Saturday, January 30, 2016

Midnight Movies

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

Well, well, it's like 1 am and I'm not really sleepy, and have had in mind several posts, and, and maybe I can lace them together!...

To A Mouse Robert Burns

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
          On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
          I guess an’ fear!
When I was a kid, I was forever explaining movies we'd seen to my friends...thinking here of the sci fi movie Forbidden Planet...'monsters from the id' was a tangle...still is!...but being kids, my explanations were little heard amidst the growling and snarling as we acted things out waiting for the bus to school!...nonetheless, I may have missed my calling, being a movie reviewer!...I'd do it now, but it would cost way too much to see current movies and do reviews...thinking on that, I've thought, 'I could do that reviewing old movies posted up to youtube!'...a pleasant thought, and timeTotime, I'll do that here...'midnight movies'...two to follow below...but first!, that time sequence in Burn's poem needs explaining!...or mention, as it has been in my thoughts about Plutarch...past, present, and future, are in that stanza, not unlike in the Plutarch quote of a few posts back...
Letter E at Delphi
Therefore he who knows how to link causes together into one, and combine them into a natural process, can also declare beforehand things15

Which are, which shall be, and which were of old.

This 'before, now, to be' sequence shows up elsewhere in Plutarch...

Isis and Osiris Plutarch

In Saïs the statue of Athena, whom they believe to be Isis, bore the inscription: "I am all that has been, and is, and shall be, and my robe no mortal has yet uncovered."*/A.html

In Burn's poem, To A Mouse, past, present, future, are in the care, understanding, of the narrator, Burns, a human being...Mouse lives in the moment...maybe a bit of a "To Be" Sufi!...studying that poem, I realized it is the Scottish rebellion against English occupation in a nutshell!...Burns was a pamphleteer with poems, and would have fit right in with our Founding Fathers...and my thought goes like this: everyday people live in the moment, and experience hardships and such, not knowing from whence they come, but those who govern, or who would engage in the discussion of governance, must take up past, present's like children and reffing training has it that I should watch varsity games to pick up ref lore, and tonight I went and saw my old high school play against its crosstown old school won by two points, defending in the last few seconds until the buzzer went off...and in celebration, all these purple pixie dust things went off, and covered everyone cheering with purple dust!...don't know but I was holding back Burn's tears at my eyes!...for a moment, I was in an old moment!...

anyway, anyway, the midnight movie the other night was the Q Planes movie...these 1930's movies are just a little bit removed from real life stage plays, sooner than one actor finishes speaking, then the next starts lag at all...which makes for everything being very quick...this may well be a style that Hollywood has lost!...and the girl reporter wears dresses that are a marvel of design...hairdos too!...some more lost styles!...and the airplanes!...maybe there are private propeller planes like these nowadays...don't was made in 1938...and it has a lot of foreboding about coming WW2...and maybe further on! has a futuristic electro magnetic pulse ray weapon that fuses the test planes' radios, and disables the engines...a must see!...

and, and the other midnight movie was The Beastmaster movie...the first one!...there's a lot in this, insomuch at it gathers up a lot of classical lore of gods and goddesses and such to make a tale...both the Greeks and the Israelites acknowledged that in the early days human/child sacrifice was practiced...the story of Abraham and Isaac is about this...and while Beastmaster is a popcorn sword and sorcery fantasy, it has serious themes...and gorgeous actors...and a marvelous notion about animal and human interactions...and an oddly prescient technology...a ring with an eye that connects to a cauldron where the villains can see what the ring sees...soon enough cameras will be miniaturized to this size, and data memory on the web will be fast enough and big enough, that we can all wear such rings!...even critters outfitted, which would make the seeing though their eyes too possible!

movies are on youtube...I'd link, but these things come and go because of copyrighting and such...just go to youtube, and search:

Q Planes   The Beastmaster




Tuesday, January 26, 2016

To a Mouse by Robert Burns

It was Robert Burns birthday yesterday...

To a Mouse

By Robert Burns 1759–1796 Robert Burns
On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785
Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
          Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
          Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
          Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
          An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
          ’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
          An’ never miss ’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
          O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
          Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
          Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
          Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
          But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
          An’ cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
          For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
          On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
          I guess an’ fear!
Robert Burns

update 1/28/16: oh! has a poetry translation feature, here's link to 'translation of To A Mouse'....
maybe now I can read the Canterbury Tales and such!


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Alfred Russel Wallace and Plutarch

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

quote, from me

...the ancient bards looked to have written, spoke most likely, long riddling poems filled with puzzles and allusion that challenged one another, and too for instruction of young bards...

