07 June, 2011
Having seen the Needle in London I read what it had to say. Seemingly it was given to the British Government in 1819 but wasn't transported to England until 1878. Then I remembered, 'by coincidence', I also had a book of The Penny Illustrated newspaper covering the whole year of ... 1878!
I'm interested in ancient monuments and Cleopatra's Needle, as it is usually known, dates back about 3500 years - so you don't get too much stuff older than that.
There is actually a pair of these obelisks, the other now being in Central Park, New York. These were believed to have been initially set up by Thothmes III (1515-1461 BC) who was named as one of the greatest rulers of ancient Egypt.
The obelisks stood before the great temple of Ra, the Sun God, at Heliopolis, near Cairo. After the death of Cleopatra they were moved to Alexandria, possibly in accordance with her previously expressed wishes.
From The Penny Illustrated I found out that the delay of transporting the Needle to England was simply cost - the British Government wouldn't cough up the money required. How it eventually arrived in London is explained in the paper:
"... Mr. John Dixon, a 'cute contractor, happened to remark at a dinner party that Cleopatra's Needle could be brought to the Thames (in London) for £10,000 (a lot of money in 1878).
'Done', said Dr. Erasmus Wilson, who guaranteed the £10,000 to Mr. Dixon for the safe shipment of the Needle to England. The public is therefore greatly indebted to both these gentlemen for their generous personal sacrifices in the task of bringing home an object of historic and artistic interest, which was already the property of the British Government ..."
The voyage, however, wasn't all plain sailing. The ship they used was called Cleopatra - well I suppose it would have to be. It was to be towed by a steamer, Olga. Below is an illustration of Cleopatra taken from The Penny Illustrated - no photos in papers back then.
From the Penny Illustrated:
"The crew of the unique ship Cleopatra consisted of eight men and Captain Henry Carter; and she left Alexandria, in tow of the Olga, on Sept. 21, 1877. Safely through the Mediterranean did the Olga tow the Cleopatra; but a gale in the Bay of Biscay, on Sunday, October 14, placed the Cleopatra in such jeopardy that a boat's crew from Olga went to her assistance, and six men were unfortunately drowned.
The little ship was thrown on her side, and, after an anxious night for the men in a perilous position, the Olga next morning took the crew on board, and left the Cleopatra to the tender mercies of any passing mariner.
The steamer Fitzmaurice, bound for Valencia, fell in with the derelict, and towed her into the harbour at Ferrol, whence (duly made sea-fit by Captain Carter and a picked English crew) the Cleopatra started for England, in tow of the Channel steam-tug Anglia, on Tuesday morning, Jan 15.
The Anglia was equal to the occasion. She steamed past Margate at half past four on Sunday afternoon with the 'cylinder ship' in tow, 'all well;' and on Monday reached the haven already mentioned (East India Dock)."
I wonder if the Needle was difficult to transport because it was meant to remain in Egypt, which is surely it's rightful home. Queen Victoria, however, sent them a telegram stating: The Queen is much gratified at hearing of the safe arrival of the Needle'.
The dimensions of Cleopatra's Needle are quoted as being 68ft and 6inches tall and 7ft and 10 inches wide at the base. It is believed that the pyramid shape at the top was once covered with gold.
The Penny Illustrated also, in a later edition of 1878, published a facsimile of the symbols on the Needle - as below. It's not all that clear here but the paper's pages were much larger.
The London Cleopatra's Needle is on the Victoria Embankment of the River Thames, near the Golden Jubilee Bridges.
When the Needle was first erected in 1878 a 'time capsule' was hidden in the front part of the pedestal. This included such things as a box of cigars, tobacco pipes, children's toys, a bronze model of the monument, copies of the Bible in several languages, a set of British coins. 12 photographs of the best looking women of that time plus other bits and pieces.
So that's the tale of London's Cleopatra's Needle.
06 June, 2011
I killed an earwig and a woodlice today. I didn't mean to, but I was painting our garden fence and somehow I painted over them without realising.
"So what," you might say.
Well, I try never to kill or hurt anything - it's one of the reasons I'm a vegetarian. I've even been known to ask ants, who have decided to make a home in my lawn, to 'please move away.' The strange thing is, they often do!
I promise the ants I will put out some sugar out for them on the other side of the road, where there is a river and a small wood. And off they trot ... actually, I have no idea if they really like sugar but they seem to all disappear somewhere, perhaps not exactly trotting - but their mode of movement isn't really my concern.
I've written previously about the theory that mankind creates the likes of cockroaches, bugs and so on with our thoughts. Our not very nice thoughts that is.
Richard Ingalese, in his book The History and Power of Mind from 1904, reckons such creatures are created by our 'licentious, obscene thoughts.' So obviously I don't create these myself, okay maybe a few at odd times.
Ingalese writes, "... these miserable creatures born of man's lower mind cannot use atoms of higher rate vibration for their bodies, but must use those atoms which they vibrate harmoniously with. They gather up diseased atoms, dirty atoms, those atoms which can no longer be used by men or beasts, and through forms composed of these, express themselves upon the material plane. And thus man creates the destructive things of earth which rage war against him ..."
I suppose this indicates how careful we have to be with the thoughts we allow ourselves to dwell on.
Oh, and if bugs, cockroaches and the likes are created by our 'dirty' or low grade thoughts does this mean it is, in fact, okay to destroy them? Or is all life sacred?
