ON BLOGGING, AND WHY DO I WRITE?

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

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

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

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

Rabindranath Tagore.

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

Why do I Blog?

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

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

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

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

Emilio Salgari

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

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

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

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

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

Sandokan The Tiger From Malasya

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

You didn´t like it?

To which I responded:

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

And so my long years of reading books commenced.


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.

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.



A TIME TO GIVE BACK

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

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

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

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

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

Crossing Through the Oceans of Knowledge

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

THE END OF THE KALI YUGA, IN 2025. AND THE BEGINING OF SATYA YUGA, A GOLDEN AGE, ANOTHER MILLENIAL MYTH?

The Coming of an Age of Gold

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

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

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

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

Kali Yuga Dark Age

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

Astronomical Oobservatory Jantar Mantar Jaipur Rajasthan India

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

Attributes of Kali Yuga

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Kali Yuga According to Hindu Scriptures

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

Apocalyps Now by Mearone

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

Linga Purâna, II. Chapters. 39, 40.

Kali Yuga Days

End of Kali yuga Controversy

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Satya Yuga

Satya Yuga

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

Hindu Astrological View of Planets

My Views

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

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

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

Delightful Garden

Posted in Calendars, Cosmology, Cyclical time, Golden Age, Hinduism, History, Kali Yuga, Knowledge, Krita yuga, New Age, New Values, Prophesies, Religion, Satya Yuga, Things To Come, Transformation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 51 Comments

THE COMPLEXITY OF HISTORY, KNOWLEDGE & POWER, A SELECTIVE MEMORY TO REMEMBER HISTORY, THE WAY HOLLYWOOD MAKES MYTHS, A FEW EXAMPLES.

Things May Not Be As They Seem

 

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

Plato, Phaedrus

“Knowledge is Power.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gerrit_Dou_-_Scholar_sharpening_a_quill_pen

History a Complex Matter

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

If things will be so easy as that!

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

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

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

Debate ends on fistfight

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

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

Antony Little.

Soldiers victims from a gas attack WWI

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

And of course,

There it is Hollywood!

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

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

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

Making a Movie

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

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

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

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

Don Blas de Lezo Naval Museum

Well for that you will have to read History.

Someone wrote:

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

Myths of the Old West

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

Billy the Kid

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

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

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

Gunfight at the OK Corral

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

On The other Hand

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

Californios Ranching

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

History is Selective

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

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

Weltanschauung

History is Written by the Victors

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

A Greek Phalanx

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

THE GRAVITY OF BANALITY, IT HAS CONSEQUENCES, THE NOISE BEFORE DEFEAT.

Mindless Living

 

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

Hannah Arendt.

The Banality of Evil

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

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

LEMMINGS-e1338223913921

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

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

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

Astronaut drinking in his time off

A Need To Grow Up

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

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

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

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

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

Free Falling by Choice

Unfortunately with no parachute..!

The problems of America, and the World

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

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

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

Mein Kampf

Squandered Victories

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

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

Von Manstein

Outdated America

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

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

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

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

Georg_Emanuel_Opiz_Der_Völler_1804

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

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

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

Quotes from Plato.

Plato's Bust

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

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

 The Noise Before Defeat

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

TRADITION, EDUCATION, NEW TRENDS IN SCIENCE, AND FINDING A REAL SENSEI

Antique Traditional Books

 

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

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

Iconoclasm

Tradition Weighs a Lot

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

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

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

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

Scholar At Work

My Take, Freedom To be Wrong?

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

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

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

Fails-Examination

Contemporary Outlook

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

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

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

Original Self

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

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

Brain Like Computer Technology

My Sensei

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

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

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

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

Sensei in seiza

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

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

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

Sensei and Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba

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

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

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

He ruled the Dojo with an iron fist!

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

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

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

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

Sensei sword

Did I learnt anything? You bet!

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

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

Os Sensei!

