The Making of Fish-Beings

If you're just coming back to reading this post after the long hiatus, make sure to check the previous post - it's the real 'Welcome back Blogger' posting.

So this is a two part post. Firstly, over the past few months I've been working with a woman here on developing a film she'd had in the works for a while. Her name is Tanya, she's a Canadian yoga teacher, and the film she's making, entitled "The Making of Being" is about shifts in the global collective consciousness. She's better at explaining it than I am, so if you like check out the website The Making of Being (i made the site :) and for those of you in the film making trade or the investing trade get in touch with me or Tanya if you're interested in getting involved. I think the film has a lot of potential - that's why I've agreed to edit it (eeek! another film project).

We actually spent last weekend filming for the movie at the Evolution Yoga Conference, here in Hong Kong. Tanya used to work for the big (sometimes a little too corporate) Yoga studio that was running the event so we got all access press passes which was great (Rich came along for the experience). The conference was actually really cool, got to rub elbows with the royalty of the Yoga world filmed some good interviews one with Seane Corn (YouthAids) she does a lot of philanthropic work, in a very pragmatic way, I think she'll be an important part of the documentary. We got to go to some classes, did repeated sun salutations in unison, and even tried laughing yoga. That was particularly bizzare. Basically a large group of people forces themselves to laugh, goes through goofy exercises, all in the hopes of actually laughing. Laughing of course has lots of therapeutic benefits - unfortunately, as a camera man in a group of crazed yoga students all experiencing fits of self induced laughter the process was pretty frightening.

The conference concluded with a closing ceremony led by the 5 biggest of the big names that were there at the conference. As what I'm going to say next could be read as inflammatory, I'm not going to use their names. Instead I've photoshoped together images of whom I would cast if I were to film a re-enactment of the closeing ceremony.
If you're familiar with the Yoga world, feel free post guesses as to who this mystery panel was. I'll give some hints. From left to right: An aging rocker, tatooed and pierced, now indistinguishable between a state of veganism and heroin withdrawal, played by Iggy. Next, his life partner, the leader of the group, on the verge of outgrowing her youthfulness. In the middle, a certain wester Buddhist master played by Filch from Harry Potter, and his consort a Lamma, played by Lady Galadrial. Lastly, on the right, a chanting Sun Goddess.

We were all expecting the closing ceremony to focus on Yoga, as it was a Yoga conference. Surprisingly Angelica Huston began the session by playing a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) video. One of the classic holocaust on your plate pieces where they show graphic images of farmers dropping cinder blocks on a pig's head. Pretty disturbing, and definitly a shock given the context.

She then invited her other 'enlightened beings' up on stage to comment. Iggy, Huston, Filch, Galadrial, and the Sun Goddess all had rather poignant stories about why to be vegitarian. About 3/4s through it started to feel like they were reaching. The spiritual argument for why not to eat meat isn't nearly as strong as the environmental one (Meat production is the number 1 cause of global warming, and with all the grain used to feed animals, the entire world could be well fed). The idea that when you drink milk you are drinking the pain of the animal the milk came from is a little harder for me to swallow (so to speak).

The highlight of the ceremony was when a local friend of ours asked the panel to clarify whether it was "OK" or "Less Bad" to eat fish. The panel quickly clarified that the 'nation of fish-beings' needs to be left alone. Moreover, science has shown that fish are especially sensitive. One of the panelists offered up evidence from a 'scientific' study which showed that theoretically 'if a fish -being had hands', and if with those theoretical hands the fish-being clutched a doorknob, it would be able to 'feel' all the other beings who had ever touched that doorknob. WHO KNEW?! I, personally, had no idea that fish beings (that is if they had hands) would have psycho-temporal powers actived though tactile stimulation. AMAZING.

The closing ceremony aside, the rest of the conference was actually very enlightening. I'm going to be dragging everyone on to the mat when i get back home.

peace from the Mish-Being


peter said...

Hi Michael
don't know if i agree with the saying the spiritual arguement is less than the environmental, for some people it is the core reason.

I personally really liked the closing ceremony though your write up was very fun and witty.

For me I felt thank god for people like iggy and angelica sounding the message of veganism, its deeply unpopular to be an activist but we need this voice, and lets face it, its not a great job to highlight evil and cruelty. I personally left feeling very inspired by them....

another point of view.


rebs said...


iggy pop. brilliant. that's all i'm saying...

as for the spiritual/envionmental question about vegetarianism, for some of us they are one and the same. preserving the environment, not being greedy fuel consumers, not putting up with the government putting shit into the food we eat that's bad for us and the world in all sorts of ways, standing up to that is connected to a sense of spirituality, an understanding of the unity of all beings-- even fish-beings. and that's what yoga (and any spiritual discipline, really) is all about. om shanti shanti. go dodgers.

off to eat a steak now... grass-fed organic, of course.