Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Colossians 3:15 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

"Religion does not teach us to bear ill-will towards one another. It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy, is the quintessence of true religion." --Mohandas Gandhi

"After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations." --Oscar Wilde

"Coexistence: what the farmer does with the turkey — until Thanksgiving." -- Mike Connolly

"The next day, eating a turkey sandwich with salt and mayonnaise, Rebecca decided Thanksgiving was the best holiday, although she had little to choose from: her family never celebrated Hanukkah but her father was militant about ignoring Christmas and insisted they spend December 25 eating Chinese takeout and going to the movies." --Anna Quindlen

Monday, November 23, 2015

Michelangelo’s The Dream of Human Life

"The sphere is then likely to represent his inner eye-ball to symbolize imagination rather than a spherical earth." Read the article:
Michelangelo’s The Dream of Human Life (c.1533)
EPPH Art's Masterpieces Explained --

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Leonardo’s Brain: What a Posthumous Brain Scan Six Centuries Later Reveals about the Source of Da Vinci’s Creativity

Is the balanced brain between left and right hemispheres, thanks to the corpus callosum, necessarily more "evolved"? I found this review of "Leonardo’s Brain: Understanding Da Vinci’s Creative Genius" by Leonard Shlain fascinating. From Brain Pickings: "Although both art and science require a high degree of creativity, the difference between them is stark. For visionaries to change the domain of art, they must make a breakthrough that can only be judged through the lens of posterity. Great science, on the other hand, must be able to predict the future. If a scientist’s hypotheses cannot be turned into a law that can be verified by future investigators, it is not scientifically sound. Another contrast: Art and science represent the difference between “being” and “doing.” Art’s raison d’être is to evoke an emotion. Science seeks to solve problems by advancing knowledge.

"Leonardo’s story continues to compel because he represents the highest excellence all of us lesser mortals strive to achieve — to be intellectually, creatively, and emotionally well-rounded. No other individual in the known history of the human species attained such distinction both in science and art as the hyper-curious, undereducated, illegitimate country boy from Vinci." Read the article: Leonardo’s Brain: What a Posthumous Brain Scan Six Centuries Later Reveals about the Source of Da Vinci’s Creativity by Maria Popova,

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

High wall, narrow sea - Migrants once flocked to Malta, host of the EU-African migration summit. Not anymore

Via The Economist: "African migrants encounter as much undisguised hostility here as anywhere in Europe. Neil Falzon, who runs Aditus, a local human rights organisation, says many have been spat upon in the street. As in much of eastern Europe, unfamiliarity breeds contempt. Until the turn of the century, the island had one of the most ethnically homogenous societies in Europe, though its unique identity is actually the product of centuries of racial mingling. (The result is a native population who look a bit like Italians, speak a bit like Arabs and drive on the left like the British.)

"In the early 2000s, when thousands of African asylum seekers began landing here annually, it came as a shock. “A lot of elderly people had never seen a coloured person,” says the leader of the opposition Nationalist Party, who condemns racism (while unwittingly using a politically incorrect term). Maltese xenophobes can fall back on a rational argument: Malta is both the EU’s smallest state and its most densely populated one. Maltese feel they should have to take fewer migrants than larger states.

"Yet strangely, without anyone much noticing, they seem to have got what they want. Malta is barely 200 miles from Libya, still a major transit country for refugees though no longer as important as Turkey. But the flow to Malta has virtually shut down—and no one knows why. Over 140,000 migrants arrived in Italy by sea in the year to November 10th; in Malta, since the end of January, the number is just 20. Meanwhile, the economy has been thriving. Malta has succeeded in becoming something Viktor Orban, the eurosceptic Hungarian prime minister, might dream of: an EU state with enviable growth figures and almost no migrants." Read the article: High wall, narrow sea - Migrants once flocked to Malta, host of the EU-African migration summit. Not anymore. Nov 14th 2015 | From the print edition

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tolstoy and the Pursuit of Happinesss

