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Sunday surprise — the demonic and the sanctified, illuminated

Monday, February 12th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — may you and I play always among the vertues and against the vices ]
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That we may discern the distance between the demonic and the sanctified, and play accordingly:

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I’m curious about the elongated chess board on which our demon slaughters the very mind of the prayerful monk.

Emily?

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Sources:

  • Emily Steiner, Twitter
  • Elizabeth Biggs, Twitter
  • The monk prays (above, sanctified), the devil slays the monk (below, demonic)

    **

    Ha!

    It is four hundred years since Caxton published this book. We may be sure that so pains»taking a man did the best he could with the spelling. The alphabet he employed was inadequate to represent the sounds of the English language, and he had no other guide than the spelling of the scribes, who represented, as well as they could, the pronunciations in use in the several counties in which they lived. In the course of two hundred and fifty years, coming down to the days of Addison and Pope, a considerable degree of uniformity had been obtained, both in pronunciation, by means of travel, and in spelling, by the desire of printers to have a standard orthography for each word, in order to save themselves the trouble of thinking and comparing various orthographies.

    That’s from The Game of the Chesse: a Moral Treatise on the Duties of Life … Reprinted which I ran across while searching (via the keywords “moral” and “chesse” for this quote:

    Meantime, the king and queen, for recreation’s sake, began to play together. It looked not unlike chesse, only it had other laws, for it was the vertues and vices one against another, where it might be ingeniously discovered with what plots the vices lay in wait for the vertues, and how to re-encounter them again. This was so properly and artificially performed that it were to be wished that we had the like game too.

    That’s from The Chymical Marriage of Johann Valentin Andreae, first published in 1616, translated into English by Ezechiel Foxcroft in 1690.

    Pray, play most assiduously.

    Of the ever-expanding reach of science, macroscopic version

    Sunday, February 11th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — I imagine there’s a microscopic version, too ]
    ,

    Here’s an illustration of our Sun’s family tree (sadly scaled down in upper image, below) —

    — and here (pleasantly blown up in lower image, above) is an image of the first planets discovered outside our milky way

    **

    From New Scientist on the sun’s family tree as imaged above::

    The coloured circles on this chart represent 21 stars whose chemical compositions have been compared with that of our sun, and each other’s. This elemental DNA shows that three groups, marked in red, pink and yellow, deserve their own branches on the family tree. Taken together with their age and behaviour, these similarities can be used to infer the secrets of the stars’ origins.

    Poster and more details at https://drive.google.com/file/d/12nrya5PqauRX_3TAfKrPuz7fQUHKom78/view.

    For the first planets discovered beyond our milky way?

    Image of the gravitational lens RX J1131-1231 galaxy with the lens galaxy at the center and four lensed background quasars. It is estimated that there are trillions of planets in the center elliptical galaxy in this image,

    NBC, The First Planets Beyond The Milky Way May Have Been Discovered

    See also:

    DoubleQuote!

    **

    As I said in brackets at the very top of this post, I imagine there’s a microscopic version of this macro expanding scientific vision too — but do the arts and humanities have an expanding introscopic equivalent?

    Kneeling for the Anthem to protest lynchings

    Friday, February 9th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — with a tip if the hat to John Gary Messer ]
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    We’re all aware of the widely publicized NFL “kneeling” protests against black deaths at the hands of police and other matters, which President Trump felt did injury to the National Anthem and all that it stands for — in the upper panel below, members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the National Anthem, 2017 —

    Beyond the photo itself and its title, White Baseball Players Kneel in the 50’s to protest Black Lynching, the article from which this photo was taken doesn’t have much to say:

    Archival photos reveal several white baseball players kneeling during the national anthem in protest of the lynching of innocent negroes and Jim Crow laws. The practice was quickly ended when the players realized that most of their fans were either KKK members or sympathizers.

    **

    Somone tying today’s protests back to their historical antecedent would shed an interesting light on thr current controversy, giving today’s protesters a definitive “moral high ground” precedent.. Meat for a fascinating thesis?

    Something to chew on.

    The size of the (reported) world, a matter of scale & compassion

    Monday, February 5th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — sadly but explicably unable to fall in love with the world population ]
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    I’ve been thinking about the appropriate scale of the world as it appears in different styles of reporting. The issue here is what happens when you zoom down from the abstract, group, to the individual, personal level.


    Ava Olsen, perceived at the appropriate scale at which to view the world as a whole

    **

    My tweet:

    **

    My tweet explained — I hope!

    A lot of journos take the wide-angle or “30,000 feet” view, dealing with a group or preferably larger community’s situation, eg “The Middle East after ISIS“, it's abstract and much smaller than the world – when you focus on one 7 yer old (eg Ava Olsen) you capture the actual size of the world, albeit only a tiny fraction of it — but with the appropriate level of compassionate response.

