Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Two ways of seeing the world: Mythos and Logos

Mythos and Logos
Posted on April 14, 2013
by Reg Harris

Two ways of seeing the world
by Reg Harris

This article is excerpted and adapted from The eternal circle: A hermeneutic model of the hero's journey (2004) by Reg Harris. Reproduction in any form, in part or in whole, without the written permission of the author is prohibited.

For permission to use, please contact Reg Harris.

Life in a polar world

Our lives are filled with polar systems: good and bad, right and wrong, rich and poor, light and dark, conservative and liberal, being and nonbeing. Maintaining our mental health often rests on how well we can reconcile these poles and find a middle ground from which to live and function in our world. Many a hero's journey begins because someone's life has swung out of balance and is dominated by one pole, which forces him or her to disown or disavow its complimentary, balancing opposite. The tension created by this conflict triggers a journey toward reconciliation and growth.

In Eastern philosophy, the Yin-Yang symbol represents the interrelated, mutually-defining nature of poles.

Mythologies are replete with tales which illustrate polar conflicts. These myths usually involve two relatives or siblings: Gaea and Uranus (Greek), Apollo and Dionysus (Greek), Shiva and Shakti (Hindu), Cain and Abel (Judeo-Christian), Monster Slayer and Born for Water (Navajo), and Ahriman and Orhmazd (good and evil Persian twin gods). While these myths may be set in different times and different cultures, the theme they present is always the same: balance in life is necessary, and that the two poles, while apparently in opposition, are really an expression of one reality. Polar myths are fascinating and fun, but in this post I want to turn to a more abstract expression of this theme: mythos and logos.

Mythos and logos are, essentially, two ways of experiencing and understanding the world. Mythos is holistic, artistic, evaluative and intuitive. Logos is analytical, scientific, intellectual and practical. In mythos, life unfolds in a web of relationships, where ambiguity and relativity are normal. In logos, life progresses through cause and effect, where certainty and the absolute are the norms. Mythos seeks to reveal meaning; logos seeks to expand knowledge.

The need to reconcile poles

Both modes of understanding are essential in our lives.We don't–and can't–do away with one pole or the other because they define each other, like yin and yang, and because the tension/cooperation between them animates life. As psychologist Carl Jung wrote several decades ago, "Just as all energy proceeds from opposition, so the psyche too possesses its inner polarity, this being the indispensable prerequisite for its aliveness" (1963, p. 346). Thus, to cling to one at the expense of the other not only distorts our view of ourselves and our world, but eventually leads to stagnation and illness.

Like all polarities, mythos and logos are just two faces of one reality, and we must be able to hold and balance both to maintain our well being. Writing about religious fundamentalism, Helen Freeman made this point clearly: “Both mythos and logos were essential and inextricably linked. Meaning without practical grounding becomes abstract and unlivable. Practicalities without a core of meaning become disorientated and grindingly mundane” (2002, p. 31).

Dragons often symbolized the transcendent because they combined the body of the serpent (symbol of the earth and time) with the wings of the eagle (symbol of the sun and eternity).

Logos is science, the language of our rational brain. It expresses life rationally and objectively through observation. Logos dominates our modern culture to the point of diminishing our experience of being human. We see evidence of this in our obsession with technology, the standardization of education, the destruction of the environment in the name of progress or capitalism, and our compulsive consumption, to name just a few examples.

Mythos (myth) on the other hand, refers to the essence of our experience: the meaning and significance of life. In The cry for myth, existential psychologist Rollo May wrote that in myth, “the whole person speaks to us, not just to our brain” (May, 1991, p. 26). Myth explores elements in the human experience that are timeless and constant. More importantly, because it can contain emotion and meaning, which logos cannot, mythos—in its forms of myth, narrative, and story—is our framework for organizing experience and maintaining a sense of self. As Brian Polkinghorne explains,

…we achieve our personal identities and self concept through the use of the narrative configuration, and make our existence into a whole by understanding it as an expression of a single unfolding and developing story. We are in the middle of our stories and cannot be sure how they will end; we are constantly having to revise the plot as new events are added to our lives. Self, then, is not a static thing nor a substance, but a configuring of personal events into a historical unity which includes not only what one has been but also anticipations of what one will be. (1988, p. 150)

The Tao, the source beyond duality. It can be felt but not conceived, intuited but not categorized, divined but not explained (Chuang-tzu). 

