that this is an arduous time for you.Arduous,
or “tough” times mean you are being challenged and tested by life.
much “grit” do you have? Grit is comprised of determination, willingness to
withstand the pain. To call forth determination, or grit means that you are
willing to sacrifice for your goal.
goals call forth big challenges.
That means you are rising to the
challenges by growing, learning, gaining experiences. The more difficult the
experience, the harder you have to work.The harder you work, the greater the capacities you develop. The greater
capacities, the more you can accomplish and achieve. That means your life can
become more abundant. The more abundant your outer life becomes, the more inner
strength you have.
WHY AM I HERE?
challenges we receive lead us to the fate we have for our life. That fate and
those experiences are directed by the star our spirit self has chosen to
you who is finding your fate, or is your fate finding you?
your star which you are following? Or, is the star leading you, drawing you
forward into the future you know nothing about?
As you move forward on your path, you may
begin to realize that it is absolutely necessary for us to have challenges, a
path, fate and a star, otherwise, our struggles seem random and meaningless.
WHAT DO I WANT?
the gift we receive? We receive the giver.
“I feel my star,
My star finds me,
I feel my fate,
My fate finds me.
My life and the
wide world are one.
Life grows more
abundant for me.
Life grows more
radiant within me.
Life grows more
arduous for me.”
a time of testing.
the world would anyone want their lives to be more arduous?
The Icon is a solid, art object with no
moving or electronic parts which is comprised of linen stretched across a
specially routed board and painted with a special gesso (rabbit skin glue,
chalk and white pigment). This surface is sanded smooth and painted with layer upon layer of earth
and ground semi-precious stones mixed with special mineral oils. Gold leaf is
applied to specific areas with rabbit hair glue which is warmed with the human breath and burnished
with a polished stone. The paint preparation techniques and formulas have been passed down and were the same ones used to paint the Sistine Chapel and other revered works of art. The Icon images are drenched with layers of meaning from
spiritual symbolism designed with the intention of moving the soul and touching the heart of the viewer,
consciously or unconsciously.
The “SmartPhone” is made of a motherboard
which is circuit board on which has been designed in a utilitarian, non-symbolic pattern. Gold is printed on the motherboard and
pre-drilled to receive electronic components which are comprised of silicon and
other precious earths (lead, silver and palladium). The screen of the “SmartPhone”
is a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) made up of layer upon layer of glass, plastic and liquid
crystalline. Lithium metal oxide batteries power the motherboard. Once powered, moving
images flutter on the LCD display in patterns guided by software written by engineers. No single image
ever really appears on the LCD display as the array of pixels are charged. The
rapidly moving image(s) cause the brain to work with extra intensity in order to
attempt the impossible - to fill in the blanks between the illuminated pixels and “make sense” out of what is moving so rapidly that it is a non-sensical
WHY AM I
The Icon has been around for centuries with
several specific and extremely meaningful roles to perform: first is to inspire
the devotees who create Icons – called Icon Writers. As the outer Icon is written, an inner Icon is
inscribed into the heart and inner life of the Icon Writer – striving for
beauty, balance, harmony and skill is a challenge. Secondly, the Icon is
blessed by the Church and becomes a meaningful addition to the Community into
which it is housed. Thirdly, the Icon’s symbolism inspires the religious and
spiritual feeling life within the individual who behold it. And, Fourth, the
Icon is a portal through which the Spiritual Being depicted on the Icon is able
to perceive and interact with the physical world.
The “SmartPhone” runs application software
which is designed to perform specific tasks, gains energy from WIFI, and other
sources across networks and receives signals beamed by Low Earth Orbiting (LEO)
satellites which enwrap us all like a non-spiritual web. The LCD screen
contains a substance which is both liquid and crystalline (solid) and is
arranged in front of a thin film of transistors (TFT) which polarizes light.
This dancing light captivates the human cognitive functions with hyper-kinetic visual
activity and a dynamic multi-touch surface. Children, particularly, find these
screens as something which totally captures their attention and shuts down all
normal, natural thinking processes. For us, too.
