To be someone who has these qualities is considered as a good thing. We have often found in a book or movie, characters who were described as someone witty or someone wise. Do you know any fictional characters who have these qualities? Or do you like any fictional character because they are witty? Or are they wise?
One character who came to my mind is Gandalf. Do you know who Gandalf is? Gandalf is one of the protagonists in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is a wizard, one of the Istari order, and the leader and mentor of the Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien took the name "Gandalf" from the Old Norse "Catalogue of Dwarves" (Dvergatal) in the Völuspá.
As a wizard and the bearer of a Ring of Power, Gandalf has great power, but works mostly by encouraging and counseling. He sets out as Gandalf the Grey, described as the last of the wizards to appear in Middle Earth. Gandalf, possessing great knowledge, and travelling continually, always focused on the mission to counter the Dark Lord Sauron. Gandalf's ring Narya is the Ring of Fire and Gandalf himself is associated with fire and he both delights in fireworks to entertain the hobbits of the Shire, and in great need uses fire as a weapon. As one of the Maiar he is an immortal spirit, but being in a physical body on Middle-earth, he can be killed in battle, as he is by the Balrog from Moria. He is sent back to Middle-earth to complete his mission, now as Gandalf the White and leader of the Istari.
Tolkien once described Gandalf as an angel incarnate; later, both he and other scholars have likened Gandalf to the Norse god Odin in his "Wanderer" guise. Others have described Gandalf as a guide-figure who assists the protagonist, comparable to the Cumaean Sibyl who assisted Aeneas in Virgil's The Aeneid, or to Virgil himself in Dante's Inferno; and as a Christ-figure, a prophet.
Many quotes said by Gandalf present both Wit and Wisdom. If you are a fan of Tolkien's works, you might be familiar with them.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, when Gandalf came to Shire for Bilbo's birthday, he met Frodo on the way. When Frodo said that Gandalf was late, what did Gandalf reply? He said, "A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to!"
One who heard this might stop for a while to think, "What does this person mean by this?" I think it's a clever answer when someone states that you are late. The answer would make them think again. Don't you think so? Was witty of him to say that?
As for Wisdom. Gandalf has many quotes that we can learn from. One of his that I remember until today is from The Lord of the Rings: Return of the Kings. His last words, "I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."
The sentence itself is full of wisdom. Sometimes when someone is crying, people would think that they are weak or pathetic. We should know first the reason why they're crying. It isn't always because of something bad, there are also happy tears. Apart from that, crying is healthy because sometimes we can reduce our stress that way, right? Crying will help us release our worries, fear, anger, sorrow, frustration, and such. We are human, full of emotions and there are times when we have to let them out, and one way to do it is by crying.
Prof. Rorey Padfoot
When I saw the theme to this issue of the Alte was structure, it didn’t take me much time to know what I wanted to write about. Spaceship Earth!! Otherwise known as the gigantic sphere that sits inside Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park.
The geodesic sphere was an original piece of the theme park and took around 26 months to build. Throughout its forty years of existence, there have been many updates to both the inside and outside of the sphere. The sphere sits on a box-shaped ring of steel and is supported by six legs. The cladding that makes up the outside of the sphere was designed so that when it rains (which is does pretty regularly in central Florida), no water pours off the sides onto the ground. All the rain water is collected through one-inch gaps that are in the facets and fall into a gutter system and then the water is channeled into the lagoon inside the World Showcase. My family and I have been many times during the rain and most people actually duck under the sphere to avoid the rain.
So, that’s the outside of the sphere, but inside there is "Spaceship Earth -the ride". The ride is a slow moving sit down ride, that essentially goes up and around the inside of the sphere. The ride is narrated and shows different scenes of audio-animatronics going through time and showing the many different communications through the ages. The ride ends with a picture being taken of your car’s occupants and the result being emailed to you.
I included my own picture of Spaceship Earth as shown above. This is what night in Epcot looks like. Most nights the sphere has various different colors projected onto it which in my opinion makes it gorgeous. During special events they have projected different characters onto the sphere, I remember seeing Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc talking to guests.
Prof. Sindor Aloyarc
It isn’t always easy to take breaks from things. Sure, there’s stuff we want to get away from in life, whether it’s some required task, or the endless chores and errands that seem to pile up. Even then, whether these things are enjoyable to some degree or not, it can be a struggle to set aside some time for rest.
