August 31, 2014

  • August 31, 2014
Music and silence (Photo source: Pastoralmeanderings)
Silence - such a wonderful thing, so needed and welcomed when we need to relax, pay attention to certain cause, listening to music, and give some space to our inner thoughts, moods and deep feelings...

Considering both, what do you think, is it silence into music and/ or music into silence?

Is silence important in music? Or music important in silence?

In my perception, silence is part of music, and music is part of silence - beauty and tranquility.

Most people consider both issues not quite possible but I think, by far the principle should work both ways, that it is always silence in music and music in silence.

"Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music." - Marcel Marceau

Music in silence - sounds and silence
I think that music cannot be expressed, understood and generate certain impact on listeners if does not have parts of silence to induce desired mood and glistening into our souls.
To me, music is an amazing combination of silence, sounds, lyrics and feelings…

Similar to the “color/ non-color” subject (on my other lens The absence of color ) that has to be there in order to amplify the effect of color.

In silence (especially perceived as tranquility), music is a constant presence which makes thoughts flow or simply let the spirit enjoy the inner peace.

Also, silence, allows one to be an observer for surrounding things and actions listening to the sound of shapes, colors and shadows… open the door for meditation.

Silence in music
The modern composer John Cage composed a piece of music that was called 4’33″ in which the performer sits at the instrument for four minutes and 33 seconds and does nothing so that the audience listens to the natural sounds around them and experiences music that is naturally occurring.

In regard to John Cage’ 4’33″ – no doubt that he had a great mind to be able, as composer (which should be a sensitive person dedicated to notes, a maestro of combining sounds transforming them into a melodic line), to offer to his public plain silence instead of expected music and the result to be, in fact, a novel experience – silence metamorphosed into music.

Music itself has numerous rests in it which are part of the fabric of the music, in the same way that when a person gives a speech they have pauses to create effect and importance and weight on certain words.

The modern composer John Cage wrote a piece of music called 4'33"

"Silence is a source of great strength." - Lao Tzu

What do you think about music and silence?

Either way, one can say that if organized sound itself is music, then wouldn’t organized silence also be music?….

Or perhaps for some people that is stretching the concept too much…..

So, what do you think? Is it silence in music and music in silence?

What has a greater impact on people? Learning from our own life experiences or from what others teach us?

Learning process and education are so important to all of us, and no matter the source of learning and education, along the way they make us transform continuously and become those wonderful person(s) that we are today... 

and keep going, learning further our whole life.
Wondering what counts more for people that, under certain circumstances, can lead to our present and future actions?

Learning ways:- To learn from what we read and perceive within ourselves and/ or around?
- To learn from what others are teaching us (family, school, and other various people and sources)?
- Learning from God?
- Or to learn from our own experiences?
How do children learn and how adults are learning?
What do you thing about learning process and its source?

"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think." - Socrates
Learning from so many different sources

I think that, in learning process and education, the greater impact comes from our genetics and own experiences, much more so than by what we read or are taught.

Principally, I think that is because so much of our intuitive and instinctive reactions to things in the world come from learned behavior, from what we experience which causes us to respond and react to things in ways that can be very different than someone else.
An example would be the way different people react to spiders… 

Someone who has had a bad experience with spiders at some point in their life would much more likely to instinctively react in a negative manner to a spider than someone who hasn’t had any negative experiences at all.

This is a tough question, though, because so much of what we learn comes from so many different sources.

I deem that, intellectually, we learn from all sources as well as intuitively and instinctively and emotionally – as Edgar Dale presented in the cone of learning chart inserted here.
What is different from person to person, however, is the way in which the rational and intellectual learning overcomes or doesn’t overcome the instinctive or intuitive or habitual. Learn from anyone!

Learning from others is, also, extremely important and has certain impact into our lives, either if we’re conscious about or not quite.

Our first steps into life and paramount knowledge is made firstly inside the family and later on at school, by our friends, colleagues or perfect strangers with whom we get in contact along the way.

