Our new podcast “The concept of Evil part III” is Live

Dear readers, listeners and bloggers:

Good morning. Our podcast The Concept of Evil Part III is Live at Anchor.fm/dr-mario-o-laplume

It is the last installment of our discussion of this critical subject, based on our readings of the brilliant guide titled The Concept of Evil from Stanford Philosophical Encyclopedia.

We hope this podcast will continue and stimulate discussion among yourselves and with us. Please write about any suggestions or critiques to email@drmolaplume.com

Stat distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Symbology in Tarot – Major Arcana part X

Today we will be discussing “The Moon” and “The Sun.”

XVII – The Moon

This card speaks of experiences that take place under the light of the Moon or in the Subconscious: dreams, trespasses, sexuality, animal instincts and fears, confessions, illusions crimes, etc. It shows two animals barking at the Moon :the Wolf represents the Wilderness, and the Dog the Domesticated Wilderness. The Moon is a conduit for our instincts and our animal nature; it also speaks of our intuition and spirituality but also our capacity for cruelty. There are two windowless towers that represent Entrapment and the Unknown; in the middle there is a Road of Life that leads to still unbeknownst directions, and the emerging lobster represents our mind that is starting its Conscious journey through Life.

Upright Moon

Meg Hayertz said: “the Moon, at its worst, codependent or abusive relationship patterns learned in childhood and other terrible certainties such as deep-set illusions of loneliness and expectations of violence, that reside in the core of our consciousness. If you have pulled the moon, you may be experiencing a crisis of faith or a dark night of the soul—but also your animalistic survival instinct and drive that will pull you through to meet the daylight.” The number 18 represents a journey into our vulnerability and the unknown, even some mystery of our life unfolding. The added digits give out 9, the symbol of positive thinking, success, and abundance. “Why do I always fall into these toxic sentimental relationships?” This card makes us reflect at some old patterns that might have been embedded in our Conscious and/or subconscious minds during childhood. Gently, explore your own inner self. This card is associated with Piscis, the zodiac sign of healing, intuition, intimacy, and boundaries. Its supporting card is The Hermit (solitude, reflection, and intuition) and the opposing card is The Emperor (stability but also rigidity, lack of fluidity)

Reversed Moon

This reversed card means that you are ignoring your Subconscious and you are not “listening  to your gut.” It’s time to wake up. It’s time to finally find some healing. Biddy Tarot said: “The Moon Reversed indicates that you have been dealing with illusions, fears, and anxieties, and now the negative influences of these energies are subsiding. You are working through your fears and anxieties, understanding the impact they have on your life and how you can free yourself from such limiting beliefs.”

Note. This reproduction of a statue of Selene, the Moon Goddess was taken from Wikimedia Images.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Luna_statue.jpg

Philosophical significance

Please read our previous article in this series titled Gravitational Influence of the Moon” 

XIX – The Sun

This card represents the Joy that the Sun naturally brings to all of us. If you have pulled this card, you may experience the same spontaneous, carefree joy that a child has with a new toy or experience. After a period of Uncertainty, the Sun comes out. It is time to enjoy our families, our marriage, our friendships, our successes, etc. The sunflowers represent growth, beauty, and spiritual accomplishments; the red banner is a symbol of vitality. As you are glowing with brightness, people will be drawn to you because you are a very positive influence in their lives. You lead by example. Biddy Tarot said: “it is calling to your inner child to come out and play.”

Upright Sun

No matter how hard the times you are going through may appear, you will eventually succeed to overcome them with bright positive energy taken from The Sun. And people will appreciate your positive, constructive attitude to solve problems at work, in your family, in your community, etc. You will be asked to share that bounty of positive energy with other people around you; you promote change for the good. In Numerology the number 19 expresses clarity triumphing over uncertainty; when we add the two digits, we obtain 10 , which is the number of endings and beginnings. The supporting cards are The World and the Six of Wands; the opposing cards are The Tower and the Nine of Swords.

Reversed Sun

When the card appears Reversed, it might mean that you are about to lose something that is precious to you. Watch out. Keep an eye out for trouble. Change, if necessary. Moreover, you might be working too hard and dedicating little time for family affairs or friends; relax, take time off and play with your loved ones as Life is very short. Perhaps you experienced too many setbacks lately and you are very depressed. This card always brings positive influences. Shake your torpor off and engage Life in full.

Note. This reproduction of a Face statue of Plato was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Philosophical significance

In the Analogy of the Sun, Plato imagines a dialogue between Glaucon (his elder brother) and Socrates (narrated by the latter) where they claim that there is a clear analogy. Socrates claims that the Sun is “a child of goodness” whose illuminated rays shed light on the Truth, discarding the chaff from what is really essential to us. According to Plato, The Good sheds light on Reality, allowing us to see clearly, using not only our physical sense of vision but also our mind, for a fuller picture. The metaphor of the Sun is a good example of the interconnection of metaphysics and epistemology: the interpretations of our existence create—and are created—by ways of knowing. It also blends Plato’s rationalism and realism about universal truths.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Greetings from Netflix is a Joke Fest in LA

Dear Bros and Sis:

Good evening (my Dad always tells us to be polite) to all my friends and fans.We are attending the Netflix is a Joke Festival with my sister in Los Angeles. We are having a fabulous time together and I am enclosing some nice shots.

And here is a remembrance of one of my favorite American Comedians: Rodney Dangerfield.

Tonight we will be attending a presentation by Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias at Dodger Stadium.

Hope you are all erie. A big kiss to all my ladies-fans and a big hug to the guys. Stay cool !!!

Symbology in Tarot – Major Arcana part IX

Today we will be discussing “The Tower” and “The Star.”

XVI – The Tower

When this card appears, we should experience illumination and a release of our trapped energies. The card shows a tall tower perched at the top of a mountain right at the moment when lighting strikes the top of it, displacing the crown of chakra. Two persons leap, heads first and arms outstretched, from it in a clear sign of utter desperation. This destruction occurs when our ambitions and goals are built on false promises and the Energy form the Universe puts things in their rightful place. The twelve flames represent the combination of the Twelve signs of the Zodiac and the Ten points of the Tree of Life. In her great book Tarot for Beginners, Meg Hayertz said: “When something in your life isn’t working – a habit, a job or relationship—but we refuse to acknowledge the issues, we build an increasingly precarious tower held together by temporary solutions, wishful thinking or denial, if we neither take the initiative to dismantle nor restore the shoddy tower, it will inevitably come crashing down.” In Numerology, the number 16 means the release of stocked energies within us and the outflow of creative and loving instincts; when the two digits are added together, we get 7, which is the symbol of Spirituality.

Upright Tower

In her great webpage, Biddy Tarot said: “expect the unexpected—massive change, upheaval, destruction, and chaos. It may be a divorce, death of a loved one, financial failure, health problems, natural disaster, job loss or any event that shakes you to your core, affecting you spiritually, mentally, and physically. There’s no escaping it.” What can you do? Get out of the way, do not interfere with the self-destruction. The positive attitude is to re-focus on your priorities and re-build what is needed. After this traumatic experience, you will grow much stronger, wiser, and resilient.

Reversed Tower

When this card appears, you are undergoing a significant personal transformation and upheaval. While in the Upright Tower, the catalyst for transformation process is external, in the Reversed Tower that catalyst is internal. You are instigating this radical change because you want to make a full aggiornamento of your perceptions, opinions, stands, etc. Sometimes it might mean that you are putting up an active resistance tot that change, which will be totally futile as it is inevitable, unstoppable. The fiercer that resistance, the bigger the upheaval will turn out to be. A lost cause. Consider this similar to the tolling of the bells, announcing some great radical news.

Philosophical significance

Ever since Antiquity, almost any human culture has had a figure of Destruction and Transformation. In Hinduism ,the Goddess Kali, also known as Dakshina Kalika, is considered to be the master of death, time, and change. She emerged from Lord Shiva himself and is considered as the ultimate manifestation of Shakti—the primordial cosmic energy that moves through our whole Universe. She destroys the Evil in order to protect the Innocent. She is also considered as the mother of all living beings. In a very well researched Wikipedia article, they said: “ her most well-known appearance is on the battlefield in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam. The deity of the first chapter of the Devi Mahatmyan is Mahakali, who appears from the body of sleeping Vishnu as  goddess Yoga Nidra to wake him up to protect Brahma and the World from two demons, Madu and Kaithabha. When Vishnu woke up, he started a war against the tow demons. After a long battle with Lord Vishnu, the two demons were still undefeated; Mahakali took the form of Mahamaya to enchant the two asuras, When Maidu and Kaithabha were enchanted by Mahakali, Vishnu killed them.”

XVII – The Star

This card shows a naked woman, symbol of Vulnerability and Purity, kneeling at the end of a small pool, with a container in her Left hand (the Subconscious) and another one in her Right hand (the Conscious) to pour water one hand to the Earth in order to maintain the Fertility Cycle and on the other one to the Flowing River to prod creativity and dreams. Water falls in five rivulets to the dry earth, symbolizing the five seasons. The foot standing on ground symbolizes her Practical Sense and the one standing on the water symbolizes her Feminine Intuition. Above the girl there is a large bright star , which symbolizes Our Core Values, and seven smaller ones representing the Chakras—spinning bodily disks of energy that should stay open. Meg Hayertz said: “it helps u believe in miracles and allows us to connect with the magic of every day. The ibis in this card represents the Egyptian God Thoh. As the God of thought, language, and magic, Thoh reminds us of the power of our thoughts and words. The things we name are potent. Naming our ideals can breathe life into them. Our experience is rich with beauty and meaning.” Open yourself to other people around you. YOU ARE INSPIRATIONAL. In Numerology the number 17 represents quiet, certainty and subtle strength. The combination of those two digits gives 8, which is the symbol of strength. This card is associated with Aquarius, the Zodiac sign that inspires other with its Idealism.

Upright Star

After the destructive upheaval represented by the Tower, you are now back to your basic core beliefs and feelings, that innermost part of you that makes you truly unique amongst other human beings. Biddy Tarot said: “The Star brings renewed hope and faith, and a sense that you are truly blessed by the Universe. You are entering a peaceful, loving phase in your life, filled with calm energy, mental stability and more-in-depth understanding of yourself and those around you.” It is time to revisit your old beliefs, values, acquaintances and at the same time take the opportunity to thank all those who have helped along the tortuous roads of Life.

Reversed Star

You have lost faith and hope in the Universe. You are overwhelmed by the sensory input and noise from the maddening crowds; as a result you cannot move or act. Biddy Tarot said: “Where is the Divine in you now? Look harder and you’ll see it. The Divine is always there” She asserts that we are vessels for the Divine and sometimes that conduit might falter, but it always remains physically in our spirits. Let us unclog our spiritual hose and continue sprinkling the gardens of the Universe. It might also mean that you are being a little bit naïve about the power of your beliefs in the real world. Are you relying too much on your ideals and not take action to make them a Reality?

Philosophical significance

It is not a casual occurrence that this card has an ibis atop a tree on its right-hand side. In Ancient Egypt, the Thoh deity was represented as a man with the head of an ibis (and sometimes even a baboon) It was the god of the moon, wisdom, writing, hieroglyphics, science, music, art; sometimes he sat in judgment of the Dead. It maintained the harmony of the Universe as one of two deities (the other being Ma’at) that stood at the side of the Sun god Rah. It was a respected arbitrator of the fights between the gods and it protected the arts of magic plus the skills of writing.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

Our new podcast “The concept of Evil part I” is Live

Dear readers, listeners and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon. We just uploaded our new podcast “The concept of Evil part I” , which is now Live. For the past years we have been debating if Evil does exist after we learn,  sadly yet again , of another senseless act of violence in either the public and privates spaces. Our son Gian Luca wrote a great section titled “Media and Violence” in our book Emotional Frustration- the Hushed Plague.

