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Mistletoe, Mythology and Medicine Mistletoe, Mythology and Medicine
by Stuart Muscroft
2007-12-15 09:59:36
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Kissing under the mistletoe is a tradition shrouded in myth as is mistletoe’s medicinal heritage. I spent some time looking at numerous web pages and have found there are Norse myths handed down orally and Greek myths that allude to where the kissing practice may have come from. The druids revered the plant and called it allheal.

The process of finding the myths on the net and presenting a coherent story that somehow connected to the kissing practice placed me in the curious position of continuing the myth.

I cut, pasted, modified and morphed the stories (plagiarising like mad as most student today – at school an English teacher I admired once said that learning is about intelligent cheating) until I had one, admittedly with two endings, that seemed consistent with my sensibilities and with the material and the kissing practice.

During my reading I found that some parts of the Norse myths seemed to pre-date the New Testament and some to post date it. The Norse myths contain a creation story, an apocalyptic story and a resurrection. I believe the resurrection of Balder probably post dated the gospels whereas the apocalyptic story probably pre-dates Revelations. This gave me an insight in to the mechanism of myths – they have to make sense to the audience, given what they already know and believe, and can be incorporated into narratives that post date a previously held belief and in doing so placate and subvert ancient beliefs.

In my readings concerning the medicinal benefits it seems to be at once a poison and a panacea not an unfamiliar position for medicines. The druids hailed it as allheal, as you will read the Norse discovered it to be a poison until…, in Europe in the 20th century it has been used as a treatment for cancer, high blood pressure and HIV.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Norse mistletoe myth…

Frigg, the goddess of love, gave birth to Balder, the god of light and to Hod his fraternal twin, the god of darkness – he was born blind. Their father was Odin, ruler of the gods. Balder grew into a fine young man who was not only physically beautiful but had great strength of character. He was wise, friendly, caring and eloquent and attracted great attention from all the ladies! Balder was loved by the gods and mortals alike.

However, he became plagued by dreams of dying and because he was aware that his death foretold the coming of Ragnorok, the destruction of the Nine Worlds heralding the doom of both ordinary mortals and the gods alike, he believed his dreams were a prophecy.

Odin, ruler of the gods, used his skill in necromancy to summon the dead prophetess about the meaning of his son's terrible dreams in a vain hope that he could prevent it coming to pass. Frigg also believed in the prophecy, she was renowned for her ability to predict the future, and was so alarmed she travelled the earth to seek out all that could harm her precious son, Balder, to exact a promise of innocence from creatures, plants, objects and elemental forces alike.

After securing the oaths not even fire or water could hurt Balder. The gods reassured themselves in court after a few rounds of drinks by playing games of throwing sticks, stones, knives and firing arrows while he stood in the centre of their circle, laughing as the offending weapons bounced off him or shied away from making contact with his body.

However Loki, the prankster, trickster and shape-shifter was very jealous of Balder and the attention he claimed from all around, and sought a way to undo Balder’s invincibility. An expert at disguising himself, Loki transformed himself into the guise of an old woman and sought out Balder's mother, the goddess Frigg. Pretending interest and concern, he asked her to recount her journey to secure the promises from the living and dead and in doing so Frigg recalled that there was just one thing she had overlooked, a very small tree called mistletoe, which lived in the west in a wood near Valhalla, which she had believed too young to ask an oath of it.

Loki immediately travelled west, seeking the mistletoe and upon finding it now well grown and sturdy, cut a branch, and crafted this on his return into an arrow.

During the next game of target practice where Balder stood in the middle of a circle at court Loki tricked Balder's blind twin brother Hod into joining in with the fun. Hod had always wanted to take part, so readily agreed to let Loki help him throw several objects, which then "bounced" of his brother. Enjoying himself he was unsuspecting when Loki suggested that he fire an arrow at Balder and happily let Loki guide his hand and fire the bow. The arrow of made from mistletoe pierced Balder's heart and he fell to the floor, dead.

The Aesir (one of the two main groups of deities – Odin being their ruler) wanted to take immediate vengeance but couldn’t because of the immunity provided by the sanctity of court and Loki fled the scene.

Because Balder was not a warrior and did not die in battle, he did not go to Valhalla, the hall of slain heroes, but into the domain of Hel, keeper of the dead. When Odin requested his release, Hel responds that if everything in the world both dead and alive weeps for Balder, then he can return to the Aesir; otherwise he will remain with Hel.

The Aesir sent messengers throughout the world requiring all nature, humanity, gods, and beasts to weep for Balder. All responded except a giantess, Thokk (Loki in disguise), whose refusal to weep forces Balder to remain in Hel's domain.

The gods were angered by the giantess who they now believed to be Loki in disguise. Fearing his fate at their hands, Loki fled into the mountains to hide. He built a house with doors on each wall so he could watch for and escape from the gods who he knew would be looking for him.

From his throne in Asgard, Odin spotted Loki and sent Thor to capture him. Thor suddenly appeared, Loki escaped, shape-shifted into a salmon and hid beneath a waterfall in a nearby stream. Thor waded into the river with a fishing net. The first three times he cast the net, Loki escaped. On the fourth cast, Loki, still a salmon, leaped out of the water to evade the net yet again. This time Thor grabbed and held the trickster by the tail. Loki was taken to a cave deep within the earth where he was bound by unbreakable iron chains. The cave was the home of a poisonous snake which dripped its venom on Loki's face. It caused Loki great pain. His devoted goddess wife Sigyn tried to comfort him by catching the poison in a bowl. When the bowl was full, she left Loki to empty it. The poison covered his face once again. The muscle spasms caused by the pain shook the earth and to the Vikings, Loki's squirming was believed to be the cause of earthquakes.

There is a prediction, however, that he will one day break these chains. This will be the sign for the loosing of all evil, monsters and giants, to attack the gods in the great battle of Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods. Odin will be devoured by the wolf Fenrir, who will then be killed by Vidar, a son of Odin. Terrible fights will rage among the gods and the forces of evil until finally the primeval god Heimdall and Loki come face to face and kill each other. The Earth will then be destroyed by fire, and the entire universe will sink back into the sea. This final destruction will be followed by a rebirth, the Earth re-emerging from the sea, verdant and teeming with vegetation. The sons of the dead Aesir will return to Asgard and reign, as did their fathers.

The kiss – an alternative ending…

The goddess, Frigg, too late to extract a promise of innocence from the mistletoe and unable to destroy it because of an oath she demanded that it remain off the ground and be dependent upon other trees, a parasite, where it would do no harm.

