Knowledge Wisdom Understanding

The question anent initiation is one that is coming more and more before the public. Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the Church – the Church of the period, of which the nucleus is already forming – wherein the first initiation will become esoteric, in this sense only, that the taking of the first initiation will, before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church, performed esoterically as one of the mysteries given at stated periods, attended by those concerned. It will also hold a similar place in the ritual of the Masons. At this ceremony those ready for the first initiation will be publicly admitted to the Lodge by one of its members, authorized to do so by the great Hierophant Himself.

Four Words Defined

When we speak of Initiation, of wisdom, of knowledge, or of the probationary Path, what do we mean? We use the words so glibly, without due consideration of the meaning involved. Take, for instance, the word first mentioned. Many are the definitions, and many are the explanations to be found as to its scope, the preparatory steps, the work to be done between initiations, and its result and effects. One thing before all else is apparent to the most superficial student, and that is, that the magnitude of the subject is such that in order to deal with it adequately one should be able to write from the viewpoint of an initiate; when this is not the case, anything that is said may be reasonable, logical, interesting, or suggestive, but not conclusive.

The word Initiation comes from two Latin words, in, into; and ire, to go; therefore, the making of a beginning, or the entrance into something. It posits, in its widest sense, in the case we are studying, an entrance into the spiritual life, or into a fresh stage in that life. It is the first step, and the succeeding steps, upon the Path of Holiness. Literally, therefore, a man who has taken the first initiation is one who has taken the first step into the spiritual kingdom, having passed out of the definitely human kingdom into the superhuman. Just as he passed out of the animal kingdom into the human at individualization, so he has entered upon the life of the spirit, and for the first time has the right to be called a “spiritual man” in the technical significance of the word. He is entering upon the fifth or final stage in our present fivefold evolution. Having groped his way through the Hall of Ignorance during many ages, and having gone to school in the Hall of Learning, he is now entering into the university, or the Hall of Wisdom. When he has passed through that school he will graduate with his degree as a Master of Compassion.

It might be of benefit to us also if we studied first the difference or the connection between Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom. Though in ordinary parlance they are frequently interchanged, as used technically they are dissimilar.

Knowledge is the product of the Hall of Learning. It might be termed the sumtotal of human discovery and experience, that which can be recognized by the five senses, and be correlated, diagnosed, and defined by the use of the human intellect. It is that about which we feel mental certitude, or that which we can ascertain by the use of experiment. It is the compendium of the arts and sciences. It concerns all that deals with the building and developing of the form side of things. Therefore it concerns the material side of evolution, matter in the solar systems, in the planet, in the three worlds of human evolution, and in the bodies of men.

Wisdom is the product of the Hall of Wisdom. It has to do with the development of the life within the form, with the progress of the spirit through those ever-changing vehicles, and with the expansions of consciousness that succeed each other from life to life. It deals with the life side of evolution. Since it deals with the essence of things and not with the things themselves, it is the intuitive apprehension of truth apart from the reasoning faculty, and the innate perception that can distinguish between the false and the true, between the real and the unreal. It is more than that, for it is also the growing capacity of the Thinker to enter increasingly into the mind of the Logos, to realize the true inwardness of the great pageant of the universe, to vision the objective, and to harmonize more and more with the higher measure. For our present purpose (which is to study somewhat the Path of Holiness and its various stages) it may be described as the realization of the “Kingdom of God within,” and the apprehension of the “Kingdom of God without” in the solar system. Perhaps it might be expressed as the gradual blending of the paths of the mystic and the occultist, – the rearing of the temple of wisdom upon the foundation of knowledge.

Wisdom is the science of the spirit, just as knowledge is the science of matter. Knowledge is separate and objective, whilst wisdom is synthetic and subjective. Knowledge divides; wisdom unites. Knowledge differentiates whilst wisdom blends. What, then, is meant by the understanding?

The understanding may be defined as the faculty of the Thinker in Time to appropriate knowledge as the foundation for wisdom, that which enables him to adapt the things of form to the life of the spirit, and to take the flashes of inspiration that come to him from the Hall of Wisdom and link them to the facts of the Hall of Learning. Perhaps the whole idea might be expressed in this way:


Wisdom concerns the one Self, knowledge deals with the not-self, whilst the understanding is the point of view of the Ego, or Thinker, or his relation between them.

