<![CDATA[Bela Abel - Blog]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:56:32 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[TRANSFIGURED  WITH HORNS]]>Fri, 08 Sep 2017 21:34:00 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/09/transfigured-with-horns.html
The day of Transfiguration had just passed. It was a good day to be on some mountain, looking up for a light. I couldn’t do it, though; I've spent my day in a hole, in darkness. Nevertheless, it never hurts to dream about light:
And why do we call it transfiguration? That's the question I’ve asked myself.
As the story went, Jesus took three of his best disciples (Peter, John, James), went to Mt. Hermon and there his countenance turned dazzling white; Moses and Elijah appeared before Him and paid Him homage; and Peter said... well, everyone knows the story [1].
You also probably know, that the Transfiguration of Jesus, like almost everything else in the New Testament, was preceded by Old Testament events - the transfiguration of Moses. Moses’ countenance irradiated bright light, when he went down from Mount Sinai. “The skin of his face shone because he had been speaking with the Lord.”[2].

I believe that transfiguration, per se, is a misnomer, for nobody really had been transfigured, but rather the faces were filled with light. And, after all, the main part of the event was not that Jesus’ face became filled with dazzling white light, or that he was worshiped by Moses and Elijah, but that the voice came from a cloud, saying:
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him!” [1]

So why do we call it Transfiguration and not Glorification or, say, Encomium, or, even, Countenance, for this word has a surprisingly matching second meaning? After all, transfiguration literally means a change of shape. I am afraid that the responsibility solely lies on Saint Gerome.
In his c. 400 AD translation of Exodus, when describing Moses returning from Mt. Sinai with the tablets, St. Gerome translated Hebrew “karan 'ohr panav’ i.e. 'facial skin that glowed with rays” into “cornuta esset facies sua” i.e. “his face was horned”. For the details see Dan Brown [3].

The mistranslation was corrected later [2], but the term survived. From St. Gerome's part, of course, it was an honest mistake, but it stuck to the Scriptures, like horns to Moses forehead, for over a millennium! Yes, over a thousand years later Michelangelo put horns to Moses head. Think about it:
How would you feel if Michelangelo will make your statue, with a pair of horns attached to your head? That would be a transfiguration indeed Moses could have one big laugh with St. Gerome out there about this mistranslation. I am not sure if Michelangelo would join them, though - it must have been a lot of extra work to do those horns.

In both cases Transfiguration (even without horns) was a terrifying event. Jesus asked his disciples not to be afraid, just as Moses asked his brother and a group Israelites, who were scared to approach him when he returned from Mt. Sinai. (Moses will wear a veil after that event, he will wear it permanently, except for the times when he will be going up the mountain to speak with God) [2].

St. Peter, who the witnessed Transfiguration of Jesus, confirms his witness in his Second Letter. Please, note what he confirms there [4]:

“For when he received honor and glory from God the father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.”

Peter talks about the Voice and what it had said, not the dazzling light, etc. In Transfiguration, with horns or without, the key is in the message from the cloud. And hence, we ought to heed His message.

References

1. Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9: 2-13: Luke 9:28-36.

2. Exodus 34:27-35.

3. Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol, Anchor Books, New York, 2010, p. 248.

4. 2 Peter 1: 17, 18                                             Christian Faith and Prayers, Literature, Art, Music, Culture and Nature

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<![CDATA[KILLING HITLER AND A FREE WILL.]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:32:49 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/08/killing-hitler-and-a-free-will.html
“If only I had known what he would turn out to be,” said Henry Tandey, a British soldier of WWI, who had a chance to kill Adolph Hitler at the Battle of Marcoing.