On the third day after Balder’s death, Frigg was sitting under the tree where the mistletoe grew. She was holding her son close, while the tears dropped from her eyes. Some of the tears dropped onto the mistletoe arrow still in Balder's heart. The teardrops changed into small white berries on the Mistletoe. The berries negated the deadly poisonous effect and Balder was brought back to life!

Frigg was so happy that she started kissing everyone who passed under the tree where the mistletoe grew and went on to promise that anyone who stood under the mistletoe would never come to any harm, they would receive a token of love instead...a kiss.

Mistletoe Folklore…

According to the Anglo-Saxons’ legend, kissing under the mistletoe was connected to the legend of Freya, goddess of love, beauty and fertility. A man had to kiss any young girl who, without realizing it, found herself accidentally under a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling.

It is interesting to note that the Norse deities are divided into two major groups, the Aesir and the Vanir. So far I have mentioned the Aesir and the most important of the Aesir are Odin, Thor, and sometimes Tyr (remember one of Odin’s wives was Frigg). Their counterparts among the Vanir are Njord, Frey, and Freya.

The Vanir symbolize riches, fertility, and fecundity. They are associated with the earth and the sea as these symbolize the sources of fecundity. (It is easy to see how kissing would be associated with fecundity and fertility rather than the more divine love and light of Frigg and Balder- it would make a story more plausible).

The Aesir symbolize other values: Odin is a magician, chief among the gods, and a patron of heroes; Thor, who is god of the hammer, is an atmospheric deity of thunder who presides over work. In many of the Norse mythological cycles these two kinds of deities live in peace and engage in cooperative enterprises.

In Greek mythology…

Aeneas, having resisted the charms of Dido at Carthage, went in search of his father Anchises, in the abode of the dead. In order to make his way to and from Avernus, he was advised by the Sibyl that he must first seek and pluck the 'golden bough' from a tree in the forest. He was guided to the bough by doves sent by Venus, his mother, and found the branch. He successfully visited his father, and returned.

This 'golden bough' is assumed by many writers and scholars to be mistletoe. Certainly Viscum Album often appears golden in the winter months. The 'Golden Bough' became famous as a symbol of myth and legend when Sir James Frazer used it as the title of his monumental work on magic and religion in 1922.

The druids…

The only known classical reference describing the ritual gathering of mistletoe by the ancient Druids, as the Gauls call their wizards, was written in the first century by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia. They believed mistletoe to be an indicator of great sacredness. The winter solstice, called 'Alban Arthan' by the Druids, was according to Bardic Tradition, the time when the chief Druid would cut the sacred mistletoe from the oak. The mistletoe is cut using a golden sickle on the sixth night of the new moon after the winter solstice. A cloth held below the tree by other members of the order to catch the sprigs of mistletoe as they fell, as it was believed that it would have profaned the mistletoe to fall upon the ground. He would then divide the branches into many sprigs and distribute them to the people, who hung them over doorways as protection against thunder, lightning and other evils.

The Druids are thought to have believed that the berries of the mistletoe represented the sperm of the Gods. When pressed, a semen-like substance issues from the white berries. Hence its Latin name viscum album -viscous white. Mistletoe was considered a magical aphrodisiac. Girls standing under a sprig of mistletoe were asking for a bit more than a kiss, it seems.

The plant in old folklore is called Allheal, used in folk medicine to cure many ills, and indeed the Druids considered the mistletoe to be a sacred plant and believed it had miraculous properties which could cure illnesses, serve as an antidote against poisons, ensure fertility and protect against the ill effects of witchcraft. When taken as a form of diluted tea, it was thought as a curative for everything from infertility to epilepsy. (WARNING, this plant is highly toxic when ingested. You should seek expert advice before using Mistletoe in any form.)

To the Druids there is nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and the tree on which it grows, provided that the tree is an oak. Apart from this they choose oak-woods for their sacred groves and perform no sacred rites without oak-leaves; so that the very name of Druids may be regarded as a Greek appellation derived from their worship of the oak…

They believe that a potion prepared from the mistletoe will make barren animals to bring forth, and that the plant is a remedy against all poisons.

The mistletoe plant…

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant found on the branches of a tree or shrub. The plant seen in Britain is the European mistletoe variety, Viscum Album from the Santalaceae species; the only species native in Great Britain and much of Europe. European mistletoe is readily recognized by its smooth-edged oval leaves in pairs along the woody stem, and waxy white berries in dense clusters of 2-6 together.

The species grow on a wide range of host trees, and can eventually prove fatal to them where infestation is heavy, though damage more commonly only results in growth reduction. Almost all mistletoes are hemiparasites, bearing evergreen leaves that carry out some photosynthesis on their own, and relying on the host mainly for water and the mineral nutrients it carries.

Most mistletoe’s seeds are spread by birds, such as the Mistle Thrush. The seeds are egested in their droppings and stick to twigs, or more commonly the bird grips the fruit in its bill, squeezes the sticky coated seed out to the side, and then wipes its bill clean on a suitable branch. The seeds are coated with a sticky material called viscin (containing both cellulosic strands and mucopolysaccharides), which hardens and attaches the seed firmly to its future host.

The word 'mistletoe' is of uncertain etymology; it may be related to German Mist, for dung and Tang for branch, but Old English mistel was also used for basil.

Often considered a pest that kills trees and devalues natural habitats, mistletoe has recently become recognized as an ecological keystone species, an organism that has a disproportionately pervasive influence over its community. A broad array of animals depend on mistletoe for food, consuming the leaves and young shoots as well as transferring pollen between plants and dispersing the sticky seeds. Thus, rather than being a pest, mistletoe can have a positive effect on biodiversity, providing high quality food and habitat for a broad range of animals in forests and woodlands worldwide.

Mistletoe as a medicine…

Mistletoe extracts have exhibited both cytotoxic (preventing cell growth) and immunomodulatory (in this case stimulating the immune system) properties which have been efficacious in the treatment of cancer. These have been experimentally evaluated in vitro (in the lab) and in vivo (in living tissue on whole organisms). In general, making a fermentation from the whole plant worked better and was less toxic than using active constituents of the plant.

Many clinical studies of mistletoe exist, but their findings are inconsistent. Most of them are methodologically weak, and the less rigorous they are the greater the likelihood of a positive result. The conclusions of systematic reviews are therefore contradictory. Anthroposophical doctors, who tend to include unreliable primary studies, arrive at positive conclusions. In contrast, independent reviewers tend to focus on the most reliable evidence and regularly find that neither of the above two claims is supported by good evidence.

