Friday, January 27, 2017

(285) Further on The Holy Grail

On January 23rd 2017 I had already begun searching for more gen re something which had recently, once more, started to very much preoccupy me: The Holy Grail
An e mail arrived from David DeAngelo headed -The Holy Grail of One-Night-Stands.

At lunchtime on January 24th 2017 I was rereading this Entry http://james-plasketts-coincidence-diary.blogspot.com.es/2006/03/part-two-narrative-epilogues-and.html specifically for stuff on the Holy Grail.

Just a few seconds after I had read this of point (12)
 -
Through further researches I gathered that the quest for the Holy Grail represents very much a personal and individual attempt to contact the divine.
Works such as H. Kahanne’s and R. Pietrangeli’s "The Krater and the Grail, Hermetic Sources of the ‘Parzival’ " clarified to me how the symbolism of the Grail was born from ancient cults and myths, e.g. the Greek krater was the deepest bowl of creation and divine wisdom. 

In Gnosticism the krater was a feminine principle; the mixing vessel filled with spirit, which the Creator sent down to earth so that those who strove for higher consciousness might be baptised in it.
So the krater could be viewed as the most primal aspect of the Grail pantheon
. -
-
My wife mentioned, re portions of tomato soup she had just prepared for us using a soup-making machine, since our cooker was temporarily out of action,
"There you are; mine´s the cup, yours is the bowl."
...
At lunchtime on Jan 25th I found myself thinking on being asked a question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? re the meaning of ´cognate´.
My reply would have been that I had only ever come across the word once and that was in a piece by Anthony Burgess. But it meant ´of like mind´.

A couple of hours later I felt moved to look up, again, the meaning of ´Paraclete´, as used by Bernard Levin in  his piece from The Times of February 18th 1988 apropos Parsifal in Point (1) of the above Narrative entry :

When Parsifal enters he adds strains from the other world… Suddenly… we hear, for the first time… the Grail… in the struggle between good and evil… it is approaching, with its glorious news that the battle is almost over, and light has triumphed over darkness…
Surely this is what the shepherds who were tending their flocks must have experienced when the angel appeared to them with glad tidings of great joy.
The tidings in Parsifal are brought in Act Three, when the Spear, which pierced Christ’s side heals the wound of Amfortas’ guilt…
And… what is the Christian message but hope?
Surely Wagner is saying that Parsifal is neither Christ nor John the Baptist, but the Paraclete of St John’s Gospel, who is sent to comfort the world: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." And it is man, sinful but capable of redemption, who receives the divine gift from the hands of "the innocent fool, made wise by pity."

I see the first hit when that word is entered into Yahoo is its definition in Wikipedia -

In Judaism
Philo speaks several times of "paraclete" advocates primarily in the sense of human intercessors.
The word later went from Hellenistic Jewish writing into rabbinical Hebrew writing. For a summary of rabbinical usage see Jewish Encyclopedia 1914 "Paraclete".
The word is not used in the Septuagint, the word "comforters" being different in Job. Other words are used to translate the Hebrew word מְנַחֵם (mənaḥḥēm "comforter") and מליץ יושר.
In modern Hebrew, the cognate 'praklit' (פרקליט) means 'solicitor' or 'legal counsel', 'praklit ha-mechoz' means district attorney, and 'praklitut ha-medina' the Israeli equivalent of the solicitor-general.


This last sentence also contained the very rare word ´cognate´. And that prompted me, some 30 mins or so later, to look up the meaning of ´cognate´ via Google

At the lefthand bottom corner of that page there was a section headed
For Everyone.


Below it were listed four options. The first was
Play The Challenge

Somehow I found myself taking an interest and that link...and I clicked in it... to find I had thus activated a multiple choice check on one´s understanding of the word ´cognate´ with FOUR possible answers.
I chose the right one of the four (´Similar´).
Four possible correct options is, of course, what would have been presented had the word´s meaning featured as a question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - the very scenario upon which I had not long before been pondering.

