polarizer study

i love soft love, intense love, loud expressions of love, gentle touches of love, slight smiles kind of love, laughing until you cry kind of love, “don’t stay up too late” texts out of love, talking all the way until midnight when in love, knowing each other too well type of love, slowly getting to know each other while falling in love, love, love, love

request: the8 badboy!AU, highschool!AU ; insp. by the 6th prompt here!

pairing: minghao/you

a/n: *sweats* after 6 months of not writing a scenario, i am back!!! honestly i got a bit carried away so it’s a bit lengthier than usual, so i hope this makes up for it since this is my first minghao fic :’) 

2,684 w.

The sound of hurried footsteps and hushed voices outside your bedroom window is what pulls you away from your hour-long studying session. It’s five minutes past midnight and you’re reviewing your notes in preparation for your chemistry test in the morning, but now that your attention is elsewhere, you realize that further cramming will do you no good. You sigh and shut your notebook, stretching your arms behind your back as you get up to see who (or what) could be making such a ruckus outside your house this late.

When you peer outside your window, you barely make out the outlines of three hooded figures running straight for your backyard door. Your eyes widen as you watch them shove it open and run deeper in until they’re out of sight. You freeze in place as panic washes over you because oh my god they’re going to break in and murder me why do I have to be alone tonight out of all nights?

You grab your phone and rush into the master’s bedroom where a window gives the perfect view of your backyard. Creeping closer to the window and peaking through the blinds, you see that the three of them are standing in the middle of your backyard, two of their backs turned to you. The other figure is facing you, but you can’t quite make out their face.

“Did we lose him?”

“I don’t know. But it’s best to hide here until we’re sure.”

You sigh in relief. So their intention isn’t to break in.

“Minghao? What do you think?”

Minghao? You squint your eyes as the figure takes off his hood. Even in the darkness, his fiery red hair is visible and your jaw goes slack. Minghao’s in several of your classes, though he hardly shows up for it to feel that way.

“Yeah, let’s just wait here.” He cards a hand through his hair and looks around as if sensing your gaze.

You’re about to step back from the window just in case he sees you, but something in the corner of your eye makes you stop mid-way. Now that your eyes have adjusted to the dark, you can see that your garden—or what was your garden—has been trampled on. You’ve been tending to that garden for months now, and anger builds within you when you see some of your peonies limp in the soil.

You spin on your heel and down the stairs, clutching your phone in your fist. You make your way over to the living room where the backyard door is, flicking the backyard light on in the process.

You yank the door open and step out, pointing an accusatory finger at the three boys, “Hey!”

The three of them look at you in alarm, but before they can say anything you continue, “Look, I was going to let you guys off for trespassing after you leave and all, but how are you going to repay me for my garden? I’ve been working on it for months! And you,” you point to Minghao, “there’s a chemistry test tomorrow! Did you even know that? Actually, do any of you know how expensive it is to maintain a garden like this? Why my garden? You guys are so careless!”

By now you’re heaving from your mini-rant as the three boys stare at you in shock. You cross your arms. “Well?”

Much to your dismay, one of them has the audacity to laugh“Come on,” he nudges the one standing next to him. “Let’s get out of here.” He shoves his fists in the pocket of his hoodie and brushes past you like it’s nothing. “Nice pajamas, by the way.”

You blink a few times before looking down at your current attire: a Hello Kitty pajama set you got for Christmas two years ago with fuzzy slide slippers to match. Feeling your face warm, you glare as Offender #2 joins Offender #1′s side.

“Let’s go, Minghao. You have a test to study for, remember?” he snickers.

And then they’re off, leaving the way they entered, not even sparing you a glance. Minghao watches as you sulk over to your garden. You can feel his eyes on you as you kneel down to pick up a crushed peony. “Just go,” you murmur, standing up to walk past him. “Jerks…”

“Hey,” he calls out right before you close the door behind you. “I’ll make it up to you somehow.”

“How?” you frown. Even though Minghao’s always had the reputation as the school’s “bad boy”, you never paid attention to such labels. But now that you have a reason to dislike him, you’re starting to believe the rumors. Maybe he truly is just a delinquent who causes needless trouble. “I’ve been growing this garden for mo—”

“For months. Yeah, yeah. You’ve said that already.”

Your glare deepens.

“I’ll find a way. But for now, I have to go.” He pulls his hood over his head and for the first time, looks you in the eye. “It’s ______, right?”

“Huh?” you ask, surprised that he knows your name. He looks at you expectantly and you clear your throat. “I mean, yeah. How’d you know?”

He smirks. “It’s pretty hard not to know the name of teacher’s pet, don’t you think?”

_ _ _

Unsurprisingly, Minghao misses the chemistry test the next day and doesn’t show up to class for the days that follow. You twirl your pencil between your fingers, chin resting on the palm of your other hand. “He’ll make it up to me my ass,” you mutter, remembering the amount of peonies that died at the hands (well, feet, technically) of those three impudent boys.

When class ends, you’re out the door, ready to go home and take a nice nap. With both of your earbuds in, you scroll through the music in your phone until you find a song you like and press play. You walk for five minutes until you feel a tap on your shoulder.

When you turn around, Minghao’s staring down at you. This time, his hair’s dyed a whitish grey that contrasts against his black hoodie.

You pull out your left earbud. “What do you want?”

“Here,” he holds out a mini succulent plant. “We’re even now, right?”

Frowning, you take the succulent from him and eye it. “This is your idea of making it up to me?” You narrow your eyes at him as he shrugs. The succulent is admittedly cute, and as you inspect it more, you notice black ink written on the bottom of the vase. Curious, you tilt it backwards until the words becomes readable.

Seokmin Lee :^)

Pausing, you look up at Minghao, to the succulent, and back at him. “Wait,” you say slowly, realization hitting you. “You stole this?”

You shove it back in his hands and glare, angry at yourself for actually thinking he could be true to his word.

“I got it for you,” he says simply, not understanding why you’re so upset. “You don’t like it?”

You look at him like he’s crazy, but his unwavering stare makes you pinch the bridge of your nose in frustration. “Forget it,” you say. “Just put it back where you took it from.” You shove your earbud back in your ear and continue your walk home.

When you open your backpack to do homework later that day, you find the succulent sitting inside the space between your notebooks. 

_ _ _

Minghao, for reasons unknown, has become increasingly adamant on compensating you for the garden he and his friends ruined. Last week, he tried giving you a rose before you pointed out that it was clearly plucked from the school’s garden. You figure that it’s a pride thing that drives him to do these things; otherwise, a rebel like him and a straight-A student like you would never have crossed paths again following the incident last month.

Today, it’s a pack of sunflower seeds.

“You know these are for eating, not for growing, right?” you deadpan, looking up at him. “I can see you’re really trying. But what’s done is done, so you can stop feeling indebted to me or whatever.”

Minghao opens his mouth to speak, but you continue before he can, voice much softer this time. “You’re nicer than your other friends. I appreciate it.”

“Nice?” he frowns. “I’m not nice.”

“Then why do you keep doing this?” You purse your lips, clutching the pack of sunflower seeds embarrassedly. “People think you like me. Someone saw you give me the rose last week. You know how fast rumors spread in this school.”

“Let them think what they want,” he counters, expression unreadable. You’ve never felt so vulnerable under someone’s gaze. “Plus, some rumors turn out to be true.”

You feel a blush creep up your neck. “What do you mean?”

Minghao shrugs, feigning cluelessness. “Dunno.”

The words come out before you know it: “Do you like me?” You bite your lip immediately after the words slip out, mentally cursing yourself for asking such a forward and ridiculuous question.

Minghao, however, seems unfazed. “Wanna date?”

