A new day of posting! AND I have a lot to post too!!! (This is REALLY a hugely long post!) I have been promising and promising my new segment, and this will be weekly. I’ll be posting it on Sundays, there will be no posting then the following Monday as to allow people to catch up from the weekend. So … without further ADO here’s my Sunday’s Book Stroll:
I’ve just finished re-reading Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy so I’ve decided it’s as good of a starting place as any for my book feature.
The trilogy: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass is a wonderful journey through the trials of faith, knowledge and understanding. The characters are so well developed and interesting. Throughout the book, you see the struggle between good and evil from the very start; within each character’s frame. With some interesting character development throughout the story you see these ideas and personalities shift and change as well.
The trilogy itself sparked much controversy among Christians, although this was not widely known until the movie was made and boycotted due to some of the ideas presented. Namely the idea of the kind of power the “Magisterium” holds (The Magisterium would have been equivilant to the Catholic church’s hierarchy I believe). I believe that many Christians felt as though their faith was directly attacked based on their choice of church and although there are parallels to historical Christian ideals and power struggles, I don’t believe that was the main goal of the book. It simply made for a better story. The crux of the books however, is personal choice or lack there of.
I thought it was brilliant that the two protagonists were children on the very cusp of change, on their way to adulthood. If you haven’t read the books, the problem the “Magisterium” had with these two children is that they represent a new Adam and Eve. A do-over if you will to eliminate OR re-create original sin, personal choice. If no original sin, no temptation; if no temptation no actual personal conciousness. (I know that’s simplified, sue me later!)
In order to save the worlds, all the different parallel worlds, these two children must be allowed to experience what some see as the original sin. And they succeed by traveling through these worlds, learning to trust and rely on eachother, and eventually finding that elusive feeling of absolute joyful love.
The Magisterium is out to stop that process from happening. The problem with their plan though is that without this situation happening, and by disallowing these two children to make choices, good or bad, or feel what emotional, physical and joyful love is, the worlds would fall into total chaos and eventually into the absolute loss of conscious thought. This in turn would bring about worlds of remote human beings. Like bees buzzing around out of pure instinct and no conscious thought, and included in that would be the lawmakers themselves.
(As an aside, the book does not make mention of the actual ‘love-making’ portion of this scenerio, it’s just semi-inferred.)
I think the essence of the book is that while faith is an extraordinary and powerful idea, the powers that control it can fall into a state that is so disrespectful of it’s origin that it becomes destructive more than helpful. The loss of choice and consciousness destroys the very power you’re after. The more choice you take away, the more chaos and discord you have. The original thought of making changes for the benefit of others’ might have been full of good intentions originally, but in doing so you destroy the very foundation of humanity and the humanity in yourself in the process.
For me personally, I felt that even with my short study of different religions I was able to go into reading these books with a more open mind. In addition, with a second reading one always has a better understanding since the basic storyline is already known. Because of that the underlying meanings were clearer. So I got quite a bit out of it. For example: trying to make the right decisions for others but also with regards to oneself, even making personal sacrifices knowing we’re all a part of something much bigger. Each minute atom … every breeze, ray of light, lightening storm, we’re a part of all of that, and that of us.
In addition, while utopia may not be found, if we are able to try to be happy and good and kind, we can make the small changes around us that make huge differences. The author uses the simple theory of using a pebble to change the course of a river. If you put the pebble in a place that causes just a trickle of water to move into another direction, you can make the river change it’s course. If one can change the attitude of annoyance, dislike or indifference into thoughts of creativity, compassion, and interest many things could change. Never overnight, as who can or would trust an overnight change?
I know this sounds like a rant, I don’t know that I have the language skills to make it sound differently, but I don’t mean for it to be. I really fully believe that we all ought to be opening our minds more and really thinking about our feelings and actions, as the less we do this, the less knowledge, understanding and control we have over our own lives.
I hope you enjoyed the rambling AWESOMENESS of my first feature post. HAH! Join us next time for a rant/rambling about Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”
ஜ~§Quote Of The Day§~ஜ
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
ஜ~§The Question Of The Day§~ஜ
Do you believe everything has a scientific explanation?
ஜ~§The Word Of The Day§~ஜ
noun: Loss of ability to recognize objects, people, sounds, etc., usually caused by brain injury.
From Greek agnosia (ignorance), from a- (without) + gnosis (knowledge). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gno- (to know) that is the ancestor of such words as know, can, notorious, notice, connoisseur, recognize, agnostic, diagnosis, ignore, annotate, noble, narrate, anagnorisis (the moment of recognition), and gnomon.
Also see prosopagnosia (inability to recognize familiar faces) and alexia (word blindness).
“Jeff Koons turns agnosia into an artistic principle. And that has the effect of letting us see our world, and art, as profoundly other than it usually is.”
ஜ~§Poem Of The Day§~ஜ
An Imitation of Spenser
Golden Apollo, that thro’ heaven wide
Scatter’st the rays of light, and truth’s beams,
In lucent words my darkling verses dight,
And wash my earthy mind in thy clear streams,
That wisdom may descend in fairy dreams,
All while the jocund hours in thy train
Scatter their fancies at thy poet’s feet;
And when thou yields to night thy wide domain,
Let rays of truth enlight his sleeping brain.
For brutish Pan in vain might thee assay
With tinkling sounds to dash thy nervous verse,
Sound without sense; yet in his rude affray,
(For ignorance is Folly’s leasing nurse
And love of Folly needs none other’s curse)
Midas the praise hath gain’d of lengthen’d ears,
For which himself might deem him ne’er the worse
To sit in council with his modern peers,
And judge of tinkling rimes and elegances terse.
And thou, Mercurius, that with wingèd brow
Dost mount aloft into the yielding sky,
And thro’ Heav’n’s halls thy airy flight dost throw,
Entering with holy feet to where on high
Jove weighs the counsel of futurity;
Then, laden with eternal fate, dost go
Down, like a falling star, from autumn sky,
And o’er the surface of the silent deep dost fly:
If thou arrivest at the sandy shore
Where nought but envious hissing adders dwell,
Thy golden rod, thrown on t 1000 he dusty floor,
Can charm to harmony with potent spell.
Such is sweet Eloquence, that does dispel
Envy and Hate that thirst for human gore;
And cause in sweet society to dwell
Vile savage minds that lurk in lonely cell
O Mercury, assist my lab’ring sense
That round the circle of the world would fly,
As the wing’d eagle scorns the tow’ry fence
Of Alpine hills round his high aëry,
And searches thro’ the corners of the sky,
Sports in the clouds to hear the thunder’s sound,
And see the wingèd lightnings as they fly;
Then, bosom’d in an amber cloud, around
Plumes his wide wings, and seeks Sol’s palace high.
And thou, O warrior maid invincible,
Arm’d with the terrors of Almighty Jove,
Pallas, Minerva, maiden terrible,
Lov’st thou to walk the peaceful solemn grove,
In solemn gloom of branches interwove?
Or bear’st thy AEgis o’er the burning field,
Where, like the sea, the waves of battle move?
Or have thy soft piteous eyes beheld
The weary wanderer thro’ the desert rove?
Or does th’ afflicted man thy heav’nly bosom move?
ஜ~§Recipe Of The Day§~ஜ
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (from a 7-ounce can)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 whole chickens (about 3 1/2 pounds each), each cut into 8 pieces
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook garlic, stirring constantly, until golden, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
Add garlic and remaining ingredients, except chicken, to skillet with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
Coat chicken with half of sauce, then roast, skin side up, in a 17-by 11-inch heavy 4-sided sheet pan 25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with remaining sauce, then continue roasting until chicken is cooked through and well browned in spots, 20 to 25 minutes more.