Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Eva: I will take you places you've never been. I will show you things that you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you.
It's Halloween, Halloween!! So of course I have to acknowledge the things that go bump in the night. What's your favorite Halloween movie? I am not big into the horror genre of today's world and find the old movies I grew up on like Frankenstein, The Wolfman and of course Dracula as so much more my cup of tea. But ghost stories always leave me a little short of breath and so hard to turn the light out at bedtime.
Although this book's cover is hardly frightening looking and has absolutely no gorey, bloody, spooky appearance, once you have read it that little cover will send chills up your spine.
I have to rate this book as one of my all time scariest reads. It still haunts me to this day. I became so frightened after reading it that I actually threw the book away, I couldn't bear to have it in the house with me, as if the story could actually pop out of the book and drag me into it. And I am a book rat pack collector, I love books and find it hard to part with most of them. But this one, scared me like no other book ever has.
Here are some reviews:
For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.
Peter Straub's classic bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time — and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.
"The scariest book I've ever read....It crawls under your skin and into your dreams." Chicago Sun-Times
"The terror just mounts and mounts." Stephen King
"I jumped six inches...when someone came up behind the chair when I was reading it and announced that dinner was ready." Christopher Lehmann-haupt, The New York Times
"Gave me bad dreams the first night out...the best thing of its kind since Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House." Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek
The story begins like this..................
What's the worst thing you've ever done? Ghost Story, one of Peter Straub's better-known ghost stories, starts out with this question. It's a haunting question, if you think about it. Everyone has their own little secrets, some which would disturb even the best of us. You never know what those close to you are hiding. Not to mention the things that you hide from everyone. You know there's something that you never tell anyone, that you'll take with you to your grave. And what is it? I won't tell you that, but I'll tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me... the most dreadful thing.....
'Ghost Story' depicts a cross-section of the inhabitants of the imaginary small upstate New York town of "Milburn," who gradually become aware that they, their families, and Milburn are being stalked by a clan of alien, inhuman "Nightwatchers" or "Shapechangers," demonic tricksters capable of assuming outward human form who enjoy playing sadistic games with humans. The "Shapeshifters" or "Nightwatchers" are long-lived, quasi-immortal creatures whose true or basic form, as implied in a few passages of the book, is that of a sort of insect, but who can and do frequently assume various human and animal disguises. The "Nightwatchers" hate and despise Humankind, and their main pastime is to drive their chosen human victims to insanity and suicide by assuming the outward form of the girl of your dreams or a long-lost parent, brother, sister, or friend, exploiting their victims' sexuality, compassion, or loneliness, and then disappearing after playing a few very cruel twists. They often "pick on" a family, playing with the feelings of its members for several generations on end, or a whole small town (like Milburn).
The particular "Shapeshifter" clan that has decided to play its cruel games with a few Milburnites and their families appears over and over again, down through the years and in many places around the world as well as in Milburn itself, in the form of a beautiful and intriguing but cold, cruel, and heartless woman with the initials A.M., a handsome but sinister young man named Greg or Gregory, and Gregory's mentally retarded 10- or 12-year-old nephew or kid brother with the initials F.B. At the same time, the Nghtwatchers"simultaneously also torment and "spook" Milburn by producing animal mutilations and "Bigfoot"and UFO sightings - basically, playing their sadistic exploitative emotional games with members of Milburn's educated upper-middle-class cultural elite, and doing the UFO, Bigfoot, animal mutilation, and weird footprints in the snow bit with the local proles and Archie Bunkers. However, on several occasions the "Nightwatchers" also "spook" their upper-crust victims as well with blatantly supernatural stuff: like levitating in full view of a father whose love-struck son their beautiful"daughter" has just driven to suicide!
Straub's 'Ghost Story', by the way, also features what at first glance looks like an inbred, dysfunctional, genetically challenged family of mentally retarded rural ne'er-do-wells of the Jukes or Kallikak type living in incestuous squalor in a tar-paper shack in the boondocks of upstate New York. The Bates of Four Forks, however, turn out to be something far more weird
Straub's 'Ghost Story' is mainly set in the seemingly quiet, pleasant, sleepy upstate New York town of "Milburn," and initially focuses on the "Chowder Society." The "Chowder Society" is a little club of four elderly, moderately well-to-do gentlemen from locally prominent and respected Milburn families who periodically meet in evening dress at each other's houses to
exchange stories of every kind, including ghost stories and tall tales. 'Ghost Story' begins shortly after a party at which one of the Chowder Society members, Edward Wanderley, had died - or
was killed. The Chowder Society, who for years had met in evening dress to tell each other tales of every kind, now find themselves drawn toward the supernatural, as some sort of solace
for Edward's loss. They begin to tell ghost stories, ghost stories that do not always stop when the teller has finished speaking.
The Chowder Society members next begin having dreams shared simultaneously by all of them forecasting horrors the four elderly gentlemen can scarcely bring themselves to discuss. From
farms surrounding Milburn come reports of animal mutilations:
animals assaulted and drained of blood in the fields. As the cruelly cold winter settles in, freak incidents seem to escalate in and around Milburn, forming themselves into a sinister scheme
of chaos and terror.
Edward Wanderley's nephew Don, an aspiring novelist and English teacher at Berkeley, returns to Milburn from California, with his own pressing personal reasons for wanting to join the
defense against whoever - or whatever - is perpetrating these obscene outrages. As he and the reader gradually discover, Milburn is up against a macabre cast of characters who appear and tauntingly reappear in different guises throughout 'Ghost Story' and who have the power to insinuate themselves wilfully upon the mind.
Don Wanderley and the Chowder Society discover that over the years they themselves or people they know have all experienced encounters with "Nightwatchers" or "Shapechangers" in disguised human form. The "Nightwatchers" are entities that derive a sadistic amusement from toying with the feelings of their human victims and driving those victims to despair, violence, or
suicide. The Chowder Society gentlemen, Don Wandereley, and a teen-aged Milburn boy, among others, all learn that they, close friends, or close relatives have at one time or another all met
shape-changing "Nightwatchers" motivated by hatred of Humanity capable of assuming the form of the perfect girl of one's dreams, of a dead parent, brother, or friend, or of a lonely,
abused or friendless child yearning to be rescued and befriended. The long-lived, almost though not quite immortal Nightwatchers are very patient, if need be quite willing to wait and try again a half century later if thwarted the first time in their effort to destroy a victim - or to pursue the intended original victim's family. They also have a sadistic playfulness, delighting in tantalizing their victims with elaborate clues and inside jokes about their true identity. They love to play jokes, and to slyly flaunt themselves.
The Nightwatchers sometimes torment, confuse, and madden their victims by assuming the appearance of a dead brother, parent, or friend. However, they most frequently take the form of an alluringly beautiful and seductive but ultimately cold, cruel, and heartless young woman with the initials A.M. (Alma Mobley, Amy Monckton, Anna Mostyn, Ann-Veronica Moore, etc.), a
sinister, dissolute, evilly handsome youth named Gregory, and Gregory's mentally retarded teen-aged younger brother or nephew.
Those three recur continually throughout 'Ghost Story' under various guises - cropping up in the present and half a century ago, and in Milburn, in a rural "Tobacco Road" community, in San
Francisco, in New Orleans, and elsewhere. My own two favorite episodes of 'Ghost Story' are a Chowder Society member's reminiscences of his youth as an idealistic schoolteacher and his terrifying run-ins with Fenny, Gregory, and Constance Bates in a one-room rural schoolhouse and tar-paper "Tobacco Road" shack in the 1920's, and Don Wanderley's Berkeley/San Francisco romance with the enchantingly beguiling, too-perfect, ultimately terrifying "Alma Mobley."
