- REFLECTIONS FROM AN OLD MAN ABOUT HIS PAST
- RUMORS OF WARS AND SUFFERING
- MY LOVE OF BOOKS, AND MY READING SAGA, A STORY OF LOVE, WONDER, HEARTBREAK, AND BACK PAIN.
- ON MYSTICISM AND MEISTER ECKHART
- A BEUTIFUL DAY TRHOUGH MY WINDOW THE HOPE OF A NEW YEAR
- REFLECTIONS OF CHRISTMAS PAST, AND PRESENT.
- HISTORY OF DREAMING, AND CONNECTION WITH SPIRIT, THIRD PART
- DREAM INTERPRETATION AND IT’S PROBLEMS. SECOND PART.
- ON DREAMING, A SEARCH FOR KNOLEDGE OF THE SELF. FIRST PART.
- WE ARE MOVING AGAIN!
- IT’S JUST PARANOIA, OR THERE IS CONSPIRACY A PLENTY?
- RUNNING OUT OF TIME
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mathew 24: 6-8
Well, I apologize, in advance some of you may know my proclivity to look at things from different, and to some weird angles, as a child I grew up as a nice catholic educated boy, at school, not to mean that at my final years was not quite a cynic. Given at the time to read a lot about wars, specially WWII
In fact even if I do not read war’s books in many years, I read enough to last me for a lifetime, and understand that there’s nothing nice, or heroic about wars, and that to argue about such things it’s futile, and not conducing to anything, and what’s more you end antagonizing those who like to argue about the righteousness, of such country over the other, one when there’s such a malady as a new war.
And here we are again.. By the way, there’s not a place at our wide Earth, that someone is not at war with someone else, the difference is that depending where that war is taking place, most people do not care much about it, and therefore its not much talked, I guess that’s the Human nature, to dispute, and come to resolve the matter by violence, of some kind, be this lethal, or not.
For many years before retired, on my way to work I will pass in front of a military cemetery going, and coming back from work, to the point I will not even pay attention anymore, but once in a while will reflect when seeing flags, or flowers someone dear father, brother, husband, or son was buried there, and someone come and pay they respect, and maybe even still have pain, and tears, on their memories of loss.
Now no, I do not care for wars, or their righteousness, or lack of it, if anything I reflect in the fact someone must be crying for the loss of a beloved one, somewhere around this vast world, and that made me sad, very sad, wars always bring suffering to many…
“There’s is nothing like a book, to wake up the inquisitive mind in a child, for the rest of his life, character may be destiny, but books are beautiful views, and signpost of great help, along the life road, we travel.”
And you can quote me on that one!
About a month ago I read a post of a fellow blogger, complaining about finding files, my problem its finding books, that I own.
And relatively speaking I own about maybe twenty –five boxes full of books, they occupy the better part of the second bedroom I have, stacked up around the walls of the bedroom about waist high, I could save space pilling them higher, but it will be too hard to be able to search for a title when I am looking for it, book boxes are heavy, and no, I will not read a tablet!
Spend too much time on the computer as it is, and many great books specially the old kind you will not find online. Not to add some books are masterpieces of art, and just to behold them, feel, and have in your hand a real pleasure, it’s not just reading them!
Hey, some people collect, all kind of junk!
I do not collect, I read books, but if they are also a pleasure to behold, and with a few extras throw in to them as special editions, onion paper, decorated edges, leather bound, meanwhile you read them, got nothing against it!
My father had a large room of an old house with a big bookcase full of books even on top, and possibly as many boxes of books, and other objects, as I do now myself, on quite a smaller house.
Moving, many times (sorry lost counts of how many times, approximately thirty –three, or thirty-five times over my lifetime.) a reason not to own nice bookshelves, since you never know if it they will fit on your next place you move. Every time, I got to decide what books to left behind, a task, I do not enjoy, and certainly not easy, in fact physically demanding as well, and dangerous to your lower back!
A soon as I leant to read, possibly six years of age, my father an avid reader put a book in my hands to read, early one morning, very likely a Saturday, when I was off school.
An adventure novel by the then popular Emilio Salgari, 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, I guess my father read him as a child, and he read them when a child, and he kept them, and it was the first book I read, already told the story in a past blog.
Anyway it was not more than a 110 pages long, and when my father, returned home, I gave him back to him, my father told me:
“You did not like it?
“No, I just finish reading it, and in fact since there’s a sequel to the story, I want the next one!”
Father was delighted, and pleased, unfortunately for me, I devour the whole collection, about one book a day! But since my father had many books, some I am afraid not suitable for young children, I start reading every book he had, and no only that, with my allowance, start saving and buying my own books at the local bookstore, unfortunately at the time my small town did not have a public library, but father, and mother, were generous, and bought me many books, the ones tat I rarely touched were my schoolbooks! Specially math, chemistry, physics and the likes, except for History and Literature.
By the time I was in Junior high there was no book in my father library that I had not read, but he had many boxes full of paperbacks in English, a foreign language to me at the time, so I told him that I wanted to learn English, and my father had learned his English well, and here I will tell you from what book he learned it from.
”Théodore Robertson, whose real name was Pierre-Charles-Théodore Lafforgue, was born in Paris in 1803 and died in the same city in 1871. Robertson was a lexicographer who designed a method of teaching languages that would go down in history as «the Robertson method », in honor of the pseudonym that he was allowed to use instead of his name, by decree, in 1858. Around 1822, when Robertson was only 19 years old, he was already teaching English courses, which allowed him to develop his method at an early age from the jacotot teaching system, by the Frenchman Jean Joseph Jacotot (1770-1840). Robertson’s method, focused on learning foreign languages by combining theory and practice, with a great emphasis on the latter, spread throughout Europe and America, as we have editions and adaptations published in Germany, Spain and the United States, and we also find evidence that his books were very popular in Russia.
Jacotot was born at Dijon on 4 March 1770. He was educated at the university of Dijon, where in his nineteenth year he was made a professor of Latin, after which he studied law, became a lawyer, and at the same time devoted a large amount of his attention to mathematics.
Well, what can I say?
“The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye is one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one love.“.
The above quotes belong to Meister Eckhart Eckhart von Hochheim (c. 1260 – c. 1328), commonly known as Meister Eckhart[a] or Eckehart, was a German Catholic theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha in the Landgraviate of Thuringia (now central Germany) in the Holy Roman Empire.
Eckhart came into prominence during the Avignon Papacy at a time of increased tensions between monastic orders, diocesan clergy, the Franciscan Order, and Eckhart’s Dominican Order of Preachers. In later life, he was accused of heresy and brought up before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition, and tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII. He seems to have died before his verdict was received.