In the Hall of Ignorance the form controls, and the material side of things has the predominance. Man is there polarized in the personality or lower self. In the Hall of Learning the higher self, or Ego, strives to dominate that form until gradually a point of equilibrium is reached where the man is controlled entirely by neither. Later the Ego controls more and more, until in the Hall of Wisdom it dominates in the three lower worlds, and in increasing degree the inherent divinity assumes the mastery.

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Excerpted from:

Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter II – Initiation Defined

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

Sixth Ray Entrenchment and Schism

Before a flame goes out it can sometimes have a brief brighter flicker.

The sixth ray of idealism and devotion is going out of manifestation. The two nations most prone to its influence at the personality level are Russia and USA. The personality does not think holistically it is separative. We are right and those commie / capitalist bastards are wrong. This drama played out for decades.

American led NATO expanded to the edge of Ukraine. Russia does not like this and deems it hostile. {I am sure countries like Germany liked having a land buffer.} Half of Germany knows Russia. Russia invades Ukraine. The blitzkrieg did not work. Most countries in NATO deem it right to punish Russia. Russia deems this aggressive so raises the stakes of nuclear poker by “annexing” parts of Ukraine. {Sudetenland anyone?} The sides are entrenched. {The Somme and Passchendaele.} Ukraine asks to join NATO. It does not yet fit the criteria. Will NATO have the cohones and bend the rules to let it join? In all of this nobody is speaking of the fiscal cost of all the weaponry heading East. Is production of weaponry being ramped up to fill the empty inventory? Truss says she is going to increase the defence spending to 3% of GDP. With what, imaginary unicorn or faery coins, I ask?

Does history repeat itself?

Nuclear fission is at the “heart” of atomic weapons. They are the weapon, par excellence, of separation, division and entrenchment. It may be fitting for the sixth ray to go out with a bang. After all our ideal is the only correct ideal, we will exterminate anyone who disagrees. {Saddam, Osama bin Laden, Litvinenko, Sergei Skripal}. When the pot calls the kettle black, and neither are self-aware, what can you do?

Nuclear war may in a strange way bring us all together by merit of shared experience. You could say that the cleavage of a sixth ray atomic weapons cause could usher in the synthesis effect of shared experience. Which would be tad ironic, don’t you think?

Armageddon in the “Blue Books”

Given the current situation I thought it apt to look this up in the Blue Book Opus.

A Treatise on White Magic – Rule Thirteen – The Quaternaries to be Recognized

In dealing with the subject of qualification and answering the question: What constitutes the equipment needed by a white magician? I would say one thing: – all students realize that certain requirements must be met if a man is to be entrusted with any measure of understanding of the technique of the Great Work. I take it for granted, however, that the character qualifications are not those to which our question refers. All aspirants know, and down the ages have been taught, that a clean mind and a pure heart, love of truth, and a life of service and unselfishness, are prime prerequisites, and where they are lacking, naught avails and none of the great secrets can be imparted. You might well say here: We have also been taught that there exist those who work in the four ethers and who undoubtedly perform magical deeds, yet who do not possess this essential purity and loving-kindness to which reference has been made. This is undoubtedly true; they belong to a group of workers in matter whom we call Black Magicians; they are highly developed intellectually and can motivate mental substance or mind stuff in such a manner that it can achieve objectivity on the physical plane and bring about their deep intent. About this group there is much misunderstanding and profound ignorance. It is perhaps as well, for their destiny is tied up with the future race, the sixth, and their end and the cessation of their activities will come about in that far distant aeon which is technically called the Sixth Round. The final break or division between the so-called black and white forces, for this particular world cycle, will take place during the period of the sixth root race in the present round. Towards the close of the sixth root race, before the emergence of the seventh, we shall have the true Armageddon about which so much has been taught. A small cycle, corresponding to this final battle and cleavage, will appear during the sixth subrace which is now in process of formation. The world war which has just taken place and our present cycle of separateness and upheaval, do not constitute the real Armageddon. The war which is told to us in the Mahabharata and the present war had the roots of their trouble and the seeds of the disasters which they brought about, one in the lower and one in the higher astral world. Selfishness and desire of a low order were the impulses back of them both. The coming great division will have its roots in the mental world and will consummate in the sixth subrace. In the sixth root race it will have the seeds of portentous disaster in the coordinated triplicity of mind, astralism, and physical nature, which will bring about a climaxing moment for the planetary duality.

