Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Aesop’ Category

The dolphin on a steady diet of micro-granules of plastic and after a loss of her sucklings due to several miscarriages said all in a fluster, “Oh I am carrying a dangerous cargo.”  She added, “My self control is gone and my bile is up !” Like a banshee she screamed,”Death to the foul fiend whose heart is a cash box and his  soul as silly as plastic!” She dived to the bottom and the ape at last made bed in a pile of plastic he had happily made ubiquitous.” Aesop at the end said, “You will call it poetic justice.” Pie the monkey said in an injured tone, “There you killed me off once again!” He was wroth.

Benny

Read Full Post »

The dolphin invited the hapless monkey to hop on to his back and he instantly parked himself. The dolphin got him talking while he headed to the bank of the great river and there were papyrus chocking the side and he said,” Clever of you to have found use for them. A ship made of papyrus. Safe for the environment” Instantly the monkey said with a quiver,” Safe but there is no money in it.” He waxed eloquent as he spoke of his business acumen and said “,’plastic’ is what make an ape really the king of the jungle.” The dolphin was shocked and asked, if he were truly serious. “We dolphin never had a decent meal since the plastic got into our diet somehow. “So you are behind choking our waterways with the damn nuisance?” The ape tried to make him see the profit side. “What profit is that kills your future?”

“I find you a plastic-sceptic” the monkey said still in a shock.

Read Full Post »

The monkey cried loud enough and long enough till a dolphin came up to enquire: “Are you in trouble?”

The monkey shed fresh tears, “My life is in danger and my fortune, lay at the bottom of the Nile. How can I not cry?”

Read Full Post »

Once a monkey went selling his wares in a boat made of papyrus. Half way the boat sprung a leak and the monkey howled for all his worth, “Help! Help!”

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Some 92 fables many of which never published earlier are included in the latest. Almost Aesop-Fables is available as paperback and for kindle, available worldwide through Amazon.com

What is it about?

“Aesop may not have written down any fables but does it change their quality? Nor would it matter his lowly station in life. As a slave he would have been bound to a place and to a few men for the sake of necessity. But man is more than time and place. The author in the present work is attempting to imitate and not take his place. Almost Aesop shall we say?

Only when one sits down to imitate Aesop one realizes how timeless he is.  The same drive that makes a man rise to the top now is self-same in his time.  Take the fable of The Lioness and the Frog. Mama Frog who boasts of its countless spawn is no different than a man who struts about millions all in stock. The lioness would find her cubs though a few sufficient to make all sit up and notice. Such is solid fame. The nameless inventor of wheels did not patent his invention but think of the march of progress without him? Solid fame is what makes your relevance count even after your lifetime. It is your calling card to posterity.

Almost Aesop carries life experience in some 80 + fables sprinkled with illustrations from the author.

Almost Aesop is a companion volume to the Life of Aesop also available through Amazon.com

Here is the cover.

Almost_Aesop__Fable_Cover_for_Kindle

Benny

 

Read Full Post »

The_Life_of_Aesop_Cover_for_KindleCreatespace ID: 7805832

The life of Aesop is available through Amazon.com

paperback and for kindle. cover design ‘Iris’.

Benny

Read Full Post »

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Catholic and Protestant theologians were at the forefront in the attempt to resolve the moral dilemmas posed by the changing economies of the Mediterranean, the Atlantic world, and the Baltic. They notably agonized over how to square Christian doctrinal and legal positions with banking ethics and the prohibition of usury. Figures as diverse as Calvin and Cardinal Cajetan did not reject the emerging banking houses and their place in society, with their increasingly sophisticated forms of credit, but they strove to define what constituted ethical commerce.

Thinkers of that era grappled as well with anxiety. It lay at the heart of the Protestant Reformation, and of Calvinism in particular, and formed the basis of Max Weber’s understanding of the “Protestant work ethic.” Weber shrewdly perceived that the radical separation of the spiritual and material in the Re- formed tradition, a “disenchantening” of the world, left humanity worried that there was no discernable path to the divine. He saw the anxiety engendered by this shattering realization as transformative.

Signs of Salvation

Weber primarily looked to seventeenth-century Puritans, but the story begins earlier. Following Martin Luther, John Calvin’s conversion experience in the 1530s arose from a deep sense of spiritual anxiety. Calvin never questioned his own election, though he chose not to write about it, and when dealing with parishioners wracked by doubt he directed them to the love of Christ. Outward actions and events – he was emphatic – could never be taken as signs of salvation. Pastorally, however, this proved deeply troubling to the Reformed faith, and Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza, made greater accommodation by allowing human deeds to be at least partial indicators of God’s love.

The question of certainty and its attendant pastoral issues remained in tension within the Reformed churches as they emerged in the Netherlands, England, and New England. The matter was not abstract, but hotly contested in terms of how the Bible was to be read, of relations of the church to temporal authority, and of the Christian in the secular world. The Reformation principle of sola scriptura had thrown open the question of how the Bible should be interpreted. Calvin and the Reformed leaders sought to ground interpretation once more within the church, but in so doing they faced fierce criticism that they were doing little more than restoring Roman authority. The Reformation made Christianity’s sacred text a battleground over contesting claims to authority – another source of the new anxiety.

With regard to the state, the issues were no less momentous. Although Calvin did not anticipate the separation of church and state, there can be little doubt that in Geneva during his lifetime significant developments began the process of secularization. Drawing on the Augustinian model of the separation of the two kingdoms, Calvin passionately believed that the church should be free in questions of doctrine and discipline. He fiercely resisted what he regarded as the unwarranted intrusion of the magistrates in the central affairs of the church.

In Geneva, however, he lost this battle. The Swiss model of churches ruled over by secular authorities prevailed, and Calvin was bitterly disappointed. Nevertheless, what emerged from his thinking is highly significant for modernity. Calvin increasingly conceived of a state where the rulers were limited in order to ensure protection of religion. They were expected to preserve the circumstances in which true religion could be practised. This was the resolution of the devastating Thirty Years’ War in 1648 when the Peace of Westphalia essentially removed religion from the political equation.

Building on medieval models, Protestantism of the sixteenth century named and sanctified work and commerce as part of the godly life. Calvin viewed economics as a way of linking the life of the community with the divine will. In many respects his perspective was entirely practical: as the leading author in Geneva he was responsible for the growth of its printing industry. He involved himself in the commercial life of the city, while his brother Antoine controlled his financial affairs. Calvin understood that loans and lending were an essential part of the market and of Geneva’s place as a trading center at the heart of Europe. He approved of the charging of interest and rejected older notions of usury on the condition that it not be abused. The poor, for instance, should not be forced to pay interest.

Theology of Work

Calvin argued for moderation in business ethics. Lending and profit-making should be permitted only insofar as they were useful, never simply to build personal wealth. All of this fell within his understanding of work and labor as vocations. In performing useful work a person served both God and humanity, and the rewards should be commensurate. His arguments were not new or radical in themselves, but they formed part of his larger theology that sought to understand the relationship of the human and divine. Work and service were for the honor of God, but once more the door was opened to a new, more secular view, that work might exist for its own sake.

This gathering tension in the relationship between the fruits of labor and vocation became explicit after Calvin’s death, during the golden age of the Dutch Republic. In his magisterial account, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (Vintage, 1997), Simon Schama has related how the prosperous Calvinists of the Republic were deeply unsettled about their material success, seeing it less as a sign of election than as a form of reprobation. The enormous wealth generated by the Republic’s trading empire financed the nation’s protection against enemies. At the same time, however, it brought material temptations that could destroy the godly society from within. The result was an unresolved anxiety that, in Schama’s interpretation, deeply troubled any sense that capitalism and Protestantism were easy companions.

In performing useful work a person served both God and humanity, and the rewards should be commensurate. His arguments were not new or radical in themselves, but they formed part of his larger theology that sought to understand the relationship of the human and divine.

Revisiting Weber

This returns us to Max Weber’s famous account Protestantism and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904/5), in which he interpreted the Calvinism of the seventeenth-century as an important source of modern economic practice. The broad outlines of the argument are familiar, though more often than not crudely caricatured. Weber was a subtle and perceptive student of history, theology, and economics. He never argued for a simple causal relationship between Protestantism and capitalism. Rather he identified the ways in which Calvinism contained a “spirit” or “ethic” that made possible the rise of capitalism and granted it legitimacy.

In brief, he wrote that the God of Calvinism is remote and inscrutable, leaving humans uncertain of their salvation. He focused his analysis on the doctrine of predestination and its effects. It is salvation anxiety that drives the desire to pursue with rigor a secular calling in the world. The pastoral literature of English Puritans revealed to him the depth of this uncertainty. The unknowable nature of God pushed Calvinists to seek signs of election in the world,

(Selected from: Calvinism and Capitalism: Together Again? byBruce Gordon/Yale Divinity School)

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »