Category Archives: Literature

In any type of writing, there are three possible points of view: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, or me, you, and other. There are three periods of the English language’s history: Old, Middle, and Modern. And dramas traditionally have three parts: prot asis, epitasis, and catastrophe.

Break, Break, Break – Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break,

         On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
         The thoughts that arise in me.

 

O, well for the fisherman’s boy,
         That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
         That he sings in his boat on the bay!

 

And the stately ships go on
         To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
         And the sound of a voice that is still!

 

Break, break, break
         At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
         Will never come back to me.

Ode to Threes by John Atherton

2005-06-17

Threes

3s (to be sung by Niels Bohr)

I think that I shall never c
A # lovelier than 3;
3 < 6 or 4,
And than 1 it’s slightly more.

All things in nature come in 3s,
Like ∴s, trios, Q.E.D.’s;
And $s gain more dignity
When thus augmented: 3 × 3.

A 3 whose slender curves are pressed
By banks, for compound interest;
Oh would that, paying loans or rent,
My rates were only 3%!

3² expands with rapture free,
And reaches toward ∞,
3 complements each x and y
And intimately lives with π.

A circle’s # of °s
Are best ÷d up by 3s,
But wrapped in dim obscurity
Is √-3.

Atoms are split by men like me,
But only God is 1 in 3.
–John Atherton

Source: http://recycledknowledge.blogspot.com/2005/06/threes.html

The Power of Habits

This process within our brains is a three-step loop.

1. The Cue
A trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.
2. The Routine
Which can be either physical, mental, or emotional.
3. The Reward
Which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

Over time, this loop-cue, routine, reward – becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges. Eventually a habit is born.

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The Hero’s Journey Model

The Hero’s Journey Model:

  1. Act I: Separaration
  2. Act II: Descent and Initiation
  3. Act III: Return
  1. Departure
    1. The Call to Adventure
      The call to adventure is the point in a person’s life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not.
    2. Refusal of the Call
      Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.
    3. Supernatural Aid
      Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his or her guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known.
    4. The Crossing of the First Threshold
      This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.
    5. The Belly of the Whale
      The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. It is sometimes described as the person’s lowest point, but it is actually the point when the person is between or transitioning between worlds and selves. The separation has been made, or is being made, or being fully recognized between the old world and old self and the potential for a new world/self. The experiences that will shape the new world and self will begin shortly, or may be beginning with this experience which is often symbolized by something dark, unknown and frightening. By entering this stage, the person shows their willingness to undergo a metamorphosis, to die to him or herself.

     

  2. Inititation
    1. The Road of Trials
      The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.
    2. The Meeting with the Goddess
      The meeting with the goddess represents the point in the adventure when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. It is also known as the “hieros gamos”, or sacred marriage, the union of opposites, and may take place entirely within the person. In other words, the person begins to see him or herself in a non-dualistic way. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely. Although Campbell symbolizes this step as a meeting with a goddess, unconditional love and /or self unification does not have to be represented by a woman.
    3. Woman as the Temptress
      At one level, this step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which as with the Meeting with the Goddess does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. For Campbell, however, this step is about the revulsion that the usually male hero may feel about his own fleshy/earthy nature, and the subsequent attachment or projection of that revulsion to women. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.
    4. Atonement with the Father
      In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving in to this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power. For the transformation to take place, the person as he or she has been must be “killed” so that the new self can come into being. Sometime this killing is literal, and the earthly journey for that character is either over or moves into a different realm.
    5. Apotheosis
      To apotheosize is to deify. When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. This is a god-like state; the person is in heaven and beyond all strife. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return.
    6. The Ultimate Boon
      The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail.

     

  3. Return
    1. Refusal of the Return
      So why, when all has been achieved, the ambrosia has been drunk, and we have conversed with the gods, why come back to normal life with all its cares and woes?
    2. The Magic Flight
      Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.
    3. Rescue from Without
      Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often times he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience. Or perhaps the person doesn’t realize that it is time to return, that they can return, or that others need their boon.
    4. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
      The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. This is usually extremely difficult.
    5. Master of the Two Worlds
      In myth, this step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.
    6. Freedom to Live
      Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.

Heros Journey : Summary of Steps
Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI)
Maricopa Community Colleges

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Quotes on threes

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.
Winston Churchill

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Confucius

There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.
Confucius

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Coffee, Tea or Me?

Coffee, Tea or Me? The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses

Coffee Tea or MeProduct Description

“In her new chic outfit, she looks like anything but a stewardess working. But work she does. Hard, too. And you hardly know it.” So read the text of a 1969 newspaper advertisement for Delta Airlines featuring a picture of a brightly smiling blond stewardess striding confidently down the aisle of an airplane cabin to deliver a meal.

From the moment the first stewardesses took flight in 1930, flight attendants became glamorous icons of femininity. For decades, airlines hired only young, attractive, unmarried white women.

They marketed passenger service aloft as an essentially feminine exercise in exuding charm, looking fabulous, and providing comfort. The actual work that flight attendants did—ensuring passenger safety, assuaging fears, serving food and drinks, all while conforming to airlines’ strict rules about appearance—was supposed to appear effortless; the better that stewardesses performed by airline standards, the more hidden were their skills and labor.

 

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War of the Worlds

original book by Wells, H. G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946

The Aliens:

AlienStructurally, the aliens are more like jellyfish than mammals. By examining DNA molecules, it appears that the aliens possess humans by using a cell phase matching technique. The aliens cells literally overtake the human cells through osmosis. As a result, they have access to the host body’s intelligence, and can control them physically. And yet there is no outward way for anyone to know.

Physiologically, the aliens have a liquid core which carries neurological information as well as arterial matter. Their stable, upright carriage is supported by a weblike musculature structure.

The aliens stand between 5 1/2 and 7 feet tall. It has a cyclops eye in the center of its forehead and it is a biped. It has three fingers, three toes, and three arms. Apparently, it has no skeletal structure per se.

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