Beyond that we need not go, for the humanity of the sixth round will be so different in nature to ours and those who will differentiate into the black and the white forces will be so unlike what we now understand by the words, that we need not concern ourselves with that far distant problem.

Let it be remembered that the true black magician (I refer not here to a person with a tendency to black magic) is a soulless entity. He is a being in whom the Ego is as we understand the term today – non-existent. It is oft overlooked and seldom grasped or told that they, therefore, do not exist in physical bodies. Their world is ever the world of illusion. They work, from the lower mental plane, on desire matter, and on the sentient desire bodies of those on the physical plane who are swept by delusion and held in the bonds of extreme selfishness and self-centeredness. What the ignorant call a black magician on the physical plane is only some man or woman sensitive to or en rapport with a true black magician on the astral plane. This relationship is only possible when there have been many lives of selfishness, low desire, perverted intellectual aspiration, and love of the lower psychism, and this only when the man has been held willingly in thrall by them. Such men and women are few and far between, for unadulterated selfishness is rare indeed. Where it exists, it is exceedingly potent, as are all one-pointed tendencies.

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The Externalization of the Hierarchy – Section II – The General World Picture

It is for this that I have worked and for this I have sought to arouse all of you. This spirit is growing among the allied forces, though the falling away of France was inevitable. France was animated by somewhat selfish purposes – the security and safety of France more than with the integrity and happiness of humanity, and this led to an inevitable collapse; France is learning, however, and its unshakable masses and its spiritual nucleus will save the day for the broken nation. The neutral powers are still selfish (though they seek by philanthropy to veil it), but they are rapidly awakening to the true issues, and when there is real synthesis of goal and of purpose and a true unification of vision upon the mental plane, of fixed and unalterable desire upon the emotional plane, and a dedication to practical effort upon the physical plane, then there will be hope that the embodiment of “the desire of all nations” will appear.

That embodiment is one mode in which divine intervention can take place. The Prince of Peace will lead His people – through war – to peace. Those who think only in terms of peace as they understand it and desire it are apt to forget the Biblical implication that the Prince of Peace takes a definite part in the battle of Armageddon (now in full progress). After achieving victory, He will then lead His triumphant cohorts through the gates into “Jerusalem,” the city of peace. The symbolic and practical significance of this is becoming increasingly apparent. This notable event can and will take place when the free will of the people, blended by invocation and prayer, can make this possible.

Divine intervention could also take the form of a cataclysmic happening which would bring aggression to an end through destruction. It would probably be at such a cost of human life that there is definite hesitation over employing it by the custodians of natural law and the workers who understand divine purpose, apart from the fact that humanity has now reached the point in evolution where the expression of human free will is definitely possible. The use of cataclysm was the method employed in Atlantean days, as you well know from the tales of the flood, and through the flood there was almost complete destruction of the civilization of that time. It is hoped that such a drastic step will not be needed today, though there are ancient prophecies which foretell the possibility of the destruction of this world at this time through fire – instead of flood. Which of the two methods – divine embodiment and natural cataclysm – will be employed will really be decided by humanity through its use or non-use of free will and understanding. If humanity fails to unite under the banner of the Forces of Light against the forces of material aggression and selfishness, then the “fiery ordeal” might be unavoidable.

There are also sleeping hosts which may be evoked for the aiding of the spiritual forces, and certain ancient prophecies hint at these, but as we study the new Invocation phrase by phrase, I may be able to make this matter clearer, for there are several significances and meanings behind each phrase. The one thing I seek to make clear in these opening remarks is that natural law, free will, and karma are becoming increasingly related and are all aspects of one great law, embodying divine purpose – a purpose which must work out through the medium of humanity itself if the present opportunity is to be met correctly and in line with divine purpose.