According to Henry's account, he took aim but had a heart not to kill a wounded German soldier. “If I only had known what he would turn out to be. When I saw all the people, women and children he had killed and wounded, I was sorry to God to let him go.” [1]

What Henry Tandey saw on that day was a helpless man, and even in the heat of the battle, Mr. Tandey could tell a difference between killing enemy in a combat and a murder. He didn't kill a man, not Hitler. All hail to Henry Tandey, a good man - I hope he rejoices in heaven, for he made his choice, the only right choice he had.
God (if I dare to speculate on that subject) must have seen the scene in a different light. He knew who the wounded German soldier would become, for there are no limits to God’s knowledge. But God didn’t send an angel to Henry (pull the trigger, good lad) nor didn't he kill the Führer-to-be in a million of other ways, as he could, but he left the choice to the man, Henry Tandey.
God gave the choice not only to Henry Tandey. He gives a choice to everyone. Including the wounded German soldier, who yet will have to recover and to make his own choices, which a few years later will bring him to Nazism. (Hitler will join Deutche Arbeiterpartei or DAP in Munich, in July 1919 as its 55th member.[2]). And even after that, after joining DAP, Hitler still will have to make numerous choices, which will make him one of the most criminal characters in World history.
Would world history be different if Henry Tandey had killed the wounded man? Likely so. But history would be different as well if Herr Hitler would devote himself to painting and instead of returning to Munich, say, move to live in Southern Italy, or Tahiti for that matter, or if he would fall in love, marry, have children, leave Reichswehr. Who knows? One may say that God moves in mysterious ways. No question about it, but a man makes his moves in the light of God or away from it, in shadow.

References:
[1] National Geographic 100 Shocking Events. Disasters, Scandals, and Adventures That Made History, 86. Hitler's Regrettable Ninth Life, National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, 2017, p. 108.

[2] Bill Yenne, Hitler's Master of the Dark Arts. Himmler's Black Knights and the Occult Origins of the SS, Zenith Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2010, p.45.

Christian Faith and Prayers; Literature, Art, Music, Culture and Nature

P.S.
I am having some second thoughts about this historical anecdote. It is all just mindboggling. The story of Henry Tandey is somewhat anti-symmetrical to the story of Gavrilo Princip (see REFLECTIONS ON JUNE 28", 1914.) A bullet fired by Gavrilo Princip lead to demise of millions of people, while a bullet fired from Henry Tandey rifle could save millions of lives (including 16 million German lives). Tragically, both cases brought the worse outcomes possible. Of course, Henry Tandey didn't have to shoot Hitler, he could simply bayonet him. And that would do.


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<![CDATA[A WORD ON WORDS]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 19:51:20 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/08/a-word-on-words.html
We live in a world of words. Some people even make a living by weaving long and sometime quite elaborate strings of letters. Some of those strings worth more than strings of pearls.

The strings of words pierce the space on radio waves, fold into books, hide in CDS and microfiches and wave to us from banners pulled by crop dusters. They shake our air with acoustic booms of contraction and rarefaction. They carry meanings; at least some of them, while others are just pollution, toxic noise. Some words will stay with you for the rest of your life, like the first word of your baby. Or like the last words of your loved one. Words give life and words take life away.

I collect words like some people collect ancient coins (I did that too, when I didn't know anything better to do). Now, while all my material possessions are gone to the dogs, the words remain, and probably will stick with me to the end. I am not complaining, though. Using the words of immortal Jim Morrison:

'I'll always be a word man, better than a bird man'. (1)

If there would be a contest of numbers between words ever spoken and words ever written, I bet the first will win by a landslide. Yet, if we will take each and every spoken or written word with a denominator of merit, which comes out of a meaning, then, I believe the result will be opposite - the word written will beat the word spoken, for too many are uttered in vain, in a pointless banter, or as effete ejaculations of muddled minds.

A few people had written more words than they had said. But, take each one of them and you’ll rarely find a chatterer - the writers are generally a taciturn lot. Why is it like that? I guess that's their way of being thrifty - for them being a chatterbox is about the same as being a wastrel.

