Social Responsibility

    ABC News has recently been conducting some experiments in social responsibility.  The idea was to find out if Americans still show a sense of responsibility for others.  Sadly, the results indicate that for most, the answer is “no”.  
    In one experiment, an overweight young women actress was being taunted about her weight by two slim actresses.  Many walked by and noticed what was going on but only a few stepped in and told the slim girls to stop.  
    In another, two actors played a couple having an argument and the young man is seen to kick the young women in the shin.  Again, many saw this but only a few stopped to intervene.
    In the most recent experiment, what I think is the most damning of all, four seven year old actors, two boys and two girls, took turns standing on a busy city street crying (an undercover cop stood by to help them if there was any real trouble).  Now I have to admit that I didn’t see the entire story, but in the part that I did see, hundreds walked by these apparently lost, or otherwise distraught small children, and no one stopped.  No one even bothered to ask what was wrong.  Usually these stories end with the reporter asking some people why they stopped or why they didn’t.  In this case, I had to leave before that part of the story was aired so I don’t know what excuses were given.  I can only guess that in a big city, people have become so jaded or so leery of ripoffs that they simply assumed the kids were cons trying to get money from them.  While to some extent I can understand their concern, I think when the safety of a child is at stake, we need to take that chance.  Otherwise, we are truly lost as a society.


Solar Pyrography

Pyrography, better known as wood burning, is an art form that has been around for hundreds of years.  Recently, a new variation has evolved – solar pyrography.  In  solar pyrography, artists burn designs into wood using a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun rather than a heated wire or metal rod.  Some examples can be found on the web galleries of Bud Hnetka and Jonathan Beartusk.  The portraits by Beartusk are incredible.  They are so detailed, they resemble antique photographs.  I would have to guess that many hours of work go into creating one of these portraits.  You can watch artist Art Blakey create one in this youtube video


Myths and Fairy Tales

    I wonder how many myths, legends and fairy tails are really about the ultimate quest for Christ Consciousness.  Whether the author intended it or not, it seems like some were inspired to write stories about that quest, even if they didn’t know they were.
    The quest for the Holy Grail is the most obvious one.  This is clearly a quest for enlightenment.  Not that the actual cup didn’t exist, just that it is serving as a metaphor for spiritual self discovery in the tales about it.
    Jason and the Golden Fleece is another that seems obvious to a spiritual person.  The quest is often associated with gold as in the golden man, the golden city of Eldorado, etc. And the fleece is protected by a dragon.  In mythology, dragons often represent a devil or demon, so it makes sense that a demon would try to prevent Jason from getting the fleece.  Prevent him from awakening his soul. 
    A princess kissing a frog and turning him into a handsome prince?  Less obvious, but a definite possibility.  The frog representing the material animal man and the handsome prince the enlightened man.
    Hanzel and Gretel trying to find their way in the forest and nearly getting killed by the evil witch.  Another possibility.  Getting lost in the forest symbolizing being lost in a material world.  Trying to get out, the seeking for enlightenment.  The evil witch would again represent a devil or demon.
    Rapunzel.  Everyone remembers who Rapunzel was: the long-haired young woman locked in a tower with no way out except a small window.  Do you remember how she got there?  The story begins with Rapunzel’s  mother admiring the rampion, or Rapunzel growing in the nearby garden of an evil enchantress.  She grew such a desire for it that she sent her husband out to get some for her.  The first time, he was successful, but the second time, he was caught.  When he told the enchantress why he was taking plants from her garden, she took mercy on him (sort of) and agreed to let him keep taking rampion to his wife, but in exchange, they would have to give her their child when she was born.  In fear for his life, the man agreed.  This one is not so obvious, but the quest of the prince to free Rapunzel from the evil enchantress can be seen as another variation of the quest for enlightenment.
    The Ugly duckling who becomes a swan, The Goose that laid the Golden Egg, and a number of less famous fairy tales and myths could fall into this category.  And if you think this is far fetched, remember, most of the fairy tails written by the Grimm brothers and others, were common folk tales passed around verbally for centuries before they were written down.  And how much distortion and embellishments got added along the way making the stories seem like meaningless children’s stories when the original may have been very meaningful?


Random Thoughts

Strange Photos:

A giant tribble?

Tree hugging smurfs?

Now that’s a symbolic war monument!  A field of toilets.

Ever been this stubborn?

In religious News:

An army specialist has filed a “religious discrimination” lawsuit against the Army because he says he
was mistreated and made fun of when his fellow soldiers found out he was an Atheist.  I agree that he has a discrimination case, but “Religious”?  I thought the various Atheist groups have been strongly denying that it’s a religion so getting public schools and governments to support Atheism is not supporting a religion.  If that’s true,  how can it be “Religious Discrimination”?  It sounds like some folks are trying to have the cake and eat it too.

Florida may become the first state to offer a license plate with a religious symbol that is not a college logo.  There is no mention of any plans to offer people of other religions plates as well.