The stimulation of certain people to phenomenal action, and the instigation of others to emerge as dynamic and inspired leaders, is also another way in which divine intervention might find expression. Oft, down the ages, men have been over-shadowed by divinity and inspired by God to accept positive leadership, and so make divine purpose a fact in conditioning world affairs. Had they not so responded to the influencing impression, and had they not accepted the responsibility imposed upon them, the course of world affairs and world events might have been very different. I refer not here specifically to spiritual leaders but also to leaders in other departments of human living – to such expressions of the divine will as Moses, the Lawgiver, Akbar, the warrior and student, Leonardo da Vinci, the inspired artist, and to other great and outstanding figures who have determined the basic trends of human civilization; I refer also to the constructive forces which have guided mankind into the increasing light of knowledge and understanding. All these leaders have produced lasting effects upon the human consciousness and their work has lain therefore in the domain of the second aspect of divinity. Their activities parallel those of the workers who are, or have been, inspired by the material or matter aspect of manifestation, whose influence has been predominantly upon the physical plane, and whose effect has been outstandingly along selfish personal lines. This type of influence is felt predominantly upon the physical plane, and therefore, from certain angles, the present conflict might be regarded as one between the second aspect, the developed spiritual consciousness, and the material aspect of manifestation, with humanity constituting the great field of divine conflict at this time

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A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Division D – Thought Elementals and Fire Elementals

The fifth principle of manas is embodied in the five Kumaras, and if the student studies the significance of the first five petals which are unfolded in the egoic lotus, he may touch upon the fringe of the mystery. The fifth Ray, which is the Ray of the fifth Kumara, is potently responsive to the energy flowing through the fifth Hierarchy. As the student of occultism knows, the Lord of the fifth Ray holds that place in the Septenary enumeration, but under the fivefold classification, he holds the third or middle place.

1. The cosmic Lord of Will or Power.       

2. The cosmic Lord of Love-Wisdom.       

3. The cosmic Lord of Active Intelligence                1.

4. The cosmic Lord of Harmony 2.

5. The cosmic Lord of Concrete Knowledge           3.

6. The cosmic Lord of Abstract Idealism 4.

7. The cosmic Lord of Ceremonial Magic                 5.

This should be pondered on, and His close connection therefore, as a transmitter of force within the Moon chain, the third chain, in connection with the third kingdom, the animal, and with the third round, must be borne in mind. One symbol that may be found in the archaic records in lieu of His Name or description is an inverted five-pointed star, with the luminous Triangle at the center. It will be noted that the points involved in this symbol number eight – a picture of that peculiar state of consciousness brought about when the mind is seen to be the slayer of the Real. The secret of planetary avitchi is hidden here, just as the third major scheme can be viewed as systemic avitchi, and the moon at one time held an analogous position in connection with our scheme. This must be interpreted in terms of consciousness, and not of locality.

In the fifth round, at its middle point, certain things will eventuate.

The fifth Hierarchy will rise to its full power. This will precede the Judgment Day, and will mark a point of tremendous struggle, for the manasic vehicle “manas” (which they embody) will rebel against the translation of the life within (the buddhi). There will, therefore, be seen on a racial scale and involving millions simultaneously, a repetition of the selfsame struggle which embroils the man who seeks to transcend mind and to live the life of Spirit. This will be the final Armageddon, the planetary kurukshetra, and will be succeeded by the Judgment Day when the Sons of Manas will be cast out and the Dragons of Wisdom rule. This only means that those in whom the manasic principle is over-potent or underdeveloped will be considered as failures and will have to wait for a more suitable period for development, while those who are living the buddhic life, and in whom it is waxing stronger – spiritual men, aspirants, disciples of various degrees, initiates and adepts – will be left to pursue the natural course of evolution on this scheme.

