Archive for March, 2009

M*A*S*H and Alan Alda …

Posted on March 28, 2009. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, Movies, Personalities |

M*A*S*H  is an American television series adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH (based on the 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, by Richard Hooker).

The series is a medical drama/black comedy that follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the 4077 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in South Korea, during the Korean War. The series premiered on September 17, 1972 and ended February 28, 1983, with the finale becoming the most-watched television episode in U.S. television history with over 105 million viewers.

The show is still broadcast in syndication on various television stations . The series spanned 251 episodes, lasting eleven seasons covering a three-year conflict. Many of the stories in the early seasons are based on real-life tales told by real MASH surgeons who were interviewed by the production team.

Alan Alda (bornJanuary 28, 1936). Academy Award nominated, Emmy award-winning American actor, director and screenwriter. He is well known for his role as “Hawkeye Pierce” in the television series M*A*S*H.  During the 1970s and ’80s, he was viewed as the archetypal sympathetic male, though in recent years, he has appeared in roles that counter that image. Here he is in his own words –

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.

Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing one another.

You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.

When does she do all this thinking? We’re together all the time but she thinks deeply about things and with feeling and she can remember the facts. We’ve been married 48 yrs.

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Plutarch … the Provincial Moralist …

Posted on March 25, 2009. Filed under: Books, Guide Posts, Personalities, The Great Greeks |

Plutarch was possibly the greatest biographer ever and is famed for his ‘‘Parallel Lives’, which cover Greeks and Romans arranged to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings. He was not concerned with writing histories but in exploring the influence of character — good or bad — on the lives and destinies of famous men; like Pericles, Demosthenes, Alexander, Pyrrhus, Pompey, Mark Antony, Brutus, Julius Caesar, and Cicero. Here follow some of his nuggets.

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

Character is simply habit long continued.

Passion for fame, a passion which is the instinct of all great souls.

I would rather excel in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and possessions.

If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes. 

To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.

In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.
Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.

Silence at the proper season is wisdom; and better than any speech.

All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own.

Nothing is harder to direct than a man in prosperity; nothing more easily managed than one in adversity.

Plato admits four types of flattery; Cleopatra had a thousand.

A Roman divorced from his wife, being highly blamed by his friends, who demanded “Was she not chaste? Was she not fair? Was she not fruitful?”
Holding out his shoe, he asked them whether it was not new and well made?
“Yet,” added he, “none of you can tell where it pinches me?

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Animal Vitality … hypnotizes or energises…

Posted on March 21, 2009. Filed under: Personal Magnetism |

The energies of the body which arouse vitality or tend to hypnotize manifest themselves very distinctly in form or the other.


This can be through the expanded pupil of the eye or a distinct sound of the voice or even the intensity of feeling. The expanded pupil of the eye is used to paralyze and so does the hiss of the snake. An eerie feeling conveying the unseen presence of danger does the same.


The seeming freedom from pain when under attack by an animal proves the same sort of hypnotism. There is a drowsy numbness and this deadens the nerves.


On the other hand there are cases when persons have held an animal at bay merely by a strong, steadfast gaze which tells the animal that he may be asking for trouble.


For this there has to be strong internal energy and a mind propelled by a atrong will which conveys power. Your animal vitality and will power, needs to be stronger and more enduring than that of the animal, which otherwise, having weighed the situation, will attack.


Yet it is quite common when persons with great magnetic vitality have emerged victoriousl. This magnetic vitality is presentin all plersons but only needs to be increased and aroused.


 Various posts should help indicate how it is done. 

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Marcus Fabius Quintilian …

Posted on March 19, 2009. Filed under: Roman Thought |

Quintilian was a rhetorician much referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing.

While we are making up our minds as to when we shall begin, the opportunity is lost. We must form our minds by reading deep rather than wide. 

Men, even when alone, lighten their labors by song, however rude these may be.

The perfection of art is to conceal art.

The pretended admission of a fault on our part creates an excellent impression.



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Self Hypnotism …

Posted on March 19, 2009. Filed under: Personal Magnetism |

Of all the facts that make our lives doubtful in their success or failure, is the appalling ease with which on some unforeseen occasion and in some unexplainable manner, we give up advantages that our better sense should have made us keep. In other words we are not always able to take care of ourselves.


Worse still, this loss of control is not so much to our breaking down after a certain amount of resistance but rather to our ready willingness to yield. Often we make ourselves believe that it is the right thing to do. Could this – fascination with failure – be due to a hypnotic trance, which really is self hypnotism?


