necessary conditions

*points at the size difference between “Fade Touched” and normal creatures*
*points at ancient elves being taller than present day elves*
*points at corypheus and the architect being really tall*
*points at how big witherfang was compared to other wolves*
*points at the avaar being tall and also having a strong connection to spirits in their culture*
*tentatively points at the qunari saarebas and how they are tall AND have stronger magic than other races*

the Fade obviously provides some kind of energy/nutrient/atmospheric condition necessary for people and creatures to be large and powerful

it seems that everything has probably been on a decline in terms of size since the formation of the veil. So maybe Corypheus and co. really were super tall because i wasn’t aware that a side effect of a human being corrupted by the blight was a rapid growth spurt but everyone has gotten shorter as time has gone on? in any case a strong connection to or contact with the Fade seems to indicate an increase in size.

I’m not entirely certain how to connect all of these so any additional thoughts would be appreciated!

I do know one thing though:

If Solas succeeds in tearing down the veil we’re going to have to fight even bigger spiders and I’m not here for that

Why Embracing Emotional Distress is the Best Medicine Sometimes

Much of our mental suffering is caused by our overwhelming attempt to avoid it. We think experiencing any sort of anxiety is a threat to our existing, but psychology studies have proven that one learns from struggle. One becomes a better human being through heartache. Let us explain with the science behind this theory..

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More Storm Witch Tips (or for any witches really):
  • Be mindful of the gut feelings you have about the weather. If it feels bad, it probably is. (That goes for anything really. If it feels wrong or off, it is, and its probably best to leave it alone/get outta there)
  • Clear Quartz can influence the power of a storm by being used to store a storm’s energy. Receiving energy from a storm weakens it while adding energy strengthens it. 
  • That said, be careful about how you use storm energy. Strengthening an already severe storm could have consequences for not just you, but people around you. 
  • Just because its overcast, doesn’t automatically mean it will rain. It means most of the conditions are right, but all the necessary conditions must be met before it can rain. A simple rain spell can usually fix this.
  • Cumulus clouds + sunlight = cumulonimbus clouds. If cumulus clouds begin building into towers early in the day, there’s a good chance of storms later on.

Feel free to add on to this list! 

How Do Ya Like Them Apples?

Sure, Derek heard the familiar sounds of Stiles’ Jeep pull up outside his building and the steady, but slightly-too-fast beating of Stiles’ heart getting louder and louder the closer the elevator got to arriving at his floor, so it wasn’t really a surprise when Stiles came bursting into his apartment moments later. But what was a surprise, was the words that came spilling out of Stiles’ mouth as soon as he entered and laid eyes on Derek, where he was perched at his kitchen counter with a book in front of him.

“I got in! I got into NYU, Derek!” Stiles exclaimed excitedly, and then, with a look of determination set into his features, he added “and you’re coming with me!”

Derek’s whole body kind of… spasmed a little. The book he had open on the counter top fell shut when his fingers involuntarily twitched out of the way. He recovered fairly quickly, but not fast enough that Stiles didn’t notice.

“It wasn’t a question dude,” Stiles continued as though Derek had protested. “I know you only had 2 years to go when you followed Laura back here and I know they kept a spot open for you for next year. And you’re going to go back and finish your degree and you can show me around campus and we can get an apartment together and it’ll be awesome.”

Stiles grinned at him, tried to look eager but relaxed about what he was saying, but Derek could practically see the anxiety buzzing through him and sense his trepidation. Derek meant to say a firm ‘no’, if for no other reason than because Stiles was telling him what to do and Derek resented that, but instead what came out was “How do you know I was at NYU?”

Stiles gave him an unimpressed look. “I’m more than a little offended that you don’t instantly recognize my superior detective skills at this point.”

“I didn’t ask them to hold my place. I can’t just go back to classes like I never left, Stiles,” Derek continued quickly.

“Yes you did. Well, as far as they’re concerned you did. You formally requested an extended leave of absence months ago and they accepted your request to resume classes with the new admissions next year,” Stiles’ face was twisted in smug satisfaction, even with the undercurrent of anxiety still running through him, as though he simply couldn’t help himself.

Derek sighed because he’d done no such thing.

“I don’t even know why I’m surprised,” he murmured.

“Me either. You should know me well enough by now, dude. I made sure you were re-enrolled as soon as I sent my application in. Also, your signature wasn’t even a slight challenge, dude. After forging Dad’s monstrosity of an autograph on all my detention slips and grade reports through the years, yours was a piece of cake. You should probably work on that.”

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First off, poems aren’t magical things that plop from the air and onto your plate, fat and greasy like Grandmother’s dumplings. It might happen, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Be open for the unexpected, but be so with purpose. If something comes up, don’t think about how you can turn the adventure into a poem; rather, be in the moment. Be aware of the imagery around you, but try to connect with the people you are with and what you are experiencing. Upon reflection, the important imagery will be magnetized to the emotion you felt in your environment. So often poets forget to live in the moment, trying desperately to fit each experience into a poem, which is impossible and dangerous. Giving context without reflection can often lead to abstraction and generalization, not only with regard to setting, but also to characterization and theme.

Read what you hate and find a way to love it, or don’t. Either way, read away from your comfort zone. This won’t only help with voice, syntax, and diction, but it may also provide necessary conditioning for that part of your brain you so often neglect.

Take care of yourself. Whether it’s exercise, washing your hands, or eating vegetables, try to make the most out your daily existence. Trust me, drinking and writing do not mix, at least not for long. Pick your vices and cut them in half. Your output will double.

Mix up your writing times. My wife is a fiction writer, and she’s on a consistent schedule, but speaking as a poet, I have to write at different times. I get bored easily, so I break it up. Write for an hour, then take a walk, or smoke half a cigarette, or pluck a chicken. If you’re bored or just pissed with a draft, leave it alone. Poems are cats. When they get hungry or want attention, they’ll let you know.

Chase things. Imagine you are on a zip line that can go anywhere. Where are you going? What do you see? What do these things have to do with your insecurities, your definitions, you? Also, why are you on a zip line in the first place?

Write ugly poems.

Stop writing about birds. Poets always write about birds, and I get it, but if you want to write about a bird, dissect it with a hammer.

Chances are, you aren’t a genius. If you think you are, I can guarantee you that your friends don’t think so. If they do, dump them. Writers need friends who challenge them. Praise is unhealthy and can lead to stagnant writing. I’m not condoning putting yourself down at every turn or surrounding yourself with that type, but keep any praise in a jar outside of your workspace, and embrace the idea that your writing can get better with honesty and hard work.

Know what motivates you. If you have to get pissed off to write, do it, but don’t take it out on other people. That’s bullshit. Be nice to people.

Don’t stand in line. Dance with someone you love, and mean it.

If you write in a standard form, stop it. It’s boring. I don’t care if it matches some theme or whatever; mix it up. I don’t wear the same black shirt everyday because “I’m making a statement.” Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Disguise a Petrarchan sonnet in the middle of a long poem, and better yet, rock the hell out of it.

Stop going to the junkyard. Every poet pulls from old drafts. Sometimes it’s great, can lead to inspiration, or maybe–on the off chance–you revitalize an old draft, but don’t let this become a habit. Stop being afraid to trust your ever-changing self.

