The Real News Archive (Archive Home)

November, 2005

November 27, 2005

Where’s Spiraldo? A spiritual journey – part three
Written by Eric John
Published on Monday, November 21, 2005



Salutations my Spiraldo brethren! I bring you to our wrap-up, where I add a few more thoughts to your journey with Waldo, and then leave you to your own devices to finish your journey. If this is your first look into the spirituality of Where’s Waldo, you might wish to read the two parts before this one, which can be found online at http://www.thesting.org/search.asp?searchterm=spiraldo&goSearch=Search So shall we jump right in then?

As we covered last time, we took a look at how Waldo just left his travelling gear in various spots along his journey. Now, to the average person, losing all of your travelling possessions would be quite a painful ordeal. Just think of how angry you would (or have) become if an airline company lost all your luggage when you arrived in a new country where you knew nobody.

But look at our friend Waldo, who is a picture of pure calm serenity. Now, last time I talked of the usefulness of this tactic, but now I have another idea for you eager learners. Perhaps this gradual losing of objects is like the shedding of old and useless skin, revealing below it a new layer, a new life.

In the first images of Waldo we see, we find him almost weighted down by his possessions. Yet, when we see him at the end, freed of them, he seems just as pleased. Perhaps he is even more pleased, now that he was rid himself of these useless possessions, and lives his life by whatever is given him. Becoming an adventurer off on an adventure. Much like he told us he was going to do in the beginning. Think of those objects as merely confining his life, holding him back, keeping him tethered to the world of material possessions. However, once he shed his skin of necessities, he was at the mercy of the Spiraldo to lead him and he was free of the material world.

What would cause someone to want this, you might wonder. Why would someone try to purposefully lose not just their belongings, but the necessities of life?

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Five Things You Need To Know About Stress

by Steven Barnes

Whether it’s called stress management, relaxation training, or its newest incarnation, “Resiliancy,” it seems that the question of healthy response to the stress of daily life is on everyone’s mind. But it’s important to remember a few things about stress that are rarely discussed—if known at all!

1) Stress won’t hurt you. Hans Selye, the “father of stress” was a polylinguist, whose first language was not English. Before he died, he said that had his command of English been more precise, he would have been known as the “Father of Strain” rather than stress. What’s the difference? Enormous, from an engineering standpoint. Stress is pressure divided by unit area, whereas strain is measured in deformation per unit length. In other words, while strain speaks to the load you are carrying, strain deals with the degree to which that load warps you out of true. In other words, it is NOT stress that hurts you. It is strain.

2) Stress is necessary for life and growth. Far from being something you avoid, when healthy, the body and mind respond to environmental stress by becoming stronger. Look at this in the arena of physical fitness. Imagine a triangle with each of the three corners having a different designation: Stress, nutrition, and rest. Stress equals exercise, nutrition equals the foods taken in before and after the exercise, and rest equals…well, rest. If you have either too much or too little of any of these, the body breaks down. Note that astronauts in orbit must be very careful to stress their bodies daily with stationary bicycles and other apparatus: zero gravity decreases stress to the point that the bones literally begin to lose calcium. The truth is that, in life, we are rewarded largely for how much stress we can take without breaking. The intelligent approach is to both reduce unnecessary stress and to increase our ability to handle healthy stress without straining. We must also learn to nurture ourselves properly, and to recreate with joy.

3) Come of the best research comes from our former "enemies!" Russian research into the body-mind dynamic has produced valuable results. They hold it that that any physical technique has three aspects: Breath, Motion, and Structure, and that these three are dependant upon one another. Stress “dis-integrates” this structure as it morphs into strain. The first to be disturbed is almost always breathing. This is the reason that martial arts, yoga, Sufi Dancing and so many other disciplines teach breath control, and why they can use the physical as a vehicle for spiritual transformation. As we learn to handle greater and greater amounts of stress with grace, we naturally evolve to higher levels of integration and performance. It is our birthright. -read entire article-

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Sybil Shearer, 93, Dancer of the Spiritual and the Human, Dies
By JACK ANDERSON

Photo: Sybil Shearer about 1949

Sybil Shearer, an unpredictable individualist of modern dance, died on Thursday in Evanston, Ill. She was 93 and lived in Northbrook, Ill.

