Roots of Terrorism

Eagles of Death Metal were singing at
Bataclan when the terrorists opened fire.
Terrorism did not show its hideous face to the world for the first time in 2001 but that year the impact of terrorism became globalised, like most other things. It started a chain reaction which now threatens Europe more than any other region on Earth mostly because of geographic proximity to the epicenter. The word implies extreme fear as a means to an end. But why would a group / an individual want to instill these negative emotions upon a collective?

The people behind such behavior could range from rational, psychopaths to the irrational, emotional and instinctive individuals. The rational type is not unlike a general giving an order to a group of young soldiers to take part in a battle with little chances to be won. The irrational element has many underlying structures, one of these structures could be religion. In all cases these individuals are not opened to dialogue and consider their actions warranted.

Traditionally, but not always, terrorist attacks target symbols of authority like the Pentagon in 2001, the Reichstag fire in 1933 but also army barracks, police stations or anything related to state authority. Other targets are purely symbolic in nature and meant to either attract attention, give a warning or as revenge. These could be landmarks like the Twin Towers, parts of Palmyra and the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Finally, the most devastating attacks on society are those done in public places like schools, theaters, public transport stations, concert halls, etc. These are not landmarks, are usually unknown to those outside the area, and have no link to any form of state authority. These are sadly the easiest of targets.

The recent events in Paris are an act against humanity, part of a wider range of cases that do include attacks in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria that are not known in Europe or to which Europeans are not emotionally bound. This implies that the emphasis some will try to place on Islam and its role is fundamentally false and risks to intensify a conflict that normally should not exist in a developed society, religious conflict.

The roots of terrorism run deep in time towards antiquity or even beyond. There is a relative consensus that the first terrorist incident was the case of the Sicarii Zealots when in the 1st century CE Jews tried to expel the Romans by attacking them with daggers concealed in their cloaks. A pre-modern fight for independence. But even in Assyrian times the use of fear and terror was a weapon, usually used by the ruling class, as we learn from Gustave LeBon. These are nonetheless only a symptom of the root cause.


Passing Thought: Will of having no will

Through observations I have seen that man, in his most widespread form, is stagnant. This motionless of the heart is tied to his misplaced will or the lack of it altogether (the possibility of this is debatable). Simply put if one does not have a strong will then his actions shall be dictated by other (exterior) factors. Furthermore his spiritual development will be hindered by the fact that he does not have the desire to seek. 

However this "will" question is a far more delicate one. There comes a time when change has no more meaning and man is untied from "will", Schopenhauer has more on this. The fact of the matter is that by taking the oriental approach of minimizing your desires you eliminate frustrations and ultimately achieve happiness. In a way the will of having no will.

Maybe the issue is not in having a will or not having desires but in having a correct direction. How can we correctly assess such a thing? Let's leave it for another passing thought. 


Late Night Post #20 : Universe is calling

     Nothing that man creates will live longer than this universe, a lonely space probe could still fly millions of years after humanity is no longer and seconds before the Big Crunch but after that, nothing, the snake bites it's tail, everything is recycled and reborn with another flash of light. If this is life, then life has death and if we have souls that don't experience death, do they experience life? Maybe souls are beyond life and death created before creation itself, emanating from Eternity. 

    If our true nature is that of a soul, why are we here, is life a punishment, a reward, a transition... or is there nothing beyond this universe and the universe itself is one strange thing that was born and will die like everything within itself... if it was created, it can't be infinite, can it? However, have you witnessed the death of an atom? Maybe we, like the building blocks of matter don't die, but change.... A part of me could probably make it into a sun, somewhere out there, who knows... who cares... it's death anyway you choose to call it. 

     My life is centered around books, the ideas in them to be more precise. Ideas some other dead or dying individuals considered worthy for posterity. In a way we should try to make our life as good and long as possible and be surrounded by the fiction of our minds, yet some of us are not satisfied with this and search for more, like I did.

 Photo: painting by Tim Gustard


Putin and Obama at UNGA 2015

    The political climate was turbulent this year and the forecast isn't going to be sunny. Judging the two speeches wasn't a very complicated task, these are more like statements and in some degrees I felt both leaders tried to gather support, allies maybe. I began with Putin but in this article I will leave him after Obama for reasons you will see.

