Wednesday, June 26, 2013

365 day challenge - day 177

365 day challenge - day 177

The alien ships have landed! ...another day at Dunn Bros. working on the business plan and pitch deck for my latest venture.

188 days left in 2013.

365 day challenge - day 176

365 day challenge - day 176

365 day challenge - day 174

365 day challenge - day 174

you can't see it very well, but there's a giant moon over my right shoulder (I believe it was at its largest in the sky last night)...took this photo during a Taco John's stop on my way home from work.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

365 day challenge - day 173

365 day challenge - day 173

worked 16 straight hours today...non-stop from 9am to 1am (9am to 4:30pm at Kohl's and 4:00/4:30 to 1am bar-tending the 1973 Central High School class reunion).

365 day challenge - day 172

365 day challenge - day 172

a long, but good day today...hung out with my nieces Kylee and Jaden, went shopping and to the movie World War Z (in 3D) with Kylee, worked from 5-11, then got to see my sister at the end of the day.

365 day challenge - day 171

365 day challenge - day 171

decided to take the afternoon off with David Sedaris's new book, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, and some Summit EPA...

365 day challenge - day 170

365 day challenge - day 170

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

365 day challenge - day 169

365 day challenge - day 169

365 day challenge - day 168

365 day challenge - day 168

went out for a ride on the Harley after work today...

365 day challenge - day 167

365 day challenge - day 167

Father's Day 2013...

my dad...

and my Father's Day gift to myself (care of

365 day challenge - day 166

365 day challenge - day 166

another beautiful day in the Black Hills...

365 day challenge - day 165

365 day challenge - day 165

beautiful day in the Black Hills...and a new haircut :) thanks to Brittany @ The Man Salon:

365 day challenge - day 164

365 day challenge - day 164

After posting the "7 days" blogs for a few weeks I think I burnt myself out a bit as I've already missed 3 of the last 5 days for my 365 day challenge.

I think I'll take a little break from the longer postings and just do photos again for awhile...

365 day challenge - day 161

365 day challenge - day 161

Saturday, June 8, 2013

365 day challenge - day 159 / 7 deadly sins - day 7 #pride

7 Deadly Sins - Day 7

(7) Pride

Definition/Formal Thoughts

From Wikipedia:
In almost every list, pride (Latin, superbia), or hubris (Greek), is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God). Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbour". In Jacob Bidermann's medieval miracle play, Cenodoxus, pride is the deadliest of all the sins and leads directly to the damnation of the titulary famed Parisian doctor. In perhaps the best-known example, the story of Lucifer, pride (his desire to compete with God) was what caused his fall from Heaven, and his resultant transformation into Satan. In Dante's Divine Comedy, the penitents were forced to walk with stone slabs bearing down on their backs to induce feelings of humility.

Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two common meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one's personal status or accomplishments, often used synonymously with hubris. With a positive connotation, pride refers to a satisfied sense of attachment toward one's own or another's choices and actions, or toward a whole group of people, and is a product of praise, independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging. Philosophers and social psychologists have noted that pride is a complex secondary emotion which requires the development of a sense of self and the mastery of relevant conceptual distinctions (e.g., that pride is distinct from happiness and joy) through language-based interaction with others.  Some social psychologists identify it as linked to a signal of high social status.  In contrast pride could also be defined as a disagreement with the truth. One definition of pride in the first sense comes from St. Augustine: "the love of one's own excellence".  In this sense, the opposite of pride is either humility or guilt; the latter in particular being a sense of one's own failure in contrast to Augustine's notion of excellence.

Pride is sometimes viewed as excessive or as a vice, sometimes as proper or as a virtue. While some philosophers such as Aristotle (and George Bernard Shaw) consider pride a profound virtue, some world religions consider it a sin, such as is expressed in Proverbs 11:2 of the Old Testament.

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, proud comes from late Old English prut, probably from Old French prud "brave, valiant" (11th century) (which became preux in French), from Late Latin term prodis "useful", which is compared with the Latin prodesse "be of use".[4] The sense of "having a high opinion of oneself", not in French, may reflect the Anglo-Saxons' opinion of the Norman knights who called themselves "proud", like the French knights preux.[citation needed]

When viewed as a virtue, pride in one's appearance and abilities is known as virtuous pride, greatness of soul or magnanimity, but when viewed as a vice it is often termed vanity or vainglory. Pride can also manifest itself as a high opinion of one's nation (national pride) and ethnicity (ethnic pride).