Any close person to us is eager and willing to teach us good (form their own experiences – a gathering of achievements and faults) for smoothening the paths of our future life wishing to avoid being hurt and suffer as it might happen to them in the past.

And I’m talking here about normal people not about the ones – regretfully, exceptions living amongst us – which even if they are so said close to us or like to pretend that they are – due to certain mental disorders would rather teach us odd things, being selfish, enjoying to manipulate and take advantage on us, making use of sentimental blackmail, criticizing without reason or cultivating insecurities, putting us on black spot up to abusing us.
Each person interacting with our life has something to say and we could learn something out of that… if we pay attention to them, listen carefully, use empathy (or not), filter the information and, eventually, apply it.

So, if one is open enough and has the capability to listen and understand what the other is teaching her/ him, may have the chance to be aware of certain situations, don’t fall in a trap (intended or not), be a step ahead and move forward following the easy way. Of course, each individual has to project and adapt the other one’s experiences to hers/ his under actual circumstances and following own needs or desires.

Learning from others, also, is very important and valuable to us.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein

Famous quotes about learning:
1. "Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching." - Oscar Wilde
2. "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha
3. "Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did." - Sarah Caldwell
4. "Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
5. "If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way." - Mark Twain

Learning from own experiences
The entire humankind is learning, basically, from own experience – each step along our life is making us interact with other people, encounter old and new things, change the environment, perceive and, hopefully, understand what is happening around, including our actions, non-actions, effects and results.

We may notice that some people are native aware of various aspects or events occurred into their life and are able to change or adapt instantly following a new path, while some others are learning in the hard way from own mistakes (often repeated) in any domain or sort of relation, but all of them, in their own way, are constantly learning.

I think that the fundamental aspect in regard to the impact of learning could be found inside our own system, as entity (inherited genes, instincts, each individual’s level of intelligence, developed capabilities, curiosity, etc), and obviously, the learning process goes in the same time at all the other ways and levels, inside and outside us, pushing our mind to work so differently.

Also, even if humans are considered intelligent creatures by nature, I tend to believe that if one does not read enough, does not listen to what other people may have to think or say, does not spend a bit of time with itself and observe how things are going around, does not take risks for good and bad actions, make use of instincts, emotions, mind, it may be unable to gather enough information for his/ her behavior and judgment and the “own experience” (by itself) it may not be complete.

Sometimes, I’m wondering if we put randomly representatives (man, woman, children – different ages, colors, religions, occupations, etc) some from African tribes, others from North Pole, others born in small and isolated communities around the world, villagers, persons born in various sizes of cities and we offer them same type of books, good teachers, wise old man to share their knowledge and experiences which of them will learn faster and better in such a way as at the end of process to be able to handle almost everything and be fully content with themselves.

"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand." - Chinese Proverb
What do you think is best, learning from our own experiences or from others?

Colorful autumn leaves
Beautiful colorful autumn leaves
I've just seen falling a leaf... Smoothly, like a discrete touch on a shoulder... the first autumn leaf...

It was almost like an innocent joke made by an old friend that cannot get you upset even if it's not quite perfect moment for a joke and you're not in the mood for it.

Walking on the alley along the park I felt a delicate pale of wind, like a faded music, then I've noticed another copper leaf falling from a tree right next to me, and another one... creating slowly a colorful autumn leaves natural carpet.

I stopped for a while, looked around and only now I realized that the whole surrounding scene had changed its color from greenish to pale green and yellow green, soon turning out reddish almost without noticing.

I do enjoy summer but somehow cannot wait to feel, hear, smell and see the nature amazing metamorphosis throughout the seasons, and especially the wonderful autumnal scenery, rustling leaves and landscape under the spectacular reddish rusted autumn leaves colors.
Fall autumn leaves from beautiful trees

Albert Camus quote about Autumn - "Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower."

John Muir quote about Autumn leaves - "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

Changing seasons while watching falling copper leaves and autumn leaves

Here is still August, only few fluffy clouds covered the sky for a few moments, yet mid-summer – hot sand on the beaches, plenty of polychrome sea shells, the perfect sea water for swimming, summer hats and umbrellas, bathing suits, jet ski, cocktails, music all over the place, cheerful voices, smiling kids, joyful people – but delicate signs of coming autumn started to show up timidly…

I’m sure that next week, if your sight would not be still captured at every step made by summer temptations, perhaps you could notice these “pioneer” falling leaves.