If you don’t understand your poem, no one else will.

Don’t revise. Rewrite. Open up a new document and approach your draft anew. This often helps flush out the garbage sentences and needless stanzas.

Now revise.

People will read your poems if you send them out. Be professional in every way. Editors will notice.

I don’t know why you write poems, but you should.

—  Kerry James Evans, author of Bangalore (Copper Canyon)

In 1895, Nikola Tesla began to notice a peculiar phenomena with electrical transformer systems when he added an extra or third coil. This would generate a very large non-linear amplification of electrical pressure over a modest linear amplification as seen with traditional transformers. He studied this phenomena in his Manhattan laboratory over the coming years, until he felt he needed to deploy this system to a larger testing ground. In Colorado Springs 1899, Tesla performed a series of experiments over nine months that led to his discoveries around a new kind of electrical transformer system that he called his Magnifying Transmitter. He soon received a patent for it thereafter (Patent #1,119,732) as well as several supportive auxiliary patents.

This system was capable of generating massive amounts of electrical pressure that would create electrical ripples along the surface of the earth. In a vibrational process known as constructive interference, Tesla was able to generate more wireless power received than transferred by creating a resonant boundary condition between the earth-atmosphere interface with the use of high frequency electrostatic shock waves. This is by no means electromagnetic radiation such as with visible light, cosmic rays, and radio waves. This was nothing like a radio antenna as many experts have proclaimed it is. Tesla’s goal was actually to minimize the electromagnetic radiation from the system as much as possible by containing it in a localized standing wave, the opposite notion of traditional radio antennas. This standing wave instead acts as a wave pump that generates surface waves. A simple analogy is a hand repetitively tapping the surface of the water in a bowl that is perfectly in time with the return wave of surface ripple.

Tesla measured these electrical ripples traveling around the entire circumference of the earth moving faster than the speed of light, specifically two times pi the speed of light (1.57c). When the linear velocity of the shock wave is the same as the angular velocity of the wave’s medium, and the wave and particle (the medium) are directly in phase with each other, the necessary conditions to create constructive interference with Tesla’s Magnifying Transmitter are possible.

In 1901, Nikola Tesla began the construction of Wardenclyff Tower on Long Island, New York. Tesla originally pitched the project to financier JP Morgan as a trans-Atlantic wireless communications platform. This system could not only transfer information faster than Marconi’s radio antennas, but energy as well, unbeknownst in detail to Morgan. When Tesla ran out of money for the project, Tesla revealed his true intent to Morgan of his visionary dream with the system involving the wireless transfer of energy. Not only did Morgan not give Tesla anymore money and withdraw entirely from the project, he supposedly managed to blacklist Tesla from the financial industry at large. JP Morgan had a major stake in the copper industry which was booming in demand due to electrical power distribution. The tower was eventually demolished in 1917 to pay a portion of Tesla’s debts.

Since then, his work has been buried continuously by corporate and political interests as other up and coming inventors rediscover Tesla’s principles and apply them to technology. History is continually repeating itself, and it takes only an open mind set of a free thinking intellectual to see the patterns.

Elon Musk’s company may honor the name, but they do not truly honor Tesla’s legacy. For there is great irony in Musk declaring that his role model is Thomas Edison.

Let us honor our history.
Let us honor our true visionaries.
Let us honor what solutions are available right now.
The clock is ticking.

For this is not an issue of science.
This is an issue of Man.


An info post about Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder) Please signal boost

Sadly Dyspraxia is hugely under-diagnosed in comparison to its sister conditions; Dyslexia and Dyscalculia both of which have been well-documented for nearly 100 years. It is believed that Dyspraxia affects four times as many boys as girls but girls with mild Dyspraxia are generally quicker at learning the social norms necessary to hide their condition so I never considered this hugely accurate. 

Widespread knowledge of the condition was pretty much non-existent until the 70s and 80s so many people may have a parent or older relative with Dyspraxia who has never been diagnosed. It was originally believed to affect those born prematurely or even to be a very mild form of Cerebal Palzy but to this day no-one is 100% sure where it comes from though in many cases it does seem to run in families. In a class of 30 or more children at least one of them with have some level of Dyspraxia but the number could be as high as three or four.   

Dyspraxia is on the autistic-spectrum and as will all autism-related conditions will present itself slightly differently in everyone but there are many indicators in people of different ages that they may have it; I’ve outlined these below.

The pre-school aged child with Dyspraxia may not appear very different to other children of that age, because of this, diagnosis under the age of five is exceedingly rare. They may be slower to talk and make less noises as an infant and they may bump into things more regularly than other children. 

The 5-12 year old with Dyspraxia differs quite a lot from their peers and it is at this age that they are most likely to receive a formal diagnosis through school. They may read at a higher level than would be expected of their age but have trouble with strange fonts and larger bodies of text, hand-writing will likely be messy and misshapen though the child may perform well in IQ tests. They may talk too loud or too quietly and have trouble interacting with large groups of their peers. They will doubtless have trouble with many sports as coordination skills will be poor. They may need help dressing or brushing their hair. They may be overly sensitive to criticism and take longer than expected to learn and perform basic tasks. Because they develop emotionally at a slower rate than normal children but intellectually faster they are more likely to befriend children younger or older than themselves. As with autistic children they may begin to develop a specialist area of interest and have a better than average memory. 

It’s important to remember that each basic task has several steps and the Dyspraxic child may forget or mix up some of these. For example just leaving the house to get to an appointment will require them to put on shoes and socks, make sure they have their keys and keep track of the time so that they aren’t late. They may forget their keys or put on shoes but no socks, difficultly tying laces or doing up buttons is common in Dyspraxic children so the very act of putting shoes on may take twice as long. They also have little to no concept of time passing so five minutes may feel the same as two hours.

There are no obvious visual signs that a child is Dyspraxic. They may be thin and wiry because of their sensitive palette and aversion to eating a wide variety of foods or they may be slightly overweight because of their dislike of most organized sports. Some people suffer from Verbal Dyspraxic and may have more trouble shaping sentences and expressing themselves. They may also tire more easily for no obvious physical reason because their brains have to process a lot more and they tend of over-think things.       

During the teenage years many earlier difficulties with coordination, time-keeping, socializing and organizing themselves may present less of a challenge or they might have just gotten better at hiding them. This is when - through the different ways boys and girls are expected to act and behave - Dyspraxia begins to present itself differently in both sexes. 

The teenage boy with Dyspraxia may have a few close friends or he may be a bit of a loner. He may be good with computers as they may have been his saving grace in avoiding the struggle of writing by hand. If he is bullied for any aspect of his condition he will likely cover it up. He may be awkward around the opposite sex. If he does get a girlfriend his lack of spatial awareness may cause problems depending on how physical the relationship becomes. The tragic thing about teenage boys and young men with Dyspraxia is that they are often creative, imaginative and highly intelligent but he may appear disorganized, unwilling to take part in activities that don’t interest him and may disguise genuine difficulty performing a task as apathy and boredom. For this reason boys with Dyspraxia often have trouble reaching their full potential academically.      