With Sensei at the New Otani

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

ALEXANDRIA LIBRARY, WHY DON’T YOU ASK IT TO YOUR MAGIC MIRROR? AND OTHER REFLECTIONS.

Alexandria Library

Tear down pyramids, wipe out cities!

:40:04

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

:40:10

Play conqueror all you want,
mighty Caesar.

:40:13

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

:40:17

But neither you nor
any other barbarian…

:40:21

…has the right to destroy
one human thought!

William Shakespeare

 Julius Caesar

Alexandria Library Diagram

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

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

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

The Royal Library of Alexandria,

The Royal Library of Alexandria or Ancient Library of Alexandria

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

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

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

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

The New Library

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina

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

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

Bookshelves in bibliotheca Alexandrina

Building and library features

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

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

Bibliotecha Alexandrina Inside

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

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

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

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

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

Like Magic, doesn’t it?

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

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

To each his own…I guess.

Asking to the Magic Mirror

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

AMERICA THE LAND OF WEIRD POLITICS, EXCEPTIONALISM, AND OF COURSE, THE REST OF US, AND THOSE WHO WHO SUFFER IT

Statue ofL liberty

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

James Hillman

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

Gerald Celente

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

Ron Fournier

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

Noam Chomsky

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

Russ Feingold

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

Zbigniew Brzezinski

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

Maureen Dowd

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

Vladimir Putin

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

Sarah Posner

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

John McCain

655470145AA00520_Republican

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

Diana L. Eck

We have had a long held myth of American exceptionalism.

Lisa Ling

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

Rush Limbaugh

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

Ron Fournier

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

Rush Limbaugh

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

Ronald Reagan

 

America a great Nation

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

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

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

Founding Fathers

 

My Experience

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

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

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

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

Tim Fearnside

Limbaugh -Trump

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

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

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

Hillary Clinton In Defeat

On the other side

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fascism of any shade has certain common core characteristics:

1. Nationalism

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

Protest-no-pubic-option

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

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

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

Quality of life Index: Sixteen

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

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

Homeless Patriot

The Homeless

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

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

Homeless on Train ride in Los Angeles

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

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

Homeless Veteran

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

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

Yes, I agree, a real shame.

Rows of Homless on many streets

 

 

The late George Carlin

May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008

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

SEMANTICS; WHAT IT ALL MEANS? AND OTHER WAYS OF KNOWING

Viktor-E-Frankl-Quote-Man-s-search-for-meaning-is-the-primary

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

Michael Pollan

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

Walter M. Miller Jr.

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

Dan Brown

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

Talulah Riley

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

B.A.

Searching for meaning

The structure of concepts

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

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

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

Same Word different frames of reference

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

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

What words mean?

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

This means the people disagreeing may have a disagreement only because they ascribe different meaning to a particular word(s). Once a common definition of the word is agreed the disagreement may then be resolved.

A common one between USA and UK citizens is the word socialism. I have often heard USA citizens describe the UK as a socialist country because they have universal healthcare. Meanwhile the UK citizens  don’t consider it a socialist country as we have a capitalist economy and universal healthcare is considered every citizen’s right. To argue it is a socialist country would be a matter of semantics.

She said He said

Misunderstanding as a fact of language.

With all these, by now I figure you are getting the point, language, as in words have a meaning, and it’s variable as to the frame of mind of a particular individual, in relations, to those words, that may hold different values to the other person in an argument.

Rather than blame it on the other person, blame it on the nature of Language!

And on our own frame of reference, in order to organize concepts, and meaning, that by force of a particular frame (our own) will be necessarily different to other people frames, therefore a matter of disagreement, before I used to get frustrated, when someone stubbornly stick to his frame, now day realize my own stubbornness to try to stick to mine!