The Bates family at first seem just a pathetically flagrant case of Jukes- or Kallikak-like rural "white trash" cultural, intellectual, economic, and genetic deprivation cemented by abusive homosexual brother-brother incest on top of all their other problems - but soon turn out to be in fact something far, far worse and scarier. I got a real kick out of the scene where the teacher is shown Gregory Bates' GRAVE by the local Lutheran pastor, who had been exiled by the Lutheran hierarchy to the boondocks for his obsession with "hermetic matters," as indicated by his private library with its little collection of Lully, Fludd, Bruno, and books on witchcraft and Satanism. No doubt the good Rev. Gruber's library also included the 'Necronomicon' of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred! The good pastor's revelations, and the retarded Fenny Bates' voodoo-like voluntary suicide by heart stoppage, disabuse the young teacher of his idealistic dreams of rescuing and uplifting the unfortunate, impoverished Bateses.
Half a century later, the young novelist, teaching English at Berkeley, meets in "Alma Mobley" a girl who at first seems too good to be true - but grows progressively spookier, more unnerving, and ultimately more terrifying and hateful. She turns out to have had an affair a year or two earlier with his half-brother who had then committed suicide, and to be involved with a cult called the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) in the hard-cover version of 'Ghost Story', and the XXX (Xala Xalior Xlati) in the paperback edition. He discovers her to hang out with a sinister,
disreputable drug dealer named Greg Benton and his mentally retarded kid brother, supposedly old home-town neighbours of hers from New Orleans - a pair whose descriptions are almost
identical to those of the rural "Tobacco Roaders" Gregory and Fenny Bates a half century earlier! After his breakup with Alma Mobley, Don Wanderley does a bit of detective and library
research work, and discovers that all her autobiographical references to her own family are fake - but based on the true family story of a New Orleans artist some 20 or 25 years earlier whose young son had committed suicide after an ill-starred romance with a beautiful and enchanting but weird girl named Amy Monckton who had inveigled him into a bisexual threesome, drug
abuse, and voodoo worship with her handsome but dissolute and sinister family chauffeur Gregorio!
There is a 1981 movie of this book, http://http://www.uk.imdb.com/title/tt0082449/
starring Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and John Houseman as the Chowder Club members. I think this is the only movie I have ever seen Fred Astaire in that he doesn't dance, and actually was quite good in. Of course the movie just can't quite pull off the horror like the book did.
And writing this now so many years later after reading the book, I realize how these beings sound very modern day, reptilian, shapeshifters, and like the gnostic demons called "Thetans" by L. Ron Hubbard.
I'm sleeping with the lights on!
Monday, October 29, 2007
The Leader of the Band
And I am flawed
But I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now
The things you swore you saw yourself
Take It Easy
Tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way ?
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind?
Was it everything you wanted to find?
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?
The Cassiopaeans have said:
A: The bottom line is this: You are occupying 3rd density. You are by nature, STS. You can be an STO candidate, but you are NOT STO until you are on 4th density. You will NEVER grasp the meaning of these attempted conceptualizations until you are at 4th and above.
To make this point a little clearer, let me add that, before the "Fall," human beings were 3rd density STO, which means that they were ALIGNED with 4th density STO. We have already discussed what this reality must have been like in terms of the megalith builders who were able, by their interaction with Celestial forces, to manifest all that was needed without assault on the environment of Earth.
Don Juan tells us that the Seers of ancient times were "men capable of inconceivable deeds. They were powerful sorcerers, somber and driven, who unraveled the secrets" of existence at our level. They were able to "influence and victimize people by fixating their awareness on whatever they chose." This is an important key in terms of Frequency Resonance Vibration that cannot be overstressed.
There are two positions in the study and understanding of awareness: Sorcerers vs. The Warrior Who Sees. They Both practice the same Seeing, the difference is Intent. The Sorcerer practices to control others. The Warrior practices to become Free.
The Cassiopaeans designate these two positions as "Service to Others," and "Service to Self." Those who wish to control others are Serving Self, those who wish to become free and help others who wish to become free are Serving Others.
Shaman is another way to describe the Warrior who practices to be free. A Shaman is not a magician or a sorcerer although he CAN play those roles if he chooses. He is not a healer, though he can play that role also. A Shaman is far more; he is a psychopomp, a priest, a mystic and a poet. Shamanism is NOT a religion, it is a function, a role, a magico-religious phenomenon specific to certain individuals who have ecstatic capacity permitting "magical flight" to higher realms, descent into the underworld to battle dark forces, mastery over fire, matter, time and space. Unfortunately, as Don Juan noted, in the present time, the Shamanic acts are acts of great laxity, distortion and aberration.
The word "shaman" comes to us through Russian from the Tungusic "saman." The word is derived from the Pali samana, (Sanskrit sramana), through the Chinese sha-men (a transcription of the Pali word).
The word shaman, may be related to Sarman. According to John G. Bennett, Sarmoung or Sarman:
"The pronunciation is the same for either spelling and the word can be assigned to old Persian. It does, in fact, appear in some of the Pahlawi texts...The word can be interpreted in three ways. It is the word for bee, which has always been a symbol of those who collect the precious 'honey' of traditional wisdom and preserve it for further generations. A collection of legends, well known in Armenian and Syrian circles with the title of The Bees, was revised by Mar Salamon, a Nestorian Archimandrite in the thirteenth century. The Bees refers to a mysterious power transmitted from the time of Zoroaster and made manifest in the time of Christ."
"Man" in Persian means "the quality transmitted by heredity and hence a distinguished family or race. It can be the repository of an heirloom or tradition. The word sar means head, both literally and in the sense of principal or chief. The combination sarman would thus mean the chief repository of the tradition..."
"And still another possible meaning of the word sarman is... literally, those whose heads have been purified." [John G. Bennett, Gurdjieff: Making of A New World]
Those whose heads have been purified! What an interesting idea! Especially when you consider the concept of Frequency Resonance Vibration and Orientation/Polarization.
We already suspect that these ideas are far older than Zoroaster. And for those who have supposed that the concept of the shaman was stimulated by Buddhism, I will point out that other studies have shown that, even before the intrusion of Buddhism into Central Asia, there was the cult of Buga, god of the sky, a celestial worship that antedates Sun and Moon worship.
The central theme of Shamanism is the "ascent to the sky" and/or the "descent" to the underworld. In the former, the practitioner experiences Ecstasy, in the latter, he battles demons who threaten the well being of humanity. There are studies that suggest evidence of the earliest practices are in the cave paintings of Lascaux with the many representations of the bird, the tutelary spirits, and the ecstatic experience (ca, 25,000 B.C.). Animal skulls and bones found in the sites of the European Paleolithic period (before 50,000 - ca. 30,000 B.C.) have been interpreted as evidence of Shamanic practice.
The "ecstatic experience" is the primary phenomenon of Shamanism, and it is this ecstasy that can be seen as the act of merging with the celestial beings. And merging results in Forced Oscillation that changes Frequency. Continued interaction with Celestial beings is a form of Frequency Resonance Vibration.
The idea that there was a time when man was directly in contact with the Celestial Beings is at the root of the myths of the Golden Age which have been redacted to the Grail stories of the 11th and 12th centuries. During this paradisal time, it is suggested that communications between heaven and earth were easy and accessible to everyone. Myths tell us of a time when the "gods withdrew" from mankind. As a result of some "happening," i.e. "The Fall," the communications were broken off and the Celestial Beings withdrew to the highest heavens.
This is exactly what the Cassiopaeans have told us regarding our former alignment with 4th density STO and our present alignment with 4th density STS, and which we have examined to some extent in earlier sections of the present work.
But, the myths also tell us that there were still those certain people who were able to "ascend" and commune with the gods on the behalf of their tribe or family. Through them, contact was maintained with the "guiding spirits" of the group. The beliefs and practices of the present day shamans are a survival of a profoundly modified and even corrupted and degenerated remnant of this archaic technology of concrete communications between heaven and earth.
And, again, the Cassiopaeans suggested this perspective, which was confirmed in later studies. But we will come to that later.