The teenage girl with Dyspraxia may also be very clever but may present as shy and introverted. She may struggle with things expected of a girl her age such as applying make-up or shaving. If she has long hair she may have trouble styling and managing it. She may stick to plain clothes and express a lack of confidence in her own style or she may wear bright clashing colors and have trouble determining what suits her. She may be much better at subjects like English, Drama, History and Art than STEM subjects and practical tasks. Because Dyspraxic children need to ‘anchor’ themselves when seated to retain a sense of gravity she may sit like a boy with her legs far apart. She may struggle to manage birth control and menstruation.   

Contrary to what was originally believed about Dyspraxia people do not ‘grow out of it’ and those who received no help at school and were simply labelled ‘clumsy’, ‘lazy’ or ‘easily distracted’ are much more likely to be affected by their condition in later life. Adults with Dyspraxia can be very good at hiding the effects of their condition from others so symptoms like those of children and teenagers are rare but there are many aspects that will continue to affect them.

The Dyspraxic adult may over-compensate for their lack of organisational skills and time-keeping by having a detailed planner or time-table and setting timers/alarms to remind themselves to leave the house on time for work/appointments. They may need high levels of structure in their working environment and may budget intensely to be sure that rent, bills and other expenses are paid on time. They may dislike admin jobs like filling out forms (though this is common in most people, Dyspraxic or not). They may have a higher level of empathy and be great with children, old people and animals. They may still be poor at reading body language and ques from others that what they’re saying isn’t what they mean. They may have very low self-esteem especially if they’ve never been formally diagnosed and are statistically more prone to anxiety and depression because they still doubt their ability to perform basic tasks.               

I was diagnosed at age 6 and as a result have always had the help and support of family members, teachers, occupational therapists and later university lecturers and career advisers. Because of this I am now for the most part a well-rounded, functioning adult capable of living independently and holding down a job. So if you know anyone of any age no matter how mild their symptoms may seem I would urge you to show them this post and encourage them to get tested. A formal diagnosis however late can dramatically improve your self-confidence and your quality of life.  

Memories and Echoes

This ficlet is part of the Claire returns early with Bree AU which begins with A Ringing Phone and a Folder.

This ficlet is a direct continuation from Pieces of a Heart

My Fanfiction Master List

Available on AO3 as The Nature of Choice.

This is an Outlander canon divergence AU.

As always, let me know what you think.

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6 basic smartphone photo-video tips

Like most of the arts, the photographic eye can be innate, or can be practiced and improved. It is true that photography is specially very intuitive, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos. With the following tips, we will see that everything can become part of a photo, everything can be captured, and that the point is just to find out how: perspective, composition, light, colors…

1. No zoom

When we want to take a picture but we are not close enough to clearly appreciate the subject, for example in a live music show, using the digital zoom of our smartphone camera has become the most popular solution. However, this is the first thing that should be avoided because of the noticeable quality decrease. The same will occur if we cut the image afterwards. So the best way of solving these situations will be zooming in or out physically, or if this is not possible, using an external smartphone lens. There are plenty of options in the market, from expensive ones to affordable of all.

2. Horizontal better

Although the smartphone screens are built for panoramic use, most of the other screens around us are horizontal: the T.V, computer and even our eyes. That’s why, in case a situation doesn’t require the opposite, it will always look far more natural and professional when a photo is taken with landscape mode. Not to say that the back camera is the most preferable, just because of its higher resolution compared to the front one.

3. Focus

Something quite obvious but we sometimes forget to put into practice, is to tap on the screen before taking a photo, with the purpose of focusing what we want the main subject to be. Don’t let the autofocus decide for you, it’s not always reliable as it works in a random way.

4. No flash

As happens with the zoom, the flash is another overused component of the smartphone cameras that should be limited only to emergency situations. After the sunrise or in poorly lit interiors, use the flash only when strictly necessary due to light conditions. Light is the most important part of photography, because if there’s no light  there’s no picture, but the flash generally produces flat images and hard ugly shadows. Enjoy the natural light!

5. Take lots of photos, select few

Practice makes perfect, don’t you think? The key is to shoot as much as you can, trying to hunt the best photo and never being satisfied with the first one. Professional photographers take hundreds of pictures in every session, maybe just to select one or two afterwards. Selection is important, because if you leave bad photos, the overall quality decreases. Blur, fuzzy, unfocused,… if that was not your intention, delete them! The other option is to shoot just one video from different perspectives, and after just to cut the frames you like with Shutta.

6. Edit your photos

If you are not a raw archive lover, you may find essential to improve what your camera does not achieve by using a photo editing app. From the basic components such as contrast and brightness, RGB curves and saturation to preset filters. There are thousand of options out there, starting with Shutta App, which are making post-production a very easy task. Test them and build your own distinctive editing style.  

If you’ve read this far, its time to comment that although these are some of the basics to start with, in some cases you will achieve more interesting photographs without applying anything that has been said here. When you feel comfortable enough controlling your smartphone camera, let the intuition guide you and break the rules! Use the panoramic mode, the creepiest flash ever or leave your photos unedited, everything is valid if exists a concrete intention.

I want the world to be better and organized on a basis that helps human beings and not profit.  There’s absolutely no necessary conditions in which through building this world will people need to be slaughtered or relocated in the millions.  The different right wing nationalisms of the world however state otherwise.  Thats the difference between the ‘far left’ and the ‘far right’. 

How To Have  A Dream Come True:

The dream you want to come true will manifest itself, will be brought into reality by you, the moment you have imagined you already have it. When in your imagination you have lived the experience often enough that it seems natural to you. Not a ‘big dream’ anymore, but with tones of reality to it now. The only path to make a dream come true is by radically changing your personal psychology. By this is meant your attitude towards yourself. 
Your results and accomplishments the crucial test of your ability to use your imagination. 
Everything depends on your attitude towards yourself. That which you can affirm as true now - even though your eyes cannot see it - will be realized into reality. This attitude of already having it in your imagination is the only necessary condition by which you realize your goals!
To know more about this, I’d highly recommend The Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard.
The Stone | What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech
Campus protests against speakers like Richard Spencer are not censorship. They help secure the basic rights of others.
By Ulrich Baer

The recent student demonstrations at Auburn against Spencer’s visit — as well as protests on other campuses against Charles Murray, Milo Yiannopoulos and others — should be understood as an attempt to ensure the conditions of free speech for a greater group of people, rather than censorship. Liberal free-speech advocates rush to point out that the views of these individuals must be heard first to be rejected. But this is not the case. Universities invite speakers not chiefly to present otherwise unavailable discoveries, but to present to the public views they have presented elsewhere. When those views invalidate the humanity of some people, they restrict speech as a public good.

In such cases there is no inherent value to be gained from debating them in public. In today’s age, we also have a simple solution that should appease all those concerned that students are insufficiently exposed to controversial views. It is called the internet, where all kinds of offensive expression flourish unfettered on a vast platform available to nearly all.

The great value and importance of freedom of expression, for higher education and for democracy, is hard to overestimate. But it has been regrettably easy for commentators to create a simple dichotomy between a younger generation’s oversensitivity and free speech as an absolute good that leads to the truth. We would do better to focus on a more sophisticated understanding, such as the one provided by Lyotard, of the necessary conditions for speech to be a common, public good. This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing. [keep reading]

REFERENCE: Fasting six days of Shawwal

Assalaam Alaykum!