Recently when I pointed to a fellow blogger, it was useless,  to elucidate the issue a mile long of responses, in the post, where arguing with words and concepts, since the topic is basically inexhaustible, and in my opinion useless to take one approach, or another one, and why wiser individuals, rather remain silent, or call it a Mystery.

the_neverending_dreamer_by_parablev

And that in itself language wasn’t a reliable tool to capture Truth, and he used as a reply to my point that everything could be explained with a fancy theological word, that I would omit, since it’s no relevant to the point I want to make. So I  mentioned: ‘The word you are using, it’s just that, a word with meanings, and concepts attached to it, that in itself is no proof of it’s validity, although personally, sympathize with what you say.’

Without even thinking  he replied instantly with different words, with a more mundane frame, believing it will make me change my mind, about my skepticism on the value of words, to capture Truth!

I didn’t reply, reasoning he never got the message I was trying to communicate, that basically Truth it’s not an experience we can elaborate with words, where actually Silence, and Contemplation it’s more meaningful..!

The value of Parables,  Metaphors and Symbols

The word parable comes from the Greek παραβολή (parabolē), meaning “comparison, illustration, analogy.”[5] It was the name given by Greek rhetoricians to an illustration in the form of a brief fictional narrative.

Parables are often used to explore ethical concepts in spiritual texts. The Bible contains numerous parables in the Gospels section of the New Testament (Jesus’ parables). These are believed by some scholars (such as John P. Meier) to have been inspired by mashalim, a form of Hebrew comparison. Parables also appear in Islam. In Sufi tradition, parables are used for imparting lessons and values. And in General, they are common to Sacred texts to diverse Religions, some today named as Mythologies, however possessing pedagogic qualities to explain meaning, or moral as a noun, through a story.

Jesus Carried up to a Pinnacle of the Temple (Jésus porté sur le pinacle du Temple)

A metaphor is a figure of speech that directly refers to one thing by mentioning another for rhetorical effect. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile are all types of metaphor.

Aristotle said in his work the Rhetoric that metaphors make learning pleasant; “To learn easily is naturally pleasant to all people, and words signify something, so whatever words create knowledge in us are the pleasantest.

Sonja Foss characterizes metaphors as being “non-literal comparisons in which a word or phrase from one domain of experience is applied to another domain”.[ She argues that since reality is mediated by the language we use to describe it, the metaphors we use shape the world and our interactions to it.

Gustav_Klimt Danae

Jung distinguished between a symbol and a sign. Insignia on uniforms, for instance, are not symbols but signs that identify the wearer. In dealing with unconscious material (dreams, fantasies, etc.) the images can be interpreted semiotically, as symptomatic signs pointing to known or knowable facts, or symbolically, as expressing something essentially unknown.

The interpretation of the cross as a symbol of divine love is semiotic, because “divine love” describes the fact to be expressed better and more aptly than a cross, which can have many other meanings. On the other hand, an interpretation of the cross is symbolic when it puts the cross beyond all conceivable explanations, regarding it as expressing an as yet unknown and incomprehensible fact of a mystical or transcendent, i.e., psychological, nature, which simply finds itself most appropriately represented in the cross. [Ibid., par. 815.]

Whether something is interpreted as a symbol or a sign depends mainly on the attitude of the observer. Jung linked the semiotic and symbolic approaches, respectively, to the causal and final points of view. He acknowledged the importance of both.

Psychic development cannot be accomplished by intention, and will alone; it needs the attraction of the symbol, whose value quantum exceeds that of the cause. But the formation of a symbol cannot take place until the mind has dwelt long enough on the elementary facts, that is to say until the inner, or outer necessities of the life-process, have brought about a transformation of energy. [“On Psychic Energy,” CW 8, par. 47.]

The symbolic attitude is at bottom constructive, in that it gives priority to understanding the meaning, or purpose of psychological phenomena, rather than seeking a reductive explanation.

Hieronymus_Bosch,_The_Last_Judgment

Direct Transmission of Wisdom

Śākyamuni Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) transmits direct prajña (wisdom) to the disciple Mahākāśyapa. In the original Chinese, the story is Niān huá wéi xiào (拈華微笑, literally “Pick up flower, subtle smile”)

In the story, Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples (sangha) by holding up a  flower. No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa, who smiles. Within Zen, the Flower Sermon communicates the ineffable nature of tathātā (suchness) and Mahākāśyapa’s smile signifies the direct transmission of wisdom without words. Śākyamuni affirmed this by saying:

I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle [D]harma [G]ate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.