The shaman, in his ability to achieve the ecstatic state inaccessible to the rest of mankind, was regarded as a privileged being. More than this, the myths tell us of the First Shamans who were sent to earth by the Celestial Beings to DEFEND human beings against the "negative gods" who had taken over the rule of mankind. It was the task of the First Shamans to activate, in their own bodies, a sort of "transducer" of cosmic energy for the benefit of their tribe. This was expressed as the concept of the "world tree," which became the "axis" or the Pole of the World and later the "royal bloodlines."
It does seem to be true that there is a specific relationship between this function and certain "bloodlines." But, as with everything that has been provided to help mankind, this concept has been co-opted by the forces seeking to keep mankind in darkness and ignorance. The true and ancient bloodlines of the First Shamans have been obscured and hidden by the false trail of the invented genealogies of the Hebrew Old Testament supposedly leading to certain branches of present day European royal and/or noble families, which seek to establish a counterfeit "kingship" that has garnered a great deal of attention in recent times.
As we have already noted, BEFORE the Fall, every human being had access to communication with the higher densities via the "Maidens of the Wells," or the union between the right and left hemispheres of the brain and alignment with the 4th density STO. Because of their alignment, their frequency, and the lack of STS dampers, it was a simple matter to amplify Frequency Resonance Vibration.
AFTER the Fall, it seems that a specific genetic variation was somatically induced by the incarnation of certain higher density beings who "gave their blood" for the "redemption of man." That is to say that they changed the body and DNA by Forced Oscillation. It is likely that this was done through the female incarnations because of the role of the mitochondrial DNA, but I don't want to get ahead of myself here, so we will leave that for the moment.
Nevertheless, the presence of this DNA, depending upon the terms of recombination, makes it very likely that there are literally millions of carriers of this bloodline/Shamanic ability on the earth today. And it is for all of YOU that these pages are being written.
In this present time, there are indications that Cosmic changes of monumental proportions are "in the wind." There are also indications that a particular "time element" is involved, and all the forces of darkness seek to deceive and obfuscate at levels never before achieved in order to distract, confuse, dilute and defuse the abilities of those who may be the bearers of the "circuits of change" for all humanity.
The Sufis have kept the "Technician of Ecstasy" concept alive in their tradition of the "Poles of the World." The kutub or q'tub (pole of his time) is an appointed being, entirely spiritual of nature, who acts as a divine agent of a sphere at a certain period in time. Each kutub has under him four awtads (supports) and a number of abdals (substitutes) , who aid him in his work of preserving and maintaining the world. The interesting thing about this idea is that the individual who occupies the position does not even have to be aware of it! His life, his existence, even his very physiology, is a function of higher densities extruded into 3rd density. That this has a very great deal to do with "bloodlines," as promulgated in recent times is true, but not necessarily in the ways suggested. Again, we will come to that soon enough.
Q: (L) But isn't the nature of a person determined by their soul and not the physical body?
A: Partially, remember, aural profile and karmic reference merges with physical structure.
Q: (L) So you are saying that particular genetic conditions are a physical reflection of a spiritual orientation? That the soul must match itself to the genetics, even if only in potential?
A: Yes, precisely.
Q: (L) So a person's potential for spiritual advancement or unfoldment is, to a great extent, dependent upon their genes?
A: Natural process marries with systematic construct when present. [Cassiopaeans]
In the present time, it seems that those with the "bloodline" are awakening. It is no longer feasible to be a "Pole of the World" who is asleep, because, as we will soon examine, there are some very serious matters of choice and action that may be incumbent upon the awakened Shaman. The first order of business seems to be to awaken and accumulate strength of polarity.
Shamans are born AND made. That is to say, they are born to be made, but the making is their choice. And, from what I have been able to determine, the choice may be one that is made at a different level than the conscious, 3rd density linear experience. Those who have made the choice at the higher levels, and then have negated the choice at this level because they are not able to relinquish their ordinary life, pay a very high price, indeed.
A shaman stands out because of certain characteristics of "religious crisis." They are different from other people because of the intensity of their religious experiences. In ancient times, it was the task of the Shamanic elite to be the "Specialist of the Soul," to guard the soul of the tribe because only he could "see the unseen" and know the form and destiny of the Group Soul. But, before he acquired his ability, he was often an ordinary citizen, or even the offspring of a shaman with no seeming vocation (considering that the ability is reputed to be inherited, though not necessarily represented in each generation.)
At some point in his life, however, the shaman has an experience that "separates" him from the rest of humanity. This Native American "vision quest" is a survival of the archaic understanding of the natural initiation of the shaman who is "called" to his vocation by the gods. A deep study of the matter reveals that those who seek the magico-religious powers via the vision quest when they have not been "called" spontaneously, generally become the "Dark Shamans," or sorcerers; those who, through a systematic study, obtain the powers deliberately for their own advantage. (Again, Don Juan's distinction between the Sorcerer and the Warrior who practices to be Free.)
The true Shamanic initiation comes by dreams, ecstatic trances combined with extensive study. A shaman is expected to not only pass through certain initiatory ordeals, but he/she must also be deeply educated in order to be able to fully evaluate the experiences and challenges that he/she will face. Unfortunately, until now, there have been precious few who have traveled the path of the Shaman, including the practice of the attendant skills of "battling demons," who could teach or advise a course of study for the Awakening Shaman.
The future shaman is traditionally thought to exhibit certain exceptional traits from childhood. He is often very nervous and even sickly in some ways. (In some cultures, epilepsy is considered a "mark" of the shaman, though this is a later corrupt perception of the ecstatic state.) It has been noted that shamans, as children, are often morbidly sensitive, have weak hearts, disordered digestion, and are subject to vertigo. There are those who would consider such symptoms to be incipient mental illness, but the fact is extensive studies have shown that the so-called hallucinations or visions consist of elements that follow a particular model that is consistent from culture to culture, from age to age, and is composed of an amazingly rich theoretical content. It could even be said that persons who "go mad," are "failed shamans" who have failed either because of a flaw in the transmission of the genetics, or because of environmental factors. At the same time, there are many more myths of failed Shamanic heroes than of successful ones, so the warnings of what can happen have long been in place. Mircea Eliade remarks that:
... The mentally ill patient proves to be an unsuccessful mystic or, better, the caricature of a mystic. His experience is without religious content, even if it appears to resemble a religious experience, just as an act of autoeroticism arrives at the same physiological result as a sexual act properly speaking (seminal emission), yet at the same time is but a caricature of the latter because it is without the concrete presence of the partner. [Eliade, Shamanism, 1964]
Well, that's a pretty interesting analogy! It even suggests to us the idea that one who attempts to activate a Shamanic inheritance within the STS framework of Wishful Thinking, has an "illusory" partner as in the above described activity, with similar results. In other words, Sorcery is like masturbation: the practitioner satisfies himself, but his act does no one else any good. And, by the same token, a Shaman who operates without knowledge is like the proverbial premature ejaculation: he gets everybody all excited, and then leaves them hanging!
But, such amusing vulgarities aside (even if they DO make the point remarkably well) the thing about the shaman is that he/she is not just a sick person, he is a sick person who has been CURED, or who has succeeded in curing himself!! This point can't be overemphasized! Those who aspire to mysticism, to the Shamanic path, and who still remain frail or sickly in physical, material or spiritual terms, may not yet have been presented with the initiation, or, if they have, may have failed to pass. The possibility of achieving the Shamanic powers for Service to Self also exists, so great care has to be used in trying to "see the unseen."
The Shamen - Re: evolution Lyrics
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversely frame'd
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual Breeze
At once the soul of each, and God of all....
The Secret Garden opens by introducing us to Mary Lennox, a sickly, foul-tempered, unsightly little girl who loves no one and whom no one loves. At the outset of the story, she is living in India with her parents—a dashing army captain and his frivolous, beautiful wife—but is rarely permitted to see them. They have placed her under the constant care of a number of native servants, as they find her too hideous and tiresome to look after. Mary's circumstances are cast into complete upheaval when an outbreak of cholera devastates the Lennox household, leaving no one alive but herself.
