are a cause of the poverty?

Selfness is about responsibility and integrity. The philosophy asks a simple question ‘If you lived by your efforts and became responsible for your environment. Would your compromise become a life?’ It is a compelling question, an initial seed of thought, which allows the ‘Philosophy of Selfness’ to grow within one’s psyche. Selfness questions beliefs and supposition, asking the question: ‘Is this information true or accurate?’ about anything which effects our close environments.

Many people will disagree with the sentiments in this introduction. I accept their right to possess their opinion. In fact, I agree with every human’s right to have their own opinion and belief. There is no point in me arguing the points made on this page. A reader can either consider them worth examination or dismiss the ideas. The fact is I will argue with no one. And with no disagreement, there can be no argument or feud. From my perspective, I can live a brilliant life existing with other people by accepting their right to possess their beliefs.

The idea is to accept and respect the opinions of other people is a powerful premise. Providing there is no attempt to indoctrinate, all is well. At the instant of sensing someone is inferring ‘My way is the way’ a human, whose desire to live within freedom will turn away. I have tested the idea of not interacting with those who seek argument or conflict., it is a life skill which makes life comfortable and secure. I look after my environment and demonstrate truth and integrity. I expect the same from those I interact and work with: if they fail to meet expectations: we will not connect again.

When someone reads about Jake in my book ‘The Beekeeper’ he will discover a character who follows ‘The Philosophy of Selfness’. In the same vein the unnamed character in ‘The Assassin’s Notebook’ is also a man of principle, regardless of his vocation. My fictional work examines the ‘The Philosophy of Selfness’ through the characters and situations in the stories. The fictional work is an extension of the philosophical endeavour. Those who find the core book ‘Never Let Anything Worry You’ of interest, will understand the sentiments of the stories in the fictional titles.

See You Soon

The book about the philosophy is HERE

Memory Box

Contents

Contents

Early twentieth-century occultists used ‘correspondencies’ in their rituals. These are items, fragrances and symbols which represented different facets of their spells. For example, a rusty nail signifies a curse, a diamond, the attraction of great wealth.

I tried the idea once: the subject of the nail prospered, and the beneficiary of the diamond is ruined. Some years ago I contributed to the MedTarot Group. A member suggested I should join an occult school and try their rituals claiming the results were astounding. The last statement I read was ‘They work for me every time’. Click, delete, no more correspondence on the MedTarot group for me. It is a pity; the group was centred on “‘Unknown Author’s’ book Meditations on the Tarot”. An excellent book of meditations based on the twenty-two mysteries.

That was sixteen or so years ago when the internet was less sophisticated. Now, we perform magic every day. I talk to a friend in America while sitting on a train, Liz FaceTime’s her grandchildren a few times each week. Antibiotics cure millions. Surgeons perform miracles. Electricity, gas and water service our homes, we live in modern heaven. Real magicians work in research and development facilities. Keep Crowley and Agrippa, give me technology and security.

Mysteries? Nothing is more mysterious than the phone or computer you are using this moment. Do you know how it works, could you make the battery, screen, microprocessor? Goodness, most of us don’t see the hidden mysteries within the communicator. Voice recorder, weather guide, wallet, compass, pedometer and scrabble. Camera, typewriter, watch, directory, business, social club and shop, all available in your pocket, bag, by your bed, in your hand. Occult magic? It’s over, or did it ever begin?

Prefer Prints

Prefer Prints

Photographs are voodoo magic, capturing the spirit and soul of moments in time. Printed images seem to reproduce more of a feeling of reality. They are Dorian Grey’s of yesterdays faces, some portraits of horror; other’s imprison the mind. Tear stained with sorry, torn with anger, scenes of happiness and ‘wish you were here messages’. The print converts the image into a message.

I have a correspondence box. The items you see are not lifetime possessions they are symbols of memories: Although most have been acquired during the last decade. The symbols follow a guideline to the past. Like the cave explorers rope or paper chase signs hanging from a tree: the symbols return my mind to today after exploring yesterday.

Top and Two Draws

Top and Two Draws

Written reflections are composed of building blocks of thought, conversation, fact and fiction. The essays and articles become cures too, or sources of, discord. Some leave impression others not. Although, my feeling is the inner-being knows the truth, the reality. It understands wisdom few will dare accept as truth and this is why so many live in fear. The inner-self knows there is only silence in “The Final Sleep”. It directs the conscious mind to record its life, archive the achievements and failures. And, if another human needs help and happens to find your recorded or written words they may find an answer. Consider the potential of this knowledge. The ability to write four letter on the communicator ‘HELP’ followed by the problem. ‘HELP – LONELY’. An hour later the message is “Thank- you; I have a friend’.

Close Up

Close Up

Look into my memory box. The Ronson lighter reminding of the masks of human character. The Drager diver of underwater happiness. Three crystals of wellness. Two bullet cases of death. Surgeon, Swiss and shepherd’s knifes cut away the illusions. Dices with death and business mistakes. A box full of ideas, memories, graves stones of failures. Why did my inner-being choose these symbols of the past? 