The cause was a stroke, said Toby Nicholson of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation and Museum.

A dancer of extraordinary agility, Ms. Shearer depicted both spiritual visions and human foibles. As the dance historian Margaret Lloyd wrote in "The Borzoi Book of Modern Dance," "Sybil Shearer is a perfectionist who likes to believe that perfection is humanly attainable."

In her youth, she was sometimes compared to another experimental dancer, Merce Cunningham. When both gave separate programs at the American Dance Festival at Connecticut College in 1959, Doris Hering concluded in Dance Magazine: "Both are mystics. Both move as though chosen by the wind."

Ms. Shearer's first New York solo concert in 1941 attracted considerable attention, but less than two years later she abruptly abandoned what she considered the rat race of New York and settled in the Chicago suburbs. Making only sporadic returns to New York, she continued performing in the Chicago area and inspired dedicated students, among them John Neumeier, now the director of the Hamburg Ballet.

Ever idiosyncratic, Ms. Shearer rejected stage makeup and let her abundant reddish-brown hair hang loose during performances. She sometimes refused to take curtain calls and occasionally presented long evenings without intermissions.

Born in Toronto, Ms. Shearer grew up in Nyack, N.Y., and on Long Island. She studied ballet with various local teachers and acquired a virtuoso technique. The summer after she graduated from Skidmore College in 1934, she was drawn by a newfound interest in modern dance to Bennington College, then a center of modern-dance ferment.

At first, she specialized in solos. Some - for instance, "Let the Heavens Open That the Earth May Shine" (1947) - celebrated spiritual ideals. Others commented on earthly problems: "In a Vacuum" (1941) portrayed an assembly-line worker with physically demanding but unrelated movements that suggested dehumanization. Still other pieces were whimsical. "Once Upon a Time" (1951) was a suite of solos for fantastically named characters. Thus Medmiga was an ominous witch, Yanchi was fey, Relluckus was woebegone and Ziff fluttered aimlessly. Ms. Shearer once told the dancer Stuart Hodes that all these creatures "live in my garden at home." Ms. Shearer also choreographed group works, among them "Fables and Proverbs" (1961) and "The Reflection in the Puddle Is Mine" (1963).

Many of her productions were close collaborations with Helen Morrison, a photographer, filmmaker and lighting designer who meticulously documented Ms. Shearer's career. The Morrison-Shearer Foundation and Museum maintains the Shearer archives. In recent years, Ms. Shearer became a dance writer; her criticism as Chicago correspondent for Ballet Review combined shrewd appraisals with evocative metaphors. The first volume of her autobiography, is to be published next year.

No immediate survivors are known.

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"In-Depth: The House of Spiritual Retreat by Emilio Ambasz"
2005-11-23 until 2006-03-26
Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY, USA

Emilio Ambasz originally designed the House of Spiritual Retreat in 1979 for an imaginary site near Cordoba, Spain. It was constructed only last year, on a hilly, arid landscape outside of Seville. Featuring two white walls situated at a ninety-degree angle and a long stairway descending into a sunken patio, the house reformulates the vernacular Andalusian courtyard house into a surrealistic reverie, a mythic, phantasmagorical dwelling. The living quarters, which surround the patio on the other two sides, are recessed below the ground, using the earth’s covering to insulate them from the strong southern sun.

In-Depth explores Ambasz’s project through seven drawings, a pair of models, and a selection of recent photographs. It is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions designed to focus on single works of contemporary architecture.

Organized by Tina di Carlo, Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design.

