The Real Modern Day Philosophers

The French Dictionary of the French Academy that was read during the end of the seventeenth century described philosophe, (a philosopher) as a wise man who lives a quiet life, an individual who by free thought puts himself above the ordinary duties and obligations of civil life. But to really define and describe the term…

The French Dictionary of the French Academy that was read during the end of the seventeenth century described philosophe, (a philosopher) as a wise man who lives a quiet life, an individual who by free thought puts himself above the ordinary duties and obligations of civil life.

But to really define and describe the term philosophe / philosopher we have to go further to the source – that is where philosophy as we know it today comes from. We go to the Greek City State of Athens.

During the 5th century BC a group of individuals called sophists appeared in Athens in Greece. The word sophiste meant either one who makes wise, or one who deals in wisdom. The sophists were itinerant teachers who moved around Athens making their living trading in sophia. Some of them were good teachers while some of them were not. Many sophists were concerned to be too clever, subversive and critical because they were prepared to follow an argument whenever it might lead them. When you go all out after truth you can not tell in advance that the truth will be what society would like it to be.

Socrates, was probably the most unaware of the sophists even though he did not consider himself to be sophist. He never accepted pay for his teaching like other sophists. His interest was to argue with fellow Athenians and then sting them out of their accepted ideas and believes. Socrates questioned everything ordinary people took for granted or preferred to leave unquestioned. Socrates suggested to people to listen to their conscience – the inner voice within that tells you what is truly right. And if you do not know keep asking questions of yourself until you find out.

What it comes down to then that the term philosopher is essentially identified with two key elements. First they were FREE individuals and who were prepared to follow an argument through and through and secondly they had a free thinking approach. So then let us take that and apply it today – in our times. Based on our review above then, the notion of referring to a university, a traditional static university with a campus as the extension of philosophes gives a false impression. Yes there is enlightenment or knowledge acquisition happening at universities, but looking at the term philosopher and its etymology or origin we have to eliminate the university as the center of free thinking and inquiry – a traditional university is a form of an organization, and as an organization it can not accept free inquiry in the exact sense of that word. No organization tolerates an endless free thinking. There are limits – how far you can go in free thinking when you are bound to any type of organization. Because the term organization has with it, rules of behavior and every organization have boundaries.

Universities can not be connected to the term philosophe. There is a lot of politicking and cover ups going at universities. How can you have a free thinking approach in such an environment – in an organization with a boss on top? At least, sometimes, the term philosophe can be applied to personal development coaches or what the people call gurus. Because gurus or personal development coaches are naturally free, unconnected to a static organization, through their teachings, books, and seminaries they are free and assume free thinking approach in their disposition. And remember a lot of these coaches or gurus never even went to a university.

Prataat Nakorn Panom

In 2408 BE, the Sacred Relic Chedi at Nakorn Panom fell down and crumbled to rubble. This was an event which left Faithful Buddhists and devotees of the sacred Chedi in both Thailand and neighboring countries shocked and saddened at the event. shortly after it happened, some agents from the academy of traditional arts and…

In 2408 BE, the Sacred Relic Chedi at Nakorn Panom fell down and crumbled to rubble. This was an event which left Faithful Buddhists and devotees of the sacred Chedi in both Thailand and neighboring countries shocked and saddened at the event. shortly after it happened, some agents from the academy of traditional arts and some officers from the municipality came to search for valuable remnants of the disaster in the ruins, of the Chedi, which had housed an array of sacred objects and amulets, including many which Somdej Dto Prohmrangsri had placed there in 2408. The abbot of Wat Prataat Nakorn Panom, 'Pra Tamma Raachaanuwat', ordered part of the ruins to be used to build the new replacement Chedi, and some parts to be kept as relics in the Museum at the temple. As to the amulets and Buddha statues which had been placed there in the Gru of the original Chedi, which were now scattered around in the ruins of the fallen Chedi, (especially the ones which Somdej Dto Prohmrangsri had buried there), they were kept by the abbot and given to faithful devotees who came and made offerings. The amulets were never sold or advertized as existing, and that, they are not known by most people as ar the other editions of Somdej Amulets made by LP Dto Prohmrangsri! But they are in fact real authentic LP Dto Prohmrangsri Wat Rakang amulets.

In the year 2407, King Rama 4 elected Somdej Drto as the officially empowered agent to go and inspect the ruins of the Chedi and see if it was possible to repair and restore the Chedi to its original state, but it was concluded that this was not possible due to the massive damage which had occurred. So it was decided that a new chedi must be constructed, and that the Chedi should also once again be filled with amulets in the Gru according to Thai Mystic traditions. In addition, The great arahant Pra Maha Gassapa Thaera had placed relics from the Lord Buddha in the Chedi, for devotees of the Buddha to Bucha. King Rama 4 was informed of this fact, and it was then ordered that the new Chedi should be finished in 2408. The amulets for placement in the Gru of the Chedi wer begon to be made in 2407, and 84 thousand Somdej amulets and Buddha statues were made, in order to be ready in time to be placed in the Chedi upon completion. The tradition of Somdej amulet creation entails that exactly 84 thousand examples be made (the same number as the suttas of the tripitaka Buddhist Canon).

As other members of the Sangha and elected officials in surrounding regions and countries became aware of the event, it came to pass that variant Masters and officialos from various regions and countries came and offered selected valuable and powerful substances to donate to Somdej Dto for the making of the amulets. Amongst the ingredients were found;

Precious stones in raw form (unpolished uncut), gold and other minerals and elements, Buddha relics, beads from the Twawarawadee era. Somdej Dto took these substitutes recieved from Burma, Khmer kingdom and Laos, and used them to mix the Muan Sarn for the amulets (along with mashed up pieces of the original chedi and broken artifacts which had been destroyed in the event.

The list of ingredients used in the Muan Sarn is as follows;

1. Cement and sand, stones from the broken original Chedi mashed up into powder, (considered an essentially sacred element of the Gru Prataat Panom amulets.

2. Raw precious and semi precious stones in green. red, yellow, light blue, ground up.

3.Gold Mineral ore, which LP Dto then had ground into powder (this is called 'Pong Dtabai Tong).

4.Various beads from the Tawaraawadee Era, in various colors, which the chief Laoatian Monks had bought from Laos, to offer Somdej Dto as an ingredient for the Muan Sarn.

5. Genuine Buddha Relics donated from other Bhikkhus and devotees were mixed in with the powder of the Muan sarn Somdej Prataat Nakorn Panom.

6.Sacred Powders, such as Pong Itaje, Maharach, Puttakun which Somdej Dto had made for the making of his famous Somdej Wat rakang amulets.