As a writer makes a living out of a word written, on the other end of a field a politician plows the audience with rigmarole. So they say that the tongue has no bone. Lies are much easier to say than to write - who wants to leave evidence?

After all, honest or not, the words bring bread. Yet this bread won't last for long, with one and only exception. There is one speaker that always says the truth, one who can’t be ignored. While men are often uttering words just to fill the petty emptiness or to steal a candy, billions a mouth speak nothing over even one word of God. So as the written word rules the world, the last word, just as it was in the beginning, will be the spoken one. It will come out of his mouth.

(1) The Doors, The American Prayer.

Literature. Art, Music, Culture and Nature

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<![CDATA[TO CRIMEA BY JINGO  LET’S DANCE!]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:51:15 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/07/to-crimea-by-jingo-lets-dance.html
Mountains and vineyards, burned out steppe where you still can walk onto a stone baba – Neolithic female figure once worshipped by mythic Scythians.  Gentle sandy beaches of Black Sea with its floors still covered with amphorae from Phoenician, Greek and Roman wrecks…

These wrecks lie undisturbed by greedy to artifacts divers.  Smell of wormwood at sunset.  Wailing of turtledoves in green quarters of Yalta and Simferopol.  And grave silence of ancient columns protruding from sandy cliffs.  It is a bit like California, if California would have several millennia of history.  It is almost like California, but no overcrowding, often more a desert, than even a steppe.  It is Crimea, and there is much more to it, but... 

Much more?  What can be more?  Maybe, mountains?  Or submarines?  Did you know that there is an innate connection between Crimea and jingoism?  These words are connected in many senses, but I’d like to start with semantics.  Here is a word on the origin of jingoism, or, actually, more than a word, a song.  So let’s sing together:

We don’t want to fight, but!

By Jingo if we do –

We’ve got ships, we’ve got men,

And the money too!

Note that “but!” here serves as a cue to a clap of hands and/or stomp of boots or beer steins, while the rest goes in a light mood of an operetta, which, by and large, it is.  If song accompanied by a dance (or vice versa), it would be fun to dance it in a single rank, hands or even elbows twined together, like The Riverdance does it quite often on stage.

We don’t want to fight, BUT! ...

This beautiful song comes from 1878, and it anonymously addresses Russia as an adversary.  I am not sure what that conflict of 1878 was about.  Lord Tennyson’s Light Brigade ran its memorable charge in 1854, and although Sevastopol was taken yet it all went for nothing.  Half century later, in 1918, the tables had turned.  Russia was waiting with tears and prayers for Crimean deployment of British troops.  It was Britain’s obligation under the articles of The Entente, yet it never came.  Instead came Red Army and it had its own songs to dance with: 

Aeh apple, apple,

Where you roll about?

Satan‘ll take you in

And you will not get out…

So what it was about then, in 1878, what was the adversity?  Was it because of South Africa, for Russia had supported Boers?  I am not sure.  Yet one thing is certain: Crimean Peninsula often was and still can be a casus belli. 

It seems like out of various geographic formations peninsulas specially attract warmongering politicians.  Why this is so?  Is it in the tainting shapes of peninsular cartography, which often looks like genitals?  Do those oblong shapes subconsciously perhaps but still challenge alpha males sweating over maps in war rooms?  Crimea, Korea, Indochina, Crimea, Korea …  but, let’s go back to old Jingo.  Here is a quote from G.K. Chesterton, a writer of unsurpassable wit:

“It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people.  First, it is a small power, and fights small powers.  Then it is a great power, and fights great powers.  Then it is a great power, and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity.  After that, the next step is to become a small power itself.”  G.K. Chesterton, The Fallacy of a Young Nation.

