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Empire's Beginning & Continuing


A wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, Rome's legendary founders.

The legend:
Romulus and Remus
--The twin sons of the god of war Mars, were abandoned.
--They were discovered by a female wolf who instead of eating them suckled them until they were found and reared by a shepherd.
--They founded Rome in 753 B.C.
--Romulus killed his twin in a power struggle.

--Rome was named after him

In a cavern 50 feet under the ruins of the palace of Emperor Augustus there is a domed ceiling decorated with colorful mosaics and seashells. At its center a painted eagle, a symbol of the Roman Empire.

“This is one of the most important discoveries of all time,” said Andrea Carandini, a prominent Italian archaeologist. He has long held that the myths of ancient Rome could be true. He said he derived added satisfaction from the cave’s location.

See complete article at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/world/europe/21rome.html?_r=1


The symbol of Rome:



Also the symbol of The United States.


Is this the new empire replacing the Roman Empire?


Romulus and Remus by Rubens DetailImage by mharrsch via Flickr




Sensory Perception and God

As I sometimes do, the other day I was thinking about the spiritual life.  I looked over some of the notes I've been making.

I believe God must be experienced and not understood or explained:

To experience God must be like experiencing something directly without thought, like a color or flavor or sensation. How can you explain the sensation of sweetness or the experience of the color red?

To say consciousness of light is only sensory stimulation or a response to wavelength does not explain the consciousness experienced by the individual. This consciousness cannot be called merely subjective or irrelevant because it is the only way we can be aware of anything without being mindless chemical sacks. It is really the only thing we can be sure of without depending on thoughts which are often mistaken.

But with God instead of being a physical sensation it must be a spiritual sensation or feeling even if it is experienced in a physical way.

Just as the experience of the color green in our minds is due to our body’s response to a certain wavelength of light coming from an actual physical object in reality, so also must the experience of a spiritual nature come from our body’s or mind’s response to an actual spiritual reality. Both can be hallucinations or delusions or actually be real.

Just as the experience of hunger or sexual desire is due to our body’s needs, so also must our spiritual desire come from our need for God.

Matter and the physical world we experience can be the illusion with spirituality the reality. Or matter may be made of or contain a spiritual element which increases when chemicals react up to when life evolves and thought and self awareness come into being.

This is my interpretation from various sources.  I lost the original links.
I want to experience God but I only have some vague feelings.

An interesting quote:

"Even if you do not intellectually believe in the spiritual reality
 something deep inside you feels this reality."

I welcome your thoughts.

Cymbalta

A few months ago I was considering back surgery for terrible pain I've had for over a year.
See my earlier post about this:
http://johns-spot112948.blogspot.com/2011/04/back-trouble.html


My wife saw a commercial for Cymbalta on TV.  I was sure it would not work.
But I was desperate and willing to try anything.
Now I am completely pain free.

This sounds like a commercial but it was the only thing that worked for me.
I recommend you try this before trying surgery.

Surgery only works for 70% of the cases.
For me it would have been:
3 days in the hospital on IV pain medication.
3 months recovery at home taking more narcotics
Even then I might still be left with some residual pain.
____________

I've found two drawbacks with Cymbalta:
1. Getting used to the side effects which go away after a week.
(Nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, decreased appetite, and increased sweating).
For me it was like a case of food poisoning for three days.  After that I now have more energy and no pain.
It is definitely worth it. 

2. Without insurance it costs about $150 per month.  I pay $60 with my insurance plan.
____________

Here is the company's site:
http://www.cymbalta.com/chroniclowback.jsp

The Shape of My Heart

The other night I watched the 1994 movie The Professional on TV.  I thought it was an excellent gangster movie.  There could have been a better ending instead of the typical shoot out.
You know the impossible scene with one man killing dozens of others in a prolonged gunfight: 
-his bullets always hit their target
-their's always miss
-his gun never runs out of bullets
-their guns jam
-he's a clever acrobat
-they are stupid and clumbsy

Yet I still enjoyed it, especially the song they played while showing the credits.  It was "The Shape of my Heart" by Sting. Here is the song with its poetic lyrics:






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