The mystery of Capricorn is hidden in these five and in the Biblical words “the sheep and the goats.” The Christian hints at this when he speaks of the Christ reigning on earth a thousand years during which the serpent is imprisoned. The Christ principle will triumph for the remainder of the manvantara, and the lower material nature and mind will be held in abeyance until the next round, when fresh opportunity will arise for certain groups of the discarded, though the majority will be held over until another system. Something similar again will take place on the fifth chain but as it concerns a center in the planetary Logos of which we know but little, we need not here enlarge upon it.

The planetary chains embody centers, and as they are awakened and come under stimulation, they swing into physical incarnation certain types of manasaputras. The type dominated by the fifth chain energy is little known as it is yet in process of evolution within another scheme, the fifth, so it is waste of our time to consider it. It is connected with the unfoldment of the fifth egoic petal of a planetary Logos on His Own plane and consequently with the activity of the fifth spirilla. When the hour strikes, these units of energy will “come in” from another scheme on a stream of cosmic energy which will swing through a particular systemic triangle, just as when the egos came in this round.

It might here be pointed out that the solar Angels concerned with the fifth Hierarchy are naturally a potent factor in the evolution of the fifth or spiritual kingdom; they are that which make it possible, for they not only bridge the gap between the fourth and third kingdoms, but bridge that found between the fourth and fifth.

We need not consider any further this question of the fifth principle, for two reasons:

First, that the subject has been sufficiently covered for our purpose in an earlier section, and secondly, that the full revelation in connection with cosmic manas and the entities who come in on that influence may not further be revealed at this moment. That which is given in the Secret Doctrine, and supplemented here by further details, will suffice for the investigations of students for another generation. Each generation should produce those able to ascertain subjective fact for themselves; they will utilize that which is exoteric and known as stepping stones on the path to perfect knowledge. They will know, and they will give out, and only the next cycle of fifty years after their work is accomplished will see the recognition by the many of the truth revealed by the few. In the case of H. P. B. this is apparent. On the tide of the present endeavor, the Secret Doctrine will be vindicated and her work justified.

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Avitchi. A state of consciousness, not necessarily after death or between births for it can take place on earth as well. Literally it means “uninterrupted hell.” The last of the eight hells we are told where “the culprits die and are reborn without interruption – yet not without hope of final redemption.”

Toltec “History” and Atlantis

I am going to post some quotations from;

“The Story of Atlantis”

A Geographical, Historical and Ethnological Sketch
by W. Scott-Elliot
[1896]

This can be found at Sacred Texts.  This archive as a whole is a wonderful resource and I encourage everyone to explore it thoroughly.

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Political Institutions

It was the Toltec race who developed the highest civilization and organised the most powerful empire of any of the Atlantean peoples, and it was then that the principle of heredity succession was for the first time established. The race was at first divided into a number of petty independent kingdoms, constantly at war with each other, and all at war with the Lemurio-Rmoahals of the south. These were gradually conquered and made subject peoples–many of their tribes being reduced to slavery. About one million years ago, however, these separate kingdoms united in a great federation with a recognized emperor at its head. This was of course inaugurated by great wars, but the outcome was peace and prosperity for the race.

It must be remembered that humanity was still for the most part possessed of psychic attributes, and by this time the most advanced had undergone the necessary training in the occult schools, and had attained various stages of initiation–some even reaching to Adeptship. Now the second of these emperors was an Adept, and for thousands of years the Divine dynasty ruled not only all the kingdoms into which Atlantis was divided but the islands on the West and the southern portion of the adjacent land lying to the east. When necessary, this dynasty was recruited from the Lodge of Initiates, but as a rule the power was handed down from father to son, all being more or less qualified, and the son in some cases receiving a further degree at the hands of his father. During all this period these Initiate rulers retained connection with the Occult Hierarchy which governs the world, submitting to its laws, and acting in harmony with its plans. This was the golden age of the Toltec race. The government was just and beneficent; the arts and sciences were cultivated–indeed the workers in these fields, guided as they were by occult knowledge, achieved tremendous results; religious belief and ritual were still comparatively pure–in fact the civilization of Atlantis had by this time reached its height.

