Namaste (/ˈnɑːməst/, nah-məs-tay; Hindi/Nepali: नमस्ते Marathi: नमस्कार Hindi: [nəməsteː]), nah-məs-tay), sometimes spoken as Namaskar or Namaskaram, is a respectful form of greeting in Hinducustom, found on the Indian subcontinent mainly in India and Nepal and among the Indian diaspora. It is used both for salutation and valediction.  Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana.  In Hinduism it means “I bow to the divine in you”.  The greeting may also be spoken without the gesture or the gesture performed wordlessly, carrying the same meaning.

(via Wikipedia.org)

Love Feast (via Wikipedia.org)

Fresco of a banquet at a tomb in the Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Via Labicana, Rome.

The term Agape or Love feast was used for certain religious meals among early Christians that seem to have been originally closely related to the Eucharist. In modern times the Lovefeast is used to refer to a Christian ritual meal distinct from the Eucharist.

References to such communal meals are discerned in 1 Corinthians 11:17–34, in Saint Ignatius of Antioch‘s Letter to the Smyrnaeans, where the term “agape” is used, and in a letter from Pliny the Younger to Trajan, in which he reported that the Christians, after having met “on a stated day” in the early morning to “address a form of prayer to Christ, as to a divinity”, later in the day would “reassemble, to eat in common a harmless meal”. Similar communal meals are attested also in the “Apostolic Tradition” often attributed to Hippolytus of Rome, who does not use the term “agape”, and by Tertullian, who does. The connection between such substantial meals and the Eucharist had virtually ceased by the time of Cyprian (died 258), when the Eucharist was celebrated with fasting in the morning and the agape in the evening. The Synod of Gangra in 340 makes mention of them in relation to a heretic who had barred his followers from attending them. The Council of Laodicea of about 363–64 forbade the use of churches for celebrating the Agape or love feast. Though still mentioned in the Quinisext Council of 692, the Agape fell into disuse soon after, except perhaps in Ethiopia.

A form of meal referred to as Agape feast or Lovefeast was introduced among certain eighteenth-century Pietist groups, such as the Schwarzenau Brethren and the Moravian Church, and was adopted by Methodism. The name has been revived more recently among other groups, including Anglicans, as well as the American “House Church” movement.

Early Christianity

The earliest reference to a meal of the type referred to as “agape” is in Paul the Apostle‘s First Epistle to the Corinthians, although the term can only be inferred vaguely from its prominence in 1 Cor 13. Many New Testament scholars hold that the Christians of Corinth met in the evening and had a common meal including sacramental action over bread and wine. 1 Corinthians 11:20–34 indicates that the rite was associated with participation in a meal of a more general character. It apparently involved a full meal, with the participants bringing their own food but eating in a common room. Perhaps predictably enough, it could at times deteriorate into merely an occasion for eating and drinking, or for ostentatious displays by the wealthier members of the community, as happened in Corinth, drawing the criticisms of Paul: “I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?”

The term “Agape” is also used in reference to meals in Jude 12 and according to a few manuscripts of 2 Peter 2:13

Soon after the year 100, Ignatius of Antioch refers to the agape or love-feast. In Letter 97 to Trajan, Pliny the Younger perhaps indicates, in about 112, that such a meal was normally taken separately from the Eucharistic celebration (although he is silent about its nomenclature): he speaks of the Christians separating after having offered prayer, on the morning of a fixed day, to Christ as God, and reassembling later for a common meal. The rescheduling of the agape meal was triggered by Corinthian selfishness and gluttony.  Tertullian too seems to write of these meals, though what he describes is not quite clear.

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–211/216) distinguished so-called “Agape” meals of luxurious character from the agape (love) “which the food that comes from Christ shows that we ought to partake of”. Accusations of gross indecency were sometimes made against the form that these meals sometimes took. Referring to Clement of Alexandria, Stromata III,2, Philip Schaff commented: “The early disappearance of the Christian agapæ may probably be attributed to the terrible abuse of the word here referred to, by the licentious Carpocratians. The genuine agapæ were of apostolic origin (2 Pet. ii. 13; Jude 12), but were often abused by hypocrites, even under the apostolic eye (1 Corinthians 11:21). In the Gallican Church, a survival or relic of these feasts of charity is seen in the pain béni; and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church in the ἀντίδωρον (antidoron) or eulogiæ, also known as prosphora distributed to non-communicants at the close of the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist), from the loaf out of which the Lamb (Host) and other portions have been cut during the Liturgy of Preparation.”

Augustine of Hippo also objected to the continuance in his native North Africa of the custom of such meals, in which some indulged to the point of drunkenness, and he distinguished them from proper celebration of the Eucharist: “Let us take the body of Christ in communion with those with whom we are forbidden to eat even the bread which sustains our bodies.” He reports that even before the time of his stay in Milan, the custom had already been forbidden there.