She is found by a group of soldiers and, after briefly living with an English clergyman and his family, Mary is sent to live in Yorkshire with her maternal uncle, Archibald Craven. Misselthwaite Manor is a sprawling old estate with over one hundred rooms, all of which have been shut up by Archibald Craven. A man whom everyone describes as "a miserable hunchback," Master Craven has been in a state of inconsolable grief ever since the death of his wife ten years before the novel begins. Shortly after arriving at Misselthwaite, Mary hears about a secret garden from Martha Sowerby, her good-natured Yorkshire maidservant. This garden belonged to the late Mistress Craven; after her death, Archibald locked the garden door and buried the key beneath the earth.
Mary becomes intensely curious about the secret garden, and determines to find it. This curiosity, along with the vigorous exercise she takes on the moor, begins to have an extremely positive effect upon Mary. She almost immediately becomes less sickly, more engaged with the world, and less foul-tempered. This change is aided by Ben Weatherstaff, a brusque but kindly old gardener, and a robin redbreast who lives in the secret garden. She begins to count these two "people," along with Martha, Dickon Sowerby, and Susan Sowerby, as the friends she has had in her life. Her curiosity is whetted when she hears strange, far-off cries coming from one of the manor's distant rooms.
However, Mrs. Medlock, the head of the servants at Misselthwaite, absolutely forbids her to seek out the source of the cries. She is distracted from this mystery when she discovers, with the robin's help, the key to the secret garden. She immediately sets about working there, so that the neglected plants might thrive. Dickon, who brings her a set of gardening tools and promises to help her bring the secret garden back to life, vastly aids her in her endeavor. Dickon is a boy who can charm the animals of the moor "the way snake charmers charm snakes in India." He is only a common moor boy, but he is filled with so much uncanny wisdom that Mary comes to refer to him as "the Yorkshire angel."
One night, Mary hears the distant cries and, flagrantly disobeying Mrs. Medlock's prohibition, goes off in search of their source. She finds Colin Craven, Master Craven's invalid son, shut up in an opulent bedchamber. Colin was born shortly before his mother's death, and his father cannot bear to look at him because the boy painfully reminds him of his late wife. Colin has been bedridden since his birth, and it is believed that he will become a hunchback and die an early death. His servants have been commanded to obey his every whim, and Colin has become fantastically spoiled and imperious as a result. Colin and Mary strike up a friendship, but Colin becomes furious when she fails to visit him because she prefers to garden with Dickon. That night, Colin throws one of the infamous tantrums. Mary rushes to his room in a fury and commands him to stop crying. He tells her that his back is beginning to show a hunch; when Mary examines him, she finds nothing whatever the matter with him. Henceforth, she will maintain that Colin's illness is only in his mind: he will be well if only he makes up his mind to be.
Dickon and Mary secretly begin bringing Colin out into the secret garden. On the first of these outings, the children are discovered by Ben Weatherstaff, who has been covertly tending the secret garden once a year for ten years. Ben has done so out of love and loyalty for the late Mistress Craven: he was a favorite of hers. Weatherstaff refers to Colin as "the poor cripple," and asks if he has crooked legs and a crooked back. Colin, made furious by this question, forces himself to stand up on his own feet for the first time in his life. After this feat, Colin's health improves miraculously: the secret garden, the springtime, and Dickon's company have the same rejuvenating effect upon him that they did upon Mary. The children determine to keep Colin's improvement a secret, however, so that he can surprise his father with his recovery when Master Craven returns from his trip abroad.
The three children, along with Ben Weatherstaff, spend every day of the summer in the secret garden. Only one other person is admitted into the secret: Susan Sowerby, Dickon's saintly mother. Susan sends a letter to Master Craven, telling him to hurry home so that he might see his son; she does not, however, specify why, in deference to Colin's secret. Master Craven complies, and returns immediately to Misselthwaite. His first act is to go into the secret garden; he does so at the behest of a dream in which the voice of his late wife told him that he might find her there. Just as he lays his hand to the doorknob, Colin comes rushing out and falls into his arms. Father and son are reconciled, and the miracle of Colin's recovery becomes known to all.
Themes, motifs and symbols
One can say that The Secret Garden is organized around the idea of secrets. Mary is a secret from her parents' associates; Colin is kept a secret by both his father and himself. Misselthwaite is full of hundreds of locked rooms which no one may enter; its servants are forbidden to speak of its history or of its current inhabitants. Colin keeps the portrait of his mother a secret from his servants, and, later, the secret of his newfound health from all but Mary, Dickon, Ben Weatherstaff, and Susan Sowerby. The secret of the garden itself is the most significant. One by one, each of the book's secrets are disclosed: disclosure is presented as an absolute good, for, in the economy of the novel, the content of a thing does not matter—only whether one thinks of it positively or negatively does. Thus the secret of Mistress Craven's death can be disclosed, provided one maintains that she isn't really dead at all; Colin and Mary can come to light, provided that they have become kind and healthy; the garden, too, may be unlocked, so long as it, too, is resurrected.
Parallel Lives of Colin, Mary, and the Secret Garden
A number of striking similarities between Mary and Colin are immediately apparent: they are both ten years old; they have both passed sickly, neglected childhoods; both are unbelievably spoiled; and both have been looked after by retinues of servants who have been ordered to obey their every whim. Both children have parents that have denied their existence and hidden them away like secrets. No one ever sees Colin or Mary: the English soldiers who discover Mary in her parents' bungalow declare that they never knew that "that pretty woman" had had a child at all. Upon first seeing Colin, Mary exclaims, almost identically, "I never knew [Master Craven] had a child!" The garden has been closed for ten years; up to the moment that Colin and Mary each enter the garden, they too are closed off—they have loved no one, and have been utterly unloved. Because it has been so long since anyone has tended the garden, it is impossible to determine whether its flowers are dead or alive. Similarly, both Mary and Colin have had no one to care for them since their birth, and their skin has become either waxen or stony as a result. Both of these words ("waxen" and "stony") connote lifelessness. The awakening of the secret garden both parallels and is the cause of Colin and Mary's own rebirth.
Eden, also called Paradise, was the garden in which the first humans created by God (Adam and Eve) lived until the time of the Fall. The "Fall" refers to the moment that God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for tasting of the Tree of Knowledge. The secret garden is connected with Eden through Martha's story of the divine times had there by Master Craven and his wife before her quite literal "fall"—before, that is, she fell out of the rose-tree to her death. It is also similar to Eden insofar as it represents a Paradise of innocence and ideality for Mary and Dickon. As in Eden, they enjoy a uniquely close relationship with God (who occasionally is referred to as magic, and as "the Big Good Thing") when they are within its walls. Their work in the garden is compared to the work of "nest-building," which of course has certain marital implications—it is as though they too have become Adam and Eve. Furthermore, their seclusion in the secret garden conjures up that enjoyed by Master and Mistress Craven. This echo is strengthened by the fact that Mary bends down and kisses the newly opened crocuses, just as Mistress Craven kissed her roses. The Eden-like quality of their time alone together in the garden is only strengthened by the presence of Dickon's docile "creatures," which recall the animals created by the Christian God to keep the first people company. Dickon inspires "rapture" in Mary, which implies both ecstasy and "a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to the knowledge of divine things" (Merriam-Webster). Dickon's intimate connection with heavenly nature brings Mary nearer to divinity herself.
The Robin Redbreast
When Mary first sees the robin redbreast, the reader is struck by a number of similarities between them: like her, he began life as an orphan; like her, he finds a haven in the secret garden; like her, he began to seek out friendship once he lost his family and came to realize he was lonely. The friendliness of the little bird both helps Mary to recognize that she is lonely and to assuage that loneliness. This is significant in that Mary first befriends a wild creature, a distinctive part of the English countryside; the robin is explicitly described as being "not at all like birds in India." She thus makes her first connection with a part of the moor, not a part of the manor. The robin is a representative of wise and gentle nature—part of Chapter XXV is told from his point of view, as though to prove that animals really do have minds of their own. It is he who first shows Mary the key to the secret garden, thereby suggesting that nature itself is colluding with her wish to get inside. Later, the robin's building of a nest with his mate is compared to Mary's nest- building with Dickon in the secret garden.