Emilio Ambasz states, "We are beginning to understand that, like the ancient people of non-Greek cultures, we should see humanity not in contrast to, but as an integral part of both, the natural and the man-made milieus. Man should not see himself as a separate entity, detached from nature, but should accept his existence as part of it. Similarly, the artifacts we create should not be proud aliens, but rather should be designed as carefully and intricately woven extensions of the larger natural and man-made domains surrounding us."

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Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road

By Donald Miller

Nelson Books; 256 pages; $13.99

Miller has hit on an appealing formula — a non-preachy memoir about God, told by a laid-back young narrator who meets colorful characters on the road but keeps his eye on the sky and the wonder of it all.

Through Painted Deserts, a follow-up to his big-selling Blue Like Jazz (2003), is a revised edition of an earlier book, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance. That title echoes Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, an era-defining book by Robert Persig some 30 years ago. Like Persig though overtly Christian, Miller has a knack for musing about spiritual questions while the VW van loses power because of a bad carburetor. This memoir covers a road trip from his Houston home to the Oregon wilderness with friend Paul, two footloose dudes shyly pondering God, girlfriends and other mysteries. Yet this is no madcap story of dangerous asphalt thrills but a chaste and low-key trek filled with late-night chats and theological daydreams. The real drama goes on in Miller's head.

"God is an artist. ...," he declares when he sees the stars over Oregon. "The night sky is his greatest work. And I would have never known it if I had stayed in Houston. I would have bought a little condo and filled it with Ikea trinkets and dated some girl just because she was hot and would have read self-help books, end to end, one after another, trying to fix the gaping hole in the bottom of my soul, the hole that, right now, seemed plugged with Orion, allowing my soul to collect that feeling of belonging and love you only get when you stop long enough to engage the obvious."

This ardent writer seeks divine simplicity and gratitude, an escape from consumer hype and all things bogus. His readers get it. "I think we are supposed to sleep in meadows and watch stars dart across space and time. I think we are supposed to love our friends and introduce people to the story, the peaceful, calming why of life. I think life is spirituality."

— RAY WADDLE

November 20, 2005

A Man's Spiritual Journey From Kierkegaard to General Motors
By PETER STEINFELS

When Peter F. Drucker died eight days ago, the only specifically religious reference that appeared in most obituaries was "guru" - as in "management guru." It was, incidentally, a term he despised.

Many obituaries did mention that for decades Mr. Drucker, who would have turned 96 today, devoted much of his energy to analyzing and advising nonprofit organizations and charities. A few obituaries even mentioned churches.

In fact, Mr. Drucker's prescience about the growing role of megachurches in American society could be placed alongside other insights those obituaries recorded: his anticipation of Japan's economic emergence, for example, or his attention to the rise of "knowledge workers" and the uses of "privatization."

Religion, it turned out, had a great deal to do with Mr. Drucker's work. In 1989, the editors of Leadership, an evangelical quarterly for pastors, asked him, "After a lifetime of studying management, why are you now turning your attention to the church?"

Mr. Drucker politely corrected them. "As far as I'm concerned, it's the other way around," he said. "I became interested in management because of my interest in religion and institutions." -read entire article-

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Spirituality Pvt Ltd
GAUTAM CHIKERMANE

The number of people in the world: 6.4 billion. The number of religions: 43,870. Meaning, on an average, there are 146,937 adherents to a religion. This, of course, is incorrect because more than half of them belong to Christianity (2.1 billion followers) and Islam (1.3 billion believers). A total of 22 religions have 98 per cent of the world’s population as adherents, from Hinduism (900 million), traditional Chinese religions (394 million), Jainism (4.2 million), right down to Rastafarianism (600,000) and Scientology (500,000). Beyond them lie the statistically insignificant rest.