Somewhere nearby in the posts nearby that one, I'd tried to imagine why the parables of Jesus are so puzzling, or for that matter, just about everything about Jesus!...and came to the thought that we all just like puzzles...oh, wait, with that recollection, I may be able to find what I wrote in the blog search feature!...brb...:)

quote from me

The Bible stories, the parables, and such, are puzzling, and cryptic, because that's how we best studying puzzles...that, and we just like puzzles!

Found it...and imagine my delight when reading Plutarch, I find this:

puzzle Plutarch Letter E

'Now since,' he continued, 'Philosophy embraces inquiry, wonder, and doubt, it seems natural that most of the things relating to the God should have been hidden away in riddles

Now, I left off the previous post with wondering why my searches for 'Plutarch Darwin' didn't bring up any expected discussions of Darwin getting ideas from Plutarch...I can be stubborn!...and did another kind of search, 'Plutarch Erasmus Darwin'...Erasmus was Darwin's father, and too interested in evolution and such, but no, no discussions of Erasmus getting ideas from Plutarch so!...even more stubborn, I thought to search for 'Alfred Russel Wallace Plutarch'...Wallace was like Darwin's twin, he had researched out to the same conclusions in different parts of the world that Darwin had reached at the Galapagos...they had discovered independently of one another the self same things about evolution...

Alfred Russel Wallace Plutarch

2. Spiritualism allows us to believe that the oracles of antiquity were not all impostures; that a whole people, perhaps the most intellectually acute who ever existed, were not all dupes. In discussing the question, "Why the Prophetess Pythia giveth no Answers now from the Oracle in Verse," Plutarch tells us that when kings and states consulted the oracle on weighty matters that might do harm if made public, the replies were couched in enigmatical language; but when private persons asked about their own affairs they got direct answers in the plainest terms, so that some people even complained of their simplicity and directness, as being unworthy of a divine origin. And he adds this positive testimony: "Her answers, though submitted to the severest scrutiny, have [[p. 798]] never proved false or incorrect. On the contrary, the verification of them has filled the temple with gifts from all parts of Greece and foreign countries." And again, "The answer of the Pythoness proceeds to the very truth, without any diversion, circuit, fraud, or ambiguity. It has never yet, in a single instance, been convicted of falsehood." Would such statements be made by such a writer, if these oracles were all the mere guesses of impostors? The fact that they declined and ultimately failed, is wholly in their favour; for why should imposture cease as the world became less enlightened and more superstitious? Neither does the fact that the priests could sometimes be bribed to give out false oracles prove anything, against such statements as that of Plutarch and the belief during many generations, supported by ever-recurring experiences, of the greatest men of antiquity. That belief could only have been formed by demonstrative facts; and modern Spiritualism enables us to understand the nature of those facts.

Needless to say, Darwin, and his followers, gave, and give, Wallace and his spiritual enquiries a wide berth!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Plutarch and Darwin

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

hmmph...reading for the previous post, The Obsolescence of Oracles, and from it!, I find Plutarchian curios after curios!...I'd like to hop from one to another in a single post, but best I'd say, to take one at a time, though that kind of lessens the magic of seeing them side by side...for the most part I'm sticking to what I learn are called the Pythian Dialogs...and there looks to be three of them, and they are conversations between Plutarch and his friends...and here is a curio bit from the one about the:

Letter E at Delphi

Also, the God is a prophet, and prophetic art deals with that future which is to come out of things present or things past. Nothing comes into being without a cause, nothing is known beforehand without a reason. Things which come into being follow things which have been, things which are to be follow things which now are coming into being, all bound in one continuous chain of evolution. Therefore he who knows how to link causes together into one, and combine them into a natural process, can also declare beforehand things15

Which are, which shall be, and which were of old.


Browne's Miscellany Tract On Oracles

On reading that, I thought, 'that's Darwin...and Newton...and both must have read Plutarch...did they borrow that to make their theories!?'...and so I did searches: Darwin Plutarch, and Newton Plutarch...the Newton Plutarch search brings up things, things Newton borrowed from Plutarch, but the Darwin Plutarch search didn't...which is surprising...maybe the scholars just haven't noted a connection in their studies, and related it to the web...I took a snip from the quote too, and added Darwin, but that didn't, and it should have, bring up a good Darwin Plutarch together reference, but it did bring up this marvel!

all bound in one continuous chain of evolution Darwin

‘A corollary of the highest importance may be deducted from the foregoing remarks, namely, that the structure of every organic being is related to the most essential yet often hidden manner, to that of all other organic beings.’ Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859