Chesterton was talking about someone else, but let’s take Crimean Peninsula as an example.  We’ll skip the times of old Greeks, Romans, Scythians, and Sarmatians, and go straight to XVI Century, when Russia began its expansion towards Crimea – a prized land which then was called Crimean Khanate.  The Khanate stood on her way to “Greeks” and posed a permanent threat to a key trade route.  At this time Russian Imperial Eagle was still a fledgling, it just hatched out of Moscow Princedom.  The final takeover will be completed in 1783.  Before that, by Chesterton, it was small power vs. small power (although this takeover was a big slap to Turks, a real power behind the Khanate.)  Since then Russian Empire grew into a power itself.  The wars with equal powers on Crimean Peninsula ensued –Turkey, Britain, Third Reich – all had tried to take, nobody could hold it for long.  Russia kept the prized land, although not for free, but over blood and bones of her children.  Comparing to the bloodbaths of the past, including the terrors of Civil War of 1918-21 and genocide of Crimean Tatars uprooted by Stalin and in 48 hours thrown into wastelands of Kazakhstan in 1945, the latest annexation wasn’t even a skirmish, just a smooth correction of a cartographic lapse left on the map by Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev.  Yet the question remains:

Can the latter takeover be read as a sign of Chesterton’s stage three?  No, I don’t think so. 

Will any territorial claim to Crimea be a casus belli with Russia?  Yes, you bet it will!

Literature, Art, Music, Culture and Nature

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<![CDATA[ARCHIMEDES AND KIRCHNER or COGNITIVE ECHO IV]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 03:13:08 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/07/archimedes-and-kirchner-or-cognitive-echo-iv.html
I never miss a chance to point out at strange occurrences which some people call coincidences, but those ‘coincidences’ seem are too persistent in their occurrence to be mere coincidences, anyway…
Cognitive Echo is one of the original and most interesting phenomena which I’ve discussed from the start of this blog (see COGNITIVE ECHO OR SYNCHRONICITY; COGNITIVE ECHO II OR HUMMINGBIRD; LILACS OUT OF DEAD BRAIN or COGNITIVE ECHO III ).  This is a kind of phenomena which I believe reveals digital or (if you would prefer) intelligently predetermined structure of our world.  I’ve illustrated it and discussed it through various physical manifestations which occur quite regularly in our lives, but cognitive echo can happen sometimes in quite subtle ways.  Here is an example.

National Geographic History is one of my favorite reads.  In the latest 2017 May-June issue you will find The Truth about Archimedes by Mireia Movellán Luis, p. 42, where among many other things, you will read:

“Perhaps the most famous story attributed to Archimedes’ defensive genius – his use of sunlight reflected off parabolic mirrors to burn approaching Roman ships – is most likely apocryphal.”

Actually, the whole history of ancient world is more or less apocryphal, but I believe that the most apocryphal part of this claim is that the mirrors were parabolic.  It is much more likely that Archimedes used plain mirrors arranged into an array.  The early references to that can be found in Tzetzes, 11th Century historian who discussed the technicalities.  But, this is not what I wanted to show you here.  Further we read:

“Proof that Archimedes achieved such a feat is lacking, but the legend lingered long enough for Leonardo [Da Vinci] to try it himself.”

I am not aware of Leonardo Da Vinci trying to reproduce burning mirrors of Archimedes (think about it – the first beamed weapon was used in 214 BC!), but the strangeness is here: the same issue of NGH contains an article with massive reference to Athanasius Kircher and his role in translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs (Javier Martínez Babón, The Hieroglyphics Puzzle, p.18). 

Athanasius Kircher, a German Jesuit of XVIII Century, among other achievements, like being called Father of Egyptology, had actually demonstrated the feasibility of Archimedes’ burning mirrors.  He used an array of plain mirrors to kindle a pile of wet wood.  Neither article mentions that historical fact.

I find it more than just ironic and even less coincidental, that both men were featured in the same magazine.  And so I am asking myself – is it a sort of cognitive echo which occurs on a bit different plane, a plane of thought, perhaps?  What else Father of Egyptology and Father of Beamed Weaponry (and Mechanics, and Space Geometry) have in common? 