I’ve illustrated these numbers not to write a thesis on religious statistics but to make a finer point that questions the existence of adherents itself. My curiosity is more on why we get together and try and organise one another on the basis of commonality of beliefs. Is it the membership of a respectable club that gives us a sense of belonging, a feeling of being part of a larger, powerful whole, a classification that allows us to socialise and get on with the business of life seamlessly?

Shouting distance from my silent room are a couple of religious organisations that scream their sect’s beliefs every Saturday evening, reminding the rest of us of the noble, holy, sanctified and framed presence of their leaders. Between their out-of-tune renditions and the traffic jams as a result from a streaking sliver of chanters, this question raises its head again. As it does when my mornings are broken by loud but soulful religious wake up calls.

The problem emerges when one mortal merges into That through a spiritual transformation and from whose mouth the truth of the Truth can be heard, felt, seen. Krishna or Christ, for instance. Each of us has it within us to cross this line—that’s what all those who have crossed it, tell us. But need we follow their precise path?

I don’t think it’s possible for me to copy-paste Meerabai’s bhakti, Vivekananda’s strength, Krishnamurti’s solitude. Being made of a different material, mental and spiritual substance from them, I have my unique dharma to follow, my distinct path—create my own religion, so to speak. To institutionalise their words, their work, their journey into a dogmatic organisation for others to read, follow and walk on is, I suspect, going against the soul of their teachings. At best it makes for cosy networking; at worst, exclusion, intolerance.

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Spiritual angst fills family drama "Bee Season'

Jack Garner
Staff film critic

Bee Season certainly gets points for originality. When's the last time you saw a movie about a child's spelling prowess being the impetus behind four individuals' search for meaningful spirituality.

On one hand, Bee Season is about a bright child's ability to spell "dandelion." On the other, it's about the search for God in human existence. And caught in the middle of it all is the struggle of a dysfunctional family.

Sounds strange, and maybe overloaded with substance, doesn't it? Well, in many ways it is, but directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal pull off the odd juxtapositions with surprising acumen. Credit, of course, also goes to Myla Goldberg, who wrote the novel from which the film is adapted.

Richard Gere stars as Saul Naumann, a Berkeley religion professor specializing in Judaism and Kabbalah. His wife, Miriam, (Juliette Binoche) is frustrated with Saul's seemingly benign but intense, type-A control of the family. He precisely cooks all the meals and obsessively plans every family event. He also expects nothing but the best efforts from himself, his wife and their two children. Son Aaron (Max Minghella) is in his late teens and has great potential as a classical musician. He's distracted by a compulsion to discover the proper outlet for his spiritual longing.

His 12-year-old sister, Eliza, (Flora Cross) proves to be the impetus for the family's problems to surface. Out of nowhere, she begins to display a startling skill as a word speller, and wins various spelling bees en route to the national competition. The father sees Eliza's skill as some sort of spiritual manifestation.

The directors get impressive performances from the children, especially the wonderfully expressive Cross.

A film about spiritual hunger is a rare thing, and Bee Season skillfully spells out its challenges.

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SAN QUENTIN
Crowd at prison urges clemency for killer
Crips founder has written kids' books promoting peace


- Leslie Fulbright, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, November 20, 2005

More than a thousand people gathered at the gates to San Quentin prison Saturday morning to denounce the death penalty and ask the governor to have mercy on Stanley "Tookie" Williams, who is to be executed next month.

Among those calling for clemency for Williams was Calvin Broadus, better known as rap star Snoop Dogg, who wore a "SaveTookie.org" T-shirt and gave a speech, saying the Death Row inmate's call for peace inspired him to change his gang-banging ways.

"I didn't get this from someone that was on the streets, or my father -- I got it from Stan, a brother that was locked up on Death Row," Snoop Dogg, 33, said to loud cheers. "Stanley Williams is not just a regular old guy -- he's an inspirator. He inspires me, and I inspire millions.

"His voice needs to be heard."