A wide range of serious adverse reactions have been noted, such as local reactions at the site of injection, anaphylaxis, dyspnoea, haemorrhagic colitis, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, joint pain, kidney failure, lymphangiitis, parasthesias, sarcoidosis, ulceration, and vertigo.

Findings from in vitro studies suggest that mistletoe extract may enhance the proliferation of some cancers. In addition, some patients with cancer may use mistletoe as an alternative to conventional treatments for cancer, rather than just a complementary treatment.

The claim frequently voiced by proponents of anthroposophic medicine—that mistletoe injections have no serious risks—is therefore misleading.

Thus, mistletoe has been tested extensively as a treatment for cancer, but the most reliable randomised controlled trials fail to show benefit, and some reports show considerable potential for harm.


   
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Emanuel Paparella2007-12-15 13:30:06
Thanks for sharing. What would life be without legends and folk-tales and parables and poems and art and music?. Nothing but a "wasteland."


Sand2007-12-15 18:14:50
Although myths are great fun and something of an insight into naive primitive beliefs the world is full of natural wonders and beauty where each moment is filled with natural beauty that reveals the fascinating intricacy of how the world operates.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-15 19:07:38
And who is the artist of this natural beuaty. Mother nature? Ah, another myth!


Sand2007-12-15 19:13:08
Of course, it's Jupiter, or Odin, or some other likely two legged ten fingered mystery creature. Busy as hell assembling ants and bees and comets and the rings of Saturn and inbetween impregnating fair maidens wnile disguised as a bull or a swan. Obvious, of course.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-15 21:45:12
Point proven again. How is what you describe so literally different from what the evangelist describe literally in Scriptures? It is indeed the other side of the coin of intolerance and lack of poetry, but sadly the poor rationalist does not even know he is in a box like a snake eating his own tail. Somebody like Einstein understood that predicament quite well because he never lost his humanity and his heritage as a Jew. Till the gods return, and with them poetry, the barbarism of the intellect will persist deluding itslef that it has the advantage of a superior "enlightened" stance. As Santayna put it, people change their gods but hardly the way they worship them. The worship of oneself which ensue with the loss of one's heritage is narcisism of the highest order; and when a whole people engage in it is called tribalism and/or nationalism, which perhaps is a bit better than nihilism but not that much. Thank God for myths and poetry and fables and fairy tales and parables and music and art and books and libraries and dancing and drama that keep us human, even if fewer and fewer people frequent them. As long as those are still around the gods may eventually return but not the way the barbarian of the intellect understands them, and they may vanquish the humbots and restore our humanity. Pick up the Chronicles of Narnia for a better picture.


Sand2007-12-15 21:49:50
Confirmation you are basically that little boy still looking for Santa or the Easter bunny while other sensible people have learned to grow up.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-15 22:02:56
Thank God for the little boy or girl in all of us still which guards our imagination. All that the the barbarian has left besides his cynicism is the burning of books and the destroying of culture. Ever heard of what happened on May 10 1942 in Germany?


Sand2007-12-15 22:19:03
It's very interesting that you keep harping on the holocaust and the Nazis. Undoubtedly it was horrible but many horrible things have occurred before and since and many horrible things are happening today as we speak. It sounds very suspicious, this overconcern of a religious Catholic for the Jews that the Catholics persecuted for centuries. Are you perhaps a former Nazi hiding under the guise of an Italian American Catholic. Very peculiar.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 00:41:45
Is that what the peculiar voices in your head have been telling you lately? Don't listen to them. I would apply the Cartesian skeptical doubt when confabulating with them without however subscribing to Descartes' barbaric view on animal suffering.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 03:01:11
P.S. One of the distinguishing characteristics of fanatical extreme rationalists is that they get all confused and frustrated when their limited view of reality renders them unable to pigeonhole all events and persons into neat rationalistic boxes.


Sand2007-12-16 08:28:05
You have this collection of little automatic replies so that instead of confronting any direct inquiries I make you flee into generalities about rationalists (an unexplained class of people who apparently think rationally instead of hopping around in the cloud cuckoo land of children's fairy stories or primitive mythology). Which puts me more into the suspicion that the Vatican that safely dispatched many Nazis off to Argentina after WWII and possibly invented an Italian name for you (Hmm. Cinderella? No, too female. Mozzarella) Nah! Too cheesy. Umbrella? Hmm. Possible but too confusing. Hah! The Pope is all powerful and frequently referred to as Papa. Let's change his name from that horrible Nazi sounding German thing to Paparella - the little Pope!) And it is wise for him to decry the Holocaust on all opportunities so that no suspicion at all touches his origins. (An acknowledged wild theory but who knows? Religion is full of them.)
It all sounds very fishy to me.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 09:34:50
Those voices must be pretty desperate to have to counsel you to descend to the lowest of argumentum ad hominem: accusing an interlocutor of his last name, something earning high fives in kindegarden. And you fell for it. So much for rationality and childish behavior! As the Italian proverb goes "il pesce puzza sempre dalla testa. [the fish always smells first from its head]. Indeed, the fishy smell of those voices in your head should have forwarned you that they were up to no good. The fishiest of all is the proposterous egregious and slanderous argument that the Pope and Catholics and Christians in general were responsible for the Holocaust. That kind of misguided thinking does no honor not even to extreme rationalism.


Sand2007-12-16 10:14:57
The relationship of the Vatican to the Nazis is accurate and well documented. See http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Global_Secrets_Lies/EvitaNazis.html


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 11:01:11
So is the denial that the Holocaust ever happened and that the Third Reich was unfriendly toward Jews and Zionism. Ink on paper does not make an event true and credible if the villains writing has an ideological ax to grind. See The Institute for Historical Review at

http://www.ihr.org/


Sand2007-12-16 11:29:45
I have looked at your site reference and there is no denial of Vatican aid to escaping Nazis there.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 11:47:11
You missed the point Sand. Try again...By the way, had you know some Italian, which you obviously don't, you would have been more on target as to the etymology of my last name. And while we are on the subject. Surely Sand was not the name of your Jewish ancestors. Why do you suppose did people change their last name from Verdi to Green?


