transcend slavish thinking


A great-souled hero must transcend the slavish thinking of those around him.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Running Bulls
Running horses and bulls in the Lascaux Caves. Public domain.

Desiderata


 

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”, plural of desideratum, the supine of desidero) is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945).[1] Largely unknown in the author’s lifetime, the text became widely known after its use in a devotional, after subsequently being found at Adlai Stevenson’s deathbed in 1965, and after spoken-word recordings in 1971 and 1972.

poem became widely known as having been found at Saint Paul’s Church of Baltimore – but confusing the date of the church’s foundation as the date of the text’s authorship.

The text was widely distributed in poster form and in late 1971 and early 1972, Les Crane‘s spoken-word recording of Desiderata peaked at #8 on the Billboard chart, #4 on the Canadian RPM Magazine chart, and #6 on the UK Melody Maker‘s chart. The makers of the record assumed that the poem was too old to be in copyright, but the publicity surrounding the record led to clarification of Ehrmann’s authorship and his family eventually receiving royalties.

In August 1971 the poem was published in Success Unlimited magazine, again without authorization from Ehrmann’s family. In a 1976 lawsuit against the magazine’s publisher, Combined Registry Company, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that copyright had been forfeited because the poem had been authorized for publication without a copyright notice in the 1940s – and that the poem is therefore in the public domain.

In response to his Government losing its majority in the Canadian federal election, 1972 Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quoted the Desiderata by reassuring the nation that “the universe is unfolding as it should.”

On August 26, 2010, a bronze statue of Max Ehrmann sitting on a park bench was unveiled in Terre Haute, Indiana, his hometown, with the sculpture done by Bill Wolfe. On a nearby walkway, some lines of the poem are also available to be read by passers-by.

Image via Wikipedia
1976 edition of The Desiderata of Happiness poetry collection

You owe me nothing in return


Alanis Morissette – You owe me nothing in return

I’ll give you countless amounts of outright acceptance if you want it
I will give you encouragement to choose the path that you want if you need it
You can speak of anger and doubts your fears and freak outs and I’ll hold it
You can share your so-called shame filled accounts of times in your life and I won’t judge it
(and there are no strings attached to it)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it’s my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

You can ask for space for yourself and only yourself and I’ll grant it
You can ask for freedom as well or time to travel and you’ll have it
You can ask to live by yourself or love someone else and I’ll support it
You can ask for anything you want anything at all and I’ll understand it
(and there are no strings attached to it)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it’s my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

I bet you’re wondering when the next payback shoe will eventually drop
I bet you’re wondering when my conditional police will force you to cough up
I bet you wonder how far you have now danced you way back into debt
This is the only kind of love as I understand it that there really is

You can express your deepest of truths even if it means I’ll lose you and I’ll hear it
You can fall into the abyss on your way to your bliss I’ll empathize with
You can say that you have to skip town to chase your passion and I’ll hear it
You can even hit rock bottom have a mid-life crisis and I’ll hold it
(and there are no strings attached)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it’s my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

 

The 48 Laws of Power


The 48 Laws of Power is a 1998 book by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers. The book shares thematic elements with Niccolò Machiavelli‘s The Prince and has been compared to Sun-Tzu‘s classic treatise The Art of War. I personally do not practice these principles, my energy is directed elsewhere, but I am trying to understand what some of the people around me are doing  and why.  Many power seeking people have goals that help others.

Since I live in Washington D.C., I need to study power.  If I lived in New York City, I would study money.  I’m just saying….

 

GreeneRobert Greene (author)

Image via Wikipedia

 

Law 1
Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
Law 2
Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

Law 3
Conceal your Intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

Law 4
Always Say Less than Necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

Law 5
So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

Law 6
Court Attention at all Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.

Law 7
Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

Law 8
Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards.

Law 9
Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.

Law 10
Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

Law 11
Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

Law 12
Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.

Law 13
When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest,
Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

Law 14
Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

Law 15
Crush your Enemy Totally
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

Law 16
Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.

Law 17
Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.

Law 18
Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.

Law 19
Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs’ clothing. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person.

Law 20
Do Not Commit to Anyone
It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you.

Law 21
Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark
No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives.

Law 22
Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.

Law 23
Concentrate Your Forces
Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.

Law 24
Play the Perfect Courtier
The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court.

