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Turn around

kingdomofheaven

 

And He called a little child to Himself

and put him in the midst of them,

And said,

Truly I say to you,

unless you turn around

and become like little children,

you can never enter the kingdom of heaven.

— Matthew 18:2-3

 

Truly I tell you,

whoever does not receive and accept

and welcome the kingdom of God

like a little child

shall not enter it at all.

— Mark 10:15

 

Image credit: @therealbanksy

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“Enter Pyongyang” is another stunning collaboration between city-­branding pioneer JT Singh and flow-motion videographer Rob Whitworth. Blending time-lapse photography, acceleration and slow motion, HD and digital animation, they have produced a cutting‐edge panorama of a city hardly known, but one emerging on the visitor’s landscape as North Korea’s opening unfolds.

North Korea was the last country seemingly immune to change—but no longer. Recent years have witnessed mobile phone penetration, a surge in tourists, and even a marathon. Numerous special economic zones have been launched in cooperation with China, Russia, and South Korea, with railways planned linking all countries in the region. “Enter Pyongyang” captures not just the city, but this dynamism and sense of potential.

This video is the single most significant multi-­media contribution to transcending clichés about North Korea as a society defined by reclusiveness and destitution. To travel there is to witness a proud civilization, though one caught in a Cold War time-warp. Korean cultural traditions are meticulously preserved and displayed in authentic richness. Anyone who has witnessed the awe-inspiring Mass Games knows that, with great sacrifice, North Koreans can pull off a performance unparalleled in its precision.

“Enter Pyongyang” captures the reality of North Korean citizens as earnest and humane, not automatons. The infamous traffic ladies and subway guards stand stiff and sentinel—but today they share a smile too. The more North Koreans one meets, the more one sees an organic society that wants to be a normal country. If you travel there not to judge but to appreciate, you will come away with a better understanding of how challenging national transformation can be.

"Enter Pyongyang" is above all an invitation to explore. Few places in the world have been as hermetically sealed as North Korea, but Koryo Tours has made it possible not just to see North Korea but to engage with it in ways that were impossible until very recently. This is a window of opportunity not to be missed. If Pyongyang is no longer off limits, no place is.

–Foreword by Dr. Parag Khanna, Director, Hybrid Reality

Koryo Group: The Koryo team brought a wealth of valuable knowledge and expertise to this project. Thanks to their extensive experience in running tourism and cultural engagement projects in North Korea since 1993, we were able to get unprecedented access in Pyongyang. We are thankful to the Koryo team and their Korean partners for an unforgettable experience.

FAQs

-How were you guys allowed to film in Pyongyang?

This project was produced in conjunction with Koryo Tours, the leading North Korea travel specialist. Vicky Mohieddeen of Koryo Tours was with us throughout the shoot.

-Were there restrictions on what was allowed to be filmed?

We were closely assisted by two guides from the National Tourism Administration, who helped us gain special access to locations and made sure that we followed all the rules. As is standard for all foreign visitors to the country, we were not allowed to shoot any construction sites, undeveloped locations or military personnel. Other than that we were given relatively free reign.

-Isn’t this all fake? You don’t see the real North Korea.

The average visitor to Pyongyang is likely to be surprised by the scenes they encounter and are especially surprised about how clean and orderly the city actually is. Indeed, people living in Pyongyang and other major cities enjoy a higher quality of life than those in other parts of the county.

-Are people allowed to travel to North Korea?

Yes, despite what the majority of people think, it is possible to visit North Korea as a tourist. North Korea does not release official data on the number of Western tourists it receives, but estimates range from 4,000 to 6,000 per year. Most of the foreign tourists are from Mainland China, estimated in the tens of thousands annually.

-Were you paid to make this film?

We volunteered for this project with no pay at all. All other travel expenses for the 6 day trip were covered by Koryo Tours.

-Does this film support the DPRK government?

"Enter Pyongyang" is an observational film. At no point did Koryo Tours or we have to pretend to be supporters of the DPRK Government or their philosophy in order to be granted permission to shoot this film. Amazingly, we were given complete editorial control in the making of this piece.

Tom Day (Music)
Website: http://www.tomday.me
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/tomday

JT Singh
Website: http://www.jtsingh.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/jtssingh
Twitter: twitter.com/jtssingh

Rob Whitworth
Website: http://www.robwhitworth.co.uk/
Facebook: facebook.com/RobWhitworthPhotography
Twitter: twitter.com/kwhi02

Koryo Tours
Website: http://www.koryogroup.com
Facebook: facebook.com/koryotours
Twitter: twitter.com/koryotours

Uncategorized

The heart of Lucy

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Yesterday I went out for dinner and a movie, with an old friend who is lonely.

He is a father. And a divorcee. His own father passed recently.

The movie was called Lucy.

I found it thought provoking. And on further reflection, disturbing.

In a penultimate scene, Lucy has just disappeared, at the very instant of reaching “100%”, and, just as the bad guy protagonist empties a pistol into her head. A policeman asks, “Where is she?”

A text message immediately appears on his mobile phone.

“I AM EVERYWHERE”.

This movie presents a message.

An aspiration.

An ideal.

That if only we could access 20%, 30%, 40%, or 100% of the capacity of our brains, we could become as gods.

