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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Here Comes the Story of Hurricane

The 16th Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472The 16th Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472 by Rubin Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What does it take to make someone a great fighter like Rubin "Hurricane" Carter? This book might tell you what it takes and then a whole lot more. THe book will definitely tel you what it is like to ba an African American growing up in racist New Jersey. You see it was this hard life pelted with racism that made the Hurricane who he was. Born a fighter coming out of the womb, he was the son to a Lutheran preacher who was rather strict around the house. Hurricane one time saw someone stealing his families coal, and beating up one of his brothers, so Hurricane beat him up. Instead of being praised for defending the coal his father punished Hurricane without even hearing his side of the story .

Hurricane's father would later move to a nicer house in a crappier neighborhood . It was here that Hurricane would get introduced to the Apaches. THe local neighborhood gang which would organize fights with rival gangs and steal clothes . It was on one of these occasions where Hurricane had stolen a bunch of clothes that his father turned him in to the cops. This got his feet wet in the juvenile system and exp[osed him t the racism inherent in our nation's legal system. Later in his young life Huirricane and his friends would be hanging around a local river when a local pervert tried to molest Hurricane and a few friends. It turned out that Hurricane ends up stabbing the pervert which results in him getting incarcerated till he was 21. In the system Hurricane details and explains how racist the system is with prison guards and cops constants i9nsulting African AMericans, using racial epithets , and down right cruel physical abuse. The guards are sadistic and they are extra mean to African AMericans. White prisoners were not subjected to such treatment, in fact it is the cops who get off and making African AMerican lives difficult and would not lose sleep if they killed one.

Hurricane would later join the military after escaping the facility . He became a paratreooper and discovered the Muslim faith. It was in the military that he discovered his love for boxing and what he was meant to do. Upon returning to the states he would get incarcerated again for the crime of doing nothing. Later in his frustration he would pick pocket someone's purse and get locked up for a nether three years. It was here that he honed his desire to become a prize fighter.

THE world of prize fighting is not as pretty as ne might think. Promoters make the money while the fighter gets cheated and ripped off. A promoter will use a fighter until they are no good and then throw them to the proverbial scrap yard when they can fight no longer. Things are even worse if you are African AMerican.

Things culminate for Hurricane when he is accused of a triple murder he did not commit. Reading his account of what happened will give you insight into how cruel our system was and perhaps still is to African AMericans. The clear intent of the state was to lock up and possibly kill Rubin Carter. He was outspoken in telling his people to defend themselves against white cop oppression . The trial was a pic circus and a =joke with so many mistakes from law enforcement it was sad. Great autobiography and after reading this you will feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Toltec Path to Freedom

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal FreedomThe Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those simple yet profound spiritual works of art that make you want too say wow! And then run around and share it with everyone else. Yes to is that good . I read this one in a few sittings cause I totally loved it and the wisdom resonated with me.

The author starts off with discussing that the Toltecs were the wise men amongst the Native American population. They were warriors and they were dream masters. They secluded themselves and their wisdom and only released it to those who were worthy or would make proper use of the wisdom knowing full well that one day there would be a time for this wisdom to be widespread and shared with humanity.

There is a dichotomy of dreams, one is the world dream and the other is our personal dream. When we were young we lived in our own dream, totally free too be ourselves but then the world dream imposed itself on our personal dream. So we became domesticated so we could fit in with society. We wear masks hiding our true selves believing that our real selves are not good enough. Society, friends, parents and school chastises us for noon conformity . Inside our own heads the judge punishes us relentlessly for our mistakes. We feel the victim because we tackle the insults people say to us personally. The belief system acts like a parasite using our body and energy to sustain itself.

