Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues GRR’s epic examination of the Life, legend and legacy of Philip K Dick , the deeply spiritual but doomed literary genius of our time. As the 1970’s begin P.K.D , after writing at an almost supernatural, supersonic speed for 20 years begins to suffer from unprecedented cycles of writers block. Seeking inspiration he welcomes into his home a much younger circle of friends , college students who immerse the author in the hippie, counter culture movement. Always a man of religious faith , P.K.D starts to have a series of paranormal experiences and becomes convinced that an otherworldly divine intelligence has entered his mind. An entity which communicates via telepathy and reveals to him sacred and eternal truths. The sci-fi author will have these intense supernatural epiphanies for the rest of his life and tries to rationalize these mystical experiences by keeping an extensive journal and formulating his own unique and elaborate cosmology. A type of spiritual history of the universe that is derived from or influenced by Gnostic Christianity- and channels it into his last great literary works.
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Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia an expert on Pulp Fiction magazines and genre literature continues the GRR tradition of definitive programs about the great writers of Gothic, Horror , Fantasy and Science Fiction. This time out its Philip K Dick who cranked out quickie short stories and novels before transforming himself into an intellectual humorist and satirist. Becoming the master of surrealistic sci-fi with deeply intelligent and paranoid works that are both terrifying and funny. In his dystopian visions advanced technology will not save us because basic human malevolence, money grubbing greed and officially sanctioned violence will never change or go away. The world is ruled by a demoralized cooperate elite and inhabited by a deluded population and only fleeting moments of loyalty, decency, tenderness and desire can illuminate the darkness. An obsession with godhood and the nature of reality runs through much of his work which is often overflowing with mystical and transcendental themes and imagery. His amazing and prophetic prose confronts ancient speculative issues and fuses them with his scientific knowledge and religious faith.
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In the final installment of GRR’s epic 3 part mini series – Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues his descriptive examination of the rich and diverse cultural and spiritual heritage of Spain & Portugal. As the middle ages reaches its zenith – the Iberian Peninsula is made up of an unruly assortment of christian fiefdoms and kingdoms that not only battle the Muslim moors but often fight each other. In a real life game of thrones overflowing with shifting alliances and bitter rivalries. Nothing exemplifies this uniquely Spanish mixture of crusading religious idealism and lust for power and wealth than the tale of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (El Cid) . Whose life and deeds would crash through the gates of history into the realms of folklore and legend. Jack also examines some of the great Spanish catholic monarchs – enlightened kings like – Alfonso X (The Wise) , whose royal court was filled with Jewish , Muslim and Christian intellectuals who would help to usher in the flowering of the arts and sciences in christian Spain. And last but not least , its the sacred stories of two more saints of medieval Spain . The 13th century – Raymond of Penefort – a brilliant scholar and teacher , and the 14th century Isabella of Portugal – the daughter of a king and a living embodiment of faith , hope and charity.
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Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues his examination of the unique and diverse cultural and spiritual heritage of the Iberian peninsula. In part 2, the Visigothic Christian kingdom falls to the invading Muslim Moors and the Arabs then with their vast knowledge in the arts and sciences create the most sophisticated civilization west of Byzantium. A highly literate society far in advance of the rest of Europe. Meanwhile back in the christian north , a monk in Galicia stumbles upon the body of St. James sparking a religious revival and the rise of knightly orders. Monastic warriors who push consistently southward as the reconquest of Spain transforms into a holy war. Jack also examines the lives and legends of four Spanish saints from the 11th and 12th centuries St Eneco/Inigo , St. Dominic of Silos , St Isidore the Farmer and St. Theotonius. Holy men who lived their christian faith and prayed for Peace, tolerance and forgiveness in an age of suffering and Death.
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In a special 2 part program , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the land of his ancestors , Spain and the Iberian peninsulas richly diverse cultural and spiritual heritage. First off – its a historical overview of the many different societies that thrived on Spanish soil (the indigenous Iberians , The Celts , The Phoenicians , The Tartassians , The Greeks , The Romans and The Visigoths). The Goths , Scandinavian barbarians and Arian Christians defeat Rome and the Latin church, then settle into Spain in the hopes of building a Germanic – Iberian – Arian Christian society. The elemental conflict between the two different Christianites (Arianism and Catholicism) is highlighted by the sacred story of St. Hermengild. A Visigothic Arian prince who converts to Roman christianity and whose courage and faith soon sparks off a series of mass conversions among the visigoths. And Last but not least – its the zenith of Hispano-Visigothic Roman Catholic civilization ,cultural achievements showcased within the historical tales of St. Isidore of Seville and St. Braulio of Barcelona. Vastly educated men of God who preached tolerance and forgiveness in an era of great oppression and violence.
