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STUNNING FEAT OR WHAT?
From the cantina on the 11th floor of the S1 building at the Norwegian university NTNU, Trondheim. The photo appeared on the front page of the Adresseavisen newspaper, Trondheim, on 15 August 1986. An engineer at the Norwegian university, Roar Skjervø, appears to be levitating on a table among coffee cups. Nobody around caught him in any form of cheating. So: Well done. (Click on the picture to see a larger one).

NTNU is the ◦Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Its main campus is in Trondheim. NVG in the Gold Scale's site address is 'The Network Group' association of employees, students, and former employees and students at NTNU. The Gold Scales is hosted by NVG, which is hosted by NTNU.

"Get thee an education." Is a university in icy cold Norway a lovely place to enter? It depends on what you are. There is a story, most likely true, that decades ago a grouse tried to get in, but died as a result of its unreglemented attempt. [The whole story]

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing," is a proverb to think of. But many students live in periodical fear of exams, and about one fourth of the new students do not thrive, and exit each year. As for employees, "one rotten apple or a few of them can spoil a whole basket". In one case a whole institute was closed down. The local newspaper Adresseavisen, and Universitetsavisa told the story to the public. Ironically, some of the employees that could not cooperate any longer, were in the roles of experts in solving those sorts of problems.

As for friendly goodwill, humour and stand-by co-operation, be genuine also, for true development depends on it. To be genuinely yourself is also an individual thing, which is being unique somehow, different from others in some ways - And there you go - to become increasingly a rarity in the eyes of the downtrodden and conform ones There is such a risk to reckon with, alas, unless you get protected.

A fair and fit warning can help a lot. It depends on what you do with things you observe and are told by others.

Himalayan

In this setting, Himalayan refers to a breed of cats. There is room for some variations. You can enlarge on that. See how far this is the Gold Scales site figuratively and tentatively expressed, if you can.

The site was started in late 1995 at the university that is now named NTNU, and contains much art, online books and other material. Some of the content on the website is available in print form from many publishers, and some is the property of this site.

"Give wherever the mind feels confidence," says Buddha [SN 3.24]. The Gold Scales is non-profit.

Site features:

  • The site's astrology and I Ching synthesis - the unified design may be described as a structural-eksistential synthesis.
  • How to build Tao. A novel approach, rooted in Taoist outlooks, assisted by fundamental cybernetics, etc.
  • How to form ideas in the thousands - study the art of advanced frieze-making, so called. It is a function of the 'Get Tao' approach.
  • Rules for forming basic poetry, including sleekas, also rooted in the 'Get Tao' overviews.
  • Compound reservations of a kind that Sir Bertrand Russel advocates - They may be added to many sayings too and usher in rational thinking. Compare: [◦Kalama Sutta]
  • Selections as fits.
  • Nynorsk Norwegian - designed for ease of learning.

You may download some parts of the Gold Scales produced material for private use at leisure. Also, you may copy and/or extract excerpts from any text if you show in your work that they are excerpts or citations: Include a link to oaks.nvg.org and stick to a tidy Fair Use practice.

Spiritual Teachings of Tao

We are all part of your Self to the degree that such a Self exists equally and impartially in all beings. So if you treat animals harshly and exploit them for gains, what you do to them you do to your Self somehow, and the effects tend to surface later, after years or lives. This view is at bottom of Himalayan karma teachings of gurus and of Buddha. One had better go for counteracting bad deeds and bad karma and build good karma (do good) and protect oneself in fit ways. Also: go for sound and fair skills for successful living. A good education helps many.

Any of these tasks could help, and together - well performed - they should help more, so long as vandals and other mean people don't succeed in making a sort of sacrifice goat or slaughter-house animal of you. [Buddha's karma teachings]

Humanitarian
"Mirth could foster losses too."

The Gold Scales embodies Essentialist Teachings from many quarters, and methods of mind-diving (meditation, contemplation) in tune with the "depth" or "height" inside, in other words, your innermost nature, the Self. There is much poignant counsel to look into too.

The site is for publishing and republishing writings of artists, writers and thinkers and great ones such as Swami Bhrahmananda, Guru Dev - and others of Shankara's line, Buddha's Buddhism and Nyingma Buddhism, for example. Good living is a goal, and convenient ways of life that assist making good and fair use of one's time and opportunities.

