Saturday, November 03, 2007

Linguistic Miscellany

Some resources I happened upon:

semantics of the perfect: p.7, section 12-e refers to resultative perfect of fear (Sanskrit example).
bibliography for tense and aspect in Ancient Greek

pluperfect and more -- analysis of iliadic greek lines

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Immanence and Virtual Realities

Immanence is in the Natural World and does not appear to be correlative with, nor a corollary of, the virtual or non-material creations of men and women including their philosophizing. I have a sense of divinity in living beings and even in the apparently non-living beings of my natural environs; not in people's thoughts, but in people.

Mathematics, including set-theory, is not only transcendent [a la Immanuel Kant], but RATIO a la William Blake and thus "of the Devil's party".

Monday, October 29, 2007

dumbelldor's purplex itty-bitty

Isn't the blibbering humdinger

neo-postvictorian jabberwacky

for a gibbering blither blather

egregiously higgledy-piggledy

for a giddily blithering idiocy?

punning linguistics in *Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire*

The Japanese seems the best of the Asian translations.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

attending to the unnameable beast

Can modern poems bring to mind "what was lost at the inception of philosophy"?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Teleopathy and disincorporate conscience

"Teleopathy is a mindset that reflects imbalance; in particular, it reflects imbalance in the pursuit
of goals to the detriment of other ends that may have instrumental or moral significance. The symptoms of teleopathy are a fixation on certain goals, a social detachment that permits a singular focus on such goals (regardless of who they adversely affect) and an ability to rationalize or justify this singular focus. There are layers of added complexity here; the tendencies toward fixation, detachment and rationalization are encouraged in corporations that enforce behavioral scripts, provide incentives for short-term thinking and otherwise encourage narrow measures of success, such as profitability, growth in stock price or enhanced competitive position."

hmm, smells like team spirit or Enron, for that matter.

Friday, October 19, 2007


'Fahrt ins blaue' is a German anisomorphism for the

English 'Magical, Mystery Tour' [It's coming to take

me away -- ha, ha! ha, ha! ha, ha! -- coming today!]

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

skipping the flu shot

I'm going to skip the flu shot again this year as I have for the past several.

Epistemology and Ethics of Religious Belief?

Hmm, would it be worth $65.US to find out whether Mr. Bishop looks into the ethics of the Crusade or Jihad in his book?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Knights Templar Septicentennial

Seven hundred years ago today the arrests of the Knights of the Temple began.
The Vatican seems to be commemorating this with the release from the Vatican Secret Archives of the original trial transcripts by the Holy Office of the Inquisition in a limited edition.
Rumor has it that on 25 October 2007, exactly 13 days from the morning of the anniversary, an official document will be released by the Vatican absolving the Knights Templar and confirming their innocence.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spectre & Shadow in Wm. Blake's "Milton"

 "Blake's Tharmas, while one of the four Zoas, receives little
attention as such outside Vala. In Eden he is perception, or, more
accurately, Man's power to create his world. (There is no
subject-object distinction in Blake's highest realm.) Thus, Tharmas is
the "Parent Power" underlying the workings of the other Zoas. Tharmas
is associated especially with Beulah, the dimension of sensation and
passive experience rather than of creation and conflict. With the
closure of the Western Gate belonging to this Zoa, imaginative control
over the perceptions was lost, and Man came to experience the world of
matter. Tharmas divided into a Spectre and an amorphous residue. The
surviving Zoa becomes the life-force. He begets monsters by
spontaneous generation from chaos, and orders Los to his anvil to forge
a new world of solid forms. As the Zoa who governs the experience of
the unfallen world, Tharmas is also the sense of being happy and knows
when things are wrong. Thus in Vala, after his own fall during the
struggles of Luvah and Urizen, he knocked Luvah from the sky in anger,
and later did the same to Urizen. While he is always expressing his
feelings in some way or other, and thus functions as a sort of chorus,
he does nothing constructive.