Barack Hussein Obama II

    The American president's performance (indeed it was somewhat of a show) was something a typical American could relate to. Simplicity enriched with idealism and a hefty does of shallowness. The idea of USA's exceptional role in the world is still strong as a mindset. In order "to prevent a third world war" the United States, after the Second World War "worked with many nations". Presumably also with the United Kingdom that under Churchill created plans to invade the Soviet Union. The US itself had plans to nuke Moskow. Furthermore "they supported the steady emergence of strong democracies accountable to their people instead of any foreign power", wonderful phrase but coming from the mouthpiece of the US is deeply puzzling. This country has a long history of interventions in other countries in order to place political or military leaderships favorable to their interests. In Afghanistan they armed the Taliban, remember? Not to mention South America, Panama maybe?

    The speech goes on with interesting points but then you get to parts like "we see greater polarization (...) movements on the far right (...) calling for the building of walls to keep out immigrants" targeting Hungary but also, funny enough, the US itself, remember Mexico? Another example of dissonance between American speech and actions. Obama recognized Iran as "revolutionary", the third in order after "rising China" and "resurgent Russia". Rising implies evolution, resurgency implies regeneration, reviving after a bad period. Obama makes clear the fact that these three "old enemies, perceived adversaries" are getting stronger while America "cannot by itself impose stability on a foreign land", speeking of Iraq. The general idea is not that Obama says that the US is weak but that the US is searching for allies.

    He mentions "revolutionary" Iran's violation of the NPT while omitting that Israel, despite the fact that it has nukes, is not a member of the NPT and does not allow international inspectors. "America has few economic interests in Ukraine", if it had, we would of known by now however it has many interests in making life hard for Russia. "For 50 years, the United States pursued a Cuba policy that failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people. We changed that." We will see what the Cuban president has to say about that but at least in western media it seems that something changed especially after Ukraine. The US tried to invade Cuba once and to assassinate Castro hundreds of times.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

    Putin's speech had the following main themes: to strengthen the UN by building on the principles on which it was created (disdain from scheming and trickery and a spirit of cooperation) ; state sovereignty ; the Islamic State did not come from nowhere ; he addressed the Muslim spiritual leaders to intervene and counteract Islamic State propaganda; the WTO should be respected and states should refrain from imposing unilateral sanctions; economic selfishness ; climate change.

    Climate change is almost unilaterally acknowledged as a problem. The Russians tried to adopt a different strategy from their American counterparts, they situate themselves somewhere above and don't want to interfere in other countries and they want these countries to know that. They don't care about corruption or human rights, these are internal issues to be addressed by the sovereign country in question, not by a foreign power. Russia doesn't propose to civilize the universe, at least not yet. The Islamic State issue is an almost open attack on the United States of America. This is indeed common sense because in truth ISIS was armed either directly or through third parties by the US to bring down Assad. Similar in concept to how the CIA used Ukrainian far right groups to bring down Yanukovych.

You can read the full transcripts here: Putin ; Obama


From the Past : Karim Khan Zand

Kharim Khan Zand was a "Vakil", a ruler and founder of a short lived dynasty in Iran in the 18th century (1751 - 1794). His rule was not marked by glorious military conquests but by the stability and equilibrium he gave to the state, whose capital was in Shiraz. His time was a transition towards the modernity attributed to the Qajars. 


Nightly Poem #15 : Ideas / Ideile

Banii, anii, viețile și morțile
se duc, se intorc si se-nvârt
ca într-un film halucinant și mut.
Se pierd florile pe câmp,
se prind ideile în gând. 

Money, years, lives and deaths
they come, they go and swirl
like in an old and silent movie.
Flowers are withering in the fields
as ideas in our thoughts take roots.

photo by Alberto Polo Iañez (http://albertopoloianez.deviantart.com/)


Late Night Post #19 : Justice

Emblemata Nova by Andreas Friedrich. Engravings by Jaques de Zettre. Published by Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt, 1617

Arcade Fire - Culture War

     What if you could make right something that is unjust, what if you can, from the beginning, stop the injustice to take place. But... what is injustice? Having your rights trampled on, this is injustice, being cheated, this is unjust. The world as it is revolves around one main thing, the strong trample the rights and the lives of the weak. Considering we are all brothers and sisters this is the ultimate injustice. However not all consider themselves our brothers and so they walk on others like walking on weeds or better said, they themselves are weeds.

