They are the teachers who taught me to fight
Compromise, conformity, assimulation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American dreams
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American dreams
Una serie di ritrovamenti archeologici ha aperto un nuovo avvincente capitolo nelle tradizioni e nei rituali funebri elaborate dall’uomo nel corso dei millenni convincendo alcuni scienziati che le conoscenze degli antichi cinesi sulla conservazione del corpo fossero nettamente superiori rispetto alle Egiziane.
Nel lontano 1971, all’apice della Guerra Fredda, mentre alcuni lavoratori stavano scavando per costruire dei rifugi anti-aereo, vicino alla città di Changsha, è stato rinvenuto un enorme complesso funerario della Dinastia Han.
All’interno della tomba hanno scoperto più di 1.000 manufatti intatti ed il corpo meglio conservato al mondo.
La sepoltura è della moglie di Xin Zhui, Lady Dai, una principessa della dinastia Han, morta tra il 178 ed il 145 A.C. a circa 50 anni.
Gli oggetti all’interno della tomba testimoniano la ricchezza e l’importanza della defunta ma anche il suo gusto per quanto c’è di più raffinato e bello nella vita.
Ma ciò che più colpisce non sono i cibi esotici o i tessuti pergiatissimi che le hanno aperto la strada all’immortalità, è il perfetto stato di conservazione delle sue spoglie.
Quando mi è capitato di vedere la sua mummia conservata al Museo di Hunan, è stato uno choc perchè non ha nulla in comune con le classiche mummie che siamo abituati a vedere nei musei Egizi sparsi un po’ in tutto il mondo.
La prima domanda naturale osservandola è: come è possibile? Come sono riusciti?
Lady Dai è la mummia più famosa in assoluto perchè racchiude il segreto ed il mistero di come gli antichi cinesi sono stati in grado di dare l’immortalità alle sue spoglie mortali.
Lo sconvolgente è, proprio, il fatto che sembra il cadavere di una persona morta, al massimo da una settimana.
La pelle ed i tessuti sono morbidi, le articolazioni flessibili, i capelli intatti, il sangue nelle vene è ancora rosso e fluido e tutti i suoi organi sono perfettamente conservati: il suo aspetto è rimasto identico a quando è morta 2100 anni fa.
E, proprio, per il perfetto stato di conservazione del cadavere ha consentito di eseguirvi una “normale” autopsia. L’esame ha rivelato che la principessa soffriva di mal di schiena ed era sovrappeso al momento del decesso. Aveva le vene ostruite ed aveva problemi cardiaci tanto gravi da morire d’infarto. Ed è morta proprio di infarto, a causa dell’obesità dovuta ad una dieta troppo ricca coniugata alla mancanza di esercizio fisico: gli stessi problemi di salute che abbiano oggi 2100 anni dopo! Il profilo medico di Xin Zhui è, in assoluto, il più completo che siamo mai riusciti ad avere su un essere umano di 2100 anni addietro.
Il mistero di Lady Dai non è, però, ancora stato risolto.
Gli archeologi ed i patologi stanno ancora cercando di identificare quali siano le condizioni che hanno consentito al corpo di giungerci intatto.
La risposta è nell’articolata struttura della tomba e della sua sepoltura?
La salma, dopo essere avvolta da 22 abiti di seta e canapa, legata con nove nastri di seta ed il volto coperto da una maschera, è stata riposta in una bara perfettamente sigillata a, sua volta, contenuta in altri sei sarcofaghi.
Ma ciò non pare ancora sufficiente a svelare l’arcano.
Quindi, il segreto è forse i circa 20 lirti del misterioso liquido nel quale il corpo era immerso il corpo? Era il tanto ricercato elisir di lunga vita?
E molti credono che Lady Dai sia ancora in vita, nonostante, la sua morte: “la sua mummia si è evoluta ed integrata nel cosmo”.
A rendere ancora più oscuro il mistero, sono state trovate altre due tombe che contengono corpi altrettanto perfettamente conservati.
Uno era un magistrato di nome Sui, l’altro era Ling Huiping, la moglie di un potente signore della Dinastia Han.
