owen cyclops Profile picture
illustrator at the intersection of starting a family, weird american religion, and having a dog. a lot more stuff and comix here: https://t.co/uzxC71XMGI
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Feb 25 15 tweets 7 min read
in the video game that came closest to perfection, grand theft auto 2, one of the gangs are modern hindu ascetics: hare krishna

few remember how big an impact hare krishna had in the post 1960s west. there was even a subgenre of hardcore punk music based on it: krishnacore


hare krishna is basically a modern hindu (vedic?) movement led by the international society for krishna conciousness (ISKCON). if youve seen people like this at a subway station, thats the hare krishnas

people like this doing public sanskrit chants: dont see that much anymore.

Feb 17 9 tweets 3 min read
imagine: a man. he is in a room somewhere. he has many items around him - normal objects. at this time, each item is tethered to a physical experience: how he obtained it, where he went, who he was with, and so on

his entire life is like this - a physical metal network, enmeshed he has a stack of games and movies. when he looks at each one, he remembers buying it, or getting it from a friend. he remembers putting it in his car, losing it, finding it - all this colors his perception of it and his experience with it. how could it not?

he picks one up.
Feb 12 12 tweets 4 min read
i used to have a job working around comedians and comedy writers. it wasnt my job, but i was there.

ive done a lot of public speaking - some of it humorous. i dont talk about it, but many very large companies have technically paid me to do this.

heres something interesting: Image when you get good at "working" a crowd, its a skill in and of itself. an odd sociological data point is that once you cluster... over ten people together and you take on the role of "the speaker", they almost always react the exact same way

to everything. almost every time.
Feb 10 31 tweets 10 min read
HP lovecraft and joseph smith:
thoughtforms in the american spirit

quasi-physical ancient native americans. lost civilizations. magical metal artifacts. piles of earth, dotting the horizon of the mind - and the actual horizon, in a place called: the northeastern united states. Image when we survey the spiritual landscape of a people, certain motifs make themselves known. in tibet, we find mountains infested with spirits, charnel grounds littered with burnt bodies, colorful flags that write prayers onto the wind. obviously, this "means something" about tibet Image
Feb 4 34 tweets 10 min read
space in american scripture:
cosmic mormon moses

today, "pluralism" in religious thought means something like tolerance or acceptance. this was not the case in the 1800s, when it often referred to a different kind of plurality - cosmic pluralism: other worlds, and other planets Image this concept, which existed prior to modernity but seems to have really broken the surface (at least in the west) in the last few hundred years, was touched on by a variety of strange individuals, some of whom we have mentioned here before: ellen white, swedenborg, for example
Feb 2 10 tweets 3 min read
a popular topic on the internet is cultural shifts that will result from generational changes - usually, in terms of politics

one area this is rarely discussed in is the arts, at a meta level. put simply, every museum survives because rich silent generation cuts them huge checks
in case youre unfamiliar, thats the generation before boomers

their wealthy urban members just give museums huge amounts of money - if they have it. usually this is totally thankless. maybe they get their name somewhere or a call. they just do it because they think they should.
Jan 28 7 tweets 2 min read
modern man has a relationship to invisible forces he does not understand that is qualitatively similar to the type of relationship a “primitive” person had. you buy a house. theres this gas, called CO. you dont understand it, but it could kill you. its functionally magic, to you. you understand that it isnt magic, but you dont really know anything about it. its in these machines that surround you, i guess. it does something, but you cant see or hear or smell it, and if it gets out, you can die. only special men deal with and understand this thing. not you
Jan 27 16 tweets 6 min read
[magic catholic indian rocks and the fundamentals of hindu axiology]

this is something i heard (do your own research).

please imagine - we have met, at a party. perhaps in venice. perhaps in the 1700s. i am wearing this ring. do you like it? thanks. i got this stone from an ox Image specifically, i got in from an ox intestine. as you know, we are both educated of course, this is a bezoar stone. its a kind of undigested mass that you find when you butcher animals, in their intestines or stomach.

of course, it is magic. thats why we put them in these cases: Image
Jan 22 23 tweets 7 min read
[other hells and speculative meta-meta-ethics]

i really love the bhavachakra. although i obviously do not subscribe to buddhism or reincarnation, this is one of the all time ultimate illustrations. the entire buddhist cosmology is basically contained in one image, right here: Image you really could just stand here for hours going over this - reading some of it as literal, then extrapolating metaphors from it, it works for both an illiterate non-scholastic person, a child, or a 3000 IQ scholastic type. frankly, more religions should have something like this. Image
Jan 19 22 tweets 6 min read
as someone into: religion, america, and aesthetics (who also owns a car) i have naturally, on more than one occasion - asked:

why is the christian music on the radio so bad?

specifically, why is it “like that”? when you hear it, you know the vibe.

a few thoughts on this topic: Image i became vexed by this and listened to way too much of this music in my car. i have 2 insights. first, to clear up things:

A) i feel that this is not incidental. it is not a meaningless thing. it doesnt mean anything about “what is true”, but clearly it illuminates something.
Jan 14 44 tweets 12 min read
(this thread will contain some potentially jarring or bizarre anecdotes.