Comparative Genomics
 The author of that page, which is one of a very long on line 'copy paste poem' about evolution and genetic, lists a whole bunch of quotes from many authors, Darwin much included, that go on in some fashion about genetics and evolution...'copy paste poems' are a kind of modern poetry form...don't know but Tree in the Door, and Tree in Door Fauna and Flora, are 'copy paste poems'...there's a name for this form...I found it when I was reading some about Ezra Pound, who wrote his Cantos using it...forget what it is...I tend to block out Pound! ('Collage and Poetry')...I think a lot of modern poets use it...and it's likely borrowed from modern painters who began putting things in their paintings they didn't do making a collage with newspapers and magazine pictures...I've gone over this before when I went on about Jules Verne, something like: one copy/pastes a quote from an authority, and it lends authority to what one has written!...don't know but that started with Plutarch too!...

anyway, the author, Gillian K. Ferguson, in her own words:


Some of the work was written in the wildest, most unspoiled reaches of the Scottish West Highlands, during the most intense contact with nature; other work done at the core of the city centre. In the most exulted of spirits; and most excruciatingly low. Some sources came to me via other people ‘backwards’ – i.e. after I had already written about certain subjects, and were added in gratefully; or even gleefully at such excellent, qualified, ‘expert’ support for my own modest thoughts… The poetry also spins out where it will – sometimes moving from poetic sequences tightly meshed with scientific facts or extracts, all the way out to memory switches simply tripped by the subject.

from the Introduction

I thought to send her Plutarch's quote, it belongs with the others!

next: Plutarch's take on Puzzles



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Obsolescence of Oracles

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

The Obsolescence of Oracles

"These matters," I added, "I urge upon you for your frequent consideration, as well as my own, in the belief that they contain much to which objections might be made, and many suggestions looking to a contrary conclusion, all of which the present occasion does not allow us to follow out. So let them be postponed until another time, and likewise the question which Philip raises about the Sun and Apollo."

De Defectu Oraculorum
(Περὶ τῶν Ἐκλελοιπότων Χρηστηρίων)

as published in Vol. V
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1936*.html

This bit of Plutarch's writing has many curios!...and I've been puzzling over them for weeks now...I happened on it as it is the context of 'the god Pan is dead' quote (see Pan post)...

Plutarch reaches for an explanation of things, not just oracles and what happened to them, in this fashion...our eyes need light, and light needs our eyes...and light being from the sun, and Apollo is associated with the sun, and they combine together...I think I have it right, that without the Sun, there's no Apollo, and without Apollo, there's no Sun...

Apollo Sun

Hence many among earlier generations regarded Apollo and the Sun as one and the same god; but those who understood and respected fair and wise analogy conjectured that as body is to soul, vision to intellect, and light to truth, so is the power of the sun to the nature of Apollo; and they would make it appear that the sun is his offspring and progeny, being for ever born of him that is for ever. For the sun kindles and promotes and helps to keep in activity the power of vision in our perceptive sense, just as the god does for the power of prophecy in the soul.

same site

Oh, one has to read the whole thing, and what Plutarch suggests in his lament that Oracles are fading...he was a priest at that the Oracle sites were like lyres, they could be moved to prophecy when played by a wind, but without the wind, they would be silent...much as one doesn't see when there is no light around...


Let this statement be ventured by us, following the lead of many others before us, that coincidently with the total defection of the guardian spirits assigned to the oracles and prophetic shrines, occurs the defection of the oracles themselves; and when the spirits flee or go to another place, the oracles themselves lose their power, but when the spirits return many years later, the oracles, like musical instruments, become articulate, since those who can put them to use are present and in charge of them."

same site

end quote

Plutarch didn't like the Epicureans, the Atheist of the time, though he admired their study and reporting of the Natural world...the Epicureans discounted the possibility of gods and goddesses...'no proof!' as it were...Plutarch tries to fit it all together, gods and goddesses with observed Nature...or maybe that's just me!...

Plutarch is going on about what is Mortal, Natural, Matter, and what is Immortal, Divine, my reading, and it's in a quote in a few posts back, I happened on the notion that Jesus was 100 % Mortal, or Human, and 100% Immortal, God Himself...

Robert Graves in the White Goddess laments the passing of goddesses and gods, and the book, when it came out, 1948, it kind of struck a nerve, and became popular, but his whole notion wasn't anything new, the ancients themselves, Plutarch in this writing, were taking note of the passing of gods and's a sentimentality for lost times, which I suppose every 'modern' era has...when Plutarch wrote, the Pyramids were already like two thousand years old...he had his 'ancients' too!

more curios to come from Plutarch!


Saturday, January 9, 2016


A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

It's a curious studying out Pan (whom I forgot to mention, was from Arcadia in ancient Greece), I happened upon mention of Khidir as being self similar to Melchizedek...