Mythos, truth and meaning

Myth, narrative, and story (mythos) are our tools for ordering experience and giving it meaning. They have this power because the narrative, poetic or mystical perspective can accommodate relationships, emotions and meaning that are destroyed by the analysis and factual description of logos. This is, in part, why Vietnam War writer Tim O’Brien wrote, “story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth” (1998, p. 203), and why historian and philosopher A. K. Coomaraswamy believed that “myth embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words” (1943, p. 33).

Mythic thought is also the process by which we resolve psychological conflicts and keep our souls alive (May, 1991). It does this by carrying us through the process of acknowledging, understanding and resolving the contradictions in our lives. Through myth, we can step outside the perspective of our own struggling narrative and, through that expanded perspective, build a new meaning for our own story, a meaning that can contain poles not as conflicting opposities, but as two ways of understanding one whole.

As part of this mythic process, our psyches create unifying symbols, often expressed in myth, that help us reconcile the polar elements within us, guiding us toward harmony and wholeness (Feinstein & Krippner, 1997). As philosopher Alan Watts wrote (1963),

“…the language of myth and poetry is integrative, for the language of the image is organic language. Thus it expresses a point of view in which the dark side of things has its place, or rather, in which the light and the dark are transcended through being seen in terms of a dynamic unity.” (p. 15)
Restoring a balance

Today, in a world that is dominated by the manifestations of logos, we must make an effort to draw on the balancing power of mythos to ground our lives. Both are necessary to fully experience life. We must cultivate mythos in its various manifestations—myth, narrative, archetypes, symbols—to maintain our psychological health and to build the meanings that are critical to a sense of purpose and fullness in life. We must also exercise logos to provide the practical grounding that allows us to live and function in the modern technological world. Reconciling and balancing these poles is essential to continued growth and greater wisdom.


Coomaraswamy, A. K. (1943). Hinduism and Buddhism. New York: Philosophical Library.
Feinstein, D. & Krippner, S. (1997). They mythic path. New York: G. P. Putnam.
Freeman, Helen. (2002). "Facing Fundamentalism." European Judaism. 35(1), 31.
Jung, C. G. (1963). Memories, dreams, reflections. New York: Vintage.
May, R. (1991). The cry for myth. London: W.W. Norton and Company.
O'Brien, T. (1990). The things they carried. New York: Penguin.
Polkinghorne, D. E. (1988). Narrative knowing and the human sciences. Albany, NY: State University of New York.
Watts, A. (1963). The two hands of God: Myths of polarity. New York: Collier.

Using the Journey in Life Finding your Bliss
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Mythos and Logos
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Cinema's most spectacular whale hunts


Thar she blows! Cinema's most spectacular whale hunts

From John Huston’s blood-drenched Moby Dick to Richard Harris’s orca epiphany, cinema has always loved a whale hunt. Will In the Heart of the Sea land the big one?


Tail of doom … Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea. Photograph: Warner Bros

Philip Hoare

Sunday 6 December 2015 

From Pinocchio to Free Willy, from Whale Rider to Blackfish, cinema has frequently dallied with what the whale might, or might not, mean. In 1943, Walt Disney even turned Nazi Germany into a fearsome animated whale about to swallow plucky Britain. But above them all looms one legendary beast: the great white whale, Moby-Dick, freighted with portentous doom.

Ron Howard’s imminent action movie, In the Heart of the Sea, based on the bestselling book by Nathaniel Philbrick, follows the fate of the Essex, a Nantucket whaleship sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific in 1820, and the terrible consequences that ensued. It was this same story that Herman Melville used for his 1851 epic novel, thereby turning reality into literary legend.

Howard’s movie – starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland and Ben Whishaw – was due for release last March. Its delay is rumoured to be a result of high expectations for Oscar nominations. It’s certainly a lavish production, and a rip-roaring ride. The opening scenes gloriously recreate the New England island of Nantucket, where modern whaling began and where Melville, played by Whishaw, is told the story of the Essex by a surviving crewman.