◦Transcendental Meditation is recommended for all who can afford it, and basic teachings of Guru Dev, the guru of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and teachings of Maharishi himself.

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Were There Athenians before Athens was Built?

Plato's greatest tale that did not come down to us is about Atlantis (!). There is much backup to learn from classical themes.

What texts are included on the website? Their relevance has to be evaluated; their entertainment value; and interest plays a large part, although "Being is better than seeming," in general. In some cases, validity and relevance fails or loses to tales that contain figurative parts and subtle meanings, as many fables do, for example.

By way of example, in Timaeus, Plato writes about what he calls "the greatest tale" of "the greatest action which the Athenians ever did, and which ought to have been the most famous, but, through the lapse of time and the destruction of the actors, it has not come down to us." [Emphasis added]

He says the tale "has not come down to us" and still is told. Further, the tale contains descriptions of Athenians from thousands of years before Athens was built, which looks like one more blemish to consider. At best there were only cavedwellers in the Athens area at the time Plato writes about.

It things like these were considered, there might have been less explorers on the sea floors here and there, or what? But thousands of writers who have written a whole lot about Atlantis, appear to have missed the cues like: "Did not come down to us", "There were Athenians long before Athens existed".

In Plato's Timaeus story of Atlantis, he tells of the inhabitants' advanced state of scientific knowledge. The lost continent is believed to have vanished about 9500 BC. through a cataclysm of nature; certain metaphysical writers, however, state that the Atlanteans were destroyed as a result of their misuse of atomic power. Two French writers have recently compiled a Bibliography of Atlantis, listing over 1700 historical and other references. [Autobiography of a Yogi, Ch 23, note 9].

For all the failings to locate Atlantis so far, Plato's fabulous story is one of the classics on-site. There is much to learn from it, for one thing. The tale still captures our imagination, and bears many marks of an engrossing tale. And one more reason has come to the fore recently:

Evidence from Egypt suggests that the western empire that Solon heard of in Egypt, was Khaftiu (from Crete), in other words the Minoan Empire, which had a unique and lively civilization by 2000 BCE. Some of the descriptions of the capital of Atlantis fits the so-called palace of Knossos on Crete, and the very typical, coloured stones used there, for example. - Around 1480 BCE the Minoan state was left in ruins by cataclysms. Much happened overnight as the volcano Santorini erupted and caused horrible tsunamis. The volcano has been building up again since . . . for "there is more in store" sometime.

In case Plato's statement that Atlantis was beyond Gibraltar is stressed as one of the indispensable hallmarks of it, the harbour town of Tartessos at the mouth of the river Baetis eller Oba (= Gold River) in Spain, west of Gibraltar, could become a hotspot canditate. Tartessos was both a harbour town and a culture. Tartessos was rich in metals tin, gold and copper and traded with the Phoenicians. Initial archeological investigations in the area may be followed up in years to come.

Now, it could help to discern between fantasy and fiction on the one hand, and fit and hopeful and all wrong non-fiction on the other. It may not be easy - for at times fable and fiction blend in unsuspected ways, as when old Troy was located by a German "treasure hunter" who thought Homer's descriptions of it were facts and not fiction. What is left of the site are the remains of the destruction of the site caused by the treasure hunting archaeologist Schliemann. Today, an international team of German and American archaeologists bring the Troy of the Bronze Age back to life, and Turkey fights Russia and Germany by law to get back stolen Trojan treasures. New tunes appear . . .

And Bible readers may learn that once a donkey suddenly talked, after seeing better than the prophet who rode it. Could a donkey surpass a man of Yahweh, a prophet in the Bible, who cannot? (Numbers 22:21-33)

In Homer's Odyssey, the hero and his crew once get in danger as they sail between Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters sited on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the Italian mainland. Stories like this have entered the folklore of Europeans int he form of a proverbial phrase. The gist of the ancient tale is that one has to find a way between two "things" that are supposed to be dangerous. An American proverbs sums up how to navigate between fiction and nonfiction, for one thing - since it helps to sort out facts from fiction ever so often. The proverb: "Twin fools: One believes anything and the other nothing." Research may be advocated, if you feel up to the voyage into formerly unchartered waters. You would need to know how to sail, and not only in good weather.