You definitely weren’t expecting that. At a loss for words, you can only pray that your face isn’t as red as it feels. Minghao looks amused as your mouth opens and closes as you struggle for a response.

“I don’t date,” you say lamely. “I’m focusing on my studying.”

Minghao quirks a brow. “So no?”

You feel as if your heart rate’s increased tenfold and your mind’s gone blank, and all you can see is Minghao watching you grapple with words like you suddenly forgot how to speak and why in the world isn’t there a class on Dealing With A Minghao 101?

You and Minghao are polar opposites. You study diligently and get good grades, never skip class, and are well-liked among teachers. Minghao’s known for his cold indifference and causing all sorts of mischief outside of school. You’re not very popular, either, so you can’t find any plausible reason as to why Minghao would want to date you.

“I… I don’t know,” you manage to choke out after what feels like an eternity. “I barely even know you.”

“Isn’t that what dating’s for?” For someone so relaxed, he’s strangely persistent.

“I mean,” you start. “We could maybe… study for the upcoming chemistry test together?”

Minghao scoffs and you look away sheepishly.

“What was I expecting,” he mutters. “Fine.”

_ _ _

You’ve never felt so many eyes on you before. It’s a rare sight, so you can’t be too mad at the staring students. Had it not been for your suggestion, Minghao would likely never be seen in the library, let alone with you of all people. There are papers splayed over your shared table, but so far you’re the only doing the actual studying. He’s been staring at you for, you glance at the clock hanging above a shelf of books, the past thirty minutes.

“Minghao,” you sigh, looking up from your notebook. “What’s the difference between molarity and molality?”

“Your nose twitches when you study,” he says plainly.

You give him a pointed look but before you can retort, a smirking figure grabs your attention.

“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” The pretentious Jihoon has his fists in his khaki slacks and his chin up like usual. “______ sharing her smarts with someone? Who would’ve known,” he muses. “Tutoring will only slow you down. We’ll see who lands the highest score this time.“

“Actually, tutoring shows you’ve mastered the material well enough to teach it,” you roll your eyes. “And I’m not even tutoring him. We’re studying together.”

Jihoon scoffs, grumbling a “whatever” before stalking off.

“Who is that punk?” Minghao asks, eyes still on his retreating figure.

You shake your head, brushing your hair out of your face. “I guess you could call him my rival. He’s been like that since we were in the fifth grade.”

“The competitiveness or the rich kid look?”

“Both,” you reply sadly.

Minghao adjusts his baseball cap so that his bangs flatten above his eyes. “Want me to beat him up?”

Your eyes widen as you look up at him. You can’t decide what’s scarier, his threat or the fact that he’s actually serious. “No, don’t do that,” you frantic. “I don’t want you beating anyone up.”

Minghao doesn’t look satisfied with your answer but doesn’t say anything. The next ten minutes are spent in silence, you reading over your notes and doing practice problems while Minghao idly scrolls through his phone. He gets up, sliding his phone into the pocket of his bomber jacket, and tells you that he’s going to the bathroom. You nod without looking up, letting him know you heard him.

"Finally, he left,” you hear someone a few tables away breathe out in relief the moment he’s out of sight. “I was going to leave myself if he didn’t.”

“Dude, same.” His friend shudders. “He’s so scary.”

You try to pay them no mind as you train your attention on your studying, but as they continue their Minghao-slandering you realize that you’ve been reading the same sentence over and over.

“What was he doing here, anyways? He should just go back to his shady business with his gang or something.”

“Tell me about it. And why was ______ with him? He probably threatened her into it.”

You slam your pen on the table. All eyes darting to you, you turn to the two gossipers. “Excuse me, but I’m trying to study,” you force a smile. “So if you could please—”

And what they ask next is all it takes for you to snap.

“______, is everything okay? You’re not feeling ill, are you?”

Feeling the anger coursing through your veins, you stand from your seat, palms laying flat on the table. “What do you two know about Minghao? Have you ever even talked to him?” You don’t care if you’re drawing more attention to yourself as you press on, “You have no right to judge him. He has feelings too, you know. What makes you think that I’d have to be feeling sick to want to be with him? You guys are so judgmental! You guys are such…” you remember what Minghao said earlier, “…punks! You guys are nothing but—”

“______, that’s enough.”

Alarmed, you turn around to see Minghao standing there with his usual expressionless face. You turn back around consciously and shut your eyes tightly; just how much did he hear? Would he be proud that you stood up for him? Angry that you caused a scene?

Minghao tugs on your wrist, “Come on.”

Wordlessly, you pack up your things, head laying low in shame though you ironically don’t regret a thing. Swinging your backpack over your shoulder, you exit the library after Minghao.

“Um,” you cough, trying to catch up to him, “how much did you hear?”

“All of it,” he says casually, looking down at you. “You like me, don’t you?”

You stop walking and blink up at him. Minghao peers at you over his shoulder and you swear you see stars.

You suck in a breath and, feeling brave, say, “Well, we’re dating, aren’t we?” You rejoin his side and feel proud when you see him looking shocked this time.

But the surprise is quickly replaced by a smirk as he throws his arm over your shoulder.

_ _ _

“Geez, who knew gardening could be this tiring,” Junhui, previously known to you as Offender #1, sighs, wiping away a drop of sweat from his brow.

“Don’t forget expensive,” you remind him, using your hand as a shield from the sun.

“Can we take a break?” Soonyoung (Offender #2) whines, fanning himself. “It’s hot!” He tosses the trowel on the soil and let’s out a groan.

“No stopping, punks,” Minghao scowls, and you can hear Junhui mumble “he’s turned soft” under his breath.

“Hey,” you elbow Minghao, “you should be helping them. You did this too, remember?”

“I tried making it up to you, didn’t I?” he challenges.

You end up shoving Minghao into the soil, but thankfully this time the peonies are unharmed.

2

stats will actually be the death of me

my favourite maths teacher who I’ve had for six years always says you’re either a stats person or a mechanics person and I am most definitely a mechanics person

look how cute these new page table I bought are ft. all the pages of revision I have to do

3

ANTARCTICA - OCTOBER 27: Ice floats near the coast of West Antarctica viewed from a window of a NASA Operation IceBridge airplane. NASA’s Operation IceBridge has been studying how polar ice has evolved over the past eight years. Researchers have used the IceBridge data to observe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be in a state of irreversible decline directly contributing to rising sea levels. NASA and University of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers have recently detected the speediest ongoing Western Antarctica glacial retreat rates ever observed. Photos by Getty Images staff photographer Mario Tama.

In a separating funnel, you can see that the organic and aqueous phase has not separated well.

Therefore one of the options is to add brine (salt water). This add ions into the aqueous phase making the aqueous phase more polar. This has increased the difference in polarity between the organic and aqueous phase and therefore you’ll get better separation as your product be pushed more to move into one phase.

There are few figures as polarizing the study of American Magical History as that of the Voudon Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. Business woman, religious leader, spiritual icon, mother, political-power broker, and teacher, Marie Laveau wore more hats in her long life than even the most talented haberdasher would have been able to supply for. Some historians claim she was potentially the most powerful witch to have ever raised a wand in North America’s recorded history. Others claim she was one of the most manipulative flim-flam artist the world has ever seen, who rose to power on the sheer force of her intoxicating personality and venomous ambition.

Marie Catherine Laveau was the half-blood off-spring of a wealthy, wizard plantation owner and his muggle, creole mistress. As the International Statute of Secrecy was not reliably enforced in Louisiana generally, and New Orleans specifically until well after the purchase of the territory by the muggle-government of the US, wizards and witches living in the territory were more open about the practice of their magic, especially in the crescent city where real magic was hidden naturally by the background of mysticism for which it was famed. Mssr. Charles Laveau, her father, was more cautious than most about practicing magic in front of the general public, but did not necessarily believe in the benefits of the Statute. So when Marie began exhibiting tremendous sorcerous talent at the age of 5, he immediately began her education in the arts, if not in discretion while practicing them. As the only one of Mssr. Laveau’s many children, legitimate or otherwise, to show magical power, Marie quickly became on of his favorites.

Marie was well educated by her Mssr. Laveau in both the mundane talents he felt a woman should know, and also the magical control he felt her powers mandated. Though he was originally averse to teaching Marie magic that French-Louisiana culture commonly dictated to be above her station as a woman, a half-blood, and a person of color, he found her quick mind and avid desire to learn irresistible, especially when his other sons and daughters were all born without magical talent. His personal documents, kept by the Laveau Academy, point out that Charles had seriously considered sending Marie to Beauxbatons, but decided against it when both her mother and grandmother protested her being sent so far away. Instead, at the age of 11, Charles hired Marie a full-time tutor named Madame Le Croc, a recent Beauxbatons graduate who had come to Louisiana looking to make a future. She gave Marie the basics in French magical-practice before running off with a Spaniard and falling out of history as we know it.

Marie gained a reputation as a great beauty before she was 16 years old, and was quite popular in New Orleans society. She had also already started to gain a certain mystical reputation around the city, due in large part to her burgeoning association with the voudons and hoodoo workers of the community. Marie’s tutor had run off on her after only four years, and she refused to accept another from her father. Being creole herself, Marie had the social flexibility to move back and forth between the magical communities of both whites and non-whites, being fully accepted in neither place, but neither being shunned completely.

Though there were no direct sources of education in African sorcery available to her (there being no African wizards amongst the enslaved) Marie did find Black wizards and witches who had constructed a unique magical tradition from what little they garnered from European wizards and witches, and the traditions of their homeland. While the majority of voudon practice belongs to muggle believers who are simply going through the motions, Marie did find real power in those beliefs, and began studying it to augment her own power. Along the way, Marie also picked up tricks and tips from the wide variety of wizards and witches from different cultures that passed through New Orleans or called it home. Whether they were Catholic Ceremonialist, Native American’s practicing the oldest form of magic in America, or Dutch sorcerers plying the sorcery of sea and weather, Marie was always an avid student for whatever magical knowledge they were willing to throw her way in return for money, services, or, if the rumors are to be believed, more intimate favors.

Her rise to power was meteoric. By the age of 19, Marie had an incredibly broad if not overly deep knowledge of magic, which she used to cobble together her own power-base in the city. With her father’s help she established herself as a hair dresser to the wealthy and powerful gentry of New Orleans. In this position she was able to both garner information and collect hair samples of some of the crescent city’s most powerful and prominent men and women. By the time the Statute of Secrecy was fully enforced in the city, Marie Laveau had already entrenched herself as a political and spiritual authority that not even the Wizarding Congress could hope to uproot. As Marie’s influence was largely used to bring the magical community of Louisiana into the the magical union, little real effort was made to dissuade her or weaken her rule over the city and its surrounding environs.

Marie married when she was 25. Her husband, a powerful Hatian wizard, gave Marie her original foundation in the magical practices of Africa. Though known to history as Jacques Paris, many suspect Mssr. Paris may have actually been Le Loup, the legendary sorcerer who came to Haiti with a cadre of African magicians in the late 1700s and helped start the Haitian revolution, and whose niece and nephew started the Allegiance Academy, the first school ever established for Black wizards and witches living in the America. Whatever his true identity, he taught Marie much in those strange sorceries before disappearing within two years of their marriage, leaving Marie a “widow” at the age of 27. The theories of this disappearance are as broad the bayou, but best left for another day. Save it to say Marie never took a second husband, and publicly kept the surname of “Paris” attached to her own. She did, however, find another paramour in Christophe Glaipon some years later.

