I’ve been pondering today on women – a result of the sadness I feel when I see pictures like the one that leads my last post (see below, I mean way below, on the last article), plus a book I’ve been reading called Women & Desire.
Women & Desire addresses the much pondered question of “What do women want?” & tells the tale of Sir Gawain & the Lady Ragnall. You may know this story, if not you may enjoy it
….sometime later… sorry I can only find the Wiki version & it’s none too exciting.
“The story begins when the mystical knight Gromer Somer Joure challenges King Arthur to discover what women desire most, or face dire consequences. Arthur’s nephew and knight Gawain sets out to answer the riddle for him, and eventually Gromer’s sister, the hag Ragnelle, offers the solution if Gawain will marry her. Gawain selflessly consents to save his uncle, and Ragnelle reveals that what women desire most is sovereynté, to make their own decisions. With this answer Arthur wins Gromer’s challenge, and much to his despair, the wedding of Gawain and Ragnelle goes ahead as planned.
Later, the new pair retire to the bedroom. After a brief pause, Gawain assents to treat his new bride as he would if she were attractive, but when he looks up, he is astonished to see the most beautiful woman he has ever seen standing before him. She explains she had been under a spell to look like a hag until a good knight married her; now her looks will be restored half the day. She gives him the choice to have her beautiful at night, when they are together, or during the day, when they are with others. Instead, he gives her the sovereynté to make the choice herself. This answer lifts the curse for good, and Ragnelle’s beauty returns permanently.”
For what it’s worth here are some thoughts I’ve thought today, though I must add they’re just musings & in no way meant to be used as ammunition in the superbly programmed war of the sexes that we have fallen for hook, line & sinker. As a woman I come from a female perspective, but at the same time I feel a bit of an outsider in my sex, so hopefully this has a balancing effect.
The programming of the two sexes has proceeded upon very different lines. There must be numerous ways to look at this – one way for me is through the ancient Greeks who boldly steered ‘manhood’ down the heroism trail – see over there you can still see the dust rising.
Women on the other hand (& here I concur with the writer of Women & Desire) were graciously guided onto pedestals where their raison d’etre was beauty – the more beauty the higher the pedestal (& the more apparent power). Mastery of their fate was put in the hands of dusty heroes who owing to their soil encrustation saw these visions of loveliness as a reward earned by whatever dust-up they’d been a part of. The ladies on the other hand, believing that dust was bad for the complexion, declared they ‘vanted’ to be left alone & retired early to bed.
Oh well why not, it’s no more silly than the reason men & women fight. Actually I was mostly being serious.
Some time ago I asked a male friend what he wanted most & he had no trouble in relating in detail his heart’s desire. If I’d been asked that question I would have suddenly had a great urge to spring clean the entire house, in Winter, with a toothbrush!
Many times I have been frustrated by this inability to connect with my dreams & desires. I remember having unstoppable wants as a kid, even when being pressured into thinking of the ‘poor in Africa/India’. But now I go blank. Some time ago when my son tried to help me by asking me to come up with 10 wishes, all I could think of was that I’d like a new duvet cover – he laughed at me (& I joined him). This leads me to wonder how women can ever achieve sovereynté, when they are not able to connect with what they want.
Today I’ve been thinking that to a woman, the word ‘want‘ is very loaded. I think that women see it as in ‘instruction’, a directive. A want IS something to be procured, a kind of ‘honour bound’ duty – something that reaches into the soul & flips the ON switch.
If someone says they want something to me, I become focused on how to attain that – a desire has been spoken – I really don’t think we have any concept of the ‘magic charge’ that accompanies the phrase I want when spoken with deep passion. I have seen ‘miracles’ occur when that desire is taken into the hearts of listeners. I’m not talking here of the engineered craving designed by the media. If you say you want something to a woman, or that you would like something, you may very well find it on your doorstep in the not too distant future.
I’ve been wondering what possible benefit to an engineered society would there be, to have women unable to connect with their desires. And in my wondering I find an interesting idea. Women create things, their bodies can form & hold a new child – this isn’t a sexist thing, it’s just how it is, it could have been the other way round. So a woman ripens things, her body has the ability to hold & nurture until fruition is reached. I have heard somewhere the idea that women can hold desires, dreams within their wombs also, using them as a kind of fertile & nurturing place until they are ready to be released. A friend of mine who comes from Nigeria told me that his culture believes that when a woman menstruates she is extremely powerful, more so than the strongest magician which is why they are banished during this time. Similar stories appear in the bible about women being ‘unclean’ in order to remove their presence (or their magic?).