But it is also a retelling of a foundation myth. Just as the western film and literary genre was a tribute to the conquest of the American wilderness on land, so Melville’s Moby-Dick was its oceanic equivalent. Read whales for buffalos, and whale oil for mineral oil, and the importance of whaling to the US becomes clear. Whale ships were the oil tankers of their day, and they exported American culture over the oceans – just as Hollywood would export Americanness via the western. Violence, glamour, heroism and a Manichean notion of good and evil pervade both these eruptions of New World endeavour.

Melville’s book is close to my heart, as it is for anyone who has made it through its 136 chapters. Yet in some ways, I have to admit – as a self-confessed whalehead – that Moby-Dick perverted our relationship with cetaceans. It did for the whale what Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws, and Steven Spielberg did for the great white shark a century later. In 1977, three years after the immense success of Spielberg’s movie, Orca was released. In the film, produced by Dino de Laurentiis, the whale takes on the role of the shark, with the tagline: “The killer whale! The only animal other than man who kills for revenge.”


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Richard Harris in Orca. Photograph: Allstar/Paramount

Tellingly, however, Orca is more consistent with modern attitudes: at its climax, the pursuer – the derring-do Richard Harris – experiences an epiphany of pity towards the intelligent creature he now finds he cannot kill. Cinema was reflecting an elemental change. In the 1970s, the Save the Whales campaigns by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth had turned the ocean giants into symbols in the fight to protect the environment.

Subsequent whale films followed that plotline. In 2002, Whale Rider evoked the creation myth of the Maori, which says they arrived in New Zealand on the backs of whales. And the Free Willy films showed a new awareness of the terrible fate of captive cetaceans – a sentiment the powerful 2013 documentary Blackfish rammed home. Using extraordinary footage, Blackfish examined the treatment of performing whales at SeaWorld in Florida, focusing on Tilikum, an orca that has been involved in the deaths of three people.

Yet the adrenaline of the whale hunt has proved irresistible to film-makers. In 1922, the silent movie Down to the Sea in Ships had the benefit of filming on the Charles Morgan, the last Yankee whaleship still at sea. Less splendid, to modern eyes, are the scenes of real whales being killed in its hunting scenes. (None of your “No animals were harmed in the making of this film” back then).

Watch the trailer for In the Heart of the Sea

In 2008, I used excerpts from the film in a feature-length BBC Arena documentary, The Hunt for Moby-Dick. It was hard to sit in the cutting room and watch these scenes of slaughter: the flickering black and white footage failed to disguise the butchery of sentient animals quivering as harpoons were plunged into their flanks. It’s a cetacean snuff movie I’d rather not see again.

In the Heart of the Sea is the latest update in this often sad and shameful story. The fate of the Essex was a terrifying episode. The whaleship, having come upon sperm whales thousands of miles from land, set about harpooning the pod. As the crew did so, an enraged 80ft-long bull charged at the ship. Then it turned round and did it again.

The Essex sank, leaving the crew of 20 to escape in their whaleboats. Ironically, they decided not to sail towards the nearest land, the Marquesas Islands, believing the inhabitants to be cannibals. Within weeks, the starving crew were forced to eat one another. Only three survived – so crazed that, when they were rescued, they declined to give up the human bones on which they were sucking.

These scenes are convincingly portrayed in Howard’s film. Earlier this year, Cillian Murphy told me how he, Hemsworth and Holland spent the first half of filming learning to row, getting muscular in the process. “It was a bit of a waste,” he said, “since we never took our shirts off.” More gruelling were the crash diets to achieve the hollow-eyed look required for later scenes. A dietician was on hand to regulate their weight loss, says Murphy, “but boys being boys, it all got competitive, and some of the cast would fast all day to get their weight down”.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Gregory Peck as Ahab has his final battle with the white whale in Moby-Dick, 1956. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex

Compared with the making of John Huston’s 1956 classic, Moby Dick, the tribulations suffered by Howard’s cast pale like the whiteness of the whale. For the location shooting, Huston requisitioned the Hispaniola – the ship previously used in Disney’s Treasure Island – and sailed it to Youghal in Ireland. There it was turned into Ahab’s Pequod, a ship tricked out in the very bones of its foe, with a whale jaw for its tiller. Huston even sourced original harpoons from the long-forgotten lofts of ship chandlers who’d worked in the Yorkshire whaling port of Hull.