World of Illusion
; Literature, Art, Music, Culture and Nature

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<![CDATA[ENCAGEMENT  ]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 02:30:48 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/06/encagement.html
This little piece is about invention of new words and the causes that bring them to the light.  Actually, this is about something entirely different, but, well, you’ll find this out… 

I think that many new words are invented out of a pure ignorance of writers.  This is, of course, a generalization, so maybe it will be fair to put it this way: when I am writing I am ignorant to the point of invention of new words.  How about that?  I think it is a fair way to say.

I’ll give you an example.  In the process of writing The Leap of Faith I came up with a great word, the word I can relate to, and if you’ve read my books then you know what I mean.  And the word is encagement
Can you believe that until Bela Abel took his pen and started writing his stories, this word didn’t existed?  I still can’t believe it, but here is the fact – my American Heritage Dictionary vehemently denies it and my word processor spell checker underlines it as an error.  I still cannot get it, how come it is not there?  Look at these parenting verbs:

Enact begot Enactment; Encamp begot Encampment; Encase begot Encasement; Enchant begot Enchantment; Enclose begot Enclosure, no family without a creep, you know; yet Encompass begot Encompassment and (that’s a close one) Engage begot Engagement.  And so we have engagement without encagement!  There is no Encagement, as a condition of being encaged.  And why not?  Encagement concerns not only canaries and hamsters.  Every one out of nine my fellow citizens experiences this condition during his or her life; 2.2 million are doing it as I am writing this line [1].  Plus, how much more can use this word in a metaphoric sense.  It is a rich word, just think of that:

Encagement.  The rules of encagement.  Dreams of encagement.  The premonition of encagement.  Age of encagement.  Love your encagement and strive to make it better for yourself and others.  So instead of holding to your bars and drooling with gloom, or walking back and forth from wall to wall in two small steps, smile and look forward to the better future.  Blessed are those who were encaged for they’ll find freedom!

I keep browsing the dictionary.  Even Enchain begot Enchainment, but enchainment is not good enough, it even can’t be claimed its right for being synonymous to Encagement.  Let’s update our dictionaries:

Encagement  n  1.  The act of encaging.  2. The state of being encaged.  “Obvious rule of encagement: if meal A was good, expect dreck for meal B.” (Bela Abel) 3.  Something that confines your feelings, mind or body. 

Literature, Art, Music, Culture and Nature

[1] I hear these crazy figures over and over again, here are several references if you want to look further: id, January 2016, 51st State; also: St. Anthony Messenger, Vol. 123, #2 (July) 2015, the latter refers to Census Bureau, according to which in 2009 7.2 million (3.1% of population) of my fellow Americans lived under correctional supervision.

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<![CDATA[WHERE ALL OUR BUGS HAD GONE? ]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 02:14:46 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/06/where-all-our-bugs-had-gone.html
I have a scary observation to report.  It’s in the #nature.  Our Southern summers were always abundant on insects, even overabundant.  Not now, though – the world seems like become devoid of our little buzzing buddies (and foes).  What had happened to them? 

April, already ninety Fahrenheit, no rain – here, in Bayboro, April is a summer month.  I am looking around and asking myself: where are they?  Where are our ubiquitous mosquitoes, including this funny tiger bunch, where are ladybugs, where are yellow jackets, where are orange wasps and where are my favorite praying mantises, where they all had gone?  I am looking around and I see none, NONE! 
Alright, I see our bumblebees, they had emerged from their nest inside the wooden slabs of TV shack and now fly busily around.  And even the bumblebees look decimated.  And where are butterflies, fireflies and just flies?  We have so little flies in the dorm, that I even miss them!  (Sometimes I like to annoy flies.  Have you ever tried to annoy a fly?  It is fun!  Just let it lend next to you and wave it away.  When it lends again - wave it off, and so on.  Count the number of cycles and see who’ve gotten more pertinacity.)