"In the later Milton and Jerusalem, the conception of a divided
Tharmas was abandoned, and the Spectre was equated with the Covering
Cherub of Ezekiel. The Spectre of Tharmas is called the False Tongue
itself, because the error of perception is basic. The fallen Man
perceives only a hostile, alien world around him and supposedly thinks
that he must act accordingly. As Tharmas grants perceptions in Eden,
the Cherub causes the natural person to perceive a solid material
world. Tharmas is the vitality that bestows imaginative life in Eden;
the Cherub is the Selfhood's idea of the life-giving spirit. Every
advance in biology has confirmed the view that our species is a product
of a complicated chemical process and is evolved ultimately from a few
types of subatomic particles. As Urizen is the sky-god, the Covering
Cherub is the limiting sky surrounding the world of matter and cutting
off the vision of Eternity. As he is ultimately the fallen person's
whole view of the world, the Covering Cherub's tyranny encompasses all
errors that keep us from enjoying the fellowship of all people, whether
they are political (9:51), "moral", scientific, artistic, or religious
(37:16-8). Satan, the natural heart, falls enfolded by the Cherub as
by a deadly constricting snake (12:46), a classical symbol for matter

"The most famous symbol for Tharmas is the ocean, which is
appropriate for several reasons. Kathleen Raine says a great deal
about water as a Neoplatonic image of matter [4], and Carl Jung found
the sea to be the "commonest symbol for the unconscious" [5], source of
all imaginative perception of the fallen man. As the sea engulfs all
things, it is a fine symbol for the ever-devouring false Tongue; as it
reflects heaven in its quiet moments, it becomes a symbol of the
redeemed Tharmas (M 25:71). Finally, as matter, the Spectre of Tharmas
(like his closest literary relative, Milton's Anarch Chaos), can give
rise to nothing living. Left alone, it will eventually disintegrate
into a "sea of atoms" [6], or, as Blake expresses it:

The Natural Power continually seeks & tends to Destruction
Ending in Death: which would of itself be Eternal Death

-- Milton 26:41-2

"All material things tend to deteriorate into formlessness. Thus
Blake can say that the Covering Cherub, or natural power, pursues
death, a process arrested only by the fixing of the "limits of opacity
and contraction". All Spectres seek the deaths of others out of fear
and jealousy. By remaining unregenerate we are also working toward our
own nonexistence. The image of the gloomy "death" the erring Milton
had chosen for himself in life is called "Milton's Shadow".

"While much has been written to make clear what Blake meant by a
"spectre", less has been said about the quite different conception of a
"shadow". Any shadow is the form of a thing without its substance or
life, appearing opposite the light source. A review of the Felpham
letters and later works shows that Blake often spoke of all material
things and persons as "shadows" of their Eternal beings. The concept
of the shadow must therefore be related to the material reality which
helps or hinders the visionary. In the late strata of The Four Zoas,
the shadows are the female counterparts to the spectres of the Zoas --
pale, static, inconsequential things. They are the soft of emanations
spectres would desire, just as the material shadow seems to "emanate"
from a material man. The invisible, wailing Enion, the lost Ahania,
the laboring Vala, and Orc's silly goddess of purity, white Enitharmon,
are all called "shadows", and are all that remains of their original
forms in Ulro. So is the "Shadowy Female", personification of nature.
Albion's "Shadow" is the idiotic, voiceless creature that arises from
him and to which he prays to forgive his sexual sins (J 43:33-54).

"So the Shadow of Milton is probably the Spectre's version of what
the human being ought to be. It is the pathetic image or parody of the
self-sacrificing and productive Humanity of Milton; it is at once the
roles he invented for himself and the errors that interacted with them.

"Milton's Shadow is "a mournful form", dismal as John Milton was
when "covered" with the earthly body. Being mournful is the loveless
spectrous version of being a solitary prophet speaking against evil.
Blake's heroic Milton, while he is "severe and silent" (38:8), is not
doleful or without hope. As Milton's experience of the fallen world,
the Shadow encompasses all errors, and extends from Beulah through the
twenty-seven heavens (human history) to the earth. This begins the
suggestion that the Shadow, formed of the material of the Covering
Cherub, is the Cherub. Milton enters the gloomy shape, and begins his
voyage as "Milton's Human Shadow" (17:18). As Blake prepares to travel
to Golgonooza, the Shadow separates (20:20-2), flying from the fierce
visionary and going to "brood" over the frozen Milton in Sinai, just as
the Cherub hovers over humankind in general. Blake is punning -- the
dismal Shadow frets over Milton, but it is also "brooding" in the
sense that Milton spoke of the Holy Spirit as a dove brooding to make
chaos fertile (Paradise Lost I, 21). The action of the Shadow is an
impossible parody of regeneration. Again Blake seems to identify
Cherub and Shadow:

For that portion namd the Elect: the Spectrous body of Milton:
Redounding from my left foot into Los's Mundane space,
Brooded over his Body in Horeb against the Resurrection
Preparing it for the Great Consummation; red the Cherub on Sinai
Glow'd; but in terrors folded round his clouds of blood.

