Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘history’

Evolution is a way forward and the scaffolding for which, was set in place millennia before even emerging life forms have had a clue. As such billions of years ago mitochondria striking up partnership with singular cell organism, and this pairing would emerge stronger despite of  adverse circumstances. An example of which we had considered in an earlier post. In the case of gold fishes surviving prolonged icy conditions their ability to avail second set of proteins was not something produced by a magician like a rabbit out of hat. It is the accumulated gains of living among other life forms facing challenges daily. Thus any sudden ability for a life form is not luck but availing nature’s positivism that explains Natural Selection.

Nature always look to the best interests of maximum array of species and not any particular species. We have a sixth wave of mass extinctions coming up and several signs show man’s mismanagement is notching up strikes against him. Failing sperm count is one sign. His intelligence also is taking a hit under sporadic genetic mutations. Positivism decrees that species that cannot further nature’s plan must be controlled or laid aside.

In History also we see how evil ideologies are contained. Nature set up Hitler in order to lead him to a disaster from which he would never emerge to destroy what were positive gains for mankind as a whole. Thus his final solution needs be weighed against the founding of Israel. Anti-Semitism of Europe had first to be clarified and flushed out for which Hitler was merely a medium. For this reason Neo-nazism in Europe or the US shall never stand,

Similarly look what is happening in the Middle East. The ISIS are cleared out of their last hideout. Their defeat was determined beforehand. (I had posted a fable in comic strip format a couple of years ago.) 1.Today a US led coalition says their three year domination at Raqqa has come to an end. Their ideology is inimical to progress of mankind. They and their followers need see they have no place to hide in a decent civilized society.  Caliphate was tried once and having beggared the chance when they had, the movement of Islam shall be like a speck of dust in the vision of humanity. The past abuses and neglect scream against them as did Positivism speak against the concept of New Canaan.

What is New Canaan? The Pilgrim Fathers sailed to the New Continent looking it as a fresh beginning, a great Experiment. What made them leave Europe in the first place? Was it not for religious intolerance they experienced back home? Quakers, Non-conformists and believers of all hues who had seen America as the New Canaan underwent great many privations to sail for the new continent and establish their Zion. Instead of their ideal to usher in the Millennium rule recorded in Isaiah, we know their history was far from perfect. Their two centuries of history was a written in blood. History of modern America is deeply set into a pattern: there is no escaping from it. The fate of Native Americans and minorities make a mockery of their ideals even if they try hard. What went wrong? Ideals of the Pilgrim Fathers could not have accounted for contrary movements that were already at play. These movements are like the inflation theory in astrophysics, the burst of energy that came into play in seconds after the Big Bang. Cluster principle allows such prodigious minor events that were scattered about coalesce into potent causes. In recent times we see this principle well illustrated in the Iraq War. The USA went in to topple the Saddam regime. It merely made the age-old animosities between sects, tribes more into the open not to mention Kurds and Iran who have their own agenda. History cannot stand on ideology alone. It requires certain moral basis and good governance based on equity and justice.

As a Christian I see in Positivism the DNA of God what is to be known of his Power and Wisdom. Evangelicals in the USA think of Trump as their champion. Merely because they talk God in a manner as the one who put wealth of the land in their pockets does not mean God is their accomplice. God’s mill treads ever slowly but no injustice can escape his Eye. As the President says, ‘ there is a lull before storm’ and we shall see how far nations can imagine they can deal people unfairly at every turn and imagine God is pleased with them.

Note:1 See Memory of life: moth and dinosaurs of Aug.2014 the last line

benny

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Accidents?

The chaos caused by supernovae does not remain static since it leaves its consequences. Interstellar medium or ISM is one such consequence.

If one star dies it is possible other stars shall die too whenever they run out of fuel.

A supernovae creates shockwaves through the interstellar medium, compressing the material there, heating it up to millions of degrees. Astronomers believe that these shock waves are vital to the process of star formation, causing large clouds of gas to collapse and form new stars. No supernovae, no new stars.

Think of space as one vast cemetery as well as a cradle.

Such accidents are in-built and conducive to overall development so much so we let the term accident in our usage on account of our limits to understanding.

What is interstellar medium but debris of stars floating about? How one war creates more wars in the history of nations is similar. War in Syria triggers war in Yemen and it shall in the end undo the very fabric of sectarian divide in the Middle East. Survival mechanism of ordinary person is not for satisfying some fools prattling things they have not seen or can live up to. Just as Europe learned to put the Holy See where it belongs and get on with their lives Moslems shall certainly get on past the tribal mindset and some foolish traditions associated with their nomadic way of living. It cannot be otherwise: Moslems or Christians are of the selfsame star materials calling themselves names just as the astronomers thought up names for the stars they discovered. The stars themselves have no need for such labels.

benny

Read Full Post »

I n t r o d u c t i o n

 

What is an anecdote? It was the redoubtable Dr. Johnson who in his Dictionary (1755) defined the word as ‘something yet unpublished; a secret history.’ On the anvil of usage a word gets beaten till it comes to mean quite something else. The doctor as concession to vagaries of time, in a later edition amended the definition as follows: ‘A biographical incident; a minute passage of private life.’

 This second book of the Representational Man contains more anecdotes and the intent is same as the first.

Man as a key and symbol. Since we come with a physical and inner life should we not be represented both visible and in inner life as well? The representational men ought to serve as a key to our inner life or our lives in the spirit.

No action of man can be understood without asking what his motives were. Why did VI Lenin resort to a violent overthrow of the Tsars while MK Gandhi adopted non-violence as his weapon? This can only be understood by the role ethos shaped their thinking. Ethos is defined as the disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement. (AH dictionary)

Alexander of Macedon is a representative man for the ilks of Julius Caesar and Napoleon whose fame and fortune are all hitched to the physical world. Their actions also prove where their emphasis lay. For the Great Soul as MK Gandhi is called, ahimsa was an article of faith and for this he owed to the teachings of Gautama Buddha and to the epics. Prince Siddhartha Gautama forsook his kingdom and the worldly advantages and yet became a representational man. He turned his loss to advantage. He became the Buddha after he put his finger on the pulse of our existence to show us a way forward. For all those who value a life in the spirit he is a representational man.

Conquerors of world empires or of our hearts and minds, prophets or saints, fools or sages have all made their mark using the same arena, the earth. Only they placed their emphases differently.

Spirit of the times is the oxygen we breathe even as they and yet we see our world through their eyes.

Diogenes of Cinope could tell Alexander to keep out of his sun because he saw his circumstances under the sun applicable to the great man as well. How come they are representational men and we are not? We are connected to representational men because we breathe the same air and create the spirit of our times in the manner we contribute however small, for the common fund. And yet we often forget what spirit we are made of; neither we cash in on the wisdom which the representational man has well made use of. Representational man in a manner of speaking is our admission we fell back in the race of life.

If we are not true to our own thoughts we are reduced to deal in second hand goods passed on by others. If we have failed to think noble thoughts or act upon them we may be forced to settle for the second best which another has thought for us. It is in this context we look up to the representational man who has succeeded where we never even tried.

I shall end this by quoting two authors who more or less approached study of history from focusing on men who made history. Scholars of present day history may not fully endorse their approach but the following quotes suit my purpose well.

My intent is not to write histories but only lives. For the noblest deeds do not always show mean virtues and vices but sometimes a light occasion, a word or some sport makes man’s natural dispositions and manners appear than the famous battles won…”

(Plutarch-The Life of Alexander)

“No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of the great men”.

(Carlyle)

(This is selected from my book: Representational Man in two volumes-self published through http://www.lulu.com)

Benny


 

Read Full Post »

As discussed in the previous post each of us is a cause or effect. Law of reciprocity places each as one or other at any particular place and time. If we were to take recent events in Syria the sectarian  divide between Shi’ia and Sunni faction created a dilemma. Assad is a Shi’ite and he has been trying to put down the rebels. Assad is a cause while the ensuing bombardment has its effect in creating some 11 million refugees. Is there a simple relationship between cause and effect? Russia has joined in the fray while the Saudi Arabia and other Sunni factions are whipping up equally an opposition. In each cause and effect relationship consequences as a result of so many other events are in flux which run into an area of ‘no man’s land.’ . (The cold war which the US and USSR waged in post WWII was at first about Germany; how did it spread around Vietnam Afghanistan and Cuba? it shall connect with the Middle East and now in Syria as well. There is no more Soviet empire but Putin’s gambit is to put his own stamp over the International politics.) Thus this no-man’s land is a swamp where all the unfinished business of old and new colonial rivalries shall run into. This is one area where man’s individual certainties tend to blur.

Even if Assad’s regime can survive the conflict for how long?  This long drawn out conflict has drained the population as well as weakened the administrative machinery. Cause and Effect in short is not as simple as Indian arm-wrestling. I started with the crash of MH-17 and that of the Sinai air-crash. Is falling of the Russian aircraft as  a result of the other no one can say. Natural law of nature has a tendency to bring what is up down since gravity is part of the equation. On a moral plane we need see such disasters as the means to contain man’s freedom to get away without being responsible to others. Man breaks moral laws in his individual choices but always such actions come at a price.

Let us consider a possible scenario: Suppose a multinational company in collusion with South American power-brokers set up a company to log timber. The company can destroy the rainforest and beggar the future of so many indigenous tribes with impunity. The company generate so much profit for the company and line the deep pockets of a few corrupt politicians. Where does moral imperative step in? If a flash flood should overrun later on what would that mean? Does it not mean a kind of retribution?

benny

Read Full Post »

1. “See in what peace a Christian can die.”
~~ Joseph Addison, writer, d. June 17, 1719

2.“Waiting are they? Waiting are they? Well–let ’em wait.”
In response to an attending doctor who attempted to comfort him by saying, “General, I fear the angels are waiting for you.”
~~ Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary general, d. 1789

3.“Am I dying or is this my birthday?”
When she woke briefly during her last illness and found all her family around her bedside.
~~ Lady Nancy Astor, d. 1964

4.“Nothing, but death”.
When asked by her sister, Cassandra, if there was anything she wanted.
~~ Jane Austen, writer, d. July 18, 1817

5.“Codeine . . . bourbon.”
~~ Tallulah Bankhead, actress, d. December 12, 1968

6.“How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?”
~~ P. T. Barnum, entrepreneur, d. 1891

7.“Is everybody happy? I want everybody to be happy. I know I’m happy.
”~~ Ethel Barrymore, actress, d. June 18, 1959

8.“Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.”
~~ John Barrymore, actor, d. May 29, 1942

9.“I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.”
~~ Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, d.1170

10. “Now comes the mystery.”
~~ Henry Ward Beecher, evangelist, d. March 8, 1887

In her new book The Most Famous Man in America, author Debby Applegate writes on page 466 that Beecher’s last words in fact were, “You were saying that I could not recover.” Ms. Applegate has not been able to confirm the traditional version of Beecher’s last words.

11.“Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.”
~~ Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, d. March 26, 1827

12. “Josephine…”
~~ Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor, May 5, 1821

13.“Ah, that tastes nice. Thank you.”
~~ Johannes Brahms, composer, d. April 3, 1897

14. “Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy.”
Spoken to her husband of 9 months, Rev. Arthur Nicholls.
~~ Charlotte Bronte, writer, d. March 31, 1855

15.“Beautiful.”
In reply to her husband who had asked how she felt.
~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, writer, d. June 28, 1861

16.“Now I shall go to sleep. Goodnight.
”~~ Lord George Byron, writer, d. 1824

17. “Et tu, Brute?”
Assassinated.
~~ Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman Emperor, d. 44 BC

18. “Don’t let poor Nelly (his mistress, Nell Gwynne) starve.”
~~ Charles II, King of England and Scotland, d. 1685

19.“Ay Jesus.”
~~ Charles V, King of France, d. 1380

20. “I am dying. I haven’t drunk champagne for a long time.”
~~ Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, writer, d. July 1, 1904

21.“The earth is suffocating . . . Swear to make them cut me open, so that I won’t be buried alive.”
Dying of tuberculosis.
~~ Frederic Chopin, composer, d. October 16, 1849

22.“I’m bored with it all.”
Before slipping into a coma. He died 9 days later.
~~ Winston Churchill, statesman, d. January 24, 1965

23. “This time it will be a long one.”
~~ Georges Clemenceau, French premier, d. 1929

24. “I have tried so hard to do the right.
”~~ Grover Cleveland, US President, d. 1908

25.“That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted.”
~~ Lou Costello, comedian, d. March 3, 1959

compiler:benny

Read Full Post »

A Roman emperor* as he was being murdered by his own soldiers said: “I live” Famous deathless words. We need not know his name but we know his quote shall pass on from generations to generation. Perhaps it may be attributed so many others. It is as famous as ‘Give me death or liberty’ Both have to be experienced in order to understand their quality. Alas we know liberty for all the praises heaped on it by patriots and scoundrels alike is a tough idea to live up to. But last words are like silver spikes driven into the heart of a vampire. The curse is laid to rest and a life has closed its doors.

Here are some famous last words.

1. Jack Daniel: “One last drink, please”

Jack Daniel (1850-1911)was an American distiller and founder of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey distillery. 

Daniel died of blood poisoning in Lynchburg in 1911. Rumor has it that he contracted an infection from kicking his safe in anger when he could not get it open. However, multiple biographers have refuted this claim.

2.Karl Marx: “Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

Karl Marx (1818-1883)was a significant German political theorist, philosopher and economist. He is perhaps best known for his works “The Communist Manifesto” (1848) and Das Kapital (1867).

Marx died of complications from a catarrh that he developed in 1881. He died a stateless person.

3. Richard Harris: “It was the food.”

Richard Harris was an Irish singer, actor and film star. He is known for his roles in films like Camelot (1967) and as Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Harris died from pneumonia resulting from Hodgkin’s disease, and died in 2002 at the age of 72.

4. Walt Disney : “Kurt Russell”

Walt Disney (1901-1966) was an American business magnate, artist, cartoonist, screenwriter, philanthropist and voice actor. He won numerous accolades for his work, including 22 Academy Awards, four honorary Academy Awards and seven Emmy Awards. His name was also given to numerous theme parks around the world (Disneyland!).

Disney was also a chain smoker throughout his entire adult life. He was diagnosed with a malignant lung tumor in 1966. He died on December 15, 1966 of acute circulatory collapse.

His last words were scribbled on a piece of paper – “Kurt Russell.” The significance of this remains a mystery, even to Russell himself.

5. John Adams: “ Thomas Jefferson survives.”

John Adams (1735-1826) was the second president of the United States. He issued this statement about the destiny of the United States less than a month before he died:

My best wishes, in the joys, and festivities, and the solemn services of that day on which will be completed the fiftieth year from its birth, of the independence of the United States: a memorable epoch in the annals of the human race, destined in future history to form the brightest or the blackest page, according to the use or the abuse of those political institutions by which they shall, in time to come, be shaped by the human mind.”

Adams passed away on July 4, 1826- the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. After being told it was the Fourth of July, Adams responded, “It is a great day. It is a good day.” It is reported that his last words were “Jefferson survives,” although he did not know that Jefferson died earlier that day. 

6. This is the last of earth! I am content.
~~ John Quincy Adams, US President, d. February 21, 1848

7. Dimebag Darrell:”Van Halen!”

Dimebag Darrell (1966-2004) was an American musician and virtuoso guitarist, known for being a member of the bands Pantera and Damageplan.He was shot and killed by a gunman named Nathan Gale while on stage during a Damageplan performance.

8. Kit Carson:“I just wish I had time for one more bowl of chili.”  

Kit Carson(1809-1868) is known as a famous American frontiersman. In this video, you’ll get an in-depth look at his life and his involvement in settling America’s frontier. He may have said this instead: “Goodbye doctor, adios compadre.”

9. Louisa May Alcott: “Is it not meningitis?”

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) was an American novelist, best known for penning Little Women. She was a prolific writer and wrote until her death in 1888. Initially she and other biographers thought her death was caused by mercury poisoning, because during her Civil War service she contracted typhoid fever and was treated with a compound that contained mercury. However, more recent studies have found that she probably suffered from an autoimmune disease, leading to her death after a stroke. She passed away at the age of 55 in Boston.

10. Simon Bolivar: “Damn it! How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!”   

Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) was a famous South American political and military leader. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 47 in 1830.

11. Queen Marie Antoinette :

After she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner as she went to the guillotine the Queen said this:“Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.”

12. J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan: “I can’t sleep”

13. Humphrey Bogart: “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”

14. Dominique Bouhours, famous French grammarian: “I am about to — or I am going to — die: either expression is correct.”

15. Joan Crawford to her housekeeper who began to pray aloud, “Dammit…Don’t you dare ask God to help me”.

16. Aleister Crowley – famous occultist: “I am perplexed. Satan Get Out.”

17. Carl Panzram, serial killer, shortly before he was executed by hanging : “Hurry up, you Hoosier bastard, I could kill ten men while you’re fooling around!”

18. Saki: “Put out the bloody cigarette!”

Saki said this to a fellow officer while in a trench during World War One, for fear the smoke would give away their positions. He was then shot by a German sniper who had heard the remark.

Mary Surratt,: Please don’t let me fall.

Mary Surratt for her role in the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln was hanged. She was the first woman executed by the United States federal government.

19. Voltaire when asked by a priest to renounce Satan, “ Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.

20. Salvador Dali:“where is my clock?”  

Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter, famous for works like “The Persistence of Memory” (1931) and “Swans Reflecting Elephants” (1937).

In 1980, Dali’s health took a turn for the worse when he started to develop Parkinson-like symptoms that caused his right hand to shake uncontrollably. In addition, his wife allegedly had been dosing him with dangerous cocktails of unprescribed medication that damaged his nervous system.After his wife died he lost much of his will to live, deliberately dehydrating himself to put himself in a state of “suspended animation.” He died on January 23, 1989 of heart failure.

21.Nostradamus: “You will not find me alive at sunrise.”

Nostradamus(1503-1566) was a French apothecary and seer, whose published prophecies became famous worldwide. Born Michel de Nostradame, he worked as an apothecary despite being expelled from university in 1529.

He lived while the plague was prominent in Europe. His wife and two children were killed by the plague, and afterwards he traveled Italy with a doctor to try and treat people of the disease. By 1550 he had moved away from medicine and more towards the occult, publishing several almanacs and becoming interested in prophecy.

Nostradamus had gout, which by 1566 turned to edema. He reportedly told his secretary Jean de Chavigny the famous last words: The next morning he was found dead next to his bed and a bench.

22. General William Erskine, after he jumped from a window in Lisbon, Portugal in 1813. “Now why did I do that?”

Hey, fellas! How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? ‘French Fries’!” James French, a convicted murderer, was sentenced to the electric chair. He shouted these words to members of the press who were to witness his execution.

23. “Bugger Bognor.”

Said by: King George V whose physician had suggested that he relax at his seaside palace in Bognor Regis.

24. “It’s stopped.”

Said by: Joseph Henry Green, upon checking his own pulse.

25. LSD, 100 micrograms I.M.

Said by: Aldous Huxley (Author) to his wife. She obliged and he was injected twice before his death.

*

“I am still alive!
” Stabbed to death by his own guards – (as reported by Roman historian Tacitus)
~~ Gaius Caligula, Roman Emperor, d.41 AD

Read Full Post »

Don’t be fooled to believe news media as true account of history. History is something else. Democracy after fall of Moammar was big news. Arab Spring gave way to something else and the situation in Libya is neither here nor there. Similarly in Egypt  those who wanted a decent life free from want and repression threw Mubarak regime. What did it bring but worse situation than before that the army had to step in. This cannot be history?

History is what people make despite what big money or grandiose Ideas throw about. Arab Spring and Friends of Syria trying to get their control over the Middle East have only created more mess. History is what people make from their needs and dream.

During the Crusades were ‘Jihadists’ or assassins organized by Old Man of the Mountains ( a classmate of Omar Khayyam). But Mongol invasion was a flood that cleared all. Where are they? We people are still here.

History can be compared to a mighty river of perennial supply into which the Crusades, Moslem empires, Mongol invasion,Black death are so many names or stones dropped. No sign of them. What of those great movers or shakers king of kings who carved their name in blood? They are all names written in water.

Water drops circulate between land and the air and keep the river running. History is movement of people and has nothing to do with ideas.

We need not be unduly concerned nor be impatient to change order of things either by violence or by thoughts of glory. Do not be concerned of violence that grips parts of the world. It isn’t history in itself but motion of peoples exerting to find their level.

It is foolhardy to think one can either by good intentions or force make history stop for him. Violence will be met with violence and peace shall keep peace neither realizing what other was all about.

We people shall make our homes as best and those who are cast out of their homes shall yet find their home. History clears way for us.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »