Love: concentrate and dissolve

There’s a motto in Alchemy: “Concentrate and dissolve”.

As you may know alchemists would, through laboratory studies, try to distill the mercury from the sulphur and then refine the mercury until it converted into gold.
This quest would lead them to the Philosopher Stone (which was the solid component) and the Long Life Elixir.
All the process of distilling is based on this very simple motto: concentrate – meaning extracting the essence – and dissolve – meaning mixing the essence with something else.

Many disregard that through this routine, alchemists were also training their patience and thus transforming their perception of the world.

I think you can apply this same motto to love: in order to preserve love’s freedom, one has to be able at the same time to dive into its essence and to share it with others.

20 SEC READING: May we be forgotten

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: Que sejamos esquecidos

At the Sceta monastery, the abbot Lucas gathered the monks for the sermon.

– May you never be remembered – he said.

– What do you mean? – replied one of the brothers. – May our example not help those who might need it?

– In the days when everything was just, no one paid attention to exemplary people – answered the abbot. – Everyone gave their best, without pretensions, and so fulfilled their duty to their fellow men.
“They loved their neighbor because they understood that this was part of life, and they thought nothing of respecting a law of nature.
“They shared their possessions in order not to accumulate more than they could carry, since journeys last a lifetime.
“They lived together in freedom, giving and receiving, without demanding or blaming anything on others.
“That is why their deeds were not handed down, and there is no story known about them.

“I hope we can achieve the same thing in the present: to make goodness such a common thing, that there is no need to exalt those who practice it.”

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Your definition of the modern witches is “To me, a witch is a woman who is capable of letting her intuition guide her actions, one who communes with her environment, who isn’t afraid of facing challenges.” Please explain us about the prejudice that modern witches face in modern society and your opinion toward them.

In today’s society (as was the case in the past) there is a tremendous amount of energy spent on trying to make people conform: to established behavior, to established religions, namely, to a certain type of thought. This uniformity is very tricky because it comes through a certain «political correctness» that stifles people’s spontaneity.

Women who rebels against this sort of general “inertia” were called in the past witches and the stigma still strive nowadays. Actually these rebellious women pay a price, doing things in a way that probably will not make a lot of sense to others but that are vital to them. Athena is very bold and she takes a risk – as anyone who stays true to oneself does.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

What is your message to your readers especially Indian readers? Any mantras for making their lives doubly meaningful and satisfying?

I’ve never seen myself as someone giving away mantras for making other people lives more satisfying. I’m not responsible for others.

Freedom is exactly that: people making their decisions by themselves, not giving it away for a “guru” to answer and decide for them.

I think the best advice is always to not follow advices. Try life by yourself.

I’m just a man that has gone in the direction of his personal legend, taking risks and learning daily from all around me.

EU votes to unify rules on detention of migrants

Today, I found this article in the IHT by Caroline Brothers. I wanted to share with you this pathetic news.

European Union lawmakers voted Wednesday to allow countries in the bloc to hold undocumented migrants in detention centers for up to 18 months and ban them from EU territory for five years.

Approved in this medieval French border city, which is home to a significant population of North Africans and Turks, the legislation establishes common rules for expelling foreigners who are detained on EU territory without permission to be there.

Described by critics like Amnesty International as “severely flawed” and an erosion of human rights standards, but by supporters as a balanced approach, the so-called return directive passed in the European Parliament by a vote of 369 to 197, with 106 deputies abstaining.

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Cimade released a statement Wednesday saying that it deplored the passage of what civil liberties groups have called “the directive of shame,” and said it was studying the possibility of contesting it before the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights.

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The vote came a day after António Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said that the world was dealing with “a complex mix of global challenges” that could threaten even more forced displacements than the 37.4 million people last year.

To read the whole article, please go here.

Italy defends move to patrol streets with soldiers

Today, I found in Digg, this interesting article by Reuters.

“The Italian government has defended its decision to use soldiers to patrol cities in an effort to curb crime, rejecting criticism that it will “militarise” the streets.

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The government announced on Friday that up to 2,500 soldiers, some of whom have served in Afghanistan and Kosovo, would be made available for a trial period of six months to bolster the police in difficult urban areas.

Silvio Berlusconi’s new conservative government won an April election on a law-and-order ticket, and crime and public safety have stayed on top of the political agenda since Mr Berlusconi took office.

The government’s decision was attacked by the centre-left opposition, with Roberta Pinotti, defence spokesman for the Democratic party, expressing “firm opposition to the militarisation of the streets”.

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To read the rest of the article, please go here

“2084” Is China Building the Next-Generation Police State?

Today in Digg, found this disturbing article written by Casey Kazan for the Daily Galaxy based on an article written by Naomi Klein for Rolling Stone

Thirty years ago the new Chinese city of Shenzhen did not exist. Today, with the help of U.S. defense contractors, the booming city is a model for a high-tech police state 2.0. And, according to some authorities, it’s ready for export.

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Today, Shenzhen situated on the Pearl River Delta, is a city of 12.4 million people and now houses roughly 100,000 factories. As Naomi Klein writes in her brilliant first-person memoir in the current issue of Rolling Stone, “there is a good chance that at least half of everything you own was made here: iPods, laptops, sneakers, flatscreen TVs, cellphones, jeans, maybe your desk chair, possibly your car and almost certainly your printer. Hundreds of luxury condominiums tower over the city; many are more than 40 stories high, topped with three-story penthouses. Newer neighborhoods like Keji Yuan are packed with ostentatiously modern corporate campuses and decadent shopping malls.”

As China prepares to showcase its economic advances during the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, Shenzhen, Klein continues, “is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of a vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range “” a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world.”

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To read the rest for the article please go here.

When Governments aren’t transparent

Today I found in Digg, this interesting NYT article:

Information That Doesn’t Come Freely
by Clark Hoyt

NINA BERNSTEIN, a Times reporter, wrote a front-page article last June about the deaths of prisoners in the fastest-growing form of incarceration in America, immigration detention.

Civil rights attorneys believed that, since the start of 2004, about 20 people had died while in custody facing possible deportation, but a spokeswoman for the federal immigration agency told Bernstein a surprising fact: the number was 62. Bernstein asked for details, like who they were and how they died. The spokeswoman refused, so Bernstein did what reporters often do “” she filed a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act, known as FOIA, for what she believed should be public records. Although the law required the agency to answer such a simple request within 20 business days, Immigration and Customs Enforcement initially responded the way many agencies do “” with silence.

Bernstein, who has a busy beat, immigration in the New York area, wrote her article without the details and moved on. But months later, right around Thanksgiving, she received an envelope containing a chart listing the people who had died in immigration detention “” now 66 of them “” with their dates of birth and death, the locations where they had been held, where they had died and the causes of death. Her FOIA request had been granted. That led Bernstein to a front-page article published last Monday about Boubacar Bah, a 52-year-old tailor from Guinea, who fell while in detention, received no medical care for 15 hours and died of severe head injuries.

To read the rest of the artcile, please go here.