WHAT DO I
A Zombie is an animated corpse raised by
magical means. A Zombie is an animated, non-living entity which is will-less, speechless and
is able to function due to powers outside itself. If the forces
animating the Zombie are evil or malevolent, Zombies do their will, they are
powerless to do otherwise.
same is true of a portable computer or “SmartPhone”. At a minimum , a “SmartPhone”
is an agent animated by forces far beyond the individual human. Once in hand,
the human consciousness is affected by the technology and we comes to rely on the technology for at least a certain portion of our
thinking, feeling and will life. For most of us, it takes a large effort to
disconnect totally from a "SmartPhone" as we consider them "important", even perhaps "essential" in our day-to-day
lives. We revere them.
they malevolent? In computer lingo, a “Zombie” is term used to describe a
computer or “SmartPhone” which has been accessed by a remote attacker in order
to forward spam, viruses, or other instructions and so becomes a technological malevolent or
our lives today, “SmartPhones” with animated LCD screens are Zombies whose
dancing, images are corpses or non-living imaginations activated by technology
which capture the attention of adults and children and transform them into beings who
do the bidding of the technology (“Pay Attention to ME!”). They diminish or
do away with the key human function of thinking and questioning. Does this attack our free
are quite the opposite. They use solid, fixed images created by a devoted human
with natural materials to put ancient symbols in front of us which pose a
question as to their meaning. Or the question may arise within us as to “Why we have no
feeling whatsoever for this object?” “Why is reverence so weak within me?”
symbols on the Icon, even for a non-believer, may cause a “resonance” within
our minds and hearts and lead us to ask questions about how to understand the
meaning of images. “What are those lightning bolts coming out of St. Michael’s
neck?” They activate us rather than shutting us down. The Icon presents
questions or mysteries with which the human must work out the answers
themselves. Wrestling with these questions make us more human.
Zombie is about injecting information, data or pre-digested knowledge into the individual
in such a fashion that we do not question. The Zombie “SmartPhone” consumes our
consciousness making us un-dead and captured by technology.
I will be turning 70 in just a few weeks so I am thinking about starting over with the "Tenderfoot Tests" from the Boy Scouts of America which I last did when I was 11. These tests are not so simple as they were back then. I will need some brushing up on the Laws and Promises. And, I will need to start doing a "Good Turn Daily." (Somehow, that kinda slipped away from me, oh, golly four decades ago.) And all the Laws? Haven't thought about those lately. Trustworthy, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful (really, Cheerful?)... God knows what is going to happen if I am actually able to complete these Tenderfoot Tests; and transform myself, learn to tie that taught-line knot again, and go so far as to present myself to a local Scoutmaster with an application so I can be re-registered as an official Tenderfoot.
To become a Tenderfoot Scout, you must be at least 11 years
of age and pass the following tests before your Scoutmaster (or an adult
assigned by him):
1.Repeat from memory the Scout Oath (or Promise),
the 12 points of the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. Explain
the meaning of each in your own words:
by “points of the
Scout Law” is meant the point itself such as “A Scout is loyal” and not the
point plus the explanatory material. However, the boy should be able to
describe in his own words the full meaning of the explanatory material under
each point of the Law.
2.Give the Scout sign, salute and hand clasp.
Explain their meaning.
3.Describe the parts of the Scout uniform. Tell
when and where not to wear the Scout uniform.
4.Describe the Scout badge and the meaning of each
of its parts.
5.Describe the flag of the United States of
America until its history in brief. Demonstrate respect for your flag by
showing how to hoist, lower, display, fold, and salute it. Tell when to fly it.
6.Whip the ends of a rope at least ¼ inch in
diameter. Tie correctly to ropes of the same size together with a square knot.
Join ropes of different sizes with a sheet bend. Tie a rope to a rail with a
clove hitch. Attach a rope to a post or rail with two half inches. Tie a
bowline around your waist. Tie a taut- line hitch on a rope under tension.
7.Read the Outdoor Code. Tell how you will try to
use it in the hiking and camping you will do as a Scout.
The intent of this
test is to introduce the boy to the principles of conservation and the
importance of every Scout respecting all of nature. Emphasis should be placed
on care with fire, proper use of knife and asked, problems caused by disturbing
sod and topsoil, and general outdoor courtesy.
8.Explain the name of the patrol you will joint
and give its call or yell. Discuss the importance of your patrol to your Scout
9.Review briefly the things you will do to become
a Second Class Scout. Give the Scoutmaster your application and fee so he can register
you as a Boy Scout. After you have been registered, take the Scout Oath (or
Promise) and the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United State of
America at a ceremony in the presence of your fellow Scouts.
Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1965. Pg. 1