So what would happen if women knew what they wanted & that they had a very fertile capacity to create it & that there were times when they were more powerful than the magicians who are running this show? Could this be why they have been relegated to second place. This second place has a very structured hierarchy & is extremely competitive. The energy that could be poured into recreating this world is twisted wickedly in this second place where looks count for so much & creativity is forgotten.
I’m also wondering if those in the ‘know‘ are using women to ‘create’ cancer by having them place their intense focus on it through such sick practices as the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Please bow your head & repeat after me
I wasn’t going to say anything, I was just going to sit this one out, there was only a few days to go, it’s nearly the end of the month & I’m working on a few other ideas but…
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been assaulted by ads for Breast Cancer Awareness Month on the radio. Each time I have dutifully said “Knickers’ aloud & either switched off or changed the channel. I don’t normally listen to the radio, but when I’m in the warehouse at work, I enjoy the odd good tune. Today, however it all just got too much – for I found out that far from being over, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what they’ve actually been doing is advertising for next month – it seems October has been dedicated to the gods or goddesses of breast cancer – Give me strength!
I’ve written about my views previously in http://toolonginthisplace.blogspot.com/2008/02/knickers-to-cancer.html
and was heartened by some hearty responses. As in my previous article I will use the appellation ‘knickers‘ for the rest of this article & as as explained previously this is not out of disrespect for my fellow human beings, but an attempt to dislodge, even if only a little, the vice like grip that knickers seems to hold in the collective programming of our race.
So I was thinking today, no actually I was fuming about the marketing of knickers. Somewhere, in a couple of places & quite some time ago I came across some mention of breasts as having great significance – far beyond feeding babies. Something earthy & spiritual – I can’t remember where & when I search the internet it seems the word breast is now firmly manacled to knickers – it seems you can’t have one without the other.
Knickers groups have hijacked two universal symbols (& a whole bloody month) – please tell me who decides that a disease can have ‘dabs’ on the flower that is the herald of Spring & on a colour that has been programmed into our very being as the symbol of love & femininity (especially young girls). Taking another look at that – we can very easily link daffodils & baby girls – both eternal symbols of new life & regeneration. It rather brings to mind the Roman Catholic version of original sin -roll up, roll up, get your programming early while it’s fresh.
You know how embarrassing families can be? Well sometimes… it goes for countries too. If you scrolled down quickly you might be forgiven for thinking my site had turned pornographic. I have to own up to this next image as coming from my own home town of Auckland.
Here’s the official version
“On Monday, October 1 2007, SKYCITY will lead the world in marking October as international Breast Cancer Awareness Month by turning the Sky Tower hot pink as part of the Global Illumination Campaign.” Not so keen on those last three words myself.
I’ve been pondering today about how the rise in the feminist movement seems to correspond with the rise in breast knickers. Breasts are a universal symbol of the female sex, so it’s interesting that the apparent rise in women’s liberation has run concurrently with the multi million dollar industries of breast mutilation, err sorry I mean surgery and more recently with the huge increase (pun not intended) in breast augmentation. For the last 50 odd years breasts have been the subject of a hell of a lot of interest & intrusion. It’s gotten to the stage where one doesn’t feel quite safe owning a pair – so why is that? We’ve all accepted that it’s the modern way of life, stress, our diet, toxic environment etc… – just the normal day to day trifles we accept, but I’m in a sceptical mood & I don’t feel like buying.
To borrow a phrase from Michael at Hidden Agendas, I have a wild theory that our bodies are highly sensitive & capable of understanding vast amounts that our programmed brains can not. I feel this is why they are so relentlessly targeted. Ed from Mercury’s Garden (see side links) pointed out again today the hazards of vaccinations & his belief that the mercury in them caused his son’s autism. Not so long ago in NZ all the ‘under 20’s’ were targeted for a meningitis vaccination – three jabs were necessary but it was all free of charge courtesy of a caring government. Just prior to the onslaught of the vaccination there was a highly publicised case which I believe led to the unquestioning acceptance of a vaccine that I have read was rejected elsewhere – sorry I’ve gone looking & can’t find it now – but any readers who find their way here will have the nous to find that kind of info themselves.