And after a couple of weeks you may start being cautious to don’t step on those fresh leaves falling dawn from the trees creating a beautiful colorful layer made out of autumn leaves, at different sizes, shapes, colors, each one with its own secret and life story…

From September you’ll start stepping on a fine layer of leaves then on a thick carpet of colorful autumn leaves, soft leaves, dry leaves, green, yellow, brown, red leaves, copper leaves – a real show offered by Mother Nature thru her treasures: colors, sounds and scents…

October is the most beautiful scenery here, when you can witness a reach palette of autumn trees and the autumnal leaves colors all over the place.

Autumn is the perfect season to be a bit introspective and allow yourself to dream at past, present and future, enjoy all sweet-bitter moments, and be delighted with whom we are, while sipping a tasty cup of coffee or tea in front of our porch or at a taverna, watching further the falling leaves show, at sunrise, sunset, or any other moment of the day.
Enjoy the colorful autumn leaves, or simply the touch of a copper leaf, and reborn within your own self!

Smile and live your life at fullest! : )
William Shakespeare quote about Autumn - "...the spring, the summer,
The chilling autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the maze-world
By their increase, now knows not which is which."

Emily Bronte quote about Autumn - "Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."

Fall leaves
Romance in colorful autumn leaves
Falling leaves in Autumn are a perfect moment for romance – autumnal romance!
Autumn leaves are one of the most inspiring thing for art in general – color and non color – they were “muse” for so many poets, musicians, art photography.
These beautiful autumn leaves generated romantic poems, sensitive quotes, wonderful movies, music and awesome photos (for example the magnificent O’Keefee autumn leaves).

Nothing compares with autumn leaves landscape and fall autumn leaves, the source of jazz autumn leaves (or autumn leaves jazz), autumn coloring pages and books, and all those beautiful autumnal loves stories…

A dear friend thoughts on falling leaves

I live in a neighborhood with large numbers of huge old trees of many varieties. I particularly enjoy the autumnal season when those leaves change color at different times for each tree variety such that each week a different hue arrives in the landscape.
The sounds of the leaves in the frequent autumnal winds is striking and unique for the season.

There are rolling hills here and many groves of trees in addition to the tree-lined streets, left over from decades ago when the area was dense forest before residential development encroached.

The winds travel over the hills and mounds, creating an almost a sound almost like an ocean surf, a sound that is a mixture of rustling leaves that in some cases are brown and brittle and in others are still red and yellow and yielding.

Although the city has grown over the years, we still have pockets of the original forest left in which one can find deer and wild turkey and other wildlife which sometimes can be viewed in early morning while driving down the streets and lanes.

Those fortunate to live on the edge of these areas sometimes wake to find deer grazing in their backyards, all of these just 10 minutes from the central downtown area of the city. Even beavers have recently moved back into the area, taking up residence in the many streams that meander through the strips of undeveloped countryside.

This time of year, the Canadian geese are flocking and while some pass over and move further south, many stay year-round at one of the many lakes and ponds that still dot the area.

The land, the wildlife, the trees, all still maintain their hold. As the leaves fall up and down the streets while the cold wet autumn winds blow, one homeowner after another can be seen attempting to manicure their yards, to clear away the leaves, to wipe clean the change of the seasons.

They succeed for a day… and then the winds come and the leaves fall and the carpets of grass are covered again awaiting the winter snows.

They will try again and succeed for another day, only to lose to the unflappable persistence of nature just hours later. It is a reminder that though we continue to change the land, the land itself remains and is changed by nature in ways we cannot control.

