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    • Book Club? (Last post by Kit)
    • Quote: Thank you so much!! :laugh: Okay, now to pick a book. Kit, do you have any particular one to start off with? Or would everyone prefer the library? I don't like the ones in the library haha (they're not something I'd typically read for fun, but rather for learning.) But let me show you a few off of my list. The book I really want to recommend is called the Outstretched Shadow. Wonderful fantasy story covering the Hero's Journey in a really good way as well as a Coming of Age story. It has a very thought-provoking magic system that has influenced the way I look at the world. A touch long to read in a month for some of the more casual readers though. If I remember right it has three 'books' within it, we can stretch it out across a few sessions maybe. Spoiler: The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory Book one of three in the Obsidian Trilogy Genre: Epic Fantasy Publication Date: 3 October 2003 Pages: 736 (Paperback) From Amazon.com Quote: Kellen Tavadon, son of the Arch-Mage Lycaelon, thought he knew the way the world worked. His father, leading the wise and benevolent Council of Mages, protected and guided the citizens of the Golden City of the Bells. Young Mages in training--all men, for women were unfit to practice magic--memorized the intricate details of High Magic and aspired to seats on the council. Then he found the forbidden Books of Wild Magic--or did they find him? Their Magic felt like a living thing, guided by the hearts and minds of those who practiced it and benefited from it. Questioning everything he has known, Kellen discovers too many of the City's dark secrets. Banished, with the Outlaw Hunt on his heels, Kellen invokes Wild Magic--and finds himself running for his life with a unicorn at his side. Rescued by a unicorn, healed by a female Wild Mage who knows more about Kellen than anyone outside the City should, meeting Elven royalty and Elven warriors, and plunged into a world full of magical beings--Kellen both revels in and fears his new freedom. The one thing all the Mages of the City agreed on was that practicing Wild Magic corrupted a Mage. Turned him into a Demon. Would that be Kellen's fate? Deep in Obsidian Mountain, the Demons are waiting. Since their defeat in the last great War, they've been biding their time, sowing the seeds of distrust and discontent between their human and Elven enemies. Very soon now, when the Demons rise to make war, there will be no alliance between High and Wild Magic to stand against them. And then all the world will belong to the Endarkened. The shortest book I have on my list is this one: A Wizard of Earthsea Another Hero's Journey/Coming of Age story written in an easy-reader style but beautifully written. Another interesting look at a magic system and I believe it was the start of the idea of True Names. This story is why names are so important to me, both the ones I name for my characters when I write, and the ones I wear. It's magic system also had an influence with the way I choose to act (or not). I would recommend this one if we wanted to start out shorter. Usually readily available through public libraries. Spoiler: A Wizard of Earthsea By Ursula K. Le Guin First book of six in the Earthsea Cycle Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Publication Date: 1968 Pages: 205 From Amazon.com Quote: Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
    • Momento Mori (Last post by Adder)
    • For me they seem like they are different things; my own mortality compared to someone elses. When I pass my entire universe could be said to vanish and cease to exist (or transform depending on ones belief), while when someone else passes they rather depart from everyone elses universe/s. Even in simple terms you can imagine the experience of them is probably entirely different, so perhaps its no surprise we react to them differently. Of course I'm talking about the universe being the act of perception and of course that would only seem relevant to the living, and so in terms of coping, the subconscious seems to have a greater connection to the former rather the later IMO - just probably as a byproduct of sentience itself. Given our worldviews mostly these days are entirely predicated on scientific principles then it should be a good basis for a worldview IMO!! Yet as a result of how our brains might better relate to the concept, we might find ourselves with a slight cognitive dissonance - if our brains are more capable in believing we ourselves are the centre of our own universe in some subjective default mode of perception - but our more rational mind likes to believe we are just animals brewed up through evolution with a absolute death when we expire. So I wonder if some of us don't create, discover, believe various things which might mediate this dissonance, and depending on how informed they feel they then can offer hope, or urgency depending on the nature of the belief structure employed. For me I tend to like to view things in terms of spiritual evolution. It's probably the Buddhist in me with the whole rebirth thing. It is a bit judgmental but hey, something as nebulous and dynamic as spirituality can have large extents of range and overlap I guess!!!! Why, because I find it empowers my focus while living to be able to expand causality beyond my expected lifespan. It doesn't have to be 'true' beyond its impact on my psychology. There are risk's to that if of course depending how its dressed up within a more complex belief system... but perhaps like in Buddhism if within a framework of compassion, commitment to ease suffering, and/or evolve spiritually then it can achieve a range of good motivations during life - depending on how one defines good of course. It might serve to calm that underlying dissonance, if it even exists.