The barbaric Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown us images of a terrible slaughter of innocent women, children and the elderly in Ukrainian villages and cities, something that had not been seen in Europe since the Nazi atrocities in World War II against the inhabitants of their occupied territories. How can this raw scourge of Antiquity have befallen on the Ukrainian Nation in our times, the supposedly connected and enlightened 21st century?

We must urgently re-visit the concept of Evil because it has been used off-handedly too many times to camouflage our ignorance of what were the motives of the perpetrators of these vile acts. We will divide our exposé, separating the classic concepts of Evil from the more modern ones. We  used as reference the great essay The concept of Evil from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

We hope you like our humble podcast (certainly we cannot say you can “enjoy” this theme) and if you have any critiques or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at email@drmolaplume.com

Stay distant. Stay safe, Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Buona Domenica con una bellissima Gnochiatta con Polpete di Manzo

Dear readers, listeners and fellow bloggers:

Good evening and Happy Sunday to you. Last week we signed a contract with Sky Connection Partners, an innovative Literary Agency in Baltimore, Maryland, run by an executive with plenty of experience and contacts in the US Publishing industry. We painstakingly edited the manuscript of Emotional Frustration – the Hushed Plague, correcting some typos, improving some sentences and updating the text as its first draft had been written two years ago, at the start of the pandemic. We believe that we are doing a good job and soon you will be able to enjoy a much better version of it.

And what dish we decided to prepare today so we could have good luck in this new endeavor?

GNOCCHI OF COURSE. Remember that we, Italians and Italian-Americans, like to eat gnocchi on the 29th of each month and many other times to get BUONA FORTUNA. And as we are so superstitious… We prepared a fresh tomato sauce with San Marzano tomatoes, onions, peppers, walnuts, seasoning with turmeric, oregano, pepper, onion powder, etc., and pre-cooked polpete di manzo (meatballs)

What do you think of our dish? Would you accept an invitation to join us at hour humble table?

This serving is for you. Please join us per questo buon cibo ed conversazione insieme su la tavola.

BUON APPETITO !!!

BUONA FORTUNA !!!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Symbology in Tarot – Major Arcana Part VIII

Today we will be discussing “Temperance” and “The Devil’”

XIV – Temperance

This is the card of Artistic endeavors, Alchemists’ dreaming and Metaphors of poets: it allows us to flourish emotionally, creatively, and spiritually. Everything flows in the same direction. It shows a winged angel, both of masculine and feminine genders, that is pouring water from a silver cup to a gold cup, epitomizing the power of artistic creation that tries to make the Impossible possible (not always possible) The right balance of elements is shown by the position of the angel’s feet. One of them is on land (we need to stay grounded) and the other one is on water (we need to go with the flow) In the background there is a winding path that represents the journey of Life, and the golden crown represents our Higher Purpose in this Life. In Numerology the number 14 symbolizes Stability, and the combination of the single numbers gives 5, which is the quintessential symbol of change and upheaval.

Upright Temperance

This card  brings balance, patience, and moderation to our lives. It shows that we must keep our composure in stressful situations; we must “keep our cool.” If possible, we refrain from being stubborn and try to take “the middle road” or at least make honest attempts to understand other people’s opinions, even if we do not agree with them. It epitomizes the basic tenet of Alchemy: to combine different elements to create something altogether new. The most common example is a successful couple relationship: one individual plus another individual have a romantic bonding that is much more than the sum of the two. When this card appears, it means that we are in the right path: we are learning at a good pace, enjoying the process fully.

Reversed Temperance

After some excesses, it is time to restore the equilibrium in our lives. It could be that there was splurging on food, drinking, sex, shopping, etc. It does not mean that you have to engage in Abstinence but rather that you have to show Moderation. Something might be “off in our lives” and we should change our lifestyle. It is a warning sign “to hold our horse’s rein and dismount” before real harm happens to us.