Sand2007-12-16 12:16:35
No, Paparella, I am right on point. You are the one who is a Vatican aiding the Nazis denyer. And you failed to substantiate that denial.
My name is not suspicious, yours is.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 12:21:18
Did the voices tell you that I am actually the Pope or "little pope" as they claim? You were warned. In any case, here is another view and another side of the coin of Vatican complicity with the Holocaust, which so far has not appeared in your completely "objective" and unbiased reporting. See this site:

http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/?en/press/pope-john-xxiii-jews.1709.htm



Sand2007-12-16 12:31:10
Again you have disqualified yourself as a historian. Pope John was not the Pope during WWII which seems to have escaped your notice. Your reference in no way indicates anything about how the Vatican aided Nazis to escape to South America. Stop trying to avoid the point. Of course there were decent Catholics during WWII that helped Jews but that is not the subject under discussion.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 12:49:12
Thank your most magnificient Grand Inquisitor for acknowledging the decency of some Catholics but it would appear that in your mind, oops, your meat computer, the majority remain guilty as charged. Since Cardinal Roncalli was papal nuncio whom do you think he spoke and acted for? Just a little detail that seems to have escaped your historical acumen. By the way, which university has awarded your Ph.D. in history? I am curious. Or is it a self-appointed award? In that case, only you can disqualify yourself.


Sand2007-12-16 13:55:50
Only Ph.D.s by your standards are permitted to criticize your mistakes? Come off it!
Whatever you say, it is established fact that the Vatican, whomever was in charge, aided the Nazis to escape to South America. Nothing you have said denies that at all. And you can come to whatever conclusions you desire about aiding Nazis. I have my own.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 15:14:38
Hopefully on the positive side you have also come to some conclusions on the other side of the coin: the aid that the Vatican gave to Jew to the point that the chief Rabbi of Rome converted to Catholicism after the war, information which was glaringly absent from your reports and which makes your objectivity suspect. As I said, for sophists parading as rationalists, the search for truth is not important. What is important is the ax they have to grind. But the emperor remains naked as a little boy with a bit of imagination can easily discern.


Sand2007-12-16 15:31:16
That has no relationship to our discussion. You have no capability to stick to the point. There have been many Germans who have attempted to make restitution to Jews for their indefensible behavior under the Nazi. That does not make their behavior under Nazism excusable. By the same token, the Vatican's behavior in giving fleeing Nazis sanctuary is monstrously inexcusable. It is also worthwhile to examine the relationship of the Vatican to the mass murderer Franco in Spain.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 15:38:39
To consider the other side of an argument is the only thing that matters in an academic discussion that wants to remain free from the accusation of being mere propaganda. In your case, given the bias and slanderous propensities you have exhibited in this forum it is imperative that the other side be presented too.


Sand2007-12-16 15:51:51
There is only documented fact in my notations about the Vatican. When you characterize them as slander you assume the guise of a liar. Your choice.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 16:05:50
It is always either-or with self-appointed Grand Inquisitor. You are given a choice; agree with me to the political orthodoxy, oops, correctness, of an issue or to the dungeon you go to be tortured till you recant. It never enters their limited rationalistic mind, oops, computer of meat, that there is also a transcendent poetic world of paradox and both-and out there.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 16:11:17
P.S. The Institute of Historical Review also has documentation by which they deny the Holocaust and make the case for the Third Reich's friendliness toward Jews. That was presented to you but you played dumb (or are you really such?) and made believe you did not get the point. You switched to "this is off the point." Sophistry will not get you very far, I am afraid.


Sand2007-12-16 17:08:48
Irrelevant blather.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 18:23:32
Of course. Anyething that does not agree with one's paradigm of reality is irrelevant blather.


Sand2007-12-16 19:47:06
No, not at all. You incessantly avoid answering my questions, endlessly drag in pronouncements that have nothing to do with the subject under discussion and seem to have no integrity with your information. If you are not in some kind of mental decline (although it is difficult to imagine much of a decline from the level you maintain)then you are only interested in showboating whatever you think you know about defunct and ignorant cultures.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 20:13:02
As I said, we tried ignorance before during the dark ages and the only light left were a few brave monks copying the manuscript of ancient culture. Without them you'd be hunting in the woods now rather than sitting by the chimney waiting for Santa. But obviously you and your likes know little of that so you brand ancient culture defunct and ignorant. Jung called it projection.


Sand2007-12-16 20:26:58
You preposterously seem to ignore that those dark ages were the precise time when the Catholic Church reigned over kings in Europe and independent thinkers were burned at the stake while priests read out their violations of Biblical dogma.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 20:36:52
Once again your ignorance in the matter is showing. I knew you'd not miss an opportunity to show it. The dark ages which span three centuries and are the lower middle ages are not to be confused with the Middle ages proper and the higher middle ages which comprise the other 700 years and sees marvels such as the Gothic cathedrals for which France alone spent more than the whole of the NASA budject for space exploration. Of course the modern barbarian will walk in a medieval cathedral and be duly underwelmed. He would in fact destroy it if he could, or at the very least turn it into a museum. O tempora or mores. The founder of the EU had it on target: I never feel so European as when I walk into a cathedral.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 20:41:28
P.S.Without the monks of the dark ages there would have been no culture at all in Europe in the dark ages and no Renaissance would have been possible in Italy a thousand years later. That is history of ideas 101. Even that seems to have disappeared in our neo-barbaric times where the humanities are cosidered superfluous frosting on the universal cake. But that cake is not only not universal but it is putrid I am afraid.


Sand2007-12-16 20:45:17
NASA at least produces interesting new information for its tremendous efforts. Those intricate masses of stone to impress the yokel are merely fascinating echo halls to resound with Latin that very few of the masses understood at the time and if they did understand they would have been astounded that such foolishness should be treated with such total respect. Nobody was permitted to question dogma at the time under duress of terrible punishment and the printing press was considered a disaster as it put the Bible into the hands of people who might question it.


Sand2007-12-16 20:47:11
As a lousy historian you would not be aware that a good deal of culture returned to Europe when the crusaders brought it back from Muslim countries.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 21:04:25
Once again you are projecting your abysmal ignorance: the Crusades belong to the High Middle ages, not the Dark Ages.


Sand2007-12-16 22:48:50
Which is why they became the high middle ages.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-16 23:45:06
Which the modern barbarian calls "those intricate masses of stone."


Sand2007-12-17 05:17:56
And the Bible calls "the Golden Calf"


Sand2007-12-17 08:51:07
This is an enlightened article about Christmas from a Christian appropriate to the season.

Let's Take Christ Out of Christmas

By RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE

Many in the Christian community are vexed because of the use of Christmas by the culture at large, and more especially troubled by the use of Christmas themes for purposes that are not thought to be congruent with Christian values. As a Christian minister (specifically, an Episcopalian) for half a century, I have heard this cri de coeur over and over again and never found it persuasive.

The defensive action against secular or non-Christian encroachment on Christmas is almost certainly fruitless. Anyone who travels in Asia, particularly Japan and Taiwan, can witness the enthusiastic embrace of Christmas that is even further removed from Christianity. In countries where Christians are a small fraction of the population many celebrate Christmas, especially in Asia, with hardly any idea what Christianity might represent for Christians. Since American culture currently dominates world culture there is no way to extract the exportation of Christmas from the exportation of American culture generally.

There are some very good reasons why Christians should give up the fight to reassert ownership of Christmas and to stop resisting its so-called secularization.

Neither Christmas nor anything it stands for originated in the Jesus movement or in the early Christian Church. There is nothing of Christmas in the Bible, and the stories of Jesus' birth in the gospels of Matthew and Luke­--not considered historical by scholars---contain nothing that links them intrinsically to December or January. Nor are the values of Christmas specifically Christian values in the first place.

Christmas was adopted by Christianity late, by some three hundred years. It was incorporated into Christianity in the 4th century, the same way Friday fish-eating was incorporated and during the same time. (Imperial Romans ate fish on Fridays to honor Venus, the goddess of love, fish being the food of love and sex.) The venerial fish-eating was simply co-opted by Christianity and given a revised rationale, namely that Jesus died on Friday, so one should abstain from eating meat on Friday.

In imperial Rome, the December 25 feast in honor of the Invincible Sun, Sol Invictus, was accompanied by the exchange of gifts, cutting of greens, lighting of candles, and public festivals commemorating new life. The sun, after all, had turned in the sky and was rising earlier and setting later, after the winter solstice. Rome on December 25, before Christianity, looked very much like New York on December 25 after Christianity.

In the 4th century, the Christian Church, having been adopted by the Emperor Constantine, was rather suddenly transformed from a persecuted minority into the official imperial religion of Rome. The Church responded by importing the Jesus' birth narratives of Matthew and Luke into the feast of Sol Invictus and erased every reference to the pagan gods. It could be argued that Christians, with the authority of the Roman emperors behind them, stole Christmas from pagan society. Now perhaps it is time to give it back.

The 16th century Protestant reformer, John Calvin, the Reformation father of Presbyterianism, abolished Christmas altogether in Geneva. He was attempting to eliminate the later Constantinian accretions that had distorted the original content of the Jesus movement. Latter day Protestants decided Christmas was too good to abandon.

Christmas is a wonderful season. The lighting of candles, the giving of gifts (even the 'exchanging of gifts') and remembering the resurgence of the natural world, the sun and the green plants, are activities that everyone of any religion can rightfully take delight and comfort in. One need not be a Christian to do so.

Christians who attempt to build a Christian fence around Christmas, protecting it from secular and non-Christian influence, actually give the impression of stinginess and hostility towards the non-Christian world.

It is time to take Christ out of Christmas, and encourage the whole world to celebrate the renewal of the life-giving sun (in the northern hemisphere at least) through candle light, the cutting of greens, and gift-giving, and to show generosity to others, especially to those in need. None of these activities require one to be a Christian, nor even to understand anything about Christianity.

To liberate Christmas from the clutches of Christianity would demonstrate a generosity of spirit on the part of Christians that would set a good example in these times of increasing strife between the various religions of the world.

Raymond J. Lawrence is an Episcopal cleric for 46 years, recently retired Director of Pastoral Care, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and author of numerous opinion pieces in newspapers in the U.S., and author of the recently published, Sexual Liberation: The Scandal of Christendom (Praeger).



Emanuel L. Paparella2007-12-17 18:01:46
Of course the author means it paradoxically in the sense that the Saturnalis ought to be left to revelers and we ought not mix spiritual garbage and perfume. But the rationalist, having missed the point of C.S. Lewis' story on the Niatirbs, true to form, sees it as an opportunity to trash and smear Christianity and presents it as a literal proposal to abolish Christmas. What contortions will a barbarian of the mind resort to.


Sand2007-12-17 18:08:13
There is no necessity to misinterpret the author's intent as that is exceedingly clear. Christmas has become a commercial holiday in many cultures that see no relationship of the celebration to the birth of Christ. That is an established fact and the author merely accepts that as a beneficial reality.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-17 20:21:00
Indeed, Dickens's uncle Scrooge doesn't exactly go to Church on the famed Christmas after the ghosts of Cristmas appear to him but those ghosts are not the ghosts of the bank and commeerce and he is surely a kinder and more thoughtful man after their appearance. Something has happened to him which has released him from the box he is in and has given him a new lease on life so that he doesn't have to continue behaving like a boor and a jerk and/or an old fart as the case may be, to borrow from the poetics of elimination and defecation and regurgitation well known in this forum. Merry Christmas, with or without Christ, to all the scrooges and boors of the world. As another article on Christmas in today's Ovi informs us, studies point out that it is not the Christian who is stingy on Christmas but those who have made money the meaning of their life.


Sand2007-12-17 20:32:08
Let me first congratulate you on your delightful adventures into a shitty vocabulary. I don't know if you have a military experience but I assure you it introduces one into all sorts of vocabularies involved with the nether sphincters.
Although some rich people may be involved with enlarging their holdings many merely let their wealth do the work for them and devote themselves to all sorts of interesting activities due to their financial freedom and some, I am sure, even become philosophers.
The psychoanalysis of Scrooge is on a par with a psychoanalysis of Mickey Mouse or the Wizard of Oz or the Road Runner or any other simple fictional character and is just as idiotic.


Sand2007-12-17 21:42:09
And also, I have a sneaking suspicion that there may even be a few stingy Christians at Christmas time.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-17 22:48:18
So much for Dickens: another one to be added to the bonfire! The only mitigating circumstance I can think of is that it is very cold in artic regions at Christmas time.


Sand2007-12-18 06:58:48
The simplistic judgment of "so much for Dickens and into the bonfire" is typical of the black and white ignorance of how to appraise a work. "A Christmas Carol" is a story devoted to the most crude manipulation of emotions with characters constructed on the level of puppets to illustrate impossibly pure qualities. They are not human beings with all the multiple internal conflicts that humans possess and only a very childish mind would appraise them as representing real people. In their simplistic way they portray a conflict of absolutes which, like any Hollywood action movie, is great fun for a mind that requires no depth in its characterization but only a very naive mind would accept it as any more than the standard morality play so popular amongst religious minds who cannot see below the surface of real people.