Williams, 51, was convicted of four murders in 1981. The first was the killing of Albert Owens in a 1979 robbery of a 7-Eleven store. He was also convicted of killing Yen-Yi Yang, 76, his wife, Tsai-Shai Yang, 63, and their daughter Yee-Chen Lin, 43, during a robbery at a motel.

He is scheduled to be executed Dec. 13. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has the power to grant him clemency.

Williams has maintained his innocence. He admits he helped organize the Crips gang in Los Angeles but says he has since changed his ways.

He has authored a number of children's books in an attempt to steer African American youth away from the violence he helped unleash. The works are used in classrooms worldwide and have earned Williams five nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. -read entire article-

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A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Muslim devotees go on four-month pilgrimage

Story by ANCHALEE KONGRUT

A group of 16 Muslim devotees walking on the Takua Pa-Phuket highway under the scorching sun turns heads among locals and passers-by. Wearing pilgrim's outfits soaked with sweat, the devotees have turbans on their heads to protect them from the heat of the sun. They have a small bag to keep their personal belongings in.

Each walks calmly as if in meditation. It's just weeks till they complete their four-month mission, known in Arabic as ''dahvah tableek'' or pilgrimage, to spread Islamic teachings in the hope that more people will embrace Allah.

Charlie Srisupli, 45, said his group represents Muslims from Java mosque in Bangkok's Sathon district.

He is a businessman who runs a small garment company in Bangkok. Others have different careers but they have the same goal _ to practise ''tarbiyah'', an Arabic term for spiritual cleansing through living a hard life. -read entire story-

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The finished symphony

JAMES MacMILLAN

The de-sacralisation of our world, so enthusiastically cultivated by the new ruling elites, stands at a polar opposite from the potential for transcendence claimed by classical music. In that sense, the battles for serious music are part of a wider culture war apparent at various levels of modern Scotland.

What is it about serious music that offends the triumphalistic trendies basking in the apparent victories of a demystified popular culture? Is it its very ability to rise from the mundane and stretch towards a sense of the extra-ordinary that gets right up their noses? Is it the suggestion that there may be such a thing as a secret inner life which cannot be reduced to a rigorously enforced commonality? That there may be no such thing as a closed universe?

Serious music presents a counter-cultural challenge to secularism's dead-handed confirmation of things as they are. Classical music faces down this ideological capitulation to the materialistic doctrines which now rule our lives. The boundless vision of composers through the ages points to the realisation of ourselves as something greater than we are.

This is why lovers of music refer to it as the most spiritual of the arts. It is not just seasoned theologians who use this terminology, but countless ordinary people, believers and sceptics, who will talk of the transformation of lives by music, of moods and perspectives being altered, of attitudes shifting and renewed meaning taking root in lives touched by a complex and discursive form.

If Scotland is to capitalise on its cultural successes, those involved in cultural provision should never lose sight of the different claims that different musics make for themselves. The politically correct view that there is no meaningful difference between 'high' and 'low' art must be challenged anew. -read entire essay-

November 13, 2005

BOOK REVIEW
His sojourn, our pathway: On Bro.Karl Gaspar’s
“To be Poor and obscure: The spiritual journey of a Mindanawon”

By Marian Castillo / 12 November 2005

DAVAO CITY -- Voluminous texts usually jade me that after more than a decade in school, it is only now that I got to finish reading an entire book. Perhaps, what facilitated the completion was my awed amazement at finding someone who thinks and feels the way I do about writing (Brother Karl Gaspar, the reluctant writer: “I was always insecure about my writing”), and who could articulate the lifeworld I always entertained (to be poor and obscure as a missionary), that with every page comes the assurance that what I am doing is meaningful.

I thought that the completion was such an achievement. At a second look though, I seem to have the inkling that the end of sojourning with Brother Karl through reading his book “To be poor and obscure, the Spiritual Sojourn of a Mindanawon” just marked the beginning of a greater quest- my search for justice. (Put it in another way, as a student of Social Justice in the Philippines, reading his book was an ample closure because after having gone through the current issues of marginalization and inequity and the historical context which brought them, as well as the interplay of historical and social conditions that contribute to the formation of social goals, I am now confronted with a learning exercise which demonstrates the workability of justice governing everyday interaction).