Personal Thoughts

365 day challenge - day 159

Friday, June 7, 2013

365 day challenge - day 158 / 7 deadly sins - day 6 #envy

7 Deadly Sins - Day 5

(5) Envy

Definition / Formal Thoughts

From Wikipedia:

Like greed and lust, Envy (Latin, invidia) is characterized by an insatiable desire. Envy is similar to jealousy in that they both feel discontent towards someone's traits, status, abilities, or rewards. The difference is the envious also desire the entity and covet it.
Envy can be directly related to the Ten Commandments, specifically, "Neither shall you desire... anything that belongs to your neighbour." Dante defined this as "a desire to deprive other men of theirs". In Dante's Purgatory, the punishment for the envious is to have their eyes sewn shut with wire because they have gained sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low. Aquinas described envy as "sorrow for another's good".

Envy can be defined as a resentful emotion which "occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement or possession and wishes that the other lacked it."

Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness.  Not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but they also wish to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement towards democracy and must be endured to achieve a more just social system.  However, psychologists have recently suggested that there may be two types of envy: malicious envy and benign envy - benign envy being proposed as a type of positive motivational force.

"Envy" and "jealousy" are often used interchangeably in common usage, but strictly speaking, the words stand for two distinct emotions.  Jealousy is the result or fear of losing someone or something that one is attached to or possesses to another person (the transfer of a lover's affections in the typical form), while envy is the resentment caused by another person having something that one does not have, but desires for oneself.

Often, envy involves a motive to "outdo or undo the rival's advantages".  In part, this type of envy may be based on materialistic possessions rather than psychological states. Basically, people find themselves experiencing an overwhelming emotion due to someone else owning or possessing desirable items that they do not. For example, your next door neighbor just bought a brand new ocarina — a musical instrument you've been infatuated with for months now but can't afford. Feelings of envy in this situation would occur in the forms of emotional pain, a lack of self-worth, and a lowered self-esteem/well-being.

In Nelson W. Aldrich Jr.'s Old Money, he states that "envy is so integral and painful a part of what animates human behavior in market societies that many people have forgotten the full meaning of the word, simplifying it into one of the symptoms of desire. It is that [(a symptom of desire)], which is why it flourishes in market societies: democracies of desire, they might be called, with money for ballots, stuffing permitted. But envy is more or less than desire. It begins with the almost frantic sense of emptiness inside oneself, as if the pump of one's heart were sucking on air. One has to be blind to perceive the emptiness, of course, but that's what envy is, a selective blindness. Invidia, Latin for envy, translates as "nonsight," and Dante had the envious plodding along under cloaks of lead, their eyes sewn shut with leaden wire. What they are blind to is what they have, God-given and humanly nurtured, in themselves".

Personal Thoughts
I do struggle with envy sometimes. Not so much of material envy (big house, cars, toys), but more from relationship envy. Like many people I do long (on occasion) to find a strong, supportive partner to walk through this life and sometimes find myself envying people that have (seemed to) found that partner.

One thing I can say is that I am blessed to not have envy when it comes to my family relationships. In this area I am truly blessed to have a loving, kind, funny and caring family from top (grandma) to bottom (my nephew due in October).

365 day challenge - Day 158

...Portrait of a Woman Suffering from Obsessive Envy - Jean Louis Théodore Géricault (1791–1824)

365 day challenge - day 157 / 7 deadly sins - day 5 #wrath

7 Deadly Sins - Day 5

(5) Wrath

Definition / Formal Thoughts

From Wikipedia:

Wrath (Latin, ira), also known as "rage", may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Wrath, in its purest form, presents with self-destructiveness, violence, and hate that may provoke feuds that can go on for centuries. Wrath may persist long after the person who did another a grievous wrong is dead. Feelings of anger can manifest in different ways, including impatience, revenge, and vigilantism.

Wrath is the only sin not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest, although one can of course be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy (closely related to the sin of envy). Dante described vengeance as "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite". In its original form, the sin of anger also encompassed anger pointed internally as well as externally. Thus suicide was deemed as the ultimate, albeit tragic, expression of hatred directed inwardly, a final rejection of God's gifts.