Our spiders are gone too.  I used to observe a large brown recluses living next to my rack.  I am impartial to the spiders, as you can discern from Pink Black Widow.  Where are the spiders?  The insects are gone and I don’t think that this is normal.  Is it?  It feels subtle and yet quite apocalyptic!  We used to swarms of ants and earwigs and you name it – and now – nothing.  Do you know what this means?  I am not sure, but this invokes another question – who is going to pollinate plants?  What spiders, birds and bats will eat?  Spiders are already gone, are the birds and bats disappearing next?  And then, if that is so – is our turn coming too?

I guess – and I hope that I am right, it is just a lot of insecticides was poured recently in our place.  It could be that some kind of a mother of all bombs for insects was dropped.   If so, nothing terrible, just another man-made zone devoid of life, we all ought to get used to it.  And still, it is so dreeeeadful! 

What is happening here?

End-of-Time; Nature

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<![CDATA[LILACS OUT OF DULL BRAIN or COGNITIVE ECHO III ]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 02:01:40 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/06/lilacs-out-of-dull-brain-or-cognitive-echo-iii.html
I was patient and ignored all cognitive echoes which had happened to me since I’ve last time described this phenomenon in the Hummingbird.  Yet another echo had #happened and this time I’ve gave in.  Here is the story. 

I’ve lost a word.  And this was so embarrassing – I’ve lost a pretty common word, not an opisthoproct or cosidoron (those are coming wherever I need them).  It was a good word, a name of that pretty common shrub with purple or white clusters of flowers.  You know what I am talking about? 
  In Europe this it is very common to old cemeteries and public parks.  It is a lot of it in New Orleans too.  So, anyway, half day I was cudgeling my brain, but it didn’t work, so I’ve left my poor helpless brain alone.  Then (next day) the help came, and as help almost always does, it came from above. 
That day I went to the chapel, where we’ve watched a movie before the service.  It was The Man for All Seasons.  So, there was the moment when Henry VIII with all his noisy retinue comes to visit Sir Thomas More in his home in Chelsea.  Of course, Henry came to coerce Sir Thomas to accept his coming marriage with Anna Boleyn.  Sir Thomas didn’t say yes to the king nor he didn’t say no and Henry VIII, enraged by More’s pertinacity, breaks a twig off a beautiful white bush of what-I-was-thinking-so-desperately-about-yesterday and even more, just to help me out, he says:

“Oh, lilac! … “

These words were followed with some quite obvious hint on what he is going to do to the obstinate Chancellor, but I didn’t listen – I had my own little pebble in a shoe just have been removed by no one else, but Henry VIII (or an actor playing Henry VIII for that matters).  Thanks to Henry VIII!  (How often one has to thank Henry VIII?  I guess not everyone and not so often, unless one is an Anglican in a good standing.)  Anyway, yes, it was lilac (white variety), and I was happy to get my lilac back!

Later, the same day I was reading Michael D. O’Brien Strangers and Sojourners.  (By the way, if you haven’t read these seven books of Children of the Last Days series, I highly recommend them, these two intertwined trilogies and one standalone novel are about coming of Antichrist and establishing of a totalitarian regime to the West are excellent by all counts.)  And so, in O’Brien I am reading a quote from Eliot:

April is a cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain …

If this was a cognitive echo striking again (or Jung’s Synchronicity), then this time it was even more striking than before (see COGNITIVE ECHO, and COGNITIVE ECHO II).  Not only the word started coming to me out of most unexpected sources, but it did it as if my cudgeled mind had caused it to come up.  Of course, after examining the previous experiences I could say that this was pretty much the same effect, but, boy it got me excited!  Yes, cognitive echo happens much too often to be ignored or worse to be mistaken for a plain coincidence. 

So, here is a question – do we actually invoke the cognitive echo? 

Whatever it is, my numerous now observations indicate that it does not happen to a passive observer.  It takes some will and energy for this thing to manifest itself.  And if this is so – think how much more we can achieve with an utmost focus of our mind on a subject (whatever this subject may be).  Is it not some discovery? 