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Sorcery versus the Good Law

After about 100,000 years of this golden age the degeneracy and decay of the race set in. Many of the tributary kings, and large numbers of the priests and people ceased to use their faculties and powers in accordance with the laws made by their Divine rulers, whose precepts and advice were now disregarded. Their connection with the Occult Hierarchy was broken. Personal aggrandizement, the attainment of wealth and authority, the humiliation and ruin of their enemies became more and more the objects towards which their occult powers were directed: and thus turned from their lawful use, and practiced for all sorts of selfish and malevolent purposes, they inevitably led to what we must call by the name of sorcery.

Surrounded as this word is with the odium which credulity on the one hand and imposture on the other have, during many centuries of superstition and ignorance, gradually caused it to be associated, let us consider for a moment its real meaning, and the terrible effects which its practice is ever destined to bring on the world.

Partly through their psychic faculties, which were not yet quenched in the depths of materiality to which the race afterwards descended, and partly through their scientific attainments during this culmination of Atlantean civilization, the most intellectual and energetic members of the race gradually obtained more and more insight into the working of Nature’s laws, and more and more control over some of her hidden forces. Now the desecration of this knowledge and its use for selfish ends is what constitutes sorcery. The awful effects, too, of such desecration are well enough exemplified in the terrible catastrophes that overtook the race. For when once the black practice was inaugurated it was destined to spread in ever-widening circles. The higher spiritual guidance being thus withdrawn, the Kamic principle, which being the fourth, naturally reached its zenith during the Fourth Root Race, asserted itself more and more in humanity. Lust, brutality and ferocity were all on the increase, and the animal nature in man was approaching its most degraded expression. It was a moral question which from the very earliest times divided the Atlantean Race into two hostile camps, and what was begun in the Rmoahal times was terribly accentuated in the Toltec era. The battle of Armageddon is fought over and over again in every age of the world’s history.

No longer submitting to the wise rule of the Initiate emperors, the followers of the “black arts” rose in rebellion and set up a rival emperor, who after much struggle and fighting drove the white emperor from his capital, the “City of the Golden Gates,” and established himself on his throne.

The white emperor, driven northward, re-established himself in a city originally founded by the Tlavatli on the southern edge of the mountainous district, but which was now the seat of one of the tributary Toltec kings. This king gladly welcomed the white emperor and placed the city at his disposal. A few more of the tributary kings also remained loyal to him, but most transferred their allegiance to the new emperor reigning at the old capital. These, however, did not long remain faithful. Constant assertions of independence were made by the tributary kings, and continual battles were fought in different parts of the empire, the practice of sorcery being largely resorted to, to supplement the powers of destruction possessed by the armies.

These events took place about 50,000 years before the first great catastrophe.

From this time onwards things went from bad to worse. The sorcerers used their powers more and more recklessly, and greater and greater numbers of people acquired and practiced these terrible “black arts.”

Then came the awful retribution when millions upon millions perished. The great “City of the Golden Gates” had by this time become a perfect den of iniquity. The waves swept over it and destroyed its inhabitants, and the “black” emperor and his dynasty fell to rise no more. The emperor of the north as well as the initiated priests throughout the whole continent had long been fully aware of the evil days at hand, and subsequent pages will tell of the many priest-led emigrations which preceded this catastrophe, as well as those of later date.

The continent was now terribly rent. But the actual amount of territory submerged by no means represented the damage done, for tidal waves swept over great tracts of land and left them desolate swamps. Whole provinces were rendered barren, and remained for generations in an uncultivated and desert condition.

The remaining population too had received a terrible warning. It was taken to heart, and sorcery was for a time less prevalent among them. A long period elapsed before any new powerful rule was established. We shall eventually find a Semite dynasty of sorcerers enthroned in the “City of the Golden Gates,” but no Toltec power rose to eminence during the second map period. There were considerable Toltec populations still, but little of the pure blood remained on the mother continent.

On the island of Ruta however, in the third map period, a Toltec dynasty again rose to power and ruled through its tributary kings a large portion of the island. This dynasty was addicted to the black craft, which it must be understood became more and more prevalent during all the four periods, until it culminated in the inevitable catastrophe, which to a great extent purified the earth of the monstrous evil. It must also be borne in mind that down to the very end when Poseidonis disappeared an Initiate emperor or king–or at least one acknowledging the “good law”–held sway in some part of the island continent, acting under the guidance of the Occult Hierarchy in controlling where possible the evil sorcerers, and in guiding and instructing the small minority who were still willing to lead pure and wholesome lives. In later days this “white” king was as a rule elected by the priests-the handful, that is, who still followed the “good law.”

