SARTOR RESARTUS – The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh By Thomas Carlyle

Shakespeare says, we are creatures that look before and after: the more surprising that we do not look round a little, and see what is passing under our very eyes.

But great men are too often unknown, or what is worse, misknown.

Society, long pining, diabetic, consumptive, can be regarded as defunct; for those spasmodic, galvanic sprawlings are not life; neither indeed will they endure, galvanize as you may, beyond two days.”

Call ye that a Society,” cries he again, “where there is no longer any Social Idea extant; not so much as the Idea of a common Home, but only of a common over-crowded Lodging-house? Where each, isolated, regardless of his neighbor, turned against his neighbor, clutches what he can get, and cries ‘Mine!’ and calls it Peace, because, in the cut-purse and cut-throat Scramble, no steel knives, but only a far cunninger sort, can be employed? Where Friendship, Communion, has become an incredible tradition; and your holiest Sacramental Supper is a smoking Tavern Dinner, with Cook for Evangelist? Where your Priest has no tongue but for plate-licking: and your high Guides and Governors cannot guide; but on all hands hear it passionately proclaimed: Laissez faire; Leave us alone of your guidance, such light is darker than darkness; eat you your wages, and sleep!

Thus, too,” continues he, “does an observant eye discern everywhere that saddest spectacle: The Poor perishing, like neglected, foundered Draught-Cattle, of Hunger and Overwork; the Rich, still more wretchedly, of Idleness, Satiety, and Overgrowth. The Highest in rank, at length, without honor from the Lowest; scarcely, with a little mouth-honor, as from tavern-waiters who expect to put it in the bill. Once-sacred Symbols fluttering as empty Pageants, whereof men grudge even the expense

A World becoming dismantled: in one word, the STATE fallen speechless, from obesity and apoplexy; the STATE shrunken into a Police-Office, straitened to get its pay!”

Old-Clothes Market to worship. With awe-struck heart I walk through that Monmouth Street, with its empty Suits, as through a Sanhedrim of stainless Ghosts. Silent are they, but expressive in their silence: the past witnesses and instruments of Woe and Joy, of Passions, Virtues, Crimes, and all the fathomless tumult of Good and Evil in ‘the Prison men call Life.’

David Foster Wallace – This is Water

The world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and worship of self.

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat-race” – the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost something infinite.

The Story of the Stick by Antony Real

For him, the stick is at once the distinguishing prerogative and the primeval curse of man.

Since thou has not known how to rule over the good, reign over the bad; since thou has not known how to make thyself loved, make thyself feared.

If you love sceptres, Oh kings of the earth, said Solomom, “love wisdom and you will reign eternally.”

Blessing of the cross

Bless, Lord, this sign of this holy cross, the emblem of the journey, the sign by witch thou has snatched he world from he power of the demons, and by which thou didst overcome the suggestions of the devil, who delighted in thesis obedience of the first man in eating he forbidden fruit.

Sanctify, Lord, this sign, of thy passions that it may be a tower of strengthen thy enemies as a pledge of help for those who believe in thee.

Blessing of the Stick

Receive, also, this staff of thy journey, in the name of thy Lord Jesus Christ, who sent to his servant Tobias an angel to walk before him to serve as his guide.May it accompany thee like the angel, and guide thee whither thou wouldst go.

Ancient Greekpg 186/149
And why this stick in the hands of philosophers? It was because, as they so freely spoke to the great, they always held themselves ready to exile.
Philosophers: They are accused and condemned by those who hate truth and virtue

Human wisdom is a double and dangerous sword and even in the hands of Socrates, its most intimate and familiar friend, how many ends the stick has! Montagne

Insult to human race also proves love to independence and scorn to riches – Diogenes

It is hard to make people admit that the maxims of the laical philosophers of Greece and Rome are the foundation of the evangelical doutrines.

I have conquered fewer people with my sceptre than Aristotle with his stick. -Alexander the great

It takes ages to outgrow prejudice, no matter how foolish they are.

168/206

Dueling
The foolish custom will not be suppressed because, slaves of prejudice that we are, we would consider ourselves dishonored if not giving the man who has insulted us the privilege of killing us.

to know how to command respect without inspiring fear.

Chinese axiom: when laws are made rigor is necessary; when they are executed, mercy is no less so.

Turks characteristics:
The love of money and the love of stick have destroyed his ideas of human dignity, and he has no more regard for honor than for the life of a criminal.

Man is a creature of habit – and voluntary servitude, with him, as with animals, is the greatest proof we can have of the force of habit. Animals accustomed with yoke bend to it willingly, and nations accustomed to slavery do not even try to know the advantages of liberty.

It is in women convents that voluntary flagellation is most generally practiced. God must be more outraged than honored.

Another theatrical stick which has never flogged any one, and yet has always known how to command obedience and respect is that of the leader of the orchestra. It is the stick, or rather the sceptre that this absolute monarch is compelled to wield when he wants perfect harmony in this dominions.

We should never despair since God chastise those whom he wishes to bring back to him pg 241/288

Stick
Sceptre
Batôn
Lance
Dart
Flint
Spear
Pike
Wand
Whip
Crosier
Crutch
Bastinado Reed – the scepter of Christ-king

Gregory E. Jordan, The Invention of Man

It is precisely when our humanity is not a ‘mystery’ that we can make informed, appropriate judgments about ourselves and how to act with regard to ourselves. Far from being ‘a basilisk which kills what it sees and only sees by killing,’ as C. S. Lewis described science, scientific understanding of the human mind and the universe at large enables human beings to better discern their own values and the context in which those values have meaning, and applied science and technology provide humans the opportunity to realize those values. It’s self-knowledge, made possible by sciences of the mind, that may someday enable human beings to analyze their desire for power over one another.
[…]
To make a leap – not into a Void, but rather into ourselves and into the fullness of the world unveiled by our investigations.

-Gregory E. Jordan, The Invention of Man: A Response to C. S. Lewis: The Abolition of Man, Journal of Evolution and Technology – vol. 19 issue 1 – September 2008 – pgs 35-41

Suffering of being and Serenity

“It is the suffering of being that makes us seek out the other, as a palliative; we must go beyond this stage to reach the state where the simple fact of being constitutes in itself a permanent occasion of joy, where intermediation is nothing more than a game, freely undertaken, and not constitutive of being. We must, in a word, reach the freedom of indifference, the condition for the possibility of perfect serenity.”

William Edward Hartpole Lecky History of European Morals From Augustus to Charlemagne – 1890 – Vol. 1.

This legend, which is far more akin to the spirit of paganism than to that of Christianity, and is in fact only another form of the myth of Tithonus, represents with great fidelity the aspect in which death was regarded by the exponents of Stoicism.

There was much difference of opinion and of certitude in the judgments of the ancient philosophers concerning the future destinies of the soul, but they were unanimous in regarding death simply as a natural rest, and in attributing the terrors that were connected with it to a diseased imagination. Death, they said, is the only not, when death has come we are not. It is a false belief that it only follows, it also precedes, life. It is to be as we were before we were born. The candle which has been extinguished is in the same condition as before it was lit, and the dead man as the man unborn. Death is the end of all sorrow. It either secures happiness or ends suffering. It frees the slave from his cruel master, opens the prison door, calms the qualms of pain, closes the struggles of poverty. It is the last and best boon of nature, for it frees man from all his cares. It is at worst but the close of a banquet we have enjoyed. Whether it be desired or whether it be shunned, it is no curse and no evil, but simply the resolution of our being into its primitive elements, the law of our nature to which it is our duty cheerfully to conform.


Death, according to Socrates,either extinguishes life or emancipates it from the thraldom of the body. Even in the first case it is a blessing, in the last it is the greatest of boons. “Accustom yourself,” said Epicurus, “to the thought that death isindifferent; for all good and all evil consist in feeling, and what is death but the privation of feeling?” “Souls either remain after death,” said Cicero, “or they perish in death. If they remain they are happy; if they perish they are not wretched.” Seneca, consoling Polybius concerning the death of his brother, exhorts his friend to think, “if the dead have any sensations, then my brother, let loose as it were from a lifelong prison, and at last enjoying his liberty, looks down from a loftier height on the wonders of nature and on all the deeds of men, and sees more clearly those divine things which he had so long sought in vain to understand. But why should I be afflicted for one who is either happy or is nothing? To lament the fate of one who is happy is envy; to lament the fate of a nonentity is madness.”

But while the Greek and Roman philosophers were on this point unanimous, there was a strong opposing current in the popular mind. The Greek word for superstition signifies literally, fear of gods or dæmons, and the philosophers sometimes represent the vulgar as shuddering at the thought of death, through dread of certain endless sufferings to which it would lead them. The Greek mythology contains many fables on the subject. The early Greek vases occasionally represent scenes of infernal torments, not unlike those of the mediæval frescoes. The rapture with which Epicureanism was received, as liberating the human mind from the thraldom of superstitious terrors, shows shame and even with positive complacency, or that the reverence with which men regard heroic deaths is a foretaste of the sentence of the Creator. To this confidence may be traced the tranquil courage, the complete absence of all remorse, so conspicuous in the closing hours of Socrates, and of many other of the sages of antiquity.

ROGER SCRUTON- Beauty

The deaths that occur in real tragedies are bearable to us because we see them under the aspect of sacrifice. The tragic hero is both self-sacrificed and a sacrificial victim; and the awe that we feel at his death is in some way redemptive, a proof that his life was worthwhile. Love and affection between people is real only to the extent that it prepares the way for sacrifice—whether the petits soins that bind Marcel to Saint Loup, or the proof offered by Alcestis, who dies for her husband. Sacrifice is the core of virtue, the origin of meaning and the true theme of high art.

Exploring beauty we are investigating the sentiments of people, rather than the deep structure of the world.

Beauty = virtue = sacrifice

Art and morality

Works of art are forbidden to moralize, only because moral- izing destroys their true moral value, which lies in the ability to open our eyes to others, and to discipline our sympathies towards life as it is. Art is not morally neutral, but has its own way of making and justifying moral claims. By eliciting sympathy where the world withholds it an artist may, like Tolstoy in Anna Karenina, oppose the bonds of a too constrict- ive moral order. By romanticizing characters who deserve no such treatment an artist can also, like Berg (and Wedekind) in Lulu, endow narcissism and selfishness with a deceptive appeal. Many of the aesthetic faults incurred by art are moral faults—sentimentality, insincerity, self-righteousness, moralizing itself. And all of them involve a deficiency in that moral truthfulness for which, in the last section, I praised Schubert’s never-to-be-surpassed song-cycle.

Objectivity and universality

In science and morality, the search for objectivity is the search for universally valid results—results that must be accepted by every rational being. In the judgement of beauty the search for objectivity is for valid and heightened forms of human experience—forms in which human life can flower according to its inner need and achieve the kind of fruition that we witness in the Sistine Chapel ceiling, in Parsifal or in Hamlet.

The standard of taste

for Hume, seeing an object as beautiful is a matter of ‘gilding or staining it with the colours borrowed from internal sentiment’. The standard, if it exists, does not lie in the qualities of the object but in the sentiments of the judge. So, Hume suggests, let us get away from the fruitless discus- sion of beauty, and simply concentrate on the qualities we admire, and ought to admire, in a critic—qualities such as delicacy and discernment.
However, this opens us to another kind of scepticism: why should it be those qualities that we admire? Even if it seemed natural, in the Scotland of Hume’s day, to admire delicacy and discernment, it seems less natural today, when facetiousness and ignorance, so unfairly left out by the austere sages of the Enlightenment, are demanding, and receiving, their share of attention.

Is this where we should leave the topic? I think not. For Hume’s argument suggests that the judgement of taste reflects the character of the one who makes it, and character matters. The characteristics of the good critic, as Hume envisaged them, point to virtues which, in Hume’s thinking, are vital to the good conduct of life, and not just to the discrimination of aesthetic qualities. In the last analysis there is as much objectivity in our judgements of beauty as there is in our judgements of virtue and vice. Beauty is therefore as firmly rooted in the scheme of things as goodness. It speaks to us, as virtue speaks to us, of human fulfilment: not of things that we want, but of things that we ought to want, because human nature requires them.

Ero ̄s and desire

Seen as a spiritual force, however, desire is equally indifferent to the individual. If the individual is targeted, it is on account of his or her beauty: and beauty is a universal, which can be neither consumed nor possessed but only contemplated. the body is all-important, not as an instrument, but as the physical pres- ence of the rational soul. Such writers recognized the erotic as a kind of crux in the human condition, a mystery with which our earthly destiny is entwined, and from which we cannot escape with- out sacrificing some part of our nature and our happiness.

Art and pornography

The ascent of the soul through love, which Plato describes in the Phaedrus, is symbolized in the figure of Aphrodite Urania, and this was the Venus painted by Botticelli, who was inci- dentally an ardent Platonist, and member of the Platonist circle around Pico della Mirandola. Botticelli’s Venus is not erotic: she is a vision of heavenly beauty, a visitation from other and higher spheres, and a call to transcendence. Indeed, she is self-evidently both the ancestor and the descendant of the Virgins of Fra Filippo Lippi: the ancestor in her pre- Christian meaning, the descendant in absorbing all that had been achieved through the artistic representation of the Virgin Mary as the symbol of untainted flesh. Subjects, as Kant persuasively argued, are free indi- viduals; their non-substitutability belongs to what they essentially are. Pornography, like slavery, is a denial of the human subject, a way of negating the moral demand that free beings must treat each other as ends in themselves.

Soft pornography

The woman on page three is being packaged in her sexual attributes, and placed in the fantasies of a thousand strangers. She may not mind this— presumably she doesn’t. But in not minding she shows how much she has already lost. No-one is degraded by Boucher’s painting, since no-one real occurs in it. This woman—even though the model who sat for her has a name and address (she was Louise O’Murphy, kept for the King’s pleasure at the Parc aux Cerfs)—is presented as a figment, in no sense identical with any real human being, despite being painted from life.

The moral question

The discussion of Titian’s Venus indicates, I think, why pornography lies outside the realm of art, why it is incapable of beauty in itself and desecrates the beauty of the people displayed in it. The pornographic image is like a magic wand that turns subjects into objects, people into things—and thereby disenchants them, destroying the source of their beauty. It causes people to hide behind their bodies, like pup- pets worked by hidden strings. Ever since Descartes’s cogito, the idea of the self as an inner homunculus, has cast its shadow over our views of the human person. The Cartesian picture tempts us to believe that we go through life dragging an animal on a lead, forcing it to do our bidding until, at the last, it collapses and dies. I am a subject; my body an object: I am I, it is it. In this way the body becomes a thing among things, and the only way I can rescue it is to assert a right of ownership, to say, this body is not just any old object, but one that belongs to me. And that is precisely how the relation between soul and body is viewed in the pornographic image.
There is another and better way of seeing things, however, and it is one that explains much of that old morality that many people now profess to find so puzzling. On this view my body is not my property but—to use the theological term—my incarnation. My body is not an object but a subject, just as I am. I don’t own it, any more than I own myself. I am inextricably mingled with it, and what is done to my body is done to me. And there are ways of treating it that cause me to think and feel as I would not otherwise think or feel, to lose my moral sense, to become hardened or indifferent to others, to cease to make judgements or to be guided by principles and ideals. When this happens it is not just I who am harmed: all those who love me, need me or relate to me are harmed as well. For I have damaged the part on which relationships are built. To treat it as a commodity, that can be bought and sold like any other, is to damage both present self and future other. The condemna- tion of prostitution was not just puritan bigotry; it was a recognition of a profound truth, which is that you and your body are not two things but one, and by selling the body you harden the soul. And that which is true of prostitution is true of pornography too. It is not a tribute to human beauty but a desecration of it.

Beauty and ero ̄s

art that ‘objectifies’ the body, removing it from the realm of moral relations, can never capture the true beauty of the human form. By desecrating the beauty of people, it desecrates itself. The comparison between pornography and erotic art shows us that taste is rooted in our wider preferences, and that these preferences express and encourage aspects of our own moral character. The case against pornography is the case against the interest that it serves—the interest in seeing people reduced to their bodies, objectified as animals, made thing-like and obscene. This is an interest that many people have; but it is an interest at war with our humanity. In judging this interest adversely I move out of the sphere of aesthetic judgement into that of sexual virtue and sexual vice. Pornography therefore offers a vivid illustration of the thesis touched on at the end of the last chapter. The standard of taste is fixed by the virtues of the critic, and these virtues are tried and proved in the moral life.

Even in Zola and Berg, however, beauty shows its face—as in the lovely invocation of the young Franc ̧oise and her cow at the opening of La Terre or the equally lovely music with which Berg’s orchestra sorrows over Lulu. Zola and Berg, in their different ways, remind us that real beauty can be found, even in what is seedy, painful and decayed. Our ability to tell the truth about our own condition, in measured words and touching melodies, offers a kind of redemption from it. The most influential work of twentieth-century English literature, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, describes the modern city as a soul-less desert: but it does so with images and allusions that affirm what the city denies. Our very ability to make this judgement is the final disproof of it. If we can grasp the emptiness of modern life, this is because art points to another way of being, and Eliot’s poem makes this other way available.
The Waste Land belongs to the tradition of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and James’s The Golden Bowl. It describes what is seedy and sordid in words so resonant of the opposite, so replete with the capacity to feel, to sympathize and to understand, that life in its lowest forms is vindicated by our response to it. This ‘redemption through art’ occurs only because the artist aims at beauty in the narrow sense. And this is the paradox of fin-de-siecle culture: that it continued to believe in beauty, while focusing on all the reasons for doubting that beauty is obtainable outside the realm of art. Since that time art has taken another turn, refusing to bless human life with anything like a vision of redemption. Art in the tradition of Baudelaire floats like an angel above the world beneath its gaze. It does not avoid the spectacle of human folly, malice and decay; but it invites us to another place, telling us that ‘la tout n’est qu’ordre et beaute ́: j Luxe, calme et volupte ́’. More recent art cultivates a posture of transgres- sion, matching the ugliness of the things it portrays with an ugliness of its own. Beauty is downgraded as something too sweet, too escapist and too far from realities to deserve our undeceived attention. Qualities that previously denoted aes- thetic failure are now cited as marks of success; while the pursuit of beauty is often regarded as a retreat from the real task of artistic creation, which is to challenge comforting illusions and to show life as it is. This movement of ideas can be seen as in part a recognition of the ambiguous nature of the term ‘beauty’. But it also involves a rejection of beauty in its narrow sense, an affirm- ation that the old invocations of home, peace, love and contentment are lies, and that art must henceforth devote itself to the real and unpleasant truth of our condition.

The modernist apology
The repudiation of beauty gains strength from a particular vision of modern art and its history. According to many critics writing today a work of art justifies itself by announcing itself as a visitor from the future. The value of art is a shock value: art exists to awaken us to our historical predicament and to remind us of the ceaseless change which is the only per- manent thing in human nature.

For beauty makes a claim on us: it is a call to renounce our narcissism and look with reverence on the world. (Cf. Iago of Cassio: ‘He hath a daily beauty in his life j Which makes me ugly’, and the solilo- quy of Claggart in Britten’s Billy Budd, raging against the beauty that shines its light on his own moral worthlessness.)

Tradition and orthodoxy

If, in modern circumstances, the forms and styles of art must be remade, this is not in order to repudiate the old tradition, but in order to restore it. The effort of the modern artist is to express realities which have not been encountered before, and which are especially hard to encom- pass. But this cannot be done, except by bringing the spiritual capital of our culture to bear on the present moment and to show it as it truly is. For Eliot and his colleagues, therefore, there could be no truly modern art which was not at the same time a search for orthodoxy: an attempt to capture the nature of the modern experience, by setting it in relation to the certainties of a live tradition.

But Schoenberg’s idiom can be understood as an attempt both to understand the nightmare, and to rein it in—to confine it in a musical form which gives meaning and beauty to catastrophe in the way that Aeschylus gave meaning and beauty to the avenging furies, or Shakespeare and Verdi to the dreadful death of Desdemona.
The modernists feared that the aesthetic endeavour would detach itself from the full artistic intention, and be- come empty, repetitious, mechanical and cliche ́-ridden. It was self-evident to Eliot, Matisse and Schoenberg that this was happening all around them, and they set out to protect an endangered aesthetic ideal from the corruptions of popular culture. This ideal had connected the pursuit of beauty with the impulse to consecrate human life and endow it with a more than worldly significance. In short, the modernists set out to reunite the artistic enterprise with its underlying spiritual aim. Modernism was not conceived as a transgression but as a recuperation: an arduous path back to a hard-won inheritance of meaning, in which beauty would again be honoured, as the present symbol of transcendent values. This is not what we see in the consciously ‘transgressive’ and ‘challenging’ art of today, which exemplifies a flight from beauty, rather than a desire to recover it.

The flight from beauty

Our need for beauty is not something that we could lack and still be fulfilled as people. It is a need arising from our metaphysical condition, as free individuals, seeking our place in a shared and public world. We can wander through this world, alienated, resentful, full of suspicion and distrust. Or we can find our home here, coming to rest in harmony with others and with ourselves. The experience of beauty guides us along this second path: it tells us that we are at home in the world, that the world is already ordered in our perceptions as a place fit for the lives of beings like us. But—and this is again one of the messages of the early modernists—beings like us become at home in the world only by acknowledging our ‘fallen’ condition, as Eliot acknowledged it in The Waste Land. Hence the experience of beauty also points us beyond this world, to a ‘kingdom of ends’ in which our immortal longings and our desire for perfection are finally answered. As Plato and Kant both saw, therefore, the feeling for beauty is proximate to the religious frame of mind, arising from a humble sense of living with imperfections, while aspiring towards the highest unity with the transcendental. Look at any picture by one of the great landscape painters— Poussin, Guardı, Turner, Corot, Ce ́zanne—and you will see that idea of beauty celebrated and fixed in images. Those painters do not turn a blind eye to suffering, or to the vastness and threateningness of the universe, of which we occupy so small a corner. Far from it. Landscape painters show us death and decay in the very heart of things: the light on their hills is a fading light; the walls of their houses are patched and crumbling like the stucco on the villages of Guardı. But their images point to the joy that lies incipient in decay, and to the eternal that is implied in the transient.
Even in the brutal presentations of thwarted and malicious life that fill the novels of Zola we find, if not the reality of beauty, at least a distant glimpse of it—recorded in the rhythm of the prose, and in the invocations of stillness amid the futile long- ings which drive the characters to their goals. Realism, in Zola as in Baudelaire and Flaubert, is a kind of disappointed tribute to the ideal. The subject-matter is profane; but profane by nature, and not because the writer has chosen to desecrate the few scant beauties that he finds. The art of desecration represents a new departure, and one that we should try to understand, since it lies at the centre of the postmodern experience.

Every now and then we are jolted out of our complacency, and feel ourselves to be in the presence of something vastly more significant than our present interests and desires. We sense the reality of something precious and mysterious, which reaches out to us with a claim that is in some way not of this world. This happens in the presence of death, and especially the death of someone loved. We look with awe on the human body from which the life has fled. This is no longer a person, but the ‘mortal remains’ of a person. And this thought fills us with a sense of the uncanny. We are reluctant to touch the dead body; we see it as in some way not properly a part of our world, almost a visitor from some other sphere.

This experience is a paradigm of our encounter with the sacred. And it demands from us a kind of ceremonial recognition. The dead body is the object of rituals and acts of purification, designed not just to send its former occupant happily into the hereafter—for these practices are engaged in even by those who have no belief in the hereafter—but in order to overcome the eeriness, the supernatural quality, of the dead human form. The body is being reclaimed for this world, by the rituals which acknowledge that it also stands apart from it. The rituals, to put it in another way, consecrate the body, purify it of its miasma and restore it to its former status as an embodiment. By the same token, the dead body can be desecrated, when it is displayed to the world as a mere heap of discarded flesh—and this is surely one of the primary acts of desecration, one to which people have been given from time immemorial, as when Achilles drags the body of Hector in triumph around the walls of Troy.

The human form is sacred for us because it bears the stamp of our embodiment. The wilful desecration of the human form, either through the pornography of sex or the pornography of death and violence, has become, for many people, a kind of compulsion. And this desecration, which spoils the experience of freedom, is also a denial of love. It is an attempt to remake the world as though love were no longer a part of it. And that, surely, is what is the most important characteristic of the postmodern culture, as exemplified in Bieito’s produc- tion of Die Entfu ̈hrung: it is a loveless culture, which is afraid of beauty because it is disturbed by love.

The desire to desecrate is a desire to turn aesthetic judgement against itself, so that it no longer seems like a judgement of us. This you see all the time in children—the delight in disgusting noises, words, allusions, which helps them to distance themselves from the adult world that judges them, and whose authority they wish to deny. (Hence the appeal of Roald Dahl.) That ordinary refuge of children from the burden of adult judgement, is the refuge too of adults from the burden of their culture. By using culture as an instrument of desecration they neutralize its claims: it loses all authority, and becomes a fellow conspirator in the plot against value.

Addiction is characterized by a loss of the emotional dynamic that would otherwise govern an outward-directed, cognitively creative life. Sex addiction is no different in this respect from drug addiction; and it wars against true sexual interest—interest in the other, the individual object of desire.