A total of 84,000 amulets were made (in various shapes and forms of the Benjapakee amulet collection. Because of the short time window available for the pressing of the 84,000 amulets, due to King Rama 4s order to complete the construction of the new Chedi by 2408 , the amulets had to be presses in more than one temple, namely Wat Rakang and Wat Prataat Panom.The quantities of the various ingredients differ between the two temples, as do the outer appearance. For example, Jao Khun Tamma Taanaa (Jao Khun Naeb ), who was responsible for many of the pressings at Wat Rakang, applied Ya Rak (a black laquer like liquid) and gold leaf to the amulets.

Once the Chedi was finished, a great celebration ceremony was held for seven days and nights. The ceremony began its opening on the full moon of the 12th month of 2408, and was presided over by King Rama 4 himself as the master of Ceremonies.

Considering all these facts, the sacredness and magical power of Puttakun contained within these amulets is without a shadow of a doubt, and he / she who has one of these amulets in their possession as an item of Bucha and reverence, will be bestowed with uncountable blessings, luck, protection and fortune undoubtly.

The Great American Dream, The Renaissance Period and the Modern Life

The Renaissance was a period that marked the development of the human race sharply. It all started in Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries. It was period that came immediately after the Middle Ages – a period characterized by religious devotions and connection with the spiritual world in quietness, meditation and spiritual contemplation. The…

The Renaissance was a period that marked the development of the human race sharply. It all started in Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries. It was period that came immediately after the Middle Ages – a period characterized by religious devotions and connection with the spiritual world in quietness, meditation and spiritual contemplation.

The Renaissance period is considered to be the age of progress, it was the time when man, (the term used to refer to the human race) was the center of life. Man, said the scholarly Italian Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494), “was restricted by no limit, defined by no one but himself”. At the same time another Italian Leon Battista Alberti puts it clearly; “what man needs is” house, property and shop “- external possessions, riches and wealth. And so the message was clear: focus not on another world but on the here and now, on home, on friendship and pleasure. [The Renaissance people in describing life probably forgotten about the shortness of life, pains during old age and death.]

The Renaissance period was a contrast of the period of the Middle Ages which was about “the men who were connected and prayed to the heavens”.

What is now interpreted as the American dream – a yearning for success and indulgence in fun and pleasure is in fact in exact terms description of the Renaissance period. The current interpretation of the term American dream is successful life – life of luxury, pleasure and fun placed at the heart of the individual; to be driven principally by an aspiration for this kind of life without God or if God is involved at all He is merely an afterthought or secondary or on the periphery or some servant just like the Renaissance period, when the merchant Agnolo Pandofini married, he knelt down with his wife and prayed, asking God for “wealth, honor, and friends” for her wife to be “blameless, and honest”, that she might be a good housekeeper.

We can ask the question “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” in this world really? Leo Tolstoy wrote a short story called How Much Land Does a Man Need. The moral of the story in this short story is that at the end all the things we spend the best days of our lives chasing things in the name of success those things really do not matter that much. All that we really need once our lives end does not amount to too much more than worms crawling on our rotten bodies and then turning to dust and soil.

Soviet Union Culture As Reflected in Art

Throughout history, art has always played an important part in shaping how people think about the world and even politics and social ideas. The Communist party was very aware of this, and took the ideas of Communism to the extreme through the use of propaganda. Soviet Union culture took a strange turn as it turned…

Throughout history, art has always played an important part in shaping how people think about the world and even politics and social ideas. The Communist party was very aware of this, and took the ideas of Communism to the extreme through the use of propaganda. Soviet Union culture took a strange turn as it turned to political cartoons and posters, intended to stir specific ideas in people. In complete truth, history in Russia was heavily influenced by these posters, and through the entire world of art as a whole.

Soviet Union culture contains specific elements of style; force, strong lines, and important political figures all play a part in the art designed in the Soviet period. While Soviet Union culture does contain other methods of communication, art remains one of its primary forms of distribution through the form of political posters displaying the Communist regime. Communism was meant to be a heroic and noble cause, and Soviet Union culture played a part in spreading this concept to people everywhere within Russian.

Communist propaganda as it was used in Soviet Union culture had an insidious effect; it spread quickly and strongly, and each message contained an important idea that was meant to be accepted by everyone. The Communist party realized the importance of art and posters and this is why they used them so consistently within Soviet Union culture during their time in power. Ultimately it was a way to influence people without directly shoving something down their throats; instead they did it through this poster art, and the use of politically-based artwork.

Any country's culture has always reflected specific ideas of the time and just what kinds of ideas the Communist party wanted to spread. Many of the posters used in Communist propaganda are somewhat strange to us now, and we can see them and laugh, but no one who saw them in those days was laughing. Indeed, these ideas were supposed to be accepted and believed by people, and the leaders of the Communist party saw Soviet Union culture as a way to get them to accept their ideas.

Of course if they did not accept, people would be sent to Siberian camps or beaten, shot, or tortured if they were not accepting. Soviet Union culture certainly reflects the complete force through which the governed dominates, but it can not wholly convey just what kind of extremes people would have had to suffer. Instead it can only give us a sampling, a reminder of just what can happen if a powerful idea is taken to extremes by corrupt leaders of any revolutionary movement.

Ultimately, Soviet Union culture is a rich thing and should not be ignored by anyone, be they art collectors or historians alike. These posters are certainly treading dangerous waters, but they reflect an important time in history especially for Russian political painting. The entire world was influenced to some degree by the Communist regime, and the culture of this time remains an important part of the way in which this was done.

USSR Art in Soviet History

Throughout history, art has of course always played an important part in shaping how people think and act. In Soviet history, this was especially important; USSR art proved just how much impact art could have if it was used for the agenda of a political party. In this case the Communist regime used posters and…

Throughout history, art has of course always played an important part in shaping how people think and act. In Soviet history, this was especially important; USSR art proved just how much impact art could have if it was used for the agenda of a political party. In this case the Communist regime used posters and pictures to embody the ideas of the Soviet regime, and to further the agenda of the party through USSR art.

In the earliest days of the Russian Revolution, artists were still drawing and painting largely for aesthetic purposes, but when the revolutionaries came to power, they started putting artists to work creating posters and pictures to use in USSR art. This was meant to push ideas into peoples' heads and tell them just what they they were supposedly to think with Communism by subtly influencing them with these posters. Indeed, it worked to a degree, and people started to fear the Communist regime as they realized the true power of this USSR art.