Sand2007-12-18 07:27:58
The current temperature here in Helsinki is varying a degree or two above or below freezing with almost no snow at all. I hear that the USA is having rather severe winter problems.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-18 17:16:43
Did the voices in your head tell you to play dumb and pretend that you don't get irony so that you could turn the phrase "so much for Dickens, another one in the bonfire" against me. Don't listen to them, some may begin to think that indeed you are dumb and intellectually restricted.


Sand2007-12-18 19:07:56
Slippery.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-18 20:42:25
Clever by half!


Sand2007-12-18 21:12:57
Not even one tenth of one percent. Your words are there, clear for anyone to read and the intent is obvious. This hook you devised yourself and you cannot wiggle off it.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-18 22:28:37
You could have been a bit more generous with yourself. On Dickens Christmas story of uncle Scrooge, have you ever wondered why that simple story which says nothing to you continues to be one of the most popular of the Christmas season made into many versions in many media and in many languages, and why Dickens is considered one of the most important literary figures of English literature? Perhaps you should. A good place to begin is Karen Armstrong A Brief History of Myth.


Sand2007-12-18 22:51:35
It seems you live in a world of black and white. Either something is totally good or totally bad. I do not dismiss the genius of Dickens and I understand and appreciate his popularity but that does not mean I cannot see through the absolute simplicity of this particular story and its roots in religious morality plays wherein absolute good is placed in conflict with absolute evil, a simplification of life employing cardboard characters which certainly do not have any counterpart in real life nor are proper subjects for any depth analysis. I also have great fun at action movies with Silvester Stallone or Bruce Willis chasing down characters of absolute evil but I am also not naive enough to take them seriously as people. They are mere symbols going through the motions of a pseudo life that would be horrifying in reality. And the message they carry is a standard cliche´of no novelty whatsoever.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-18 23:00:50
I wonder if it has occurred to you that if you take away the fight between good and evil from world literature you are left with a literature worthy of a cultural Philistine. Ask Mr. Kalamidas if the Kazantakis' characters are simple black and while characters for children's fairy tales and see what reply you get. I am afraid you have it up-side-down. It is the ratioanalist who misses the nuances of existential life by ignoring a large part of world literature.


Sand2007-12-18 23:31:20
Since you keep invoking these rationalists and never make clear what they are I really have no idea what you are talking about. And don't try to send me off to some library to do research about what you are trying to convey. If you are not sufficiently articulate to lay out simply what you are trying to say I lose interest.


Sand2007-12-18 23:46:22
Actually your idiot application of total simplicities to real character are significant of your total lack of comprehension of the subtleties of human character. To term this complex understanding of the intricacies of human character as Philistine culture is clear demonstration as to your mental inadequacies. It makes clear why you are so in love with children's fairy tales and crude myths that portray shallow symbolic versions of people rather than some insight into what humans really are.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-19 08:40:03
Try The Possessed or the Brothers Karamozov by Dostoyevky for an inkling of what humans really are. Unfortunately the "men without chest" of today don't seem to have the foggiest.


Sand2007-12-19 13:25:46
It's quite evident from the masses of text you have inflicted on this site that your total take on the world is derived from other people's view of reality and other human beings. You cannot say two words without reference to some work of philosophy or fiction or a warped view of what someone else said. I have not heard any indication that you have actually been able to involve yourself with another living human to perceive how many sided every other human actually is. It is all one dimensional myths or parables or the limited indications of humanity that some author or another utilizes in a fictional work to illustrate a point of view or carry a plot forward. Your understanding of humanity and of the way the universe really functions is pitiful.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-19 14:28:43
It is quite evident that what you consider an "infliction" of text bothers you to no end, to the point of appointing yourself the censor and protector of political correctness" in the magazine, or perhaps more likely, the spoiler of any genuine convivial sort of dialogue among contributors. I don't pretend to know, nor do I care to know what convoluted pychological motives spurs you to descend to ad hominem arguments and slanderous ignorant attack on people and institutions to the silly point of childishily making fun of others'last name. I can only go from the biased and one-sided arguments you have consistently put forward and they are indeed pitiful. The more the pity.


Sand2007-12-19 15:44:28
The obvious fact of the matter is that you regard any questioning of your persistent idiocies as an insult and your arsenal of devious avoidance of answering direct questions frustrates any sensible dialog. When historical confirmed facts are presented as to the misbehavior of the Catholic church you accuse me of religion bashing and take it as a personal insult. Obviously you are a mere propagandist of outworn and senseless ideas and cannot stand any confrontation whatsoever so you resort to self pity as if I have some sort of super power to stop your freakish presentations. Sure I object to them and it is my right to do so. And it seems you cannot stand that.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-19 17:33:42
Indeed, you have every right, as all the other contributors, to make a fool of yourself. Sophistry unfortunately is not the road to any kind of dialogue. For a dialogue to begin and continue what is needed is open-mindedness, tha ability to entertain a thought with which one does not agree and put into questions one's pet assumptions, the ability to be fair and objective. Of these, sorry to say, you have not given a scintilla of evidence although you continue to demand answers to questions to which you have a priori pat answers so that you may continue your trashing and argumenti ad hominem. Indeed, a pretty picture it is not.


Sand2007-12-19 20:54:31
That is an outright lie.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 03:54:21
Since it is all in the public arena, we'll let the readers judge that for themselves where the deviousness lies.


Sand2007-12-20 07:01:38
Paparella, you are strutting and posturing before a non-existent audience and refuse to answer to me.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 09:42:40
And before whom may you be posturing? The voices in your head perhaps? Have they also endowed you with the ability to know telepathetically how many readers read our respective comments? In that case you may well be what I suspect, a humbot. When I first joined this magazine there were precious few comments under each contribution. That never meant that there were no readers. Logic 101. Tell that to the voices when they visit you again.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 09:49:02
Considering that my contributions like that of everybody else are free of charge, I don't have to answer to answer to anybody on the magazine as to my views which are transparent from the same, especially I don't have to answer to you and your grand inquisitorial ambitions conceiving of freedom of speech as the freedom to agree with your one-sided biased views.


