By the beach of life

Life finds no shore,

Man finds not a safe Port.

Life slides by, and we pass…


Many poets, and writers, have described life as a river, a mere stream coming down a mountain, going through placid valleys, and dying by the Sea.

Also I should add, along the way it picks all kinds of things, too many to even remember all, and a recollection of memories who define who we are, what we did, and where we end…

A past that, if well spent, will bring a modicum of satisfaction, to some many regrets, but if it brings us a little bit of Wisdom, then life it’s well worth.

A River comes into the Sea

You ask many men, or women of some age, what they think of life, their response will be as varied as their experience.

Where I am from, we like to say, people’s opinion of the fair, they went to try their luck, or skills in gambling, depend on how much they won, or lost on it.

It comes to the reason that if they had a bad day, and they lost their shirt, the fair was not good at all, but if you win some money, well you will be as happy according as to how much money you made.

Not that life it’s a gambling casino, but if for lack of wisdom you feel a looser, well, whose fault it was?

A happy man


The great Stoic philosopher Epictetus used to say: It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it.  As you think, so you become …

Ibn Arabi the great Andalusian Sufi sheik said:

Be vigilant, God takes from you in what He gives you, He only takes from you, so you can become steadfast and so He will love you. He loves the steadfast.When He loves you, He treats you as a lover treats his beloved. It can be that the achievement of your desire is in your best interest, or it may be that your best interest lies in your desire not being achieved. He knows what it’s best for you, and what works for your best interest. if you dislike what is given to you at the moment, later you will praise Him when you see his Wisdom. God knows better and you cannot know his judgement until the end of the affair. His love of you is to look at the steadfastness which He provides you when He takes from you, the losses you may suffer in property and family, or what it makes difficult for you to leave. There is not a thing he removes from you that you may not have a replacement for it with God.

As it’s said:

“Everything you part away from, can be replaced, but if you part from God, there is no replacement.”

Prayer at the Mosque

Ultimately the responsibility of  life, it’s in our own hands, and depends solely on us, and our proper attitude we take when things do not seem to please us, but character, deeds, an attitude it’s for us to choose, and enact, later what may happen will be the result of it.

And even if it may seem life it’s unfair to us,  meanwhile there may be life left on us, we have a chance to change things, just be steadfast, and wise, on your goals and actions

Serenity, and peace do not reside outside of us, there can be places around the World with great beauty, and peace, but its not as important as serenity and peace within, so seek it in your heart first, and you will have peace of mind, regardless of your surroundings.

Serenity it can be a place

Posted in Uncategorized | 43 Comments


A Time For Heart


We have eyes to see, so we can navigate safely, you see an obstacle in your path when walking, well you avoid it.

We have ears to hear, and alert us to whatever noise we hear, if  it’s not  normal, example being at home relaxing in your bedroom doing whatever, and hearing a loud noise away in the Livingroom when you know you are alone.

We smell a heavy butane odor, and look for a leak, we open windows, and above all we do not light a match.

We eat something, and we notice it taste funny, we stop eating, and get rid of whatever we had in our mouth and spit it out.


Well, you get what I am saying, our senses protect us from danger, but how come when we see, and hear everyday bad news, about injustice, wars, violence, hate, prejudice, racism, xenophobia, we pay little attention, we switch the news and look for something else so we can forget all problems and enjoy our peace, an tranquility?

We  have the luxury to do so, when the fire its far away, and not on our next door neighbor.

Well not today, the fire is here at home…

Flag and Fire in America

And its about time for ourselves to be involve, and try to do our best, to be on the side of the common good.

Years ago remember having many conversations about the topic of future trouble in America, simply put; because our lack of awareness to realize we live in a small World today, and what it happens in another Continent, far away will also affect us, one way or another, at a later date, as Covid-19 did.

Please do not care to hear arguments  for who did this, or who did not, neither to hear political mumble, from right, or left. it’s not about partisanship, but to be honest and take the side of the one in need, the  downtrodden, the oppressed, the weak, in other words be a person of heart, peace, and kindness, not about hate, and violence.

Be an advocate for the resolution of conflict, not an instigator of problems, we have seeing a lot of that, and we want peace, and love towards each other.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Mathew 5: 3-11.

Now it’s a time for Heart, be all  united by it.

People of Heat

Posted in A Brave New World, A World in Crisis, American Hubris, Attitude, Consciousness, Crisis, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Democracy, Dystopia, History Has Consecuences, Justice, Moral Virtue, Pandemic, Politics, Responsibility, Right Attitude, Suffering, Things To Come, Uncategorized, Values, Virtue | Tagged | 41 Comments


Castle od San Angelo Rome

“Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn! Look to this Day! For it is Life, the very Life of Life. In its brief course lie all the Verities and Realities of your Existence. The Bliss of Growth, The Glory of Action, The Splendor of Beauty; For Yesterday is but a Dream, And To-morrow is only a Vision; But To-day well lived makes Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope. Look well therefore to this Day! Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!”


The more we grow old, the more things we experience in life, some of them a great surprise, and a  thing that makes us ponder at life itself.

It’s meaning, and our lot in it.

And we talk, and feel according as to what we consider it was good, or bad, but we did gain anything on it?

I mean even bad experiences can be a great lesson, and not necessarily a waste of time, or just unfortunate.

Monk with Dog

It’s not what happen to us but what we do with it.

Many things come from a giving fact, who are our parents were, our place of birth, the chances good, or bad we had to start a life with handicaps, or good fortune, and so many other factors, but in the end we all have to choose our actions according to the situation, and some of us if we are honest, can admit we did, not only a few mistakes, but many.

The sum of good, and bad will add up to what we call to be our destiny.

And we will have to live with that, and make amends if we have the chance, some may choose not to, or even if they do, results may not be as satisfying a we hoped, at least to others.

Mistakes need to be acknowledge first, amends are next, but not always possible, but you always can compensate by doing good in other areas.

Like helping those in need.

Be of Help

You may believe life has no meaning, or moral, but we all can feel the effect of your actions, so be thoughtful, and do not do things that may injure or offend others, that it’s just common sense.

As we grow old, hopefully we acquire experience, and even if unexpected things come our way we learn to sort them out as best we can, example this pandemic, we all had to adjust to it, and act accordingly, some of us  are no longer alive, and even more of us may not make it through, but we are all in this upheaval, and living these days who seem to no end in sight.

Covid -19 Restrictions

Well, do as best as you can, and whatever we go through do not focus on the loses, take it as another lesson to profit from.

A new dawn is coming every morning.

“And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope. Look well therefore to this Day! Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!”


Posted in Attitude, Consciousness, Crisis, Cultural Attitudes, Inspiration, Moral Virtue, Panpsychism, Responsibility, Right Attitude, Solitude, Uncategorized | 25 Comments


The Year Of Pandemia

To be Human is to be Frail, Transitory, and Perishable, it’s our lot, so Live the best you can, and do the most Good you are able to.

That our current year 2020 has being so far, a trying year for most, if not all of us, is not even news today, since the year beginnings, one disaster, after the other one, not care even to make a list this pandemic just being the top of the awful layered cake, 2020 has being so far.

No doubt, all these messes  here, and all over, was if not necessary, a wake up call to all of us to figure out we are fragile, and mortal, and our lives in the context of time nothing but a leaf falling from the tree of Life.

Every disaster carry if not a good thing, a lesson, or an exhortation to be better, and a reminder we are here just for a little while, therefore to use our time wisely, and do not waste your time, and efforts on vanity.

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. Ecclesiastes 1. 2


Fires engulf Australia

From the driest September ever in 2018 to the raging fires of January 2020.

On 2 January 41 admitted hospital patients in Wuhan, China, were confirmed to have contracted (laboratory-confirmed) the 2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus); 27 (66%) patients had direct exposure to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. All 41 patients were subsequently relocated from the hospital they had originally been diagnosed in to the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China.Who declared that its three concerned levels (China country office, Regional Office for the Western Pacific and headquarters) have been working together to respond to the outbreak.

To the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: AFP

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Just in more than a month we have the following crisis, and disasters:

  • U.S. Civil Unrest. June 26, 2020.

  • COVID-19 Coronavirus. June 25, 2020.

  • 2020 Spring Tornadoes. June 16, 2020.

  • Ebola Outbreak. June 15, 2020.

  • Rohingya Refugee Crisis. June 11, 2020.

  • Cyclone Amphan. June 7, 2020.

  • Southern Border Humanitarian Crisis. June 2, 2020.

  • Yemen Humanitarian Crisis. May 21, 2020.

Civil UnrestCivil Unrest The New Normal

Of course it could be argued, disasters and crisis are everyday occurrence around the World, but it’s only noticed when it hit us right down our own street.

And on top of it to be incarcerated on our own home because the pandemic, with no end on sight, it doesn’t make things easy for any of us.

And understandably  we  may be at our wits’ end.

At our wits'endWell, maybe  time to read a good classic like: The Enchiridion By Epictetus.

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”― Epictetus

Be at peace.


Posted in A World in Crisis, Crisis, Crisis of Values, Current Affairs, Disillusion with Capitalism, Ecological Crisis, Epictetus, Human Nature, Impermanence, Justice, Malthusian Future, Pandemic, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Violence | Tagged , , , , , , | 40 Comments


Mayhem, Violence,Burning,  and Looting

Michelle Goldberg, in the NYT podcast, “The argument,” said something that put the first five months of this year into stark perspective. She said that 2020 started off like 1974 (an impeachment crisis), quickly became 1918 (a pandemic), turned into 1929 (economic crash), and is now 1968 (massive urban unrest).”

And we just are in June, the year its not over!

On my past blog I wondered, after the Covid-19 pandemic the World at large is suffering, what new disaster we will be facing next?

Due to the long list of problems we face as a challenge, at our failure to address them properly, and solve them, for a lack of willingness to do so, on the part of us, individually, and the blindness from most Governments who refuse to hear the Cassandra’s outcry, warning us of impending doom.

I wrote:

So the question,  not what the next crisis will be? But which of all the above will be next?

Well the next disaster did not took too long to rear its ugly head.

What about Social unrest?

George Floyd Death

A simple arrest, transformed into manslaughter, was the spark that set the fire, and explode around the US, as fast as a wildfire all over our cities.

Yes, a spark it’s all you need to set a fire of gigantic proportions, when the conditions are ripe for such event to occur.

The reasons are many and of diverse manufacture, but they all come to a head after George Floyd killing.

The list is long as a year has days; Michelle Goldberg quote on top give us an insight of the maladies we being suffering in just half a year. But all with long roots into unresolved problems we still face today.

The Riots 

I will only state that after a long quarantine, and the loss of jobs. 

Friday’s U.S. jobs report from the Labor Department is expected to show U.S. employers shed nearly 30 million positions from payrolls this spring as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns—but that is just one of several varying estimates of job destruction.

Other data suggest layoffs might have topped 40 million, while another count shows only about 20 million are tapping unemployment benefits. No matter the measure, job loss triggered by the pandemic is historically high and likely to leave a lasting effect.

Needless to say those more affected are the people who depend from paycheck, to paycheck just to solve their immediate needs, with no extra funds for emergency contingency.

Here is an article that sums up our troubles Worldwide:


What about our governments?

And what is the root of the problem?

“Parents in despair because they can’t pay the fees at the privatized neighborhood school…

Families left without healthcare because the mining company that pollutes their river also dodges the taxes that could pay for their treatment…

Women getting four hours of sleep a night as they try to balance caring for their families and homes with earning income…

Whole communities thrown off their land to make way for a foreign company…

Workers paid so little by employers that they’re suffering malnutrition.

These are just a few of the reports I’ve heard from my colleagues in recent months.

Hrvest of Death

We see people frustrated by the surge in the power of the plutocrats.

Plutocracy is a society or a system ruled and dominated by a small minority of the wealthiest. The rich have always been powerful; some element of plutocracy has been present in all societies.

But the degree of control being exercised now; the number of the ultra-rich essentially buying political power; the nearly impossible persistence required to overcome the legal, public relations, and technical resources controlled by corporations and the richest individuals; the much denser concentration of wealth in even the largest countries; and the global nature of the resources, power, and connections being accumulated have combined to foreclose meaningful democratic options and space for a life independent of the materialistic values of the plutocracy.

The economy no longer facilitates human society; humans live to serve the economy.

The logic that undergirds all of this — the greed for money, power, and control — is antithetical to preserving an environment in which living things can thrive. Through most of human history we have endured various unbalanced political and social systems.

Today’s market economy has roots going back centuries, but only in this one has it become so monolithic, with virtually the entire world under its spell.

We are living in an age of hyper-capitalism: we have gone beyond industrialization and value-addition to a point where the rules are written by the financiers, and the finance industry, rather than a sector that actually makes something, has become arguably the most politically powerful industry in history.


A brief period of relative equality in the richer countries after World War II gave way from the late 1970s to a powerful ideology of competition, unending growth, and unhindered profit. This ideology was charted deliberately by institutes lavishly funded by aspiring plutocrats.

The denial of limits, the privileging of competition and profit over cooperation and public goods, and the capitulation of governments to the power of money has made the modern plutocracy a dominant reality, and one that must be reversed.

Commentators now routinely speak of how people can “contribute to the economy.” The economy no longer facilitates human society; humans live to serve the economy. “Freedom” has been reconfigured to refer to consumer choice rather than the ability to determine how to order one’s life.

A few years ago there was considerable debate about the concept of “peak oil” — the possibility we were reaching the beginning of the end of usable petroleum supplies. We may be reaching a more dangerous point: peak plutocracy, where society and the environment can sustain no more concentration of power and resources.

The now predominant and powerful ideology of competition, unending growth and unhindered profit was charted deliberately by institutes lavishly funded by aspiring plutocrats.

So it is worrying to hear so consistently from colleagues around the world the extent to which the power of people is being curtailed by the people with power.

The Many Poor Living Along The Rich

We see the evidence of peak plutocracy in:

  • the so far largely successful efforts of business interests to prevent meaningful action on climate change;

  • the push for high-input, high-tech, restricted-ownership agriculture that excludes smallholder farmers — a great portion of them women — who feed most of the world’s people;

  • the collusion of governments and companies in taking control of land and natural resources from communities in order to generate profits for privileged outsiders;

  • the “race to the bottom” among governments to sacrifice revenues through blanket “tax holidays” in order to lure foreign investment, even when the benefits are unclear or negligible;

  • the failure of governments to establish laws that protect workers from abuses ranging from trafficking to unlivable wages to unacceptably risky working conditions, with women workers in the most precarious, low-paid and inhumane jobs;

  • Low-Wages-and-Job-Insecurity-as-a-Destructive-Global-Standard

  • the failure to recognize the systematic abuse of women’s rights in many areas — but in particular the deep uncompensated subsidies women provide to all economies with their unpaid and low-paid care work that keep families and societies functioning;

  • the pressure put on countries — and more recently the collusion between governments and companies — to change commercial and consumer-protection laws so that foreign companies can dominate markets;

  • the use of coercion, including violence, by powerful elites in private enterprises, fundamentalist movements, and repressive regimes to control women’s bodies and sexual and reproductive choices, their labor, mobility and political voice;

  • the pressure to privatize schools at the expense of decent public education, despite the complete absence of evidence that the results will be beneficial to anyone beside the owners;

  • Save-Our-Schools

  • the unwarranted scorn directed at the public sector, and the pervasive recourse to the notion of “private sector led development” by most donor countries and inter-governmental institutions, even in the absence of positive models

  • the fetishization of foreign direct investment in low-income countries despite compelling evidence that no country has achieved sustainable development with foreign capital;

  • the increasing congruence of interests among governments, corporations, and elites in limiting the freedom of action of social movements and public interest groups, constricting political space in all parts of the world;

  • the increasing domination of wealthy corporations and individuals in United Nations debates and processes.

  • the brazen ideological defense of inequality and massive concentration of power and resources by wealthy individuals and the institutes they fund;

  • The Super Rich Yatch

  • the increasing number of disasters and emergencies are turned into profit opportunities, as affected areas are remade according to the plutocrats’ rules.

  • the refusal of governments to combat the global youth unemployment crisis with public jobs programs to address the widely-acknowledged looming crisis of deteriorating infrastructure;

  • the fallacy of scarcity revealed by the capacity of governments to find massive public financial resources for war and bank bailouts, but seldom for programs that would employ people, combat hunger and disease, and foster renewable energy.

  • WSJ - Front Page (Oct. 14, 2008)

  • The hyper-concentration of wealth in the hands of the few has corrupted democratic systems, in rich countries as well as in poor ones.

We need to democratize power. But that doesn’t mean just better monitoring of elections. It means making power more horizontal, more accessible to more people, the people who are affected by the decisions made.

There is no one-off recipe for making this happen. It has to happen over and over again, every day, everywhere, with increasing connections so that we won’t be crowded out by those with money and influence. We have to occupy space and not leave it, and then occupy some more.”

From Our World United Nations University. Soren Ambrose April 2005.

Shutdown Payday Massachusetts

As you can see the roots of the ongoing problem are many, and have deep roots on the Hegemony of the plutocratic model that the few uphold against the many. Protest  broke out in the 47 countries that experienced an uptick of unrest in 2019. And logically will continue to rise if the root of the problem its not addressed.

Now we are seeing the poisonous fruit these state of affairs has brought all over the World, the time for reckoning its here now.

The Poisonus Fruit Its Here

Posted in A World in Crisis, Backlash Of History, Consciousness, Corruption, Crisis, Crisis of Values, Criticism, Doomsday, Dystopia, Ecological Crisis, Economy, Environment, Future, Globalization, Government and Free Markets, Greed and Impunity, History Has Consecuences, Justice, Life Liberty and the pursuit of happines, Malthusian Future, New Values, Obsolete Government, Oligarchy, Pandemic, Plutocracy, Responsibility, Social Criticism, The Empire Crumbling, Things To Come, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments


Our Ailing Planet

“There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we learn and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.”

― Howard Phillips Lovecraft

There is a difference between enjoying your youth and destroying your future.

Nimit Kala.

businessman squeezing the world in his hand

Who doesn’t remember their youthful days, and look back at that time when you were young, with a sense we were indestructible, and a feeling we could get away with almost everything?

And as carefree, that we felt the World out there was for us to take?

Then we grew up, and we matured, and come to our senses, and as my father liked to say, we no longer thought we could drink the whole Ocean in one gulp.

Now assuming all of you readers are mature and responsible people, let’s make a brief checklist.

Eating The World Up

Poverty, War and Terrorism, Climate Change, Drug Abuse, Disease, Animal Abuse, Murder, Racism, Pollution, Population Growth, Global Warming, Unemployment, Sexism, Raping, Totalitarianism, Religious Fundamentalists, Severe Income Disparity, Refugees, Violence, Child Abuse, Obesity, Irresponsible Government, and Power, Gun Control issues, Mass Shootings, Fascism, Ignorance, Self Absorption, And spending too much time online.

And that are just a few of the problems that come to mind after Covid-19, that its not over by any means.

Monalisa With Mask

So the question,  not what the next crisis will be?
But Which of all the above will be next?

Maybe a meteorite out of space?

A nuclear War?

Global Hunger?

Mass extermination of Species?

The World in Hell

Maybe the stage is set for our Human Specie to disappear, or simply to grow up, and act like responsible adults, and do what it’s sensible, and proper to do, rather than act like spoil brats, bent on continuing  their usual irresponsible bad behavior.

We all live under the same heaven, and our World it’s finite, we are all interconnected on a subtle level,  and what affect one, affect us all, we like it or not. We as a Human specie we are breaking the boundaries of a World in equilibrium, time to do something about it, rather than ignore the warning signs, and keep the madness going.

Taxi Driver You Talking To Me GIF - TaxiDriver YouTalkingToMe IsItMe GIFs

Posted in A World in Crisis, Climate Change, Consciousness, Coronavirus, Crisis, Critical Thinking, Disillusion with Capitalism, Doomsday, Dystopia, Ecology, Economy, Extinction of Species, Ignorance, Inspiration, Malthusian Future, Mother Earth, New Values, Pandemic, Responsibility, The Rights of Nature, Things To Come, Uncategorized, Urban Decay | Tagged , , , , , , | 73 Comments


Love And SolitudeThe more things change, the more they stay the same.

According to the dictionary this proverb means:

“Turbulent changes do not affect reality on a deeper level other than to cement the status quo.”

Well, I do not know if this apply also to this crisis, since its the first time on my life I am forced to a quarantine, however being somewhat in age, and living by myself for a quarter of a Century, I believe loneliness, doesn’t affect me on a special way, rather more like an inconvenience, not to be able to run errands, and go to eat outside the house, and of course getting my favorite coffee drink, and seat at a coffee house, a pleasure that I indulge for many years now, a few days a week.

Seating At a Coffee House

A leisurely activity that I miss a bit, but that if not struck by the virus, and gone tomorrow, hope I will enjoy once again, in the future.

I guess for the social types, like extroverted characters, these conditions may be harder to bear, extroverts are often described as talkative, sociable, action-oriented, enthusiastic, friendly, and out-going.

I know, I got brothers, and a daughter who fit the mold, now I smile when at a very young age was determined to live by myself, growing up in a home were everybody including my parents were extroverted, it was just simply exhausting for me. Of course at the time couldn’t understand why I was different, neither my family.

Playful Games All Over The House

Now, do not misunderstand, I had a happy childhood, and I also participated playing, but more often than not, I rather will be seating and reading by myself, I got to be an expert to focus my attention to my book, and ignore the noise around me.

School also was a problem, a big one, but despite the noise, and all the mayhem that a classroom without a teacher present becomes, also made good friends, but looking back most of those friends were somewhat introverted, and the kind of guy who enjoyed a more relevant type of conversation, rather than play, and general hubbub.

Child Reading

It took me sometime to clear out of jobs who enforced a daily contact with many people, even if I can say when it come to work I always got high marks, in whatever I did, but now looking back and knowing myself better, can clearly see how certain jobs I enjoyed more than others.

When computers arrived at the workplace, I worked for several companies were even in a crowded place, I had the privacy of my cubicle to concentrate on what I was doing, in a few months, I invariably became at the highest top category of producers. And companies will be sad to let me go when finding a more lucrative job.

Working Alone With Many Others My last and final job  had nothing to do with computers, but it was a small environment, with about seven people, and at least five of them were no doubt introverted, quiet characters, who you could have great conversations, during the frequent  lull periods during the day, due to lack of clients. Of course we will get busy with other work, but we could work, and chat, and many clients as well, will enjoy our conversations, I could say our most frequent customers were the ones who even if doing business with us, they preferred us, to others similar businesses because our expertise, not only on matter related to our work, some of them they will even hung up around our place on their free time. They even will say something like:

“This is a place were not only you come for business, but were you can be leaving more wiser, than when you went in.”

Relaxed Shop Envirnment

Well, what we are gone to do? We may enjoy solitude or not, we all need to go out in order to live a normal life in society, the old days of living in a cave are not an option, but for a few.

A tension in the coronavirus response is that it’s so difficult to get people to accept social distancing that few want to muddle the message with worries about social isolation. But if the ultimate concern is the health and well-being of the most vulnerable, then both dangers need to be addressed.

But we’ve also entered a new period of social pain. There’s going to be a level of social suffering related to isolation and the cost of social distancing that very few people are discussing yet.

Well I hope for most of you to be safe from the pandemic decease, and free from the effects , and troubles of isolation, for all of you and your loved ones.

Keep safe, and use the phone, grab a good book, and finish work, or projects undone around the house, but above all, keep the love flowing to everyone, even if from a safe distance.

Wish the best, to all of you.

Kepp it Safe  and at a Distance

Posted in Coronavirus, Crisis, Cultural Attitudes, Inspiration, Love, Pandemic, Solitude, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 74 Comments


Rishis Great Sages Of India

Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. What was concealed?

And where? And in whose protection?…Who really knows?
Who can declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation?
The devas (gods) were born later than this world’s creation,
so who knows from where it came into existence? None can know from where
creation has arisen, and whether he has or has not produced it.
He who surveys it in the highest heavens,
He alone knows or perhaps He does not know.”

— Rig Veda 10. 129

“We have discovered that all signs suggest a universe that could and plausibly did arise from a deeper nothing—involving the absence of space itself and—which may one day return to nothing via processes that may not only be comprehensible but also processes that do not require any external control or direction.”

Lawrence Krauss.

Lawrence krauss

The other day I was watching a debate on my PC two people debating, a well known Scientist, and a Theologian, and I was struck by the vehemence of the speakers to hold to their interpretations of truth, and the virulent war from the people who commented on the debate, and was struck by the fact that, a very possible idea, few people know about the knew developments in Semantics.

Enter Semantics, or the Linguistic approach.

Michael Lynch (philosopher) has recently advocated a different type of pluralism about truth. In a series of articles and in his 2009 book Truth as One and Many Lynch argues that we should see truth as a functional property capable of being multiply manifested in distinct properties like correspondence or coherence.


Now, if you go back and reread the two views at the top of my post, you will discover the parallelism , or analogy of both statements.

The difference to me its the timeline one was expressed thousands of years ago in a more poetic fashion, the other one relatively recently on mathematical language by Mr. Krauss.


Now Cosmology its divided in several branches:

Physical cosmology, or Observational cosmology is a branch of cosmology concerned with the studies of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the universe and with fundamental questions about its origin, structure, evolution, and ultimate fate. Cosmology as a science originated with the Copernican principle, which implies that celestial bodies obey identical physical laws to those on Earth, and Newtonian mechanics, which first allowed those physical laws to be understood. Physical cosmology, as it is now understood, began with the development in 1915 of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, followed by major observational discoveries in the 1920s: first, Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe contains a huge number of external galaxies beyond the Milky Way; then, work by Vesto Slipher and others showed that the universe is expanding. These advances made it possible to speculate about the origin of the universe, and allowed the establishment of the Big Bang theory, by Georges Lemaître, as the leading cosmological model. A few researchers still advocate a handful of alternative cosmologies; however, most cosmologists agree that the Big Bang theory best explains the observations.

The Big Bang

In physical cosmology, cosmic inflation, cosmological inflation, or just inflation, is a theory of exponential expansion of space in the early universe. The inflationary epoch lasted from 10−36 seconds after the conjectured Big Bang singularity to some time between 10−33 and 10−32 seconds after the singularity. Following the inflationary period, the universe continued to expand, but the expansion was no longer accelerating.

Inflation its the Physics theory was developed in the late 1970s and early 80s, with notable contributions by several theoretical physicists, including Alexei Starobinsky at Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Alan Guth at Cornell University, and Andrei Linde at Lebedev Physical Institute. Alexei Starobinsky, Alan Guth, and Andrei Linde won the 2014 Kavli Prize “for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation.” It was developed further in the early 1980s. It explains the origin of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Quantum fluctuations in the microscopic inflationary region, magnified to cosmic size, become the seeds for the growth of structure in the Universe (see galaxy formation and evolution and structure formation). Many physicists also believe that inflation explains why the universe appears to be the same in all directions (isotropic), why the cosmic microwave background radiation is distributed evenly, why the universe is flat, and why no magnetic monopoles have been observed.

Cosmic Inflation

Religious Cosmology

Religious cosmology is an of the origin, explanation, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe, from a religious perspective. This may include beliefs on origin in the form of a creation myth, subsequent evolution, current organizational form and nature, and eventual fate or destiny. There are various traditions in religion or religious mythology asserting how and why everything is the way it is and the significance of it all. Religious cosmologies describe the spatial lay-out of the universe in terms of the world in which people typically dwell as well as other dimensions, such as the seven dimensions of religion; these are ritual, experience and emotional, narrative and mythical, doctrinal, ethical, social, and material. Religious mythologies may include descriptions of an act or process of creation by a creator deity or a larger pantheon of deities, explanations of the transformation of chaos into order, or the assertion that existence is a matter of endless cyclical transformations. Religious cosmology differs from a strictly scientific cosmology informed by the results of the study of astronomy and similar fields, and may differ in conceptualizations of the world’s physical structure and place in the universe, its creation, and forecasts or predictions on its future. The scope of religious cosmology is more inclusive than a strictly scientific cosmology (physical cosmology) in that religious cosmology is not limited to experiential observation, testing of hypotheses, and proposals of theories; for example, religious cosmology may explain why everything is the way it is or seems to be the way it is and prescribing what humans should do in context. Variations in religious cosmology include those of Indian origin, such as Buddhism, Hindu, and Jain; the religious beliefs of China; and, the beliefs of the Abrahamic faiths, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Religious cosmologies have often developed into the formal logics of metaphysical systems, such as Platonism, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, Daoism, Kabbalah, or the great chain of being.

Islamic Cosmology


Philosophical cosmology, philosophy of cosmology or philosophy of cosmos is a discipline directed to the philosophical contemplation of the universe as a totality, and to its conceptual foundations. It draws on several branches of philosophy—metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, and on the fundamental theories of physics. The term cosmology was used at least as early as 1730, by German philosopher Christian Wolff, in Cosmologia Generalis.


Philosophical cosmology can be distinguished by two types of cosmological arguments: deductive and inductive cosmological arguments. The first type has a long tradition in the history of philosophy, proposed by thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Leibniz, and criticized by thinkers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell, while the latter has been formulated by philosophers like Richard Swinburne.

For Leibniz, all the plenum of the universe is entirely filled with tiny Monads, which cannot fail, have no constituent parts and have no windows through which anything could come in or go out. In his Aesthetics, philosopher José Vasconcelos explains his theory on the evolution of the universe and the restructuring of its cosmic substance, in the physical, biological and human orders.

Philosophical cosmology tries to respond questions such as:

What is the provenance of the cosmos?

What are the essential constituents of the cosmos?

Does the cosmos have an ulterior motive?

How does the cosmos behave?

How can we understand the cosmos in which we find ourselves?


As you can see every branch of Cosmology its occupy by the same questions,  but looking at it from different approach or angles, but in reality its just a matter of difference in the use of Semantics, to some the Universe and Existence have purpose and meaning, to other its meaningless just a random occurrence.

My opinion?

Some are just more elegant, or inspiring than the others, and as you think so you are. And do not forget, The Knowing Self cannot be known as object, only as subject!

You may perceive the World outside yourself, but in reality it’s with your senses, and within your cognitive faculties you make sense of it, and its impossible to share it with anybody else except through language, and language its such a flawed tower of Babel.

Tower of Babel


Posted in Ancient Religions, Atheism, Big Bang, Cosmogony, Cosmology, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Epistemology, Inspiration, Knowing Self, Knowledge, Languaage, Lawrence Krauss, Metaphysics, Michael Lynch, Myth, Philosophy, Physics, Semantics, Space exploration, Theology, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments


Education A  Job That Never Grows OLd

Plato treats the subject of education in The Republic as an integral and vital part of a wider subject of the well-being of human society. The ultimate aim of education is to help people know the Idea of the Good, which is to be virtuous.

“A library of wisdom, is more precious than all wealth, and all things that are desirable cannot be compared to it. Whoever therefore claims to be zealous of truth, of happiness, of wisdom or knowledge, must become a lover of books.”

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life”. “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

Quotes attributed to Plato.

Socrates Giving His Farewell Speech Before Drinking Hemlock

Who said  teaching was ever easy?

Socrates paid with his life for the crime of teaching his fellow Athenians.

The importance of a good education its never lost for most parents, its convincing the children the problem.

Yes I know, today getting an education can cost a fortune, and not every parent can send his children to a good school, but I am sure every conscious parent will do his best to give their child the best they can.

Reflections On The Hardships Of Teaching.

Well, what can we say, simply put to be a good teacher it takes many sacrifices, and love, yes you got to love teaching, otherwise you are not just wasting your time but worst, endangering the education of those who you teach.

If you may want to make money, being a teacher its probably not for you, only a few very specialized teachers may do that, and not necessarily will be the one you remember as a great inspiration for you, to try to achieve something in life, you may find those very early on your education.

Yes, that wonderful teacher who inspired you to really start reading, or be conscious about the neatness of your homework, or simply made the class not boring, and inspired you to find more about it on your own time.

Yes every teacher has to deal with nightmare students, its bad enough when you have two, or three, bad apples, at the classroom but sometimes its ridiculous!

Nightmare Class

Teaching Begins At Home

Usually bad discipline at home translate as bad behavior at school, if the parents are responsible, and dedicated parents, the child will be well behaved at the classroom.

Yes unfortunately bad behavior at school, doesn’t mean the school its lousy, but that you are not doing the proper thing with your children at home.

You will be surprised, at how many 21 year old youngsters  behave worst than a child of seven, and its simply because they did not have at home any discipline whatsoever, very likely the parents were not taught either, or criminally abandoned their responsibility, and let children to themselves, or the result of broken homes, where the responsible parent spent most time at work, and children grew on their own.

Behavior its learned at home, period.

Lack of Discipline at Home reflects on Class

How do I know that?

Well, currently I am privately tutoring a 21 year old youngster, who mentally its at twelve at most!

He cannot do homework, its always  late, he wants to change the class at his convenience, day, or hours, and place, regardless what we agree before, he questions me at every turn, like if what I am teaching its not true, he always knows better in an argument, about things he does not know anything, practically I have to force him to read a page on his phone, about what I am trying to teach him, so he realize I am not talking gibberish, or making it up, that by the way, take him a long time since he reads but very slowly, his phone its not a tool for research, but for entertainment, often bring next time a book on the subject we were arguing, and then he wants for me to give him the book for free!

Once I loaned a book for him to make a copy, he didn’t, he had a week to do it, and have to ask him several times for it, until his mother promise me she would return it to me, she did.

I mean the youngster its not stupid, bad, or mentally impaired, he is smart, he is just terribly childish.

Only child, parents divorced, mother works daily away from home, the youngster cannot keep a job, can you wonder why?

He may be 21, but he has not gain on maturity, period.


Being a teacher its not easy.

But it can be summed up on a brief list:

Disruptive environment, or simply put students discipline problems.

The rules of teaching are constantly changing. In some aspects, this is good while occasionally it may also be bad. Teaching is not immune to fads.

Great teachers invest a tremendous amount of time outside of the time spent with their students. They understand that all these things have a significant impact on student learning. However, teachers must commit to stepping away from their teaching responsibilities from time to time so that their personal life does not suffer in some aspect.


Students are not the same, they are at different levels, and some require more time and effort than others, in a crowded classroom, well it will be difficult to say the least.

Lack of funding, reflects on overcrowded classrooms, lacks of qualified teachers, books, materials, lack of time for personal attention and many other maladies, that unfortunately reflects also on the quality of the education for the absence of money.

And of course Parental involvement, or the lack of it.

Parents Oblivious To Their Children Needs

Posted in Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Education, Ignorance, Inspiration, Knowledge, Learning, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 57 Comments


Infamous Pirate

In the old days traveling had a mayor inconvenience, if we can call it that, just an inconvenience, but in fact your own integrity, and physical security was at risk, not only you could loose your money and goods, but your life, and women be abused sexually by the bandits, even kidnapped.


A highwayman was a robber who stole from travellers. This type of thief usually travelled and robbed by horse as compared to a footpad who travelled and robbed on foot; mounted highwaymen were widely considered to be socially superior to footpads.

Such criminals operated in Great Britain from the Elizabethan era until the early 19th century. In many other countries, they persisted for a few decades longer, until the mid or late 19th century. But of course robbery on the roads, and piracy on the many Seas of the World, have been common since the early annals of History.

And elsewhere around the World, even today Piracy on the High seas its common.

Pirates Hold At Gunpoint.

I guess we will never get rid of it, until every Human being on the planet turns if not into a Saint, at least into an honest man, or woman for that matters, they were also cases of ladies of who robbed the Highways, and the High Seas.

Jacquotte Delahaye Lady pirate

The above images  romanticized portraits of such nefarious individuals, more likely they were as ugly as the deeds, that they perpetuated.

But lets get to the point, today Cyberspace its a new dimension of traveling, and due to total lack of regulation, and lack of responsibility from our governments, and the many sharks of profiteering it thrives with old style Highwaymen, and Pirates, who do their business, by extracting ransom from the common sheep flock, that mean us the common person, now days titled the consumer, forced to pay a ransom to navigate unmolested into the dangerous, and full of Highwaymen, and Pirates of Cyberspace.

With not privacy to protect, or be invaded by adds, and soliciting, like there’s no tomorrow, they may even hold your computer for ransom, or spy to rob you, at least Dick Turpin got caught and was hanged from the neck.


An account in The Gentleman’s Magazine for 7 April 1739 notes Turpin’s brashness: “Turpin behaved in an undaunted manner; as he mounted the ladder, feeling his right leg tremble, he spoke a few words to the topsman, then threw himself off, and expired in five minutes.”  

Dick Turpin Grave

I am not a vicious man claiming for capital death to such individuals, but yes, like maybe most of you will like an end to that vicious invasion of privacy, and endless soliciting, that has become the experience of traveling Online, and the fact there’s almost no way to travel undisturbed, if not paying for protection, itself the reason to countless legal scams, used  by the same companies you pay to protect you.  They thrive on your fear and impotence.


Posted in A World in Crisis, Adbusters, Capitalism, Crisis of Values, Criticism, Cynicism, Disillusion with Capitalism, Greed, Greed and Impunity, Highway Robbery, Justice, Materialism, Piracy, Suffering, Travel, Unalienable Rights, Uncategorized, Values | Tagged , , , , , , | 41 Comments


Ineffable Cosmos

“To be acquainted with what is best and oldest in yourself, is to know yourself as you were, before the world was made, before you emerged into time.”

Henry Corbin

One of the questions that remember as a child, that frequently asked  myself, it was to wonder who I would become, once reaching adulthood, on my life journey

At the time ignoring, that at that point I was already setting, who in time, I will  turn to be,  as a result of my own early inquiry.

Just by the fact of posing the question, the signs were present, as we know, character its destiny.

I should add, that meanwhile my young friends  were enthusiastic, about becoming a policeman, a firefighter, or a pilot, myself even if playing and liking those rolls was not really sure that I may choose to be something so straightforward, and wondered if life would not have some more deeper nuance, than that?

Entering into the labyrinth of life

Not knowing then, that the question already was working within my inner self, and my path has being decided, well before I knew it consciously.

Sometime before vaguely remember I wrote maybe on one of the many posts of my blog, that at an early age, I do not recall the exact time, a friend of us a few years older come into our house visiting us and telling about a philosophy class he had and repeating what he had learnt that day.

He quoted the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.

They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. More simply put, suffering exists; it has a cause; it has an end; and it has a cause to bring about its end.

The Four Noble Truths

That moment was like a revelation to me on hearing those words, from that day on, I will question him about what he learnt  on his philosophy class, so I learned about the pre-Socratic Philosophers, then Socrates, and Plato, and I wanted to know everything about it, and will wonder when I will be able to grow up and be taking a philosophy class?

At the time maybe in fourth, or fifth grade at elementary school, couldn’t wait to be our friend’s age to be studying those issues.

From then, even if I played games of pretending with friends my age, I knew it was just pretense, and play, Philosophy would be my path.

And no, I didn’t wait until my time to take a philosophy class, when going into a bookstore will check books with titles about philosophy, or related themes, at our little town bookstore, (The town didn’t had a library) the owners a couple of elderly widows, would complain to my father about my purchases, and say something like this:

“Mr. Anaya, that child of yours come here buying books not proper, or suitable to his young age, he shouldn’t be readings such things, you better keep an eye on him.”

My father would laugh about it, well aware of my reading inclinations by that time.

My old bookstore now a prosaic bank.

Even if later on, he clipped my wings on going to college and study Philosophy, on the belief I would not be able to make a living out of it.

I do not blame him he probably was right at the time.

But that did not affected me, on my choice or reading materials, I kept at it.

The Dialogs odfPlato

Well now lets move forward to a few days ago.

Feeling a little depressed about myself, and the state of affairs of my current living, several things happened by chance, one, I did some lectures about subjects dear to me, over a year ago, someone took videos from it but didn’t uploaded them all, a few remained sort of lost.

Then someone call me and tell me those videos were finally uploaded, even now just over a year ago couldn’t remember too well what did I talk about it, so curious I watch myself on them, and  a sudden realization hit me.

I was looking at myself like the guy in my screen was not me, but someone else, a great Teacher of mine who I dreamt many years ago.

Yes, he had come into my dreams maybe a half a dozen of times, in critical, and unexpected moments through my life since I was 19, or so, then close to 40, and a little bit after 42, and a few times more since.

Yes I was looking at myself on the screen, but for the first time realizing my image, was the image of the man in my dreams, talking like I did on those videos.

The morror of Self

Well, you all know looking at the mirror, we do not find who we are, but if you look at a picture, or a video, somehow you look different of what you see in the mirror, there is talk on the net about this phenomena but I will not go into it just saying It’s a sense that something about the photographed self seems unquantifiably different than the mirrored self. It’s in your head.

Other people, including photographers, don’t see this version of you. They see a version that you are rarely privy to, and that can seem wildly foreign to our ingrained sensibilities.


Well that shocked me, and picking up a couple of books at random,  went out to a café, and after seating with my coffee open the book and I read at the first page I open:

“Ibn ‘Arabi was and never ceased to be the disciple of an invisible master, a mysterious prophet figure to who a number of traditions, both significant and obscure, lend features which relate him, or tend to identify him, with Elijah, Saint George, and still others. Ibn ‘Arabi was above all the disciple of Khidr. (khadir)”

After several lines discoursing into something else he come back and says:

“The function of Khidr is to reveal each disciple to himself…He leads each disciple to his own theophany..because that theophany correspond to his own “inner heaven,” to the form of his own being, to his eternal individuality…Khidr mission consist in enabling you to attain to the Khidr of your own being.” for its in this inner depth in this “prophet of your being,” that springs the Water of Life.”

The Waters Of Life

I sat there marveling at the synchronicity, first my shock at discovering my resemblance on the video to the one in my dreams, and then within a trip of some minutes and ordering my coffee, reading totally by chance those passages.

My early distress vanished like a momentary cloud on the horizon, and a feeling of wellbeing, and peace returned  into my heart.

A Gnostic quote reads as follow posted on  my post of August 2012  :

“Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says, “My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body.” Learn the sources of sorrow:, joy, love, hate . . . If you carefully investigate these matters you will find him in yourself.”

We are all blessed, but its to each of us to discover those blessings.

Discovering Self and Inner Peace

Posted in Alchemy, Being, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Future, Gnosis, Grace, Henry Corbin, Imagination, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Khidr, Know Thyself, Knowing Self, Learning, Memories, Metaphors, Mundus Imaginalis, Mysticism, Personal Story, Philosophy, Plato, Revelation, Self, Spirituality, Subconscious, Subjective, Transformation, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 45 Comments



“The past is preserved only in darkness, the future is not raised to the level of an image, as something which can be anticipated. It is the symbolic expression which first creates the possibility of looking backward and looking forward… What occurred in the past, now separated out from the totality of representations, no longer passes away, once the sounds of language have placed their seals on it and given it a certain stamp.”

Ernst Cassirer

Goebekli_Tepe Oldest Pictograph

Archaeologists have discovered what they believe could be the earliest known writing. A 12,000-year-old pictograph was found within the ancient settlement of Gobeklitepe in southeast Anatolia, Turkey.

The pictograph, chiseled into an obelisk, reportedly depicts a traditional sky burial whereby bodies are left outdoors to be picked apart by scavengers.

There is speculation that astrology of some form appeared in the Sumerian period in the 3rd millennium BC.

By the 16th century BC, the extensive employment of omen-based astrology can be evidenced in the compilation of a comprehensive reference work known as Enuma Anu Enlil. Its contents consisted of 70 cuneiform tablets comprising 7,000 celestial omens. Texts from this time also refer to an oral tradition – the origin and content of which can only be speculated upon.

Babylon Walls

Enuma Anu Enlil is the principal source of omens used in the regular astrological reports that were sent to the Neo-Assyrian king by his entourage of scholars. There are well over 500 such reports published in volume 8 of the State Archives of Assyria. A majority of these reports simply list the relevant omens that best describe recent celestial events and many add brief explanatory comments concerning the interpretation of the omens for the benefit of the king.

A typical report dealing with the first appearance of the moon on the first day of the month is exemplified by Report 10 from volume 8 of the State Archives:

If the moon becomes visible on the first day: reliable speech; the land will be happy.

If the day reaches its normal length: a reign of long days.

If the moon at its appearance wears a crown: the king will reach the highest rank.

From Issar-šumu-ereš.

Babylon Astrologers

The series was probably compiled in its canonical form during the Kassite period (1595–1157 BCE) but there was certainly some form of prototype Enuma Anu Enlil current in the Old Babylonian period (1950–1595 BCE). It continued in use well into the 1st millennium, the latest datable copy being written in 194 BCE. It is believed that the first 49 tablets were transmitted to India in the 4th or 3rd centuries BCE and that the final tablets dealing with the stars had also arrived in India just before the start of the common era.

Arabic Astrolabe

At this time Babylonian astrology was solely mundane, and prior to the 7th century BC the practitioners’ understanding of astronomy was fairly rudimentary. Because of their inability to accurately predict future celestial phenomena and planetary movement very far in advance, interpretations were done as the phenomena occurred or slightly before. By the 4th century, however, their mathematical methods had progressed enough to calculate future planetary positions with reasonable accuracy, at which point extensive ephemerides began to appear.


Otto Eduard Neugebauer (May 26, 1899 – February 19, 1990) was an Austrian American mathematician and historian of science who became known for his research on the history of astronomy and the other exact sciences in antiquity and into the Middle Ages. By studying clay tablets, he discovered that the ancient Babylonians knew much more about mathematics and astronomy than had been previously realized. The National Academy of Sciences has called Neugebauer “the most original and productive scholar of the history of the exact sciences, perhaps of the history of science, of our age.”

Otto E. Neugebauer

And what this great  original thinker has to tell us?

In a nutshell, that the Babylonians discovered Algebra, a symbolic, simple today, but at the time a revolutionary Human discovery, and furthermore he thought this discovery was due to the fact the Babylonians were the product of two different people the Sumerian, and the Acadian, two totally different cultures, the Acadians were Semite,.

Most historians have suggested that Sumer was first permanently settled between c. 5500 and 4000 BC by a West Asian people who spoke the Sumerian language (pointing to the names of cities, rivers, basic occupations, etc., as evidence), a non-Semitic and non-Indo-European agglutinative language isolate. It was not an inflected language, contrary to its Semitic neighbors.

They had a hell of a time to understand each other, the usual language and text of the Sumerians, so in order to understand each other they got to acquire new mental skills, and thanks to these efforts Babylonians were the first  in getting to understand the meaning and use of an abstract symbolism.

Assyrian Room Pergamon Museum

Every Algebraic operation says Neugebauer, presupposes to understand certain fixed symbols, both for mathematical operations and for the mathematical quantities to which they apply.

In the absence of this conceptual symbolism, it would not be possible to combine quantities that are not numerically determined and designated, nor to derive new combinations from them, but a symbolism presented itself immediately necessary in the writing of the Acadian texts … Therefore the Babylonians had a more important instrument for proper and adequate Algebraic development.

Babylonian Map of the World 700-500BC

I am aware that Science today its dismissive of the Symbolic thought, however it escapes them how these accomplishments of the Babylonians, not only provided the basic Algebraic for mathematics, but also a rich Symbolism that escapes them on the Ontological subjective nature of Man.

That like a undercurrent submerged within our psyche, it pours a torrent of symbolic images into our dreams, desires, and behaviors to which, no matter the amount of objectivity, and concrete mind it is impossible to bury forever, in the annals of time, since It is an integral and inseparable part of our Human nature. Just as the eternal feminine is the counterpart of the masculine, and our right cerebral side, the counterpart of the left.


Babylon Lives Pergamon Museum Berlin

Posted in Ancient Civilizations, Ancient Religions, Astrology, Babylonian Astrology, Consciousness, Cosmology, Critical Thinking, Cuneiform Tablets, Historical Evolution, Human Nature, Inspiration, Knowledge, Language, Language of Signs, Symbology, Symbols, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 29 Comments


Paradise or Hell

We as Humans we seem to be condemned to live in the present, but to be looking back at the past with longing, and ahead to the future with dread.