Carl Jung and Kerényi demonstrate a possible in intent between the Flower Sermon and the Eleusinian Mysteries:

One day the Buddha silently held up a flower before the assembled throng of his disciples. This was the famous “Flower Sermon.” Formally speaking, much the same thing happened in Eleusis when a mown ear of grain was silently shown. Even if our interpretation of this symbol is erroneous, the fact remains that a mown ear was shown in the course of the mysteries and that this kind of “wordless sermon” was the sole form of instruction in Eleusis which we may assume with certainty.

Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples (sangha) by holding up a white flower. No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa

Posted in Buddhism, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Education, Human Nature, Knowledge, Language, Metaphors, Mythology, Parables, Subjective, Symbology, Symbols, True Teaching, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

COUNSCIOUSNESS, AND THE HUMAN CONUNDRUM

Golden mannequin head with an explosion of pastel light above

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”  Nikola Tesla

Reality is not what it appears — the ancients knew it, pioneering physicists of the early 20th century knew it, and current leading edge scientists are proving it.

All is mind.

Scientists don’t know where the brain ends and the mind begins. Are they the same thing? What about souls? Are these located in our brains? What is responsible for all of the unique thoughts and feelings that make us who we are? Everyone from philosophers to physicists has taken up this question of consciousness and come up empty.

For a long time, the study of consciousness was considered too far out to study. How do you scientifically study something so subjective? How can what one person feels become something that another person can quantify? But now, in their relentless pursuit to understand every single thing about the world, scientists are trying to figure out what exactly is going on with consciousness.

Though deep metaphysical questions about the nature of a soul, a mind and brain leave questions as to whether this issue is in the realm of scientists, the brain is likely involved in some way with our conscious thoughts. With the help of brain imaging, scientists can watch different parts of the brain light up, and they know they can alter the brain and our consciousness with surgeries or chemicals. But what scientists don’t know is at what stage of the process a firing neuron becomes a conscious thought. The things that make up consciousness may be scattered all over the brain, with different cranial parts responsible for different pieces of a person. But, as we’ve mentioned, there are tons of other brain mysteries about how these parts might work together.

Firing Neuron

The Fundamental Questions

Throughout the ages, Mankind has been trying to answer the big questions — What is the nature of existence and reality, what are we, and why are we here?  In the World of today, with the ascendance of the ideology of scientific materialism, we have a strong tendency to reject anything that doesn’t fit our materialistic paradigm and label it as “mystical”.  We have become mesmerized by the material world.  Materialism and consumerism run rampant in our society. Lured by the apparent success of the reductionist method that we have used to analyze and understand our world, we have come to view the universe as purely a physical system, working something like a great machine, and with matter being the fundamental substance of reality.

Our scientific analytical methods have certainly been successful and have led us to understand the inner workings of matter well enough to create many useful technologies.  But these successes have erroneously led us to conclude that our materialistic view of the universe must be correct and reject other ideas as “mystical” and backward.

The materialistic paradigm persists in the popular and scientific thought despite plenty of evidence that it is indeed not true.  The Theory of Relativity and Quantum Physics have both shown that energy is more fundamental than matter.  Quantum physics in the early 20th century: Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein,  Louis de Broglie, Max Born, Paul Dirac, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Erwin Schrödinger, Richard Feynman, and many others all came  if not to the same conclusion, inclined to believe that everything is energy and that somehow consciousness is intimately intertwined with it.  And yet this insight seems to have been lost since then.  Physicists are still chasing the fundamental “particle”, and focusing on material phenomena rather than focusing on what energy is, how it forms matter, and what other forms can it take.

The Many faces of Counsciouness

‘The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.

