Saturday, July 31, 2010

Xul Solar - Painter of the Unimaginable

"Vuel Villa" (1936) by Xul Solar

Alejandro Xul Solar (Oscar Agustín Alejandro Schulz Solari, 1887-1963) is one of the most singular representatives of the avant-garde art in Latin America. 

In 1912 he went to Europe where he stayed until 1924, living in Italy and in Germany and making frequent trips to London and Paris. 
At his return he participated actively in the aesthetic renovation proposed by the editorial group of the Martín Fierro journal (1924-1927). 

Friend of Jorge Luis Borges, he illustrated several of his books and collaborated in various of his editorial enterprises such as the Revista Multicolor de los Sábados y Destiempo .

With a vast culture, his interests took him to the study of Astrology, Kabbalah, I Ching, Philosophy, religions and beliefs of the Ancient East, of India, and the Pre-Colombian world, besides Theosophy, Anthroposophy, among many other branches of knowledge. 

He remained busy in many other areas as well. Considering the Spanish language to be ‘several centuries out of date,’ and moreover, ‘a cacophonous language composed of words that were overly long,’ he developed Neo-Criollo (Neo-Creole), whose vocabulary was mostly drawn from Spanish and Portuguese, but which also incorporated elements of French, English, Greek and Sanskrit. He composed texts and even conversed in this invented tongue which, however, was continually changing, with each successive elaboration of it being different than the one before. The most important works in Neo-criollo are the San Signos (Holy Signs), a collection of sixty-four visionary texts based on the hexagrams of the I Ching. These texts were written at the request of Aleister Crowley, after a series of meetings between the two men in Paris in 1924. In a letter he wrote to Xul five years later, Crowley reminded him that ‘you owe me a complete set of visions for the 64 Yi symbols’ and added ‘your record as the best seer I ever tested still stands today.’ Although Xul had completed a first version of the San Signos by 1930, only a few short excerpts from them were ever published. 

In the ’40s, Xul devised a second, even more ambitious language-project: Pan-lengua, a proposed universal idiom with numeralogical and astrological underpinnings, utilising an invented script and a duodecimal number-system, whose entire lexicon could be expressed on the board of Panajedrez (Pan-chess), a game meant to be played on a 13x13 board, but which, according to Xul’s friend Jorge Luis Borges, was impossible to learn, owing to frequent and confusing amendments of its rules.

Aside from language reform, Xul conceived architectural projects, proposed changes to musical notation, rebuilt musical instruments after his own idiosyncratic design and conceived the idea of a puppet theater for grown ups, among many other things.   

His need to remake and ‘improve’ extended beyond the artistic and intellectual. With ingenuity and a sense of humor, […] he proposed changes in football: Why play with one only ball, and not with three or four, and divide the field into six or twelve parallel sectors, like in rugby, and that each player wear a shirt with different letters so that words and phrases are formed?

The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, who was perhaps his closest friend, once described him as "our William Blake." Oscar Agustín Alejandro Schulz Solari, who called himself Xul Solar, was indeed a visionary, painter and poet, but only now, 40 years after his death, is the full scope of his imagination being fully appreciated.

Critics and art historians often compare Xul Solar to Paul Klee whose work he saw and admired during the dozen years he spent in Europe before returning in 1924 to Argentina. Like Klee, Xul Solar often included letters, numbers and other symbols in his paintings. The color schemes the two artists adopted was often similar too, as was the underlying spirit of their work and their interest in primitive and archaic art.

"There is a lot of kinship in their formal visual language, their refusal to paint in a traditional way and in the almost childlike quality of Xul Solar's work, the way he uses schematic figures like the sun, the moon and snakes," says Dr. Ramírez  who is a curator of  Latin American  art  in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. "He absorbed German Expressionism and Paul Klee as his starting point, though what he did with them later was very different." 

Solar’s preferred medium was watercolor, although he also sometimes painted with tempera. Kandinsky and Marc’s Der Blaue Reiter almanac was a powerful early influence on his work, as was Klee. 

His œvre contains paintings of alternative universes, cities floating in the sky or on lakes, creatures that are half man and half airplane, angels, pyramids and whatever else came to him in his reveries.
"Drago" (1927) by Xul Solar

The artist's playfulness with language extended even to the pseudonym he adopted while living in Europe, at the suggestion of an Argentine friend and fellow painter who thought his real name too ponderous for an artist. Though based on his birth name, Xul Solar can be interpreted to mean "solar light" or "light from the south."

"Xul used to say that he painted reality, the reality of his own visions," says Jorge Natalio Povarche, director of the Xul Solar Foundation, and the artist's dealer during the later stages of his career. "Other painters were easier to read, and that is why so much of his work ended up here. There was no market for him because they didn't understand him."

