Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A bookworm's diary

One of the things I have always enjoyed in life is books. Not just reading books, but generally enjoying them as an object: the texture of their cover, the smell of the pages in it, the colours, the letters... I like magazines and newspapers as well, but these have a more temporary feel to them. Especially newspapers, where the news you read in the morning are already old by the evening. I like the habit of reading a newspaper on Sunday mornings though. It's a good company for coffee and here in Greece, Sunday issues are always accompanied by interesting magazines and booklets. I love libraries and big, organized bookshops, where you can get lost in the corridors, among the titles. I also enjoy visiting old ones, in which the characteristic smell makes you wonder how old could those books on the shelves be, and through how many hands have they already passed.

My bookcase is my little treasure, and I believe it's a treasure in every and any home. They say that if you want to have a picture of someone's personality and interests you just need to glance at their bookcase's shelves. I wonder what will happen in a few years, when e-books will deluge our everyday life. The practical , environmental and economical benefit of 2000 titles in one piece is undeniable, but will we accomplish better and more profitable reading? Umberto Eco claims that our traditional way of reading won't change, and that the reason for this is our own nature. The shape of a book is designed in a way that comfortably serves the human visual and tactile needs. It is not easy, indeed, to read from a screen, when compared to a leaf. Moreover, the reader himself misses one thing that way, the personal and emotional contact with the book (and indirectly with it's writer): he can't grab a pen and write notes, he can't fold a page, he can't feel a certain and characteristic smell...

Nowadays, record stores resemble antique shops; people rarely buy cds. Will we witness something similar with bookshops? Will books become luxury items? And from the educational point of view, how will e-books affect learning? Too many questions to answer, lots of aspects to think of.

We may have broadened our horizons in the music industry (we replaced walkmans with ipods, cassettes with tiny USB devices filled with countless mp3 files) but listening to music is different from reading. Reading demands a certain mental concentration, a certain psychological mood, that it is not always a given factor. Time will show how we will adjust to this change. Changes have always had their pros and cons anyway.

For the time being, I enjoy being a bookworm. I like dawdling people who read at the metro station, exchanging books with my friends and discussing about them.

I don't know if books are the most loyal friends in this world as they say, but they are always great windows and gates to other worlds. I'll give an example for those who have read Harry Potter (I have it recent because of the movie): Just think of how many Hogwarts sceneries have been created in our teenage minds before the movies were out and we could have a universal picture. Millions! And that's the power of human imagination after all :)

Photo by : RachelLovesToLaugh's

Friday, November 12, 2010


Dear reader... Have you ever crossed paths with any of those questions that make one look up to the stars and wonder? Well then, if you have, this post is for you.

As I was reading a modern physics book, I stumbled upon a few theories about the group of multiple universes, or "the Multiverse", as physicists conveniently named it. Let's put aside all the theory behind this subject and I wonder something: do we really have a plan?
In this book I was reading, there was a reference to a man's relatively simple theory about this multiverse of many dimensions that go far beyond the third. In simple lines, the theory says that each dimension is like an infinite set of previous ones combined. In the zero dimension there is a point; in the first dimension, a line will contain an infinite number of points; in the second, a plane will be made of an infinite number of lines all parallel; in the third, planes will be set parallel too and create a 3D space; in the 4th there will be a hyperspace, or "time" that will contain infinite snapshots of 3D pictures... like cinema!

So what is my point? In these dimensions, everything gains parallel versions, which is very useful, because if we commit a paradox, like traveling back in time to when we didn't exist, it will be solved by getting redirected to that time, but in a universe where that isn't a paradox, a parallel universe with a distorted time line. If you take it a step further, you will easily understand that for a human being, the fourth dimension brings his life's time line, and from the fifth on, it starts to unfold into infinite versions of... himself!

This is amazing, because it means that in one more step, there is any possible life we could have had in this "plan" AND all the lives we couldn't have had, starting from where we did. This brings a problem, that has two possible solutions. We can think of it as a bad thing, because this means two things: 1. once we find out how, we can travel back and forth between dimensions, and reach our dreams easily, plus become anything anytime, predicting everything that will, would, or wasn't supposed to happen in this life, etc... 2. we wouldn't be free (things wouldn't depend on what we choose, since we would be choosing everything simultaneously, in different universes, and there would be no "unchosen" options).

From another perspective, we could see this in a more positive way: 1. in each version of ourselves, we are only aware of that same version, which will never allow us to bring knowledge from one to the other and "spoil" life. This is a bit different from having an "illusion" of freedom... it's more like a guarantee of not spoiling freedom itself, which would be a great engineering feature from whoever built all this. 2. we would not only be free, but also so free that we could even choose between being aware of ourselves in different planes of existence, broadening our freedom exponentially!