All we can really do is watch and enjoy the changes and see what each new season brings. : )

beautiful autumn leaves
Great holiday destinations on fall with colorful leaves

Autumn is the perfect season for traveling – cooler days, friendly weather, breathtaking landscapes, a colorful rusted leaves carpet covering everything, a large variety of delicious seasonal fruits, new wine, flavored desserts (like pumpkin pie), and lots of other appetizing food for all tastes.
Most probably the best travel destinations for Fall would be:

- Austria – especially for the beautiful area of Tirol,
- Canary Island,
- Czech – Karlovy Vary (really amazing in fall season),
- Greece,
- Iceland,
- Italy – for the spectacular Florence,
- Malta – perfect season for scuba diving,
- Romania – in the wilderness of Carpathian Mountains,
- US travel spots: Bahamas, Jackson Hole – Tetons, Tennessee and Wilmington Beach – North Carolina, New England,
- Canada,
- Cambodia,
or any other spot you dreamed about.
Charles Dickens quote about Autumn - "On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels . . ."

A warm note to YOU - my reader

I'll be so happy if my random thoughts about autumn spirit may bring a drop of joy and a smile to all my lens readers, bringing into their lives some sensorial warmness along autumn scents, sounds and... colorful falling leaves - a special and genuine gift offered by Nature to all of us :)

Athens ancient side (own photo)

Thoughts about Greece - such a wonderful country and travel destination at Mediterranean sea.

So, thinking at Greece I picture in mind the Land of Gods, ancient history... 

Mediterranean sea, scenic islands, tempting beaches and legendary mountains, traditional food, bouzouki music, breathtaking landscapes... travels...

Regardless my very old and pale Greek roots, and odd feeling that sometimes my paths in life were as for Zorba's the Greek, the country that I dreamed to visit since my childhood was Greece.

My thoughts about Greece were leading especially to the amazing and impressive Greek ancient history and all those genius minds coming from this impressive ancient land - philosophers, mathematicians, architects, musicians and so many other amazing people and personalities - that managed to boost our knowledge to new horizons.

Have you ever been to Greece? Do you know about Zorba the Greek and Zorba's spirit?
Greek holidays - Greece one of the best Mediterranean travel destinations - an intriguing and (all senses) captivating European country always worth to be visited

Traveling to Greece…
Greece to me was the first country visited after Romanian Revolution (1989), so, first getting out to a so said “wonderland” for a simple citizen from “Eastern block” – as we were labeled at that time…

There, I had a great opportunity to travel around main part of the country (excepting Northern side), peninsular area and few spectacular Greek islands: Aegina – Hydra – Poros, Evia, Andros, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodos and Kefalonia (where was made the movie “Captain Corelli’s mandolin” – with Nicholas Cage).

I regret that I went to Santorini (please feel free to read my other lens The magic of Santorini island) and had no idea at that time about the Minoan ancient site built on the island but, no doubt, that will be added as main point for one of my future traveling plans there!

Regarding main part of Greece, I was fascinated with the beauty of Volos area, Makrinitsa, Karditsa, Prespes Lake, Ioannina, and for its peninsular part I consider Monemvasia being one of the most exciting places (a well preserved medieval city and not so famous yet for tourists),Epidavros Ancient Theater (one of the most impressive “acoustic” experiences that no one should miss in a lifetime) and Nafplion (a scenic place combining mountain and sea landscapes, all in a rich pallet of colors, sounds coming from a variety of birds chirp, pale wind playing thru the leaves and turquoise sea waves, and everything surrounded by delicate scents).

Really remarkable that at every single step around one could see a temple, an ancient theater, a piece of wall or a fountain built thousand years ago or a simple piece of rock stubborn to assist from its passive place the inhabitants evolution over centuries, as well as a blossomed tree connecting your mind somehow with shadows of heroes from our ancestors mythology and history.

Having all these in mind, to me Greece will be always one of the best Mediterranean travel destinations – rich in history, culture, music, gastronomy and… old traditions.