The answer is:

They are: “Like the cave explorers rope or paper chase signs hanging from a tree: the symbols return my mind to today after exploring yesterday”.

See You Soon

Never Worry About Criticism

Eye to Eye

Eye to Eye

A LizianEvents Community Member became subject to a critic’s venom. The subject of the critic’s viewpoint is of no importance. How the objection is dealt with is worth consideration

Alternatives:

There are people who are not high achievers. Although they believe there are fountains of knowledge flowing in their minds. Their knowledge may or not have a foundation, although, it is used as the basis for their choices. We have to consider the factor of empirical knowledge when looking for alternative perspectives to a critical observation. It is important to know the reason for criticism. Is the criticism vindictive, personal, based on factual information or malicious?

In this instance, we could accept there is no empirical knowledge of spiritual ideas. The choice is black and white. People believe or not, accept or no, there is no way to blend belief or non-belief. Of course, there are millions of people in either camp and arguing the points seems to be time wasting.

When a man comments ‘You are a charlatan’ – He becomes a judge of another human. When he airs his feelings publicly, it is possible the slighted individual’s friends may support and come to defend the accused.

The judge enters a difficult situation. No matter that he is correct in his mind (we have to accept all men are right in their mind) he is now in conflict with more than one person. Because no matter what his argument: there is a differing of opinion to his own and he may become isolated because the consensus of friends defends the slighted man. And now his comment becomes a seed of hatred, not only for the focal point of his comment but for the supporters who defend their friend. The critic will have his own supporters and before long two tribes begin to wage wars of words. What next? The single comment becomes a situation ‘out of control’.

We should consider the critic’s reason to call a stranger charlatan. Is it because he has empirical knowledge which disputes the words, actions or methods or is the man a ‘charlatan’ intent on deception? The crux of the issue is evidence. It is easy to comment ‘You, sir, are a charlatan’ than to say ‘You should be aware that research at Avon University disproves your idea and I feel you should refrain from deceiving people with inaccurate information’. Most people will accept utilising facts as evidence is not a criticism.  

Many aspects of life are subject to belief and supposition:

Religion is an example, Luther’s God is Issac’s demon. Politics another, a woman’s political hero is her friend’s conspiracy theory. Lifestyle one more, Jack believes in simplicity – Jill worships money.

Accurate information is ignored:

Millions believe Green Peace’s information as accurate, in spite of the evidence,  Japanese and Faroe Islanders eat whale meat, one claims the meat is a by-product of scientific research, the other claim the slaughter is a tradition of their culture. Petrochemical companies fell forests and ignore concerns about the ozone layer. The companies indicate fuel is essential to the world economy and ignore the possibility the ecology of the planet is essential to life.

Sometimes there is a need for acceptance:

Determined attacks on vinyl ignore the benefits of P.V.C blood bags and piping used in every hospital. A vegetarian comments livestock farming is cruel and unnecessary. And if we were all vegetarians? The farmer soon slaughters the last cow, sheep and pig. Because the animals will not be kept without demand for their meat. The paradox is no requirement, no livestock. The argument is settled, no meat production, no meat producing animals, no cruelty.

It is probable, some readers will be angered by the observations:

However, to write about and accept reality; even though, the reality is not acceptable, is essential to open-minded and critical (critical as in ‘accurate’) thinking. I do not argue the benefits or disadvantages of plastics as most often there no viable alternatives. I eat mostly plant-based diet, and if there were no meat, I would not be concerned. Although no livestock is the probable outcome of universal vegetarianism. An open-minded thinker can review the point or provide a contra-argument and no matter what his conclusion accept the right of others to embellish their beliefs.

Writing about the difficult aspects of any situation or belief can cause automatic dislike:

We can easily be disliked when we are unafraid to review (and air) all aspects of an idea, belief, methodology or lifestyle. It is easy to pre-judge another because he wishes to be fair and see the whole picture, before making a judgement. Remember, because a person can review the whole picture, it does not mean she has drawn a conclusion. Moral, ethical and social aspects are also part of making a decision.

For example:

There is a campaign to change the teaching practices in schools. The suggestion is ‘do not teach facts, teach the kids how to think’. How can this work? The child would need to understand how to reason without bias and prejudice. That’s a tough call; I’m not opposing the idea, I am questioning the how of the idea? The accepted way of learning to think and reason is to review and reassess and learn the aspects of a subject. This is why history is an important subject, it is not the facts which is of total importance, it is the outcome of leaders ‘actions’ which is the lesson. History (on a deeper level) teaches us to think.

If it is decided to teach about open-minded critical thinking children would have to face hard facts. For examples, they would need to know: some will have to endure hard physical work as manual labour is part of society. Others will become drivers and warehouse workers. Many will succumb to social charity. The majority will become slaves to the rich minority. The possibility of fame and celebrity is millions to one odds. How do you tell the kids ‘Most people do not achieve their dreams’? If the way forward is to teach critical thinking as a primary subject, the advocates of the idea should consider the aspects of reasoning without emotion and making conclusions from the facts, not perceived ‘truths’.