Well with that quote it’s not surprising , that the church at the time accused him of heresy!
However on these more enlightened days he is considered a great mystic by many.
He was well known for his work with pious lay groups such as the Friends of God and was succeeded by his more circumspect disciples John Tauler and Henry Suso. Since the 19th century, he has received renewed attention. He has acquired a status as a great mystic within contemporary popular spirituality, as well as considerable interest from scholars situating him within the medieval scholastic and philosophical tradition.
Little is known about his family and early life. There is no authority for giving him the Christian name of Johannes, which sometimes appears in biographical sketches: his Christian name was Eckhart; his surname was von Hochheim.
Eckhart joined the Dominicans at Erfurt, probably when he was about eighteen, and it is assumed he studied at Cologne.
I will not go into detail, about the accusation, or it will require a book, luckily for him he died before a verdict was drawn.
It has been said of Meister Eckhart that he was the first Christian pantheist.
In his life and work he was not only an ordained priest, but also a visionary mystic whose ideas ranged beyond orthodox church norms. Shortly after his death, twenty-eight of them were declared heretical. But when charged with heresy, he had made only a conditional retraction, claiming to have spoken “the naked truth” and challenging the judges to demonstrate that what he said was false. Fortunately, he did not live to see the condemnation, or to suffer the consequences in person. Posterity has cleared his name and condemned the judges. But they were not the first ecclesiastics to forbid what lay outside the box: others before had often done so, and so have others since. I have nothing against the church, but I share Mark Twain’s quote:
“The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetics in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve.”
Some attribute Meister Eckhart thinking to Theologia Germanica, also known as Theologia Deutsch or Teutsch, or as Der Franckforter, is a mystical treatise believed to have been written in the later 14th century by an anonymous author. According to the introduction of the Theologia the author was a priest and a member of the Teutonic Order living in Frankfurt, Germany.
But let me finish with some quotes from Meister Eckhart:
“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
“Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.”
“Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.”
“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.”
“Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.”
My Christmas memories
Gather and dance—
Each beautiful, unique,
And gone too soon.
With time we grow , and look with different eyes what most people see as Sacred.
But a little of more time, we turn mellow, and tolerant, give a few more years, and we turn even softer, sentimental will be the proper word, we may even cry a tear, or two, when remembering things now afar on time, like our childhood, our parents, and older relatives, now gone for quite some years, you better have created a family of your own, otherwise you will be alone, and with nothing but your memories as a better time, of a paradise lost…
Such it’s the effect of holidays, it’s hard to be merry, if you have no one to share with.
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stol’n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew’th …
Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee—
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
And a verse of a Lapland song
Is haunting my memory still:
‘A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.’
‘Tis death! and peace, indeed, is here,
And ease from shame, and rest from fear.
There’s nothing can dismarble now
The smoothness of that limpid brow.
But is a calm like this, in truth,
The crowning end of life and youth,
And when this boon rewards the dead,
Are all debts paid, has all been said?
I would go back, but the ways are winding,
If ways there are to that land, in sooth;
For what man succeeds in ever finding
A path to the garden of his lost youth?
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Delight it is in youth and May
To see the morn arise,
And more delight to look all day
A lover in the eyes.
Oh maiden, let your distaff be,
And pace the flowery meads with me,
And I will tell you lies …
A. E. Housman
Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?
Why does every beautiful face grow in old age?
Wrinkled like the back of a Libyan lizard?
Why does a full head of hair get bald?
Why is the tall, straight figure
That divided the ranks like a spear
Now bent almost double?
Why is it that the
Lion strength weakens to nothing?
The wrestler who could hold anyone down
Is led out with two people supporting him,
Their shoulders under his arms?
“They put on borrowed robes
and pretended they were theirs.
I take the beautiful clothes back,
so that you will learn the robe
of appearance is only a loan.”
Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.
Oh! Fading light of sunset, here comes another Holiday!
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
― C.G. Jung.
First let me say, there’s all sort of dreams, provoked by so many reasons, from you being worry about something, that its bothering you, to unfulfilled wish desires, or you just had too much to eat for diner, and have a nightmare, but one thing I will tell you, the dreams you have are a reflection of who you are, and of course your Spiritual side, or the lack of it, will show up, in your dreams.
You would not have Joseph’s kind of dreams, if you are not a Spiritual person, first, because if you are not interested in such thing, as a Spiritual life, it’s like asking a vicious, and evil person, to have good thoughts, and be merciful, it doesn’t work that way, we are what we are, and we resonate, and have affinity for those things we have an inclination to, period.
Of course we all can change, if we desire to change, and be better, but in all honesty, do we want to change, and be better?
Where we go from here?
We most live now day, in a secular environment, some with strong ties to Religion, but most if good persons, few have the vocation of a desert Father, or monk.
Of course if you are from a Spiritual nature, or show inclinations, you can have Spiritual dreams, as well.
But are Spiritual dreams different?
Not really, they are just dreams that are related to Spirituality, dreaming is just that way, the same way you cannot dream about mathematics, if you do not care about it, or even worst, if you do not know the first thing about it.
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity came to him in a dream about cows. He dreamed he was walking through a farm when he came upon some cows by an electric fence. He then saw the cows jump at the same time as the fence gave them an electric shock. But a farmer, who had been standing at the other end of the field, saw them jump one by one, like a Mexican wave. Einstein realized their views of the same event had been different. This lead to the Theory of Relativity, the idea that events look different depending on where you’re standing because of the time it takes the light to reach your eyes.
History of Dreaming
It’s well know that we Humans besides consciousness, and rational, we also dream, scientist now say even animals do.
The earliest recorded dream is from the Sumerian king Dumuzi of Uruk who ruled just before Gilgamesh, sometime around 2500 BC. “An eagle seizes a lamb from the sheepfold,” a translation reads. “A falcon catches a sparrow on the reed fence … The cup lies on its side; Dumuzi lives no more. The sheepfold is given to the winds.” The king was freaked out about his dream, and occasioned the first recorded dream interpretation, care of his sister, who was evidently a professional at these things. Sister’s advice: Some bad stuff is about to come down, so you’d do well to hide.
Scholars now day believe he did not even exist, he was fabricated to give an origin to a dynasty, but they had to come with some sort of story for those early rulers, and somehow the story of the dream stuck, and here we have it as the first dream in record. Which proves that Man has worried about dreams since.