Borges, though, was a frequent visitor to the apartment at 1212 Laprida Street, often arriving for breakfast and then, if conversation had taken wing, returning to his own apartment for lunch with Xul Solar in tow. In the living room of Xul Solar's apartment even now is a pinkish-purple chair that only Borges was allowed to use.

Xul Solar was a dozen years older than Borges, and introduced him to some areas of esoteric literature. But those who knew them described their relationship as one of intellectual equals.

During Xul Solar's lifetime, few of his works were sold. He did illustrations for some Borges books and for magazines that the writer edited, but earned a living mainly as a translator of books in Italian, German, English and French.

One of the most peculiar things about him is that he had more friends who were writers than artists, and most of them were younger than he. Xul Solar appears as a character or is referred to in several novels and stories, the most notable being Borges's "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "A Universal History of Infamy."

 "Puerta del Este" (1935) by Xul Solar

"A man versed in every field of knowledge, curious about everything arcane, father of writings, of languages, of utopias, of mythologies, a guest in hells and heavens," was the way Borges described his friend in an essay he wrote while Xul Solar was still alive. After the artist's death he added: "Predictably, Xul Solar's utopias failed, but that failure is ours, not his. We have not known how to deserve them."

Article source here 
Images source here

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dismantling America

Since the election of Barack Obama, increasing numbers of Americans have begun to express fears that they are losing the country they grew up in. And unfortunately, argues economist and commentator Thomas Sowell, they may be right. "While the Obama administration in Washington is not the root cause of the ominous dangers that face this country," writes Sowell in Dismantling America, "it is the embodiment, the personification and the culmination of dangerous trends that began decades ago. Moreover, it has escalated those dangers to what may be a point of no return."

The specifics of the missteps and the misdeeds of this administration are among the things chronicled in the essays collected here, which first appeared as Sowell's syndicated newspaper columns. "Our concern is not with one man but with a country, though history has shown repeatedly that one man in a key position can bring down a whole country in ruins. But history is just one of the things whose neglect has contributed toward the confluence of forces that can produce a perfect storm. When we look back at the decades-long erosions and distortions of our educational system, our legal system and our political system, we must acknowledge the chilling fact that the kinds of dangers we face now were always inherent in these degenerating trends. The essays that follow deal with these trends individually, but it may help to keep in mind that they were all going on at the same time, and that these are the dangers whose coming together can create a perfect storm."  

Article source here

A Summer Shower

Summertime by Beata Czyzowska Young
Welcome, rain or tempest
From yon airy powers,
We have languished for them
Many sultry hours,
And earth is sick and wan, and pines with all her flowers.

What have they been doing
In the burning June?
Riding with the genii?
Visiting the moon?
Or sleeping on the ice amid an arctic noon?

Bring they with them jewels
From the sunset lands?
What are these they scatter
With such lavish hands?
There are no brighter gems in Raolconda's sands.

Pattering on the gravel,
Dropping from the eaves,
Glancing in the grass, and
Tinkling on the leaves,
They flash the liquid pearls as flung from fairy sieves.

Meanwhile, unreluctant,
Earth like Danae lies;
Listen! is it fancy,
That beneath us sighs,
As that warm lap receives the largesse of the skies?

Jove, it is, descendeth
In those crystal rills;
And this world-wide tremor
Is a pulse that thrills
To a god's life infused through veins of velvet hills.

Wait, thou jealous sunshine,
Break not on their bliss;
Earth will blush in roses
Many a day for this,
And bend a brighter brow beneath thy burning kiss.

By Henry Timrod

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Carl Gustav Jung

Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 6, 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of analytical psychology. Jung is often considered the first modern psychologist to state that the human psyche is "by nature religious" and to explore it in depth. Though not the first to analyze dreams, he has become perhaps the most well known pioneer in the field of dream analysis. Although he was a theoretical psychologist and practicing clinician, much of his life's work was spent exploring other areas, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts. 

He considered the process of individuation necessary for a person to become whole. This is a psychological process of integrating the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining conscious autonomy. Individuation was the central concept of analytical psychology. Jungian ideas are routinely discussed in part by curriculum of introductory psychology course offerings with most major universities, and although rarely covered by higher level course work, his ideas are discussed further by the Faculty of Humanities. Many pioneering psychological concepts were originally proposed by Jung, including the Archetype, the Collective Unconscious, the Complex, and synchronicity. A popular psychometric instrument, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), has been principally developed from Jung's theories.