While the posters and pictures seen in Soviet and USSR art might seem strange to us now, they were powerful and commanding at the time of their creation. These posters were distributed throughout Russia and intended to convey one specific concept of the Communist party. They often depicted political figures as heroes, intended to inspire people or make them believe that Stalin leaders were heroic figures. In reality, these leaders were ruling through terrorism and violence, and these USSR art works do well to remind us just what can happen if a party gets too powerful.

The Communist era and the time of the USSR left a black mark on history, but it is very important to remember, and the posters and works from this time period serve to remind us. They also show us just how powerful art can be when it comes to painting peoples' beliefs and ideas, as they did with Communist propaganda. In fact, the Communist party can be noted as one of the most influential political propaganda units of all time. They knew how to use so many different mediums like USSR art to spread their ideas that it is almost unbelievable just how successful they were.

Ultimately, the Communist period is a very dark time to remember, but any serious collector of art, especially Russian art, should be aware of it. USSR art plays an undeniably important part in showing us just how powerful art itself can be, and how dangerous political parties can shape and twist it to further their own agendas. It is a reminder of what we must never let happen again, and a demonstration of how human creativity can be warped and twisted into a deadly and destructive thing. However, not all the posters of this time were meant to be harmful, and some are quite creative in their own right, which is why we should still appreciate them in the current time while maintaining sensitivity towards those who suffered under the Communist regime and its USSR art.

USSR Culture – How Art Shaped Ideas

Within the Soviet period, many terrible deeds took place. Political leaders got out of hand, destroying and abusing the power they had to terrible ends. However, the time of the Communist regime is important to remember for any Russian artwork collector or history buff. USSR culture played an important role in both political ideas and…

Within the Soviet period, many terrible deeds took place. Political leaders got out of hand, destroying and abusing the power they had to terrible ends. However, the time of the Communist regime is important to remember for any Russian artwork collector or history buff. USSR culture played an important role in both political ideas and basic human concepts, and had a great impact in shaping the Communist regime's power. Indeed, USSR culture can not be ignored, especially within the body of art which came from it.

One might not assume that art has any kind of extreme power to shape human ideas, but depending on its medium, it can. In the case of USSR culture, there were many posters and pictures created and spread through Russia to display the Communist party's ideas and goals. This was one form of propaganda used by the Communists during this time, but there were others as well. USSR culture played a major role in changing how people thought about the Communist party – and in fact how they thought about other ideas as well. One of the main techniques the Communists used to further their power was to change how people thought about other factions as well, and they did this by and large through the use of USSR culture.

Some of these USSR culture creations might seem a bit strange to us now, but when they were viewed in their earliest days, they were relevant and sometimes frightening. These posters told people about how they should act, behave, and think under the Communist regime. Indeed, they had very little freedom to do anything at all; when your thoughts are controlled by an external power, something has gotten to be wrong with the political world. And Russia was a prime example of this under the Stalinist leaders; they rule with violence and political corruption, twisting USSR culture to a new and deadly meaning.

While it is important to treat this time period of history with a sensitive eye, we must still recognize its importance and not simply shove it away under a rug. USSR culture is an important display of how powerful art can be if it is put in the wrong hands or used to dubious ends. That is exactly what happened during the Communist regime, and any serious Russian art collector or history enthusiast knows just how powerful these posters were. Indeed, any political party could well do the same again, and that is why we need a constant reminder such as the political posters of the USSR.

The Communist regime was a bleak time for everyone, but the impact of USSR culture can not be denied. It shaped ideas and behavior among people through Russia – and indeed, the world, as the power of the Communist party spread. It has made a permanent streak in history and should be considered by anyone who values ​​the importance of art within history. Art can have a great and even deadly impact if it is put into the wrong hands, and this was proved as the Communist party's power spread like wildfire.

USSR Posters Changed The Way People Thought

It might not seem like a common idea that people could have influenced in how they thought just by seeing a poster. But believe it or not, the USSR did just that through the use of USSR posters. These were politically-based works of art, displayed through the powerful medium of a poster, and intended to…

It might not seem like a common idea that people could have influenced in how they thought just by seeing a poster. But believe it or not, the USSR did just that through the use of USSR posters. These were politically-based works of art, displayed through the powerful medium of a poster, and intended to further the Communist agenda. While the Communists were sometimes believed to be working independently or for a revolution, in reality they were just trying to further the goals of the USSR, and they did this through USSR posters.

USSR posters are an important stain on history, but they should be considered as part of a collection for any modern Russian art collector. Indeed, these posters show just how powerful art can be in shaping peoples' ideas. They often delivered one specific facet of the Communist party which the USSR wanted to exploit and control. They would be displayed where many people would see them and used just like advertising in popular culture is used today. Indeed, these USSR posters were a dangerous way of spreading propaganda for the Communist party, but undeniably effective.

People would have seen these posters with interest, but come to realize with fear just how much their lives were being shaped by Communism. The rule controlled through brutality and terror, even going so far as to say what people could or could not do in their art. It would have been terrible to live under such oppression, and that is precisely why we need reminders through USSR posters and art to show us just how destructive power can be if it is put in the wrong hands. The Stalinist era of art is a black stain on history, but can not be ignored by anyone, Russian art collectors and history buffs alike.

Ultimatly it was proof through these USSR posters that power can be destructive in the hands of the wrong people, and that propaganda can have a lasting, damaging effect on human psychology. The USSR and the Communists were not afraid to change just how people thought, and they did that not only through USSR posters, but also through other media as well. They did however understand just how powerful visual art and messages can be, and these posters are in a way works of art themselves. They certainly do what art is intended to do, and inspire terrible feelings within people.

While we must treat the Communist era with sensitivity when we discuss it, there is no shame in collecting USSR posters and Soviet art to display in a collection as they are such an important reminder of the power of human greed and corruption. There is no doubt that we can never let what happened in Communist times happen again, and we should show our knowledge by sensitively displaying these posters and showing people just how powerful art can be if it falls into the wrong hands. This was very broadly displayed through the Communist part and their use of USSR posters.

Some Questions Associated With Nobel Peace Awards

The Nobel prizes for year 2010 have been announced. The prize for peace has been given to a jailed dissident of China. China is opposing this decision of Nobel committee and has told the Norwegian government to be aware of repercussions. Well, disaggregation of a group of people or organization has been common with respect…

The Nobel prizes for year 2010 have been announced. The prize for peace has been given to a jailed dissident of China. China is opposing this decision of Nobel committee and has told the Norwegian government to be aware of repercussions. Well, disaggregation of a group of people or organization has been common with respect to any and every award ceremony. Nobel prize 2010 was no exception. But the peace prize does raise a few questions also.

One, is it becoming a norm to give Nobel Peace Prize to the dissidents? Two, are the Nobel Prizes really serving their purpose? Three, by awarding people in this way, do the Noble Prizes losing their sheen?