Maybe the Roman games were similar: short cuts to awe, horror and fear which re- inforced the ensuing sense of safety, by prompting the visceral relief that it is not I but another who has been torn to pieces in the ring. And maybe the 5-second cut which is the stock-in- trade of the B movie and the TV advert operates in a similar way—setting up addictive circuits that keep the eyes glued to the screen.
The contrast that I have been implicitly drawing between the love that venerates and the scorn that desecrates is like the contrast between taste and addiction. Lovers of beauty direct their attention outwards, in search of a meaning and order that brings sense to their lives. Their attitude to the thing they love is imbued with judgement and discrimin- ation. And they measure themselves against it, trying to match its order in their own living sympathies.
Addiction, as the psychologists point out, is a function of easy rewards. The addict is someone who presses again and again on the pleasure switch, whose pleasures by-pass thought and judgement to settle in the realm of need. Art is at war with effect addiction, in which the need for stimulation and rou- tinized excitement has blocked the path to beauty by putting acts of desecration centre stage. Why this addiction should be so virulent now is an interesting question: whatever the explanation, however, my argument implies that the addic- tion to effect is the enemy not only of art but also of happiness, and that anybody who cares for the future of humanity should study how to revive the ‘aesthetic education’, as Schiller described it, which has the love of beauty as its goal.

Art, as we have known it, stands on the threshold of the transcendental. It points beyond this world of accidental and disconnected things to another realm, in which human life is endowed with an emotional logic that makes suffering noble and love worthwhile. Nobody who is alert to beauty, therefore, is without the concept of redemption—of a final transcendence of mortal disorder into a ‘kingdom of ends’. In an age of declin- ing faith art bears enduring witness to the spiritual hunger and immortal longings of our species. Hence aesthetic education matters more today than at any previous period in history. As Wagner expressed the point: ‘It is reserved to art to salvage the kernel of religion, inasmuch as the mythical images which religion would wish to be believed as true are apprehended in art for their symbolic value, and through ideal representation of those symbols art reveals the concealed deep truth within them.’ Even for the unbeliever, therefore the ‘real presence’ of the sacred is now one of the highest gifts of art.

Conversely the degradation of art has never been more apparent. And the most widespread form of degradation— more widespread even than the deliberate desecration of humanity through pornography and gratuitous violence— is kitsch, that peculiar disease which we can instantly recognize but never precisely define, and whose Austro-German name links it to the mass movements and crowd sentiments of the twentieth century.

Genuine art must belong to the avant-garde, breaking with the figurative tradition in favour of ‘abstract expressionism’, which uses form and colour to liberate emotion from the prison of narrative. In this way Greenberg promoted the paintings of de Kooning, Pollock and Rothko, while condemning the great Edward Hopper as ‘shabby, second-hand and impersonal’.

Kitsch is a mould that settles over the entire works of a living culture, when people prefer the sensuous trappings of belief to the thing truly believed in. It is not only Christian civilization that has undergone kitschification in recent times. Equally evident has been the kitschification of Hinduism and its culture. Mass-produced Ganeshas have knocked the subtle temple sculpture from its aesthetic pedestal; in bunjee music the talas of Indian classical music are blown apart by tonal harmonies and rhythm machines; in literature the sutras and puranas have been detached from the sublime vision of Brah- man and reissued as childish comic-strips.

Simply put, kitsch is not, in the first instance, an artistic phenomenon, but a disease of faith. Kitsch begins in doctrine and ideology and spreads from there to infect the entire world of culture. The Disneyfication of art is simply one aspect of the Disneyfication of faith—and both involve a profanation of our highest values. Kitsch, the case of Disney reminds us, is not an excess of feeling but a deficiency. The world of kitsch is in a certain measure a heartless world, in which emotion is directed away from its proper target towards sugary stereotypes, permitting us to pay passing tribute to love and sorrow without the trouble of feeling them. It is no accident that the arrival of kitsch on the stage of history coincided with the hitherto unimaginable horrors of trench warfare, of the holocaust and the Gulag—all of them fulfilling the prophecy that kitsch proclaims, which is the transformation of the human being into a doll, which in one moment we cover with kisses, and in the next moment tear to shreds.

Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as though it did not matter; and we live that way because we have lost the habit of sacrifice and are striving always to avoid it. The false art of our time, mired in kitsch and desecration, is one sign of this. To point to this feature of our condition is not to issue an invitation to despair. It is one mark of rational beings that they do not live only—or even at all—in the present. They have the freedom to despise the world that surrounds them and to live in another way. The art, literature and music of our civilization remind them of this, and also point to the path that lies always before them: the path out of desecration towards the sacred and the sacrificial. And that, in a nutshell, is what beauty teaches us. Not about ‘things in the world’ but about a particular experience of them, and about the pursuit of meaning that springs from that experience.

by Francis Hutcheson, that beauty ‘consists in’ unity in variety.

Thomas Carlyle SARTOR RESARTUS – The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh – 1835

Shakespeare says, we are creatures that look before and after: the more surprising that we do not look round a little, and see what is passing under our very eyes.

But great men are too often unknown, or what is worse, misknown.

Society, long pining, diabetic, consumptive, can be regarded as defunct; for those spasmodic, galvanic sprawlings are not life; neither indeed will they endure, galvanize as you may, beyond two days.”

Call ye that a Society,” cries he again, “where there is no longer any Social Idea extant; not so much as the Idea of a common Home, but only of a common over-crowded Lodging-house? Where each, isolated, regardless of his neighbor, turned against his neighbor, clutches what he can get, and cries ‘Mine!’ and calls it Peace, because, in the cut-purse and cut-throat Scramble, no steel knives, but only a far cunninger sort, can be employed? Where Friendship, Communion, has become an incredible tradition; and your holiest Sacramental Supper is a smoking Tavern Dinner, with Cook for Evangelist? Where your Priest has no tongue but for plate-licking: and your high Guides and Governors cannot guide; but on all hands hear it passionately proclaimed: Laissez faire; Leave us alone of your guidance, such light is darker than darkness; eat you your wages, and sleep!

A World becoming dismantled: in one word, the STATE fallen speechless, from obesity and apoplexy; the STATE shrunken into a Police-Office, straitened to get its pay!”

Thus, too,” continues he, “does an observant eye discern everywhere that saddest spectacle: The Poor perishing, like neglected, foundered Draught-Cattle, of Hunger and Overwork; the Rich, still more wretchedly, of Idleness, Satiety, and Overgrowth. The Highest in rank, at length, without honor from the Lowest; scarcely, with a little mouth-honor, as from tavern-waiters who expect to put it in the bill. Once-sacred Symbols fluttering as empty Pageants, whereof men grudge even the expense

Old-Clothes Market to worship. With awe-struck heart I walk through that Monmouth Street, with its empty Suits, as through a Sanhedrim of stainless Ghosts. Silent are they, but expressive in their silence: the past witnesses and instruments of Woe and Joy, of Passions, Virtues, Crimes, and all the fathomless tumult of Good and Evil in ‘the Prison men call Life.’

Jens Peter Jacobsen – Mogens and Other Stories (on graves)

The next day was one of those in which late summer is rich. A day with a brisk, cool wind, with many large swiftly flying clouds, with everlasting alternations of darkness and light, according as the clouds drift past the sun. Mogens had gone up to the cemetery, the garden of the manor abutted on it. Up there it looked rather barren, the grass had recently been cut; behind an old quadrangular iron- fence stood a wide-spreading, low elder with waving foliage. Some of the graves had wooden frames around them, most were only low, quadrangular hills; a few of them had metal-pieces with inscriptions on them, others wooden crosses from which the colors had peeled, others had wax wreaths, the greater number had nothing at all. Mogens wandered about hunting for a sheltered place, but the wind seemed to blow on all sides of the church. He threw himself down near the embankment, drew a book out of his pocket; but he did not get on with his reading; every time when a cloud went past the sun, it seemed to him as though it were growing chilly, and he thought of getting up, but then the light came again and he remained lying. A young girl came slowly along the way, a greyhound and a pointer ran playfully ahead of her. She stopped and it seemed as if she wanted to sit down, but when she saw Mogens she continued her walk diagonally across the cemetery out through the gate. Mogens rose and looked after her; she walked down on the main road, the dogs still played. Then he began reading the inscription on one of the graves; it quickly made him smile. Suddenly a shadow fell across the grave and remained lying there, Mogens looked sideways. A tanned, young man stood there, one hand in his game-bag, in the other he held his gun.
“It isn’t really half bad,” he said, indicating the inscription.
“No,” said Mogens and straightened up from his bent position.

JENS PETER JACOBSEN – Neils Lyhne

Nothing but the best shall be good enough.

A dreamer, floundering around in a slough of doubt and self-analysis.

Dreamed a thousand dreams of those sunlit regions, and was consumed with longing for this other and richer self, forgetting—what is so easily forgotten—that even the fairest dreams and the deepest longings do not add an inch to the stature of the human soul,’ and who goes on dreaming because ‘a life soberly lived, without the fair vice of dreams, was no life at all.’”

The revolt of his hero from the accepted religion of his day is in accord with Jacobsen’s own development. The word “atheism,” which falls on our ears with a dead sound, meant to him a revolt against fallacious dreams. He believed that the evangelical religion as taught in Denmark at the time had become a soft mantle in which people wrapped themselves against the bracing winds of truth. As a scientist he refused to accept the facile theory that a Providence outside of man would somehow juggle away the consequences of wrongdoing. The doctrine that immunity could be bought by repentance seemed to him a cheap attempt to escape the bitter and wholesome fruit of experience. To our modern consciousness, there is no reason why his sense of the sacredness of law should have driven him away from all religion—it might rather have driven him to a truer conception of Him who said of Himself that He came to fulfil the law—but in this respect he was the child of his day.

Refusal to lean on any spiritual power outside of his own soul

Their thoughts never rose above their land and their business; their eyes never sought anything beyond the conditions and affairs that were right before them.

There are those who can take up their grief and bear it, strong natures who feel their own powers through the very heaviness of their burden. Weaker people give themselves up to their sorrow passively, as they would submit to a sickness; and like a sickness their sorrow pervades them, drinks itself into their innermost being and becomes a part of them, is assimilated in them through a slow struggle, and finally loses itself in them, as they return to perfect health.

But there are yet others to whom sorrow is a violence done them, a cruelty which they never learn to accept as a trial or chastisement or as simple fate. It is to them an act of tyranny, an expression of personal hate, and it always leaves a sting in their hearts.

It had never occurred to him that greatness was not always cast in a mould of beauty.

Niels Lyhne was tired. These repeated runnings to a leap that was never leaped had wearied him. Everything seemed to him hollow and worthless, distorted and confused, and, oh, so petty! He preferred to stop his ears and stop his mouth and to immerse himself in studies that had nothing to do with the busy everyday world, but were like an ocean apart, where he could wander peacefully in silent forests of seaweed among curious animals.

With all this beauty round about her, she still sat there with the old unanswered longing for beauty in her heart. It was only now and then, when the sun sank behind the gentle slopes of Savoy, and the mountains beyond the sea seemed made of brown opaque glass, as if their precipitous sides had drunk the light, that nature could hold her senses spellbound. Then, when the bright yellow mists of evening veiled the distant Jura Mountains, and the lake, like a copper mirror from which tongues of golden flame shot into the red sunset glow, seemed to melt with the sky into one vast, shining infinity—then it would seem, once in a great while, as though the longing were silenced, and the soul had found the land it sought.

Believe me, there is saving grace in fighting for an idea that is gaining ground, but it is very demoralizing to a man to belong to a losing minority, which life, in its inevitable course, puts in the wrong, point by point, step by step. It cannot be otherwise, for it is bitterly disheartening to see that which your inmost soul believes to be right and true, to see this Truth reviled and struck in the face by the meanest camp follower in the victorious army, to hear her called vile names, while you can do nothing at all except to love her even more faithfully, kneel to her in your heart with even deeper adoration, and see her beautiful face as radiantly beautiful as ever and as full of majesty, shining with the same immortal light, no matter how much dust is whirled up around her white forehead, no matter how thickly the poisonous fog closes around her halo. It is bitterly disheartening, and your soul suffers injury inevitably, for it is so easy to hate until you heart is weary, or to draw around you the cold shadows of contempt, or to be dulled by pain and let the world go its own way.—Of course, if there is that within you which makes you not choose the easiest way nor evade the whole matter, but walk upright with all your faculties tense and all your sympathies wide awake, taking the blows and stings of defeat as the scourge falls on your back again and again, and still keep your bleeding hope from dropping, while you listen for the distant rumblings that presage revolution, and look for the faint, distant dawn that some day—some time, perhaps … If you have that within you!—but don’t try it, Lyhne. Imagine what the life of such a man must be, if he is to be true to himself. Never to open his mouth without knowing that whatever he says will be met with scorn and jeers! To have his words distorted, besmirched, wrenched all out of joint, turned into cunning snares for his own feet, and then, before he can pick them up from the mud and straighten them out again, to find all the world suddenly deaf. Then to begin over again at another point and have the same thing happen over and over again. And—what hurts most, perhaps—to be misunderstood and despised by noble men and women, whom he looks up to with admiration and respect in spite of their different principles. Yet it must be so, it cannot be otherwise. Those who are in opposition must not expect to be attacked for what they really are or really want, but for what the party in power is pleased to think they are and want; and besides, power used upon the weaker must be misused—how can it be otherwise? Surely no one can expect the party in power to divest itself of its advantages in order to meet the opposition on equal terms; but that does not make the struggle of the opposition less painful and heart-rending. When you think of all this, Lyhne, do you really suppose a man can fight this battle, with all these vulture beaks buried in his flesh, unless he has the blind stubborn enthusiasm which we call fanaticism? And how in the world can he get fanatic about a negation? Fanatic for the idea that there is no God!—But without fanaticism there is no victory. Hush, listen!

And yet this living on at half speed in quiet waters, always in sight of land, seemed so paltry. Would that the storm and waves would come! If he only knew how, his sails should fly to the yards for a merry run over the Spanish Main of life! Farewell to the slowly dripping days, farewell to the pleasant little hours! Peace be with you, you dull moods that have to be furbished with poetry before you can shine, you lukewarm emotions that have to be clothed in warm dreams and yet freeze to death! May you go to your own place! I am headed for a coast where sentiments twine themselves like luxuriant vines around every fiber of the heart—a rank forest; for every vine that withers, twenty are in blossom; for each one that blossoms, a hundred are in bud.

He was weary of himself, of cold ideas and brain dreams. Life a poem? Not when you went about forever poetizing about your own life instead of living it. How innocuous it all was, and empty, empty, empty! This chasing after yourself, craftily observing your own tracks—in a circle, of course. This sham diving into the stream of life while all the time you sat angling after yourself, fishing yourself up in one curious disguise or another! If he could only be overwhelmed by something—life, love, passion—so that he could no longer shape it into poems, but had to let it shape him!
Involuntarily he made a gesture as if to ward it off with his hand. After all, he was afraid in his inmost heart of this mighty thing called passion. This storm wind sweeping away everything settled and authorized and acquired in humanity as if it were dead leaves. He did not like it! This roaring flame squandering itself in its own smoke—no, he wanted to burn slowly.

Besides her pale niece, they met a great many young people, coming poets, painters, actors, and architects, all artists by virtue of their youth rather than their talent, all full of hope, valiant, lusting for battle, and easily moved to enthusiasm. It is true, there were among them some of those quiet dreamers who bleat wistfully toward the faded ideals of the past; but most of them were full of ideas that were modern at the time, drunk with the theories of modernity, wild with its powers, dazzled by its clear morning light. They were modern, belligerently modern, modern to excess, and perhaps not the least because in their inmost hearts there was a strange, instinctive longing which had to be stifled, a longing which the new spirit could not satisfy–worldwide, all-embracing, all-powerful, and all-enlightening though it was.
But, for all that, the exultation of the storm was in their young souls. They had faith in the light of the great stars of thought; they had hope fathomless as the ocean. Enthusiasm bore them on the wings of the eagle, and their hearts expanded with the courage of thousands.
No doubt life would in time wear it all out, lull most of it to sleep; worldly wisdom would break down much, and cowardice would sweep away the rest–but what of it? The time that has gone with happiness does not come back with grief, and nothing the future may bring can wither a day or wipe out an hour in the life that has been lived.
To Niels the world, in those days, began to wear a different aspect. He heard his own vaguest, most secret thoughts loudly proclaimed by ten different mouths. He saw his own unique ideas, which to him had been a misty landscape, with lines blurred by fog, with unknown depths and muted notes–he saw this landscape unveiled in the bright, clear, sharp colors of day, revealed in every detail, furrowed everywhere by roads, and with people swarming on the roads. There was something strangely unreal in the very fact that the creations of his fancy had become so real.
He was no longer a lonely child-king, reigning over lands that his own dreams had conjured up. No, he was one of a crowd, a man in an army, a soldier in the service of modern ideas. A sword had been placed in his hand, and a banner waved before him.
What a wonderful time full of promise! And how strange to hear with his ears the indistinct, mysterious whisper of his soul now sounding through the air of reality like wild, challenging trumpet blasts, like the thunder of battering rams against temple walls, like the whizzing of David’s pebble against Goliath’s brow, like exultant fanfares. It was as though he heard himself speaking, with strange tongues, with a clarity and power not his own, about that which belonged to his deepest, innermost self.
This gospel of modernity, with its message of dissolution and perfection, did not sound only from the lips of his contemporaries. There were older men with names that carried weight whose eyes were likewise open to the glories of new ideas. These men used more pompous words and had more magnificent conceptions; the names of past centuries swept along in their train; history was with them–the history of the world and the human mind, the Odyssey of thought. These were men who in their youth had been moved by the very things that now thrilled the young people and had borne witness to the spirit within them; but when they heard in their own voices the sound which tells a man crying in the wilderness that he is alone, they were silenced. The young people, however, remembered only that these men had spoken, not that they had been silent; they were ready to bring laurel wreaths and martyr crowns, willing to admire and happy in their admiration. Nor did the objects of their homage repel this late-born appreciation; they put on the crowns in good faith, looked at themselves in a large and historic light, and poetized out of their past the less heroic features; as for the old conviction, which ill winds had cooled, they soon talked it into a glow again.

Then Niels saw that he [the poet] was ugly, and he was silenced. It had not occurred to him that greatness was not always cast in a mould of beauty.

He was seized with that lust of conquest and thirst for the power of knowledge which every worker in the realm of thought, no matter how humble a drvidge he may later become, has surely felt once in his life, though for only one brief hour. Which one of us all, whom a kind fate has given the opportunity to care for the development of our own minds, has not gazed rapturously out over the boundless sea of knowledge, and which of us has not gone down to its clear, cool waters and begun, in the light-hearted arrogance of youth, to dip it out in our hollow hand as the child in the legend? Do you remember how the sun could laugh over the fair summer land, yet you saw neither flower nor sky nor rippling brook? The feasts of life swept past and woke not even a dream in your young blood; even your home seemed far away—do you remember? And do you also remember how a structure rose in your thoughts from the yellowing leaves of books, complete and whole, reposing in itself as a work of art, and it was yours in every detail, and your spirit dwelt in it? When the pillars rose slender and with conscious strength in their bold curves, it was of you that brave aspiring and of you the bold sustaining. And when the vaulted roof seemed to be suspended in air, because it had gathered all its weight, stone upon stone, in mighty drops, and let it down on the neck of the pillars, it was of you that dream of weightless floating, that confident bearing down of the arches; it was you planting your foot on your own.
In this wise your personality grows with your knowledge and is clarified and unified through it. To learn is as beautiful as to live. Do not be afraid to lose yourself in minds greater than your own! Do not sit brooding anxiously over your own individuality or shut yourself out from influences that draw you powerfully for fear that they may sweep you along and submerge your innermost pet peculiarities in their mighty surge! Never fear! The individuality that can be lost in the sifting and reshaping of a healthy development is only a flaw; it is a branch grown in the dark, which is distinctive only so long as it retains its sickly pallor. And it is by the sound growth in yourself that you must live. Only the sound can grow great.

JENS PETER JACOBSEN Neils Lyhne and Mary Grubbe

The struggle of one or more human beings for existence, that is their struggle against the existing order of things for their right to exist in their own way.”

To be of real value one must embody the struggle of one or more persons against all those things which try to keep one from existing in one’s own way.

The power of the beast in man and the scarcity of gold amid the dross of human nature.

Simply belonged to the class of people who are so secure in their own sense of normal and irreproachable mediocrity that they cannot refrain from asserting their superiority over the less fortunate and naïvely setting themselves up as models.

Set her so high and surrounded her with a nimbus of divinity.
“But that is just what I find so insulting,” said Mrs. Boye, “as if we were not divine enough in ourselves.”

It is really very serious, for this adoration is at bottom tyrannical in its fanaticism; it cramps us in a mould of man’s ideal. Slash a heel and clip a toe! Anything in us that doesn’t square with man’s conception has to be eliminated, perhaps not by force, but by ignoring it, systematically relegating it to oblivion, and never giving it a chance to develop, while the qualities we don’t possess or that aren’t in the least characteristic of us are forced to the rankest growth by lauding them to the skies, taking for granted that we have them in the fullest measure, and making them the cornerstone on which man builds his love. I say that we are subjected to a drill; man’s love puts us through a drill. And we submit to it, even those who love no one submit to it, contemptible minions that we are!”

Women live less in their imagination than men. We don’t know how to taste pleasure in our fancy or escape from pain with a fanciful consolation. What is, is. Imagination—it is so innocuous. When we get as old as I am now, then sometimes we content ourselves with the poverty-stricken comedy of imagination. But we ought never to do it—never!”

You may be sure that women are not the ethereal creatures many a good youth fancies; they are really no more delicate than men, and not very different from them. Take my word for it, there has been some filthy clay used in the shaping of them both.”
“Dearest Fennimore! Thank God you don’t know what you are saying, but you are very unjust to women and to yourself. I believe in woman’s purity.”
“Woman’s purity! What do you mean by woman’s purity?”
“I mean—that is—”
“You mean—I will tell you; you mean nothing, for that is another piece of nonsensical delicacy. A woman can’t be pure, and isn’t supposed to be—how could she? It is against nature! And do you think God made her to be pure? Answer me!—No, and ten thousand times no. Then why this lunacy! Why fling us up to the stars with one hand, when you have to pull us down with the other! Can’t you let us walk the earth by your side, one human being with another, and nothing more at all? It is impossible for us to step firmly on the prose of life when you blind us with your poetic will-o’-the-wisps. Let us alone! For God’s sake, let us alone!”

The Sword and Womankind by Edouard de Beaumont

In those days it was an obligation on the noble and spirited creatures – from whom is descended the weaker sex, the sex that today affects an extremity of softness and gentleness! – to be, as for instance at Sparta, before all and above all, brave and strong.

In those days it was an obligation on the noble and spirited creatures to be, as for instance at Sparta, before all and above all, brave and strong. They alone in the midst of disasters, these children of the giants, in other words, these daughters of the Sword, refuse to weep.
Bandeio likewise mentions as cavalieressi or swordswomen “the very noble Luzia Stange, who, sword in hand, intimidates many brave men”; also the daughter of the gardener of the very learned Signor Alessandro Bentivoglio, who defended her father, the latter being unarmed, against two stirring (police agents). Having put hand to sword, she killed one of the constables and gave the other a sword thrust. Last,, he speaks of a beautiful Greek girl named Marcella, who, at the siege of Counio by the Turks, on seeing her father slain at her feet, seized his sword and rotella, and driving back the Turks, killed several of them, and finally drove them out of the island. In the northern regions of Europe hardly a single instance is to be found of a genuine martial heroine.

A progress of degradation with glowing phraseology, cajoleries and falsity. They put on exaggerated airs of mock-modesty, and assume a scornful pose before their admirers, all the time longing to be noticed. The old punctilious sense of honor have ceased to exist while finally the practices of the man of pleasure, the libertine modes, in full completeness, count at most only some forty years of life, – after which the reign of hypocrisy sets in.

What is lighter than a feather? A woman. What is lighter than a woman? Nothing. Phrase found in a Latin satire. It means nothing more nothing less than this: women have always hated morality and seriousness, precise knowledge and deliberate wisdom, which in their eyes are merely silly and hypocritical pretensions that mark the class of professional phrase-mongers.

Writers like Gorgias or Appolodorus, or orators like Hyperides, masters of the eloquence that thrills mankind.
The Gown, whence springs the type of creatures that tear each other to pieces with tongue and pen.

pg84
A kind o f a code of revenge, a guiding principle a point of honor that was held more sacred than life itself
Vulsenade

Pg94
Such extravagances were admitted by the principles of chivalry, an institution sane enough at its origins, but run mad before its end.” Dr Johannes Scheer, Society and Manners in Germany, Chivalry at Court

Pg138
And many another indiscreet, prying teller of naughty tales, are far and away more instructive than formal history, which is either pedantic by convention or else dumb by constraint.
In investigations of any kind details should be studied first, in order at a subsequent stage to elaborate the series of special observations made into a general survey of the subject. This is the only way to get good results

pg154
A phrase well expressing an easiness of morals at once very frank and very French.