To free ourselves we have to master the four agreements. The first agreement is be impeccable in your words . Our words create the world we live in. As we speak we create. If we send positive words of gratitude and love then we are magician of light. If we use words to insult people and make them miserable we are doing black magic
The next agreement is do not take things personally . If someone insults us or delivers some other negative comment. It is not abut us rather it is about them. no we we realize this their black magic can not put us in Hell rather it will be easier to remain in a mental heaven. The third agreement is do not make assumptions . We assume if someone smiles they like us. We assume our partner knows what we like and have the appropriate expectations ton go along with. When our assumptions are proven wrong we take it personal and get angry . We need ask questions and communicate. The forth agreement is do your best. Your best varies and fluctuates. We may not succeed at first but we must be warriors and continue to make the effort.

We make agreements order to meld isn't society . Many of these agreements are self limiting. We must reject them . Mitoote isn't when the the cacophony of our fears drowns the dialect of our mind. We must fight this. We must remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent .Too be be truly free we must embrace the angel of death and realize that tommorow or today could be our last.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Ember in the Ashes of a Desert World

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


For a Young adult fiction this an awesome book. I picked it up and read through a hundred pages in each sitting. The books his filled with betrayal, action, intrigue and a great story. I will definitely want to read the sequel when it comes out. The story centers around two main characters, Elias and Laia. Elias is from the Martial nation, a ruthless Spartan or Mongolian empire that is taking over the entire world. Laia is from the scholars, a nation of learned bookish people who are overran by the Martials and put under a humiliating occupation.

The story gets started with a raid on Laia's house . Her brother, Darin, is on the run with a book of sketches on Martial weapons. THe chase leads to her grandparents house where in they are killed, her brother captured and she escapes. Upon escaping she soon contacts scholar resistance to set up a plan to rescue her brother. THingking that her mother former ties to the resistance might help , a plan is devised to get her to spy on the military school Blackcliff. In exchange for information the resistance verbally agrees to help rescue her brother.

Elias is the son of the cruel commandant in charge of Blackcliff. Elias wants to flee the empire and live a life of freedom. He is stopped by an Augur. AUgurs are psychic like people who can read minds and predict future events. Elias is told that if he leaves he will become what he hates most . This gives hi pause to reconsider. The commandant,his mother is ruthless. She tortures slaves for fun and she hates her only son who she abandoned to the desert to die. He is raised by the tribes and then chosen at a young age to be a mask. A mask is an elite warrior that wears a mask which adheres to their face. THey are great fighters and experts at torture.

THe main line going through the story is a contest of 4 trials used to determine who will be the new emperor. THe Augurs have predicted the old emp[eror will die without leaving an heir . THE story progresses through the trials, as it progresses each step we learn about the complexities of the different relationships between the various characters. It is a novel of shifting loyalties and young adults uncovering secrets about each other along the way. THe story is also filled with Ghuls and Jinn, who abhor humans. There is a back drop war between human and Jinn. THis is one YA fiction book that demands to be read.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Book of the Loup Garou

The Book of Were-WolvesThe Book of Were-Wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book may well be dated but it presents the information in a simple to understand fashion. It sticks more to the earth than most works coming out about Werewolves these days. The Book is to the point and the author explains their salient facts and then supports them with stories and legends produced from around the world.

Anyone interested in the concept of Werewolves would do well to check out this work. It covers the mythology on lycanthropy from all over the world. It is a factual breakdown into the exact nature of this mythological character.

One can imagine that on a darkened night maybe in France or some other part of Europe you are walking on the the road and you hear a bone chilling howl. Suddenly a large loping figure appears and it is coming right for you. Werewolf legend and indeed other shapeshifter legends go back all the way to Greek and Roman times. We have instances of the Gods being offended by mortals and changing them into animals of sorts. King Lyacon offended Zeus and was turned into a wolf for seven years. Apuleius story the "The Golden Ass" has him being changed into a donkey and finally being able to change back.

The old Norse has their berserkers who could put on a wolf skin and change into a wolf . Other versions of Norse shapeshifting include the witch being able to throw their fetch and take over the body of another animal. Legends abound of people cursed with having to be a werewolf for a certain amount of years and then being able to change back. Others have to change into wolves during certain times of the year. Others are blessed to only have to turn once.