Every avenue of physical health destruction seems to be being explored & exploited, no effort or expense spared. My feeling is that our bodies may be our best friends if we could but learn their language. Some time back I read a book called Meaning-full Disease by NZ’er Brian Bloom, & as I read I felt as if I was being put back together – this marvellous man weaves the human being together so wondrously that there are no seams in mind or body, no separation, & in doing so helps people to hear & understand the stories that their bodies are telling them. In one case a daughter had taken on her mother’s mental anguish in physical form – his message that there are no divisions -just experience translated in different forms.
So I return to the, dare I say frontal assault on breasts by the endless marketed knickers. The fear of it alone leads god knows how many women to subject delicate breast tissue to yearly x-rays. I just can’t see men falling for that & having their scrotum crushed & photographed- the knicker industry had to be a little more cunning there, but top marks to them, the prostate seems to be proving a very popular destination. Sorry back to breasts, it seems to me that they were the launch pad for the modern knicker business, the kind of ‘Coco Chanel of knickers’ – market launching it upon the world. There have been celebrity cases & deaths like Linda McCartney & Jill Ireland to maintain it’s status & a host of trendy survivors like Kylie Minogue to make it more appealing to the younger generation.
In the book The Cancer Conspiracy by NZ Doctor Toni Jeffries, she states that we still don’t even know what knickers is. Maybe not medically, but financially it’s one hell of an earner. It’s also one hell of a way to make us fear our bodies when we need to learn the language they speak & one things for sure they don’t speak pharmaceuticalish .
A few marketing ideas – franchise anyone?
I guess she didn’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight
Oh Knickers ‘Phone Home’
This 2002 movie starred Heath Ledger & that in itself warrants a second look.
The story follows the shock waves created when Harry Faversham, a British Officer withdraws from his regiment before a set to, because he cannot see how fighting half way across the world can be of benefit to Queen & Country. As a result he is labelled a coward & presented fourthwith, with four white feathers from his friends & fiance. All this I must confess, I found by taking the easy route & clicking on the Wikipedia link.
For some strange reason I opted to click on a certain word in that article & was transported in the blink of an eye to a page where no man or woman, in their (programmed) right minds would ever boldly go – to ‘cowardice’ & there in that shameful link, my eye was caught by a subheading & paragraph I was not expecting –
followed by this – “Terrorist acts are often described as cowardly. Ronald Reagan called the 1983 United States Embassy bombing “cowardly“; Bill Clinton called the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing and the 1998 United States embassy bombings “an act of cowardice” and “cowardly,” respectively; and George W Bush called the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon “cowardly.” Janet Reno also called Timothy McVeigh a “miserable little coward.” McVeigh responded, “Coward? This label would make Orwell proud – it is doublethink at its finest”
Having become a shade sceptical of these, cough cough, great leaders I felt inclined to make like a blackbird on the trail of a worm, and see what I could dig up.
So what exactly is cowardice & why is this word so powerful, that a plethora of Presidents evoke it’s name in connection with some of the most questionable doings in recent history.
Here are some dictionary definitions for cowardice:
“lack of courage or resolution”
“Ignoble fear in the face of danger or pain”
“lack of courage; esp., shamefully excessive fear of danger, difficulty, or suffering”
Wiki says this:
“Cowardice is a vice that is conventionally viewed as the corruption of prudence, to thwart all courage or bravery.” In case you are a ignorant of vice, it is “a practice or habit that is considered immoral, depraved, and/or degrading in the associated society…from the Latin word vitium, meaning “failing or defect”. Vice is the opposite of virtue.” For a full list of vices click on link & scroll down: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice then off to the confessional quick smart (I’ll be joining you).
Returning to the story The Four Feathers we find the sick world that a belief in cowardice generates. Such is it’s stigma that those who professed to love Harry Faversham were willing to assign his friendship & love to the rubbish bin because, like all of us, they have been thoroughly schooled in the ‘Way of the Warrior.’
Why are heroism & bravery so very important in our world & why is cowardice such a crime. Certainly the more I look it, the more it seems to me that cowardice is a made up word that has no value, except as a foil to the concept of heroism & I’ve been wondering if we as a society have not been the dead horse that has been well & truly flogged by this ideal.