   This isn't a complicated issue, true things usually end up being simple, the difficulty lies in positioning yourself correctly in order to see the problem objectively. From the treatment of other nations to the mundane examples of violence among people we, humans, place ourselves on the lowest step of the ladder that leads to the heavens, the step closest to hell. But how can we climb upwards when everyone seem to go down, in waves after waves. Unsurprisingly, this has absolutely no influence.


.: Irving Penn :. photography

I recently discovered Irving Penn while doing research for a Slovak photographer which I will showcase in a future article of the series. Irving was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1917 to a family of Russian Jews. He attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art from 1934 to 1938. He studied under Alexey Brodovitch drawing and painting. In the 1950's he started his own studio in New York and began making advertising photographs. Around the same time he married model Lisa Fonssagrives.

Irving Penn / 16 June 1917 - 7 October 2009
Parents / Herry Pen and Sonia Greenberg
Spouse / Lisa Fonssagrives (1950)
Children / Tom Penn (1952)
School / Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art
           period / 1934- 1938
           professors / Alexey Brodovitch

He is best known for his fashion photographs done for Vogue magazine however he also pursued different themes. For example his interesting series of celebrity portraits or his still life works.

Nadja Auermann

1947 - Salad Ingredients

1947 - Salvador Dali in New York 20 February


Passing Thought : Iran - West deal

When I began my studies of the Persian language back in 2010, motivated by the desire to understand Iranian culture, I unsurprisingly became witness to its present. The artistic treasures I have seen forever enriched my soul while the standoff between the Islamic Republic and the West helped me to better understand the political climate of the world.

Iran and the West are on the verge of paving a very productive road for both sides, something I first suspected last year when the deteriorating relation between Russia and the US made Iran a country courted by most world powers. In the long run things will translate in better living conditions for its people and more exposure in the EU and US, both culturally and economically. On the other hand the West never did like to play fair and probably Iran will renounce part of its sovereignty regarding nuclear research.


Passing Thought : Wozniak and Artificial Intelligence

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, said during a public speech at the Freescale Technology Forum 2015 in Austin, Texas, that robots will keep humans as some sort of pets, not to unbalance the natural ecosystem. What I have found out so far is that he financed an AI company and that he previously referred to this possible future as "our biggest existential threat". The Bilderberg meeting held this year (11-14 June, Telfs-Buchen, Austria) had artificial intelligence as part of the subjects of discussion. What they talked or decided we don't know because this isn't an open and democratic organization. We can, however, see the effects. I don't know if Wozniak was invited or subscribes to the group, just found it intriguing.


aPaD : Luis Ricardo Falero

.: artist : Luis Ricardo Falero :.
.: country : Spain :.
.: title of work : The Moon Nymph :.
.: year : 1883 :.
.: comment : Luis Falero was born in Granada in 1851, he studied art in Paris and then settled in London where he died in 1896 at just 45 years of age. His work is centered around nudes which he uses in different subjects ranging from mythology to orientalism and allegories. :.


Passing Thought : Why militarization?

My question is straightforward, why Risc a nuclear war for Ukraine? Why is America so eagerly wanting to protect a country largely split in two with huge problems with corruption and organized crime and above all, a country that isn't a NATO member? Why this offensive against a formerly "friend", Russia? American propaganda is running wild in Eastern European countries, it seems the US wants to create public support for such beligerant attitudes. Let's hope humanity will prevail and this demonic plan will fail.

aPaD : Megan Duncanson

.: artist : Megan Duncanson :.
.: title : Under the light of the Moon :.

 A Painting a Day


Filler : Giovanni Boldini

.: artist : Giovanni Boldini :.
.: title : Spanish dancer at the Moulin Rouge :.
.: year : 1905 :.


Late Night Post #18 : True to yourself

حسام‌الدین سراج - تصنیف گام زمان

To be truthful to others and remain true to yourself. The way in which we relate to others is deeply rooted in the image we have of ourselves. When I say image I'm not talking about self-esteem, although that's also an important factor, I'm talking about the masks we do not have while watching ourselves in the mirror. This mirror is life, it's God's light reflected upon us and if our faces are covered and the mirrors are dirty that light may not reach us or it may be distorted.