Glaipon was a squib, but he and Marie apparently loved each other fiercely, and legend says he fathered 15 children on Marie. The number is, of course, ridiculous. Marie only bore five children: one daughter, and four sons, all of whom inherited their mother’s magical talent. The number “15” is derived from Marie’s unofficial adoption of numerous muggle-born witches and wizards, for whom she became a guide and tutor. She held class in a room hidden in the folded space in the back of her small home, and while many ascribe her the worst motives (building a fanatical power base to support her already cemented rule) Marie found she actually loved teaching young people, and this time in her life probably strongly influenced her founding of an Academy for magic near the end of her life.

Sadly Christophe died well before Marie (some say killed by her political rival, the ill-fated Cressius Malfoy…but that is yet another story for another day) and in the 1870s she began to grow bored with ruling New Orleans. She handed over the reigns of power to her daughter, Marie the Second, and retired to an enchanted manor in the depths of the swamp, which many believe once belonged to the doomed and lost Louisiana Malfoys (again, a story for another day). There she founded her Academy, bringing many of her former pupils as staff and gaining instant notoriety for her methods of teaching, designed to bring the strengths of every student to the fore and nurture them to their fullest potential. Marie dropped out of the public eye completely in 1881 after feigning her death, and devoted herself to teaching. In 1900, 15 years before her actual death, the Laveau Academy was recognized by Congress as an official source of Magical Education, along with The Randolph-Peyton Institute and the Salem Institute.

Marie Laveau is on record as dying in 1915 at the age of 119. Since then sightings of Marie Laveau’s ghost have been a frequent occurrence, even though no such specter has ever come to register at the Bureau of Intranational Magical Peoples (The Imp Bureau) as is required by law. Many who knew Marie or have studied her life do not think such an oversight would be that surprising from the Voudon Queen of New Orleans, who never lived by anyone’s authority but her own.

There is even a small sector of Wizarding society that believes the wily enchantress is still alive somewhere, subtly manipulating American society from behind the scenes. These rumors are certainly just that, of course.

(SOURCE: The amazing and incomparable Angela Basset as Marie Laveau on the most recent season of American Horror Story, beside a portrait claimed to be of the Vodoun Queen herself)

ALesson In Tiferet תִּפְאֶרֶת

(Learning To Unclench Your Light Through Balance

And Seeing Which Is Ego And Which Is Emotion In Your Responsibilities)

How often are we told to see the light within? How often are we told to let our light shine through in all we do? How often do we hold back our own light and let others shine before us? How many times have you had to hide your own light to feel or be safe within the moments in your life? How many times have you wondered why? Why do I have this light if all I can do is hide it out of fear? What is the sense of having something so powerful yet so condemned and damned that to speak of it could cost me everything within my life including it? When have you stopped to think and understand that this is not anything you have done but others have done unto you? How many times have to seen that, this is  the product of fear from others, not myself but you wear the chains that others have placed upon you without even knowing it? If you have you have learned that it is in fact others Fears and Egos that hold you down, not yourself.

What is this inner light? Why do we have this & why is it so condemning to others eyes and beliefs? More questionable thoughts then answerable ones arise as we look deeper into the mystery of ourselves. We seek to understand but lack the knowledge to comprehend. For without knowledge one can not begin the process of understanding and will never gain wisdom from their lessons if they do  not first gain the knowledge needed from them first. The light? Our true selves in energy. It is what we truly are and our gifts are mere inklings of the true unharnessed power we hold upon the spiritual plane. It is not what we can imagine that we can do, it is what we deem unfathomable that is just the beginning of what we can. Take that first step and now see why the light within each is feared by the ignorance of the world. It is now what we can do that others fear, it is the potential and unknown that we could do that they tremble over.

But what if what we already do is far beyond what most consider beyond the fathoms of understanding? What if we are beyond what they fear and do not comprehend? What if we are so bright within our light that they can not control us with their chains but only with words to demoralize us? If even in this, do we have the power or do we outshine the mud and soil cast upon us? Can we survive under the weight of the stones built upon us? With our Faith within us and our light held firm, none shall cast dirt upon you and no weight will seem heavier then a shirt of silk upon your back. For within us shine a power to move more then mountains , we can change worlds within a blink and shatter worlds within a breath. This is why we are feared.