Little more remains to be said about the Toltecs. In Poseidonis the population of the whole island was more or less mixed. Two kingdoms and one small republic in the west divided the island between them. The northern portion was ruled by an Initiate king. In the south too the hereditary principle had given way to election by the people. Exclusive race-dynasties were at an end, but kings of Toltec blood occasionally rose to power both in the north and south, the northern kingdom being constantly encroached upon by its southern rival, and more and more of its territory annexed.

Having dealt at some length with the state of things under the Toltecs, the leading political characteristics of the four following sub-races need not long detain us, for none of them reached the heights of civilization that the Toltecs did–in fact the degeneration of the race had set in……

Some French Headlines

Les Echos, like the Financial Times, leads with this:

La Banque d’Angleterre intervient en urgence pour empêcher le naufrage de la dette britannique

Les achats devraient porter sur des obligations à long terme. L’opération devrait être limitée dans le temps. Elle vise à un retour à la normale sur les marchés, après l’onde de choc du plan de baisse d’impôts britannique.

Hydrogène propre : une dizaine d’usines prêtes à sortir de terre, avec le soutien de l’Etat

La Première ministre Elisabeth Borne a annoncé, sur le site de l’équipementier automobile Plastic Omnium, une première liste de 10 projets retenus pour créer une « filière souveraine » de production d’hydrogène. L’objectif est de faire de la France un des leaders mondiaux dans ce domaine.

From Les Echos

Si l’eau ne venait plus à couler des robinets costarmoricains, la préfecture prévoit de distribuer des bouteilles d’eau.

Lundi 26 septembre, le préfet des Côtes-d’Armor, Stéphane Rouvé, a exprimé ses craintes concernant les réserves d’eau dans le département. « Le niveau des ressources en eau potable dans les Côtes-d’Armor nous donne 35 à 45 jours d’autonomie dans certains secteurs, contre 60 à 90 d’ordinaire à cette période de l’année », a-t-il prévenu.

Inquiétude également du côté de Michel Raffray, le président du Syndicat départemental d’alimentation en eau potable 22 : « La capacité des barrages diminue. Le niveau d’eau dans les nappes souterraines n’a jamais été aussi bas. On ne peut plus la capter. Les forages des agriculteurs ne donnent plus rien ».

Stéphane Rouvé demande ainsi à l’ensemble du département de réaliser des économies et notamment les particuliers, qui représentent 65 % des besoins quotidiens en eau potable. « Économiser 15 litres par personne et par jour, cela représente 10 000 m3, prévient-il. On peut gagner dix à quinze jours et ainsi tenir jusqu’à une période où les pluies sont, normalement, supérieures ».

Et si le pire arrive, c’est-à-dire si certaines communes costarmoricaines se retrouvent à sec dans les semaines à venir, la préfecture prévoit de déclencher un plan Orsec. Par jour et par habitant, trois litres d’eau en bouteilles seraient ainsi distribués aux habitants privés d’eau. « Mais seulement pour les besoins vitaux », précise la préfecture.

 From Le Télégramme a Breton newspaper.

511 keV gamma photons

This from Wikipedia

PET – CT Scanner

“To conduct the scan, a short-lived radioactive tracer isotope is injected into the living subject (usually into blood circulation). Each tracer atom has been chemically incorporated into a biologically active molecule. There is a waiting period while the active molecule becomes concentrated in tissues of interest; then the subject is placed in the imaging scanner. The molecule most commonly used for this purpose is F-18 labelled fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a sugar, for which the waiting period is typically an hour. During the scan, a record of tissue concentration is made as the tracer decays.