Pg166
That treacherous gentleness women practice toward one another – every woman instinctively hates every other.

pg164
A woman will allow herself to be told: you belong to a sex possessing a small brain and a half-developed organization; your disposition and instinctive are all disproportionate, inconsequent hypocritical, illogical and futile; your moral sense is deformed, your selfishness without a scruple and your vanity without a limit. All this will hardly so much as annoy her; but dare to say: you have short legs, and you have committed a dire offense woman’s nature can never forgive. Further on, Schopenhauer adds another curiously insulting passage: “The ancients,”he says, “would have laughed at our gallantry of the old French fashion and our stupid veneration for number two of the perfect realization of German-Christian silliness.”

pg169
“A married woman’s first thought and care is to devise how to be a widow.” Brantley, Dames galantes, Fourth Discourse

Pg193
In the rein of ignorance, the constant state of war which lasted for twenty years did not stop a certain amount of rationality that allowed this writings.

pg200
And young men are accustomed from the first to idleness, effeminacy and frivolity, coming eventually to the business of life with empty heads and hearts crammed with false ideals…less credit and wealth, less dignity and prestige. They display vanity, but legitimate pride never. The men of pleasure are well received in society because they are light-hearted, gay, witty, dissipated, easy-going, amateurs of every pleasure.

Pg224
The fair dames of the period resorted to every means to stimulate their sensibilities. They seek excitement in dissecting dead bodies. “The young Contesse de Coigny was so passionately fond of this dreadful study (Anatomy), that she would never start on a journey without taking in the boot of her traveling carriage a corpse to dissect, just as one takes with one a book to read.” – Mme. de Gengis, Mémoires, vol I.
This mania for dissection was for some time extremely fashionable with ladies of quality.

Pg226
On these ridiculous types was built up the whole school of impotent and despairing lovers, who under a nauseous pretence of being so romantic and interesting, prolonged for half a century longer the silly affectation of sentimental melancholy, in other words, a green-sickness of skepticism complicated with pulmonary consumption!

Pg227
A familiar axiom of economic science declares that “every vicious act is followed by diminution of force.”

Pg229
The Mousquetaires had began by displaying a most laudable zeal, but it was soon discovered that these gentlemen were better at noise than real work.

Pg230
“The deterioration of type among noble families,” says Moreau de Tours, “is noted in numerous writers; Pope remarks to Spencer on the sorry looks of members of the English aristocracy in his day; and in the same way physiologists had even earlier noted the short stature of the Spanish grandees at the court of Philip V.” As for Frenchmen, long before 1789, they were amongst the poorest specimens of humanity, according to the testimony of many witnesses.

Pg237
The practices of the man of pleasure, the libertine modes, in full completeness, count at most only some forty years of life, – after which the reign of hypocrisy sets in.
Thus ends the Sword.

A progress of degradation with glowing phraseology, cajoleries and falsity. They put on exaggerated airs of mock-modesty, and assume a scornful pose before their admirers, all the time longing to be noticed. The old punctilious sense of honor have ceased to exist while finally the practices of the man of pleasure, the libertine modes, in full completeness, count at most only some forty years of life, – after which the reign of hypocrisy sets in.

The Story of the Stick by Antony Real

Since thou has not known how to rule over the good, reign over the bad; since thou has not known how to make thyself loved, make thyself feared.

For him, the stick is at once the distinguishing prerogative and the primeval curse of man.

If you love sceptres, Oh kings of the earth, said Solomom, “love wisdom and you will reign eternally.”

Blessing of the cross Bless, Lord, this sign of this holy cross, the emblem of the journey, the sign by witch thou has snatched the world from the power of the demons, and by which thou didst overcome the suggestions of the devil, who delighted in the disobedience of the first man in eating he forbidden fruit.

Sanctify, Lord, this sign, of thy passions that it may be a tower of strengthen thy enemies as a pledge of help for those who believe in thee.

Blessing of the Stick Receive, also, this staff of thy journey, in the name of thy Lord Jesus Christ, who sent to his servant Tobias an angel to walk before him to serve as his guide. May it accompany thee like the angel, and guide thee whither thou wouldst go.

Ancient Greek
And why this stick in the hands of philosophers? It was because, as they so freely spoke to the great, they always held themselves ready to exile.
Philosophers: They are accused and condemned by those who hate truth and virtue

Human wisdom is a double and dangerous sword and even in the hands of Socrates, its most intimate and familiar friend, how many ends the stick has! Montagne

Insult to human race also proves love to independence and scorn to riches – Diogenes

It is hard to make people admit that the maxims of the laical philosophers of Greece and Rome are the foundation of the evangelical doutrines.

I have conquered fewer people with my sceptre than Aristotle with his stick. -Alexander the great

It takes ages to outgrow prejudice, no matter how foolish they are.

Dueling
The foolish custom will not be suppressed because, slaves of prejudice that we are, we would consider ourselves dishonored if not giving the man who has insulted us the privilege of killing us.

To know how to command respect without inspiring fear.

Chinese axiom: when laws are made, rigor is necessary; when they are executed, mercy is no less so.

Turks characteristics:
The love of money and the love of stick have destroyed his ideas of human dignity, and he has no more regard for honor than for the life of a criminal.

Man is a creature of habit – and voluntary servitude, with him, as with animals, is the greatest proof we can have of the force of habit. Animals accustomed with yoke bend to it willingly, and nations accustomed to slavery do not even try to know the advantages of liberty.

It is in women convents that voluntary flagellation is most generally practiced. God must be more outraged than honored.

Another theatrical stick which has never flogged any one, and yet has always known how to command obedience and respect is that of the leader of the orchestra. It is the stick, or rather the sceptre that this absolute monarch is compelled to wield when he wants perfect harmony in this dominions.

We should never despair since God chastise those whom he wishes to bring back to him.

Stick Flint
Whip Wand
Batôn
Lance
Sceptre The scepter of Christ-king was a reed Bastinado
Crosier
Crutch
Spear Pike

Abby L. Ferber – White Man Falling: Race, Gender and White Supremacy

Buffon and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach are considered the early founders of of modern anthropology. Blumenbach advanced his own systematic racial index classification in his 1775 study On the Natural Varieties of mankind, designating five human races: Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay.

While he still considered races to be the product of creation, he ranked them on a scale according to their distance from the “civilized” Europeans. He introduced the term ”Caucasian,” chosen because he believed that the Caucasus region in Russia produced the world’s most beautiful women. This assertion typifies the widespread reliance upon aesthetic judgments in ranking races. West asserts that the tremendous influence of the classical revival upon Enlightenment though embedded classical ideals of beauty and proportion within science. Ancient Greeks were believed to represent the ideal, and they became the standard against which, other peoples were literally measured. West argues that the role of Greek classical aesthetics and cultural norms in shaping modern scientific discourse about race can not be underestimated. In the work of Blumembach the aesthetic criteria and cultural ideals of Ancient Greece come to the forefront he praised the symmetrical face as the most beautiful precisely because it approximated the proper anatomical proportions found in Greek sculpture.

Caucasian, chosen because he believed that the Caucasus region in Russia produced the world’s most beautiful women. This assertion typifies the widespread reliance upon aesthetic judgments in ranking races. West asserts that the tremendous influence of the classical revival upon Enlightenment though embedded classical ideals of beauty and proportion within science. Ancient Greeks were believed to represent the ideal, and they became the standard against which, other peoples were literally measured. West argues that the role of Greek classical aesthetics and cultural norms in shaping modern scientific discourse about race can not be underestimated.

The Practice & Science of Drawing Harold Speed

Beautiful things. They seem to put us in correspondence with a world the harmonies of which are more perfect, and bring a deeper peace than this imperfect life seems capable of yielding of itself.

Our moments of peace are, I think, always associated with some form of beauty, of this spark of harmony within corresponding with some infinite source without. Like a mariner’s compass, we are restless until we find repose in this one direction. In moments of beauty (for beauty is, strictly speaking, a state of mind rather than an attribute of certain objects, although certain things have the power of inducing it, more than others) we seem to get a glimpse of this deeper truth behind the things of sense. And who can say but that this sense, dull enough in most of us, is not an echo of a greater harmony existing somewhere the other side of things, that we dimly feel through them, evasive though it is.

The visible world is to the artist, as it were, a wonderful garment, at times revealing to him the Beyond, the Inner Truth there is in all things. He has a consciousness of some correspondence with something the other side of visible things and dimly felt through them, a “still, small voice” which he is impelled to interpret to man. It is the expression of this all-pervading inner significance that I think we recognise as beauty, and that prompted Keats to say:
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”
And hence it is that the love of truth and the love of beauty can exist together in the work of the artist. The search for this inner truth is the search for beauty. People whose vision does not penetrate beyond the narrow limits of the commonplace, and to whom a cabbage is but a vulgar vegetable, are surprised if they see a beautiful picture painted of one, and say that the artist has idealised it, meaning that he has consciously altered its appearance on some idealistic formula; whereas he has probably only honestly given expression to a truer, deeper vision than they had been

At any rate we have more feelings than form and colour of themselves are capable of arousing.

A sentient individual recording the sensations produced in him by the phenomena of life.

Emancipated from the objective world, they no longer dissected the object to see what was inside it, but studied rather the anatomy of the light refracted from it. Nothing is ugly when seen in a beautiful aspect of light, and aspect is with them everything.

And just as in music, where sounds affect us without having any direct relation with nature, but appeal directly to our own inner life; so in painting, sculpture, and architecture there is a music that appeals directly to us apart from any significance that may be associated with the representation of natural phenomena. There is, as To it were, an abstract music of line, tone, and colour.

So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than the beginning. (Plate XXI, Blake’s Job)
The just upright man is laughed to scorn. (Plate X, Blake’s Job)

The rows of columns in a Greek temple, the clusters of vertical lines in a Gothic cathedral interior, are instances of the sublimity and power they posses.

The horizontal and the vertical are two very important lines, the horizontal being associated with calm and contemplation and the vertical with a feeling of elevation.
Parallel in rectangular pictures is of great importance in uniting the subject to its bounding lines and giving it a well-knit look, conveying a feeling of great stability to a picture.
How impressive and suggestive of contemplation is the long line of the horizon on a calm day at sea, or the long, horizontal line of a desert plain! The lack of variety, with all the energy and vitality that accompany it, gives one a sense of peace and rest, a touch of infinity that no other lines can convey. The horizontal lines which the breeze makes on still water, and which the sky often assumes at sunset, affect us from the same harmonic cause.

The Romans knew the expressive power of the vertical when they set up a lonely column as a monument to some great deed or person. And a sense of this sublimity may be an unconscious explanation of the craze for putting towers and obelisks on high places that one comes across in different parts of the country, usually called someone’s “folly.”

Curved lines have not the moral integrity of straight lines. Theirs is not so much to minister to the expression of the sublime as to woo us to the beauteous joys of the senses. They hold the secrets of charm. But without the steadying power of straight lines and flatnesses, curves get out of hand and lose their power. In architecture the rococo style is an example of this excess. While all expressions of exuberant life and energy, of charm and grace depend on curved lines for their effect, yet in their most refined and beautiful expression they err on the side of the square forms rather than the circle. When the uncontrolled use of curves approaching the circle and volute are indulged in, unrestrained by the steadying influence of any straight lines, the effect is gross. The finest curves are full of restraint, and excessive curvature is a thing to be avoided in good drawing. We recognise this integrity of straight lines when we say anybody is “an upright man” or is “quite straight,” wishing to convey the impression of moral worth.
Straight lines and flatnesses = moral integrity, steadying power, expression of sublime.
Curved lines = charm, grace, exuberance, energy.

Always be on the look out for straightnesses in curved forms and for planes in your modelling.

BALANCE
There seems to be a strife between opposing forces at the basis of all things, a strife in which a perfect balance is never attained, or life would cease. Worlds are kept on their courses by such opposing forces, the perfect equilibrium never being found, and so the vitalising movement is kept up. States are held together on the same principle, no State seeming able to preserve a balance for long; new forces arise, the balance is upset, and the State totters until a new equilibrium has been found. It would seem, however, to be the aim of life to strive after balance, any
violent deviation from which is accompanied by calamity.

A conventional life is not the only wholesome form of existence, and is certainly a most unwholesome and deadening form to the artist; and neither is a dissipated life the only unconventional one open to him. It is as well that the young student should know this, and be led early to take great care of that most valuable of studio properties, vigorous health.

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Corpus Callosum

The corpus callosum per se is the largest bundle of commissural fibers in the human brain. It consists of at least 200–300 million fibers connecting the right and left cerebral hemispheres together (Huang et al., 2005; Sakai et al., 2017). It plays important roles in transferring sensory, motor, and cognitive information between the right and left cerebral hemispheres (LaMantia and Rakic, 1990-9). Most of these fibers provide homotopic connections between all the mirror-imaged areas in the cerebral hemispheres (Huang et al., 2005).

Notwithstanding, heterotopic fibers that connect anatomically and functionally different regions of the cerebral cortex in an asymmetric manner are also present (Mooshagian, 2008).

Anatomically, the CC is divided into four distinct regions, consisting of the rostrum, genu, body, and splenium (Sakai et al., 2017). The genu is the most anterior region, near the frontal lobe, while the splenium is the most posterior area, near the occipital lobe. The rostrum is the inferior backward extension from the genu, and the body is the largest area of the CC, located between the genu and splenium (Jones, 1985).

An early review on studies of the corpus callosum found that a thicker corpus callosum in schizophrenia patients was associated with both more negative symptoms and earlier age of onset. As both of these are more common in males, it may be that corpus callosum abnormalities in schizophrenia are sex-dependent. Indeed, an exploratory meta-regression in a study showed that sex may explain differences in diffusion properties of the corpus callosum in schizophrenia.

These results provide compelling evidence for the hypothesis that the corpus callosum plays a key role in the specialization of language to the left hemisphere. In AgCC, cortical processing for language becomes distributed across the two hemispheres and becomes right hemisphere dominant in cAgCC, a functional change that is independent of handedness. The timing and magnitude of activity in the left hemisphere for the main components of the frontotemporal language network was comparable between the groups, with greater activity in the right hemisphere over the same time windows in AgCC for both auditory and visual stimuli. Interestingly, the time windows that manifest left hemispheric lateralization in neurotypical cohorts (Findlay et al., 2012) overlapped time windows that manifest right hemisphere activation in AgCC. This shift away from left hemisphere dominance in AgCC was unrelated to additional clinical diagnoses.

It is possible that there is a nonlinear relationship between callosal volume and language laterality exists in which, in extreme cases (such as abnormally large callosa or AgCC), the likelihood of functional asymmetry decreases. Given that the tasks being conducted here are designed to drive the general processes of language input and speech output, it is not clear which patterns of activity correspond to different linguistic processes (e.g., syntactic vs lexical processing) across the two tasks. Nonetheless, we demonstrate here the novel finding that the establishment of left hemisphere language lateralization is associated with normal callosal development. We further provide evidence that linguistic impairments in those born without this structure are associated with profound increases in activity in the right hemisphere. Because language is not the only lateralized process in the human brain, future studies are needed to address how other cognitive functions (such as spatial ability) are dependent on healthy callosal development.

It is known that response synchronization between neurons of homotopic areas from both cortical hemispheres disappear after callosotomy (Engel et al. 1991), indicating that interhemispheric communication has an integrative function coordinating distal equivalent circuits in a single computational unit (Schmidt et al. 2010). Nonetheless, evidence for a net inhibitory role of the corpus callosum also exists (Hlushchuk and Hari 2006; Reis et al. 2008; Beaulé et al. 2012; Palmer et al. 2012). Accordingly, it has been proposed that callosal axons sustain competition between contralateral ensembles, leading to lateral dominance (for a review on these two opposed hypothesis see Bloom and Hynd 2005; van der Knaap and van der Ham 2011).

The lack of a detailed description of the connectivity between callosal projecting neurons (CPNs) and their contralateral targets remains as a major limitation in our understanding of the functional role of the callosal transfer. Our aim was to fill this gap by studying the influence of the CPNs on contralateral cortical microcircuits. Despite several attempts have been done to characterize the impact of CPNs on contralateral circuits (Karayannis et al. 2007; Palmer et al. 2012; Lee et al. 2014; Rock and Apicella 2015), so far, this is the first study considering the contribution of this pathway within the entire columnar extension of the contralateral cortex. For this, we have performed a detailed electrophysiological screening across different categories of pyramidal and gabaergic neurons in the retrosplenial cortex, a high-order association area involved in spatial cognition and context recognition (Wolbers and Büchel 2005; Smith et al. 2012; Czajkowski et al. 2014; reviewed in Vann et al. 2009).

Our results suggest that the origin of the corpus callosum in early eutherian ancestors likely included the conservation of preexisting features of intra- and interhemispheric connectivity. Notably, humans with congenital absence of the corpus callosum, but with preserved interhemispheric integrative functions, often show compensatory wiring through the anterior commissure that resembles the noneutherian connectome (51). This suggests that, under certain unknown conditions, neocortical commissural neurons may exploit developmental plasticity of ancient mechanisms of axon guidance, resulting in functional interhemispheric circuits. Our findings provide a comparative framework to further elucidate the molecular underpinnings of interhemispheric wiring in individuals with and without a corpus callosum, as well as to investigate developmental hypotheses concerning the evolution of homologous circuits in the vertebrate brain.

Light, Magic, Masonry by Michael Tsarion

The entrance of ithyphallic beams of light into the vesica-shaped eye can be likened to the sexual act. The penetration of light is experienced as an erotic act by the brain which is after all a mass of super- sensitive nerves. This real subtle optical experience may be compared to a miniature orgasm – small enough to not be noticed consciously but strong enough to be stimulate and entrain.

“Everything that we see obscures something else we want to see.” Rene Magritte. Magritte was referring to a remarkable ability of human beings to believe in ideas of reality rather than in reality itself. He was speaking about the strange antipathy that apparently exists between idea and reality, appearance and fact, deception and truth, darkness and light.

Reality is primarily a visual experience. The light and power wielded by agents of the Demiurge is always contextualized by difference, opposition and separation. Light in this mode cannot be true and real. It is by definition weak, transitory and illusory.

The corpus callosum connecting the left and right hemispheres is larger and more dense in males, resulting in less harmonization and communication between hemispheres. Hence the connection between masculinity and left-brain cognition. Although the existence of the left- brain’s functions makes us conscious, there’s a lot more to the advent of the ego and Self than neurologists presently understand. They fail to address what kind of consciousness – now repressed – would exist without the draconian oppressiveness and exclusion of the left-brain. They fail to address the impoverished phantasmagoria presented by the left-brain, which omits everything in reality that threatens its dominion and expansion. They are for the most part apologists for the left-brain’s refracted chimera. It’s not conducive for them to question their master’s authorized edition of reality.


It is clear, therefore, that our hallucinatory vision of the world as a concrete material manifestation, and our fixation on phallic and ithyphallic phenomena, indicate our enslavement to the left-brain’s preferred but contrived mode of cognition. Our fixations on dualism and language (particularly metaphorical language) are also indicative of this. The power and force we commonly associate with light and phallic sexuality is a power inferior to that of the right-brain and deeper hemispheres of consciousness. But this deeper more numinous flow of Spirit is invisible to us due to left-brain editing. It is also unknown due to our insensitivity, brought about by our reliance on misleaders in society, and our chronic craving for the approval of the misguided.

Experiencing aging or demystifying myths – impact of different geriatrics-gerontology teaching strategies in first year medical students

An intervention-based study in education was conducted at the beginning of the first year of a medical course. Students submitted to educational strategies were compared against students with no intervention.

The two strategies were: “Experiencing Aging” – also known as the “aging game” (simulation of the disabilities and physiological changes of aging), and “Myths of Aging” – a knowledge discussion based on a “quiz show”, questioning common myths about aging. All students were assessed on their attitudes towards older persons (Maxwell-Sullivan, UCLA attitudes), empathy (Maxwell-Sullivan), knowledge on facts and positive view about aging (Palmore), and cognitive knowledge. Data were analysed using Student’s t, Chi-squared or ANOVA tests.

The “experiencing aging” intervention was associated with improvement in empathy but worsening of attitude. The “myths of aging” intervention was associated with an improved attitude overall and positive view about aging but with no change in empathy towards older persons.

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The Exceptionally High Life Expectancy of Costa Rican Nonagenarians by Luis Rosero-Bixby

According to the World Bank in 2006, by the year 2004, Costa Rica had a per capita gross national income of about US$4,700 and a health expenditure of $310.

These figures are about one-tenth those in high-income countries. In the USA, these amounts were $41,400, and $5,700, respectively. Indicators of health services, such as, per capita physicians and hospital beds, are also substantially lower in Costa Rica. They equate to only one-third the number of USA physicians and, one-tenth the number of Japanese beds. It is perple-xing that a country with these modest levels of well- being, health investments, and infrastructure may be the one with the highest life expectancy among the elderly.

Robust data from a voter registry show that Costa Rican nonagenarians have an exceptionally high live expectancy. Mortality at age 90 in Costa Rica is at least 14% lower than an average of 13 high-income countries. This advantage increases with age by 1% per year. Males have an additional 12% advantage. Age-90 life expectancy for males is 4.4 years, one-half year more than any other country in the world. These estimates do not use problematic data on reported ages, but ages are computed from birth dates in the Costa Rican birth-registration ledgers. Census data confirm the exceptionally high survival of elderly Costa Ricans, especially males. Comparisons with the United States and Sweden show that the Costa Rican advantage comes mostly from reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases, coupled with a low prevalence of obesity, as the only available explanatory risk factor. Costa Rican nonagenarians are survivors of cohorts that underwent extremely harsh health conditions when young, and their advantage might be just a heterogeneity in frailty effect that might disappear in more recent cohorts. The availability of reliable estimates for the oldest-old in low-income populations is extremely rare. These results may enlighten the debate over how harsh early-life health conditions affect older-age mortality.

According to the World Bank (2006), by 2004, Costa Rica had a per capita gross national income of about US$4,700 and a health expenditure of $310. These figures are about one-tenth those in high-income countries. In the United States, these amounts were $41,400 and $5,700, respectively. Indicators of health services, such as per capita physicians and hospital beds, are also substantially lower in Costa Rica: they equate to only one-third the number of U.S. physicians and one-tenth the number of Japanese beds. It is perplexing that a country with these modest levels of well-being, health investments, and infrastructure may be the one with the highest life expectancy among the elderly.

Broad explanations of Costa Rica’s health achievements in the literature include the orientation of the government toward equity and social development, with large social investments being possible, in part, because of the absence of military expenditures (Rosero-Bixby 1991). The 1949 constitution abolished the armed forces. Investments in education and the very high coverage of health insurance are often mentioned as key factors (Caldwell 1986). Health insurance covers 82% of the population, including the 9% population deemed destitute, whose insurance is paid by the government (Rosero-Bixby 2004). Provision of primary health care, particularly to remote or poor populations, has a quantifiable impact on death rates, especially among children (Rosero-Bixby 1986). A 17-year follow-up of a group of Costa Rican elderly has shown no meaningful differences in survival by socio economic condition (education or wealth) nor by being covered by the national health insurance9 (Rosero-Bixby, Dow, and Lacle 2005); this suggests that the Costa Rican advantage at old ages may be present across the entire society, with no clear-cut health interventions or classic socioeconomic gradients as explanation.

Smoking, past and present, is not a factor among males, nor is high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol or triglycerides levels. It does not seem that Costa Ricans have the genes or a diet that reduce these risk factors. The only lowered risk factor for which Costa Rican males have a clear advantage is a lesser prevalence of obesity. Prevalence of obesity in Costa Rican males is two-thirds that found in the United States. This probably results in the significantly lower prevalence of uncontrolled diabetes in males as measured by the glycohemoglobin level, the only other factor in Table 4 that shows a Costa Rican advantage. Other factors that may be worth investigating are levels of stress, support networks, and the like. The explanations, however, say nothing regarding why the Costa Rican advantage occurs mostly among males, or why the sex gap in mortality is so small. The only thing known so far is that this population exhibits low cardiovascular mortality and that Costa Rican males of these ages are thin. Comparatively, Costa Rican women tend to be obese, which perhaps is due to their high fertility in the past; each extra pregnancy usually increases mother’s weight, as shown, for example, by Arroyo et al. (1995) for Mexican women.

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The Solidarity and Health Neutrality of Physicians in War & Peace

“Medicine is the only world-wide profession, following everywhere the same methods, actuated by the same ambitions, and pursuing the very same end. This homogeneity, its most characteristic feature, is not shared by the law or religion”, nor the ‘extraordinary solidarity which makes the physician at home in any country.’

The medical duty to treat people with humanity and respect applies to all patients. Physicians must be aware that, during armed conflict or other situations of violence, health care becomes increasingly susceptible to unscrupulous practice and the distribution of poor quality / counterfeit materials and medicines, and must attempt to take action on such practices. As such, the WMA supports the collection and dissemination of data related to assaults on physicians, other health care personnel and medical facilities, by an international body. Assaults against medical personnel must be investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice.”

