"From Stillness to Darkness to Light" describes one mans awakening to the legacy of love.
While struggling to stay alive during three left brain strokes over a four month period, while trying to produce his TEDx event in 2021 Steve experienced a series of awakenings .
Steves journey in and out of body, blindness and loss of ability to communicate manifested into an awakening of soul. With the opening of his two right side brains this poem, and teachings were manifested. Every morning for one year, and to this day he wakes at four am and has a complete new learning and inspiration for life and humanity implanted in his mind.
Steve is mostly healed, but his awakening through daily deep meditations grows deeper each day.
- POEM -
"Three strokes in time my homeward soul takes flight. In magical odyssey's embrace, a blink in time, angelic space. Where reality and dreams entwine, in this dance of being and shine.
Fantastical shifts, a soul's ballet, sculpting realms beyond the day. Three strokes in time, a wondrous key, unlocking truths, setting spirit free.
The first stroke, swiftly silencing my left brain, in tranquil hush, a path defined. The second, darkness, a shroud so deep in the unknown, secrets it keeps.
Yet in that void, insights ignite, unveiling depths, a soul's starlight. Then comes the crescendo, the third stroke's call, an explosion of light, breaking the wall.
My right brain awakened, a realm aglow, the spirit's flight, from stillness to darkness to radiant light.
In this flight through shadows and gleam, my homeward soul finds its dream. A tapestry woven, chapters untold, in the story of being, my soul unfold".
ARETE IN HUMAN ENDEAVOR
The concept of "Arete" was a fundamental part of the Grecian Zeitgeist. Arete, meaning "excellence" or "virtue," was central to the values and philosophy of the ancient Greek world. It was a pervasive ideal that influenced various aspects of Greek society, reflecting the Greeks' emphasis on excellence, human potential, and the pursuit of virtue.
The Greeks recognized the challenge associated with pursuing excellence and living with purpose, implying a sense of bravery and courage to persevere. Arete was also a significant part of the paideia of ancient Greeks, encompassing physical, mental, and spiritual training.
In summary, the concept of "Arete" was deeply ingrained in the Grecian Zeitgeist, permeating various aspects of Greek culture and reflecting the Greeks' pursuit of excellence, virtue, and the realization of human potential.
ARETE IN DESIGN AND ARTS
The arts, including temples, sculpture, and pottery, reflected the principle of arete, emphasizing the importance and accomplishments of human beings. The Greeks had enormous respect for human beings and what they could accomplish with their minds and bodies, reflecting a humanist perspective.
The concept of "arete" has been interpreted in modern art and design as a pursuit of excellence and the realization of one's full potential. While there may not be direct representations of "arete" in modern art or design, the underlying principles of excellence, virtue, and the pursuit of one's best self are often reflected in contemporary creative works. In modern interpretations, "arete" is associated with the pursuit of excellence and living with purpose, implying a sense of bravery and courage to persevere
This concept is not limited to individuals but can also be applied to objects, such as a well-designed home or a piece of art, reflecting the idea of excellence and virtue,
The philosophy of "arete" has also influenced modern architecture, literature, and philosophies, with people striving to embody the virtue of "arete" in their pursuits
For example, Greek architecture, such as the Parthenon in Athens, is considered a demonstration of "arete," showcasing the pursuit of excellence and the realization of potential in architectural achievements.
The concept of "arete" has influenced various forms of modern art and design, reflecting the pursuit of excellence and the realization of one's full potential. While there may not be direct visual representations of "arete" in modern art and design, the underlying principles of excellence, virtue, and the pursuit of one's best self continue to inspire contemporary creative works.
Arete Arts Foundation curated by Arete Arts Foundation explores the impact of climate change on Africa’s natural resources and biodiversity, as well as humanity’s relationship with nature. The exhibition showcases artworks that delve into the themes of sustainability, inclusivity, and the pursuit of excellence in addressing environmental and social challenges.
Influence on Modern Architecture: Modern architecture continues to be influenced by the principles of "arete." Greek architecture, such as the Parthenon in Athens, is considered a demonstration of "arete," showcasing the pursuit of excellence and the realization of potential in architectural achievements. The enduring impact of Greek architecture reflects the timeless pursuit of excellence and the embodiment of virtue in design and construction.
Philosophical Influence: The concept of "arete" has also influenced modern philosophical thought, inspiring individuals to strive for excellence and moral virtue in their pursuits. The pursuit of excellence and the realization of one's full potential continue to be central themes in contemporary philosophical discourse, reflecting the enduring influence of "arete" in modern intellectual and creative endeavors.
Summary of Arete in Art. While there may not be direct visual representations of "arete as a specific genre of art, in modern art and design, the enduring influence of the pursuit of excellence, virtue, and the realization of one's full potential continues to inspire and shape contemporary creative works across various artistic and intellectual domains. steve monahan Arete Reads book reviews nonfiction book reviews
The Chariot Metaphor, also known as Ratha Kalpana, is a profound teaching from the Katha Upanishad, one of the ancient Hindu scriptures. This metaphor is used to describe the relationship between the senses, mind, intellect, and the Self (Atman)
In this metaphor, the body is likened to a chariot. The Atman, or the Self, is considered the lord of the chariot, signifying that it is the ultimate controller or the true essence of an individual.
Intellect is depicted as the charioteer or the driver of the chariot. This signifies that intellect guides the body, much like a driver guides a chariot.
The mind is represented as the reins, indicating that it controls the senses, similar to how reins control the horses of a chariot.
And the senses are compared to the horses that pull the chariot, suggesting that they are what propels us through the world, driven by the Objects of the senses, which are likened to the paths of life we chose.