-- Milton 20:20-4

"The Shadow appears again, as the Cherub (37:4-12), in definite
form and ready to be cast out by the awakened Milton. Before it is
given this shape, it is compared to a "polypus" (15:8). Readers of
Blake know that this can mean either an octopus or a type of malignant
growth; here both are very appropriate. Error spreads invasively and
grows like cancer, and all of a cancer must be removed before a cure is
effected. An octopus is a shapeless, clinging, soft-bodied sea
creature with many extensions, one that avoids light and obscures
itself in clouds of black ink.

"Why did Milton enter the Shadow to return to the material world?
The Shadow is the material reality with which the personality of Milton
dealt in life. Being twenty-seven-fold, extending through Ulro, and
being likened to a polypus indicates that it is the unregenerated world
which Milton perceived while on earth. However, since every person's
way of looking at the world is distinctive to the person, the shadow is
properly the Tharmic portion of one's personality. Because it is part
subject, part object, it is "hermaphroditic; male and female / In one
wonderful body" (14:37-8), just like Tharmas. Even though it is a body
of error, the Shadow must be rejoined if the errors committed in the
body are to be redeemed. Until the apocalypse, anyone who wishes to
act in the time-and-space world needs to have some view of it. Milton
travels in his Shadow until he joins Blake. Then the Shadow is
discarded and John Milton can see the world with fresh eyes. 4. Luvah: Milton as Orc

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep

Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow.
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.

Then the perilous path was planted:
And a river, and a spring
On every cliff and tomb;
And on the bleached bones
Red clay brought forth.

Till the villain left the paths of ease,
To walk in perilous paths, and drive
The just man into barren climes.

Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility.
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep

-- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 2"


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tennyson and Homer

Was the 'strong-winged music' of Homer too much for Tennyson?

Homer and war:

Tennyson and war:

Bully for you!

Medea and the Suffragettes

Suffragettes protesting with quotes from *Medea*? Awesome!

Harvest Mooning with Mr. Ed and a band of Swedes

Harvest Mooning with Mr. Ed and a band of Swedes!

Ronald Firbank's "Oddette"

"Odette" -- a fairytale by Ronald Firbank, illustrated by Albert Buhrer:

online at

Ronald Firbank (1886-1926), known for his short stories and red nails, hung with a
social set that included the Sitwells, Aldous Huxley, Wyndham Lewis,
Gwen Otter, Alfred Lord Douglas, Aleister Crowley, and Katherine Mansfield.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

some favorite buddha-isms

"First there is a mountain
then there is no mountain
then there is" -- Donovan

Buddha's Flower Sermon!

Two Chan (Chinese Zen) monks were going to cross a river. They met a woman who was not able to get across by herself. The first monk decided to carry her across. After crossing the river, the monk let her down and they went on their separate ways. After walking for a while, the second monk expressed his unhappiness over the first monk for carrying the woman. Their beliefs forbid them to come into body contact with women. The first monk said, "Why are you complaining? I have already set her down. You are the one that is still carrying her around."

"Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine," Shunryu Suzuki, *Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind*

"The Buddha called his teaching a Raft. To cross a turbulent river we may need to build a raft. When built, we single-mindedly and with great energy make our way across. Once across we don't need to cart the raft around with us. In other words don't cling to anything including the teachings. However, make sure you use them before you let them go. It's no use knowing everything about the raft and not getting on. The teachings are tools not dogma. The teachings are Upaya, which means skillful means or expedient method. It is fingers pointing at the moon - don't confuse the finger for the moon."

Huzun and Orhan Pamuk's *Istanbul*

"According to Orhan Pamuk, the melancholy of Istanbul is huzun, a Turkish word whose Arabic root (it appears five times in the Koran) denotes a feeling of deep spiritual loss but also a hopeful way of looking at life, 'a state of mind that is ultimately as life-affirming as it is negating.' For the Sufis, huzun is the spiritual anguish one feels at not being close enough to God; for Saint John of the Cross, this anguish causes the sufferer to plummet so far down that his soul will, as a result, soar to its divine desire. Huzun is therefore a sought-after state, and it is the absence, not the presence, of huzun that causes the sufferer distress. 'It is the failure to experience huzun,' Pamuk says, 'that leads him to feel it.' According to Pamuk, moreover, huzun is not a singular preoccupation but a communal emotion, not the melancholy of an individual but the black mood shared by millions. 'What I am trying to explain,' he writes in this delightful, profound, marvelously original book, 'is the huzun of an entire city: of Istanbul.' ...There is a past tense in Turkish -- it does not exist in English -- that allows the writer to distinguish between hearsay and what he has seen with his own eyes. "When we are relating dreams, fairy tales, or past events we could not have witnessed, we use this tense," Pamuk explains. This is the tense in which his book seems to be written, in a voice on the edge of reality, halfway between what he knows has happened and what he believes imaginatively to be true. This voice, this tone, this tense, is perfectly suited to describing melancholy."

Orhan Pamik won the Nobel Prize for Literature just a year ago.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Aien Aristeuein

There is a world other than that of 'political correctness',

a world where self-discipline, virtue, and excellence rule.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Mavlana Jalaluddin Rumi !!!

We are celebrating his 800th birthday today.

He, of course, would quite probably never have done such.

UK credit crunch?

Credit queue [such word is not in current use in America] in Britain?

Mise en abyme of the *Billy Elliot* movie?

A tribute to Marc Bolan:

Limits of Individualism

*How Novels Think: the Limits of Individualism from 1719-1900* by Nancy Armstrong

This is indeed an intriguing title! I wonder if she gets into identity formation from fictional elements? Oscar Wilde's "life imitates art" can be seen so often.

How much of one's own 'persona', even of how one perceives oneself, has come from fictional elements?

Mise en Abyme

Although some may gainsay the abyssal connection, I feel an 'out-of-body feeling' also belongs to this term.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Psychiatric application of Homer's Iliad & Odyssey

Homer is more relevant than credits he usually doesn't get. Check out Jonathan Shay's books, *Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character* and *Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming*.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mammoth Dung

Reuters has an interesting environmental story on mammoth dung melt:

Shades of Tiny Tim's 1960 era hit song, "The Icecaps Are Melting!".

Watch your step if you visit Siberia!

Bleach anime series

For this coming Saturday at midnight episode 51 of the Bleach anime series is scheduled. That will conclude the 2nd season of this excellent japanime series.
I enjoy finding the same archetypes appear in slightly different characters in different japanime: Don Kanoji in Bleach bears remarkable similarity to an ebullient italianate character ( Fulcanelli ?) in Shaman King, und so weiter.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

a pair of contraries

Life is of course, for each of us, a fatal journey.

Looking at a couple of recent movies, I see two protagonists,
opposites in almost every way, with totally dissimilar philosophies,
in a union of contrary head-trips worthy of the ancient greek
philosopher Heraclitus.

*Venus* with Peter O'Toole, released in 2006 and now out on DVD is a
myth of hedonistic but urbane old tragedians.

*Into the Wild* with Emile Hirsch, due for theatrical release October
17, 2007, is a myth of idealistic youth, a 'coming-of-age story' based
on a fact-based myth.

the actual Christopher 'Alex' McCandless myth:

Pragmatic Philodoxy & Rhetorical Virtue

A contemporary overlook upon the daimon of Plato's Socrates and William James, David Hume, Immanuel Kant et al:

In *Human Goodness: Pragmatic Variations on Platonic Themes*, Paul Schollmeier explains that the Greeks define happiness as an activity that we may perform for its own sake.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Devil's Bible

Who would have thunk he had his own Bible?

The infernal book belongs to the Royal Library of Sweden.

Cave Skylights Spotted on Mars!

That doesn't sound like typical NASA, does it? At first I suspected a prank; but it appears to be a legitimate NASA release. Fuels a lot of wondering, doesn't it?

Heraklit und Sein Kampf

Heraclitus, ancient greek philosopher, maintained that War and Strife
are necessary to being: #25) "War is both father of all and king of
all...." #26) "It must be seen that struggle is the common condition;
that strife is justice; and all things happen according to strife and
necessity." #27) "Homer was wrong in saying 'Would that strife might
perish from among gods and men' for if that were to occur, the
universe would cease to exist."

Here's Prof. Harris' commentary on Heraclitus:

The Titanomachy and Gigantomachy are archetypal greek myths.

p.s. It seems to me that people sublimate their war drives in such
things as watching action films, sports, and many types of television
viewing; political expression; competition of various types; aggressive driving;
commerce and litigation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Recite Homer's Iliad in Greek for Health

from "Heartbeat Poetry" by Nicole Garbarini,
Scientific American Magazine, October 2004 :

"Reciting the Iliad could have epic effects on your health.
German physiologists have recently shown that such poetry
[dactylic hexameter]
can get your heart beating in time with your breaths.

This synchronization may improve gas exchange in the lungs
as well as the body's sensitivity and responsiveness to
blood pressure changes.

Cardiovascular and respiratory responses are not normally in sync.
Rhythmic fluctuations in blood pressure take place naturally in
10-second-long cycles known as Mayer waves, whereas
spontaneous breathing normally occurs at a rate of
approximately 15 breaths per minute."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Are you hepcats really edgy?