The roses are Mistress Craven's personal symbol; they are mentioned whenever she is mentioned. The bower from which she fell to her death was covered with roses; when Mary first discovers the garden, it is still flooded with rose-trees and rosebushes, though none are in bloom. Dickon reassures her that they are not dead, and remarks, "There will be fountains of roses here in the spring." This foreshadows the way in which the resurrection of the garden will bring the spirit of Mistress Craven back within its walls—she exists wherever roses are in bloom. The tree from which Colin's mother fell to her death can itself be said to undergo a kind of resurrection: though it is the only thing in the garden which is wholly dead, it is soon "covered with new roses," so that the dead wood is no longer visible. The new roses symbolize both the children and the spirit of Colin's mother herself, which has come back to the garden to watch over her son.
Winter Light by Linda Ronstadt - The Secret Garden
Is There Purpose in Nature?
by Dr. Mae-Wan-Ho
Organism and Pysche in a Particpatory Universe
by Dr. Mae-Wan-Ho
The Doctine of Cycles
By Lydia Ross, M.D.
Man and Nature Allied in Cyclic Progress
There is a purpose in every important act of Nature, whose acts are all cyclic and periodical. -- The Secret Doctrine 1:640
Nature repeats herself everywhere. She follows grooves of action that have already been made; she follows the line of least resistance in all cases and everywhere. And it is upon this repetitive action of our Great Mother -- universal nature -- that is founded the law of cycles, which is the enacting of things that have been before, although each such repetition, as said, is at each new manifestation on a higher plane and with a larger sweep or field of action. -- Man in Evolution, chapter 13
Nature moves like a great wheel, ever turning round and round, so that as it goes forward in time and space, each of its spokes takes its regular turn in moving upward, forward, downward and backward. As the whole wheel of the universe rolls onward, every atom of it gains ground and experience, and also adds its impulse to the common urge forward. This evolutionary urge in mankind is naturally quickened, in greater or less degree, by mind and self-consciousness. Thus we are able to help things below us, as we in turn are helped by wiser, greater beings.
Now we turn to a mystery that nearly equals the pyramid, though it is
a little known conundrum hidden in the mists of remote antiquity. Let
us start with a simple question that appears to have an obvious
answer: what is a dog? It turns out geneticists in the past decade
have shown the answer is not so obvious. In fact, generations of
anthropologists, archaeologists and wildlife biologists turned out to
be dead wrong when it came to the origins of "man's best friend".
Prior to DNA studies conducted in the 1990s, the generally accepted
theory posited that dogs branched off from a variety of wild canids,
i.e., coyotes, hyenas, jackals, wolves and so on, about 15,000 years
ago. The results of the first comprehensive DNA study shocked the
scholarly community. The study found that all dog breeds can be
traced back to wolves and not other canids. The second part of the
finding was even more unexpected - the branching off occurred from 40-150,000 years ago.
Why do these findings pose a problem? We have to answer that question with another question: how were dogs bred from wolves? This is not just difficult to explain, it is impossible. Do not be fooled by the pseudo-explanations put forth by science writers that state our Stone Age ancestors befriended wolves and somehow (the procedure is never articulated) managed to breed the first mutant wolf, the mother of all dogs. Sorry, we like dogs too, but that is what a dog is.
The problems come at the crucial stage of taking a male and female wolf and getting them to produce a subspecies (assuming you could tame and interact with them at all). Let us take this one step further by returning to our original question, what is a dog? A dog is a mutated wolf that only has those characteristics of the wild parent, which humans find companionable and useful. That is an amazing fact.
Think about those statements for a moment. If you are thinking that dogs evolved naturally from wolves, that is not an option. No scientist believes that because the stringent wolf pecking order and breeding rituals would never allow a mutant to survive, at least that is one strong argument against natural evolution.
Now, if our Paleolithic ancestors could have pulled off this feat, and the actual challenges posed by the process are far more taxing, then wolf/dog breeders today certainly should have no problem duplicating it. But like the Great Pyramid, that does not seem to be the case. No breeders have stepped up to the plate claiming they can take two pure wolves and produce a dog sans biogenetic engineering techniques.
The evolution of the domesticated dog from a wild pack animal appears to be a miracle! It should not have happened. This is another unexplained enigma.
And who gave the dog it's name? God spelled backwards?
Friday, 22 November, 2002, 05:03 GMT
Origin of dogs traced
Even puppies seem to have an innate understanding of humans
By Christine McGourty
BBC science correspondent
Dogs today come in all shapes and sizes, but scientists believe they evolved from just a handful of wolves tamed by humans living in or near China less than 15,000 years ago.
It looks as if 95% of current dogs come from just three original founding females
Matthew Binns, Animal Health Trust
Three research teams have attempted to solve some long-standing puzzles in the evolution and social history of dogs.
Their findings, reported in the journal Science, point to the existence of probably three founding females - the so-called "Eves" of the dog world.
They conclude that intensive breeding by humans over the last 500 years - not different genetic origins - is responsible for the dramatic differences in appearance among modern dogs.
One team studied Old World dogs to try to pin down their origins, previously thought to be in the Middle East.
The other team studied dogs of the New World and found they are not New World dogs at all, but also have their origins in East Asia.
Carles Vila, of Uppsala University, Sweden, one of the team studying the New World dogs, told BBC News Online: "We found that dogs originating in the Old World arrived to the New World with immigrating humans.
"Thus, even before the development of trade as we know it now, humans had to be exchanging dogs."
A pet now but an integral part of the story of human development
He added that exactly how or why humans domesticated dogs was not known, but the speed at which they seem to have multiplied and diversified indicates they played an important role in human life.
"I can imagine that if dogs were, for example, improving the quality of hunting, that would be a very great advantage for humans. It could even have made the colonisation of the New World easier.
"There must have been something advantageous about those dogs that made them extremely successful and allowed them to spread all over the world."
Peter Savolainen, of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, led the study of Old World dogs, analysing DNA samples taken from dogs in Asia, Europe, Africa and arctic America.
'Bit of a surprise'
His team found that, though most dogs shared a common gene pool, genetic diversity was highest in East Asia, suggesting that dogs have been domesticated there the longest.
"Most earlier guesses have focused on the Middle East as the place of origin for dogs, based on the few known facts - a small amount of archaeological evidence from the region, and the fact that several other animals were domesticated there," he says.
The researchers studied gene sequences from the dogs' mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited directly from the mother. The findings indicated that the major present-day dog populations at some point had a common origin from a single gene pool.
Matthew Binns, head of genetics at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, UK, said the findings were significant.
He told BBC News Online: "For the first time, there's relatively convincing evidence actually pinpointing the date at which the dog was domesticated and also the location of that domestication, which is a bit of a surprise.
"People have previously thought that a lot of species were domesticated in the Middle East and this data clearly shows domestication took place in East Asia."
He added: "It looks as if 95% of current dogs come from just three original founding females and I guess these are the Eves of the dog world."
In a separate study, researchers at Harvard University and the Wolf Hollow Wolf Sanctuary, both US, studied social cognition in dogs and were surprised by the findings.
In a simple experiment designed to compare their behaviour to those of wolves and our closest relative, the chimpanzee, the findings clearly showed that dogs - even young puppies - were far better at interpreting social cues from humans.
The food was hidden in little buckets
The dogs had to choose which bucket had food hidden underneath it, and the experiment was designed so they could not rely on their superb sense of smell. The scientists helped by pointing or looking in the direction of the hidden food.
Researcher Brian Hare said the dogs outperformed even the chimpanzees, and the puppies were as good as the older dogs, proving the skill was innate and not learned.