Lycanthropy was art of changing into a werewolf. It was the ability not of sorcerers and witches. THey would take an ointment that would let them change or give them the feeling of turning into a wolf. At first Lycanthropy was taken seriously but then eventually it was regarded as madness. There are Werewolf like creatures the world over. There are also those who can shapeshifting into other animals. Hyena men of Ethiopia change into that animal. Rakasha are vampire like creatures and there is crossover into the vampire realm from the werewolf realm. In Poland and Slavaopkia they believe that once a werewolf dies he becomes a vampire. Ghouls are jinn that eat corspes like vampires during the day that have the shape of the wolf. I got this book three days ago and have already completed it. Enjoy


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Monday, June 6, 2016

The Art of Berserkergang

Putting on the Wolf Skin: The Berserkergang and Other Forms of SomaferaPutting on the Wolf Skin: The Berserkergang and Other Forms of Somafera by Wayland Skallagrimsson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Art of Berserkergang

Most people have been under the impression that berserkers went out with the age of the Vikiing and that their art was truly in fact a lost art. Berserkergang is both an internal and external martial art used by berserkers to not feel paying and too increase their strengths so they could take on multiple opponents. Berserkergang is not dead.

This book spoke to me and reason acted with me in ways I thought it could not have. He makes the claim that Berserkers are a special breed of people who are prone to feeling their emotions more acutely then others and can be rather boisterous or. Go in shutdown mode because society cannot accept their personalities. Berserkers types can also get really angry if they are wronged in the slightest. This really does sound like me. It is definitely the author.

The author went ahead and studied Berserkergang by exploring old Norse texts and attempting to glean both the history and techniques from those works. Berserkergang is a form of somafra where in the Berserker gets into a state of mind that enable him or her to ignore pain and have extra strength. Somnafera is practiced by tantric practitioners, Celtic Mainads, Christian Pentecostal and a a few others.

Years ago the author set up an online forum for those interested in Berserkergang, it eventually evolved into people meeting and discussing different for of Somnafera . They would spar with hands fleet and weapons all in the effect of improving their technique and learning more.

The boiled things down to some techniques to get into Berserkergang which I plan on using, 1) Involves using mediation to clear the mind. 2) Invocations to Odin 3) Ecstatic Dancing 4) Pain causing techniques. Once Bersergang is properly have reached both sides of the mind are unified and the back part of the brain takes control. THe sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system are in parity.

The book is divided into two parts.The first part deals with Berserkergang strictly while the second part deals with Somnafera . These states of mind can be used for problem solving and entering into a trance state. The author developed most of these techniques in league with peers and some reading. While not heavily to researched from an academic standpoint he does bring in multiple points of view to support his points. I like it.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ragnarok American Style

American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Neil Gaiman is a fiction author that speaks to me in a non fictional way. Not only does he crank out a good story with a stellar cast of characters but also manages to insert several metaphysical truths. I kind of like to rank him among Chaos magicians and other enlightened Pagan. He has done his reading even if it is not apparent at first.

Shadow is pulling time in prison for some violent crime . He is accompanied by some dude named Low Key (Loki). He figures later in the story. In any case an early release is granted after his wife Laura and his boss die in a traffick accident. A stranger named Wednesday offered him a job. Wednesday is really Ofin and he has a really big job for Shadow. A new set of gods is trying to muscle in. They are technology gods and they want to keep the same pattern but they want to introduce a new paradigm. Shadow goes on a slew of adventures, some with Egyptian gods and deities from other pantheons. A great war is about to come about. The tech gods are worried for their positions as well because once the gods are forgotten they lose their power and whither away. Things climaxed on a hill called Rocl City. Along the way Shadow solves crimes and meets a vast assortment of characters. He solves murders, reconnects with old friend.

But I'm the end Odin and Loki have a plan. Elements are pulled from the mythology and are plugged in quite well to the story. The story and the book are great. I found the additional excerpts a bit painful and boring to read after the story was finished. A must read.

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Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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