However it’s well know by anthropologist, and anybody who is interested in dreams, that all aboriginal people around the World, not jus today but through History have a culture of interpreting dreams, and that somehow are connected to Spirit, according to their particular beliefs, no different than Christians with dream stories in the Bible, as Joseph, and in the New Testament.
The flight into Egypt is a story recounted in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13–23) and in New Testament apocrypha. Soon after the visit by the Magi, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to flee to Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus since King Herod would seek the child to kill him.
The first problem with dreams it’s not how to interpret them, that comes later, the first one it’s to remember them!
It’s well known, that as we age we forget everything specially our short memory, I am at that stage, where I can spend many minutes going crazy looking for something I just put down, somewhere, and cannot figure where?
Despite being methodical, as I age it seems to go with the territory, my dear mother when I was young used to go crazy trying to figure out where she left this or that, in my naivety as a child couldn’t figure out how mother could forget so easily such things?
Well, now I know!
Hardly a day go through, when something so simple as putting something away, can disappear, like if by magic!
Mother wherever you may be, please forgive me! It seems I am even worst than you, on that respect, I just recently moved to another house, and packed everything, and I am going like crazy to find things I know I did pack them, where they are, I will figure out eventually when I finish unpacking, I am not in a hurry, the whole thing of moving it’s just exhausting!
We spend a third of our lives sleeping, and dreaming, and we forget almost instantly, after waking up within a minute, what was the last dream we had, so the first rule about interpreting dreams it is to write them down immediately!
Of course if the dream wakes you up the moment you dream it, that’s an important dream, your subconscious, is telling you, its important to remember, therefore dreams can be very impressive, for you to recall them later.
And the reason you may have very impressive cinematic dreams.
Yes, they are telling you not to forget them, since it’s very important for you to be aware, at something you are likely oblivious of it. And consequently in danger to run soon into problems.
So if you are serious, pay attention to dreams and be methodical, and keep a dream diary by your bed and make a habit of writing them down.
How Keeping a Dream Journal Benefits Your Waking Life
It reduces stress.
It makes you more creative.
It helps you remember an amazing idea.
It helps you solve problems.
It helps you learn from mistakes.
An the best part, you will be able to figure up what the dream was all about it, even if may take you not days, but weeks, months, or more to figure it all up, once you reread your diary.
“God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in man”
I wouldn’t even know where to start, this business about dreaming it’s so extensive, let me just say for many years as far back as when I was a child maybe no more than five, or six years of age I was intrigued and interested on dreams, in my natal chart I have a very close conjunction Venus with Mars in Pisces, on the fourth house, making a trine with Uranus in Cancer on the eight house.
Another thing that fascinated me at the time was snorkeling, and diving on the Ocean, did quite a lot of it until of course other prosaic but normal occupations took me away from it, like trying to make a living by working, now I realize that dreaming and diving were connected, you dive to see an underworld beneath the waters, just as you dive within your subconscious dreams in search of a hidden treasure.
And there’s a veritable cornucopia of treasures hidden within our Self, and dreams can be a gate to them.
And for that, first we need to be able to decipher symbols, since the language of dreams is not a straightforward language, or very rarely the case. but a tangle of apparently confused images, with a thing of reality, those images lack a coherence, or a logic of our awaken state.
Voltaire said: ‘Why do we dream in our sleep if we have no soul? and, if we have one, how is it that dreams are so incoherent and extravagant?’
Voltaire was a clever fellow, but I guess he was not aware we dream on a symbolic language of images, rather than logical phrases, and its for that reason we need to study Symbology, or Symbolism, since some people refuse to give it a status of a science, to the study of the language, or science of dreams. Sorry folks some philologists, or linguistics if you care to split hairs, had evolved to the point they have not reconciled yet, language with symbols in languages, not to speak of dreams, separated now to the study of texts, or mere fussy Grammarians, who of course are not interested in Jungian psychology, or care to dwell on it.
My point just because people are too specialized on something it doesn’t mean you cannot be eclectic, and climb to higher point of view, where you can see the connection between symbol, dream, and even language if in need to do so.
In dreams there are no barriers to the expression of the soul through symbols that may be apprehended, to bring light, and coherence, to what may resemble a Picasso on a bad day.
But I will not mince words, in order to dwell into the study of dreams you require lot of intuition, and a long time of the study of symbols, I guess its a call, not something that you may be undecided as when its time to go to college, and you may make a compromise on lack of a true vocation, to become a Dentist, or an Engineer, rather than a Lawyer.
We all are attracted to different things according to our temper, character, family history, genetics, proclivities, and what not, so to be a dream interpreter it’s a call. Or you may stumble into it, like Ali Baba into the cave of the 40 thieves.
“The hardest thing about moving is the hassle of it, like getting everything to fit into so many boxes, and then find them again.”
I firmly believe everything comes for a purpose, that may be hiding, or unknown to us, so I know there will be something good at the end of the tunnel, but let’s just say it: I hate moving!
Let me put it better, it’s not the thought of living in a place, or the uncertainty of the future place, but the actual act of moving, I mean the packing, the whole hassle of moving things around, and the effort and the time you got to spend at it.
I am not looking forward to it, but I got to be somewhere else on September first, at the latest, and to make things worse, I have not found a proper place yet..!
I hate the idea of first having to take my stuff to a storage facility, and live in a hotel until I find a suitable place, but if I have to do it, I will.
They say the average person in America moves about twelve times, I do not know about that, I cannot even recall all the times I had moved, every time I count them, then remember another place I did not count, my memory right now tells me 32, or 33 times, but it could be more, I just do not remember, maybe close to 3 times more than your average person I had lived in at least seventh different cities, and in the particular city I am now it’s my fourth time, and nine different addresses in the city, this will be my third address since I moved back here hardly five years ago.
My landlord decided not to renew my yearly rental agreement, since she need a house for his young son, who is moving out of home, for the first time, good for him, terrible for me!
Well, such is life!
Wish me luck, I am gone to need it!
As I say on the beginning, I am man of faith, and know everything comes from God, and He wants for me to move, so I will, so help me God! Your order, it’s my command.
Sorry for my rant, but my mind it’s too busy now with my problem, next post hopefully will be something nicer, like the picture below.
“The truth is far more frightening – Nobody is in control.
The world is rudderless.”
First lets begin by saying, since Man it’s a social animal, conspiracy has being with us since the beginning of time, and conspiracies exist a plenty today, as it had through History.