“Everything of which I know but which I’m not at the moment thinking, Everything of which I was once conscious but have now forgotten. Everything perceived by my senses but not noted by my conscious mind. Everything which involuntarily and without paying attention to it, I feel, think, remember, want and do. All future things that are taking shapes in me and will sometime come to consciousness. All this is the content of the unconscious.” - Carl Gustav Jung’s definition of the unconscious

The Everlasting Voices

The Voices - Gustave Moreau, 1867

O sweet everlasting Voices, be still;
Go to the guards of the heavenly fold
And bid them wander obeying your will,
Flame under flame, till Time be no more;
Have you not heard that our hearts are old,
That you call in birds, in wind on the hill,
In shaken boughs, in tide on the shore?
O sweet everlasting Voices, be still. 

By William Butler Yeats

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cancer Prevention - How to Enhance Electrical Potential of Human Cells Naturally


A new principle in the nutritional healing of most cancer types is being presented here in the form of Poly-MVA™, the enzymatic complex of polynucleotide reductase which assists in correcting malfunctioning nucleic acids in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of genes.

To explain: the nucleotide component is a single building block or step up the "spiral staircase" of DNA. Nucleotides show up as vital units in DNA because they are the basic molecular structures that control cell division and replication. The reductase enzyme catalyzes oxidation/reduction by which any substance gains one or more electrons; and this enzyme invariably assists in bringing about DNA repair. Subsequently, the polynucleotide reductase that is part of the Poly-MVA molecule biochemically affects multiple units of DNA by functioning as a gene-restoring nutrient.

Poly-MVA is a promising new dietary supplement that may assist in boosting immune response, and healing damaged cells. It is a uniquely formulated nutritional supplement containing a proprietary blend of Palladium and alpha-lipoic Acid (which we refer to as LAPd), Vitamins B1, B2 and B12, Formylmethionine, Acetyl Cystiene, and trace amounts of Molybdinum, Rhodium, and Ruthenium. It is designed to provide energy for compromised body systems by changing the electrical potential of human cells, increasing the charge density of DNA within the cell. 

Poly-MVA is a new, non-toxic, powerful antioxidant dietary supplement. While definitive studies on it's effect in human nutrition and health are under way, early studies and anecdotal information indicate that the active ingredients in Poly-MVA may be beneficial in protecting cell DNA and RNA, assisting the body produce energy, and provide support to the liver in removing harmful substances from the body. Some studies indicate that ingredients of Poly-MVA can assist in preventing cell damage, and removing heavy metals from the bloodstream. As a powerful antioxidant, it can help to neutralize the free radicals within the body that are thought to influence the aging processes and convert them into energy. Other ingredients are involved in DNA synthesis, production of the myelin sheath that protects nerves, and red blood cell production, and playing an important role in immune and nerve function.

What makes Poly-MVA unique is the special, proprietary manufacturing process by which lipoic acid is bonded to Palladium (LAPd). No other company produces any product similar to Poly-MVA because of the patented preparation and bonding process through which LAPd is manufactured. The proprietary formulation of LAPd with other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids provides considerable nutritional support, helping to enable optimum functioning of essential body systems.

Poly-MVA can provide the following nutritional support to the body:
  • Helps the body to produce energy
  • Supports the liver in removing harmful substances from the body
  • Assists in preventing cell damage
  • Assists the body in removing heavy metals from the bloodstream
  • Powerful antioxidant and detoxificant
  • Prevents B-12 deficiency related mental disturbances in the elderly
  • Supports nerve and neurotransmitter function
  • Enhances white blood cell function
  • Supports pH balance, helping to maintain oxygenation of cells and tissues
*Although not all scientific studies have been completed, a significant number of articles in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals discuss the possible biochemical significance of LAPd in supporting various biological functions within animals and humans. Additionally, some studies have already been planned or are currently underway to further evaluate the value and effectiveness of LAPd in human nutrition.

Dr. Merrill Garnett
Merrill Garnett is a doctor and research chemist, head of the Garnett McKeen Laboratory, in Stony Brook, New York. Dr. Garnett is the inventor and recipient of multiple U.S. patents for palladium lipoic complexes. For nearly 40 years, Dr. Garnett has probed the secrets of molecular biology and the mysteries of cells. He saw cellular dysfunction as the failure of cells to regenerate normally in a default mode; instead, cloning itself in a deranged state over and over again. He theorized that this failure to mature was a problem of energetics in the cells metabolic processes. The cells energy transport chain which occurs through electron transfer. 