"So you wanna dump out yo trick bag,
Ease on into a hip bag,
But you ain't just exactly sure what's hip.

"So you start to let your hair grow,
Spent big bucks on your wardrobe,
But somehow you know there's much more to the trip.

"What is hip? Tell me tell me, if you think ya know.
What is hip? And if you're really hip, the passing years will show,
That you into a hip trip, maybe hipper than hip.
But what is hip?

"So you became part of the new breed.
Been smoking only the best weed.
Hanging out with so-called hippest set.
Been seen in all the right places,
Seen with just the right faces.
You should be satisfied,
But still it ain't quite right.

"What is hip? Tell me tell me if you think you know.
What is hip? And if you're really hip.
The passing years would show,
That you into a hip trip, maybe hipper than hip.
What is hip?

"Hipness is what it is
Sometimes hipness is what it ain't

"You done went and found you a guru,
In an effort to find you a new you.
And maybe even managed to raise your conscience level.

"As you're striving to find the right road,
There's one thing you should know:
What's hip today might become passe'.

"What is hip? Tell me tell me if you think you know.
What is hip? And if you're really hip, the passing years would show
That you into a hip trip. Maybe hipper than hip.
What is hip?"
from "What Is Hip?" by Tower of Power (1973)

Discursive Strategies

'Discursive strategies' are powerful attitude-shaping techniques used by journalist and other media that escape the notice of most of us. I have been amazed at the political usage of this in America for many years now. I quote a professor's message, regarding this, below. nekkid

"Jonathan Hall's two books on ethnicity in antiquity are splendid, but
also a bit hard to teach. This is not because Hall's argumentation
is loose -- it's not -- but because he uses some concepts and terms
that college sophomores find novel and a bit alien.
"An example: chapter three of _Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity_ (a
book reviewed by a procession of heavyweights in Cambridge
Archaeological Journal, 1998, but completely unreviewed at Hall builds his case, that Greek ethnic thought in the
fifth century was oppositional or dyadic, on a series of oppositions
or dyads, one of which is 'historical positivism' vs. 'discursive
strategies.' The students I saw yesterday rolled their eyes at the
second term, but were completely unable to say what it might mean.

"All that changed when they started thinking about the sports pages.
Until this week, the noun perhaps most often associated with Bill
Belichick, football coach of the New ENgland Patriots, was 'genius.'
The pairing has occurred at least 60x in the NYT since 1987. But now
we know Belichick cheated.

"The 'genius' label was perhaps justified. But it was a discursive
phenomenon, perhaps a 'strategy,' fostered by the press. So much so
that for many American football fans, the word 'genius' came to mind
at once on hearing Belichick's name. With this in mind, students had
a much easier time returning to Jonathan Hall's case that myths of
ethnic formation were just that, myths, and elements in the
discursive strategy that shaped Athenian and Spartan thinking about
their pasts.
Dan Tompkins" [pericles@TEMPLE.EDU]

'choux pastry heart

What sort of heart is a " 'choux pastry heart "? Corinne Bailey Rae sings exquisitely of it in the 2006 movie, *Venus*. The song, " 'choux pastry heart' " was composed by Teitur Lassen.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Yippee ti yi yo, git along little doggies!

Yeah, and I always liked and occasionally sing other traditional cattlepoke songs like "I ride an old paint". The Guthries, Woody and Arlo, kept that 'un alive into the late 20th Century. But the meaning of 'hoolihan' in it was kinda lost.

But, the latest "American Slang Word of the Week" in the Oxford University Press blog is 'hoolihan' meaning, so they say: "1. (among cowboys) a backhand thrown loop for roping horses.
2. an exciting or extraordinary event.
In phrase: throw the hoolihan [fr. sense of (1), above] (among cowboys) to celebrate riotously." Woody Guthrie

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Greek Dance

Investigating the meaning of the ancient pyrrhic dance, I came upon this excellent site:

The pyrrhic dance was said to be invented by Pyrrikhos for the funeral of Patroclus. It later became a popular entertainment for Athenian festivals.

Monday, September 03, 2007


My ancient greek word for the day is 'garos', a second declension masculine noun which LSJ defines as "a kind of sauce or paste made of brine and small fish". Too bad they didn't also say it is fermented like the modern Thai anchovy sauce and British Worcestershire sauce.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

'Original Sin' and the 'Select Elect'

'Original Sin' would mean all humans are evil, bad to the bone, from birth; sharing the guilt of some very far removed, mythological ancestors.
Not the sort of thing an equitable god, but only a whimsical despot would hold to. Seems a cruel culture-bound orientation native to the Levant and Middle-East.