“To what extent were you justified in getting rid of a tyrant? How bad did a ruler have to be before you were justified in committing the country and half the world to civil war?,
” Stothard says, posing the questions that animated the plotters. “There were people with very similar views to Gaius Cassius and Cassius Parmensis who said that no matter how bad Caesar was, civil war was worse, and the best thing to do was just retreat to your garden, if you could afford it, settle down and concentrate on your personal peace. There were other people with very similar views who said if someone like Julius Caesar is in charge of the whole world, you could never get personal peace.”
Not that all the plotters were quite so high-minded. “For some, it was pure personal pique,” Stothard says.
“‘Caesar gave away my land to his mistress’; or ‘Caesar didn’t help me get a job I should’ve gotten’; or ‘Caesar didn’t give me money that I thought he should’ve given me.’ But they were in league with people who’d thought through, in a very complex way, what kind of future they were justified in trying to achieve or prevent.”
So yes, conspiracies for one end, to another one, are part of Ancient Societies, to our current one today.
But it does not mean everything that happens, bad, or worst, it’s the product of a conspiracy, far from it, most of the things that go wrong on our lives, we only have ourselves to blame for.
As for what happens at society at large, sure, a few things may be a conspiracy of sorts, but mainly I agree with the premise stated above:
“The truth is far more frightening – Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.”
The word chance, opportunity, missed chances, and blunder, combine more often than not to our lives, than blaming everything on conspiracies.
Conspiracy theories are typically unverified and sensationalistic interpretations of events that are “self-insulating against disconfirmation” and are “based on weak kinds of evidence” 1. Beliefs in conspiracy theories are associated with the rejection of generally accepted norms, assumptions, and behaviors, e.g., regarding vaccination 2. combating climate change 3. or political participation 4. However, many of these theories are widely disseminated and accepted 5. Despite growing research in this area, little is still known about the cognitive underpinnings of the belief in conspiracy theories.
What is the definition of being paranoid?
Paranoia is the feeling that you’re being threatened in some way, such as people watching you or acting against you, even though there’s no proof that it’s true. It happens to a lot of people at some point. You don’t think you’re paranoid at all because you feel sure it’s true.
“When no one’s word is authoritative, any crank is as credible as the next person. It is the irony at the heart of conspiracy thinking: You can’t trust anyone these days, so you may as well place some credence in some stranger who just tweeted something exciting, if unproven. When someone whispers, “Trust no one,” they are inevitably also saying, “Trust me.” Pete Buttigieg.
Well, it’s your choice, to be a believer, or not.
My point is: That make you more free, or more frightened?
If your answer it’s the latest, I feel sorry about you, life can be beautiful if you imagine to be so, as well, your choice.
“Time brings all things to pass.”
Existence it’s necessary for time to be, otherwise time has no thing to attach itself to it, or run after, or keep time for, no existence, no time, existence of something, the beginning of time.
However today Scientist are not so sure, developments in theoretical physics, especially the rise of string theory, have changed their perspective. The pre-bang universe has become the latest frontier of cosmology.
But do not take my word for it, could be old news Scientifically speaking, I am not a Cosmologist with the latest paper on it, what I am saying had a date around 2006, who knows what is the latest word on it.
However like all of you, even a newborn, we are all running out of time, as we read this.
But if one thing we can be sure of it, is that time is running, as we speak, or remain silent, move, or not, sleep or counscious, as you wake up, you are already a few hours older, and by the end of the day, well another day it’s gone!
Fling me across the fabric of time and the seas of space. Make me nothing and from nothing-everything. The Past, the Future, O dear, is from you; you should regard both these as one.
Don’t delay, or procrastinate every day will come, at its appointed time, be ready for it.
The fool suffers death twice, first for fearing it during his life, and the second, for wanting to postpone it, when it appears before him.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.
Leo Tolstoy, the greatest humanist, put these words in General Kutuzov’s mouth. And, actually, it is a combination of two quotes. In book ten, the General says:
But believe me, my dear boy, there is nothing stronger than those two: patience and time, they will do it all.
Later, he repeats this idea in his thought:
They must understand that we can only lose by taking the offensive. Patience and time are my warriors, my champion.
They must understand that we can only lose by taking the offensive. Patience and time are my warriors, my champion.
But not over worry about time, take it from Einstein:
In the Special Theory of Relativity, Einstein determined that time is relative–in other words, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference. … The faster a clock moves, the slower time passes according to someone in a different frame of reference.
In the Allegory of the Cave Plato, Socrates describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality, but are not accurate representations of the real world. Three higher levels exist: the natural sciences, mathematics, geometry, and deductive logic; and the theory of forms.
Socrates explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are actually not reality at all. A philosopher aims to understand and perceive the higher levels of reality. However, the other inmates of the cave do not even desire to leave their prison, for they know no better life.
Most people around the World are not free, they are prisoners. No, they are not in jail, they are prisoners of their ideas, their moods, and the way they choose to see the World. To be happy it’s a commitment with life to choose to be happy, make it your everyday practice, regardless of changing circumstances.
As a young man I first heard from a wiser old man that life it’s like the famous song, sang by Edith Piaf: “La Vie en Rose.” Yes, you have to wear pink colored glasses.
And that’s a choice we made up, not only every day, but moment to moment, because life it’s change.
Des yeux qui font baisser les miens
Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche
Voilà le portrait sans retouches
De l’homme auquel j’appartiens
Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
Il me dit des mots d’amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ça me fait quelque chose
Il est entré dans mon cœur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause
C’est lui pour moi, moi pour lui dans la vie
Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie
Et dès que je l’aperçois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon cœur qui bat
Des nuits d’amour à plus finir
Un grand bonheur qui prend sa place
Des ennuis, des chagrins s’effacent
Heureux, heureux à en mourir
Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
Il me dit des mots d’amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ça me fait quelque chose
Il est entré dans mon cœur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause
C’est toi pour moi, moi pour toi dans la vie
Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie
Et dès que je t’aperçois
Alors je sens dans moi
Mon cœur qui bat
La la, la la, la la
La la, la la, ah la
La la la la
Eyes that make mine lower
A laugh that is lost on his mouth
Here is the portrait without retouching
From the man I belong to
When he takes me in his arms
He whispers to me
I see life in pink
He tell me love words
And it does something to me
He has entered in my heart
A slice of happiness
That I know the reason
It’s him for me, me for him in life
He told me, swore it for life
And as soon as I see him
So I feel Inside me
My heart beating
Nights of endless love
A great happiness that takes its place
Trouble, sorrow fades away
Happy, happy to die
When he takes me in his arms
He whispers to me
I see life in pink
He tell me love words
And it does something to me
He has entered in my heart
A slice of happiness
That I know the reason
It’s you for me, me for you in life
He told me, swore it for life
And as soon as I see you
So I feel inside me
My heart beating
La la, la la, la la
La la, la la, ah la
La la la la
And sure it’s a song about love, and you may not have a couple, but it doesn’t matter, it’s about loving ourselves, and the truth is, we need so little to be happy, to hear a joke, when someone smile to us, when we think positively about life, why then not to choose to be happy? And I am not saying it’s easy, but if you make it a practice, it become like switching gears, in your car, you do it without thinking, effortless.