I tre cadaveri hanno dato non solo informazioni precise sui morti ma anche sulle loro vite.
La Cina ha sempre affascinato il mondo con la sua ricca cultura, i numerosi misteri ed i ricchi tesori sepolti nelle viscere della terra e negli abissi marini.
La mummia Diva ci invita a riflettere sui grandi misteri della vita, della morte, del corpo, dell’aldilà…
(da qui grazie)LE MUMMIE DI TARIM
In the late 1980's, perfectly preserved 3000-year-old mummies began appearing in a remote Taklamakan desert. They had long reddish-blond hair, European features and didn't appear to be the ancestors of modern-day Chinese people. Archaeologists now think they may have been the citizens of an ancient civilization that existed at the crossroads between China and Europe.
Victor Mair, a specialist in the ancient corpses and co-author of “Mummies of the Tarim Basin”, said:"Modern DNA and ancient DNA show that Uighurs, Kazaks, Krygyzs, the peoples of Central Asia are all mixed Caucasian and East Asian. The modern and ancient DNA tell the same story.”
The discoveries in the 1980s of the undisturbed 4,000-year-old ”Beauty of Loulan” and the younger 3,000-year-old body of the ”Charchan Man” are legendary in world archaeological circles for the fine state of their preservation and for the wealth of knowledge they bring to modern research. In the second millennium BC, the oldest mummies, like the Loulan Beauty, were the earliest settlers in the Tarim Basin.
Mummies of "Tomb 2"
|This mummified boy, approximately one-year-old, was found in the same grave. He, too, is believed to have been a sacrificial victim who was buried alive.|
Mummies from the Wupu cemetery
Who is Sophia? Literally she is Wisdom, because the Greek word Sophia means "wisdom" in English. More than that, Sophia is the Wisdom of Deity. She has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by Jews, as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by Greeks, and as the Holy Spirit of Wisdom by Christians. She is known as Chokmah (pronounced HOK-mah with the H being said like -ch in the name Bach) in Hebrew, and Sapientia in Latin.
But just who is Sophia?
Sophia is found throughout the wisdom books of the Bible. There are many references to her in the book of Proverbs, and in the apocryphal books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon (accepted by Catholics and Orthodox, found in the Greek Septuagint of the early Church). She is Wisdom Incarnate, the Goddess of all those who are wise.
Is it any wonder that Sophia is constantly associated with wise King Solomon? 1 Kings 4:29-31 tells us that God gave wisdom to Solomon, and that he became wiser than all the kings of the East and all the wise people of Egypt. Wisdom 8:2, 16, 18 tells us Solomon was considered to be married to Sophia. One of the many layers of symbolism attributed to the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles) is that it speaks of Solomon's marriage to Holy Sophia. Wisdom 9:8-11 even tells us that Sophia instructed Solomon in building the Temple!
The Jews revered Sophia. King Solomon even put her right in the Temple, in the form of the Goddess Asherah. However, after the brutal "reforms" of King Josiah described in 1st and 2nd Kings in your Bible, the veneration of Sophia went underground. Josiah slaughtered all her priests and priestesses and destroyed all her shrines and places of worship. But Sophia adherents remained active in the "underground stream" for centuries even while patriarchal Christianity held total sway in the Western World. Thanks to her continuing presence in the world and her presence in the Bible, veneration of Sophia surfaced in the Eastern Christian tradition with the construction of the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople (now a Muslim museum in Instanbul). The Russian Catholic liturgical service to Sophia combined with the assumption of Mary on May 15. The Russian Orthodox Church has also begun a school of "Sophiology" to explore the thealogy (spelled with an "a") of Sophia without contradicting the Russian Orthodox theology.
Yet the Eastern Christians are not the only Christians to venerate Sophia. Sophia was very likely venerated by early Followers of the Way, and her veneration has survived in the West today in the form of Gnosticism. Gnostics see her as one of the aeons, one of the quasi-deities who live in the ethereal realm known as the pleroma. Gnostics believe that she gave birth to or brought about the creation of a negative aeon, who later came to be called an archon, called the Demiurge, creator and ruler of this world. Gnostics see the Demiurge as the God of the Old Testament, with his strict rules and chains that bind the people of the Earth. Gnostics believe that Sophia and the Father God (not the Demiurge) sent Yeshua to right this wrong. In Gnostic tradition, Sophia plays a very active role in our world.