A Spanish poet of the 15th Century by the name of Jorge Manrique wrote:

“Stanzas about the Death of his Father”) is Jorge Manrique’s best composition. In fact, Lope de Vega pronounced it in humbled admiration to its superior craftsmanship,”worthy to be printed in letters of gold”. It is a funeral eulogy dedicated to the memory of Rodrigo Manrique (his father), who died on 11 November 1476 in Ocaña. Jorge thought that his father led a life worth living. He makes a reference to three lives:

1.-The terrestrial life that ends in death

2.-The life of the fame, that lasts longer (Kleos Greek)

3.-The eternal life after death, that has no end.

In the first stanzas he said:

Remember the sleeping soul

Fan the brain and wake up!


How life goes

How death comes,

So silent;

So swiftly  pleasure is gone,

How, after memory,

It gives pain;

How, in our opinion,

Any time past,

Always was better.

This translation its kind of literal

Here its another one more poetic:

Let from its dream the soul awaken,

And reason mark with open eyes
The scene unfolding,—
How lightly life away is taken,
How cometh Death in stealthy guise,—
At last beholding;

What swiftness hath the flight of pleasure
That, once attained, seems nothing more
Than respite cold;
How fain is memory to measure
Each latter day inferior

To those of old.

And  that is as true today, as it was many years ago. So no wonder we more likely look at the future with at least some reserve, if not dread.

The Way Ahead

A future of our society in doubt, by the many problem that plague us.

Overpopulation, over pollution, over extinction of species, vital to keep our World habitable, Political morass, and unwillingness to do nothing positive to deal with the problems, rather than see the train coming at the crossroad, and unwilling  to put the breaks  before attempting crossing, playing a gamble that they will beat the oncoming disaster.

 Train beats truck to the crossing

Well I do not need to tell you, there is a high price to pay for stupidity, combined with stubbornness,  and of course you know the definition of  insanity, some people attribute it to the darling of quotes; Albert Einstein:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

No wonder people have nightmares about our almost sure Dystopian future, just imagine..!

The recent uptick in dystopian films and post-apocalyptic scenarios seems more urgent and more extreme than it has in the past.

Ostensibly set in the future, the post-apocalyptic mode can function as a window on the present, the prognosis its not good.

Image result for dystopian movies

The list of environmental disasters today now its divided into categories, and listed in alphabetical order:

Agricultural, Biodiversity, Human Health, Industrial, Mining, Oil Industry, Nuclear, and divisions as what element of the environment they affect, like Air, Fresh Water, Land, Oceans.

And I do not want to depress you, or overwhelm you with the long list on each category, all you got to do is pay attention to the news.

Environmental Disasters

Rather than do that, I will show some of the things are important, to fix our problems.

We need to fight Ignorance, and Mediocrity, the reason of so much lack of Consciousness. No matter where you go, almost everything is exactly the same and it’s getting worse by the day, in other words an ignorant person its a blind person, and the blind cannot lead us, and that its what we have leader wise, and I am not talking just about our country, Worldwide its pretty much the same, maybe with few exceptions.

A cross country trip meant you got a taste of the different flavors of life. You experienced things you’d only experience in a certain state. However, these days everywhere you go it’s pretty much the same deal, malls and chain stores everywhere, all offering the same product you can get elsewhere. Worse, yet is the fact that people seem to desire this mediocrity for it’s comfort factor and have lost all sense of adventure. People desire mediocrity so much that it’s becoming the only thing offered. Look around yourself, everything is mundane. Even tattooing before a thing for tribal aborigines, and outcasts, has gotten it’s fair share of this cancer.

Line of people waiting to get their tattoo

Line at a popular Tattoo parlor.

The population growth , its just too much to be handled by our small planet. The Statistical Institute estimated that the world’s population in 1920 was 1,791,496,000.

The current world population is 7.7 billion as of October 2019 according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometers.

I am not usually a pessimist, and believe the World somehow will go as and old Italian song said:

Gira el Mundo Gira – Il volo – Il Mondo.

Just too many of us, with such unruly crowd, and doing whatever seems everybody please, with no regard to anything else, specially to the fragility of our environment, a Dystopian future?

You bet!

If we keep business as usual, but do not worry the World will keep turning, just maybe with a lot less of us, after all the World has faced bigger crisis, in the past, ask the Dinosaurs.

A sea of People

Posted in A World in Crisis, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Doomsday, Dystopia, Ecological Crisis, Environment, Extinction of Species, Future, Ignorance, Malthusian Future, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments


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Chinese Hermit Today

“Man is always inclined to regard the small circle in which he lives as the center of the world and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe. But he must give up this vain pretense, this petty provincial way of thinking and judging.”

Ernst Cassirer.

It is generally acknowledged that auto-gnosis, or self knowledge its the main purpose of philosophy, even if through History this has been debated.

I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.” –Socrates.

Cogito, ergo sum is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”. The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed. It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy. As Descartes explained, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt..” A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes’s intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”). The concept is also sometimes known as the cogito.

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Rene Descartes

This proposition became a fundamental element of Western philosophy, as it purport form a secure foundation for knowledge in the face of radical doubt. While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception, or mistake, Descartes asserted that the very act of doubting one’s own existence served—at minimum—as proof of the reality of one’s own mind; there must be a thinking entity—in this case the self—for there to be a thought.

Jakob Johann Freiherr von Uexküll  was a Baltic German biologist who worked in the fields of muscular physiology, animal behavior studies, and the cybernetics of life. Works by scholars such as Kalevi Kull connect Uexküll’s studies with some areas of philosophy such as phenomenology and hermeneutics.

Jakob von Uexküll is also considered a pioneer of semiotic biology, or biosemiotics. However, despite his influence (on the work of philosophers Max Scheler, Ernst Cassirer, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Humberto Maturana, Georges Canguilhem, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (in their A Thousand Plateaus), for example) he is still not widely known, and his books are mostly out of print in German and in English.

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Jakob Johann von Uexküll

In a way he was an enemy of the idea there was an absolute reality of things, that could be the same to every different living organism, every organism possess a specific monadic, it posses its own schemes, and patterns, that give the a particular, and peculiar related to itself, and reason to be.

Its only a coincidence, we find a usefulness to certain plants, or animals, and other act as our enemies, or they seem to do so, he argues, they are like us, looking for their own convenience, even if unconsciously.

For many years scientist, and philosophers alike imbued on the idea of  a rationalist explanation of the World, and Being, given by biology, and Science combined negated what has been the province of Philosophy, and Religion for centuries.

Man difference in reality to the rest of Nature Kingdoms, its his own subjectivity.

Lost in the Majesty of Nature

Rousseau proclaimed the natural goodness of man and believed that one man by nature is just as good as any other. For Rousseau, a man could be just without virtue and good without effort. According to Rousseau, man in the state of nature was free, wise, and good and the laws of nature were benevolent. It follows that it was civilization that enslaved and corrupted man and made him unnatural. Because in the order of nature all men were equal, it also follows that distinction and differentiation among men are the products of culture and civilization. Because man is by nature a saint, it must be the corrupting influence of society that is responsible for the misconduct of the individual.

“The body of a savage man being the only instrument he understands, he uses it .. reflection is a state contrary to nature, and that a thinking man is a depraved animal. “

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To go beyond his biology it represents for Rousseau, not a step forward, but a detriment.

The Symbolic Universe

There is no way out, back to square one.

Man cannot escape, he is a thinking animal, a self reflective being, who meditates, and reflects upon himself.

He does not only live in a physical Universe, but also in a Symbolic Universe.

And therefore: Language, Myth, Art, Knowledge, and Religion, are as part of himself as breathing, eating, and reproducing.

Every progress on those fields, they refine, and reinforce progress.

Human Progress

“There is no remedy against this reversal of the natural order. Man cannot escape from his own achievement. He cannot but adopt the conditions of his own life. No longer in a merely physical universe, man lives in a symbolic universe. Language, myth, art, and religion are parts of this universe. They are the varied threads which weave the symbolic net, the tangled web of human experience. All human progress in thought and experience refines and strengthens this net. No longer can man confront reality immediately; he cannot see it, as it were, face to face. Physical reality seems to recede in proportion as man’s symbolic activity advances. Instead of dealing with the things themselves man is in a sense constantly conversing with himself.

The Symbolic Way 1

He has so enveloped himself in linguistic forms, in artistic images, in mythical symbols or religious rites that he cannot see or know anything except by the interposition of this artificial medium. His situation is the same in the theoretical as in the practical sphere. Even here man does not live in a world of hard facts, or according to his immediate needs and desires. He lives rather in the midst of imaginary emotions, in hopes and fears, in illusions and disillusions, in his fantasies and dreams. ‘What disturbs and alarms man,’ said Epictetus, ‘are not the things, but his opinions and fantasies about the things.”

Ernst Cassirer

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Your brain is the most complex, mind-blowing organ in the universe. It is estimated to have over 100 billion neurons (also called nerve cells or brain cells), which is about the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. … The action potential of a single neuron is like a lightning bolt that can stimulate other neurons.

Mircea Eliade

Famous sociologist Mircea Eliade coined the term “homo religiosus” to describe a kind of person who shares particular attitudes with all people of faith.

Do the similarities among world religions indicate a concomitant similarity among religious people? Eliade is convinced that they do:

Religious man assumes a particular and characteristic mode of existence in the world and, despite the great number of historico-religious forms, this characteristic mode is always recognizable.

Shadu Ritual Purification on the Ganges

Whatever the historical context in which he is placed, homo religiosus always believes that there is an absolute reality, the sacred, which transcends this world but manifests itself in this world, thereby sanctifying it and making it real. He further believes that life has a sacred origin and that human existence realizes all of its potentialities in proportion as it is religious – that is, participates in reality.

The gods created man and the world, the culture heroes completed Creation, and the history of all these divine and semidivine works is preserved in the myths. By reactualizing sacred history, by imitating the divine behavior, man puts and keeps himself close to the gods – that is, in the real and significant.

Ernst Rudolph Prayers at Sunrise

Where did this “common, interior religious disposition” come from?

Did it come from the teaching of religious people within an already formed religious community, or rather did it come from something within himself — which he brought to the community of belief?

Religious communities teach lessons and doctrines to their adherents – how their religious rituals function, the details of the myths, the meaning of various symbols, colors, and actions, the sacredness of particular places and times, etc.

Spanish Synagogue  in Prague

Posted in Being, Consciousness, Critical Thinking, Epictetus, Ernst Cassirer, Imagination, Inspiration, Knowledge, Language of Signs, Myth, Mythology, Philosophy, Progress, Reality, Science and Belief, Subjective, Symbology, Symbols, Uncategorized, World View | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments


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Maya is not a separate entity. Absence of light is called darkness, so also absence of Knowledge, Illumination etc., is called ignorance, illusion or Maya.

Once Narada Muni who is very intimate devotee of the Lord Krishna, through devotion and austerities he had reached a great Spiritual station, so Lord Krishna went to visit him, and as his reward offered to grant him a desire.

“My dear Krishna, can you please show me power of your Maya, your illusory energy? Please explain to me the secret of this magic called Maya and how she act?”

Sri Krishna hesitated to do it. So Krishna asked his dear devotee:

My dear Narada are you sure you want to see power of my maya!?

Narada was very determined so he said: Yes, Krishna i am sure. I want to see power of your Maya!

Lord Krishna replied : Ok Narada I will show you, but lets walk for a while. After they walked some minutes he said to Narada: “Let’s lie down here in the shade and I shall tell you everything. But first, Narada, it’s terribly hot; would you get me a cool glass of water?”

“Right away,” Narada promised happy to do some service to his beloved Lord krishna. He set out across the fields. The sun beat down and though he was a good walker, the little line of thatched cottages on the horizon that marked the nearest village seemed no closer as he strode along. The heat grew unbearable. Narada’s throat became parched too; he began to think that he would ask for two glasses of water, and drink the second himself.

Finally he reached the village and ran to the nearest house. The door opened – and there stood the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She smiled up at Narada through long, dark lashes and something happened to him that had never happened before. All he could do was to look at her beautiful face.

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Finally he spoke out, and try to ask her for water, but in the traditional way the girl went and fetch her father who before anything wanted to treat the guest to the generosity of the host, every time he wanted to ask for the water, he was distracted by their attentions, and the beauty of the girl, who looked at him The girl shyly, but with some coquetry, of her big, and beautiful black eyes, intrigued by the handsome looks of the stranger felt attracted like the bee to the flower, and every time her father would order to fetch something to honor the guest, Narada would look at her, as at the most precious jewel.

The day went by and he forgot totally about His Lord Krishna, days went by, and he started to work for the father, the father admiring his good work, he thought he will be a good husband for his girl, and finally, after a couple of years Narada’s wish become a reality, and he was married to the beautiful girl.

The couple settled down to a life of family bliss. After a while, children began to arrive. Narada’s home became a very animated household.

Somebody was always being bathed or dressed; there were meals to get and people to be provided for. And all these things were filling up their lives. Narada and his wife became engrossed in their private little world, quietly building their dreams. he worked tirelessly, and good fortune favored him.

  Years passed. The children grew up, went to school, got married; in time, grandchildren arrived. Narada became the patriarch of a great family, respected by the whole village; his lands stretched to the horizon. He and his wife would look at each other fondly and say, “Don’t you think being grandparents is the greatest thing on earth?”

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Then after so many years, of working and farming, one day the sky darkened ominously, and   a persisting rain for days come, it rained days, and nights for days, then a torrential   flood came. First The village fields became a raging river, then his servants told him the cattle was gone.

Farming in India Before the Onrushing Storm.

The water start reaching his house, so he took his treasures, and his numerous family to the top floor of his house, but the water keep reaching higher and higher, finally he climbed to the roof with his children and family, until the water reached up to him, graving his wife and his favorite little grandchild, he was swept by the current, in the struggle he lost both, he almost drowned, and lost consciousness, when he woke up on top of a high rock,  before Narada’s helpless eyes, everything that he loved and lived for – his lands, his cattle, his house, but especially his beloved wife and all their children and grandchildren – were swept away. Of all the village, only he remained.

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He was trying to save them from all these calamities but was not successful.

Unable to watch the destruction, Narada fell to his knees hurt to the core of his being, and cried for help from the very depths of his heart.

“Krishna! Krishna!”

As he cried in utter despair, suddenly the heat of the sun was unbearable, at once, the raging floods disappeared and there was Sri Krishna, standing casually on the fields where they had walked what seemed to be so many years before.

“Narada,” the Lord asked gently, “You have been gone for some minutes, where is my cup of water?”


Maya The goddess Of Illusion

Posted in Consciousness, Ego, Enlightenment, Hinduism, Illusions, Impermanence, Inspiration, Knowledge, Love, Maya, Metaphor, Mother Goddess, Myth, Saints, Time Perception, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 53 Comments


Ascension Of The Soul

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36: 26

The Soul or Anima its seen on different light by different Cultures, and Religions, like the Buddhists consider it like an aggregated.

SamâIn Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of “non-self”, that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in living beings.It is one of the seven beneficial perceptions in Buddhism,and along with dukkha (suffering) and anicca (impermanence), it is one of three Right Understandings about the three marks of existence.

The Buddhist concept of anatta or anatman is one of the fundamental differences between Buddhism and Hinduism, with the latter asserting that atman (self, soul) exists

In Buddhism-related English literature, Anattā is rendered as “not-Self”, but this translation expresses an incomplete meaning, states Peter Harvey; a more complete rendering is “non-Self” because from its earliest days, Anattā doctrine denies that there is anything called a ‘Self’ in any person or anything else, and that a belief in ‘Self’ is a source of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) It is also incorrect to translate Anattā simply as “ego-less”, according to Peter Harvey, because the Indian concept of ātman and attā is different from the Freudian concept of ego.

Anatta or Anatta-vada is also referred to as the “no-soul or no-self doctrine” of Buddhism.

We Are What We Think

Meanwhile in Islam the Sufis.

The Quran affords much importance to the nafs of an individual, highlighting the agency of free will and intelligence, without which neither responsibility nor accountability can exist. The Quran does not attribute to the nafs any inherent properties of good or evil, but instead conveys the idea that it is something which has to be nurtured and self-regulated, so that it can progress into becoming ‘good’ through its thoughts and actions. The Quranic conception of the nafs therefore has an extremely modernistic undertone.

There are three principal stages of nafs in Sufism Wisdom, also mentioned in different verses of the Quran. The Sufis call them “stages” in the process of development, refinement and mastery of the nafs.

The inciting nafs (an-nafs al-ʾammārah)

In its primitive stage the nafs incites us to commit evil: this is the nafs as the lower self, the base instincts. In the eponymous Sura of the Quran, Yusuf says “Yet I claim not that my nafs was innocent: Verily the nafs incites to evil.”[Quran 12:53] Islam emphasizes the importance of fighting the inciting nafs in Quran as well as in hadith.

The self-accusing nafs (an-nafs al-luwwāmah)

In Sura al-Qiyama the Quran mentions “the self-accusing nafs”.[Quran 75:2] This is the stage where “the conscience is awakened and the self accuses one for listening to one’s ego. One repents and asks for forgiveness.”Here the nafs is inspired by your heart, sees the results of your actions, agrees with your brain, sees your weaknesses, and aspires to perfection.

The Turning Of The Heart

The nafs at peace (an-nafs al-muṭmaʾinnah)

In Sura al-Fajr the Quran mentions “the nafs at peace”.[Quran 89:27] This is the ideal stage of ego for Muslims. On this level one is firm in one’s faith and leaves bad manners behind. The soul becomes tranquil, at peace.At this stage, followers of Sufism have relieved themselves of all materialism and worldly problems and are satisfied with the will of God.

However they add four additional stages.

The inciting nafs (an-nafs al-ʾammārah)

The self-accusing nafs (an-nafs al-luwwāmah)

The inspired nafs (an-nafs al-mulhamah)

The nafs at peace (an-nafs al-muṭmaʾinnah)

The pleased nafs (an-nafs ar-raḍīyyah)

The pleasing nafs (an-nafs al-marḍīyyah)

The pure nafs (an-nafs aṣ-ṣāfīyyah)

Dervishes from the Jerrahi school of Sufism are encouraged to study a text describing these stages of nafs as a nested series of cities.

Characteristics of nafs

In its primitive state the nafs has seven characteristics that must be overcome:

Pride (Takabbur)

Greed (Hirs)

Jealousy (Hasad)

Lust (Shahwah)

Backbiting (Gheebah)

Stinginess (Bokhl)

Malice (Keena)

Pass the camel of your nafs in the eye of the alif Sufi Path

In Hinduism specifically in Yoga

Shakti (Devanagari: Śakti; lit. “power, ability, strength, effort, energy, capability is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism, and especially the major tradition of Hinduism, Shaktism.

Shakti is the concept or personification of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as “The Great Divine Mother” in Hinduism. As a mother, she is known as “Adi Shakti” or “Adi Parashakti”. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests herself through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form. Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for creation and the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force.

When you surrender to Shakti, its energy will guide you upwards waking up all the chakras, specially the heart chakra, and it will join on the top of the head Shahasrara Padma, with his counterpart the masculine Shiva.To become one. Represented on Hindu Iconography as the sexual Union between Shiva and Shakti.Its said that Shiva its Shakti in her Feminine form on the manifested or Earthly Realm.

Shiva and Shakti in Viparita-MAathuna,

Some may say each its different, my personal opinion, its just different ways to reach the same goal.

TAWBA The Turning Of The Heart

We all have a story, and individual situations, that belong only to us, designed for us personally to discover Heart, by the power of Spirit.

The only way we can reach a truly Human condition, its through of what the Sufis name “Tawba”  translated as repentance, and the Hadith on the Hearts, that says:

“Verily, the hearts of the children of Adam, all of them, are between the two fingers of the Merciful as one heart. He directs them wherever he wills.” Then, the Prophet said, “O Allah, the director of the hearts, direct our hearts to your obedience.”

It’s said than when Allah decides to gift you with such a experience he turns your heart with his two fingers.

And that turns your attitude from heedlessness, to remembrance, and put you in the way to return to God obedience, and favors.

A New Heart.

As the circumstances from life, are individually different, we all have our own story, and our own way to discover Heart, what I explained here doesn’t imply, that one method its better to others, you may use even many other ways not mentioned here, they all work when well followed, with sincerity,  enthusiasm, and diligence, conditions necessary to succeed .

Life situations sometimes push us into corners, so we can discover Heart. I used to say to those who will care to listen me when in pain, by sorrow:

“Well, now you are in a great position, you have being offered a great gift, most of the time our heart needs to be broken, to discover we have a Heart”

Regarding to your own situation, it can apply to you as well, it all depends on our personal attitude to turn personal grief into Gold.

When The Angel Of Grief Touch Us

Posted in Atman, Buddhism, Enlightenment, Heart, Hinduism, Inspiration, Islam, Knowing Self, Knowledge, Love, Metaphysics, Mysticism, Soul, Spiritual Training, Spirituality, Sufism, Transformation, Transmutation, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments


Mount Analogus, an Inner Search

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Exodus 3:5

“Eternity He who binds himself to a joy Does the winged life destroy. But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise.”

William Blake

Sacred Space, Or Holy Ground

What it used to be an almost forgotten religious tradition, relegated to the past, as modernity took us away from Myth, and Religions, it seems to be having a sort of personal renaissance, and I mean personal, because no longer it’s attached to a particular creed of Faith, or at a designated place by those traditions, but to a personal subjective feeling within ourselves, devoid from the trappings of  ancient Religions.

It doesn’t mean, the old traditional places are without devotees, by the contrary, more than ever by the facility of communication, and the easiness of traveling, they have experienced a surge of believers, ready to pay, to fulfil their piety by going into pilgrimage to the Holy sites.

St Peterr Square

The Personal Sacred Space

I mean , the average person, the lukewarm spiritual, but not religious individual may not attend the crowded religious festivals around the World, but hold now a belief that certain geographical places, hold on, an energy or power, that you can feel once there.

It’s popular now to hear of such places as Vortices , or Vortex of  energy, numerous places around the World suddenly are declared Sacred Space by your neighbor, friend, coworker, etc.

And there is talk of such places, and many of us had traveled to places where you feel there’s something special to them, once you get there. Every big city has some place not too far relatively speaking, but also not that close, where you should be able to experience at least peace, and relaxation, accompanied by a feel good vibe, among beautiful, serene surroundings. this be a charming Town, a Desert, a Mountain, a hidden Valley, or whatever place you feel it’s  “A Special Place.”

A Special Place

And if I would agree it’s special for many, its not for others.

How so?

Well, the main thing they travel there, but do not live there!

Most people fail to understand that well being, peace, and happiness, do not reside in a Shangri- La mythical geographical place, but is a totally subjective state of being, given at any moment by our feelings, and state of mind, within our hearts.

So it’s easy to be fooled by a sense of peace, serenity and awe, at the particular place that seems to trigger the experience, and therefore always searching, or returning to the places we believe trigger the experience.

But also there’s nothing wrong  with feeling special in certain places close to our hearts, because our past its linked to them, or special people, a parent or grandmother, etc. Or we just grow there in happiness, as children, but then moved away, and we are nostalgic, and we yearn for those days gone. They are special places, at least to us, someone else may not share the experience, I even wrote something  in this blog about it.

I mean it’s fun to travel and vacation, to such places, but to believe you had found Paradise, hardly.

Paradise it a state of Being, not a Geographical place.

Rene Daumal Mount Analogue

French writer Rene Daumal wrote a little unfinished novel; Mount Analogue.

Mount Analogue

The novel is both bizarre and allegorical, detailing the discovery and ascent of a mountain, which can only be perceived by realizing that one has travelled further in traversing it than one would by travelling in a straight line, and can only be viewed from a particular point when the sunrays hit the earth at a certain angle.

Can only be viewed from a particular point when the sunrays hit the earth at a certain angle.

“Its summit must be inaccessible, but its base accessible to human beings as nature made them. It must be unique and it must exist geographically. The door to the invisible must be visible.”

Daumal died before the novel was completed, providing an uncanny one-way quality to the journey. Father Sogol – the “Logos” spelled backwards – is the leader of the expedition—the expedition to climb the mysterious mountain that unites Heaven and Earth.

The door to the invisible must be visible

The novel also marks the first use of the word “peradam” in literature, an object that is revealed only to those who seek it.

“One finds here, very rarely in the low lying areas, more frequently as one goes farther up, a clear and extremely hard stone that is spherical and varies in size—a kind of crystal, but a curved crystal, something extraordinary and unknown on the rest of the planet. Among the French of Port-des-Singes, it is called peradam. Ivan Lapse remains puzzled by the formation and root meaning of this word. It may mean, according to him, “harder than diamond,” and it is; or “father of the diamond,” and they say that the diamond is in fact the product of the degeneration of the peradam by a sort of quartering of the circle or, more precisely, cubing of the sphere. Or again, the word may mean “Adam’s stone,” having some secret and profound connection to the original nature of man. The clarity of this stone is so great and its index of refraction so close to that of air that, despite the crystal’s great density, the unaccustomed eye hardly perceives it. But to anyone who seeks it with sincere desire and true need, it reveals itself by its sudden sparkle, like that of dewdrops. The peradam is the only substance, the only material object whose value is recognized by the guides of Mount Analogue. Therefore, it is the standard of all currency, as gold is for us.”

The Most Precious Jewel

Daumal compares art and alpinism in this novel, saying:

Alpinism is the art of climbing mountains by confronting the greatest dangers with the greatest prudence. Art is used here to mean the accomplishment of knowledge in action.

You cannot always stay on the summits. You have to come down again…

What Is Above Knows What Is Below

So what’s the point? Only this: what is above knows what is below, what is below does not know what is above. While climbing, take note of all the difficulties along your path. During the descent, you will no longer see them, but you will know that they are there if you have observed carefully.

There is an art to finding your way in the lower regions by the memory of what you have seen when you were higher up. When you can no longer see, you can at least still know. .

Opening The Heart

Our Sacred Space

It’s fashionable now day to build your own Sacred space, this be a retreat in your garden, a small Altar, with the symbols, and objects you prefer to include there, located in a corner of your favorite place to meditate, or pray, like many ancient cultures did, and do on the present, I got to confess I grew around that kind of thing, but was little bit of a cynic, an unbeliever, and thought I knew better, today I am just comfortable with having a mat, and a corner where I seat for meditation, and prayer, nothing too elaborated, in fact plainly bare, as facing a wall can be, but I got friends who go through the effort of seeking all kind of beautiful, and special things and create an elaborated Altar piece according to their taste.  

If inclined you can do the same, if  you do not have one yet, according to your particular beliefs, and taste.

But do not forget,  Heaven and Earth are everywhere, but first you need to find them within you, then you will be able to behold them everywhere.

Privare Altar

Posted in Imagination, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Mount Analogue, Mount Meru, Mount Qaf, Mundus Imaginalis, Rene Daumal, Sacred Grounds, Sacred Mountain, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Values, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 37 Comments


Old Typewriter

Please, Put It On Writing

Words are easily spoken.

And be swept by a gust of wind
So swiftly, and end nowhere…

Never reaching the ear,
To the  one you intended,
Or bounce aimlessly,
And reach the wrong person.

If you write it instead,
Maybe one day, someone
May read it.
And the words
May grow like a seed,
Nurtured by a thirsty

So, please write me
Even a line will suffice,
To who is in need of
Those words.
In truth, it may take
Some time,
Maybe centuries,
Before finding an echo,
And do not run into
The burning book crowd.

We need to say it,
So lets talk writing it,
To express what it’s hidden
And bring it out,
Since even you
May had ignored it.

Thoughts are difficult
To express with words,
In writing you can go back
And correct it,
But never so,
A word that incautiously
Left your Lips…

Let your fingers do the
Work for you.
They allow your heart,
To say what words would fail.
And bring the pleasure of

And who knows?
Maybe they will echo
On someone’s Heart.
The arrow of your
Thoughts, will score
A bull’s eye.
Then they will
Accomplish what these
Words were intended for.


Thank You

Why Introverts Like Writing,  And Can Be very Good At.

To be honest, not all writers are introverts. Literary greats such as Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, Anaïs Nin, and Mark Twain are thought to have been extroverts, but maybe they had some elements who they share with introverts.

But many Writers, Artist and Scientist,  do self-identify as introverts, such as J.K. Rowling and John Green,  Chopin, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton. Other famous introverted writers are thought to include Agatha Christie, Charlotte Brontë, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Homer, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, George R.R. Martin, Ayn Rand, Dr. Seuss and… the list goes on and on.

Yes, anyone can write. But it takes a certain type of person to create worlds in their head, work in complete isolation for hours on end, and strive to get every word just right.

Stephane Mallarme

If you’re an introvert who loves writing, it’s probably in part because you get to work alone. There are no staff meetings, no small talk, no group brainstorming sessions, and no social burnout when you’re writing. It’s just you, your notebook, or laptop, and whatever your inner world devises.

Now, I also believe many of our fellow bloggers, who love to post, knowingly, or unknowingly they are attracted to read, and write, because it’s part of their inner drive, or character nature, from being an Introverted personality.

And that is why I titled my post as:

Writing is the Art, of bringing to Light,  that what previously was Hidden within yourself.

Leonid_PasternakThe_Passion of Creation

The Passion Of Creation

And for that we first need to take the first steps , and start running, and to gain momentum jump over the fence, and realize we are who we are, writers at heart, and we can be as good as we work hard to polish ourselves, and perfect our skills.

I am not inclined to seek help, or look for advice from anyone, but there its nothing wrong with you, if you do that, my knowledge come from an early habit of reading, and an eclectic taste for it, only once I was taken to a beginner’s writer’s class by a friend, I was soon disappointed by the teacher when first thing he did was to ask us to write a small story, to a group of people who knew nothing about writing, and hardly ever read a book, I could tell, by their limited knowledge of authors, during the class.  If I would have been the teacher, I rather have read them a small good story, and talk about it, instead than asking them to create anything, since they were not properly read, by a long stretch of the imagination, you have to hear some of the stuff they wrote, and sat patiently after to hear it, I do not know, even now, when remembering it, if to cry, or to laugh.

My advice then is to read a lot first, be voracious and read all kind of stuff. You will be surprised at the things I read, and write elsewhere, and not in my blog.

Of course each of us may have our own inclinations, given by many factors, too large to mention here, but the reason why, we all have  different lives.  But of course you got to be possessed by your inner whispering Daemon, as Socrates described it:

“Perhaps it may seem strange that I go about and interfere in other people’s affairs to give this advice in private, but do not venture to come before your assembly and advise the state. But the reason for this, as you have heard me say  at many times and places, is that something divine and spiritual [“daemonic” in original text] comes to me…” (Plato, Socrates Apology: 31c.d.)

Socrates Daimonion

What to Write?

If your asking yourself this question, you are at the beginning of your Journey as a writer.

All writer’s have a story. Whatever we write is about us, or somehow related to our lives.  As our taste in reading,  and the daily events we live through, whatever you may write it should come from deep within your heart. Your story is also something which lies in your heart so mostly whatever people write is somehow related to them. Their personal Daemon, or demons may drive them, lets not forget the desperate souls that poured their angst, in writing.

Creative people its said are mainly extroverts, writing being a creative process, should have many extroverts, I sort of disagree with that way of thinking, recently someone said:

“Brainstorming builds on combination of ideas from multiple people, when ideas from one person are enhanced by another, leading to a product that none of the participants in the brainstorming session could have envisioned individually. In my personal experience, my best ideas came out when I was with other people. Even if they didn’t consciously contributed to them, even the fact that I had to explain my ideas to them made my original ideas better, and solved problems to which I didn’t have solutions before. Group brainstorming is hard on introverts, though. They would rather just be left alone to think, and thus will not benefit from thoughts of others.”

Brainstorming by Yourself.

My answer to that is; you cannot be a real writer if you need to brainstorm with a group of people every time you write, sure you can get fresh ideas that way, but seating and writing, it’s a lonely time consuming process, that writers, inventors and engineers work like artists, and need to be alone, outside of their companies, or left alone when at work, where they can invent and write peacefully without others affecting them.

You want inspiration?

Seek it reading more books, and pondering if you could do it better.

One has to feel comfortable being alone, which is hard for most extroverted people, who find hard to sit by themselves for fifteen minutes in a room with no stimulation, and many of them preferred to zap them with electric shocks just to avoid feeling lonely, and bored, and to avoid thoughts they want to suppress. I guess that’s why jails were invented as punishment for those who break the law, we all humans, need a social environment, to be mentally healthy, but I imagine having to be worst for extroverts.

Nervous breakdown

I know that to talk about psychological characters, it’s controversial, and not politically correct, with some philosophers, and scientist, but we all have an individual character, with preferences, and different choices, and we are compatible, or not with certain characters, and gathering with the wrong type, can end with you, like in a bad relationship, marriage, in trouble, by divorce, or mutual avoidance.

So is with writing, please if you never heard, or read Henry James, William Faulkner, T. S. Eliot, Herman Melville, or Vladimir Nabokov, and those are the ones who provoke more essays  to, be made by other writers, in America today. If your primary intent, isn’t the passion of the written word itself, but to be famous, or make money, do yourself a favor, and forget it!  You are wasting your time, better become an actor, or a banker, instead.

When eating, we like to say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, in writing the proof is in the pleasure, awe, emotions, and esthetic satisfaction you get from reading it.

Coffee Cake And Book

Posted in Inspiration, Introverts And Writing, Literary Criticism, Literature, On Reading, On Writing, Personal Story, Uncategorized, Why Do I Blog?, Writing, Writing As An Artistic creation | Tagged , , , , , , | 71 Comments


Inventing The World

The World it´s not as it is, but as we see it, so it is, at least to us.


We live in a World made of images, information, and narratives, collective, and personal, and that we call it Knowledge, or Ignorance for the lack of it, or I would add for the poor quality we choose to feed our minds, and souls with.

We mostly generally, are  easy to be  program by information, that now day has become not a source for Truth, but for convenience, to people who want to control what you should think about particular issues, be this about the drink you prefer to buy, to the way you should interpret the news you watch, or hear.

It’s common for people to judge you in a poor light, or be wary of your political opinions, just by your favorite source of media. Most never questioning their own favorite source.

We are obedient receptors of information, good, or bad, that indiscriminately, we absorb, and then project into our beliefs, that translate later into actions, based on what you were told, and concluded as truthful, therefore a fact.

Watching The News Or being Programed

Thoughts Long Held, Turn Into Actions

So one day sick to your Soul, of the way things that are going on the World, and full of righteous indignation decide to take some radical action, to put an end to that!

You get out out of bed, or the sofa, and head out to the local help center, and offer yourself as a volunteer to combat misery in the so many varieties it exist; homelessness, hunger, sickness, or whatever your choice of cause to alleviate, or decide to take affirmative action, by being careful to protect the environment, buying and selecting  what in your opinion would help to conserve, and protect, rather than destroy.

Helping At The Homless Kitchen

At The Local Organic Vendor

A Different Scenario

Or you get up, and fed up by all those parasites, who are sucking the blood of the planet decide to put an end to it, by showing your disgust, an with careful planning, decide to teach those people at the local Church, or High School, a lesson they will never forget, for the sin of thinking differently, than you do, how clever, and macho you are by sacrificing yourself, but getting  ahead of you, as many of them as you can, or just full of rage on impulse picking your gun collection and shoot whoever you first see on sight, just because you are so pissed off.

Semi Automatic Gun Collection

Yes, sure we know that those people are mentally disordered, or unbalanced, as we like to call them now day, but ignore totally the fact they are very easily infected with the decease of extremist ideologies, same that they acquired just the same way you got your political ideas, by selectively picking what you choose to believe, and take action against it, regardless if you never got a personal injury from an extreme terrorist, from whatever ideology you hate, and will never carry an act like that.

Well, some mental cases, unbalanced or just full of hate towards  people  they see as the ¨other,¨ just do that, we frequently see it on the news, now a too common occurrence.

Vegas Shooting

How Common?

Just last year in 2018 in the United States  alone, the mass shootings, not all acts of terror, by a mental disorder case, criteria disputed accordingly,  but nevertheless mass shootings.

Shootings that occurred in the United States in 2018. Mass shootings are incidents involving multiple victims of firearm-related violence. The precise inclusion criteria are disputed, and there is no broadly accepted definition.

Of the shootings that meet the criteria for inclusion here, there were 323 shootings, 387 were killed and 1274 injured, and 3 mass shootings occurred at a school.

School Children Crying After Shooting Massacre

Shootings, almost as big as the year is long, basically 42 short to make  365, one for every day of the year. about 3.5 days a month without a shooting, average, since more than one shooting can happen on a given day, and a few days may go by without one, but not for too long. You may think there’s a war going on in America. And I guess there is, and its  escalating up.

Be Careful, And Selective

My intention it’s to point out, we all have an obligation to be selective, about what kind of person we aspire to be, violence may seem a random epidemic, but it’s not, all of us have a choice, as in the Native American story.

The Two Wolfs

Once upon a time, there was a Cherokee grandfather (or Navajo grandfather), who told his grandson, “Grandson, there are two wolves inside of me. One wolf is white, good and altruistic, generous and kind, and the other wolf is black, mean and greedy, violent and angry. The two wolves are in a constant fight within me.” The grandson, with wide eyes, says, “But which one will win, grandpa?” And the grandfather says after a pause:

“The one which I feed.”

Which One Will You Feed

Violence As A Way To Resolve Conflict

Before you absolve yourself  of such idea, tell me what are the  movies you like to watch?

It’s common to hear guys saying: ‘I like movies with plenty of action!’

What they are really saying is; I like movies with plenty of violence.

Someone wrote:

¨The government, and Hollywood fill up the viewing agenda on pseudo patriotism and militaristic propaganda. God said “Thou shalt not kill,” and that meant killing a neighbor, another soldier, the bully in your neighborhood, your wife or husband or the third wheel that’s been hanging around while your at work. Killing is simply not an alternative.

Self defense may be alright under certain circumstances. But that’s not the same as parroting violent incidents in the media, and the difference between killing on tv, and taking real lives is like day and night. People bleed, people suffer, people die and they’re not coming back for a sequel. School shootings and the resulting trauma are simply unacceptable. Where does a guy get the idea to shoot hundreds of people through a window opening in a luxury hotel? Violence is epidemic and it’s high time we counter.

The media through the Internet, television, video games and music, degenerates our society. I mean have you ever checked out the video game Grand Theft Auto? All about killing and killing cops, pimping, thieving , and just about any type of violence you can imagine. Johnny 12 year-old is eating it up, and the cognitive, as well as the emotional neurons adapt I suppose, although what will survival of the fittest entail in the future?  Macho supporters sing the praises of social Darwinism. If you’re weak minded or unable to contribute than you should probably just die off. Seriously that was America back in the Westward Ho days.¨

Violence as a pastime

Quantum Mind.

Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner. “It follows that the quantum description of objects is influenced by impressions entering my consciousness,” he wrote. “Solipsism may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.”

Wheeler even entertained the thought that the presence of living beings, which are capable of “noticing”, has transformed what was previously a multitude of possible quantum pasts into one concrete history. In this sense, Wheeler said, we become participants in the evolution of the Universe since its very beginning. In his words, we live in a “participatory universe.”

To this day, physicists do not agree on the best way to interpret these quantum experiments, and to some extent what you make of them is (at the moment) up to you. But one way or another, it is hard to avoid the implication that consciousness and quantum mechanics are somehow linked.


Beginning in the 1980s, the British physicist Roger Penrose suggested that the link might work in the other direction. Whether or not consciousness can affect quantum mechanics, he said, perhaps quantum mechanics is involved in consciousness.

What if, Penrose asked, there are molecular structures in our brains that are able to alter their state in response to a single quantum event. Could not these structures then adopt a superposition state, just like the particles in the double slit experiment? And might those quantum superpositions then show up in the ways neurons are triggered to communicate via electrical signals?

Maybe, says Penrose, our ability to sustain seemingly incompatible mental states is no quirk of perception, but a real quantum effect.

Quantum Mind

The Heart, The Place Of Meeting, And Transformation.

Ibn ‘Arabi offers a unique framework for explaining the structures of knowledge. His epistemology is referenced within the Oneness of Being (wahdāt al-wujūd), and all knowledge is ultimately the knowledge that the Being has of Itself through Its own self-disclosure. The human form mirrors this self-disclosure, and within this form he situates the center of the human experience in the faculty of the heart (qalb).

He intimates at the highest human potential which is the immediate perception of the Real as It appears to the heart in every moment, a condition of complete union known as the ‘Station of No Station’.

The Mind it’s the feeder, the receptacle it’s the Heart, and the reason you can’t throw in it impurity, or it will cover with rust, and dirt, the mirror of pure consciousness, the Heart. (See my last post in this blog).

And instead of Love, Truth, Peace, Wisdom, Light, and Bliss, you will get Hate, Falsehood, Ignorance, Darkness, and Suffering.

What you imagine yourself to be, that way you will become, and you will be for good, or for bad, your choice.

Imagination Its Creation

Posted in Attitude, Consciousness, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Ibn Arabi, Ignorance, Imagination, Madness, Mass Shootings, Media Indoctrination, Quantum Mind, Suffering, Uncategorized, Values, Violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments



Dear friend;

¨Your heart is a polished mirror. You must wipe it dean of the veil of dust that has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets.¨

Al Ghazali.

“Between the mirror and the heart is this single difference: the heart conceals secrets, while the mirror does not”


An Old Analogy

Polishing the Mirror of our Souls it’s an old symbolic image commonly used through antiquity, now day something most people have no idea, what are you talking about.

When searching in the Internet for a meaning, the only thing I could find was a reference to lesbianism!

And Ram Dass using it as a title for a book.

Shame on us!

The Sufis, and many other ancients seekers, speak of polishing the heart into a mirror, so that through our love we can reflect the heart of everything. This is one practice that in time can help us  to find who we really are, not the illusory dreamlike life, that most people live.

What does it mean to you to polish your heart? Where does your heart need polishing right now?

Hand Carved Heart Shaped Obsidian

Mirrors In Ancient Times

The looking glasses of the ancients were usually made of metal, at first of a composition of tin and copper, but afterwards more frequently of silver (Plin, l.c.). Pliny says that silver mirrors were first made by Praxiteles in the time of Pompey the Great, but they are mentioned as early as that of Plautus (Most. I.3.111). Under the empire the use of silver mirrors was so common, that they began to be used even by maid servants (Plinio. H. N. XXXIV.17 s48): they are constantly mentioned in the Digest, when silver plate is spoken of (33 tit. 6 s3; 34 tit. 2 s19 § 8). At first they were made of the purest silver, but metal of an inferior quality was afterwards employed (Plin. H. N. XXXIII.9 § 45). Frequently too the polished silver plate was no doubt very slight, but the excellence of the mirror very much depended on the thickness of the plate, since the reflection was stronger in proportion as the plate was thicker (Vitruv. VII.3, p204, ed. Bip.). We find gold mirrors mentioned once or twice by ancient writers (Eurip. Hecub. 925; Senec. Quaest. Nat. I.17; Aelian, V.H. XII.58);  but it is not impossible, as Beckmann has remarked, that the term golden rather refers to the frame or ornaments than to the mirror itself, as we speak of a gold watch, though the cases only may be of that metal.

Bronze Mirror Ganymede

Polishing The Mirror

As you can imagine ancient mirrors made out of metal needed constant polishing, in order to retain their polished reflecting qualities. and therefore their usefulness as mirrors.

This quality become a myriad of analogies to symbolize the constant work and effort in order to keep the mirror of the heart without blemishes.

¨Let me give you the mirror, but if you see some fault on its face, do not blame the mirror, but something reflected onto the mirror. Know that it is your own image; find the fault in yourself!¨

— Excerpt from The Conversations (Maqalat) of Shams of Tabriz

Mystical Heart Diagrams of Paul Kaym

Everything that we experience as a problem is within ourselves. Consequently the solution to the problem is also within us.

We need to cleanse ourselves from our vices, and forgetfulness, so we can heal. We  need to work constantly into restraining our ego so we can love, and forgive, and we can be  blessed, by receiving the pure Light of Spirit on a qualified instrument of purity, that becomes our heart after the constant polishing.

How does one polish the mirror of the heart? Prophet Mohammad says in a well-known Hadith (tradition) that the polishing of the heart is the act of invoking or remembering God (dhikr). In other words, the more one remembers God and burnishes the mirror of his substance, thereby cleansing it of the stain of forgetfulness that stubbornly clings to it, the more the heart becomes cleaner and clearer. Rumi explains it in this way:

“Through remembrance and meditation, the heart is polished until the mirror of the heart receives virginal images.”

A  sort of returning to the primordial condition  of Eden, but with the Wisdom and love acquired through practice.

Heart Pool At garden Eden

Rumi’s Chinese and Greek argument.

The Chinese and the Greeks}were arguing as to who were the better artists.
The King said,
“We’ll settle this matter with a debate.”
The Chinese began talking,
but the Greeks wouldn’t say anything.
They left.
The Chinese suggested then
that they each be given a room to work on
with their artistry, two rooms facing each other
and divided by a curtain.
The Chinese asked the King
for a hundred colors, all the variations,
and each morning they came to where
the dyes were kept and took them all.
The Greeks took no colors.
“They’re not part of our work,”
They went to their room
and began cleaning and polishing the walls. All day
every day they made those walls as pure and clear
as an open sky.
There is a way that leads from all-colors
to colorlessness. Know that the magnificent variety
of the clouds and the weather comes from
the total simplicity of the sun and the moon.
The Chinese finished, and they were so happy.
They beat the drums in the joy of completion.
The King entered their room,
astonished by the gorgeous color and detail.

A House Of Mirrors
The Greeks then pulled the curtain dividing the rooms.
The Chinese figures and images shimmeringly reflected
on the clear Greek walls. They lived there,
even more beautifully, and always
changing in the light.
The Greek art is the Sufi way.
They don’t study books of philosophical thought.
They make their loving clearer and clearer.
No wanting, no anger. In that purity
they receive and reflect the images of every moment,
from here, from the stars, from the void.
They take them in
as though they were seeing
with the Lighted Clarity
that sees them.

As translated By Coleman Barks.

The purity of the Sufi is due to his constant remembrance of God. The more he remembers God, the more he comes to know Him; and the more he comes to know Him, the more he comes to love Him. This is why the act of polishing the mirror of the heart is the key to entering into a love-relationship with God. The Sufi’s heart, in other words, is like white snow because of its purity, which it has attained through the remembrance of God. In one important tale, Rumi seeks to illustrate this idea in a more concrete way.


Posted in Alchemy, Counsciousness, Heart, Knowing Self, Knowledge, Mysticism, Polishing The Mirror, Religion, Rumi, Spiritual Training, Spirituality, Training, Transformation, True Teaching, Uncategorized, Virtue, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments


Daoist Sage
The Sage is occupied with the wordless
And acts without effort.
Teaching without speaking,
Producing without possessing,
Creating without regard to result,
Claiming nothing,
The Sage has nothing to lose.
Tao Te King

Human conditions, often we forget are relative, it matters little to be poor, rich, sick, or healthy, if you have a proper attitude, that of remaining happy with our lot, we must constantly remind ourselves that we are not only the body, but that our true nature is  Spirit, and before this fact, all material conditions are only secondary, and immaterial, in relation to our true Nature, and therefore only conditions for ever changing, and of importance relative to the moment we are presently experiencing, not to say they are not important.

Wu wei is a concept literally meaning non-action, non-doing or non-forcing. Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period to become an important concept in both Taoism an Chinese statecraft.

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu explains that beings (or phenomena) that are wholly in harmony with the Tao behave in a completely natural, uncontrived way. The goal of spiritual practice for the human being is, according to Lao Tzu, the attainment of this purely natural way of behaving, as when the planets revolve around the sun. The planets effortlessly do this revolving without any sort of control, force, or attempt to revolve themselves, thus engaging in effortless and spontaneous, or as water flowing downstream avoiding obstacles naturally, and effortless.

Lao Tzu

It’s An Attitude

So, Wu Wei, it’s not doing nothing, it’s an attitude, like when things are outside your control, what’s the point of clinging to, and be in the way of it?