Canons 27 and 28 of the Council of Laodicea (364) restricted the abuses of taking home part of the provisions and of holding the meals in churches. The Third Council of Carthage (393) and the Second Council of Orléans (541) reiterated the prohibition of feasting in churches, and the Trullan Council of 692 decreed that honey and milk were not to be offered on the altar (Canon 57), and that those who held love feasts in churches should be excommunicated (Canon 74).

Medieval Georgia

In the medieval Georgian Orthodox Church, the term agapi referred to a commemorative meal or distribution of victuals, offered to clergymen, the poor, or passers-by, accompanying the funeral service on the anniversary of the deceased. The permanent celebration of agapae was assured by legacies and foundations.

Protestant revivals of the practice

After the Protestant Reformation there was a move amongst some groups of Christians to try to return to the practices of the New Testament Church. One such group was the Schwarzenau Brethren (1708) who counted a Love Feast consisting of Feet-washing, the Agape meal, and the Eucharist among their “outward yet sacred” ordinances. Another was the Moravians led by Count Zinzendorf who adopted a form consisting of the sharing of a simple meal, and then testimonies or a devotional address were given and letters from missionaries read.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, travelled to America in the company of the Moravians and greatly admired their faith and practice. After his conversion in 1738 he introduced the Love Feast to what became known as the Methodist movement. Due to the lack of ordained ministerswithin Methodism, the Love Feast took on a life of its own, as there were few opportunities to take Communion. As such, the Primitive Methodistscelebrated the Love Feast, before it gradually died out again in the nineteenth century as the revival cooled.


The Schwarzenau Brethren groups (the largest being the Church of the Brethren) regularly practice Agape feasts (called “Love Feast”), which include feetwashing, a supper, and communion, with hymns and brief scriptural meditations interspersed throughout the worship service. The Creation Seventh Day Adventists partake of an Agape feast as a part of their New Moon observances, taking the form of a formal, all-natural meal held after the communion supper. The Agape is a common feature used by the Catholic Neocatechumenal Way in which members of the Way participate in light feast after the celebration of the Eucharist on certain occasions.

A number of Eastern Orthodox Christian parishes will have an agape meal on Sundays and feast days following the Divine Liturgy, and especially at the conclusion of the Paschal Vigil.

Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity


Tough Guise systematically examines the relationship between pop-cultural imagery and the social construction of masculine identities in the U.S. at the dawn of the 21st century. http://afdah.tv/watch-movies/28065-tough-guise-violence-media-the-crisis-in-masculinity-1999/The gentleman narrating same has profound instinct’s as to the erroneous and destructive behavior associated with construct’s no longer valuable in the future :>).

Across the universe- all we need is love

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It’s easy.

Nothing you can make that can’t be made.
No one you can save that can’t be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It’s easy.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

Nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
It’s easy.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

All you need is love (all together, now!)
All you need is love. (everybody!)
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need (love is all you need).

Let It Be (Across The Universe)

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people
Living in this world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the night is cloudy
There’s still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, let it be

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, I want you to let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

History of the concept of the Individual and Individuality in Western Society (worldacademy.org)


by Augusto Forti, Vice President
International Institute for Opera and Poetry Fellow
World Academy of Art and Science Retired Professor of Geophysics


We are the child of our land and the concept of individuality has been shaped by the history of our culture.

In this exercise there are two preliminary remarks I would like to make:

First, despite the geographical distance, sometimes, there are great similarities in the definition of “individuality” among cultures, for example, between the Indian and the European ones.

Second, in our globalized world, we have to look for those elements, in the puzzle that compose “the concept of individuality” which are common.

In my paper I’ll try to sketch the history of “individuality” in Europe. In the ancient Greek and Roman world as well as in the rest of Europe, till the middle-ages which were dominated by the ideal of “aristocracy”, the status of recognized individual applied only to very few.

At the end of the middle-ages, the concept of the “individual” started to emerge. But it took a long time to become a formalized universal and accepted concept. We can say that this took origin at a time that goes back to a period between the late 1200s and 1400.

Transition from the civilization of the middle ages to the civilization of the Renaissance played a role in creating individuality. The actors were science, technology, the bourgeoisie … and mainly, the “individual”.

There are two preliminary remarks I would like to make regarding the subject of Individuality: First, despite the geographical distance, there are great similarities in the definition of “individuality” among cultures, for example, between India and Europe.

Second, in our globalized society we have to look for those common elements in the puzzle that constitute “the concept of individuality”.

If we try to provide a reasonably shared definition of an “individual” as we conceive it today, we could say that: The individual is a free human being with his own values and is “protected” by the “universal declaration of human rights” as adopted by the United Nations, applied by many but not all the U.N. member states.

Authoritarian regimes do not recognize the rights of the individual, particularly if the individual brings with him his or her values which are different from those imposed by the authoritarian power. I will not make a list of these countries “pro bono pacis”; but, as you know, it would be a long list.

I‟ll now try to sketch the history of individuality in Europe.

Not so long ago, the church was imposing the dogma of the “holy writings” and was ready to condemn or simply burn those men and women who had different ideas. There was no space for the recognition of individuality as in the case of Giordano Bruno and many others who were burned alive. It was the same story at that time, for the protestant world.