Sophia and her 3 Daughters, Faith, Hope & Charity (aka Love), Russian Icon on Katia's altar
A judge from Augsburg, in Germany, has forbidden Gunther von Hagens from showing a couple of corpses having sex in the exhibition opening this month in the city. Von Hagens, medical doctor and Professor, invented the plastinationtechnique, which allows to preserve corpses and display them in different postures, something he has been doing for pedagogic purposes in a number of exhibitions around the world, which bear the title of Koerperwelten. The judge claims the composition with the bodies shows contempt for human dignity.
As it happens, the exhibition has been open during the whole Summer in Berlin, where it raised no controversy, and one has to wonder why this part “shows contempt for human dignity” and other bodies displayed in the same exhibition playing the saxophone or catching a rugby ball do not. Perhaps the judge was influenced by two widespread taboos which play a role here, those of sex and death. However, in this region of the world freedom of expression is a paramount social value, and prohibiting an exhibition is a serious legal decision, which here would only be justified if it actually showed “contempt for human dignity”. It seems this is not the case.
The judge appears not to have taken into account the pedagogical purpose of the Koerperwelten exhibitions, which apparently has not offended the thousands of visitors that attend them each year in different countries and continents, which surely will have different perspectives regarding the representation of death. I attended one of these exhibitions years ago in Berlin and found it fascinating and very interesting. To judge by their attitude, the hundreds of other visitors that day had similar feelings.
In matters of freedom of expression, the rule should be “everything is allowed except…”, and the list of exceptions should be a minimum one, aimed at preserving human dignity, yes, but considering the matter on a case by case basis, and always assessing from an ethical point of view the purposes of the author and the coherence of means and ends. For instance, should we allow the display of explicit images of forced sex betwen adults and children, or of a human execution, devoid of any context? I would say we should not. Should one be free to show those images in, say, a movie, a book, an exhibition, etc., maybe not explicitly, in a meaningful context and with a purpose most would deem ethically acceptable? I would say one should.
I am well aware of the many caveats raised my choice of terms -”ethically acceptable”, “assesing purposes”, “coherence”-, and that this clearly is a moral minefield. However, a liberal system of values -the one we should cherish in our liberal societies- should hold freedom as its highest moral tenet, devising criteria -as morally sound as possible- aimed at making the list of exceptions to this rule a minimum one. Otherwise, it is all paternalism and censorship.
On a final note, I must admit that even the extreme examples I gave a couple of paragraphs before are not very useful to establish the moral boundaries of what we can legitimately display in the public realm. A few years ago, I attended an art exhibition in the P.S.1 museum in New York, which showed an excerpt of an old black and white movie in one of the rooms. In the film we could see a group of white hunters aboard an helicopter, flying above a tropical forest and shooting people with their rifles - apparently, members of an indigenous tribe, who run scared in all directions. Each time they hit one of them, the hunters would celebrate it blatantly. Brutal fictional images, I thought. However, these images became breathtakingly disgusting when minutes after I read the movie was not fictional: it was part of a recovered footage of real human hunting in the Amazon forest in the 70s, hunting for pleasure, as in a normal sport. Perhaps the judge of Augsburg would have censored this exhibition if it had taken place in his city, and for the very same reasons that lead him to censor part of von Hagens´ exhibition, but in doing so, he would have served very poorly the cause of human dignity, for the message the artist wanted to convey when showing this real movie -the radical, unthinkable and utmost inhumanity we could express towards our fellow individuals- reached this visitor deeply, and more so when this message was devoid of any obvious context (just the screen and some brief lines stating it was a real movie). The film itself rendered any description redundant from a moral point of view. Was this bare displaying obscene? Yes, it was. But it made us reflect on something -respect for human life- we carelessly take for granted, and this reflection started in our guts. Nothing short of sheer revulsion could have had such a moral effect.(da qui grazie)