Now, coming to these questions one by one, in the last years, we have seen that Nobel Prizes are awarded mostly to the people who are discontented people in their respective countries, whether it be Shirin Ebadi, Aung San Suu Kyi or the 2010 winner Liu Xiaobo, they all are human right activists in their respective countries and have faced the music for that. Good that they are working for fraternity in their countries but has anything changed over years? The answer is a big NO.

Two, Nobel peace prize is given to the people who “… shall have done most or the best work for fraternity between nations”. In this regard most Nobel prizes do not serve their true purpose as they are given to the people who are working for the people of one nation, not of nations. And they are given to the people who have not really achieved that feat. In the case of the US president Barrack Obama, he was rarely one year old to the white house when he was awarded the peace prize and he had not done anything other than some announcements. Take the last case of Xiaobo, before getting the award he was rarely known outside China, thanks to the communist government of China, which has even even the media in limitations. And the arrival, China will come even stronger to its dissidents and it has actually (His wife is under house arrest).

Three, and most important in broader view, the way, the prizes are being awarded, is making news, but not necessarily in good direction. And since, a lot of people are not at comfort with the rewards, it's certainly losing her sheen. And people are losing interest in these awards and they are becoming just like other awards.

So, in order to keep the charm of Nobel Awards, the Nobel committee should review its strategy while naming the people and should consider the direct and indirect effects of awards.

Language, Architecture and Anthropology

In the past year I have become increasingly critical and curious as to why many architects insist upon, or at least have a habit of, using jargon and speaking in a superfluous manner. In my experience, this trait is particularly acute in academia, where it looks that the more convoluted and lofty you sound, the…

In the past year I have become increasingly critical and curious as to why many architects insist upon, or at least have a habit of, using jargon and speaking in a superfluous manner. In my experience, this trait is particularly acute in academia, where it looks that the more convoluted and lofty you sound, the wiser you are and the better your projects or opinions are. This trend does not serve a clear purpose or hold much value in my opinion, but there are certainly reasons for itsvalence.

The following paragraphs will seek to shed some light on the anthropological drivers of this behavior and the role it plays in architecture.

One of the effects of this trend seems to be the artificial creation of inaccessibility; a divide between architects and the public, particularly in academia. Architects build for people and the public, generally speaking, but use language as a social tool to elevate themselves above those they build for. Why might this be?

In regards to communications between architects and the general public, the use of language may be a cost display to advertise their own knowledge and intelligence, to inspire, and to concretize their place as a trusted builder. On the level of the profession, jargon may serve to establish the profession as a social group with its own social norms and practices. Similar to how different dialects are one defining element of different peoples and cultures, language used by architects may set them apart from other professions and peoples.

If we assume the profession of architecture can be classified as a social group, several other social and selective factors come into play that may contribute to the prevalence of jargon and superfluous language.

The first that comes to mind is conforming to social norms. Adapting to marker practices, such as dialects, increases one's own productive success and helps to ensure one's place in a given social group. In the profession of architecture, adapting this marker trait may help architects to be more socially accepted and respected by their peers and support the success of their careers. If the profession as a group has certain social hits that define it, conforming to these norms will benefit all members according to anthropological theory.

Further, architecture is a very competitive profession and as with any group, status is of utmost importance. Language may be used as a tool, or cost display, to advertise intelligence, ideas and education in an attempt to elevate one's own status and increase one's own success.

As I mentioned earlier, I observes this behavior more in academia than anywhere else. Academia, for the most part, places far more emphasis on theory than on practice. Theory, both spoken and written, relates more on language than the physical practice of architecture. With nothing physical to see, occupy, or touch, words become more important to convey ideas and establish loyalty and status. As a result, jargon may be far more valuable among academic theorists to establish and define themselves among their peers.

Of course there are exceptions to this trend. In the fall of 2007 I saw Cecil Balmond of ARUP lecture at the Danish Technical University in Copenhagen. He was a clearly brilliant man but was able to deftly and beautifully present his ideas and projects in a manner, and with language, that was accessible to all. This made such an impression upon me that I have remembered it ever since. In my opinion, this did not detract from his brilliance, respectability or status in any way. If anything, it was impressive that he was able to communicate such complicated ideas in a simple way.

So where does this leave architecture? This trend certainly affects the social aspect and habits of the profession, but does it also affect what is actually built and the public's opinion of the profession and built work? This seems plausible. As far is what is actually built and current direction of trends in the profession and academic realms, language and status could play large roles. Architects and theorists who can effectively use jargon and language to convey their ideas and elevate their status may become quite important. Once their status reaches a certain point, others may copy or emulate their behavior in hopes of increasing their own status and success. Therefore, language and communicative skills may be more important than ideas and more indicative of the direction and trends of the profession, and theby the built environment. “Good” ideas presented poorly will fail while “bad” ideas presented brilliantly may thrive. Similarly, ideas and communication strategies that are accepted and rewarded in the social environment of architecture will become more successful, common, and popular. Taken as a whole, language seems to have the power to play a huge role in architecture and the built environment, and jargon may be an adaptive trait to establish a social group, conform to social norms and increase status.

I am very curious about this behavior and the reasons for it, and welcome any thoughts and ideas you may have.

French Style and Tastes: A Culture Perfected by Louis XIV

France is known for its grand style and tastes. It is Europe's capital city (so to speak) where you could enjoy Western culture, fine food and wines, spectacular scenery and exciting activity. All these are the imprint of the personality of the late French King Louis XIV who ruled France like a god for 72…

France is known for its grand style and tastes. It is Europe's capital city (so to speak) where you could enjoy Western culture, fine food and wines, spectacular scenery and exciting activity. All these are the imprint of the personality of the late French King Louis XIV who ruled France like a god for 72 years during the 17th Century. How did it all come about?

During the 17th Century, a century which was dominated by Louis the XIV of France, the theme that characterized the age was civil peace. The reason for this was the manner in which Louis the XIV had to fight hard in order to keep his kingship of France. Before Louis the XIV France had an excellent efficiency king Henry IV (Louis the XIV's grandfather), but he was murdered in 1610. These left the country in the hands of his widow Marie De 'Medici who acted as regent for the 9 year old heir Louis XIII. But Marie was fat and foolish, and although she got herself painted as grand and paraded herself around France, the results of her regency were a period in which France went to the dogs – where the power of the crown was threatened and the nobles (the French upper class) seems to have taken over France.

When Louis XIII grew up he found as his first Minister a man of iron and genius Cardinal Richelieu. With Richelieu at the helm the nobles were gradually humbled, order was restored and French Protestant and the Huguenots who had been acting up were put in their place – and the prestige of the crown was greater than before.