Some philosopher wrote something to the effect that systemic philosophy was intrinsically misleading. I think it may have been Nietzsche or Heidegger. The same, it seems to me, applies to theology. Most of the evil in religions appears to stem from institutional systemic theology. Perhaps they ought to keep it simple like most of the truly holy people appear to.

Was 'original sin' a metaphor misinterpreted to be doctrine or dogma? I suspect so. And the same for many other dogmates, and other barriers set up by collectives and legalists . Jesus spoke to this sort of thing during his public life (Luke 11: 46 & 52).
Much suffering and misery are attributable to the 'original sin dogma'.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stefan Stenudd on Plato as lyric poet

"In his youth, Plato trained gymnastics, with such prowess that he entered a public contest. He studied painting and music, but his favourite was poetry. He made attempts in heroic verse, lyric poetry and dramatic composition. He wrote a tetralogy, consisting of three separate tragedies and one satyric drama, but a short time before the festival of Dionysus, when his pieces were to be performed, he happened to hear Socrates, and was so captivated that he abandonded poetry, and turned to philosophy. Reportedly, he threw his poetic writing to the fire.
There are some few fragments remaining of Plato’s lyrical efforts, written well after Socrates made him change his path. Diogenes Laertius mentions a fellow student of astronomy, named Aster, which means ‘star’, something that Plato played with in an affectionate verse to him: 'Thou gazest at the stars, my star; would I were Heaven, that I might gaze at thee with many eyes!' Equally passionate are these words to Agathon, though they may be Plato personating Socrates, like in the dialogues: 'When I kiss Agathon my soul is on my lips, whither it comes, poor thing, hoping to cross over.'
To his mistress Archeanassa, he wrote with a daring reference to the marks of ageing: 'My mistress is Archaenassa of Colophon, on whose very wrinkles there is bitter love.' Ageing is also a central theme, if not an argument, in the words to another lady: 'I am an apple; one that loves you casts me at you. Say yes, Xanthippè; we fade, both you and I.' Similar arguments of seduction are also shown in: 'I cast the apple at you, and if you truly love me, take it and give me of your maidenhood; but if your thoughts be what I pray they are not, then too take it and consider how short-lived is beauty.'" excerpt from online Aristotle bio by Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd's latest book, *Cosmos of the Ancients: The Greek Philosophers on Myth and Cosmology* was published in 2007 by BookSurge Publishing and is available through

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

les affrèrements

hmm...seems there were same-sex contractual relationships other than religious communities in Europe historically that were considered compatible with family values.

Here's a no-punches-pulled discussion of the story:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Art and Poetry of War

Just some quick notes and links: Art of War circa 625 B.C. an English translation of his songs
Pye, influenced by Tyrtaeus, rouses the British patriotism Greek Tytaeus Texts (with German translations)

Acharya S.

Acharya S., mythologist and archaeologist, has some interesting things to say in this interview.

What does her 'S.' stand for? Sunbjectivity?

"Subjectivity. Objectivity. What is the difference?" says William Burroughs, the cut-up.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


"Every day, priests minutely examine the Dharma
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon."

"After ten days on this temple, my mind is spinning --
The red thread of passion is very strong in my loins.
If you wish to locate me another day,
Look in the fish stall, sake shop, or brothel.

-- Ikkyu

new Scetes and new translation of Psalms

"the Californian scete"; I ran across this logos when
checking out a curious news report about a new Coptic Orthodox
monastery in California deserta.
So there you are. Naturally I had to investigate that word scete and
it lead me a merry chase. There is nothing in my ancient greek lexica
that comes close; but in a modern lexicon I found sketos, an adjective
meaning "plain, simple, pure". An Egyptian tour guide said 'scetes'
means "the ascetics". But I didn't hit real paydirt until I got into
Wikipedia through Thebaid and found:

I was pleasured to discover yesterday that there is a New Skete in New
York where the monks translated the Eastern Orthodox psalmody into
American English and made it available online. Their founder's obit
is probably the best introduction:

Their new translation goes back to sources earlier than the Greek Septuagint from which, I believe, all the other available translations of the psalms were made.

Monday, August 20, 2007


So, are pronouns the secret advantage of the glib fast-talkers?

As they speed merrily through their monologues, we listeners must work out the associations with proper nouns, images, geography and such. That's why extended listening can be so exhausting.

C.S. Lewis' phatic hiatus

"The cardinal difficulty," said MacPhee, "in collaboration between the sexes is that women speak a language without nouns. If two men are doing a bit of work, one will say to the other, 'Put this bowl inside the bigger bowl which you'll find on the top shelf of the green cupboard.' The female for this is, 'Put that in the other one in there.' And then if you ask them, 'in where?' they say, 'in there, of course.' There is consequently a phatic hiatus."