Personal Thoughts
When I think of wrath, I think of some of my favorite movies...




and so many other great movies with a "wrath" plot line (Fight Club, Unforgiven, all the Batman movies...)

and when I think of wrath...I think of Alexander Karelin

365 day challenge - day 157

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

365 day challenge - day 156 / 7 deadly sins - day 4 #sloth

7 Deadly Sins - Day 4

(4) Sloth

Formal Thoughts / Definition

From Wikipedia:

Sloth (Latin, Socordia) can entail different vices. While sloth is sometimes defined as physical laziness, spiritual laziness is emphasized. Failing to develop spiritually is key to becoming guilty of sloth. In the Christian faith, sloth rejects grace and God.
Sloth has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do. By this definition, evil exists when good men fail to act.

Over time, the "acedia" in Pope Gregory's order has come to be closer in meaning to sloth. The focus came to be on the consequences of acedia rather than the cause, and so, by the 17th century, the exact deadly sin referred to was believed to be the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts.  Even in Dante's time there were signs of this change; in his Purgatorio he had portrayed the penance for acedia as running continuously at top speed.

Sloth is defined as spiritual or emotional apathy, neglecting what God has spoken, and being physically and emotionally inactive. Sloth can also indicate a wasting due to lack of use, concerning a person, place, thing, skill, or intangible ideal that would require maintenance, refinement, or support to continue to exist.

Religious views concerning the need for one to work to support society and further God's plan and work also suggest that, through inactivity, one invites the desire to sin. "For Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." ("Against Idleness and Mischief" by Isaac Watts).

In the Philokalia, the word dejection is used instead of sloth, for the person who falls into dejection will lose interest in life. Laziness is not considered becoming in many traditional customs.

Personal Thoughts

"Failing to develop spiritually is key to becoming guilty of sloth"...I honestly never thought of sloth in that way. I have always thought of sloth more in the idle hands/being lazy form. Thinking of it as a development of spirituality makes me know I need to focus more effort on overcoming this sin.

365 day challenge - day 156

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

365 day challenge - day 155 / 7 deadly sins - day 3 #greed

7 Deadly Sins - Day 3

(3) Greed

Formal Thoughts / Definition
From Wikipedia:
Greed (Latin, avaritia), also known as avarice or covetousness, is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of material possessions. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "Greed is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." In Dante's Purgatory, the penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts. 

Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed. Such misdeeds can include simony, where one attempts to purchase or sell sacraments, including Holy Orders and, therefore, positions of authority in the Church hierarchy.
As defined outside of Christian writings, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs, especially with respect to material wealth.

Greed is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one's self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power.

As a secular psychological concept, greed is, similarly, an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. It is typically used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, although it may apply to the need to feel more excessively moral, social, or otherwise better than someone else.

Personal Thoughts

Similar to my thoughts on gluttony yesterday ("...when someone says, or I think that someone is "gluttonous", the first thing that comes to mind is the over-indulgence of food"), when I think of greed, I think of money. For me, to be "greedy" is the single-minded pursuit of money without thought to consequences, people or a moral code.

Greed reminds me of lyrics from Mumford & Sons song - 'Dust Bowl Dance'

"Well you are my accuser, now look in my face
Your oppression reeks of your greed and disgrace
So one man has and another has not
How can you love what it is you have got
When you took it all from the weak hands of the poor?
Liars and thieves you know not what is in store
There will come a time I will look in your eye
You will pray to the God that you've always denied"

365 day challenge - day 155

Monday, June 3, 2013

365 day challenge - day 154 / 7 deadly sins - day 2 #gluttony

7 Deadly Sins - Day 2
(2) Gluttony

Formal Thoughts/Definition

From Wikipedia:
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste.

In Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food, and its withholding from the needy.

Because of these scripts, gluttony can be interpreted as selfishness; essentially placing concern with one's own interests above the well-being or interests of others.

Medieval church leaders (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods.  Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, comprising:

  • Praepropere – eating too soon
  • Laute – eating too expensively
  • Nimis – eating too much
  • Ardenter – eating too eagerly
  • Studiose – eating too daintily
  • Forente – eating wildly
Personal Thoughts
When I think of gluttony, I think of the over-indulgence of food, drink or material possessions. But when someone says, or I think that someone is "gluttonous", the first thing that comes to mind is the over-indulgence of food.

And it's impossible for me to think of gluttony, and not think of these two images. The first from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Maître-D': Today we have for appetisers: moules marinières, pâté de foie gras, Beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tart de poireau — that’s leek tart — frogs’ legs amandine, or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd — c’est-à-dire, little quails’ eggs on a bed of puréed mushroom. It’s very delicate, very subtle.
Mr Creosote: I’ll have the lot.
Maître-D': A wise choice, monsieur. And now, how would you like it served? All mixed up together in a bucket?
Mr Creosote: With eggs on top.
Maître-D: But of course, avec les oeufs frites.
Mr Creosote: And don't skimp on the pâté.
Maître-D: Monsieur, I can assure you, just because it is mixed up with all the other things we would not dream of giving you less than the full amount.

...and the second from the movie Se7en

That to me is gluttony.

365 day challenge - day 154

Sunday, June 2, 2013

365 day challenge - day 153 / 7 deadly sins - day 1

7 Deadly Sins

(excerpt from Wikipedia):
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a classification of vices (part of Christian ethics) that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin. In the currently recognized version, the sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
Beginning in the early 14th century, the popularity of the seven deadly sins as a theme among European artists of the time eventually helped to ingrain them in many areas of Catholic culture and Catholic consciousness in general throughout the world. One means of such ingraining was the creation of the mnemonic "SALIGIA" based on the first letters in Latin of the seven deadly sins: superbiaavaritialuxuriainvidia,gulairaacedia.

- Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Engraving, 1558, published by Hieronymus Cock)

Biblical lists
In the Book of Proverbs (Mishlai), among the verses traditionally associated with King Solomon, it states that the Lord specifically regards "six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth", namely:
  1. A proud look
  2. A lying tongue
  3. Hands that shed innocent blood
  4. A heart that devises wicked plots
  5. Feet that are swift to run into mischief
  6. A deceitful witness that uttereth lies
  7. Him that soweth discord among brethren
While there are seven of them, this list is considerably different from the traditional one, with only pride clearly being in both lists.

Another list, given this time by the Epistle to the Galatians (Galatians 5:19-21), includes more of the traditional seven sins, although the list is substantially longer: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, "and such like".  Since Saint Paul goes on to say that the persons who commit these sins "shall not inherit the Kingdom of God", they are usually listed as (possible) mortal sins rather than capital vices.

The modern concept of the seven deadly sins is linked to the works of the 4th century monk Evagrius Ponticus, (personal note:  I have always thought the 7 Deadly Sins stared with Dante's Devine Comedy) who listed eight evil thoughts in Greek as follows:
  • Γαστριμαργία (gastrimargia) gluttony
  • Πορνεία (porneia) prostitution, fornication
  • Φιλαργυρία (philargyria) avarice
  • Ὑπερηφανία (hyperēphania) hubris – in the Philokalia, this term is rendered as self-esteem
  • Λύπη (lypē) sadness – in the Philokalia, this term is rendered as envy, sadness at another's good fortune
  • Ὀργή (orgē) wrath
  • Κενοδοξία (kenodoxia) boasting
  • Ἀκηδία (akēdia) acedia – in the Philokalia, this term is rendered as dejection
They were translated into the Latin of Western Christianity (largely due to the writings of John Cassian), thus becoming part of the Western tradition's spiritual pietas (or Catholic devotions), as follows:
  • Gula (gluttony)
  • Fornicatio (fornication, lust)
  • Avaritia (avarice/greed)
  • Superbia (hubris, pride)
  • Tristitia (sorrow/despair/despondency)
  • Ira (wrath)
  • Vanagloria (vainglory)
  • Acedia (sloth)
These "evil thoughts" can be categorized into three types:
  • lustful appetite (gluttony, fornication, and avarice)
  • irascibility (wrath)
  • intellect (vainglory, sorrow, pride, and Discouragement)
In AD 590, a little over two centuries after Evagrius wrote his list, Pope Gregory I revised this list to form the more common Seven Deadly Sins, by folding (sorrow/despair/despondency) into acedia, vainglory into pride, and adding envy.