Greece - Epidavros (own photo)
First contact with Greece
At my first contact with Greece I couldn’t believe it’s so much green! Plenty of colorful flowers in every single corner of nature (and buildings, as well), the Mediterranean Sea with hypnotizing clear water bright turquoise, entire nature combined so smoothly and wild, in the same time, wonderful beaches with fine sand and cliffy mountains “topped” with joyful goats wherever was a tiny bush, plus the mixture of flavors coming from traditional Greek coffee, ouzo (their traditional drink made out of anason seeds), cigarettes (too many, though), olives, calamari, Greek salad, souvlaki, spanakopita and oranges having some Greek bouzouki music as background…

For whole this genuine beauty and past history, Greek ancient history, I consider this country a wonder of nature on Earth and still one of my favorite places to visit in the world.
In Athens, for any curious or traveler, it’s worth to walk throughout Monastiraki and Plaka areas, especially for the subdue way of preserving the spirit of ancestors with daily crowds of people browsing around the ancient market (agora) searching for best bargains while following the ancient roads among olive trees and laying their humble prayers for a dozen gods inside those perfect temples erected everywhere around, while nowadays everything is projected into another time and different dimension, showing you a cosmopolitan world passing by Karaghiozis Theatre (a sort of satire show with muppets made out from cartoon), following same old paths enriched with plenty of art crafts and souvenirs stores, the velvet scent of tasty Greek coffee and, sometimes a bouzouki sound, daring to follow you out of tavernas to open your eyes and make you use of all 5 senses (or even more!) to “breath” the beauty of the place and feel the history under your skin, and I like more Thisseon area from where you can go up on Acropolis, Philopapou hill, The Ancient Theatre or Socrate’s cave and enjoy the scenic landscape.

Mythos - Greek beer
In old part of Athens is a very popular and cozy tavern (I don’t remember its name now), at the edge of Plaka – Thisseon, few meters away from Theater for amateurs actors, with a panoramic view right above ancient site and The Tower of Winds (known also as Horologion or Timepiece, located near the Ancient Roman Agora). I used to drink Irish coffees there, read “Athens News” and spend some time thinking at all those master mind architects and artists, their humongous knowledge of mathematics, physics, anatomy and astrology sciences, and spectacular creations, shading humans’ vanity and our ephemeral existence.

Moreover, if we consider Homer’s notes (if I’m not wrong) about mysterious Atlantida and it inhabitants, the Atlants, I may say (as ignorant in this domain) that Greece has all main items from Genesis till nowadays: history, traditions, myths, secrets, proper natural environment, great ancient characters, passed throughout all types of political systems and was marked enough by all kind of hypocrite rules imposed by self named servants of God….

Nia Vardalos quote about Greece - "In many ways we are all sons and daughters of ancient Greece."

Kefalonia - Myrthos beach (own photo)
Flashbacks - traveling to Greece
Thoughts about Greece
Sometimes I have flashbacks with some friends’ comments thrown right before to go to Greece – “why to waste your time visiting that arid country and see only rocks!?” Isn’t it interesting how people minds are functioning, when they have no clue on what they’re talking about?

Thinking at my escapes taken years ago I’d like to get born once again (prior some wild minds may take other weird decisions and vanish whatever treasures are still left on Earth), in a wealthier stage, settle and implement some compulsory rules to limit worldwide waste (all kind), sponsorship several true companies helping African states (schools and medical system), then travel around, especially to areas not invaded by regular tourists or very easy accessible trails, as: 

Brazil (to have an extreme experience along Amazon river, jungle, ancient temples and see in real all those famous fossils), Tibet (first have to read more from Krishnamurti, prepare myself for 5 years with a disciple of Dalai Lama and, eventually, learn some fighting movements from Steven Seagal :)) ), Costa Rica, New Zealand and South Africa (for their spectacular beauty and natural reserves), 