In the ancient Greek and Roman world, dominated by the ideal of “aristocracy”, the status of a recognized individual applied only to a few: philosophers, tyrants, priests, emperors, augurs and a few others. It was a society of privileged individuals, where few had all the rights and many had none at all. This type of society dominated Europe at least „till the transition from the Middle-Ages to the Renaissance‟.

At the end of the Middle-Ages, the concept of „individual‟ began to emerge. But it took a long time to become a formalized universal concept. We can say that it had its origin during the period between 1200 and 1400.

This was a time of transition between the end of the middle-ages and the onset of the renaissance. An old equilibrium was breaking up. This type of status, in thermodynamics as well as in society, tends to create turmoil and novelties with the tendency towards a new status, as Prigogine showed.

The concept of the individual could not but appear in a period of dramatic transition. It was the end of a phase that lasted nearly 2 millennia, if we consider the fundamental contribution of the Greeks to culture.

The European of the XV century found himself surrounded by the ruins of his/her old certitudes. The earth was no longer the center of the universe. Where was God? Christopher Columbus discovered another world with strange animals and human beings, so different from those described in the holy Bible and those we had known for centuries. All this took place around the time that the Black Death occurred between 1300 and 1400 AD, which drastically reduced the entire European population.

The Europeans, to escape country brigands and harassment by landlords, assembled in towns protected by walls: the “communes”.

The “individual”, the concept of “individuality”, emerged in fact during these troubled times, with the rise of the “commune”, a revolutionary new social aggregation, and with the birth of a new social class: the bourgeoisie.

There are many reasons to support this idea.

The disregard for practical and manual activities and the aristocratic attitude that went back to the mental habit of the Greek and Roman society (where, for example, Euclid refused to consider any practical application for his mathematical theories) were coming to an end.

At the end of the XIII century, many philosophers and thinkers began to recognize the importance of the “artes mechanicae”, craft activities, and manual labour. Roger Bacon (1214- 1292), a Frenchman, supported in his writings the “artes mechanicae”, experimental activities and experimental research, was critical about the traditional attitude of the church, and was particularly against the Aristotelian Thomas Aquinas. Bacon said about Acquinas: “How can this person without knowing optics, mathematics and alchemy, without knowing “le arti minori” how can he know “le arti maggiori” (philosophy, theology etc.)?

Now in a transition period so important for our history, focus was on human beings, the world around us, the earth, and on a series of activities that in previous times were disregarded.

Even the church, with thinkers like Bacon or the school of Chartres shifted their attention from the sky, to see the life on earth around with its simple manual activities in a new light. In the past, nobody would have dared to praise the technical progress and instruments, like Bacon and Petrus Peregrinus of Maricourt did.

Bacon says of Peregrinus: “He is shameful to ignore what is known to the ignorant, he is an expert in the arts of those that are working metals and minerals of any type, and he always gave attention to the enchantments of the old ladies and those of the witches”.

Bacon was an alchemist and an outstanding mathematician, and represents an important turning point in the attitude of the Church. Bacon, the technician and inventor of all sorts of ideal machines, was the one who was able to predict with intuition the technological destiny of men.

So now, the idea that a large part of the population, and those we would describe today as commoners, had their activities recognized as well as their status as individuals accepted.

It was a great cultural change: also time was secularized, with the bell of the church replaced by the clockwork of enterprise that marked the working hours during the day. And the “machine” suddenly appeared, another crucial actor and a further step, as we will see, towards the recognition of the individual.

Many hypotheses have been put forth regarding the appearance of the “machine”, a phenomenon which is called mechanization.

For nearly half a millennium, from the end of the Roman Empire, there had been no significant technical innovation and now suddenly “umpromtù” all sort of technical instruments, tools, mechanisms and machines were popping up. Why such a change?

Was it due to the lack of manpower? In Europe, at the end of the Middle-Ages there were practically no slaves left and the Black Death had wiped out a large portion of the European population. This may have resulted in the need and interest to mechanize work.

Continue reading History of the concept of the Individual and Individuality in Western Society (worldacademy.org)

Winnie Lee

Circa 1985 – photo courtesy of Barbara Hill (via Facebook)

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to tell you that Winnie Lee passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 22. I don’t know that cause but for the past few months she had been in the hospital for pneumonia in Sept. and was on oxygen and had been recuperating at home. She recently had some medical tests to see why she was so weak. Winnie lived with her sister Lisa in Aiea.  Per Winnie’s wishes, there will be no services. Winnie was my first friend from Hawaii and my first experience of Aloha. she always showed so much Aloha and kindness. We are going to miss her terribly. if I missed anyone please pass this on.

–Maureen Malanaphy (via Facebook)

Confucius on being a gentleman


“A gentleman’s mistake [sin] is like an eclipse of the sun or moon.
When happens, everyone notices, and when corrected everyone looks up in admiration.”

–Confucius (September 28, 551 BCE – 479 BCE) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.Wikipedia