Heroism is a concept that came from the Greeks (why am I not surprised). It had quite a different meaning to that of the media marketed version that we have today. If you were going to be a hero in ancient Greece you needed to have the determination of today’s ‘terrorists’ because your not very lengthy future consisted of undergoing numerous ordeals followed by death – sorry but you only get hero status when you snuff it – still interested then dial 0800 HERO for an application form.
If you look to the Greek heroes to find role models don’t expect to make many friends & don’t ever turn your back on one either (unless you have life insurance).
“A hero in Greek mythology & folklore was originally a demi-god, the offspring of a mortal & a deity, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion.” from wiki
And from a more ‘learned’ site:
“First and foremost, the ancient Greek hero was a religious figure, a dead person who received cult honours & was expected in return to bring prosperity, especially in the form of fertility of plants (crops) and animals, to the community…The hero who is mortal must suffer & must die. Only after death can the hero receive immortalization in cult & in song…The hero must struggle against the fear of death, in order to achieve the most perfect death. Such a perfect moment must be recorded in song” – I’m guessing here that the lack of this leads to the term ‘unsung hero’. The ‘Most Perfect Death’ sounds a little like a category in the Oscar nominations – perhaps we have the makings of a new reality TV show! Full learned article here if interested http://athome.harvard.edu/programs/nagy/threads/concept_of_hero.html
The lives of the heroes were tied (handcuffed?) to the gods, who like circus trainers do seem to have had them jumping through an awful lot of strategically placed hoops. Like actors, their modern day counterparts, we can view them as a group of physically attractive puppets on short strings enshrined in an arena/film screen while living an apparently golden existence while their audience gazes in awe. Heroes must have an audience/worshippers & remember too that heroes need to die young (just in case that rings a bell or two).
So how do the controllers of a society market the concept of heroism – I mean really, how many of people in the street, are going to jump at the idea of heroic death? It’s just not natural.
Much of today’s marketing (& I include politics here) works on the principle of ‘scare the shit out of the people, & then offer them a solution.’ Really clever marketing is also cost effective – so use what already exists but put a fearfully good ‘spin’ on it. To market a brand new product called Heroism, ‘consumers’ must be made to believe that a condition exists that it overcomes.
So let’s listen to a secretly recorded conversation from a ‘Do’ at Mt Olympus:
Zeus: “Is it just me or is anyone else getting bored with all this humility & worship crap. I dunno I just feel something is missing from my immortal existence.”
A plethora of immortals chime in: “Here, here. You go god.”
Zeus: “Splendid, I thought you’d see it my way. Well then, here’s a little something I came up with earlier.” (Sounds of scrolls being unrolled). “Now I haven’t got a name for it yet, but I think you’re all going to find this very exciting. I propose we create a game of super human chess – with real pieces, err I mean people to play with. These pieces, sorry people will in fact be half gods, which means that we will have to seek out very attractive human women to have sex with. Now Hera, I’m not suggesting that I’d enjoy it, it would be strictly a business arrangement (sounds of snickering in the background).
Hera: (sounding very frosty) “And what makes you think that the humans would pay any attention to these ‘pieces’, I mean I presume you’ll need plenty of humans to use as ‘pawns’!”
Zeus: “Ahh, now that’s what I’m particularly proud of.” (A loud ahem ahem sound in the background) “Well of course I couldn’t have come up with this without Hermes help. Our plan is to trick, I mean re-educate the pawns, I mean humans into believing that their instinct for survival is shameful & immoral, & that glorious death is, well… to die for!”
Poseidon: “My god, that’s dashed cunning. So what are you going to call this ‘re-education’?
Zeus: “well umm err”
Unknown god: “Come on Zeus, are you just going to stand there all day yapping- it’s your turn to pin the tail on the donkey!”
Zeus: “Hmmm…’tail‘ you say! … well why not, they’re all blind anyway & it’ll be a good ‘tale‘ to tell at parties.”
Actually I just made this conversation up – well you can’t get onto Mt Olympus unless you’ve got a ‘hero’ pass).
Etymologically, the word coward simply means ‘tail‘.
Assumption jumpers leap in a single bound to the conclusion that this refers to ‘turning tail’ or ‘tail between the legs’ – despite the fact that the the word turning or between the legs is entirely absent. Checking out tail in the dictionary we find that, as well as the dangly thing common to many animals, it also means to trail behind – if I imagine a crusade type scenario where I am an unwilling conscript (& I would be), I would certainly choose the ‘cowardly’ position, as movies have taught me that those up front get turned into heroes real fast.