With the axiom “With great power comes great responsibility” ― Voltaire we all stand accountable for everything we do. If we can move mountain with a thought and destroy worlds in a breath what control do we have over ourselves in a fit of rage? Of jealousy or Lust? How do we hold ourselves accountable in these moments of lapse and pause? How we we discern which from and discriminate the balance of each when we ourselves are as unbalanced as a top that is slowing from it’s spinning? How can we step back from our own flames and see tat we have set ourselves alight in the wanting of warmth and comfort? Through our responsibilities we gain the sight to overcome the blinding that we do to ourselves and what others have done to ourselves. We no longer need their yolk but only the guidance from a higher power to lead us through this time of awakening and opening of ourselves to responsibleness and understanding. At this point, man no longer can lead man. Spirit is the only power that will be able to guide man past the lessons that he/she/they will face from now on. Responsibility is no longer of self-mastery but of the world around you. You now have the world as your responsibility not just yourself. You are no longer a man of I, but one of All. You no longer walk in Ego but walk with All. And with All you will see that all before you has been a world unseen by the ones who yolked you, now the only thing that guides you is Spirit and there is never boundaries when all before you is freedom within and freedom without.

I. THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM.

THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.” — The Kybalion.

This Principle embodies the truth that “All is Mind.” It explains that THE ALL (which is the Substantial Reality underlying all the outward manifestations and appearances which we know under the terms of “The Material Universe”; the “Phenomena of Life”; “Matter”; “Energy”; and, in short, all that is apparent to our material senses) is SPIRIT, which in itself is UNKNOWABLE and UNDEFINABLE, but which may be considered and thought of as AN UNIVERSAL, INFINITE, LIVING MIND. It also explains that all the phenomenal world or universe is simply a Mental Creation of THE ALL, subject to the Laws of Created Things, and that the universe, as a whole, and in its parts or units, has its existence in the Mind of THE ALL, in which Mind we “live and move and have our being.” This Principle, by establishing the Mental Nature of the Universe, easily explains all of the varied mental and psychic phenomena that occupy such a large portion of the public attention, and which, without such explanation, are non-understandable and defy scientific treatment. An understanding of this great hermetic Principle of Mentalism enables the individual to readily grasp the laws of the Mental Universe, and to apply the same to his well-being and advancement. The Hermetic Student is enabled to apply intelligently the great Mental Laws, instead of using them in a haphazard manner. With tire Master-Key in his possession, the student may unlock the many doors of the mental and psychic temple of knowledge, and enter the same freely and intelligently. This Principle explains the true nature of “Energy,” “Power,” and “Matter,” and why and how all these are subordinate to the Mastery of Mind. One of the old Hermetic Masters wrote, long ages ago: “He who grasps the truth of the Mental Nature of the Universe is well advanced on The Path to Mastery.” And these words are as true to-day as at the time they were first written. Without this Master-Key, Mastery is impossible, and the student knocks in vain at the many doors of The Temple.

V. THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM.

Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.” — The Kybalion.