Sand2007-12-20 10:08:11
I need no idiotic titles like Grand Inquisitor (which seems more appropriate to the Catholic church that initiated the historical Inquisition) or Ph.D. to honestly confront your preposterous declarations with documented historical fact. That you regard this confrontation as a form of unjustified persecution is significant that you can tolerate no opposition to your wooly headed fantasies. Whenever I tried to honestly question the bases of your beliefs you routinely refused to respond directly and wandered off into suggestions for massive readings which is merely an avoidance of examining my opposition and countering each point. This can only indicate to me that you have no concise way to sensibly answer my objections so you resort to running and hiding tossing unjustified insults over your back to cover your retreat. That is not a proper dialog.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 10:21:13
A dialogue ensues only when one has the ability to entertain and respect an opposite veiwpoint and not have the answer in one's head to which one attaches a question, thus ending up presenting a biased one-sided trashy and even foul-mouthed and truculent view which fails to see the whole picture and tell the whole story. What the English call the clever by half argumentation. Your ambitions and agenda, I am afraid, are merely prosecutorial and sophistic and have precious little to do with exploring and discovering the truth of any issue. Repeatedly I have had to cunter your one-sided trashing by presenting the other side of the coin which you regularly ignore. Turning the table around will do the trick and get you a high five from other ignoramuses but it will not work with with well educated persons.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 10:27:11
P.S. Had you been interested in a genuine dialogue you would have at least made an attempt to explain why the Institute for Historical Documentation which presents documented facts (as you think you are doing)is flatly wrong and biased, documents and all, when they contend that the Third Reich was friendly to the Jews of Germany. Just like statitstics, I am afraid one can dig out any document that suits one's biased agenda. History is much more than mere documentation, just as reason is more than mere rationality. Had you read any of my articles on Vico and reflecte on them you'd know that by now. But you are only interested in scoring debating points and getting the last word in.


Sand2007-12-20 10:34:43
Goodness. I should have realized that facts have little to do with justifying opinions. That takes a while to digest.
That I should somehow entertain the insane concepts you propose implies I must be equally insane. My mind is not that flexible.

Does this mean I have the last word? I'm sure you will quickly rush to remedy that.


Sand2007-12-20 11:55:38
Your last statement has wide implications for anybody terming himself an historian which you seem to do. By presenting a site for false documents you are trying to indicate that all historical documents are of little or no value and that documented history is thereby invalid. In that extremely odd basis all history from ancient time to the present must be discarded and this, of course, includes not only the Bible but your treasured friend Vico who is only present through the writings which have come down to from sources that can now only be treated with suspicion. This form of raging paranoia which seems to have possessed you leaves you totally empty handed, a most uncomfortably peculiar situation for one so devoted to the past.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 14:56:07
You still have not wrapped your mind (oops, your computer of meat) around the idea of wholeness and complementarity (the both and). I never said that documents are not important, you, true to form, put it in my mouth to score a devious debating point that might get you a few high fives but wouldn't get you to first base vis a vis a dissertation committee. What I did say is that reason is more than mere rationality and history is more than mere documentation and that anybody with a ax to grind can easily produce an avalnache of documents while all along not telling the whole story which is a betrayal of history. The Institute for Historical Research which denies the Holocaust with what they say is documentation is exemplary. You are exemplary of somebody who will show the documentation of a flaw of the Catholic Church while conveniently ignoring the other half of the story. As I said that is a prosecutorial tactic which has little to do with a scholarly dialogue and even less with an I-Thou relationship.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 15:08:26
P.S. As for historicity, when an historian documents events he, willy nilly, chooses the event that seem important to him, for he cannot tell all the events. In indsight, we later find out that he had it on target and we call him a great historian; quite often, however, it is the little noticed events that prove to be important, more important than was surmized at the time and so a correction is made. History is not static like documentation in a computer; it breathes and grows all the time and the imagination to see what is important and what is not important is crucial.
E.g., the birth of a Jewish baby in a cave in Bethleem was not considered important by most historicans (albeit king Herod's paranoia considered it important enought to have all the baby of the village slaughtered), nor did his death as a common criminal on a cross either. In the light of subsequent events that little noticed event has split history in two parts: BC and AD. And now you can continue to mock on and mock on, and throw sand but the wind will bring it back and AC and AD will remain to the consternation of the documenter of trivialities.


Sand2007-12-20 16:18:10
The meaning of AD is Anno Domini or Year of our Lord referring to the year of Christ’s birth. The meaning of BC is Before Christ. CE is a recent term. It refers to Common Era and is used in place of A.D. BCE means Before Common Era.

Many different calendars have been used since man began tracking time. Most start with some epoch event or person. The use of BC and AD for numbering calendar years was invented by Dionysius Exiguus in 525 AD. His purpose was to determine the correct date for Easter under the direction of Pope St. John I.

Prior to this time, one method for determining Easter was based on a 532 year calendar cycle stemming from the Alexandrian era. Other methods were also used which led to the confusion. Dionysius was asked to determine a method for calculating Easter that would then be used by the entire church.

Dionysius did not want to perpetuate the name of Alexander, the Great Persecutor. He decided to start his 532 year cycle from the year associated with the foundation of Rome. At that time Christ’s birth was supposed to have occurred immediately preceding the year of the founding of Rome. Today, based on historical evidence relating to Herod and astronomical evidence relating to eclipses and star novas, most historians believe Christ was actually born a few years earlier.

Dionysius named the years relating to his cycle, BC meaning Before Christ which starts with year 1 and AD meaning Anno Domini, the year of Our Lord referring to the year of Christ’s birth. This is also a year 1. There is no year 0. (That’s the reason purists insists the 21st century actually began January 1, 2001. For example the first year began in 1 AD and ended the beginning of 2 AD so the first year of the 21st century begins in 2001 AD and ends with the beginning of 2002 AD)

It took about 400 years for the dating system devised by Dionysius to reach common usage. In combination with the Julian Calendar system which determines the beginning of months and years this continued until 1582 AD. The number of each year is based on the Dionysius numbering system.

The need for the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar came about because a year is not exactly 365 days long. It is actually 365 and a quarter days long. Every 4 years, March 1st moved behind a day until after centuries instead of being early spring March 1st was now the beginning of winter. Something had to be done.

The Gregorian Calendar was introduced in the Catholic parts of Europe in 1582 A.D. by Pope Gregory XIII (then the religious leader of the Roman Catholic faith) as an improvement upon the Julian Calendar to keep the average length of the calendar year better in line with the seasons.