In the 1640's after both Louis and Richelieu died there was another heir Louis XIV who was not even five years old. And another regent Ann of Austria and cardinal Minister Cardinal Giulio Mazarin. And there was another series of civil wars in which the nobles and the great court of law the Parliament of Paris tried again to assert their rights against the encroaching power of the crown. That was the last desperate effort the nobles tried to save itself from subordination and decay, because Louis XIV as he grew up faught hard brazenly hard.

So the nobles were doomed as rivals to the crown despite they put up desperate fight. Though Louis XIV ever won this fight but he was not going to forget, the riot in Paris where things got so bad that the ten year old king and his mother had to be smuggled out of the city to spend the night on little bales of straw because there was no other bedding. Louis XIV never trusted the nobles from then on. He found a lot of his miners among the middle classes. He avoided Paris where he was likely to be trapped and intimidated. So he kept the nobles in their place far away from the crown.

Louis XIV did not want to destroy the nobles; he wanted to domesticate them by cutting their claws. Once he did this the nobility was preserved as a lapdog aristocracy incapable of hurting the king anymore just providing an impressive farce for the absolute state, an impressive court for the absolute king and an edifying higher echelon for the new stability through hierarchy programs.

So the nobility was made by Louis XIV to revolve around the king as the planets revolved around the sun which incidentally is not what Louis XIV is known as the sun king but it is because his eulogists compared him to Apollo, the sun god. Louis XIV above all was the statence, his famous assertion “I am the state or the state is mine”.

And just because it had taken a lot of hard work and fighting to get to this point, Louis XIV and the whole apparatus of royal propaganda insisted on hierarchy, order, social discipline and codes of behavior.
The embodiment of this can be found at Versailles where the French palace was taken to – far away from the crowded Paris: on one hand you find richness and luxury in permanent display on the other hand you found great discipline in the use and arrangements of these riches and luxury. And this is where the art of the time came in as vehicle of new values, illusions which the new order could be based.

The previous generation of French art in the early 16th century had been diverse. What Louis XIV wanted instead was a rigorous reasonable cool style. What does cool style mean? It is the representation of quality in symbolic form -a symbolic quality, a concrete demonstration of grandeur so impressive as to make the king unapproachable. Greatness is only really great if it has a quality of the unbelievable, of the remarkable arousing wonder, causing astonishment. Louis XIV did not want to be feared. He wanted to be invited; he wanted people to be moved by the spectacle of his glory to the point of worshiping him.

Louis promoted entertainment by funding and commissioning various artists, such as Charles Le Brun, Pierre Mignard, Antoine Coysevox and Hyacinthe Rigaud whose works became famous throughout Europe. In music, composers and musicians, like Lully, Chambonnières and François Couperin thrived and influenced many others.

Versailles became a dazzling, awe-inspiring city of passion and novelty. At Versailles, the King alone claimed the attention, which was not shared with no one.

American and English College Sports Fired the Revival of the Olympics Games

The history and development of sport as we know it today with mass appeal begon as an 18th century phenomenon first in England then spread to the whole Europe and the Americas. The first sporting code to have developed mass appeal that influencing thousands of people was soccer. It was in England that by the…

The history and development of sport as we know it today with mass appeal begon as an 18th century phenomenon first in England then spread to the whole Europe and the Americas. The first sporting code to have developed mass appeal that influencing thousands of people was soccer. It was in England that by the late 1800 that the waves of sporting activities were fired up in the consciousness of people – literally thousands of soccer clubs were founded by church organizations, trade unions, factories, and railway workshops.

Rugby, just like soccer started in England in the late 1800. Rugby was primarily played by students. The greatest plush English private schools played rugby, Universities of Oxford and Cambridge played it too. So rugby started much like an upper class sport and it was more complicated than soccer and harder to play without getting dirty. So it was not as popular as soccer which drew hundreds of thousands of people to its cup finals.

American football also started in the universities, it was close to rugby but in the 1880s it evolved into what we now watch as American football. It is more violent compared to rugby. During the 1905 season college football games produced 18 deaths and close to 200 major major injuries – this sometimes it is what attracted fans into stadiums to watch college athletes maim each other. Baseball was less bloody but it was just as popular after the American civil war – that was the time when it was codified and became an adult game. By the 1890s baseball players were organized and started to negotiate salaries and transfers. It was also during these times that Baseball was being exported to Cuba and Central America. Gamblers and sports manufacturers were making good money out of the sport.

By that time, sport of strictly American origin had been born in 1891 at the YMCA in Springfield in Massachusetts where a gymnasium instructor invented basketball to relive the boredom of gym classes. Within a few years basket ball was being played all over the world as well as in American colleges and it was played by women as well.

It was an example of American and English college sports that fired the Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin to revive, the ancient Greek Olympic Games. And the first modern Olympic Games were to take place in 1896 in Athens. And in these Olympics Games American athletes dominated and did very well as they still continue to dominate the Olympics Games today.

An Analysis of Imagery and Satire in ‘Bliss’ – A Short Story by Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield was one of the very few writers in English to succeed in establishing a reputation entirely on the basis of the short story form. This article explores Mansfield's short story 'Bliss', illustrating in particular how the author employs symbolic imagery as a means to satirize her characters. Mansfield is regarded as a literary…

Katherine Mansfield was one of the very few writers in English to succeed in establishing a reputation entirely on the basis of the short story form. This article explores Mansfield's short story 'Bliss', illustrating in particular how the author employs symbolic imagery as a means to satirize her characters. Mansfield is regarded as a literary modernist. In her writing she arrived at a singular prose style which utilized associated imagery within an integrated symbolic language. The 'tall, slender, pear tree in fullest, richest bloom' (p.177), is arguably the central image of 'Bliss'.

In this story Mansfield uses imagery as an effective means of satire. Observed from Bertha's perspective, the pretentious Mrs Norman Knight's coat, adorned with a frieze of monkeys, appears to enhance the woman's simian appearance. This particular image is somewhat bolstered when Mrs Norman Knight is described as 'crouched before the fire in her banana skins' (p.180). The recurrent image of the moon is also laughably alluded to with the ridiculous Eddie Warren's 'immense white silk scarf' (p.179) and matching white socks.

Bertha is satirized through the colors of her outfit evoking the earlier description of the pear tree: 'A white dress, a string of jade beads, green shoes and stockings … She had thought of this scheme hours before she stood at the drawing- room window '(p.178). Although imagery is frequently employed in aesthetic art, Mansfield is clearly using it for instructional purposes, as satire is viewed as an instrumental device. Through her complex figurative associations, she is highlighting the naivety of Bertha and the absurd mediocrity of her guests.