This Principle embodies the truth that in everything there is manifested a measured motion, to and fro; a flow and inflow; a swing backward and forward; a pendulum-like movement; a tide-like ebb and flow; a high-tide and low-tide; between the two poles which exist in accordance with the Principle of Polarity described a moment ago. There is always an action and a reaction; an advance and a retreat a rising and a sinking. This is in the affairs of the Universe, suns, worlds, men, animals, mind, energy, and matter. This law is manifest in the creation and destruction of worlds; in the rise and fall of nations; in the life of all things; and finally in the mental states of Man (and it is with this latter that the Hermetists find the understanding of the Principle most important). The Hermetists have grasped this Principle, finding its universal application, and have also discovered certain means to overcome its effects in themselves by the use of the appropriate formulas and methods. They apply the Mental Law of Neutralization. They cannot annul the Principle, or Cause it to cease its operation, but they have learned how to escape its effects upon themselves to a certain degree depending upon the Mastery of the Principle. They have learned how to USE it, instead of being USED BY it. In this and similar methods, consist the Art of the Hermetists. The Master of Hermetics polarizes himself at the point at which he desires to rest, and then neutralizes the Rhythmic swing of the pendulum which would tend to carry him to the other pole. All individuals who have attained any degree of Self-Mastery do this to a certain degree, more or less unconsciously, but the Master does this consciously, and by the use of his Will and attains a degree of Poise and Mental Firmness almost impossible of belief on the part of the masses who are swung backward and forward like a pendulum. This Principle and that of Polarity have been closely studied by the Hermetists, and the methods of counteracting, neutralizing and USING them form an important part of the Hermetic Mental Alchemy.

VI. THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.

Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.” —The Kybalion.

This Principle embodies the fact that there is a Cause for every Effect; an Effect from every Cause. It explains that: “Everything Happens according to Law”; that nothing ever “merely happens”; that there is no such thing as Chance; that while there are various planes of Cause and Effect, the higher dominating the lower planes, still nothing ever entirely escapes the Law. The Hermetists understand the art and methods of rising above the ordinary plane of Cause and Effect, to a certain degree, and by mentally rising to a higher plane they become Causers instead of Effects. The masses of people are carried along, obedient to environment; the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves; heredity; suggestion; and other outward causes moving them about like pawns on the Chessboard of Life. But the Masters, rising to the plane above, dominate their moods, characters, qualities, and powers, as well as the environment surrounding them, and become Movers instead of pawns. They help to PLAY THE GAME OF LIFE, instead of being played and moved about by other wills and environment. They USE the Principle instead of being its tools. The Masters obey the Causation of the higher planes, but they help to RULE on their own plane. In this statement there is condensed a wealth of Hermetic knowledge — let him read who can.

You kiddin’?  Soon as we document a lil’ more’f these “Arctic anomalies” or whatever, you can bet I’ll be settin’ this bad boy straight on course for California!

And yeah, sure, Piedmont’s on th’ coast, but I’m thinkin’ that’s not enough. See, I wanna show up at their doorstep, you got that?  I’ve been tryin’ for weeks t’convince Ford t’invent some gizmo that makes this sucker sail on land, but he’s all “Oh, no, we gotta worry about property damage!” or “Stanley, our insurance doesn’t cover drivin’ down the interstate!”

Heh, if this knucklehead doesn’t watch out, I’m gonna be renovatin’ this thing myself! 

Come t’think of it, I’ve stolen and tricked out my fair share’f vehicles…it shouldn’t be too difficult t’soup up this thing an’ commandeer it like there’s no tomorr—

What my brother is trying to say is that it’s undoubtedly in our schedule! Sure, studying Polar Selkies and “Chill-thulhu” has been riveting, as always, but cheesy as it sounds, nothing is quite as thrilling as spending time with those kids.  

Their lives are far more exciting than that of these beasts, and heck, they don’t even spit fire water!

We’re hoping to catch them around their Thanksgiving break, doesn’t that sound reasonable?  I’m sure we’ll have plenty to exchange over a nice holiday turkey. Which isn’t fish.  Have I mentioned I’m tired of eating fish?  Because I’m very tired of eating fish.

But rest assured we are well on our way!  And in the meantime, we’ve been keeping contact with them in any other way possible. And yes, both kids are fond of Stan’s idea for land travel.  But I feel we’d need a permit for that first.

Any idea where two elderly men can acquire a boating permit around the Arctic Ocean area?

Please let me know quickly. Stan’s currently disassembling the rudder.

–Stan(ley Pines)

and

▽Stanford Pines▽