The rules, months, and days of the Gregorian calendar are the same as those of the Julian Calendar, except for the leap year rules. In the Gregorian calendar, a year is a leap year if the year number is evenly divisible by 4, but not if the year number is evenly divisible by 100, and this last exception must not be applied if the year number is evenly divisible by 400. For example, 1600 and 2000 are leap years, but 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not.

The legal code of the United States does not specify an official national calendar. Use of the Gregorian calendar in the United States is a result of an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1751, which specified use of the Gregorian calendar in England and its colonies. However, its adoption in the United Kingdom and other countries was fraught with confusion, controversy, and even violence. It also had a deeper cultural impact through the disruption of traditional festivals and calendrical practices.

The widespread use of the Gregorian calendar and the use of BC and AD throughout the world came about thanks to the colonization practices of Europe and economic pressures of a world-wide economy led by Europe and the United States. This is gradually changing as more and more academic writers prefer the use of CE rather than AD.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 16:37:45
Again, point missed. The point was simple: that an obscure socially insignificant baby born in a cave in Judea some 2000 years ago should have split history in two: before and after him. Now you can rationalize that fact any way you want, but there it is staring in your face to the consternation of all religion bashers and trashers. The French Jacobins tried to start a new calendar with the year 0 being the Fench Revolution but it did not go very far. I suppose we need a new more radical revolution.


Sand2007-12-20 17:10:48
The point is staring you in the face and you cannot see it. The church was obviously in charge of establishing the date of the modern era and did so on the basis of their dogma which is quite artificial since it had no precision at all about the time of Christ's birth. There were many changes proposed by the Napoleonic era and some took and some didn't. I am daily grateful for the use of the simple metric system as opposed to the wacky English measure. But neither of these was determined by a burning bush or some mysterious stone tablets discovered on a mountain top. They were put together by clerks with a desire for some way to bring order out of confusion and they seem to function reasonably well.
I am fascinated by your declaration that reason can exist outside of being rational. That requires considerable clarification. I am happy that you have accepted that all documentation contains an element of doubt. That means all documentation including Biblical tracts, translations of ancient documents etc. I have no argument with that.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 17:55:52
That you would rationalize the point comes as no surprise. As for a holistic view of man and what reason is all about, that was elaborated ad nauseam in my contributions but not much attention was paid, obviously. Here is a recent link that may be helpful regarding the holistic approach:

http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10214/Default.aspx




Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 17:59:17
P.S. The more important point, which you missed, is not that of the forgeries of documents but of the bad habit of many religious bashers to present half of the story and conveninently keep quite on what is not ideologically to their taste.


Sand2007-12-20 18:09:02
I tried your link and "The page cannot be found" so it is either phony or defective. Judging by your general performance I would judge it phony.

When you engage in a discussion if you expect your opponent to present your side as well as his then that is not a discussion. Your participation requires you to present your side. If you are not aware of that you are far more stupid than even I suspected.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 23:30:56
Obviously you are not a very good judge of human character. Since you seem so sure that the site is phony (albeit I notice you leave yourself an opening; that it may be defective...)how about wagering !0,000 dollars that the site exists, that the author is Philip Rolnik and that it begins with a drawing by William Blake of the sould ascending to God? Go for it. You'll be $10,000 richer. On the other hand you may be $10,000 the poorer. In any case, whether or not you pick the challenge, you are already the poorer for casting aspersion on another character and veracity without a scintilla of evidence. Those taticts makes any sane person suspect that you have no interest whatsoever for the search for truth. In fact, as you have pointed out, anything that cannot be seen is a chimera for you. Truth, Beauty, Goodness are mere sounds for your signifying nothing. Pity.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-20 23:36:16
P.S. As for engaging in a discussion, it seems to me that it cannot even begin if one is unwilling to entertain and in fact understand first the other's point of view. Aristotle in fact considers that ability the characteristic of the educated person as distinguished from the cultural philistine, or perhaps the narcisist, who only entertains and defends one point of view, his own.


Sand2007-12-21 04:35:38
Whether the site exists on the web or in your imagination I cannot say since I submitted the address you provided and was told it was not available. So either you provided a faulty address or you have an elaborate method of insulting people for your incompetence.

The skill you have demonstrated for psychoanalyzing Aristotle, Einstein, and Scrooge would surely astound Freud himself who spent years trying to discover the inner attitudes of his patients with uncertain success.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-21 06:30:45
I thought so...


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-21 06:38:16
http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10214/Default.aspx

Here is the link once again copyed by the computer (not me). If you continue to believe that it is phony, then by all means pick up the wager: 10,000 dollars could come handy for the saturnalia of 2007. Think of all the cakes and Christmas cookies you could bake.


Sand2007-12-21 08:29:05
This is the message computer copied from Google:
No results found for http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10214/Default.aspxhttp://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10214/Default.aspx.

What is it with you and baking? Your revulsion at kitchen skills seems to be a very odd variation of your psychosis.


Sand2007-12-21 08:32:47
I am extremely confident that your offer of monetary compensation is as phony as the rest of your declarations, but money is no compensation for being a totally faulty human being. Take your money and get some psychological help.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-21 13:24:12
As usual, a few cavalier proposterous insults and gratuitous charges wraps up the issue. However, childish insults aside, it is Christmas time after all, there is a more direct and sure way to retrieve the link written in a comment and not retrievable automatically. This is what you need to do:

--Copy the address of the link with the mouse
--Transfer it to the address box on top of your computer by clicking "paste" (left click) after placing the cursor there
--click your enter key and the site (which is there, I assure you)will appear.

If you retrieve it by the detour of Google you need to go Global Spiral first and then search for the article by Philip Rolnik on the cover page. Since the challenge was not picked up we both keep our money and buy presents with them and remain as we are neither poorer or richer. Spiritually, that's another story.


Sand2007-12-21 19:02:00
I submitted the address as you suggested and the message that resulted was:
Firefox doesn't know how to open this address because the protocol (ttp) isn't associated with any program.

Evidently you are getting December 25 mixed up with April 1.


Emanuel Paparella2007-12-21 20:50:58
Here is the title and author of the article which I copied verbatim:

Brain, Mind, Soul, and Spirit—Unified in Personality

By Philip Rolnick

If you go to google you need to get to Metanexus Institute first and then from there to their publication Global Spiral. The site and the article exists empirically. You can bank on it!






Sand2007-12-21 21:26:50
I fed the title to Google and got the article but it was, unfortunately, totally unconvincing. The whole approach was to find justification for previously held beliefs and the justification was too tenuous to be acceptable. Sorry


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