So what do you think? Are we puppets of the multiverse, blinded from our own reflections, or are we a multiple reality, gifted with an enormous freedom? Any of the perspectives is valid, and until we travel through any of the possible dimensions, we will have to wonder about this. As for myself, I will of course keep wondering, because thought is life, and I sincerely hope you don't wonder as much as I do =)
Also, here is a very interesting read suggestion for those of you interested in this subject: Fred Alan Wolf's "Parallel universes: the search for other worlds", plus the link to an explanatory video with amazing simplicity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY_ZgAvXsuw

Hope you enjoyed the little brain teaser I brought you today. Stay tuned and enjoy (don't forget to follow us)


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simplifying our lives

Ε. F Schumacher said once: «Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction.» And it’s true. We live in a society full of intelligent fools trying to simplify their lives, while ending up making them even more complex. We shouldn’t leave ourselves out of this counting though. It seems that we are all links of the same heavy chain.

We have reached at a point of wasting our energy and money on redundant things. Our lives and houses are full of useless objects, our mobile phones are full of "contacts", but it seems that we need more and more communication. How nice it would be if we could observe the great example of nature : Everything happens for a reason , money doesn't buy anything , life is simple and energy is precious.

On a daily basis, life would be a lot more pleasant and closer to the real meaning of  “well-being”, as ancient Greeks defined it, if it was characterized by simplicity. If we were released , for example, from all those stressful thoughts that torture us everyday, if we were closer to nature, if we could find the balance between the instinct of survival, and our desires. If our targets were aiming for pure freedom.
Unfortunately though, the human nature is not simple. It is an endless farrago of needs, impulses, pleasures and phobias, that all together synthesize a specific way of life. What is more, we are always surrounded by people that influence us consciously or subconsciously : our family , friends , partners and co-workers create an invisible web of social pressure around us. It is a true temptation, indeed, to receive compliments for our attainments. However, in that way,  we tend to forget what we really need, who we really are in depth. We compare ourselves with others, we get jealous for the things that we don't have and as a result, we transform our lives into a daily marathon.  

It would be really difficult to invent an absolute definition of simple life. People have always different rhythms and the process of changing them it is objective attempt , that requires time, honesty, discipline, and introspection. We are often confused about our priorities and we are afraid to say “no”, to reject the unnecessary. That is because we have time and space to oscillate , until we finally yield to pressure. Think of how many people you know, or you read about, that, after a hard period , an illness , a loss or an accident they changed completely their minds about what is important and what is not. We need to be persuaded that in life, we don’t constantly sit on examinations and we will never fulfill the unrealistic dream of an absolute satisfaction of our wills. Here are some ways of doing it :

Dare to say “no” :  How many times did you agree with something that you didn’t really want to, because of guilt or fear that you will be rejected? And the worse part, of course, is that, once this pile of conventional acceptances starts growing , you’re losing a part of yourself at the same time. In order to satisfy others , you gradually forget what you really want. Many people describe that as a need for oxygen. Breathing without feeling guilty is of vital importance.

ü   Organize your mind: Dare to make to-do lists and follow them every day. It provides a sense of security that doesn’t allow you to get lost. Reduce over-thinking and getting lost in choices. Follow your intuition.

     Reduce the drama: Unspoken failures , bad gossip and complaints about mistakes release toxicity. Face your problems and complexes with honesty, admit your mistakes , talk about them openly and remember that you only have chosen how to think and spend your life. Stop worrying about things that you know in depth, it doesn't worth sweating about. Forgive yourself eventually, and move on.
     Plan your future: Make a 5-month or even a one- year plan about the things you would want to accomplish. It doesn't matter if you check out all of them. During the journey you may discover things about yourself that you couldn't imagine.

     Life is like a piece of art, that prevents you from seeing its true meaning, if you only have one point of view. Taking some steps back will help us evaluate things from a distance and finally, appreciate them in the right way.
     Albedo (Μαρία)


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Albedo and Citrinitas

My name is Albedo. In the language of alchemy , I represent the white light that brings  hope in  the depth of the darkness , the light of sun that rises at midnight , the positive change in a soul.  I am symbolized by Aurora (aurea hora : "the hour of gold"), the Roman goddess of the dawn and the morning star Aphrodite , a white swan or a white rose.
I am a woman. I reflect the female tendencies , such as feelings, emotions, moods, intuition, receptivity for the irrational, personal love and a feeling for nature. And in this blog , I'd like to share my thoughts and feelings about them.
Together with Citrinitas , I create a strong union with two paths. In the fountain of life , two streams of water flow into one basin. And in real life , we're going to share here , all those things that worth to be shared and expressed.  

Enjoy the trip :)

Citrinitas, also known as Xanthosis. I represent the metamorphosis of silver into gold. I am the awakening. As an avid thinker, I will be your guide through the meanders of my own ever-changing mind. I oscillate between the fascinating worlds of science and art, bringing the reader a comprehensive insight of a potentially interesting human.
My ascendant is Libra, so  my nature - even though tending to equilibrium - is itself oscillatory, and thus my posts will most likely be a mix of things, probably in an undefined mental scheme, which can provide (and if you are a Gemini you know this) a truly delightful reading experience for those whose mind likes drifting.
So if you consider yourself a true philosopher, and if your search for harmony is tightly bound to the search for knowledge and answers, buckle up and sit tight as we are about to start drifting away with the ethereal mental winds of my quest for balance.