Law 25
Re-Create Yourself
Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

Law 26
Keep Your Hands Clean
You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement.

Law 27
Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.

Law 28
Enter Action with Boldness
If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.

Law 29
Plan All the Way to the End
The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.

Law 30
Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

Law 31
Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.

Law 32
Play to People’s Fantasies
The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.

Law 33
Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usual y an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage.

Law 34
Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one
The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.

Law 35
Master the Art of Timing
Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

Law 36
Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge
By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.

Law 37
Create Compelling Spectacles
Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.

Law 38
Think as you like but Behave like others
If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.

Law 39
Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.

Law 40
Despise the Free Lunch
What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.

Law 41
Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes
What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after. If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making: Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.

Law 42
Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.

Law 43
Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.

Law 44
Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of Mirror Effect.

Law 45
Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once
Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.

Law 46
Never appear too Perfect
Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.

Law 47
Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop
The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.

Law 48
Assume Formlessness
By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.

4th of July Fireworks. Happy Independence Day. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.


“The price for independence is often isolation and solitude. ” Steve Schmidt

jb_0614_birth_1_e2.jpg

Let’s celebrate the Fourth of July -— Independence Day -— with  a reflection of our history and national purpose.

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and all that the American people stand for. That Declaration proclaimed to the world our separation from Great Britain, from tyranny, and our emergence as a new sovereign nation, as we state in the pledge to our flag, “under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

The Declaration pronounced unequivocally: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”

Those words guide the American people’s  philosophy of government.  It was revolutionary then, and it is not a philosophy that is proclaimed everywhere. Even in our own nation, entrenched and corrupt powers forget that this is a government by the people, of laws, not of persons.  The beliefs of the Founding Fathers had to be affirmed by a long, bloody war, which was finally won, to be followed by the Civil War, and the vigilance must still never be laid to rest, for there are many who do not wish all to be free and who would deprive them of their rights unfairly. Nonetheless, the result of our revolutionary Founding Fathers, those famous and those unknown has been the United States of America, the nation in the history of mankind. And we can keep working to make it even better.

The Declaration of Independence, along with the United States Constitution, is celebrated as a centerpiece of American political philosophy. It clearly spells out the purpose of government, which is to secure our God-given unalienable rights. A government limited by its basic purpose does not need to become the ‘private property’  or ‘playground’ of unaccountable government officials, who engage in unconstitutional and unlawful action and reprisal toward its citizens.  There will always be self seeking and corrupt government officials who have forgotten, ignore, or who do not abide by,  what is written in the Declaration. They will retaliate against those employees or citizens who hold them accountable.

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Just as with slavery, it will take time to solve the pressing issues of government corruption and lack of adherence to our core values, for pragmatic reasons, reasons of human nature, blind spots.  Recall that the liberty-loving Declaration did not abolish slavery. That its author, Thomas Jefferson, had slaves. The Declaration was not and is not a set of laws. It is a statement of principles… and its principles clearly were anti-slavery. At the time the Declaration was written, indentured servitude and slavery were centuries-old worldwide practices that could not be done away with overnight. The same goes for the challenges facing we Americans today, who wish to hold our government accountable and insist that they adhere to our nation’s principles.

The Declaration did ultimately serve as a basis on which slavery was finally abolished in the United States.  President Abraham Lincoln used the Declaration in his argument for abolishing what the great Southern statesman Henry Clay called “a foul blot upon our nation.”

In the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, Lincoln declared:

There is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

Lincoln abhorred slavery, but as a politician, even in 1858 he was still not ready to accept total social equality. Maine was the only state in the Union where African-Americans could vote or hold public office. The Civil War achieved some measure of  social equality for the ex-slaves. Another century passed before our nation abolished racial segregation as a matter of law.  The Declaration’s “self-evident truths” continues to guide those dedicated to its pronouncements so that “all” peoples can  be free.


July 4th fireworks, Washington, D.C.