    • Practical Jediism (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • PREFACE This little book, written during the last months of peace, goes to press in the first weeks of The Great War. Many will feel that in such a time of conflict and horror, when only the most ignorant, disloyal, or apathetic can hope for quietness of mind, a book which deals with that which is called the "contemplative" attitude to existence is wholly out of place. So obvious, indeed, is this point of view, that I had at first thought of postponing its publication. On the one hand, it seems as though the dreams of a spiritual renaissance, which promised so fairly but a little time ago, have perished in the sudden explosion of brute force. On the other hand, the thoughts of the many people are now turned, and rightly, towards the most concrete forms of action - struggle and endurance, practical sacrifices, difficult and long continued effort - rather than towards the passive attitude of self-surrender which is all that the practice of Jediism seems, at first sight, to demand. Moreover, that deep conviction of the dependence of all human worth upon eternal values, the immanence of The Force within the human soul, which lies at the root of a Jedi concept of life, is hard indeed to reconcile with much of the human history now being poured red-hot from the cauldron of war. For all these reasons, we are likely during the present crisis to witness a revolt from those superficially mystical notions which threatened to become too popular during the immediate past. Yet, the title deliberately chosen for this book - that of "Practical" Jediism - means nothing if the attitude and the discipline which it recommends, be adapted to fair weather alone: if the principles for which it stands break down when subjected to the pressure of events, and cannot be reconciled with the sterner duties of the our lives. To accept this position is to reduce Jediism to the status of a spiritual play-thing. On the contrary, if the experiences on which it is based have indeed the transcendent value for humanity which the Jedi claim for them - if they reveal to us a world of higher truth and greater reality than the world of concrete happenings in which we seem to be immersed - then that value is increased rather than lessened when confronted by the overwhelming disharmonies and sufferings of the present time. It is significant that many of these experiences are reported to us from periods of war and distress: that the stronger the forces of destruction appear, the more intense the spiritual vision which oppose them, grow. We learn from these records, that the Jedi (mystical) consciousness has the power of lifting those who possess it to a plane of reality which no struggle, no cruelty, can disturb: of conferring a certitude which no catastrophe can wreck. Yet it does not wrap its initiates in a selfish and otherworldly calm, isolate them from the pain and effort of the common life. Rather, it gives them renewed vitality; administering to the human spirit not - as some suppose - a soothing draught, but the most powerful of stimulants. Stayed upon eternal realities, that spirit will be far better able to endure and profit by the stern discipline which people are now called to undergo, than those who are wholly at the mercy of events; better able to discern the real from the illusory issues, and to pronounce judgement on the new problems, new difficulties, new fields of activity now disclosed. Perhaps it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that the two women who have left the deepest mark upon the military history of France and England - Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingale - both acted under mystical compulsion. So, too, did one of the noblest of 19th Century soldiers, General Gordon. Their actions were directly connected with their deep spiritual consciousness: their intensely practical energies were the flowers of a contemplative life. We are often told, that in the critical periods of history it is the spirit of the people which counts: that "where there is no vision, the people perish." No person is truly defeated who retains their spiritual strength. No person is truly victorious who emerges with soul, stained. If this be so, it becomes a part of true honour to keep the spiritual life, both of the individual citizen and of the social group, active and vigorous; its vision of realities unsullied by the entangled interests and passions of the time. This is a task in which all may do their part. The Jedi life is not a special career, involving abstraction from the world of things. It can be a part of every person's life; and until they have realised some spiritual path, a person is not a complete human being, has not entered into possession of all their powers. It is therefore the function of a Practical Jediism to increase, not diminish, the total efficiency, the wisdom and steadfastness, of those who try to practise it. It will help them to enter, more completely than ever before, into the life of the group to which they belong. It will teach them to see the world in a truer proportion, discerning eternal beauty beyond and beneath apparent ruthlessness. It will educate them in a charity, free from all taint of sentimentalism; it will confer on them an unconquerable hope; and assure them that still, even in the hour of greatest desolation, "There lives the dearest freshness deep down things." As a contribution, then, to these purposes, this little book is now published. It is addressed neither to the learned nor to the devout, who are already in possession of a wide literature dealing from many points of view with the experiences and philosophy of the Jedi. Such readers are warned that they will find here nothing but the restatement of elementary and familiar propositions, and invitations to a discipline, immemorially old. Far from presuming to instruct those to whom first-hand information is both accessible and palatable, I write only for the larger class which, repelled by the formidable appearance of more elaborate works on the subject, would yet like to know what is meant by Jediism, and what it has to offer to the typical person: how it helps to solve their problems, how it harmonises with the duties and ideals of their active life. For this reason, I presuppose in my readers no knowledge whatever of the subject, either upon the philosophic, religious, or historical side. Nor, since I wish my appeal to be general, do I urge the special claim of any one theological system, any one metaphysical school. I have merely attempted to put the view of the universe and our place in it, which is common to all Jedi, in plain and untechnical language: and to suggest the practical conditions under which everyone may participate in that experience. Therefore the abnormal states of consciousness which sometimes appear in connection with mystical genius are not discussed: my business being confined to the description of a faculty which all people possess in a greater or lesser degree. The reality and importance of this faculty are considered in the first three chapters. In the fourth and fifth is described the preliminary training of attention necessary for its use; in the sixth, the general self-discipline and attitude toward life which it involves. The seventh, eighth, and ninth chapters (treat in an elementary way) of the three great forms of contemplation; and in the tenth, the practical value of the life in which they have been actualised is examined. Those kind enough to attempt the perusal of the book are begged to read the first sections with some attention before passing to the latter part. Eveleyn Underhill September 12, 1914.