'Bliss' is related from an impartial perspective which invites the reader to assess the characters with little to no authorial influence. It is written in the third-person, although there are rare moments of second-person perspective, apparent in the use of the word 'you', deployed in the line: 'What can you do if you are thirty and turning the corner of your own street, you are overcome, suddenly, by a feeling of bliss' (p.174). Mansfield's choice to address the reader directly here serves to further immerse them within her narrative. 'Bliss' also launches into the story with little in the way of narrative exposition.

A major characteristic of the modernist short story is that it discounted plot in favor of epiphany. Epiphany in literature is a dramatically dramatic scene where a character (or reader) is enlightened through some sort of revelation. Mansfield knowingly employed it as the focal point in many of her stories, for example, in 'Bliss' the whole narrative framework appeared to function as a build up to Bertha realizing her husband was having an affair with Pearl Fulton:' His lips said: “I adore you,” and Miss Fulton laid her moonbeam fingers on his cheeks and smiled her sleepy smile '(p.85). This shocking revelation is consolidated by the fact that Bertha was under the illusion she shared a profound friendship with Miss Fulton, handsome in the scene where the two women are admiring the pear tree: 'How long did they stand there? Both, as it were, in that circle of unearthly light, understanding each other perfectly '(p.183).

Katherine Mansfield instrumentally employed imagery and symbolism as an effective means to satirize the naivety and pretensions of her characters in 'Bliss'.

God The Water, The Ethics Of Goodness

The other day I went to the currency exchange window at my local bank in Chiang Mai. In front of me was a young American completing a money exchange, converting US dollars to Thai currency. He was neatly dressed in a crisp, white shirt, dark slacks, and a green silk tie that shimmered beneath the…

The other day I went to the currency exchange window at my local bank in Chiang Mai. In front of me was a young American completing a money exchange, converting US dollars to Thai currency. He was neatly dressed in a crisp, white shirt, dark slacks, and a green silk tie that shimmered beneath the rosy glow of his clean-shaven, Nordic face. Similarly, in the exchange, the teller had accidently overpaid him. The customer, having done the mistake, returned the money.

I had arrived as the teller was gratefully thanking him. The young man replied, “The reason I returned it is because I'm a Christian. He smoked then disappeared into a bright, steamy afternoon.

I suspect the young acolyte's missionary fervor obscured any sense of his liability.The Thai bank teller, who might have been a Christian, was more than likely a Buddhist, since Thailand is ninety percent Buddhist. But the point remains that the young American's comment was insulting. His implication was that the Christian is honest and morally steadfast. Those practicing Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, Animism, and Confucianism are not? The Buddhist is not? The Taoist is not? The Hindu is not? The atheist is not?

Many Christians believe that if you do not accept Christ as your personal Savior you do not have a prayer of getting into heaven. Their god is The God and that is that. If you're not a Christian and want to reap the benefits of eternal salvation, you must be redeemed either by a miraculous Christian epiphany or a kind of transfiguration within the Word.

Imagine, not so long ago, an undiscovered island on which lived a group of rather happy folk. They had no written language but most everyone remembered everything said. The children were taught not to kill one another, not to lie or steal, not to covet other people's property. They were taught to obey and respect their elders and to work for the good of the community. The boys were taught to respect mothers, sisters and wives as different but equal components in the fabric of their lives. The people were taught to respect the spirit of all living and non-living things. After several millennia, they settled on a god. They called their god Water. The people were healthy and happy and their needs were met. They were surrounded by their god, and bathed in their god; they drank daily of their god; their crops flourished, and their children grew in the god of the womb.

One day a foreign ship landed upon the shores. Out of it beloved an army of Christians. Their first objective was to bring the people of the island into the bosom of Christ and to the Word of God. To the soldiers of the cross, it severely mattered that the moral framework of the people who believed in Water was no different than that espoused by Christians. This is a bit like the teacher saying to his students, “I do not care if you do have all the right answers.

A few months ago I traveled up into the hill tribe country of Northern Thailand to visit my Akha friends. The Akhas are one of numerous hill tribes living in Northern Thailand, Burma, Laos and China. Their traditional religion is Animism, a primitive belief system in which both animate and inanimate objects are imbued with an innate soul. Needless to say, rice and where it's planted is high on their list of what is important in their lives.

I can not deny that Christian missionaries have often assisted in the endless plight of hill tribe communities, but usually at some cost and diminishment of culture and spirit. The least of which is bribery. “I'll give you money and medicine and hope if you believe in my god. Who cares about yours?” The worst bears remembering. The atrocities of murder and genocide, enslavement and torture, under the name and bloody banner of the Christian Church, are too numerous to count and too horrific to fathom.

Sadly, most havoc, promulgated by religious zealotry, is initially dispensed by the few who use religion as a palliative to seduce the many into wars for the perpetuation of personal power and wealth.

When the founders of American Democracy felt it imperative to separate Church and State, they knew very well the beneficial qualities of human actions are intrinsic, irrespective of our gods. Morality is not a residual benefit of any religion. It just happens to be the only trait we possess that allows us to co-exist with one another. As a species, that's something to consider and something to nurture. Today, more than ever, we should all be careful and ever vigilant. The mantle of democracy is being un-woven and the cloak of religion is descending into something rather dark and menacing.

We do not know what Jesus said anymore than we know what Buddha said some five hundred years earlier. We only know what other people said they said, or more than likely, interpreted what they said. The Word is certainly a set of interpretations we've inherited. I'd like to think that if you could take all the religions in this world, put them in a big kettle and render them to a rare viscosity, the results would be a common goodness and a thick after taste of reasonableness.

The young man at the bank returned the money, not because he was a Christian, nor even a Buddhist, but simply because it was the right thing to do.

Galen Garwood

Postmodernist Art Movement and Its Connection to Painting

Post-modernism is a very interesting art movement. Actually it is more of a way of seeing art, texts, and actions. For example, a post-modernist artist could paint their own body, and appear on stage wandering see through vials, while a projector shows their paintings on a white wall behind the artist, or on the artist…

Post-modernism is a very interesting art movement. Actually it is more of a way of seeing art, texts, and actions. For example, a post-modernist artist could paint their own body, and appear on stage wandering see through vials, while a projector shows their paintings on a white wall behind the artist, or on the artist themselves.

Post-modernists have taken painting to a whole new level, and as a result, their art is not very durable. For example, a painting of a plate of shrimp that has real shrimp glued to it will spoil quickly.

Post-modernists see all painters as equal. They do not agree that masters such as Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo are better than the rest. To them all the artists are one group, not individuals. This view is not liked by many.

Some people may have certain post-modernist aspects in their work, but they do not have to agree with everything this movement believes in. Actually, most post-modernist artists do not even know that they belong to such a movement, they simply enjoy experimenting with various techniques and styles.

One very popular post-modernist technique is to include the artist as part of the “item” that is presented. Of course, an artist can have more than one person be part of their art work. For example, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa will be presented in a post-modernist view like this – a white wall on which the background of the famous painting is copied, and a real woman dressed as Mona Lisa standing in front of it. Another post-modern representation of the Mona Lisa would be a painting that represents the wall in the Louvre where the Mona Lisa is displayed. However, Mona Lisa is unfortunately trying to get out, well aware that she is in a painting.

Part of the PO-MO view is to make fun of art. Allan Graham is a very popular American post-modernist. One of his paintings is simply the words “you are here” on a white canvas. The words are painted in black color.

Modernism and post-modernism are similar in many ways. Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate just by looking at two paintings which movement they belong to. Only very extreme paintings can be classified within only one genre. Part of the beauty of art is that it does not need to be logical or labeled.

Some artists enjoy mixing things up and surprising their audience. Others want to discover the classics, and they strive to reach the masters' precision and calculations. Art is meant to be enjoyed, discussed, critiqued, and speculated. Unlike spelling, there is no right or wrong way to create art or to appreciate it. Art enthusiasts can hang anything they want on their walls as long as it makes them happy.

Post-modernism is a little bit of everything – Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Literature, Modernism, Acrylic Paintings, Music, Photography, and Architecture. According to POMOs everything goes good with paintings, and if something can not be put on a canvas, then it can be painted over. This makes the world of the fine arts even more exciting, unpredictable, and extreme.

Understanding Psychic Phenomena With Professor Charles Tart And Other Experts

When a miracle happens, the first reaction of skeptics is to say, “He or she is a fraud”, attacking that person. Since my experiences, I am willing to suspend disbelief, and with an open mind, set out to the US, to find out what respectable scientists have discovered so far. It seems quite a bit…

When a miracle happens, the first reaction of skeptics is to say, “He or she is a fraud”, attacking that person. Since my experiences, I am willing to suspend disbelief, and with an open mind, set out to the US, to find out what respectable scientists have discovered so far. It seems quite a bit of research has been done in the field of 'psi' phenomena, or 'miracles of the mind'. I am not a skeptical in the sense that I am unwilling to see the evidence. But skeptical in the sense that I need to see objective evidence. I am not simply a 'believer.' I like to see 'proof'.

And so I decided to fly with about 80 kilo's of equipment, camera's batteries, tripod, tapes etc, to the US where I hoped to meet top scientists with solid credentials investigating psychic (psi) phenomena.

California has always had a great tolerance for innovation and new ways of thinking.

There are plenty of scientists on my wish-list, and the one who has agreed to guide me on this journey is Professor of Psychology at UC Davis, Charles Tart.

You could consider him the 'granddad' of parapsychology. For years he has been investigating science and spirituality, and he has written many books on the subject. He lives with his wife in one of the suburbs in my old university town of Berkeley.

We met and talked and I followed him around with my camera for about a week. We did several interviews, and when he saw that my intentions were sincere, he was so kind to introduce me to a small band of courageous men (mostly men ..?), The frontier scientists with solid credentials who are doing research on psychic phenomena .

This is fortunately as most of these scientist are very tentative to meet me.

There is a lot of prejudice and a lot of skepticism against psychic or 'psi' research. Some scientists have even lost their jobs over it.

I asked professor Tart, “Can we actually investigate” spirit? Or spiritual phenomena? And what has been discovered so far? “

What I learned from this man is that you can always define spirit in a way that puts it beyond the realm of scientific investigation, but that's a matter of twisting your logic so you can not do anything. The human mind does things that kind of like what is called spiritual, and we have firm scientific evidence for that.

Charles Tart has a typical professor's office: Full of books, a PC, pictures of Buddhist Masters, written jokes, and wise sayings, like: ” Do not believe everything you think .”

THE BIG FIVE

It is here in his office that he tells me something I did not know: Namely that scientific evidence in the laboratory has been found for five psychic phenomena.

Professor Tart taught me also about psychical research or parapsychology has been around for roughly a hundred and some years. And during that time there have been a few psychic phenomena that have been explored at great length, such that there are hundreds of experiments illustrating the reality of each of those. There are also some things that simply have not been investigated that much that might or might not be real, but the ones that are real, by any reasonable criteria of science, are the ones we call The Big 5 and that is :

1. Telepathy on the one hand- mind to mind communication. One person thinks of something and the other person once in a while picks that out where it could not happen by chance.

2. Second is Clairvoyance : direct knowledge of the physical world when it's not known to anyone else at that time. Somebody knows the nature of a distant place, for instance, there's nobody they're fending it as it was, but they just pick it up accurately.

3. The third of the big 5 is Precognition , and I must say this is the one I have the most trouble with intellectually, because I can not really imagine how it would happen, but the evidence shows that it can happen.

You ask someone to predict what will happen in the future, you have a future event that is determined by chance so there is no logical way of predicting it and people get it right often enough that you know that somehow the mind can reach into the future sometimes and tell what is going to happen.

4.The fourth of the big five is Psycho Kinesis or telekinesis, which is mind over matter, someone wishes for something to happen and it happens.

5. And the fifth is Psychic healing , now this might be a form of psychokinesis maybe. Then there is really only four phenomena but five looks worthy at the moment, and psychic healing is striving for a change in some kind of biological system. People have effects on the rate of healing. These Tart calls the big five simply because there are hundreds of experiences supporting the reality of each one and their very rigorous experiments, they are done at much higher standards of control than experiences in almost all other fields of science.

I accompanied professor Tart in his hybrid Prius to Palo Alto, where he lectures at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. The school is buzzing with activity. I see a sign on a door: “Spiritual Guidance in session”, and I attended a class where Tart explained how important it is for people to talk about their experiences. He said that although he is not a psycho-therapist, he ended up essentially being a kind of therapist for a lot of people, because of the simple fact that someone in society gave prestige to Dr. Tart, Professor Tart, the psychiatrist, who then listened to the weird experiences of his pupils, which had confused and frightened them and then sort of brave it a name, as if he understood it.

Over the years Tart must have gotten thousands of phone calls, letters, and mostly emails now from people who have had unusual experiences and in a lot of cases that they are afraid, confused, they do not understand what's happened to them. He said he would look at them and tell them that a telepathic experience and that's an apparition of the dead and so forth. The very naming seemed to be very comforting to him.

I also learned from the class about Trans, which is when someone expresses breakthrough or mystical experiences or apythonies or a persons experiences being a part of something much larger than just their ordinary biological and social self. So if someone dreams as though they have contacted God or been at one with the universe or unified with nature or something like that and its a real feeling, not just an idea, that's what we mean 'my a trans personal experience.' They forget their ordinary little self and are something much bigger at least temporarily. The reason I want to research Trans personal experiences is because they are the most important thing that can happen to a person. Tart told his class that a few seconds of a trans-personal experience is reliable to do more to change the direction of a person's life than years of ordinary kinds of experiences.

I weathered a storm, and traveled to Florida to see astronaut Edgar Mitchell. He was the sixth man to walk on the moon. On his way back to mother earth, he had a spiritual transformation experience when he was coming back from the moon. Mitchell told me he was able to observe the heavens and look at the earth, the moon and the sun as they pass through the cabin window as the crew was coming home. He suddenly realized that the molecules of his body and the molecules in the space craft had been manufactured and prototyped in some ancient generation of stars and instead of an intellectual knowledge it was a visual knowledge and connection with the star systems that created us, created the matter in our bodies. It was accompanied by a very blissful feeling that he never experienced before and continued for three days after the return to earth. Because of this mysterious experience he started doing research, but could not find anything in scientific literature or religious literature and so he turned to mystical literature instead based in ancient India. What he found was Samadhi, which means an altered state of consciousness characterized by bliss, an experience where you see things as they are exist in nature. But you experience this internally and you feel one with all … A life changing sort of experience and one that he has come to realize is different our evolutionary destiny, provided we survive that long. Because once you've had that type of experience, the idea of ​​being violent and being unthoughtful of nature is simply not possible anymore.

After his trip Edgar Mitchel founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California in search of a common ground between science and spirituality.

'Noetic', means to reveal a deep and profound truth.

DEAN RADIN

After a week with Professor Tart, I drve an hour north to Petaluma to meet with Dr. Dean Radin, America's most famous parapsychologist, who for 30 years has been experimentally proving the far reaches of human consciousness.

He is senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences where they investigate science with a spiritual dimension.

Radin is one of the most famous para-psychologists in the US Like professor Tart, he is a well-published author and has been doing experiments into psychic phenomena for thirty odd years.

I showed Radin my bend spoon, but he was sort of evasive at first and told me this is useful in the sense of demonstrating to someone something that is interesting but it does not count as evidence in a scientific sense. In this case you have to ask yourself is it possible in principle to do this with force, and the answer is yes. Then the question is, can somebody dissociate so that they are not aware what they are doing? The answer he told me is yes.

Radin told me when you look at the overall results on experiments on telepathy and on clairvoyance and on unconscious and also psycho kinesis, you find that the cumulative data is quite strong in favor of existence at these effects. You also find that the effects are much weaker in what you see in the laboratory than what people typically report in their real life. Some of the experiences people have in life with so called 'crisis telepathy' and awareness and dreams, we know that in principle some of that is real sometimes. But in the basis of any given story, you never know.

PRECOGNITION

Dean is in the middle of his experiences investigating 'precognition'. Also called 'presentment', an ability to foresee or fore-sense the future.

Dean asked me to follow him to his lab. A pretty wooden, earthquake-proof structure located in the rolling hills of Northern California.

I asked Dean, can a person see information about a future place or event before it actually happens? Can we see the future?

Dean told me he asked his sophomore students to sit behind a computer screen and watch 592 randomly selected pictures. Some have either a very strong emotional content (blood, sex, a ship sinking, etc). Others are very calm or neutral pictures like a towel, or a pot of jam. And just before each picture, there was a three second interval with nothing, just a gray screen.

While the experiment was running, Dean tracked the students' eye movements before, during, and after they viewed the photographs on the screen with their varying degrees of emotional affect.

Dean also measured papillary dilation, and spontaneous blinking, under conditions that excluded sensory cues, statistical cues, and other conventional means of inferring the future.

Dean's hypothesis is that, if present were real, he would see an anticipatory bump in arousal levels before the presentation of charged pictures and a neutral response before the neutral pictures. And sure enough, he has found that the movement of the pupil is reflective both of the amount of light that's coming in, but it also reflects your emotional response to what you are looking at. Dean said what he hoped to find in this experiment is that when you see an emotional picture you may have a certain big response in your pupil. And when you see a calm picture you have a response but it's not so big, that's when you see it. The question is what happens to your eye before you see it? Now in the case before you see these (emotional-or calm) pictures you're always looking at a gray screen. For three seconds: there's nothing there. So you would not expect by any conventional reason that the eye would be changing. But the present study studies that the eye and the body, everything in the body does change during these three seconds. It is responding to apparently your future.

So the tests show that a significant number of people measure emotions during the 3-second interval, correlating exactly with the emotional or calm content of the photo, suggesting that sometimes seers do see the future. It can occur as a vision, a mental flash or a dream, according to Dean. He told me that in science we are always very cautious to say what has been proven or not. Before we say there is evidence, we first of all need to know that the effect can be replicated by independent investigators. We also need to see this effect in different physiological parameters; in the scan of the head and so on-before we suggest that the effect is probably real. The primary implication of presentation is that there is some aspect of our future experiment, which is influencing us now. So in general it means that our perception of time is not limited to what William James called the 'spacious present', this half a second of what we consider to be now is in some respects an illusion. Our actual ability to perceive in time expands through time.

Dean thought of his study like this – as it is looking through the window to the soul to see the future – that's the poetic way of thinking about this.

I asked Dean if we are looking at a future event? He said he thinks at the moment of perception you are the future and that there are actually two ways of thinking. One way is that you perceive literally through time, that you're looking at a future time; So you're getting it now but your looking at it somewhere sometime else. But to suggest that that future is absolute, that it is a destiny effect that must occur. He said he was not sure.

I also learned from Dean that there are some experiments looking at what recognition actually is. What are we looking at? Is it the effect that is going to happen regardless? Or is it a probabilistic effect? He said there are conflicting results in these experiments. Some suggest you're looking at probable events and others suggest you are looking at the actual events regardless of a temporary probability. Dean's preference is that we are looking at probable futures because it gives us more of a sense of free but the jury is still out on that too, we do not know what the right answer is.

Dean says that most of the evidence in the laboratory comes from the equivalent of college sophomores. Ordinary people who are perhaps interested in psychic experiences or not. He said we see evidence there as well. The effects tend to be weak because we choose people more at random. Sometimes a pair of people will show a really amazing result, the next day they show nothing and we do not know why this is. From a psychological perspective it is not too surprising that it is very variable because we are dealing with human performance, and human performance is always variable.