I can’t remember where I heard the story; but a gentleman invited all his friends to a Farewell Party. As I recall, he was a friendly enough chap with a houseboat on the Thames. That probably means up near Chiswick or beyond – although I’m no expert on houseboats or, come to that, the river Thames. Never mind, he had a houseboat and having sent out all the invitations by word or on paper, he bought in the nibbles and the wine, sorted out the record player and selected all the best dance music that he had.
It would be the best party he’d ever give in his life.
This trend was not a marker of intelligence: The researchers looked at each student’s ACT score (1) and found that among students with the same ACT score, the more attractive ones did significantly better in class.
They also found that male professors were more likely than female professors to give higher grades to pretty women.
Here’s the kicker: When these same students took online courses, the deviation disappeared completely.
Most professors are men. If you don’t believe me, just nip over to Linkedin and do a quick search. You’ll discover that most of them are. This doesn’t mean that women aren’t intelligent, humans are human after all. What it does mean is that humans – men and women – are partial when it comes to the truth. They want their version of the truth and that’s an end of the matter.
I’ve had a bad back, some call it lumbago, I call it pain. It was the worst I’ve had in years, it hurt like hell: I couldn’t walk two metres without yelling out loud in pain.
And yes, it is largely my own fault. I should have been eating more greens; kale three times every two weeks isn’t enough. Not that there’s much more by way of green-ness on my veg patch right now. There’s a little spinach and chard, there’s the winter postelein. This is mid-winter and these are the mid winter blues. Not helped by things growing so slowly that I only get five meals a month. Meals? No, portions! Parts of a meal.
It was during an email conversation that someone mentioned the following:
“We’ve talked for nearly a year now, and your habitual symptoms are still quite evident. Is it a mental disorder, because I’ve had a lot of experience with that? Bipolar, Asperger’s, you give definite evidence of being the “force of nature” you’d like to present.”
There are several things to note in the manner in which he writes. Firstly he uses a question mark at the end of his second sentence. Normal people are not in the habit of questioning their own statements, thus the subsequent clause will have been added without sufficient awareness. That is to say, he did it unknowingly, unconsciously.
It’s an iconic image, one that is displayed on one of the most famous album cover of all time to coffee mugs to, well, just about anything. It’s the image of a ray of white light being directed through a prism with the result that we can see the spectrum. A rainbow by any other name.
From our science lessons at school and with reminders just about everywhere, there’s little escape from the truth that Newton demonstrated. Today’s post is going to look at Newton’s spectrum from a slightly different angle, one that impinges on the whole of accepted science. Because I don’t want to look at the spectrum itself, but why scientists accept it as the truth in the face of Goethe’s scientific revelations.
In a rather bitty dialogue on an anthroposophical blog, a gentleman spoke of my style of conversation:
“Your style of conversation is to throw the words of the conversant right back in their face, and try to humiliate them. Why do that when conversation is so important between equals?”
What I want to look at in this rather abstract post – as several of mine have been in the last weeks – is the nature of humiliation. What it is, and what it signifies. Because if there is one thing that humiliation does not signify, it is self-assurance.
If I am lucky, it happens once a week; not always, but more often than not. Oh, what is it, you say? Well, I meet someone who says something like “well, I listen sometimes.” Or perhaps they say, “I do a little.”
My friend Hendrik – and for all the dissonance in our relationship, we are good friends – likes giving presents. But there’s a problem: he doesn’t like receiving them. Christmas in this respect, is a particularly painful time for him because many of his customers offer their regards by way of a present. This means he’s on the phone trying to find someone to give it to.
Thus, on occasion, I find myself being given things that his university offloaded on him – well, they were thought of as presents, usually bottles of wine, but then he doesn’t drink. Having worked at the university for twenty and more years, you might imagine that the message had gotten through by now, but no. Irrespective of the fact that they had been told for the first ten years of his tenure. Bottles of wine are given to all, irrespective of whether they like wine – or even want it.
This was written as a Christmas gift for a friend in the United States who is a highly respected businessman, yet has the inner confidence to drive a secondhand Toyota. He’s a real businessman, who knows what value is, and literally knows how much every cent earns him. Nor is he worried how others perceive him. When I’ve spoken of practical threefolding, I have used his business principles as examples on no few occasions.
With especial thanks to my friend who dug this out of the depths of the Anthroposophical Group on Facebook.
I was chatting with a friend the other day, and he mentioned something to do with thinking. Well, it’s not hard, there are few conversations which I engage in that do not touch the nature of thinking from one direction or other. It reminded me that Rudolf Steiner had spoken of thinking as a flowering in man, that is to say, humankind.