Monarchy, Metaphysics, and The Divinization of the Body

Hierarchs, Hellenes, Hebrews (and Hindus) The following is an exploratory venture into the depth-dimension of kingly investiture. Support is drawn from Egyptian, Greek and Hebrew rites (without hazarding a genealogy). Additionally, an Indian addendum, so to speak, runs through the analysis, appearing wherever reference to the subcontinent’s traditions (usually those of Tantric Shaivism) provides elucidating […]

Are Friends Electric?: Machines, Emotions, And The Importance of Rule Breaking

A robot is a machine. One definition of a machine, used by people like Alan Turing who invented the concept of a modern computer, is a rule-following device. A computer, and by extension, a robot satisfies this definition. Computers are rule-following devices. They do what we program them to do; no more, no less. Clearly, […]

The Body As Spirit: Yukio Mishima, Author, Intellectual, And Warrior

Yukio Mishima, bodybuilder and author

“It is… possible for people to use the body as a metaphor for ideas,” Japanese author Yukio Mishima says in Sun and Steel. Mishima had been a weak and sickly child, doted on by his over-protective grandmother. He wasn’t allowed to play with other boys, and grew up alienated from male culture (as well as […]

We Are All Prudes Now: Why Outrage Has Replaced Outrageousness

Woman's face, Yaffa Cafe

A couple of weeks ago, New York’s Yaffa Cafe closed down after three decades. Grungy and camp, with Buddha statues, Elvis prints, damask wallpaper and leopard skin print tables, the East Village haunt was an over-the-top home to equally flamboyant misfits (wherever they’ve gone). When I first went there, in the late nineties, it was one […]

Are Muscles Useless?

Author Yukio Mishima, photographed by Eikoh Hosoe.

The “Meterosexual” has been replaced by the “Spornosexual”. You’ve seen him. He is the male that inhabits gyms, pumps his body up, and tans and grooms himself purely for show. A cynic might describe his physical body as essentially “useless.” And “useless” is not the way we want to be described. “The protestant work ethic” — so […]

Mysticism And Martial Arts: Three Forgotten Schools

The Zurkheaneh, an Iranian martial ants and athletic club that dates back to Zoroastrian Persia.

In contrast to our modern belief, since time immemorial spirituality and mysticism have coexisted with, and have been an intimate part of, the arts of war. Mithraism, the cult of the Roman centurion (adopted and adapted from the ancient Persian religion, Zoroastrianism) appears to have had both strong militaristic and Gnostic elements. The Hindu Bhagavad […]

KarmaGoal: Crowdfunding for Personal Achievement

A new website called KarmaGoal is making crowdfunding more personal, and more spiritual. It’s about making “a better you,” and, with a bit of luck, a better world. You probably know about crowdfunding. For creative endeavors and business startups it’s been around for a while: A lesser-known illustrator might be able to crowdfund the production […]