Dr. Garnett began the often lonely search to find a molecular compound that would restore healthy pathways for growth and normal development within the cell-pathways missing or deficient in dysfunctional cells. He searched for a natural metallo-organic compound that would act as a molecular shunt to restore the cells healthy energetics. After testing some 20,000 compounds, Dr. Garnett developed the biochemical formula that became Poly-MVA in 1991. He discovered that palladium combined with lipoic acid, B-12 and thiamine created an extremely useful and safe cellular nutrient. Subsequent tests have shown that Poly MVA is safe and nontoxic, and Dr. Garnett is currently working in cooperation with other researchers to determine the effectiveness of principal ingredients of Poly-MVA for other uses.

Poly-MVA: A Patented Metallo-vitamin

When lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant with many biological functions, is connected to an electrically charged metal substrate, and joined with various B vitamins, the resulting complex becomes totally soluble in both water and fat. It can easily and safely travel throughout the body and into every cell, crossing the blood-brain barrier as well. Therefore, performing that journey across the blood-brain barrier (impossible even for most drugs, let alone ordinary nutritional supplements) suggests that the nutritonal supplement Poly-MVA, may hold great promise in cases where other means of supplementing cell nutrition are ineffective. 

In addition to his work with Poly-MVA, Merrill Garnett with help from his son, Wade, is also developing "electro-active" compounds that destroy certain malignant tumors without damaging healthy cells. The Garnetts' research is based on the theory that all normally developed cells contain an inward directed energy flow. They have looked for those pathways which alter electron flow in the cell, from the point of view that normal development requires normal energy flow. In laboratory experiments, the Garnetts found that by introducing synthetic mimics of electric pathways, dysfunctional cells are changed selectively, either back to normalcy or they cannot survive.

The Poly-MVA dietary supplement developed by the Garnetts works because healthy cells have "oxygen radical pathways." Normally, oxygen radicals are formed when fatty acids donate electrons to oxygen. These oxygen radicals have an unpaired electron charge and are unstable. Special proteins, in the mitochondria, convert the oxygen radicals into water and useable energy. At the Garnett McKeen Laboratory in New York, the Garnetts are producing synthetic mimics of electric pathways by introducing palladium lipoic complexes in various combinations into cells. 

Safe and Non-Toxic

Palladium lipoic complexes have been extensively tested under laboratory conditions and have been used for more than eight years as a dietary supplement. Animal toxicology and safety studies indicate that palladium lipoic complex is safe even when administered at very high levels.


Since Poly-MVA is easily absorbed by the body, most individuals notice a difference in how they feel within 2-4 weeks. Some individuals have seen positive results (i.e. energy improvement and increased appetite) in a matter of days. 


The alpha-lipoic acid ("LA") in Poly-MVA (also known as thioctic acid) works together with other antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. LA helps the body to produce energy, and provides support to the liver in removing harmful substances from the body. Some studies indicate that LA assists in preventing cell damage, and removing heavy metals from the bloodstream. Because of its strong detoxificant effects, LA is commonly used in the treatment of Amanita mushroom poisoning, which causes severe liver damage. LA also influences the metabolism of sugar, and can help to keep blood sugar in balance. 

Diabetics seem to receive particular benefit from this substance. Alpha lipoic acid helps ward off diabetic neuropathy (painful extremities) and retinopathy (a common cause of blindness). It also helps regulate blood sugar and prevent cardiomyopathy. Alpha lipoic acid may even be involved in nerve regeneration. Promising studies are underway to determine its value in retarding the onset of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases. 

As a powerful antioxidant, LA can help to neutralize the free radicals within the body that are thought to influence aging processes. LA is both water and fat soluble, so it is easily passed across the blood-brain barrier, and is functional in almost all other parts of the body as well.

Vitamin B-12 is also known as cobalamin. It's most common form is cyanocobalamin, which is broken down to methylcobalamin by the body. It is generally found only in meat and dairy products. In combination with folic acid, B-12 is involved in DNA synthesis, production of the myelin sheath that protects nerves, and red blood cell production. As a methyl donor involved in homocysteine metabolism, B-12 also plays an important role in immune and nerve function. 

B-12 deficiency is fairly common in those over 65, and because it is stored in organs, deficiencies can take a very long time - up to 6 years - to appear. Worse, deficiencies of B12 or folic acid (a complementary substance necessary for B-12 utilization) can result in significant mental disturbances without any indication of anemia or other clinical indication of deficiency. In patients with B-12 deficiency, up to 61% have shown a marked increase in mental capacity when B-12 supplements are added to the diet. 

Taken orally, B-12 is absorbed at a rate of about 1.2% according to most studies. Since the body uses about 2 mcg of B-12 daily, 200 mcg orally administered will maintain B-12 levels at stasis. For those who are deficient, a higher supplementation level will be required.