Note. This reproduction of Piero del Pollaiolo’s Temperance was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Piero_del_Pollaiolo_temperance.jpg

Philosophical significance

This word derives from ancient Greek; one possibility is sophrosne, which means “self-restraint”, and the other one is enkrateias, which means “control over oneself.” Plato included temperance as one of the four cardinal virtues of the ideal city. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, and Stoic philosopher, wrote that it separates us humans form the rest of the Animal Kingdom. The ability to control our desires and impulses differentiates us from other creatures driven by instinct only. Humans have the capacity of domesticate our appetites and not allow them to control our volition. Thomas Aquinas, the great Christian philosopher wrote: “the temperate man does not shun all pleasures, but those that are immoderate and contrary to reason.” Blaise Pascal wrote the temperance is the right balance between the two extremes of “wild desire” and “abstinence.” Immanuel Kant wrote that the critical role of the Arts and Sciences in our societies is to promote Rationality in our dealings with each other; as a result there will be temperance in the physical outcomes. Charles Darwin argued that, in order to create a harmonious set of societal relations, there must be some level of personal restrain of our animal impulses.

XV – The Devil

This card shows a representation of the Devil that is based on an earlier deity called Pan , which represented the natural beauty, lust, playfulness, the pleasures of the flesh. It was such a popular image of the Pagan iconography that the Christian missionaries decided to add the intimidating goat’s horns to scare the faithful away in the Fourth Century, a time in history when the new religion had to compete with older beliefs. When this card appears, we must ask ourselves: what is wrong in our lives? Are we stepping over social rules for our pure enjoyment? Are we harming someone, especially those persons that are closer to us? The Beast has a hypnotic stare that mesmerizes its victims. The two human victims have loose chaining around their necks, which means that they are being manipulated via their greed. The devilish influence is changing their physicality, as they are growing tails. The Beast is doing the Vulcan salute with his right hand and is holding a burning torch in his left one. In Numerology, 15 means Antagonism and the sum of the two numbers gives 6, the symbol of lovers. Even the happiest of couples, have the potential of conflict in their lives.

Upright Devil

This card represents our darkest side, all the negative forces within our spirits. Biddy Tarot said in her magisterial narrative of this card: “You may be at the effect of negative habits, dependencies, behaviors, thought patterns, relationships, and addictions. You have found yourself trapped between the short-term pleasure you receive and the long-term pain you experience.” When this card appears, we must pay attention to some core beliefs that could have been mistaken or outdated under the present circumstances. This card is a powerful beam of light that illuminates a darker side of ourselves. It is a golden opportunity to correct what is truly necessary.

Reversed Devil

When this card appears, it means that, before undertaking a new journey in your life, you must get rid of some excessive ballast that could slow your boat’s progression. It could be a toxic relationship, drug or alcohol abuse, bad career choices, etc. Also it might mean that you have to face adversity and manage your stress and anxiety. Or perhaps you are hiding a terrible secret from your loved ones? Clean your act. Moreover, you should practice the Buddhist technique of detachment to appreciate a better perspective in an old problem or challenge. The time to change is right now.

Note. This reproduction of Caravaggio’s David with the head of Goliath was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Philosophical significance

Ever since the Holocaust, social scientists, social activists, politicians, journalists, media influencers, etc. have been trying to understand why certain human beings commit these unspeakable atrocities on other people. This is more relevant than ever in our times when Ukraine has been invaded by barbaric Russian forces intent on harming thousands of civilians to coerce the defenders into surrender. There are:

  1. Broader concept of Evil: it picks any broad state of affairs, vengeful action, or character flaw. It is divided in turn into natural evil (i.e. a hurricane) and moral evil, which requires the action or default of moral agents.
  2. Narrower concept of Evil: despicable actions in a limited context.