Russian and American symbolism

Most countries are built on myths, almost unanimously accepted as culturally and socially binding. Symbols, apart from myths, play an important role in shaping the perception one has in relation to authority, at least on a theoretical level. In practice not many people pay attention to the symbols around them and the degree in which we process them on the unconscious level can be debated. Symbols are codes and in order to decode these you need the key and depending on your own development and cultural background you may unlock different meanings although rarely contradictory.


Late Night Post #17 : Bad movie

    Last night I was in the mood to watch a new science fiction movie so I prowled the net in search for something. I am eagerly expecting the new Stargate trilogy announced but until then (God knows when that will happen) my appetite needed to be appeased. Found something starring Nicolas Cage but being and admirer I was expecting something at least moderately good.


Milan Expo 2015 : Russia

The pavilion of the Russian Federation has the title "Growing for the world. Cultivating for the future". The concept for the pavilion was created by the leading architectural bureau "Speech" ld by Sergei Choban, Alexei Ilin and Marina Kuznetskaya. The building has an area of 3260 sq.m.
The page of the architectural bureau.


G7 - 2015 - Germany

    This article was written just as Angela Merkel was holding a press conference at the G7. Just now Merkel wished all the success for the Bilderberg meeting, responding to the final question if she will attend the event. Obviously she will not because she is only implementing the decisions taken there.
    This G7 is a charade, a farce paid with our money. When Russia was a member in the G8 it was some sort of containment of the federation, now it's just like a gang meeting with everyone agreeing to agree and taking decisions with far reaching effects.
    The discussions should be televised with civil society taking an active role in questioning the actions and the directions decided by the group. If we are to be truly democratic this is the only way. Obama wants to garner support for his administration's plans regarding Ukraine, he is in absolutely no position to ask for such a thing, it would be, in fact, a lack of respect.

From the Past : Rain gods and spirits

Qu Yuan by Chen Hongshou
     The Chinese have the Yu Shi, the Master of Rain 1 . This spirit is mentioned in the Chuci (songs of Chu) in the poem "Yuan You" traditionally considered to have been written by Qu Yuan. The name means "distant journey". The Chuci collection of texts was composed during the Han period by Liu Xiang and brings together many other authors.
    Of slightly more renown is the Middle Eastern "super"-god Baal who is also mentioned in the Old Testament and in the Quran after which he received attention in various types of books from theological to esoteric to fiction.
    The term "ba'al" is actually semitic and means "lord" or "master", in Akkadian it would be "Belu" and can be applied to various gods and even to humans. In order to be more specific, the actual god of thunderstorms was called by his priests "Hadad" and also received the designation of lord of Heaven. The Cannanites had a Baal-Hadad deity. Somewhere along the way Baal became for Abrahamic religions Beelzebub, "lord of the flies".
    Greek mythology is more straightforward and less cryptic. The Nephelae, beautiful young women, nymphs, bring rain to the Earth and feed the rivers.


Olga Matsaeva

Olga Matsaeva, photographer, Russia, artistic nude

What does the mirror reflect? The truth, one's heart and conscience. It's also a symbol of the manifestation that reflects the Creative Intelligence (of the Universe) also known as God. Angelus Silesius said something that can also be observed in Islamic teachings: "the human heart, a mirror reflecting God". The mirror's main interpretation is thus related to the superior aspects of life, the spiritual and the divine.

The fish is obviously associated with the element water but by itself it's a symbol of life and fertility. Indo-european iconography also links the fish with wisdom.
Olga Matsaeva was born on 7 September 1983 in Moscow. She is interested in different ways of portraying the human body and to be more exact, the interplay between body and spirit. Mirrors play an important role in her artistic vision as she herself declares, they add an aura of mysticism and represent her strong interest of depicting the inner self not only the exterior body.

I urge the young artist to pursue art in this key, the rewards will overcome any obstacle. Another interesting subject would be an interpretation of the maze.


Nightly Poem #14 : Not of this world

I am not of this world
yet I live in the world
for my body and I
are in contrast sometimes.
And through all the twisted
barely walked roads of bliss
I have seen the marvelous secrets.

(photo by ChainsOfFreedom )


2015 May 9th parade

In 2010 the remarkable parade held to commemorate the sacrifices of those who fought to push back Nazi Germany and ultimately to be victorious in the war, encompassing both the joy of the victory and the sorrow of the losses, reunited soldiers from the United States, France, Britain and Poland.