Keeping orcas captive demeans us as humans

Philip Hoare

Gregory Peck played the demonic Ahab with a lightning-scarred face and a white streak in his hair, and the crew were sent on their way with a stirring sermon on Jonah delivered by Orson Welles. Performing from a pulpit shaped like a ship’s prow, Welles sustained his cameo by drinking an entire bottle of bourbon stashed inside the prop.

The whale, created by model-makers, included a life-size section to which the long-suffering Peck was lashed in the final scenes, dunked in the water so many times, as Huston ordered take after take, that he nearly drowned. Another giant model whale they were using is said to have drifted into the Irish Sea: the RAF had to be called out to hunt it down as a danger to shipping.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Watch a clip from Blackfish

The results now look primitive. Howard’s CGI whales are much more believable, if somewhat oversized and forthcoming (the real animals are shy to the point of timidity, as I can personally attest). But Huston’s film lodges in the memory because of its herculean ambitions. He made it at a time when whale culling was at its height, powered by grenade harpoons and factory ships.

A recent assessment by Robert Rocha of the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts revealed that 3 million whales were killed during the 20th century. Huston, who commissioned the filming of a real whale hunt off Madeira and used the bloody scenes in his movie, may have added to that toll. More whales died in the single year that his film was made than in a century and a half of the Yankee whaling commemorated by Melville. The reconciliatory ending of In the Heart of the Sea – without giving too much away – echoes a tectonic shift in our attitudes to the natural world. I suppose for that, the film’s true star, the whale, should be grateful.

In the Heart of the Sea is released on 26 December. Leviathan or the Whale by Philip Hoare is published by Fourth Estate. Buy it at or call 0330 333 6846

Bible and Koran Studied Together

By making accessible the texts of the Christian and Islamic holy books, hopes to encourage study of both sources and promote mutual understanding

The Bible

The Bible is the Christian holy book. The word Bible is derived from the Greek word biblia, which means books. The Bible comprises a series of separate books and scriptures of varying length and style, which take the form of stories, both in prose and poetry. They were written by 40 different authors over a period of around 1,000 years.

The Bible is divided into two parts.
- The Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible or Tanach. Most of it was written in Hebrew with the exception of a few passages in Aramaic. This is also the holy book of the Jews.
- The New Testament was written in the Greek vernacular by the first Christians.

The books of the Old Testament have their origin in the pre-Christian era. The books of the New Testament were written between 50 and 150 AD. The Protestant Bible has 66 books, whereas the Catholic Bible has 73.

To many Christians, the Bible is the word of God. This is not intended to mean that God himself wrote or dictated the texts word for word, but rather that God speaks through the words of the Biblical authors. What they wrote is what God wanted to tell people. In that sense, the Bible is God’s revelation to man.


The Qur’an is the holy book of the Muslims. The Arabic word qur’an means recitation or to recite. To Muslims, recitation is an important aspect of their religion: the words of the Qur’an are thought to have healing and protective powers.

According to Muslims was the text of the Qur’an revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (Ca. 571-632) by the angel Jibril (Gabriel) between 610 and 632. His followers learned the texts by heart and wrote down fragments on pieces of parchment, wood and bone. It is believed that Mohammed himself could neither read or write.

When Caliph Uthman ibn Affan collected the texts around the year 650, the surahs (chapters) were arranged roughly according to their length. As a result, the Qur’an has no chronological order. The shortest surah has 3 ayat (verses), the longest 286. The Qur’an has a total of 114 surahs, comprising 6,226 ayat.

The Qur’an has great significance across the Muslim world. It is the infallible word of God. A translation of the Qur’an from the Arabic is seen by most Muslims as less than authentic because translation automatically equals interpretation.

Bible and Qur’an

The Qur’an and Islam came into being later than the Bible and Christianity, which means the Bible has no references to the Qur’an or Muslims. However, the Quranic texts sometimes do refer to Biblical stories, such as the Surah Yusuf, which relates part of the book of Genesis. The Qur’an also speaks highly of the first five
books of the Tenach, the Torah (Tawrat) the Psalms (Zabur) and the Gospels (Injil).


Hinduism Defined


Hinduism Definition

by Cristian Violatti

published on 11 May 2013

Unlike other religious traditions, Hinduism does not originate in a single founder, a single book or a single point in time. 