When I first read the story below, I nearly fell into the trap of going aha that’s better, the honour of these men has been restored. Another cunning trap. The family of one man spent a lifetime trying to get his name cleared (cleaned?) & it seems they have resolution at last. But hang on a minute, all that’s happened is some word shuffling. The actual crime is the murder of these men for for a word that translates as ‘tail’. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/aug/16/military.immigrationpolicy
Going round in circles by turning cowards into heroes (with the help of war memorials) – here’s a 10ft high statue of Private Herbert Burden, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who had lied about his age to join up and was executed for desertion, aged 17. And lest we forget the importance of symbolism; “A semi-circle of stakes around the statue follow the seating pattern of a Greek theatre to symbolise “tragedy”. “
Here are some Oracle/Media headlines that they made up earlier – a word of caution – beware of that deep pit just ahead of you camouflaged by cleverly sprinkled words:-
“HEROES NOT COWARDS: PARDONS FOR MEN SHOT IN WW1″ – “Pardon plea for shell-shocked Somme hero shot for cowardice” – “UK Battle to clear the ‘cowards’.” – “Fresh call to pardon war ‘cowards’.”
Here lies the first paragraph of one of the completely objective reports;
“DEFENCE chiefs were last night under renewed pressure to pardon hundreds of soldiers executed for cowardice during the First World War after it emerged that several officers were spared the firing squad for the same offence.”
So what did you think – ‘bastards’ because there’s always some who wangle out of things OR did you baulk at the word ‘offence‘. It seems there’s been a change in attitude of the public (that’s you & me) “now that it is understood so many deserters were teenage boys and more is known about the psychology of trauma, people take a different attitude.” Marvellous so you & I at last understand that in certain very trying circumstances it’s ok to be just a little less heroic.
I have, over the course of this year, had cause to look at heroes by looking back over WWI. In the process I have been freeing myself from many beliefs that were instilled in me as I grew up. In NZ we have our heroes – the ANZACS (likewise in Australia) – our two nation’s identities, in many ways, sprang ‘fourth’ from the epic re-enactment of Troy known as Gallipoli (& afterwards on the Western Front). The pride in these myths is enormous. It does seem to revolve around the willingness of soldiers to ‘give their lives’. You will find the term ‘gave their lives’ on many a war memorial.
Those wishing to keep or take back their lives risked being legally murdered by their comrades (I am presuming that anyone reading this has seriously questioned the ‘inevitability‘ of wars of the last hundred years & so).
We may look up to heroes, but I’m not sure that we can love them – it’s a bit hard keeping warm in that superhuman shadow they cast.
I find however that I can & do willingly like ‘cowards‘ – who doesn’t love two of the greatest cowards in TV history – I’ll let Eddie Izzard do the talking;
“Shaggy and Scooby are interesting characters, two of the most major characters in American literature. I think it’s fantastic, because they are cowardly characters. They believe in cowardice and sandwiches. Can you think of any in the realm of English-speaking literature, cowardly characters that you identify with? You’re with them all the way -“Go, Shaggy! Go, Scooby!” The rest of the guys who drive the van? “Fuck off.” Scrappy-Doo – a Magnum. Boom!“
Sorry just had to leave in that last bit for educational purposes – it does show that we love those who have our own ‘weaknesses’. The tough, unperturbed (or down-right irritating) characters are just plain forgettable (or shootable).
In the Jacki Chan movie Shanghai Noon, Owen Wilson played a character I enjoyed, because he’s completely self interested & does all he can to avoid danger & maintain his own life. I have always enjoyed & believed in characters who value life so much that they actively seek to enjoy it & prolong it.
I’m not sure how long the late Steve Irwin was a TV star, but in his time he turned around a lot of ideas I’d been schooled in, regarding dangerous animals & insects. Far from attacking at the drop of a hat, I saw them seek avoidance of confrontation again & again, even at times when I was sure they’d be provoked (well I would have been in their place). I remember seeing many a Western when I was growing up, from them I learned how dangerous snakes were – kill or be killed. Now I am embarrassed by that attitude & while I’d give them a wide berth, I know that many of them are ‘cowardly’ creatures at heart – they prefer the sensible life-enhancing approach of avoidance to the heroic show-down.