In the order used by both Pope Gregory and by Dante Alighieri in his epic poem The Divine Comedy, the seven deadly sins are as follows:
  1. luxuria (lechery/lust)
  2. gula (gluttony)
  3. avaritia (avarice/greed)
  4. acedia (sloth/discouragement)
  5. ira (wrath)
  6. invidia (envy)
  7. superbia (pride)
(It is interesting to note that Pope Gregory's list corresponds exactly to the traits described in Pirkei Avot as "removing one from the world." See Pirkei Avot 2:16, 3:14, 4:28 and the Vilna Gaon's commentary to Aggadot Berachot 4b.)

The identification and definition of the seven deadly sins over their history has been a fluid process and the idea of what each of the seven actually encompasses has evolved over time. Additionally, as a result of semantic change:
  • socordia sloth was substituted for acedia
It is this revised list that Dante uses. The process of semantic change has been aided by the fact that the personality traits are not collectively referred to, in either a cohesive or codified manner, by the Bible itself; other literary and ecclesiastical works were instead consulted, as sources from which definitions might be drawn.  Part II of Dante's Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, has almost certainly been the best known source since the Renaissance.

The modern Catholic Catechism lists the sins in Latin as "superbia, avaritia, invidia, ira, luxuria, gula, pigritia seu acedia", with an English translation of "pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth/acedia".  Each of the seven deadly sins now also has an opposite among corresponding seven holy virtues (sometimes also referred to as the contrary virtues). In parallel order to the sins they oppose, the seven holy virtues are humility, charity, kindness, patience, chastity, temperance, and diligence.

Associations with demons
In 1589, Peter Binsfeld paired each of the deadly sins with a demon, who tempted people by means of the associated sin. According to Binsfeld's classification of demons, the pairings are as follows:
  • Lucifer: pride (superbia)
  • Mammon: greed (avaritia)
  • Asmodeus: lust (luxuria)
  • Leviathan: envy (invidia)
  • Beelzebub: gluttony (gula or gullia)
  • Amon or Satan: wrath (ira)
  • Belphegor: sloth (acedia)
This contrasts slightly with an earlier series of pairings found in the fifteenth century English Lollard tract Lanterne of Light, which differs in pairing Beelzebub with Envy, Abadon with Sloth, Belphegor with Gluttony and matching Lucifer with Pride, Satan with Wrath, Asmodeus with Lust and Mammon with Avarice.
In Doctor Faustus, there is a "parade" of the seven deadly sins that is conducted by Mephistopheles, Satan, and Beelzebub suggesting that the demons do not match with each deadly sin, but the demons are in command of the seven deadly sins.

According to a 2009 study by a Jesuit scholar, the most common deadly sin confessed by men is lust, and for women, pride.  It was unclear whether these differences were due to different rates of commission, or different views on what "counts" or should be confessed.[

Cultural references
The seven deadly sins have long been a source of inspiration for writers and artists, from medieval works such as Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, to modern works such as the film Seven.

Biologist Jeremy Griffith cites the seven deadly sins as manifestations of the three psychological states of anger, egocentricity and alienation that necessarily accompanied the emergence of consciousness in humans, beginning some two million years ago.

7 Deadly Sins - Day 1

(1) Lust
Lust or lechery (carnal "luxuria") is an intense desire. It is usually thought of as excessive sexual wants; however, the word was originally a general term for desire. Therefore lust could involve the intense desire of money, fame, or power as well.

In Dante's Purgatorio, the penitent walks within flames to purge himself of lustful/sexual thoughts and feelings. In Dante's Inferno, unforgiven souls of the sin of lust are blown about in restless hurricane-like winds symbolic of their own lack of self-control to their lustful passions in earthly life.

An allegorical image depicting the human heart subject to the seven deadly sins, each represented by an animal (clockwise: toad = avarice; snake = envy; lion = wrath; snail = sloth; pig = gluttony; goat = lust; peacock = pride).

(personal note:  I find it interesting that the goat = lust comes into play in the pentagram...
Eliphas Levi says in his book, Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual that:
"A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates." In Native American tarot, the attribution is often more complex than this.)