With the constant, changing expectations on top of immediate gratification that comes with high-tech gadgetry coupled with a seemingly endless content list of choices and stimuli, it’s no wonder that pushing the reset button can be difficult. Even (perhaps subliminally) seen as a weakness.
At the risk of disappointing others or appearing lazy, we can find every excuse in the book to justify burning the candle from both ends. But as Alice says in Wonderland: “I give myself very good advice, and very seldom follow it.”
Think about holding your breath. At some point it becomes uncomfortable! In these instances our bodies are actually asking to expel the buildup of carbon dioxide rather than simply gasping for more oxygen. While I wouldn’t personally recommend holding your breath all the time, on the flip side many of us wind up taking too many shallow breaths every minute. Maintaining a state of low grade hyperventilation, thus upsetting the balance between oxygen and C02.
Makes the feelings of tension and anxiety all that much more understandable.
It’s important to find a system that’s beneficial to the individual when it comes to things like breathing, or exertion versus rest. To always be active becomes exhausting and leads to injury. To always be at ease becomes boring and leads to atrophy. In either case, there’s an element of “healing” that must take place in order to reset back to center.
It’s the same when practicing mindfulness through meditation. Whether what we’re becoming consumed by in our thoughts could be seen as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ if it’s taking the attention away from our intended focus in this present moment, then we must “heal” our way back to that point of contact. To counting, or the breath, or a flickering flame.
Healing isn’t always a sign of problems. We force our muscles into what one might call “damaging” situations so that each time they rebuild we become stronger in those areas. This applies just as much mentally and emotionally. Incorporating an appropriate amount of stress in any area of our lives can help us grow. The trick is recognizing when to push, or if it’s time to pull back. Luckily, the body tends to give us little signals which help guide us in the right direction!
One thing we can do, beyond prioritizing quality sleep, nutrition, movement, and hydration (all of which assist the body in running along smoothly) is make sure we’re taking the time for things that put our mind-body connection into a state of active rest.
What do I mean by “Active” rest?
Something you probably will find it easy to relate to is the difference in reading a book versus watching a movie. In front of the screen, you certainly do become relaxed. However you’re also in a fairly passive state of conscious awareness where information is essentially being projected into your brain. While it often draws out many levels of responsiveness, whether mental or emotional, it certainly asks very little in the realm of imagination of the person who may just be looking to “check out” or be entertained.
Conversely, reading a book takes engagement from the person who seeks the undertaking of a journey. This adventurer must not only have a means of perceiving the information being conveyed through some form of taking in the words of a given story, but is forced to then create a picture inside themselves of what that information means rather than being presented with someone else’s interpretation.
While things are absolutely described in books, arguably moreso than film, it would be equally fair to say that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, making the amount of data conveyed through video nothing to sneer at either.
The difference being that the state of mind you must put yourself into when actively reading a book is quite entirely separate from the state of mind you take on when passively watching a movie.
Yes, we tend to lose ourselves quite easily in either of these modes, however it’s no wonder why people view screens as a gateway to mind control. Whether we like it or not, anytime we fall into the hypnotic state which comes from watching video(s) for extended periods, in one way or another we’re putting the control of our mind into the possession of something other than ourselves. Even if only for short periods.
It isn’t my intention to demonize utilizing technology, or being mindful of screentime in general whether on the computer, a cell phone, or watching a favorite television series. Just like anything else, these things have their place. What is important for me to highlight here is that this same state which accompanies an activity like reading is very close to the state of active rest one can induce when performing tasks like painting or gardening. Particularly that these kinds of hobbies take on that added layer of providing a level of creation to the relationship. You’re not just imagining someone else’s story, you’re doing/making something. You’ve become the architect and builder of your own little world.
How easy it is to view life in terms of sleep and wakefulness. Activity and rest. But things are rarely so black and white, which is part of the beauty of being here. Getting to take on all these shapes and experiences is a miracle. In our most uncertain of times we have so much power to work with whatever’s clattering around in our toolbox.
