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Without community, you cannot be yourself. The community is where we draw strength needed to effect changes inside of us. Community is formed each time more than one person meets for a purpose. Development of community depends on what the people involved consent to. What one acknowledges in the formation of the community is the possibility of doing together what is impossible to do alone. This acknowledgement is also an objection against the isolation of individuals and individualism by a society in service of the Machine. What we want to do is create community that meets the intrinsic needs of every individual...

A true community does not need a police force. The very presence of a law enforcement system in a community is an indication that something is not working. And the presence of the police is supposed to make it work. Such a force is essentially repressive, which means that certain people in such a dysfunctional community do not know how to fit in. A community is a place where there is consensus, not where there is a crooked-looking onlooker with a gun, creating an atmosphere of unrest.

--Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community, Penguin Compass / Swan River & Company, 1993. 

 

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Candidia Maria Smith-Foster, an eleven-year-old girl, is unaware that she's a Homo post hominem, mankind's next evolutionary step.

With international relations rapidly deteriorating, Candy's father, publicly a small-town pathologist but secretly a government biowarfare expert, is called to Washington. Candy remains at home.

The following day a worldwide attack, featuring a bionuclear plague, wipes out virtually all of humanity (i.e., Homo sapiens). With her pet bird Terry, she survives the attack in the shelter beneath their house. Emerging three months later, she learns of her genetic heritage and sets off to search for others of her kind

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  • 1 month later...

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... (What) is required for the maintenance and growth of a community is not corporate altruism or a government program, but a villagelike atmosphere that allows people to drop their masks. A sense of community grows where behavior is based on trust and where no one has to hide anything. There are certain human powers that cannot be unleashed without such a supportive atmosphere, powers such as the one that enables us to believe in ancestors and to believe in our ability to unlock potentials in ourselves and others far beyond what is commonly known. When an individual feels connected to an entire community, this connection can extend far beyond the living world. This suggests that a healthy connection with one another will spill over into a connection with the ancestors and with nature. Similarly, the struggle to connect in this world will extend itself to the Other World.
(Ibid.)

 

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Why read this--
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when instead you can read this:
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The most interesting addition to knowledge provided by the new source is the continuation of the description of the Cedar Forest, one of the very few episodes in Babylonian narrative poetry when attention is paid to landscape. The cedars drip their aromatic sap in cascades (ll. 12–16), a trope that gains power from cedar incense’s position in Babylonia as a rare luxury imported from afar. The abundance of exotic and costly materials in fabulous lands is a common literary motif. Perhaps more surprising is the revelation that the Cedar Forest was, in the Babylonian literary imagination, a dense jungle inhabited by exotic and noisy fauna (17–26). The chatter of monkeys, chorus of cicada, and squawking of many kinds of birds formed a symphony (or cacophony) that daily entertained the forest’s guardian, Ḫumbaba. The passage gives a context for the simile “like musicians” that occurs in very broken context in the Hittite version’s description of Gilgameš and Enkidu’s arrival at the Cedar Forest. Ḫumbaba’s jungle orchestra evokes those images found in ancient Near Eastern art, of animals playing musical instruments. Ḫumbaba emerges not as a barbarian ogre and but as a foreign ruler entertained with music at court in the manner of Babylonian kings, but music of a more exotic kind, played by a band of equally exotic musicians.

The aftermath of the heroes’ slaying of Ḫumbaba is now better preserved (300–308). The previously available text made it clear that Gilgameš and Enkidu knew, even before they killed Ḫumbaba, that what they were doing would anger the cosmic forces that governed the world, chiefly the god Enlil. Their reaction after the event is now tinged with a hint of guilty conscience, when Enkidu remarks ruefully that [ana] tušār ništakan qišta, “we have reduced the forest [to] a wasteland” (303)… This newly recovered speech of Enkidu adds to the impression that, to the poets’ minds, the destruction of Ḫumbaba and his trees was morally wrong.

(from BACK TO THE CEDAR FOREST: THE BEGINNING AND END OF TABLET V, F. N. H. Al-Rawi and A. R. George (SOAS, University of London))

(from https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtefactPorn/comments/om9bgr/a_new_chapter_of_the_epic_of_gilgamesh_is/)

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I'm reading a book called Viva La Reanimation it's about an emergency doctor and the crazy, tragic, funny and weird situations he gets into when he's called.

I love reading books like that, especially about emergency services, fire fighters, police officers and coroners. I've also just finished a book by Henry Marsh called Do No Harm which is about his life and his patients. He's a neuro surgeon.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I am on Austen binge, it's the third book in a row, and I started watching that 1995 TV series based on Pride and Prejudice too... I might be having a slight problem. 

Edited by Littoralis
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I'm currently reading The Last Graduate, the second book in the two-book "Scholomance" series by Naomi Novik. The first one, A Deadly Education, pulled me in from the first page.

The story is about a school for wizards. But Hogwarts was never like this. Attendance is mandatory (unless you want to be hunted down and killed as a rogue mage). The school is basically a prison. You go in, and try to survive for four years. If you make it, on graduation day you, along with your entire graduating class, have to run a gantlet of hungry monsters, who know just when and where you are coming. The survival rate is not high and to succeed, students must become intensely paranoid and on the alert at all times.