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Luminosity determination in pp collisions at √s = 8 TeV using the ATLAS detector at the LHC

ATLAS monitors the delivered luminosity by measuring vis , the visible interaction rate per bunch crossing, with a variety of independent detectors and using several different algorithm.

The luminosity is assumed to be proportional to a number of reconstructed charged-particle tracks, with the visible interaction rate vis taken as number tracks per bunch crossing averaged over a given time window typically a luminosity block.

The ATLAS luminosity scale for the 2012 LHC run has been calibrated using data from dedicated beam- separation scans, also known as van der Meer scans. The vdM-calibration uncertainty is smaller than for the 2011 data set [3], thanks to improved control of beam-dynamical effects (beam–beam deflections, dynamic , non-factorization) and to a refined analysis of the non-reproducibility of beam conditions (orbit drift, emittance growth). The total systematic uncertainty in the delivered luminosity is no longer dominated by vdM-calibration uncertainties. The largest contribution arises from instrumental effects that require the transfer of the absolute luminosity scale from the low-rate vdM- scan regime to the high-luminosity conditions of routine physics operation; residual run-to-run and long-term inconsistencies between independent luminosity measurements also contribute significantly.
The combination of these systematic uncertainties results in a final uncertainty of !/! = ±1.9% in the luminosity measured by ATLAS during pp collisions at ! = 8 TeV for the 22.7 fb!1 of data delivered to ATLAS in 2012. This uncertainty applies to the high- luminosity data sample and any subset thereof, but not necessarily to a few special runs taken under very low pile-up conditions, such as those dedicated to elastic-scattering measurements: the latter require a separate analysis tailored to their specific experimental conditions.

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Gadamer, A Philosophical Portrait by Donatella Di Cesare

Experience unifies perceptions and concepts into universality, which actually overshadows the universality of science. But it differs from the universality of science too: it is a universality at once open to and inseparable from experienced perceptions.

This universality, which must be distinguished from the abstract, the universal concept of science, shows the constitutive openness of experience, which is always changing and transformable.”

Templeton World Charity Foundation’s Accelerating Research on Consciousness initiative [ARC]

Consciousness is a foundational concept for the understanding of human nature, but there is little agreement on what the anatomical structures and physiological functions produce consciousness. Scholars across disciplines can look at the same data, and draw different conclusions. As a result different theories of consciousness have become siloed.

Templeton World Charity Foundation’s Accelerating Research on Consciousness initiative (ARC) proposes a solution to these problems. Drawing on best practices in open science and adversarial collaboration, ARC promotes open and rigorous engagement among leaders of opposing theories. We do not expect to solve all the mysteries of consciousness, but we aim to foster progress by reducing the number of theories through rigorous scientific and conceptual investigation. We hope this will accelerate research and increase the legitimacy of the remaining theories.

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‘Orch OR’ is the most complete and the most easily falsifiable theory of consciousness

Conscious versus nonconscious I strongly dispute that Orch OR fails to distinguish conscious from non-conscious processes. Under anesthesia Orch OR prevented, non-conscious evoked potentials can continue by

1. membrane and synaptic activities 2. non-quantum microtubule processes 3. Quantum computations in microtubules (‘Orch’) which don’t reach threshold may have sub-conscious influence (e.g., dreams).


Small network criterion Can 10 neuron networks be conscious? With approximately 108 tubulins/neuron (109 tubulins/10 neurons), by t = ħ/EG, 109 tubulins would require 500 msec to reach threshold for a low intensity, low content conscious moment. But microtubule quantum states are shown to persist only 0.1 msec. A 10 neuron network is unlikely to sustain ‘Orch’ for 500 msec, although it’s possible.


Minimization of mysteries Orch OR has been derided for seeming to invoke a mythical ‘law of minimization of mysteries’ to explain both quantum mechanics and consciousness. But wouldn’t ‘Occam’s razor’ favor a ‘minimization of mysteries’? Indeed, Orch OR may also help explain other mysteries including how anesthesia works, the origin and evolution of life, free will, the flow of time, memory, dreams, and how general relativity relates to quantum mechanics.


Conclusion
Spanning disciplines and scale, with high explanatory power, Orch OR is the most complete theory of consciousness. But if quantum interference in microtubules (‘Orch’) cannot be demonstrated, or if demonstrated, proves insensitive to anesthesia, Orch OR will be falsified. Orch OR is the most complete, and most easily falsifiable theory of consciousness.

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The finer scale of consciousness: quantum theory

The nature of consciousness, once the exclusive realm of philosophers, has been, very gradually penetrated by neuroscientists, biologists, and physicists. Consciousness has always been defined as the Hard Problem in all these subjects.

With the emergence of unprecedented devices and the development of multidisciplinary experiments in different research fields, more details of this hard problem have been revealed, especially in quantum mechanics and neuroscientific fields. Quantum computers are considered the brightest new star in the quantum field and increasingly fascinate quantum physicists and information technology specialists. Advances in new materials and cryogenic physics have led to remarkable breakthroughs in quantum computing in recent years. Because quantum mechanics deals with the tiniest constituents of the material world, it seems capable of elucidating numerous unsolved and tough problems. Quantum theory, a branch from the finer scale of consciousness, has been accompanied by numerous controversies since its inception, but abundant proof demonstrated that this theoretical framework is capable of explaining the majority of consciousness problems that traditional neuroscience could not, especially the orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR) theory introduced by Penrose and Hameroff.

It was widely accepted that most neuronal communication and information transmission initially occurred on receptors and ligands (especially among synapses in the central nervous system) on the cell membrane, followed by second messengers that broadcast or transfer the information to various parts of the interior cell. Almost all basic studies in neurobiology converge on the various receptors, ligands and signaling pathways. However, are we 100% certain about this prerequisite basis of neuroscience? Rather than the conventional receptors and ligands of the membrane, the principal cellular components of the Orch-OR theory are microtubules that are mostly considered pivotal structures for material transportation, cell movement, mitosis and establishment and maintenance of cell form and function.


To date, this theory has remained one of the most acceptable and continuous theories that covers in detail quantum physics, quantum gravity, quantum information theory, molecular biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, philosophy, and anesthesiology. Additionally, this theory was known to neurobiologists who were interested in the “Hard Problem” as well as physicists and philosophers.
Under the background of rapid development of world computer technology, Hameroff likened the flow of information in the brain to computers in which microtubules were to the brain what transistors were to the computer (40-43). Inspired by this fantastic analogy and Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, in The Emperor’s New Mind (44) published in 1989, Roger Penrose first attached the quantum effect in human cognition. For example, he considered whether consciousness can affect quantum mechanics or vice versa and that quantum mechanics itself might be included in consciousness. Penrose suggested that the “objective collapse”, that is, the collapse and superposition of quantum interference, is a real physical process, similar to the bursting of bubbles (44). Furthermore, consciousness was the product of quantum space-time structure (Figure 2), which was inextricably related to the universe, and the theory describing the relationship between consciousness and the universe was the Orch-OR theory (44). These quantum theories facilitated the emergence of later biological hypotheses of consciousness based on quantum mechanics.

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What Can Consciousness Anomalies Tell Us about Quantum Mechanics? By George R. Williams

In this paper I explore the link between consciousness and quantum mechanics. Often, explanations that invoke consciousness to help explain some of the most perplexing aspects of quantum mechanics are not given serious attention.

However, casual dismissal is perhaps unwarranted, given the persistence of the measurement problem, as well as the mysterious nature of consciousness. Using data accumulated from experiments in parapsychology, I examine what anomalous data with respect to consciousness might tell us about various explanations of quantum mechanics. I examine three categories of quantum mechanics interpretations that have some promise of fitting with this anomalous data. I conclude that explanations that posit a substratum of reality containing pure information or potentia, along the lines proposed by Bohm and Stapp, offer the best fit for various categories of this data.

The paradoxical nature of quantum mechanics virtually assures that any explanation invokes a theoretical construction that clashes with our accustomed view of the world. As a result we have Schrödinger’s Cat or Everett’s interpretation that every possibility implied by the standard waveform is manifested. Against these sorts of alternatives, an explanation that posits links between consciousness and matter may not appear so radical. And while many of the hows and whats of consciousness remain unanswered, it nevertheless possesses a significant virtue that other alternatives lack: It is not merely a theoretical construction. The existence of consciousness, however mysterious, cannot be doubted.

Arguably, the various explanations for quantum mechanics can be grouped into three categories: collapse explanations, relative states (or many worlds) interpretations, and theories that depend on hidden variables or orders. The best-known collapse model is the conventional or Copenhagen interpretation, developed primarily by Bohr and Heisenberg. Numerous experiments have confirmed the validity of its mathematical rules. The Copenhagen interpretation frames a given quantum system as a wave function that represents a superposition of possible vector states of the system. Unlike classical systems, quantum systems are essentially probabilistic, with no way to predict which possible state will eventually manifest. According to Copenhagen, the wave function evolves smoothly in time until a measurement leads to the collapse of the waveform into the state that is observed.

Von Neumann’s (1932) formal analysis of the measurement problem acknowledged the crucial role that the observer played with the waveform collapse. More explicit arguments that consciousness itself causes the waveform collapse were made by Wigner (1967). Stapp (1993) invoked Von Neumann’s framework to investigate waveform collapse within the brain. Stapp proposed that the microscopic dimensions within neurons create quantum uncertainty, leading to a cloud of possible neurological states within the brain. According to Stapp, consciousness selects from possible brain states the one that is congruent with personal experience.

Penrose (1989, 1994) also explores a theory of objective collapse, which in this case requires substantial innovation across a number of challenging areas, including quantum gravity, consciousness, and the neurological structures within the brain. Collaborations with Hameroff have led to a proposed model (Hameroff & Penrose 1996) in which conscious experience emerges from a sort of quantum computing within the brain’s microtubules. That is, the brain’s microtubules sustain coherent superposition of quantum states. Consciousness results through the gravitation-induced collapse of these states. Tegmark (2000) has argued that the brain’s warm temperatures do not allow a sustained quantum collapse for the duration of time required for neural processing. However, Hagan, Hameroff, and Tuszynski (2002) have replied that under reasonable conditions, the superposition within microtubules might be sustained within the brain.

If we somehow get past this problem, another concern arises: how do we extract meaningful information? Hameroff and Penrose developed a sophisticated model within the brain describing networks of microtubules in coherent superposition, through which our conscious experience emerges. Another class of mind–matter experiment uses Young’s double-slit appa- ratus, perhaps the best-known experiment showing quantum mechanical effects, as a framework for testing.

Quantum mechanics is arguably the most successful theory in physics. Yet it remains the most mysterious one as well. The heart of the mystery is the measurement problem, the transition from the evolution of subatomic particles described by the Schrödinger equation to the results observed in experiments. After nearly a century of experimentation and debate, no consensus among physicists has emerged, and virtually all interpretations depart from classical physics, as well as from common sense reality. And yet the standard (Copenhagen) interpretation fits the data so well, with no apparent anomalies, that making a breakthrough in understanding may be very difficult.

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Raul Marino Júnior A Religião do Cérebro: as novas descobertas da neurociência a respeito da fé humana [original in Portuguese]

Agostinho, um dos mais importantes teólogos da Igreja no século V, acreditava que a imagem de Deus residia não na capacidade para pensamento abstrato, mas naquela para o autoconhecimento, a introspecção e a memória.

Experiências ditas religiosas ou espirituais, levam-nos a inferir que, relativamente à existência de Deus, o único lugar onde Ele poderia revelar-se para nós seria no emaranhado de vias neurais e estruturas fisiológicas de nosso cérebro.

A física quântica tem revolucionado os conceitos tradicionais de um mundo material e manifesto, que denominamos de espaço real, afirmando, por exemplo, que partículas podem se propagar como se fossem ondas e vice-versa, podendo, portanto, ser consideradas uma função quântica. Assim, experiências têm demonstrado que a luz pode se comportar como partículas ou fótons e, em outros experimentos, como ondas, sendo verdadeiros ambos os achados. Desse modo, de acordo com Niels Bohr, ondas e partículas são aspectos complementares da luz e da mesma “realidade”, descoberta que lhe valeu o Prêmio Nobel de Física em 1922. À velocidade da luz, tanto a velocidade de uma partícula como a de uma onda são idênticas. Mas, quanto mais lenta é a partícula, mais rápida é a velocidade da onda e, quando a partícula pára, a velocidade da onda torna-se infinita. O espaço-fase, invisível, gera eventos que podem ser localizados no tempo-espaço contínuo ou mundo manifesto — espaço real — e, portanto, visível. Assim, tudo o que é visível emana do que é invisível.

De acordo com S. Hameroff e R. Penrose (1995), os microtúbulos dos neurônios podem processar informações geradas por padrões auto-organizadores, produzindo estados coerentes, que poderiam explicar a possibilidade de experimentarmos pensamentos e consciência (ver Fig. 8). H. Romijn (2002) concluiu que campos eletromagnéticos em constante mudança, a partir de redes neuronais, podem ser considerados fenômenos de coerência quântica biológica e, possivelmente, “suportes” elementares da consciência.

É certo que a física quântica não tem explicação para a “essência” da consciência nem para o segredo da vida, mas nos ajuda a entender a transição de campos de consciência do espaço-fase para o mundo material, em cujo processo o córtex serve apenas como uma estação intermediária para partes da consciência e das memórias a serem recebidas pela consciência desperta.

Neste conceito, os autores citados afirmam que essa atividade — a transição da consciência do espaço-fase para o tempo-espaço contínuo — não se baseia em um substrato físico e comparam o campo da consciência à internet, a qual não se origina no interior do computador, mas é apenas recebida por ele. De acordo com essa hipótese, a vida cria a possibilidade de recebermos os campos da consciência na forma de ondas ou de informação em nossa consciência desperta, que pertence ao corpo físico e é constituída de partículas. O aspecto físico da consciência no mundo material se origina no aspecto de ondas da consciência no espaço-fase, por colapso da função ondulatória em partículas (redução objetiva), aspecto esse que pode ser medido e comprovado por magnetoencefalograma, eletroencefalograma, ressonância magnética e PET scanner. Esse novo conceito de “colapso da função das ondas” é vital para a compreensão desses fenômenos tão complexos.

O aspecto ondulatório de nossa consciência indestrutível no espaço-fase, sem interconexões locais, não pode ser medido por meios ou processos físicos. Segundo os autores, quando morremos, nossa consciência deixa de ter o aspecto de partículas para assumir o eterno aspecto de ondas. Com esse novo conceito sobre consciência, tanto a relação mente-cérebro quanto os fenômenos de EQM durante paradas cardíacas podem ser explicados. Segundo esses conceitos, o DNA do corpo funcionaria como uma antena quântica ou uma cadeia de bits quânticos (qubits) providos de uma torção helicoidal, funcionando como um aparato supercondutor de interferência quântica.

Os autores ilustram essa assertiva citando casos em que um receptor de transplante cardíaco recebe um coração com DNA diferente do seu e algumas vezes experimenta pensamentos e sensações novos e estranhos que, mais tarde, passam a combinar com o caráter e a consciência do doador já falecido.
É interessante estabelecer uma comparação entre esses fenômenos quânticos e os meios corriqueiros de comunicação através dos campos eletromagnéticos dos aparelhos de rádio, TV, telefones celulares, laptops e outros equipamentos sem fio. Não tomamos consciência da vastíssima quantidade de campos eletromagnéticos que constantemente atravessam nosso corpo, paredes e edifícios. Somente nos damos conta deles no momento em que ligamos um desses aparelhos e passamos a detectá-los sob a forma de imagem ou som, no momento em que conseqüências de causas que nos são invisíveis se tornam observáveis aos nossos sentidos e sua percepção atinge nossa consciência.
As imagens e os sons não estão dentro dos aparelhos nem a internet está dentro de computadores. Ao desligá-los, a recepção desaparece, mas a transmissão continua e a informação permanece nos campos eletromagnéticos.
Segundo a teoria da continuidade da consciência de Van Lommel, se a função do cérebro fosse perdida, como na morte clínica ou cerebral, as memórias e a consciência continuariam a existir, perdendo-se apenas a recepção pela interrupção da conexão. Ao tempo da morte física, a consciência continuaria a existir e a ser experimentada em outra dimensão, num mundo não-visível e imaterial — o espaço-fase — que contém o passado, o presente e o futuro. Infelizmente, os estudos de EQM não podem ainda fornecer provas irrefutáveis dessas conclusões. Afinal, esses pacientes não morreram, apenas estiveram muito perto da morte, por uma parada momentânea do funcionamento do cérebro. Resta-nos, então, a conclusão de que a consciência pode ser experimentada independentemente do funcionamento cerebral, o que poderá futuramente acarretar uma enorme mudança nos paradigmas da medicina, surgindo a possibilidade de se admitir que a morte, assim como o nascimento, constitui meramente a passagem de um estado de consciência para outro.

NEUROIMAGEM

A aquisição de imagens computadorizadas do cérebro humano por meio da tomografia computadorizada e da ressonância magnética tem nos fornecido imagens que nos permitem examinar esse órgão como se fosse uma peça anatômica em nossas mãos, excelência da exatidão dessas imagens radiológicas. Essa tecnologia trouxe progresso à neurologia, à psiquiatria e à neurocirurgia, permitindo o diagnóstico de lesões, tumores e outras doenças que, há duas ou três décadas, não seria possível.

Essas imagens, puramente anatômicas, associadas agora a exames funcionais do cérebro humano realizados por meio de radioisótopos, como o single photon emission computed tomography (Spect) e o positron emission tomography (PET), têm nos permitido realizar outros estudos além dos de anatomia. Com esses recursos, podemos registrar o funcionamento do cérebro durante convulsões, nas epilepsias, detectar seu fluxo sanguíneo, seu metabolismo, a ação dos neurotransmissores durante a atividade mental e neuropsiquátrica nas doenças e no cérebro normal e monitorar as funções de todas as áreas do cérebro durante as atividades motoras, sensoriais, comportamentais e cognitivas. Hoje esses registros constituem as bases para as pesquisas nas ciências neurocognitivas. Nas telas desses aparelhos, podemos determinar com precisão — e em cores — as áreas cerebrais envolvidas na elaboração e no entendimento da linguagem, assim como as áreas visuais e auditivas, a recepção e a sensação dos fenômenos dolorosos e as sensações superficiais e profundas. A ressonância magnética funcional (fMRI) também tem proporcionado dados impressionantemente precisos sobre o mapeamento funcional dessas várias áreas.

Newberg e outros pesquisadores (2001) têm utilizado especificamente o Spect, por ser mais simples, para o estudo da fenomenologia cerebral durante a prática de atividades espirituais em monges budistas voluntários e em freiras de clausura, dedicadas à vida monástica contemplativa, sobretudo durante estados de meditação profunda.

Nesse estudo, os autores encontraram um aumento importante do fluxo cerebral mapeado bilateralmente no córtex dos lobos frontais do cérebro, nos giros cíngulos e em ambos os tálamos. Em contrapartida, detectaram um decréscimo desse fluxo nos lobos parietais superiores, bilateralmente — o esquerdo, em geral, era mais afetado que o direito.

Em outros estudos de imagem cerebral, Lazar et al. (2000) utilizaram o exame de fMRI e Herzog et al. (1990-91), o PET scanner. Em ambos os casos, demonstrou-se aumento de atividade nas áreas frontais, sobretudo no córtex pré-frontal, concomitantemente à diminuição nas regiões parietais, coincidindo, portanto, com os achados de Newberg, que utilizou o spect.

Integrated Quantum Photonics with Silicon Carbide: Challenges and Prospects

Quantum information processing (QIP) is among the most rapidly developing areas of science and technology. It is perhaps the final frontier in the quest to harness the fundamental properties of matter for computation, com-munication, data processing, and molecular simulation.

Any physical system governed by the laws of quantum mechanics can in principle be a candidate for QIP; to date, however, the most advanced QIP demonstrations have been implemented via superconducting qubits [1], trapped ions and atoms [2,3], and photons (via linear-optical quantum computing) [4]. Recently, optically addressable crystal defects have emerged as a novel platform for QIP [5– 8], interfacing some of nature’s best quantum memories (a protected solid-state spin [9–11]) with a robust flying qubit (photon) that can transport the quantum informa- tion [12]. Notably, solid-state defects lend themselves to on-chip integration, promising future scalability. Optically addressable spin defects are thus noteworthy candidates for several QIP proposals, including network-based quantum computing [13–15], cluster state generation [16–18], and quantum communications [19,20].

Optically addressable solid-state spin defects are promising candidates for storing and manipulating quantum information using their long coherence ground-state manifold; individual defects can be entan- gled using photon-photon interactions, offering a path toward large-scale quantum photonic networks. Quantum computing protocols place strict limits on the acceptable photon losses in the system. These low- loss requirements cannot be achieved without photonic engineering, but are attainable if combined with state-of-the-art nanophotonic technologies. However, most materials that host spin defects are challenging to process: as a result, the performance of quantum photonic devices is orders of magnitude behind that of their classical counterparts. Silicon carbide (SiC) is well suited to bridge the classical-quantum photonics gap, since it hosts promising optically addressable spin defects and can be processed into SiC-on-insulator for scalable, integrated photonics. In this paper, we discuss recent progress toward the development of scalable quantum photonic technologies based on solid-state spins in silicon carbide, and discuss current challenges and future directions.

In summary, spin-based photonic technologies for quan- tum computing will likely operate in the network architec- ture (Fig. 1) and will require the integration of spin-qubit registers with high-quality photonic structures and efficient photon detectors to reduce the total photon loss below the demanding thresholds for quantum computing [15]. While there may be numerous approaches for achieving this goal, we believe that a fully chip-integrated quantum photonic platform holds the most promise, as this approach is most scalable and avoids additional coupling loss from waveguide interconnects. SiC has emerged as a promising platform for realizing this technology, with demonstrations of wafer-scale integration of high-quality emitters into semiconductor junctions [63], isotopic engineering for nuclear spin registers [88], indistinguishable single-photon emission [52], and a quantum-grade SiC-on-insulator plat- form for fabrication of photonic devices [32]. However, several key results must be demonstrated to confirm its promise, starting with the integration of large arrays of tunable narrow-linewidth emitters into nanostructures.

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Electron efficiency for measurements with the ATLAS detector and using the 2012 LHC proton–proton collision data – The European Physical Journal

This paper describes the algorithms for the reconstruction and identification of electrons in the central region of the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). These algorithms were used for all ATLAS results with electrons in the final state that are based on the 2012 pp collision data produced by the LHC at  = 8 TeV. The efficiency of these algorithms, together with the charge misidentification rate, is measured in data and evaluated in simulated samples using electrons from  Z → ee, Z → eeγ and J/ψ → eedecays.

For these efficiency measurements, the full recorded data set, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 20.3 fb-1, is used. Based on a new reconstruction algorithm used in 2012, the electron reconstruction efficiency is 97% for electrons with ET = 15 GeV and 99% at ET = 50 GeV. Combining this with the efficiency of additional selection criteria to reject electrons from background processes or misidentified hadrons, the efficiency to reconstruct and identify electrons at the ATLAS experiment varies from 65 to 95%, depending on the transverse momentum of the electron and the background rejection.

Electron isolation

In order to further reject hadronic jets misidentified as electrons, most analyses require electrons to pass some isolation requirement in addition to the identification requirements described above. The two main isolation variables are:

Calorimeter-based isolation: The calorimetric isolation variable EconeΔRT is defined as the sum of the transverse energy deposited in the calorimeter cells in a cone of size ΔR around the electron, excluding the contribution within Δη × Δϕ= 0.125 × 0.175 around the electron cluster barycentre. It is corrected for energy leakage from the electron shower into the isolation cone and for the effect of pile-up using a correction parameterized as a function of the number of reconstructed primary vertices.

Track-based isolation: The track isolation variable pconeΔRT is the scalar sum of the transverse momentum of the tracks with pT > 0.4 GeV in a cone of ΔR around the electron, excluding the track of the electron itself. The tracks considered in the sum must originate from the primary vertex associated with the electron track and be of good quality; i.e. they must have at least nine silicon hits, one of which must be in the innermost pixel layer.

Both types of isolation are used in the tag-and-probe measurements, mainly in order to tighten the selection criteria of the tag.

Whenever isolation is applied to the probe electron candidate in this work, this only happens in the J/ψ analysis, the criteria are chosen such that the effect on the measured identification efficiency is estimated to be small.