Fr. Karl’s accounts of his personal, political and spiritual journey have made me completely at home in what should be the most alien of environments and acquainted me with the many faces and souls he has encountered in the most remote and neglected areas in Mindanao that his sojourn serves to offer a pathway, both a daan and paraan, both a direction and correction. -read entire review-

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The hidden life of Charles de Foucauld

An explorer, monk and priest who did nothing by half-measures

By KATE WHITE

Charles de Foucauld lived a remarkable life of adventure, deprivation and devotion. He was a man of extremes, an aristocratic bon vivant whose conversion to Christianity led him to embrace a life of radical solitude and prayer. He was killed in 1916 by a group of rebels in the Algerian desert where he had lived in the midst of a Berber tribe for 10 years, drawn to serve the poor and the forsaken.

Foucauld, who will be beatified in Rome Nov. 13, was inspired by the “hidden life” of Jesus in Nazareth and hoped that other disciples of Jesus would be as well. He championed a life for religious that would not only be found in enclosed communities, monasteries or convents but lived among ordinary people.

He hoped lay missionaries would come to the southern part of Algeria. He envisioned Christians who would participate in the local economy and live a Christian life among a Muslim population. All this in the early 1900s.

The Muslim holy man who said of Foucauld, “He has given his time to the Eternal,” did not say, “He has given his life” but rather “his time.” To give one’s time is a very concrete, demanding experience. To give one’s life seems more abstract.

During many hours of adoration in front of the Eucharist, Foucauld had images of the role of the church. Missionaries should live among the poor and be witnesses to the life of Christ. They should not necessarily preach the Gospel with words, but live the joy and simplicity and poverty of a life like that of Jesus.

He thought the liturgy should be celebrated in the language of the people of the country where it was being celebrated. Foucauld wanted the Catholic worship of God to be open and understandable to nonbelievers.

His belief in the real presence in the Eucharist was so strong that he felt the presence of Christ in the Eucharist had a spiritual effect on the persons around it. He believed the real presence held the world together.

Those who were influenced or inspired by Foucauld include Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Jacques Maritain and John Howard Griffin, author of Black Like Me.
-read the entire article-

November 6, 2005

Iqbal’s Persian Poetry--An Analytical Note By Mohammed Akmal Pasha

Kashmiri Pandit Sahaj Ram Sapru, the grandfather of Allama Iqbal would have never been touched by a whim of such a potentially dawning glory engendered through the sublimity of a poetic genius while converting to Islam and named Sheikh Rafiq. Scholars in Iqbaliyaat testify Iqbal’s Persian work as churned out to be paramount masterpiece, a paragon until next seer is destined unto philosophical world in general and the Muslim community in special.

Iqbal’s Persian works include Asrar-e-Khudi, Rumuz-e-Bekhudi, Gulshan-e-Raaz-e-Jadeed, Javed Nama, Musaafir and Pas Cheh Bayad Kerd. With no formal schooling of Persian as language rather learning from Maulvi Meer Hassan for the sake of his personal interest, Iqbal is reported to have studied 70 top class Persian poets, and being greatly convinced by Jalalud Din Rumi (1270-1273) endorsing him his ‘spiritual guru’. Where Rumi was of great praise for Attar and Sinai, Iqbal paralleled Khusro with Rumi in ecstasy and self-negation. Having internalized treasure of Persian literature, still Iqbal’s style stayed to be genuinely his own. According to Dr Hussein Khatibi, an Iranian thinker, ‘the style of Iqbal is his own so his school must be called Iqbalian school and nothing else’. As for the spirit of his poetry, Dr Ali Shriyati calls him ‘Ghazali Sani’ the second Ghazali. The main topics of Iqbal’s poetry remain to be self, no-self, effort & action, perseverance, dignity of man, passion vs intellect, indiscrimination, independence, life after death, morality, love of prophet Mohammed SAW and Qura’n. -read entire article and samples of poetry-

