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Archive for June, 2010

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Benjamin Disraeli(1804-1881) the outsider by sheer will and his wit made to the top. On his way he had to demolish quite a few and cut many to size.
He was a dangerous adversary in a verbal duel.
Here are some samples:
on Sir. Robert Peel
‘The Rt. Hon’ble Gentleman’s smile is like the silver fittings on a coffin’.
ii.
‘The Rt.Hon’ble Gentleman is reminiscent of a poker. The only difference is that a poker gives off occasional signs of warmth’.
On Lord John Russell who represented Liberals:
If a traveler were informed that such a man was the Leader of the House of Commons, he might begin to comprehend how the Egyptians worshiped an insect.’
On William Ewart Gladstone:
He has not a single redeeming defect.’
ii
He made his conscience not his guide but his accomplice.’
iii
‘He was essentially a prig, and among prigs there is a freemasonry which never fails. All the prigs spoke of him as the coming man.’
On Daniel O’Connell:
‘…a systematic liar and a beggarly cheat; a swindler and a poltroon… He has committed every crime that does not require courage.’
There was dyspeptic philosopher who was impotent but when his bile was up he could bite with especial venom.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) on one occasion cried out against Disraeli thus:‘How long will John Bull allow this absurd monkey to dance on his chest?’
benny

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Let us talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs,’ (Richard II-Shakespeare)
An epitaph according to Irvin S. Cobb(1876-1944) is a ‘belated advertisement for a line of goods that has been permanently discontinued’. I shall cite some epitaphs here.
Here lies
Ezekiel Aikle
Aged 102
The Good
Die Young.

Then you can be sure your friend would know you better than most.(OK That is what you think.) Late Hotten had his friends.
One summed up the dear departed in three words:
Hotten
Rotten
Forgotten.

This brings me to mind of a prayer,’Lord,save me from my friends.’
Robert Burns the national poet of Scotland was lucky to see the last of great many.
Of Lord Galloway he wrote thus:
Bright ran thy line,O Galloway,
Thro’ many a far- fam’d sire;
So ran the far-fam’d Roman Way,
So ended in a mire!’
Uncharacteristically William Blake had some thing to observe on Sir Joshua Reynolds the painter.
O Reader behold the philosopher’s grave!
He was born quite a fool but he died quite a knave.
JC Squire(1884-1958) had this to comment on Einstein, and he merely dusted Alexander Pope’s celebrated lines on Newton for the occasion.

‘It did not last:the Devil, bowling Ho!
Let Einstein be! restored the status quo
.’
(ack:Second Book of Insults-Nancy McPhee/Chancellor Press-1982)
benny

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An earthworm was run over by a passing cart and its mate was heartbroken. “No more I shall turn up the earth; let the earth go to hell for all I care.” Zeus descended at that moment to ask the earthworm to take back his curse. He refused and said,” I can’t. I’m too heartbroken!”
Zeus repented to watch the worm suffer and planted a Laurel sapling to mark the spot.
Eons later a pilgrim was passing at the foot of Mt.Olympus saw a laurel tree and he bowed and said,” Oh Zeus what brings you here?”
” Oh I came to check out the tree favored of gods. Looks still impressive. Isn’t it?”
Zeus then asked what took him on pilgrimage. He replied,
” Misery of my existence. I live among the dead and near unto dead. Loving means Mourning. Why love someone to see her dead one day?”
Zeus tried to tell him to take life by the horns. “Like this tree hug the earth, good and bad, sorrow and gladness alike.” The pilgrim received a laurel branch from him and took it to his people. He said,” Here is a branch! With these laurel leaves we shall make a wreath for the victor!”
It was how the tradition of crowning the victor with laurel began.
benny

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A Cheshire Grin…

(…The grin is a shorthand of reality of the cat.)

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order”. Carl Jung
So true; I call it anomaly of matter. Laws of Nature in our cosmos allow light as a wave and as particle. In Newtonian model while studying dynamics of a ball we have the precise equation to study its velocity and position at any given time. But in quantum mechanics it is not possible. The more accurate velocity is, its position can only be guessed. Vice versa. There is an uncertainty. All these contradictions or anomalies are smoothed out while we think of cosmos as a whole.
In Alice in Wonderland there is the Cheshire cat disappearing except for its grin. The grin must explain anomaly of matter. Its body must be elsewhere thereby validating its being. It is not dead because it can grin. Merely because Alice can’t see its body doesn’t mean it is non-existent. It is Alice’s problem.
Death of a friend or a member of the family is a fact. Reality of death is our problem. Coming to grips with it is only valid for our body. Memory has no problem, neither dream has a problem. We hold the dead in memory as well as in dreams.
In our wakeful state we are conscious; and we see dreams while asleep. There is a kind of consciousness that must explain the REM phase. Language of that consciousness has different grammar. Would it be wrong then to assume universal consciousness shall have a language and rules different from what we are used to?
The dead and alive are realities in such a universal consciousness, which however is not what we can crack with our intellect. It is our problem just as Alice had with the grin of the cat.
Tail piece: how big is our consciousness? Are we connected to Universal Consciousness say of God? I think so.

Benny

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Humayun (1508-1556) the Moghul emperor was, in comparison with other emperors in Moghul galaxy too humane and emotionally high strung to be an effective monarch. His life was bedeviled by his struggle to keep his ambitious brother Kamran in place. His father’s words must have rung in his mind ‘Do not harm your brothers even though they deserve punishment.’Ultimately he had to punish him by blinding him and it seems he was more punished by it.
Kamran on his way to Mecca passed through Sind where his wife awaited him. Chauchak begum, the daughter of Shah Hussain resisted all attempts of her father to keep her back. Her father followed the pair to Arabia to plead with her. Her reply to her father is so unusual it is worth quoting in full.
’You gave me to him when he was the ruler of Kabul,Badakshan and Kandahar. Now that he is poor and friendless you want me to desert him. Fortune may have turned his back on him but I cannot. He needs me now more than he did when the armies of armored soldiers were at his beck and call. A woman’s place is by her husband whether he be in a hut or in a palace, please father, do not waste your time. In case you try to take me away by force, your Chuchak will jump into the sea or choke herself to death.’
benny

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Sheol is the place you visit if you want to keep your misanthropy sharpest. Man is such a funny animal who when given a religious persuasion instantly turns himself into a fool. I never thought I would see it again but I could not refuse the Man Upstairs.
Well it happened this way.
The Ancient of the Days called me one day and said,’Yisthak, you know your fellow men. ‘Are they living in peace, tending their own flocks?’
Yisthak replied,’See I spoke of peace and look what I have got,Lord’
Yes the Lord saw I was more like a sieve than soul.
At that point an angel came and announces that among His nation the ultra orthodox Jews who came from the Eastern empires cannot stomach the Jews who are in the Middle East.
God was amazed,’I wrote my name on their foreheads and do they not appreciate my love and forbearance?’
The angel explained that one group hates the other because they do not consider it evil to watch television or read newspaper of the gentiles.
‘How will I recognize them?’
‘One sect walk on tiptoe and keep their heads peeking at every corner as if they are out to hunt up all those who indulge in worldly pleasures.’
‘Yisthak, good that you left these dogs behind.’
‘But I had to leave behind my family as well’ murmured I.
God wanted to know about the other group. The angel was sure they surprised others by sneaking on their behinds. They are out to sniff those who ate pork and such unclean meats.
‘Oh they can decide who is holier than the other?’
Oh Lord of Unspeakable name, these people do much worse. and they do it all in your name!’
So Ancient of the Days went to the earth accompanied by me. He saw the nation that he had in His mind and who they really were entirely incompatible.
God walked the entire length and breadth of His nation. Not one could notice His presence. His shekina glory was missed out by all. The two ultra orthodox Jews were either walking on tip toe because of their own holiness or sniffing the backs of others in order to prove they were superior in the matter of diet. God said, ‘Yisthak, I am sorry that I sent you to the earth in the first pace.’
I bowed and said,’I thank you, Lord this visit made me realize that I no longer need worry about what they do. ‘
benny

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