We have received many questions about fasting in Shawwal. So here are some guidelines that will cover your questions insha'Allah

Shawwal is the Islamic month that is immediately after Ramadan, the first day being ‘Eid al-Fitr.

What is the ruling on fasting six days of Shawwal? Is it wajib (obligatory)?

Fasting six days of Shawwal after the obligatory fast of Ramadan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not wajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a sahih hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.”(Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa'i and Ibn Majah)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explained this when he said:

“Whoever fasts for six days after (‘Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).”

According to another report: “Allah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” [An-Nisa'i and Ibn Majah.]

The Hanbali and Shafi'i fuqaha’ explained that fasting six days of Shawwal after fasting Ramadan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to nafil fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it.

Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwal is that is makes up for any shortfall in a person’s obligatory Ramadan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his nafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels - although He knows best - 'Look at the salah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, 'Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (nafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.”
Narrated by Abu Dawud

When should a Muslim start fasting six days of Shawwal? When can I start fasting six days of Shawwal, since we have annual leave right now?

You can start fasting six days of Shawwal from the second day of Shawwal, because it is haram to fast on the day of 'Eid. You can fast the six days at any time during Shawwal, although the best of good deeds are those which are done soonest.

Should fasting the six days be done immediately after Ramadan, following the day of 'Eid or is it permissible to do it a few days after 'Eid in the month of Shawwal or not?

These days do not have to be fasted immediately after 'Eid al-Fitr; it is permissible to start fasting them one or more days after 'Eid, and they may be done consecutively or separately during the month of Shawwal, according to what is easier for a person. There is plenty of room for maneuver in this matter, and this is not obligatory, it is Sunnah.

Do the six days of Shawwal have to be fasted consecutively?

With regard to the six days of Shawwal after Ramadan, is it a condition that they should be fasted consecutively, or can I separate them?

It is not a necessary condition that they should be fasted consecutively. If you fast them separately or consecutively, it is OK. The sooner you do them, the better, because Allah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“So compete in good deeds.”(Al-Qur'an 5:48)

“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord.”(Al-Qur'an 3:133)

“[Musa - peace be upon him - said:] … and I hastened to You, O my Lord, that You might be pleased.” )Al-Qur'an 20:84)

Can a person start fasting six days of Shawwal when he still has days to make up from Ramadan?

The precise rewards for the deeds which people do for the sake of Allah is something which is known only to Allah. If a person seeks the reward from Allah and strives to obey Him, his reward will not be lost, as Allah says:

“We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost.” (Al-Qur'an 18:30)

There are different opinions about this matter.

Majority of the scholars say that If someone has missed some of the days of Ramadan, he should fast them FIRST, then fast six days of Shawwal.

However, some scholars say that many of the companions would delay their Ramadan fasts until the month of Sh’aban. The proof for this is :

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her): “It happens that I have to make up days of Ramadan and I will not make up (these days) but in Sh’aban.” (Imam Muslim)

We recommend to fast the missed days of Ramadan first and fast the 6 days of Shawwal

And Allah knows best

Approaching Vajrayana - Part Two: Ground Tantra and Blessing

By Jakob Leschly

In the first instalment* of this four-part series, we looked at how we can gradually eliminate the causes of suffering and confusion through the Sutra path of rational knowledge of cause and effect. Yet, the very premise for working with these conditions is the underlying purity of Buddha nature beyond the narrow grasp of conceptuality, which is the foundation of the Mantra Vajrayana path. Here we will look at how this is approached in theory and practice.


Recognition of Buddha nature is the foundation of Vajrayana. Here, the result of the path is not merely a potential but acknowledged as actual reality, already perfect, just as a statue is perfect although hidden in its mold. In the Vajrayana we are empowered to reclaim our Buddha nature, also referred to as our heritage or lineage. We often find in scriptures the expression, “Listen, son or daughter of noble family …” This noble family is our innate enlightened heritage. All Buddhas and all beings belong to this family; we can say it is the unifying DNA of all life.

In Vajrayana, recognition of this heritage is called ground tantra . While tantra refers to the unchanging continuum that runs through both confusion and awakening, one speaks of three moments: namely, when it is dormant, when it is being unveiled, and when it is fully manifest. These three stages are called ground tantra, path tantra, and fruition tantra. Yet through all these moments, the nature does not change — ground and fruition merely differ in whether it is unveiled or not. While the gradual Sutra approach is understood as transforming a sentient being into a Buddha, the approach of Mantra is based on the recognition of the unchanging abiding reality that is ever present and real, regardless of whether it is manifest or not. Taking this innate reality of Buddha nature as the path is referred to as “the path of the result,” or the resultant vehicle of Vajrayana.


It is said that Vajrayana is the path of all the Buddhas. Any practitioner who eliminates obscurations and unveils the qualities of enlightenment gradually gains a clear recognition of Buddha nature and takes this indestructible or vajra nature as the path. While Vajrayana is the scope of practitioners such as great bodhisattvas, it is also taught to ordinary individuals, and offers methods by which even they can recognise the innate wisdom of their Buddha nature lineage. However, it is repeatedly stressed that to engage in the resultant Vajrayana path requires a solid foundation. As it says in the tantric scriptures:

“Innate absolute wisdom can only come
As the mark of having accumulated merit and purified confusion
And through the blessing of a realised teacher .
Know that to rely on any other means is foolish” (Patrul Rinpoche 1998, 310)

Common to all gradual paths is purifying confusion and creating the necessary conditions for unveiling wisdom. In addition to that, the uncommon method of blessings is the entrance into Vajrayana. The path of blessings is based on devotion, which is the deep respect for and recognition of enlightenment as embodied in the teacher. The student’s sensitivity to and awareness of the teacher’s qualities open up the possibility of the teacher communicating directly to the student that which is beyond language and conceptual thinking. We can say that the fusing of the student’s devotion with the teacher’s compassion results in the blessing that opens the student’s own wisdom. These auspicious conditions are at the very heart of Vajrayana practice.


Only sublime persons with genuine wisdom and compassion qualify as authentic teachers who transmit enlightenment. The student needs to be uncompromising in assessing who is an authentic teacher and who is not, which is not easy for an ordinary person. Particularly in our mechanistic world, something as non-linear as wisdom finds many of us ill-prepared, lacking the intuitive edge and knowledge that are essential in assessing the values of a genuine guru. We have plenty of discouraging stories of people engaging with inauthentic gurus and teachers. In the traditional homes of Buddhism such as Tibet, there is a very pragmatic culture of discerning authentic teachers. Yet even if we don’t have that living tradition in our modern culture, there is extensive guidance on it in the Buddhist teachings.

The guru also needs to be discerning in accepting a student. A student may have little interest in attaining perfect enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, and may approach the Vajrayana teacher only in terms of their own habitual agenda. As for the nature of involvement in the teacher-student relationship, the great master Padmasambhava said:

“Not to examine the teacher
Is like drinking poison;
Not to examine the disciple
Is like leaping from a precipice” (Patrul Rinpoche 1998, 141)

While Buddhist students in general see the qualities of their teacher and follow in their footsteps, the Vajrayana student in particular sees enlightenment as fully present in the teacher. Having established the authenticity of the teacher, the student trains in developing a penetrating insight that sees beyond his or her own projections and appreciates the innate, pure qualities of the teacher. The student recognises that ultimately the teacher is not external and is the very embodiment of his or her own Buddha nature. Hence the student trains in seeing the guru as a perfect Buddha, such as the Buddha Vajradhara or Padmasambhava. The guru is seen as embodying any Buddha, bodhisattva, or sacred principle of enlightenment.