All knowledgeable.

All powerful.

Immortal.

But in becoming as gods*, we lose our humanity.

When I consider the violence, oppression, pain, suffering, destruction, torment, devastation, deceit, and mass murder we have wrought in the world over the past century — throughout our much-lauded, Panglossian age of scientific discovery, of technology, of Information, and of ever-growing Knowledge … but not, it seems, of Wisdom — I wonder.

Why do we not make movies that present a very different message.

Imagine a world where we all would access 100% of the capacity of our hearts.

 

* Johansson’s character becomes cold, violent, murderous, inconsiderate, demanding, manipulative, self-obsessed. Heartless. One wonders what kind of “god” it is the film writers are presenting as an aspirational ideal.

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When thou comest by thyself,
think not before what thou shalt do after,
but forsake as well good thoughts as evil thoughts,
and pray not with thy mouth
but list[en] thee right well.

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And then if thou aught shalt say,
look not how much nor how little that it be,
nor weigh not what it is nor what it bemeaneth …
and look that nothing live in thy working mind
but a naked intent stretching into God,
not clothed in any special thought of God in Himself … .

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This naked intent freely fastened and grounded in very belief
shall be nought else to thy thought and to thy feeling
but a naked thought and a blind feeling of thine own being:
as if thou saidest thus unto God, within in thy meaning,
“That what I am, Lord, I offer unto Thee,
without any looking to any quality of Thy Being,
but only that Thou art as Thou art, without any more.”

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That meek darkness be thy mirror, and thy whole remembrance.
Think no further of thyself than I bid thee do of thy God,
so that thou be one with Him in spirit,
as thus without departing and scattering,
for He is thy being, and in Him thou art that thou art;
not only by cause and by being, but also,
He is in thee both thy cause and thy being.

— Anonymous, Epistle of Privy Counsel.

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For silence is not God, nor speaking is not God;
fasting is not God, nor eating is not God;
loneliness is not God, nor company is not God;
nor yet any of all the other two such contraries.
He is hid between them, and may not be found
by any work of thy soul,
but all only by love of thine heart.

He may not be known by reason,
He may not be gotten by thought,
nor concluded by understanding;
but He may be loved and chosen
with the true lovely will of thine heart … .

— Anonymous, Epistle of Discretion.

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On the art of contemplative prayer; that is, of love meeting love.

Motorcycles, Mysticism

Naked stretching

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From where comes that light

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My soul weeps with longing,
For the eye of my soul it sees,
Flashes, fleeting moments,
Emanations of that which is Best,
Pure, Virtuous, and wholly Divine.

I see Goodness, Truth, Mercy, Justice,
Twinkling in imperfect man,
How little faith is needed,
The existence of the Perfect implied,
By that which is imperfect.

Oh how I love,
And long to be forever lost in,
What is on other side,
The darkness,
Pierced through with darts of Light.

But a kiss from the lips of God,
Once tasted,
My soul cannot be sated,
By this promise of His Essence,
For I long that all might share in Perfect Bliss.

Come, darkness, draw near, gather all about,
For so much the sooner your time will end,
I pray not that I should pass over into that Light,
But that the Light will move you on,
And dawn over us all.

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Uncategorized

I give you

“She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or,
if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.”

— Boris Pasternak, Dr Zhivago

 
Can you imagine how our world might change.

If we called each thing by its right name.

Imagine if we ceased to say,

“I love you”.

And called this thing by its right name.

Today.

Look your beloved in the eye.

Do not say,

“I love you”.

Say instead,

“I give you”.

“I yield you”.

Would those words be true for you?

When. What. Why.

Do you give?

Why. What. When.

Do you yield?

Would it be more honest of you to say,

“I take you”.

“I resist you”.

Be sure.

To call each thing by its right name.

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Uncategorized

The physics of True Love

Everything moved is moved not in something moved, but in something at rest.

— Hermes Trismegistus, Corpus Hermeticum, 2.6

 

Love, or giving, is the principal ordering principle of the universe.

How so?

All physical matter — the atoms and molecules, the building blocks of the universe — is “constructed” of waves.

All known waves, are simple motion. Motion that is described as being in, of, or through, a medium.

The medium, when at rest — which is rest — represents potentiality.

Potentiality becomes actuality, only when the potential yields. Or gives. Of its-self. Of its essence.

It is evident then, that the Principal principle of the universe, is Perfect Love.

Perfect Giving.

Giving out.

Giving in.

Giving up.

Of one’s self.

The one who truly loves, gives.

The one who truly loves — in the moment, in the actualisation of True Love — neither needs, nor desires, to take.

For in being Oned with that Infinite Potentiality, (s)he senses, becomes aware, of a great truth.

That (s)he has no needs, and no desires.

For (s)he already possesses — in oneness, with Infinite Potential — every thing.

(S)he is content.

It is from real-eyes-ation of this True Contentment — an Infinite Content-ment — that the potential for Infinite Giving is made actual.

 

If you consider the matter carefully:
rest is oneness which enfolds motion,
and motion is rest ordered serially.
Hence, motion is the unfolding of rest.

— Nicholas of Cusa, De Docta Ignorantia, 1440

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