October 2013

* purity of heart

"Everyone is worthy of love, except him who thinks that he is."
(Oscar Wilde)


Croesus was irritated to be told, 'Count no man happy until he be dead'; for who can predict what Fate holds in store? And it so happened that Croesus, acting on an archetypically ambiguous oracle from Delphi, was captured by Cyrus and bound to a pyre to be burned alive. Yet instead of berating the gods for his excruciating end, Croesus murmured the name 'Solon'.

Mystified, Cyrus enquired what he had meant, and was told of Solon's counsel. Realizing that he, too, was a puppet of fortune, Cyrus had Croesus cut down (others say that Apollo came to his aid with a thunderstorm) and appointed him as an adviser.

Dying well meant a great deal to the greeks. Fate and death were played out by invisible hands, which intervened in the most involved ways to bring men to their knees.

The greeks seem to owe something of their fatalism to the natural world. From the perspective of Western culture, the elaborate deaths of animals sometimes seem to assume the shade of Greek theatre.

There's more than an element of Greek tragedy, for example, about the mayflies, which live for months as larvae, before metamorphosing into adults lacking mouthparts and digestive tract. Even the few species that live out their single orgiastic day are fated soon to starve.

What about the Pacific salmon, which migrate hundreds of miles to the stream of their birth, wherein their hormonally charged frenzy is cut short by a catastrophic demise and death within days? Or the Queen Bee, who shows no sign of her age for sixteen years, until finally her supply of sperm runs dry, whereupon she is torn apart by her own daughters? Or the twelve-hour copulation frenzy of the Australian marsupial mouse, culminating in death by depression and exhaustion, which can be prevented by castration? Tragedy or comedy, this is certainly dramatic. These animals are as much the pawns of fate as Oedipus himself. Death is not only inevitable; it is controlled by the fates, programmed into the very fabric of life.

(Life Ascending, by Nick Lane)

Freedom is the mental health that allows us to honor and respect whatever card life deals us. The epitome of having no free will is the man locked in a mental cycle of self-pity. Therefore, the most difficult fate to bear is being outnumbered and intentionally tortured by surrounding peers. Such a fate goes considerably beyond self pity and into the very heart of the human problem.
(Cosimo De Winter)



"Justice consists in doing no injury to men; decency in giving them no offense."
(Marcus Tullius Cicero)

"We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it."
(Abraham Lincoln)

"Persuasion is more effective than force."

"The men who have changed the universe have never gotten there by working on leaders, but rather by moving the masses. Working on leaders is the method of intrigue and only leads to secondary resuts."

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

"People build walls to keep you out. Never force your way into someone's life. Everyone's heart has a key. Respect for another is expressed by the effort we make to find the key to their heart. Such respect for another person shows no signs of ugly forced entry."
(Cosimo De Winter)

"We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate one another."
(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

"A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is."
(Jim Morrison)

"He who forgives easily invites another offense."
(Pierre Corneille)



"He cut off his pendulous ears. He gave up the ghost. Having about as much ear as a bird, a wolf would be puzzled to know where to tackle the dog."
(Gene's Fountain)

"A sage hides in unfathomability so his feelings cannot be exploited and brutalized. Give a man too much rope, and he won't hesitate to hang you."

"The repeated failure of protective armor shows that, even at a somewhat low evolutionary level, mind triumphed over mere matter. It is this sort of triumph which has been supremely exemplified by man."
(E.W. Barnes, Scientific theory and religion)

"The armoring of egostism makes the person less sensitive to unpleasure, but also restricts his libidinal and aggressive motility and thus reduces his capacity for achievement and pleasure. The ego becomes less flexible and more rigid."
(E.W. Barnes, Scientific theory and religion)

"The ability to gain victory by changing and adpating according to the opponent is called genius."

"Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen out their cord, and thereby go ever backward. Many a one, also, waxeth too old for his truths and triumphs; a toothless mouth hath no longer the right to every truth. And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of honour betimes, and practise the difficult art of--going at the right time. One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best: that is known by those who want to be long loved. Sour apples are there, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last day of autumn: and at the same time they become ripe, yellow, and shrivelled. In some ageth the heart first, and in others the spirit. And some are hoary in youth, but the late young keep long young. To many men life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaweth at their heart. Then let them see to it that their dying is all the more a success."