Vitamin B-1 (thiamin) is a coenzyme that, in combination with lipoic acid, is involved in the decarboxylation of pyruvate and the oxidation of alpha keto-glutamic acid. These functions are essential to energy production, metabolism of carbohydrates, and neurotransmitter function. B-1 is extremely sensitive to alcohol, sulfites, and tannins found in black tea and coffee; all will render B-1 ineffective. B-1 is water soluble and is not stored in any quantities in the body.

Extreme B-1 deficiency, which is rare in most developed countries, causes beriberi, a syndrome whose symptoms include loss of muscle, mental confusion, elevated blood pressure, and edema. Milder deficiencies can cause fatigue, depression, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and constipation. Research in animals indicates that B-1 activates membrane ion channels, possibly by phosphorylating them. The flow of electrolytes like sodium and chloride in or out of nerve and muscle cells through membrane ion channels plays a role in nerve impulse conduction and voluntary muscle action.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) acts as a cofactor for enzymes involved in metabolism. It is an essential part of FAD or flavin adenine dinucleotide coenzymes and FMN or flavin mononucleotide. These coenzymes are involved in energy production and the metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrate ø essential processes in every cell in the body. They are also cofactors for two important antioxidant enzyme systems ø glutathione peroxidase and xanthine oxidase. Riboflavin coenzymes are also important in the cytochrome p450 enzymes, the body's primary detoxification system.B2) works with the other B vitamins and is important for body growth and red cell production. Similar to thiamine, it helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.

Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral. It is crucial in regulating pH balance in the body, which, in turn, directly effects oxygenation of cells and tissues, and the resulting metabolic rate of the body. The need for molybdenum has been established, but there is presently no recommended daily allowance.

N-Acetyl Cystiene (NAC) is an amino acid naturally occurring in the body. It is a potent antioxidant that is involved in maintenance of cholesterol and lipoprotein levels, and functions in combination with natural interferons in the body to enhance immune response. NAC is an amino acid derivative, which has begun to receive increasing attention as a powerful free radical scavenger. This simple compound has an extremely low profile of side effects and helps the body in a variety of ways. It enhances the activity of Vitamins C & E. It enhances the immune system, improves lung function, helps transport sterol hormones, helps prevent insulin resistance, and prevents ammonia formation.

Research shows benefit in taking Poly-MVA and Co-Q10 at the same time. When doing so we suggest taking them with food as food enhances the absorption of Co-Q10. Which ever works into your schedule is fine, the product will be absorbed. If stomach discomfort is experienced take with milk or food. To improve taste, Poly-MVA may be mixed with water, tea, coffee, or juice (such as cranberry, grape, prune or vegetable). Use plastic, glass, or ceramic measuring devices and spoons, not metal ones, as metal may affect the taste of Poly-MVA.

Take the daily amount of Poly-MVA in divided doses if possible: for example, 2 teaspoons, 4 times daily – three times before meals and once before bed. If taking 1 tsp. daily or less, it’s fine to take it all at once if circumstances prevent dividing the dose. If taking CoQ10 we recommend taking them together.

Please note: If you are an adult in the process of overcoming a serious health challenge and you are just starting to use Poly-MVA, we recommend you follow the suggested usages for adults with earlier stages of physical imbalance, starting with 1 tsp., then 2 tsp. a day, then 4 tsp., then 8 tsp. We suggest that you not start with a “Maintenance Amount.” Greater support is usually needed at such a time because many of the body systems have often been heavily compromised. 

*This article is published for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure any disease.


*For more information on Garnett-McKeen Labs, visit

Why Age Is Only A Number And What It Really Means

There are many theories about age and aging. Many scientists believe that from the second of conception or, possibly, even the glimmer in a mom and dad s eyes that preceded conception you are set up with a certain amount of time in the body into which you are born. Others believe that lifespan is far less ‘programmed and far more ‘programmable, and that with the help of scientific advances in medicine and nutrition we can dramatically extend the human lifespan or at minimum the quality of life regardless of genetics.

The long and the short of it is that the average American gets to spend about 78 years alive in the body he or she inhabits. Not too shabby. A 365-day year equals 8,760 hours, which in turn equals 525,600 minutes or 31,536,000 seconds. In 78 years of life, you have about 41 million minutes, or about two and a half billion seconds.

The longest lifespan recorded in history was that of a Chinese man named Li Ching-Yuen. Chinese records say he was born in 1677 and that he died in 1933. Although Li Ching-Yuen stated in the year of his death that he was only 197, these records put him at 256 years of age. If these records are true, we can extrapolate that the human body is capable of living a minimum of 256 years. If even getting to 200 sounds completely outrageous, note that there are also many records of Indians living past 160.

Two common denominators of these extended lives are happiness and community. Happier people live longer, and longer-lived people tend not to live isolated lives. As I mentioned in the first article, happy, loving couples or partners seem to enjoy longer, healthier life. Other common denominators which appear to enhance both quality and quantity of years include diet, nutrition, healthful activities, positive thinking, and having obligations having responsibilities to fulfill, which gives people the sense that they are valued, and that they have good reason to stay alive and active. Respecting one s body and working on one s health more or less in other words, making steps taken towards good health a priority seems to give an edge in both longevity and quality of life.

So, now, let s drop all this talk about numbers. When you begin to see your life and your age as absolutes, you are limiting yourself. If you focus on the quantity of years, you forget about quality until it s too late and your health is already failing. What are you doing with this time? Are you making the most of it? Are you resigned to your genetic programming as the ultimate dictator of how well you live, or are you ready and willing to take steps to enhance and appreciate your life, now, this minute this second?

If you are accustomed to thinking of genetics as destiny, know that more research is being released every day indicating that genetics play only a very small role in your health. Lifestyle plays a much larger role. Think of your genes as an instrument that you can either play very poorly or very beautifully: the instrument is what it is, but it s what you do with it that makes it either cacophonously screech or magnificently sing.

You can have fun with this whole notion of chronological age by telling the next person who asks you your age that you ll need a moment with your calculator. (Everyone has them on their cell phones now, right?) Compute your age in seconds and give it to him or her that way. When you re asked why, just say, I m making every second count so why count in years?”

We focus a great deal on chronological age in our culture, but there s no doubt that we are happiest when we can forget the clock s relentless tick-tock and just be in the moment, where we don t even notice the time going by. What role does time really play in our existence? Many philosophers believe time is an intellectual concept that requires a metaphoric model, since time has no concrete reality. According to this mindset, time is a human theory designed to measure systems and to sequence events; to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them; and to quantify the motions of objects. This has little to do with human consciousness or the enjoyment of each second, each minute, each hour, or each day.

Our bodies do have their own ‘biological clocks systems that operate in a way that is repetitive and structured. These clocks exist in human beings, plants and animals; they tell these plants, humans and animals when to eat, procreate, sleep, and wake up. We don t need to pay attention to these clocks, and they measure not the onward march of time, but cycles that are intrinsic to human health and well-being. Biological clocks often hinge on environmental stimuli, including daily cycles of light and dark, the monthly cycles of the moon, and the yearly cycle of the seasons. When we live lives that run against these cycles trying to ignore them by staying up half the night and rising late in the morning, for examples, or by trying to live like its summer all year round our biological clocks can get confused. Greater exposure to and adherence to natural cycles such as the light/dark cycle are helpful in re-adjusting the internal clock. As long as we keep our biological clocks out of whack with a lifestyle that runs counter to or ignores natural cycles, we remain out of balance and under pressure to find that balance again.

Article source here

Friday, July 23, 2010

George Washington - Master Mason

 George Washington

By William E. Parker 

Few indeed are the men revered as is Washington. More than thirty years after our Bicentennial, the 200th Anniversary of the birth of this great nation, what are our thoughts for this man who gave so much for his country and without whose leadership during a trying moment of history it is doubtful that our nation would be as it is today? It was in February of 1732 that George Washington entered this world and in December 1799, some 68 years later, that he entered the Grand Lodge Above. What can we say of this man that has not been said before, this man we call the "Father of our Country"? And yet, his place in history is so unique, so important, that a few words bear repeating on the life of this great American, the "Heartbeat of the American Revolution." 

As Masons, we believe that his Masonic background was a significant part of his philosophy of life, a philosophy so important in the legacy he left to us, that which we now call our American Way of Life. His deep regard for human liberty and the dignity of man gave strength to our cause at a moment when strength was needed. Most people are aware of his English ancestry but it is of note to mention that Washington also had a proud French heritage being a descendant of one Nicholas Martiau a French Huguenot who emigrated to the United States in 1620. The high moral and industrious qualities of these freedom-seeking people have left an indelible mark upon history. "In the general darkness of the period of feudal decay," Roche writes, "the enlightenment of the Huguenots who were self-reliant burghers, businessmen and skilled craftsmen, was shown by contrast, though it was only relative. But the candle they lit in that darkness grew into a great flame; and the principles for which they were persecuted, were, in embryo, the same principles, moved from the theological confines, on which the United States of American was founded and for which both the pioneering American Revolution and its offspring, the French Revolution, was fought."