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Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the life, legend and prolific writings of the extremist yet very intellectual doctor of the church, St. Jerome. A man of immense learning , a biblical and classical scholar, fluent in several languages – St. Jerome’s translation into Latin of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures (The Vulgate Bible) would remain the standard Latin text for well over 1000 years. His enormous influence on Christianity was achieved partly in spite of himself. For St. Jerome was a harsh and constant critic of the clergy and the church , and his spectacularly irritable temper and sarcastic wit made him more enemies than friends. Jack also examines St. Jerome extremist views on sexuality, virginity, celibacy and marriage. Ideas derived from the third century theologian origin and the Gnostics unusually harsh views that would make the Puritans seem like swingers by comparison.
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In this seasons second Halloween celebratory program – Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia recites two Native American ghost stories and tells the Tales of an Indian renegade serial killer and a German immigrant family who headed West in order to murder their way across the prairie. First off its The sacred spectral story from the Sioux nation – The Man who was Afraid of Nothing – in which four ghostly skeletons decide to wager and try to scare The Bravest Man alive – trying to make him shiver, runaway and hide. Next its a ghostly tale from the Cheyenne peoples – The Double Faced Ghost – in which an unhappy and immensely tall ghost falls in love with a beautiful maiden – and tries to convince her family to let him make her his wife. Then its the story of The Renegade Queho – a serial killer that terrorized the Southwest for 30 years – and who would meet an unusual and grisly fate. And last but not least its The story of the wild west’s first serial killer family – The Benders . German immigrants who headed west in order to carve up a piece of the American dream.
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In the first of the seasons GRR Halloween celebrations – folklorist and mythologist extraordinaire, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines The Dao. A great indigenous philosophical system that over the centuries took on the character of a religion absorbing many of the popular Chinese mystical cults , and its relationship to the supernatural and uncanny. First off its a historical overview of Daoism / Taoism as the Imperial court of the Emperors becomes filled with astrologers , Holy men, shamans and alchemists – who seek to make contact with the spirit world and the realm of the Gods. Next up, its the role of the Daoshi (The Daoist / Taoist Clergy) who spend decades mastering the mystical arts, learning how to cast protective spells and talismans and how to subdue and expel evil spirits and demons. Then Jack takes a look at renegade Daoshi who via the use of Yao-Shu (filthy magic) transform themselves into sorcerers and necromancers. Commanding such evil and legendary monsters / weapons as the Kulou Yuan Ling a type of gigantic Chinese Golem brought into being with the corpses of 100 men who died horribly. And last but not least, its The Bai Gui Yexine – the night parade of spirits , ghouls , creatures and devils – an ongoing supernatural event that happens in a different city each and every night.
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Folklorist and mythologist extraordinaire , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues the GRR Season Ten premiere with sacred stories that mingle both Taoist and Buddhist spirituality. First off, its the Ba-Xian (The 8 Immortals) , divine beings who were once mortal but achieved eternal life via their exemplary lives. The 8 immortals were very popular and people carried amulets , charms and talismans formed from their symbols. Next up, its the significance of the Silk Road trade routes which led to cultural and intellectual enrichment for both the East and the West. Told via the tale of Lady Silkworm which incorporates a far more primal story with the origins of silk. Next up, its the cult of the Jade Emperor and his consort, Wang-Mu (The Queen of the West), the living embodiments of Heaven and their vast celestial civil service that keeps the universe in balance and harmony. And last but not least – its the story of the Mischievous Monkey King, who takes on the entire Celestial hierarchy in combat until he learns humility and forgiveness from Lord Buddha and the merciful one – Kwan Yin.
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In the season 10 premiere , folklorist and mythologist extraordinare Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the sacred stories of the early imperial dynasties (the Xia , Shang, Zhou and Han) who transformed China from a primitive tribal culture into a highly sophisticated civilization. First off, its a historical review of the ancient warlords and their sacred totems and talismans (like the snake and the dragon) and their importance and evolution within the realms of myth and legend. Next up its an account of the creation of the universe, The tale of Pan-Gu, the offspring of the primal Yin and Yang. Who separates the Heaven and the Earth , and forms the World from his decomposing body. Then its the great Mother goddess , Nu-Gua and her consort Fu-Xi , separate dieties who are transfigurated by the Han dynasty Taoists into a divine married couple- hybrid spiritual beings with human heads and entwined serpents tails that are forever locked together in an eternal embrace and divine copulation. Last but not least , its the Celestial Gods and Goddesses (The Sun, Moon and Stars) and some of the divinities linked to the firmament . Like the divine Archer Yi – who takes on the Lord of Heaven’s rebellious children (The 10 Suns) who have decided to shine in the sky all at the same time causing heat and havoc for humanity.
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