It contains many different beliefs, philosophies and viewpoints, not always consistent with each other.

These apparent contradictions strike only those who are not familiar with this tradition:
the Hindu insight claims that the Oneness expresses itself in many different forms.

Hinduism is often labelled as a religion, but it is actually more than that: it is a vast and complex socio-religious body which, in a way, reflects the complexity of Indian society.  India has a rich geography, many languages and dialects, lots of different creeds, racial diversity, all these elements have shaped Hinduism and made it heterogenic. 

The lack of unifying overall religious authority and the total absence of a book claiming supreme truth and dogmas have contributed to the diversity of Hinduism as well. 

It is fair to mention that even the texts we find in Hinduism that claim some sort of divine inspiration do not declare their view to be better than any other and they all exist together in a tolerant fashion.

The many manifestations of Hinduism go from highly intellectual philosophies concerning numerous and puzzling metaphysical concerns, many rituals, mental 
and physical exercises such as Yoga, and simple, almost childlike, tales and legends.

The foundations of Hinduism can be found in the teachings of anonymous ancient sages or rishis,

inspired poets of Vedic hymns.  .

This tradition has come down to us from prehistoric times. The foundations of Hinduism can be found in the teachings of anonymous ancient sages or rishis, which were originally transmitted orally. We know very little about Hinduim beyond what can be learned from the Vedas, a collection of hymns and other ritual texts composed in different periods.

These texts contain a lot of material including the teachings of the early sages. The oldest evidence of religious practices in India date back approximately to 5500 BCE. It is a mistake to reduce all early Hinduism to Vedic religion: there were many other non-Vedic religious traditions in early Hinduism which have left no early texts and that can be known to some extent by archaeological evidence.

Just like Zoroastrianism and Judaism (the other two major world religions also coming to us from prehistoric times), Hinduism has received numerous shocks that threatened its foundations and it has resiliently survived all of them.

Judaism and Zoroastrianism also survived the many impacts they received, but Judaism failed to absorb Christianity, its all-conquering offspring, which after just a couple of centuries clearly overshadowed it, and there are only around 200,000 Zoroastrian believers left today.

The basis of Hinduism has been hit, sometimes even smashed, by many sects, movements and systems of thought: in the worst case scenarios it receded for a while, only to return more powerful than before. Movements challenging the authority of the priestly orthodoxy, irreligious schools such as the Charvaka, atheist traditions like Jainism, the Buddhist agnostic approach, nihilists and skeptics denouncing the cunning behind the sacrificial fees, all of these beliefs weakened Hinduism for some time and were eventually absorbed, recycled and merged into the enormous body of this old Indic faith.

Darsán: The Emphasis of the Visual Experience

We read in the Brahmanas, a group of sacred priestly texts attached to the Vedas:

The eye is the truth. If two persons come disputing with each other [...] we should believe him who said 'I have seen it', not him who has said 'I have heard it.'

Hinduism attaches a very special value to the the darsán (a sanskrit word meaning sight), of gurus, leaders, saintly persons and even holy places and holy images.

According to the Hindus, darsán is a two-way flow of vision. While the devotee sees the god, so too the god sees the devotee, and the two can make contact through their eyes. When the images of the gods are made, its eyes are the last part to be completed. It is not until the image is consecrated that its eyes are finally opened with either the touch of a paintbrush or using a golden needle. Popular gods like Shiva and Ganesha have a third eye located in their forehead. The god Brahma, the Thousand-Eyes, often has four heads and looks in all directions at once. This emphasis on the vision and the image dominates the Hindu’s relation to the gods, appearing to be just the opposite of many other religions.

Many is Better than One

Abrahamanic religions are dominated by the notion that One is better than many: One God, One Book, One Son, One Church, One Nation of God. In Hinduism, the more the better: many gods, many books, many sages, many insights.

In this ever-growing community of endless gods and goddesses, the roles of the gods and even their hierarchy are somehow diffuse. Some gods get more attention than others and different accounts suggest different hierarchies. Olympian gods, who had a clear hierarchy, may look greedy and envious compared with the tolerant gods of Hinduism.