This metaphor is used to illustrate the concept of self-realization and the path to spiritual enlightenment.
It emphasizes the importance of controlling the mind and the senses through the intellect to realize the Atman, the true Self. The metaphor concludes by stating that he who understands the driver of the chariot and controls the reins of his mind reaches the end of the journey, the supreme abode of Self, or the I Am of Atman.
In Hindu philosophy, Atman is considered the true or eternal Self, the self-existent essence of each individual that persists across multiple bodies and lifetimes.
It is the unchanging, eternal, innermost radiant Self that is unaffected by personality or ego.
Atman is a metaphysical and spiritual concept for Hindus, often discussed in their scriptures with the concept of Brahman.
Brahman, iis the ultimate reality or absolute reality. It is the origin and end of all things, the universal principle, the ultimate essence of who we are and of consciousnes itself. The concept of Brahman is central to most Hindu philosophies. Paramatman, on the other hand, is the Absolute Atman, or supreme Self.
A Fish in Water, A Bird in air, a Human on Earth. Imagine being a fish submerged in water, or a bird soaring the skies — each bound to their believed realm of consciousness. Just as a bird can’t convey the sensation of flight to a fish, and a fish can’t describe the depths of water to a bird, we too, as humans, have been bound by the consciousness of our belief that we live on a material earth. But there’s a yearning to transcend this barrier, to rediscover that sacred space we came from.
But what if we can find, as the fish and the birds there is a dimension we can easily enter. The answer lies in breaking free from the confines of our perceived reality. Transcending your belief of you are in a matrix ,of a unchanging and fixed material plane that Buddha called Maya. But, just as the fish who takes a leap above the water’s surface or the bird who plunges beneath the waves, we too can ascend beyond the limits of our five senses and suddenly find ourselves in a higher state of consciousness and being.
Our perceptions shape our reality. Just as the fish and bird are confined by their senses, we too are tethered to our five senses and the realm we know as earth. But if we can but open our minds and dare to embrace the possibility of another realm — the one we intuitively cannot see, but sense. we can liberate ourselves from the grip of this dimension of material consciousness.
So, How do you leap above your limited beliefs of only an earth consciousness?
It starts, not outside your body but inside your mind. It starts with harnessing the power within you.The ancient eastern teachings of the Upanishads teach us how to master our Body, Soul, Intellect and Mind. The “Metaphor of the Chariot”. Your Body is the Chariot, the vehicle that carries you through earthly existence, Your Soul is seated in the Chariot. Your Intellect is the Driver. Your Mind holds and guides the Reins.
The ancient Greeks taught, above all else …Know Thy Self. Know that You are the master of your life. Remember these two catalytic words, intent and will. Your intent is your largest most important desire for your life on earth. Your Mind is in charge, your will holds the reigns and your minds force of will drives and guides the horse to your intent’s destination.
In the end the most direct way is to jump and become a fish out of water. While still on eart you will be out of the water , into the sky and heavens above. Dare to trust your higher self and as the birds and the fish rise above the life you are living. I flew above during a two year adventure that started with three strokes over a four month period. Today I am that fish out of water, still on earth, just a litle above it.
ji Guru, Steve Monahan nonfiction book reviews Arete Reads book reviews
Believe it or not but the Buddha was a man of science and wisdom, not a religious leader. He sought to understand the nature of existence andpath to enlightenment. His teachings on the path to freedom from the selfish mind,and end of suffering are known as the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Four Noble Truths:
The Four Noble Truths are the essence of Buddhist teachings and the foundation of Buddhist philosophy. They are:
1. The truth of suffering (dukkha): Life always involves suffering, in obvious and subtle forms.
2. The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya): The cause of suffering is craving and attachment to impermanent things.
3. The truth of the end of suffering (nirodha): The end of suffering is possible by letting go of craving and attachment.
4. The truth of the path to the end of suffering (magga): The path to the end of suffering is the Eightfold Path, which includes right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
The First Truth identifies the presence of suffering in everyone's life. The Second Truth seeks to determine the cause of suffering. In Buddhism, desire, craving and ignorance lie at the root of suffering. By desire, Buddhists refer to craving pleasure, material goods, and immortality, all of which are wants that can never be satisfied.
The Third Noble Truth, the truth of the end of suffering, has dual meaning, suggesting either the end of suffering in this life, on earth, or in the spiritual life, through achieving Nirvana. When one has achieved Nirvana, which is a transcendent state free from suffering and our worldly cycle of birth and rebirth, spiritual enlightenment has been reached.
The Eightfold Path -The Path of the lambs
1. Right Understanding
2. Right Thought
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
The first step on the Eightfold Path is Right Understanding. This means understanding the Four Noble Truths and the nature of existence. The word ‘suffering’ here is dukkha in Sanskrit, which can also be translated as pain, satisfactoriness, or discontent. Often referred to as ‘all life is suffering,’ some hear the first noble truth and mistakenly think we’re being told that pleasure or happiness do not exist. The Buddha is not denying the existence of happiness or pleasure. Rather, he reminds us that the material pleasure and happiness we chase are incapable of satisfying us. For life changes continually and nothing in the material world stays the same. So, chasing the impermanent is a never ending and frustrating chase.
In conclusion the Four Noble Truths is a life plan for dealing with the suffering of humanity. And, the Eightfold Path is the way to live daily the Four Noble Truths so we can find lpeace from our suffering and live our days in awe and joy for life. . Buddha's teachings offer a way to live a life of wisdon, purpose and happiness.
Strve Monahan, ji Guru