I am a student of the martial art Aikido, our number 1 rule is avoidance. If at all possible avoid confrontation or do the minimum required to get away. The ‘heroic’ stuff is really a last resort. Aikido means ‘the way of harmony’ – I wonder if this could be translated to ‘the way of the coward’ – that’s ok by me.
I’ve also been chatting with my son to get a teenager’s view of cowardice – he suggested that it was “the natural attempt to prevent pain & suffering” & I agree. He went Paint-Balling a while back & said that he’d probably have been shot about 17 times for cowardice – I do admire honesty.
One method I like to use in my search for truth is to look at those who are most free of programming – young children – to see how they deal with whatever the topic is in question. I do not see heroism anywhere, only a splendid curiosity & thirst for knowledge that seems to drive them ever forwards. They seem to possess in equal measure the ability yell their lungs out & seek protection (run away) when they feel threatened. Nowhere do I see the ‘will to self-sacrifice’ – all in all a magnificent bunch of cowards.
I think the concept of heorism pulls us away from our powerful human intuition & humour & natural drives, while the concept of cowardice frightens us away from them. Are they perhaps nothing more than the cunning use of words – an ancient & well marketed method for swelling the ranks of willing sacrifices while underminining the natural human desire for enjoyment, self preservation & removal of pain.
Just to finish I have a small story of my own. Last night a couple guys were having quite a set to in the street outside my home. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the ‘f’ word used so many times in one place. I was a little concerned for the lesser of the two who seemed to be bearing the brunt of the word bashing & wondered what would happen if it got worse & what could I do. I didn’t actually want to do anything. I may be a student of Aikido but I prefer the avoidance approach. Anyway I started feeling a bit bad about being frightened by the situation when I remembered what I have have been writng about. I realised that I was feeling bad mostly because I had labelled myself ‘cowardly‘ & the instant I made the connection I smiled & felt much better.
and now some cowardly tails for your viewing pleasure…
I’ve been working on a new article, but for some reason, possibly under mischeivious gods influence, my article has spat the dummy & is refusing to play ball. Therefore it will take slightly longer than I’d hoped – but will be up in a day or two.
In the meantime I’m sure your thirst for knowledge is being quenched by the many excellent writers in the blogosphere (when the bloody thing plays ball that is!)
“learn the advantage gained for self through system and order, toward the accomplishing of his/her goals.“
Excuse me while I gag. I have the dubious honour of having this number as my ‘life -path’ & have always resented it’s plodding feel & lack of adventure, not of course that I live my life by it, but every so often it rears it’s orderly head.
Well the little beast has been cropping up a lot lately, so I felt pulled to look closer.
In Ellis Taylor’s In these Signs Conquer he devotes a whole chapter to this little number. One point in particular really hit home – how the actual structure of the oft used symbol ‘4‘ affects us;
“As you can see this 4-symbol is an upside down cross with a rear diagonal… An upside down cross is a symbol of spiritual death. This cross is also distorted and that has a significant bearing on our thought processing & thinking…This number 4 is not only entirely intellectually focused it is backward looking as well. Another problem with the subliminal motives of this symbol is that it completely engulfs & locks away our emotional and unconscious minds… Number 4 is a box and it will box you in…There is something else about this symbol too. Notice how it stands on one leg. It must be a real effort to keep it’s balance that’s why this figure 4 is so cantankerous and can be violent as well. It can never move forward…If it tries on only one leg it will topple backwards, being so heavy in the arse area.”
The book goes into greater detail & gives Ellis’ depiction of an open & balanced way to write this number using only vertical & horizontal strokes, with the horizontal stroke always sitting balanced on the base line.
I am reminded of a book I read some time ago about how changing your handwriting can help with changes in your life & indeed when browsing on the Internet I found a whole ‘new’ therapy –
“Graphotherapists have won the support of doctors, teachers and psychologists (I know, I know standard trigger words to make us instantly accept) for success in clearing up mental disturbances in children by changing their handwriting” & “The treatment of personality and character flaws through deliberately made changes in the handwriting, offers a whole new field for the graphologist and subject alike.”
The point I’m trying to make is simply that the shape of these ‘symbols’ that we constantly use, affect us – if the shape of your handwriting triggers your subconscious then the symbols we are forced to use & are visually bombarded with daily most certainly do & their shapes are no accident.