Well, I don’t really think so.  I think, people were using this effect for the past ten thousand years or more.  It is a pretty common human activity indeed, it is called prayer.

Literature, Art, Music, Culture and Nature; Metaphysics and Mysticism; Paranormal and Supernatural; World of Illusion; Prayer

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<![CDATA[AM I NOT AN OPISTHOPROCT?  ]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 00:18:42 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/05/am-i-not-an-opisthoproct.html
I went on a quest for a #monster, and I found one, but it was a monster of a quite different nature than I thought it would be.

I was editing one of my story called “Pink Black Widow”, when I’ve run into a little snag.  I needed to find monsters.  Not monsters with long fangs, sticky tentacles or legs growing out of their heads, but verbal ones.  The culprit word, which sent me on this unusual quest was “decumanus”, a word which plays quite a sinister role in Pink Black Widow.  I was looking for some name which could make a match from a dark and even sinister side of meanings, like “chthonic” or “Tcheralindra”. 
 Yet, the latter, Tcheralindra girl was already taken, hired for Rattus Rex.  And then a thought came to me:

How about fishes?

Let me explain.  When I was a kid I loved to look through six volumes of zoological encyclopedia, a relatively modern descendant of Bream’s “Life of Animals”.  I could sit for hours and just go through infinite stock of invertebrate and vertebrate creatures in all their majesty and disgust.  I didn’t read much until later, but I was always enthralled by the colorful pictures, thousands of them.  I guess, these books substituted cartoons for me, something that I’ve never appreciated.  Especially, I liked the fishes, they had so many exotic names, like ipnops and dolopicht…  and I stopped there because my old memory got a bit rusty and it didn’t cooperate.  So, I cudgeled it a bit, as I do sometimes for my literary work.  I did it for hours, until I reached a state of mild insanity, and then, a-ha! – it gave in, and the fishes came from the darkness waving their fins and opening their wide mouths full of long sharp teeth.  Careproct came, and lasiognat, cosidoron, macropinnah, poloryl and many others came, including finally, oh, this was my favorite, opisthoproct.  Hi, Opisthoproct!

Most of these fishes live at crazy depths, thousands feet down in the darkness and they look pretty much like they are named: they all are anglers and hence they are monsters even within their own fishy community.  My choice of a monster word fell on opisthoproct.

Yet, I’ve been curious – because of the long time that had passed, my knowledge of these fishy names was purely phonetic, so I wanted to find at least some of them in the dictionary.  Strangely, none of them was listed.  The only one of those which I’ve mustered was there, and it was my favorite opisthoproct!  Yet, even the opisthoproct had no entry per se, but I’ve got it in parts, through its Greek roots.  Good thing that at least those were in the dictionary.  So I’ve found that “Opistho” stood for Greek “behind” and “Proct”, well, you know what proctology means, don’t you?

After that discovery I felt slightly discombobulated and honestly, disappointed.  It appeared that the name of the fish of my childhood dreams was “one who got anus behind”?  What a silly, profane name!  How much mysterious it sounded in Greek!  Opisthoproct.  Besides, the mystery was reduced to commonality – after all: aren’t we all in possession of this characteristic? 

Aren’t we all opisthoprocts? 

Except, of course, this is not our defining feature (I hope).  And, leaving us (humans) alone, I think opisthoproctism is not so common for the fishes.  Or is it? 

Literature, Art, Music, Culture and Nature

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<![CDATA[THE CUP OF IT ALL.]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 05:17:25 GMThttp://belaabel.com/2/post/2017/05/the-cup-of-it-all.html
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“How Splendid it would be, Agathon, if wisdom was the sort of thing that could flow from the fuller to emptier of us when we touch each other, like water, which flows through a piece of Wool from a fuller cup to an emptier one.” says Socrates inPlato's Symposium [1].
Let’s ignore for a moment the philosopher’s double-entendre which leaves no doubt in the context of the book, and look at the imagery of Socrates’s thought. 