The path of devotion is a very real process of apprenticeship, where the student discovers the teacher’s wisdom and experience. The student becomes acquainted with the teacher’s outlook and skillfulness, and in this way begins to intuit the teacher’s qualities, which eventually results in a transmission of wisdom. While the teacher is seen to embody the wisdom of all the Buddhas and hence as equal to all Buddhas, the teacher’s kindness is recognised as far superior because of being present in a tangible form, giving instruction and guidance.


Openness and devotion enable the student to intuit the nature of the teacher’s greatness and qualities, such as wisdom and compassion. While a rational intellect and the logic of the vipashyana path are an indispensable foundation, as the 8th century Indian master Shantideva says in The Way of the Bodhisattva, “The ultimate is not within the reach of the intellect” (Shantideva 2006, 137). The deep respect and devotion the student has for his or her teacher enable the perception and experience of a dimension of being that is not the domain of conceptual constructs.

When the student is touched and awed beyond words by the qualities of the teacher, this creates a space of softness and appreciation that penetrates the thickness of the rational intellect. This is where the teacher’s wisdom may be seen to resonate with what is within. Blessing enables the experience of an abiding common ground with the teacher and the teacher’s lineage. This is the experience of ground tantra and is the entrance to path tantra. It is at this point that the teacher can mature the student through empowerment and guide the student to achieve liberation.


The devotion to the teacher also extends to the rest of the lineage, all the way to the primordial principle of enlightenment. Invoking the lineage, the student connects with his or her actual heritage as an enlightened person; he or she shares the ground and path of the great beings and sages of their lineage. Whether these awake persons of the lineage, such as Padmasambhava, Naropa, or Yeshe Tsogyal, lived in a different time and within a different cultural discourse is irrelevant; what matters is that they faced their confusion and uncovered enlightenment within. We are doing the same. We are heirs to their know-how and guidance, and we possess their genes. The lineage masters are present beyond time and space. In practicing the path, we invoke these masters along with our guru as our confidants and sources of Refuge, blessing, empowerment, and accomplishment.

In addition to apprenticing with the teacher, serving him or her and following their specific instructions, the single most important Vajrayana meditation is the practice of guru yoga. Generally practiced in a formal setting, the student invokes the teacher’s presence through visualisation of the teacher surrounded by the lineage, as the embodiment of the wisdom of all Buddhas. Supplicating the teacher with heartfelt, yearning devotion, the student experiences the teacher’s blessing, receives empowerment, and settles inseparably within the teacher’s wisdom, just like water being poured into water.

As the student matures, he or she purifies the remaining confusion and unveils innate perfection, in the same way as gradually removing the mold that conceals a perfect statue. The guru empowers and introduces the student’s nature and the world as the fresh and vivid display of wisdom’s purity through the practices of path tantra.

Philip Schuyler to Elizabeth Hamilton, July-November, 1804

My Dear Dearly Beloved and Affectionate Child:

This morning Mr. Church’s letter has announced to me the severe affliction which it has pleased the Supreme being to inflict on you on me and on all dear to us.  If aught under heaven could aggravate the affliction I experience, it is that incapable of moving or being removed I cannot fly to you to pour the balm of comfort into your afflicted bosom, to water it with my tears, to solace yours and mine in this depressing situation.  Under the pressure of this most severe calamity let us seek consolation from that source where it can only be truly found, in humble resignation to the will of heaven.  Oh my Dearly Beloved Child let us unanimously entreat the Supreme being to give you fortitude to support the affliction, to preserve you to me, to your dear children and relations.  Should it please God so far to restore my strength as to enable me to go to you, I shall embrace the first moment to do it, but should it be otherwise, I entreat you my beloved Child to come home as soon as you possibly can, with my dear Grandchildren.  Your sisters will accompany you.  May Almighty God bless and protect you and pour the balm of consolation into your distressed soul is and will always be the prayer of

Your affectionate and distressed parent.

Ph. Schuyler.

My Dear dearly Beloved Child

Extreme as my distress is, and indisposed as I may have been, and still unwell, it has pleased the divine being to support me in the severe trials Bishop Moore’s account of the last moments of my dearly beloved son has conveyed great consolation to me and doubtless to you my dear afflicted child.  My Hamilton’s spirit is now in heaven and that of your parent hopes in God’s due time to meet in the abodes of bliss.  I have too long neglected the sacred ordinances directed by our Saviour, but I hope soon to become a partker and if you should be here or I in N York with you, you shall lead me to the alter with the divine ____.

The wounds in my legs bear a favorable aspect and promise a ____ the harm of the Gout although severe is a necessary condition of my constitution and when the ___ subdues, I shall probably enjoy good health for a considerable portion of time, and devote myself to those duties you and my dear grandchildren which my love and tenderness for you and them and my dear departed friend so fondly call for.

Grief is natural on such an occasion as we experience but we owe duties to the living, which together with an humble resignation to the divine should induce to exert ourselves to become calm.  A mind so pious as yours, so deeply embarrassed with the duties of a mother will feel the force of my remarks.  May indulgent heaven support you and rain those blessings on you and my dear grandchildren which your affectionate parent implores of heaven for you and them.  Let the children participate with you in my love.  Assure them of my […] invariable affection.  Adieu my dearly beloved, my amiable, my good, my virtuous child.

My Amiable and dearly beloved Child

Yesterday morning I received letters from your sisters & their husbands and one from my beloved Grandson James.  I immediately determined to go to you and made the requisite arrangements when Mr. Stringer came to drain my wounds.  I commented to him my ambition to embark without delay, and requested that he should state my case to Dr. Charlton or Dr. Post and recommended the proper dressing and medicines.  He replied that my wounds although now in a fair prospect of being healed and the pain diminished required the most unremitted attention.  He apprehended that I could not be removed from his care without and danger and that the result of any accident might probably terminate in an additional calamity to you and my family and therefore insisted me to remain until I could go with safety.  Reflecting on the high and tender duties devolved on me as Your parent and the parent of my dear Grandchildren, and that I might not to risk to hazard a life now so deeply devoted to your consolation and comfort and that of your dear children.  I acquired to Mr. Stringer ______, but do not my beloved conclude from this statement that I am not in comfortable health.  Indeed my Love my wounds are so favorable an affect and the gout diminished that I hope soon to be able to see you.