This condition is usually brought about b low vitality or a monotonous activity that deadens the thinking power of the brain. It can be when one stares at a shining object held slightly above eye level. This deadens the optic nerve. Or by listening to a dull, empty, nonotonous voice which puts one to sleep. Also occurs when negative feelings control the mind.

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Helen Keller – DeafBlind Genius …

Posted on March 16, 2009. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Personalities |

Helen Keller was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Woker. 

Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.  

 What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me. The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.


 One must never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar. When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.  We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.
Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.


It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal. While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

College isn’t the place to go for ideas.  The highest result of education is tolerance. Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle. 

Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
 Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his.
Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.

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Alms Giving …

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: Great Writing, Guide Posts, The Good Book |

In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening, withhold not your hand. Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.


Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty. Store alms giving in your treasury; and it will rescue you from all affliction. More than a mighty sword and more than a mighty spear, it will fight on your behalf with your enemy.


Lay up your treasures according to the commandments of the Most High, and it will profit you more than gold. Kindness is like a garden of blessings and alms giving endures forever. Brothers and help are for a time of trouble, but alms giving rescues better than both.


Water extinguishes a blazing fire, so alms giving atones for sin. Whoever requites a favor, gives thought to the future; at the moment of his falling he will find support. Do not keep needy eyes waiting, nor grieve the one who is hungry, nor anger a man in want, nor delay your gift to a beggar, nor turn your face away from the poor. For if, in bitterness of soul, he calls down a curse on you, his Creator will hear his prayer.


Do not with hold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go and come again, tomorrow I will give it” when you have it with you. And behold the tears of the oppressed and they had no one to comfort them. Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all who are desolate. A righteous man knows the rights of the poor. He who gives to the poor will not want. He who is kind to the needy, honors their maker.


Stretch forth your hands to the poor, so that your blessings may be complete. Give graciously to all the living; and with hold not your kindness from the dead. Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn. Let not your hand be extended to receive and withdrawn when it is time to repay. Glorify the Lord generously. Do not appear before the Lord empty handed. Give to the Most High as He has given and as generously as your hand has found. Do not say that He will consider the multitude of my gifts. Do not be fainthearted in your prayers; nor neglect to give alms.


Let nothing hinder you from paying a vow promptly. When you vow a vow to God, do not delay in paying it. Pay what you owe. It is better that you should not vow then that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin. Do not hesitate from visiting a sick friend, because for such deeds you will be loved. Be like a father to orphans. Not like a husband to their mother. You will then be like a son of the Most High and He will love you more than does your mother.


Be good to a godly man and you will be repaid, if not by him, then certainly by the Most High. No good will come to the man who persists in evil or to him who does not give alms. A persons alms giving is like a blessing with the Lord and He will keep a person’s kindness like the apple of his eye. From the dead as from one who does not exist thanksgiving has ceased. He who is alive will sing the Lords praises.


King James’ Version – the Bible

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Pablo Picasso …

Posted on March 8, 2009. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, Personalities |

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction. Action is the foundational key to all success.

He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it .

Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.


Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.


It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.


Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

Love is the greatest refreshment in life. …………….. There are only two types of women –  goddesses and doormats.
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso (1881 – 1973). Spanish painter, draughtsman, and sculptor. One of the most recognized figures in 20th-century art, he is best for the wide variety of styles. He is also famed for his sexual exploits

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Personal Magnetism on display …

Posted on March 6, 2009. Filed under: Personal Magnetism |

Every perceptive person can recognize a magnetic person – the man or woman who displays this power. The mere entering of a room, the first steps towards an audience, the first tones of the voice, the touch of the hand, the glance of the eye; all tell in a few seconds whether or not the person is magnetic.


Note that the latent magnetism of one is awakened by the vibratory current emanating from a magnetic person. This can be through the the voice, eye or touch. Indeed there have been persons having magnetism who have wielded vast, electrifying and inspiring sway over large audiences. These audiences have received this power from the Master Spirit and felt strenghthened; indeed electrified, physically and mentally, leaving them stronger in mind and purpose.


If the gift of this personal magnetism is natural, then it has come from natural habits which prevent the constant loss of vital electricity. The result is a self controlled, easy but energetic personality that will attract and hold attention.

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James Thurber’s Pointers …

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty |

James Thurber  celebrated wit, who is best known for his cartoons and short stories.


All men kill the thing they hate; unless, of course, it kills them first. 

Women are wiser than men because they know less and understand more.


 The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody’s guess.


Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.

Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.

 Sophistication might be described as the ability to cope gracefully with a situation involving the presence of a formidable menace to one’s poise and prestige (such as the butler, or the man under the bed – but never the husband).


All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and where to, and why.  But what is all this fear of and opposition to oblivion? What is the matter with the Soft Darkness, the Dreamless Sleep?





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