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It's the journey: Ted Hallman's fiber labyrinths provide a pathway for transformation

By Marguerite Smolen

Labyrinths have fascinated Ted Hallman ever since he was a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Arts and Crafts atelier that emerged as one of the 20th century's most influential American schools of design. There, Hallman began to think of every piece of art as a journey.

''One of my instructors, in explaining the painting theories of Nicolas Poisson, who is considered the greatest French artist of the 17th century, talked about the way highlights in a painting could be employed as a narrative device,'' recalls Hallman, who lives in Lederach, Montgomery County. ''Poisson used strokes of paint to move the viewer throughout his paintings, sending them on a journey that allowed them to experience it all. The highlights became a pathway in and out of the painting.''

Hallman's interest in labyrinths crystallized in the late '60s when, as head of the fiber art department at Philadelphia's Moore College of Art, he was inspired to show large-scale European fabric patterns in a labyrinth he constructed from portable walls in the school's exhibition hall.

''At that time, firms such as Liberty of London and the Finnish company, Marimekko, were producing large-scale patterns that had never been seen in the United States,'' he recalls. ''If they were hung in a traditional space, people would be able to stand back from them, and the scale of those fabrics would be diminished, lost. It occurred to me that a labyrinth would be a way to bring people in close proximity to these designs. As visitors walked down the passageways and rounded unexpected curves, the patterned fabric would jump out at them, and they could truly experience the impact of these intensely colored, large-scale graphics. Few people had experienced labyrinths back then, and none had experienced them as an exhibition device. They were amazed at the experience and emerged full of excitement.''

Since that time, as society's interest in meditation tools, sacred spaces and healing architecture and landscapes has grown, labyrinths have become almost common. So if ever there were a time to host an exhibition on labyrinths, now seems to be it.

''Visual Journeys: Labyrinths by Ted Hallman'' at Bethlehem's Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts explores labyrinths as tools for transformation. The show includes about two-dozen fiber pieces and planning sketches, as well as a stone and fiber walk-through labyrinth in the museum's sculpture garden.

But what, exactly, is a labyrinth? School children learn the ancient tale of the fierce and deadly Minotaur, imprisoned by King Minos of Crete at the center of a labyrinth, and the hero, Theseus, who is able to escape from the labyrinth after killing the monster only because the King's daughter, Ariadne, has given him a golden thread to find his way out. This story from classic mythology has led to a common misconception about the definition of a labyrinth.

''Labyrinths are commonly confused with mazes, but they are quite different,'' explains Hallman. ''In a maze, you are given choices. You can make wrong turns. You can get lost. You may find blind alleys, and you don't know which is the leading direction. If you make a mistake, you have to struggle by going back the same way you came, and try again. When you do try again, you don't know if you are going to hit another blind alley. It's not a comforting experience.

''A labyrinth is a journey that moves you through a space. There are no choices, but you can get disoriented because there are cutbacks, turns and angles. Although you can lose your sense of direction, you won't get lost because you're being led along a definite pathway. A labyrinth is a metaphor for one's life journey.'' -read entire article-

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Santana plans Super Bowl of Consciousness

DENVER, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Grammy-award winning guitarist Carlos Santana has chosen Denver for the site of his 2006 "Super Bowl of Consciousness."

Santana said he will bring thinkers of all types to the event and has already invited author Maya Angelou, among others, RollingStone.com reported Friday.

The spiritual rocker is a longtime card-carrying devotee of the spiritual figure Methatron -- which Rolling Stone described as "an apparition that strikes us as the spirit-world equivalent of the (lackluster) Los Angeles Clippers."