I have not my dearly beloved child on which condition you and my dear grand children are left as to pecuniary resources but I know that I have the power and thanks be to god the attention and determination to render you and your dear Children perfectly comfortable as long as it shall please my beneficent Maker to keep me in life, and that by my conduct and testament I have bequeathing you considerably more than a mere competency for you and them when I shall be no more.  Oh: If the blessed spirits of no one in the full protection of bless with their God and their redeemer ____ of what happens in the minds of those who have survived them.  The spirit of my dearly beloved Hamilton now comfortable with complaceny my affectionate and tender feelings for you and his children.  My fixed determination to pass the residue of the days which my Creator has allotted me in unremitting attention to promote your happiness and that of my dear grand children.  That in the discharge of this sacred and tender duty.  I shall be upheld and officially seconded by your brothers, by your Sisters and by their husbands.  Oh how much have they already alleviated my heart rendering grief by assurances and tenderness, which clearly indicates these affections for you, your children and farme, and their anxiety to promote you their and my happiness.  Gracious God be pleased to accept my most humble and dearest thanks for having given me Children whose hearts are so deeply entrenched with love to you and me and who so pleasingly anticipate my wishes and wants in respect to you and my dear Grand Children.

Exert all your fortitude my amiable and beloved child to comfort your mind, you and I have great sacred and important duties to comfort for each other and to your dear children.  Notwithstanding my last grief for the loss we have sustained, I already feel great consolation in anticipating how pleasantly I shall be employed in discharging the duties of a parent to a virtuous and Amiable Child and her tender offspring, and that I shall be so affectionately supported in the tender task by all my Children.

I give thanks to my beloved Grandson James for his letter to me.  Embrace him, his Sisters & brothers most affectionately for me.

My Catharine and her husband are both unremitted in the most affectionate attention they have both given me the most unequivocal proof of their tenderness to your children.  They both unite with me in love and wish & pray for your happiness.

Adieu my beloved and dear child.  I hope soon to ____ you to that were you are so deeply _____ and health.

I am your affectionate father

Ph: Schuyler

My beloved Eliza

(To Mrs. Hamilton

To be left with John B. Church Esq.

Robinson Street

New York)

My Dearly beloved and distressed Child

The tempest of the Lord has beaten severely on us in the inexplicable calamity we have sustained.  ___ and example has the son of god concluded resignation in the ____ of the divine will. Let us then humbly bless the Lord, and what we tenderly and dearly lament the loss of one so dearly, so _____ beloved.  Let us address the throne of Grace to attack an affliction and to pair the balm of Comfort into our wounded souls.  Let us always and under all Occupations, remember that what the divine will advises flows from a source which cannot err and altho we shall regret mortals can not investigate the causes which lead to the effects we experience.  Yet we may rest apprised they are for wise purposes.  The Almighty has promised residence to the reverent, [and] our dear departed friend was eminently so, and his spirit now enjoys the promised blessed home you, and I, and all ours  ___ there the mansion of the blessed redeemer and shall in god’s good time meet him, never again to be separated.

When I shall learn that indulgent heaven has calmed your pious mind, a degree of peace will be restored to mine, and accelerate my recovery, and enable me to discharge those tender duties, which your piety and unbounded affection for me, render you so highly indebted to.  Embrace most tenderly all my dear Grand Children, and if I am not conduced able of going to you as soon as I can, let me intreat you my beloved Child as soon as you conveniently can to [come here] accompanied by Your Children and your Sisters.

Adieu my beloved Child may heaven be gracefully pleased to sooth your affliction and afford you and all of us every temporal felicity while in the life and a happy immortality hereafter

Most tenderly and affectionately

The parent that feels for a virtuous & beloved Child

Ph. Schuyler

For my beloved Eliza.

Your sister would have gone to you but my indisposition and her advanced situation has prevented.  She most cordially unites in love to you & the children.  I am at present free from bodily pain and the wounds in my knee are nearly discharged of the matter which has retarded them healing.  I have stated to Mr. Church the real state of my health.  It will afford you some consolation.

My Dear dearly beloved Child

From the state of the winds for two days after you left Tues, I concluded that you had a short passage, I hope you and my dear grandchildren arrived safe and in health.

On Friday last the ulcer in my foot was opened and the discharge of matter so copious that it has greatly very greatly reduced my pain, the wound digests perfectly well and Mr. Stringer thinks that in ten or twelve days a cure will be performed.  If I keep in bed, where I now am, and where I shall continue as he advises.

Your sister has suffered much since you left us, but is now better but still very feeble.  She is in the room opposite to mine, this enables her altho weak, to visit me frequently–

Ah: my dearly beloved child how greatly do your affectionate attentions and those of my other children, sooth & comfort me, and how sincerely do I reciprocate those affections.

Pray let me know if you have as yet obtained a comfortable and convenient house.  Procure one if possible sufficiently large that you may not be in the lease crowded, for remember, that it is my intention that you should be well accommodated, and make Every want immediately known to me that I may have the pleasure of obviating it.

What has been the decision relative to my Dear Alexander? Has my Dear Johnny obtained permission to enter college?  Are they their sisters & brothers all well, is your health good my amiable child? These are interesting questions on which I wish to ____.

Mr. Malcomb went on friday to the _____, your Sister’s child is perfectly well, I hope she will soon be so, she embraces you and the children most cordially, and tender within.  Love to you and them adieu my Dearly beloved child, may heaven preserve you & them in its holy protection, and pluck every thorn out of your future path, is the prayer of your affectionate parent.

Ph: Schuyler

I felt my Dearly beloved Child the pangs you would experience on a return to a place where the sweet smiles, the amiable affability, the cheerful and enduring attention of the best of men had been wont to meet your eyes and apprehending from what I felt, that your pangs would be severe, I have addressed, and I hope with humility and fervor, the divine disposer of all events to mitigate your grief and to pour the balm of consolation into your wounded bosom.  It is a beneficent God and his gracious providence that our comfort, our consolation, our peace of mind must be derived


in this seeking let us remember that we do not injure that health which is so precious to our dear Children.  Yes my beloved I say our children, for of you and yours I am the parent, and may it please the almighty to let me remain in life, that you and they may constantly experience my love, my tenderness, and my gratitude to the dear deceased.

That your afflictions, my dear, dearly beloved child, have added to mine, was the natural result of a parent’s tenderness for so dutiful and affectionate a child, as he invariably experienced from you. My affliction, has, however, been mitigated, by the favor of Divine Providence in preserving your life, and in enabling me to administer every possible consolation; and it will be no small one to you to be informed that since my last letter to you I have had no gout; that, although the ulcers in my feet and above my knee have been extensive, they bear a most favorable aspect for healing; that I have next to no pain from them; that my appetite is restored; that I sleep well; and, although I cannot walk, I have, for some days past, been carried to the dining room, where I have quietly sat from one to six o’clock.  I impute this happy change, under God, to the excessive discharge of gouty matter from my foot.  Indeed, I am not without hopes of being able to visit you in the winter, if there should be sledding.

I am happy that you have obtained a comfortable house.  Render yourself and my dear children perfectly comfortable at your table, and call on me, my beloved child, without hesitation, for the means of rendering you so.

My winter store of fat cattle and hogs are not expected until the middle of the month.  As soon as they arrive, everything will be prepared for you.  Your sister is collecting the best of butter, which she carries to be watered over to be sent to you and says she will add Bolletjes & Pig’s feet souse.  There are truffles but of value to me as they ____ my soul from the affection and attention, which it evinces to you.  Her breast is not quite well, but a prospect of being soon healed, her babes grows rapidly.  She and Mr. Malcom unite with me in the tenderest wishes and affection for you and my dear Children, may God bless you and them is the humble prayer of your affectionate parent.