Love is in the air, everywhere I look around
Love is in the air, every sight and every sound
And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
Don’t know if I’m being wise
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when I look in your eyes…John Paul Young
I remember when young, every year on Spring, I felt like the tune of that old song, for days, on end, the funny thing I could not remember when I sort of forgot about it?
To be honest I felt the same way on early Autumn, as well, and a few years before the song was released on December 1977 but through the years I stop jumping from joy for no reason, and stop taking out to the street just to feel the sun, and the fresh cool, but not cold air, and be full of confidence, and be in love with life, and glad to be alive, and grateful for the pure joy within myself to be present at such magnificent day.
Loa, and behold I am alive!
Was my general feeling, and no, I was not on top of a mountain, contemplating a gorgeous view, at most a blooming tree, by my street, or a an orange leafy tree just before the leaves will begin to fall…
Anything will look beautiful, and was in love with life for just to breathe, and have the pleasure of staring at the street, as my heart will beat with joy to be right there..!
I neve lost the feeling, but with the years got kind of dulled, somewhat, you know as you age you become less excitable, and the love of life, kind of tempers out to a pleasant feeling, no more jumps, or yells of joy, that stuff it’s for kids.
Well a year of this pandemic, and that what seem the end of it, seems to be bringing back that feeling back!
Yeap! The sudden feeling of an inexplicable joy one gets when something romantic or idealistic occurs. I am in love again!
Love is in the air, in the whisper of the tree Love is in the air, in the thunder of the sea
And I don’t know if I’m just dreaming
Don’t know if I feel safe
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when you call out my name.
Well, you get my meaning, I am ready to go out and jump, and yell for no reason at all, maybe too much time of being inside home, of not talking to friends in person, or behind a mask.
Well, I am sure we all want to be back to normal, and be done with it.
Love is in the air
Love is in the air
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Love is in the air, in the rising of the sun
Love is in the air, when the day is nearly done
And I don’t know if you’re illusion
Don’t know if I see truth
But you’re something that I must believe in
And you’re there when I reach out…
Now of course, I am not saying you should not keep to the guidelines of the Pandemic, until it’s safe to do so, it’s just that Love is in the air!
Let’s all celebrate!
Your face present on every being,
In the multitude.
But so difficult
To recognize You,
On anyone’s face.
How many faces we see daily, regardless of the mask most wear outside, their own natural mask on these days of pandemics?
To live in your presence day, by day, minute by minute, and You escaping our gaze, possible the most challenging of endeavors it’s to recognize You, not in one, but on the many.
Blinded by your own diversity, we struggle to find you even in one person, how much difficult it’s to find you on every face, and everything.
Before the official tabernacle was built, “Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp” (Exodus 33:7). As Moses visited this tent of meeting to intercede for the people of Israel, “the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses” (verse 9). Moses’ position of favor with God is evident in the fact that “the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend”
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence… but,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
And yet to recognize God on every face it’s our task, not an easy one, Jesus disciples where astonished by his words:
35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
As in fact most of us do not recognize Him.
But some of us take care of business, even behind a mask.
To be Human, and being alive, we always have the chance to run into Him, because he is everywhere, and sometimes in need, let’s not waste the opportunities, that come our way…Specially on these days full with trials.
There is many different ways to be of service, even if you are not a person of Faith, you are still human and capable like everyone, of kindness, and love, choose a way, or path, that it’s becoming to you.
“It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.”
After all I figure we are blessed to be living at an extraordinary time, maybe every moment it’s precious, because it’s the only we got, no next heartbeat has a warranty, years ago, my father after turning the TV off walked to the bedroom where my mother was already trying to sleep, and heard him come into the bedroom, sensing she was still awake he start talking to her, telling her about the show he just watched, meanwhile he put on his pajamas and sat on the bed, suddenly he just felled backwards into the bed, his legs still on the floor, and that was it.
He never saw the dawn, his heart stop instantaneously meanwhile he was talking, and could not finish not even the sentence, but the last word he was speaking, suddenly his heart just stop beating, provoked by early defibrillation.
By the time my mother seek help making emergency calls, and when it arrived, he was already death, way before a new down…
I had visited them a couple of weeks before, and his last words towards me, were to praise me, thing that rarely he did, I flew back to his funeral, did not want to see his body, but my sister insisted, I cried quietly.
Mother followed him ten years later although doctors told us she only had a few weeks to live. I went to see her, and spent a couple of weeks with her, she died two days after I left back to work, could not attend her funeral.
Well, what can I say? When young we see life, like it will never end, as we grow in age suddenly the reality of dying it’s a thing we can see around the corner, I guess we all react to it, on a different manner, according to our inner feelings, and beliefs, some may even plan ahead and make sure their funeral will be taken care properly, others may be scared, or indifferent like facing a fact of life and refuse to even think about it.
Some may even seek counseling, for their fears, others who knows what they may contemplate, in their lonely thoughts, if they do?
This pandemic, brought us all to think about death, one way, or another one, being in the news as a constant reminder of our own ephemeral existence, and many of us losing beloved relatives, and friends.
The philosopher Democritus trained himself by going into solitude and frequenting tombs. Plato’s Phaedo, where the death of Socrates is recounted, introduces the idea that the proper practice of philosophy is “about nothing else but dying and being dead”.
The Stoics of classical antiquity were particularly prominent in their use of this discipline, and Seneca’s letters are full of injunctions to meditate on death. The Stoic Epictetus told his students that when kissing their child, brother, or friend, they should remind themselves that they are mortal, curbing their pleasure, as do “those who stand behind men in their triumphs and remind them that they are mortal”. The Stoic Marcus Aurelius invited the reader to “consider how ephemeral and mean all mortal things are” in his Meditations.
After every major military victory in ancient Rome, a “triumph,” as it was called, was celebrated in Rome. It was a ceremonial procession granted to victorious generals who drove in a chariot drawn by four horses. They would ride through the streets to the temple of Jupiter, on the Capitoline Hill, to offer sacrifice in the temple. When they reached the foot of the Capitoline, some of the leading captives may have been taken off for execution.