(photo of soldiers marching in WW2 uniforms) 

The 65th anniversary was indeed held in a different kind of political climate, this year many of the former friends have decided to skip this one in an action that resembles a child's behavior. Obama openly restricted the access of world leaders to the parade and the outcome was as expected by US diplomacy, out of 68 heads of state invited only 26 accepted to come.


Nightly Poem #13 : Maybe / Poate

If I want, I'll close my eyes and see my hair go gray
and all will be memories
If I want, I'll clench my fists and close my eyes
and darkness will fall on all,
if life was built like sand on a riverbed.
Yet something else remains,
maybe the most important,
maybe all have been forgotten. 

Dacă vreau îmi închid ochii și-mi văd părul cărunt
și toate vor fi amintiri.
Dacă vreau din pumni strâng și ochii mi-i închid
și toate se vor stinge,
dacă viața s-a construit din aluviuni pe o albie. 
Și totuși rămâne un poate,
poate cel mai important,
că toate au fost uitate. 


Milan Expo 2015 : Feeding the planet, energy for life

     The Milan Expo 2015 opened it's gates on May 1st to millions of expected visitors attracted by the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for life". This Universal Exhibition will bring together around 140 participating countries on an area of about 1.1 million square meters. The event is planned to last till October 31st.

     There are five variations on the theme:
     1. Pavilion Zero where the history of humankind is shown via its relationship with food.
     2. Future food district with explanations on how technology will change food distribution, storage, purchase and consumption. 
     3. Biodiversity park, a garden in which a number of ecosystems are reproduced.
     4. At the Triennale museum an Arts and Foods expo will be hosted that will explore the relationship of food and art through the centuries.
     5. Children's park


Late Night Post #16

Sometimes we follow ourselves too far and seek too many things until we get lost and we forget exactly what was it worth following. Reality or ghosts of our imagination wondering on the empty streets of a sleeping city. What are we following from birth to death, from smiles to tears, from tears to smiles and to some other king of life again. I do not know and so I wander.


Soundtrack of a revolution [Top 10]

     The word revolution today implies many different things for different people. While most are just numb to the idea of having a heart that shouts with a voice just as loud, there are people who for whatever reason seek change. Security agencies which gained an almost unprecedented degree of power in democratic societies know all about it. Why rebel and against what? Most countries on the map today are the product of rebellions and revolutions.

     The songs I am presenting now to you are not arranged in a strict value hierarchy, it would be a difficult job to do such a thing objectively. I instead took a series of factors into consideration like the attitude, the depth of the lyrics, the history of the band/artist regarding such themes, success to the public and overall artistic impression.


[Utopian Dystopia] - The Running Man [1987 / USA]

     After economic collapse, the world finds itself divided. The movie adopts the idea that when the ruling class attains power it will concentrate strictly upon itself.
     Control of the population is not accomplished directly as in "1984" and the world isn't, at a technological level, as different from its own past as it was the case in "Brave New World". Unlike "Equilibrium" in the case of this movie, control is exerted through emotions and it's mainly about entertainment. Everything about the past is censored. This element of censorship, of controlling information, is at the base of all books and movies that address such themes.
     "The Running Man" is mainly about a television show that has the subject of sending a number of inmates through a natural and urban labyrinth where they finally face certain death at one point or another. A series of heroes gained popularity and I'm not talking about the actual competitors, the executioners all have some sort of a superhero aesthetics, each bolstering a particular superpower.


Francois Dufault [French composer 17th century]

Suite in A minor by Francois Dufault

Theodoor Rombouts
The Lute Player, c. 1620
The 17th century was a time of great development in France but also of conflicts and revolts. Cardinal Richelieu, minister of Louis XIII began a series of projects to strengthen France militarily and culturally, the methods he used were not always to most peaceful and pleasant. In December 1642 he died and after five months Louis XIII also died in Paris leaving the country in the hands of minister Cardinal Mazarin and king Louis XIV who continued in the trend set during the first half of the century.

Regarding Francois Dufault not much remained except for twelve lute compositions and a few individual works in manuscripts. His works are written with a lot of harmonic freedom. He was born in Bourges around 1604 and died in England probably in the early 1670's. Dufault was a contemporary of Sebastien Bourdon.An excellent article about this composer can be found here.