    • Telekinesis? (Last post by Adder)
    • I like trying to exercise extrasensory perception, which for me is more psychology then anything - subtle alterations in perception. But telekinesis for me really runs out of steam beyond imagination, hallucination or delusion... not inherently bad but probably counter-productive to fool ourselves for fun too often - as it might water down and reduce the effectiveness compared to even normal perception and motor skills. Beyond that I guess there is no harm in trying, unless you drop a rock on someone or something.
    • Reminder: a 'Thank You' is not necessarily a 'Like... (Last post by Codex)
    • It is weird to say but I noticed that a spesific type of forum members, on the world wide web in general, finds post-hunting and weird 'trophies' (forum symbols, post rate, prestige, profile pimping, report button spamming, backseat modding, etc.) highly valuable in their online lifestyle. :ohmy: Some forums I visited over the years had massive law books on how to write posts and how to deal with these kind of things because of these problems. Thanking another for whatever the reason creates a feeling of involvement, that promotes and encourages. I find that the Temple forums are well balanced because not everything is explained in detail, including this button, it leaves room to be human and to think for yourself what it means. I really like that! :blush:
    • On Racism (Split Topic) (Last post by carlos.martinez3)
    • Quote: Quote: You're like the rest of us. I'm not, I put my pants on 2 legs at a time and hop into my shoes....or does everyone do that? :laugh: I lay down some times and wiggle in em just to make my boy laugh, does that count?
    • Bill Nye is getting a new TV Show! (Last post by SecondVariation)
    • Quote: While he holds several honorary doctorate degrees in the scientific community, his only real education is a mechanical engineering degree from Cornell. The "Bill Nye the Science Guy" moniker came from a reoccurring sketch comedy skit that he did for a local sketch comedy show here in Seattle (I miss Almost Live :( ). He's a funny guy, and can do some cool science parlor tricks, but he is no scientist. Can I ask what your definition of a scientist is?
    • Motivation/Insparation (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • In the morning the kids jumping on my chest or the dog licking my face :laugh: For the rest of the day it's pretty much a consistent and largely unconscious practice of asking "What would Obi-Wan* do now?" * or Florence Nightingale, or George Fox, or Thomas Young, or Valentino Rossi, or Kelly Slater or Bjorn Lomborg
    • Weighing Up Charitable Causes (Last post by Edan)
    • Quote: So, the question is - are some charitable causes inherently more deserving, or more important than others? What motivates you to choose one charity over another? Is it possible to be fair in the charity arena? I give to the charities whose causes I feel most strongly about. I give money to multiple animal charities because I have homed a lot of rescue animals, a cancer charity because my godmother died of breast cancer, and the local ambulance service because it gets no funding but it's important to my area. I have also raised money for the MS society, because my friend has MS and the only options he has is one treatment with horrible side effects after another. I tend not to put money in donation boxes/buckets ever since I found out that some people collecting get some of the cash (husband knows someone first hand who did this), so I try to give direct to the charities. I don't shop at Waitrose, but if I was faced with such an option I'd probably just do the same as you, put the token in the least full pot. Truth is, I don't know what constitutes 'fair' in charity. Though I can't say which charities are most important, I can think of a few causes which are definitely deserve more than they currently get (I'm thinking along the lines of prostate cancer charities here).
    • Yoga Camp (Last post by Edan)
    • Quote: I am sorry for the lack of updates its just yoga is yoga to me. However I will say there have been a couple of days that I feel asleep on the living room floor that really caused my back to flair up. Yet the next days yoga worked it out. So maybe this is something I need to do with regularity. When I do yoga every day I get to a point where my body aches because of yoga and the only thing that makes the ache go away is yoga!
    • Question of the Day (Last post by MadHatter)
    • How much value do you place on tradition? Do you have a favorite tradition? Please answer in your own journal.

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