Max The efficiency εID of the algorithms used by ATLAS to identify photons during the LHC Run 1 has been measured from pp collision data using three independent methods in different photon ET ranges. The three measurements agree within their uncertainties in the overlapping ET ranges, and are combined.
For the data taken in 2011, 4.9 fb-1 at s√=7 TeV, the efficiency of the cut-based identification algorithm increases from 60– 70% at ET = 20 GeV up to 87–95% (90–99%) at ET > 100 GeV for unconverted (converted) photons. With an optimised neural network this efficiency increases from 85–90% at ET = 20 GeV to about 97% (99%) at ET > 100 GeV for unconverted (converted) photon candidates for a similar background rejection. For the data taken in 2012, 20.3 fb-1 at s√=8 TeV, the efficiency of a re-optimised cut-based photon identification algorithm increases from 50–65% (45–55%) for unconverted (converted) photons at ET = 10 GeV to 95–100% at ET > 100 GeV, being larger than ≈ 90% for ET > 40 GeV.
The nominal MC simulation of prompt photons in ATLAS predicts significantly higher identification efficiency values than those measured in some regions of the phase space, particularly at low ET. A simulation with shower shapes corrected forthe average shifts observed with respect to the data describes the values of εID better in the entire ET and η range accessible by the data-driven methods. The residual difference between the efficiencies in data and in the corrected simulation are taken into account by computing data-to-MC efficiency scale factors. These factors differ from one by up to 10% at ET = 10 GeV and by only a few percents above ET = 40 GeV, with an uncertainty decreasing from 1.4–4.5% (1.7– 5.6%) at ET = 10 GeV for unconverted (converted) photons to 0.2–0.8% (0.2–0.5%) at high ET for s√=8 TeV. The uncertainties are slightly larger for s√=7 TeV data due to the smaller size of the control samples.

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Harry Martinson, The Electrons, 1970

With their round dance the electrons spin chrysalises of that which abides, the inmost cocoons which do not open of their own accord but of that which abides. There is not a matter of hatching out. There it is a matter of tending and protecting the metamorphoses of the inmost deeper-down swaying.

Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society) First Edition

Cutting-edge theorist Jean Baudrillard on the complicitous dance of art, politics, economics, and media; includes “War Porn,” on Abu Ghraib as a new genre of reality TV. Images from Abu Ghraib are as murderous for America as those of the World Trade Center in flames.

The whole West is contained in the burst of sadistic laughter of the American soldiers, as it is behind the construction of the Israeli wall. This is where the truth of these images lies. Truth, but not veracity. As virtual as the war itself, their specific violence adds to the specific violence of the war. In The Conspiracy of Art, Baudrillard questions the privilege attached to art by its practitioners. Art has lost all desire for illusion: feeding back endlessly into itself, it has turned its own vanishment into an art unto itself. Far from lamenting the “end of art,” Baudrillard celebrates art’s new function within the process of insider-trading. Spiraling from aesthetic nullity to commercial frenzy, art has become transaesthetic, like society as a whole. Conceived and edited by life-long Baudrillard collaborator Sylvère Lotringer, The Conspiracy of Art presents Baudrillard’s writings on art in a complicitous dance with politics, economics, and media. Culminating with “War Porn,” a scathing analysis of the spectacular images from Abu Ghraib prison as a new genre of reality TV, the book folds back on itself to question the very nature of radical thought.

Jean Baudrillard is one of the most celebrated and most controversial of contemporary social theorists. This major work, appearing in English for the first time, occupies a central place in the rethinking of the humanities and social sciences around the idea of postmodernism.

It leads the reader on an exhilarating tour encompassing the end of Marxism, the enchantment of fashion, symbolism about sex and the body, and the relations between economic exchange and death. Most significantly, the book represents Baudrillard′s fullest elaboration of the concept of the three orders of the simulacra, defining the historical passage from production to reproduction to simulation.

The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess
In this lucid and fascinating book, Peter Brooks argues that melodrama is a crucial mode of expression in modern literature. After studying stage melodrama as a dominant popular form in the nineteenth century, he moves on to Balzac and Henry James to show how these “realist” novelists created fiction using the rhetoric and excess of melodrama – in particular its secularized conflicts of good and evil, salvation and damnation. The Melodramatic Imagination has become a classic work for understanding theater, fiction, and film.

A Sociologia do Corpo – David Le Breton

Um novo imaginário do corpo, luxuriante, invade a sociedade; nenhuma área da prática social sai ilesa das reivindicações que se desenvolvem na crítica da condição corporal dos atores. O corpo, lugar do contato privilegiado com o mundo, está sob a luz dos holofotes.

Problemática coerente e até inevitável numa sociedade de tipo individualista que entra numa zona turbulenta, de confusão e de obscurecimento das referências incontestáveis e conhece, em conseqüência, um retorno maior à individualidade.


Freqüentemente indiscreta, a crítica apodera-se de uma noção de senso comum: “o corpo”. Sem discussão prévia, faz dele símbolo de união, cavalo de batalha contra um sistema de valores considerado repressivo, ultrapassado, e que é preciso transformar para favorecer o desabrochar individual. As práticas e os discursos que surgem propõem ou exigem uma transformação radical das antigas repre- sentações sociais. Uma literatura abundante e inconscientemente surrealista convida à “libertação do corpo”, proposta que, quando muito, é angelical. A imaginação pode perder-se indefinidamente nesse discurso fantástico no qual o corpo se “liberta”, sem que saibamos bem o que acontece com o homem (seu mestre) a quem o corpo dá, no entanto, a extensão e a aparência. Nesse discurso o corpo é colocado não como algo indistinto do homem, mas como uma posse, um atributo, um outro, um alter ego. O homem é a fantasia desse discurso, o suieito suposto. A apologia ao corpo é, sem que tenha consciência, profundamente dualista, opõe o indivíduo ao corpo e, de maneira abstrata, supõe uma existência para corpo que poderia ser analisada fora do homem concreto. Denunciando freqüentemente o “parolismo” da psicanálise, esse discurso de liberação, pela abundância e pelos inúmeros campos de aplicação, alimentou o imaginário dualista da modernidade: essa facilidade de linguagem que leva a falar do corpo, sem titubear e a todo momento, como se fosse outra coisa que o corpo de atores em carne.
A crise de significação e de valores que abala a modernidade, a procura tortuosa e incansável por novas legitimidades que ainda hoje continuam a se ocultar, a permanência do provisório transformando-se em tempo da vida, são, entre outros fatores, os que contribuíram logicamente para comprovar o enraizamento físico da condição de cada ator. O corpo, lugar do contato privilegiado com o mundo, está sob a luz dos holofotes. Problemática coerente e até inevitável numa sociedade de tipo individualista que entra numa zona de turbulenta, de confusão e de obscurecimento das referências incontestáveis e conhece, em conseqüência, um retorno maior à individualidade.

O lugar e o tempo do limite, da separação como a crise da legitimidade torna a relação com o mundo incerta, o ator procura, tateando suas marcas, empenhar-se por produzir um sentimento de identidade mais favorável. Hesita de certa forma com o encarceramento físico do qual é objeto. Dá atenção redobrada ao corpo lá onde ele se separa dos outros e do mundo. Já que o corpo é lugar do rompimento, da diferenciação individual, supõe-se que possua a prerrogativa da possível reconciliação. Procura-se o segredo perdido do corpo. Torná-lo não um lugar da exclusão, mas o da inclusão, que não seja mais o que interrompe, distin- guindo o indivíduo e separando-o dos outros, mas o conector que o une aos outros. Pelo menos este é um dos imaginários sociais mais férteis da modernidade.

O homem como”produto” do corpo. A ordem do mundo obedece à ordem biológica cujas provas são encontradas nas aparências corporais. Mede-se, pesa-se, corta-se, fazem-se autópsias, classificam-se incontáveis sinais transformados em índices a fim de decompor o indivíduo sob os auspícios da raça ou da categoria moral. A corporeidade entra na era da suspeiçao e torna-se facilmente uma peça de convicção. As qualidades do homem são deduzidas da feição do rosto ou das formas do corpo. Ele é percebido como a evidente emanação moral da aparência física. O corpo torna- se descrição da pessoa, testemunha de defesa usual daquele que encarna. O homem não tem poder de ação contra essa “natureza”.

Freud edifica uma ruptura epistemológica que liberta a corporeidade humana da língua de pau dos positivistas do século XIX. Muito embora não sendo sociólogo, torna a corporeidade compreensível como matéria modelada, até certo ponto, pelas relações sociais e as inflexões da história pessoal do sujeito.

Evangelizado, submete a existência aos olhos de Deus e, a partir de então, as fronteiras delimitadas pelo corpo o distinguem dos companheiros. Ele se sente muito mais indivíduo que membro da comunidade, mesmo que nesse coletivo, meio híbrido, a passagem não seja feita de modo radical. A centração sobre o eu, resultado dessa transformação social e cultural, comprova nos fatos o que Durkheim colocava em evidência para distinguir um indivíduo do outro: “é preciso um fator de individualização, é o corpo quem faz esse papel”.

Especialistas do sentido oculto das coisas (médicos, curandeíros, psicólogos, pajés, tiradores de sorte, etc.) interferem para dar nome ao mistério, explicar sua gênese, (re)inserir no interior da comunidade o homem e a doença que o atinge. Indicam a via a seguir para facilitar a resolução do problema. Se a primeira tentativa não dá resultado, outras podem ser feitas e novos especialistas solicitados; nossas sociedades são exemplos formidáveis desse procedimento. Sempre resta o imaginário social para retomar aquilo que escapa provisoriamente ao controle social.

Mas o sociólogo não esquece que ele próprio vive num mundo de categorias mentais inseridas na trama da história social, e, de modo geral, na trama da história das ciências. De modo mais específico, o qualificativo “corpo” que limita o campo dessa sociologia é uma “forma simples” no sentido de André Jolles: “Todas as vezes que uma atividade do espírito conduz a multiplicidade e a diversidade do ser e dos acontecimentos a cristalizar-se para adquirir uma certa forma, todas as vezes que essa diversidade, percebida pela língua em seus V elementos primeiros e indivisíveis e transformada em produção da linguagem, puder ao mesmo tempo querer dizer e significar o ser e o acontecimento, diremos que ocorre o nascimento de uma forma simples”

A sociologia do corpo é a sociologia do enraizamento físico do ator no universo social e cultural.

Gilles Lipovetsky, 1999, interview

Há uma nova regulação de valores morais, com o aprofundamento dos ideais do Iluminismo, como o respeito ao outro, a tolerância, a liberdade, a recusa da escravidão. Nessa nova regulação, a tradição e a Igreja perderam o privilegiado lugar que possuíam. Passamos da ilusão de transcendência a verdadeira imanência. Temos uma axiomática de base: o humanismo.

Estamos vivendo uma revolução individualista subterraneana. Por meio dela a condição de existência esta sendo mudada. Estamos longe da barbarie, apesar da permanência da desigualdade, da exclusão, da miséria, da solidão de muitos, da depressão e da incerteza.

Haverá o direito a superficialidade. Nietzsche dizia que devemos ser superficiais, por profundidade. Avancar em relação a sociedade pos-moderna da exclusão.

Observa-se, no entanto, o abuso do direito a superficialidade pela pós-modernidade como fonte de desigualdade, exclusão, miséria, solidão, incerteza e depressão psíquica.

(translated to Portuguese)

DL Breton, Darwin, Foucault, Hegel, LCS Martin, Nietzsch

“Que suicídio contínuo é sua conduta. Que possa alienar-se desta cloaca que é um precipício sempre aberto. Ao invés de transmitir inteligência aos seus semelhantes, não sabe se preservar da ignorância e da morte.” LCSM

It’s been extremely noticeable even on academic pages the increase of a visual manifestation of a general fixation on procto and ithyphallic phenomena which indicates a sort of enslavement to their representation. Breton


The eyes, both circles around an “excremental fantasy”, a legacy of an anal fixation worked out in a psycoanalytic cure. This fantasy involves, through the process of evolution, the moviment of a tremendous erotic force up from the ape’s provocative anus to the erect human’s head and brain. The next stage of evolution, manifested by a kind of parodic Nietzschean Superman, posits a “pineal eye”, a final but deadly erection, which blasts through the top of human skull and “sees” the overwhelming sun. The point here is not to sublate the anal obsession, but to embrace it: the dialectical procedure of the psychoanalytic cure when completed suddenly falls, and with it the dialectical movement of human evolution as well. And behind Darwin lurks Hegel: the temporal movement toward erect, properly adjusted, rational man is one with the dialectical movement toward Absolute Spirit. But what happens when this movement is not simply denied but pushed as far as it can go? The answer is that the end of reason, at the end of man, at the end of the Cartesian pineal gland (the supposed seat of consciousness) there is only orgasm and a simultaneous fall, a simultaneous death. Death and perversion do not take place in splendid isolation; instead, they are at the endpoint of the human. (Breton)


Here I believe one’s point of reference should not be to the great model of language {langue} and signs, but to that of war and battle. The history which bears and determines us has the form of a war rather than that of a language: relations of power not relations of meaning. Power relation permeate all levels of social existence and are therefore to be found operating at every site of social life – in the private spheres of the family and sexuality as much as in the public spheres of politics, the economy and the law. (Foucault)


A vida humana sempre se conforma com a imagem de um soldado obedecendo ordens. Como tambem com o covarde e a pobreza de espírito. Como na natureza, a decadência é o laboratório da vida. Seja qual for a extensão, o infeliz ser burguês mantém uma vulgaridade humana com um certo gosto pela virilidade.

Metafisicamente, a águia é identificada com a idéia, quando, jovem e agressiva sem ainda ter atingido um estado de pura abstração, quando ainda é apenas o desenvolvimento ilimitado de fatos concretos disfarçados de necessidade divina. Os olhos da polícia finalmente são apenas a expressão de uma sede cega por obscenidade. Os dois círculos oculares apresentam-se em torno de uma “fantasia excremental”, um legado de uma fixação anal. Essa fantasia envolve, através do processo de evolução, o movimento de uma tremenda força erótica que vai do ânus provocador do macaco à cabeça e ao cérebro do ser humano ereto. O próximo estágio da evolução, manifestado por uma espécie de Super-homem nietzschiano paródico, apresenta um “olho pineal”, uma ereção final, mas mortal, que atinge o topo do crânio humano e “vê” o sol avassalador. O ponto aqui não é sublimar a obsessão anal, mas o procedimento dialético da cura psicanalítica quando concluída repentinamente observa a queda e, com ela, o movimento dialético da evolução humana. A energia da sexualidade obscena e anal pode ser temporariamente levada a um nível superior no militar heterossexual. Tudo estaria visivelmente conectado se pudéssemos descobrir de uma só vez e em sua totalidade os traços do fio de uma ariadne levando atraves de seu próprio labirinto. Mas a cópula de termos não é menos irritante do que a cópula de corpos. Coito é a paródia do crime. E por trás de Darwin espreita Hegel: o movimento temporal em direção ao homem racional, ereto, adequadamente ajustado, é aquele com o movimento dialético em direção ao Espírito Absoluto. Mas em sua deturpação, no final da razão, no final do homem, no final da glândula pineal cartesiana (a suposta sede da consciência), existe apenas o orgasmo e uma queda simultânea, uma morte simultânea. A morte e a perversão não ocorrem em esplêndido isolamento; em vez disso, eles estão no ponto final do ser humano.”

O processo de significância e referência está associado à alegoria continua, mas leva à subversão terminal das referências pseudo-estáveis que fizeram a alegoria e suas hierarquias parecerem possíveis. A queda de um sistema não é estável. Não há substituição pela elevação de outro sistema; essa queda da alegoria é uma espécie de processo incessante e/ou repetitivo. Dessa forma, a sujeira não “substitui” Deus; não há novo sistema de valores; nenhuma nova hierarquia. Existe uma espécie de alegoria da queda da própria alegoria. Esta queda da alegoria é de fato consonante com a queda da cópula e com as ramificações dessa queda. A alegoria da queda da cópula. Mas a cópula de termos não é mais irritante do que a cópula de corpos. E quando eu grito, eu sou o sol, resulta uma ereção integral, porque o verbo ser é o veículo. A vida é paródica e carece de interpretação. Assim, o chumbo é a paródia do ouro. O ar é a paródia da água. O consumo conspícuo não é um remanescente pernicioso do feudalismo que deve ser substituído pela utilidade total; em vez disso, é a perversão da “necessidade de destruição dos homens”. Os nobres e, mais hipocritamente, os burgueses, usam essa “destruição” para não destruir completamente, mas simplesmente para reafirmar sua posição na hierarquia. Efervescente, a violência subversiva das massas, a base de sua recusa em entrar em discussões tediosas, e na ausência de uma teoria clara e correta embasadora, pode facilmente ser revertida para o fascismo.”

(translated to Portuguese)

David Le Breton

A vida humana sempre se conforma com a imagem de um soldado obedecendo ordens. Como tambem com o covarde e a pobreza de espírito. Como na natureza, a decadência é o laboratório da vida. Seja qual for a extensão, o infeliz ser mantém uma vulgaridade humana com um certo gosto pela virilidade.

Metafisicamente, a águia é identificada com a idéia, quando jovem e agressiva sem ainda ter atingido um estado de pura abstração, quando ainda é apenas o desenvolvimento ilimitado de fatos concretos disfarçados de necessidade divina. Os olhos da polícia finalmente são apenas a expressão de uma sede cega por obscenidade. Os dois círculos oculares apresentam-se em torno de uma “fantasia excremental”, um legado de uma fixação anal. Essa fantasia envolve, através do processo de evolução, o movimento de uma tremenda força erótica que vai do ânus provocador do macaco à cabeça e ao cérebro do ser humano ereto. O próximo estágio da evolução, manifestado por uma espécie de Super-homem nietzschiano paródico, apresenta um “olho pineal”, uma ereção final, mas mortal, que atinge o topo do crânio humano e “vê” o sol avassalador. O ponto aqui não é sublimar a obsessão anal, mas o procedimento dialético da cura psicanalítica quando concluída repentinamente observa a queda e, com ela, o movimento dialético da evolução humana. A energia da sexualidade obscena e anal pode ser temporariamente levada a um nível superior no militar heterossexual. Tudo estaria visivelmente conectado se pudéssemos descobrir de uma só vez e em sua totalidade os traços do fio de uma ariadne levando atraves de seu próprio labirinto. Mas a cópula de termos não é menos irritante do que a cópula de corpos. Coito é a paródia do crime. E por trás de Darwin espreita Hegel: o movimento temporal em direção ao homem racional, ereto, adequadamente ajustado, é aquele com o movimento dialético em direção ao Espírito Absoluto. Mas em sua deturpação, no final da razão, no final do homem, no final da glândula pineal cartesiana (a suposta sede da consciência), existe apenas o orgasmo e uma queda simultânea, uma morte simultânea. A morte e a perversão não ocorrem em esplêndido isolamento; em vez disso, eles estão no ponto final do ser humano.”

O processo de significância e referência está associado à alegoria continua, mas leva à subversão terminal das referências pseudo-estáveis que fizeram a alegoria e suas hierarquias parecerem possíveis. A queda de um sistema não é estável. Não há substituição pela elevação de outro sistema; essa queda da alegoria é uma espécie de processo incessante e/ou repetitivo. Dessa forma, a sujeira não “substitui” Deus; não há novo sistema de valores; nenhuma nova hierarquia. Existe uma espécie de alegoria da queda da própria alegoria. Esta queda da alegoria é de fato consonante com a queda da cópula e com as ramificações dessa queda. A alegoria da queda da cópula. Mas a cópula de termos não é mais irritante do que a cópula de corpos. E quando eu grito, eu sou o sol, resulta uma ereção integral, porque o verbo ser é o veículo. A vida é paródica e carece de interpretação. Assim, o chumbo é a paródia do ouro. O ar é a paródia da água. O consumo conspícuo não é um remanescente pernicioso do feudalismo que deve ser substituído pela utilidade total; em vez disso, é a perversão da “necessidade de destruição dos homens”. Os nobres e, mais hipocritamente, os burgueses, usam essa “destruição” para não destruir completamente, mas simplesmente para reafirmar sua posição na hierarquia. Efervescente, a violência subversiva das massas, a base de sua recusa em entrar em discussões tediosas, e na ausência de uma teoria clara e correta embasadora, pode facilmente ser revertida para o fascismo.”

(translated to Portuguese)

René Magritte, Le thérapeute, 1967

In 1927, René Magritte first personal exhibition took place in Brussels. Most of the canvases the artist presented there were executed in the Cubist style, as well as his first surreal experiments. Art critics took Magritte’s work very coolly, and the frustrated artist, along with his wife, went to conquer Paris.

In the capital of European art, the artist met André Breton and became a member of his Surrealist circle. Despite the long-awaited recognition of his talent, Magritte’s relationship with colleagues was far from ideal. Other artists were outraged by his homebody and not bohemian lifestyle, and Magritte, in turn, scolded and ridiculed the surrealist addiction to psychoanalysis and the Freud’s works. One of such ridicules was The Therapist painting of 1937.

Magritte did not want to put up with the fact that each of his paintings became the subject of discussion among colleagues, not so much because of its artistic value, but because of the attempts to analyse the artist’s personality. He believed that the people who primarily needed therapy were the psychotherapists themselves (by the way, in the modern world, supervision is a prerequisite for psychotherapeutic practice). The subject of his painting is an excellent illustration of this statement.
Magritte portrayed his “therapist” as a certain wanderer in a wide-brimmed hat, with a crook and a shoulder bag, who is sitting on the edge of a sea cliff. Like many other Magritte’s subjects, he does not have a face, but he opens his cloak wide open, as if allowing the viewer to look into his soul for a moment, opening the veil of his own secret. Hidden under the cloak is a cage with two white doves: one bird inside, behind the closed door, and the other outside. One gets the impression that the free pigeon is trying to communicate with its fellow who is imprisoned in a cage, to support him, to help him get free. So does the therapist helping his clients get out of the dark and lonely place that is within them. Surprisingly, despite his dislike for psychotherapists, Magritte managed to portray the principle of their work very subtly.

René Magritte, Le thérapeute, 1967

(Author: Yevheniia Sidelnikova)

Bullfighting and Tourism by Erik Cohen

Bullfighting is introduced into tourism studies as the iconic example of a class of human–animal relations, involving agonistic animal contests initiated by humans. The article focuses on the most popular form of bullfighting, the corrida, at which a matador, fighting on foot (rather than mounted) kills a bull in an arena in the presence of a mixed domestic and sometimes foreign public. It discusses the polysemic perceptions of the bullfight, its exaltation by its protagonists, and growing condemnation by animal rights and welfare activists.

It argues that foreign tourism initially bolstered the expansion of bullfighting in Spain; but it is an ambivalent tourist attraction, of declining attractiveness in recent times. The article presents a comparison of bullfighting with another touristically ambivalent piercing event, the Chinese Vegetarian Festival in Thailand, and with recreational hunting, with which it shares significant commonalities. It concludes by calling for a systematic study of the range of human-induced agonistic animal contests.

Sickening slaughter, sacrificial ritual, morally obnoxious, distinctively immoral, barbaric custom of ritualized slaughter, religious ecstasy.

Pre-fight treatment: the bull has been horrendously abused for the previous two days [prior to the fight]. In fact, what spectators see is not a normal, healthy bull, but a weakened, half-blinded and mentally destroyed version, whose chance of harming its tormentor is virtually nil. (Anti-bullfighting Committee, n.d.)
Others have confirmed and expanded that criticism; thus, Sophie (2010) claims that “the odds are unfairly stacked against the bulls. Petroleum jelly is rubbed into their eyes to create blurred vision and they are shut away in the dark so as to be dazzled by the sunlight in the ring.” Some critics even insinuated that the bulls were given injections or that their legs were broken before the fight (Toti, 1963/2011).

From the very beginning of the spectacle, Spanish commentators have consistently written about bullfighting fans as though they are divided into a vast ignorant crowd that comes to the arena for cheap thrills and an elite minority of aficionados who understand what they are seeing and can make intelligent judgments [of a fight]. (p. 162)

(images from Blood and Sand motion picture based on Vicente Blasco Ibanez’s novel)

(Bullfighting and tourism article source)

Sex stock

Sexuality in the United States has never been more socially acceptable. Sex has become part of mainstream culture as reflected through the explicit coverage of sexual behaviors in the media, movies, newspapers, and magazines. In many ways, sexual expression has become a form of accepted entertainment similar to gambling, attending sporting events, or watching movies. Internet pornography has become a billion-dollar industry, stretching the limits of the imagination. Digital media offers portability, access, and visually explicit depictions of sexual acts in high-definition that leave nothing to the imagination. Sales and rental of adult movies through DVDs and pay-per-view services allow access to sex anywhere and at any time. The adult entertainment industry generates close to $4 billion per year and its acceptability in society is reflected in the mainstreaming of its products into traditional retail stores and the portrayal of its actors and actresses as role models and celebrities. Strip clubs have evolved from backroom cabarets into large multimillion dollar nightclubs and are present in virtually every state in the US. Inside them, the degree of physical contact has also increased, as compared to a generation ago, to the point where the boundaries of what constitutes sexual intercourse are blurred. Escort services, massage parlors, and street prostitution continue to be available in every major city in the US. Strengthening their presence and availability is the internet, which has created an information portal for these services through online dating services, classified ads, and discussion boards for those in pursuit of sexual gratification.

(source)

“The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses. All effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

Guy Debord’s ‘The Society of the Spectacle’

The spectacle can be found on every screen that you look at. It is the advertisements plastered on the subway and the pop-up ads that appear in your browser. The media interprets and reduces the world for us with the use of simple narratives.