Sebastien Bourdon [French Baroque Painter]

Sebastien Bourdon is a French Baroque era painter born in 1616 in Montpelier. His father was a painter on glass and this influenced the young boy to undergo a career in art, being sent at the age of seven to Paris as an apprentice to a painter. At the age of 14 he left his apprenticeship and went to Bordeaux and the to Toulouse. Having a precarious financial situation, to say the least, he enlists in the army where in 1634 an officer recognizing his talent directs Sebastien on the road of his destiny by discharging him from military service and financing his journey to Rome. There he studied works by Poussin, Claude Lorrain and Caravaggio and earned his income by selling reproductions of other works.

In 1637 he returned to Paris and began to have his own commissions, among them St. Peter's martyrdom for Notre-Dame and the Martyrdom of St. Andrew for Church of Saint-André in Chartres. In 1648 he was one of the founders of the French Royal Academy. The next important moment in his biography is the year 1652 when Christina of Sweden made him chief court painter. He continued to execute commissions for the church of Saint-Benoit, for the cathedral of Montpellier, in Cologne and for the Tuileries Palace.


Movie : Tsar/Царь [Rusia : 2009]

The starting point of the movie is the consecration of Philip II as bishop and his enthronement as Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia. Director Pavel Lungin preferred to follow the relationship between two opposing sides, the Saint and the Tsar. Doing so we only witness three years of history with nothing to explain why Ivan the Terrible earned this name.

The situation of the country is not particularly well recreated in the sense that there is not much depth involved excepting the Ivan - Philip development. Other than that, Lungin remained fairly close to historical accounts.

Overall the movie is a masterpiece of Slavic cinematography and I highly recommend you make the time to watch it, the acting is excellent.

Pyotr Mamonov as Ivan the Terrible 

Oleg Yankovskiy as Metropolitanate Philip


Nightly Poem #12 : The Way Home

Photographer unknown
The birth of this poem is at a typical small intersection which can be found in any typical city. I was waiting for the cars to pass in order to continue on my way. It was still daylight, in fact the sunset was behind me casting long shadows. The block of flats was reddish, the smell of pancakes reminded me it was Friday.

The mirage of dreams has conquered us
Chrism, wonder and progress.
Smell of pancakes in the air,
Cars waiting at the traffic light,
It's haste, solitude and bustle
on the street, in the soul and in life.

Mirajul viselor ne-a captivat.
Mir, mirare și progres.
Miros de clătite în aer,
mașini oprite la semafor,
e grabă, pustiu și freamăt
pe stradă, în suflet și-n viață.


Drew Darcy and Emika

Another Duo dedicated to the universal emotion of lust. The hardest to control and the easiest way to descent into the abyss if that is what you wish. The artistic merit of the paintings is overshadowed by the direct subject matter. The music, a soundtrack for the distressed. The whole, a union of feelings. 


Respect the artist, buy the album

Emika was born on 8 January 1986 and her real name is Ame Jolly. She is an English singer of Czech origin who at present resides in Berlin. After an education in classical music she began to be interested in electronic music offering an input of high quality to the genre. The song is from her second album entitled Dva and released in 2013.


Drew Darcy

An artist from the United Kingdom, born in Birmingham, who combines his talent in visual arts with music. Of the two arts I found his paintings to be, at the moment, the most expressive. He has an excellent technical ability regarding the use of light and shadow and the rendering of drapery.



Late Night Post #15 : Silence

Пикник - Две судьбы
What is this silence you're looking for? Is it peace or something else, is it like watching the water flow through time? We are like waves, climbing then breaking apart. Is it of any use to ask why, will the answer guide us or throw us deeper in despair? With wind, our sister and rain, our brother, we will succeed in shaping the world, in silence.


Frederick Catherwood and Maya civilization

Frederick Catherwood (27 February 1799 – 27 September 1854) was an English artist and architect who traveled to Mesoamerica with John Lloyd Stephens and did very detailed drawings of Maya ruins. Izamal is an important Mayan archaeological site situated in Mexico in Yucatan. Copan is situated in Honduras, the place was the capital of an important kingdom between the 5th and 9th centuries.