As the radioisotope undergoes positron emission decay (also known as positive beta decay), it emits a positron, an antiparticle of the electron with opposite charge. The emitted positron travels in tissue for a short distance (typically less than 1 mm, but dependent on the isotope), during which time it loses kinetic energy, until it decelerates to a point where it can interact with an electron. The encounter annihilates both electron and positron, producing a pair of annihilation (gamma) photons moving in approximately opposite directions. These are detected when they reach a scintillator in the scanning device, creating a burst of light which is detected by photomultiplier tubes or silicon avalanche photodiodes (Si APD). The technique depends on simultaneous or coincident detection of the pair of photons moving in approximately opposite directions (they would be exactly opposite in their center of mass frame, but the scanner has no way to know this, and so has a built-in slight direction-error tolerance). Photons that do not arrive in temporal “pairs” (i.e. within a timing-window of a few nanoseconds) are ignored.

Localization of the positron annihilation event

The most significant fraction of electron–positron annihilations results in two 511 keV gamma photons being emitted at almost 180 degrees to each other; hence, it is possible to localize their source along a straight line of coincidence (also called the line of response, or LOR). In practice, the LOR has a non-zero width as the emitted photons are not exactly 180 degrees apart. If the resolving time of the detectors is less than 500 picoseconds rather than about 10 nanoseconds, it is possible to localize the event to a segment of a chord, whose length is determined by the detector timing resolution. As the timing resolution improves, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the image will improve, requiring fewer events to achieve the same image quality. This technology is not yet common, but it is available on some new systems.”

“PET scans are increasingly read alongside CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, with the combination (called “co-registration”) giving both anatomic and metabolic information (i.e., what the structure is, and what it is doing biochemically). Because PET imaging is most useful in combination with anatomical imaging, such as CT, modern PET scanners are now available with integrated high-end multi-detector-row CT scanners (so-called “PET-CT”). Because the two scans can be performed in immediate sequence during the same session, with the patient not changing position between the two types of scans, the two sets of images are more precisely registered, so that areas of abnormality on the PET imaging can be more perfectly correlated with anatomy on the CT images. This is very useful in showing detailed views of moving organs or structures with higher anatomical variation, which is more common outside the brain.”

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I have just been up to the pharmacy to get some Seretide for myself. There is a small workshop for green agriculture in the local hall. There were about a dozen young farmers there outside chatting. Later the wife is going to have some F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose. From farming and deer to electron positron annihilation…

A little under a year ago I was trying to expedite a PET scan and rang around the UK and Switzerland to find alternative means. I got a prescription from our GP and worked out we could get one done at short notice near Geneva. There are flights from Rennes to Geneva. I know the roads in Switzerland…

Then when they did one here. They gave me the results without a narrative. It was against the background of an erroneous working diagnosis…It was a shocker to understate.

These PET scans are not cheap due to the synthesis of the F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose, but they are very informative. Today, the idea is to get a baseline assessment of the state of play regarding her Myeloma.

We are not due to see the haematologist until December.

They often give you web-links to download your own data.

I might be looking at images again soon but with a correct diagnosis…this time.

Life is strange

Leaving the Homeworld

The Chandra X-ray image of Sirius A & B, a double star system located 8.6 light years from Earth, shows a bright source and a dim source. The central bright source is Sirius B, a dense white dwarf star with a surface temperature of about 25,000 degrees Celsius. The dim source (slightly above and to the right of Sirius B) is Sirius A, a normal star more than twice as massive as the Sun. The spoke-like pattern of light is an instrument artifact due to the transmission grating. The white dwarf, Sirius B, has a mass equal to the mass of the Sun packed into a diameter that is 90% that of the Earth. The gravity on the surface of Sirius B is 400,000 times that of Earth!

Light Quotes

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Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

Alan Alda

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People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

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Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.

William Wordsworth

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He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.

William Blake

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I live and love in God’s peculiar light.

Michelangelo

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Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.

Thomas Fuller

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The burden which is well borne becomes light.

Ovid

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What is to give light must endure burning.

Viktor E. Frankl

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Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.

Albert Camus

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore

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As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Carl Jung

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Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Anton Chekhov

Alternatives to the Ten Commandments and Diamond Sutra

This from Wiki…

Bertrand Russell (1951)

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. He formulated these ten commandments:

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worthwhile to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

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