We can be quick to underestimate the importance of active rest, but to put ourselves into a state of relaxation that hasn’t crossed the line toward overly receptive or even asleep is so important. We often spend so much time rushing from one thing to another that whenever we can stop to do something which requires minimal energy, but keeps our focus engaged can be more of a reset than sleeping for days on end, because it’s feeding us in ways we don’t always take the time for.
To nourish restfulness while awake is equally as important as nourishing restfulness while asleep. There’s nothing like a good reset to bring things back into balance!
Prof. Sindor Aloyarc
Community is an interesting thing. We can find it in the most unexpected places while also feeling forced into it at times. As members of HOL, this is a chosen community of a virtual nature, and many of us maintain both virtual and offline presences within a variety of groupings and relationships.
It can be easy to dismiss the significance of the company we keep, particularly those people we do not feel we are choosing. Perhaps we go to school with, live or work with people that we otherwise might not have wanted to because there are personality conflicts that bring up tension.
Yet we do have chances to choose how we build relationships with these people, as well as how we navigate around issues that we have with them or that simply arise out of the chemistry at hand, which will always play into how our story unfolds before us and the life we desire to manifest.
The phrase “I don’t care what people think” can be a dangerous one to let grow inside of us. While we shouldn’t necessarily become consumed by the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others (any more than we should be attached to our own, sometimes toxic self-talk), to not care whatsoever what people think is essentially saying that you shouldn’t “have to” concern yourself over it.
While I do not believe it is our responsibility to become overly worried over such things, I do believe we have a certain honor and duty —for ourselves as much as anybody else— toward considering and respecting that our presence, attitude, and lifestyle choices will have some level of an effect on the people we come into contact with. In the same way, we tend to hope that others will consider us in how we’re being treated. This might refer to someone’s behavior, word choices, or even their tone of voice, and isn’t to say anybody should be coddled or given special treatment for no reason, but the opposite is just as tricky when someone does whatever they want, however they want, whenever they want, just because they “don’t care” what anybody thinks about it.
On some level, all of us 'karmically' reap what we sow. What you plant in one season you will harvest in another. What you don’t plant, you shouldn’t expect to receive. What you don’t literally "care" for or tend to in your life will not necessarily bear the same fruitful results that you perhaps are looking to achieve.
As interdependent beings who interact on the regular, there is a ripple effect that happens within ourselves, our small groups, and our overall communities. One person’s “bad day” could spoil the energy of an entire group if they allow it, whereas one person’s positive mindset could help get things back on track. At the same time, we can choose to not let someone else’s bad energy infiltrate our psyche just as much as we sometimes choose not to allow ourselves to be consoled or comforted by those who wish us well. We may think we “have a right” to our bad day. And in some ways, we probably do! But we will also reap what comes from being a storm cloud, as well as the toll it might take on those within our general sphere of influence.
We should always afford people their privacy and allow others to learn and grow in their own way and time, yet the notion that something isn’t “any of your business” is only partially true. Sometimes, yes of course, you must leave alone what isn’t yours to get involved with. That being said, the experience of All others matters to us just as much as it matters to them, whether we believe it that way or not, because the energy that person is harvesting in their life will creep its way into the lives of the people around them, which may then creep its way into your own reality.
There’s a story of an award winning farmer who would give some of his best seeds away to other local farmers every year because he knew that cross-pollination of subpar crops could get picked up by the wind, which would then diminish the quality of his own crops. Expenses aside, it was clear to him that he could never reach his full potential if he didn’t also help those around him reach theirs.
We too are like individuals within many fields of corn, or of wheat. One bad crop can change the quality of another just as easily as pollen getting picked up by the wind and blown toward a neighbor’s hard work. In order for us all to have a happy, healthy harvest, we must consider our own work, while also considering the efforts of those around us. How may we be able to serve them toward their own goals, which will in turn serve us to receive greater bounties?
A famous quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” I love this! That being said, we must also be mindful when someone may have no broom to sweep with, or if they have special circumstances that prevents them from taking on the task. To offer our time and energy to an elderly neighbor, for example, who perhaps is unable to get around quite so easily, is one way we can help take care of each other.
This, I trust you will find, is a fantastic way of taking care of ourselves, which will assist us in reaping the community we deserve as one big (happy) family.
Articles are your run of the mill submissions, with a wide range of topics. Well, minus reviews. And scientifics. And columns.