There’s many things that require an attitude, of tuning yourself on, and off in a special wavelength, of letting go, like jumping the rope, you do it without thinking, first, of course you just jump, but later, you can add even different ways of doing it, and even get to do fancy moves.

Fancy rope jumping

Our mind, and emotions, are like our body, we can train them to do what we want to accomplish, in fact, body, and mind are one, and emotions are the product of our minds. When your body and mind are together as one, you are fully and naturally present in the moment. This is the essence of mindfulness practice. Body and Mind Are One

Pen Shue, or Chih Shue?

The nature of mind has long been one of the most perplexing problems in Western philosophy, achieving particular prominence since the time of Descartes (1596-1650) who, in the second of his Meditations, attempted to distinguish between mind-substances and physical-extended substances. Understanding the nature of mind has been a difficult and still unresolved problem in the West.

According to pen chueh, the mind is believed as being enlightened from the very beginning. Shih chueh believes, however, that there is a definite point in time when we transition from ignorance to realization.

As we shall see, the so-called defiled mind is the activity of mind which conceptualizes, judges, distinguishes subject from object, hates, craves, and constructs the conceptual framework within which we categorize our perceptions and experiences. This defiled mind seems to correspond roughly to the Western notion of mind, but what is this “pure mind”? How is the pure mind related to the defiled mind? Are they two different minds or two aspects of the same thing? Are they separable? Is one more fundamental than the other? If so, in what sense? These tended to be the kinds of questions which the Ch’an Buddhists were concerned with, and it goes without saying that the realization of the pure mind was considered an essential part of the goal for the Ch’an Buddhist.


To get a feeling for this pure mind, the following quotation taken from the sermons of Ch’ao-chou Ta-tien, a disciple of the famous Ch’an master Shih-t’ou (700-790), describes the pure mind:

    The master ascended the ‘high seat’ and spoke to the assembled monks, saying:

Now, you students of the Way must realize your own original mind (tzu-chia pen-hsin …. Simply do away with all of your erroneous imaginings, thoughts and discrimination. This is your true mind (chen-hsin ). This mind has nothing to do with sensory realms, with maintaining the experience of silence and quietude, and is completely free from interaction [with these kinds of states]. Just this mind is Buddha, and it is not spiritual cultivation. What is the reason for this? It responds to worldly activities, it is in accord with the illumination [of each thing], it is calm and self-functioning. Penetrating to the place of this functioning cannot be grasped conceptually. And the name we give to this subtle functioning is the ”original mind” (pen-hsin)

The Undefiled Mind

Posted in Attitude, Buddhism, Ch'an Buddhist, Chih Shue, Eastern Ways Vs Western Ways, Enlightenment, Inspiration, Mastery, Mind, Original Mind, Pen Shue, Pen Shue, Philosophy, Realization, Spirituality, Tao, Transformation, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Wu Wei, Zen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments



Globalization and what could it mean.

Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.

Nelson Mandela



I kind of smile when as a blogger frecuently run into blogs disparaging at the changes we are seeing around the Globe, and we do not like it, specially when the change in question it’s hitting right at home, and it’s too close for comfort.

White lies are small, inconsequential, and use some light dishonesty in order to keep everyone happy—or at least cover your rear, right?

Well, anyone who has had a seemingly innocent falsehood blow up in their face knows that’s not always the case. A fib can have sometimes dramatic consequences, setting a chain of events into motion that could hardly have been anticipated when the original lie was told. That’s true in both life and history; many an untruth has led to major, unexpected, tectonically earth-shifting results.

The Washington Post newspaper said that it had identified 1628 false or false statements made by US President Donald Trump since his inauguration as president of the United States.

History Has Consecuences

The European colonization the World over during roughly 400 years. One could argue from history that exploration has led to the subjugation or decimation of cultures, and that is undoubtedly true. Historians have documented the often bad effects of culture contacts: there is no whitewashing the history of Cortez and the Aztecs, Pizarro and the Incas, or the eventual effects of exploration on the American Indians, to mention only the effect of European exploration on the Americas.

And the further striping of many parts of the World, of the local inahibatans self rulership, into a position, if if not of blatant slavery, to secondary servitude, by European powers, and the movement of millions of Africans to the New World,  by any standards a major historical phenomenon, with long-term international consequences.


To assess these consequences, and the new developments of a more benign, but still ruthless conquest of the markets, and materail resources by globalization, the many mini-wars on far off lands, it may seem of little consequence, for those naive enough to believe so, but now shocked to the core, to see their borders aflood with masses of inmigrants of all colors, in a desperate struggle for survival, should be a lesson to understand that there is no actions without consecuences, and to believe so, and be a complice of policies in the past that supported  invasion, and mayhem abroad. Well there is a big price tag to pay for it, the bill is due, and the bill collector is knocking at your door, as we speak!

waves of Immigrants knocking at your door


Rather than bore you with my personal opinion about the matter, I will provide you with a wide spectrum of voices, to do it for me.

Quotes on the Effect of Globalization

We are aware that globalization doesn’t mean global friendship but global competition and, therefore, conflict. That doesn’t mean we will all destroy each other, but it is no happy global village, either.

Rene Girard

Globalization and trade liberalization were supposed to make us all better off through the mechanism of trickle-down economics. What we seemed to be seeing instead was trickle-up economics, accompanied by a destruction of democratic politics, as we moved ever closer to a system of ‘one dollar, one vote’ as opposed to ‘one person, one vote.’

Joseph Stiglitz

The trends that are shaping the twenty-first-century world embody both promise and peril. Globalization, for example, has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty while contributing to social fragmentation and a massive increase in inequality, not to mention serious environmental damage.

Klaus Schwab


It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.

Kofi Annan

Globalization has much potential. It could be the answer to many of the world’s seemingly intractable problems. But this requires strong democratic foundations based on a political will to ensure equity and justice.

Sharan Burrow

We must create a kind of globalization that works for everyone… and not just for a few.

Nestor Kirchner

If you’re totally illiterate and living on one dollar a day, the benefits of globalization never come to you.

Jimmy Carter

Living on a Dollar a Day

In Globalization 1.0, which began around 1492, the world went from size large to size medium. In Globalization 2.0, the era that introduced us to multinational companies, it went from size medium to size small. And then around 2000 came Globalization 3.0, in which the world went from being small to tiny.

Thomas Friedman

The standardization of world culture, with local popular or traditional forms driven out or dumbed down to make way for American television, American music, food, clothes and films, has been seen by many as the very heart of globalization.

Fredric Jameson

Masterpieces of art possess immense potential to advance a worldview that could help assuage the societal terrors posed by globalization, the most thoroughgoing socioeconomic upheaval since the Industrial Revolution, which has set off a pandemic of retrogressive nationalism, regional separatism, and religious extremism.

Martin Filler

Mideast Israel Ethiopian Immigrants

Imperialism or globalization – I don’t have to care what it’s called to hate it.

Bill Ayers

Globalization creates economic policies where the transnationals lord over us, and the result is misery and unemployment.

Evo Morales

The negative side to globalization is that it wipes out entire economic systems and in doing so wipes out the accompanying culture.

Peter L. Berger

If it is, in reality, capitalism that is the motor force behind the destructive forms of globalization, then it must be in their capacity to neutralize or transform this particular mode of exploitation that one can best test these various forms of resistance to the West.

Fredric Jameson

concept of rich and poor in a shoes

Globalization means we have to re-examine some of our ideas, and look at ideas from other countries, from other cultures, and open ourselves to them. And that’s not comfortable for the average person.

Herbie Hancock

The 1 to 2 billion poorest in the world, who don’t have food for the day, suffer from the worst disease: globalization deficiency. The way globalization is occurring could be much better, but the worst thing is not being part of it. For those people, we need to support good civil societies and governments.

Hans Rosling

There’s a natural antipathy on the part of the voters to a continuation of globalization as we know it. It’s simply a code word today for bad trade deals that disadvantage the American people.

Peter Navarro

Well, we see an increasingly weaker labor movement as a result of the overall assault on the labor movement and as a result of the globalization of capital.

Angela Davis

Globalization obviously has the potential to be good. That doesn’t mean it’s good for everybody. There’s a very large number of people in India and China who benefited directly from globalization, but it doesn’t mean everybody in America benefits from globalization.

Angus Deaton



Laissez-faire capitalism is a belief that unregulated capitalism will create the greatest benefit for all. Proponents of such a system believe that government interference, including tariffs or social safety nets, ultimately causes more harm than good by promoting or protecting inefficiency. In extreme forms, the philosophy has been used as a reason not to intervene in humanitarian crises, such as the Irish famines (1846–49), despite evidence that many “natural” catastrophes are the result of government actions or lop-sided concentrations of wealth and resources. Adam Smith’s belief in the “invisible hand” that balances economic systems is sometimes cited as evidence of his support for laissez-faire policies, though his call for government to intervene to prevent monopolies shows he was not an absolutist.

There’s so many conflicting opinions about Globalization, it’s clear that for some it’s a fountain of great opportunities, and for others a cause for grief, and unequality, my two cents here is that governments around the World should be responsible of laws, that would promote the welfare of Nations as a whole, and not to benefit just a few, the key it’s to find a balance that would address both sides, to promote happiness and well being for everyone, and avoid the total degradation of Men by another one, a common situation prevalent through History, and today, time to put a stop to it.






Posted in A World in Crisis, Backlash Of History, Capitalism, Corruption, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Disillusion with Capitalism, Ecological Crisis, Globalization, Greed, Greed and Impunity, History Has Consecuences, Obsolete Government, Oligarchy, Social Criticism, Suffering, The Empire Crumbling, Things To Come, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 50 Comments


Thirty birds, makes a Simurgh

O my heart, if you wish to arrive

at the begining of understanding,

walk carefully.

To each atom there is a different door,

and for each atom there is a

different way which leads to

the mysterious Being,

of whom I speak.

In this vast Ocean the World

is an Atom, and the Atom a World.

Who knows which, is of more value here,

the Cornelian precious stone,

or a mere pebble?


The faraway king of all the birds, the Simurgh, lets fall a magnificent feather at night, in the center of China, by it’s mere presence, the Chinese great wise scholars, on seeing this single feather knew of this magnificent but mysterious bird, and it’s fame spread all over,  therefore the saying:

“Seek knowledge even as far as China.”


Tired of their age-old anarchy, the birds resolve to go in search of him. They know that their king’s name Simurgh, means thirty birds; they know his palace is located on the Qaf mountain, the circular mountain that surrounds the earth.

Mount Qaf in Arabic tradition is a mysterious mountain renowned as the “farthest point of the earth” owing to its location at the far side of the ocean encircling the earth. It is also the only place in this world where the Roc will land.

Zal and the Simurgh

They embark upon the nearly infinite adventure. They pass through seven valleys or seas; the name of the penultimate is Vertigo; the last, Annihilation. Many pilgrims give up; others perish. Thirty, purified by their efforts, set foot on the mountain of the Simurgh. At last they gaze upon it: they perceive that they are the Simurgh and that the Simurgh is each one of them and all of them. In the Simurgh are the thirty birds and in each bird is the Simurgh.

The poem was written around 1200 by the Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar.

Attar's Mausoleum

About thirty works by Attar survive, but his masterpiece is the mantiq at-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds).

In the poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their sovereign, as they have none. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendary Simurgh. The hoopoe leads the birds, each of whom represents a human fault which prevents human kind from attaining enlightenment.

“He who would know the secret of both worlds will find that the secret of them both is Love.”

The hoopoe tells the birds that they have to cross seven valleys in order to reach the abode of Simurgh. These valleys are as follows:

1. Valley of the Quest, where the Wayfarer begins by casting aside all dogma, belief, and unbelief.
2. Valley of Love, where reason is abandoned for the sake of love.
3. Valley of Knowledge, where worldly knowledge becomes utterly useless.
4. Valley of Detachment, where all desires and attachments to the world are given up. Here, what is assumed to be “reality” vanishes.
5. Valley of Unity, where the Wayfarer realizes that everything is connected and that the Beloved is beyond everything, including harmony, multiplicity, and eternity.
6. Valley of Wonderment, where, entranced by the beauty of the Beloved, the Wayfarer becomes perplexed and, steeped in awe, finds that he or she has never known or understood anything.
7. Valley of Poverty and Annihilation, where the self disappears into the universe and the Wayfarer becomes timeless, existing in both the past and the future.
The song of birds

“When the birds hear the description of these valleys, they bow their heads in distress; some even die of fright right then and there. But despite their trepidations, they begin the great journey. On the way, many perish of thirst, heat or illness, while others fall prey to wild beasts, panic, and violence. Finally, only thirty birds make it to the abode of Simurgh. In the end, the birds learn that they themselves are the Simorgh; the name “Simorgh” in Persian means thirty (si) birds (morgh). They eventually come to understand that the majesty of that Beloved is like the sun that can be seen reflected in a mirror. Yet, whoever looks into that mirror will also behold his or her own image.”


If Simurgh unveils its face to you, you will find
that all the birds, be they thirty or forty or more,
are but the shadows cast by that unveiling.
What shadow is ever separated from its maker?
Do you see?
The shadow and its maker are one and the same,
so get over surfaces and delve into mysteries.

Now, this book was recommended to me by Adam, a friend of mine over 35 years ago, and had it in my hands many times at the bookstore, and read just snippets of it, I am fastidious, and particularly with books, and want the best translation, and the best format, and was not satisfied with the stuff available at the time, so, then just took it out of the library and read it.

I just bought it a few days ago, compromising as usual, I may buy another one, by a different translator.

The Simurgh taken the white haired Zal to its nest

It was one night while soaring in the Chinese sky,I heard people talk of a great bird that flew by,
Called Simurgh, the greatest bird alive,
Who dwells on Mount Qaf, where he is said to thrive,
Upon a giant mountain unlike any other seen, covered with trees.
Beyond Samarkand, across seven valleys and seven seas.

Jorge Luis Borges admired Attar’s Simorgh tremendously, comparing it to Dante’s Eagle in Canto XVIII of the Paradiso—another composite bird, made up of just kings flying around Jupiter in aquiline formation. Borges preferred the Simurgh as the more cohesive, integrated figure; however, in Attar’s poem, the Simorgh’s integration is also the birds’ disintegration:

The Birds and the Simurgh

Their life came from that close, insistent sun And in its vivid rays they shone as one.
There in the Simorgh’s radiant face they saw
Themselves, the Simorgh of the world – with awe

They gazed, and dared at last to comprehend

They were the Simorgh and the journey’s end.
They see the Simorgh – at themselves they stare,
And see a second Simorgh standing there;
They look at both and see the two are one,
That this is that, that this, the goal is won. Then, as they listened to the Simorgh’s words,
A trembling dissolution filled the birds–
The substance of their being was undone,
And they were lost like shade before the sun;
Neither the pilgrims nor their guide remained.
The Simorgh ceased to speak, and silence reigned.

There is admirable economy in the birds’ quest, Borges noted—“the searchers are what they seek.” Yet also in this climax is the sense of consumption, mortality, illusion.

If you haven’t read it, do it by all means.

“The ocean can be yours; why should you stop  Beguiled by dreams of evanescent dew?
The secrets of the sun are yours, but you
Content yourself with motes trapped in beams.”


Posted in Baqaa, Ego, Fana, Farid Ud Din Attar, Heart, Imagination, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Khidr, Knowing Self, Knowledge, Literary Criticism, Literature, Mount Qaf, Mysticism, On Reading, Poetry, Realization, Sacred Mountain, Spirituality, Symbology, The Conference of Birds, Transformation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 43 Comments



What It’s Self?

According to an online dictionary:

A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

“Our alienation from our true selves”


Ego, I, oneself, persona, person, identity, character, personality, psyche, soul, spirit,mind, (inner) being

“Listen to your inner self”

The self is an individual person as the object of his or her own reflective consciousness. This reference is necessarily subjective, thus self is a reference by a subject to the same subject. The sense of having a self – or self-hood – should, however, not be confused with subjectivity itself.

There is a directness outward from the subject that refers inward, back to its “self”

A curious state of affairs, who, or what it’s this subjective Self?

Who is this mind who talks within ourselves, and we call the “I”?

A subjective me, separated  from my physical person, who can only be witnessed, and listened by myself, and no one else?

There are psychiatric conditions where such ‘sameness’ is broken include depersonalization, which sometimes occur in schizophrenia: the self appears different to the subject.

Schizophrenics they may hear ‘voices’ within themselves diffrent from their self.

Are You Talking To Me

Who we are, as a different , but particular individual, it’s not our subjective Self, but a given condition of existence.

Our name, sex, parents, city, and country we are born, or live, religion, economy, school, friends, occupation, work, profession, wife, husband, relatives, friends, factors that marked our physical identity given by genetics, and ancestors, geography, and what not.

None of them the it’s real Self, but circumstantial conditions given at birth, and the subsequent life story we live by such limiting configurations, all simply circumstantial, or happenstance of one kind, or another one, supposedly planed, or not, since we didn’t choose the initial conditions of existence, and the consequence of the many struggles we go through as individuals to establish the identity of our own choosing, sometimes contrary as to what others perceive as a given.

Counting Out Play

Although subjective experience is central to self-hood, the privacy of this experience is only one of many problems in the philosophical and scientific study of consciousness.

Personal Story

Well, at an early age, I was six, or seven years of age, when I heard an older friend talking about a philosophy class, he had and the teacher expounded on Buddhism about the Three marks of existence. In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: trilakṣaṇa) of all existence and beings, what we namely call impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā).

And the five Skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi) means “heaps, aggregates, The five aggregates or heaps are: form (or matter or body) (rupa), sensations (or feelings, received from form) (vedana), perceptions (samjna), mental activity or formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vijnana).

India Spirituality and Wisdom

The skandhas aggregates, as a concept, in contradistinction to the idea of a unified “being or individual”, and complements the Anatta doctrine of Buddhism, which asserts that all things and beings are without self. The ornate and “five aggregates” doctrines are part of the liberating knowledge in Buddhism, wherein one realizes that the “being” is merely made up of a temporary grouping of five aggregates,  inferences due to our five senses, who produce the illusion of a Self, each of which are “not I, and not myself”, and each of the skandhas is empty, without substance.

Now, of course all this explained in more simple terms by my friend, and very likely his teacher, as well, since my friend was nine, or ten years of age at the time, like pain,  suffering, and death being a given of existence, and our attachment to existence.

Remove Ego

Via Positiva Vs Via Negativa

Of course to those easily confused by the many Ways that exist I may refer you to a post I wrote on May 2012 titled: Via Positiva Via Negativa, and remind you form it’s emptiness, and emptiness it’s form, the difference it’s in the eye of the beholder.

The third century Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna taught, “Emptiness wrongly grasped is like picking up a poisonous snake by the wrong end.”  In other words, we will be bitten!

Emptiness is not complete nothingness; it doesn’t mean that nothing exists at all. This would be a nihilistic view contrary to common sense. What it does mean is that things do not exist the way our grasping self supposes they do.

Ramana Maharshi

In order of brevity, and not to make this post a treaty that would take many books, I will expose the simple, but profound words of the Ramana Maharshi, who was a Hindu sage and Jivanmukta. He was born as Venkataraman Iyer, but is most commonly known by the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. His message was simple, easily to understand, but with great wisdom.  Though Ramana’s answers explain and incorporate elements from Advaita Vedanta, his spiritual life is strongly associated with Shaivism.


Although many claim to be influenced by him, Ramana Maharshi did not publicize himself as a guru, never claimed to have disciples, and never appointed any successors.While a few who came to see him are said to have become enlightened through association,  he did not publicly acknowledge any living person as liberated other than his mother at death. Ramana never promoted any lineage.

I do not hold any particular Spiritual Path, to be better, than another one, neither claim to be this, or that, I am of the thought we all Men or Women come in all different guises, and likes, and dislikes, a Spiritual Path it’s unique to the individual, and it’s my firm belief that the problem, it’s not that there’s too many Religions, but too few, each person should be a Temple of the Light into his/her own heart, and have each their own, and unique Way, and should recognizes Universally Self, in every being. That by the way, according to Ramana Maharshi It’s the test, that confirm a person it’s an enlightened Being.

Rishi Vyasa

“Inquiring within Who is the seer? I saw the seer disappear leaving That alone which stands forever. No thought arose to say I saw. How then could the thought arise to say I did not see.” R.M.

“I cannot show you God or enable you to see God because God is not an object that can be seen. God is the subject. He is the seer. Don’t concern yourself with objects that can be seen. Find out who the seer is” R.M.

“When the identification with the body stops, any notions about death and rebirth become inapplicable, since there is no birth or death within Self.”  R.M.

Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter. This is the truth.


“O learned one if the mind going inside come backs again outside, it’s only called practice; knowledge it’s a very unfailling experience.” R.M.

“Realization it’s nothing to be gained anew. You are the Self. You are already and eternally That.” R.M.

There is never a moment when the Self is not; it is ever present, here and now. If Realization were something to be gained hereafter, there would be an equal chance of its being lost; this cannot be Liberation, which is eternal.” R.M.

“Investigate the nature of the mind and it will disappear. When you inquire to see what it is, you find there is no such a thing as mind. When the mind has vanished, you realize eternal Peace.” R.M.

“We need not acquire anything new, only give up false ideas and useless accretions. Instead of doing this, we try to grasp something strange and mysterious because we believe happiness lies elsewhere. This is the mistake.” R.M.

“Birds , and all caged pets are waiting for an opportunity to fly, or run out of their cages. Ramana remarks:

All want to rush out. There is no limit to going out. When happiness lies within and not without.”

Happiness Lies Within

Posted in Advaita Vedanta, Direct Spiritual Experience, Hinduism, Impermanence, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Knowing Self, Knowledge, Personal Story, Ramana Maharshi, Realization, Reincarnation, Shaivism, Siddha, Spirituality, Teaching, Transcendence, Transformation, Uncategorized, Via Positiva Vs Via Negativa | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments


You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.

You can’t cross the sea merely
by standing and staring at the water.

Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.

Life is given to us, we earn it by giving it.

Rabindranath Tagore.

As to the frequent, and too much used question of;

Why do I Blog?

My response could be the obvious, like why do you eat, or even why do you have blue eyes, or why do you like a certain type of food, or why do you have a mole on your cheek?

And many such answers of the sort, of why you are, who you are, and what’s the stuff that motivate you to have the daring of typing some words, and put them out there for everyone to read.

Motivations can be many, as diverse as us human beings we are, despite of it, we all have our own special reasons why do we write.

I believe I do, because I love reading even at the tender age of five as I just learnt, at school, my father, who was an avid reader gave me my first book to read, nothing too complex, a small book 110 pages long or so, an adventure genre book, by the Italian writer Emilio Salgari, about Sandokan a pirate in Malasya, a very improbable story, but designed to appeal to a young person’s imagination.

Emilio Salgari

Emilio Salgari (Italian pronunciation: [eˈmiːljo salˈɡaːri], but often erroneously pronounced [ˈsalɡari]; 21 August 1862 – 25 April 1911) was an Italian writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction.

In Italy, his extensive body of work was more widely read than that of Dante. Today he is still among the 40 most translated Italian authors. Many of his most popular novels have been adapted as comics, animated series and feature films. He is considered the father of Italian adventure fiction and Italian pop culture, and the “grandfather” of the Spaghetti Western.

Salgari wrote more than 200 adventure stories and novels, setting his tales in exotic locations, with heroes from a wide variety of cultures. He gained inspiration from reading foreign literature and newspapers, travel magazines and encyclopedias, which he used to portray his heroes’ worlds. He wrote four major series: The Pirates of Malaysia; The Black Corsair Saga; The Pirates of Bermuda; and a collection of adventures set in the Old West. Salgari’s heroes were mostly pirates, outlaws and barbarians, fighting against greed, abuse of power, and corruption.

Salgari opposed colonization in his fiction. His most legendary heroes Sandokan, The Tiger of Malaysia, a Bornean prince turned pirate, and his loyal lieutenant Yanez of Gomera, led their men in attacks against the Dutch and British fleets. They declared war on James Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak, and tried to force him from his throne. The Black Corsair and Captain Morgan battled against injustice in the Caribbean, while Salgari’s pirates of Bermuda fought for American independence.

His tales had been so popular that soon his publisher hired other writers to develop adventure stories under his name. They added 50 novels to his “canon”. Salgari’s style was imitated by many, but no other Italian adventure writer managed to duplicate his popular success.

Sandokan The Tiger From Malasya

After reading the book completely non stop since midmorning until late afternoon, I returned the book to father, my father thought I had not read the book, so he said to me:

You didn´t like it?

To which I responded:

On the contrary, I love it, and therefore I want the continuation, the book that you gave me has a continuation and I want it immediately!

And so my long years of reading books commenced.


Well, there you have it, in a nutshell, I write because after so much reading figured up it was time for me to put my owns thoughts in writing.
After so much taking in, naturally it was time to give back, as a process of Osmosis.


The process of osmosis over a semi-permeable membrane. The blue dots represent particles driving the osmotic gradient.
Osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a selectively permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides. It may also be used to describe a physical process in which any solvent moves across a selectively permeable membrane (permeable to the solvent, but not the solute) separating two solutions of different concentrations. Osmosis can be made to do work. Osmotic pressure is defined as the external pressure required to be applied so that there is no net movement of solvent across the membrane. Osmotic pressure is a colligative property, meaning that the osmotic pressure depends on the molar concentration of the solute but not on its identity.

Simply put Osmosis, it’s soaking a rag until it cannot absorb any more liquid, and the process of absorption, it’s reversed and therefore, as when you clean with a rag something you spill on your counter the rag start to release the liquid instead of absorbing it, and you need to bring a new rag, or squeeze dry the one you have, before trying to clean up more the mess left, on the counter.


So it’s my time to give, rather than taking knowledge, not that I stop reading, but naturally feel like sharing what I have absorbed through my reading, and life experience, and that’s why I am here telling you about it.

That, and trying to add the skill of writing, as a complement to my reading, and sharing it with you, are the prime motivations behind my writing, not getting any money from my writing, or even further from my mind, getting to be famous through it, and so far yet, not even writing a book, has come to my mind…

What inspire me to write a particular post, can be as variable, as the weather, one day to another one, as for example, as I sat on my desk and turned the computer on, I didn’t knew what my next post would be all about it, then I read a message, someone wrote me, and bingo!

A friend of mine like to travel constantly, and once I retired figure that I would do the same, but then that was some time ago, before I knew myself better, the fact I am an INFJ, and just cannot be running around here, and there without having my battery easily exhausted, just a trip of four days some days ago made me crash, when I got home, sleep for twelve hours nonstop, when usually do not sleep more than six, a day!

Commenting on that, to another friend I said:
Our friend like to travel through the Oceans frequently, myself I prefer to travel through, as well, but rather the Oceans of Knowledge, within myself, with the help of some books of course, my kind of cup of tea.

Crossing Through the Oceans of Knowledge

Posted in Blogging, Imagination, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Learning, Literature, Memories, On Reading, Progress, Uncategorized, Why Do I Blog?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 78 Comments


The Coming of an Age of Gold

There were no poor and no rich; there was no need to labor, because all that men required was obtained by the power of will; the chief virtue was the abandonment of all worldly desires. The Krita Yuga (Satya Yuga) was without disease; there was no lessening with the years; there was no hatred or vanity, or evil thought; no sorrow, no fear. All mankind could attain to supreme blessedness.

According to the Surya Siddhanta, Kali Yuga began at midnight (00:00) on 18 February 3102 BCE. This is also considered the date on which Lord Krishna left the earth to return to Vaikuntha. This information is placed at the temple of Bhalka, the place of this incident

Information Kiosk at Bhalka, the place from where Lord Krishna returned to his heavenly abode

According to the astronomer and mathematician Aryabhatta the Kali Yuga started in 3102 BCE. He finished his book “Aryabhattiya” in 499 CE, in which he gives the exact year of the beginning of Kali Yuga. He writes that he wrote the book in the “year 3600 of the Kali Age” at the age of 23. As it was the 3600th year of the Kali Age when he was 23 years old, and given that Aryabhatta was born in 476 CE, the beginning of the Kali Yuga would come to (3600 – (476 + 23) + 1 (As only one year elapses between 1 BCE and 1 CE) = ) 3102 BCE

Kali Yuga Dark Age

According to KD Abhyankar, the starting point of Kaliyuga is an extremely rare planetary alignment, which is depicted in the Mohenjo-Daro seals.[ Going by this alignment the year 3102 BCE is slightly off. The actual date for this alignment is February 7 of 3104 BCE. There is also sufficient proof to believe that Vrdhha Garga knew of precession at least by 500 BCE. Garga had calculated the rate of precession to within 30% of what the modern scholars estimate.

Astronomical Oobservatory Jantar Mantar Jaipur Rajasthan India

Most interpreters of Vedic scriptures, as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami and his recent disciple Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada believe that Earth is currently in Kali Yuga and lasts 432,000 years. Other authors, such as Swami Sri Yukteswar and Paramhansa Yogananda, believe that it is now an ascending Dvapara Yuga, indicating levels of cycles within each major Yuga period as each being a development, the smaller cycles within cycles eventually leading to full development of the qualities of the ages. The Kali Yuga is thought by some authors to last 6480 years although other duration have been proposed.

Attributes of Kali Yuga

Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, which is referred to as the Dark Age because in it people are as far away as possible from God. Hinduism often symbolically represents morality (dharma) as an Indian bull. In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, but in each age morality is reduced by one quarter. By the age of Kali, morality is reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age, so that the bull of Dharma has only one leg.


The Kali Yuga According to Hindu Scriptures

“It is the lowest instincts that stimulate the men of the Kali Yuga, they prefer false ideas, they do not hesitate to persecute the sages,  desire torments them,  neglect,  illness,  hunger, the fear spread. Severe droughts The different regions of the countries will oppose each other The sacred books will no longer be respected Men will not have morals, and will be irritable and sectarian False doctrines and misleading writings spread in the age of Kali People are afraid because they neglect the rules taught by the wise and do not perform the rites correctly anymore Many will perish The number of princes and farmers will gradually diminish The lower classes want to attribute real power and share knowledge, food and the beds of the old princes, most of the new leaders are of slave origin, they will persecute the priests and those who have wisdom. to fetuses and heroes. The slaves want to play the role of intellectuals, the intellectuals that of slaves. Thieves become kings and kings become thieves. Rare are virtuous women. Promiscuity extends. The stability and balance of castes and the ages of life disappear everywhere. The earth produces almost nothing in some places and produces a lot in others. The powerful take over public goods and stop protecting the people. Wise persons of low birth are honored as if they were Brahmans and deliver to people who are not worthy of it the dangerous secrets of the sciences. Teachers are debased by selling their knowledge. Many take refuge in a wandering life. At the end of the Yuga, the number of women increases and the number of men decreases. During the Age of Kali, the Great God, Shiva, the dark blue and red peacemaker, will be revealed to all under a disguise to restore justice. Those who go to him will be saved. At the end of the Yuga, the animals become violent, the number of cows decreases. Good men withdraw from public life. Market cooked foods are sold in the market square. Also the sacraments and religion are sold. The rain is erratic. The  merchants dishonest.

Apocalyps Now by Mearone

People who beg or seek employment are becoming more numerous. Nobody stops using rude language, nobody keeps their word, everyone is envious. People without morals preach virtue to others. Censorship reigns. Criminal associations are formed in cities and towns. The water and the fruits will be lacking. Men will lose the sense of values. They will have belly aches and will have their hair in disarray. At the end of the Yuga, people will be born whose life expectancy will not reach sixteen. People will envy the clothes of others. The thieves will rob the thieves. Many will become lethargic and inactive, contagious diseases, rats and snakes will torment men. Men suffering from hunger and fear will find themselves on the banks of the Bengal River. Nobody will live longer than the normal duration of life, which is one hundred years. The rites will perish in the hands of men without virtues. People who practice errant rites will spread everywhere. Unskilled people will study the sacred texts and will be self-proclaimed expert. Men will kill each other and also kill children, women and cows. The wise will be condemned to death. However, some will reach perfection in a very short time. Excellent Brahmans will continue practicing the rites. “

Linga Purâna, II. Chapters. 39, 40.

Kali Yuga Days

End of Kali yuga Controversy

In all honesty there is wide controversy, between Astrologers, about the time the Kali Yuga will end,  and even some Astronomers have jump into the fray!

Some say it already started in on 26th July 2014 at 3:11:00 p.m., others not until 2,025, and many others into different dates, as far as thousands of years into the future!

And frankly it will take too many pages to explain, and it will not be of interest to those who do not have a background in Astrology, or Astronomy, if you are interested on those details you can find your way through those arguments by navigating to such websites.

Some propose the date of 2025, and the object of my post, it’s to call attention to this not new, but coming our way Millenarianism phenomena, as we speak, too many argue we  are  in the Aquarius age, some deny it, or that if the Maya end cycle on 2012 year, had, or has any meaning?

We will not go into that, my objective is to relate to you what the ones who agree on 2025, have to say:


‘The timeline also indicates that the ascending Kali Yuga, which is the current epoch in which we are living, will end in 2025 CE. The full manifestation of the next Yuga – the ascending Dwapara – will take place in 2325 CE, after a transitional period of 300 years. The ascending Dwapara Yuga will then be followed by two more Yugas: the ascending Treta Yuga and the ascending Satya Yuga, which will complete the 12,000 year ascending cycle.’

Satya Yuga

Satya Yuga

The Mahabharata has also prophesied the same thing but with further elaborations on how conditions will be when Satya-Yuga or Krita-yuga begins again: “O descendant of Bharata, when at the appearance of the Krita Yuga, sin will thus be completely destroyed and virtue will flourish, men will again be engaged in religious rites. Well-planted gardens, sacrificial grounds, large tanks, Vedic schools and colleges, ponds and temples, will (all) reappear everywhere; various sacrifices will also begin to be performed at the appearance of the Krita age. Brahmans will be honest and good. Being devoted to asceticism, they will be Rishis (and wise sages). The hermitages occupied by the wicked wretches will once more be the homes of men devoted to Truth. Men in general will begin to honor and practice Truth. All seeds sown on earth will grow. O king of kings, every kind of crop will grow in every season. Men will devotedly practice charity, vows, and religious rites. The Brahmans, devoted to meditation and sacrifices (Vedic rituals), will be of virtuous soul and cheerful disposition. The kings will virtuously govern the earth. In the Satya yuga (Krita Yuga), the Vaishyas will devote themselves to trade, the Brahmans will be devoted to their six duties and the Kshatriyas will be devoted to the display of prowess (for the protection of the citizens). The Shudras will be devoted to the service of the other three orders. Such will be the Dharma in Satya yuga (Krita yuga), Treta yuga, and Dvapara Yugas.

Hindu Astrological View of Planets

My Views

Controversy about cycles are based on hypothetical theories, based on Sacred scriptures interpretations, so therefore, also subjective, to multiple interpretations, however also believe what some sages said regarding in what age we live.

‘Kali Yuga is for hypocrites and fools. They always live in it. The wise and the truthful always live in Satya Yuga.’

‘Try to lead a truthful life. Time cannot change us unless we try to change ourselves. Avoid foolish speculations and imaginations. Develop right discrimination and be wise. Then you always live in Satya Yuga.’

Delightful Garden

Posted in Calendars, Cosmology, Cyclical time, Golden Age, Hinduism, History, Kali Yuga, Knowledge, Krita yuga, New Age, New Values, Prophesies, Religion, Satya Yuga, Things To Come, Transformation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 67 Comments


Things May Not Be As They Seem


“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”

Plato, Phaedrus

“Knowledge is Power.”

However political power often ignores expertise that contradicts it’s self portrayal and goals.

Knowledge does not automatically leads to power, and power not necessarily command, attracts, or produce knowledge.

And many prominent scholars have little power of their own, if not helped by powerful Institutions, or organizations.

I meant to add some quotes about History, but desisted, not for a lack of quotes about History, regardless of it, few I would choose, since they tend to be heroic, rather than truthful, the History of Mankind, had being a messy affair of wars, lies, deception, fraud, robbery, pillage, and substitution of truth, for epic lore, to aggrandize and make us believe our ancestors were great, and no scoundrels, who behaved not as honorable men do, but as common criminals.

And then they wrote their deeds as History, not what really happened, but what they wanted for us to believe was true.

Different people wrote diverse stories, then we pick sides, and argue who is right.


History a Complex Matter

You will think History to be a simple straightforward affair, just get the data, arrange it in a chronological order, and  just start writing it.

If things will be so easy as that!

At first glance, writing about history can seem like an overwhelming task. History’s subject matter is immense, encompassing all of human affairs in the recorded past — up until the moment, that is, that you started reading this guide. Because no one person can possibly consult all of these records, no work of history can ever pretend to be comprehensive or universal. At the same time, history’s subject matter is partially irretrievable. Barring the invention of time travel, no scholar can experience the past firsthand or recreate its conditions in a laboratory setting. Historians must rely on the fragmentary records that survive from the time period under study, which necessarily reveal just part of the story. For these reasons, the guiding principles behind all historical writing must be selection and interpretation: the thoughtful selection of topics and questions that seem most interesting, and the responsible interpretation of sources in order to construct meaningful arguments. Subjective decisions about what to include, what to exclude, and how to understand it make history writing manageable in the first place. No less importantly, they also make it controversial, because scholars are bound to disagree with the judgments of other scholars. You can think of history writing, then, as an ongoing argument or debate over this unavoidable process of selection and interpretation. Your first challenge as a writer is to find a way to enter this conversation.

And that it’s just a starter, we could rise a hundred more issues!

“Getting history teachers to agree on pretty much anything, is quite difficult. If you ever want to see some ding-dongs between teaching staff, just sit in on a History Department meeting and watch the sparks fly.

Debate ends on fistfight

I cannot imagine my colleagues from the Maths department slogging it out over Pythagoras’ Theorem or chemists disputing the periodic table. But, historians; yes, historians are hard work. Even when we agree on the evidence, we rarely agree on the evaluation or analysis of it.

Depending on the history teacher you had in front of you, Dunkirk was either a triumph or a humiliation. The British Empire was jolly good or rather awful. King John was a nice chap or a nasty piece of work. And, the First World War was either a total disaster in which millions of decent people were led to their slaughter by an “out of touch elite” or a just war that put an end to the imperialist ambitions of an autocrat and an attempt to stand up for the self-determination of the people of Europe.”

Antony Little.

Soldiers victims from a gas attack WWI

After reading History for years, which by the way it’s mainly the story of conflicts, invasions, wars, and the like, well, I am jaded, and disappointed by so much incomprehension, and taking sides from so many people around the World holding grudges, about what happened hundreds of years ago to their people, or Nations, and carrying hatred for perceived affronts towards people of other nations, who have changed through centuries, and may have little in common with their supposed ancestors.

And of course,

There it is Hollywood!

People still read, but seriously, very little, most mainly learn their History watching movies!

I guess this it’s not news to any of you, who seriously study History, to listen to someone who doesn’t, but commenting about this, or that movie, and how they learnt about  a specific place, and moment of history, by watching a Hollywood, or British epic, or wherever the movie was made.

Now, maybe unknown to you, making a movie it’s a total professional business, were even the slightest of details are not left to chance, like using the wrong period lighter, to light a cigarette, or the attire doesn’t match the exact period it means to portray, in other words nothing it’s left to chance, not even the way extras walk in the set, and where they are looking at, in making a movie, many experts on their fields are involved, I used to work in a place where the prop departments of movie studios will come looking for specific items they required to make a movie, stuff that you wouldn’t even notice, in the brief second they would appear in the movie.

Making a Movie

However I have to say most film makers, care too much about giving us the ambiance of the period in question, but very little of telling us real History!

They just go along with the script, provided and approved, by whoever created the movie, and it’s responsible for the financial success of the project, that not necessarily reflect the views of the book author, if the movie it’s based in one.

Historians argue about facts, accuracy, reliability, and many other issues, movie directors creates a fantasy to sell, with little regard of Historical accuracy in the tale they make, period.

Recently a fellow blogger complained about how everybody judge Admiral Nelson as a great Historical figure, no doubt, he was, that even a movie of his Lady mistress Lady Hamilton was made, but I dare you to tell me who  Blas de Lezo y Olabarrieta was?

Don Blas de Lezo Naval Museum

Well for that you will have to read History.

Someone wrote:

“If Blas de Lezo were American, or English, his story would have been told hundreds of times in novels, movies and all kinds of media and formats. It would be a David Crockett or a Nelson. But he was a Spaniard or, rather, half Spanish, because he left so many pieces of his body in battle that he was called ‘Half man’. However, he was a complete hero, without cracks or shrinkage.”

Myths of the Old West

We know about William Henry McCarthy known better as Billy the kid, he was an American cowboy originally born in Manhattan, of all places, who ended up creating a legend by becoming an outlaw after shooting eight people and being shot himself at 21 years of age, or Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp, a US Marshall assistant, of the famous OK Corral gunfight, little known about him was that he was a professional gambler, a brothel keeper, and bar owner, as well  as a pimp, and himself on many occasions, not so clearly on the side of  law,  Wyatt Earp and few other derelicts, seedy, and criminal characters, were able to make a career as outlaws, moving constantly into marginal towns, in the territories, not yet States, away from populated places, where that type of behavior would not be tolerated, and the reason they moved constantly, in search of new prey, and impunity. The safest way was by being officers of the law, when they could take that kind of job, easier on those days, at those places, or just running away when it was necessary!

Billy the Kid

Cowboys exalted in countless movies, as the spirit of American pioneers, and the legend of the indomitable old West, and the cowboy, a period that lasted no more than 25 years, before the railroad in 1869 took over, and the great cattle drives through the prairies where over, and law, order, and property rights were enforced, from coast to coast, except for isolated, and inhospitable  places like Tombstone Arizona, a miner boom town, whose only existence today, it’s to perpetuate the OK Corral gunfight of yore, it was a 30-second shootout between lawmen and members of a loosely organized group of outlaws called the Cowboys that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, and many claim it wasn’t at all as portrayed in countless movies, some accuse the Earp clan as low class criminals, and the Earp-Clanton differences as the falling-out of partners in crime, and the whole affair at the OK Corral as an ambush of the Earp, against the Clanton gang.

In all honesty, there’s tons of controversy  about Wyatt Earp, to put all things clear, however I will go with Western historian and author John Boessenecker who in my opinion goes lightly, and benevolent, on the side of being cautious, and fair, when so much dirt has been wrote about Earp, as when he describes Earp as an “enigmatic figure … He always lived on the outer fringe of respectable society, and his closest companions were gamblers and sporting men … Wyatt never set down roots in any one place; when the money stopped coming in or his problems became too great, he would pull up stakes and move on to the next boom town … For his entire life was a gamble, an effort to make money without working hard for it, to succeed quickly without ever settling in for the long haul.”

He omitted as companions, outlaws, prostitutes, pimps, conman, drunks, and rustlers.

Gunfight at the OK Corral

Well, the period in question didn’t last long, the expansion of people Westward, the railroad, and with it law and order,  put an end to the Wild West epic period for good, Wyatt Earp himself ending as a Real State salesman in San Diego County, in Southern California, and dying in Los Angeles in 1929, promoting his image to Hollywood.

On The other Hand

Of course, we know almost nothing of the previous  350 years, when the Spanish brought without fanfare, or movies, to depict us,  the culture of cattle ranching, and expert horsemanship, that the cowboys learned from the humble vaqueros, mostly half bloods of Indian, and Spaniard, the original cowboys, and  extending all through Northern Mexico, and the South West before America took it over in 1848, in the Mexican war, not to talk about the original Indian people, who lived all through America before the arrival of the white settlers, who almost exterminated them, or confined them to reservations, talk about Genocide, and selective memory to do History!

Californios Ranching

And a force to reckon, were the Mestizo vaqueros, who in California defeated the US Army three times. First lead by Gen José María Flores Californios, (at the time Mexican citizens) retake Los Angeles, Second, defeat and capture of 24 Americans, led by Benjamin D. Wilson, who were hiding in an adobe house in Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, near present-day Chino, California, and the Battle or Rancho Dominguez, Californios, led by José Antonio Carrillo, defeat 203 US Marines led by U.S. Navy Captain William Mervine. Mainly through expert horsemanship, and using long lances, one old brass canon, and a few old muskets.

History is Selective

Well, just recalling a few incidents of History it’s clear that if you want to learn the truth, you cannot be selective, but unfortunately most of History it’s biased, and full of gaps, in actuality it’s more like focusing your attention on a specific place of time, and from a particular point of view, to tell whatever you may find useful to elucidate your main argument, leaving aside what in your judgment may not care to expose.

And I do not care what you may choose to fix your attention, unfortunately most of us, individual humans, we belong to a race, country, are politically inclined, and posses particularly given attributes who define you, possessing a Weltanschauung, a particular Worldview, before we can’t even go into any claim of neutrality to elucidate any argument.


History is Written by the Victors

One of the most unfortunate and widely-accepted ideas about historical thinking is that “history is written by the victors.” This talking point asserts that the truth of the past is not shaped by reasoned interpretive historical scholarship or a factual understanding of the past, but by the might of political and cultural leaders on the “winning” side of history; the “winners” have the power to shape historical narratives through school textbooks, public iconography, movies, and a range of other mediums. To be sure, these mediums are powerful venues for establishing political ideologies and shaping personal assumptions about the way the world works. And it’s definitely true that governmental or “official” entities can and do exploit this power to achieve their own ends. Well to be fair it’s not always the case, there’s exceptions, and of course what we name Revisionist versions, but I would just  say that History it’s not a straightforward affair by any means, and even digging deeper, we may never learn the whole  truth of it.

A Greek Phalanx

Posted in Billy The Kid, Blas De Lezo, Californios, Cinema & Literature, Criticism, Cultural Attitudes, History, Hollywood, Inspiration, Knowledge, Movies Not History, Plato, Uncategorized, World View, Wyatt Earp | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments


Mindless Living


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

Hannah Arendt.

The Banality of Evil

Philosopher and Political theorist Hannah Arendt,  pointed out that in order to be an evil monster, you have not to be necessarily, by a wish to be so, but out of pure banality, a sort of inertia, a conformist mediocrity,  that goes along, with whatever it’s pushed down in to you, by figures of authority, that you do not dare, or care to question, out of your feebleness, apathy, or mental laziness.

There’s a sense of doom, and banality in today spirit of the age we live,  with troubles too big to deal with, and a lack of guiding strategy by the powers that be, more interested in selling us the banal; consumerism of goods, like cheap food, cheap entertainment, with equally banal themes, not Art, of any redeeming value as to what we are offered, sort like a convenience type of restaurant where you drive inn, collect a few bites of heavily processed food, totally unhealthy for consumption, but easily available, and affordable enough, for dedicating the better part of  your free time, they provide you, to watch, and lose yourself in also mindless entertainment, and do not give a thought about our real problems,  we try to skip anything that may bring you back to a undesirable reality, where the collective state of mayhem, disarray, and chaotic entropy signal our eventual demise, we just keep on going, like the proverbial march of the lemmings.


Turns out that this gruesome myth was brought to us by that bastion of ethics and truth–Walt Disney. In a 1958 “documentary” called White Wilderness, Disney filmmakers pushed them off a cliff and filmed them hurtling to their deaths, many of them subsequently drowning in the water below.

Another Man made catastrophe, that we seem given as humans to enact, with our environment, and ourselves, in consequence, totally driven by short end goals, and our before mentioned banality that impede us to see the serious consequences to our lack of depth, and that has give us pause to expressions I heard once, like: ‘If our Solar system it’s an atom of a cluster, within a brain cell that compose a part of a giant man, and we live in it, then for sure we are living in a man who is totally drunk!”

A sad, but true reflection to our lot.  Where incoherence, and total lack of direction point to the fact we act, and behave  like drunken people.

Astronaut drinking in his time off

A Need To Grow Up

Some people have argued there’s a conspiracy to keep you poor, and stupid, and sometimes it feels like if it’s true, however, nobody it’s guiding you to be such, it’s the individual who choose to follow a pattern that will take him there, by his own doing, we cannot abdicate our responsibility in our lives.