05 June, 2011
Twenty proverbs and sayings from Zen to ponder:
(1) Zen is selling water by the river.
(2) There's no meaning to a flower unless it blooms.
(3) If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.
(4) Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.
(5) Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.
(6) To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
(7) If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
(8) The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
(9) We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
(10) Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink.
(11) When you get there, there isn't any there there.
(12) Life is the only thing worth living for.
(13) When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing.
(14) Though the bamboo forest is dense, water flows through it freely.
(15) The ways to the One are as many as the lives of men.
(16) The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
(17) The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
(18) Water which is too pure has no fish.
(19) Nothing is exactly as it seems, nor is it otherwise.
(20) If you're attached to anything, you surely will go far astray.
04 June, 2011
A coincidence story today from a 67 Not Out reader who wishes to remain anonymous:
"I am now in touch with a man I knew as a small child. We hadn't been in contact for over twenty years until about six or seven months ago when we met up almost by accident. We live about 400 miles apart but we are now always e-mailing each other and keeping in contact.
At the beginning of the year his sister-in-law got married and he told me about a poem she had read out at the ceremony to her new husband. My friend told me how lovely and emotional the poem was but he hadn't, at the time, been able to ask his sister-in-law what it was called or who wrote it.
A couple of days later I was in a book shop and started looking at the poetry books and decided to buy him one.
I e-mailed him to tell him I was putting the book in the post. I picked out one of the poems, which I thought he might like, and included this as an attachment to the e-mail. A kind of taster of what the book was like.
The poem I e-mailed him was the exact one that his sister-in-law had read out at her wedding!
I still can't quite believe it. To think that out of nearly 400 poems in the book, and all of the books in the shop, I selected this particular poem.
I feel very close to the friend concerned. I must be much closer than I think as the poem I chose was about how I feel about him, but I haven't told him this."
If you have a coincidence story that you would like published on 67 Not Out please use the contact button at the top of the blog. Thanks, Mike.
03 June, 2011
Memory is a funny old thing, sometimes it doesn't seem to work as well as at other times. Or maybe that's just me! But I bet we all have times when we can't remember the name of a childhood friend or what we were doing on a specific date. And other things like that.
The answer is to plug into our Memory Search Engine (MSE).
The MSE isn't usually as quick as Google - though it can become so - but there is a process I was taught many years ago that usually brings the required result. It's actually very similar to creating things with visualisation. There are four steps:
(1a) Put in mind as clearly as you can, for just an instant, what it is you want to know or remember - even if you have only a fragment of a clue. There's no need to put it into words; a vivid picture with it's related feeling is best.
(1b) Want it intently for that same instant. It may take a bit of practice at first to get steps a and b to coincide at the same instant.
(2) Then dismiss it, cut it off, wipe it out. You have to completely let go.
(3) For an instant (and some find this the hardest bit) leave your mind blank. Put it in neutral gear, so to speak.
(4) Do not go back over it, but go on with whatever you were doing, or the conversation you were having. You have done all that is required. The end result is as good as done, so leave well alone. Whatever you have ordered will be delivered to your conscious mind - maybe in that neutral gear (step 3) if you practice the formula.
When the answer pops into your head it wasn't a train of association that brought it to you, it was the memory's search engine.
Sometimes this practice can also be successful with things you never knew: a word you need for a puzzle, where you lost something and so on.
It can be harder to use this method for urgent things. The simple reason being that it is more difficult to dismiss them and go into neutral (steps 2 and 3) and to move on to something else (step 4). With urgent things, or when we are under pressure we tend to keep chewing over the question or problem instead of letting go.
Practice makes perfect, relax, let go.
The MSE can be a very useful tool to cultivate. Play about with it and see what happens.
02 June, 2011
I got to hear about it for the first time because the BBC video, as below, was recommended to me. It impressed me and, though there seem to be skeptics about Pam's NDE, it all seems genuine to me.
Everything is explained within the video so there isn't much for me to add. But the film was made by the BBC (UK's major public television network) and features staff (doctors and nurses of unimpeachable credentials) involved in the medical operation that led to the NDE.
Pam was dead for a while, all of the instruments had no output. Her body was completely shut down, as was her brain. Somehow though she was able to describe what happened after she had left her body. It wasn't simply leaving her body though as she went on to experience a full NDE. She describes this ...
"There was a sensation like being pulled, but not against your will. I was going on my own accord because I wanted to go. I have different metaphors to try to explain this. It was like the Wizard of Oz - being taken up in a tornado vortex, only you're not spinning around like you've got vertigo. You're very focused and you have a place to go ...
At some point very early in the tunnel vortex I became aware of my grandmother calling me. But I didn't hear her call me with my ears ... It was a clearer hearing than with my ears.
The feeling was that she wanted me to come to her, so I continued with no fear down the shaft. It's a dark shaft that I went through, and at the very end there was this very little tiny pinpoint of light that kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
The light was incredibly bright, like sitting in the middle of a light bulb. It was so bright that I put my hands in front of my face fully expecting to see them and I could not. But I knew they were there. Not from a sense of touch. Again, it's terribly hard to explain, but I knew they were there ...
Okay, here's the video, see what you think. It's about 10 minutes duration.
Sadly Pam Reynolds died for a second time on May 22, 2010 following heart failure in Atlanta.
More NDE Posts:
Captain David Perry And His Near Death Experience
Black Elk On Peace And At The Door Of Death
Near Death Experience Changes Woman's Life