if you don't like reading things weird people write online, don't read it. that's it.)

the self, the mind, blood, and parenting Image im twenty one. i live in an apartment with my punk band. i just do drugs and read about religion and work in the arts. the furniture in my room is a huge easel, a desk, and a couch. i sleep on the couch.

a girl calls me. shes a friend of a friend. she tells me she hurt herself. Image
Dec 20, 2023 25 tweets 18 min read
[patterns patterns patterns]

soon we will clock out for christmas break. soon, but not tonight.

lets take a look an atypical pattern format, a niche socio-cultural artistic theory on patterns, and an art historical-physics connection i made and was unable to find anywhere else Image this time of year, when winter is kicking in, is the best time to notice “li patterns” - specifically in the morning, when the cold night is shifting over to sun.

li patterns are a concept in chinese art. they are basically dynamic (active) non linear (not foldable) symmetries:

Dec 16, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read
been seeing grinches way more than santa claus this year. easily a ratio of 10:1 or even 20:1. the grinch will probably overtake santa as the christmas icon at some point in america. our culture has an allergy to sincerity and childhood innocence. thats santa. he doesnt fit. Image if santa is “not” one thing, its ironic. in order to make santa ironic or tongue in cheek you have to change something about him - make him drunk, evil, weird in some way. unaltered, as is, hes probably the least ironic character possible. totally sincere virtue + innocent magic Image
Dec 13, 2023 15 tweets 5 min read
a great social archetypal symbol is something called the danegeld.

clearly 'danegeld' is two words. dane, the danish - and geld, gold. the story is that vikings would roll up to your village and ask you to pay a fee to not be killed

thats the fee. the coin. the danegeld

[...] Image it typically comes with a small lesson.

you don't want to pay the danegeld. the story is that, you pay the danegeld. it's easy, you just do it. but it doesn't end there. they come back. and you have to pay again.

you thought you could just do it once - it doesnt work that way. Image
Nov 20, 2023 11 tweets 6 min read
been posting atypically as ive been clocking insane hours on this project.

this means i’ve been walking my dog late at night. this atmosphere got me thinking about dr. seuss’s ‘midnight paintings’, sometimes called the secret images.

lets look at a few of my favorites here: Image its hard to find great images of them online. his official gallery published them in a book and i guess keeps them close. you may notice the copyright ‘c’ on some of these images, or that they’re not super large.

nocturnal vibe.

Nov 16, 2023 31 tweets 10 min read

(an american religion case study)

in the 1980s, a document surfaced that could rewrite mormon history forever. a letter, with a new version of mormonism's genesis: joseph smith finding the gold plates.

[...] Image enter: a man named martin harris. he was there when joseph smith translated the gold tablets he found in the ground, writing the book of mormon. he helped finance its original publishing, and more. its hard to get more original mormon than him

well, his name was on this letter Image
Nov 14, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read
in tales across the world you find a person who loses one eye, then gains a type of spiritual sight. odin for example, has one eye

the woman below also has one eye. despite her appearance, she lived in wisconsin, and played a role in the worst wildfire in american history:

adele brise was born in belgium in the 1830s, and lost her right eye as a child. after her first communion she took an oath to become a religious teacher in belgium.

plot twist: her family moved to america. after six weeks they arrived in wisconsin, and moved into this house: Image
Nov 9, 2023 7 tweets 7 min read
the negatives for these photos were found in a place called wilderness, where in 1864 generals lee and grant battled - for a draw, with heavy losses.

by the time they were found, the sun had already damaged them.

these are the wilderness battlefield photographs, artist unknown

ultimately wilderness would end up being second only to gettysburg for number of union soldier deaths. likewise, elsewhere you may read that this was the harbinger of the war of attrition grant would wage against lee's army

Nov 2, 2023 21 tweets 6 min read
a question i've often been asked over the last two years is: what's the most surprising part of having a kid?

normally my answer has been something about the parent child bond

however, now my answer is different. here's something i wish someone had told me beforehand, tbh

... Image one of my favorite shows is king of the hill.

one distinction i'd make between something like king of the hill and the simpsons is that, eventually, i started to identify with hank. i never "became" homer while watching the simpsons. i became an adult, but that never happened. Image
Oct 24, 2023 6 tweets 6 min read
been emptying my head with long hours in the studio recently. sometimes you find things down deep in there

some of the most bizarre images of the 1900s come from a painter named max frey. he's not very well known, but i think he's very noteworthy. a painter outside his own time

i almost said, you'd never guess these are from the 1920s and 1930s, but, maybe you would. there is just something odd about them. are they futuristic (for that time), or atavistic (ancient)? its hard to say. either way it seems impressive that he made these being born in 1874.

Oct 24, 2023 10 tweets 5 min read
spooky tales for spooky season

hungry ghosts are a type of ghost you may read about in tibetan buddhism, although they are found in other cultures - over into east asia and down into southeast asia. i can also attest that you can find them in parts of north america.

Image some of these images are lower quality than i generally allow. i hope thats alright. as i deeply enjoy this topic i pulled a lot of them from a niche archive myself on my phone via screenshots. there are a few images that really capture the vibe that i needed here, such as this: Image