My view it’s we live a protracted infancy, for far too long, and refuse to behave like responsible adults, until we are forced out of it, by circumstances, or we mature, and leave behind our irresponsible ways, or we simply never face the fact, and remain a dunce.

‘And then we go and vote, and elect, someone we can identify with, like a pal, we can have a beer with!’

A friend of mine likes to tell me that one often, implying that a moron likes to believe a leader, or a president, should be one as dumb, as most people are, setting the standard too low as a common denominator, and therefore the people we choose to elect.

I know, it sounds moronic, but that’s exactly how a great deal of people behave, and remember numbers make weight, and with it, gravity follows, and like supposedly lemmings do, next thing you know we are all on a free fall!

Free Falling by Choice

Unfortunately with no parachute..!

The problems of America, and the World

America after centuries of a glorious past since, seem to be now on the clutches of an irreversible decline. Wherever we look we see the signs of wearing down, and things, not been what they used to be, regardless of what you choose to look at, with honorable exceptions,  we seem to be losing ground in almost any direction, politically, economically, educationally, healthcare wise, job market, living standard, and indexes of all types.

We run now an obsolete Government in bad need of reform, but nobody even suggest yet, that we should make amends into our now ineffective  political systems.

And I am not talking of removing Democracy, as our form of Government, but to reform the laws that dictate  electoral campaigns, terms of presidency, electoral college, and any other thing that may hinder the legitimately right of the people to have a good, and efficient form of Government, that would provide to everyone needs, without favoring the proverbial few, and get rid, and punish quickly,  venal politicians, those who hinder, obstruct, or simply are there to fatten their own philistine interests.

Mein Kampf

Squandered Victories

Erich von Manstein (24 November 1887 – 9 June 1973) was a German commander of the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany’s armed forces during the Second World War. He attained the rank of field marshal. Manstein’s war memoir, Verlorene Siege (Lost Victories), was published in West Germany in 1955 and was later translated into several other languages. The book was a highly acclaimed best-seller, critical of Hitler and his leadership style. he became the center of a military cult which cast him not only as one of Germany’s greatest generals, but also one of the greatest in history. He has been described as amilitärische Kult- und Leitfigur (“military cult figure and leading personality”), a general of legendary—almost mythical—ability, much honored by both the public and historians.

Of course he has his detractors, and people who accuse him of opportunism, and turning a blind eye to Hitler’s many well known shortcomings, too long to detail them here. Now you may wonder why I bring this here, what interest me it’s to point out at the fact that we in America we face now not only a squandered past full of victories, but a total lack of Strategy, by our today blind leaders to pull us out of the downward spiral, we seem to be in.

Von Manstein

Outdated America

Another great Master of Strategy Sun Tsu wrote: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

Ironically the land of Democracy, Freedom, and Equal opportunity for all, our past victories, and glory,  got the best of us and we grew drunk, and lightheaded, full  of Imperial dreams, and hubris, so disastrous to many Empires on the past, we need to sober up, and wake up, or going down History to our demise, as they did.

I am tired of listening from some of our people that Government it’s the problem, I guess that at one level, we all now know that, but the wrong idea is propagated that we need to get rid of the Government, and they are right, but the fact is we still gone need laws, and regulations, overlook, and controls of some type, and someone to implement them, if we do not want total anarchy, and chaos, so we need a Government, but what we need it’s a better Government of what we have now, and it’s time to look how to change all that.

In my opinion we need new blood in Washington, not career politicians, imbued in a long life of bad habits,  hubris, nonsense, stupidity, self interest, back dealing, corruption, and unquestioned service to the ones who hold the purse’s strings, requirements of what is to be a politician today, and without a single plan, or idea of how to pull us out of this mess.


“The inexperienced in wisdom and virtue, ever occupied with feasting and such, are carried downward, and there, as is fitting, they wander their whole life long, neither ever looking upward to the truth above them nor rising toward it, nor tasting pure and lasting pleasures. Like cattle, always looking downward with their heads bent toward the ground and the banquet tables, they feed, fatten, and fornicate. In order to increase their possessions they kick and butt with horns and hoofs of steel and kill each other, insatiable as they are.”

“And all knowledge, when separated from justice and virtue, is seen to be cunning and not wisdom; wherefore make this your first and last and constant and all-absorbing aim, to exceed, if possible, not only us but all your ancestors in virtue; and know that to excel you in virtue only brings us shame, but that to be excelled by you is a source of happiness to us.”

“And we shall most likely be defeated, and you will most likely be victors in the contest, if you learn so to order your lives as not to abuse or waste the reputation of your ancestors, knowing that to a man who has any self-respect, nothing is more dishonorable than to be honored, not for his own sake, but on account of the reputation of his ancestors.”

Quotes from Plato.

Plato's Bust

We need brains, and virtuous people, who should look for the common good; Men of a new leaven, and remember that our greatness as a country it’s measured by the amount of great people between us, and great people don’t come by chance, fostering immorality, and crooked individuals, we need to get rid of the proverbial bad apples,  by creating an environment that may nurture Virtue, and produce like men, and that is the responsibility of all of us, as citizens, greatness doesn’t come by chance, we need to create it ourselves.

So far the only thing we seem to be listening out of Washington it’s the noise before defeat.

 The Noise Before Defeat

Posted in A World in Crisis, American Hubris, Banality, Consciousness, Corruption, Crisis, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Disillusion with Capitalism, Education, Greed and Impunity, History, Hubris, Ignorance, Illusions, Inspiration, Justice, Life Liberty and the pursuit of happines, Materialism, Moral Virtue, New Values, Obsolete Government, Over Consumption, Plato, Social Criticism, Strategy, The Empire Crumbling, Things To Come, Transformation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments


Antique Traditional Books


Throught the years I had being a sort of an Iconoclastic, or at least believed myself to be one, there’s this idea that as we grow older we become more conservative in our outlook, and I am not talking politically, as it is mainly understood , since my political views can be seeing by many as too far left, but in the general outlook in life, age bring changes on the understanding of things, and we learn there’s a kernel of truth, on most outlooks, the only thing you got to be faithful, it is to your own realization of what’s true, as you stand right now, regardless of your previous ideas who no longer prove useful for your growth as a better, and more wiser individual.

Iconoclasm is the social belief in the importance of the destruction of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any individual who challenges “cherished beliefs or venerated institutions on the grounds that they are erroneous or pernicious”.


Tradition Weighs a Lot

Anyway as we live we learn, the weight of Tradition counts, and it counts a lot, where knowledge it’s first, and weights like a block of lead, that sinks deep.

A tradition is a belief,  behavior, or Knowledge passed down within a group or society with practical, and symbolic meaning of special significance with origins in the past.

Now when it comes to knowledge it acquire an almost indisputable meaning corroborated by experience, and the practices that go along with it, in order to transmit it to future generations through institutions of learning like Colleges, and Universities, and other centers of learning, practical, artistic, or whatever it is taught there.

The scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public. It is the methods that systemically advance the teaching, research, and practice of a given scholarly or academic field of study through rigorous inquiry. Scholarship is noted by its significance to its particular profession, and is creative, can be documented, can be replicated or elaborated, and can be and is peer-reviewed through various methods.

Scholar At Work

My Take, Freedom To be Wrong?

Now, it always surprise me how people who lack proper education, specially now day, dismiss this knowledge like someone’s opinion, and go on arguing things that had been in the past set by Scientist, and Scholars as fallacy, useless, worthless, of little value, or just a waste of time, and how by our belief in Democracy we grant everybody to have an opinion, regardless how wrong they are, and not only that, it baffles me, how more than few people really go on in life, with their wrong assumptions, like if it’s   trifle to remain wrong, and ignorant, about issues that science, and scholars had settled down years ago!

And its when I use a phrase, unfortunately too many times: ‘Yes, you have the freedom to express an opinion and be wrong about it, but being wrong it’s nevertheless wrong!’

And frequently tell people, please; I do not want to hear your argument anymore, go study, and find out by yourself, its out there you can read it easily, just go and ask google, your opinion means nothing, knowledge it’s not a democracy, it’s a meritocracy, and that’s why when you go to school your opinion it’s worthless when you in a test,  give the improper answers to the questions, and the teacher marks them as wrong, and you fail your test, If you want to make the grade you got to study harder, end of the story.


Contemporary Outlook

Now, in previous post I had made emphasis in how despite our great Scholar tradition in the West, we keep confusing our democratic political ways, with the right to express the most disparate opinions, beliefs, and ideas we may harbor, with total impunity.

Now I will be the first to say Science, doesn’t have all the answers, or at least not yet, but what they discover to be false, rarely they are wrong, and whatever the issue it’s put to rest, and believe lot of scientist dismiss too easily our subjective Self, forgetting our solpsistic subjective nature.

Solipsism(/ˈsɒlɪpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning ‘alone’, andipse, meaning ‘self’) is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.

Original Self

Today some Scientist seems to be entering the field of Science Fiction, with concepts like Multiverses, Singularities, Simulation theory, Hologram Universe, a Matrix sort of scenarios, Retroactive Precognition,  etc. Some scientist skeptics are denying the whole thing, or just being  dubious, since they adhere to what you can explain, and prove by testing, and consider those matters more speculative than real, sort of mind games.

One way or another one we have come a long way, it seem the future promise a lot, however most semiconductor industry forecasters, including Gordon Moore, expect Moore’s law will end by around 2025. In April 2005, Gordon Moore stated in an interview that the projection cannot be sustained indefinitely: “It can‘t continue forever. So will see.

Brain Like Computer Technology

My Sensei

Coming back  to my point about knowledge, either you have it, or you don’t, and our Western way of doing things gets on the way many times from acquiring Real, and proper knowledge.

When you do not have knowledge all you got are vague ideas, opinions, and a tendency to idealize, or believe things should be this way, rather as they are, and that in Buddhism, and other Asian ways, are called Maya, or illusion.

I got to confess that for about five years, of my practice of twelve years, with my Sensei, also a Soto Zen priest, I didn’t liked the guy, I mean,  even from the first day, I found him overbearing, autocratic, despotic, and learning under him was a ruthless, demanding task, his only rule was you would do my way, or the highway!

Now you may wonder how come I went with him, instead of someone else?

Sensei in seiza

Well, for years I wanted to practice under a qualified, and knowledgeable Sensei, and looked for a Dojo all over Los Angeles, as soon as I set there over 32 years ago, his Dojo, was the first that by chance I checked out, and left thinking to myself, this is not what I am looking for, in my total ignorance I disliked Sensei, that by misjudging him,  thought as a petty tyrant, even if the Dojo impressed me a lot, by it’s artistic beauty, pulchritude, and discipline, and through the years now, still feel it was a special privilege to be there, and studying with him. And I am sure a lot of my Senpai and Kohai, feel the same way.

Well I checked for the next two weeks many other Dojos, and by chance, and circumstance, Sensei Dojo was the more suitable to my needs, on the way from work, to home, the class schedule was also ideal, classes hours were daily during the evenings, and if you had mornings free, there were also classes early on the morning of every day, and I could come and practice if I wanted for 21 classes on a week, or close to 90 on a month, for the same monthly fee, even if it was a little more expensive than the other Dojos, missing a day wasn’t a big deal, since you could catch up right the next day, unlike many who offered you only 3 classes a week, you miss a class, and well you only get two.

I regret to say I wasn’t one of those who took advantage of such a deal, being happy with practicing six, or seven classes a week at most, sometimes, more, or less, depending if I stayed for second class.

Sensei and Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba

Now, my late Sensei was old school, an Ushi-deshi of the late Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, and he taught us the traditional method passed into him, by his instructors at Hombu Dojo in Japan, many of them World renown Sensei, like Seigo Yamagushi, and many others.

At his Dojo we did Shugyo, that means “determined training that fosters enlightenment”. Its purpose is to “tighten the slack”, toughen the body, and polish the spirit. Dojo is a place where the Do, or “the Way”, is practiced.

At our Dojo, you did not talk, if not addressed by him to do so, you did not ask questions, and you followed his instructions, like if your whole life depended on it, you did not talk to your classmates during class, or even warming up, if it was not strictly necessary, and he was the most demanding of teachers, when it come to the practice, he would not take, or accept an excuse, period.

He ruled the Dojo with an iron fist!

He had at the entrance of our Dojo a sign in Japanese that said: ‘Watch your step’ and we learnt the meaning of those words the hard way.

Well it took me years to appreciate, what he had to offer, and gave to me, why?

Because simply put, I didn’t knew better, my Western education, didn’t prepared me to understand him, I evaluated him accordingly to my preconceived ideas, and didn’t knew the first thing of anything, he was trying to teach us, so earnestly he was dedicated, for us to learn what he knew.

Basically that good things can come to us by our own effort,  at a great cost, maybe painfully, and with hardship, but  ending in losing the fear of not being adequate to the task, giving our utmost effort, without holding back.

Sensei sword

Did I learnt anything? You bet!

And a lot more than good technique, but proper Etiquette, proper behavior, mind alertness, beginner’s mind ( a mind always ready to learn), proper attitude, endurance, perseverance, patience, discipline, courage, and many great teachings, and deep Spiritual values that a good Sensei teach to his disciples. Despite his human shortcomings, as we all have, he dedicated his life to give us the great gift of learning the Wonderful Art that was passed to him, in the Traditional Way he was taught, and even more, giving us his experience, and wisdom, acquired by training as a Soto Zen priest.

Thank you Sensei, I apologize for my lack of talent, and my laziness, and my initial misunderstanding of what you were trying to teach us, indeed, you gave us a precious gift, that I should treasure for life.

Os Sensei!

With Sensei at the New Otani

Posted in Buddhist Monk, Consciousness, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Democracy, Education, Epistemology, Future, Ignorance, Illusions, Inspiration, Knowledge, Learning, Mastery, Memories, Meritocracy, Science and Belief, Shugyo, Snsei, Teaching, Tradition, Training, Transformation, Uncategorized, Values, Wisdom, Zen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 59 Comments


Alexandria Library

Tear down pyramids, wipe out cities!


How dare you and the rest of your
barbarians set fire to my library?


Play conqueror all you want,
mighty Caesar.


Rape, murder, pillage thousands,
millions of human beings.


But neither you nor
any other barbarian…


…has the right to destroy
one human thought!

William Shakespeare

 Julius Caesar

Alexandria Library Diagram

When young at school in early age I learnt about the Alexandria library, something that as a young reader excited my imagination , and saw  the burning of the library of Alexandria as such a tragedy. It was one of the greatest libraries in human history, holding a vast archive of manuscripts and books from all over the ancient world, and what our ancients would have themselves considered ancient. It was built after the famous Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and acquired knowledge from all parts of the globe. From East to West, the teachings of multiple civilizations throughout human history up to that time could be found in the great library.

The books contained in this library touched upon every subject that concerns humanity, from health, science, and astronomy to geology, philosophy, mysticism, magic, knowledge of the spiritual world, and much more.

Libraries as such were well known to multiple ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Syria, and Greece, who were very impressed by Oriental knowledge. There is literary evidence of Greek individuals visiting Egypt specifically to acquire knowledge:e.g., Herodotus, Plato (particularly in Phaedrus and Timaeus), Theophrastus, and Eudoxus of Cnidus (as detailed by Diogenes Laërtius in the 3rd century CE).

The Royal Library of Alexandria,

The Royal Library of Alexandria or Ancient Library of Alexandria

Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. It was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, with collections of works, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and gardens. Alexandria was considered the capital of knowledge and learning, in part because of the Great Library. The library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum of Alexandria, where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied.

The library was created by Ptolemy I Soter, who was a Macedonian general and the successor of Alexander the Great. Most of the books were kept as papyrus scrolls. It is unknown precisely how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, but estimates range from 40,000 to 400,000 at its height.

Arguably, this library is most famous for having been burned down resulting in the loss of many scrolls and books; its destruction has become a symbol for the loss of cultural knowledge. Sources differ on who was responsible for its destruction and when it occurred. The library may in truth have suffered several fires over many years. In addition to fires, at least one earthquake damaged the city and the library during this time. Possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria include a fire set by the army of Julius Caesar in 48 BC and an attack by Aurelian in the 270s AD.

Well, as a child I cried the loss of the library, as much as Shakespeare did, and I am sure, as much, as every other bibliophile in history, since so many years ago.

The New Library

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The idea of reviving the old library dates back to 1974, when a committee set up by Alexandria University selected a plot of land for its new library, between the campus and the seafront, close to where the ancient library once stood. The notion of recreating the ancient library was adopted by other individuals and agencies. One leading supporter of the project was former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; UNESCO was also quick to embrace the concept of endowing the Mediterranean region with a center of cultural and scientific excellence. An architectural design competition was organized by UNESCO in 1988 to choose a design worthy of the site and its heritage. The competition was won by Snøhetta, a Norwegian architectural office, from among more than 1,400 entries. The first pledges were made for funding the project at a conference held in 1990 in Aswan: USD $65 million, mostly from the Arab states. Construction work began in 1995 and, after some USD $220 million had been spent, the complex was officially inaugurated on 16 October 2002.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is trilingual, containing books in Arabic, English, and French. In 2010, the library received a donation of 500,000 books from the National Library of France, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF). The gift makes the Bibliotheca Alexandrina the sixth-largest Francophone library in the world. The BA also is now the largest depository of French books in the Arab world, surpassing those of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, in addition to being the main French library in Africa.

Bookshelves in bibliotheca Alexandrina

Building and library features

The dimensions of the project are vast: the library has shelf space for eight million books, with the main reading room covering 20,000 square meters (220,000 sq ft) on eleven cascading levels. The complex also houses a conference center; specialized libraries for maps, multimedia, the blind and visually impaired, young people, and for children; four museums; four art galleries for temporary exhibitions; 15 permanent exhibitions; a planetarium; and a manuscript restoration laboratory. The library’s architecture is equally striking. The main reading room stands beneath a 32-meter-high glass-paneled roof, tilted out toward the sea like a sundial, and measuring some 160 m in diameter. The walls are of gray Aswan granite, carved with characters from 120 different human scripts.

The collections at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina were donated from all over the world. The Spanish donated documents that detailed their period of Moorish rule. The French also donated, giving the library documents dealing with the building of the Suez Canal.

Bibliotecha Alexandrina Inside

Why don’t you ask it, to your Magic Mirror?

Ironically in the course of my life, since the days I felt sadness as many before me, for such loss, now day things have changed to the point, where libraries are not even fashionable, and some may question their value, as a public service, since we live in the digital age, with computers, and the Internet, libraries are mainly museums to the past, despite being one, of the now rapidly diminishing amount of people, who prefer to hold a paper book in my hands, rather than a tablet, or read it on my computer screen.

Which take me to another issue, the many times, I have to remind people who carry the library of my childhood dreams, at the tip of their fingertips, and still ask me all sort of questions, and I remind them often with these words:

Why don’t you ask it, to your Magic Mirror?

You got no idea, the many puzzlement faces I got to see, until, suddenly they catch my meaning, and reach for their phone!

Like Magic, doesn’t it?

The magic Wonder, of wonders, who, could have told me then?

The wondrous Magic mirror, of the evil Queen, Merlin’s amazing crystal, gazing ball, right there, at the fingertips, of every Tom, Dick and Harry, all these, numberless, absent minded people, who use it for trivial things, like chatting, texting, exchanging jokes, and some no better, than the evil Queen,  as a mere vanity tool, instead of a new depository of wisdom like the ancient Alexandria library of yore.

To each his own…I guess.

Asking to the Magic Mirror

Posted in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Library of Alexandria, Cultural Attitudes, History, Impermanence, Knowledge, On Reading, Progress, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 73 Comments


Statue ofL liberty

Everything that everyone is afraid of has already happened: The fragility of capitalism, which we don’t want to admit; the loss of the empire of the United States; and American exceptionalism. In fact, American exceptionalism is that we are exceptionally backward in about fifteen different categories, from education to infrastructure.

James Hillman

American exceptionalism? Exceptional at what? Waging wars against innocent people for fake reasons? Exceptional at what? Being addicted to pharmaceutical drugs that have people’s minds wasted? Exceptional at what? Eating more junk food and becoming the most obese nation on Earth?

Gerald Celente

American exceptionalism is the recurring character in the nation’s narrative.

Ron Fournier

It is not that I am not a fan of American exceptionalism. That is like saying I am not a fan of the moon being made out of green cheese-it does not exist. Powerful states have quite typically considered themselves to be exceptionally magnificent, and the United States is no exception to that. The basis for it is not very substantial to put it politely.

Noam Chomsky

The conservative version of American exceptionalism has become a password of sorts for candidates who want to prove their credentials to a right-wing America.

Russ Feingold

[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

The idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional.

Maureen Dowd

There are also fundamental issues related to what the current leader, President [Barack] Obama, said. I am referring to his idea about American exceptionalism. I am skeptical about this idea.

Vladimir Putin

Christian nation mythologists pump themselves up with narratives of American exceptionalism and Christian domination. But sooner or later even their most devoted followers should begin to see that also depicting it as vulnerable to non-existent threats undermines the myth itself.

Sarah Posner

I think where [Donald Trump] loses most hawkish republicans is when he talking about how much he likes [Vladimir] Putin. That should make any person who believe in the American exceptionalism, incredibly uncomfortable.

John McCain


People get tired of talking about American exceptionalism, but I think this is an extraordinary thing about the United States, that we are a nation of immigrants, first of all, that is built upon a pluralistic society of native people that were here to begin with. The issue of diversity is really with us from the beginning.

Diana L. Eck

We have had a long held myth of American exceptionalism.

Lisa Ling

American patriotism is now jingoism. American Greatness is made fun of. The concept of “Make America Great Again” or American exceptionalism is lampooned. It is impugned. It is attacked. The effort to globalize our society and make us feel, as many of us as possible, that there’s nothing special about being an American, that we ought to think of ourselves as citizens of the world, and in that context America is a problem because we have too much, we’ve done too much, we owe too much, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Rush Limbaugh

It’s a deft trick to turn American exceptionalism into an exceptional political tactic.

Ron Fournier

We are going to lead once again by being the best. We’re gonna lead economically. We’re gonna lead technologically. We’re gonna go back to the Moon, we’re gonna do whatever we’re gonna do. We are going to lead by engaging in American exceptionalism and this is going to inspire others to come along with us. We’re not shrinking away from anybody. We are reengaging. That’s what Trump is, and that’s what Democrats don’t see.

Rush Limbaugh

“Well, I learned a lot….I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries.” President Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan


America a great Nation

Now there’s no doubt in my mind, America it’s a great Nation, build on new ideas, new principles, like all men are equal, freedom, the constitution, our Founding Fathers, men of great vision, with a great past, and great accomplishments to be proud of.

However we can’t go on living from past glories, just the way we cannot live from the money we inherited from our grandfathers, when we  spend it already.

Each generation has the moral duty to be great, we can’t go on living in what we were, but in who we are now, and what we got, already we have spent our capital, things have changed, and it’s time to begin again.

Founding Fathers


My Experience

I got to confess before coming to America  my experience in politics was one of abstention, and skepticism when it come to politicians, and knew nothing of American politics.

Well, that had changed a little bit, still need to learn a lot, but my skepticism about politicians and the value of their word, remain unchanged.

As an anecdote when looking for quotes about exceptionalism, not surprising Rush Limbaugh had many,  a character with a lot of followers in America, but plagued by a lousy reputation for veracity, and accuracy, basically an ideologist of the far right.

“I Used To Think It Was Funny: Before the Right Wing Media Supplanted Moderate-Conservativism, Created an Ideological Monopoly, and Became a De-facto Propaganda Arm for the Extreme Right’s Agenda.”

Tim Fearnside

Limbaugh -Trump

When I first got here, I was baffled about the difference between Republicans, and Democrats, to me, they didn’t seem that different, today even less! And what I gather, it’s that the Democrats with the years, in the effort of pleasing the jingoistic masses, and Capital, had lost their old values and become closer to the right way of  thinking, as opposed to their traditional left views of being there for the little guy, in a country where the word Left, no longer means what it used to be, but become a vilified word by the media, who of course paid by big money works tirelessly to make it so. And why not say it, Democrats leaders had abandoned those ideals, courting the almighty dollar, and become too fond of realpolitiks as defined by the dictionary:

‘A system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations.’

It is often simply referred to as pragmatism in politics, e.g. “pursuing pragmatic policies”. The term Realpolitik is sometimes used pejoratively to imply politics that are perceived as coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian.

Hillary Clinton In Defeat

On the other side

Most people who follow politics are aware that something unusual is going on in the Republican party — unusual relative to major conservative parties in other developed democracies and unusual relative to American history. GOP leaders no longer appear in control of their own agenda. Instead, they are being dragged from crisis to failure to embarrassment and back to crisis by the most extreme elements of their coalition. The far right has captured the party.

Here are some opinions of what’s going on in a forum:

‘They are becoming too intrusive and extreme like the far right did in Germany.

They are doing what Nazis did and taking control of peoples private rights (women’s reproductive rights). They are forcing their religious values by making laws based on them. They are intolerant of anyone that is NOT white. They spread lies and propaganda just like the Nazis. They are trying to destroy government and take over with privatization and a feudal system of economics. They pledge oaths to unelected politicians (Grover Norquist/a Muslim sympathizer, married to one). They are isolationist. They are taking dictator-type control over cities in states like MI and their rights to elect who they want. Election Rigging and they are very scary. They want to destroy education and want to rid the country of the elderly and poor and non-white people.’

‘Yes the Republican Party are acting more and more like fascists

They don’t listen to what anyone has to say. It is their way or the highway. They believe it is fine to disrespect the President and office of the Presidency. They feel that the old way is the glory way. They long to go back to a time where women were subservient and stayed home and had babies. They act as though they are the only game in town. They are bigoted, hypocrites that want you to do as they say not as they do. They would love to turn the world back to the 1950’s where the women wore pearls and only said perky things. And Father only knew best. They have done nothing positive for anyone but themselves since they have been in power. We can only hope they go the way of the dinosaur.’

‘The extreme right of the Republican are not conservatives, they are Fascists.

Fascism of any shade has certain common core characteristics:

1. Nationalism

2. Sexism and Misogyny
3. Strong mixture of state and religion
4. Militarism
5. Protection of the cooperate class
6. Disregard of Human rights when deemed necessary
7. Fraudulent elections through use of powerful monied interests, gerrymandering, and voting suppression and intimidation.’


Comparisons are Hateful, but Necessary, the fact America it’s no longer Number one.

I kind of smile at the duplicity of our media, every so often, there’s an article on the newspapers where Norway it’s listed as: Norway ranked as the best place to live in the United Nation’s annual Human Development Report. It ranked the highest out of nearly 200 countries, forgetting to mention to the many readers, what was our actual rank, most people write comments indignant believing we are naturally the second behind Norway, by omission (not mentioning our rank) they lie of course, maintaining the illusion we are right behind when in fact in 2017 ranked in the eleventh place!

The Human poverty Index we are rated even lower; seventeen.

Quality of life Index: Sixteen

For many decades throughout the 20th century, the United States was recognized as having the highest standard of living in the world. Per capita income is high but also less evenly distributed than in most other developed countries; as a result, the United States fares particularly well in measures of average material well being that do not place weight on equality aspects.

In other words, if based on an individual count, rather than on an average of the highest, with the lowest, we will rate even far lower, which means a lot of people actually live way far below of sixteen, sad but true,  it’s a fact our cities had deteriorated, their infrastructure, as well as our jobs, and living standards, we still live pretty well if compared to so named third World countries, but we no longer can claim top honors.

Homeless Patriot

The Homeless

The number of homeless people grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service cuts increased. After many years of advocacy and numerous revisions, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987; this remains the only piece of federal legislation that allocates funding to the direct service of homeless people. Over the past decades, the availability and quality of data on homelessness has improved considerably. About 1.56 million people, or about 0.5% of the U.S. population, used an emergency shelter or a transitional housing program between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. Homelessness in the United States increased after the Great Recession.

I guess depends much where you live, to be a witness, and feel the effect of it, at least visually, and worst, if you are one of the ones suffering it, but in the big cities it’s just another fact of life.

Homeless on Train ride in Los Angeles

Now, I am not talking out of my liberal heart, as some may think, just to criticize how bad the homeless problem is, I did ride three of the mos busiest bus lines, and the metro Red line in the city of Los Angeles, and I can tell you horror stories a mile long about the problems of sharing a ride with many of the homeless, that by the way, have free unrestricted access to the services, and rightly so, many times they use it as a home, or shelter, and some misbehave greatly, creating mayhem, and inconveniencing many other riders, few even dangerous, a daily reminder of what is wrong in America.

Some personal friends of mine, at work would patiently listen to my ‘Baba’s’ stories, as  named by them, (like in India graciously name mendicants ) about my daily rides, and laugh about my adventures, it was fun for them to listen, but I assure you, most of the time, it wasn’t fun for me, or the many riders who just wanted a peaceful, and uneventful ride to work, or back home after a day of toll at work. The idea of writing a chapter on a book   dedicated to the encounters, and many incidents I witness over those twenty two years, had crossed my mind, a close friend even got the idea of making a coffee table book with the pictures, and the many stories, with a title like: Meetings with Remarkable Babas!

Homeless Veteran

And to the surprise of the many European tourist, and the many following conversations, I had with them about the disparity between the wealth of the surroundings, and the sad scenes witnessed by them on the rides, and in the streets, of some of our wealthiest communities, their expression usually was: ‘Such a shame.’

And I will not touch on this post mass shootings, and gun control issues, a great tragedy, but also a fact of life in America.

Yes, I agree, a real shame.

Rows of Homless on many streets



The late George Carlin

May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008

Posted in A World in Crisis, American Hubris, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Criticism, Cultural Attitudes, Democracy, Disillusion with Capitalism, Exceptionalism, Homeless, Uncategorized, Urban Decay | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments



“He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”

Michael Pollan

“It is not what you meant to say, but it is what your saying meant.”

Walter M. Miller Jr.

Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious – that is, that we are all trying to decipher life’s big mysteries, and we’re each following our own paths of enlightenment.

Dan Brown

Initially I studied Philosophy, because it claimed to give you answers to the meaning of existence, but it didn’t, it was basically a semantics game.

Talulah Riley

A major gap between many people to agree, stems from how  to define some of the most basic terms, such is  the importance of Semantics, and meaning.


Searching for meaning

The structure of concepts

Cognitive semantics has sought to challenge traditional theories in two ways: first, by providing an account of the meaning of sentences by going beyond truth-conditional accounts; and second, by attempting to go beyond accounts of word meaning that appeal to necessary and sufficient conditions. It accomplishes both by examining the structure of concepts.

I will not go too much in depth to the current state of the study of Semantics, since it will be too long, and I am afraid boring to many of the readers, but I will encapsulate some basic concepts, forewarning the reader that Semantics it’s a big field, with many having something to say that is important, but it’s not possible for this post to mention everything.

Frame semantics, developed by Charles J. Fillmore, attempts to explain meaning in terms of their relation to general understanding, not just in the terms laid out by truth-conditional semantics. Fillmore explains meaning in general (including the meaning of lexemes) in terms of “frames”. By “frame” is meant any concept that can only be understood if a larger system of concepts is also understood.

Same Word different frames of reference

First, it has been noted that word meaning is an extension of our bodily and cultural experiences. For example, the notion of restaurant is associated with a series of concepts, like food, service, waiters, tables, and eating. These rich-but-contingent associations cannot be captured by an analysis in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions, yet they still seem to be intimately related to our understanding of “restaurant”.

Cognitive linguistics (CL) an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics, combining knowledge and research from both psychology and linguistics. It describes how language interacts with cognition, how language forms our thoughts, and the evolution of language parallel with the change in the common mindset across time.

What words mean?

Semantics is the study of meaning in language. When one is disagreeing with another person it can sometimes be the case that it is just a matter of semantics.

This means the people disagreeing may have a disagreement only because they ascribe different meaning to a particular word(s). Once a common definition of the word is agreed the disagreement may then be resolved.

A common one between USA and UK citizens is the word socialism. I have often heard USA citizens describe the UK as a socialist country because they have universal healthcare. Meanwhile the UK citizens  don’t consider it a socialist country as we have a capitalist economy and universal healthcare is considered every citizen’s right. To argue it is a socialist country would be a matter of semantics.

She said He said

Misunderstanding as a fact of language.

With all these, by now I figure you are getting the point, language, as in words have a meaning, and it’s variable as to the frame of mind of a particular individual, in relations, to those words, that may hold different values to the other person in an argument.

Rather than blame it on the other person, blame it on the nature of Language!

And on our own frame of reference, in order to organize concepts, and meaning, that by force of a particular frame (our own) will be necessarily different to other people frames, therefore a matter of disagreement, before I used to get frustrated, when someone stubbornly stick to his frame, now day realize my own stubbornness to try to stick to mine!

Recently when I pointed to a fellow blogger, it was useless,  to elucidate the issue a mile long of responses, in the post, where arguing with words and concepts, since the topic is basically inexhaustible, and in my opinion useless to take one approach, or another one, and why wiser individuals, rather remain silent, or call it a Mystery.


And that in itself language wasn’t a reliable tool to capture Truth, and he used as a reply to my point that everything could be explained with a fancy theological word, that I would omit, since it’s no relevant to the point I want to make. So I  mentioned: ‘The word you are using, it’s just that, a word with meanings, and concepts attached to it, that in itself is no proof of it’s validity, although personally, sympathize with what you say.’

Without even thinking  he replied instantly with different words, with a more mundane frame, believing it will make me change my mind, about my skepticism on the value of words, to capture Truth!

I didn’t reply, reasoning he never got the message I was trying to communicate, that basically Truth it’s not an experience we can elaborate with words, where actually Silence, and Contemplation it’s more meaningful..!

The value of Parables,  Metaphors and Symbols

The word parable comes from the Greek παραβολή (parabolē), meaning “comparison, illustration, analogy.”[5] It was the name given by Greek rhetoricians to an illustration in the form of a brief fictional narrative.

Parables are often used to explore ethical concepts in spiritual texts. The Bible contains numerous parables in the Gospels section of the New Testament (Jesus’ parables). These are believed by some scholars (such as John P. Meier) to have been inspired by mashalim, a form of Hebrew comparison. Parables also appear in Islam. In Sufi tradition, parables are used for imparting lessons and values. And in General, they are common to Sacred texts to diverse Religions, some today named as Mythologies, however possessing pedagogic qualities to explain meaning, or moral as a noun, through a story.

Jesus Carried up to a Pinnacle of the Temple (Jésus porté sur le pinacle du Temple)

A metaphor is a figure of speech that directly refers to one thing by mentioning another for rhetorical effect. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile are all types of metaphor.

Aristotle said in his work the Rhetoric that metaphors make learning pleasant; “To learn easily is naturally pleasant to all people, and words signify something, so whatever words create knowledge in us are the pleasantest.

Sonja Foss characterizes metaphors as being “non-literal comparisons in which a word or phrase from one domain of experience is applied to another domain”.[ She argues that since reality is mediated by the language we use to describe it, the metaphors we use shape the world and our interactions to it.

Gustav_Klimt Danae

Jung distinguished between a symbol and a sign. Insignia on uniforms, for instance, are not symbols but signs that identify the wearer. In dealing with unconscious material (dreams, fantasies, etc.) the images can be interpreted semiotically, as symptomatic signs pointing to known or knowable facts, or symbolically, as expressing something essentially unknown.

The interpretation of the cross as a symbol of divine love is semiotic, because “divine love” describes the fact to be expressed better and more aptly than a cross, which can have many other meanings. On the other hand, an interpretation of the cross is symbolic when it puts the cross beyond all conceivable explanations, regarding it as expressing an as yet unknown and incomprehensible fact of a mystical or transcendent, i.e., psychological, nature, which simply finds itself most appropriately represented in the cross. [Ibid., par. 815.]

Whether something is interpreted as a symbol or a sign depends mainly on the attitude of the observer. Jung linked the semiotic and symbolic approaches, respectively, to the causal and final points of view. He acknowledged the importance of both.

Psychic development cannot be accomplished by intention, and will alone; it needs the attraction of the symbol, whose value quantum exceeds that of the cause. But the formation of a symbol cannot take place until the mind has dwelt long enough on the elementary facts, that is to say until the inner, or outer necessities of the life-process, have brought about a transformation of energy. [“On Psychic Energy,” CW 8, par. 47.]

The symbolic attitude is at bottom constructive, in that it gives priority to understanding the meaning, or purpose of psychological phenomena, rather than seeking a reductive explanation.


Direct Transmission of Wisdom

Śākyamuni Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) transmits direct prajña (wisdom) to the disciple Mahākāśyapa. In the original Chinese, the story is Niān huá wéi xiào (拈華微笑, literally “Pick up flower, subtle smile”)

In the story, Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples (sangha) by holding up a  flower. No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa, who smiles. Within Zen, the Flower Sermon communicates the ineffable nature of tathātā (suchness) and Mahākāśyapa’s smile signifies the direct transmission of wisdom without words. Śākyamuni affirmed this by saying:

I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle [D]harma [G]ate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.

Carl Jung and Kerényi demonstrate a possible in intent between the Flower Sermon and the Eleusinian Mysteries:

One day the Buddha silently held up a flower before the assembled throng of his disciples. This was the famous “Flower Sermon.” Formally speaking, much the same thing happened in Eleusis when a mown ear of grain was silently shown. Even if our interpretation of this symbol is erroneous, the fact remains that a mown ear was shown in the course of the mysteries and that this kind of “wordless sermon” was the sole form of instruction in Eleusis which we may assume with certainty.

Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples (sangha) by holding up a white flower. No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa

Posted in Buddhism, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Education, Human Nature, Knowledge, Language, Metaphors, Mythology, Parables, Subjective, Symbology, Symbols, True Teaching, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments


Golden mannequin head with an explosion of pastel light above

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”  Nikola Tesla

Reality is not what it appears — the ancients knew it, pioneering physicists of the early 20th century knew it, and current leading edge scientists are proving it.

All is mind.

Scientists don’t know where the brain ends and the mind begins. Are they the same thing? What about souls? Are these located in our brains? What is responsible for all of the unique thoughts and feelings that make us who we are? Everyone from philosophers to physicists has taken up this question of consciousness and come up empty.

For a long time, the study of consciousness was considered too far out to study. How do you scientifically study something so subjective? How can what one person feels become something that another person can quantify? But now, in their relentless pursuit to understand every single thing about the world, scientists are trying to figure out what exactly is going on with consciousness.

Though deep metaphysical questions about the nature of a soul, a mind and brain leave questions as to whether this issue is in the realm of scientists, the brain is likely involved in some way with our conscious thoughts. With the help of brain imaging, scientists can watch different parts of the brain light up, and they know they can alter the brain and our consciousness with surgeries or chemicals. But what scientists don’t know is at what stage of the process a firing neuron becomes a conscious thought. The things that make up consciousness may be scattered all over the brain, with different cranial parts responsible for different pieces of a person. But, as we’ve mentioned, there are tons of other brain mysteries about how these parts might work together.

Firing Neuron

The Fundamental Questions

Throughout the ages, Mankind has been trying to answer the big questions — What is the nature of existence and reality, what are we, and why are we here?  In the World of today, with the ascendance of the ideology of scientific materialism, we have a strong tendency to reject anything that doesn’t fit our materialistic paradigm and label it as “mystical”.  We have become mesmerized by the material world.  Materialism and consumerism run rampant in our society. Lured by the apparent success of the reductionist method that we have used to analyze and understand our world, we have come to view the universe as purely a physical system, working something like a great machine, and with matter being the fundamental substance of reality.

Our scientific analytical methods have certainly been successful and have led us to understand the inner workings of matter well enough to create many useful technologies.  But these successes have erroneously led us to conclude that our materialistic view of the universe must be correct and reject other ideas as “mystical” and backward.

The materialistic paradigm persists in the popular and scientific thought despite plenty of evidence that it is indeed not true.  The Theory of Relativity and Quantum Physics have both shown that energy is more fundamental than matter.  Quantum physics in the early 20th century: Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein,  Louis de Broglie, Max Born, Paul Dirac, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Erwin Schrödinger, Richard Feynman, and many others all came  if not to the same conclusion, inclined to believe that everything is energy and that somehow consciousness is intimately intertwined with it.  And yet this insight seems to have been lost since then.  Physicists are still chasing the fundamental “particle”, and focusing on material phenomena rather than focusing on what energy is, how it forms matter, and what other forms can it take.

The Many faces of Counsciouness

‘The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.

Sir James Hopwood Jeans

Therefore to treat Consciousnesses as a mere derivative of matter, well, it speak more of our age and it’s materialistic, antiquated views, married to a Materialistic view of existence, regardless of the mysterious way things work regarding consciousness.

Space seems to be limitless, despite we know it’s not, but ever expanding , however, all but few,  will acknowledge, or dare to say that the Universe, more than a place it’s a conceptual space, a realm of ideas, and imagination, which makes it inherently unbounded.  What it can create is only limited by its imagination, and it’s imagination is boundless.

Limiteless Imagination

The Kingdom of God Is Within You

I do respect religious beliefs, and those who believe in Jesus, or any of the Prophets, my greatest respect, but Christ is not a person. It is a consciousness that a person achieved. The same potential exists for each of you when you go beyond limited beliefs. You do so upon connecting to your heart, and acquiring Consciousnesses, and Wisdom. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.’ John 14:12 King James. ‘Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.’ Luke 17:21 King James.

‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seekethfindeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Mathew.’ 7:7-8 King James.

Simply put, the true essence of your being cannot be seen, touched, heard, tasted, or smelled because these are all third dimensional qualities. You’re a spirit that incarnated into your body to have a human experience. Jesus Christ realized this and tried to share it with the masses.

Heaven is Within

The Return of Metaphysics

Thomas Nail a philosopher in it’s essay: Revolution and the Return of Metaphysics, argue that “the real revolution it’s an eternal future politics “to come” beyond the state, party, or market. The revolution is always potential, but never actual. Metaphysics~ and revolution thus share a similar disrepute: it is no longer possible to believe in the real without the mediating forces of language, culture, party, and state. Against this disrepute, this chapter argues that we are witnessing the return of metaphysics and revolution without mediation and political representation. But if this return is not a mere repetition of classical metaphysics and revolutionary statism, what is it? “

I will not go into his convoluted philosophical arguments between Alain Badiou, and Deleuze, about Being, event, and revolution, since in my view revolution, and event, are no longer about political, or social mass forces, as historically conventional we understand them, as a war of political factions, with different views, but about their obsolescence as beneficial forces of change,    and more about individual transformation, that by the weight of it’s numbers eventually will tip up the scales, and will bring  the change needed, without institutionalized hierarchical values, be this democratic, or imposed by power, in other words it will be a matter of people to be transformed by consciousnesses itself, a rapture of sorts, as when the early Christians were possessed by the Holy Spirit. Of course in a more subtle, symbolic way, not in a literal religious iconography, as some of the images here may misguide you.

And I do not imply there will not be struggle, or very hard work ahead of us to bring the change, because it’s implicit in every change.

Too idealistic you may say, but I will paraphrase Karl Rhaner: The people of the future will be either mystics, or saints, or they will not be any humans left at all.


Posted in A World in Crisis, Being, Capitalism, Christ, Counsciousness, Crisis of Values, Cultural Attitudes, Disillusion with Capitalism, Future, Government and Free Markets, Imagination, Inspiration, Karl Rahner, Materialism, Metaphysics, Mysticism, New Values, Obsolete Government, Plutocracy, Politics, Quantum, Science and Belief, Social Criticism, Transformation, Uncategorized, Values, Western Ideals | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments


Raibow Mountains Gansu, China

So many times I’ve photographed stories that show the degradation of the planet. I had one idea to go and photograph the factories that were polluting, and to see all the deposits of garbage. But, in the end, I thought the only way to give us an incentive, to bring hope, is to show the pictures of the pristine planet – to see the innocence.

Sebastiao Salgado


As much as I gree with Mr. Salgado my idea it’s one of   contrast, by showing the beautiful sight of Mother nature, and the ugly, destructive, and sinister side of Men.

Exxon Valdez oil spill workers recover and clean birds soiled by crude oil spilled when the tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, April 6, 1989. (Photo by Bob Hallinen/Anchorage Daily News/MCT via Getty Images)

There’s not two ways about it, no conservation efforts, rapacious rape of Mother Earth in the name of progress, and profit, or every effort to keep pristine ecological systems in place?

Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. It is defined as any change or disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.


My question is, can we find a solution to this mess we are in?

The Glory of Autumn

Hardly a day go by when we do not hear of an ecological disaster of one type or another one, in their absence, at least doomsday predictions of more to come!

“We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere… can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”

Elon Musk

“Our globe is under new dramatic environmental pressure: our globe is warming, our ice caps melting, our glaciers receding, our coral is dying, our soils are eroding, our water tables falling, our fisheries are being depleted, our remaining rain forests shrinking. Something is very, very wrong with our eco-system.”

Richard Lamm


“It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”

David Attenborough

Hurricane Harvey disaster

“If you’d rather live surrounded by pristine objects than by the traces of happy memories, stay focused on tangible things. Otherwise, stop fixating on stuff you can touch and start caring about stuff that touches you.” Martha Beck

“The most important thing about global warming is this. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change is going to be left to the scientists, but it’s all of our responsibility to leave this planet in better shape for the future generations than we found it.”

Mike Huckabee

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”

Jacques Yves Cousteau

“A very Faustian choice is upon us: whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic.”

E. O. Wilson


“The planet’s biggest problems have to do with sustainability, environmental decline, global poverty, disease, conflict and so forth. Really, they’re all interconnected – it’s one big problem, which is that the way we’re doing things can’t go on.”

Alex Steffen

“We assume that everything’s becoming more efficient, and in an immediate sense that’s true; our lives are better in many ways. But that improvement has been gained through a massively inefficient use of natural resources.”

Paul Hawken

Published scientific studies have found that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts that mitigation practices cannot successfully address. A high potential for human health impacts has also been reported. Not to talk about the massive destroying of the natural environment, and wildlife, and surrounding communities.


Mountain removal

“What obligation is more binding than to protect the cherished, to defend whoever or whatever cannot defend itself, and to nurture in turn that which has given nourishment? I’m reminded of words written by John Seed, an Australian environmentalist. When he began considering these questions, he believed, “I am protecting the rain forest.” But as his thought evolved, he realized, “I am part of the rain forest protecting myself.”

Richard Nelson, The Island Within

“I love being immersed in nature, going to places in the world that are pristine and untouched by man. It’s almost a religious experience when you go to a place like the Amazon, and there’s no civilization for thousands of miles.”

Leonardo DiCaprio

Pristine Amazon Forest

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

Henry David Thoreau

“At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rain forest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.”

Chico Mendes

Now my question to you, do you think like Chico Mendes? Who was murdered in December 1988 fighting to save you, and Humanity?

Amazon Forest Destroyed

“Meat is a mighty contributor to climate change and other environmental problems. The amount of meat we’re eating is one of the leading causes of climate change. It’s as important as the kind of car you drive – whether you eat meat a lot or how much meat you eat.”

Michael Pollan

“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The Wasteland was an empty car park behind a long abandoned pub. Minah like it because she said it reminded her of the permanence of concrete in stark contrast to the entropy of humanity. Harrison had dubbed it the Wasteland after the TS Eliot poem, because it was full of disillusionment and despair.”

Lili Wilkinson, The Boundless Sublime

Urban Decay

“The County Jail looked like a tall, forbidding elementary school. Seven stories of dirty brown brick, one hundred years old and now operating at 330 percent of capacity.”

Richard Price, Clockers

“Automation provides us with wondrous increases of production and information, but does it tell us what to do with the men the machines displace? Modern industry gives us the capacity for unparalleled wealth – but where is our capacity to make that wealth meaningful to the poor of every nation?”

Robert Kennedy

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

Mother Teresa

Homeless Everywhere

“Life is now a war zone, and as such, the number of people considered disposable has grown exponentially, and this includes low income whites, poor minorities, immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless, and a range of people who are viewed as a liability to capital and its endless predatory quest for power and profits.”

Henry Giroux

“The world has a very serious problem, my friend’ Shiva went on. ‘Poor children still die by their millions. Westerners and the global rich — like me — live in post-scarcity society, while a billion people struggle to get enough to eat. And we’re pushing the planet towards a tipping point, where the corals die and the forests burn and life becomes much, much harder. We have the resources to solve those problems, even now, but politics and economics and nationalism all get in the way. If we could access all those minds, though…”

Ramez Naam, Crux

Children living in a dump

“Where there is poverty, there will be destruction and exploitation by the corporations and governments benefiting from destroying our rain forests and trafficking wildlife.”

Eileen Anglin

“Life is now a war zone, and as such, the number of people considered disposable has grown exponentially, and this includes low income whites, poor minorities, immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless, and a range of people who are viewed as a liability to capital and its endless predatory quest for power and profits.”

Henry Giroux

“If I could go back to a point in history to try to get things to come out differently, I would go back and tell Moses to go up the mountain again and get the other tablet. Because the Ten Commandments just tell us what we are supped to do with one another, not a word about our relationship to the earth. Genesis starts with these commands: multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it. We have multiplied very well, we have replenished our populations very well, we have subdued it all too well, and we don’t have any other instruction.”

David Brower

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”

Walt Whitman

Wonderful Verenda

“We are being called upon to act against a prevailing culture, to undermine our own entrenched tendency to accumulate and to consume, and to refuse to define our individuality by our presumed ability to do whatever we want.”

Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness

“To save our dying earth, any government which is not environmentalist must go because on earth there are thousands of governments but there in only one earth! Continuing with the eco-traitor stupid governments means an environmental suicide! Enemies of nature are real barbarians and there is no place for these savages in our civilization!”

Mehmet Murat ildan


“If you want to save the humankind, you should first take care of Nature.It’s the legacy that we leave behind,That brings us hope, that’s for sure!”
Ana Claudia Antunes, The Fairies of the Four Seasons: The Dance of Time

“Somebody has to be tireless or the fast buck operators would asphalt the entire coast, fill every bay and slay every living thing incapable of carrying a wallet.”

John D. MacDonald, Where is Janice Gantry?

“The future of the next generation relies on astronomers obtaining a full understanding of the rapidly changing human environmental conditions and the halting of biologically toxic corporate government policies. The overloading of the electromagnetic environment is one of these disastrous policies that must stop.”

Steven Magee

“Yes sir, yes madam, I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like men! like women! like human beings! and walk-walk-WALK upon our sweet and blessed land!”

Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire.

Red sea on the forest

“Extinction, the irrevocable loss of a species, causes pain that can never find relief. It is an ache that will pass from generation to generation for the rest of human history.”

Callum Roberts, The Unnatural History of the Sea

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

Chris Maser, Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest

“Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain, For strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.”
George Carlin

Kuwait oil fields on fire

“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”

Ban Ki-moon

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.”

Evo Morales

“The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.”

Marlee Matlin

“Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues.”

Bernie Sanders

Bottom Line

Now my point is, which of the two Worldviews you prefer to live in?

Maybe there may be a few odd ones around there, who may choose the wrong view, for whatever personal selfish, twisted reason, but I already know most of you want to look at a rainbow color future picture, than one of destruction and degradation.

So, go out there and fight for it, with all your might, as best as you can, otherwise there will not be any future rainbow picture left for us.
The view over the rainbow

Posted in A World in Crisis, Consciousness, Corruption, Crisis, Disillusion with Capitalism, Doomsday, E.O. Wilson, Ecological Crisis, Ecology, Environment, Extinction of Species, Future, Globalization, Obsolete Government, Over Consumption, Things To Come, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 101 Comments



Aquarius, Ganymedes the water bearer

A good tune, and  nice Rhymes, do not make a song True.

Most astrologers claim that Jesus commenced the Pisces age and most people believe the Age of Aquarius commenced in the 1960s and 70s.  However how can both these facts be true if ages are at least 2150 years in length?  Most projections of what we can expect in the Age of Aquarius is a paradisaical age free from all the problems that have encumbered the world in recent millennia.  Are your Aquarian friends perfect?  Do they stand out as superior to the other 12 signs of the zodiac?  Why should the Age of Aquarius be more positive than any other age?

The Age of Aquarius has become an urban legend ever since the theatrical production of Hair proclaimed “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius ….”  Most newspapers and comments on blogs clearly relate the dawning of the Age of Aquarius to the 1960’s and 70’s when Hair first appeared.  Many people are so disappointed with the direction the world has taken since those inspiring times (for some) of the 60’s and 70’s to the point where the sentiment has become `where is the goddamned Age of Aquarius anyway?’  Some journalists even state that the Age of Aquarius was a 20 year phenomenon applying only the 1960s and 70s and has now died an ignoble death.

The Age of Aquarius” or “Let the Sunshine In

Astrologer Neil Spencer denounced the lyrics as “astrological gibberish”, noting that Jupiter aligns with Mars several times a year (which doesn’t make sense either, since Mars’ orbital year is 687 days) and the moon is in the 7th House for two hours every day. These lines are considered by many to be merely poetic license, though some people take them literally.

Hair singing

In truth there seems little to be positive in our future, All we got to do is to listen, or watch the news, to put us in a somber mood.

Good news stories don’t sell so this list is almost guaranteed to get next to no views. But, despite the deluge of bad news stories that hit us every day there is plenty to be positive about and we think it’s worth putting something out there that challenges the medias bad new bias.

The world is very different in this Aquarian age to date compared to the known historical events of any other age. No other age has seen the human population anywhere near current levels. In no other age could humans light up the world at night (with Aquarius electricity) so that it is observable from space. In no other age could some people fly, watch TV and have all the labor savings devices available in this modern Age of Aquarius. In no other age has any human walked on the Moon.

What is noticeable to date from the Aquarian age is that the benefits seem much greater compared to previous ages and the problems see much greater compared to earlier ages. This in itself satisfies the Aquarian archetype that it must be somehow fundamentally different to other ages.

The Age of Aquarius is not going to save the world. The Age of Aquarius it may rise your consciousness, it may not. The future of the world depends upon the sum of all the people in the world. It is what all the people in the world do that will make things happen. Judging by its track record to date, the problems and benefits in the Age of Aquarius will be much greater than previous. However, there is every reason to believe from the evidence provided by astrology that in this age of uncertainty, there is a much higher chance than normal that the world is heading for a mini-golden age associated with the Libra age-decan of the Age of Aquarius that will be firmly in place as the years, slowly but surely advance, hey I am old enough to remember the sixties!

In astrology, a decan is the subdivision of an astrological sign (zodiac sign). … Each sign is allocated a triplicity, consisting of three of the four classical elements air, water, earth or fire, and is therefore subdivided into three equal parts of 10 degrees each; these parts are referred to as decans or decanates.

And a man’s life it’s brief!

Zodiac map with Aquarius

Uranus Ruler of Aquarius

Uranus had been observed on many occasions before its recognition as a planet, but it was generally mistaken for a star. Possibly the earliest known observation was by Hipparchos, who in 128 BC might have recorded it as a star for his star catalogue that was later incorporated into Ptolemy’s Almagest.]The earliest definite sighting was in 1690, when John Flamsteed observed it at least six times, cataloguing it as 34 Tauri. The French astronomer Pierre Charles Le Monnier observed Uranus at least twelve times between 1750 and 1769,including on four consecutive nights.

Sir William Herschel observed Uranus on 13 March 1781 from the garden of his house at 19 New King Street in Bath, Somerset, England (now the Herschel Museum of Astronomy), and initially reported it (on 26 April 1781) as a comet. Herschel “engaged in a series of observations on the parallax of the fixed stars”,using a telescope of his own design.

Herschel recorded in his journal: “In the quartile near ζ Tauri … either [a] Nebulous star or perhaps a comet.” On 17 March he noted: “I looked for the Comet or Nebulous Star and found that it is a Comet, for it has changed its place.” When he presented his discovery to the Royal Society, he continued to assert that he had found a comet, but also implicitly compared it to a planet.

Although Herschel continued to describe his new object as a comet, other astronomers had already begun to suspect otherwise. Finnish-Swedish astronomer Anders Johan Lexell, working in Russia, was the first to compute the orbit of the new object. Its nearly circular orbit led him to a conclusion that it was a planet rather than a comet. Berlin astronomer Johann Elert Bode described Herschel’s discovery as “a moving star that can be deemed a hitherto unknown planet-like object circulating beyond the orbit of Saturn”. Bode concluded that its near-circular orbit was more like a planet than a comet.


This planet (as well Neptune and Pluto) are associated with the unseen aspects of life. Uranus’ domain is akin to that of future-forward Aquarius, the star sign that rules scientific inventions, electricity, innovation and technology. These are all things that require us to stretch beyond our vision and lean in to belief. For example, we might not be able to prove the Uranian, but we feel a certainty about its existence. Even the Internet—which is Uranus’ domain—is a form of virtual reality, if you think about it.

In mythology, Uranus is known as Father Sky who bore children with Gaia, aka. Mother Earth. This is the planet that rules outer space and aeronautics and shows where we want to fly free—without restriction! (Gravity…what’s that?!)  Given these liberated vibes, it’s no surprise that parenting did not come naturally to the Uranus of lore. Legend has it that Father Sky was cruel to his children, burying some in the earth and banishing others. Saturn, one of his sons, even castrated Uranus out of revenge, and Venus was born out of the sea, were Uranus testicles were tossed.

Boticelli, The birth of Venus

What it’s there to be positive?

Well, after unabated bad news, a bad economy, if you are not part of the infamous 1%, and I seriously doubt that, despite a total unenlightened political leadership, almost worldwide there it seems very few things you may feel worth to be happy to celebrate a New year.

But I said we will end in a positive note, and that I will do!

First we are still alive, second all the bad stuff hasn’t sip out my will to live and keep fighting, for whatever it’s just, and wise, regardless of the odds, and if you are reading this, right now you are probably in better shape I am, and I am willing yet to put a fight,  hopefully, so do you!

There are people like us all over the world. You can find your ‘family’ online.

There is always a way. Always.

If you haven’t find it , keep looking!

We have been through a lot of hard times, and somehow we still standing, there’s no reason that if we keep the fight, things would go always the wrong way, finally our day of victory will come up, if you have not giving up, the fight it’s not over, period.

God loves you no matter what! With that knowledge, there is always hope!

There’s still Kindness, Joy, Grace, Love, and Mercy, go there find it, or give it out to someone, spread the good stuff.

My best wishes to you all, you deserve a great New Year!

The dawning of a New Age

Posted in Age of Aquarius, Astrology, Axial Precession, Consciousness, Cosmology, Counsciousness, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Cynicism, Democracy, Determinism, Disillusion with Capitalism, Ecological Crisis, Economy, Education, End of materialism, Enlightenment, Environment, Future, Ganymede, Historical Evolution, New Age, New Values, Precession of the Equinoxes, Progress, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 46 Comments



“It is not conflict of opinions that has made history so violent but conflict of belief in opinions, that is to say conflict of convictions.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human.

When in my late teens, the books of Friedriech  Nietzsche started to circulate with those students between us who undeservedly,  thought ourselves, at such young age as ‘intellectuals.’

I smile now at our arrogance, and ignorance,  at such young age, but vividly remember using the title of Nietzsche’s book, Human, All Too Human: A book for free spirits.’ Very often with condescending ironic tone, and a smile, when we heard, or  witnessed,  some stupidity, or act of ignorance, committed by whoever, or whatever event provoked us, empathizing the words; Human all too Human!

In accordance with the old Latin Proverb: Errare humanum est. ‘To err is human, but to persist in error (out of pride) is diabolical.’

Sadly, we never had to wait too long without having a chance to use it!

Cafe Philosophy

It’s common knowledge now day to see our World as chaotic, and a mess out of control, and we despair at the thought Mankind may not be around for too long if we persist to be ignorant of the problems we are constantly creating, and that have global repercussions, with few solutions in sight.

We even wonder what is at the root of these problems, and some of us we even choose far fetch reasons of our choosing, according to our own weakness, and proclivities, as our beliefs in opinions as Nietzsche’s quote above.

In the classic movie my dinner with Andre(1981) the following conversation took place:

”I think it’s quite possible that the 1960s represented the last burst of the human being before it was extinguished, and that this is the beginning of the rest of the future now. That from now on, there will simply be all these robots walking around – feeling nothing, thinking nothing, and that there will be nobody left almost to remind them that there once was a species called a human being with feelings and thoughts, and that history and memory are right now being erased and that soon nobody will really remember that life existed on the planet.”

Andre, My Dinner With Andre

My dinner with Andre

Our Many Maladies

There’s hundreds of people who have compiled lists with titles as: 50 reasons why Humans are too stupid to survive, or a 100 reasons, and have little faith Men will accomplish anything but annihilation not only of the Human race, but of the World we all live in , as well.

Reasons too long to list here, and redundant, all we got to do in the morning when we wake up is to turn on the news, and a good reason why for many years I now do not care to follow the news, but occasionally, and not very often, you could say I pick, and choose+ the events I care to watch.

Also occasionally I am baffled by some new idea of why we are all walking like lemmings to our doom, when talking to particular individuals with wacky ideas, or even bright, and intelligent but with far fetch  reasons, they read here, or there, some even as bold to be the creators of such idea. No need to say more; if like me you are exposed to talk with all sort of people, I am sure you have heard it all, and as the days roll along, more keep coming!

Fire and Brimstone

What it’s rare, are those who have anything positive to say, and we may even look at them as people with good intentions, but too naive.

As to why  we seem unable in almost every place, and age in time to learn from History lessons baffle many of us, and therefore the multiple explanations people come with.

Occam’s Razor

Ockham’s razor; Latin: lex parsimoniaelaw of parsimony“) is a problem-solving principle attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian. His principle states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

In science, Occam’s razor is used as a heuristic guide in the development of theoretical models, rather than as a rigorous arbiter between candidate models. In the scientific method, Occam’s razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result; the preference for simplicity in the scientific method is based on the falsifiability criterion. For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there may be an extremely large, perhaps even incomprehensible, number of possible and more complex alternatives. Since one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified, simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones because they are more testable.

In few words Occam’s razor, is not infallible, but it has become a very reliable tool to cut the B.S. out of  Science. When investigating a theory, and the feasibility of it, as a fact, Occam’s razor it’s hard to beat.

A simpler explanation, most of the time comes to be the  correct answer.

And the great thing about it, is that the solution to what it seems subjective, and complex issues of sometimes unfathomable nature, they posses a simple explanation.

Dylan Safford-William of Ockham

Giving Up

For a brief time in History, it seems to be periods of greatness, and enlightened men who guide us through the stormy Oceans of life, just to fade into oblivion and we are faced with new, and never ending problems of many kinds., and most people wish  new champions, or at least one, a giant between men, a Messiah may arise, and like a bridge over troubled waters may guide us to safety.

Abdicating in that way on our personal responsibility, at the state of affairs of the World, true, you can be a very nice guy, or gal, but you rather have someone else doing the job for you, of cleaning up the mess!

Carl Jung


If we look for a culprit, we no longer need to look for specifics, we are in the state we are thanks to our collective ignorance.

Unfortunately Darwin’s theory of Evolution explain  our biological evolution, but has little to do with our Human condition as social individuals, who require to be taught since the moment we are born to become decent, and useful citizens of the community, or place we live in.

We know now that about one child in a thousand, however, is born with no ability to hear whatsoever. Years ago such people were called deaf-mutes. Often they were considered retarded, and in a sense they were: they’d never learned language, a process that primes the pump for much later development. The critical age range seems to be 21 to 36 months. During this period children pick up the basics of language easily, and in so doing establish essential cognitive infrastructure. Later on it’s far more difficult. If the congenitally deaf aren’t diagnosed before they start school, they may face severe learning problems for the rest of their lives, even if in other respects their intelligence is normal.

And so my argument is we need to learn our social skills, and to be virtuous, like almost everything else, since it’s not a given!

Learning it’s consilient, we build like a wall with bricks, through our life, since early childhood, to old age.

Learning it's consilient

And the reason why Humanity never seem to progress historically speaking, since every individual regardless has to start from zero, and learning it’s a process that it ends with death, not with certain age, and I do need to tell you this, you all know it, some people it’s more ignorant than others, because what the individual has learned through his/her life. And society it’s as good as the sum of it’s Wisdom, a poor amount of wise individuals over a majority of ignorant people, do not reflect good at the state of society, period.

Jim Rohn

Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge it’s acquired with teaching, and schooling,  Wisdom it’s shown by our behavior, in how we apply what we have learnt.

We want a better World, we need a better society, we want a better society, equals  better individuals, we want better individuals, they need to be taught, more education, less evils, like violence, war, poverty, crime, and less ignorant people.

And we cannot slack on it, as we are currently doing, and no, it’s shouldn’t be about money, and a privilege for the few, but about the right of the individual to have an inalienable right to education, at all levels, and World governments around the globe should be hold responsible, and accountable of doing so.

Even with a great education, I do not believe we will be free of problems, however I know we will be a lot better.

Acquiring Knowledge, and Wisdom should be a priority of our existence, like in the Greek word Arete, or moral virtues, Knowledge, and Wisdom are the sinequanone in all Sacred Paths, I have talked about that abundantly in many past posts, so I would not do it here.

Athena - Greek Goddess of Wisdom

Posted in Arete, Consciousness, Criticism, Cultural Attitudes, Human Nature, Ignorance, Inspiration, Knowledge, True Teaching, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 72 Comments



Pouring tea in to the cup

“Once, a long time ago, there was a wise Zen master. People from far and near would seek his counsel and ask for his wisdom. Many would come and ask him to teach them, enlighten them in the way of Zen. He seldom turned any away.

One day an important man, a man used to command and obedience came to visit the master. “I have come today to ask you to teach me about Zen. Open my mind to enlightenment.” The tone of the important man’s voice was one used to getting his own way.

The Zen master smiled and said that they should discuss the matter over a cup of tea. When the tea was served the master poured his visitor a cup. He poured and he poured and the tea rose to the rim and began to spill over the table and finally onto the robes of the wealthy man. Finally the visitor shouted, “Enough. You are spilling the tea all over. Can’t you see the cup is full?”

The master stopped pouring and smiled at his guest. “You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when the cup is empty. Come back to me with an empty mind.”

Beginner’s Mind.

This teaching it’s so famous, and well known, that now it’s almost trivial, and yet the opportunity to be applied in today’s World at large, is practically endless!

A less well known phrase is Shoshin (初心) is a word from Zen Buddhism which means “beginner’s mind“. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese Martial Arts.

The well known Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki said:

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”


Changing People’s Minds

The famous french woman writer Anais Nin once said: “we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” To see things as they are, instead of how we are, it requires leaving preconceptions behind, a receptive open mind, quieting of the ego, and a cultivation of the beginner’s mind.

We live in a political system known as democracy, even if it’s just a name, not a reality, and we feel,   are entitled to our own opinions, and we see fit free to express it, regardless if we cannot add  a single thing that can make any sense, or if it’s needed, when out of politeness people do not say nothing to avoid confrontations, despite the stupidity a particular individual may show.

One of the greatest tasks you can ever start, it’s to change people’s mind regarding any subject, a thing most of us avoid at all cost, we rather avoid the person in question than trying to set him straight.

We have made phrases of wisdom like: ‘Never argue about politics, or religion.’


Therefore our conversations are mainly trivial stuff, who almost nobody really cares, specially with those you got to deal not out of friendliness, but by duty, like family, or people you work with, specially if they are above you in rank. If you really want to talk about something important you go to a like minded friend, who you know he/she will not challenge you but confirm, and share your ideas, after all who needs a bad time confronting someone? In fact we choose friends more based on comfort, and ‘friendliness,’ instead of choosing people who can have a positive influence on us, and teaching us good things, despite the difficulties of being corrected, and told we are wrong.

On True Learning

Well, our focus, it’s not about our ideas, and how we see the World, but about our readiness to learn new things, so pardoning the digression above, just to show the rigidity of our minds, and how we are use  to live with our preconceived ideas about almost anything, regardless of how little we may know about it.

Contrary at what most people’s think, learning it’s not difficult, actually what’s really difficult it is to change our attitude!

Perhaps it’s better today, I wonder, but reflecting, and being honest, even as  children most of us with few exceptions granted,   we went through school, as a duty, and found it a drudgery, only dissipated by the ring bell telling us recess was next, and it was time to play with friends, or it was finally time to go home!


Attitude, The Key Element To Learning

We know things, or we do not know, or maybe we know a little, but not enough, we have not even an idea, or we think we know better, but in reality  it’s common to know nothing.

Humbleness it is a key to learning, admitting we do not know a subject it’s essential to learning, so to look for a qualified teacher to teach us, is the first step we need to take. A teacher can be many things, a person, a book, and above life, is the best teacher, by being humble we are accepting we are in lack of knowledge and we desire to improve, so we set to the task at hand which is to learn what we are in need to.

Now, observe we do not ask children to know if they approve, or desire to go to school, or not, children are in most countries obligated to attend school, some countries even penalize parents who do not take children to school.

As adults we are the ones who have to self motivate ourselves, and there is no way around it. Therefore our attitude to learn is primordial, otherwise it’s a no go situation, we are stuck!


Once we change our attitude, we are ready to, for whatever it’s necessary in order to learn, all these things may seem self evident, but if they are, how come so few people pay any attention to them?

There is a Hispanic saying: ‘Desde que se inventaron las excusas se acabaron los idiotas.’

An equivalent will be: ” Inventing an excuse, eliminates looking like an idiot.”

Excuses are just a way, to avoid changing our attitude, and they not remove the the obstacles for learning.

And therefore emptying the cup it’s a total change of attitude, and a preparation to open our senses, and our attention, and be ready to learn.

Now, pay attention and be ready to listen, and do the right thing, be alert!



Now in a lighter tone a long list, of random quotes on foolishness, and stupidity:

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.

Albert Einstein

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The doctor sees all the weakness of mankind; the lawyer all the wickedness, the theologian all the stupidity. Arthur Schopenhauer

Stupidity is a talent for misconception.

Edgar Allan Poe

In politics stupidity is not a handicap.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity.

Michel de Montaigne

You know when you’re young, you have this unbelievable stupidity and arrogance and ignorance all mixed in?

Christopher Guest

People’s ignorance really pisses me off. Stupidity is when you can’t help it -ignorance is when you choose not to understand something.

Sarah McLachlan

Never attribute to malice, that which can be reasonably explained by stupidity.

Spider Robinson

I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.

Herman Hesse

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.


People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

Søren Kierkegaard

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

George Carlin

You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison

Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.”

William Faulkner

Irony is wasted on the stupid

Oscar Wilde

Beauty fades, dumb is forever.

Judy Sheindlin

When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

Jonathan Swift

If your brains were dynamite there wouldn’t be enough to blow your hat off.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr

Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Never ask to for guidance to those who do not know








Posted in Alchemy, Buddhism, Consciousness, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Education, Ego, Inspiration, Learning, Teaching, Transformation, Transmutation, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Zen | Tagged , , , , , , | 76 Comments


Way Back On Dream Time

The world is an illusion; it has no real existence. And this is what is meant by ‘imagination’ (khayāl). For you just imagine that it (i.e., the world) is an autonomous reality quite different from and independent of the Absolute Reality, while in truth it is nothing of the sort’…. Know that you yourself are an imagination. And everything that you perceive and say to yourself, ‘this is not me’, is also an imagination. So that the whole world of existence is imagination within imagination.

Ibn Arabi

What’s Reality?

I like to point out to anyone who may want to listen, that the world we live in, and we consider an indisputable fact of existence, it’s not so, contrary from what most of us think, we do not live in the World, the World lives into our subjective consciousness.

When we go to sleep the world we know, disappear totally, and if we dream ( We all do, some of us just do not recall the dreams, or are easily forgotten.) a new reality emerge during our dreams, were images, colors, ideas, emotions, and actions acquire a confusing atmosphere, of incomprehensible, or unintelligible gibberish, completely meaningless, sometimes with flashes of profound intuitive insights, that are totally mysterious in nature, but appear as some sort of connection, or an ethereal  link to our particular everyday reality.

There is nothing new to this fact, except our ignorance about the subject.

The strange reality of dreams

Mind Bending Movies

Artist, like novelist, movie directors, aware of this fact had produced all kind of films were our basic principles about reality are questioned like The Matrix, Dark City, What Dreams May Come, The thirteen Floor, and others.

The Matrix draws from and makes reference to numerous cinematic and literary works, and concepts from mythology, religion and philosophy.The Matrix also makes reference to the ideas of Buddhism, Christianity, Gnosticism dualism,  Hinduism, and Judaism. The Matrix‘s premise resembles the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Andrew Godoski from observed Neo’s “virgin birth”, his doubt in himself, the prophecy of his coming, along with many Christianity references. In The Matrix, a copy of Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation is visible on-screen as the book used to conceal disks, and Morpheus quotes its phrase “desert of the real”. The book was required reading for the actors prior to filming. Baudrillard himself said that The Matrix misunderstands and distorts his work. Check my post MANICHAEISM, AN ONTOLOGICAL, DUALISTIC VIEW ON THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE March 2017


The Matrix Simulacra

Baudrillard’s published work emerged as part of a generation of French thinkers including Gilles Deleuze,  Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Jacques Lacan who all shared an interest in semiotics, and he is often seen as a part of the post-structuralist philosophical school. In common with many post-structuralists, his arguments consistently draw upon the notion that signification and meaning are both only understandable in terms of how particular words or “signs” interrelate. Baudrillard thought, as do many post-structuralists, that meaning is brought about through systems of signs working together. See my posts:



The Matrix

One can make a connection between the premise of The Matrix and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; once one accepts that The Matrix is an illusion, then the allegory of the cave becomes clear. The allegory is related to Plato’s theory of Forms, (Archetypes) which holds that the true essence of an object is not what we perceive with our senses, but rather its quality, and that most people perceive only the shadow of the object and are thus limited to false perception. See my post:


Morpheus of the matrix paraphrases the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi when he asks Neo, “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you weren’t able to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference from the real world and the dream world?”

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

In the movie Inception (2010) the character Dom Cobb says: ‘Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize that something was actually strange.’


Khayāl-The World of Creative Imagination

“Now in a dream, our mind continuously does this, we create and perceive our world simultaneously and our mind does this so well that we don’t even know it’s happening.” –Cobb

One of the most important concepts in Ibn ‘Arabi’s writing, which Inception illustrates beautifully, is a term called khayāl, which scholars translate as “imagination” or “imaginal faculty” to separate it from the illusory or derogatory connotations of the word “imaginary.” The world of khayāl is imaginary in that it the same stuff which dreams are made of, but this stuff is real, at least partially so. For example, most of us spend our lives in this imaginal world, not only during dreams, but also during our ordinary, everyday lives. When we see a color, or smell perfume, or feel an itch, our minds/souls are actually creating these sensations out of physical stimuli. We don’t see electromagnetic radiation with a 700 nm wavelength, we see red. Our minds “imagine” the sensory reality in which we live, simultaneously creating and perceiving these experiences, much like how Cobb described the process of dreaming to Ariadne during her first shared dream. In fact, Ibn ‘Arabi writes that one of the purposes of dreams is to alert us to this aspect of our existence, writing that “The only reason God placed sleep in the animate world was so that everyone might witness the Presence of Imagination and know that there is another world similar to the [everyday] sensory world.” For Ibn ‘Arabi, this imaginal world encompasses all human experience, and the imaginal faculty of ours gives form not only to physical but also metaphysical realities or archetypes. If you’ve ever written a melody or a poem, or drawn a picture, you’re already familiar with the magical process of imagination, the process of giving tangible forms to intangible ideas, concepts, and emotions. This is the function of the imaginal faculty, to bring together “pure ideas” and meanings and clothe them in sensible forms. But what of the reality of these  things behind their imaginal forms, and what of reality itself? Most of us take these sensory, imaginal forms to be our reality, and are happy living out our days in this seemingly solid world. But Ibn ‘Arabi takes a different stance. Quoting the famous Prophetic tradition, “People are asleep, when they die, they awaken,”

Awakening into the Eternal

It doesn’t matter if the top is spinning or not Before I continue, a quick aside about the much-debated end of the film is in order. I take the position that the film’s end is meant to be ambiguous and ambivalent, and I am completely uninterested in the director’s intentions or if, at the end, Cobb is “really” in a dream or back to reality. Part of the point is that the film is a dream, a phantom, a story, an illusion, so there is no “what really happens” on that level of reality. Dreams, like good movies and literature, are ambiguous and resist being pinned down to simple, literal descriptions, and this is simply the nature of all imaginal reality (more on this later). For the purposes this essay, I will take the perspective that whether or not the top stopped spinning, the film ends with Cobb still in a dream state, and in fact, Cobb has been in a dream state throughout the entire film. The entire action of the film takes place in a dream, the impossible dream technology with all of its logic-bending features, all the characters, everything, is part of a dream. In short, even if the top falls, he’s still dreaming because the top we see only ever existed in a dream.

The Top Spinning

Imagination and the limits of reason One of the most interesting and challenging aspects of Ibn ‘Arabi’s work for modern readers is his critique of reason. As Ibn ‘Arabi is fond of pointing out, one of the Arabic words for “reason,” ‘aql, 64 comes from the verb ‘aqala which means to “bind” or “fetter.” In this sense, reason is useful in that it allows us to get a handle on things and deal with them conceptually. However, in doing so, reason necessarily distorts reality by trying to delimit, define, and “bind” it in its rational schemas. Reason cannot deal with paradoxes and seeks to resolve ambiguities into “either/or” relations, while the worlds of imagination are characterized by the relations of “neither/nor” and “both/and.” But for Ibn ‘Arabi, reason and imagination are not opposed to each other; rather, they are complementary. Reason is critical and analytic, while imagination is creative and synthetic. A balance of both is needed to achieve the correct view of things, which Ibn ‘Arabi calls “seeing with two eyes.” The eye of reason distinguishes the real from the unreal, and the eye of imagination sees the images, reflections, and dreams that make up our world as simultaneously real and unreal. This formulation is particularly apt, because you need two eyes in order perceive the third dimension correctly, just as you need both reason and imagination to understand the metaphysical dimension of the world. With the eye of reason, we can discriminate things from each other and see the multiplicity of the world, and with the eye of imagination, we can see the many things as one. Ibn ‘Arabi argues that in order to understand things properly, we have to see both ways at once.

Inception, Eames and Arthur

In Inception, Eames represents the pole of imagination, while Arthur represents that of reason. Eames calls Arthur a “stick in the mud,” and during a gunfight, tells him, “you mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling,” before mysteriously producing a grenade launcher. Their friendly rivalry in the planning stages of the mission, in which Arthur demands “specificity,” while Eames calls inception a “subtle art,” teases Arthur for his condescension, and declares, “to perform Inception, you need imagination,” wonderfully illustrates the creative tension between imagination and reason. The ensuing fantastical fight scenes and Arthur’s ingenious (and wonderfully shot), gravity-free “kick” vividly depict the process of “seeing with both eyes,” of thinking simultaneously inside and beyond a given dream level. The team’s ability to think both vertically and horizontally, to “see with both eyes,” is what allows them to navigate the labyrinth of dream worlds. Similarly, for Ibn ‘Arabi, “seeing with both eyes” is what allows people to navigate the labyrinth of the imaginal worlds that make up our existence both before and after death. Unaware of the various levels of reality, the unimaginative projections are bound to one level of reality and its rules, while with the aid of imagination, Cobb and his team jump from level to level, bending and breaking the local laws of logic as they go. Reason is a tool and like most tools, works best in conjunction with others. In fact, pure reason has to be coupled with imagination and insight in order to work at all.65 This fact, and the limitations of reason, can be somewhat difficult for us to grasp today, because we live in a world that undervalues insight and imagination, and is simultaneously irrational and corroded by over-rationalization. Turned against imagination and insight, instead of working in conjunction with them, modern reason has tried, and then given up on addressing issues it can’t handle on its own, such as metaphysics, ethics, and teleology. For this reason, fundamental questions such as “What is real?”, “What is right?”, and “What are we here for?” are often better engaged by artists (such as filmmakers) than by scientists and academic philosophers.


What Dreams may come

The title comes from a line in Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be…” soliloquy, namely, “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, / Must give us pause.” The plot outline in the novel contains several allegorical references to Dante Alighieri’s epic poem The Divine Comedy (1308–1321).

The prologue is narrated by a man telling of his visit from a psychic woman, who gives him a manuscript she claims was dictated to her by his deceased brother Chris. Most of the novel consists of this manuscript.

Chris, a middle-aged man, is injured in an auto accident and dies in the hospital. He remains as a ghost, at first thinking he’s having a bad dream. Amid a failed séance that ends up reinforcing his wife’s belief that he didn’t survive death, an unidentified man keeps approaching Chris, telling him to concentrate on what’s beyond. Chris disregards this advice for a long time, unable to leave his wife Ann. After following the man’s advice, and focusing on pleasant memories, he feels himself being elevated.

He awakens in a beautiful glade, which he recognizes as a place where he and Ann traveled. Understanding now that he has died, he is surprised that he looks and feels alive, with apparently a physical body and sensations. After exploring the place for a while, he finds Albert, his cousin, who reveals himself as the unidentified man he had been seeing.

Albert explains that the place they occupy is called Summerland. Being a state of mind rather than a physical location, Summerland is practically endless and takes the form of the inhabitants’ wishes and desires. There is no pain or death, but people maintain occupations of sorts and perform leisure activities. The book depicts Summerland at length, through Chris’s eyes.

Walking on water in What Dreams May Come

Divine “Imagination” and the Intermediate World: Ibn ‘Arabî on the Barzakh.

For centuries after the time of the Andalusian mystic Ibn ‘Arabî, his remarkable discussions and conceptions of the “Imagination” (al-khayâl) were elaborated by Islamic philosophers, poets, artists and critics in order to explain, interpret and justify the full range of artistic and creative activities carried on within later Islamic cultures, as far away as India and Indonesia.1 Modern western students of Ibn ‘Arabî writing on such themes have tended to focus on the development of those ideas in his celebrated Fusûs al-Hikam (“The Bezels of Wisdom”) and its long line of traditional philosophic commentaries.2 But another major source of those classical Islamic understandings of the Imagination was in the Shaykh’s many discussions of the eschatological “Barzakh” or “intermediate world” of the divine Imagination–as well as his accounts of his own striking experiences and decisive spiritual encounters there–which are scattered throughout his magnum opus, al-Futûhât al-Makkîya (“The Meccan Illuminations”). One of his most extensive and widely influential discussions of the Imagination/Barzakh, in all its humanly relevant dimensions, was in the set of five eschatological chapters (61-65) within the long opening section of the Futûhât–chapters first brought to the attention of a wider Western audience in the famous studies by Asin-Palacios of Islamic themes in Dante’s Divine Comedy.

See my post:


Dante's Divine Comedy-Granger

Ibn Arabi

Now there are some people who perceive this imaged-object (al-mutakhayyal) with the eye of the (physical) sensation, and there are others who perceive it with the eye of imagination. Of course I’m referring here to (our perceptions) in the waking state, since during sleep (everyone) definitely perceives with the eye of imagination. So if a person wishes to distinguish between (those two modes of perception) in their waking state, whether in this world or at the Day of Resurrection, they can determine (which sort of perception it is) by looking at the imaged-object. Thus if [a] the states of what one is looking at continue to change as it changes its shape and characteristics, even though you can’t deny that it is still the same thing, and [b] the fact of observing it does not stop it from changing its shape and formation–as when a chameleon, when you observe it, stops changing its colors–then that is undoubtedly (being seen) with the eye of imagination, not with the eye of the senses. For you perceive what-is-imagined (al-khayâl) with the eye of imagination, not with the eye of (physical) sensation.

Indeed few of those who lay claim to the unveiled vision of spirits, whether of fire (i.e., jinn) or of light (angels), really understand how this is. When (those spirits) take on the image of perceptible forms, (most people) don’t know whether they are perceiving them with the eye of the imagination or with the eye of (physical) sensation–since both sorts of perception involve the sensing activity of the eye. That (inner sensing activity) is what presents the perception through both the eye of imagination and the eye of (physical) sensation. So this is a subtle form of knowledge: I mean the knowledge of the distinction between the two “eyes,” and between the sensing activity of the eye and the eye of (physical) sensation. One can know that (what one perceives) is indeed sensible, not imaginal, and that one has perceived it with the eye of sensation, not the eye of imagination (by the following conditions): [a] when the eye perceives the imaged-object and, without being distracted, sees that its shape and characteristics don’t change; [b] when it doesn’t see that imaged-object in different places at the same time, assuming it is definitely a single reality; and [c] that imaged-object doesn’t become changed or transformed into different states.

This is how you should understand how a human being can perceive their Lord–may He be exalted!–in a dream, even though He transcends any form or image, as well as how that perception of Him takes place and its limitations. And through this you may understand what has come down in the sound report (of the famous hadith) concerning the Creator’s “manifesting Himself (to souls at the Resurrection) in the most unlikely of forms among those in which they saw Him,” and concerning His “transformation into a form which they knew (before then),” after they had been denying Him and taking refuge from Him (in more agreeable forms of His manifestation).

Taking refuge from Him in more agreeable forms of His manifestation.

So you should know with which eye you are seeing Him! For I have already let you know that (the divine) Imagination is perceived either through itself–I mean through the eye of imagination–or through the (physical) vision. And which of those two is the sound one on which we should rely?! Regarding that we (wrote these verses): When my Beloved appears to me, with which eye do I see Him? With His eye, not with mine: for none sees Him but Him! (This is only) in accordance with the transcendence of His Station and confirming His Words, since He says: “The gazes do not perceive Him, [but He perceives the gazes…]” (6:103), and He did not specify any particular Abode (of this world or the next), but sent it as an Verse unrestricted (in its applicability) and as a definite, confirmed matter. For none other than Him perceives Him, so it is with His eye–may He be praised!–that I see Him, as in (the famous divine saying in) the sound hadith-report: “…I (God) was his gaze through which he sees.” So wake up, you who are asleep and heedless of all this, and pay attention! I have opened up for you a door to forms of awareness and inner knowing that thoughts can never reach, though intellects can come to accept them, either through special divine Providence or by “polishing hearts with dhikr and recitation (of the Qur’an).” Then the intellect accepts what the divine Self- manifestation (tajalli) gives it and knows that that (imaginal revelation) is beyond its own power with respect to its thinking, indeed that its thinking could never give it that. Therefore (that person) gives thanks to God–may He be exalted!–Who created their constitution (nash’a) so that it could receive things like that: this being the constitution of the (divine) Messengers and prophets and those among the saints who are the recipients of special divine Providence. This is so that (such a person) may know that their receptivity (to what is bestowed by God) is higher and more noble than their own thinking. So realize, o my brother, from now on Who it is that is manifesting Himself to you from behind this door (of the imagination)! For this is a prodigious matter, where even the innermost hearts become bewildered.

Even the innermost hearts become bewildered.

Dark City

In a world of darkness, controlled by time, images and roles shift and change in an ongoing nightmare as if part of a mad experiment. Everyone seems under the spell of sleep and forgetfulness, just vaguely remembering a distant memory of light and home, but unable to remember how to get back there. When the plan of darkness, attack thoughts and projection is finally uncovered and exposed, the upside-down world is turned right-side-up and bathed in the light of innocence—the present moment. There is no memory of a past. The games of fear and guilt are ended in the light of true love. In the light, Christ is recognized anew, as if for the very first time with no memory of the past.

John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he is wanted for a series of brutal murders. The problem is that he can’t remember whether he committed the murders or not. For one brief moment, he is convinced that he has gone completely mad. Murdoch seeks to unravel the twisted riddle of his identity. As he edges closer to solving the mystery, he stumbles upon a fiendish underworld controlled by a group of ominous beings collectively known as the Strangers.

Dark City Strangers

The Strangers bring Murdoch to their home beneath the city and force Dr. Schreber to imprint Murdoch with their collective memory, believing Murdoch to be the final result of their experiments. Schreber betrays them by inserting false memories in Murdoch which artificially reestablish his childhood as years spent training and honing his psychokinetic skills and learning about the Strangers and their machines. Murdoch awakens, fully realizing his skills, frees himself and battles with the Strangers, defeating their leader Mr. Book in a psychokinetic fight high above the city.

After learning from Dr. Schreber that Emma’s personality is gone and cannot be restored, Murdoch exercises his new-found powers, amplified by the Strangers’ machine, to create an actual Shell Beach by flooding the area within the force field with water and forming mountains and beaches. On his way to Shell Beach, Murdoch encounters Mr. Hand and informs him that the Strangers have been searching in the wrong place—the mind—to understand humanity. Murdoch turns the habitat toward the star it had been turned away from, and the city experiences sunlight for the first time.

He opens the door leading out of the city, and steps out to view the sunrise. Beyond him is a pier, where he finds the woman he knew as Emma, now with new memories and a new identity as Anna. Murdoch reintroduces himself as they walk to Shell Beach, beginning their relationship anew.

Shell Beach is back

Ibn Arabi The Horn of Light

Hence the imagination (as indicated in many familiar hadith) sees knowledge in the form of milk, or honey and wine and pearls; and it sees Islâm in the form a dome and pillars; and it sees the Qur’an in the form of butter and honey; and it sees Religion in the form of a bond; and it sees God (al-Haqq) in the form a human being and in the form of light…. As for this “horn” (of the Barzakh/Imagination) being made of “light” (according to the hadith mentioned above), that is because light is the immediate cause for (things) becoming unveiled and clearly appearing, since without light, vision would perceive nothing at all. So God made this Imagination as a “light” through which could be perceived the Bringing-into-form (taswîr) of every thing, whatever that might be, as we’ve already mentioned. His Light passes through the absolute nothingness so that He might shape it into the forms of being. Hence the Imagination is more deserving of the (divine) Name “the Light” (al-Nûr) than all the created things ordinarily described as “luminous,” since Its Light does not resemble the (created) lights and through It the divine Self-manifestations are perceived.

Reflections of Paradise above

And It (or ‘He’) is the Light of the eye of imagination, not the light of the eye of sensation. So understand this! For if you understand how (the divine) Imagination is Light, and you know in what way it is (always) correct, then you will have an advantage over those who don’t know that–the sort of person who says: “that is only a false imagination!” That is because such people have failed to understand the perception of the light of imagination which has been given them by God. This is just like their saying that our senses are also “mistaken” in some of their perceptions, when in fact their sense-perceptions are sound, while the judgment (regarding the meaning of those perceptions) belongs to something else, not to the senses themselves. It is the judgment that is false, not the sensation. Likewise the imagination perceives with its light whatever it perceives, without passing judgment. The judgment only belongs to something else, which is the intellect, so the error can’t be attributed to the imagination. Thus there never is any “false imagination” at all–indeed all of it is correct!

The deepest aspect of your being resides in the inseparable, formless dimension of Eternal Presence.

Excerpts from:

Inception and Ibn Arabi by

Oludamini Ogunnaike.

Divine “Imagination” and the Intermediate World: Ibn ‘Arabî on the Barzakh.

James W Morris


Higher Self

Posted in Ancient Religions, Archetypes, Avatar, Barzakh, Baudrillard, Cinema, Consciousness, Dante, Deleuze, Divine Comedy, Dreams, Dualism, Ferdinand de Sassure, Gnosticism, God, Ibn Arabi, Imagination, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Jacques Derrida, khayāl, Know Thyself, Light, Manichaeism, Mundus Imaginalis, Myth, Oneiromancy, Science Fitction, Symbols, The Subjective, Uncategorized, Watching Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments


Abelard and his Pupil Heloise (1882) by Edmund Blair Leighton


I would not want to give you cause for finding me disobedient in anything, so I have set the bridle of your injunction on the words which issue from my unbounded grief; thus in writing at least I may moderate what it is difficult or rather impossible to forestall in speech. For nothing is less under our control than our heart – having no power to command it we are forced to obey. And so when its impulses move us, none of us can stop their sudden promptings from easily breaking out, and even more easily overflowing into words which are the everready indications of the heart’s emotions: as it is written, ‘A man’s words are spoken from the overflowing of the heart.’ I will therefore hold my hand from writing words which I cannot restrain my tongue from speaking; would that a grieving heart would be as ready to obey as a writer’s hand!

Heloise on the Third Letter to Abelard.

‘Heloise and Abelard’ is one of history’s most passionate and romantic true love stories. The nine hundred year old love affair of the 12th century philosopher and theologian and his student Heloise continues to inspire and move us. Their passionate relationship scandalized the community in which they lived. The details of their physical and spiritual intimacy is also a cautionary tale for our time.

There are still societies whose policies result in rigid attitudes of intellectual, theological and sexual repression. This great love story, and the courage and passion of its protagonists, has much to teach us about our own understanding of religious tolerance, sexual equality and intellectual freedom.

Heloise and Abelard

Here is an admonitory tale screaming to us from across the centuries to reason, and to question, question, question!

In twelfth century Paris, the intellectually gifted young Heloise, the niece of Notre Dame’s Canon Fulbert, strives for knowledge, truth and the answer to the question of human existence. It soon becomes apparent that only one teacher in Paris can provide the education that she seeks. Though twenty years her senior, Abelard quickly becomes intrigued by Heloise’s uncommon wit and intelligence, for Heloise is on par intellectually with Abelard.

They soon find themselves so entwined that neither can resist the spiritual and physical desires of their bodies, yet they both know that the laws of the time forbid such a relationship. But their physical love and the strength of their passion proved to be a power impossible to resist.

When Heloise becomes pregnant, they realize it is not safe for her to remain in Paris. They flee for Brittany, Abelard’s place of birth. In a scheme to protect the dignity of his fallen niece, and return Heloise to his home, Canon Fulbert arranges a secret marriage between Heloise and Abelard. But shortly after the two lovers are wed, they discover Fulbert’s true plot is to ruin Abelard and keep Heloise for himself. For her safety, Heloise escapes to the convent at Argenteuil, but it is too late for Abelard and he is brutally attacked in Paris.

As a result of his humiliating punishment, Abelard no longer considers himself capable of continuing as a teacher at Notre Dame, and he and Heloise understand what they must do. Canon Bedell pleads with Abelard to not force such a fate upon Heloise, but both Heloise and Abelard agree that they must take Holy Orders as Monk and Nun. In a heartbreaking moment, Heloise must give up her child, knowing that she will never see him again.

Through their famous correspondence of twenty years, their love continues to flourish, in spite of their separation. After many years pass, in a chance meeting, Heloise and Abelard are briefly reunited at a ceremony in Paris. Though they have been physically apart all these years, at last in the sight of the other, the former lovers realize that the love they share is the reason for human existence. As the glorious ceremony begins, they triumphantly promise to remain “Forever One”.

They never met again, yet through their famous letters, their love endures.

“You know, beloved, as the whole world knows, how much I have lost in you, how at one wretched stroke of fortune that supreme act of flagrant treachery robbed me of my very self in robbing me of you; and how my sorrow for my loss is nothing compared with what I feel for the manner in which I lost you.”

Six hundred years later, it was Josephine Bonaparte, so moved by their story, the she ordered that the remains of Abelard and Heloise be entombed together at Pére Lachaise cemetery in Paris. To this day, lovers from all over the world visit the tomb where the remains of Heloise and Abelard rest eternally together.’

Abelard and Heloise monument in Pere Lachaise cemetery

Historica Calamitatum

Now the above story, it’s a simplified versions, somewhat sweetened of the real struggle, on a Men dominated society, common, not only to Heloise, but of injustice for  many women through the annals of History.

Heloise (1101-1164) was the niece and pride of Canon Fulbert. She was well-educated by her uncle in Paris. Abelard later writes in his autobiographical “Historica Calamitatum”: “Her uncle’s love for her was equaled only by his desire that she should have the best education which he could possibly procure for her. Of no mean beauty, she stood out above all by reason of her abundant knowledge of letters.”

John Marenbon, in his book on Abelard, has two chapters in which he deals with Heloise’s contribution to his ethics. The first of the two chapters is about dismissing claims that Heloise did not write her own letters. That, in itself, is telling. Take any woman philosopher who is not actually around to fight her ground, and chances are, someone will argue that she did not author her own work. Marenbon’s defense is spirited and convincing, but it does not go far towards building up an account of what Heloise might have had to contribute to the philosophy of her age. The second of the two chapters does a little better, as it claims that Abelard’s later account of Caritas as unconditional love of God was influenced by Heloise’s description of her love for Abelard. She, was, Marenbon said, a writer he had to take seriously, and this is reflected in his revisions of his own ethical thought.


‘Many commentators dealing with the question of Heloise’s tumultuous “inner life” as an abbess have focused primarily on Heloise’s refusal to relinquish her sexual desires for Abelard. In these cases, her desire has been construed as a form of subversion and transgression, thus relegating her to the position of the unruly female who must accept the “bridle of the [monastic] injunction.” Instead of being used as a heuristic for dialogue, it places the female subject into a position that must be controlled and subjugated. Rather than desire being an agent of actualization for the female subject, it shuts down avenues for negotiations of subjectivity. Furthermore, the inordinate focus on Heloise as a romantic heroine obscures the fact that she is also acutely anguished by the uncertainty of her heavenly reward. Despite claiming that she has done everything for the love of Abelard, Heloise still expresses her anxiety about her spiritual salvation. She believes that in her struggle against her own body and subjectivity, God will grant her a little “corner of heaven.” Thus, Heloise’s sudden redirection in the third letter should be approached for what it simply is, as a well-calculated rhetorical move on her part, for she knows that Abelard will not confront the question of her continued desire directly. Heloise starts afresh on another subject which she knows he would be more amenable to discuss, the management of the Oratory of the Paraclete. As such, though Heloise’s third letter to Abelard is submerged in mundane theological concerns, Robert Edwards argues that the third letter of Heloise continues an ongoing struggle and negotiation of and for desire. Desire here, however, is not only the overtly passionate eroticism that suffuses Heloise’s first two letters to Abelard, but desire in the broader sense, encompassing her own longing to attain intellectual communion with him. Prior to this letter, Heloise has already been sending a deluge of complaints to Abelard. She demands remuneration for the infinite debt he supposedly owes her; she pesters him to address her old perpetual complaint against God; she demands consolation for her emotional distress. In a sense, Heloise is seeking recognition from Abelard, asking him to realize that he has left her mired in their past, that he has forgotten about her after his castration. Abelard’s conversion is a continued source of anxiety and despair for Heloise, as she can no longer request the same sort of idealized engagement with him she so treasured from their past. Her dilemma arises from a desire explicitly forbidden by traditional monastic profession: a desire to let her past shape and influence her present and future religious life and a desire to construct a new order that would allow her to continue upholding her cherished notions of secular love.

Ancient Home of Heloise

And what a love it was. Until recently, we could read it directly only in eight letters discovered in the 13th century and composed long after the lovers’ entry into monastic life. The first, from Abelard, isn’t even directed to Heloise. Written for an unnamed monk, it’s what a medieval reader would have called a “letter of consolation,” meant to comfort a troubled friend by convincing him that your problems are greater than his. This early variant of schadenfreude, the so-called “Historia Calamitatum,” is how we learn of Abelard’s first arrival in Paris, of his growing renown as a teacher and his encounter with the well-educated young Heloise. Here too we learn of Abelard’s rash decision to move into her uncle Fulbert’s home and become her tutor, of their love and her pregnancy, of Fulbert’s rage, Abelard’s attempt to pacify him by proposing marriage and Heloise’s resistance — at least in part because of the damage it would do to her lover’s reputation. We learn that Abelard prevailed over his pupil, that the wedding was initially kept secret and that Fulbert ordered a terrible act of vengeance. Days after thugs broke into Abelard’s bedroom at night and castrated him, the newlyweds took vows of celibacy and repaired to their respective religious institutions.

The letters written after the “Historia Calamitatum” are the richest, containing the rash, ringing, reckless and altogether impious declarations of love for which Heloise will always be known. Here is a voice that refuses to stay in the Middle Ages; it reaches through the centuries and catches us at the throat. “Men call me chaste,” she writes. “They do not know the hypocrite I am.” Even during the celebration of Mass, she confesses, “lewd visions” of the pleasures she shared with Abelard “take such a hold upon my unhappy soul that my thoughts are on their wantonness instead of on prayers. I should be groaning over the sins I have committed, but I can only sigh for what I have lost.” She asserts the primacy of desire, boldly professing the amorous, sacrilegious motives that drove her into the convent: “It was not any sense of vocation which brought me as a young girl to accept the austerities of the cloister, but your bidding alone. . . . I can expect no reward for this from God, for it is certain that I have done nothing as yet for love of him. . . . I would have had no hesitation, God knows, in following you or going ahead at your bidding to the flames of hell.” Her bravado, her defiance, her ruthless honesty and her apotheosis of eros over morality are everywhere apparent — and still today they are shocking.

Heloise and Abelard at the Paraclete

Love is Heloise’s religion, even when she’s wrapped in the robes of a nun. And in the practice of this religion, she is as uncompromising as she is unconventional. For her, love has no business with the law or money or social safety nets. It is for this reason, more than any other, that she opposes Abelard’s desire to wed: “I never sought anything in you except yourself. . . . I looked for no marriage bond.” Indeed, she proclaims,”if Augustus, emperor of the whole world, saw fit to honor me with marriage and conferred all the earth on me to possess forever, it would be dearer and more honorable to me to be called not his empress, but your whore.”

The dust will not settle on such words. At once intrepid and idealistic, transgressive and submissive, taboo-busting and sweet-natured, noble and naughty, they have seduced scholars for centuries. This woman, this prioress, who was prepared to sacrifice not just earthly reputation but heavenly salvation for the sake of her secular love, is a literary original. Petrarch couldn’t read her without scribbling exclamations in the margins; the three letters to Abelard that have come down to us from her monastic confinement have sufficed to make her name as a writer.

Only recently — and miraculously — has a new cache of material turned up, fragments of 113 letters that many scholars believe Abelard and Heloise exchanged before Abelard’s castration. Copied in the 15th century by a monk named Johannes de Vespria, discovered in 1980 by Constant J. Mews and finally published as “The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard,” these short but eloquent missives present two people vying — with no coyness or gender typecasting whatever — to outdo each other in expressions of adoration. “To a reddening rose under the spotless whiteness of lilies,” the woman addresses the man. “To his jewel, more pleasing and more splendid than the present light,” the man addresses the woman. The letters have unleashed a new storm of interest in the couple; it is to this that we owe the British filmmaker James Burge’s biography, “Abelard and Heloise.”

Burge spends much time glossing the new correspondence — unfortunately, trivializing rather than illuminating it. “This sounds to modern ears like a promise of sex,” he tells us at one point, then rushes to explain: “The question of when exactly they first consummated their love awaits more assiduous scholarship.” Given that scholars are still arguing about Heloise’s birth date (she’s been put between 15 and 27 years of age at the time of her encounter with Abelard, who would have been in his late 30’s), you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for this golden factoid. But what’s really missing in Burge’s biography is an ear for the lyricism of his subjects’ correspondence, a feel for the mystery of their bond.


Antoine Audouard’s novel “Farewell, My Only One” doesn’t draw explicitly on the new letters, but it’s substantially truer to their spirit. It also has an ingenious narrative scheme: the story is told from the point of view of a wandering student, William, who falls in love with Heloise at the same time that he becomes Abelard’s disciple. When he has outlived both, at the end of the tale, we discover an even closer connection.

Audouard, a former director of the French publisher Laffont-Fixot, evokes in gritty and poetic detail the streets of 12th-century Paris (where the narrator tells us he “stumbled over a pig”). He’s also very good at conveying the process of infatuation: William falls for Heloise when she loses consciousness in a crowd: “I am not strong. I have never carried a woman,” he marvels. And yet he does, and even lunges after the flower that has fallen from her hair. “A few crushed petals” are all that remain, though, when he opens his “clenched fist” — a foretaste of what happens when we grasp what we love too firmly.

But Audouard spends too much time alone with William — building churches, cleaning grates, making friends — and we resent being taken away from the lovers. Then again, anyone writing about Abelard and Heloise must compete with their own eloquence. The early letters are so clear and beautiful they can be read alone, without anachronistic glossing or fictional superstructures. Like the later letters — recently reprinted in a volume edited by the British medievalist and Abelard biographer Michael Clanchy — they glow. Together they preserve the myth of a shining couple, persecuted by authority and hounded by circumstance but true to each other, ready for all sacrifice, passionate even to the grave.


It’s a potent myth and a necessary one — but it is a myth. The reality of Abelard and Heloise’s story may be no less moving, but it’s less than perfect. You could argue, first off, that their relationship was already on the decline by the time Abelard was castrated. And that Fulbert’s vengeance was taken because Abelard was insufficiently, rather than excessively, close to his niece. Heloise already lived in a convent at the time of Abelard’s mutilation — not as a nun, but nevertheless under the protection of the nuns. Ostensibly this was a tactic to preserve the secrecy of their marriage; to Fulbert, however, it may have suggested that Abelard was planning to get rid of his wife. Is this what it meant to her? The arrangement, in any case, was neither ideal nor particularly gallant, and Abelard’s visits were decreasing in frequency: “You sadden my spirit,” Heloise writes in the last of her early letters.

Is it possible that Fulbert’s crime saved rather than sank the lovers’ passion? That by turning Abelard into a romantic martyr at the very moment his interest was flagging, Fulbert reinvigorated Heloise’s loyalty and gave Abelard an excuse to ignore her without blame?

This is, in fact, what he did for the next 12 years. It wasn’t until Heloise had become abbess of her own convent and stumbled upon his “Historia Calamitatum” that she was able to draw Abelard back into communication with her. And even then religion had changed him; the passion and warmth of the early letters had fled.

Heloise and Abelard Letters

In the later letters, Abélard has become pious and self-centered. When Heloise entreats him to take pity on her loneliness, he sends her a set of prayers to say for him. When she serenades their love, he moans about the trouble he’s having with the other monks at his abbey. Never an easy man to get on with, he has made blood enemies of men whose well-being he is supposed to preserve: they are, he assures Heloise, relentlessly trying to poison him. Therefore the refrain, “Pray for me.”

It is Heloise’s tact and generosity that allow the dialogue to continue and even attain exemplary dimensions. Seeing that her beloved is no longer capable of the language of passion, she smothers her love song (“the loss,” as Burge states, “is history’s”) and addresses him on the only terms he still knows and values. Like the star student she once was, she begins to quiz him on every biblical, monastic and moral question she can think of. In doing so, she inspires much of the most valuable — and satisfying — work of Abelard’s life. Disdained by his own monks as well as by the Vatican (he was twice condemned for heresy), he found an enthusiastic audience in Heloise and her nuns. It is for Heloise that he undertakes what one scholar has called “the most substantial writings of the 12th century on women’s place in Christianity”; it is for Heloise that he writes countless sermons, hymns and disquisitions on spiritual themes. Heloise’s convent becomes, in some sense, the couple’s joint project, their spiritual child. Their cooperation struck onlookers as a dazzling example of friendship between a man and a woman.

Site of Heloise Paraclete

If Heloise didn’t get what she most wanted from Abelard, she got the very best he had to give. His reflections, his confidences and his final, all-important confession were addressed to her; his most urgent worldly plea was to be buried where she would be near him. Is their story a fraud because Abelard, as Mews has written, was “tagging along behind” Heloise in matters of the heart?

The love stories that touch us most deeply are punctuated by human frailty. Look at them up close and you see the fault lines, compromises and anticlimaxes. At the beginning of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo is just as intemperately in love with a girl called Rosaline as he is later with Juliet. Tristan and Isolde’s passion could well be the fruit of substance abuse, of a love potion they drank unknowingly. And Abélard and Heloise? They weren’t equally strong or passionate or generous. Still, they put their frailties together and begat a perfect myth, as well as something perhaps even more precious — a surprising, splendid, fractured reality. “There is a crack,” the Leonard Cohen lyric goes, “a crack in everything: that’s how the light gets in.”

A Light Comes Through

The Problemata Heloissae, And My Motivation

In all honesty my original intention was to focus on Heloise’s as:

Problemata Heloissae (The “Questions” of Heloise): Prefatory Letter, Heloise to Abelard.

The letter introduces 42 questions (the “Problemata”) that have arisen from the daily biblical readings Heloise and her nuns do. The questions involve issues of sin and judgment, intention versus action, law and punishment, damnation and repentance, as well as contradictions or odd references in the Bible. Heloise does not hesitate to draw an analogy between herself and Marcella, Jerome’s celebrated and very learned colleague and correspondent.

However I understood that focusing on such letters the main story would be lost and that it’s Heloise main love’s requital to Abelard, so the Theological letters would be of no interest to most readers anyway, the real story is told above.

Too much had been said about the couple to add new insights into their story, so I just put together from several sources what I thought would be interesting to the readers if unfamiliar with the story.

Also I would like to remind to our readers how different the times in the Middle Ages were compared to our contemporary values, Religion was, how we should say? No a fact of Life, but ‘the major fact of Life’ that took precedence over anything else.

Books Discussed in This Essay


SHARON JANE GO SHUA A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Arts and Letters of Georgetown University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in English

HELOISE AND ABELARD A New Biography. By James Burge. HarperSanFrancisco,

FAREWELL, MY ONLY ONE By Antoine Audouard. Translated by Euan Cameron. Houghton Mifflin,

ABELARD AND HELOISE By Constant J. Mews. Oxford University, cloth, $74; paper,

THE LETTERS OF ABELARD AND HELOISE Translated With an Introduction and Notes by Betty Radice. Revised by M. T. Clanchy. Penguin, paper,

THE LOST LETTERS OF HELOISE AND ABELARD Perceptions of Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France. By Constant J. Mews. With Translations by Neville Chiavaroli and Constant J. Mews. Palgrave Macmillan.

Cristina Nehring Eloise and Abelard: Love Hurts. writes regularly for The Atlantic. She is the author of the forthcoming “Women in Love From Simone de Beauvoir to Sylvia Plath: A Feminist Defense of Romance.”

Abelard and heloise pere lachaise



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Seating Seiza Style

Seiza (正座 or 正坐, literally “proper sitting”) is the Japanese term for one of the traditional formal ways of sitting in Japan.

Zanshin is a concept found in Zen, Budo (Japanese martial arts), particularly Kendo, and in many Japanese arts, such as Ikebana (flower arrangement), chado (the tea ceremony) and sumi-e (ink painting).

Mushin is the essence of Zen and Japanese martial arts. Mushin literally means the “mind without mind”, and it is commonly called “the state of no-mindedness”.

Fudoshin is the ‘immovable mind’, that is, the mind that has met all challenges of life, and has attained a state of complete composure and fearlessness. This state of equanimity is essential in the practice of Zazen and Budo.

Satori. As opposed to what many people think, Buddhist Enlightenment is not a special state of mind. It is simply a return to the original, natural condition of the human mind.



On Learning, Acquire VS Emptying Yourself

You want to be baffle, and challenged as a Westerner? All you got to do it’s try to learn the Eastern Ways!

Culturally  we are programmed differently, each specific country has its ways, particular to the idiosyncrasy of the place, we generally in the West have similar methods, with subtle variances due to the prevalent character in the country you may live, and now with Globalization, pretty much Teaching its being standardized all over, not only in the West, but on the East as well.

However I know for a fact, that True Teaching in the East will never change, and if it ever does, great loss will be the result.

On the West our culture relays on acquisition, you gain knowledge by studying, and reading books, a common problem in the West it’s the student the more aware he is, the more questions he have, nothing wrong with that, but usually he expects an answer from the Teacher, and it should be a rational answer which should satisfy his mind.

On the East the student is taught to listen, rather than to make questions, in general a student attitude it’s more passive, but only in appearance, the fact is he/she has to be more attentive, and try not to lose details, and mimic even if he has not fully understood what he is taught, now do not think the Teacher doesn’t know that, however he knows that by repetition, the student finally will get it, and not only intellectually but in practice, something sometimes lost on our education, where it’s common to graduate from school with a lot of theoretical knowledge, just to be confronted at work by the often heard phrase: ‘Well, someone must have taught you that way at school, but around here you do things our way!’

The way we do things here.

When a student at an Eastern Way Dojo the first thing I learned was to be quiet and do not raise my hand and make stupid questions, if I didn’t want to provoke the teacher’s anger. Now in our culture questioning constantly it’s an easy way to get answers, and save us the problem of figuring things by ourselves.

The Problem With Asking

Many times now day, I am confronted by what I consider silly questions, in our permissive society it’s alright to do silly questions, since there is not a thing as a silly question, to the one who doesn’t know, according to our lore, but my past experience makes me know it’s a cultural custom, and not a good one, but instead of answering what the student believe he is trying to figure out, I rather give an answer that address the whole problem, rather than the details, in other words try to go ahead and give the student what he really needs to know,  rather what he thinks he should learn. If you think this is arrogance, or wrong on my part, my question to you is: Well who is the Teacher here, if you know the answer why do you ask? But if you don’t, please pay attention to what I am saying, or you will lose, because what I am saying it’s more important than your question. Why bother to go to the one who has the answers, and try to impose on him the answers you want to hear? Some students make the habit of arguing with the Teacher, and we may consider that good. Well as I said it’s a cultural habit not necessarily a good one, like having an opinion on matters we don’t really know that well.

We even have a well known ugly saying for that: Everybody has an opinion as everybody has an …….!

In a way, culturally  we are predispose to make a question without giving it too much thought, and ask questions constantly, when if only you will pay attention properly,  or studying the subject at home, really would not be necessary, making a lot of question at class it’s no real substitute for serious reading, and practice.

I never got really good at Math, and now I realize why? First the subject never interested me, second if I didn’t understood, never made an effort to consult my book, or a fellow student who did, and third, I never really practiced  to master all those equations, what I did not learnt on the spot listening to the Teacher, didn’t care to make up for, consequently never got good grades on Math, I was a math slacker!

Asking questions the Proper Way

A Western Teacher Experience on the Value of Struggle

In 1979, when Jim Stigler was still a graduate student at the University of Michigan, he went to Japan to research teaching methods and found himself sitting in the back row of a crowded fourth-grade math class.

“The teacher was trying to teach the class how to draw three-dimensional cubes on paper,” Stigler explains, “and one kid was just totally having trouble with it. His cube looked all cockeyed, so the teacher said to him, ‘Why don’t you go put yours on the board?’ So right there I thought, ‘That’s interesting! He took the one who can’t do it and told him to go and put it on the board.’ “

Stigler knew that in American classrooms, it was usually the best kid in the class who was invited to the board. And so he watched with interest as the Japanese student dutifully came to the board and started drawing, but still couldn’t complete the cube. Every few minutes, the teacher would ask the rest of the class whether the kid had gotten it right, and the class would look up from their work, and shake their heads no. And as the period progressed, Stigler noticed that he — Stigler — was getting more and more anxious.

“I realized that I was sitting there starting to perspire,” he says, “because I was really empathizing with this kid. I thought, ‘This kid is going to break into tears!’ “


But the kid didn’t break into tears. Stigler says the child continued to draw his cube with equanimity. “And at the end of the class, he did make his cube look right! And the teacher said to the class, ‘How does that look, class?’ And they all looked up and said, ‘He did it!’ And they broke into applause.” The kid smiled a huge smile and sat down, clearly proud of himself.

Stigler is now a professor of psychology at UCLA who studies teaching and learning around the world, and he says it was this small experience that first got him thinking about how differently East and West approach the experience of intellectual struggle.

“I think that from very early ages we [in America] see struggle as an indicator that you’re just not very smart,” Stigler says. “It’s a sign of low ability — people who are smart don’t struggle, they just naturally get it, that’s our folk theory. Whereas in Asian cultures they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity.”

No janitors needed

In Eastern cultures, Stigler says, it’s just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle.

“They’ve taught them that suffering can be a good thing,” Stigler says. “I mean it sounds bad, but I think that’s what they’ve taught them.”

Granting that there is a lot of cultural diversity within East and West and it’s possible to point to counterexamples in each, Stigler still sums up the difference this way: For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in schoolchildren is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated but is often used to measure emotional strength.

It’s a small difference in approach that Stigler believes has some very big implications.



Stigler is not the first psychologist to notice the difference in how East and West approach the experience of intellectual struggle.

We on the West focus on being smart, clever, meanwhile in the East focus more on hard work, and the challenge of trying to go beyond our limitations, in other words, the teaching resembles more a Dojo attitude like in Martial Arts, you go there to train hard, despite your lack of ability, or skills, hard effort, constant practice makes the miracle of achieving good technique, the habit of practice and hard work it’s imbued on you, like a second nature, and you learn that if there is no pain, there is no gain.

This in turn build confidence, and self assurance, and what’s more teach you the valuable lesson that constant struggle it’s the key to success.

Ironically, my general experience was that; the more natural skills the student had the less persevering he seemed to be, some quitting and giving up the practice, moving to other things, those who lacked natural abilities, but went on fighting their clumsiness, persevering without giving up went to achieve a remarkable transformation, and a formidable inner strength, lacking on those who left.


In the West we have the Armed forces, who rely on hard struggle and practice to achieve it’s goals, however our general perception it is:

‘Yes, the military is only for losers and garbage people. The people that join are too stupid to succeed anywhere else. Many people go on with their lives after high school to make 6 and 7 digit salaries while most of those in the service could not even succeed at selling Amway or generic perfume in parking lots! The military, like prison is nothing more than a dumpster for incompetent and non-motivated people. The military is nothing more than a government run day care center and it’s so called benefits are no different than welfare.’

It may be some truth that the people with less resources, and education go into the armed forces to try to find a chance in life, but the discipline and habits acquired there are important for success in life, as to why some of them end as losers, there may be other factors as well, but one of them may be in the fact they never got a proper education, when they went through school before joining the armed forces.

And I am not an apologist for the military, in fact care little for the use our country does with it, to defend the country it’s one thing, invading poor, far off places to do profit for the few, a total different matter.

However, I know the value of discipline, and struggle. This bring the idea for a further post on discipleship, and the value of an education under a qualified Spiritual Master, or guide, where constant struggle, hardship and perseverance are a given.

Seating in Meditation

Posted in Buddhism, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Eastern Ways Vs Western Ways, Education, Holistic View, Human Nature, Learning, Philosophy, Social Criticism, Teaching, True Teaching, Uncategorized, Zen | Tagged , , , , , , | 28 Comments


Visions From A Not So Far Future

“As for you, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full,
Make merry day and night.
Of each day make a feast of rejoicing.
Day and night dance and play!
Let your garments be sparkling fresh,
Your head be washed; bathe in water.
Pay heed to a little one that holds on to your hand,
Let a spouse delight in your bosom.

These things are alone the concern of men.”

Siduri the Barmaid to Gilgamesh.

Which may represent the first recorded advocacy of a hedonistic philosophy.

The Epic of Gilgamesh Tablet X

Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure and happiness are the primary or most important intrinsic goods and the proper aim of human life. A hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain), but when having finally gained that pleasure, either through intrinsic or extrinsic goods, happiness remains stationary.

Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every person’s pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good.

Hedonism is a sub-philosophy of utilitarianism, which says to act in a way that maximizes utility. Hedonists equate pleasure with utility and believe that pleasure is the master of all humankind, and acts as the ultimate life goal. Hedonists believe that there are only two motivators of human action, pleasure and pain, and that decisions should only be made that further our pleasurable experiences and minimize or completely eliminate our painful ones.


David Pearce

David Pearce is co-founder of Humanity, formerly the World Transhumanist Association, and a prominent figure within the transhumanism movement.

Based in Brighton, England, Pearce maintains a series of websites devoted to transhumanist topics and what he calls the “hedonistic imperative”, a moral obligation to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto, The Hedonistic Imperative(1995), outlines how pharmacology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and neurosurgery could converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience from human and non-human life, replacing suffering with “gradients of bliss”. Pearce calls this the “abolitionist project”.

A vegan, Pearce argues that humans have a responsibility not only to avoid cruelty to animal within human society but also to redesign the global ecosystem so that animals do not suffer in the wild.


Hedonistic Transhumanism Manifesto

This manifesto outlines a strategy to eradicate suffering in all sentient life. The abolitionist project is ambitious, implausible, but technically feasible. It is defended here on ethical utilitarian grounds. Genetic engineering and nanotechnology allow Homo sapiens to discard the legacy-wetware of our evolutionary past. Our post-human successors will rewrite the vertebrate genome, redesign the global ecosystem, and abolish suffering throughout the living world.

        Why does suffering exist? The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved only because they served the inclusive fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. Their ugliness can be replaced by a new motivational system based entirely on gradients of well-being. Life-long happiness of an intensity now physiologically unimaginable can become the heritable norm of mental health. A sketch is offered of when, and why, this major evolutionary transition in the history of life is likely to occur. Possible objections, both practical and moral, are raised and then rebutted.

Utopia may be closer than you think

        Contemporary images of opiate-addled junkies, and the lever-pressing frenzies of intra-cranially self-stimulating rats, are deceptive. Such stereotypes stigmatize, and falsely discredit, the only remedy for the world’s horrors and everyday discontents that is biologically realistic. For it is misleading to contrast social and intellectual development with perpetual happiness. There need be no such trade-off. Thus states of “dopamine-overdrive” can actually enhance exploratory and goal-directed activity. Hyper-dopaminergic states can also increase the range and diversity of actions an organism finds rewarding. Our descendants may live in a civilization of serenely well-motivated “high-achievers”, animated by gradients of bliss. Their productivity may far eclipse our own.

        Two hundred years ago, before the development of potent synthetic pain-killers or surgical anesthetics, the notion that “physical” pain could be banished from most people’s lives would have seemed no less bizarre. Most of us in the developed world now take its daily absence for granted. The prospect that what we describe as “mental” pain, too, could one day be superseded is equally counter-intuitive. The technical option of its abolition turns its deliberate retention into an issue of political policy and ethical choice.

The Way to Heaven


Pearce’s ideas inspired an abolitionist school of transhumanism, or “hedonistic transhumanism”, based on his idea of “paradise engineering” and his argument that the abolition of suffering—which he calls the “abolitionist project”—is a moral imperative.

Transhumanism(abbreviated as H+ orh+) is an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.

Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human as well as ethical limitations of using such technologies. The most common transhumanist thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the natural condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.

Post Human Beings

The contemporary meaning of the term “transhumanism” was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology, FM-2030, who taught “new concepts of the human” at The New School in the 1960s, when he began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and worldviews “transitional” to posthumanity as “transhuman”. The assertion would lay the intellectual groundwork for the British philosopher Max More to begin articulating the principles of transhumanism as a futurist philosophy in 1990 and organizing in California an intelligentsia that has since grown into the worldwide transhumanist movement.

Influenced by seminal works of science fiction, the transhumanist vision of a transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters and detractors from a wide range of perspectives, including philosophy and religion. Transhumanism has been characterized by one critic, Francis Fukuyama, as among the “world’s most dangerous ideas”, to which Ronald Bailey has countered that it is rather the “movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative and idealistic aspirations of humanity”


The How

Here are three scenarios in ascending order of sociological plausibility:

a) wireheading
b) Utopian designer drugs
c) genetic engineering
and – what I want to focus on – the impending reproductive revolution of designer babies

a) Recall wireheading is direct stimulation of the pleasure centres of the brain via implanted electrodes. Intracranial self-stimulation shows no physiological or subjective tolerance i.e. it’s just as rewarding after two days as it is after two minutes. Wireheading doesn’t harm others; it has a small ecological footprint; it banishes psychological and physical pain; and arguably it’s a lot less offensive to human dignity than having sex. Admittedly, lifelong wireheading sounds an appealing prospect only to a handful of severe depressives. But what are the technical arguments against its adoption?

Well, wireheading is not an evolutionary stable solution: there would be selection pressure against its widespread adoption. Wireheading doesn’t promote nurturing behavior: wireheads, whether human or non-human, don’t want to raise baby wireheads. Uniform, indiscriminate bliss in the guise of wireheading or its equivalents would effectively bring the human experiment to an end, at least if it were adopted globally. Direct neurostimulation of the reward centers destroys informational sensitivity to environmental stimuli. So assuming we want to be smart – and become smarter – we have a choice. Intelligent agents can have a motivational structure based on gradients of ill-being, characteristic of some lifelong depressives today. Or intelligent agents can have our current typical mixture of pleasures and pains. Or alternatively, we could have an informational economy of mind based entirely on [adaptive] gradients of cerebral bliss – which I’m going to argue for.

Cerebral Bliss

Actually, this dismissal of wireheading may be too quick. In the far future, one can’t rule out offloading everything unpleasant or mundane onto inorganic supercomputers, prostheses and robots while we enjoy uniform orgasmic bliss. Or maybe not orgasmic bliss, possibly some other family of ideal states that simply couldn’t be improved upon. But that’s speculative. Whatever our ultimate destination, it would be more prudent, I think, to aim for both super happiness and super intelligence – at least until we understand the full implications of what we are doing. There isn’t a moral urgency to maximizing super happiness in the same way as there is to abolishing suffering.

[It’s worth noting that the offloading option assumes that inorganic computers, prostheses and robots don’t – or at least needn’t – experience subjective phenomenal pain even if their functional architecture allows them to avoid and respond to noxious stimuli. This absence of inorganic suffering is relatively uncontroversial with existing computers – switching off one’s PC doesn’t have ethical implications, and a silicon robot can be programmed to avoid corrosive acids without experiencing agony if it’s damaged. It’s debatable whether any computational system with a classical von Neumann architecture will ever be interestingly conscious. I’m skeptical; but either way, it doesn’t affect the offloading option, unless one argues that the subjective texture of suffering is functionally essential to any system capable of avoiding harmful stimuli.]

Transhumanist Wireheading

b) The second technical option for eradicating suffering is futuristic designer drugs. In an era of mature post-genomic medicine, will it be possible rationally to design truly ideal pleasure-drugs that deliver lifelong, high-functioning well-being without unacceptable side-effects? “Ideal pleasure drugs” here is just a piece of shorthand. Such drugs can in principle embrace cerebral, empathetic, aesthetic and perhaps spiritual well-being – and not just hedonistic pleasure in the usual one-dimensional and amoral sense.


We’re not talking here about recreational euphoriants, which simply activate the negative feedback mechanisms of the brain; nor the shallow, opiated contentment of a Brave New World; nor drugs that induce euphoric mania, with its uncontrolled excitement, loss of critical insight, grandiosity and flight of ideas. Can we develop true wonder drugs that deliver sublime well-being on a sustainable basis, re calibrating the hedonic treadmill to ensure a high quality of life for everyone?


A lot of people recoil from the word “drugs” – which is understandable given today’s noxious street drugs and their uninspiring medical counterparts. Yet even academics and intellectuals in our society typically take the prototypical dumb drug, ethyl alcohol. If it’s socially acceptable to take a drug that makes you temporarily happy and stupid, then why not rationally design drugs to make people perpetually happier and smarter? Presumably, in order to limit abuse-potential, one would want any ideal pleasure drug to be akin – in one limited but important sense – to nicotine, where the smoker’s brain finely calibrates its optimal level: there is no uncontrolled dose-escalation.

There are of course all kinds of pitfalls to drug-based solutions. Technically, I think these pitfalls can be overcome, though I won’t try to show this here. But there is a deeper issue. If there weren’t something fundamentally wrong – or at least fundamentally inadequate – with our existing natural state of consciousness bequeathed by evolution, then we wouldn’t be so keen to change it. Even when it’s not unpleasant, everyday consciousness is mediocre compared to what we call peak experiences. Ordinary everyday consciousness was presumably adaptive in the sense it helped our genes leave more copies of themselves on the African Savannah; but why keep it as our default-state indefinitely? Why not change human nature by literally repairing our genetic code?

Again, this dismissal of pharmacological solutions may be too quick. Arguably, Utopian designer drugs may always be useful for the fine-grained and readily reversible control of consciousness; and I think designer drugs will be an indispensable tool to explore the disparate varieties of conscious mind. But wouldn’t it be better if we were all born with a genetic predisposition to psychological super-health rather than needing chronic self-medication? Does even the most ardent abolitionist propose to give cocktails of drugs to all children from birth; and then to take such drug cocktails for the rest of our lives?

Drugs of the Future

c) So thirdly, there are genetic solutions, embracing both somatic and germ line therapy.


By way of context, today there is a minority of people who are always depressed or dysthymic, albeit to varying degrees. Studies with mono- and dizygotic twins confirm there is a high degree of genetic loading for depression. Conversely, there are some people who are temperamentally optimistic. Beyond the optimists, there is a very small minority of people who are what psychiatrists call hyperthymic. Hyperthymic people aren’t manic or bipolar; but by contemporary standards, they are always exceedingly happy, albeit sometimes happier than others. Hyperthymic people respond “appropriately” and adaptively to their environment. Indeed they are characteristically energetic, productive and creative. Even when they are blissful, they aren’t “blissed out”.

Now what if, as a whole civilization, we were to opt to become genetically hyperthymic – to adopt a motivational system driven entirely by adaptive gradients of well-being? More radically, as the genetic basis of hedonic tone is understood, might we opt to add multiple extra copies of hyperthymia-promoting genes/allelic combinations and their regulatory promoters – not abolishing homeostasis and the hedonic treadmill but shifting our hedonic set-point to a vastly higher level?

Building a New Humanity

Three points here:First, this genetic re-calibration might seem to be endorsing another kind of uniformity; but it’s worth recalling that happier people – and especially hyperdopaminergic people – are typically responsive to a broader range of potentially rewarding stimuli than depressives: they engage in more exploratory behavior. This makes getting stuck in a sub-optimal rut less likely, both for the enhanced individual and posthuman society as a whole.

Secondly, universal hyperthymia might sound like a gigantic experiment; and in a sense of course it is. But all sexual reproduction is an experiment. We play genetic roulette, shuffling our genes and then throwing the genetic dice. Most of us flinch at the word “eugenics”; but that’s what we’re effectively practicing, crudely and incompetently, when we choose our prospective mates. The difference is that within the next few decades, prospective parents will be able to act progressively more rationally and responsibly in their reproductive decisions. Pre-implantation genetic screening is going to become routine; artificial wombs will release us from the constraints of the human birth-canal; and a revolution in reproductive medicine will begin to replace the old Darwinian lottery. The question is not whether a reproductive revolution is coming, but rather what kinds of being – and what kinds of consciousness – do we want to create?

Thirdly, isn’t this reproductive revolution going to be the prerogative of rich elites in the West? Probably not for long. Compare the brief lag between the introduction of, say, mobile phones and their world-wide adoption with the 50 year time-lag between the introduction and world-wide adoption of radio; and the 20 year lag between the introduction and world-wide penetration of television. The time-lag between the initial introduction and global acceptance of new technologies is shrinking rapidly. So of course is the price.


Anyway, one of the advantages of genetically re-calibrating the hedonic treadmill rather than abolishing it altogether, at least for the foreseeable future, is that the functional analogues of pain, anxiety, guilt and even depression can be preserved without their nasty raw feels as we understand them today. We can retain the functional analogues of discontent – arguably the motor of progress – and retain the discernment and critical insight lacking in the euphorically manic. Even if hedonic tone is massively enhanced, and even if our reward centers are physically and functionally amplified, then it’s still possible in principle to conserve much of our existing preference architecture. If you prefer Mozart to Beethoven, or philosophy to pushpin, then you can still retain this preference ranking even if your hedonic tone is hugely enriched.

Now personally, I think it would be better if our preference architecture were radically changed, and we pursued [please pardon the jargon] a “re-encephalisation of emotion”. Evolution via natural selection has left us strongly predisposed to form all manner of dysfunctional preferences that harm both ourselves and others for the benefit of our genes. Recall Genghis Khan: “The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters.”


Now I’m told academia isn’t quite that bad, but even university life has its forms of urbane savagery – its competitive status-seeking and alpha-male dominance rituals: a zero-sum game with many losers. Too many of our preferences reflect nasty behaviors and states of mind that were genetically adaptive in the ancestral environment. Instead, wouldn’t it be better if we rewrote our own corrupt code? I’ve focused here on genetically enhancing hedonic tone. Yet mastery of the biology of emotion means that we’ll be able, for instance, to enlarge our capacity for empathy, functionally amplifying mirror neurons and engineering a sustained increase in oxytocin-release to promote trust and sociability. Likewise, we can identify the molecular signatures of, say, spirituality, our aesthetic sense, or our sense of humor – and modulate and “over-express” their psychological machinery too. From an information-theoretic perspective, what is critical to an adaptive, flexible, intelligent response to the world is not our absolute point on a hedonic scale but that we are informationally sensitive to differences. Indeed information theorists sometimes simply define information as a “difference that makes a difference”.

However, to stress again, this re-encephalisation of emotion is optional. It’s technically feasible to engineer the well-being of all sentience and retain most but not all of our existing preference architecture. The three technical options for abolishing suffering presented here – wireheading, designer drugs and genetic engineering – aren’t mutually exclusive. Are they exhaustive? I don’t know of any other viable options. Some transhumanists believe we could one day all be scanned, digitized and uploaded into inorganic computers and reprogrammed. Well, perhaps, I’m skeptical; but in any case, this proposal doesn’t solve the suffering of existing organic life unless we embrace so-called destructive uploading – a holocaust option I’m not even going to consider here.



Assume that within the next few centuries we will acquire these Godlike powers over our emotions. Assume, too, that the signalling function of unpleasant experience can be replaced – either through the re-calibration argued for here, or through the offloading of everything unpleasant or routine to inorganic prostheses, bionic implants or inorganic computers – or perhaps through outright elimination in the case of something like jealousy. Why should we all be abolitionists?

If one is a classical utilitarian, then the abolitionist project follows: it’s Bentham plus biotechnology. One doesn’t have to be a classical utilitarian to endorse the abolition of suffering; but all classical utilitarians should embrace the abolitionist project. Bentham championed social and legislative reform, which is great as far as it goes; but he was working before the era of biotechnology and genetic medicine.

If one is a scientifically enlightened Buddhist, then the abolitionist project follows too. Buddhists, uniquely among the world’s religions, focus on the primacy of suffering in the living world. Buddhists may think that the Noble Eight fold Path offers a surer route to Nirvana than genetic engineering; but it’s hard for a Buddhist to argue in principle against biotech if it works. Buddhists focus on relieving suffering via the extinction of desire; yet it’s worth noting this extinction is technically optional, and might arguably lead to a stagnant society. Instead it’s possible both to abolish suffering and continue to have all manner of desires.

All kind of Wonders

Persuading followers of Islam and the Judaeo-Christian tradition is more of a challenge. But believers claim – despite anomalies in the empirical evidence – that Allah/God is infinitely compassionate and merciful. So if mere mortals can envisage the well-being of all sentience, it would seem blasphemous to claim that God is more limited in the scope of His benevolence.

Most contemporary philosophers aren’t classical utilitarians or Buddhists or theists. Why should, say, an ethical pluralist take the abolitionist project seriously?


Here I want to take as my text Shakespeare’s


“For there was never yet philosopher That could endure the toothache patiently.


[Much Ado About Nothing, Scene Five, Act One (Leonato speaking)]

When one is gripped by excruciating physical pain, one is always shocked at just how frightful it can be.



It’s tempting to suppose that purely “psychological” pain – loneliness, rejection, existential angst, grief, anxiety, depression – can’t be as atrocious as extreme physical pain; yet the reason over 800,000 people in the world take their own lives every year is mainly psychological distress. It’s not that other things – great art, friendship, social justice, a sense of humor, cultivating excellence of character, academic scholarship, etc – aren’t valuable; but rather when intense physical or psychological distress intrudes – either in one’s own life or that of a loved one – we recognize that this intense pain has immediate priority and urgency. If you are in agony after catching your hand in the door, then you’d give short shrift to someone who urged you to remember the finer things in life. If you’re distraught after an unhappy love affair, then you don’t want to be tactlessly reminded it’s a beautiful day outside.

OK, while it lasts, extreme pain or psychological distress has an urgency and priority that overrides the rest of one’s life projects; but so what? When the misery passes, why not just get on with one’s life as before?

Godlike Powers


Well, natural science aspires to “a view from nowhere”, a notional God’s-eye view. Physics tells us that no here-and-now is privileged over any other; all are equally real. Science and technology are shortly going to give us Godlike powers over the entire living world to match this Godlike perspective. I argue that so long as there is any sentient being who is undergoing suffering similar to our distress, that suffering should be tackled with the same priority and urgency as if it were one’s own pain or the pain of a loved one. With power comes complicity. Godlike powers carry godlike responsibilities. Thus the existence of suffering 200 years ago, for instance, may indeed have been terrible; but it’s not clear that such suffering can sensibly be called “immoral” – because there wasn’t much that could be done about it. But thanks to biotechnology, now there is – or shortly will be. Over the next few centuries, suffering of any kind is going to become optional.


If you’re not a classical ethical utilitarian, the advantage of re-calibrating the hedonic treadmill rather than simply seeking to maximize super-happiness is that you are retaining at least a recognizable descendant of our existing preference architecture. Re-calibration of the hedonic treadmill can be made consistent with your existing value scheme. Hence even the ill-named “preference utilitarian” can be accommodated. Indeed control over the emotions means that you can pursue your existing life projects more effectively.


And what about the alleged character-building function of suffering? “That which does not crush me makes me stronger”, said Nietzsche. This worry seems misplaced. Other things being equal, enhancing hedonic tone strengthens motivation – it makes us psychologically more robust. By contrast, prolonged low mood leads to a syndrome of learned helplessness and behavioral despair.

Friedrich Nietzsche

I haven’t explicitly addressed the value nihilist – the subjectivist or ethical skeptic who says all values are simply matters of opinion, and that one can’t logically derive an “ought” from an “is”.


Well, let’s say I find myself in agony because my hand is on a hot stove. That agony is intrinsically motivating, even if my conviction that I ought to withdraw my hand doesn’t follow the formal canons of logical inference.


If one takes the scientific world-picture seriously, then there is nothing ontologically special or privileged about here-and-now or me – the egocentric illusion is a trick of perspective engineered by selfish DNA.


If it’s wrong for me to be in agony, then it is wrong for anyone, anywhere.

An Immortal Machine


OK, it’s technically feasible. A world without suffering would be wonderful; and full-blown paradise-engineering even better. But again, so what? It’s technically feasible to build a thousand-metre cube of cheddar cheese. Why is a pain-free world going to happen? Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking. Perhaps we’ll opt to retain the biology of suffering indefinitely.

The counterargument here is that whether or not one is sympathetic to the abolitionist project, we are heading for a reproductive revolution of designer babies. Prospective parents are soon going to be choosing the characteristics of their future children. We’re on the eve of the Post-Darwinian Transition, not in the sense that selection pressure will be any less severe, but evolution will no longer be “blind” and “random”: there will no longer be natural selection but unnatural selection. We will be choosing the genetic makeup of our future offspring, selecting and designing alleles and allelic combinations in anticipation of their consequences. There will be selection pressure against nastier alleles and allelic combinations that were adaptive in the ancestral environment.

Genetic designed children

Unfortunately, this isn’t a rigorous argument, but imagine you are choosing the genetic dial-settings for mood – the hedonic set-point – of your future children. What settings would you pick? You might not want gradients of lifelong super-happiness, but the overwhelming bulk of parents will surely want to choose happy children. For a start, they are more fun to raise. Most parents across most cultures say, I think sincerely, that they want their children to be happy. One may be skeptical of parents who say happiness is the only thing they care about for their kids – many parents are highly ambitious. But other things being equal, happiness signals success – possibly the ultimate evolutionary origin of why we value the happiness of our children as well as our own.

Of course the parental choice argument isn’t decisive. Not least, it’s unclear how many more generations of free reproductive choices lie ahead before radical anti-aging technologies force a progressively tighter collective control over our reproductive decisions – since a swelling population of ageless quasi-immortals can’t multiply indefinitely in finite physical space. But even if centralized control of reproductive decisions becomes the norm, and procreation itself becomes rare, the selection pressure against primitive Darwinian genotypes will presumably be intense. Thus it’s hard to envisage what future social formations would really allow the premeditated creation of any predisposition to depressive or anxiety disorders – or even the “normal” pathologies of unenhanced consciousness.


Posted in A Brave New World, Consciousness, Future, Genetics, Hedonism, Historical Evolution, Philosophy, Project Utopia, Science Fitction, Transhumanism, Transmutation, Uncategorized, Utopia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments


Masaki Kobayashi Seppuku

“If a warrior is not unattached to life and death, he will be of no use whatsoever. The saying that “All abilities come from one mind” sounds as though it has to do with sentient matters, but it is in fact a matter of being unattached to life and death. With such non-attachment one can accomplish any feat.”

“Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.”

“Bushido is realized in the presence of death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. There is no other reasoning.”


― Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure.



My Interest on Japanese Cinema

If you read one of my previous post you know about my Love Affair with Cinema (Jan 2017) as a child, and a young man, not that I ever stop of loving movies, but you could say, I have not the time now to waste, as I did as a young man,  looking at movies, that unfortunately, sad to say, most of them are a waste of time, mass produced, poor in plot, and most of the time mindless entertainment, despite the great amount of money now day cost producing a movie,  save few honorable exceptions of course.

From very early in my life I was impressed with Japanese cinema by the portrayal of fearless, skillful with a sword, and honorable Samurais, willing to give their life away for loyalty, and their high moral sense of duty.

How not to be impressed  by these stoic warriors, heroes of the past, at such tender, and idealistic age?

Not to say the movies were superbly crafted, and carried by a vision different from let’s say a bunch of wild, and rogue, cowboys, and bank robbers, in a saloon brawl, exciting as it may be, but stories devoid of idealism, and selflessness, characteristic of Samurai’s Bushido code movies, as we used to call them, how can we  forget the Judo Saga 1965 by Seiichiiro Uchikawa, first made by Kurosawa in 1943 the story of Sanchiro Sugata but not available until much later (1974), or Hiroshi Inagaki’s superb Samurai Trilogy 1954-1956, and his Chushingura Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki. 1962. just to mention some of the few most memorable Japanese movies I recollect, as  writing this,  from the many I saw.

Graves of the Forty-seven Ronin at Sengaku-ji

Masaki Kobayashi

There is many Japanese movies I watched worth writing about it, however for today I will talk about Masaki Kobayashi who impressed my young mind by some great movies he made, and now looking back for his great social vision somehow overlooked in the West, by our lack of sympathy rampant at the time, with a fear of communism, fresh out of Senator McCarthy reign of terror, McCarthyism was a widespread social and cultural phenomenon that affected all levels of society and was the source of a great deal of debate and conflict in the United States, Kobayashi despite the prices, and nominations he won, is work now days lay forgotten, but for a few cognoscenti of this great director.

Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹 Kobayashi Masaki?, February 14, 1916 – October 4, 1996) was a Japanese film director, best known for the epic trilogy The Human Condition (1959–1961), the samurai film Seppuku (1962), Ghost Stories (1964). And Samurai rebellion (1967)

An art history student, Kobayashi decided to take up film making when the Pacific war broke out, convinced that cinema was a more urgent medium for a time of crisis. Mere months after securing an apprenticeship at the Shochiku studio, he was conscripted into the Japanese Army in Manchuria, where, as an act of resistance, he refused to rise above the rank of private. He was eventually interned at a prisoner-of-war camp in Okinawa.

Kobayashi’s experiences in that war, which he called “the culmination of human evil,” directly inspired his grueling magnum opus “The Human Condition” (1959-61), a three-part, 9 1/2-hour epic about a principled soldier who decries but becomes implicated in his country’s militarist aggression. Now known principally for “The Human Condition” and such later period films as “Harakiri” (1963), Kobayashi was a clear-eyed social critic from early in his career.