The online presentation of the Carol M. Highsmith Archive features photographs of landmark buildings and architectural renovation projects in Washington, D.C., and throughout the United States. The first 23 groups of photographs contain more than 2,500 images and date from 1980 to 2005, with many views in color as well as black-and-white. Extensive coverage of the Library of Congress Jefferson Building was added in 2007. The archive is expected to grow to more than 100,000 photographs covering all of the United States. Highsmith, a distinguished and richly-published American photographer, has donated her work to the Library of Congress since 1992. Starting in 2002, Highsmith provided scans or photographs she shot digitally with new donations to allow rapid online access throughout the world. Her generosity in dedicating the rights to the American people for copyright free access also makes this Archive a very special visual resource. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print. Title, date, and subjects provided by the photographer.Credit line: Carol M. Highsmith‘s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Fourth of July fireworks display at the Washington Monument

Information presented on DefenseImagery.mil is considered public information and may be distributed or copied unless otherwise specified. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested. Released to Public. ID: DF-ST-87-03719 Service Depicted: Air Force.A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Washington Monument. Location: WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (DC) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) Camera Operator: SSGT. LONO KOLLARS Date Shot: 4 Jul 1986. Defense Imagery.mil is provided as a public service by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense-Public Affairs Defense Visual Information Directorate. Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 “COPYRIGHT BASICS” PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Photographs via Public Domain Clip Art.

boredom is the root of all evil


 Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings. Adam was bored because he was alone; therefore Eve was created. Since that moment, boredom entered the world and grew in quantity in exact proportion to the growth of population. Adam was bored alone; then Adam and Eve were bored en famille. After that, the population of the world increased and the nations were bored en masse. To amuse themselves, they hit upon the notion of building a tower so high that it would reach the sky. This notion is just as boring as the tower was high and is a terrible demonstration of how boredom had gained the upper hand. Then they were dispersed around the world, just as people now travel abroad, but they continued to be bored. And what consequences this boredom had: humankind stood tall and fell far, first through Eve, then from the Babylonian tower. —Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or

Paracelsus


File:Paracelsus-um-1540.jpg
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

Paracelsus (11 November or 17 December 1493 - 24 September 1541) was an alchemist, physician, astrologer, and general occultist. Born Phillip von Hohenheim, he later took up the name Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim, and still later used the name Paracelsus.

All is interrelated. Heaven and earth, air and water. All are but one thing; not four, not two and not three, but one. Where they are not together, there is only an incomplete piece. Paracelsus – Collected Writings Vol. I (1926) edited by Bernhard Aschner, p. 110

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mindParacelsus – Arzt unserer Zeit (1992) by Frank Geerk

  • We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourself.
  • Belief and work, knowledge and action are one and the same thing.
  • Consider that we shouldn’t call our brother a fool, since we don’t know ourselves what we are.
  • God has given to all things their course and decided how high and how far they may go, not higher, not lower.
  • God, our Father, has given us the life and the art of healing to protect and maintain it.
  • He who conquers his enemy with meekness, wins fame.
  • He who wants to govern must have insight into the hearts of men and act accordingly.
  • If you have been given a talent, exercise it freely and happily like the sun: give everyone from your splendour.
  • In us there is the Light of Nature, and that Light is God.
  • Nothing is hidden so much that it wouldn’t be revealed through its fruit.
  • Practice humility at first with man and only then before God. He who despises man, has also no respect for God.
  • The art of medicine has its roots in the heart. If your heart is false, then also the doctor in you is false. If it is fair, then also the doctor is fair.
  • We have Divine Wisdom in the mortal body.Whatever does harm to the body, ruins the House of the Eternal.
  • We should become angels and not devils, that’s why we have been created and born into the world. Therefore be and stick to what God has chosen you for.
  • What else is the help of medicine than love?
  • What maintains the marriage and what is it? Only the knowledge of the hearts, that is its beginning and end.
  • What we should be after death, we have to attain in life, i.e. holiness and bliss. Here on earth the Kingdom of God begins.
  • Who else is the enemy of Nature but he who mistakes himself for more intelligent than Nature, though it is the highest school for all of us?

Popular Quotes by Alfred A. Montapert


“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.”
- Alfred A. Montapert

 

Every time you get angry, you poison your own system. 

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal.  Difficult standards for people to live up to.

Man’s ultimate destiny is to become one with the Divine Power which governs and sustains the creation and its creatures.

The greatest things are accomplished by individual people, not by committees or companies.

Happy is the person who not only sings, but feels God’s eye is on the sparrow, and knows He watches over me. To be simply ensconced in God is true joy.