Sir James Hopwood Jeans

Therefore to treat Consciousnesses as a mere derivative of matter, well, it speak more of our age and it’s materialistic, antiquated views, married to a Materialistic view of existence, regardless of the mysterious way things work regarding consciousness.

Space seems to be limitless, despite we know it’s not, but ever expanding , however, all but few,  will acknowledge, or dare to say that the Universe, more than a place it’s a conceptual space, a realm of ideas, and imagination, which makes it inherently unbounded.  What it can create is only limited by its imagination, and it’s imagination is boundless.

Limiteless Imagination

The Kingdom of God Is Within You

I do respect religious beliefs, and those who believe in Jesus, or any of the Prophets, my greatest respect, but Christ is not a person. It is a consciousness that a person achieved. The same potential exists for each of you when you go beyond limited beliefs. You do so upon connecting to your heart, and acquiring Consciousnesses, and Wisdom. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.’ John 14:12 King James. ‘Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.’ Luke 17:21 King James.

‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seekethfindeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Mathew.’ 7:7-8 King James.

Simply put, the true essence of your being cannot be seen, touched, heard, tasted, or smelled because these are all third dimensional qualities. You’re a spirit that incarnated into your body to have a human experience. Jesus Christ realized this and tried to share it with the masses.

Heaven is Within

The Return of Metaphysics

Thomas Nail a philosopher in it’s essay: Revolution and the Return of Metaphysics, argue that “the real revolution it’s an eternal future politics “to come” beyond the state, party, or market. The revolution is always potential, but never actual. Metaphysics~ and revolution thus share a similar disrepute: it is no longer possible to believe in the real without the mediating forces of language, culture, party, and state. Against this disrepute, this chapter argues that we are witnessing the return of metaphysics and revolution without mediation and political representation. But if this return is not a mere repetition of classical metaphysics and revolutionary statism, what is it? “

I will not go into his convoluted philosophical arguments between Alain Badiou, and Deleuze, about Being, event, and revolution, since in my view revolution, and event, are no longer about political, or social mass forces, as historically conventional we understand them, as a war of political factions, with different views, but about their obsolescence as beneficial forces of change,    and more about individual transformation, that by the weight of it’s numbers eventually will tip up the scales, and will bring  the change needed, without institutionalized hierarchical values, be this democratic, or imposed by power, in other words it will be a matter of people to be transformed by consciousnesses itself, a rapture of sorts, as when the early Christians were possessed by the Holy Spirit. Of course in a more subtle, symbolic way, not in a literal religious iconography, as some of the images here may misguide you.

And I do not imply there will not be struggle, or very hard work ahead of us to bring the change, because it’s implicit in every change.

Too idealistic you may say, but I will paraphrase Karl Rhaner: The people of the future will be either mystics, or saints, or they will not be any humans left at all.

Andrea-Pozzo-San-Ignazio

Posted in A World in Crisis, Being, Capitalism, Christ, Counsciousness, Crisis of Values, Cultural Attitudes, Disillusion with Capitalism, Future, Government and Free Markets, Imagination, Inspiration, Karl Rahner, Materialism, Metaphysics, Mysticism, New Values, Obsolete Government, Plutocracy, Politics, Quantum, Science and Belief, Social Criticism, Transformation, Uncategorized, Values, Western Ideals | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

WE LIVE IN EDEN, BUT WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH IT?

Raibow Mountains Gansu, China

So many times I’ve photographed stories that show the degradation of the planet. I had one idea to go and photograph the factories that were polluting, and to see all the deposits of garbage. But, in the end, I thought the only way to give us an incentive, to bring hope, is to show the pictures of the pristine planet – to see the innocence.

Sebastiao Salgado

 

As much as I gree with Mr. Salgado my idea it’s one of   contrast, by showing the beautiful sight of Mother nature, and the ugly, destructive, and sinister side of Men.