*That Hideous Strength* was published in 1945. I reading it more than 50 years ago, uncertain whether abridged or unabridged. I still recall enjoying the creepy thrills phatically generated in the reading.

In the excerpt quoted above C.S. Lewis (CSL) misuses the word 'phatic' which lexicologists ever since 1928 have insisted means communication not of information but only of feeling "revealing shared feelings or establishing an atmosphere of sociability rather than communicating ideas. ...feminine relationship chatter not masculine task instruction...

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The taste of the forbidden Bovril

fading from our minds like blooms

of Summers past recurring in mem'

ries regained like the madeleines in

the eternal teatime of Marcel Proust.

writ Aug 12, 2007 by nekkid

Friday, July 13, 2007

Celebrating Friday the Thirteenth

Crash (1996) on IFC (Independent Film Channel) Midnight - Eastern DS Time; 12:35am Pacific

dir. David Cronenberg ... the controversial underground car crash subculture movie!

I remember this movie from 1996 as having more horror than the best Holywood horror flicks.

It was quickly disappeared; the tracks being covered by a 5th rate flick usurping the title. Now it's back thanks to IFC. I'm glad I didn't cancel my cable subscription now.

I hope my memory isn't just being hyperbolic.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Mountain Sitting

Mountain is sitting

Thinking like a rock

Slow and very stable:

So who all need emote

Empathy or Antipathy

Sympathy or Lunacy?

Silence still knows best.

Quiet thus beats the heat.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Dead Poets Society movie in Finland

I saw in a blog the Dead Poets Society movie is still having effects in Finland.

I wanted to leave a comment but my password didn't work. I posted a link in

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Extinct Fauna --- Do you miss them?

Perhaps people with unrepaired hare-lips may miss the hare-lip sucker. Nature appears to have filled in the ecological gaps left by the carolina parakeets and the passenger pigeons and most other extincted fauna. I sorta miss the sabre-tooth tigers but the cats we now have fill the gap since there are no more wooly mammoths nor boars that required 15 strong men to carry nor even those huge aurochs that were the pride of Poles as recently as the 17th century.

I've heard there are Russians working on a project to bring the wooly mammoths back. They must be the most missed of extincts.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Re: Horror of VT mass slaughter

Fox News Channel wants to protect us from the horror of 'Cho's Manifesto Package'. I've gotten a few glimpses of his video and suppose worse may have been shown on NBC tv. It would be more equitable if the media gave us a choice about viewing this material; but, of course, they would rather play nanny and make the decisions for us [just like legislators are prone to do].

Those of us who would choose to view the whole thing are not necessarily 'sickos motivated by morbid curiosity'. There are important lessons for the future of humanity to be learned from looking deeply and clearly into such material; the apparently 'most-qualified', the academically certificated are often misled by their narrow specializations and bias.

Many of us distance ourselves from such perpetrators, often attempting to dehumanize them verbally to increase our separateness. But we do share the uncanny dynamics of human nature with them and "homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto" [I am human therefore I think nothing human to be alien from me] as Ciciero, Seneca, and Terence wrote so long ago. One doesn't have to believe that we are all one big soul [*Grapes of Wrath*] to be able to appreciate this.

Horror of VT mass slaughter

The horror of the Virginia Tech mass slaughter!

Were they casualties of one boy's war?

What was he really warring against? Wasn't he envious of the opulently successful like his sister with her important position with the U.S. State Department? Extreme sibling rivalry?

*The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith*, an Australian novel by Thomas Kenneally, give one some clue of such a shooter's on-the-spot dynamics. Cho Seung-Hui was, of course, much less innocent and much more cold-blooded than the character, Jimmy Blacksmith.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Fianna & the fae termagants

This tale, known as "The Enchanted Cave of Cesh Corran", is found under *Irish Fairytales by James Stephens* in this marvellous anthology of online fairytales:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year!

This is the springing of the year in the lunar cycle.

May all sentient beings live well, prospering in peace and love!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Le Coup de Foudre

I mean "love at first sight" or rather hearing, pertaining to instant bonding with certain pieces of music.
I find myself amazed at these bondings I experience upon hearing certain pieces of music. The most recent of these experiences occurred while watching episode 14 of Samurai Champloo on Cartoon Network when I first heard Ikue Asazaki singing "Obokuri Eemui", a traditional Okinowan song. It is not available on any of the Samurai Champloo soundtrack albums, but only on the Okinowan CD, *UTABA UTAYUN*, which does not appear to be available on this side of the Pacific Ocean, unfortunately.