The ceremony usually started early in the morning and took up a whole day and sometimes even more than two days. Before the general entered the city at a specific point, the Porta Triumphalis, he would first give a speech praising his legions.
The victorious general who drove throughout the streets of Rome in the chariot, decorated with gold and ivory, was followed by his troops and preceded by his most glamorous prisoners and spoils, taken in war. The triumph for the victorious general offered extraordinary opportunities for self-publicity and therefore popularity with the people of Rome. The victorious general was seen as, in some way, divine, representing the god Jupiter.
Paintings depicting certain episodes of the battle were used in the ceremony. There were also musicians, as well as examples of the exotic plants and animals taken from the conquered country.
The general was dressed in an elaborate red or purple toga and his face was painted red to imitate the red-painted face of the statues of Mars, the god of war or Jupiter – the King of the gods. The red paint was made with vermilion, an opaque orange-red pigment, derived from powdered mineral cinnabar.
One of the most interesting parts of the triumph was that behind the victorious general in the chariot stood a slave, holding a golden crown over his head, and whispering to him throughout the procession, “Respice post te. Hominem te memento” in the ears of the victorious generals as they were paraded through the streets, reminding him that: “Even in triumph, do not forget, you are only a mortal” Some say this is spurious, invented by later Christians, but nevertheless food for thought, at our hubris, as mere passerby mortals. specially on these hard trial times, where we seem going through the darkest hour, before the down.
If the wheel of fortune is fickle by nature? The chances of your turn to be loved by it, May arrive at some point.
The title of my last post was: A year to forget, and move on, what follows? We will see…Well it did not take too long, did it?
I will not dwell in telling you, if you live here on Planet Earth, I am sure you are aware, unless you are a Chinese hermit living on the Zhongnan Mountains, Bill Porter found an old hermit who had been on the mountain for many years, and so isolated from worldly cares, he said to him, and his guide: “You guys mention chairman Mao, who is that guy?” He never had heard of chairman Mao!
Well our state of mind can be as that as well.
Matsuo Basho (1644-94), samurai-born but a rootless wanderer most of his life, was a deep student of Zen. One day his Zen master Butcho paid him a visit at “home” — a “broken cottage” by the Sumida River in Edo (present-day Tokyo). “How are you getting on?” the master inquired.
“After the recent rain the moss has grown greener than ever,” replied Basho.
“What Buddhism is there,” pursued Butcho, “before the moss has grown greener?”
“A frog jumps into the water,” replied Basho — “hear the sound!”
We’re almost there: “An ancient pond/ a frog jumps in/ the sound of water.”
A year of Pandemic, death, riots, unemployment, masks, isolation, uncertainty, contested election, and this New Year mayhem at the Capitol, a New President, Impeachment trial, and who knows what else it’s ahead of us?
My point is we cannot have the counsel of knowing the future, and even less to know it will be nice, and rosy.
When we arrive to a place in our road when we can grasp, we are not really in control, of what may happen except our own immediate actions, like knowing what you will cook for diner, even if you can’t predict, a friend will pick you up unexpectedly, and not able to refuse him, he will take you somewhere else to have diner, or an urgent matter comes to you before diner, and you must take care of it, and forget diner, or even worst a phone call with tragic news make you urgently to go away at once.
You get my meaning, there’s things that are beyond our control, and are unpredictable.
The Way To Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain’s full of strange sights
Men who go there end by being scared.
Water glints and gleams in the moon,
Grasses sigh and sing in the wind.
The bare plum blooms again with snow,
Naked branches have clouds for leaves.
When it rains, the mountain shines –
In bad weather you’ll not make this climb.
A thousand clouds, ten thousand streams,
Here I live, an idle man,
Roaming green peaks by day,
Back to sleep by cliffs at night.
One by one, springs and autumns go,
Free of heat and dust, my mind.
Sweet to know there’s nothing I need,
Silent as the autumn river’s flood.
Thirty years in this world
I wandered ten thousand miles,
By rivers, buried deep in grass,
In borderlands, where red dust flies.
Tasted drugs, still not Immortal,
Read books, wrote histories.
Now I’m back at Cold Mountain,
Head in the stream, cleanse my ears.
I travelled to Cold Mountain:
Stayed here for thirty years.
Yesterday looked for family and friends.
More than half had gone to Yellow Springs.
Slow-burning, life dies like a flame,
Never resting, passes like a river.
Today I face my lone shadow.
Suddenly, the tears flow down.
And no, I am not suggesting for you, to abandon life, and go to the mountains to live in a cave, but make your home your cave, when you daily retire to it, and free yourself at least for those hours, from the worries of the World, with the pandemic you must have acquired some practice already, neither worry about the news, what will come, will come, no need to agonize before our number It’s called up.
A global pandemic, an overactive hurricane season, nationwide protests over racial injustice and a contentious presidential election have dominated the news this year. No wonder Time magazine has dubbed 2020 “The Worst Year Ever.”
Maybe the bright side of 2020, is it will be over in a matter of a couple of days, a few hours from now. I don’t mean that turning to 2021 will change everything miraculously, but you know the saying: “Hope is the last thing to die.”
And at this point, I want to believe it, or I am spoiled? After a life of ups, and downs, and I should say personally my affairs are no worse than in any other year, granted I have not caught Covid-19 yet, even if two close members of my family have, this year seems like if you watch the news a nightmare with no end in sight!
And a good reason not to watch the news, you may add, but other than going to an isolated place where no people or the internet can reach you, it will be hard to do, not talking about abandoning work, giving up your electronic devices, and living like a hermit. Hardly any of us can afford to do so.
SO THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AND THEREFORE THE BUSINESS OF LIVING.
As usual, we will wake up, head to the bathroom, go prepare your favorite wake up drink, take a bath, or a shower, dress up, and go and face the new day, doing whatever you have to do, and you have made personally your business of living.
Please do not forget your mask!
Personally I hate so much using the mask, but I thanks the mask for making me more efficient, on doing my shores outside the house, its not only the difficulty in breathing, but even how difficult it makes to see what is below your eyes, and a simple task like pulling your wallet to pay for something it becomes a burden, I have also more respect for the blind, and people with respiratory problems.
Oh well, why bitch?
If there is life, there is Hope, and the sun rays will warm up our body, and we will go on smiling, and try to be better, and do the right thing, at each step of the way, that’s the real business of living, to face the insurmountable odds, and pay attention to why is better to smile, than to cry, or be mad, to do the utmost of be an example of bravery, compassion, love, and a beacon of wisdom. Following the way of those, on whom the Almighty have bestowed His Grace, not the way of those who earned His anger, nor of those who went astray.