Ph: Schuyler

Let me know the number of your home & the street

You did not mention by whom you found a volume of the Church history, which will have just received.

dzasyn-deactivated20160812  asked:

Could a Lorwyn flamekin become a planeswalker? They're elementals, sure, but they seem to be more sapient, living creatures than animate mana.

Yep, they could have a planeswalker spark. A good rule of thumb: If we’ve designed costuming and gear and architecture for your species, there could be a planeswalker of your species. :) Culture is not a necessary condition, but in almost all cases a sufficient one.

“It’s Time.”

           At first, when Marty hears the buzzing of the ancient hair clippers he’s kept tucked away under the bathroom sink all these years, he’s equal parts surprised they work and grateful it seems Rust’s decided to part ways with his mustache.
           He shuts the faucet off and stands there with a soapy tea glass in his hands which are soft and wrinkly from the water. For a moment, he stays still and listens to the sound change between strokes. When he’s decided that Rust is okay, he returns to washing dishes.
           After every dish is dry and put away, Marty sets the checkered towel aside and thinks the buzzing’s gone on too long. It’s then the strokes stop. The sound ceases to change, but the clippers run on, unused.
           He waits for Rust to start again or to turn the clippers off, but they drone on. Concerned, Marty starts down the hallway. He steps into the bedroom, finds the bathroom door is open wide, and so he stops.
           “Rust?” he asks.
           There’s no reply, so Marty moves into the doorway.
           He finds Rust dressed in nothing more than a borrowed pair of boxer shorts, standing at the sink with his hands braced against the counter top as he leans over it with his head bowed low. He’s shaved his face clean and he’s cut his hair short – short like it used to be 10 years ago – or at least, he’s started to, but he’s less than halfway finished.
           He doesn’t speak, doesn’t move to turn the clippers off or to acknowledge Marty. He only stands there with his eyes shut, breathing hard.
           Marty watches him closely.
           There’s a cage in Rust, forged of bone and muscle, which calls his life its prisoner. It expands and collapses like an empire and Marty stands there, named after a Roman war god, wanting desperately to defend Rust against the adversary of his pain. But Marty’s hands are empty and so, he presses one palm, flat and sure, to the hot, smooth surface of Rust’s shoulder blade.
           “Hey,” he rasps, “come on. Sit down.”
           Finally, the buzzing stops and Rust sets the clippers aside. Marty knocks down the toilet seat, keeps one hand on Rust’s elbow, and helps him to sit down.
           “Don’t know what you were thinkin’,” Marty says. “Tryin’ to keep your arms raised up above your head. Stretchin’ out your stomach like that. I keep tellin’ you to mind your stitches.”
           Rust only closes his eyes again and crosses one arm over his middle.
           “You know,” Marty continues, “I ought to leave you this way. With half your hair long and the other half short.” He picks up the clippers and quips, “Lucky for you, I’m feelin’ generous.”
           Marty cradles Rust’s head in his free hand and Rust lifts up his eyes, at last revealing the sleepy blue moons of his irises.
           “You’re okay,” Marty promises, then he finishes what Rust started.
           “You know,” Marty says as he unplugs the clippers, “when your hair’s short this way, you sure do look like a mean old buzzard.”
            Rust exhales a subtle sort of laugh through his nostrils, then finally breaks his silence. “In some cultures,” he says, “the vulture is a sacred animal. A symbol of purification and renewal. Transformation,” he adds as an afterthought and blinks slowly.
            “That so?” Marty asks, stowing the clippers away beneath the sink.
            “They’re more than just symbols of death. They transmute death,” he insists, even though Marty’s not arguing. “They’re symbols of…” Rust struggles to sort through the ideas as they occur to him “…of the necessary conditions for life to begin again.”
            “Well…” Marty eyes him, “sounds like a good totem for you then.”
            Rust swallows hard and his eyes find the floor.
            “I don’t quite understand why this couldn’t wait,” Marty says, looking at all the grey and autumn hair in his sink. “Could’ve taken you to the barber. Left someone else with this mess.”
            “I wanted to make it harder for you,” Rust says.
            It’s a strange comment, but Marty replies, “Hey, thanks for that, Rust.”
            But Rust shakes his head. “That’s not what I mean…”
            “Then what the hell are you talking about?” Marty asks, agitated only because he’s concerned. “You wanted to make it harder for me? Harder for me to what?”
            “Harder for you to forgive me,” Rust replies.
            “What?” Marty snaps, confused.
            “I thought…that if I looked more like you remember me, more like I did back then…it might make it harder for you to forgive me.”
            “Why the fuck would you want that?”
            “I don’t want your forgiveness, Marty” Rust explains. “I don’t deserve it.”
            “Fuck you,” Marty replies. “That ain’t for you to decide.”
            Rust closes his eyes and wipes at their wetness with the heel of his hand. Realizing the situation calls for a softer approach, Marty takes a deep breath and sinks down onto his haunches in front of Rust.
            “Listen to me,” he says gently. “I’m only gonna say this once and fuck you for makin’ me say it at all. If there’s one thing I learned from you in our early years, it’s how to separate the shit I feel about me from the shit I feel about other people.”
            Rust is looking at Marty now with sad and tired eyes. Before he’s thought it through, Marty reaches up to brush away the tear stains from Rust’s cheeks.
            “This forgiveness crap you’re bringing to my door right now? That’s about you,” Marty continues and settles on his knees. “Rust, I’d invite you to look back on your life and realize you ain’t ever been real good at knowin’ when it’s time to stop doing penance. So let me help you…”
            Marty rises up, his hand finds the sharp curve of Rust’s jaw, and he kisses him – deep and determined, open-mouthed and sure. Rust surrenders easily, more pliable than he has ever been, and only groans in soft objection when Marty moves away.
            “It’s time.”
            Rust nods his head in agreement. “All right,” he breathes.
            “All right,” Marty echoes. He gives Rust a smile, then uses the counter top to pull himself up from the floor. “I’m gonna go get a broom, and then I’m gonna sweep up this fuckin’ mess.”
            He starts to go, but then he stops. He turns back to Rust with a wily grin and says, “By the way…that bit about you lookin’ more like I remember? It’s gonna take more than a haircut to make you 10 years younger, Rust. That bein’ said…it’s a step in the right direction.”
           Rust laughs softly and shakes his head and, after Marty’s gone, he smiles to himself  – beautifully and brightly and for the first time in many years.

@storiesabouthestars A Sunday offering, before a new week begins. All I want is for us to start it with a little joy in our hearts. XO

WRITING A TRANSGENDER CHARACTER 101 a SEBLAINE-RPH guide on general tips for people that want to write/write with transgender characters

Under the cut you will find a bit of basic information that will be relevant if you want to know what it’s  like to be transgender well enough to write it. The focus is gender-less here, but specific guides for trans men, trans women, and non-binary as well as intersex (not a gender but anatomy-relevant) are coming soon.

