Sunday, May 11, 2014

Blavatsky News

*  A post at The Smart Set blog at Drexel University reminds us of the upcoming 100 anniversary of the birth of the American musician known as Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount on May 22, 1914.

Cristian Blanxer, Barcelona, Spain
 oil on wood / 44 x 57,5cm /2014
Sun Ra believed that the whole of humanity was in need of waking up. He wanted to slough off old ideas and habits, brush off sleepy clothing and shake off drowsy food. Because present time mattered little to Sun Ra, they say he rarely slept. Even as a child, he would spend all his time playing the piano or composing. “I loved music beyond the state of liking it,” he once said. Sun Ra was just as obsessed with books — you couldn’t see the walls of his room for the books. Books contained words and the words held a secret code that, if unraveled, revealed truths about human existence. He read the ancient texts of Egyptians, Africans, Greeks, the works of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (with whom he once shared the initials H.P.B), Rudolph Steiner, P.D. Ouspensky, James Joyce, C.F. Volney, Booker T. Washington. He read about the lost history of the American Negro and studied the origins of language. Sun Ra knew Biblical scripture better than any preacher, read Kabbalah concepts and Rosicrucian manifestos. Through these texts Sun Ra learned it was possible for the chaos of human knowledge to be ordered. Theosophy, relativity, mathematics, physics, history, music, magic, science fiction, Egyptology, technology — all were keys to a unified existence. Ideas and music carried a reclusive black boy from Birmingham and transported him into outer space. But the most important idea Sun Ra learned from all his reading, from all the knowledge he acquired, is how puny knowledge is in the face of the unknown. We need the unknown, Sun Ra said, in order to survive.

*  Dr. Christopher Scheer will address the impact of Theosophy on developments in modern art and music. "Founded in New York City in 1875 by a group that included the mystic Helena Blavatsky, the Theosophical Society united Western esoteric thought with Eastern philosophical and religious ideas in an attempt to understand the mysteries of the universe. The event “Art History: Enchanted Modernities-Theosophical Thought in the History of 20th century Art and Music” will be held Thursday, June 12, 5:30 pm at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Ketchum, the oldest arts organization in Idaho’s Wood River Valley.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments to this blog are subject to moderation, and may appear at our sole discretion, if found to add relevance to the site's topics.