Robert Rubin’s Defensive Occultism

Robert Rubin was kind enough in sending me an advanced copy of his book Defensive Occultism. It’s being self published through Lulu. Robert is a professional occult investigator in the Philippines and has contributed to Mysterium GMA. In America it’s roughly similar to what happens on Paranormal State with less Chip Coffey finding spirits of little boys everywhere. The episodes are a mix of tagalong and english so I really have no idea what’s going on.

The book itself starts out with a comprehensive who’s-who of the possible ailments. While in America we just have “ghosts”, Rubin’s book covers everything from maligned psychics to rogue occultists. While not everyone might agree on the classifications, the book itself is comprehensive and devotes enough time to each topic to cover it fully. The second part of the book covers briefly methods for identifying whats actually at work. This section sort of reads like a lot of DuQuette’s work where things are explained enough to get started but leaves enough room to fill in the details with your personal flare. The final part of the book is actually what you can do to protect yourself if you’re so inclined. People will recognize the LBRP here and be surprised at the inclusion of some voodoo sort of work. To Americans, this is going to be an interesting take on the culture combination.

If you’re interested in Ghost Hunters or Paranormal State in the American market but wish the programs had more depth to what actually goes on, this is the book for you.

Nook Simple Touch: A $50 Tablet

I have reloaded my nook simple touch about four times now. Some of it is very good, some of it isn’t so hot. The nook can be a $50 tablet in addition to being an e-reader, etc. If you combine it with a phone that supports tethering, it’s truly a neat piece to have. My one gripe is the android 2.1 OS on the device tends to seriously underperform. At first I thought it was the eink display and then I figured out it really is just that crashy. The nook was developed to be an e-reader and not much more.

So why root it? For one, it reads books really, really well. If you root it, you now have access to Google Books, Google Market, Amazon AppStore, Amazon Kindle Books, Kobo and just about anything else you could want. In addition to all that wonderful crap, you can install Google Reader, which weirdly enough doesn’t support offline reading, and whatever PDF viewer you want. The stock B&N one is pretty good, but I’ve found for older PDFs, Documents Easy Viewer is essential and also lets you view office documents in 16 shades of glorious gray.

Note that the process I used roughly followed the lifehacker article, except that I’ll link to the newest versions of things. You can follow the LH version, just keep in mind you’ll end up about one version behind everything. It was dated pretty much the moment it was written. You should seriously install dropbox first on your nook, it makes the rest of this much easier.

Before doing anything, sign in with your google account and register the device. You must also have a youtube account married to your google account. You will not be prompted after you root it to register and I haven’t figured out how to get to the java object controlling this process and this is why I reloaded my nook several times. You have been warned. Register the device first.

If you follow the lifehacker article, you have more customization with the nook because you’ll be using touchnooter. If you want to bang out this entire process in one flash but don’t mind having any customization, use SalichaNooter. Finally if you really want to hurt yourself, consider minimalnooter. You should read all three of those first posts to know what’s going to happen with each of those ROMs. They’re all fairly interrelated. I went the touchnooter route and that’s what this doc will cover but I ended up customizing it to SalichaNooter’s standard before even knowing about the other ROM. Oops. The big difference is Salicha’s ROM comes with the ADW theme out of box.

Before you do anything, update the firmware. (Current as of this writing). Throw the ZIP into the root directory of the nook when mounted to your PC and then unmount the nook and put it to sleep. It will reboot. You should be on 1.1.2. You will know if you got there because the display will be faster and wifi will actually work. You want wifi working first.

Step 1: Download the touchnooter rom. Use a high quality SD card (go buy one). If you’re using a mac or Linux do something like dd if=touchnooter of=/dev/sdb bs=1M and you windows guys are probably screwed.

The nook will derp around for about 10 minutes then it will turn off again. Remove the memory card.

Step 2: The nook will boot and prompt you to sign into google. You did configure wifi before you did this, right?

Step 3: Open up NookTouchTools. I map my right hand buttons to “options” and “back”. You can actually hit “options” from the menu bar up top but it tends to be glitchy and not display. I make my “n” button map to “home”. When you hit it, it will prompt you to use ADW Launcher or the B&N bar (I forget what it’s called). I set mine to the B&N bar. Observe the right hand side. You will very faintly see an arrow. This is ButtonSavior. Tapping it will always launch ADW from the “home” icon.

Step 4: Open NookColorTools, uncheck and recheck the “allow non market apps” checkbox. Not sure why but it gets screwy quickly if you don’t.

Step 5: Open YouTube, sign in (if prompted). For whatever reason until you sign in you can’t send apps to the nook from google play.

Step 6: Install the eink debug app from this thread. You have to register to see and download attachments. I prefer the regular one. This changes the screen to monochrome, which is really nice for reading text and scrolling it. This is important in google reader and opera.

Step 7: Install opera mobile. Not the one from the google market. Use that link, it goes to my dropbox. It will install Opera Mobile 12.0.2, which is the last version. Using the eink toggle gesture and opera you get that buttery smooth scrolling. The opera baked into the ROM is too old and does funky stuff. Alternative: Install Maxthon.