"During domestication there was some kind of change in their cognitive ability that allowed them to figure out what other individuals wanted using social cues. The biggest surprise was the puppies - even as young as nine weeks old, they're better than an adult chimpanzee at finding food."
He said the research might ultimately provide some clues as to how social skills evolved in humans.
Dogs continue to be in the news lately, hammering our heads and hearts. The pet lovers among us can't help but notice, and the news stories make it glaringly apparent that something is missing in so many people.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The Romance of the Sun and the Moon
The moon was alone one evening, shining in the midnight sky. Although she was surrounded by myriads of tiny, sparkly stars, she felt as if there was no one to understand her. She eagerly searched the skies for a friend, perhaps a meteor, with whom to discuss the joys and sorrows of her life. But there was nobody.
On the other side of the world, the sun yawned and awoke to shine his light upon the blue-green temples of God. He heard the call to worship, and saw the waves of people bowing and praying. He felt full of good will and charity towards the masses of God's servitors. Perhaps they were not holy, but at least they were faithful.
The moon stayed alone, suspended in the sky with none to touch her. A tiny star whispered to her of a great being, the sun, who brought joy and light to the world. She listened with interest, for it seemed that once, a long time ago, she had seen a being such as this. Beautiful as he was, the sun seemed always just beyond her reach. She would visit the places where he had been, and would always find that he had just left. Those who knew him spoke of his wonder and his glory, and she felt unworthy to be in his presence.
Now the sun was unaware of her yearning, for he was too busy making the crops grow and warming the world. Those who wished his light had only to look upward to heaven and he was there, beaming down upon them.
The moon continued to follow the sun, always coming nearer to him, always hearing that he had just left that portion of the sky, or was just over the next mountain range. Where before there was despair, now she was ever more hopeful, for she knew that she was approaching his presence.
She came closer and closer, until one glorious day came when she stood before him, naked and unafraid. The world looked up and saw only blackness - in the middle of the day. But the moon stood mid-way between the sun and the earth, and all of his glory was for her.
His light blotted out all of her loneliness, all of her pain, all of her past. She stood bathed in wonder before him, and his light filled her soul.
She passed away from him full of light and joy, and though his light was too bright to remember, it was also too powerful to forget. She was dizzy with wonder. As time passed, it seemed that she once had been a being full of light, yet it was so long ago…
Such is the soul of man, dear one. It yearns of the glorious light of Truth, which destroys all loneliness and memory. The many lives of man are as many times as the moon see the sun - after each, nothing remains but a vague idea of a beauty one seen. And there is always the longing, and always the return.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch - The Origin of Love
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
There is a fundamental chasm in our understanding of ourselves, the universe, and everything. To solve this, Sir Martin takes us on a mind-boggling journey through multiple universes to post-biological life. On the way we learn of the disturbing possibility that we could be the product of someone else's experiment.
The universe is still a place of mystery and wonder."
Sir Martin Rees
Are we alone?
Why are we here?
Are we real?
Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees investigates ...
All life on Earth is nothing more than an elaborate facade created by super-intelligent beings. Humans now exist in a computerized version of the world – a simulation that keeps us happy, while our powers are drained by our creators for use as fuel in their campaign for dominance in the ‘real’ world. This is the premise of the cult sci-fi thriller 'The Matrix'.
‘The simulation hypothesis, that we are currently living in a computer simulation, should be understood literally, it’s not just in a metaphorical sense whereby one could view the universe as a simulation, but literally we would be living in a simulation created by some advanced civilization in a computer they built in their universe. And everything we see and our brains themselves would just be parts of this simulation.’ Oxford University philosopher Dr Nick Bostrom echoes the thoughts of sci-fi writers and scientists alike. The simulation hypothesis is not sci-fi, it’s serious academic thought.
In Are We Real? Martin Rees navigates the extraordinary territory between science fact and science fiction. He reveals the logical steps that have led cosmologists and philosophers to the shocking conclusion that The Matrix scenario cannot be safely relegated to our storybooks. Whether it’s true or not, and it might be, here is a story that is altogether more serious and more deeply disturbing than any sci-fi fantasy could ever be.
Find out more @ Channel 4.
What We Still Don't Know: Are We Real? (2004). Duration: 48 minutes.
Sir Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, Kt OM FRS is a cosmologist and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 2004 to 2012 and President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010. Lord Rees is also a Patron of the Cambridge Science Festival.
As well as popularising his scientific areas from cosmology, including cosmic radiation background and galaxy formation, Lord Rees has written and spoken extensively about the problems and challenges of the 21st century, and the interfaces between science, ethics and politics. He is also one of three founders of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Published on Mar 18, 2012
This is a re-imagined version of the "waltzing dress" scene from the 1985 film "Legend". Two versions of the film have been edited together here. Due to studio concerns about the profitability of the movie, different versions of the film were released in various countries, and the changes that were made are significant. Ridley Scott's Director's Cut (2002) uses the Jerry Goldsmith score that was released in Europe. However, the dancing dress scene works much better with the Tangerine Dream score that was released in the United States in 1985. The European version is much longer, but the US release's Tangerine Dream score is superior, particularly in the Dress Scene. Since 2002, I've hoped that a version of "Legend" featuring the long version of the film but using the Tangerine Dream score would be released, but it has never happened. So this is what this scene might look and sound like, mixing the look of one version with the sound of another. Goldsmith's score for this scene is much longer than Tangerine Dream's, so I had to edit both the audio and the video for length. Sorry for the crude edits. I had to snip out seven seconds of film and even then I had to extend the Tangerine Dream score significantly. Even this amazing scene, sadly, wasn't left intact in the US edit.
The devil thought he could make a bride out of the virgin Lily, by dance, seduction, and diamonds. But there is one thing, Lily was pure hearted hence her name, lily, Just like the Blessed Virgin Mary's name purity. So this is the spiritual battle in the world good versus evil. God bless you Lily, and Tom for trusting her in the end.
Tourists have captured a very unusual sighting in the mountains of Switzerland. We had to watch the clip twice and actually paused it there for a second so we can clearly see the unicorn. What do you think -- is this footage real or fake? You can pause the video and get a close up, damn but it looks real to me! But then I'm a magical thinker. Perhaps we are the only ones pure at heart enough to still see and hear unicorns. I pray that I never lose that ability.
From the eccentric author of One-Letter Words: A Dictionary (author bio).About A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound. There are many ways to detect the presence of a unicorn in your own backyard, without the need for expensive electronic equipment (leave that to the greenhorn rangers) or a virgin maid (leave her to the hopeless romantics). The most obvious is via the faculty of sight. When conditions of poor visibility preclude this approach, the “third eye” of intuition is commonly employed to track down the elusive beast. This book, however, will focus on the immense potential of the human ear. It is a little-known fact that, with listening practice, the human ear can be a peerless tool for perceiving unicorns. (The converse principle—that the unicorn ear is a peerless tool for perceiving humans—is, if true, a fact so little-known as to be undocumented.) Even those unicorn fanciers with hearing loss or profound deafness will benefit from the wealth of knowledge contained herein. Just as our old friend the blind Mexican cave fish (astyanax hubbsi) responds to moving visual stimuli, the human ear responds to unicorn sounds—even to those unicornian vibrations that are technically outside the range of one’s hearing.This book weaves precious bits and pieces of evidence like a Celtic braid, gathering from a wide variety of sources: chronicles of yore, modern-day eyewitness accounts, oral histories and folk traditions, and, of course, myths and legends from around the world. These testaments are not intended to stand as scientific proof of unicorns. On the contrary, they paint a far grander picture than the tight rein of science can fabricate. It is the intention of this book to beguile your eardrums with the rhythmic hoofbeats, melodic whinnies, wistful sighs, and even bated breaths of the majestic unicorn. And when the book ends, its story will continue. For the final chapter of our saga will be yours to tell, based upon your own unforgettable first-hand experiences.
Dolphins speak in stereo using two "tongues" through the blowhole. When two dolphins speak, it sounds like four voices.
Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
Some species of dolphin sleep with one eye open.
Dolphins can swim and sleep at the same time.
The dolphins that live in the Amazon river are pink
Dolphins interact with each other and with their environment primarily through the use of sound. Their sonar system enables them to communicate with each other, to "see" through echolocation, and they can possibly even stun fish sonically. Dolphin sounds are unintelligible to humans, and cover a large range of frequencies that we can hear or differentiate. To us, their noises sound just like buzzes, clicks, and high-pitched whistling. The squawks and similar sounds all seem to convey some information about emotional content, and they are often heard being produced when animals in captivity are anticipating food, when juveniles are engaged in play activity, or when one adult interferes with another. The pure tone whistles are rarely emitted under these circumstances, and some have argued that they constitute language. This is where we enter an area of major controversy. The conclusions of authors who have carried out work in this field fall into three groups; those who believe that there is a dolphin language (for example, John C. Lilly ); those who regard these sounds as quasi-language (for example, R. G. Busnel); and finally those who regard the case for language at best non-proven, or not supported by experimental evidence at all (for example, D. K. Caldwell). There are many scientists that are researching this area. John Lilly demonstrated that dolphins could produce sounds in air that seemed to be imitations of humans. Louis Herman devised a series of experiments in which dolphins have learned to understand sentences. Dr. Denise Herzing is researching the communication of dolphins in the wild. Even the US Navy is exploring the dolphin's sonar ability, to design better sonar systems.
Aristotle's Observations About Dolphins
BELIEFS ABOUT DOLPHINS ARE RECORDED STARTING WITH Aristotle. In his work, Historia Animalium (The History of Animals), Aristotle makes many pertinent observations about dolphins, including the fact that they bear their young alive,
suckle them, breathe air, and communicate by underwater sounds.
Aristotle made a rather startling statement about dolphins:
"The voice of the dolphin in air is like that of the human in that they can pronounce vowels and combinations
of vowels, but have difficulties with the consonants."
This observation had been scorned by nineteenth-century biologists investigating dolphins as biological objects in the sea. These nonparticipant objective observers, who had not experienced the living dolphins at first hand, called this mythology.
On the face of it, Aristotle's statement is rather startling. First of all, dolphins communicate with one another with underwater sounds; but then Aristotle mentions, "the voice of the dolphin in air." Until new observations were made in 1956 and 1957, this statement remained a puzzle. Someone at the time of Aristotle must have heard the voice of the dolphin in air or Aristotle would not have mentioned it. He did not specify the conditions under which this voice was heard in air, nor how the voicing sounds were produced by the dolphins.
During the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century biologists said that the whales and dolphins had no vocal chords and therefore had no voicing. The underwater sounds and their sonic emitter apparatus had not yet been investigated.
From Aristotle's writings we know that there were dolphins in the Mediterranean and porpoises in the Black Sea. We can hypothesize that Aristotle, or his contemporaries, experienced dolphins in shallow water pools close to man, in the light of our later knowledge of dolphins, derived from our experiments in the fifties. Modern dolphins under similar circumstances start emitting sounds in air when they are exposed to humans speaking in air. There is no reason to suppose that the ancient dolphins of the Mediterranean did not act as the modern dolphins do.
An extensive search of the written literature, both scientific and literary, since the time of Aristotle, shows no further experience with dolphins' sounds in air as described by Aristotle. Up to 1955 there were only denials of the validity of Aristotle's observations by those who had no opportunity to be close to dolphins in shallow water. Aristotle states further that "small boys and dolphins develop mutual passionate attachments." He told stories of dolphins giving young boys rides, pulling them through the water. He also told of a dolphin beaching itself and dying from grief when a friendly boy left. It was not until the twentieth century that similar episodes are recounted.
- John C. Lilly
Sunday, October 14, 2007
"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
A dakini (Sanskrit: "sky dancer") is a Tantric priestess of ancient India who "carried the souls of the dead to the sky". This Buddhist figure is particularly upheld in Tibetan Buddhism. The dakini is a female being of generally volatile temperament, who acts as a muse for spiritual practice. Dakinis can be likened to elves, angels, or other such supernatural beings, and are symbolically representative of testing one's awareness and adherence to Buddhist tantric sadhana.
According to legend, members of the Indian royal castes and the wealthy nobility brought their deceased to the far North to visit the Shrine of the Dakini (located at the foothills of the Himalaya). Other legends mention a Tibetan myth which says dakini first appeared in a remote area "pure of man".
Dakini are timeless, inorganic, immortal, non-human beings who have co-existed since the very beginning with the Spiritual Energy. In some New Age belief systems, they are angelic. This New Age paradigm differs from that of the Judeo-Christian by not insisting on angels being bona fide servants of God.
Moreover, an angel is the Western equivalent of a dakini. The behavior of dakini has always been revelatory and mysterious; they respond to the state of spiritual energy within individuals. Love is their usual domain - one explanation for dakini or angels supposedly living in the sky or heaven. Manifestations of dakini in human form occur because they supposedly can assume any form. Most often they appear as a human female. By convention, a male of this type is called a 'daka'.
In Tibetan Buddhism and other schools closely related to Yogacara and Vajrayana practises, a dakini is considered a supernatural being who tests a practitioner's abilities and commitments. Many stories of the Mahasiddhas in Tibet contain passages where a dakini will come to perturb the would-be Mahasiddha.
When the dakini's test has been fulfilled and passed, the practitioner is often then recognised as a Mahasiddha, and often is elevated into the Paradise of the Dakinis, a place of enlightened bliss. It should be noted that while dakinis are often depicted as beautiful and naked, they are not sexual symbols, but rather natural ones. There are instances where a dakini has come to test a practitioner's control over their sexual desires, but the dakini itself is not a being of passion. Tantric sex may involve a "helper" dakini - a human female trained in Tantra Yoga - or an "actual" dakini. Both increase the level of erotic pleasure for the sexual participants by helping them focus on a non-physical state of spiritual joy and the physical pleasure of sex at the same time.
Iconographic representations tend to show the dakini as a young, naked figure in a dancing posture, often holding a skull cup filled with menstrual blood or the elixir of life in one hand, and a curved knife in the other. She may wear a garland of human skulls, with a trident staff leaning against her shoulder. Her hair is usually wild and hanging down her back, and her face often wrathful in expression, as she dances on top of a corpse, which represents her complete mastery over ego and ignorance. Practitioners often claim to hear the clacking of her bone adornments as the dakinis indulge in their vigorous movement. Indeed these unrestrained damsels appear to revel in freedom of every kind.
There is a connection between Dakini goddess energies and all of creational feminine dieties.
Some people believe the Dakini language is linked to that of Atlantis - the trilling of the high priestesses in the language of Vril.
Dakini is the Goddess of Life's Turning Points. Distillations of archetypal emanations, the Dakinis represent those essence principles within the self which are capable of transformation to a higher octave. Dakinis are 'sky dancers,' heavenly angels devoted to the truth (dharma), woman consorts of and partners with the god-creators of India and Tibet. Dakini serves as instigator, inspirer, messenger, even trickster, pushing the tantrika (aspirant) across the barriers to enlightenment.
Dakini's wrathful aspect is depicted by the mala of skulls. Her peaceful aspect is depicted by the lotus frond. Like Hindu goddess Kali, her role is to transmute suffering. Her left hand holds high the lamp of liberation. Dakini represent the sky being a womb symbol connoting emptiness, creativity, potentiality. They are objects of desire and also carriers of the cosmic energies that continually fertilize our human sphere. Dakinis bring us pleasure and spirituality. They provoke the enervating lust that brings life into being. They are poetic and cosmic souls, put here to tempt us. It is said that the Dakinis have the power to instantly entrap mere mortals with their gaze. The mirror of your mind is the mysterious home of the Dakini - your right brain - your feminine side. The secret Dakinis guard the deeper mysteries of the self. Representing upsurging inspiration and non-conceptual understanding, Dakinis invite you to cut free of all limitations. They are unconventional, unexpected, spontaneous, dancing in great bliss, at one with divine truth. In the eastern tradition, a cycle of 64 Dakinis/Yoginis represents a complete cosmogram for the transformation of the self, embodying the total energy cycle of creation as depicted by the dance of Gnosis, the wisdom and energy of the divine feminine. In representing this complete cycle we have the opportunity of evoking not only the Goddess, but of manifesting the totality of the Great Goddess herself.