Exxon Valdez oil spill workers recover and clean birds soiled by crude oil spilled when the tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, April 6, 1989. (Photo by Bob Hallinen/Anchorage Daily News/MCT via Getty Images)

There’s not two ways about it, no conservation efforts, rapacious rape of Mother Earth in the name of progress, and profit, or every effort to keep pristine ecological systems in place?

Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. It is defined as any change or disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.

 

My question is, can we find a solution to this mess we are in?

The Glory of Autumn

Hardly a day go by when we do not hear of an ecological disaster of one type or another one, in their absence, at least doomsday predictions of more to come!

“We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere… can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”

Elon Musk

“Our globe is under new dramatic environmental pressure: our globe is warming, our ice caps melting, our glaciers receding, our coral is dying, our soils are eroding, our water tables falling, our fisheries are being depleted, our remaining rain forests shrinking. Something is very, very wrong with our eco-system.”

Richard Lamm

 

“It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”

David Attenborough

Hurricane Harvey disaster

“If you’d rather live surrounded by pristine objects than by the traces of happy memories, stay focused on tangible things. Otherwise, stop fixating on stuff you can touch and start caring about stuff that touches you.” Martha Beck

“The most important thing about global warming is this. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change is going to be left to the scientists, but it’s all of our responsibility to leave this planet in better shape for the future generations than we found it.”

Mike Huckabee

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”

Jacques Yves Cousteau

“A very Faustian choice is upon us: whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic.”

E. O. Wilson

Waterfalls

“The planet’s biggest problems have to do with sustainability, environmental decline, global poverty, disease, conflict and so forth. Really, they’re all interconnected – it’s one big problem, which is that the way we’re doing things can’t go on.”

Alex Steffen

“We assume that everything’s becoming more efficient, and in an immediate sense that’s true; our lives are better in many ways. But that improvement has been gained through a massively inefficient use of natural resources.”

Paul Hawken

Published scientific studies have found that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts that mitigation practices cannot successfully address. A high potential for human health impacts has also been reported. Not to talk about the massive destroying of the natural environment, and wildlife, and surrounding communities.

 

Mountain removal

“What obligation is more binding than to protect the cherished, to defend whoever or whatever cannot defend itself, and to nurture in turn that which has given nourishment? I’m reminded of words written by John Seed, an Australian environmentalist. When he began considering these questions, he believed, “I am protecting the rain forest.” But as his thought evolved, he realized, “I am part of the rain forest protecting myself.”

Richard Nelson, The Island Within

“I love being immersed in nature, going to places in the world that are pristine and untouched by man. It’s almost a religious experience when you go to a place like the Amazon, and there’s no civilization for thousands of miles.”

Leonardo DiCaprio

Pristine Amazon Forest

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

Henry David Thoreau

“At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rain forest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.”

Chico Mendes

Now my question to you, do you think like Chico Mendes? Who was murdered in December 1988 fighting to save you, and Humanity?

Amazon Forest Destroyed

“Meat is a mighty contributor to climate change and other environmental problems. The amount of meat we’re eating is one of the leading causes of climate change. It’s as important as the kind of car you drive – whether you eat meat a lot or how much meat you eat.”

Michael Pollan

“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The Wasteland was an empty car park behind a long abandoned pub. Minah like it because she said it reminded her of the permanence of concrete in stark contrast to the entropy of humanity. Harrison had dubbed it the Wasteland after the TS Eliot poem, because it was full of disillusionment and despair.”

Lili Wilkinson, The Boundless Sublime

Urban Decay

“The County Jail looked like a tall, forbidding elementary school. Seven stories of dirty brown brick, one hundred years old and now operating at 330 percent of capacity.”

Richard Price, Clockers

“Automation provides us with wondrous increases of production and information, but does it tell us what to do with the men the machines displace? Modern industry gives us the capacity for unparalleled wealth – but where is our capacity to make that wealth meaningful to the poor of every nation?”