Colosal Head at Izamal
Idol at Copan
Back of an idol at Copan


Nightly Poem #11 : Density

Mystic Skyscraper | 7466 by Droo7
Everything goes through the heart, at least this is the case if the heart is opened to divine guidance in order to reflect a wisdom we can't look at directly.

We explore our destinies in slumber,
in all other densities but one.
On the sides of our lives
higher levels of thought are waiting.
And if not with our mind should we understand
we will surely discover that if lived by the heart
we will surely conquer this land.

Passing Thought: Citizens and Politics

Questioning authority is not a right in a democratic society but a duty. Without such an element, a democracy would be short lived. The only power the citizen has even in the most powerful and stable of democracies is in numbers and indirectly through elected officials. The one thing which can eclipse these relationships is security. The average citizen does not have the tools to control a professional intelligence service, neither directly nor through elected officials. A target, a suspect himself, the citizen may find his duty questioned and his vote canceled if for whatever the reason, security is invoked.


To the Youth in Europe and North America

Ali Khamenei is a Shia cleric and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in this role he acts on all religious and spiritual issues of his country being, in fact, somewhat of a guiding figure. Below I have reproduced for you, my readers, his message to the youth of Europe and North America taken directly from his official site. I obviously recommend to go through this short text because it can be a mind opener if you, by mistake, have fallen into the bottomless pit of hatred towards Islam.

Compared to our technological achievements, I feel we live in a very superficial era, mainly when it comes to the understanding and reaction of the masses to important events and profound ideas. Frankly speaking, most minds are swayed as the tide of ignorant journalism dictates public opinion. It all comes down to improper education and knowledge of the world and inadequate processing of information because of the lack of a robust framework and moral guidelines.

In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful

To the Youth in Europe and North America,

The recent events in France and similar ones in some other Western countries have convinced me to directly talk to you about them. I am addressing you, [the youth], not because I overlook your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.

I don’t address your politicians and statesmen either in this writing because I believe that they have consciously separated the route of politics from the path of righteousness and truth.

I would like to talk to you about Islam, particularly the image that is presented to you as Islam. Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy. The provocation of a feeling of horror and hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the political history of the West.

Here, I don’t want to deal with the different phobias with which the Western nations have thus far been indoctrinated. A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured in new historiographies.

The histories of the United States and Europe are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars. This approach is admirable.

By mentioning a fraction of this long list, I don’t want to reproach history; rather I would like you to ask your intellectuals as to why the public conscience in the West awakens and comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems? Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?

You know well that humiliation and spreading hatred and illusionary fear of the “other” have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers. Now, I would like you to ask yourself why the old policy of spreading “phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity. Why does the power structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and remain latent? What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of distorting the image of Islam? Hence, my first request is: Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam.

My second request is that in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from.

I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Don’t allow

this dynamic and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.

Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims. Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?

Have you ever asked yourself how and on the basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries?

I would like you not to allow the derogatory and offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and the reality, taking away the possibility of an impartial judgment from you. Today, the communication media have removed the geographical borders. Hence, don’t allow them to besiege you within fabricated and mental borders.

Although no one can individually fill the created gaps, each one of you can construct a bridge of thought and fairness over the gaps to illuminate yourself and your surrounding environment. While this preplanned challenge between Islam and you, the youth, is undesirable, it can raise new questions in your curious and inquiring minds. Attempts to find answers to these questions will provide you with an appropriate opportunity to discover new truths.

Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to gain proper, correct and unbiased understanding of Islam so that hopefully, due to your sense of responsibility toward the truth, future generations would write the history of this current interaction between Islam and the West with a clearer conscience and lesser resentment.



Daniel Mullen

I will start this new section entitled "Contemporary" with a Scottish artist named Daniel Mullen. At present he is settled in the Netherlands but prior to this he followed the courses of Rudolf Steiner School in Edinburgh from 1995 till 2003. Between 2006 and 2011 he completed his education by joining the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.

"I make images that deal with space as potential while questioning how this can be represented."

What I find noteworthy in his works, beyond their aesthetic appeal, is that I see them as logical representations of a geometric world. There is little room for the organic and unstable. Personally I look at the paintings and try to piece the images together because I see something very familiar in them.

2012 - The Architect - oil on raw canvas

2013 - Rendering the fundamentals - oil on canvas