Khidir Melchizedek

But who is the Green Man?
One very popular Qur’anic hero is al-Khidr, “The Green One,” who appears in Sura 18, al-Kahf, verses 60-82. Seeking Wisdom, Moses travels to meet “One of [God’s] servants”, whom commentators universally identify as al-Khidr (18.65). Moses, in unexpectedly meek mode, begs to follow the Servant as a disciple, despite al-Khidr’s constant warnings that Moses could not stand the pace. He seemingly commits acts of violence and vandalism, to Moses’s horror, until he eventually explains the higher purpose underlying his deeds. His apparent crimes were an illusion that even foxed the great Moses.

... ... ...

The most important thing we know about al-Khidr is who he is not. He cannot be a Biblical figure who is named elsewhere in the Qur’an, or he would have been identified accordingly. That immediately rules out Moses (obviously), Enoch, Elijah, Jesus, and many other obvious names. Subject to that limitation, he must be a figure known in Jewish and Christian memory as a mysterious being of extreme supernatural power, one of mysterious origins, without known circumstances of birth or death.
Unless I am missing something obvious, that really leaves only one candidate, and that is Melchizedek, King of Salem.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Banias Spring

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

Well, well,...hmmph...I've been mulling over the 'great god pan' to make a post for the last few's not easy!...I hadn't ever given Pan much thought...just smiles and laughs when I see him surrounded by nymphs and satyrs in cartoons!...don't know but the celebrants tonight, New Years, will be behaving panlike!...Happy New Year!'s take has it that the medieval Christians morphed Pan into the Devil, borrowing the goat legs and horns and such...don't know but that iconographic image has always been a bit cartoonish to me too!...I should take such serious, I guess, as there were those over history that have, and still do, and to some extent such have made the 'history' I live in...

Plutarch great god Pan dead

According to the Greek historian Plutarch (in De defectu oraculorum, "The Obsolescence of Oracles"),[29] Pan is the only Greek god (other than Asclepius) who actually dies. During the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 14–37), the news of Pan's death came to one Thamus, a sailor on his way to Italy by way of the island of Paxi. A divine voice hailed him across the salt water, "Thamus, are you there? When you reach Palodes,[30] take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead." Which Thamus did, and the news was greeted from shore with groans and laments.

Pan (god)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The story has long been seen as a symbolic representation of the death of the Classical world and its replacement by Christianity -- a process which actually occurred, with much strife and agony, over the next few centuries.
Clash of Civilizations: The Great God Pan is Dead

Caesarea Philippi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caesarea Philippi Jesus
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Gates of Hell Pan
The pagans of Jesus' day commonly believed that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. They saw water as a symbol of the underworld and thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves. To the pagan mind, then, the cave and spring water at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld. They believed that their city was literally at the gates of the underworld—the gates of hell.

My Jewish friend informed me that there were parts of the Bible that only a student over forty years old could, or should, read......but it's a lovely place, the springs where the old temple of Pan is remembered still...

temple Pan....


The Banias Spring emerges at the foot of Mount Hermon and flows powerfully through a canyon for 3.5 km, eventually leading to the Banias Waterfall, the most impressive cascade in Israel. Nine kilometers from its source, the Hermon Stream meets the Dan, and together they form the Jordan River.
Israel Nature and Parks Authority

and while much is made of Jesus opposing the worship of Pan, though I don't quite see that, there are those whose suggest the opposite, and a self similarity, seeing in Pan a shepherd like Jesus...

Jesus Pan Shepherd

But the similarities are there. For example, they were both shepherds, after a fashion. Also, neither of them were entirely divine: Jesus was supposed to be one hundred percent divine and one hundred percent human simultaneously, and Pan was likewise a god and "also an earthly being, by virtue of his mother Dryope, his occupation, and his association with man. This fusion of the human and divine in one creature has led many later Christian poets most notably Milton to describe Pan as a pagan prefiguration of Jesus Christ" (Baker 11). The crucial point here, however, is that such comparisons were made by poets and mostly poets who lived after the Reformation not by priests or bishops of the Church and certainly not by any of the popes.

The Demonization of Pan.
Kevin Hearne (c) 1998 I said, a difficult post!...and in the reading was this at wiki's Jordan River take...

Jordan River

The use of Jordan River's water was cited as a cause of the war by Ariel Sharon, who said,
People generally regard June 5, 1967, as the day the Six Day War began. That is the official date, but in reality it started two and a half years earlier on the day Israel decided to act against the diversion of the Jordan River.[8]

Oh, the old Roman name for the Greek god Pan was Faunus, where our word 'fauna' comes from...