Look well therefore to this day; Such is the salutation to the ever new dawn!
Happy New Year to All of You!
“Be still my heart; thou hast known worse than this.”
What a year 2020 has been!
But I will not dwell on it, you know as well as everyone else, and no doubt you have your own share of stories, I will focus on a positive note.
Through my life despite an introverted character that pulls me hard towards seclusion, and the act of going out of the house not unpleasant, but certainly I see it as a task, or a chore, I rather would like to do the things I enjoy more, like drinking my coffee through my lips slowly, in the company of a good book, or with a nice small group of friends sharing diner, or cuddling up with my loved one, not that I have one at the moment, well let’s get to the point I need exercise for my body, this covid-19 quarantine, has being a real disaster on my efforts to be in shape, and with the never ending pandemic in sight, now since a month decided to do 25 minutes from my old routines, that I used to do years ago, at my Dojo.
Before the pandemic my only source of exercise was to walk for all my errands daily, carrying my groceries, or whatever back to home, and since I live far enough from where I do my errands, this was always enough to keep me in shape, without worrying about getting out of shape.
But I confess doing my old routines in the backyard, it’s not only tough, and demanding, but boring, doing it by myself.
So, since last week I decided after my workout, to supplement it, with a walking around my neighborhood through two parks, one small, and the other larger, but do it at a very early hour hoping will not be crowded, to my surprise I was right, at that hour there was almost nobody, except for very few people, but as I observed them realized all of them were old like myself , and even some even older!
Most of them by themselves, few older couples, and all of them at safe a distance, not exactly a crowd, by any means, but what amazed me more was this really old, and heavy lady with a special cane for walking, she really has to do a great effort, and don’t believe she walks short distances, despite her obvious efforts in walking, I have seen her now all over the place since!
Now, reflecting life is tough, and full of hardships, but we old folks, who have cling to it for quite a while, we must find life also precious, to hang around just a little bit more, if we can.
Old news, but how was your Thanksgiving day?
Now hope you all guys despite traveling limitations had a nice Thanksgiving, I got to confess the tradition in America was foreign to me, before my time in the US Thanksgiving was just a day you go to church and offer thanks to the Lord, then you out of church go back to your daily routine, not a special day after, in anyway.
So when arriving in the US and finding it was a general Holliday, and a precious one, where you go to be together with family members before Christmas, well it was new to me.
I got to confess I was invited, a few times to some people’s home, Thanksgivings, specially by a good friend and his mother of German origin who prepared delicious dinners for us.
But as a guest, myself never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, but I have a tale of making a foreign dish, and taking it to a Thanksgiving gathering, at the house of a cousin of my current girlfriend at the time, quite some years ago.
Nowadays here in America everybody is a gourmand, but it was not always so, the late eighties, and early nineties, saw an explosion of a new bug, the taste of foreign cuisines. In my opinion now we are kind of spoiled we enjoy the food from almost all over the World, on our own cities, when before asking for a foreign delicacy was almost unheard of, even supposedly foreign restaurants catered stuff like Chinese Chop-Suey, or Italian spaghettis with meat balls, as examples of what we passed for a foreign dish, or as an old friend of mine used to say: “A Chef Boyardee can out of the grocery shop, that was Italian food for me then, imagine! And I used to think, what’s the big deal about Italian food?”
Rut Tam wrote:
‘My family’s food went from ‘Chinese grossness’ to America’s ‘hottest food trend. The lengths to which immigrant families have gone to hide the way we feed ourselves break my heart.’
Well back to my story, my girlfriend was supposed to cook a dish, whatever she wished to do, I had been along with her the year before, and my girlfriend spent the better of a day cooking a dish and complaining what an ordeal it was.
As the days went on, the next year approached to Thanksgiving, my girlfriend started to dread the idea, of cooking another dish for the gathering, seeing her distress, and remembering all her worries and nervous state she got, not to say the mood she will get into, I offered to stop worrying about it, this year will be my time to do a dish, to take to her cousin’s Thanksgiving.
She was relieved, but every day first thing on the morning, she will ask me:
“Have you thought about what you are going to cook for Thanksgiving?
To which I will replay nonchalantly: “Not really, but do not worry I will think of something to cook, just leave it to me.”
But as the day approached she got really worried and pestered me the day before Thanksgiving, I mean she was close to a nervous breakdown!
I said to her: “Stop worrying I will cook them a Mole.”
“A Mole, dear.”
“I never heard of such a thing!”
“Well it’s a very well known Mexican dish.”
She replied: “Well you better get going now, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! And where are the groceries?”
“ I will pick them up this evening after work” was my calm reply, and I did, that evening went to the market and picked all I needed.
My girlfriend thought I will spend all night laboring on it, I just told her: “Look I will wake up real early, and the Mole will be ready before we have to go into the car on the way to your cousin, meanwhile you go and do whatever, but please I do not want you behind my shoulder a nervous rag watching me cook, go for a walk, relax get a hot bath, and get your outfit ready, or whatever you need to do like putting gas on the car.
So I start cooking with the kitchen all to myself, and by the time she got ready, my dish was almost done, she come into the kitchen saying:
“God! That stuff you are cooking it’s all over the place, does not smell bad, but what the hell is Mole?”
Coming behind me, her eyes went as big as saucers when she saw the big pot with mole brewing.
She just went ballistic! In all truthfulness I could not blame her, she has never seen Mole before and the way it looks may surprise many, in an off way.
She tried to stay calm but she told me and with good reason, nobody will like to even try it.
For the first time she put a little seed of doubt on my mind, and even told her: “Look if you do not want it, we can leave it here, and buy whatever prepared food you want.”
Not wanting to hurt my feelings she just reluctantly went along, I loaded the Mole into the car, making sure it would not roll out, and spill. After taking a shower we went off, during the way she expressed her doubts people will like it.
I just told her: “Look if no one like it at least I will have something to eat myself” My Mole was not your usual stuff, it was a vegetarian Mole, I have being a Vegetarian for most of my life since I was seventeen, and I was not about to eat turkey, anyway.
It was a gorgeous drive day by the coast, and we got to her cousin’s house and put my Mole on the large table, her cousin was also somewhat alarmed when se took the lead off, but she just asked what the name of it was.
A few minutes later with most of the people invited already there she, announced everybody to pick up a plate and go and self serve, on a line at the table, I did not rush, and took my place at the line, I could observe everybody passing over my dish, first looking at it with surprise, on their eyes, and bypassing it without touching it.