Egypt (for going beneath the real ancient temples, not the ones visited by tourists, and mostly to give my full support for searching that famous library from Alexandria) and, also in Africa, to pay a visit to Dogon Tribes (in Mali) to see with my own eyes their ancient shrines and astrology tools and try to understand how was possible thousand years ago (without nowadays technology) to see all 3 Sirius planets, all those savage places that I haven’t visit them yet and, of course, to buy a simple house in Firostefani (Santorini Island, Greece) with sea view, take care of my own goats, discover a new recipe for rocky-volcano red wine, rent Dalaras (famous Greek traditional singer – included amongst my notes playlist) for one week-private concert, had a weird combined meal consisting out of tasty Kalamata olives, delicious calamari grilled on charcoal (not fried!!!), souvlaki, tirokaftheri (local specialty, spicy creamy cheese), traditional Greek pie recipes + Mythos (beer – instead of ouzo) and get the drive and strength for scuba diving from there till Read Sea coral reefs checking for Atlants ruins along the way…

… Still there or already fall down from the chair reading all these thoughts about Greece?
Plutarch quote - "I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better."

Hypocrisy (Photo source: Dr. Hurd)
Hypocrisy - What generates it? Which is the source for hypocrisy?

Why we encounter "hypocrisy" so often around us and most people seem to value and enjoy it, despite of being realistic and sincere to themselves and all the others?

"Hypocrisy' source" came into my mind thinking at religion and... sometimes, trying to understand and locate its main root, it seems that religion and politics brought hypocrisy amongst us, and they are the main source and sort of pioneers for showing this type of "facet" to us in quite an obvious way.

On the other hand, human creature, as entity (if it's not Dalai Lama) has strengths and weaknesses, and no matter how intelligent, moral, knowledgeable, understandable or experienced it may be, it's not perfect and will never be so, sooner or later, under certain circumstances fails, and more or less intended, becomes hypocrite.

Human mind and behavior depends on so many variables, factors and circumstances (character, believes, social level, education, capabilities, surrounding environment, external events and actions, etc) and, conscious or not, our whole process of thinking and the result of our actions is related to Maslow's pyramid.

Going from here, indeed, hypocrisy is generated by the need to achieve; to have or possess something but it should be a difference for chosen path between to wish or want and to own using a lie in order to accomplish a particular purpose.

Hypocrisy it may be the result of human incapability to understand itself (position, limits, real needs and interests) at various levels while is moving ahead thru this world/ own life. It is a weakness that limits any individual to be happy with own person and admit who he/ she is in fact; so starts building a sort of imaginary world using a mask first in front of its own self till comes the moment when loses the limit becoming so accustomed with such pretense that does this to the others, too, then is demanding from those what probably would like to be/ get itself but is aware of failure.

Even if we admit or not, all of us have a doze of hypocrisy inside, more or less harmful. And this amount of hypocrisy may become dangerous when, from an innocent thought or desire, becomes a habit to lie (for example), and along the time turns into an assumed way of living. In which case, that person is lost - especially when one doesn't really need a particular thing, idea or item for his own benefit or for others, but simply enjoys forcing and seeing others obeying to its demands, eventually to create for itself a faked hallow of power, and take control over people and things around.

Writing this now my mind slides to a hand of dictators and so many other people' useless sufferance...

Which is the source of hypocrisy? What generates hypocrisy?

Mahatma Gandhi - "Hypocrisy and distortion are passing currents under the name of religion."

Religion and Hypocrisy

What do you think about religion?
Is it sort of natural or a sort of man made invention to manipulate masses?
Does it bring positive influence and results? Or not?
Are people more confident and happier with religion or due to it? Or not?
Well, religion may not be natural, but I think it is natural for people to gravitate towards something like religion in order to explain things about life and the world and existence that they cannot explain in their own minds. People have a need to know, a need to understand things, and so religion offers them a chance to accept the fact that they have no control over much of life.

Hypocrisy…. I think it stems from two very basic things:

1. We have an easy time ordering others to do things or to behave certain ways but not such an easy time doing those same things ourselves which then results in visible hypocrisy.
2. Our own greed for material things and for laxness in behavior gets in the way of our own professed morality and ethics… and that creates inner hypocrisy.
It is an easy thing to say one thing and do another because so often justifying hypocritical behavior is easy since we explain it away by saying we “need” this or that.
And many people I think have no idea that hypocrisy exists within themselves. And this is a very complex issue.

So, what do you think?

Oscar Wilde - "The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame."