Robert Kennedy

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

Mother Teresa

Homeless Everywhere

“Life is now a war zone, and as such, the number of people considered disposable has grown exponentially, and this includes low income whites, poor minorities, immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless, and a range of people who are viewed as a liability to capital and its endless predatory quest for power and profits.”

Henry Giroux

“The world has a very serious problem, my friend’ Shiva went on. ‘Poor children still die by their millions. Westerners and the global rich — like me — live in post-scarcity society, while a billion people struggle to get enough to eat. And we’re pushing the planet towards a tipping point, where the corals die and the forests burn and life becomes much, much harder. We have the resources to solve those problems, even now, but politics and economics and nationalism all get in the way. If we could access all those minds, though…”

Ramez Naam, Crux

Children living in a dump

“Where there is poverty, there will be destruction and exploitation by the corporations and governments benefiting from destroying our rain forests and trafficking wildlife.”

Eileen Anglin

“Life is now a war zone, and as such, the number of people considered disposable has grown exponentially, and this includes low income whites, poor minorities, immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless, and a range of people who are viewed as a liability to capital and its endless predatory quest for power and profits.”

Henry Giroux

“If I could go back to a point in history to try to get things to come out differently, I would go back and tell Moses to go up the mountain again and get the other tablet. Because the Ten Commandments just tell us what we are supped to do with one another, not a word about our relationship to the earth. Genesis starts with these commands: multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it. We have multiplied very well, we have replenished our populations very well, we have subdued it all too well, and we don’t have any other instruction.”

David Brower

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”

Walt Whitman

Wonderful Verenda

“We are being called upon to act against a prevailing culture, to undermine our own entrenched tendency to accumulate and to consume, and to refuse to define our individuality by our presumed ability to do whatever we want.”

Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness

“To save our dying earth, any government which is not environmentalist must go because on earth there are thousands of governments but there in only one earth! Continuing with the eco-traitor stupid governments means an environmental suicide! Enemies of nature are real barbarians and there is no place for these savages in our civilization!”

Mehmet Murat ildan

Deepwater-Horizon

“If you want to save the humankind, you should first take care of Nature.It’s the legacy that we leave behind,That brings us hope, that’s for sure!”
Ana Claudia Antunes, The Fairies of the Four Seasons: The Dance of Time

“Somebody has to be tireless or the fast buck operators would asphalt the entire coast, fill every bay and slay every living thing incapable of carrying a wallet.”

John D. MacDonald, Where is Janice Gantry?

“The future of the next generation relies on astronomers obtaining a full understanding of the rapidly changing human environmental conditions and the halting of biologically toxic corporate government policies. The overloading of the electromagnetic environment is one of these disastrous policies that must stop.”

Steven Magee

“Yes sir, yes madam, I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like men! like women! like human beings! and walk-walk-WALK upon our sweet and blessed land!”

Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire.

Red sea on the forest

“Extinction, the irrevocable loss of a species, causes pain that can never find relief. It is an ache that will pass from generation to generation for the rest of human history.”

Callum Roberts, The Unnatural History of the Sea

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

Chris Maser, Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest

“Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain, For strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.”
George Carlin

Kuwait oil fields on fire

“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”

Ban Ki-moon

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.”

Evo Morales

“The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.”

Marlee Matlin

“Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues.”

Bernie Sanders

Bottom Line

Now my point is, which of the two Worldviews you prefer to live in?

Maybe there may be a few odd ones around there, who may choose the wrong view, for whatever personal selfish, twisted reason, but I already know most of you want to look at a rainbow color future picture, than one of destruction and degradation.

So, go out there and fight for it, with all your might, as best as you can, otherwise there will not be any future rainbow picture left for us.
The view over the rainbow

Posted in A World in Crisis, Consciousness, Corruption, Crisis, Disillusion with Capitalism, Doomsday, E.O. Wilson, Ecological Crisis, Ecology, Environment, Extinction of Species, Future, Globalization, Obsolete Government, Over Consumption, Things To Come, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 101 Comments