Masaki Kobayashi

A Rebel, And a Critic

Masaki Kobayashi’s career started during, and through Golden Age of Japanese cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, and all the way to the mid 1980s . Kobayashi has been largely forgotten but for a few cinema lovers around the World, even in  Japan interest in his work is much lower than it is for the films of his contemporaries, such as Akira Kurosawa. Despite the fact that some of his films such as the war trilogy Ningen no jōken (The Human Condition, 1959-1961) and Seppuku (Harakiri, 1962) had won international critical acclaim,1 the centenary of his birth in February 2016 passed almost unnoticed in the Western media. The reason for this unpardonable oversight by film goers, and critics alike, it’s easy to understand, some, or I should say many may find his movies, dark, and depressing, others may feel uncomfortable about his political views, and too critical for its day,  from a time like the early fifties, specially in Japan, you basically conformed to the establishment of the day, or you were not even be able to work, or even to speak your mind, without risking retribution, and boycott,  to Kobayashi’s credit not only he created great cinematography, but condemn Japan Imperial war past, and the uncritical  authority from the ruler class of medieval Japan, over their serfs, that didn’t Historically ended, until quite recently, and even today not quite totally extinct in modern Japan, the Daimyo (Lord), now day supplanted by the Company boss.



Andrea Grunert on Kobayashi

“Kobayashi’s politically and ethically uncompromising and economically risk-taking attitude put him in conflict with the studios he worked with, Shōchiku and Toho: this might explain the fact that he made only 22 films. Moreover, his critical view of militarism in Japanese history and the entanglement of politics and the economy in Japanese society are topics that are not attractive to young Japanese people. However, they are still burning issues in Japan and in the modern world, more meaningful than ever before. The Human Condition is not only a landmark film putting a harsh light on Japanese imperialism during World War II, it is a remarkable and universal statement against war. Harakiri, Kwaidan (1964), Jōi-uchi: Hairyō-tsuma shimatsu (Samurai Rebellion, 1967) or Inochi bō no furō (Inn of Evil, 1971) – all bearing the director’s unique signature – reveal the complex interplay between content and form, morality and aesthetics. They show in a most original way how traditional forms can be used as a tool for political criticism and ethical reflection.

Nakadai in The Human Condition

Kobayashi was one of the finest depicters of Japanese society in the 1950s and 1960s, and explored the war and post-war situation by addressing controversial topics such as corruption, economic exploitation and the denial of war atrocities. The Human Condition was such a great international success in the 1960s that a remake was produced for television in 1963 directed by Takeshi Abe. It is not the film’s harsh and uncompromising realism which makes it outstanding, but its approach to Japan’s imperialist policy. As film critic Setogawa Sōta pointed out, it “was the first Japanese film that frankly depicted ‘Japanese devils’ in China in great detail.”3Kobayashi dared to criticize openly Japanese militarism and to show the brutality of the Japanese occupation policy in China. His humanist message is close to Kurosawa’s, but his political attitude and his interest in aspects that concern Japanese society are more clearly expressed than in the work of most of his contemporaries. Not unlike Kurosawa, he was a risk-taking filmmaker who was interested in challenging formal aspects and rejected compromise, an attitude which made his position more and more insecure in the 1970s when Japanese film industry experienced a period of drought. His last film – Shokutaku no nai ie (Family Without a Dinner Table aka The Empty Table) – was released in 1985, twelve years before his death. However, his anti-violence stance and his personal style with its combination of aesthetics, historical research and emotions are as vibrant as ever.”


The Human Condition

Trilogy made between 1959 and 1961, based on the six-volume novel published from 1956 to 1958 by Junpei Gomikawa. It was directed by Masaki Kobayashi and stars Tatsuya Nakadai. The trilogy follows the life of Kaji, a Japanese pacifist and socialist, as he tries to survive in the totalitarian and oppressive world of World War II-era Japan. Altogether, as a single film it is 9 hours, 47 minutes long, not including intermissions, making it one of the longest fiction films ever made.

Many years later still impressed by the movies, tried to read Junpei Gomokawa books, I couldn’t find them in English, despite the novels being a great success in Japan, I ignore if the novel was ever translated, this in itself speaks volumes as in to what regard we are interested in America in to anything but ourselves.

The Human Condition sits closest to Kon Ichikawa’s contemporaneous, equally unforgettable and urgent firecracker. Ichikawa’s film was based on Shôhei Ôoka’s 1951 novel, Kobayashi’s upon Junpei Gumikawa’s six-volume bestseller of 1958. The source novels derive much of their force from their authors’ haunting experiences as soldiers and prisoners of war. The films were similarly cathartic exercises that helped their directors and their nation come to terms with the emotional carnage of anger, despair and crippling guilt. Ichikawa and Kobayashi tend to be bracketed within the ‘humanist’ tendency of Japanese cinema’s post-war golden age. They would combine, in the late sixties, with two others from that ‘school’, Keisuke Kinoshita (who taught Kobayashi his craft) and Akira Kurosawa, to form a loose collective, Yonki-no-kai (‘The Club of the Four Knights’).

The Human Condition


Possible the best known Kobayashi’s movie here in America, and everywhere else but for Japan itself.

In brief  Harakiri it’s a grisly movie, not for the faint of heart. It tells the story of Hanshirō Tsugumo, a warrior without a lord, about the revenge of a lonely samurai against the Li clan, who it’s responsible for the death of his son-in law , and indirectly from his daughter, and grandson. He expressly goes and humiliate, and punish  those responsible, exposing their haughtiness , and hypocrisy, by playing  within the rules of Bushido code which governs the conduct of all samurai, he lures the powerful leader into a situation where sheer naked logic leaves him humiliated before his retainers. A condemnation of the whole feudal system, and the inhumanity of it.

Tatsuya Nakadai seating ready for Seppuku

Bushido And Hagakure

The movie of great interest for those aficionados of “Bushido” and endless source of discussion, and disagreements about the Bushido code of Samurai conduct, who in fact lacks a written code, for those somewhat familiar with it in the West, it’s important for them to know that Hagakure (Hidden by the Leaves or hidden leaves) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the clerk Yamamoto Tsunetomo, former retainer to Nabeshima Mitsushige, the third ruler of what is now Saga Prefecture in Japan. Tsuramoto Tashiro compiled these commentaries from his conversations with Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716; however, it was not published until many years afterwards. Hagakure is also known as The Book of the Samurai, Analects of Nabeshima or Hagakure Analects. Held in great respect by many in Japan, however it’s not a code of ethics for the Samurai, and there is no doubt many of Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s contemporaries, may had held views of their own, who could differ somewhat, on what it’s expressed on Hagakure.

So to take Hagakure as ‘the code’ it’s erroneous, just like there is not a total, and final written rule of courtesy, regardless of the may books on etiquette. Nitobe wrote on his Bushido:

“Bushidō, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe […] More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten […] It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career. In order to become a samurai this code has to be mastered.”

Bowing in to the Warriors Code

The code of etiquette in Japan governs the expectations of social behavior in the country and is considered very important. Like many social cultures, etiquette varies greatly depending on one’s status relative to the person in question. Many books instruct readers on its minutiae.

Some conventions may be very regional practices, and thus may not exist in all regions of Japan. Some customs have changed over the course of Japanese history. The above apply as well to Bushido, in Japan it’s common to say there is almost impossible for an individual, not to commit a faux pas at any given time, due to the numerous unwritten rules of behavior that dominate Japanese Culture. So there is little use to many arguments, few others may be valid, on the end the movie, was the work of one man; Masaki Kobayashi, and despite criticism, he was one hell of a director.

Harakiri Poster

Posted in Cinema & Literature, Crisis of Values, Cultural Attitudes, Heart, Justice, Masaki Kobayashi, Memories, Old Movies, Social Criticism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments


Earth its Worth Caring

“The quantitative degeneration of all things is closely linked to that of money, as is shown by the fact that nowadays the ‘worth’ of an object is ordinarily ‘estimated’ only in terms of its price, considered simply as a ‘figure’, a ‘sum’, or a numerical quantity of money; in fact, with most of our contemporaries, every judgment brought to bear on an object is nearly always based exclusively on what it costs. The word ‘estimate’ has been emphasized because it has in itself a double meaning, qualitative and quantitative; today the first meaning has been lost to sight, or what amounts to the same thing, means have been found to equate it to the second, and thus it comes about that not only is the ‘worth’ of an object ‘estimated’ according to its price, but the ‘worth’ of a man is ‘estimated’ according to his wealth.”


― René Guénon

Rene Guenon

A Traditionalist an Perennialist

For many years, maybe 44 years to date, I have been aware of Rene, Jean, Marie, Joseph Guenon, also later known as Abd al –Wahid Yahya (al-Maliki, al-Hamidi ash-Shadhili ) a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, “sacred science” and traditional studies to symbolism and initiation.

In 1921, Guénon published an Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines. His goal, as he writes it, is an attempt at presenting to westerners eastern metaphysics and spirituality as they are understood and thought by easterners themselves, while pointing at what René Guénon describes as all the erroneous interpretations and misunderstandings of western orientalism and “neospiritualism” (for the latter, notably the proponents of Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophism). Right from that time, he presents a rigorous understanding, not only of Hindu doctrines, but also of eastern metaphysics in general. He managed to expose these doctrines to a western public viewed by him as quite unprepared and unreceptive as a whole. He departed from standard scholarship (orientalist) terminology and methods and preferred to expose the doctrines as a simple “easterner”, devoid of what he called “western prejudices”. For one of the most famous aspects of René Guénon’s work is the irreducible difference he describes between the East and the West. René Guénon defines eastern metaphysics and intellectualism as of “universal nature”, that “opens possibilities of conception which are truly beyond any limitation”.

Rene Guenon (1)

His work comprises:

  • An exposition of fundamental metaphysical principles: Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines which contains the general definition of the term “tradition” as Guénon defines it, Man and His Becoming according to the Vedânta, The Symbolism of the Cross, The Multiple States of Being,The Metaphysical Principles of the Infinitesimal Calculus, Oriental Metaphysics.

  • Studies in symbolism (comprising many articles he wrote for the journal Le Voile d’Isis which became later known under the name Etudes Traditionnelles). These studies in symbolism were later compiled by Michel Valsan in the posthumous book Symbols of Sacred Science. The studies The Great Triad,Traditional Forms & Cosmic Cycles, Insights into Islamic Esoterism & Taoism and The King of the World (alternately translated as Lord of the World) are also mostly about symbolism.

  • Fundamental studies related to Initiation, a subject completely re-exposited by Guénon from the traditional perspective: Perspectives on Initiation, Initiation and Spiritual Realization, The Esoterism of Dante.

  • Criticism of the modern world and of “neospiritualism”: East and West, The Crisis of the Modern World, Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power, Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion, The Spiritist Fallacy and The Reign of Quantity & the Signs of the Times, the latter book being often considered as his masterpiece as an explanation of the modern world from the traditional perspective.

  • Various studies in esoterism: Saint Bernard, Insights into Christian Esoterism, Studies in Freemasonry and Compagnonnage, Studies in Hinduism, &c.

My Surprise

Imagine my surprise of the likes of Alexander Dugin, the so named Putin’s Rasputin claiming ideas derived from  Rene Guenon!

In all honesty I had read some time ago a little about Dugin, mainly on the Western media, not an unbiased source for news, and filtered through the lens of what it’s considered a politically, Liberal, and correct attitude, then the shock of recently reading a extract from his Fourth Political Theory book, and when he claims allegiance to the Traditionalist.

Alexander Dugin American Liberalism

Dugin’s Fourth Political Power:

“Modernity and its ideological basis (individualism, liberal democracy, capitalism, consumerism, and so on) are the cause of the future catastrophe of humanity, and the global domination of the Western lifestyle is the reason for the final degradation of the Earth. The West is approaching its terminus, and we should not let it drag the rest of us down into the abyss with it.

Tradition (religion, hierarchy, and family) and its values were overthrown at the dawn of modernity. All three political theories were conceived as artificial ideological constructions by people who comprehended, in various ways, ‘the death of God’ (Nietzsche), the ‘disenchantment of the world’ (Weber), and the ‘end of the sacred.’ This was the core of the New Era of modernity: man came to replace God, philosophy and science replaced religion, and the rational, forceful, and technological constructs took the place of revelation.

When we use the term ‘modernization’, we mean progress, linear accumulation, and a certain continuous process. When we speak of ‘modernization’, we presuppose development, growth, and evolution. It is the same semantic system. Thus, when we speak of the ‘unconditionally positive achievements of modernization: we agree with a very important basic paradigm – we agree with the idea that ‘human society is developing, progressing, evolving, growing, and getting better and better: that is to say, we share a particular vision of historical optimism.

This historical optimism pertains to the three classical political ideologies (liberalism, Communism, and fascism). It is rooted in the scientific, societal, political, and social worldview in the humanities and natural sciences of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, when the ideas of progress, development, and growth were taken as axioms that could not be doubted. In other words, this entire set of axioms, as well as the whole historiography and predictive analytics of the Nineteenth century in the humanities and the natural sciences, were built upon the idea of progress.

Aleksandr Dugin

The Socialist Herbert Spencer claimed that the development of human society that the development of human society was the next stage of evolution in the animal species, and that there was  a connection, and a continuity between the animal world and social development.

And, therefore, all the laws of the animal world leading to the development, improvement, and evolution on the animal world, within Darwin’s framework, can be projected onto society, This is the basis of the famous theory, ‘Social Darwinism’, of which Spencer was a classic representative. If, according to Darwin, the driving force behind the evolution of the animal kingdom its the struggle for survival and natural selection, then the same process must take place in society, argued Spencer. And the more perfect the struggle is for survival (Inter-species, intrs-species, the struggle of the strong against the weak, the competition for resources, pleasure), the more perfect our society becomes, The question is how to aid this process of selection. According to Spencer, this is the theme of the liberal model, and is the meaning of social progress.

Therefore, if we are liberals, in one way or the other we inherited this ‘zoological’ approach to social development based on the struggle against the destruction of the weak by the strong.

Herbert Spencer

Spencer’s theory contains an important point that must be elaborated upon. He argues that there are two phases of social development. The first phase occurs when the struggle for survival is conducted crudely, by force; this is characteristic of the ancient world. The second occurs when the struggle is carried out more subtly through economic means. Once the bourgeois revolution takes place, the struggle for survival doesn’t stop. According to Spencer, it acquires new, more advanced, and more efficient forms; it relocates into the sphere of the market. Here the strongest survive-that is the richest. Instead of the most powerful feudal lord, a hero, a strong person, or a leader, who simply sizes all that there is for grabs around his community, taking away what all that belongs to other nations and races and sharing it with the ruling ethnicity or cast, now come the capitalist, who bring the same aggressive principle to the market, the corporation, or the trading company. The transition from the order of power to the order of money, according to Spencer, does not mean the humanization of the process, but only underscores greater effectiveness. That is to say, the struggle in the market sphere between the strong (meaning the rich) and the weak (meaning the poor) becomes more efficient and leads to higher levels of development until super-rich,  super-strong, and super developed countries emerge. Progress, according to Spencer, and, more broadly speaking, according to liberalism is always the growth of economic power, since this continues to refine the struggle for survival of the animal species, the warfare methods of strong nations, and the castes within the framework of pre-capitalistic states.

Dubai fog

Thus, an animalistic form of aggression is embedded in the liberal idea of progress, which is regarded as the main trajectory of social development. With more economic freedom, there is greater power for takeovers, attacks, mergers, and acquisitions.

In such a system, the ‘more advanced’ law or the more advanced, ‘more modern’ methods of production do not mean that they are more humane; what it means that they allow more opportunities for the strong to more effectively realize their power, while the weak can only admit defeat, or, if they have any strength left, fight on. In this meaner, the modern idea of economic growth, as we see in liberals such as Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernake, has its foundations and origins in the idea of the struggle between species, that is, the feral destruction of the weak by the strong, or the validation of the strong at the expense of the weak. Only instead of the conflict between predators and herbivores, we have the golden billion, and in that golden billion, their own ‘kings of beasts’ ( the New York Stock Exchange and the World Bank bankers) who devour all that there is up for grabs and, at the same time, turn the forest of the World into ‘social infrastructures’.


Therefore, when we speak of ‘modernization’ into the liberal vein, of necesity we mean the enhancement of the social, political, cultural, spiritual, and informational scenario within which the absolute aggression of the strong against the weak can be implemented.

There is only one way out-to reject the classical political theories, both winners and losers, strain our imaginations, seize the reality of a new world, correctly decipher the challenges of post-modernity, and create something new-something beyond the political battles of Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. Such an approach is an invitation to the development of the Fourth Political Theory-beyond Communism, Fascism, and Liberalism.”

In Brief

“Dugin charges that Liberalism in the end contributes to decline and does not achieve the progress it claims. “Communism and Fascism have collapsed,” Peter J. Leithart asserts, then he assigns the belief that “liberalism, the final twentieth-century ideology, turned into libertine postmodernism as soon as it triumphed,” to Dugin’s mindset. Dugin believes that “the idea of modernization is based on the idea of progress, which is regarded as the main trajectory of social development. With more economic freedom, there is greater power for takeovers, attacks, mergers, and acquisitions. Liberal discourse, meaning the analysis of the liberal ideologist, is a completely animal discourse.”


Branko Malic’s, Dugin’s questionable Traditionalism

“Alexander Dugin’s influence on Russian foreign policy is an object of speculation, mostly on the level of gossip. In the West he is often times dubbed new Rasputin, probably because mainstream opinion maker’s intelligence doesn’t seem to reach further of pattern recognition (clue: the beard). While it’s hard to believe that esteemed professor sees himself as “Russia’s greatest love machine”, it is impossible to overlook that some of the moves Russian foreign policy makes are fairly concordant to his opinions and affirm much of what he is saying. Diplomatic victory over the West during the first phase of Syria crisis cannot be denied, and it is hard to escape the fact that Reagan’s term “Evil empire” is coming dangerously close to denote the USA itself. However, there is a great danger in idealizing the Eurasian project spearheaded by Russian Federation. Uncritical glorification of the rising might of Russia, although understandable, shouldn’t lead to forgetting the famous saying about “enigma wrapped in secret”. In other words, Westerner must never forget that he doesn’t know and – as is implied in Dugin’s logic – maybe even cannot know, what goes on behind Putin’s stone face. Further, it is questionable how really can one reconcile militant Evolian mysticism with ascetic wisdom of Guenon, which Dugin apparently tries to do. It is a pity that West is more or less ignorant of Guenon’s consequent spiritual descendant, Hungarian Bela Hamvas, man far more experienced in enduring than exercising the violent force, but who nevertheless almost single handed kept the flame of Tradition alive for all Eastern Europe. What he and Guenon were able to do is to point the finger and say: this is Corruption. Nothing more, nothing less. And that in itself made them revolutionaries. Resistance of the sort Alexander Dugin advocates could prove no less immoral than the aggression of the West and in fact can hardly be reconciled with the religious attitude of Traditionalism.


We must conclude that Alexander Dugin is relevant thinker and his work is a point of reference for everybody who sees, or at least hears, something creeping in the bushes near his front door. Dugin says it clearly: in the plastic flowers of Globalization, there is a serpent hiding. But if we observe how he, as well as the European alternative right in general, splices the Traditionalism and realpolitik, the unavoidable question arises: do you really cure the viper’s bite with another batch of poison? No doubt, ever more people are becoming aware that history of 20th century was not what they were told it was. The values of the West more and more prove to be a threat not only to political, economical and biological, but also the very logical foundation of human being as such. Nihilism is all out of masks. However, to align with thinkers like Alexander Dugin solely because they see the shortcomings of the West so clearly is very unreasonable. For although his cards are not marked, don’t be so sure you know what card game he is really playing.”

Branko Malić

A place of prayer

My View of the Matter

I can’t deny   to agree with the above words expressed by Dugin, but I would be the first to recognize at my lack of knowledge about Dugin’s political intentions, and his dealings with Putin,  and as to what extent Putin himself take Dugin’s advise in his political dealings, or it’s just a ‘spiritual’ ideological adviser of a philosophical nature, rather than a de facto policy maker? Do not know, it’s said he doesn’t even hold a job at the Kremlin, journalist Alexander Nevzorov: “if we had had Sergey Kurginyan and Dugin instead of Putin, there would have been hell for all of us to pay, they would have unleashed a European and World War without a shadow of a doubt, without considering consequences at all.” But “Dugin and Kurginyan do not have the slightest impact on what is going on in the Kremlin and do not even get coaching there”.

My only interest on him, it’s in relation to Rene Guenon’s Traditionalist ideas. And in all this I suspect a little of an idealism, on his part, based on isolated, and disconnected readings on Guenon’s books, than a serious, more direct relationship, with Guenon’s school of Traditionalist heirs.

The Traditionalist School is a group of 20th and 21st century thinkers concerned with what they considered to be the demise of traditional forms of knowledge, both aesthetic and spiritual, within Western society. The principal thinkers in this tradition are René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Frithjof Schuon. Other important thinkers in this tradition include Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, Bela Hamvas, Jean-Louis Michon, Marco Pallis, Huston Smith, Hossein Nasr, Jean Borella, Julius Evola and William Chittick. A central belief of this school is the existence of a perennial wisdom, or perennial philosophy, which says that there are primordial and universal truths which form the source for, and are shared by all the major world religions.

A group of mainly Western idealists, mystics, religious scholars, seeking the Wisdom of the East, known only to the few who care what they have to say, certainly a small minority, who also have ideological detractors, but hardly a nest for political activism, upheaval, and controversial ideas regarding a ‘New World  Order’. Now thrown into the searchlights, by Dugin’s  pronouncements. And consequently my surprise of Dugin’s allegiance to the Traditionalist or Perennial school, despite my sympathy for the ideas he express above, and by my long acquaintance with the Traditionalist writings who seem to have little in common with Dugin’s public persona, by their disregard for the limelight of politics. However we know ideas move mountains, and that a seed on fertile soil, under the right conditions grows, as for what kind of seed may be, only the future will tell.

Hidden Mountain Retreat

Posted in A World in Crisis, Aleksandr Dugin, Ancient Religions, Branko Malic, Capitalism, Consciousness, Crisis, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Criticism, Cultural Attitudes, Disillusion with Capitalism, Ecological Crisis, Economy, Globalization, Government and Free Markets, Greed and Impunity, Herbert Spencer, New Values, Oligarchy, Perennialist, Plutocracy, Politics, Rene Guenon, The Fourth Political Theory, Traditionalist, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments



Epicurus supposedly atribiuted phrase

“God,” he [Epicurus] says, “either wants to eliminate bad things and cannot,or can but does not want to,
or neither wishes to nor can,
or both wants to and can.
If he wants to and cannot, then he is weak and this does not apply to god.
If he can but does not want to, then he is spiteful which is equally foreign to god’’s nature.
If he neither wants to nor can, he is both weak and spiteful, and so not a god.
If he wants to and can, which is the only thing fitting for a god, where then do bad things come from? Or why does he not eliminate them?
Lactantius, On the Anger of God, 13.19

Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Paul to the Ephesians


Mani (210-276 C.E.), the founder of Manichaeism, was raised in a Judaeo-Christian desert sect known as the Elchasites. Similar to the Essenes, this sect was centered in the Mesopotamian desert, dressed in white robes, and were disenchanted by the religious establishment of their day. At age twelve Mani reported having his first revelation, but decided to keep it secret and wait until the right time for its proclamation. At age twenty-four Mani parted ways with the Elchasites and started writing, teaching, and preaching his own religious doctrines which he considered as final and authoritative. Mani saw himself as the final seal of the prophets; he closed the revelation which had started with Buddha and Zarathustra and had been passed on through Jesus and Paul. On the subject of Mani’s conception of his own religion, P. Oktor Skjaervo notes that “according to Mani his new religion was not simply to replace the previous religions, rather it represented the fulfillment of what the previous religions had promised but had not been able to live up to.”


An archon, in the Gnosticism of late antiquity, was any of several servants of the Demiurge, the “creator god” that stood between the human race and a transcendent God that could only be reached through Gnosis. In this context they have the role of the angels and demons of the Old Testament. They give their name to the sect called Archontics. They were thus called from the Greek word ἄρχοντες, “principalities”, or “rulers”, by reason that they held the world to have been created and ruled by malevolent Archons. The term was taken from the ancient Greek position of office “archon”.

A Life Tainted With Evil A Matter Of Outlook

We live in a world that seem to be on his head, as children we are generally taught on the Kindest, and Mercy of God all embracing and forgiving, but as we grew old we perceive a dichotomy between what we have been told and what is really going on in the World, selfishness, unbridled avarice, and materialism, double standards even from religious leaders, false promises, venial, and morally condemning behavior on the part of our political leaders, who are there not to serve us but to fulfill their private agendas, selfishness and harshness everywhere, everybody looking for themselves, and maybe if we perceive them at all, some few, and poor individuals trying to be dogooders, but just like a drop in a bucket to make any real difference. And to top it all the onslaught of the daily news, whose focus is on disasters, wars, murders, crimes, abuse, violence, and evil.



The conflict between good and evil is one of the precepts of the Zoroastrian faith, first enshrined by Zoroaster over 3000 years ago. It is also one of the most common conventional themes in literature, and is sometimes considered to be a universal part of the human condition

The central and sine qua non aspect to the Manichean outlook on evil is ontological dualism. In the Epistula Fundamenti Mani clearly lays out this doctrine: “For there were in the beginning these two substances divided from one another”, and Augustine, who is understood by most scholars to have an accurate grasp on Manichean doctrine, notes that Mani “put together two principles, different from an opposing each other, as well as eternal and co-eternal (that is, having always been), and also two natures or substances, namely, of good and bad.” Evil, then, is ultimately not an object of the will or of the mind, but a separately active pre-cosmic substance.

Good Vs Evil

Gnostic Belief

In the Gnostic view, there is a true, ultimate and transcendent God, who is beyond all created universes and who never created anything in the sense in which the word “create” is ordinarily understood. While this True God did not fashion or create anything, He (or, It) “emanated” or brought forth from within Himself the substance of all there is in all the worlds, visible and invisible. In a certain sense, it may therefore be true to say that all is God, for all consists of the substance of God. By the same token, it must also be recognized that many portions of the original divine essence have been projected so far from their source that they underwent unwholesome changes in the process. To worship the cosmos, or nature, or embodied creatures is thus tantamount to worshiping alienated and corrupt portions of the emanated divine essence.

The basic Gnostic myth has many variations, but all of these refer to Aeons, intermediate deific beings who exist between the ultimate, True God and ourselves. They, together with the True God, comprise the realm of Fullness (Pleroma) wherein the potency of divinity operates fully. The Fullness stands in contrast to our existential state, which in comparison may be called emptiness.

One of the aeonial beings who bears the name Sophia (“Wisdom”) is of great importance to the Gnostic world view. In the course of her journeying, Sophia came to emanate from her own being a flawed consciousness, a being who became the creator of the material and psychic cosmos, all of which he created in the image of his own flaw. This being, unaware of his origins, imagined himself to be the ultimate and absolute God. Since he took the already existing divine essence and fashioned it into various forms, he is also called the Demiurgos or “half-maker” There is an authentic half, a true deific component within creation, but it is not recognized by the half-maker and by his cosmic minions, the Archons or “rulers”.

Gnostic cosmology

The Myth of the Archons and Sophia’s Rape (Wisdom)

In the beginning was the Pleroma. The Pleroma was Light, it was Full, it was Complete, it was Wonderful, it was Nouns and Verbs with Capital Letters. It was the place to be. Within the Pleroma waves of divinity flowed and created pairs of godlike beings. These were the Aions, (Aeons) male and female aspects, each of which gave birth to further couples of divine light. Eventually though, a single Aion was created – she was called Wisdom and had no other half. She longed to have children as the other Aions had children, and using the divine light she willed herself to conceive. Although a virgin she was able to bring forth a child, but this child was blind to the upper beauty of the Pleroma. He could not see the divine light and imagined himself to be the greatest of all. Thinking he was on his own, he started to create, but his creation was flawed and lifeless.

The Creator had managed to create a vast ocean, a place of chaos, and he called it the Deep. And he moved over the Deep and created the stars, and the earth, and the mountains and the rivers, but still there was something missing. And he created servants to help with his work, the Archons and Angels, the Princes and Powers, but still there was something missing. And he created the flying creatures, and the swimming creatures, and the walking creatures, but still there was something missing. The Creator rested and left his creation to the Archons, brooding on what was missing.

Now it happened that Wisdom found the world that her son had created. She looked into the Deep and saw her reflection. As the last of the Aoins she was far from the light of the Pleroma and had never seen her own radiance. She was entranced by her own beauty, and not living up to her name, she moved closer and closer to her reflection until she fell into the material world. The world scared her and she did not know what was happening. Then the Archons found her, and they lusted after her. She had never experienced such want from anyone and did not expect what the Archons planned. Too late she realized, she fell into their hands and they forced themselves upon her.


Not willing to experience the horrors, Wisdom split apart, her divine nature sundered into hundreds of pieces. The most divine part of Wisdom become a mighty Oak, the Tree of Knowledge. Her body was left behind, a shell that had a human nature. The shell was called Eve and she gave birth to the children of the Archons. These human beings spread out and populated the Earth, and they worshiped the Archons, the Powers and Principalities, and they worshiped the blind Creator.

But among the humans were some who inherited the divine spark of Wisdom. These few souls went through life feeling like strangers in a strange land. They yearned for the Pleroma but they could not understand what this yearning was. Discontent with the world they suffered and when they died the divine spark would ascend and try to return to the Pleroma, but the Archons would force the divine sparks back into the world.

The spark that had lingered on in Eve was called Ennoia, and hers was a terrible fate. Doomed to suffer the most, the Archons made sure that she would never have true happiness. All looked lost for the sparks of Wisdom.

But there was hope. The Pleroma would come to know of the world and of the trapped Wisdom. And the Pleroma would send a Revealer, and a Redeemer. Through the Revealer (perhaps to be called John the Baptist) the humans with the divine spark would be told about the true nature of things, they would be blessed, baptized into the new reality. And the Revealer would bring forth the Redeemer (perhaps to be called Simon Magus), the one who the Pleroma had finally created to be the other half of Wisdom, and when he saved Ennoia, then the material world would fall apart and the truth would set them free.

Defining Evil

One of the problems of believing in Evil, it’s you have to define it first, without defining what evil is, the validity of the statements cannot be properly assessed. As for example what constitute evil, and from where come the decision to do an evil act? Another it’s the idea of free will, if God it’s there to take our decision away from us by preventing any negative act from us, then what freedom do we really have? Plus we know that’s not the case, since there is nobody to stop you before committing a stupid thing, if you wish to do so, but where moral responsibility begins, if you are not willing to confront yourself as the doer of evil? Are you so naive as to believe you are doing nothing wrong when you are murdering a human being?

And rather to avoid the ultimate question why not ask yourself first why death it’s a fact of life, regardless? it’s not the creator who bear that responsibility even if you die from old age anyway?

There it’s anything more inescapable than death?

Death, The  Grim Reaper

Religious Response

Buddhism attempted to answer the problem by disassociation, meditation, and avoidance, for evil was nothing but the outcome of desire and greed stemming from a misunderstanding of the self and of the world. The Buddha’s answer was “to avoid all evil, to do good, and to purify one’s mind.

Plato and Aristotle would equate evil with a lack of knowledge, making evil synonymous with intellectual ignorance, with it’s antidote being rational contemplation. Eventually Christianity would emerge with its own answer and explanation of evil, through a savior and Immanent God in the form of Jesus Christ, I will not dwell on the theological arguments of this doctrine too long to be exposed here and full of ambivalence in my opinion bordering on irresponsible arguments like the will of God it’s to allow evil  for an unknown future greater good, rather than simplify  it as Plato and Aristotle did; free will and ignorance, and the not existence of a moral absolute on the will of God that would curtail the freedom of the individual to choose by himself, and make evil a total Human responsibility, and not blaming God for it.

Inferno by Giovanni da Modena

Beyond Good and Evil, Ibn Arabi’s View

“God’s Wide Land Ibn ‘Arabi’s position is corroborated by the Shaykh’s own words: “What in fact takes place is that one divine name prescribes the Law for another divine name within the locus of a created human being.” In this scheme of things, the servant’s own will to act is absolutely irrelevant. In fact, it simply does not exist, since all actions spring from the internal interplay of God’s names and commands within a contingent locus called human being. Elsewhere, Ibn ‘Arabi drives this message home saying: “There is nothing here for us, except our readiness to accept the actions that are attributed [to us by God] in the empirical world.” “My kashf therefore says: ‘You have nothing to do with this.'” In short, the only true and real actor is none other than God Himself.

In the end, Ibn ‘Arabi the gnostic prevails over Ibn ‘Arabi the canon. For better or worse, he dares to raise the curtain protecting God’s ultimate mystery and to reveal to his readers that all human actions and natural phenomena take place by and in the all-encompassing divine Reality (al-haqq). God’s creatures are but the passive and contingent arenas of dialogues between God’s own names and attributes. Seen from this perspective, the creatures have no role at all in the acts that they ostensibly create and perform.”

My Views on the Matter

I understand these views can be a lot to take to the inexperienced on these subjects  reader of this post, however I want to clarify all these conclusions, and opinions, are  to be considered by the individual reading them, and not the final word on it, I agree with Ibn Arabi’s outlook, however you have to understand he is talking beyond our Human realm, on the terrestrial we are all subject to laws, given by Sacred book’s commands, and by our own moral codes of ethics, as individuals bounded, and liable, by them, and  not necessarily dictated by religious belief, but by logic, as in the case of nonbelievers, or Atheist who do not need a command in order to be ethic, but also bounded by the laws of Men, regardless of his own views on the matter.

He Alone

Posted in Ancient Religions, Archons, Biblical Studies, Cosmology, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Demiurge, Determinism, Dualism, Eschatology, Gnosis, History, Ibn Arabi, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Jesus, Manichaeism, Metaphysics, Mysticism, Myth, Ontology, Religion, Revelation, Sophia, Spirituality, Theology, Uncategorized, Wisdom, World View | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments


Einstein on Time Perceptuion

“The conclusion is that the whole of those laws

of nature which have been woven into a

unified scheme – mechanics, gravitation, electrodynamics and optics – have their origin,

not in any special mechanism of nature,

but in the workings of the mind”

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington


The ebb and flow of time

Time Perception

We all have noticed that time drags when we want to get over with something, like getting home after a long commute, or getting out from work after a long day of dealing with difficult things, but also the reverse it’s true, the more busy you are the faster time seems to go by, I remember a particular job I did for three years, were my job was to take call, after call, as a customer service representative, not an easy job, but that I got to like it, because as I got used to, most of the times someone would come to me and tap me on the shoulder, to call my attention, and said, it’s time to go. And it seem to me that I had only been there three, or four hours, rather than eight!

Over a century ago, Albert Einstein postulated that a given time interval is registered differently by independent (moving) clocks. Interestingly, Einstein himself recognized the similarity between the relativity of physical and psychological time: “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”  Einstein was literally talking about different temporal contexts providing different read-outs for the same physical interval. While relative time became the de-facto view in physics, the relativity of psychological time is still a matter for debate. For example, neuron-biological evidence suggests indeed that major time scales (millisecond, second-to-minutes, and circadian) are processes by different regions of the brain (e.g., cortex, cerebellum, striatum, and suprachiasmatic nucleus), it is still unclear whether everyday timing in the seconds-to-minutes range is performed by a single or rather multiple parallel mechanisms in the brain.

Time and Counsciousness

Real or absolute time does not exist – only local time(is), different for each observer.

Short list of types of temporal illusions:

  • Telescoping effect: People tend to recall recent events as occurring further back in time than they actually did (backward telescoping) and distant events as occurring more recently than they actually did (forward telescoping).[19]
  • Vierordt’s law: Shorter intervals tend to be overestimated while longer intervals tend to be underestimated
  • Time intervals associated with more changes may be perceived as longer than intervals with fewer changes
  • Perceived temporal length of a given task may shorten with greater motivation
  • Perceived temporal length of a given task may stretch when broken up or interrupted
  • Auditory stimuli may appear to last longer than visual stimuli
  • Time duration may appear longer with greater stimulus intensity (e.g., auditory loudness or pitch)
  • Simultaneity judgments can be manipulated by repeated exposure to non-simultaneous stimuli

Men's time journey

Time as Unreal

In 5th century BC Greece, Antiphon the Sophist, in a fragment preserved from his chief work On Truth, held that: “Time is not a reality (hypostasis), but a concept (noêma) or a measure (metron).”Parmenides went further, maintaining that time, motion, and change were illusions, leading to the paradoxes of his follower Zeno. Time as an illusion is also a common theme in Buddhist thought.

J. M. E. McTaggarts 1908 The Unreality of Time argues that, since every event has the characteristic of being both present and not present (i.e., future or past), that time is a self-contradictory idea (see also The flow of time).

These arguments often center around what it means for something to be unreal. Modern physicists generally believe that time is as real as space, though others, such as Julian Barbour in his book The End of Time, argue that quantum equations of the universe take their true form when expressed in the timeless realm containing every possible now or momentary configuration of the universe, called ‘platonia’ by Barbour.

A modern philosophical theory called presentism views the past and the future as human-mind interpretations of movement instead of real parts of time (or “dimensions”) which coexist with the present. This theory rejects the existence of all direct interaction with the past or the future, holding only the present as tangible. This is one of the philosophical arguments against time travel. This contrasts with eternalism (all time: present, past and future, is real) and the growing block theory (the present and the past are real, but the future is not).

Time as an illusion

Our story: The Longest Night Of My life

There is a lot to talk about time, but this would have to be a book, and it’s just a post, so here it is my personal perception, and experience of how time can stretch to great lengths, it was many years ago, somewhere in December of 1973 just before Christmas and close to the Winter Solstice when nights are long, a friend of mine invited me to go and listen to a conference to a town 60 miles away from us, the conference would start at  8:30 PM and we would be living somewhere before 7:00 PM to arrive with plenty of time to find the place.

Having to teach a Yoga class at 6:AM the next day, decided to take a little nap somewhere at 4:00 PM that evening before leaving, expecting a long night ahead of us, but to be back before midnight. Woke up from my nap at 5:00 PM  and headed to the Yoga studio where we would meet to leave, at that time it was one of the shortest days of the year and I remember it was almost dark, and by the time that I arrived to the studio, 40 minutes after it was totally dark, and not only that, it started to rain, shortly as I left my home, very likely now day, I would had apologize to my friend and cancel the trip, but been young and excited about the conference the four of us we left as planed somewhere around 6:30 PM.

Half way down the way, with the rain some rocks had landslide in to the road, being dark and rainy my friend hit one of the rocks and had a flat  tire, and broke the ring of the wheel. It took us quite a while in the dark, and with the danger of other cars hitting us from behind to change the wheel. Needless to say by the time we could mount the spare tire we better should had turn the car around and go back home, but instead my friend the driver over optimistic  we fought traffic and the rain in the city, and once  when we finally got to the conference, we were able to listen the answer to the last question the speaker had, somewhere a little after 10:00 PM.

Landslide on a rainy night

My friend worried about not having a spare tire on our way back,  he went looking  with some of his relatives who lived in that town, for a spare tire, to begin with, the relatives lived at quite some distance, and that also took some time, and he not only pick up the tire but he talked to the relatives for an hour or so, finally we left back to our town and we arrived maybe at 2:00 AM, but of course they couldn’t drop me right away, they were hungry and wanted diner!

So we looked for a 24 hour place to eat,  and needless to say it was way past the time estimated we would be back by midnight, somewhere around 3:30 AM when they drop me home, went to bed immediately just after setting the alarm for 5:00 AM, after a brief sleep the alarm went off, and dressing up I went in to the wet, and muddy streets, rain was still pouring, and what strike me right at that moment as I walked to the class, through the poor lighted streets avoiding mud, and big pools of water, under the rain, how it was still dark, and despite traveling to a different town, and back, doing all the things we did, here I was walking the same path I did earlier a few hours before in darkness to meet my friends at the studio, but the night wasn’t over yet..!

Train ride though freezing temperatures

No doubt the night wasn’t longer than any other night around that time of the year, but so much events were sandwiched in between, including walking twice to the Yoga studio in darkness during the same cold, rainy night, that it stuck in my memory, neither was the toughest night of my life, as I have memories of hell, like spending the night on a train trip on the mountains in a freezing night without proper clothing, and no heating in the car compartment, this just been only the prelude of many subsequent nights on that trip, sleeping on cement floors, on top of cardboard, and the flimsiest of a sleeping bag, separating my body from the cement floor, on subfreezing weather for a whole month. And many other nights when I used to work night shift, or whatever many other occurrences through a life’s long journey.

Time perception is relative, maybe because so much was sandwiched in between, went on that night, and we wasted the night away without achieving anything of purpose, since waking up from my early nap in semidarkness, and not seeing the light of day after finishing the teaching of the class in the early morning. It stayed in my memory as a very long night, it was the longest night I remember maybe because it just stuck on my mind, to be that way. I am sure for all of us there have being similar occurrences, when time seem to stretch for ever, or at least an unusual length, for no other reason that we perceive it that way.


Posted in Consciousness, Einstein, Inspiration, Longest Night, Memories, Personal Story, Relativity, Subjective, The Subjective, Time Perception, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 92 Comments


The Hidden Fortress

“For me, film making combines everything. That’s the reason I’ve made cinema my life’s work. In films, painting and literature, theater and music come together. But a film is still a film.”

Akira Kurosawa


My love of movies

I was probably six years of age when my parents took me to see my first movie ever, at the time movie theaters didn’t allow children less than seven years of age in to the theaters, at the 8:00PM show  mainly I guess at least in my days as a child they put us in bed just after diner no later than 9:00PM, or not to disturb the adults at the theater, besides most movies were foreign movies and had subtitles, if you were too young to read there was no point to take a child to the movies. The movie I remember was Ten seconds to Hell, a movie by Robert Aldrich  with Jack Palance, and Jeff Chandler, the movie was sort of a failure, and not memorable, except to me, since it was the first of thousands of movies I have watched through the years.

Ten Seconds To Hell

Fortunately I learnt to read at five, so I could read the subtitles, now there was no television in town, a thing hard to understand to people now days , but I got to remind you this was 1959, there was no satellites even if the first Russian Sputnik was launched in October 1957, first time ever than TV signal was transmitted from a satellite wasn’t until July 23, 1962, but since in my town we lacked a tower to capture the signal, in fact not until 1968 our town got a TV tower for the first time.

So as a child I missed watching TV, but in our small town we had been watching movies since 1897 two years just after the Lumiere brothers offered their first picture to the people of Paris, and in my childhood we possessed a whooping six movie theaters, or at least three of them running continually, since one did not have a roof and run at night only for obvious reasons, (but not a drive in) aptly named “Tropical” and two of them were out of action periodically, theaters would start selling tickets at 3:30PM, and punctually at 4:00PM the magic of turning off the lights and start rolling the first movie would begin, you could adjust your watch to it, possibly the only thing that would run on time in my town!

And we had at each theater three old movies on Monday, three different on Tuesday, and Wednesday, Three more on Thursday, and Friday to Sunday two new releases, if my math is correct we had at least from 33, to around 60 different pictures,  you could choose to watch at any given week, not counting matinees who were meant for children, and that I did,  watching on the mid sixties to the early early seventies, numerous films, being at the theater four, or five times a week! An evening without going to the theater was a bore, even on school days being out of school by five we could be at a theater to catch the second picture, and stay there if we wish to do so until the end of the last picture around  midnight.

Teatro Angela Peralta

Growing Up Nurtured by Movies

Now I used to joke if it wasn’t for the big old theaters at home showing us so many movies, and a respite to our daily boredom, in a town where the only two things a young person could do was go to the beach during the mornings, and to the movies during the evenings, pretty much there was nothing else to do but to read a book, or go to a bar to drink!

I believe the movies saved many of us young people of becoming early alcoholics, sad to say but on those days there where bars everywhere, I remember a particular corner with a bar in all it’s three points, and the fourth point, the local beer brewery! Movies was an innocent healthy escape you could say, not to talk a respite to the heat as well, since few people could afford air condition, and above all, truly an education on cinema, a window to the world seen on celluloid, in a time when communication with the outside world meant to be able to travel. Going to the movies on the other hand, was relatively cheap, around 35, 0r 40 cents depending on the theater.

And what a first class cinema education I got, the rich fare we were served, through our theaters we saw every movie made around the globe, not only by Hollywood, but French, Italian, British, Swedish, German, Japanese, Spanish, Indian, Mexican, Argentinian, Brazilian, and anybody who could make a movie, somehow slowly but surely the heavy canisters of celluloid would reach our theaters, and were loaded into the big old projectors. In my opinion the golden age of cinema was reached on the late fifties, through most of the sixties, and had been a long slow decline since, to the point that long after I ceased to go to the theaters, in the early eighties, and renting them instead to watch at home, and finally cancelled my Netflix account quite a few years ago, now days I ever hardly watch a movie, and haven’t been to a theater in ages, by that I do not mean good movies are no longer made, they do, not just that often.

Old movie projector

Cinema Paradiso

I saw Cinema Paradiso on video, some years after it was released in 1988, already somewhat disenchanted with the mass production of movies on a totally corporate business like, industrial line of production, not that old movies were not done that way, but wised up by age, disillusioned, with the so named seventh art, maybe too much of a cynic. One of the reasons for the success of Cinema Paradiso, no doubt was that Toto’s story it’s for many of us who grew up in a small town, our own story, people like me who  left for good their small town, in  an age where people abandoned their small towns to go to the big cities to study, or try their luck in search of work, and a better life somewhere else, and the local movie theater was the window that provided the necessary inspiration to look for bigger horizons.

Toto & Alfredo in Cinema Paradiso

And we share the same story with some variants no doubt, but pretty much on the same lines, leaving a young High school sweetheart behind, family, and friends, to face life in the big city, with farther, and farther in between visits to home, and family, and when back, the heartbreak from seeing the abandoned remains of the old movie houses, where we spend our childhood, for so many hours dreaming…

Abandoned Old Teather.

My Story, A Matinee, and Things to Come

Only twelve years of age on September 26 1965, a Sunday my elder brother and myself did what we used to do every Sunday morning, and that was to go to the matinee that started a 10:00AM. every Sunday, it matter little to us what movies were playing, as long we had not see them yet, we used to go along with three or more friends, little did matter also that the day was sort looking like rain was coming, in those days without satellites to track the weather they relied on weather balloons that would send up every day sketchy weather information, our mother hesitated a little before letting us go, since it looked like a storm was about to hit  town, but we went anyway prevailing over our mother’s fears, we arrived to the old theater and there were two movies to watch, and that was all we cared, we took our seats in our favorite spot and saw the first movie without any incident worth talking, I can’t even recall what movie it was, but during the second movie an interesting old British prewar movie,  about half into it, we start noticing that the old theater roof  was having leaks of water here, and there, first slowly, but as the minutes went by, more and more water start leaking down on us, suddenly a ceiling panel with a loud noise ripped off the false ceiling, and a veritable waterfall equal to emptying a swimming pool on top of our heads come down the theater!

A Hurricane!

The movie being of interest to us took a second seat to the real show when every panel of the ceiling start being coming apart under the weight of the water accumulated, between the roof, and the false ceiling, we were exposed not only to get soaked wet, but in danger of a piece of ceiling hitting us, so we run for cover, not out of the theater as we should have done, but under the projection cabin, to protect us from the water, and the more dangerous debris from the roof, and just sat there to weather the storm and keep watching the movie, and the falling debris of the ceiling!

Theater Reforma after Hurricane

Incredible enough the movie kept playing and we didn’t abandon the protection under the cabin until every piece of the roof was gone, and the corrugated  sheets of asbestos were totally torn off by the storm, and flew away one by one, like if they were sheets of paper, still wonder where they landed, they probably did great damage!

Water kept pouring and we decided we had enough, mainly because we couldn’t see the movie anymore, there was no roof anymore, and the place look like if it was a drive inn with seats, even if the projector kept running and the light of the day, and the rain made it difficult for us to keep seeing the action on the movie, just as we started to leave the theater finally the power gave out, no doubt an electricity pole falling down somewhere, or many!