What do you think about religion?
Another thought wondering if religion is natural or man made to manipulate masses?
Does it bring positive influence and results?
Are people more confident and happier due to it?
I would not consider religion natural but no doubt that it is imposed. It’s not a sequence from our genetic chain and we’re not born with it (as an instinct, for example, or something else deeply enrooted into our system).

Religion is something sort of natural as long as humans want to believe that something is above them or when fear is inoculated to them from first second of their birth.

Animals plants, rivers, mountains, etc do not need religion, they are genuine and follow their own sequence of life with basic fear of predators or unleashed nature but without fear of religion.

The primitive man, for sure, had no idea about religion – he might be frighten by his own shadow occasionally but no the other thing

Religion initiated and put labels on people, categorized them and gave distinctive “penalties” to each social class; set rules for how and who people should love or be with, made people hate and fight against each other, set selfish rules and principles for others to obey and be afraid of, kept knowledge first for themselves and spread to people only what they did not consider jeopardizing their position.

Religion generated wars sending innocent youth on the battle field for some strange believes and let them die while they were praying behind in safe and secluded places.

Churches and priests are imposing rules not respected by themselves first of all – initiated terror, torture (which was applied with such an odd “devotement”), sacrifices, punishment (to the death), exile, etc

I do believe in a mysterious force above us and I’m not against religion or people’ believes but, personally, I perceive religion and churches being always after very well determined things: power, wealth and mass manipulation to serve their own interests… caring less about people or carrying in exchange of a price…

What makes me wonder about religion is that seems to take advantage with no shame or regret of human weaknesses,making use of them, taking control over and manipulating innocent or naive souls, minds, actions. Also, always promises things to happen into another life/ world, one that nobody yet was able to confirm that it does exist… So, why not promise things to happen in our real world, now?

On the other hand, the positive thing about religion/ church – it may represent the basic “book” for ethics and morals, and sometimes, brings people together for a good reason; occasionally thru monks/ nuns offered some health care during the wars and few natural catastrophes; a bit of charity; organized school/ education and guided people minds, initiated first steps in music, painting, science and probably put a barrier to an eventual humongous chaos on Earth.

Also, for many persons, religion is giving a bit of strength wherever their power of understanding and endurance is ending – especially for sick people or desperate situations when one ultimate action or thought is to hope and hang on that believe above them.

Russian Proverb - "Hypocrites kick with their hind feet while licking with their tongues."

Where is no hypocrisy at all:
- in the simplicity and beauty of nature – water, sky, natural resources;
- in fauna and flora;
- in a new born baby’s smile;
- in the wise words and advised shared by an old person well experienced by life, that has nothing to lose or gain, perfectly aware of her/ his successes and failures;
- in mathematics as Stendhal said: “Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness.“

Jonathan Edwards - "There are two sorts of hypocrites: one that are deceived with their outward morality and external religion; many of whom are professed Arminians, in the doctrine of justification: and the other, are those that are deceived with false discoveries and elevations; who often cry down works, and men's own righteousness, and talk much of free grace; but at the same time make a righteousness of their discoveries and of their humiliation, and exalt themselves to heaven with them."

Edmund Burke - "Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing."

Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy - "Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised."

William Hazlitt - "Asleep, nobody is a hypocrite."

Malta baracuda swimming (own photo)
Traveling to Malta, Gozo and Comino
Experience the wonderful Maltese sea, sun, paths, 7000 years of history, gastronomy and scuba diving!

Malta is a beautiful country rich in ancient history (Maltese temples - the oldest world's standing prehistoric monuments surrounded by mystery, the medieval Maltese knights) and historical sites, located in the middle of Mediterranean sea, on a rocky island with its unique beauty, tasty cuisine and winery, and the paradise for scuba diving lovers.