Acceptance

A critic names the psychic/medium a charlatan what was he saying? He may have inferred no-one can talk to the dead. He may believe the psychic/medium is intent on deception. Is he suggesting those who enjoy the psychic/medium are fools and being deceived? Whatever the inference it doesn’t matter, it is clear those who believe the messages are happy and content with the interaction. They enjoy their version of life after death. Incidentally, I cannot think of many spiritual people who do not live right and honest lives and hurt no-one.

The open-minded way of thinking:

Yes, there is evidence of deceptions and situations where mentally ill people are severely influenced by psychic/mediums. But how many are hurt? As many as the fighting football supporters? As many as the scarred and blinded drunks in Friday and Saturday evening casualty rooms? As many as the punch-drunk boxers who cannot think straight. As many as the drug addicts ruined by the pushers pills and powders? Answer the questions: accept the realities. Most aspects of life have a risk, and those who follow their team, tribe, belief accept this as an element of the subject, sport, interaction.

What has this to do with the critic? – The thought is this:

Critics, bigots and their biases are more dangerous than the beliefs they hate. Most beliefs, in truth, hurt very few. The critic is a source of conflict and retaliation. At the extreme; criticism and non-understanding can be the reason countries wage war. Lower down the rung; criticism causes self-self doubt and anger. There can be no gain in causing others pain. Criticism is often based on personal dislike not a wholesome appraisal of a situation.

Open-mindedness guides one to accept the beliefs of others even though they may not make sense or conflict with one’s viewpoint. Some may suggest the two words ‘Free Will’ are the spiritual persons’ teaching of this aspect of living in peace and without arguments. It is possible I am wide of the mark, and my ideas are inaccurate. If this is so, no criticism please, your critic is of no importance to my life.

See You Soon 

Jon Talks Runes

Jon returns this week to talk about Runes.

 

He loves everything about divination and hocus-pocus. He spotted a very special set of Runes at the LizianShop and the rest is now a podcast. He also gives me a runes reading!

Jon Talks Occult

Sally The Mystic Egyptian

Sally The Mystic Egyptian

Today Jon Talks about the difference between ‘Magic’ and ‘MagicK’ Ω

Any questions for Jon send an email and we’ll test his knowledge.

See You Soon

Fake Polaroid

I like Lomography

Lomo

Lomo

Lomographers are a cult of photographers who take images using analogue (film) cameras. They scorn the pixel and prefer the chemical. Their nomenclature arises from a Russian camera called a Lomo. It is a 35mm pocket camera which is none too reliable and records remarkably good images. The original is now replaced by a newer and apparently more reliable version which sell’s for 300 pounds. A touch too expensive for my pocket. The originals can be purchased and repaired for half this amount, and I still wouldn’t buy one.

The Lomography occultist will pick up any camera and feed it with an old and outdated film. Shooting from the hip and without a care for exposure, focus or composition they record anything without a second thought. There are millions of images on the Lomography website taken by renegade snappers, intent on creating obscure analogue art. Sometimes they succeed, most often they fail. Who cares? No one, the method is random and random is the domain of genius.

Here is the official story:

“The Lomographic Society International was founded in 1992 by a group of Viennese students after they discovered the LCA, a camera created by LOMO PLC of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Lomography started as an art movement through which the students put on exhibitions of photos within Vienna; the art movement then developed into a commercial enterprise.”

The House of Fame

Polaroid SX70 ?

The commercial side of Lomography is astounding: I’ll bet it is a multi-million euro business. And good luck to them, it is a fun hobby and is safer than ten litres of Belgian strawberry lager and a packet of pretzels.

Imaging with Lomography cameras is expensive and none more so than the Polaroid aspect of the genre. Eight images can cost sixteen euro, and it is a hit or miss process. To my mind if the desire is to use the Polaroid SX70 and a few packs of film: a sawn-off shotgun is an essential accessory. Robbing banks is an integral part of the Polaroid ‘snapshot’ process.

Buy the camera (€150) two packs of film (€34) and sixteen frames later the photographer has to perform an act of self-persuasion: his artistic self; needs extraordinary influence to convince his conscious mind the compositions are not blurred and pastel images. The creative being see’s them as Picasso abstract: Does the conscious mind see artistic perfection? No: the photos are what they were in the 1970’s instant, blurred, snapshots. End of story.

 

Fake Polaroids

Fake Polaroids

Or is it? If the lotto rainbow filled my pot of gold, I’d use the medium once a week. Every image has a unique finger-print and sometimes (very rarely) an instant Polaroid of an old VW Beetle becomes a symbol of contemporary art.

For the moment I’ll use the iPhone to take square images. These are transferred into the Photos app on the Mac and a few tweaks added. Plug in my Epson and print square on 6X4 glossy. Out with the craft knife: cut off the top of the print – Hey! Fake Polaroids: and why not? Until I can justify two pounds an image, Epson counterfeit will have to suffice.

Fakes rule today

There is also a ‘Polaroid Filter’ App which can be downloaded onto the iPhone if the desire is to really fake it. I’ll reveiw this another time.

See You Soon

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