Yogini/Dakini temples flourished in India around the 9th through the 12th centuries. Erected in remote places, especially on hilltops, the temples were circular enclosures open to the sky. Around the inner circumference were 64 niches which housed exquisite stone carvings representing various aspects of the Goddess energy, creating a circular mandala around a central image of Shiva, symbol of Cosmic Consciousness and the one-pointedness of yogic discipline of spirituality.
I ran across this photo here http://play.blogger.com/, a place that I waste way too much time at but fascinates me no end. All the photos that are being uploaded to blogger minute by minute. And this particular photo just whispers to me. See, listen, remember. Spirits are we fallen into matter.
"We are each, angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another."
Monday, October 08, 2007
Ten Gnostic Commandments
As delivered by Christ in the Pistis Sophia, there exists a group of ten gnostic commandments which every aspiring Essene or Nazorean gnostic must follow. These commandments are general in form and can fit peacefully with any existing religious beliefs. It should be the goal of any man or woman, of any race or religion, to accept these precepts into their life and into their own spiritual transformation.
"Be calm, be loving unto others, be gentle, be peaceful, be merciful, give tithes, help the poor and sick and distressed, be devoted to Deity, be righteous, be good that ye may receive the Mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light Land."- Yeshu (Jesus) Pistis Sophia 102
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Even the smallest among us can affect the future.
Never think for a moment that you are not important.
The Everyman Who Exposed Tainted Toothpaste
Eduardo Arias hardly fits the profile of someone capable of humbling one of the world’s most formidable economic powers.
A 51-year-old Kuna Indian, Mr. Arias grew up on a reservation paddling dugout canoes near his home on one of the San Blas islands off Panama’s Caribbean coast. He now lives in a small apartment above a food stand in Panama, the nation’s capital, also known as Panama City.
But one Saturday morning in May, Eduardo Arias did something that would reverberate across six continents. He read the label on a 59-cent tube of toothpaste. On it were two words that had been overlooked by government inspectors and health authorities in dozens of countries: diethylene glycol, the same sweet-tasting, poisonous ingredient in antifreeze that had been mixed into cold syrup here, killing or disabling at least 138 Panamanians last year.
read how one small man saved many and shook the world.
BURMA BLOGGERS RISK ALL: Internet geeks share a common style, and Ko Latt and his four friends would not be out of place in cyber cafés across the world. They have the skinny arms and the long hair, the dark T-shirts and the jokey nicknames. But few such figures have ever taken the risks that they have in the past few weeks, or achieved so much in a noble and dangerous cause. Since last month Ko Latt, 28, his friends Arca, Eye, Sun and Superman, and scores of others like them have been the third pillar of Burma’s Saffron Revolution. While the veteran democracy activists, and then the Buddhist monks, marched in their tens of thousands against the military regime, it is the country’s amateur bloggers and internet enthusiasts who have brought the images to the outside world. Armed with small digital cameras, they have documented the spectacular growth of the demonstrations from crowds of a few hundred to as many as 100,000. On weblogs they have recorded in words and pictures the regime’s bloody crackdown, in a city where only a handful of foreign journalists work undercover. With downloaded software, they have dodged and weaved around the regime’s increasingly desperate attempts to thwart their work. Now the bloggers, too, have been crushed. Having failed to stop the cyber-dissidents broadcasting to the world, the authorities have simply switched off the internet. Now Ko Latt and his blogging comrades have abandoned their keyboards and gone underground, sleeping in a different place every night, watching and waiting to see if the democracy movement has been truly crushed or is simply on hold. “When things were hot on the streets, we were not the main worry,” Ko Latt says. “But as the situation cools down, they will follow us. They know who we are, they know we are bloggers, and I am afraid.” * * * The regime responded, first by blocking individual Burmese blogs, then, last Wednesday, by blocking all of them. But the overseas sites were beyond its reach, so on Friday it switched off the internet altogether. Now e-mails can be sent only within Burma; the only pages that web browsers can view are those of the official websites. The only solution now would be to dial up ISPs overseas but the cost of international calls makes this prohibitive. As Superman puts it: “Now Burma is like the Stone Age.” The bloggers held out as long as they could, and if there is ever a monument to the heroes of the Saffron Revolution it should certainly feature a statue of a skinny boy in a T-shirt and thick glasses hunched over a computer and a digital camera. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2563937.ece
THE MONK'S TALE: "We cannot turn back now. Whether it takes a month, a year or more, we will not stop." With his russet-red robes pulled around his knees, rocking back and forth on a low, wooden stool, the senior monk spoke quietly but determinedly. Over the past few days, the monk has seen many of his fellow Buddhists rounded up and carted away as Burma's military regime brutally cracked down on anti-government protests, trying to suck any oxygen away from the flame of revolt. Pools of blood stain monastery doorways, memories linger of monks as young as 15 being clobbered over the head with truncheons and rifle butts. But in the now-tranquil, tree-filled courtyard in central Rangoon, it is not of these atrocities that the monk, in his early sixties and wishing to remain anonymous, wants to speak. It is the atrocities which the Burmese people have suffered. The people are living under rulers busy enriching themselves with natural gas, timber, diamonds and rubies while spending less on health care per head than nearly any other country on earth. They are living in poverty more akin to sub-Saharan Africa than Asia. "As monks, we see everything in society. We go everywhere, to ask for our food and we see how people live," he says. "We know that they give to us when they themselves do not have enough to eat, because there is no work and the costs of living are so high. We also see how the wealthy live. We see how everything is getting worse and worse." And that is why he is adamant that the fight must continue. "We have already lost too much and the people cannot continue to suffer as they do," he explained. "We knew well the risks before we started. It is up to us. We have to see this through to the end, whatever the end will be." Inside the monastery, for now untouched by soldiers, a group of monks are gathered around a television, apparently glued to a gymnastics display. But on closer examination, the soundtrack is not a sporting commentary about back-flips and balance beam routines; it is in fact the Democratic Voice of Burma, broadcasting reports from exiled journalists in Oslo, Norway. In this way, the monks can monitor the current backlash against the junta and how the world is – or is not – responding but can quickly flick the covert soundtrack off should the military's prying eyes come calling. Some of the monks are taking refuge in this temple now that their own temples have been blanketed in coils of barbed wire and sealed off from prayer. These precious religious sites now have the air of military camps. Gone is the scent of incense burning in worship, now it is the smell of stale cigarette butts, discarded by soldiers at the temple entrance. Tin Shwe Maung (not his real name), a monk in his early twenties, recalled the moment that soldiers stormed into the gleaming Shwedagon Pagoda on Thursday. The government admits to a death toll of nine that day, but Western diplomats put it much higher. "I was sitting with about 30 monks on the ground, praying at the place of the old brass Buddha. The police appeared very suddenly. There were definitely over 100, perhaps as many as 200. Carrying riot shields, truncheons and bayoneted rifles, they spread across the compound in front of us, some beating their shields, others aiming their guns," the young monk said. "Without any sort of warning, they charged at us, firing over our heads with real bullets. Some of us got up and ran but they caught many monks and beat them with their truncheons and rifle butts. One monk they beat very badly, smashing his head. He was only 15 years old, he had just joined the monastery." Another raid came after midnight, and more monks were carted off in police vans. "They are not in the normal prisons but in military and police camps. We hear that they are barely feeding the monks, nor are they allowing them contact with the outside," Tin Shwe continued. "I became a monk because of my love for peace and my love for Buddha. My heart is so full of sadness. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article3015276.ece