Visit Malta and enjoy a lot of indoors and outdoors activities:

- city tours to main places around the main island, Malta, or nearby islands, Gozo, Comino and Cominotto;

- visits the Maltese ancient temples (Ggantija, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien and Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni), local museums (Archeology, Roman History and Antiquities), and baroque churches;
- participate to local fiestas, mingle with people and give a try with delicious Maltese gastronomy;
- take a trip to Mdina for a "knights of Malta" show where you can assist to a recall of historical medieval moments;
- go swimming, to the peaceful beaches with golden sand or around for shopping;
- take sailing boats, cruises around Maltese islands;
- experience scuba diving in fascinating underwater world;
- jeep safaris;
- and even learn foreign languages.

Ralph Waldo Emerson quote about travel - "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."

Most important sites and museums in Malta
In Malta (including its islands) - the one big open-air museum with imprints of a vast number of cultures - everything is at easy reach from morning till late in the night, making so comfortable to combine a morning swim or diving into Mediterranean Sea, with a cultural program and a gastronomy tour at noon, and shopping or relaxing at a taverna till late in the evening.

- The Museum of Archeology
- Museum of Roman History and Antiquities - The Roman Villa
- Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum
- Hagar Qim Temples
- Mnajdra Temples
- Tarxien Temples
- The Hal Salfieni Hypogeum
- St. Paul's Catacombs

Malta - Tarxien Temple complex (Ggantija phase, c. 3000 - 2500 BC)
Malta - Tarxien Temple complex (own photo)

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum - Malta
One of the most ancient sites in Malta, and unique in the world
The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is the only known subterranean structure from the Bronze Age.
It was discovered during construction works in 1902.
The three underground levels date from ca. 3600 – 2400 B.C.
It was used both as a sanctuary and a cemetery.
The bones of 7000 people have been found here (in bits and pieces).
The monument is considered one of the essential prehistoric monuments in the world.
Entrance is limited to 80 persons a day, and pre-booking a visit is usually necessary.
Source: World Heritage Site
Saint Augustine quote about travel - "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

Important sites and museums in Gozo:
- Ggantija
- The Museum of Archeology
- The Brocktorff Circle

Malta Gozo fossils (own photo)
Traveling to Malta and Maltese paths
At first sight, Malta, seems too rocky, arid, drought, with very little vegetation and too much sun…

But as long as days are passing by, no doubt, that if you allow yourself to go around, visit all temples and caves challenging the enigma of prehistorical era, get lost in a jeep safari or with local old yellow bus – right hand driven (as shown in my photo posted here), take a scuba diving lesson, taste local food, participate to traditional local celebrations and fiestas, drink their delicious dry red wine, mingle with locals and understand their words and body language, stay laid down on the golden sand of Maltese beaches (to the North of the island and in Gozo) while listening to the sounds of nature… you’ll be totally fascinated about this tiny country, its inhabitants and traditions.

Do not miss:
- Valletta harbors,
- the narrow winding streets of Mdina and the Three Cities,
- the Blue Grotto,
- Marsaxlokk – fishing village,
- the Azure Window in Gozo.

And you’ll definitely fall in love with Malta!
Francis Bacon quote about travel - "Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience."

A taste of Maltese festas, gastronomy and local wine

Malta festa (own photo)
All cities and villages in Malta are offering a gorgeous show of lights and sounds, fireworks, music and dances, all summer long (and maybe even during other months of the year, as well).

And it is so nice to see all locals being so friendly, speaking Maltese (a mixture of English, Italian, French and Arab) language, offering to the tourists a bit of their culture and customs, while hosting a multicultural experience.

Love their fresh healthy and chilled fruit salads, the large plate served with assortment of cheeses, dry fruits and pastrami, dry red wine or Zeppi’s traditional Maltese liqueur.

Outdoor activities in Malta
Traveling to Malta - scuba diving at Gozo (own photo) Malta is known as scuba divers’ paradise for its breathtaking underwater scenery offered by nature’s beauty (a wide variety of aquatic flora and fauna) combined with the mysterious appearance of old vessels and plains wrecks in surrounding shimmering turquoise deep-sea.

And most outdoor activities in Malta are related to water:
- snorkeling,
- swimming,
- scuba diving,
- sailing.
Besides these, are:
- jeep safari,
- scuba diving,
- fishing,
- birdwatching,
- (underwater) photography.

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