Just for fun, last week at work when I was hand writing some numbers I played with changing each one, adding a little something extra without disguising their original shape, it was actually quite hard, so programmed am I to writing them in their ‘proper’ form. I wonder if it would be therapeutic to do this more often – make the symbol a little more personal perhaps, you know have a bit of fun with them. It makes me think of how little say we’ve had in the development of well, pretty much everything. The building blocks are provided from the day we’re born, we just shuffle them around – perhaps it makes 42 as the ‘meaning to Life, Death & the Universe a bit more understandable – all just a matter of learning, writing & being programmed by ‘symbols’.
Lets return 4thwith to our topic & see how this number seems to be the foundation upon which our physical world lies.
Sound the great trumpet for our freedom,
Raise the banner for gathering our exiles,
And gather us together from THE FOUR CORNERS OF
into our own land”
(A prayer chanted thrice daily by religious Jews for nearly 2000 years as they face Jerusalem.)
While not geographically correct, the term four corners of the earth has been in use for a very long time & indeed as I’ve gone snuffling around in the undergrowth it could very well be seen as a clue to the building blocks of our world which seem so often to total four.
Starting with a species with which we are both familiar & completely at at a loss to explain – our human selves, we have four of our very own building blocks –
“Four base molecules make up the DNA code: adenine, cytosine, thymine, and guanine, usually referred to by their first letters A, C, T & G“.
We have four blood types (A / B / O / AB) – cough, cough, spot our reduction to symbols yet again!
Our hearts, which are so sorely tested these days, have four chambers (as do all mammalian hearts).
Step back into history for a day & you could be so much more than just a ‘star sign’, you could be a ‘temperament‘, of which there were four –sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic.
“Hippocrates (b. ca. 460 B.C.) urged that sine qua non of science: observation. In the course of the studies that merited his becoming known as “the Father of Medicine,” he noticed that blood removed from the body separates into four parts: the clear red, a yellowish liquid that rises to the top, the dark liquid that settles to the bottom, and whitish fluid. He and his students, especially his son-in-law, Polybus, took these observations and developed a theory of medicine that was to hold sway in the West and in the Islamic world for thousands of years.” Go here & scroll down if you want to see what you are – obviously no one is going to own up to being phlegm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlegmatic
Now lets step out doors into those four corners of our world. Which direction are you headed – you’ve got four cardinal directions to choose from: north, south, east & west. How’s the weather with you, which of the four seasons are you experiencing? What time of day is it – which of the four parts of the day are you missing by spending time on the computer – night, morning, afternoon or evening?
The belief in the four elements of fire, earth, air & water goes back to the Greeks &
“persisted throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, deeply influencing European thought and culture.”
The ancient Greek word for element (stoicheion) literally means “letter (of the alphabet)“, the basic unit from which a word is formed (hmm …always we come back to these symbols
So earth, where we have our home is one of these four elements. “Everything on Earth can be explained in terms of 4 states (phases) of matter– solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.” (I must mention here that I did find a few sites with some ‘modern’ additions, but just for now lets go with what most people ‘believe‘ – please don’t go getting all ‘choleric’ on me).
Skipping into the Twilight Zone for a second we find that Einstein believed that time was the fourth dimension. It seems there are big sciency debates about that & I’m no scientist so I’m not going there, but much attention is certainly focused on dimension numero four.
Pausing in the Religious Zone, we have the four gospels or ‘god spells’ – so even he’s using those damn symbols! We also find those equestrian harbingers of doom, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. I have read that four is “a symbolic number used throughout in the Old Testament” but am not going to check that out as there are limits to what I’ll research.
Dipping our toes in a little further: “Again we see the theme of the four rivers in Paradise. There are four Evangelists, chef arch-angels, chef-devils, four Fathers of the Church, Great Prophets. There are four cardinal virtues–prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance. The are four winds from which the One Spirit is said to come.” Plus in Revelation: “There four angels standing at the four corners of the Earth, holding back the four winds of the earth (Rev 7:1).”
Plus “Four is the number representing the body, with three representing the soul”
And of course who can fo(u)rget the four-pronged Cross, I took a break from this article a little while ago & went for a walk. It’s Sunday here & I passed a number of people making their way into churches & it struck me just how strong an image this ‘cross’ is
“The Christian cross is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity” or to put it in a nutshell, this four sided symbol has the power to bring more than a billion people to their knees!