So what exactly is a transgender person? Simple. A transgender person is someone who was assigned one gender at birth, but currently identifies with another. That might sound like a pretty one-size-fits-all, simple thing, but it’s an umbrella term that encompasses many different identities. This realization that they feel this way and the decision to come out (or not) and to change how they are presenting outwardly (or not) in a way that makes them happy can happen at any point in a person’s life, from early childhood to old age. Some transgender people are pressured by society and/or their own personal preference and choose to highly dip into masculinity/femininity in order to express who they are. Some don’t. There are trans men who wear panties and others that wear boxers and are dysphoric at the idea of panties. Some have traumatic stories to go along with their transgender narrative, some don’t. Some want surgery, some don’t. Some want hormone therapy, some don’t. Some are uncomfortable in their body, some love the skin they’re in. Non-binary people sometimes also consider themselves to be transgender, but not all of them do. Some intersex people identify with the term as well, others don’t. It’s important to remember that there is no singular formula for being transgender and there is no singular way to play one because they’re just as complex and diverse as all humans beings are. They’re still human beings, normal humans beings like any cis person. They eat, sleep, breathe, and fall in love just like anyone else; even if their life does have its own set of particulars.

Keep reading

Secularism as religious anarchy and the case for state atheism

A state is secular when it takes no position on religion per se and allows it to be practiced freely within the confines of supposedly areligious law. In a sense, we can say there is religious anarchy under secularism, in the same way there’s political anarchy in the absence of a state or international anarchy in the realist conception of international relations. When the state takes no position on religion, there will be a natural power-struggle between the religious factions (this is true of anarchy generally). Religion becomes more antagonistic under secularism as different groups are motivated to engage in public displays of religiosity in order to “mark their territory”. However, there can’t be any internal religious conflict in a nation which is entirely composed of atheists or a single religion by definition (but there can be disagreement over the interpretation of religious doctrine, which makes atheism superior in this respect). Being less inherently tribal, Northern Europeans are probably more compatible with secularism than any other ethnic group on the planet although it still may not be optimal, aside from the fact that we have millions of highly tribal religious aliens in our midst. At the other end of the spectrum of clannishness, it is a virtual necessity for Arabs to have a single authoritarian state religion to preserve an inherently fragile social order prone to war and tribalism.

We should also bear in mind as racial nationalists that an illiberal state ideology acts as a cultural barrier to immigration and racial mixing. State atheism would amount to a public war on modern Christianity, Judaism and Islam. We would be able to (with the White veneer of non-discrimination against any particular religion) close down all of the communist churches, subversive synagogues and murderous mosques. Some will claim that this would not be pragmatic; “the orthodox Jews would emigrate and the Muslims would riot”. I say…GOOD! If there’s one thing our nation doesn’t need more of, it’s Jews, and rioting Muslims will just stiffen the spines of Whites everywhere; a necessary condition for the expulsion of aliens. Not hearing treasonous gabble about “one world” and “equality” so common from our pulpits would be a mental detox for millions of Whites. Whatever merits the old Germanized Christianity had, it has none of them today; modern Christianity is little more than communism. Any Roman Catholic who listens to the deranged ramblings of a fool like “Pope” Francis knows this to be true and the “Sharia for Britain” Anglican church isn’t any better. If a despicable Kike like Peter Beinart is lamenting the decline of modern Christianity, even the most committed Christian patriot must see that it is a severe psychological barrier to White racial consciousness.

While I believe that state atheism amounts to upholding truth over suicidal relativism (secularism) or falsehood (religion), Christian traditionalists should prefer state atheism to secularism, for the same reason that a political traditionalist should prefer abolishing the House of Lords in its current degenerate form to its continued existence. The anti-British traitors used to want to abolish the Lords but they devised a far more devious and subversive strategy; take over the HoL and use it for their nefarious ends. This is exactly what happened to the Anglican church, which is not these days “The Tory party at prayer” but “The communist party at prayer”. Every genuine Christian traditionalist should want to extirpate the hostile religions of Judaism and Islam from this nation and state atheism would provide a solid pretext for doing so.

Despite my atheism, I support the maintenance of religion in alien lands. The stronger their religious belief, the less success they will have in science and they will remain backward while we in the West advance. Their religion also discourages race-destroying miscegenation and strengthens the Political (or friend-enemy distinction) which is as fundamental to meaningful human existence as anything else. Alien religions in the third world will continue to keep their populations down with internecine clan warfare and the intermittent creation of new aggressive sects, usually along ethnic lines. Religion will continue to destroy their racial unity, cull the herd and keep them backward & superstitious (i.e. not a threat to the White West).

Under state atheism, all public and quasi-public promotion of religion (such as the operation of a church, synagogue or mosque) would be banned. Religion may continue to be taught in public schools but from a critical perspective. However, truly private religious beliefs would not be persecuted. Whites would able to practice Christianity with their families in a far healthier environment than those found in most modern churches. Jewish and Muslim law courts, Jewish and Muslim religious slaughter, religious provisions in prison, male and female genital mutilation & religious garments would be banned, which would undoubtedly increase the rate of Jewish and Muslim emigration (and reduce their rate of migration) dramatically. Alien religious buildings and monuments shall be destroyed (aside from Christian ones, which will become museums).

Religion will have a difficult time in any nation with free speech, the internet and a culture that is antagonistic toward it, unless religious groups culturally secede and become hyper-insular (like the Amish) and preferably aggressive (like Orthodox Jews or Muslims). A nationalist state could attempt to foster a revival of our more vigorous and naturalistic European religions which would be less vulnerable to scientific attack and more conducive to racial progress. Many of the great political theorists such as Machiavelli have claimed that a state religion is necessary to maintain a strong moral order and promote unity. I agree with this claim, although I think “religion” can be used interchangeably with a useful social morality or system of values. I regard karmic reincarnation as being the most socially efficient metaphysical speculation about the afterlife and would be happy if a plausible case could be made for it but I do not believe that a such a case could be made on the evidence. The plausibility of atheistic materialism creates a sense of nihilism in most intelligent, rational people.

Although idiotic “new atheists” will not accept it, a tendency for religious belief is highly heritable. Most human beings are inclined toward the mysterious and something “greater than themselves”. I use the term “religion" in a loose sense; there are plenty of nominal atheists who are fanatical egalitarians and moral universalists, beliefs which are far more absurd and contradicted by evidence than theism, which is a doctrine that has not been refuted by science because it has proved thus far to be a non-scientific claim. Belief in a non-scientific claim is a lot more intellectually respectable than belief in a blatantly unscientific claim; the latter requires truly titanic levels of delusion when we are dealing with a belief like the veracity of human equality, which is not just untrue but the most obvious major falsehood that has ever been declared a truth.

The reason for the preponderance of the religious instinct in human beings is simple; the theistically-inclined have had far more success in Darwinist terms, a wonderful irony. Atheists like Richard Dawkins who long for “the end of religion” are going to be bitterly disappointed; contraception and abortion-loving atheists will select themselves out the gene pool, while the religious brown hordes pour in, slit their throats and enslave their women. The funny thing about Dawkins is that he’s essentially a pious, evangelical atheist; very much religious in nature. He would have surely been a high-ranking member of the Anglican clergy had he been born in the recent past. The religious instinct is strong and cannot be extirpated in maybe 95-99% of the public because it has been so useful to us evolutionarily. This is why I believe that state atheism in a White nationalist nation would result in a quasi-religious ethno-nationalism becoming culturally dominant which can only improve our chances of racial survival and prosperity. State atheism could lead naturally to a form of moral anti-realism, which would allow us to fight our enemies without philosophical guilt or pity.