Every employee of the theater had abandoned the theater, including the projectionist, in fact we were the last to leave the now totally wrecked theater, my surprise had no end, when we descended  in to the lobby and saw the candy shop under water, and the popcorn floating around!

The theater was located in a low zone of the city, in terrain that very likely was a estuary, or a marsh, if not outright land gained from the ocean, that naturally flooded when a storm of the magnitude of Hurricane Hazel hit the city.

Luckily the employees of the theater, who obviously knew better, had deserted us for quite some time, but didn’t even lock up the theater, or turn the projector off. With water to our chest and waddling through a current of water holding ourselves cautiously from the iron works of the house’s windows along our way we reached narrow Constitution street where water was running with the force of a river rapid, and had a first hand knowledge at that moment as to the why the sidewalks on that street where that high! We solved the problem by walking back in the opposite direction from where the water was coming, and forded the current so we could come out successfully at the opposite sidewalk, crossing the street at an angle, now reflect how lucky we were of not been swept away by the strong current!

From there we reached high ground on Plaza Revolucion, right at that corner in the picture below, although the plaza didn’t look as nice as in the picture!

Catedral & plaza Revolucion

There was no a tree left standing, every heavy Indian Laurel fig laying on the ground, but to us was an adventure just crossing the park through the the jungle of fallen branches, by that time the storm had subsided, and we reached home all excited by such great adventure, in our young lives, of course mother had another view of the event, herself a victim of an earlier Hurricane adventure, my poor mother was scared out of her wits, and blaming herself for letting us go to the matinee, posted to the window through the storm in hope to see us come safe home that day, and later more terrorized by our account of the destruction of the theater, and the general mayhem at the town caused by the storm.


Later next day my father who was out of town arrived home, and we drove on his car avoiding all sort of obstacles, like downed trees, and big water holes, and cautiously made our way along the coast seeing the devastation of many places and kept driving until we reached a point called  Sabalo, at the time way out of town, where the lonely figure of a local character, famous for his jolly occurrences, nicknamed Pacharo,  who had recently acted on a  minor role, a little above extra, working for scale on a non talking role, along  Yul Brynner and George Chakiris on a forgetful movie named Kings of the Sun, filmed on location on the outskirts of our town, Pacharo who owned a palapa restaurant by the beach, and faced the storm all by himself, very little remained of his destroyed place, but he was so happy to see us, being the first people to be able to reach his place since the day before the storm, he recognized us and yelled my father’s name running toward us as soon he saw us, as we got out of the car to talk to him, in character with his recent movie exploits he exclaimed: I withstood the storm all alone; Like Attila frente a Roma! (Sign of the Pagan) thing that provoke all the members of our family to laugh, and remember through the years Pacharo’s ordeal.

Aftermath of Hurricane Hazel

Palapa Wiped Up By Storm

 Pacharo with Yul Brynner and George Chakiris


Not My First One

It was not even my first Hurricane, I had a first seat from a window at home, as a witness of great mayhem occasioned by a Hurricane in 1958 or 1959? When I was only five or six years of age and our house’s windows faced another park, and saw every huge Indian Laurel tree in the park being lifted in to the air pulled by the roots like a carrot, and crash with an uproar, like thunder sound, just fifty feet from our house, meanwhile I watched my father and an elder cousin who where trying to rescue my mother who had the bad idea just before the Hurricane hit, to go and fetch up a bag of coffee at the grocery store for breakfast that day, mother spent most of the hurricane a block from home holding in to the iron bars of a window until  my father and cousin could rescue her, and brought her back home safe, a home that no longer exist, and was located in front of the park on the upper right corner in relation to the park (middle) in the picture below.

Neither those Hurricanes were the last ones, been on six Hurricanes through my life, however non as exciting as the two first ones, for many years between our friends who participated on that faithful matinee in September, try to figure out what was the name of the movie we never finished, the main problem being because at that age we cared little to read the credits, all we wanted was for the credits to end soon, so we could start watching the movie, that and the fact we didn’t knew the original title in English, on those days the translators would change the original name and give it any name they saw fit, or they  pleased, as an example the Sound of Music was translated as La Novicia Rebelde! (The Rebel Novice)  go figure!

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H.G. Wells

Well, after almost fifty years later could figure it was Things to Come (also known in promotional material as H. G. Wells’ Things to Come) is a 1936 British black-and-white science fiction film from United Artists, produced by Alexander Korda, directed by William Cameron Menzies, and written by H. G. Wells. The film stars Raymond Massey, Ralph Richardson, Cedric Hardwicke, Pearl Argyle, and Margaretta Scott.

Thanks to the Internet, and Youtube could solve the mystery,  we went to a matinee to watch Things to Come, and what it come was a Hurricane!

Ironically in my town, the oldest of all the theaters, was the only one to survive, and after it’s almost total destruction by another Hurricane in 1975 was beautifully restored and you can appreciate it on the third picture, now the place for all kinds of cultural events.


Wonderful Memories

I have wonderful memories of the great many movies I had watched through the years of my life, even if now days hardly watch a movie, tired of the direction movies in general have gone, some people mainly young ones, sometimes try to talk me into watching this movie, or that other one, rarely if I do, care too much about it, at least not as I did so many years ago, I guess I have changed,  lost that sense of wonderment you carry as a young person, and look at things, and life with different eyes, I will not go to specifics, too well known by many, and in fairness there is a few movies made that are good, and enjoyable no doubt, but I am no more the same small child who looked in wonderment from my seat, in the cool darkness, and silence of the old theaters, with devotion like in a temple, to the magical reflection on the screen that opened new worlds of discovery to my young eyes, and imagination.

Omar Sharif was a small dot riding out of a desert mirage to join Peter O'Toole

Posted in Cinema, Cinema & Literature, Cinema Paradiso, Criticism, Cynicism, Dreams, Family History, Hurricanes, Imagination, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Memories, Old Movies, Old Theaters, Personal Story, Ten Seconds To Hell, Things To Come, Uncategorized, Watching Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 61 Comments


Annabelle Moore

“When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”

― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

The Silver Age of Literature

The world’s first hand-tinted motion picture was produced by Thomas Edison’s company, Edison Studios, in 1895, more than 115 years ago. The dancer, Annabelle Moore (1878-1961), was just a teenager when this film was released, and her dance caused both a sensation and a scandal.

Ironically the end of the Nineteen century and the beginning of the Twenty century, those were the heydays of Literature, with writers in Russia like  Tolstoy, Dostoevsky,  Chekhov, Turgenev, Andreyev, Bunin, Bulgakov In England Dickens, W Eliot, Bronte, Hardy, Kipling in America Poe, Whitman, Melville, Twain, in France Balzac, Baudelaire, Hugo, Dumas, Flaubert, Zola, Maupassant, Proust, in German Fontane, Rilke, Musil, Roth, Mann, Kafka, Hesse, in Hungary Kosztolányi, Poland  Sienkiewicz, Bruno Schultz, and Gombrowicz, in Italy Pirandello and Svevo, in Spain Perez Galdos, Leopoldo Alas, Palacio Valdes, Valle Inclan, Pio Baroja, Blasco Ibañez, in Portugal, Eça de Queirós, Ireland, Wilde, James Joyce, Norway, Ibsen, and Hamsun, Sweden, Strindberg, Lagerlöf, and Lagerkvist.

And this it’s not an exhaustive list, just a few well known names to a roster of great writers of many nations who wrote great many books in a sort of Silver age of writing after the Golden age of Shakespeare, and Cervantes.


Literature As Art, Or Entertainment?

Before starting throwing accusations to contemporary literature, in all fairness let’s say most people read as an utilitarian occupation, in order to learn something, like a subject at school, like math, History, Biology, etc. We will not talk about business since if you are not able to read basically it’s even hard to get a job!

Then some may read as entertainment like reading a thriller, or a detective story,  romance novel,  science fiction, etc. This it’s what we call genre novels, whose main objective it’s to fill our time to avoid boredom, now some may be pretty good, and engaging, some may even border on real Literature…As to when a piece of writing crosses the line and become an authentic piece of Literature, it’s hard to tell, since most people have different standards to qualify a work of art, sad to say but now days our standards are very low, we consume a lot of garbage, in food, music, movies, television, and mass media.

It doesn’t help that the prime motivator of writing a novel it’s to sell it, not to promote Literature, or good taste on people’s reading habits, so bottom line is that a novel in order to be successful is necessary to produce money to the writer who laboriously wasted uncounted hours writing it, and to the editors as well, who need to profit from the book, so the first requisite of a writer it’s not to produce a piece of art, but something that sells, and here comes the editor saying : Sorry your work it’s very good, but I will not be able to sell it, there is not a car chase, nobody gets kill, there is not even someone stealing something, or nothing really exciting ever happens, there is not even bad words, or sex! How do you expect for me to sell this?

An Editor at Work

Exhibit Number One, The Thriller

Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film and television, having numerous sub genres. Thrillers are characterized and defined by the moods they elicit, giving viewers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety. The Merriam Webster dictionary: one that thrills; especially :  a work of fiction or drama designed to hold the interest by the use of a high degree of intrigue, adventure, or suspense.

Writer Vladimir Nabokov, in his lectures at Cornell University, said: “In an Anglo-Saxon thriller, the villain is generally punished, and the strong silent man generally wins the weak babbling girl, but there is no governmental law in Western countries to ban a story that does not comply with a fond tradition, so that we always hope that the wicked but romantic fellow will escape scot-free and the good but dull chap will be finally snubbed by the moody heroine.”

Thrillers may be defined by the primary mood that they elicit: suspenseful excitement. In short, if it “thrills”, it is a thriller. As the introduction to a major anthology explains:



Thrillers provide such a rich literary feast. There are all kinds. The legal thriller, spy thriller, action-adventure thriller, medical thriller, police thriller, romantic thriller, historical thriller, political thriller, religious thriller, high-tech thriller, military thriller. The list goes on and on, with new variations constantly being invented. In fact, this openness to expansion is one of the genre’s most enduring characteristics. But what gives the variety of thrillers a common ground is the intensity of emotions they create, particularly those of apprehension and exhilaration, of excitement and breathlessness, all designed to generate that all-important thrill. By definition, if a thriller doesn’t thrill, it’s not doing its job.

Action movie

Common methods and themes in crime and action thrillers are mainly ransoms, captivities, heists, revenge, kidnappings. Common in mystery thrillers are investigations and the whodunit technique. Common elements in dramatic and psychological thrillers include plot twists, psychology, obsession and mind games. Common in horror thrillers are serial killers, stalking, deathtraps and horror-of-personality. Elements such as fringe theories, false accusations and paranoia are common in paranoid thrillers. Threats to entire countries, spies, espionage, conspiracies, assassins and electronic surveillance are common in spy thrillers.

Characters may include criminals, stalkers, assassins, innocent victims (often on the run), menaced women, psychotic individuals, spree killers, sociopaths, agents, terrorists, cops and escaped cons, private eyes, people involved in twisted relationships, world-weary men and women, psycho-fiends, and more. The themes frequently include terrorism, political conspiracy, pursuit, or romantic triangles leading to murder. Plots of thrillers involve characters which come into conflict with each other or with outside forces.


The protagonist of these films is set against a problem. No matter what sub-genre a thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The protagonists are frequently ordinary citizens unaccustomed to danger, although commonly in crime and action thrillers, they may also be “hard men” accustomed to danger such as police officers and detectives. While protagonists of thrillers have traditionally been men, women lead characters are increasingly common.[ In psychological thrillers, the protagonists are reliant on their mental resources, whether it be by battling wits with the antagonist or by battling for equilibrium in the character’s own mind. The suspense often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another’s minds, either by playing deceptive games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other’s mental state.

An atmosphere of menace and sudden violence, such as crime and murder, characterize thrillers. The tension usually arises when the character(s) is placed in a dangerous situation, or a trap from which escaping seems impossible. Life is threatened, usually because the principal character is unsuspectingly or unknowingly involved in a dangerous or potentially deadly situation.

Just when you thought it was safe to read a novel

Hitchcock’s films often placed an innocent victim (an average, responsible person) into a strange, life-threatening or terrorizing situation, in a case of mistaken identity or wrongful accusation.

Thrillers take place mostly in ordinary suburbs and cities, although sometimes they may take place wholly or partly in exotic settings such as foreign cities, deserts, polar regions, or the high seas. These usually tough, resourceful, but essentially ordinary heroes are pitted against villains determined to destroy them, their country, or the stability of the free world. Often in a thriller movie, the protagonist is faced with what seem to be insurmountable problems in his mission, carried out against a ticking clock, the stakes are high and although resourceful, they face personal dilemmas along the way forcing them to make sacrifices for others.

Violent World Saviors

Yes unfortunately it’s true, if a novel doesn’t hit us with the brutal force of a koboko whiplash and wake us from our dense, saturated, and insensitive slumber we will not be able to read the book, our attention span, it’s getting shorter, and shorter does not tolerate anything less than a high doses of peak events, like an earthquake, or a tremendous explosion, the hijack of a terrorist, the threat of a nuclear explosion, police descending in mas like the invasion of an army, a terrific car chase where cars fly through the air like airplanes, and explode like bombs, why bother to keep reading? Regardless of the fact many of us never will be in the cross lines of a rifle sight held by a professional killer. A far fetch concocted piece of trash designed as junk food for our minds, the Doritos bag of chips to go along our Friday movie night watching of an exciting movie. This genre pretends to make us believe that what you see in the news as incidents of a highly unusual nature, that are one in a million, it may be happening to you at any moment, when your chances of being hit by lightening are higher, but not as high as wining the lotto!

In principle I am not oppose to consider this type of writing, as Literature if it’s very good, but just like twins conjoined are one in 200,000, and of those only about 5% survive, they are oddities, and the subject is not something it may happen to you, words that come to mind are epic, implausible, far fetched, contrived, Manichean, (good vs evil) it points out as writing for entertainment, Literature in my opinion it’s something we all can relate, and identify as happening to any of us, what makes it great, and different, is just the way is told.

Obi Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader

Exhibit Two, the whodunit

Detective fiction in the English-speaking world is considered to have begun in 1841 with the publication of Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” itself, featuring “the first fictional detective, the eccentric and brilliant C. Auguste Dupin”. Poe devised a “plot formula that’s been successful ever since, give or take a few shifting variables.” Poe followed with further Auguste Dupin tales: “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” in 1843 and “The Purloined Letter” in 1845.

Poe referred to his stories as “tales of ratiocination”. In stories such as these, the primary concern of the plot is ascertaining truth, and the usual means of obtaining the truth is a complex and mysterious process combining intuitive logic, astute observation, and perspicacious inference. “Early detective stories tended to follow an investigating protagonist from the first scene to the last, making the unraveling a practical rather than emotional matter.” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” is particularly interesting because it is a barely fictionalized account based on Poe’s theory of what happened to the real-life Mary Cecilia Rogers.

Edgar Allan Poe

The period of the 1920s and ’30s is generally referred to as the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. During this period, a number of very popular writers emerged, mostly British but with a notable subset of American and New Zealand writers. Female writers constituted a major portion of notable Golden Age writers, including Agatha Christie, the most famous of the Golden Age writers, and among the most famous authors of any genre, of all time. Four female writers of the Golden Age are considered the four original “Queens of Crime”: Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham. Apart from Ngaio Marsh (a New Zealander) they were British.

Various conventions of the detective genre were standardized during the Golden Age, and in 1929 some of them were codified by writer Ronald Knox in his ‘Decalogue’ of rules for detective fiction, among them to avoid supernatural elements, all of which were meant to guarantee that, in Knox’s words, a detective story “must have as its main interest the unraveling of a mystery; a mystery whose elements are clearly presented to the reader at an early stage in the proceedings, and whose nature is such as to arouse curiosity, a curiosity which is gratified at the end.” In Golden Age detective stories, an outsider, sometimes a salaried investigator or a police officer, but often a gifted amateur investigates a murder committed in a closed environment by one of a limited number of suspects.

The most widespread sub genre of the detective novel became the whodunit (or whodunit, short for “who done it?”), where great ingenuity may be exercised in narrating the events of the crime, usually a homicide, and of the subsequent investigation in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the criminal from the reader until the end of the book, when the method and culprit are revealed. According to scholars Carole Kismaric and Marvi Heiferman, “The golden age of detective fiction began with high-class amateur detectives sniffing out murderers lurking in rose gardens, down country lanes, and in picturesque villages. Many conventions of the detective-fiction genre evolved in this era, as numerous writers, from populist entertainers, to respected poets, tried their hands at mystery.

Private Eye

The murder, or the detective novel, a simple premise someone gets killed, no one seems to know who did it, so a policeman, or a private detective have to uncover the mystery surrounding it, and catch the perpetrator(s). A genre so common that many of the writers get a style that it’s easily recognizable by the readers, and even if this give us a pretty good idea how the novel will develop, and after reading two, or three novels by the same author we can figure pretty easy who did it, either you stop buying the author, or keep coming because you identify with the hero, or enjoy his witticism. The novels are done with a mass audience in mind who are not hard to please, and do not demand much of you as a reader, usually short, and very formulaic, successful authors know this, and do not bother to come with anything new, why bother if your books sell? So you keep making the same book over, and over, changing names, and situations a little, just enough to justify the different title. Of course depending on the author this genre can be very entertaining, regardless of it’s merits as Literature, and taken to the big screen very often.

Glued to the book


Exhibit Number Three, Science Fiction.

Science fiction (often shortened to sci-fi or scifi) is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a “literature of ideas.”  It usually eschews the supernatural, and unlike the related genre of fantasy, historically science fiction stories were intended to have at least a faint grounding in science-based fact or theory at the time the story was created, but this connection has become tenuous or non-existent in much of science fiction.

Literature of ideas a most generous name given to this genre, if you ask me, but like in anything there is some good storytellers, far and few needless to say.

Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible worlds or futures. It is related to, but different from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated physical laws (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation).

The settings of science fiction are often contrary to those of consensus reality, but most science fiction relies on a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief, which is facilitated in the reader’s mind by potential scientific explanations or solutions to various fictional elements. Science fiction elements include:

  • A time setting in the future, in alternative timelines, or in a historical past that contradicts known facts of history or the archaeological record.

  • A spatial setting or scenes in outer space (e.g. spaceflight), on other worlds, or on subterranean earth.

  • Characters that include aliens, mutants, androids, or humanoid robots and other types of characters arising from a future human evolution.

  • Futuristic or plausible technology such as ray guns, teleportation machines, and humanoid computers.

  • Scientific principles that are new or that contradict accepted physical laws, for example time travel, wormholes, or faster-than-light travel or communication.

  • New and different political or social systems, e.g. Utopian, dystopian, post-scarcity, or post-apocalyptic.

  • Paranormal abilities such as mind control, telepathy, telekinesis (e.g. “The Force” in Star Wars.)

  • Other universes or dimensions and travel between them.

Science Fiction Scenario

The annual Hugo Awards for science fiction and fantasy have been running uninterrupted (with the exception of a brief hiatus in 1954) since 1953. Voting is open to anyone prepared to stump up the money (currently $40) and the ceremony has been held all over the world. As such, the awards can lay serious claim to being one of the most venerable, democratic and international in existence, not to mention one of the most transparent

Outside the sci-fi community, however, the awards barely resonate. Leaving aside the (admittedly interesting) question of whether democratic voting will always select the best novel over that year’s populist Dan Brown equivalent, there’s the well-known snobbery around these genre books. Science fiction may be one of the defining literature of the last century, but it’s rare that its products get any kind of acceptance by the academy (and when they do, they’re then generally called something else).

I got little taste for this type of writing, born by the advent of our contemporary Science, and based on the infatuation  from  our Western obsession with Science, at the root a staunch materialism, from people with the idea Science it’s a panacea for Mankind, a delusional idea if there is one, who even ignore the second law of Thermodynamics: Entropy, yes the Universe had a beginning, and consequently would have an end,  therefore a material existence ends with death, there is no hope of extending life beyond it’s end, however rosy a picture you may have of a fictional future brought by Science and technology, there will not be eternal life, at least not on this material dimension, so go seek it elsewhere!

To be fair there is nothing wrong to read for entertainment purposes, neither a desire to be thrilled, and we have the freedom to choose and pick our own form of entertainment, even if we secretly may feel guilty of indulging our time in such pursuits, myself a clear example of it, for many years I read WWII History, and biographies, knowing that they didn’t add a thing, but to my knowledge of History, if that has any value at all, now days once in a while pick one of this books, read it and feel a little bit guilty afterwards, in fact reading any book that doesn’t make me feel I learnt something valuable, even if I enjoyed it make me feel that way!

As a fellow blogger just read recently describe himself:

“As my faithful readers must have surmised, I like to touch upon a variety of subjects. I was diagnosed “borderline dilettante” at an early age. Fortunately my Juvenile records are sealed. Fiction, non-fiction, gender, travel and the accompanying “yours truly’s” photographs.”

The cat is a dilettante in fur.

Other Genres

Genre is a label that characterizes elements a reader can expect in a work of literature. The major forms of literature can be written in various genres. Genre is a category characterized by similarities in style, or subject matter.

The classic major genres of literature are:

  • Fiction
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Horror
  • Non-fiction
  • Realistic fiction
  • Romance novel
  • Satire
  • Tragedy
  • Tragicomedy
  • Fantasy

My original intention was to talk about all of these, however for the sake of brevity we would end this post right here, and we may tackle the subject on further posts.

Imaginal Views

Posted in Cinema & Literature, Criticism, Cultural Attitudes, Imagination, Language, Literary Criticism, Literature, Novels, On Reading, On Writing, Science Fitction, Thrillers, Uncategorized, whodunit | Tagged , , , , , , , | 39 Comments


Mayan Astronomers at Caracol

“The first men to be created and formed were called the Sorcerer of Fatal Laughter, the Sorcerer of Night, Unkempt, and the Black Sorcerer … They were endowed with intelligence, they succeeded in knowing all that there is in the world. When they looked, instantly they saw all that is around them, and they contemplated in turn the arc of heaven and the round face of the earth … [Then the Creator said]: ‘They know all … what shall we do with them now? Let their sight reach only to that which is near; let them see only a little of the face of the earth!… Are they not by nature simple creatures of our making? Must they also be gods?”


Popol Vuh

The Devil’s Advocate

My friend Bob it’s a very nice guy, but a little on the stubborn side, when it come to arguing about anything, he rather choose an eccentric point of view than a logical one, he prefers to abandon common sense than to be subjected to established rules, or measures of any kind, as an example recently it took me half an afternoon to explain him, against his better understanding of why we have leap years, his argument was since a day has 24 hours and a year consist of 365 days why we have a need of leap days, and leap years?

When I pointed out a year has no relation to the rotation of the Earth around it’s axis,  24 hours a full rotation known as a day, but  to the Earth  orbit around the Sun 149.60 millions kilometers, 92.96 million miles, he couldn’t figure out why there was not a synchronicity relationship of exactly 365 days, but a leftover roughly a quarter of a day (256. 363 004 parts of a day), and therefore the need every four year to add a leap day to keep an accurate calendar system, I tried to explain him to the best of my ability that a calendar it’s just a conception of the measure of time for utilitarian purposes, and point to the fact even our months are not all of 30 days thanks to the 5 days over 360, a beautiful division of our 360 degrees of a circle, in twelve months of 30 days, but in reality an idealized way to divide a circle,  if we wouldn’t add a leap year in a century we would be roughly 25 days off time, and in a millennium that would add up to 250 days off the mark and that would throw off the seasons, our January first would be somewhere in early September.

Of course my friend Bob argued that if calendars were arbitrary and relative measures of time why we couldn’t just divide time as we pleased, as simple as cutting a cake in 365 equal parts!

Neither to say at this point of the conversation I had to point to the obvious need of an standard system of measure, in order to have consensus, that it may be relative to, but not arbitrary, just like going to his house the time it may take him in his car, has no relation as to how many times it’s wheels may spin, since that it’s determine, by the diameter of the wheels, x π (pi)=circumference or size of the wheel, in relation to the distance, regardless of the speed,  he could be driving 5 miles an hour, or 60, it will not matter, the number of spins from the wheels will be the same, independent of the time it make take him to get there.

Bob pensive (800x800)

Cuneiform Tablets

Measure it’s related to honesty, and justice, maybe you will be surprised to know how our writing it is related to this virtues, not surprising writing was not as we know it today. In Mesopotamia it started out as simple counting marks, alongside which sometimes a non-arbitrary well understood sign, in the form of a simple picture image, that was cut into wood, stone, pots but more often pressed onto clay tokens. In that way, recorded accounts of amounts of goods involved in a transaction could be made. This convention began when people developed agriculture and settled into permanent communities that were centered on increasingly large and organised trading marketplaces. These marketplaces traded sheep, grain, and bread loaves, each and every one of these items was recorded by clay tokens. These initially very small clay tokens were continually used all the way from the pre-historic Mesopotamia period, 9000 BC, to the start of the historic period around 3000 BC, when the use of writing for recording was widely adopted.

No doubt this was simply a practical reason to keep record of any transaction, and in this way to keep people of short memory honest!

Administrative Cuneiform tablet

Any measure it’s Relative to

We have come a long way since, and a preconception of time involve a complex set of variables for a celestial planet, or star in relation to other celestial objects, just like our planet Earth year it’s in relation to our Sun, by it’s orbit, so do the rest of our Solar system, as for example a year in Venus it’s 224.7 days long, but a day in the other hand takes a whooping 243 day of our Earth, imagine a day in Venus, is longer than a Venus year!

A year in Jupiter it’s the equivalent of 11.86 years on Earth. As for a day time it depends on where you are in Jupiter! Because Jupiter is not a solid body, its upper atmosphere undergoes differential rotation. The rotation of Jupiter’s polar atmosphere is about 5 minutes longer than that of the equatorial atmosphere; three systems are used as frames of reference, particularly when graphing the motion of atmospheric features. System I applies from the latitudes 10° N to 10° S; its period is the planet’s shortest, at 9 hours 50 minutes 30.0 seconds. System II applies at all latitudes north and south of these; its period is 9h 55m 40.6s. System III was first defined by radio astronomers, and corresponds to the rotation of the planet’s magnetosphere; its period is Jupiter’s official rotation.

Cassini views Jupiter and Io

Human measure systems

As we saw every planet has it’s own particular conditions, and therefore ruled by different time standards in relation to one another, but this is not so different from our way to measure anything here on Earth.

We had so many calendars through History, by every civilization you can think of, that a whole post wouldn’t be big enough to enumerate, and do justice to the subject. There is Solar calendars, Lunar calendars, and Luni-solar.

A little known fact outside of France was the French republican calendar also commonly called the French Revolutionary Calendar (calendrier révolutionnaire français), was a calendar created and implemented during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about 12 years from late 1793 to 1805, and for 18 days by the Paris Commune in 1871. The revolutionary system was designed in part to remove all religious and royalist influences from the calendar, and was part of a larger attempt at decimalization in France (which also included decimal time of day, decimalization of currency, and metrication).

Each day in the Republican Calendar was divided into ten hours, each hour into 100 decimal minutes, and each decimal minute into 100 decimal seconds. Thus an hour was 144 conventional minutes (more than twice as long as a conventional hour), a minute was 86.4 conventional seconds (44% longer than a conventional minute), and a second was 0.864 conventional seconds (13.6% shorter than a conventional second)

There were twelve months, each divided into three ten-day weeks called décades. The tenth day, décadi, replaced Sunday as the day of rest and festivity. The five or six extra days needed to approximate the solar or tropical year were placed after the months at the end of each year and called complementary days. This arrangement was an almost exact copy of the calendar used by the Ancient Egyptians, though in their case the beginning of the year was marked by summer solstice rather than autumn equinox.

A period of four years ending on a leap day was to be called a “Franciade”. The name “Olympique” was originally proposed but changed to Franciade to commemorate the fact that it had taken the revolution four years to establish a republican government in France.

The leap year was called Sextile, an allusion to the “bissextile” leap years of the Julian and Gregorian calendars, because it contained a sixth complementary day.

French Revolutionary pocket watch showing ten-day décade names and thirty-day month numbers from the Republican Calendar, but with duodecimal time

Weights and measures have taken a great variety of forms over the course of history, from simple informal expectations in barter transactions to elaborate state and supranational systems that integrate measures of many different kinds. Weights and measures from the oldest societies can often be inferred at least in part from archaeological specimens, often preserved in museums. The comparison of the dimensions of buildings with the descriptions of contemporary writers is another source of information. An interesting example of this is the comparison of the dimensions of the Greek Parthenon with the description given by Plutarch from which a fairly accurate idea of the size of the Attic foot is obtained. Because of the comparative volume of artifacts and documentation, we know much more about the state-sanctioned measures of large, advanced societies than we do about those of smaller societies or about the informal measures that often coexisted with official ones throughout history. In some cases, we have only plausible theories and we must sometimes select the interpretation to be given to the evidence.

Athena Pathenon

By studying the evidence given by all available sources, and by correlating the relevant facts, we obtain some idea of the origin and development of the units. We find that they have changed more or less gradually with the passing of time in a complex manner because of a great variety of modifying influences. It is possible to group official measurement systems for large societies into historical systems that are relatively stable over time, including: the Babylonian system, the Egyptian system, the Phileterian system of the Ptolemaic age, the Olympic system of Greece, the Roman system, the British system, and the metric system.


Standard weights and measures have existed in the Indus Valley Civilization since the 5th millennium BCE. The centralized weight and measure system served the commercial interest of Indus merchants as smaller weight measures were used to measure luxury goods while larger weights were employed for buying bulkier items, such as food grains etc.Weights existed in multiples of a standard weight and in categories. Technical standardization enabled gauging devices to be effectively used in angular measurement and measurement for construction. Uniform units of length were used in the planning of towns such as Lothal, Surkotada, Kalibangan, Dolavira, Harappa, and Mohenjo-daro. The weights and measures of the Indus civilization also reached Persia and Central Asia, where they were further modified.

Every System Had A Utilitarian Purpose

My point is every measure system had a human origin base on a practical purpose, and could differ according to the specific needs of the task, and the cultural backgrounds of the people who invented the system, a relatively new invention The metric system is a called a decimal-based system because it is based on multiples of ten. Any measurement given in one metric unit(e.g., kilogram) can be converted to another metric unit (e.g., gram) simply by moving the decimal place. Adopted by most of the countries in the world even England the creators, except us here in the United States of America we keep company with Myanmar, and Liberia the other two countries where we cling to the more complicate British Imperial, or Exchequer System.

However no system it’s a God’s given system attuned to every need since as we see in the Heavens every planet, and Star holds different conditions particular, and specific to the given celestial body with their own calendar. Could we have a better calendar now days? Very likely, however changing a calendar just because it’s better it’s not practical just like the Republican French found out, people it’s used to what we have, changing things may bring a lot of unhappiness for the sake of accuracy, an expedience.

As a bit of anecdote the Toltec, Olmec, and the Maya build their calendar, according to their own Cosmological views with their own logic, that until recent were totally unknown to the rest of the world, some people argue the Julian it’s still a better calendar, but the fact remains the Maya adjusted their calendar five days every 52 years, meanwhile in the same period we adjust it 13 times!

Maya pyramid

Posted in Ancient Civilizations, Calendars, Cosmology, Cuneiform Tablets, Decimal System, French Revolutionary Calendar, History, Inspiration, Maya Calendar, My Friend Bob, Relativity, Science, Uncategorized, Weights & Measures | Tagged , , , , , , | 38 Comments


The Stages of The Statations

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

The verses below reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her.


A Personal Anecdote

First let me say I was born a Catholic, perhaps a little of a misnomer, no one is born having a particular Religion, or Faith, our parents give us that as a  fact of life, few parents would choose a different Faith for their children like in the Gandhi movie where an individual full with repentance feelings after killing a Muslim, Gandhi recommends for him to raise the child of an orphan from Muslim background as his, but not in his own Faith but as a Muslim, as an act of atonement for his crime.

Nevertheless I was a sort of precocious child and from an early age I start to question my Faith, and figure it was my own teachers who provoked me in to question that Faith being them Italian Francis Xavier missioners priest, not that they want me to change my Faith, however they provided me with the base of a solid education, that I will be grateful for life, but of my own inquisitive mind, and not doubt a germ of a rebellious nature typical of youth,  combined with a curious disposition, and an skeptic character of mine. Let me just say that by the time I was twelve years of age, I no longer considered myself a Catholic, and even if at this time kind of smile at my early change of mind, and now understand the Faith of my parents far better than I did then, never return to the fold of the Catholic church, as a matter of fact do not think Spirituality as an Institution it’s the way for me, whatever Religion it may be.


Jesus, Capi, me, behind Peimbert, and the men in the suit background possibly Father

A picture of my eldest brother, and me on our first communion at six, or seven years of age with our Godfather, Father observing in the background the man with the black tie by the doorway.

Now the anecdote; a brother of a close friend of mine interviewed Mother Teresa for the radio, a few years before she died in 1997, and despite of him being a Catholic he still hold reservations about the church condemning birth control, and from all the questions he could choose to ask her, having a short chance to talk to her, he could only make one question to her, he picked that one, asking her  opinion about it.

Of course Mother Teresa a good Catholic she was,  cited 1968, Pope Paul VI  landmark encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Latin, “Human Life”), which reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence.

My  brother’s friend, naive as he was in those matters try to argue with her about it saying: “But Mother what about all those children who are born out of wedlock and live in poverty, and many are just abandoned, and thrown in to the streets with no help of anybody, by the thousands?”

Mother Teresa looking him on the eye and holding his hand said: “Do you know a child abandoned?”

He answered: “Well no, but I know there is many!”

Mother Teresa still holding his hand said: “Then what business it’s for you to question the church stance on these matters?”

My friend’s brother stammered something about the injustice of it. Mother Teresa smiling said: “Do not worry my son, whenever you find an abandoned child, if you can’t take care of him, bring it to me, I will take care of him, and that will take the worry out of your head.”

Releasing his hand, and walking away she still turn around and said: “Bring as many as you can find, I will take care of all of them!”

Now my friend’s brother despite being a Catholic didn’t like the answer Mother Teresa  gave him, and  had a poor opinion of her, I sort of smiled and said to him:

“I didn’t knew much about Mother Teresa to have an opinion about her, but now you have left no doubt in my mind Mother Teresa is a saint!”

Mother Teresa holding a child


Mother Teresa Critics

According to a paper written by three Canadian academics, Serge Larivée, Geneviève Chénard, and Carole Sénéchal, Teresa’s clinics received millions of dollars in donations, yet their conditions drew criticism from people disturbed by the shortage of medical care, systematic diagnosis, and necessary nutrition, as well as the scarcity of analgesics for those in pain;[ they said that “Mother Teresa believed the sick must suffer like Christ on the cross”. Some have argued that the additional money could have had transformative effects on the health of the poor by creating advanced palliative care facilities in the city. Abortion rights groups criticized her stance on abortion, while anti-abortion advocates praised her support of fetal rights.

One of Teresa’s most outspoken critics was the English journalist, literary critic and antitheist Christopher Hitchens, who wrote the extended essay The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (1995) and wrote in a 2003 article, “This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hell fire and continence to the poor. [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.” He also accused her of hypocrisy for opting to receive advanced treatment for her heart condition.

Hitchens thought he was the only witness (Chatterjee, another with views antagonistic to Teresa, was also called) called by the Vatican to give evidence against Teresa’s beatification and canonization process, because the Vatican had abolished the traditional “devil’s advocate” role which fulfilled a similar purpose. Hitchens said that “her intention was not to help people”, and that she lied to donors about the use of their contributions. “It was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn’t working to alleviate poverty”, he said, “She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, ‘I’m not a social worker. I don’t do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the church.

Christopher Hitchens

The Dark Night of the Soul

Analysing her deeds and achievements, John Paul II asked: “Where did Mother Teresa find the strength and perseverance to place herself completely at the service of others? She found it in prayer and in the silent contemplation of Jesus Christ, his Holy Face, his Sacred Heart. Privately, Mother Teresa experienced doubts and struggles over her religious beliefs which lasted nearly 50 years until the end of her life, during which “she felt no presence of God whatsoever”, “neither in her heart or in the Eucharist” as put by her postulator, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk. Mother Teresa expressed grave doubts about God’s existence and pain over her lack of faith:

Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness … If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul.

With reference to the above words, Kolodiejchuk (the official responsible for gathering the evidence for her sanctification) said he thought that some might misinterpret her meaning, but her faith that God was working through her remained undiminished, and that while she pined for the lost sentiment of closeness with God, she did not question his existence, and that she may have experienced something similar to what is believed of Jesus Christ when crucified who was heard to say “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” which is translated to “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Kolodiejchuk drew comparisons to the 16th-century mystic St. John of the Cross, who coined the term the “Dark Night of the Soul”. Many other saints had similar experiences of spiritual dryness, or what Catholics believe to be spiritual tests (“passive purification”), such as Mother Teresa’s namesake, St. Therese of Lisieux, who called it a “night of nothingness.” The Rev. James Langford said these doubts were typical and would not be an impediment to canonization.

Teresa wrote many letters to her confessors and superiors over a 66-year period, most notably to Calcutta Archbishop Ferdinand Perier and a Jesuit priest, Celeste van Exem, who had been her spiritual adviser since the formation of the Missionaries of Charity. She had asked that her letters be destroyed, concerned that “people will think more of me—less of Jesus.” Despite this request, the correspondences have been compiled in Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday) In one publicly released letter to a spiritual confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, she wrote, “Jesus has a very special love for you. [But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see,—Listen and do not hear—the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me—that I let Him have [a] free hand.”


Stations and States

The various stages of self-awareness on the Sufi path are known as ‘Maqamat’, or the ‘stations’, which are attainable through continuous spiritual practices and sincere efforts. However, ‘haal’ or ‘state’ can only happen by the Grace of God.

Rumi has described these stages poetically as: ‘Maqam’ is the (King’s) being alone with the bride while ‘haal’ is like unveiling of the beauteous bride.

To elaborate these stages further:

‘MAQAM’ represents a spiritual station, where the seeker finds him after sincerely treading the spiritual path for a while. With gradual polishing of the mirror of the heart through meditative exercises, he keeps on becoming aware of the spiritual subtleties behind the physical realm. With each breakthrough, he finds a new level of awareness. In this process, his previous level of awareness serves as the ‘Maqam’ where he becomes stationed till he moves on. Maqamat or Stations can also be perceived as the ascending rungs of the spiritual ladder. With continuous spiritual practices, a seeker ascends on this ladder. While moving from station to station, he may be touched by the special Grace or HAAL from time to time.

Shrine of Sachal Sarmast

HAAL occurs spontaneously as a spiritual gift. While walking in the spiritual forest amidst pathways decorated with dancing trees and perfumed flowers, a soft cloud appears on the horizon, engulfs the seeker while quenching his spiritual thirst then moves on leaving him in a state of awe. In this state, a seeker neither expects what comes to him from the unseen world nor has the slightest idea about the nature of experience. He is simply taken over by an overwhelming compassionate power. It reflects a state, where a door opens out of nowhere and breeze from the garden of eternity surrounds the seeker and colours him with its perfume. A realm of ecstasy prevails due to unbearable display of beauty. This state of Hal comes and goes on its own. A seeker can never claim such a state due to its extraordinariness and his ordinariness. It always happens as a Grace.

Such stages are not some concrete milestones depicting progress on the Sufi path step by step rather reflects inner spiritual development. This is why; there exists no consensus among Sufi’s on the number and details of these stages.




I never cared much for the late English journalist, literary critic and antitheist Christopher Hitchens a controversial figure to say the least, after describing himself a socialist, a Marxist and anti totalitarian, made a turncoat move to the far right,  joining and supporting with his jingoistic tirades in the news media the second Bush invasion of Iraq, this actions left no sympathies in me for his opinions, as for his criticism of Mother Teresa, I question how much he was motivated by his personal atheistic beliefs, and personal complacency, as my friend’s brother, and many others, who having an opinion, on every  subject imaginable, and supposedly worrying about multiple things, still without moving a finger to do anything about it! On that respect any opinion you may express, in my view has little value whatsoever, and more when you do not know nothing about it, specially when you are far from being a saint, yourself!

Another close friend of mine a rabid atheist, in a very recent conversation, a few days ago, or I should said argument, he carried against some nice young Jewish Lubavitcher followers just because he can’t imagine any rational being to posses Faith, and belong to a Religion, who just happen to ask us if we were Jewish, immediately my friend engaged them on an argument about their Faith, for quite some time, one of the nice young men mentioned in his arguments that his father run a kitchen for the homeless in another country where he serves 70,000 meals a year to the poor, my friend after they left, dared even to question the reasons this person may have in doing this, fed up with his reasoning I said: “Stop it, as far as I am concern he feeds 69.999 people more a year, save my occasional guest, than I do, and probably more than you do as well, so you have no right to question his motives!

Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum:

‘To err is human, but to persist (in the mistake) is diabolical.

Mother Teresa was a human being, maybe she did a lot of mistakes like we all do, but she worked tirelessly most of her life helping the downtrodden, and that in my opinion, it is to have achieved a higher Spiritual Station, regardless if she never experienced bliss, or ecstasy like some saints do, the more merit to her since she only relied on Faith to sustain her, and to persist on her work despite her dark night of the soul.


God Intoxication

I may write in a further post about Saints, Sadhus, Babas, Aghoris, and Holly men who become God intoxicated through meditation, singing, and dancing as Dervishes do, others they even smoke ganja, or drink herbal brews of a psychotropic nature, and acquire Ecstatic states, some briefly, others for  days, weeks, even months, some even years, but as we read above, bliss, ecstasy it’s a grace, or a gift if you wish, not really difficult to experience, the path to Godhead or Spiritual Realization comes  not in a single fashion, but in myriads of ways, some, or most I should add we do not know nothing about, so we can’t judge easy in matters of Spirit when we have no knowledge of it, but to reach a high Spiritual Station it’s what make a Saint great, not the states. In other words; Spiritually it’s not what you take, but what you give what it is important.

Naga Baba With Chilum Smoking Ganja

Posted in Criticism, Grace, Inspiration, Mother Teresa, Personal Story, Religion, Saints, Spiritual States, Spiritual Stations, Spirituality, The Dark Night Of The Soul, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 53 Comments


Dresden 1945

The twenty century has been marked by cynicism,

selfishness, greed, and the desire to please,

all without changing the status quo.

In the 21st we must resurrect solidarity and


Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace 1986


A century of wars, and failed utopias

At the beginning of the Twenty century the world was involved in a class struggle over a hundred years old, since the French revolution, the American independence, the beginning of the end of colonization, and old Empires, monarchies become obsolete, and state nations like America surged here, and there, in other parts like in Russia the monarchy come to a bloody end, after the hecatomb of the First World War, basically a scramble for power between old, and outdated Empires, as the British, Austro Hungarian, German, Russian, and Ottoman Empires. And the start of America flexing it’s new power around the globe.

The Russian revolution saw the emergence of Socialism, and the utopia of communism, a reign of terror of unimaginable proportions, First World War was just a preamble to the unsolved problems of what yet was to come The Horrific World War II that culminated in the destruction of most of Europe, were not only soldiers fought and lost their lives, but also civilian population was involved and not spared, along with genocide, and not only of Jews, but of many other people like Chinese, Asians of many nations, Eastern Europeans, and even the Japanese bombed twice with atomic bombs, as for the need of it with Japan on the brink of collapse justifications are numerous, but of dubious necessity, or credibility.

A cold war soon after, and an armament race that exhausted Soviet Russia, but empowered brutal capitalism and an industry based on manufacturing weapons instead of looking for a better use of science in the benefit of society at large. Mini wars here, and there, all over the globe feeding the war industrialist, and solidifying Capitalism, and shoving it down the throats of undeveloped Nations all over the world.

A sad, and shameless History was the Twenty Century if you ask me, and so far on this new Century doesn’t look any better!

A Sad Twenty Century

The facts about the twenty century and our current condition

No, I do not live with the idea that past times were always better, but neither believe that our time it’s the best ever. It is hard to describe this without being accused of nostalgic idealization of the past, and biased interpretation of History. It’s hard to quantify the degree of deterioration to the quality of life, not only of the privileged, as well of those living in poverty, and disadvantaged, life that has been cheapened and debased, despite the so much vaunted progress, in every sphere of knowledge, and technology, social inequality still reigns unabashedly in most parts of the world, regardless of the relative comparisons between what they didn’t have in past centuries, to our days, since if they lacked many of the advances in technology, science, medicine, and the many trinkets we enjoy today, nevertheless, they enjoyed a more tranquil, and quieter life without the fast pace, and stress  imposed on us since the Advent of modernity,  slavery has been abolished in the Nineteen century, but another type of hopeless servitude still exist well and alive now days in many parts of the world.

The American dream

Few examples are necessary to prove my point, people with only a few   years of school made more money, and lived in bigger, and more comfortable surroundings, than most people in their present life today, many mothers as housewives  never needed to look for a job, they enjoyed a quieter life, and at more relaxed surroundings than most of us do, herded in crowded apartment buildings, and run down neighborhoods,  and neither commuted two hours just to get to work, never the worker was asked to do so much work for less money, as plutocrats now days take for granted you will work for less, not since the time of the industrial revolution the progress of labor have being so dismal. Some may argue the past generation they were smarter, or better than we are now days, being called by some, “The greatest Generation” a myth if I had heard of one, if anything they should be called “The Great War Generation” (That by the way wasn’t WWI but WWII) who just happened to benefit from the work brought by an Industrial war machinery, and from Roosevelt’s New deal together with the GI bill who granted free education for veterans, unlike now days were you have to pay dearly for an education, even to the point to be saddled with debt for the rest of your life! But we also witness that despite their great assets, they also  suffered substantial set backs on their later years, as  result of the new winds of change enveloping all of us in the new game of greater effort, more skills, and bigger sacrifices demanded from you, for less rewards, a common state of affairs we live now days, nevertheless they fared  way better than my generation, were we now endure this trend even from early age where you have to compete as a child through the years we need to spend in school where more is demanded from you, as a preparation for the work ordeal you got to face, and endure now days, for far less return, and without a job security as our fathers took for granted, but a shifty, insecure, and for precarious prospects, with the consequent deterioration, and diminishing in the quality of life for the majority. Like if by the mere fact of your existence you would not deserve, or grant you a fair chance, and decent conditions of living, but have to wrestle it away from other less lucky. My question to you is, what sort of benefit it’s to live under these so much vaunted conditions of  “Freedom and Democracy”? When you are not even a person but a consumer=a sheep to be fleeced! Just read an article were old medicine drugs, costing a dollar, and necessary for many people suffering decease, are revamped and sell in new patents for over $500 dollars! These type of abuse its an everyday occurrence so common as to be relegated to the back pages of the newspapers.


 In Brief, an outmoded, and obsolete form of government.

We remain as spectators, and helpless victims of a political system that now days it’s as inefficient, and out of pace with our current needs, whose only  reason for it’s existence is to enrich the few, and as useless as Monarchy was at the beginning of the Twenty Century, it just doesn’t work and we need to shake it!

There is a chasm that keep on widening, fueled by rampant privatization, mass incarceration, the demolition of the welfare state, a consumer culture, the corruption by money of the democratic process, a failed judicial branch of government, police militarization, military solutions, instead of diplomacy, that favors interests rather than justice, global inequality,   the despoliation of resources of the poor countries, by the rich countries, the subjugation of the same nations by credits who benefit few, but saddle the countries with enormous unpayable debt, the spread of a capitalistic global octopus who cares little what may be the result of such despoliation, and governments that in fact are accomplices of such barbaric enterprises, but above all the corrosive lie that they keep spreading; that things can’t be different or be changed, propagated by a media apparatus of Orwellian proportions, whose labor it’s to control opinion, by a relentless barrage of misinformation, that keep people brainwashed in to believing any effort to confront them it’s futile, and useless, and to accept as normal what should be intolerable.

Progress now day

Posted in A World in Crisis, Capitalism, Consciousness, Corruption, Crisis, Critical Thinking, Cynicism, Democracy, Disillusion with Capitalism, Economy, History, Obsolete Government, Orwellian Media, Plutocracy, The Twenty Century, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments