All posts by Rasputin

Symbols and their Meaning

Things are not always as they appear

There is no symbol higher than truth

Things are not always what they appear. Examine the picture on the left. Do you see a naked couple embracing or dolphins swimming? True, it is a designed optical illusion but too often we fail to examine those things which need closer inspection.

Symbols in our society are very powerful and too often misunderstood. Examine the symbol below the picture of the ‘dolphins’. It reads, “There is no religion higher than truth”. You may or may not agree with the statement but look closely at the symbols. In the circle at the top of the drawing there is what appears to be a swastika. A symbol of perhaps mans meanest philosophy in history. But consider, the arms of the swastika go to the right, here they go to the left. Now what does it mean to you? What if I told you it can be found on many Buddhist temples?

There is also a six pointed star in the middle. Or is there? Look again, it is a black triangle entwined with a white triangle. A black triangle traditionally represents matter, the white triangle represents the spirit. In the middle is the Ankh, an ancient symbol of life. Together the three represent the Godhead. Deity is often symbolized by three. The Holy Trinity, “Three Lights” and the “Three Lives” of Ain-Suph to name a few.

Media Manipulation

You are being manipulated. Some would have you believe it is for your own good. As Edward Bernays, widely considered one of the fathers of public relations said in his 1928 book ‘Propaganda’

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

Did Booth act alone?

No. He had several coconspirators. Perhaps the most interesting was Dr. Samuel Mudd.  In the 1865 conpiracy trial Mudd claimed he didn’t know Booth. However, Dr. Mudd had stayed at Surrat’s boarding house (where the conspiracy was hatched) and it was possible, even likely he knew John Wilkes Booth. More on this later. What is known is that Dr. Mudd set Booth’s broken leg.

After shooting President Lincoln John Wilkes Booth jumped from the Balcony at Fords Theatre breaking his ankle. With adrenalin pumping through his body Booth ran out of the theatre to meet up with another coconspirator David Herold. Mr. Herold had just fled the home of Secretary of State William Seward who was also a target of assassination. Herold had led Lewis Paine to the Secretary’s home where it was planned Paine would kill Seward. Seward survived the attack however.

Leaving Paine to fend for him self Herold met up with Booth just outside of Washington. After stopping at John Lloyd’s tavern the two made their way to Dr. Mudds home around four in the morning. After setting Booths ankle Dr. Mudd allowed the killers to stay at the doctors house until late that afternoon. Booth and Herold then left, making their way south until Booth was killed and Herold captured at Richard Garrett’s farm.

Duality of Reality

Its hard to imagine the person I am when I look at who is living my life. It seems that we all share in this duality of reality, living a life void of our own true personality, hiding the true nature of our goals, as if we are afraid they are not good enough for the world around us, as if the world would not accept us for who we think we are or would like to be.

Is it possible to change our own future by simply becoming that which we want? Can acting on our visions allow us the opportunity to change the world we live in? I believe it can, I believe we can change the world we live in and at the same time allow others to create their own space and identity.

Not everyone may share your vision. There is a different reality for everyone – two people may see the same thing happen but walk away with different memories of the event, creating different experiences in the fabric of life. But how do we explain that we seem to be living lives that we don’t want, dreaming of a different life for ourselves. Finding who you really are is difficult.

Cell Phones – I hate them.

by Rasputin

I have never liked phones of any kind. It was bad enough in the ‘old days’ when the phone only rang in your living room. I hated that I had no idea who was on the other end but the incessant ringing made me feel obligated to answer. The annoyance was balanced somewhat by the ability to stay in touch with friends and family.

Then came call waiting. I hate that ‘feature’ almost as much as I do cell phones. Whenever I hear the phrase “just a minute, I’ve got someone else calling in” I hang up. I consider it rude to turn your back on someone and worse when you aren’t even face-to-face. But there is nothing as rude as a person with a cell phone.

Restaurants and movies are prime examples of places where cell phones should not be allowed. And what is so important you have to talk about it standing in line at a grocery store? If you must talk start a conversation with the person in front or behind you. At the very least they are real live people, not disembodied voices on the phone. Which brings me to what I hate the most about cell phones – they legitimize ignoring other people.

What a long strange trip

by Rasputin

The ethnic makeup of the candidates in this year’s election is beginning to look like James Watt’s ideal staff – a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. Someone should convince Joe Lieberman to run as there has already been a cripple as President – Franklin D. Roosevelt. Even though no one would admit it.

Is America ready for this level of diversity? I would like to think so. A recent survey by Harris Interactive showed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as the top two choices of all Americans surveyed. (Republican and Democrat) The top Republican candidate in this bipartisan survey was Colin Powell.

Democrats have traditionally been more accepting of diversity but Colin Powell as the leading Republican is not that surprising. Finally America is becoming less concerned with the color of your skin and more concerned with the quality of your ideas.

Presidential Election

by Rasputin

An election is a decision making process where people choose people to hold official offices. This is the usual mechanism by which modern democracy fills offices in the legislature, and sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and in regional and local government. This is also typically the case in a wide range of other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.

The universal acceptance of elections as a tool for selecting representatives in modern democracies is in sharp contrast with the practice in the democratic archetype, ancient Athens, where elections were considered an oligarchic institution and where most political offices were filled using sortition, also known as allotment.

Electoral reform describes the process of introducing fair electoral systems where they are not in place, or improving the fairness or effectiveness of existing systems. Psephology is the study of results and other statistics relating to elections (especially with a view to predicting future results).

The above is a very dry explanation of ‘election’ from the Wiki. But we’re talking about a presidential election in the good old USA! Let the mudslinging begin.