On the evening of February 20th 2017 I was moved by a reference to Luna Incognita resulting from my looking at the entry on ´Crater Plaskett´ in Wikipedia
That entry linked to the ESA Press Release of March 1st 2007 which features just before Point (1) of Entry http://james-plasketts-coincidence-diary.blogspot.com.es/2006/03/part-two-narrative-epilogues-and.html here.
One subsequent lead which resulted from my entering´Luna Incognita´into my search engine was this, from a NASA Lunar Science Institute seminar of April 2013 -
One subsequent leadS ipeaker: Ben Bussey, Johns Hopkins University – Applied tfrhPhysics LaboratorLuna Incognita”
Abstract: When we began this integrated research project, the lunar Polar Regions were regarded as “Luna incognita”, the unknown Moon.  During the last four years we have striven to further our understanding of the Polar Regions so that they are now as well known, and in some case better known, than the rest of the Moon. ”Luna incognita” has become “Luna cognate”:

The mapping of the moon´s dark side was proclaimed with a proto-map on the day I was born.
Here I now learned of yet another meaning for ´cognate´. This time in Latin.
It means ´known´.
...   ...   ...
Circa 18:23 on Jan 25th 2017 I was reading clips from the book
The Holy Grail
from the Works of
Rudolf Steiner.

It is a compilation of just over forty pages of extracts from his lectures with each extract referring to The Holy Grail. I read swiftly through the entry on p.11, which is from a lecture in Basle of 22nd November 1907, headed simply -
The Gospel of St John

This brief extract concludes with the sentence -
"This is represented in the Holy Grail, the shining chalice, the attainment of which floated as a shining goal before the knight of the Middle Ages."

My son came home, saw the title of the work I was reading, and said that this formed a coincidence for he had just found a copy of The Bible.
In fact he had scooped up some five minutes earlier, in Paseo de las Delicias, a Gideons copy of the Nuevo Testamento, including Psalms and Proverbs, and, of course, the Gospel of St John

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

(284) "Only 1%" accept the validity of subjective experience as well as obective facts

Circa 11: a.m. on January 12th 2017 I was doing some cleaning and had on in the background this podcast of Sam Harris´:
https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/60-an-evening-with-richard-dawkins-and-sam-harris-2

I had not listened to it before. It had arrived by e mail ten hours earlier.

I was thinking about my six previously cited and advanced reasons - e.g. at Facebook threads - for accepting the existence of some Deity.
Those are -
a) Over forty very brief experiences of compassion way beyond normal consciousness and which could only be described as Divine.
b) That others report such experiences of the Divine.
c) These coincidences
d) The faults with neo-Darwinism.
e) The philosophical argument from design.
f) The very existence of the ´Occult Classics´.

In each instance there are of course counter arguments.

a) Sceptics might say there is only my testimony to have experienced the Divine.
b) There is only the testimony of the other claimants too.
c) That coincidence does not necessarily point to anythng beyond itself.
d) Lack of authentic evidence for neo-Darwinian theory does not demand acceptance of a Deity. Strident anti Darwinists such as Dr James le Fanu and Richard Milton have no religious beliefs.
e) Those who detect design in Nature that they attribute to a Higher Power speak only for themselves.
f) And claims re an  ´outpouring of Esoteric truth´ in books which began in the late 19th century with Blavatsky have yet to be independently corroborated. Some people simply like drawing attention to themselves. Plus a lot of the writings of  Blavatsky, Bailey, Besant, Rudolf Steiner, etc is largely repetitive verbiage.
Point a) was the overwhelming one.
Impossible for the experiencer to doubt some Divine component to reality after even one such experience. I promoted it in my mental reckoning from 80% significance to a full 90%.
Point (c) I demoted from a significance of 10% to now only 5%.
re point d), however, I, continued with an allocation of just 1%. It may at best be called "indirect evidence", since Darwin critics like Milton and le Fanu harbour no belief in a Deity.