Agni, Indra, Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu and Ganesha are just a few examples of very important Hindu gods that were regarded at different times and by different sects as the most important gods. Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma were part of a holy Hindu trinity (trimurti). Shiva is sometimes associated with the destruction process and Vishnu as the creator who takes the remains destroyed by Shiva in order to regenerate what has been destroyed. For the Ganapatya Hindu sect, Ganesha is the most important deity. Ganesha is highly recognizable with his elephant head and human body, representing the soul (atman) and the physical (maya) respectively. He is also the patron of writers, travellers, students, commerce, and new projects (for which he removes obstacles from one's path) and is rather fond of sweets, to the slight detriment of his figure.

Krishna manifesting his full glory to Arjuna
The Riddle of Creation

Trying to answer the big questions of life, Hinduism offers several different accounts for the origin of the universe. Here we also see traces of the complexity of Hinduism: the question has been approached in so many different ways.

One account says the universe came into existence as a result of the sacrifice of a primeval being, Purusha, who existed even before time. The gods appear to have been his children. Purusha is dismembered by the gods. Purusha’s mind became the Moon, his eyes the Sun, the Sky came from his head, and the Earth came from his feet.

There is a famous creation quote in the Rig-Veda which suggests a certain skepticism on whether the origin of the universe is a knowable topic.

Then was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.

What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water? [...]

Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?

The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?

He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,

Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.

(Rig-Veda 10.129.1-7)

It seems quite an extraordinary idea that even the gods, even the Highest Seer in the Highest Sky, could possibly not know it all.

There is another account on how the universe started, which has no equivalent in any other tradition. The universe is actually the dream of a god who after 100 Brahma years, dissolves himself into a dreamless sleep, and the universe dissolves with him. After another 100 Brahma years, he recomposes himself and begins to dream again the great cosmic dream. Meanwhile, there are infinite other universes elsewhere, each of them being dreamt by its own god.

This idea could actually reverse the cause and the effect, since humans may not be the result of the dreams of the gods, but rather the gods may be the result of the dreams of humans.

About the Author:  Cristian Violatti

Cristian Violatti is a freelance writer, currently studying Archaeology at the University of Leicester, England. He is a regular contributor and one of the editors of Ancient History Encyclopedia.


Sun Deities

Construction for the first phase of Morocco’s Noor 1 power plant is nearing completion. Once complete in 2020, the solar farm will be the largest of its kind in the world. 

But even now, the plant’s half-million solar mirrors are already visible from space.

There’s no question that solar power is the future, an energy trend that’s fueling the development of massive solar farms in such places as California, China, and elsewhere. 

And where better to put these plants than in the desert—areas that feature plenty of sunshine and vast expanses of land that are otherwise useless and inhospitable. 

Morocco’s up-and-coming Noor 1 CSP plant is a prime example. The first phase of this concentrated solar power plant, which is being built in the Sahara Desert near the town of Ouarzazate, is almost finished. 

The plant is scheduled to be switched on later this year, at which time it will boast a power-generating capacity of 160 megawatts. 

Once the entire plant is built, it will be capable of producing 580 megawatts making it the largest solar concentrated solar power plant in the world. 

Once complete, it will cover an area of 2,500 hectares, or 6,178 acres.

A Massive Solar Power Plant Is Taking Shape in the Sahara Desert

A Massive Solar Power Plant Is Taking Shape in the Sahara Desert

Sun Gods and Sun Goddesses

Is it any wonder ancients worshiped the Sun?

Greek Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion - Harald Sund/ Photographer's Choice RF/ getty Images

In ancient cultures, where you find gods with specialized functions, you'll probably find a sun god or goddess.
Many are humanoid and ride or drive a vessel of sort across the sky. It may be a boat, a chariot, or a cup.

The sun god of the Greeks and Romans rode in a 4-horse (Pyrios, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon) chariot.

There may be more than one god of the sun. The Egyptians differentiated among the aspects of the sun, and had several gods associated with it: Khepri for the rising sun, Atum, the setting, and Ra, at noon, who rode across the sky in a solar bark.

The Greeks and Romans also had more than one sun god.
You may notice that most sun deities are male and act as counterparts to female moon deities, but don't take this as a given. There are goddesses of the sun just as there are male deities of the moon.


Is it any wonder ancients worshiped the Sun?

