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url 2018-12-12 13:36
From Pythagoras to Aristotle and Plato 4 elements Symbolism
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Spiritual Symbols: With their Meanings (Alchemy of love mindfulness training) (Volume 8) - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Mysticism or Magic

From Pythagoras to Aristotle and Plato 4 elements SymbolismWho we areSpiritualityPower of MindconsciousnessSymbols and Signsmeditation

 

Our journey from worshiping silence towards the worship of God’s names to Idol worship

by Nataša Pantović Nuit

It has all started and in its puzzling complexity ends with the worship of  (in Arabic the name for God is Alah) or divine,  its omnipresent Cosmic entity, in Taoism known as Tao, materialised through trinity of forces (in Hindhuism known as rajas, satwas and tamas) within four elements of Gaia: earth, water, sun, and air. In their wisdom Chinese philosophers and ancient sages, even managed to further refine them deviding the manifestations of earth into wood and metal, exploring the dance of five instead of four elements. Within the western worlds, inside the works of greatest philosophers, mystics and artists we find this wisdom sparkled knowledge.

mysticism or magic symbolism of four elements

 

 

Aristotle Plato Pythagoras

Within the scientific observations of different types of atoms at similar energy levels, the states with the similar behaviour patterns are called: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. The Ancient Greek system of Aristotle, a student of Plato attending the Plato’s Academy found in 387 BC in Athens, better known as the teacher, advisor, consultant of Alexander the Great who was the first one to travel to Egypt.

Source: artof4elements.com/entry/234/mysticism-or-magic
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review 2018-12-11 01:46
The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia - Michael Booth

This is basically the world’s longest magazine article. I kept reading because the author had a great idea for a book: we in the English-speaking world are always idealizing the Nordic countries, but we don’t actually know much about what it’s like to live there, nor do we visit them very often or learn their languages. So the author, a Brit married to a Dane and living in Copenhagen, proposed to travel around these countries and report on, as the bookjacket claims, “how they may not be as happy or as perfect as we assume.”

Which could have been great, if it weren’t so light and frivolous. Aside from giving a brief overview of the history of each of the five countries included (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland), chapters cover topics such as a visit to a sauna; a visit to Santa’s Village; traditionally-dressed revelers celebrating Norwegian Constitution Day; and a visit to a supposedly dangerous housing project occupied by Muslim immigrants in Malmö, which turns out to be pretty quiet and unremarkable when the author visits in the middle of the day and doesn’t actually talk to any immigrants other than the elderly Macedonian who heads the local mosque.

The book does briefly explore various issues – immigration, the rise of right-wing politics, high levels of taxation and government involvement in society, the causes of Iceland’s economic woes – mostly through talking to a small group of writers and professors who give rather fuzzy impressionistic answers. But he never does really get “behind the myth” in the way I expected. After his stroll through the housing project, he observes that its Swedish neighbors, said to resent the immigrants, “probably faced precisely the same problems as their immigrant neighbors in Herregården – poor education, few opportunities, little hope, and no money – yet each was fearful and resentful of the other.”

Wait. Stop the presses. This is it – this is “behind the myth.” Sweden isn’t supposed to have people, especially native-born ethnic Swedes, with “poor education, few opportunities, little hope, and no money.” Isn’t that the entire point of the welfare state? Isn’t that the heart of the “myth”? And yet Booth just keeps tripping blithely along, talking about views on immigration and even including a chapter entitled “Class” that turns out to be all about the weirdness of the Scandinavian monarchies. In another baffling omission, he observes that a Norwegian museum “featur[es] the usual Nordic tiptoeing around the subject of their oppressed indigenous minority,” then proceeds to describe the exhibit, note the Sami’s territory and numbers, and never mention them again. I checked the index just to make sure and yep, this is the only mention in the entire book. How you can think you’re writing a book about a region’s negative aspects and not include its generational poverty or oppressed indigenous minority, I have no idea. But on to Legoland!

The book is very focused on the author’s own experiences and observations, while some of his theories are just wacky. For instance, he theorizes that Finnish men drink too much because their country has a long history of foreign rule and military defeat, never mind that this does not appear to affect modern-day Finns in any way. He even writes about floating this theory to others, who all shoot it down, which doesn’t stop him from devoting a full two pages to defending it in the book.

Now sure, if you are looking for a lighthearted travelogue that will introduce you to a few cultural concepts, and fill you in on a bit of history and politics, this may be the book for you. I didn’t find it as funny as others did, perhaps because it relies heavily on pop culture references that don’t mean anything to me (“Swedish unemployment figures are about as reliable as Joan Collins’s age”). The book is just so long, without achieving any real depth, that at times I considered not even finishing it. I did learn some things from it, but I would have appreciated it more if it had been pared down and marketed as the lighthearted travelogue that it is.

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url 2018-12-10 16:06
In search of perfection
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Spiritual Symbols: With their Meanings (Alchemy of love mindfulness training) (Volume 8) - Nataša Pantović Nuit

In Search of Perfection within  in Mathematics

in search of perfection pi

Have you seen a film called π (Pi), written and directed by Darren Aronofsky in 1998. This 84 minutes master piece was filmed using the budget of only $68,000. The film explores exactly this search for a perfect number or sound, for the Name of God, it explores religion,  and our relationship to Universe with the most beautiful of all Sciences - Mathematics. The imperfect, irrational humanity vs our drive towards the perfection of mathematics, and our relationship to , synchronicity, Destiny.

Source: artof4elements.com/entry/214/in-search-of-perfection
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review 2018-12-10 01:36
A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns (nonfiction graphic novel) by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson
A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns - Archie Bongiovanni,Tristan Jimerson

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns is a 60-page guide, in comic form, to using singular they/them pronouns, including how to handle it if you mess up, a script for introducing yourself with your pronouns and asking others for theirs, ideas for trying to move away from gendered language in your workplace, and more. Archie Bongiovanni identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, while Tristan Jimerson identifies as male and uses he/him pronouns, so the work includes a couple different perspectives.

I had seen a bunch of mentions of this online and picked it up thinking that it would primarily be an introduction to they/them pronouns geared towards employers and employees. It can function that way, and from that perspective, I particularly liked the last few pages (quick and easy pronoun reference chart, scripts for asking about someone's pronouns and what to say when you mess up someone's pronouns, quick and easy ideas for using gender neutral language). They sum things up nicely and could serve as handouts in trainings.

I also liked the idea about group leaders starting things off by having everyone introduce themselves with their names and pronouns, and Jimerson's section about trying to train himself out of using gendered language in his workplace (he runs a small restaurant) made me realize there's a lot more to it than pronouns. For example, employees will often refer to customers as Sir or Ma'am, something that, in my area, would be culturally ingrained as well.

About two thirds of the book was geared towards folks who probably don't use they/them pronouns and may be trying to incorporate them into their language. The other third was geared more towards non-binary readers - basically advice and pep talks about dealing with people who've never used singular they and didn't even know it was a thing, and people who aren't fully supportive or who are consistently rude or awful.

There was one part of the book that gave me pause. In the section on how to find out someone's pronouns, the authors provide one sample script and then include a couple questions not to ask. One of those questions is "What pronouns do you prefer?" because "By using the word 'prefer,' you're suggesting that gender is a preference" (29). Although gender is not a preference, there are enough pronoun options that I don't think it's out of line to consider pronouns a preference.

Overall, it's a nice little guide, but the title really means it when it says it's quick. It doesn't dig very deeply into any of the topics it covers, and it doesn't point readers to any particular more in-depth resources (no "Recommended Resources" section).

 

Rating Note:

 

I debated over whether to give this 3.5 stars or 4. I settled on 3.5 stars because there were times when a few more pages of info would have been nice, even considering that this was written to be a quick guide. At the very least a "recommended reading" section should have been included.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-12-08 02:15
Nudge
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Audio) - Richard H. Thaler,Cass R. Sunstein,Sean Pratt

 

 

3.5 stars on Booklikes (this rounds down to 3 stars on Goodreads).

 

Continuing my obsession with behavioral economics.  Having read The Undoing Project and Thinking, Fast and Slow, I was familiar with many of the concepts and examples discussed in Nudge, but still, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein had a somewhat different emphasis (plus I enjoyed their humor).  I really appreciated their concept of "choice architecture," and I think they have given me much to consider when it comes to applying their "nudge" ideas to life and work (I am in continuing medical education).

 

The edition I listened to (audio) is not their updated edition, and I am interested to discover what they have added (or changed).  One thing that struck me is how dated their section on same-sex marriage is, now that marriage equality is the law of the land.  I feel as though what actually happened is much more satisfying than any of their recommendations in that part of the book.

 

Some of their policy-oriented chapters struck me as a little dry, but mostly, I found their insights and ideas salient and applicable.  I believe we can all benefit from becoming choice architects.

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