Step 8: Install vending.apk (google market) to enable updates. Again that’s the known-good version from my dropbox. You want updates.

That’s it. You now have a fully functioning nook tablet and ereader which will work with all the stock stuff (including in store lending) and also read email, read RSS feeds and view PDFs.

Yahweh, Jehova, Adonai and the Meru Foundation

This is just wild as a mental game. If you’re familiar with the idea that numbers are letters (“music is math”) then this is going to be fun. The entire thing was posited from the Meru Foundation. We’re going to do this backwards and give you the big reveal first. Most people don’t know what they have in hand until they get that ah-ha moment and realize they knew it the entire time. Disclaimer – My Hebrew sucks. Want to play along at home? Take the mental model and correct my Hebrew. I only recently became interested in this stuff.

This entire piece does not vindicate the Jews, nor any other religion or race. If anything the principal laid out by the rabbis holds – “The [Torah] was written 2000 years before creation”. The spiritual world is a garden, and we tend to it by meditating on spiritual things. There are Jews who have this, Christians and Muslims too, and they don’t even understand where words come from. They have not the faintest idea that the secret of Islamic holy thought is that AL LA – All and Nothing. The Alpha and the Omega. This is the thread of esoteric thought.

For the people who are looking for the bite sized version, here’s a video:

Now the long version… I got interested in the entire thing from Puscifers “Sour Grapes” video. I had played with the idea, mentally, forever. It’s one of those things where the mirror isn’t important. You just need to know it’s a mirror. This existentialist idea blows you away the first time you get there. It’s not a mirror. Its you thinking about a mirror.

Remember that their front man is Maynard James Keenan of TOOL. TOOL is one of the rare, so very rare groups that have peeked behind the veil. TOOL suddenly look a weird trip into space with the release of Lateralus. They hinted that they knew something was up and that the next album was going to be about the Sacred Geometry but they didn’t say what, if anything, they intended. You can do the research on your own regarding TOOL, it’s been posted to here and back before.

TOOL is probably most people’s introduction to both Enochian thinking and the Kabbalah. Enochian is nothing more than the Kabbalah reinvented and entire books have been written about the mechanics with little regard to why. Now that 90% of you have stopped reading, we can discuss what Sour Grapes means. Sour Grapes is typical Maynard. He doesn’t ever hand you something. On the face of it, you can write it off as Maynard making fun of religion. The song sounds like a black evangelical church and you can just imagine the GOD HATES FAGS signs waving around.

Listen more closely, he’s trying to tell you something.

Watching the video shows us space. Then in space there’s a line. Then the line becomes a circle. Then the circle becomes a cell. Sound familiar? In the beginning were the heavens and the earth. Wait, it doesn’t say that, what does it say?

Righteous are those
Who look up and sway with the wind,
Who look down and dance with the shifting of the soil,
Who swim with the movement of the tides

Hm, doesn’t seem like chuch now does it? Maybe we should listen closer…

In the background it starts off with a hallelujah chorus. Sounds fine, it echos through the first verse. Wait, maybe it doesn’t. Right before the transition there’s a (barely audible) stumble in the back which sounds an awful lot like Ha-Le-Ha. It is not the words of the next part. The next part of the background vocals sings Jehovah, Yahweh over and over again. I think there’s a tell here. The background vocals for just one moment are vulgar hebrew – Hei-Lamed-Heh. What’s missing? Yod. Where do we find it? Yahweh.

Or rather, he hands it to us, but Maynard doesn’t say the trick out loud. It’s a secret, you see and it’s hidden in plain sight. After Hei-Lamed-Heh, the chorus background turns to Yahweh, jehova. What is this? This is the tetragrammaton – The Name of God. YHVH, JHVH. The transition here is incredibly important how it was executed. Missing from the language is Yod. Assuming Maynards Hebrew is as bad as my own, he said HVH, or “I will be”. Yod comes first to make this YHVH. Yod becomes Veh in the future, or HVH becomes YHVH. This is part of the message, no doubt in my mind. Yod represents the anchor of creation, the contraction of God’s energy to spark all of life. YHVH therefor is the post-creation name of God.

Where do we get Jehovah or Yahweh from then? We know we’re supposed to be playing games with Hebrew. In typical esoteric thought fashion, you must know the word to be the word. The word is vulgar, but in it is the truth. Once you understand the meaning of The Word the words you use to express it are entirely incidental. YHVH isn’t something you’re going to render in English without some vowels. We weren’t looking for YHVH, Sour Grapes is about Adonai. Adonai is the name of the vowel subtext in YHVH, yAd-hOn-hAi. This is Hebrew as it is read, Qere, as opposed to how it is written, Ketiv.

Hows it supposed to be read? In English. How is Sour Grapes about Adonai? Ezekiel 18 says:

1 The word ADONAI came to me: 2 “What does it mean, that you keep quoting this proverb in the land of Isra’el ‘When parents eat sour grapes, their children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 “As I live,” says Adonai ELOHIM, “I swear that you will never again quote this proverb in Isra’el.

The four levels of the song reflect the four levels of Kaballistic thought.

Pershat – The “direct interpretation”. The first go of the song is a bunch of bible thumping conservative Christians. My wife accused the song of being scary because it quoted the boble.

