Archive for October, 2009

WCW Wrestler takes on the ROM!

My father-in-law

My father-in-law

Here is part two of Sgt. Craig ‘The Pitbull’ Pittman taking on the ROM. (Did you miss the first video? It’s right here.) We had a blast filming these; he’s heard me rave about the ROM since I started using it earlier this year. (I think he was impressed that I’m getting any kind of regular workout; probably one of his greatest disappointments when his daughter & I started dating in the 1990s was how his precious little girl – scion of two Olympic athletes! – was seeing, not quite a 98 pound weakling, but someone who didn’t have much athletic attention span. The ROM is changing all that.)

The Sergent (that’s how I thought of him as a teenager; the first time I took his daughter out, with some of our mutual friends, he said to me & the other guy with me – “You take care of these girls, and bring them home on time – otherwise I’m going to have fun playing with your carcasses!”) has had an illustrious career, beginning with Olympic and Marine wrestling, continuing with Japanese Vale Tudo fighting, and culminating in WCW wrestling. These days? He lives the quiet, sedate life of a law enforcement specialist in Florida. You don’t want to mess with him.

With that said, the ROM gave him quite a run for his money – as you can see in the video! What I appreciate about the machine is how it matches the level of athleticism and energy you put into it. It’s gentle enough for my dad – who’s no physical slouch himself, but has back problems – and yet can wear out a world-class athlete.

And me.

(To see my complete ROM health & fitness journey to date, go here!)

Guzzling Some Godka – Altered States & Permanent Traits of Spiritual Consciousness

GodkaIntegral musician, actor and all-around hilarious guy Stuart Davis has just filmed a short commercial hawking the latest in potable ancient-future altered states of (higher) consciousness – Godka, or psilocybin-infused vodka.

!!!

StuartAbsinthe what?

I wonder if he’s met our pals John Crowder and Benjamin Dunn – or John Scotland and Emerge Wales and Red Letters crew, for that matter?

Have you missed John since my interview with him last year? He’s YouTubing up a storm…here’s one of the latest, on ‘spiritual exercises’…

In a perfect world, John Crowder and Stuart Davis would get along like gangbusters. Stuart does for sex – on his bleeding-edge Sex, God, and Rock & Roll – what John does for drug culture. Crowder Baby Jesus Toke

If you missed it last year, here’s my six-parter looking at the Pentecostal/charismatic avant-garde, kicking off with Charismatic Chaos or (Holy) Spirited Deconstruction?

…and leading into a five-parter dialogue with Mr. John Crowder himself:

Part I Crowder Blue

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Good times.

What do you think of spirituality and altered states of consciousness? What I’m thinking these days is inspired by and summed up nicely in a piece entitled Mystical Experience or Unitive Seeing? by integral Christian contemplative Cynthia Bourgeault, in Richard Rohr‘s Radical Grace magazine. Money quote (though I could easily take the highlighter of my life and highest aspirations to the entire article):

The word “mystical” is almost always immediately coupled with the word “experience,” and a mystical experience becomes something that you have—or want to have, anyway. It becomes a sign of God’s special favor—a kind of spiritual “peak experience”—and circumstances promising to deliver that experience are eagerly sought after: from sacred chanting and Eucharistic devotion to Sufi whirling, solitude in the desert, or peyote. In the usual way of looking at things, it is an altered state of consciousness, ecstatic, something that takes you far beyond your usual self, a straight shot into divine consciousness.

What’s so bad about that?

Well, nothing, really. [Mike’s note: And I’d want to emphasize that I agree 100% – there’s nothing wrong with ecstasy and spiritual peak experiences! In fact, I could really use one right now…John, if you’re reading this, could you email me a toke of the Holy Ghost? I’d like Jesus on the mainline, please!] But from the point of view of real spiritual growth, it’s an immature state— a “state” rather than a “stage,” in the helpful language of Ken Wilber. A state is a place you go to; a stage is a place you come from: integrated and mature spiritual experience. It’s true that a mystical experience can indeed be a sneak preview of how the universe looks from the point of view of non-dual consciousness. And it’s true that this consciousness does indeed operate at a higher level of vibrational intensity, which at first can overwhelm our normal cognitve systems. But the point is not to squander this infusion of energy on bliss trips, but to learn to contain it within a quiet and spacious consciousness and allow it to permanently bring about a shift in our operating system, so that unitive (or non-dual) perception becomes our ordinary, and completely normal mode of perception.

Amen and amen. I’ll drink to that.

ROM By-the-Numbers: October 18

Falling Weight!

Range-of-motion results this week:

  • Overall weight: 256
  • Bodyfat: 29.4%%
  • Muscle: 33.9%

A pound a week? I’ll take it!

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

The Fun Theory In Action

…simple yet profound. For more, see The Fun Theory.

(Thanks to Peter Bell!)

ROM By-The-Numbers: October 10

Range-of-motion results this week: Slow & Steady

  • Overall weight: 257
  • Bodyfat: 29.6%%
  • Muscle: 33.7%

Slow & steady is winning this race!

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

Pirates, Heretics, and The Fidelity of Fidelity

TricksterClaiming the crown for the most interesting theological blogologue this month (and showing that British folks can generally disagree much more agreeably than we Americans*) is a fascinating conversation on tricksters, consumerism, tradition, spiritual piracy, revolution, orthodoxy, heresy, and much, much more. Here’s a roundup lifted from chief provocateur Kester Brewin:

Well first actually, read Kester’s original series. Then…

Richard Sudworth’s original repost

Pete Rollins’ counter to Richard

Richard’s counter to Pete

Pete’s return

Jonny Baker’s middle-way reflection

Maggi Dawn’s thoughts [ 1 ] [ 2 ]

Mark Berry’s thoughts

Simon Cross’ thoughts

Jason Clark’s contribution

Mike Radcliffe’s thoughts

Bill Kinnon’s (rather cantankerous) thoughts on Jonny and Richard’s thoughts

Tractor Girl’s thoughts

Backburner’s thoughts on piracy and the economics of information

Ben Edson’s thoughts

Whew! Seriously, folks, this is some good readin’. I still don’t know where I come out in all of this, but I couldn’t imagine a more engaging group of people to (dis/)agree with.

Lemme know if I’m missing any weigh-ins. Perhaps I’ll post my own, once I’m caught up on my studies

*Note: I’m talking about in relationship to general US political/spiritual internet chatter, not the American (and Canadian) folks who weighed in on this particular discussion!

Celebrity ROM I: And My Father-In-Law Is…

So I got my father-in-law in the garage recently to try out the ROM for himself. He can be a bit picky as to his choice of workout equipment – after all, he’s a Marine, Olympian, WCW, and international wrestling veteran. Who is he..? Watch and find out, my friends!

For the whole saga-to-date, go here!


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