Switching to a more exotic flavour of religion we have the Egyptians:
“Four is the sacred number of Time, measurement of the sun. Four pillars support the vault of heaven. There are four canopic jars placed around the dead at the four corners guarded by the four sons of Horus who are associated with the cardinal points. In the Hermetic it is the divine quaternity. It represents God”
Turning to native Americans now:
“As in other cultures, ceremonies and ritual acts are repeated in fours. The Native American cultures have used the number 4 most frequently as in the four cardinal directions. The four winds are depicted by the symbol of the cross and by the symbol of the swastika”
Peeking round the corner into the Buddhist Zone we have the Four Noble Truths – based around the concept that life is suffering, it didn’t really grab me, but go forth and investigate by all means.
Control & religion in all their various camouflaged disguises have never been shy of using what works best & the number 4 does seem to have come in mighty handy:
“The symbolic meanings of the number four are linked to those of the cross and the square. Almost from prehistoric times, the number four was employed to signify what was solid, what could be touched and felt. Its relationship to the cross (four points) made it an outstanding symbol of wholeness and universality, a symbol which drew all to itself’. where lines of latitude and longitude intersect, they divide the earth into four proportions. throughout the world kings and chieftains have been called ‘lord of the four suns’…’lord of the four quarters of the earth’… by which is understood to the extent of their powers both territorially and in terms of total control of their subjects’ doings”
And I thought four was boring!
Some more interesting fours-
“A four-letter word is used to describe most swear words in the English language, as most such terms do indeed possess four letters”
“Four is the only number in the English language for which the number of letters in its name is equal to the number itself”
I don’t suppose this one is an accident
“On many computer keyboards, the “4” key may also be used to type the dollar sign ($)”
“Four suits of playing cards : hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades.”
“Four rules : addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.”
“Four nations of the United Kingdom: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland”
“Four estates : politics, administration, judiciary, journalism. Especially in the expression “Fourth Estate”, which means journalism.” We know the power that wields
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote four Sherlock Holmes novels, the second of these was called The Sign of Four. Totally off the subject, I spotted an interesting ‘turn of name’ in his first novel A Study in Scarlet – you know how you start questioning all the things you used to love because you keep finding so much that is hidden, well on listening to this first novel not so long ago, I noted that the name of the fated heroine, Lucy Ferrier, sounded remarkably like Lucifer – obviously I may just be being imaginative.
A little snippet;
“On 26th January 1887, Arthur Conan Doyle was initiated into Freemasonry in Phoenix Lodge No. 257 in Southsea, aged 27. Among those present was Dr James Watson, with whom Doyle became very friendly, and whose name has been immortalised in the Holmes stories.”
The Kabbalah distinguishes between four different “worlds” or “planes,
There are four creatures on the arms of Freemasonry.<
According to Carl Jung, there are four primary mental functions –Thinking, Feeling, Intuition & Sensing
And four dimensions of modern science: length, breadth, width, and time.
Discovering a place in the U.S called the The Four Corners was most intriguing. This is the only place in America where four States – Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona & Utah, come together at one place.
“Another popular place for talk of underground activity is the area known as the Four Corners. This is the place where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet to share a common border. According to intelligence reports from several of my sources there are “at least six underground facilities in this area,” This is also the area where a large number of people died a “mysterious” death a few years back. Are there connections?
This harsh but beautiful arid land is also where the government decided to place several Indian Reservations. However, the Hopi Indians have been in this area as long as they can remember and luckily for us, their history of origin contains important details not found in the memory of other tribes.”
The Hopi believe that this world we live in is the Fourth World and the other three are inside the earth. In stages, and through many hardships, they emerged from a hole called Sipapu, entrance to the Hopi underground.
Four is the number of physical manifestation, in this world of ours. We use the four energy to turn dreams into reality. It’s our basic building block – mundane & crucial. So it’s not really surprising that it’s symbol (4) has been ‘adjusted‘. On top of the information already given I can’t help also seeing the symbol ‘4‘ as a triangle, which to my mind indicates 3 & I wonder if this is not yet another layer to the all round trickery involved, another confusion for our already overburdened senses.
I have wondered during my travels with ‘four’ if it would benefit us to create our own feelings about numbers, instead of being manoeuvered by the symbols that have stalked us since birth. I have been playing with the idea of creating a feeling of ‘solid foundations’ whenever I see the unbalanced 4 symbol – a personal effort to reconnect with an important little number.