Photography and film collapses time and geographic distance – providing the illusion of universal connectivity. New products transform the way we live. Debord’s notions can be applied to our present-day reliance on technology. What do you do when you get lost in a foreign city? Do you ask a passer-by for directions, or consult Google Maps on your smartphone? Perhaps Siri can help. Such technology is incredibly useful, but it also engineers our behavior. It reduces our lives into a daily series of commodity exchanges. If Debord were alive today, he would almost certainly extend his analysis of the spectacle to the Internet and social media.
The alienation of the spectator to the profit of the contemplated object is expressed in the following way: The more [the spectator] contemplates the less he lives; the more he accepts recognizing himself in the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own existence and desires.
The more his life is now his product, the more he is separated from his life.
The proliferation of images and desires alienates us, not only from ourselves, but from each other. Debord references the phrase “lonely crowds,” a term coined by the American sociologist David Riesman, to describe our atomization. The Society of the Spectacle’s first chapter is entitled “Separation Perfected,” a quality that Debord describes as the “alpha and omega of the spectacle.” Referring to the Marxist concept of false-consciousness, Debord describes how the spectacle conceals the “relations among men and classes.” The spectacle functions as a pacifier for the masses, a tool that reinforces the status quo and quells dissent. “The Spectacle presents itself as something enormously positive, indisputable and inaccessible. It says nothing more than ‘that which appears is good, that which is good appears,'” writes Debord. “It demands […] passive acceptance which in fact it already obtained by its manner of appearing without reply, by its monopoly of appearance.”

Conflict of interest regarding clinical physicians’ relationship with pharmaceutical industry and medical education

A well known relationship between clinical physicians and the pharmaceutical industry is becoming an important social issue. Many lawsuits against drug companies in the area of psychiatric medicine have been heavily covered by the mass media in the U.S., and the injustices of drug companies and clinical physicians have been revealed in court.

Although there are few such large social issues in Japan, the relationship between clinical physicians and the pharmaceutical industry in Japan appears inappropriate. A study on the relationship between Japanese clinical physicians and the pharmaceutical industry revealed that many physicians received “gifts” from pharmaceutical companies. This is one form of evidence for the inappropriate relationship between Japanese physicians and pharmaceutical industries. Recently, many recommendations to realize an appropriate relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry have been published in the U.S. However, discussion concerning the relationship between clinical physicians and pharmaceutical companies in Japan is not active. We have received a lot of financial support for continuing medical education from pharmaceutical industries. Without such support, we may not be able to maintain the same level of medical education. Understanding such present conditions, we need to discuss what is an appropriate relationship between clinical physicians and the pharmaceutical industry.

(Source)

The Radical Right by Ruth Wodak

This could confirm, as Stögner (2014) argues, the view put forth by Adorno et al. (1967) — that we are dealing with an authoritarian, immediate aftermath of 1945, syndrome, in which racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and sexism tend to reinforce each other and converge into exclusionary nativist belief system, based on ultra-nationalist ideology (Wodak 2015, 2016).

The authoritarian syndrome’s facets are (1) conventionalism: rigid adherence to the conventional values of the middle regions, especially Western Europe, traditional (Christian and racist/biological) class (2) submission: uncritical obedience to the idealized moral authority of the group. (3) aggression: a law-and-order mentality that seeks to condemn and punish violations (4) lack of introspection. (5) superstition (6) admiration of power and constitutive element of neo-Nazi and right-wing populist ideologies and rhetoric across strength. (7) cynicism (8) projectivity (9) excessive fixation on sexuality.

(The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right)

How search engines are making us more racist – A brand new book shows how the Google’s search algorithms quietly reinforce racist stereotypes.

Safiya Umoja Noble

I started the book several years ago by doing collective searches on keywords around different community identities. I did searches on “black girls,” “Asian girls,” and “Latina girls” online and found that pornography was the primary way they were represented on the first page of search results.

That doesn’t seem to be a very fair or credible representation of women of color in the United States. It reduces them to sexualized objects.

They suppressed a lot of porn, in part because we’ve been speaking out about this for six or seven years. But if you go to Google today and search for “Asian girls” or “Latina girls,” you’ll still find the hypersexualized content.

I think what you see there is the gaze of people of color looking at white women and girls and naming whiteness as an identity, which is something that you don’t typically see white women doing themselves.

These search algorithms aren’t merely selecting what information we’re exposed to; they’re cementing assumptions about what information is worth knowing in the first place. That might be the most insidious part of this.

Safiya Umoja Noble
There is a dominant male, Western-centric point of view that gets encoded into the organization of information. You have to remember that an algorithm is just an automated decision tree. If these keywords are present, then a variety of assumptions have to be made about what to point to in all the trillions of pages that exist on the web.

And those decisions always correlate to the relationship of advertisers to the platform. Google has a huge empire called AdWords, and people bid in a real-time auction to optimize their content.

That model — of information going to the highest bidder — will always privilege people who have the most resources. And that means that people who don’t have a lot of resources, like children, will never be able to fully control the ways in which they’re represented, given the logic and mechanisms of how search engines work.

In the book, you talk about how racist websites gamed search engines to control the narrative around Martin Luther King Jr. so that if you searched for MLK, you’d find links to white supremacist propaganda.

You also talk about the stakes involved here, and point to Dylann Roof as an example.

Safiya Umoja Noble
In his manifesto, Dylann Roof has a diatribe against people of color, and he says that the first event that truly awakened him was the Trayvon Martin story. He says he went to Google and did a search on “black-on-white crime.” Now, most of us know that black-on-white crime is not an American epidemic — that, in fact, most crime happens within a community. But that’s a separate discussion.

So Roof goes to Google and puts in a white nationalist red herring (“black-on-white crime.”) And of course, it immediately takes him to white supremacist websites, which in turn take him down a racist rabbit hole of conspiracy and misinformation. Often, these racist websites are designed to appear credible and benign, in part because that helps them game the algorithms, but also because it convinces a lot of people that the information is truthful.

This is how Roof gets radicalized. He says he learns about the “true history of America,” and about the “race problem” and the “Jewish problem.” He learns that everything he’s ever been taught in school is a lie. And then he says, in his own words, that this makes him research more and more, which we can only imagine is online, and this leads to his “racial awareness.”

And now we know that shortly thereafter, he steps into the “Mother” Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and murders nine African-American worshippers in cold blood, in order to start a race war.

So the ideas that people are encountering online really matter. It matters that Dylann Roof didn’t see the FBI statistics that tell the truth about how crime works in America. It matters that he didn’t get any counterpoints. It matters that people like him are pushed in these directions without resistance or context.

People who are a numerical minority in society will never be able to use this kind of “majority rules” logic to their benefit. The majority will always be able to control the notions of what’s important, or what’s important to click on, and that’s not how the information landscape ought to work.

The platform exists because it’s made by people. It didn’t come down from an alien spacecraft. It’s made by human beings, and the people who make it are biased, and they code their biases into search. How can these things not inform their judgment?

So it’s disingenuous to suggest that the platform just exists unto itself, and that the only people who can manipulate it or influence it are the people who use it, when actually, the makers of the platform are the primary source of responsibility. I would say that there are makers, as well as users, of a platform. They have to take responsibility for their creations.

Misogynoir

in the Independent, DJ Edward Adoo discussed the pervasive racism of London’s nightclubs as a matter of fact.
But what is alleged to have happened at Dstrkt isn’t just about race; the accused promoter is black. It’s about gender too. Discrimination, prejudice and unchecked fear aimed specifically at black women now has a name: misogynoir.
The term was coined in 2010 by gay black feminist American academic Moya Bailey, who defined it “to describe the particular brand of hatred directed at black women in American visual and popular culture”.
Since then black women – and some men – predominantly on social media, have taken ownership of the term, using it to describe prejudice experienced in a range of contexts.

“Misogynoir provides a racialised nuance that mainstream feminism wasn’t catching,” says black feminist commentator, Feminista Jones. “We are talking about misogyny, yes, but there is a specific misogyny that is aimed at black women and is uniquely detrimental to black women.”
She says it is both about racial and gender hatred and can be perpetuated by non-black people and by black men – it is the latter, Jones says, she experienced the most often. “In my campaigning on street harassment, I have been targeted because I am a black woman who is vocal. They don’t go to anybody from Hollaback or Stop Street Harassment [campaigns run by white women] … they will say I’m a traitor and call me a tool for white supremacy … just because I’m calling out their very targeted misogynoir.”It’s not ideal, as the comedian The Kid Mero pointed out last week, “We gotta make up better terms for oppressive shit cuz ‘misogynoir’ sounds like a scandalous Cirque du Soleil Vegas show”. Still, the term has spread to Britain, where most recently, writer Maya Goodfellow discussed misogynoir on the online platform Media Diversified, in reference to the abuse Diane Abbott has received since her appointment as shadow international development secretary. Goodfellow concluded that “a black woman who challenges the status quo and won’t apologise for doing so will always be judged unfairly. Because too many, subconsciously, feel it’s not up to people ‘like her’ to be the voice of opposition.”
Of course, detractors will inevitably counter that bouncers abuse their power all the time and people of all races and gender have at some point been refused entry. And that as a politician, Abbott is fair game for ridicule and scorn. Both of those points are acceptable, but neither explain or invalidate the experiences of hostility that sit at the intersection between sexism and racism.

At the heart of this concept are two corrosive stereotypes. The first characterises black people as animalistic, uncontrolled or uncontrollable, and is in part responsible for the concepts of the “angry or strong black woman”. These are used to deny pain and legitimise offence: “Oh, that unfair treatment you’ve received at work? You’ll get over it, you’re a strong black woman.” The second is that black women’s bodies are hypersexualised: the “sexy black woman” is all tits and twerking.

Few people in the public eye seem to have experienced this problem quite as much as Serena Williams. To the United States Tennis Association president, Katrina Adams – and countless others – Williams is the “greatest athlete of all time”. John McEnroe recently described her as “I think, the greatest player that ever lived”. But to the Twitter trolls she’s “a gorilla”, “more manly than any man”. As Marc Bain wrote in Quartz: “Only sexism and racism can explain why Serena Williams doesn’t earn more in endorsements.”

Misogynoir may also explain how American actor Nancy Lee Grahn can praise Patricia Arquette for using her Oscar speech to speak out about gender inequalities, but ridicule Viola Davis for doing the same thing, saying to the former: “Use your win to champion women. Make your moment matter. I like that.” But to the latter: “None of us get the respect we deserve. Emmys not venue for racial opportunity.”

It is because mainstream feminism has so often failed to recognise and include the experience of black and transgender women that terms such as misogynoir have been able to flourish in the shadow of feminism’s third wave. Grahn has since apologised on Twitter.

But the intention was never to use jargon to exclude the majority, in order to create safe space for the minority. Instead, argues Jones, the word is supposed to start a broader conversation. “If people want to dismiss it as jargon, it’s because they don’t want to be part of the conversation. [The term] is for everybody. We [black women] can talk until we are blue in the face but if nobody else is listening and nobody else is willing to work to make change, it really doesn’t do much for us.”

But misogynoir simply connects a new generation to the gap in the discourse on rights that abolitionist Sojourner Truth spoke of in her 1851 speech, Ain’t I a Woman. Then she told a gathering of feminists about her own needs that went unmet “betwixt the negro in the south and the white woman in the north, all talking about rights”. It has only taken 164 years to give Truth’s predicament a name. Here’s to hoping we don’t spend the next 164 discussing the term, while continuing to make excuses for the discrimination it describes.

In Diners, Dudes, and Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture by Emily Contois

In Diners, Dudes, and Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture, Emily Contois argues that the figure of The Dude was invented, or perhaps only capitalized on, by marketing and advertising firms to combat gender contamination and sell what may be perceived as feminine foods to men.

Contois suggests that this figure coalesced in response to the 2008 recession and the “gender crisis” that it created. Not only were job losses higher for men during this “mancession,” but struggling companies sought to improve sales by marketing products to men that had previously been targeted exclusively at women including diet sodas and low-calorie yogurts, as well as cookbooks, food television, and weight loss programs. In short, The Dude – represented by Jeff Bridges’s famous character in The Big Lebowski – is a male figure who “resit[s] the demands of manhood like competitiveness and breadwinning” by “simply opt[ing] out of the struggle.”

Contois devotes an entire chapter to the figure of Guy Fieri, who embodies the carefully crafted ambivalence of the Dude. Contois explains that while the Dude somehow seems to be breaking gender stereotypes by offering a pathway for defying social expectations and un-gendering products, the Dude only serves to reinforce binary gender and hegemonic masculinities. Contois concludes that most of the marketing campaigns featuring the Dude have essentially failed or changed course. Notably, Coke Zero and Weight Watchers for Men have had design and marketing makeovers to Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and WW. Still others have repurposed the Dude into a gender inclusive message that uncritically accepts not caring about consequences of the food system. Contois’s final word of the book is directed to media strategists and designers, asking them to think more carefully about the role that they play in forming and reforming expectations and performances of gender in the real world. “Advertisers can do better,” Contois asks, “so why aren’t they?”

(source)

Propaganda and Persuasion – Garth S. Jewett


For American propaganda abroad, opinion leaders are a target. In the Middle East, for example, the masses can be reached indirectly through the culturally elite 10% of the population.

“The manipulation of popular impulse propaganda and thought by professional politicians.” Graham Wallas. In America, opinion leaders are usually professionals who are respected by the public (e.g., doctors, outstanding athletes, celebrities). Some audience members accept the message more eagerly than others; some reject it. A French fable reminds us, “Man is like a rabbit; you catch him by the ears.” Musical anthems and patriotic songs.
The analyst should see what visual images are presented through pictures; symbols; graphics; colors; filmed, televised, and Internet representations; books; pamphlets; and newspapers. Also, verbal innovations need to be examined for information, slogans, and emotional arousal techniques. The analyst should go beyond interpretation of the message to a closer scrutiny of the ways the message is presented in the media.

What is the overall impression left with the audience? Essentially, how are the visual and verbal messages consistent with the ideology? The book, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (Hall, 1997), is an excellent resource for understanding the codes and systems of representation and interpreting their meanings.
The analyst needs to be aware of unusual and unsavory media utilization as well. In 1954, for example, China began to send opium to Thailand to promote addiction, dependency, passivity, and lethargy, thus rendering a group of people susceptible to takeover.
According to Noam Chomsky (1992), Western intervention against the Soviet Union dur- ing the Cold War was warranted by language: “Language that was used in the West was that ‘the rot may spread’ and the ‘virus’ may ‘infect’ others” (p. 141).


Positive terms may mask the actual intent of government bills and laws. During the second Bush administration, environmentalists decried the “Clean Air Act” that softened controls on air pollution and the “Healthy Forests Initiative” that increased timber cutting.
In wartime, the enemy is often symbolized as subhuman or animal-like to soften the killing process linguistically. Metaphors of hunting down animals or exterminating vermin were common in the rhetoric of both sides during World War II.
Exaggeration is often associated with propaganda. Goebbels said that outrageous charges evoked more belief than milder statements. A great deal of exaggeration is associated with the language of advertising. Everything is the “best there is,” and “satisfaction is guaranteed.” During the Cold War, the Soviets called Americans “imperialists” but referred to the Soviet Union as the “camp of peace and democracy.”
Innuendo is also associated with propaganda, implying an accusation without risking refutation by saying it causes people to draw conclusions. If one says, “The captain was sober today,” an audience might draw the conclusion that she or he is usually drunk.
Institute for Propaganda Analysis (see Chapter 5). Propaganda is too complex to limit its techniques to a short list.


The Context in Which the Propaganda Occurs: The Medicalization of Society
We live in a health-obsessed culture with daily news concerning break- throughs in disease treatment and prevention. We are told what foods are healthy and which vitamins are good for us. Obesity is being fought, and frequent exercise is recommended. Advertisements tell us that there is a drug for every ailment. A House of Commons report in England announced: “What has been described as the medicalization of society-the belief that every problem requires medical treatment-may also be attributed in part to the activities of the pharmaceutical industry” (The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry, 2005, p. 3). Pharmaceuticals play an important role in the culture, and the drug companies have become social phenomena determined by government, regulatory agencies, industry, health organizations, professional organizations, universities, patient groups, doctors, patients, and financial markets. Britten (2008) argued “medicalization is a means by which professionals exert social control. Pharmaceutical companies have much to gain from redefining social problems as medical and have been accused of disease mongering to create new markets for their products” (p. 112).


Pharmaceutical companies are also a major part of the global economy. Petersen (2008) discussed an economic pattern that started in 2000 when buying and selling stocks became a boom as day-traders found ways to make money via the Internet. Pharmaceutical companies offered fast growth with little risk because their profits had been two times greater than those in the market for the past 20 years. The so-called “new” drugs that were amassing big profits were actually older drugs with new names and marketing campaigns. This is known as “condition branding,” a widely used marketing technique for selling drugs. “Condition branders,” according to Shannon Brownlee, use ‘information’ about medical conditions to forge links between disease and treatment in the minds of both patients and doctors. If companies have a drug but no condition, they will simply invent a disease” (Brownlee, 2008, p. 25). Brownlee cites such invented diseases as “pre-high blood pressure” and “pre-diabetes.” The ads turn mild problems and common complaints into serious diseases, for example, shyness becomes a “social anxiety disorder,” and premenstrual tension becomes “premenstrual dysphoric disorder.” Barry Brand, the product director for Paxil, a drug for social anxiety and shyness, said, “Every marketer’s dream is to find an audience.”


Counter-propaganda: Two groups have organized to oppose Big Pharma’s practices: Pharmed Out is an independent project with a mission to counter inappropriate pharmaceutical promotion practices. Its webpage (https://www.pharmedout.out) has up-to-date information on prescription drug issues. No Free Lunch was founded in 2000 by Dr. Bob Goodman of Columbia University Medical Center to educate consumers and to get doctors to pledge not to accept gifts from pharmaceutical representatives. Many doctors and former pharmaceutical insiders have become vocal in opposing drug marketing. The Association of American Medical Colleges has been working on a model policy to govern the relationships between the 129 U.S. medical schools and the drug industry. The policy includes a ban on free food, gifts, travel, ghostwriting, and drug industry-sponsored speakers. Medical school students, such as those at Harvard, have secured requirements for professors to disclose their drug industry ties (D. Wilson, 2009). Research hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School have imposed restrictions on outside pay for senior officials who are on the boards of pharmaceutical companies (D. Wilson, 2010). The U.S. Justice Department has fined Pfizer $2.3 billion for civil and criminal practices, for promoting drugs for unapproved uses by taking doc- tors to resorts, paying their expenses, and providing perks (Associated Press, 2009).

Cigarettes are Sublime – Simon Leys

“As smoking is going out of fashion, insanity is growing more frequent.” Samuel Johnson. Today, the manic fanatismo of the anti-smoking lobby eloquently confirms the accuracy of this observation. I always instinctively opt for the smoking section in coffee shops, waiting rooms, restaurants and other public places: the company is better, In one respect, smokers do enjoy a spiritual superiority over non-smokers – or, at least, they possess one significant advantage: they are more immediately aware of our common mortality. On this particular point, they certainly owe the anti-smoking lobby a debt of gratitude. The warnings that, by law, must now be printed on all tobacco products unwittingly echo a beautiful ancient ritual of the Catholic Church: on Ash Wednesday, as every faithful is marked on the forehead with the blessed ashes, the priest reminds him , “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.” Most of the time, modernity endeavours to blunt or to obliterate this awareness of mortality. It should not be confused with a morbid cult of death – which is abhorrent to Christian humanism. (Viva la muerte! Was an obscene fascist slogan when one of Franco’s generals launched it at the beginning of the SpanishCivil War. Unamuno – who was then at the end of his life – denounced it in a speech of sublime passion); on the contrary, this awareness is a celebration of life. Mozart confessed in a letter that the thought that death accompanied him every day, and that it was the deep source from which all his creation sprang. I do not mean that the inspiration which can be drawn from the ominous warnings issued by official Health and Correct thinking agencies will turn all smokers into new Mozart’s, but they will certainly endow smoking with a new seduction – if not metaphysical meaning. I confess when I look at them, I am seriously tempted to buy cigarettes again.

Aldous Huxley, The Most Beautiful Death

The period from the 15th to the 22nd marked, it seems to me, a period of intense mental activity for Aldous Huxley.

We had diminished, little by little, all the tranquillizers he had been taking four times a day, a drug called Sperine which is akin, I understand, to Thorazin. We had diminished it practically to nothing.

And only used painkillers like Percodon, a little Amitol and something for nausea.

He took also a few injections of 1/2 cc of Dilaudid, which is a derivative of morphine, which gave him many dreams.

During the last two months I gave him almost daily an opportunity, an opening for speaking about death.

We read the entire manual of Dr. Leary extracted from The Book of the Dead.

Then about nine a.m. Aldous began to be so agitated, so uncomfortable, so desperate really. He wanted to be moved all the time. Nothing was right. Dr. Bernstein came about that time and decided to give him a shot which he had given him once before, something that you give intravenously, very slowly – it takes five minutes to give the shot, and it is a drug that dilates the bronchial tubes, so that respiration is easier.

This drug made him uncomfortable the time before, it must have been three Fridays before, when he had that crisis I wrote you about. But then it helped him. This time it was quite terrible. He couldn’t express himself but he was feeling dreadul, nothing was right, no position was right. I tried to ask him what was occurring. He had difficulty in speaking, but he managed to say, “Just trying to tell you makes it worse.” He wanted to be moved all the time – “Move me.” “Move my legs.” “Move my arms.” “Move my bed.” I had one of those push-button beds, which moved up and down both from the head and the feet, and incessantly, at times, I would have him go up and down, up and down by pushing buttons. We did this again, and somehow it seemed to give him a little relief. but it was very, very little.

If I die.” This was the first time that he had said that with reference to NOW. He wrote it. I knew and felt that for the first time he was looking at this. About a half an hour before I had called up Sidney Cohen, a psychiatrist who has been one of the leaders in the use of LSD. I had asked him if he had ever given LSD to a man in this condition. He said he had only done it twice actually, and in one case it had brought up a sort of reconciliation with Death, and in the other case it did not make any difference.

I knew that he knew that he was going. However, this inability to express himself was only muscular – his brain was clear and in fact, I feel, at a pitch of activity.

He wrote, “Try LSD 100 intramuscular”.

The TV which had just announced the shooting of Kennedy.

The doctor said, “All right, at this point what is the difference

I gave him his first shot of 100 micrograms of LSD.

It was 11:20 when I gave him his first shot of 100 microgrammes. I sat near his bed and I said, “Darling, maybe in a little while I will take it with you. Would you like me to take it also in a little while?” I said a little while because I had no idea of when I should or could take it, in fact I have not been able to take it to this writing because of the condition around me. And he indicated “yes.” We must keep in mind that by now he was speaking very, very little. Then I said, “Would you like Matthew to take it with you also? And he said, “Yes.” “What about Ellen?” He said, “Yes.” Then I mentioned two or three people who had been working with LSD and he said, “No, no, basta, basta.” Then I said, “What about Jinny?” And he said, “Yes,” with emphasis. Then we were quiet. I just sat there without speaking for a while. Aldous was not so agitated physically. He seemed – somehow I felt he knew, we both knew what we were doing, and this has always been a great relief to Aldous. I have seen him at times during his illness very upset until he knew what he was going to do, then even if it was an operation or X-ray, he would make a total change. This enormous feeling of relief would come to him, and he wouldn’t be worried at all about it, he would say let’s do it, and we would go to it and he was like a liberated man. And now I had the same feeling – a decision had been made, he made the decision again very quickly. Suddenly he had accepted the fact of death; he had taken this moksha medicine in which he believed. He was doing what he had written in ISLAND, and I had the feeling that he was interested and relieved and quiet. I let another half hour pass, and then I decided to give him another 100 mg. I told him I was going to do it, and he acquiesced. I gave him another shot, and then I began to talk to him. He was very quiet now; he was very quiet and his legs were getting colder; higher and higher I could see purple areas of cynosis.

Then I began to talk to him, saying, “Light and free,” Some of these thing I told him at night in these last few weeks before he would go to sleep, and now I said it more convincingly, more intensely – “go, go, let go, darling; forward and up. You are going forward and up; you are going towards the light. Willing and consciously you are going, willingly and consciously, and you are doing this beautifully; you are doing this so beautifully – you are going towards the light; you are going towards a greater love; you are going forward and up. It is so easy; it is so beautiful. You are doing it so beautifully, so easily. Light and free. Forward and up. You are going towards Maria’s love with my love. You are going towards a greater love than you have ever known.

Now from two o’clock until the time he died, which was five-twenty, there was complete peace except for once. That must have been about three-thirty or four, when I saw the beginning of struggle in his lower lip. His lower lip began to move as if it were going to be a struggle for air. Then I gave the direction even more forcefully. “It is easy, and you are doing this beautifully and willingly and consciously, in full awareness, in full awareness, darling, you are going towards the light.” I repeated these or similar words for the last three or four hours. Once in a while my own emotion would overcome me, but if it did I immediately would leave the bed for two or three minutes, and would come back only when I could dismiss my emotion. The twitching of the lower lip lasted only a little bit, and it seemed to respond completely to what I was saying. “Easy, easy, and you are doing this willingly and consciously and beautifully – going forward and up, light anf free, forward and up towards the light, into the light, into complete love.” The twitching stopped, the breating became slower and slower, and there was absolutely not the slightest indication of contraction, of struggle. it was just that the breathing became slower – and slower – and slower, and at five-twenty the breathing stopped.