I did find a brief sampling of "Obokuro Kemui" near the beginning of "A Children's Poem" at just prior to the James Dickey poem about animal heaven.

Recent brain research indicates that bonding may be the result of release of a hormone in the limbic system. I think it's called oxytocin. Oxytocin, some brain researchers claim, forms a cocktail with norepinephrin and dopamine to produce the effect we interpret as love. The scientist I heard discussing this claimed that the absence of oxytocin from the limbic cocktail results in lust rather than love.

The French for "love at first sight" literally means "struck by lightning"; like Bilbo Baggins in Tolkiens' *The Hobbit*. The ancient greeks believed anything struck by lightning became sacred and uncanny forevermore.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

New Mythologies

I think that new mythologies are not as likely to develop from the
thinking intellectual and literary populations as from semiliterate
and poorly media-acculturated. Prison populations and 'hoods', barrios
and ghettos produce more myth and effective change than scientists,
academics, or think tanks. Look, for example at the mythic
attraction of youths to gangs and drugs!

What about hip-hop culture?

These are like the tips of icebergs in our cultural seas.


aude dilucide spectare

Monday, February 05, 2007

Invocation for Brigid

"Once again the Goddess arises from her slumber to
Walk abroad on the face of the Earth. Close your eyes and see
Her with me now.
Far away, across the Irish sea, She stirs in her sleep,
wakens, stretching and yawning, and rises to begin Her
journey. She walks through still frozen woods, and as She passes,
She brings the first stirrings of life to tender buds buried
beneath the snow.

She passes…and as She passes, the small burrowing creatures
rouse themselves, to behold her with eyes still heavy with sleep.

She passes…and as She passes, the groundhog senses Her
presence in his dreams. And he wakes, climbing from his
burrow for one brief hour, and as She passes, the groundhog
sees her shadow.

She passes…and as She passes, buds and wondering creatures
and groundhog all hear Her voice as wind in the barren
branches of the trees. And She whispers a promise that
Spring will come again. Not yet, not now, but soon, soon…

She passes…and as She passes, She walks over mountains
and hills, through the land that is her home.
And Her steps lengthen and She walks over the waters of the ocean
and through the deserts, and still She is home, for the Earth
itself is Her home, the very planet is Her domain.

And She passes…and She rouses our slumbering hearts
with Her passing, with Her voice murmuring in the wind.

And now She is here with us, She passes by us now,
nudging us from our winter dreams. Let’s invite Her to
linger awhile with us, to pause in Her journey and join our
circle, by lighting a sacred fire. In Her homeland, in Kildare,
Her priestesses kept a sacred fire burning at all times on the
hearth of Her temple. Let us now relight that holy flame,
rekindle the fires of Kildare. Let us gaze into the flames and
see the face of Brigid." ---Anonymous


Saturday, February 03, 2007


Mooninite ilumines heron

Which has the more beauty?

Ignignokt claims the heron

when beset by Boston crabs.

nekkid [with help from Hannibal Rising]

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Then and Now

"Ehmals und jetzt"

"In juengern Tagen war ich das Morgens froh,

Des Abends weint ich, jetzt, da ich aelter bin,

Beginn ich zweifelnd meinen Tag, doch

Heilig and heiter ist mir sein Ende." Friedrich Hoelderlin

"THEN and NOW"

"In my younger days I was fresh and clear in

the morn but weepy by even; now, being older

I often begin my day in madding confusion;

may get lucid and coherent by its ending."

[a perhaps too free translation by nekkid]


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Robert Anton Wilson

Happy Disincorporation [7-11-07] to Robert Anton Wilson!Wilson Library

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Priory of Sion and the blue apples

The ancient secret order of The Priory of Sion seems to be an important key to much of the speculation about Mary Magdalene, the Knights Templar and their treasures, and the mysteries of Rennes-le-Chateau.

So how do you like those
blue apples ?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Malum Malum Malum

Malo. Malo. Malo. Malo.
Malo: I would rather be
Malo: in an apple-tree
Malo: than a naughty boy
Malo: in adversity.
Malo. Malo. Malo. Malo.

Miles' Song in Benjamin Britten's

opera, *Turn of the Screw*


Sunday, January 07, 2007

In the bleak midwinter...

Christina Rossetti wrote the poem and Gustav Holst composed the music for it.

And now we can hear it sung out in the bleak itself by Christ Church Choir, Oxford along with other musical treats:

Friday, January 05, 2007