Knowledge in a cup, a swig of wisdom, which opens your eyes to all hidden mysteries and gives you an answer to all questions human mind can possibly conceive. What a splendid idea, indeed! If this would be true, how nice it would be instead of slogging through fifteen years of School and college (and still getting dumber day by day), just to have a cup and to become Smarter than Socrates himself."

I guess, this idea was up in the air in V century B.C. When the Greeks joked about a magical drink while imbibing themselves with Wine. Eight hundred miles away, at four o'clock right across the Pont,Ezra (the same one, see ON DEMOCRACY IN HADES) actually drunk just that kind of cup. “A cup full of what seemed like water, except that its color was the color of fire” [2].

Well, I admit, I stretched it a bit: Ezra received his Cup of Wisdom from God Almighty Himself in the field of Ardat in 458 B.C. i.e. when Socrates was only 12 years old. At this time and age he was the one who was receiving his wisdom in exchange for a touch and I bet he loathed that But, considering our vantage point set 25 centuries later, what difference one or two decades can make? Or, who knows, maybe this difference is just the time taken for the news of the magical cup of Ezra to reach Greek shores?

After gulping the cup Ezra began dictating his wisdom to five Scribes non-stop, night and day and in 40 days they produced 94 books: a Superhuman prolificacy attained nowadays only by literary giants likeSteven King, Patterson and Danielle Steele. Sadly, of those 94 books only 24 were open to the public eye, and as far as I know, only 6 are available today [3].

Perhaps, Socrates had drunk that cup too, after all western thought as we know it originates from this man. Yet, everything comes for a price, and in 399 B.C. Socrates will have to drink another cup: this time a cup of poison hemlock (Cicuta). All because the good citizens of Athens felt that he was too smart for limping around and scaring them with his with. Against all injustice of his condemnation, Socrates took the poison with a joke: “We owe a rooster to Asclepius for that one!”

Ezra survived his ordeal and became one of the great prophets. Yet, about five centuries later, One Whom he so openly prophesized about, will have to drink His cup in the garden of Gethsemane: “Pater, ci vis, transfer calicem istum a me” [5]. This cup was filled with the knowledge of all men's sins, beginning from Adam.

“Wait”, you may say, “this cup was just a metaphor” So I say: “How would you know? Was the cross a metaphor too?' I feel that we ought to be careful with metaphors when it comes to the Scriptures (June 22, 2016. THE FORGOTTEN NAME). What if it was not a metaphoric chalice, what if the cup was just as real, as one taken by Ezra'? You can see it in depictions of Agony in the Garden, where an angel holds the cup next to Jesus.

In the turmoil of arrest, the cup was left empty under an olive tree. Eons had passed and it got buried under the Soil and roots. It must be still there, in Jerusalem, waiting for the time to be found and filled again.

* I admit, I've reduced the profound thought of Socrates regarding the peculiar practice of Greek aristocracy into a piece of kitchenware, but this would be a different story if I would go there, wouldn’t it? Sodomy as a form of tuition is not my subject today.

1 Plato. The Symposium, translated with introduction and notes by Christopher Gill, Penguin Books, 1999. 7. 22 Ezdras 14:39. 3 Ibid. 14:46. Those six books are: the canonic Book of Ezra, Book of Nehemiah, two Books of Chronicles and apocryphal 1" and 2" Books of Ezdras.

4 Socrates indictment carried the charge of impiety, or asebeia, punished by death. The stateimposed murder of Socrates later will be copycatted en mass by murders committed in the name of French Republic and hundred millions similar cases which will follow from then on. For Socrates case see: Carlos Garcia Gual. The Trial of Socrates, National Geographic History, March/April 2016, 44. (5) Luke 22:42.

Bela Abel.

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