Name  Nationality/Religion  God or Goddess or ?
 Amaterasu Japan Sun Goddess 
Arinna (Hebat) Hittite (Syrian) Sun Goddess 
Apollo Greece and Rome Sun God 
Freyr Norse Sun God Not the main Norse sun god, but a fertility god associated with the sun.
Garuda Hindu Bird God
Helios (Helius) Greece Sun God Before Apollo was the Greek sun god, Helios held that position.
Hepa Hittite Sun Goddess The consort of a weather god, she was assimilated with the sun goddess 
Arinna.Huitzilopochtli (Uitzilopochtli)  Aztec Sun God 
Hvar Khshaita Iranian/Persian Sun God Earlier than Mithras.
Inti  Inca  Sun God  
Liza West African Sun God
Lugh Celtic Sun God 
MithrasIranian/Persian Sun God"Mit(h)ra(s) and the Myths of the Sun" David H. Sick. Numen (2004)
Re (Ra) Egypt Mid-day Sun God An Egyptian god shown with a solar disk. Center of worship was Heliopolis. Later associated with Horus as Re-Horakhty. Also combined with Amun as Amun-Ra, a solar creator god. 
Shemesh/Shepesh Ugarit Sun goddess 
Sol (Sunna)Norse Sun Goddess She rides in a horse-drawn solar chariot.
Sol Invictus Roman Sun God
The unconquered sun. A late Roman sun god. The title was also used of Mithras
Surya Hindu Sun God Rides the sky in a horse-drawn chariot. 
Tonatiuh Aztec Sun God
Utu (Shamash) Mesopotamia Sun God 


Friday, January 15, 2016

The Science and Practise of Happiness

Uploaded on Jul 1, 2011

Is happiness a skill? Modern neuroscientific research and the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions converge in suggesting that happiness is the product of skills that can be enhanced through training and such training exemplifies how transforming the mind can change the brain. 

Kent Berridge, Richie Davidson, and Daniel Gilbert speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival

Living With Purpose


A sense of purpose in life also gives you this considerable advantage:
"People with a sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease."

The conclusions come from over 136,000 people who took part in 10 different studies.

Participants in the studies were mostly from the US and Japan.

The US studies asked people:
  • how useful they felt to others,
  • about their sense of purpose, and
  • the meaning they got out of life.

The Japanese studies asked people about ‘ikigai’ or whether their life was worth living.

The participants, whose average age was 67, were tracked for around 7 years.

During that time almost 20,000 died.
But, amongst those with a strong sense of purpose or high ‘ikigai’, the risk of death was one-fifth lower.

Despite the link between sense of purpose and health being so intuitive, scientists are not sure of the mechanism.

Sense of purpose is likely to improve health by strengthening the body against stress.

It is also likely to be linked to healthier behaviours.

Dr. Alan Rozanski, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Of note, having a strong sense of life purpose has long been postulated to be an important dimension of life, providing people with a sense of vitality motivation and resilience.
Nevertheless, the medical implications of living with a high or low sense of life purpose have only recently caught the attention of investigators.
The current findings are important because they may open up new potential interventions for helping people to promote their health and sense of well-being.”

This research on links between sense of purpose in life and longevity is getting stronger all the time:
  • “A 2009 study of 1,238 elderly people found that those with a sense of purpose lived longer.
  • A 2010 study of 900 older adults found that those with a greater sense of purpose were much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Survey data often links a sense of purpose in life with increased happiness.
No matter what your age, then, it’s worth thinking about what gives your life meaning.”

Read More:

Find out what kinds of things people say give their lives meaning.
Here’s an exercise for increasing meaningfulness
And a study finding that feeling you belong increases the sense of meaning.

The study was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (Cohen et al., 2015).


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Mephisto - ganzer Film auf Deutsch

Alle Infos zum Film Mephisto (1981): Drama um einen
Theaterdarsteller, der seine Ideale verrät um Karriere unter der
Herrschaft der Nationalsozialisten…

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sounds Like Zen m


"Way Beyond the West" (Alan Watts audio)

Alan Watts ("Way Beyond the West,", BB0527.01), Roy Tuckman (; Ashley Wells, Dhr. Seven, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly

The "Way" (Tao) of the Dharma runs counter to the Way of the World (Danielina-79

This is an excerpt pulled from a 6 Cd set of Alan Watts Audio