Sunday, August 11, 2019

ARDUOUS कठिन beschwerlich ardu 艱鉅 つらい и взрывоопасных مشکل

     I hope that this is an arduous time for you.  Arduous, or “tough” times mean you are being challenged and tested by life.
     How 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.
     Big 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.
     The 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 follow.
     Is it you who is finding your fate, or is your fate finding you?
     Is it 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 is the gift we receive? We receive the giver.
     Who is 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.”
-   Rudolf Steiner

     This is a time of testing.
     Why in the world would anyone want their lives to be more arduous?

© Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

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Thursday, August 1, 2019


     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 image.

     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.

     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.
The 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.
Are 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 evil force.
In 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 will?
Icons 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?”
The 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.
The 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.

© Copyright 2014, Jean W. Yeager
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Wednesday, July 3, 2019


     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 activities.
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.

[1] Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1965. Pg. 1