    This is important becaus at full size, ie at the individual level, your writings elicit the appropriate compassionate response, which is key to our humanity, while at the more abstract and removed (“30,000 feet”) scale, both Ava herself and the appropriate compassion go missing.

    And we desperately need the full appropriate compassion to be elicited, for the individual but for the individual at the group level!

    I suspect, FWIW, that this is also, essentially, a quantity vs quality issue.

    So 100 to 1 abstract, high level reporting will show the world, but garner only 1% of the appropriate compassion in readers (I know, it’ll do better than that, but only by a little), whereas 100 to 1 personal level reporting will garner the full compassionate impact — even with only 10% of the reportage, still the equivalent of 10 times the reportage at the abstract level — which then needs to be multiplied up to the abstract level.

    image borrowed from one of a few dozen sites, then altered

    **

    So we need a preponderance of individual focus, but also an individual to group zoom — even when the group is humanity as a whole.

    The best news: We can improve our capacity for compassion

    QED

    Poetic or magical phrasings in otherwise realist contexts

    Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — featuring SWJ, Uma Thurman, and an outbreak of sheer alchemy – !! — on MSNBC ]
    .

    Poetry is irrepressible.

    Often confused with things people print with broken lines, poetry is a view on things, an angle oblique to reality revealing an archipelago of plausible, interesting deeper meanings, not behind but within the everyday.

    Under that definion, poetry is irrepressible, while the broken line stuff is failing, almost dead, precisely because it so oftten lacks authentic poetry.

    Here, then, are three examples of the elements of poetry visible emerging from the dense forests of the prosaic, as the Mayan temples emerge from the Guatemalan forest in this National Geographic image:

    From Exclusive: Laser Scans Reveal Maya “Megalopolis” Below Guatemalan Jungle.

    **

    Small Wars Journal:

    vegetation and the night can come to be seen part of the enemy, a similar view can emerge concerning civilians

    So: “the night can come to be seen part of the enemy” — true in terms of personal experiences of war (we’re talking Vietnam here) no doubt, but also mythic in its resonance, in a way that’s inseparable from its practical, field reality: night as darkness, the unknown, mystery, terror, all providing a cloak for sudden attack.

    From Preventing the Barbarization of Warfare: The USMC CAP Program in Vietnam in the Small Wars Journal, not a source renowned for poetry — or “poetry” for that matter.
    **

    New York Times:

    There’s divinity, and then there’s celebrity:

    Uma Thurman is certainly a star, maybe more —

    Her hall features a large golden Buddha from her parents in Woodstock; her father, Robert Thurman, is a Buddhist professor of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia who thinks Uma is a reincarnated goddess.

    — a goddess, with a lower-case “g”?

    From Maureen Dowd, in This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry

    **

    MSNBC, The Beat:

    This is no doubt the most astonishing.

    Bringing the moon and the sun together always makes me happy.

    From Ari Melber on The Beat yesterday, at 47.12 almost at the very end of this clip:

    Sheer alchemy, out of the Tube, out of nowhere! Bringing the sun and moon together is the conjunctio, subject of Carl Jung‘s last major work, Mysterium Coniunctionis, and symbolized by the union of sun andd moon, king and queen, gold and silver:

    The middle image, showing the coniunctio, is from the Rosarium Philosophorum (1550): Jolande Jacobi describes it thus in her book The Psychology of C.G. Jung:

    The alchemical conception of one of the stages of the coniunctio. Here the ‘king’ and the ‘queen,’ who may be taken as Sol and his sister Luna, appear as symbols of the primordial psychic opposites, masculine and feminine. Their ‘marriage’ is meant primarily in the spiritual sense, as is clear not only by the words of the middle band spiritus est qui vivificat, but also by the dove as symbol of the spirit, and according to the ancients, amor coniugalis. The primordial opposites confront one another in their naked, unfalsified truth and essence, without conventional covering; the difference between them is evident and ‘essential;’ it can be bridged in fruitful union only through the intermediary of the spirit symbol, the dove, the ‘unifier’ which intervenes from ‘above.’ The branches held to form the cross, the flores mercurii, and the flower hanging down from the dove’s beak—all these symbols of the process of growth illustrate the common effort of man and woman in the living work of the coniunctio.

    Borrowed from Yin, Yan, the Tao, and Wholeness.

    For Ari Melber, out of the blue, to come up with this expression of his “happiness” at “bringing the moon and the sun together” is a stunning instance of the breaking though of the prime symbol of sheer alchemy into an MSNBC news program — in the midst of the Trump / Mueller controversy!

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    Had enough?

    Rest assured Inside a Bookshelf at This Genius Hotel:

    A magical — peacetime — way of nightt..


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