Be that as it may, Homer mentioned the story of Troy in his Iliad and Odyssey, and later writers, like the Latin Virgil, followed up. In addition, there are untrue stories under the names of Dictys Cretensis and Dares Phrygius.

From this it stands out that to sort fact from fiction is too hard for some people, and that few things can replace candid and well organised and accomplished research. Weighing various points and sorting them into facts and non-facts, is largely fit for a study. Along with it all: entertainment - and ample space for a sound development of homo ludens, the playful side to humans: Along with rational building of knowledge, well designed, ample stories help ideations, help forming images, help later thinking, if they are adapted to the actual level of development of the individual, in part as Jean Piaget 1896–1980) holds. He describs four development stages. Three of them:

  1. During the Preoperational Stage (2-7 years) we may "buddingly" think about things symbolically. Frisking about seems to be a fronted feature of this stage: Good fables and folk tales may be adapted to it.
  2. The Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 years) of the child's cognitive development marks the growth of "operational" thought. At this stage we can work things out in our heads, by imagination. Many handed-over tales nourish that ability.
  3. The Formal Operational Stage (11 years and over) start to blossom when we are about eleven and lasts into adulthood. Abstract concepts, articulation skills and logic. (WP, s.v. "Jean Piaget")

Is that it? Is there more? Yes, asserts Rudolf Steiner and the world-wide Steiner School movement in his wake. Interestingly, Dr. Steiner postulated the same stages as Piaget, but decades before him. Steiner also added sound ego development, that the ego should be nourished too. So in Waldorf Education there is more. The aim is well balanced nourishment of all human faculties through tales and accommodation to stages of growing individuals, as well as mathematics or calculation abilities. This was to show that good, carefully adapted stories may help sound development, and typically go along with use and development of artistic and playful aspects of the human being. One result of a careful, balanced education is building a knowledge base for the future and present. Good stories can help that. And that is far from all they can do: the psychologist Jerome Bruner speaks for story-telling as a great means of learning and building cultural ways. He writes in The Culture of Education:

There appear to be two broad ways in which human beings organize and manage their knowledge of the world, indeed structure even their immediate experience: one seems more specialized for treating of physical "things," the other for treating of people and their plights. These are conventionally known as logical scientfic thinking and narrative thinking . . . They have varied modes of expression in different cultures, which also cultivate them differently. (1996:39-40)

We might as well accept a culture may be routed out by less that favourable means. There is a great need to think through what it seems to lead to when spontaneous and direct human contact is replaced by contact via technical accessories in between, and the simulation that follows: similated voice, screen images - a flattening for humanity is about.

Good ideas that undermine a culture and people also, are they truly good and fine. To find out, check where the money goes, who profit from placing Sachen und Dinge between and among humans, with Maskinismus and humans adapting to it too.

Fine ideas - who are they fine for, eventually?

Various


Elevated site topics, Literature  

Bentham, Susan. Psychology and Education Howe, East Sussex: Routledge, 2002. ⍽▢⍽ Piaget's contributions to understanding of cognitive development are summed up in chap. 1.

Bruner, Jerome: The Culture of Education. Cambridge. Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996. ⍽▢⍽ Good education can usher children into their culture - and common education very often fails to do so. Dr Bruner reminds us that education reduced to mere information processing fails. That is, sorting knowledge into categories is far from good enough. The learners also need help to get deepening understanding, and not simply to manage information.

Steiner, Rudolf. Soul Economy: Body, Soul, and Spirit in Waldorf Education: Lectures presented in Dornach, Switzerland December 23, 1921 – January 5, 1922. Rev. ed. Great Barrington, MA: Anthroposophic Press, 2003. ⍽▢⍽ Those who work in today's schools and are behind them, fill children's minds with information, and often fail to help their eagerness for learning adequately. The Steiner Schools aim at developing the children's and youngsters' natural human faculties and capacities by the art of savoury teaching and adapting to learning for a healthy, fulfilling life - it is a process. — Steiner describes education as a continually development of the human being of body, soul, and spirit. The developing being needs to be well enough nurtured through the natural stages of life by getting to just what is needed at the right time. Such an approach applied to schooling is what Steiner calls soul economy. Steiner proposes much-needed good ideas of education throughout.

WP: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Online resource.

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