Remez – “Hints”. Reading the lyrics give us a hint as to the meaning of the song. We read the lyrics and realize that this is a religious song in the context of the direct interpretation of listening to the song without hearing the lyrics, then we listen to the lyrics.

Drash – “To seek”. We read the lyrics and think about what they might mean. Obviously thing is a song which requires us to not examine the obvious lyrics but the less obvious lyrics. Hallelujah, HVH, YHVH, JHVH.

Sod – “The mystery”. Or not even that. The entire song is setup to make people go from bible thumping fundies to taking a serious think about the universe. The mystery is made plain by concentrating on the sublime.

The word was written before creation, in the subject of this post before the post was written…

Book Review: Dave Canterbury’s “Survivabiliy for the Common Man”

It’s tough to write anything bad about Dave Canterbury. He’s a really nice guy. That being said his book “Survivability for the Common Man” originally rubbed me very wrong. In a fit of being polite for once I decided to not post anything at all rather and post a quick “this sucks”. Having had time to read it again, my initial approach wasn’t the best.

For reference, I am reviewing (presumably the first) edition of the book in waterproof format. I preordered it fairly early on.

The two gripes I do think are important to make: The book desperately needs a copy editor and the “powerpoint section” could be dropped. The copy editor part is where paragraphs are misaligned, punctuation is either absent or incorrectly used, and sometimes the spacing itself is missing or has extras. It makes for a jarring read and I almost wanted to mark up the book and mail it back to him. I understand he’s doing this by the skin of his teeth and that he prefers the video format, but I feel you have some obligation to the medium you choose to know how to use it. It was never so bad that I felt like I missed information but it does make a jarring read.

The powerpoint section is just that. It’s a slide deck he wrote up and put into book format. It’s OK, but I feel like his efforts would have been better spent putting the pictures next to the relevant material. Also some of the pictures simply are out there with little in the way of explanation.

My initial tack on the book was coming from having read 100 other survival manuals. The book seemed overly basic. Upon a re-read, it became obvious that this is in concert with his objectives to provide a survival manual you can just toss in your backpack and go if you’re in most locales in north america. Nothing wrong with that. Just don’t do like I did and read the title. It’s not for the common man – it’s for the North American Man.  That being said, don’t expect the gold standard of survival manuals (SAS Survival Handbook and related materials) but understand the intended audience.

Once we understand the intended audience, we understand the target of the book. Similarly targetted books, in this frame of reference, don’t do nearly as well. The ghost written Les Stroud book Survive is much less well organized. Cody Lundin also grinds my gears by making his books too short. Or they deal with one topic and thus seem to require a library to survive. And that brings us to here, where we figure out why it’s done like this after examining the other books in the field – it just gives you enough to get by.

When you read it, keep a few things in mind. When Dave does something like come up with a list of ten uses for a bucket, he’s not telling you a bucket is useful. He wants you to come up with 10 uses for something else you’re going to toss in your pack and hes giving you an example. The tone of the book is written as he’s teaching a class, and you’re sitting in the class, and you’re expected to ruminate on what he’s saying. This probably also accounts for the formatting problems, but if you keep that tone in mind you’ll do fine.

Finally, is anything innovative presented in the book? With a market flooded by other authors, some even by our own military (and some written by people who never even went camping), does this book bring anything new to the table? The answer is yes. Things like the socks over the canteen or 10 modern things that start fires, there’s a new twist on old material. It’s obvious that Dave is used to this topic and he thinks about it deeply in each new situation. Sometimes I was left wishing he had a better developed writing voice, but this isn’t an english textbook. This is a book you keep in your pack when you’re doing other outdoor activities and might need it, just in case.

Foxfire

I touch on these every now and again because they’re cool. I’m talking about the Foxfire Books.

My great uncle (I would love to know his name if anyone has the family history) was apparently the last or one of the last coal engineers in pennsylvania. One of these years I mean to take my kid to Strasburg for the rail tour and pick their brains to find out who he is and what sort of strange cancers I can expect to get. But anyway, the family has been living and working in Pennsylvania for the last few generations and while not all of us are rail engineers or police, we at least can say we contributed something to the landscape.

I will link to the first three books, the remainder of the text is available online or sold online. The introduction is long but the relevant part follows:

Many older people in this area, for example, still plant today by the signs of the zodiac and the stages of the moon. I had heard them mention it, but I didn’t know what it meant. Rather than interrupt a con- versation to find out, I figured I’d get my students to tell me. They’d probably know since it was mostly their parents and grand- parents who were doing it. But my kids didn’t really know what it was either, and soon they were as curious as I was. Why not find out and turn the information into an article?So they went home and talked—really talked—to their own rela- tives, some of them for the first time. From those conversations came superstitions, old home remedies, weather signs, a story about a hog hunt, a taped interview with the retired sheriff about the time the local bank was robbed—and directions for planting by the signs.

In short, it is appalachian history and makes for a wonderful read. Please enjoy the first, second, third, fouth and fifth issue. Another fun book in the same vein but less folky is the American Boys Book of Camp Lore and Woodcraft.