The reason I'm posting this now, in this neglected thread, is because a line early in The Last Graduate reminded me of @Madelaine McMasters: "I wasn't used to anyone inquiring after me, or for that matter even noticing when I'm upset. Unless I'm sufficiently upset that I start conveying the impression that I'm about to set everyone around me on fire, which does in fact happen on a not infrequent basis."

Except, of course, Maddy doesn't need to be upset to commit pyrocide. Also, I believe Our Heroine is here saying she becomes very upset frequently, not that she actually sets people on fire frequently. After all, she didn't do it at all in the first book.

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Starting a new book that looks interesting:  Being And Vibration

"All existence is vibration. From human breath and heartbeat to the pulsating energies of subatomic particles, to the expansion and contraction of stars and the universe itself, pulsation-vibration is inherent in all that exists. Rael shows how we may experience spiritual reality by accessing vibration through drumming, chanting, and vision quests".

 

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28 minutes ago, Janet Voxel said:

Trying to read this with my hubby before the movie comes out, he's not a big sci-fi novel fan. Yet, he binge reads things....so, we'll see how this turns out.

Frank Herbert's Epic Dune Series | Kirkus Reviews

 

If you both have read it and enjoyed, I'm happy to refer you to this for viewing :

 

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On 7/20/2021 at 1:16 AM, Coffee Pancake said:

I just stumbled across your post and, daunted by the heft of the decision, went looking for something more condensed and perhaps current.

I found and read this...

https://www.canlii.org/en/commentary/doc/2019CanLIIDocs2094#!fragment/zoupio-_Tocpdf_bk_12/BQCwhgziBcwMYgK4DsDWszIQewE4BUBTADwBdoAvbRABwEtsBaAfX2zhoBMAzZgI1TMAjACYAlABpk2UoQgBFRIVwBPaAHJ1EiITC4Ei5Ws3bd+kAGU8pAEJqASgFEAMo4BqAQQByAYUcTSMD5oUnYxMSA

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
Moved a comma.
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29 minutes ago, SynesthetiQ said:

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A really interesting and thought provoking read.

The first entry in Amazon's Editorial Reviews for that book is from Daniel Kahneman. I've put it on my reading list, right after the upcoming "Being You" by Anil Seth, which was recommended to me by @Innula Zenovka.

It's hard enough to find time for SL as it is. Stop this, all of you!

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Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia

Pankaj Mishra

This is a very useful book to get all the great anti-Western historical figures in one book.

It starts with the premise that the world changed dramatically and all kinds of freedom fighters were emboldened when Japan defeated Russia -- but then it takes Russia, a Eurasian power, as part of the "West" and doesn't adequately explain it, except it does make for a tidy theory.

Of course it's very ideological, and the author is all anti-colonialist and anti-Western -- for good reason -- but then when he gets to the part on Japanese imperialism and their wars in which 24 million people were killed, his ideology sort of falters. He explains where and how all these terrible communists like Mao Zedong were created but then the book stops before we see *their* mass crimes against humanity, so I guess we will have to await another book to answer the question: is Western civilization in fact responsible for communism?

Travels in Central Asia by Arminius Vambery

This is fascinating but since it's an old book they printed it out with microscopic print that really can't be read so I will have to get one of those page magnifiers.

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Edited by Prokofy Neva
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22 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

The first entry in Amazon's Editorial Reviews for that book is from Daniel Kahneman. I've put it on my reading list, right after the upcoming "Being You" by Anil Seth, which was recommended to me by @Innula Zenovka.

It's hard enough to find time for SL as it is. Stop this, all of you!

The Anil Seth book (about neurology, consciousness and perception) is absolutely fascinating.    It's about neurology and perception, and what exactly has to happen in between particular electro-chemical reactions being stimulated when particular cells in the eye are exposed to light at different wavelengths and me "seeing" whatever it might be, fitting it into an appropriate interpretative context, and taking appropriate actions.   

In a completely different vein (or maybe not), I've just finished The Bear and the Nightingale, a delightful first part of a trilogy, and am halfway through the second volume, The Girl in the Tower.

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25489134-the-bear-and-the-nightingale?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=2EaYyqwmQX&rank=1

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34050917-the-girl-in-the-tower

(I'd advise reading them in order -- the second book catches you up on the first as the story unfolds but I think reading them in order is the way to go).  

These are fantasies based in medieval Russia, when Moscow pays tribute to the Tartars and, though displaced from the cities and towns by the ubiquitous churches,  the traditional beings and forces from pre-Christian Russia still hold sway in the forests. 

There's also a kickass teenage heroine.    

 

Edited by Innula Zenovka
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On 9/29/2021 at 11:17 AM, Janet Voxel said:

Trying to read this with my hubby before the movie comes out, he's not a big sci-fi novel fan. Yet, he binge reads things....so, we'll see how this turns out.

Frank Herbert's Epic Dune Series | Kirkus Reviews

 

I just got the Dune book in the mail today, per your recommendation...so it better be good!  😉

I look forward to the new movie version due out Oct 22, but if I remember right the first movie in '84 was not so good according to reviews and so possibly turned me off to it...

Edited by Luna Bliss
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