I found myself thinking on how, in an exposition of why I accepted God´s existence, the importance of the faults with neo-Darwinian theory were only 1%.
Within four seconds of my thinking that I heard what Harris says at 17:17 of the podcast.

That caught my attention so I listened more keenly to the few minutes before and after that.
Circa 12:50 he and Dawkins agree that personal and introspective experience may be of value scientifically. Harris expounds on how he has been trying to do away with the distinction between outer ´canonical´ fact and subjective experience. For him each is valuable.

Finally, at 16:00 Harris points out that we could never know what was going through the head of "JFK" just before his assassination.
And when making the short drive home after a lunchtime visit to the beach I found my car immediately behind a black one with a numberplate ending in JFK.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

(283) The run up Calvary and then San Julián later that week

On the evening of March 28th 2016 I remarked to my wife that as part of my training for the upcoming Ruta de Las Fortelezas I was intending that week to do something that I had never done before, i.e. run up not just one of the nearby hills of San Julián or Calvary but first Calvary and then without pause, San Julián.
I had only begun running up the Calvary hill a few weeks before and had made hardly any such runs, in contrast with the dozens of ascents I had made of San Julián over the previous few years, although I had many times driven to the spring atop Calvary to stock up on water.
Fiona then said that there was such a dual ascent being run that very week. for a local charity: pay 10 Euro entry, run up Calvary, then San Julián and then enjoy a paella lunch in the village that lay closest to the base of each hill, Lo Campano. (One also got to keep the T shirt.)
The charity was for residents of Lo Campano threatened with social exclusion.

She had discovered this fact only seconds before when looking at a page, still open on her computer, of  http://www.cartagena.es/detalle_noticias.asp?id=195480 where the lead item announced the dual ascent for charity.

This was only the second year when such a mini run had been organised.
And many people were of like mind to myself and planned to use it as a useful part of their training for the Ruta de Las Fortelezas.
But unlike me, their announcement of intent had not coincided exactly with their learning of the charity run, for Fiona, who was wont to consult the Cartagena Town Hall site on some three occasions per week, or perhaps  just a few more, had only just then read of it.
The front page piece only went up that day; March 28th 2016.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

(282) The Réti study of Rook against a Pawn.

On October 22nd 2015 I found myself studying Reti´s famous study: 
This was from page 14 of Dvoretsky and Yusupov´s Technique for the Tournament Player.

White wins with 1 Rd1!! Kd5 2 Kd7! and thus catches the pawn.

Although over previous decades I had many, many times seen this thing, it was only that evening that I was intrigued enough to figure out precisely just WHY 1 Rd1! is the, clever, way to win.
(After all, as so many indolent players think: how often do you truly require arcane endgame knowledge?)
And in over thirty-one years as a Grandmaster I could not recall ever coming across an instance of that theme.

The very next evening I looked at Alex Baburin´s Chess Today newspaper in my e mail box and saw this -
Brodowski (2452) Vs Leniart,(2480) European Universities Championship, Yerevan, 2015.

They reached this ending -


Here black chose 80...Kg2? and drew after 81 Kg4! "Mutual zugzwang" 81...Kf2 82 Kf4! Rf8+ 83 Ke5, etc.


As Baburin commented - ""He had to play 80...Kf2! 81 Kg4 Kg2 - this idea was used in one of Reti´s studies."


Well waddyaknow...?!





Tuesday, June 30, 2015

(281) "Are you not entertained?"

At 21:12 on June 29th 2015 I was flicking through a Youtube version of the 2000 film Gladiator - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbBiXPVKuTA

I reached the point just before a particular scene which I wanted to see.
Other available versions showed only certain excised scenes, but not the film in its entirety.
It is where the gladiator portrayed by Russell Crowe talks with the slave owner played by the late Oliver Reed. The preceding scene, where Crowe takes on and slaughters a half dozen gladiators one by one, I had seen before as one of those excised.
I now saw Crowe, after his killing spree, lobbing his sword to hit a distant table and asking of the ampitheatre crowd, "Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?"
He then spits into the dust and walks off as the crowd chant his name. And I had seen that finale before, too.

But the complete film here seemed to show a slightly different cut to that with which I was familiar. A missing bit was of Reed exhorting Crowe not just to kill but rather, in order to keep the crowd coming back, to "So entertain!".
But, as may be seen in the given clip Reed actually says nothing to Crowe.

At about 21:20 I saw that, at almost the precise moment when "Spaniard" was asking the crowd whether they were entertained an e mail had come in from London Real. It was headed

´are you not entertained?´
and was about the forthcoming week´s content on the London Real series of interviews by Brian Rose.
Towards the bottome of the page were those same words and a still of Russell Crowe in the very scene which I had been watching as the e mail arrived.



Reed, of course, essentially drank himself to death at a bar in Valetta, Malta, during the very making of this film.
A further merging of the themes of killing and entertainment, perhaps!?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

(280) Parsifal and the magic of the quest for The Holy Grail

Circa 0:30 a.m. on December 18th 2014 I was continuing to view some clips from interviews with the late Robin Williams.
I had, just a few minutes earlier, heard Mind Games by John Lennon playing from my son´s room. - https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search?p=youtube+mind+games+john+lennon&type=2button&fr=ush-mailn

At 1:12 there are the lyrics -

Some kind of Druid dudes lifting the vail
Doing the  mind guerilla
Some call it magic, the search for the grail

Then I watched Williams´ appearance with Oprah from 1991. I noted something which prompted me to attempt to alter the list of points given in the synopsis of and also alter Point (57) within the narrative itself.  - http://james-plasketts-coincidence-diary.blogspot.com.es/2006/03/part-two-narrative-epilogues-and.html

(57) I note that in Terry Gilliam´s 1991 film The Fisher King, Robin Williams plays the part of a man called ´Parry´ - a diminutive form of Parsifal  (See 6.20 mins into https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT4G_jwwMSo) - and he claims that he has glimpsed a photograph of The Holy Grail which he must seek in a FEBRUARY 1988 edition of a magazine, i.e. the same date it all irrupted into my life. -


In each instance I was merely adding the Youtube link to the point in The Fisher King where the significance of his adopted name is given.
In the midst of so doing I mistakenly jogged the laptop and switched it off. I restarted the computer and this somehow activated the above link to her show right from the start. That generated, at 1:32, a clip to Williams as ´Parry´, responding to Bridges´ dissing of the very concept of a grail quest and describing Parry as a nutcase, or "only partly insane" who could get a normal job.
Williams responds that he has a normal job: his quest for the Holy Grail.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

(279) Lyuboyevic Vs Karpov, Linares 1981

On the evening of December 15th 2014 I turned to www.chessgames.com . Here I searched for the games of Mikhail Tal from his astounding victory at the Jurmala Interzonal of 1979.

But before doing that I, for some intangible reason, found myself drawn to the games between Anatoly Karpov and Jonathan Speelman and later between Karpov and Lyubomir Lyuboyevic.

I played through some forty or fifty of these games from those three selections. I saw a game from Linares 1981 where Lyuboyevic playing white had been gradually and progressively worn down by Karpov. I had seen this celebrated ending annotated before in a book on endings, but I do not believe that I had ever before played through all of the moves of this game.

About four hours later I turned to Facebook and saw that some four hours previous a friend, Bogdan Lalic, had placed on his wall a position I recognised from the minor piece ending which arose in this very game, although he had given neither the names of the players nor the venue and the date.


The challenge of BLACK to play and win is hardly a very difficult one. For there is really only the one plausible tactic. (1...Nxf4!) And that made it very difficult from the usual kind of position he would put up on his wall, where some I recognised as having been cribbed from A. Baburin´s daily newsletter, others were quite tricky and several had occured in the very games of Lalic himself.