When my time came I served myself some mashed potatoes and a big quantity of my Mole on top of it, already figuring I will be the only one eating it.
I went to the patio and sat a table and the husband of her cousin sat in front of me, with his plate, and immediately he noticed the Mole on my plate and he hesitantly asked me:
“What’s that you are eating?”
He got curious and said to me: “Pardon me, I am curious, will you mind if I have a little taste of your plate?
Pushing the plate in front of him I said; Sure help yourself to it”
He did, took a forkful, and not three seconds after he put it on his mouth, without saying a word he jumped suddenly off the table with his own plate, and took off almost running into the kitchen.
My first thought was he didn’t like it, and went to spit it out from his mouth, away from me, not to offend me. Looking at the tables couldn’t see any of my Mole at anyone’s plate.
To my surprise the husband whose name I can’t recall, a dentist, returned a couple of minutes later with a new big plate with my Mole almost overflowing from his plate!
As soon as he sat and started eating it, he would stop chewing for a moment, raving loud enough for some people to hear him clearly, about how delicious it was!
Soon, one, by one of the people on our table got up with their plates, and shy at first, put just a little bit on their plates, but after taking a couple of bites, they will rise again and run into the kitchen coming back with full plates loaded with Mole. I guess word got around, and almost everybody from the about twenty-five people at the gathering, went back to the kitchen to get some of it.
I took a breath of relief, and people wanted to know who cooked that dish, and what was the name of it, and congratulated me.
I finished my plate, and went into the kitchen to find my girlfriend’s cousin, and a friend of her, both taking turns at licking the gravy sauce with their fingers, of the already empty big pot.
My girlfriend was behind me, and saw them in disbelief, there was plenty of turkey, and all other dishes at the big table but my Mole was all gone!
As her cousin finished polishing my pot, with her fingers over the sink, and licking the last vestiges of the gravy from it.
Turning to my surprised girlfriend, I mockingly said:
“No one will even eat it, right?”
Her cousin, or the other woman said: “Are you kidding? If I would not worry about getting it all over my head I will stick my face into the pot, and lick it!”
On our way back home she fumed: “And the worst part of it, I still do not know how Mole tastes, promise me you will cook it again for me, you could have saved some for me!”
“You wasted your chance today dear, maybe if I am in the mood for Mole on Christmas, I will cook some. ”
I guess, that was one of my small contributions, to the broadening for cultural foreign food appreciation, in our country.
THE MOON CAST AN OMINUS PRESENCE
On October 31st we had a blue Moon at the furthest point from the Earth named a micro Moon this bring a lot of emotions , and feelings on edge, like if we need more at this time of uncertainty, pandemic, economical, and political upheaval, and events coming out of nowhere, exacerbating nerves already on edge.
Usually I got no idea what my next post will be about until the moment I seat to write a new post, today my problem it’s not what to write about it, but to try to say as little as possible, without missing something that may be important and meaningful as well.
First the Holiday with Halloween, All Saints Day, and Day of the Death in a row, that today on our globalized World seem to amalgamate into a single thing, at least on my neck of the woods.
So be weary of heighten emotional states of mind, try to be cheerful, avoid anger if things do not go the way you want them to be, keep in mind you just have to adjust and work your mindset to be happy regardless, remember it’s for you to change your attitude, by accepting things as they are, sure you also can start a way to change the situations you consider they need change, but do it in a peaceful state of mind, not in a angry, and destructive way.
The most important thing, be ready for change.
The idea of providing some verses of Rumi as our guide for this trying times come to mind.
“You have woken up late, lost and perplexed but don’t rush to your books looking for answers, pick a flute instead and let your Heart play.”
“What comes will go, what is found, will be lost again. But what you are is beyond coming and going, and beyond description.”
“Yesterday I was clever and wanted to change the World. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
“Half of life is lost in charming others. The other half is lost through anxieties caused by others. Leave this play, you have played enough.”
“I choose to love you in silence… For in silence I find no rejection. I choose to love you in my loneliness, for in my loneliness no one owns you but I.
I choose to adore you from a distance, for distance shield us both from pain.
I choose to imprison you on my thoughts, for in my thoughts freedom is for me to decide.
I choose to kiss you in the wind, for the wind is gentler than my lips.
I choose to hold you only in my dreams, for in my dreams there is no end.”
Be Lost In The Call
“Lord, said David, since you do not need us,why did you create these two worlds?
Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.
Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.
Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.
My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?
We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.
Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.
Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.”
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Life has no shores,
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.
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?
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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!”
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
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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?
Mass extermination of Species?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
MEN UNIQUE AS A LIVING BEING, LIVING A PARALLEL LIFE OF SUBJECTIVITY, AND QUESTIONING THE MEANING OF LIFE.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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. “
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
“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.”
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.
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.”
And if I would agree it’s special for many, its not for others.
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.
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.
“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 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.”
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…
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. .
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.
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
In truth, it may take
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.”
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.
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.
REINVENTING THE WORLD AS WE SEE IT, THE DANGER OF CHOOSING POORLY, PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF YOUR OWN NARRATIVE.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
¨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.¨
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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)
O my heart, if you wish to arrive
at the begining of understanding,
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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 (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.
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.
WRITING AS AN EXTESION OF READING
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.
THE END OF THE KALI YUGA, IN 2025. AND THE BEGINING OF SATYA YUGA, A GOLDEN AGE, ANOTHER MILLENIAL MYTH?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.’
THE COMPLEXITY OF HISTORY, KNOWLEDGE & POWER, A SELECTIVE MEMORY TO REMEMBER HISTORY, THE WAY HOLLYWOOD MAKES MYTHS, A FEW EXAMPLES.
“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”
“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.
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.”
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.
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?
Well for that you will have to read History.
“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!
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.
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!
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.
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,
Rape, murder, pillage thousands,
millions of human beings.
But neither you nor
any other barbarian…
…has the right to destroy
one human thought!
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 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 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.
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.
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.
AMERICA THE LAND OF WEIRD POLITICS, EXCEPTIONALISM, AND OF COURSE, THE REST OF US, AND THOSE WHO WHO SUFFER IT
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.
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?
American exceptionalism is the recurring character in the nation’s narrative.
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.
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.
[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.
The idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s a deft trick to turn American exceptionalism into an exceptional political tactic.
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.
“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
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.
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.”
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.
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:
2. Sexism and Misogyny
3. Strong mixture of state and religion
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.
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.
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!
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.
The late George Carlin
May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008