Further Definition
Lust is an intense desire or craving. Lust can take many forms such as the lust for knowledge, the lust for sex or the lust for power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food. Lust is a powerful psychological feeling producing intense wanting for an object, or circumstance fulfilling a it.  Many religions separate the definition of passion and lust by further categorizing lust as type of passion for something that does not belong to oneself.[clarification needed]

In philosophy
The link between love and lust has always been a problematic question in philosophy.
Schopenhauer notes the misery which results from sexual relationships. According to him, this directly explains the sentiments of shame and sadness which tend to follow the act of sexual intercourse. For, he states, the only power that reigns is the inextinguishable desire to face, at any price, the blind love present in human existence without any consideration of the outcome. He estimates that a genius of his species is an industrial being who wants only to produce, and wants only to think. The theme of lust for Schopenhauer is thus to consider the horrors which will almost certainly follow the culmination of lust.

Contemporary Spiritual Perspective
Religious doctrine is rife with conflicting beliefs about lust and what it constitutes. For this reason a psychological conflict arises in many religious adherents and ordinary people from not really understanding lust and lusting, and the possibility of freedom in being and expressing the natural sexual energy as love.

Barry Long states that lusting is only the thinking about the sexual act or related matters, and this thinking about sex works off the pure sexual energy deep in the body. This natural sexual energy or 'wellbeing' is the source of all existential love. When attraction occurs there is an intensification and subsequent increased awareness of this energy in the conscious mind. Thinking while unconsciously focusing on this pure sexual energy or 'wellbeing' in the body actually converts this good natural energy into a related troublesome emotion that we know as 'lust'. This emotion proves to be troublesome because it results in more 'unwanted' thoughts and imagining of sex. Emotion is a degradation of the natural energy of love or wellbeing. A quote from Barry Long on the subject of celibacy (with regard to being free of lust) clarifies his view of love:

"You don’t need a celibate body, you need a celibate mind"

A celibate mind is a mind free of lust, or free of thinking about sex. He states that the natural attraction between the sexes is pure and holy because it derives from a natural uncorrupted God or Life created source i.e. the purity of an innocent (un-thinking, un-judging), sexually mature body. He states that the physical act of sex between two mutually attracted bodies in the absence of wanting and trying, thinking and fantasizing(lust), results in the re-creation of the knowledge of love in the consciousness of the bodies and he offers this as a way for man and woman to realise God in existence. The error of being in love is to think about sex.

Personal Thoughts
Such a complex and varied topic is lust.  I'm going to give this further thought and post more of my personal thoughts as the week progresses.

365 day challenge - day 153


Saturday, June 1, 2013

365 day challenge - day 152 / 7 military classics - day 7

7 Military Classics - Day 7

(7)  Questions and Replies between Tang Taizong and Li Weigong
       (note:  hands down my favorite title!)

From Wikipedia:

Questions and Replies between Tang Taizong and Li Weigong is a dialogue between Emperor Taizong (599-649 AD) of the Tang Dynasty and Li Jing (571-649 AD), a prominent Tang general. It discusses matters of military strategy, and is considered to be one of the Seven Military Classics of China.

The content of Questions and Replies differs strongly from the other six Military Classics. The armies that existed by the time of the Tang dynasty consisted of infantry, crossbowmen, and cavalry. The use of the chariot had long since ceased to have any military application, and weapons were exclusively made from iron and steel. Large number of local, cohesive units provided a great degree of flexibility to large-scale deployments. Professional units were supplemented by disciplined and well-armed conscript forces. Weapons and unit sub-types were highly specialized. The recognition of the military value of speed and mobility was widespread, with flanking and other indirect maneuvers preferred over direct, frontal engagements.

The social and technological realities from which Questions and Replies was written were very different from the other six Military Classics. Rather than claiming to originate its own strategy, Questions and Replies frames itself as a survey of earlier, more widely recognized works, discussing their theories and contradictions according to the writer's own military experience. Because Li Jing was a historically successful general, the tactics and strategies discussed in Questions and Replies must be considered the theoretical product of actions tested and employed in battles critical to the establishment of the Tang dynasty, if it is indeed wholly or even partly the product of Li Jing's thoughts.

Personal Summary
After reading summaries of all 7 of the Military Classics of China during this week, I would like to return to them soon and read each one in full (beginning with The Art of War...because I already own a copy).

It does amaze me that I'm almost 42 years old and had never heard of the 7 Military Classics before this week and hadn't heard of any of the the writings beyond 'The Art of War'.

365 day challenge - day 152