Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Symbology of Pinocchio's Story

Pinoccho is carved by the Carpenter Geppetto, and the blue fairy brings it to life.

At the same time, the fairy chooses a cricket called Pepe Grillo and assigned it the mission: to remain with Pinocchio and be his conscience.
(This means that God puts next to every soul the consciousness of the truth, that always is to accompany us  within our own self) .

The greatest wish of Geppetto is that Pinocchio will become a real child. And he knows that his wish can only be reality if Pinocchio learns and grows, so he sends Pinocchio to school.
(Our development is a process of a lifelong learning).

Pinocchio arrives through the front door driven by his father, longing deep inside to become something greater: a real child.

But when he gets into the real world and makes use of  his newfound freedom, Pinocchio makes some wrong decisions, and succumbs to the temptation of pride.

Despite the protests of Pepe Grillo, Pinocchio follows Juan the righteous and joins a circus company
(The fundamental characteristic of the soul is free will which we can choose each time).

As Pinocchio joins the circus, he receives loud applause, and this makes him very happy, but after the performance, he gets confined  in a cage
(Allowing ourselves to be driven by pride can provide us with  pleasure, but in the long run it always produces pain, because it enslaves the soul).
The blue fairy comes to him, asking him the cause of his being captive in a cage, and Pinocchio tries to justify it by telling her lies; but his nose grows with each lie that he says.  Then Pinocchio discovers that evil cannot be hidden, and recognizes his errors by honestly repenting of them.
(the same is true with us; while we autojustify ourselves and do not recognize our mistakes before God and ourselves, we cannot learn).

The fairy then frees you and you get another chance to trace your steps and follow the right path.

Pepe Grillo is determined to help Pinocchio to stay on the right path, but it did not take too long for new temptations to come about.  Soon to appear is  Juan the righteous, who invites him to the pleasure Island, a place where children can have fun all day and satisfy all his wishes. Pinocchio can't resist the lure of travel to the island and joins the Group.
(Our great temptation is not to have to strive, to get everything for nothing in return).

But when Pinocchio and the other children stay on the island too long, they turn into donkeys and forget even how to talk.
(The same goes for the human soul, when in it is filled with indifference and the permanent satisfaction of desire: he forgets who he is and what his mission is all about).

But Pinocchio reacts in time. As soon as he discovers that he is growing ears and a tail of a donkey, he goes to Pepe Grillo to ask for help. And Pepe Grillo leads him to escape from the island.

As soon as they are free they begin to search for Geppetto. But as they return home, they find that he has disappeared; He goes to look for Pinocchio.
(This is of fundamental importance, because it makes us understand that not only do we want to seek God, but that God seeks for us).

Pinocchio receives information on the whereabouts of his father. That he can find him at the bottom of the sea, in the belly of a great whale that swallowed Geppetto's  boat.
(The marine animal is an ancient symbol of the reconciliation between  the spirit and matter). The sea is a symbol of the unconscious. Thus, the story tells us that we will find our spiritual inspiration, our true nature, our own unconscious self within our own  interiors).

As Pinocchio and Pepe Grillo are searching  for Geppetto in the sea, the same whale swallows them. Inside the belly of this  a happy reencounter of Pinocchio with his father, but soon they become aware that they must escape to stay together in the light of the day on the Mainland.

(Put another way, our spiritual journey doesn't end when we begin to reconnect ourselves with the spiritual  in our dreams, our prayers, or our meditations.) (The next step is to apply  this higher State of consciousness in our daily life, and that is usually the most difficult part).

In the story, Pinocchio has a plan. He comes up with a way of escape, which requires great strength and courage, and they execute the plan. But when they are in the midst of the sea, Geppetto  is about to drown, and Pinocchio sacrifices himself to save him.

(And this is precisely the key, that will make being a child  worthy to be a real one, a selfless love.) (When the need of  another is more important than the need of oneself, when I stop being me and the center of my life, it opens the door that gives way to a miracle).

As Gepetto returns to the beach, he finds the lifeless body of his son. Very much affected, he takes it home and lays it in bed. But the action of love from a child, giving up his life for his father, has earned him the right to  become a true child. This resurrects him and fulfills his destiny; to become a child in real life.

This story is the symbol of our own journey of spiritual development. The meaning of life is that we continue the process of recognizing our true nature in God.

The key for this is love, the selfless offering, which means to deny what is personal  and to disconnect ourselves from our own ego. The purpose of the life that we share with all men lies manifest  in the finite and the infinite,  bringing what is divine to the human, leading our individual expression to our spiritual qualities. Source:  Miriam T.

I hope we all understand the similitudes. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Art of Shaping Leaves

Nature's Art - The art of shaping leaves

Nature's Art is a company dedicated to the design of artistic products made with natural materials, which can be leaves, flowers, wheat straw, etc.  Here is the handmade work process with the incredible final result.


This type of Chinese art is very surprising, since no paint is used, but through manual cropping  a blade cuts into the surface by removing part of the lamina but without cutting the entire leaf and without removing the veins or leaf joints.

They tend to use a particular type of tree from China, but the leaf  as shown below,  is very similar to the maple leaf.

The process used is described as follows:
The leaves are gathered and washed.


Then the leaves are boiled and extenden over an absorbent paper.

Leaves are cut.


They are cleaned and then pressed.

Lastly, they are dried and framed.


Here are other finished works.  Source:  Artes Visuales


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Matter of Perception?


During a visit to a psychiatric clinic, a journalist asks the Director about the criteria used to determine whether a patient should remain at the hospital or go home.

“Well,” says the Director, “We do the following test:  we fill a bathtub, then offer the patient a teaspoon, a cup and a bucket and ask him to empty the bathtub. Depending on how he empties the bathtub, we know if the person should remain interned and how to proceed with treatment". "Ah," says the journalist, “A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon and the cup”. “No" – says the Director - "a normal person would unplug the bathtub....

"Would you prefer a room with or without a view of the garden?".

Great!!!  Must I assume that you thought of the bucket as the best alternative to empty the bathtub?  I hope so.  Otherwise, you would have a guaranteed room with a garden view (and rubber walls!) Apr 29, 2010 by Igor I. Solar.

Source:  Digital  Journal

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Great Photographs

Here are some photos that are very original and creative, at the same time funny, while taken with perfect timing.  Source:  Photos by Jean Michel





Monday, October 22, 2012

New York's Hanging gardens

The Highline park in Manhattan was originally built to transform accident prone rails that were killing too many insufficiently agile New Yorkers – Lower Tenth Avenue was called Death Avenue in 1930 – The rail ran generally north/south from the huge 30th Street freight terminus to the cluster of 19th-century warehouses in the Meatpacking District, around Gansevoort Street. The last train made the short commercial hop down the rails in 1980, delivering to one of the meatyard warehouses that have sidings running into their second floors. It must have been close to Thanksgiving Day  the payload was three boxcars of frozen turkeys.

Twenty-nine years on, the railbed has been reincarnated as New York City's flaneur mile, drawing up to 25,000 visitors a day to its spectacular steel-framed planting beds, as designed by Dutch master horticulturalist Piet Oudolf. Its current northern entry at 20th Street and Tenth Avenue opens on to a three-block-long section called the Chelsea Grasslands, after the New York neighbourhood that was itself named after the garden-rich London borough. Source: Guy Martin- The Observer, Sunday 8 November 2009


Nine meters from the ground

The Highline park of New York  (www.thehighline.org) an architectural project of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (www.dsrny.com)  transformed the old train railway in the West Side into a green area.  Inaugurated in 2009,  the second section was opened to the public last June.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gangnam Style Gets UN Stamp OF Approval

"Gangnam Style" is a single by South Korean rapper Psy. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album PSY's Best 6th Part 1. "Gangnam Style" debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea. As of October 9, 2012, the music video has been viewed over 414 million times on YouTube, and is the site's most watched K-pop video.

"Gangnam Style" has been highly praised for its catchy beat and Psy's humorous dance moves in the music video and live performances. On September 17, the song was nominated for Best Video at the upcoming 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards to be held in Frankfurt, Germany.[12] On September 20, 2012, "Gangnam Style" was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most "liked" video in YouTube history. Source: Wikipedia  
Source of Video:  You Tube

But what is the meaning of  Oppa Gangnam Style? Oppa = brother.  And Oppa Gangnam Style' when put  all together, is basically like you are trying to impress a girl, by saying that 'Hey, your big brother here is rich/sophisticated'. Source:  Aaronloy blog.

"Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district of Seoul, where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed "class" when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class.

This song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying so hard to be something that they're not. Under its cheery veneer, it's actually a very stinging commentary about some aspects of Korean culture.

For instance, 
1) "In Korea, there's a joke poking fun at women who eat 2,000-won (about $2) ramen for lunch and then spend 6,000 won on Starbucks coffee." They're called Doenjangnyeo, or "soybean paste women" for their propensity to crimp on essentials so they can over-spend on conspicuous luxuries, of which coffee is, believe it or not, one of the most common.
2) "I think a lot of what [Psy] is pointing out is how silly that is. The whole video is about him thinking he's a hotshot but then realizing he's just, you know, at a children's playground, or thinking he's playing polo or something and realizes he's on a merry-go-round."
3) We think he's at a beach in the opening shot, but it turns out to be a sandy playground. etc,etc...

Of course, it's just a music video, and a silly one at that, but what does Psy thinks about it?  "Human society is so hollow, and even while filming I felt pathetic". He said in an interview that "he intended a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be "Gangnam Style" when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class".

Korean pop really does not seem to typically do well in the U.S., but this has gotten enormous. "It's kind of the first genuine pop-culture crossover from Korea," Hong (Korean/American culture consultant) said noting it's "more in the American style." Maybe it's possible that, even if the specific nods to the quirks of this Seoul neighborhood couldn't possibly cross over, and even if the lyrics are nonsense to non-Korean speakers, there's something about obviously skewering the ostentatiously rich that just might resonate in today's America". Source:  The Atlantic

Gangnam Style Gets UN Stamp OF Approval

PARIS (AFP) - "Gangnam Style" has secured an unlikely accolade after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed South Korean rapper Psy's global hit as a force for world peace.

The UN chief added: "There are no languages required in the musical world. That is the power of music, that is the power of the heart.

"Through this promotion of arts we can better understand the culture and civilisations of other people.

"In this era of instability and intolerance we need to promote better understanding through the power of music." Source: Abs-CBN News.com

It is amazing how music can unite different types of people in proper harmony. Music is an amazing gift that can be shared to everyone!  But there is more to the Psy's video than meets the eye.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

It's Autumn

Here is how Ronald has interpreted autumn from his camera.

Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.
Samuel Butler

I love the autumn leaves but I hate to step on wet leaves!