"Tolstoy is often spoken of as the master of rendering sensation—what it feels like to skate gracefully or to walk bearishly, to ride in a sleigh, to be caught in a snowstorm, to mow a field of hay, to dance with someone incomparably exciting, to be injured or ill, to go hungry or to slip a platter of oysters down the hatch, to ride a horse or even to be a horse. But his unsurpassed mastery really lies in something deeper. What he is intent on rendering when he examines a body’s contour, feeling, motion is the full complex of moral and even of metaphysical implication that sensation bears: the way the unseen and impalpable forces of good and evil that govern life make their presence known through these strange physical natures of ours. “The body? Why the body?” he asked in his diary, not long before he died. The answer, which in fact he had known since youth, was that the life of the body was above all the appointed trial of the soul’s integrity and strength." Read the article: Tolstoy and the Pursuit of Happinesss by Algis Valiunas / JUNE 1, 1989 Commentary Magazine

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Wizard of Oz and the Path to Enlightenment

Dorothy and Glinda the Good Witch of the North

I always thought this was a weird story. Long story short, The Wizard of Oz is the story of how when the pituitary gland activates the pineal gland, you open your third eye. Something like that. Not literally, of course.

The Wizard of Oz and the Path to Enlightenment by Jeanne M. House, UPR/ Sol Communication "The “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” made its debut in American literature in 1900. This fairy tale of a strong and adventurous heroine appeared at a time when women were finding their voices after being repressed by the domination of patriarchy. It marked a new era for the feminine principle to be retrieved from our psyche and integrated back into the culture. The late 1800’s and early 1900’s was also a time when the subject of the occult was flourishing in New York City, through the Theosophy Society. This was also a new era for revelations and wisdom that originated in ancient mystery schools, to now be revealed to the masses, (albeit the language was still somewhat cryptic).

"Having said that, L. Frank Baum had a story to tell. And oh, what a story it was! It is a story that pertains to each and every one of us. Though it may appear to be a simple fairy tale, it is laden with symbols from the most ancient occult societies and mystery schools. And unlike the fairy tales of its day, his child heroine was not a meek and mild victim but one who transforms from a dependent people-pleaser to one who gains an indomitable spirit and courageous attitude, while pioneering new trails in order to find Home.

"In my last paper I covered some psychological principles while discussing the journey through Oz, especially the transformational events that helped Dorothy become more integrated. I demonstrated that the road to Oz was actually a road to psychological integration. Now I would like to take this a step further and attempt to demonstrate that the road to Oz is also a path to enlightenment." Continue reading: The Wizard of Oz and the Path to Enlightenment by Jeanne M. House, UPR/ Sol Communication,


Related links:

"According to Mme. Blavatsky Kuṇḍalinī, in its spiritual aspect, is a function of Buddhi. The heart being the physical organ that corresponds with this principle, the awakening of the spiritual consciousness in the heart is needed first in order to open the third eye:

"If the Heart could, in its turn, become positive and impress the Brain, the spiritual Consciousness would reach the lower Consciousness. . . . This is the “memory of the Heart”; and the capacity to impress it on the Brain, so that it becomes part of its Consciousness, is the “opening of the Third Eye.”" Third Eye -- Theosophy Wiki

What you don't know about the pineal gland. December 2014

The relationship between the pineal gland and the pituitary--adrenal axis in health, endocrine and psychiatric conditions. Wetterberg L. NCBI

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist

This is a wonderful scent, although it's not a straightforward coconut. At first, I detected baby oil, a medicinal floral accord and spicy almond or cherry, altogether a rather intense punch in the nose, but as it settles down, it turns into a warm but not too sweet coconut vanilla, something akin to Victoria's Secret Coconut Passion but with more toasted coconuttiness. I'm enjoying it very much on this cool November evening.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Forever 21 Love & Beauty Coconut Body Mist

I'm so glad I picked this up. It's a piña colada type scent, very similar to Demeter Kahala Piña Colada, with a soft vanilla base, reminiscent of Urban Decay Sweet Cream and the French vanilla note in my PINK MANHATTAN Purrfume. I just wish the scent was stronger and lasted longer. If I ever found anything like that, it would be crowned the queen of coconut scents!

Updated on April 3, 2017: Please, has anyone seen a bottle of this discontinued, hard-to-find product anywhere??? I can't seem to replace my only bottle that was mysteriously thrown out of a room in Boston where I left it.