The qualities of character of these early Huguenots were passed down through succeeding generations to Washington that he, like a shining beacon, might illuminate the path amidst the darkness of despair. Strange indeed are the ironies of history that the events in 17th century France contributed to the birth of a new nation in a new land almost two centuries later. And, stranger still, that it was yet another Frenchman, and a Mason, General Lafayette, who stood side by side with Washington during the stirring days of our nation's birth and whose contributions proved so vital to the successful outcome.

Washington the man and Washington the Mason. 

Initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason in the Lodge of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in November of 1752, he was Passed in March and Raised in August of 1753 in that same Lodge. He was proud of his membership, saying, "The object of Freemasonry is to promote the happiness of the human race," and in 1788 served as first Master of what is now known as Alexandria-Washington Lodge. It was perhaps inevitable that, after Washington's magnificent contributions to the nation during the Revolutionary period, he should be named a Virginia Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, where as Presiding Officer he played a key role in the success of the Convention and ultimately became our first President in 1789. Washington thus became the first Master of a Masonic Lodge to become President, holding, for a time, both that high office and that of Worshipful Master of his Lodge, a rare distinction indeed. Washington's words upon becoming President reflect well his philosophy: "Integrity and firmness are all that I can promise." What more could a nation ask?

From the very beginning, Masonry has been closely associated with the history of our nation. And never more dramatically evidenced than in 1793 when, wearing a Masonic apron presented to him by General Lafayette and embroidered by Madame Lafayette, Washington in a Masonic ceremony laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol at Washington, D.C. In August of 1790, in a letter to King David Lodge, Newport, Rhode Island, Washington wrote: "Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the Masonic fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the society and to be considered by them as a deserving brother." Washington had a deep sense of national union. In a response to an address of Charleston, South Carolina, Masons, he said: "The fabric of our freedom is placed on the enduring basis of public virtue, and will, I fondly hope, long continue to protect the prosperity of the architects who raised it." In Washington's famous Farewell Address on his retirement from public life, he emphasized that the responsibility for America's destiny rests directly upon its citizens, and he urged Americans to forge a nation of high principles: "Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct."

Washington served both God and man with the firmness of his convictions. During the darkest days of the Revolution and the cruel winter at Valley Forge, it was Washington who stood firm in the face of adversity and knelt for prayer in the snow to reaffirm his faith in God and seek divine assistance in the justice of his cause.

As his hope was in God, so must we, too, place our hope in God. Washington carried in his heart the ideals of liberty, justice and freedom. As Masons, we must likewise carry forward those same ideals.

Much more could be said about this great American, but I believe the facts speak for themselves far more eloquently than any tribute I might be able to offer. "First in war, first in peace and indeed first in the hearts of his countrymen."

Reprinted from Masonic Americana, 1976, pages 5-6 "Heartbeat of America..."


Longevity Electuary

I stumbled upon a wonderful blog and wish to share a link to it with my readers. Plant Whisperer who owns that blog wrote:

"There are a million and one ways to make an herbal honey, an electuary, honey syrup, and on and on. My intention with this honey paste is for deep energy, somewhat in the tradition of Chyawanprash, the complex rasayana paste in the Ayurvedic tradition of healing. I do not have access to the vast array in the original recipes - and my simple formula is quite lovely. You can play with your own variations as well.

In an 8 oz jar, add:
3 tsp Ashwagandha and or Shatawari powder
3 tsp Spirulina powder
3 tsp Slippery Elm or Mallow powder
2 tsp Siberian Ginseng (Eluthero) powder
1 tsp Cardamom powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
Cover almost full with good local, raw honey
Add 1 tsp of Rose hydrosol or Rose elixir
dried Elderberry powder optional as well!

Feel free to create your own, according to your personal herbal needs or constitution. Black pepper or ginger can be added for kaphas, extra rose or cherry for pittas, or taken in oatmeal for vatas."

This sounds wonderfully tempting! I am going to try this recipe and definitely will experiment with other ingredients. For those who are curious about the term, here is an explanation: The name Electuary derives from the Latin word electuarium or the Ancient Greekἐκλείκτον (ekleikton), which literally means "medicine which is licked away". Electuary  is a medicinal potion made of powdered herbs, spices, or other medical ingredients, mixed with sweeteners such as honey to hide the often bitter taste.

In radiant health,

Inception - Decoding the Mind in Christopher Nolan’s Thriller

"An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules." Christopher Nolan

*The Inception movie, a metaphysical thriller that leaves most people confused, has just gotten an expert explanation for the mysterious plot and "528" code. The movie repeats the number "528" - a frequency of energy - numerous times in a mathematical code, a phone number, on a napkin, two vault combinations, and the main room wherein the movie's climax is centered. Here, special music is played to help "kick" the operatives out of three "levels" of violent dream states. A "528-491" combination unlocks the safe containing the greatest secret, treasure, motivation, and catharsis for the main characters disheartened by their loss of loved ones. The idea of linking music for social transcendence with "528" and LOVE in Inception appears to have come from Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz, the discoverer of the "Perfect Circle of Sound," and a frequent contributor to Hollywood's screenwriters.  The author of 16 books has written extensively on the subject of 528 as it relates to universal construction, healing, Spiritual Renaissance, creationism, and what Nolan terms "inception." - Adapted from Tetrahedron's Newsletter

This Time the Dream’s on Me

By A. O. Scott

The relationship between movies and dreams has always been - to borrow a term from psychoanalysis — overdetermined. From its first flickerings around the time Freud was working on "The Interpretation of Dreams" seemed to replicate the uncanny, image-making power of the mind, much as still photography had in the decades before. And over the course of the 20th century, cinema provided a vast, perpetually replenishing reservoir of raw material for the fantasies of millions of people. Freud believed that dreams were compounded out of the primal matter of the unconscious and the prosaic events of daily life. If he were writing now, he would have to acknowledge that they are also, for many of us, made out of movies.  

And movies, more often than not these days, are made out of other movies. Inception, Christopher Nolan’s visually arresting, noir-tinged caper, is as packed with allusions and citations as a film studies term paper. Admirers of Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” and Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” will find themselves in good company, though “Inception” does not come close to matching the impact of those durable cult objects. It trades in crafty puzzles rather than profound mysteries, and gestures in the direction of mighty philosophical questions that Mr. Nolan is finally too tactful, too timid or perhaps just too busy to engage. 

So “Inception” is not necessarily the kind of experience you would take to your next shrink appointment. It is more like a diverting reverie than a primal nightmare, something to be mused over rather than analyzed, something you may forget as soon as it’s over. Which is to say that the time - nearly two and a half hours - passes quickly and for the most part pleasantly, and that you see some things that are pretty amazing, and amazingly pretty: cities that fold in on themselves like pulsing, three-dimensional maps; chases and fights that defy the laws that usually govern space, time and motion; Marion Cotillard’s face. 

To continue reading please click here 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to Talk to a UFOlogist - If You Must

Happily abducted

By Michael Shermer

I’m a big fan of SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) and I think their search program constitutes the best chance we have of making contact. In fact, on a recent Saturday I was rained out of my normal 4-hour bike ride, so I read SETI scientist Seth Shostak’s new book, Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (published by National Geographic), a brilliant and fun read. Seth has a fantastic sense of humor and in his book he presents some of great one-liners to use when dealing with UFOlogists, alien abductees, and the saucerites. For example:

Regarding the time it would take to traverse the vast distances between the stars, which would be millions of years (it will take Voyager II 300,000 years to reach a nearby star), Shostak notes: “That’s a long time to be squirming in a coach seat.”

As for the lack of tangible evidence for UFOs: “Physical evidence  - a taillight or knob from an alien craft - is in short supply.”

UFOlogists claim that they have tens of thousands of UFO sightings, as if this is a good thing, but Shostak notes that this actually argues against UFOs being ET, because to date not one of these tens of thousands of sightings has materialized into concrete evidence that UFOs = ETIs. It’s counter-intuitive, but more sightings equals less certainty because with so many saucers zipping around we would have captured one by now, and we haven’t.

Shostak notes that crop circles are a very poor means of communication because they represent only a few hundred bits of information, 1,679 bits in the most complex crop circle to date, which is less than a paragraph of text! If ETIs are advanced enough for interstellar space travel, why resort to using wheat fields, which are only ripe a couple of months a year, and then the crop-circle communication is quickly mowed down by angry farmers!

As for alien abductees, Shostak points out that Whitley Strieber’s book, Communion: A True Story, launched the modern alien abduction movement. And guess what Strieber does for a living? He is a SciFi/fantasy/horror writer! Actually, I knew this already because I met Strieber in the green room at Bill Maher’s ABC show, Politically Incorrect, and Whitley and I were chatting it up over coffee and granola bars in the green room before the show when I asked him what he did when he wasn’t writing about being abducted by aliens. He told me that he writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels. The show was over right there in the green room! What else is there to say to a guy who writes this stuff as fiction, then slaps a “nonfiction” label on the book jacket?

Image source: unfortunately abducted by aliens

Also of interest


Monday, July 19, 2010

Quote of the Day


How admirable,
to see lightning,
and not think life is fleeting.