I had been warned in the morning that there might be some up-setting convulsions towards the end, or some sort of contraction of the lungs, and noises. People had been trying to prepare me for some horrible physical reaction that would probably occur. None of this happened, actually the ceasing of the breathing was not a drama at all, because it was done so slowly, so gently, like a piece of music just finishing in a sempre piu piano dolcemente. I had the feeling actually that the last hour of breathing was only the conditioned reflex of the body that had been used to doing this for 69 years, millions and millions of times. There was not the feeling that with the last breath, the spirit left. It had just been gently leaving for the last four hours. In the room the last four hours were two doctors, Jinny, the nurse, Rosalind Roger Gopal – you know she is the great friend of Krishnamurti, and the directress of the school in Ojai for which Aldous did so much. They didn’t seem to hear what I was saying. I thought I was speaking loud enough, but they said they didn’t hear it. Rosalind and Jinny once in a while came near the bed and held Aldous’ hand. These five people all said that this was the most serene, the most beautiful death. Both doctors and nurse said they had never seen a person in similar physical condition going off so completely without pain and without struggle.

We will never know if all this is only our wishful thinking, or if it is real, but certainly all outward signs and the inner feeling gave indication that it was beautiful and peaceful and easy.

Aldous’asking for moksha medicine while dying is a confirmation of his work, and as such is of importance not only to us, but to the world. It is true we will have some people saying that he was a drug addict all his life and that he ended as one, but it is history that Huxleys stop ignorance before ignorance can stop Huxleys.

Brain death, states of impaired consciousness, and physician-assisted death for end-of-life organ donation and transplantation

In 1968, the Harvard criteria equated irreversible coma and apnea (i.e., brain death) with human death and later, the Uniform Determination of Death Act was enacted permitting organ procurement from heart-beating donors. Since then, clinical studies have defined a spectrum of states of impaired consciousness in human beings: coma, akinetic mutism (locked-in syndrome), minimally conscious state, vegetative state and brain death. In this article, we argue against the validity of the Harvard criteria for equating brain death with human death. (1) Brain death does not disrupt somatic integrative unity and coordinated biological functioning of a living organism. (2) Neurological criteria of human death fail to determine the precise moment of an organism’s death when death is established by circulatory criterion in other states of impaired consciousness for organ procurement with non-heart-beating donation protocols. The criterion of circulatory arrest 75 s to 5 min is too short for irreversible cessation of whole brain functions and respiration controlled by the brain stem. (3) Brain-based criteria for determining death with a beating heart exclude relevant anthropologic, psychosocial, cultural, and religious aspects of death and dying in society. (4) Clinical guidelines for determining brain death are not consistently validated by the presence of irreversible brain stem ischemic injury or necrosis on autopsy; therefore, they do not completely exclude reversible loss of integrated neurological functions in donors. The questionable reliability and varying compliance with these guidelines among institutions amplify the risk of determining reversible states of impaired consciousness as irreversible brain death. (5) The scientific uncertainty of defining and determining states of impaired consciousness including brain death have been neither disclosed to the general public nor broadly debated by the medical community or by legal and religious scholars. Heart-beating or non-heart-beating organ procurement from patients with impaired consciousness is de facto a concealed practice of physician-assisted death, and therefore, violates both criminal law and the central tenet of medicine not to do harm to patients. Society must decide if physician-assisted death is permissible and desirable to resolve the conflict about procuring organs from patients with impaired consciousness within the context of the perceived need to enhance the supply of transplantable organs.

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Determination of Death: A Scientific Perspective on Biological Integration

Medical interventions can allow living human beings who are no longer able to function in an integrated manner to be maintained in a living state. In contrast, medical intervention can also allow the cells and tissues of an individual who has died to be maintained in a living state. To distinguish between a living human being and living human cells, two criteria are proposed: either the persistence of any form of brain function or the persistence of autonomous integration of vital functions. Either of these criteria is sufficient to determine a human being is alive.

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José Saramago

I’m not able to fear death. We will turn skeletons and everything shall end. The skeleton becomes, therefore, the most radical form of nudity.” Interview, 2005

Yes [death had become a taboo]. Today people want to avoid the subject and hide the deaths that happen around them. It is as if the world were a hotel where the dead usually disappear at night, without any guest being able to notice their presence. While movies and television address death, they do not touch the fundamental point of finitude. The deaths are false, the good guys get shot and come back to life. It’s another way to treating death as unreal. Interview, 2005

Death is the inventor of God. Jose Saramago, 2009

In order to protect the physical hygiene of the living, we usually bury the dead. Jose Saramago, All the Names.

Transcutaneous Auricular Vagal Nerve Stimulation and Disorders of Consciousness- A Hypothesis for Mechanisms of Action

Three important structures have been described as cornerstone in consciousness: the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS), the thalamus and the posterior cingulate cortex. First, the upper brainstem is a main structure involved in arousal and awareness. As previously named by Moruzzi and Magoun (19), the ARAS is divided in four groups of nuclei: (1) the classical reticular nuclei (the nucleus cuneiforme, the deep mesencephalic nucleus, part of the pedonculo-pontine tegmental nucleus, and the pontis oralis nucleus), which send projections to the basal ganglia, the hypothalamus (20) and the intra-laminar thalamic nuclei (21), and then project to the cortex through the glutamate pathway; (2) the monoaminergic neurotransmitter system, which involves the locus coeruleus with norepinephrine (NE), the raphe nuclei with serotonin and the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area with dopamine. This system directly targets the whole forebrain [cortex and subcortex—(22)]; (3) the cholinergic nuclei which include pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmental nuclei and project toward several thalamic nuclei and to the basal forebrain; and (4) the autonomic nuclei (parabrachial nucleus and periaqueductal gray matter) which targets the intra-laminar thalamic nuclei, the basal forebrain and other brainstem nuclei (23). Altogether, the ARAS has a main effect on wakefulness and vigilance (19, 24) and autonomic functions (25).
The thalamus is the second important structure involved in consciousness. It presents a complex architecture of nuclei organized as follows: from lateral to medial and from ventral to dorsal. Several specific thalamic relay nuclei communicate with the cortex according to their sensory and motor functions, and are a cornerstone of the contents of consciousness (23). Other thalamic nuclei project widely influence arousal and control the level of consciousness (23). Studies have shown that simultaneous bilateral thalamic infarction, as observed in the bilateral paramedian thalamic artery infarction or in the occlusion of the artery of Percheron, can induce a transient loss of consciousness at the onset of a stroke (26, 27). This temporary loss of consciousness shows that the thalamus is likely one of the primary sources for the ascending control of arousal.
Finally, the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) is located in the medial part of the inferior parietal lobe and lies within the posteromedial cortex, which also includes the precuneal and retrosplenial cortices (28). This group of structures has been reported as the most metabolically active measured with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET-scan (29) during resting state (i.e., not performing any task) in healthy persons. The metabolic activity of these structures, using FDG-PET-scan, has also been associated to the level of consciousness in patients with DoC (30).

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CME, Physicians, and Pavlov: Can We Change What Happens When Industry Rings the Bell?

Here I believe one’s point of reference should not be to the great model of language and signs, but to that of war and battle. The history which bears and determines us has the form of a war rather than that of a language: relations of power not relations of meaning.
Foucault

Physicians’ interest in keeping up can arguably be traced to Hippocrates. Because it is a conditioned response for physicians, their learning radar is sensitive to hearing about the latest development, be it a disease, a drug, or a device—anything they can incorporate into their practices. Physicians do not want to be outdated and thus are vulnerable to a pitch about something new. The pharmaceutical and device industries live off of “something new.” Never mind whether it is an advance or not. As long as industry can make it appear “new,” then industry can have its physician speakers bureau and key opinion leaders tout it. Instinctively, as stated earlier, physician audiences will want to hear about it and can often be swayed to prescribe or purchase the “new” drug or device, all under the CME umbrella. As May said in 1961, “. . . the doctor is made to feel he needs more ‘education’ because of the prolific outpouring of strange brands but not really new drugs, produced for profit rather than to fill an essential purpose; and then the promoter offers to rescue him from confusion by a corresponding brand of ‘education.’” Industry’s CME support leads to the increased use of expensive drugs and devices, many of which are unproven to help patients.

Source

History of Toxicology and Environmental Health – Toxicology in Antiquity, volume I, Philip Wexler – Mithridates VI Eupathor of Pontus

Mithridates VI Eupathor of Pontus, the first experimental toxicologist, and his creation, universal antidote to poisons and toxins, called Mithridatium, minuscule doses of deadly poisons with antidotes. The most dangerous and relentless enemy of the late Roman Republic in decades-long conflict known as the Mithridatic Wars.

After Pompey defeated him in Pontus, Mithridates VI fled to the lands north of the Black Sea in the winter of 66 BC in the hope that he could raise a new army and carry on the war through invading Italy by way of the Danube. His preparations proved to be too harsh on the local nobles and populace, and they rebelled against his rule. He reportedly attempted suicide by poison. This attempt failed because of his immunity to the poison. According to Appians’s Roman History, he then requested his Galic friend, Leonora, to kill him by the sword.

Plants Used in Mithridatium

Scientific Name

Plant Family

Common Name

Part Useda

Bioactive Ingredient

Chemical Category

Mechanismb

Acacia arabica Willd.

Fabaceae

Acacia

Gum from branches (18)

Fisetinc

flavonoid

inhibits cytokine expression (19)

Acorus calamus L.

Acoraceae

Sweet flag

Root

Acorus calamus L.

Acoraceae

Sweet flag

Root (20)

Asarone

phenylpropanoid

antioxidant in vivo (21)

Athamanta cretensis L.

Apiaceae

Cretan carrot

Seed (18)

Imperatorind

furanocoumarin

inhibits NFAT binding to DNA (22)

Boswellia carterii Birdw.

Burseraceae

Frankin cense

Gum resin (23)

Acetyl 11-keto-beta- boswellic acid

triterpene

inhibits leukotriene synthesis (24)

Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik

Brassicaceae

Shepherd’s purse

Herb (25)

Fumaric acid

dicarboxylic acid

protects against toxic chemicals in vitro (25)

Centaurium erythraea Raf.

Gentianaceae

Lesser centaury

Herb (26)

Swertiamarin

monoterpene

antioxidant (26)

Cinnamomum cassia Bl.

Lauraceae

Cassia

Bark, leaf (27)

2-Hydroxy cinnamaldehyde

phenolic

inhibits NF-κB activation (27)

Cinnamomum zelanicum Bl.

Lauraceae

Cinnamon

Bark (28)

Coniferyl aldehydee, eugenol

phenylpropanoids

antioxidants (28, 29)

Commiphora myrrha (Nees) Engl.

Burseraceae

Myrrh

Gum resin (20)

Furanodiene

sesquiterpene

inhibits lipopolysaccharide–induced NO production (30)

Commiphora opobalsmum (L.) Engl.

Burseraceae

Balm of Gilead

Gum resin (31)

Extract

protects against gastric ulcers (31)

Crocus sativus L.

Iridaceae

Saffron

Herb and flower (32)

Crocin

crocetin digentobiose ester

ester and plant extract are antioxidants (33)

Cyperus rotundus L.

Cyperaceae

Sweet rush

Rhizome (34)

Isocurcumenol

sesquiterpene

inhibits NO production (30)

Cytinus hypocistis L.

Rafflesiaceae

Hypocistis

Juice of herb (35)

Gallic acidf

phenolic acid

antioxidant (36)

Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton

Zingiberaceae

Cardamom

Seed capsule (36)

Extract

Extract inhibits platelet aggregation and lipid peroxidation (37)

Ferula assafoetida L.

Apiaceae

Assafoetida

Gum (38)

Ferulic acidg

phenolic acid

antioxidant (39)

Ferula gummosa Boiss.

Apiaceae

Galbanum

Gum (40)

Alpha and beta-pinene

monoterpenes

may act in dyspepsia (40)

Ferula persica Willd.

Apiaceae

Sagapenum

Gum (41)

Extract

Hypericum perforatum L.

Hyperiaceae

St John’s wort

Herb (42)

Hyperforin

phloroglucinol

multiple effects on gene expression (42)

Liquidambar orientalis Mill.

Hamamelidaceae

Storax

Bark resin (18)

Casuarinin

ellagitannin

antioxidant (43)

Nardostachys jatamansi (G.Don) DC.

Valerianaceae

Indian nard

Herb (44)

Extract

Extract protects against lipid peroxidation (44)

Opopanax chironium Koch.

Apiaceae

Opopanax

Gum resin (45)

Imperatorin

furanocoumarin

antiplatelet aggregation activity (46)

Papaver rhoeas L.

Papaveraceae

Wild poppy

Juice from herb (47)

Extract

Antioxidant properties (48)

Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nym.

Apiaceae

Parsley

Leaf, seed (11)

Apigenin and fisetin

flavonoids

inhibit production of IL-4 and IL-13 (49)

Pimpinella anisum L.

Apiaceae

Anise

Seed (11)

Anethole

furanocoumarin

anti-inflammatory activity (50)

Piper longum L.

Piperaceae

Long pepper

Fruit, seed (51)

Extract

Fruit extract reduces lipid peroxidation (51)

Pistachia terebinthus L.

Anacardiaceae

Terebinith

Resin (52)

Masticadi– enonic acid

triterpene

inhibits leukotriene B4 production (53)

Rosa gallica L.

Rosaceae

Gallic rose

Leaves, flowers (13)

Gallic acid

phenolic acid

antioxidant (54)

Saussurea costus (Falc.) Lipsch

Asteraceae

Costus

Root (55)

Costunolide

sesquiterpene lactone

blocks NO and NF-κB activation (56)

Seseli libanotis

Apiaceae

Hartwort

Root (57)

Pteryxin

coumarin

shows strong antiplatelet aggregation activity (46)

Valeriana celtica L.

Valerianaceae

Celtic nard

Root (58)

Valerenic acid

sesquiterpene

soporific activity (59)

Zingiber officinale Rosc.

Zingiberaceae

Ginger

Rhizome (60)

6-Gingerol

phenyl propane ketone

suppresses NF–κB binding (16)

Magnencij Rabani Mauri De Laudibus sancte Crucis opus

Beautiful visual poem by Hrabanus Maurus or Rabanus Maurus. Ninth century monk of Fulda was regarded for his generosity toward the poor, feeding over 300 people a day during the famines of 850 AD. As a testament to Maurus’ lasting influence, Gustav Mahler interpreted one of Maurus’ poems in his moving 8th Symphony. However, Maurus, most notable achievement was De laudibus sanctae crucis, a collection of twenty-eight encrypted religious poems, rendered before 814 AD. He was said to be the inventor of a cyphering system of 36 lines containing 36 letters evenly spaced on a grid. In this grid, Maurus included figurative images, putting the poems in visual terms. The poem filling the cypher grid was enriched by these smaller images, as most of the letters contained within them created tiny individual poems. Given that a large part of the population at the time was not only poor, but illiterate, Maurus’ visual poems bridged the gap between a priviledged reading community and the common person. Maurus used simple symbols : rings to signify cycles, letters for days and squares to represent books. By doing so he made religious concepts easily accessible to the masses. They were not overly simple, but were made richer by the mix of the complex cyphering, or coding, used to both create and read the poems, as well as the viewer’s simple delight of instantly understanding sacred symbols. Odilo fo Cluny said in the eleventh century of Maurus’ poems that “no work more precious to see, more pleasing to read, sweeter to remember, or more laborious to write can or could ever be found.

Rashani Rea – The Unbroken

There is a broken-ness

Out of which comes the unbroken

There is a hollow space too vast for words

There is a sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy

A shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable

A fragility, out of whose depths emerges real strength

Through which we pass with each loss out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being

There is a cry deeper than all sound whose serrated edges cut the heart as we break open to the place inside

us which is unbreakable and whole.

All the while learning to sing.

The Soul and the Harpy


Marble relief from the Harpy Tomb (chest with reliefs on all four sides which
originally surmounted a Lycian sepulchral tower). Xanthus, Turkey. 480BC-470BC.

Literature is the ‘middle term’ par excellence, and its ‘educational’, ‘realistic’ function consists precisely in training us without our being aware of it for an unending task of mediation and conciliation. Literature (which, like the reality principle and the doxa, prospers in periods of social stability and suddenly appears ‘impossible’ or ‘useless’ during wars and revolutions) indicates how deeply rooted is our desire to make the ‘adjustment’ to the existing order coincide with some idea of ‘happiness’. Makes us realize that ‘consent’ – feeling that we ‘want’ to do what we ‘have’ to do – can be one of the highest aspirations of the individual psyche. It tells us, in other words, that in the absence of great battles (and therefore – the point cannot be suppressed – in the absence of what could be great tragedies) it is inevitable that from time to time one will try to convince oneself that this is really the best of all possible worlds.

If so undeconstructive and unliberating a notion of literature still seems disagreeable, or unconvincing, I can only draw on an image that has often come back to me in the course of this study. It is a bas-relief of an ancient Greek tomb in the British Museum. It shows a harpy – the upper half of its body a woman, the lower a bird of prey – carrying off a small human body: according to the experts, the soul of the deceased. Below, the harpy is clutching the soul tight in its claws, but higher up her Greek arms are holding her in an attentive and tender embrace. The soul is doing nothing to get out of the harpy’s clutch. It seems calm, relaxed even. It probably does not like being dead: if it did there would be no need for harpies. But at the same time the soul must know that there is no escape from the grip of the claws. For this reason it does not lower its gaze, but rests its head trustingly on the harpy’s arms. Precisely because there is no escape it prefers to delude itself about the affectionate, almost maternal nature of the creature dragging it away with her in flight. Can we blame it?

—Franco Moretti, “The Soul and the Harpy: Reflections on the Aims and Methods of Literary Historiography”, tr. David Forgacs, Signs Taken For Wonders: Essays in the Sociology of Literary Forms, Verso, 1988, pp. 40-41.

Herman Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund

“We fear death, we shudder at life’s instability, we grieve to see the flowers wilt again and again, and the leaves fall, and in our hearts we know that we, too, are transitory and will soon disappear. Thus, when artists create forms, pictures, colors and thinkers search for the laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something last longer than we do.”

Psychosomatic Medicine and the Phylosophy of Life

Since we have mentioned feeling, we would like to conclude by indicating its importance for any philosophy of life. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the precise level, at some level of life the organism’s relationship with the world becomes a relationship of feeling: many organisms are sensitive to elements in their environments. Again this applies to individual cells as well as to conglomerates of cells and whole organisms. Sensitivity is the first glimmering of subjectivity in organisms, if we may apply the word “subjectivity” to even the most primitive and elemental kinds of feeling. And as we move up the living kingdom to more and more complex organisms, sensitivity too becomes more complex; and at a certain point we can speak of organisms perceiving items composing the environment. It would, of course, be difficult to mark the progressive difference between an elemental sensitivity to the outside and an actual perception of it, for any form of felt sensitivity may already count as an experience, at least of a very basic sort. Our point here is, however, that the first glimmerings of subjectivity arise relatively early in the phylogenetic scale. And once subjectivity appears, it grows in complexity, refinement, and acuity. “Mind,” then, is certainly not the exclusive privilege of human beings. It is not even the exclusive possession of the higher animals. Mental life begins where sensitivity to the outside is felt [8,15].

(Source)

Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

“Life is ejected from the energy-blank and smeared as a crust upon chaotic zero, a mould upon death. This crust is also a maze – a real complex exit back to the energy base-line – and the complexity of the maze is life trying to escape from out of itself, being nothing but the escape from itself, from which it tries to escape: maze-wanderer. That is to say, life is itself the maze of its route to death; a tangle of mazings which trace a unilateral deviation from blank.”

Antonio Damasio – Self Comes to Mind

“We hypothesized that compassion for physical pain, being an evolutionarily older brain response, it’s clearly present in several nonhuman species – should be processed faster by the brain than compassion for the mental pain, something that requires the more complicated processing of a less immediately obvious predicament and that is likely to involve a wide compass of knowledge.”

“All the above strategies, I submit, began to evolve long before there was consciousness, just as soon as enough images were being made, perhaps as soon as real minds first bloomed. The vast unconscious probably has been part of the business of organizing life for a long, long time, and the curious thing is that it is still with us, as the great subterranean under our limited conscious existence.”

“The spiritual is a particular state of the organism, a delicate combination of certain body configurations and certain mental configurations. Sustaining such states depends on a wealth of thoughts about the condition of the self and the condition of other selves, about past and future, about both concrete and abstract conceptions of nature.” Looking for Spinoza

“Engaging in introspection turns out to be a translation, within the mind, of a process that complex brains have been engaged in for a long time in evolution: talking to themselves, both literally and in the language of neuron activity.”

“Needless to say, they do not really know what they are doing, let alone why. But they do what they do because of their exceedingly simple brains, without any mind to speak of and even less proper consciousness, use signals from the environment to engage one kin of behavior or the other.”

“Knowing as opposed to being and doing, was a critical break. The diference between life regulation before consciousness and after consciousness simply has to do with automation versus deliberation.”

“The ongoing of the digital revolution, the globalization of cultural information, and the coming of the age of empathy are pressures likely to lead to structural modifications of mind and self, by which I mean modifications of the very brain processes that shape the mind and self. Revolutionary arguments of the world.”

“How remarkably hybrid and flexible our mental lives are.”

Aldous Huxley, Foreword to Brave New World, second edition, circa 1947

In the meantime, however, it seems worth while at least to mention the most serious defect in the story, which is this. The Savage is offered only two alternatives, an insane life in Utopia, or the life of a primitive in an Indian village, a life more human in some respects, but in others hardly less queer and abnormal.

Today I feel no wish to demonstrate that sanity is impossible. If I were now to rewrite the book, I would offer the Savage a third alternative. Between the utopian and the primitive horns of his dilemma would lie the possibility of sanity — a possibility already actualized, to some extent, in a community of exiles and refugees from the Brave New World, living within the borders of the Reservation. In this community economics would be decentralist and Henry-Georgian, politics Kropotkinesque cooperative. Science and technology would be used as though, like the Sabbath, they had been made for man, not (as at present and still more so in the Brave New World) as though man were to be adapted and enslaved to them. Religion would be the conscious and intelligent pursuit of man’s Final End, the unitive knowledge of the immanent Tao or Logos, the transcendent Godhead or Brahman. And the prevailing philosophy of life would be a kind of Higher Utilitarianism, in which the Greatest Happiness principle would be secondary to the Final End principle — the first question to be asked and answered in every contingency of life being: “How will this thought or action contribute to, or interfere with, the achievement, by me and the greatest possible number of other individuals, of man’s Final End?”

(source)

End-of-life dreams and visions: a longitudinal study of hospice patients’ experiences.

The most common dreams/visions included deceased friends/relatives and living friends/relatives. Dreams/visions featuring the deceased (friends, relatives, and animals/pets) were significantly more comforting than those of the living, living and deceased combined, and other people and experiences. As participants approached death, comforting dreams/visions of the deceased became more prevalent.

source

Simon Leys – The Hall of Uselessness

In his last work, Kafka described the search for salvation; Flaubert, the quest for meaning. But these pursuits take us into mysteries no mortal can fathom. So, it seems strangely appropriate that death should have intervened, ensuring these heroic explorations remain open – forever.

“The mob reads confessions and notes, etc., so avidly because in their baseness they rejoice at the humiliations of the high and the weakness of the mighty. Upon discovering any kind of filies they are delighted. He is little like us! You lie, scoundrels: he may be (little and vile) anything, but differently, not like you.”

M

We died at the end of that year.

The place was small and totally new in every sense; neatly prepared in white – to invite all the incoming light to reflect inside.

M was the first 

gentle into that good night

So gracefully that took me with him.

B was coughing blood and had sparse but brutal seizures

His liveliness kept a part of me to take care of him till the very end – four months after M and me.

We are back to the inorganic.

The memories of our lives once infinite

will soon die altogether and our story disappear

The smallness of reality

Collaborative effects of bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation andprehospital advanced cardiac life support by physicians on survival of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a nationwide population-based observational study

Hideo Yasunaga, Hiromasa Horiguchi, […], and Tomoaki Imamura

Among 95,072 patients with bystander-witnessed OHCA, 7,722 (8.1%) patients were alive at 1 month, including 2,754 (2.9%) with good performance and 3,171 (3.3%) with vegetative status or worse.

More than 40% of 1-month survivors were classified as vegetative status or de facto brain death.

The combination of BCPR and ACLS by physicians was the best way to improve outcomes.

Life support by physicians without preceding BCPR increased the occurrence of vegetative status or worse.