Some evil skeptics have questioned its use due to the following reasons:

  1. It brings an unwanted metaphysical concept that implies the Supernatural.
  2. This concept is useless because it lacks explanatory power.
  3. Could be wrongly used causing harm to innocent people.

We will continue discussing the various implications of the Concept of Evil in an upcoming podcast.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us. Don’t leave me alone.

 

Are face masks still necessary?

“To wear a face mask. Or not to wear it. That is the question.”

On March 29, 2022, Adeel Hassan wrote an article in The New York Times saying that: “The highly contagious Omicron subvariant known as BA.2 , which led to a surge of coronavirus cases in Europe, is now the dominant version of new US. cases…Last week, the World Health Organization reiterated that BA.2 was the dominant version of Omicron around  the world.”

Despite the humongous pressure exerted in Washington, D.C., by the extremely powerful Transportation and Entertainment lobbies, the Center for Diseases Control (CDC) extended the draconian mask mandates for two more weeks until May 3rd. Even though we are tired of all the pandemic restrictions, we understood the logic of that directive for precaution in the face of an unknown threat still brewing out. New coronavirus cases started to uptick lately, with thousands of people becoming infected.  However, the more widespread coverage of the vaccines and the booster shots has markedly limited the hospital admissions and the morbidity; therein lies the danger that the real impact of the BA.2 variant is being under-counted as many patients consider it “a bad flu” and oftentimes ride it out, without even getting a test.

On April 18. 2022, Florida Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the mask mandate in a 59-page decision arguing that the agency had exceeded its legal authority under the Public Health Act of 1944. As soon as her decision was published officials , the Transportation authorities said that they could not enforce the mask provision in airports, bus and train stations, airplanes under the US jurisdiction, etc. We saw in the newscasts how as soon as flight attendants announced the decision over the airplanes’ loudspeakers, which provoked great joy in the cabins, the passengers started to unmask and swing their masks in the air in sigh of defiance.

Do we still need to wear masks for safety precautions? The answer is Yes and No.

Most Public Health experts agree that for fully vaccinated people that are in open spaces like the street, parks, outdoor cafes, etc., there is no need for them at present. However, the tighter the proximity with other human beings becomes, the greater need for wearing a mask to avoid infection. First of all, customers must respect the guidelines set by the businesses they patronize. A sign at the door that demands to wear a mask, must be respected, especially to avoid violent situations with staff. In an indoor space with great ventilation and tall ceilings, the need is relative. However if there are too many people inside and the physical space is limited, it is advisable to wear a mask. How do we asses if there is enough ventilation? Simple. If your nostril receptors can easily catch the various smells originated in human activities, like smoking, then the ventilation is poor indeed. Better to wear a mask then. Similarly even if there is not a Federal Mandate to wear a mask inside a plane at present, who would be foolish enough to risk a business trip or a family vacation? Sadly from the looks of it, there are plenty of people willing to play that Lottery.

The critical issue of demanding schoolchildren to wear masks is much trickier. First of all, children under 5 years rarely become sick of Covid 19, except for some tragic cases. Forcing students to wear masks inside the classrooms can be a self-defeating proposition as the children pull out their masks in the recesses to play together. Moreover, the USA has been somewhat of an outlier in this issue as most modern nations did not oblige Kindergarten and Primary School students to wear them.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter

Dear readers, podcasters and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Happy Easter to all those of you who are religious AND also for those who are not as our Lord Jesus Christ does not differentiate between the two. We are all the same for his eyes. Unfortunately, due to work obligations and the Pandemic and Social Isolation‘s aftermath, we have suffered for the past two years, we cannot have a family reunion with Noël Marie and Gian Luca.

The above picture of us three was taken just a few months ago. We will surely, God Willing, celebrate Easter together next year. It has always been , together with Thanksgiving and Christmas, our favorite holiday.

HAPPY EASTER !!!

FELICES PASCUAS !!!

BUONA PASQUA !!!

JOYEUSES PÂQUES !!!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.