(Source)

Dissociation debates: everything you know is wrong

Controversy about dissociation and the dissociative disorders (DD) has existed since the beginning of modern psychiatry and psychology. Even among professionals, beliefs about dissociation/DD often are not based on the scientific literature. Multiple lines of evidence support a powerful relationship between dissociation/DD and psychological trauma, especially cumulative and/or early life trauma. Skeptics counter that dissociation produces fantasies of trauma, and that DD are artefactual conditions produced by iatrogenesis and/or socio-cultural factors. Almost no research or clinical data support this view. DD are common in general and clinical populations and represent a major underserved population with a substantial risk for suicidal and self-destructive behavior. Prospective treatment outcome studies of severely ill DD patients show significant improvement in symptoms including suicidal/self-destructive behaviors, with reductions in treatment cost.

Richard J. Loewenstein, MD

Ian Stevenson – Science, the Self, and Survival After Death: Selected writings of Ian Stevenson, edited by Emily Williams

Carl Sagan, a lifelong skeptic of paranormal claims, in his last book (1996) identified Stevenson’s research as one of three areas of potential significance (the others were psi tests with random number generators and under mild sensory deprivation, i.e., the ganzfeld).

Stevenson was drawn to extrasensory communications and phenomena suggestive of survival and reincarnation because, if these processes could be established, they would demonstrate that human beings were more than their physical bodies. Stevenson came to concentrate on reincarnation because he saw that it posed an especially keen challenge to materialistic assumptions. It also had clear implications for medicine. Reincarnation might help to explain, among other things, the origins of individual differences and why a given person developed a given disease, one of the “leitmotif” questions of his career.

Reasoning in Believers in the Paranormal – The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

Reasoning biases have been identified in deluded patients, delusion-prone individuals, and believers in the paranormal. This study examined content-specific reasoning and delusional ideation in believers in the paranormal.

A total of 174 members of the Society for Psychical Research completed a delusional ideation questionnaire and a deductive reasoning task. The reasoning statements were manipulated for congruency with paranormal beliefs. As predicted, individuals who reported a strong belief in the paranormal made more errors and displayed more delusional ideation than skeptical individuals. However, no differences were found with statements that were congruent with their belief system, confirming the domain-specificity of reasoning. This reasoning bias was limited to people who reported a belief in, rather than experience of, paranormal phenomena. These results suggest that reasoning abnormalities may have a causal role in the formation of unusual beliefs. The dissociation between experiences and beliefs implies that such abnormalities operate at the evaluative, rather than the perceptual, stage of processing.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 192(11):727-733, Lawrence, Emma; Peters, Emmanuelle

Research on Experiences Related to the Possibility of Consciousness Beyond the Brain: A Bibliometric Analysis of Global Scientific Output – The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease


This study aims to conduct a search of publications investigating experiences commonly associated with the possibility of the existence of a consciousness independent of the brain held on the main scientific databases that are Pubmed, Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, Science Direct, and Scopus.

Of the 9065 articles retrieved, 1954 were included (598 near-death experiences, 223 out-of-body experiences, 56 end-of-life experiences, 224 possession, 244 memories suggestive of past lives, 565 mediumship, 44 others). Over the decades, there was an evident increase in the number of articles on all the areas of the field, with the exception of studies on mediumship that showed a decline during the late 20th century and subsequent rise in the early 21st century. Regarding the types of articles found, with the exception of past-life memories and end-of-life experiences (mostly original studies), publications were predominantly review articles. The articles were published in journals with an impact factor similar to other areas of science.

The presentation of the mind-brain problem in leading psychiatry journals

Alexander Moreira-Almeida,1 Saulo de F. Araujo,2 C. Robert Cloninger3
1Departamento de Clinica Medica, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF), Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil. 2Departamento de Psicologia, UFJF, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil. 3Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Objective: The mind-brain problem (MBP) has marked implications for psychiatry, but has been poorly discussed in the psychiatric literature. This paper evaluates the presentation of the MBP in the three leading general psychiatry journals during the last 20 years.
Methods: Systematic review of articles on the MBP published in the three general psychiatry journals with the highest impact factor from 1995 to 2015. The content of these articles was analyzed and discussed in the light of contemporary debates on the MBP.
Results: Twenty-three papers, usually written by prestigious authors, explicitly discussed the MBP and received many citations (mean = 130). The two main categories were critiques of dualism and defenses of physicalism (mind as a brain product). These papers revealed several misrepresentations of theoretical positions and lacked relevant contemporary literature. Without further discussion or evidence, they presented the MBP as solved, dualism as an old-fashioned or superstitious idea, and physicalism as the only rational and empirically confirmed option.
Conclusion: The MBP has not been properly presented and discussed in the three leading psychiatric journals in the last 20 years. The few articles on the topic have been highly cited, but reveal misrepresentations and lack of careful philosophical discussion, as well as a strong bias against dualism and toward a materialist/physicalist approach to psychiatry.

(source)

One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted –
One need not be a House –
The Brain has Corridors – surpassing Material Place

Far safer, of a Midnight Meeting
External ghost
Than its interior Confronting
That Cooler Host.

Far safer, through an Abbey gallop
The Stones a’chase-
Than Unarmed, one’s a’self encounter –
In lonesome Place –

Ourself behind ourself, concealed –
Should startle most –
Assassin hid in our apartment
Be Horror’s least.

The Body – borrows a Revolver –
He bolts the Door –
O’erlooking a superior spectre –
Or More –

Emily Dickinson

“The therapeutic orthodoxy that the patient should learn to engage with the larger world on the world’s terms.”

J. M. Coetzee, The Making of Samuel Becket

Virginia Woolf, On Being Ill

Virginia Woolf

Illness is a part of every human being’s experience. It enhances our perceptions and reduces self-consciousness. It is great confessional; things are said, truths are blurted out which health conceals.

Finally, among the drawbacks of illness as matter for literature there is the poverty of the language. English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no words for the shiver and the headache. It has all grown one way. The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry. There is nothing ready made for him. He is forced to coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning) so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.

Surge of neurophysiological coherence and connectivity in the dying brain

Jimo Borjigin, UnCheol Lee, […], and George A. Mashour

These data demonstrate that cardiac arrest stimulates a transient and global surge of synchronized gamma oscillations, which display high levels of interregional coherence and feedback connectivity as well as cross-frequency coupling with both theta and alpha waves. Each of these properties of gamma oscillations indicates a highly aroused brain, and collectively, the data suggest that the mammalian brain has the potential for high levels of internal information processing during clinical death. The neural correlates of conscious brain activity identified in this investigation strongly parallel characteristics of human conscious information processing. Predictably, these correlates decreased during general anesthesia. The return of these neural correlates of conscious brain activity after cardiac arrest at levels exceeding the waking state provides strong evidence for the potential of heightened cognitive processing in the near-death state. Though neurophysiology at the moment of cardiac arrest has not been systematically studied in human cardiac arrest survivors, surges of electroencephalographic activity (measured by bispectral index) have been reported in humans undergoing organ donation after cardiac death. The consistent finding of a high-frequency EEG surge reflecting organized neurophysiologic activity in nine of nine rats undergoing cardiac arrest should prompt further studies in humans. Importantly, the essential results of increased gamma power and coherence were confirmed with an alternative mode of death. Use of these unique experimental paradigms will allow detailed mechanistic dissection of neurophysiology of the dying brain in animal models, which could provide guidance for research on NDE after cardiac arrest in humans.

NDE represents a biological paradox that challenges our understanding of the brain and has been advocated as evidence for life after death and for a noncorporeal basis of human consciousness, based on the unsupported belief that the brain cannot possibly be the source of highly vivid and lucid conscious experiences during clinical death. By presenting evidence of highly organized brain activity and neurophysiologic features consistent with conscious processing at near-death, we now provide a scientific framework to begin to explain the highly lucid and realer-than-real mental experiences reported by near-death survivors.

(Source)

The meaning of life-threatening disease in the area of the head and neck.

The revelation that one has a life-threatening disease creates a sentient flood of emotions that infuse the patient with fear, confusion and depression. It contains the spectrum of pain, suffering, deterioration of life-style, crippling and possible annihilation. This burden falls first on the patient and his family, and then on his doctor. The drama is a dilemma of cure or palliation wrapped about the emotional core of that person with science, drugs, technology, mysticism and hope. The ongoing process is the most dynamic encounter of being alive, and before it is finished will have used and drained a large percentage of the vulnerable emotions that identify our humanness. An overview of these involvements as they relate to the area of the head and neck shows how complex the process has become, the remoteness of its solution and the truth of its experience.

Conley J.

Memento mori

Simon Leys, The House of Uselessness – Collected Essays

Do you grieve at the thought that your life must come to an end? The alternative could be worse – Swift showed it convincingly in Gulliver’s Travels. Arriving in Luggnagg, Gulliver heard of the existence of “Immortals” among the local population. From time to time a child is born with a large round mark on his forehead, a sure sign that he is a “Struldbrugg”: he will never die. This phenomenon is not hereditary; it is purely accidental – and extremely rare. Gulliver is transported with wonderment: so, there are some humans that are spared the anguish normally attached to our condition. These Struldbruggs must be able to store a prodigious wealth of moral and material resources through the ages – a treasure of knowledge, experience and wisdom! In the face of Gulliver’s enthusiasm, his hosts can scarcely hide their smiles. Though the Strudbruggs are indeed immortal, they do age: after a few centuries they have lost their teeth, their hair, their memory; they can barely move; they are deaf and blind; they are hideously shrunken with age. The natural transformation of language deprives them of all means of communication with new generations; they become strangers in their own society; burdened with all the miseries of old age, they survive endlessly in a state of desolate stupor. The progress of medicine provides us today with good illustrations of Swift’s vision.

We never cease to be astonished at the passing of time… This shows clearly that time is not our natural element: would a fish ever be surprised by the wetness of water? For our true motherland is eternity; we are the mere passing guests of time. Nevertheless it is within the bonds of time that man builds the cathedral of Chartres, paints the Sistine Chapel and plays the seven-string zither – which inspired William Blake’s luminous intuition. “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”

The Real Point is Control: The Reception of Barbara McClintock’s Controlling Elements

Nathanael Comfort – Journal of the History of Biology 32: 133–162, 1999.

Of McClintock’s much-vaunted interest in the paranormal, her friend Evelyn Witkin said it wasn’t belief, but that “she just felt we were at a point of profound ignorance, that we were overestimating our understanding of the way things worked.”  The reference was to nature, but it might have been to the nature of science.

Henry Michaux



I am afraid
– afraid that,
once dead,
I shall have in some sense
to live even longer.
(Henri Michaux, Note sur le suicide)


One travels against.

To rid oneself from the native land,
his attachments of every kind
and everything that clings to oneself,
despite oneself.
Voyages of expatriation.
To travel in a sense to purge oneself:
Not to acquire anything.
To impoverish yourself.
That is what one needs.
(Henri Michaux, Interview)

Nano-intentionality: a defense of intrinsic intentionality

I suggest that most discussions of intentional systems have overlooked an important aspect of living organisms: the intrinsic goal-directedness inherent in the behaviour of living eukaryotic cells. This goal directedness is nicely displayed by a normal cell’s ability to rearrange its own local material structure in response to damage, nutrient distribution or other aspects of its individual experience. While at a vastly simpler level than intentionality at the human cognitive level, I propose that this basic capacity of living things provides a necessary building block for cognition and high-order intentionality, because the neurons that make up vertebrate brains, like most cells in our body, embody such capacities. I provisionally dub the capacities in question “nano-intentionality”: a microscopic form of “aboutness”. The form of intrinsic intentionality I propose is thoroughly materialistic, fully compatible with known biological facts, and derived non-mysteriously through evolution. Crucially, these capacities are not shared by any existing computers or computer components, and thus provide a clear, empirically-based distinction between brains and currently existing artificial information processing systems. I suggest that an appreciation of this aspect of living matter provides a potential route out of what may otherwise appear to be a hopeless philosophical quagmire confronting information-processing models of the mind.

W. Tecumseh Fitch

Body of Knowledge

The Body of Knowledge Matrix emerged as members of ADEC’s Credentialing Council, Body of Knowledge Committee, and Test Committee reflected on efforts to put into operation a valid exam measuring knowledge considered foundational to thanatology. The six categories (Y-axis) and ten indicators (X-axis) appearing below are considered fundamental to the understanding of thanatology. The examples in the various cells below are illustrative of topics considered probable when categories and indicators intersect.

Indicators/
Categories Cultural/Socialization Religious/Spiritual Professional Issues Historical Perspectives Contemporary Perspectives
DYING perspectives on dying, health care interactions, family roles facing death, rituals, meaning, suffering, impact on treatment decisions, afterlife, legacies self care, boundaries, compassion fatigue, burnout, attitudes toward dying hospice, causes and patterns of death in Western societies, influential theories global causes and patterns of death and lifestyle choices, gender issues, impact of technology, influential theories, death attitudes, role of complementary/alternative therapies
END-OF-LIFE DECISION- MAKING advance care planning, ethnic issues, values and attitudes, gender advance care planning, values and attitudes, beliefs and doctrines, suffering, sanctity of life, quality of life communication, understanding patient’s rights landmark legal cases, attitudes toward final disposition, evolution of advance care planning options and choices, impact of medical technology, impact of media and internet
LOSS, GRIEF, & MOURNING factors affecting experience of and expression of grief, impact on mourning practices meaning making, impact on mourning practices burnout, compassion fatigue, awareness of personal loss history, coping strategies, self assessment, self care, boundaries, clinical competency influential theories, post-death activities influential theories and models, post-death practices, media and internet, intervention strategies
ASSESSMENT & INTERVENTION advance care planning, cultural competence, communication, meaning of death components of spiritual assessment, interventions, facilitating integration of meaning and value of one’s life appropriate components of assessments, communication, professional liability and limitations, determining appropriate interventions in concert with evidence and client characteristics, professional responsibilities changes in determination of death, intervention theories prior to 1990 current assessment models, current therapeutic strategies, controversy about efficacy of interventions, complicated grief, gender considerations, pathologizing of grief
TRAUMATIC DEATH cause of death, meaning making, advance care planning, ethnic issues, values and attitudes, gender meaning-making, rituals, impact of religion appropriate training, professional response, commemorative activities, vicarious traumatization previous major traumatic occurrences recent/anticipated future traumatic occurrences, impact of communication systems, organ and tissue donation, current approaches
DEATH EDUCATION different death systems, diverse views about death diversity of religious beliefs, diversity of meaning making, diversity of spirituality evaluation of knowledge, criteria for an effective educator, methods, training specific to parameters of practice, media and internet attitudes towards death, history of thanatology as a discipline, historical eras advance care planning, influence of media and the internet, social concerns, components of death education

Indicators/ Categories Life Span Institutional/Societal Family & Individual Resources & Research Ethical/Legal
DYING
normative developmental tasks, developmental concepts of death, special populations hospice, palliative care, impact of politics, interacting with the healthcare system, special populations gender roles, communication, cultural impact on family roles, family history, coping strategies current significant research findings, organizations and journals, media and internet allocation of resources, ethical principles, legislation/medical practice
END-OF-LIFE DECISION- MAKING impact of age on decision-making, determining competency to make decisions advance care planning, health care legislation, public/mass media and political impact on decision-making advance care planning, treatment decisions, communication, family systems media and internet, professional organizations, current significant research findings principles of medical ethics, advance directives, landmark cases, legal planning, decision-making processes
LOSS, GRIEF,
& MOURNING impact of developmental stage on loss experience, specific types of loss and impact on grief and mourning media and internet, school/workplace grief, public deaths, political systems family life cycle, communication, impact of illness trajectory, grief styles, normative grief responses, impact of type of loss empirical research on current theories, research on effectiveness of intervention ethics and working with the bereaved, legal aspects of death
ASSESSMENT & INTERVENTION developmental considerations impact of death system, impact of societal infrastructure, contributions of grief support services family systems theory, gender issues, assessment of risk factors for complicated/prolonged grief, determining appropriateness of specific interventions evidence of effectiveness of assessment and intervention, community programs determination of death, informed consent, ethical principles, legal parameters around death, professional responsibilities
TRAUMATIC DEATH death patterns, issues specific to each developmental phase meaning making, role of the media and internet, infrastructure, types of traumatic deaths, impact on specific populations impact on experience of grief, types of traumatic deaths, coping strategies, individual differences, vicarious traumatization, social support major national organizations, current significant research findings criminal justice system, impact on larger society, ethical intervention issues
DEATH EDUCATION teaching across the life cycle, issues specific to each developmental phase, impact of life transitions influence of media and internet, varied educational settings, impact of larger systems, military formal, informal types of resources, understanding the research, importance of evidence-based practice, certification, professional organizations impact of legal system on death, understanding a professional code of ethics, applying principles of ethic
Association for Death Education and Counseling
400 S. 4th Street, Ste. 754E
Minneapolis, MN 55415 USA
Phone: 612-337-1808
adec@adec.orgMonday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Join Membership Earn Certification

Body of Knowledge Matrix

Body of Knowledge Matrix

The Body of Knowledge Matrix emerged as members of ADEC’s Credentialing Council, Body of Knowledge Committee, and Test Committee reflected on efforts to put into operation a valid exam measuring knowledge considered foundational to thanatology. The six categories (Y-axis) and ten indicators (X-axis) appearing below are considered fundamental to the understanding of thanatology. The examples in the various cells below are illustrative of topics considered probable when categories and indicators intersect.Indicators/
CategoriesCultural/SocializationReligious/SpiritualProfessional IssuesHistorical PerspectivesContemporary PerspectivesDYINGperspectives on dying, health care interactions, family rolesfacing death, rituals, meaning, suffering, impact on treatment decisions, afterlife, legaciesself care, boundaries, compassion fatigue, burnout, attitudes toward dyinghospice, causes and patterns of death in Western societies, influential theoriesglobal causes and patterns of death and lifestyle choices, gender issues, impact of technology, influential theories, death attitudes, role of complementary/alternative therapiesEND-OF-LIFE DECISION- MAKINGadvance care planning, ethnic issues, values and attitudes, genderadvance care planning, values and attitudes, beliefs and doctrines, suffering, sanctity of life, quality of lifecommunication, understanding patient’s rightslandmark legal cases, attitudes toward final disposition, evolution of advance care planningoptions and choices, impact of medical technology, impact of media and internetLOSS, GRIEF, & MOURNINGfactors affecting experience of and expression of grief, impact on mourning practicesmeaning making, impact on mourning practicesburnout, compassion fatigue, awareness of personal loss history, coping strategies, self assessment, self care, boundaries, clinical competencyinfluential theories, post-death activitiesinfluential theories and models, post-death practices, media and internet, intervention strategiesASSESSMENT & INTERVENTIONadvance care planning, cultural competence, communication, meaning of deathcomponents of spiritual assessment, interventions, facilitating integration of meaning and value of one’s lifeappropriate components of assessments, communication, professional liability and limitations, determining appropriate interventions in concert with evidence and client characteristics, professional responsibilitieschanges in determination of death, intervention theories prior to 1990current assessment models, current therapeutic strategies, controversy about efficacy of interventions, complicated grief, gender considerations, pathologizing of griefTRAUMATIC DEATHcause of death, meaning making, advance care planning, ethnic issues, values and attitudes, gendermeaning-making, rituals, impact of religionappropriate training, professional response, commemorative activities, vicarious traumatizationprevious major traumatic occurrencesrecent/anticipated future traumatic occurrences, impact of communication systems, organ and tissue donation, current approachesDEATH EDUCATIONdifferent death systems, diverse views about deathdiversity of religious beliefs, diversity of meaning making, diversity of spiritualityevaluation of knowledge, criteria for an effective educator, methods, training specific to parameters of practice, media and internetattitudes towards death, history of thanatology as a discipline, historical erasadvance care planning, influence of media and the internet, social concerns, components of death education

Indicators/ CategoriesLife SpanInstitutional/SocietalFamily & IndividualResources & ResearchEthical/LegalDYING
normative developmental tasks, developmental concepts of death, special populationshospice, palliative care, impact of politics, interacting with the healthcare system, special populationsgender roles, communication, cultural impact on family roles, family history, coping strategiescurrent significant research findings, organizations and journals, media and internetallocation of resources, ethical principles, legislation/medical practiceEND-OF-LIFE DECISION- MAKINGimpact of age on decision-making, determining competency to make decisionsadvance care planning, health care legislation, public/mass media and political impact on decision-makingadvance care planning, treatment decisions, communication, family systemsmedia and internet, professional organizations, current significant research findingsprinciples of medical ethics, advance directives, landmark cases, legal planning, decision-making processesLOSS, GRIEF,
& MOURNINGimpact of developmental stage on loss experience, specific types of loss and impact on grief and mourningmedia and internet, school/workplace grief, public deaths, political systemsfamily life cycle, communication, impact of illness trajectory, grief styles, normative grief responses, impact of type of lossempirical research on current theories, research on effectiveness of interventionethics and working with the bereaved, legal aspects of deathASSESSMENT & INTERVENTIONdevelopmental considerationsimpact of death system, impact of societal infrastructure, contributions of grief support servicesfamily systems theory, gender issues, assessment of risk factors for complicated/prolonged grief, determining appropriateness of specific interventionsevidence of effectiveness of assessment and intervention, community programsdetermination of death, informed consent, ethical principles, legal parameters around death, professional responsibilitiesTRAUMATIC DEATHdeath patterns, issues specific to each developmental phasemeaning making, role of the media and internet, infrastructure, types of traumatic deaths, impact on specific populationsimpact on experience of grief, types of traumatic deaths, coping strategies, individual differences, vicarious traumatization, social supportmajor national organizations, current significant research findingscriminal justice system, impact on larger society, ethical intervention issuesDEATH EDUCATIONteaching across the life cycle, issues specific to each developmental phase, impact of life transitionsinfluence of media and internet, varied educational settings, impact of larger systems, militaryformal, informaltypes of resources, understanding the research, importance of evidence-based practice, certification, professional organizationsimpact of legal system on death, understanding a professional code of ethics, applying principles of ethic

Association for Death Education and Counseling

400 S. 4th Street, Ste. 754E

Minneapolis, MN 55415 USA

Phone: 612-337-1808adec@adec.org

Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tristan Tzara, The Death of Guillaume Apollinaire

“We know nothing
We know nothing of grief
The bitter season of cold
Ploughs long furrows in our muscles
He would have rather enjoyed delight in victory
We wise beneath calm sorrows caged
Unable to do a thing
If the snow fell upwards
If the sun rose among us during the night
To warm us
And the trees hung there in a wreath
– The only tear –
If the birds were among us to be mirrored
In the tranquil lake above our heads
WE MIGHT UNDERSTAND
Death would be a long and beautiful voyage
And an endless holiday for the flesh for structure for bone.”

Jack London, The White Silence

“Nature has many tricks wherewith she convinces man of his finity, – the ceaseless flow of the tides, the fury of storm, the shock of the earthquake, the long roll of heavens artillery. But the most tremendous, the most stupefying of all, is the passive phase of the White Silence. All movement ceases, the sky clears, the heavens are as brass; the slightest whisper seems sacrilege, and man becomes timid, affrighted at the sound of his own voice. Sole speck of life
journeying across the ghostly wastes of a dead world, he trembles at his audacity, realizes that his is a maggots life, nothing more. Strange thoughts arise unsummoned, and the mystery of all things strives for utterance. And the fear of death, of God, of the universe, comes over him, – the hope of the Resurrection and the life, the yearning for immortality, the vain striving of the imprisoned essence, – it is then, if ever, man walks alone with God.”

The Animals Came Dancing – Native American Sacred Ecology And Animal Kinship – Howard L. Harrod

Experiences of the actual slaughter of domestic animals for food are available only to a minority and the generation that has memories of such experiences becomes smaller and smaller over each year. Television and advertising supply our experience with typifications of these animals but they are so cartoon like that they obscure from view the systematic and massive slaughter that occurs daily.

It is probably impossible for persons even to imagine the amount of blood, feathers, hair, and entrails that are by-products of this killing process. Equally unimaginable is the scale upon which individual animal sentience is confined under “factory farms” and then is efficiently extinguished without thought about the deeper meaning of such acts. For these reasons, food animals have a mostly shadowy relation to us. The connection between neatly packaged meat in the supermarkets and a once living animal is further obscure by a food culture that has shaped our tastes in a manner that is largely disconnected from a sense of primary relation with the natural world. That further diminish the possibility that animals will be understood to possess qualities that constitute them as sentience beings with relative autonomy and internal dimensions that are not fully known. Notions of their “spirit”, their internal complexity, and their religious or moral standing in relation to the human world become increasingly difficult to sustain.

Finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. -Henry Beston

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

“In humans, the effect of certain hallucinogens appears to be associated with a disruption in cortical feedforward and feedback processing. Pharmacological interventions in non-human animals with compounds known to affect conscious behavior in humans can lead to similar perturbations in behavior in non-human animals. In humans, there is evidence to suggest that awareness is correlated with cortical activity, which does not exclude possible contributions by subcortical or early cortical processing, as in visual awareness. Evidence that human and non- human animal emotional feelings arise from homologous subcortical brain networks provide compelling evidence for evolutionarily shared primal affective qualia.”

“Muito Paz e harmonia para com toda a obra da criacao. Esteja ela onde estiver. O mistério sagrado da existencia, so hoje eu o advinho. Ao ver que a alma tem a mesma essência. Quer guarde um berço, quer guarde um ninho.” Guerra Junqueira, O Melro