Julian Baird was the professor who taught Humanities. As I've mentioned here before, I was a huge fan of Julian's; he had a profound effect on my world view. He passed away not too long ago, but I was able to spend some time with him and my camera. I got a chance to speak to the maestro before he checked off the planet.
For those who are fans of "Backstage Pass to the Flipside" - he gets his own chapter. And here's a link to Part One of his two part story.
I mention Julian and DGA because it had three basic disciplines for four semesters; Humanities, Social Studies, and Science. So freshman year we began with the Greek's story - how they viewed the arts, how they viewed society and how they influenced science.
But what DGE's program alluded to - is that throughout human history, movements can be charted in terms of their influence on society. So when the Greeks were discovering democracy, the politics of the day was exploring what that meant, the science of the day was exploring how the planet worked, and the arts - plays, sculpture, mosaics - were mirroring each other's advancements.
The same is true for the Renaissance - the invention of the public library by the Medici family changed the dynamic of what people could read or study. They started reading Plato and Socrates, and learning about how the world viewed itself prior to the Christian Church taking hold of information - and science had its own resurgence in people like Galileo (until the Church showed him the tools of torture).
But the Renaissance affected societies in how they treated their individuals (in the Florentine Senate, they had a voting system where each Senator would offer a white or black marble (yes or no vote) and at the end of the voting, they'd discover whether a law had passed or not.) (One of their lesser known laws was putting yellow stars on the Jewish money lenders in a particular part of the city - ostensibly a required "permit" - but we all know how that turned out.)
Most aren't aware that the Pope's reaction to all of this liberalism was to send an assassin to Florence to kill both Medici brothers who were ruling the city - they successfully killed one (Giuliano, the popular athlete who appears in "Primavera") but only succeeded in wounding Lorenzo, who not only outlived the Pope, but appointed his son, and his brother's bastard son as Popes (Leo X the "humanist Pope" and Clement VII - both hired Michelangelo, who had lived in their home with them in Florence).
|Lorenzo De Medici survived the Pope's attempted assassination.|
Musicians began to deconstruct music - the time signatures, scores, eventually became atonal, painters began to deconstruct space on a canvas; out of it came the Impressionists, the Cubists, the Dadaists, etc. In like form, people started exploring the mind (William James psychologist, Freud and Jung via hypnosis), the microscope and the origin of illness came into focus, and on a sociological level, upheavel was the coin of the realm; 17 world leaders were assassinated around the turn of the century. The new was overturning the old in all areas and in a grand sense deconstructing what had been handed to them.
So what's going on now?
Computers and the internet have caused the most recent trends on the planet. We have apps influencing how we behave with others (who uses a telephone any more? People prefer to text than speak, communication is changing on all levels.) In terms of music we have electronic or digital film scores (like Hans Zimmer deconstructing "La Vie En Rose" for the score of Inception) that use digital expression in a new way, people's ability to use libraries online have made information easily accessible, governments and all manner of sociological issues are based on algorithmic data that dictates how the government relate to humanity, writing has become something that combines multiple expressions of reality - from links to other articles, to podcasts where people speak about their experience and anyone can create or listen in.
The democratization of expression is making it so anyone can create anything anywhere at any time. There is no one telling them what they can or can't sell, think, write or create. They can use the internet to meet their audience directly, and whether they charge money for that access, or just do it for the betterment of the planet (open source patents like Tesla) people are altering how they share intelligence.
|Picasso and his pal the musician who shot himself over |
the beauty next to him. Picasso took care of her financially
for years "in memory of my best friend who died
for her beauty."
Doesn't mean that the old ways aren't clinging on for dear life - the idea of combatting climate change, or trying to parse human behavior into some kind of myopic box that relates to hundreds of years ago - is all part of the mix. As noted, the Pope's reaction to the liberalness of the Florentines was to "excommunicate the entire city" in a fatwa ("the Dissentio") and it was Lorenzo De Medici who used the newly lifted printing press to disseminate his version of events ("The Pazzi Conspiracy" written by Lorenzo's pal and poet Poliziano) which had a direct reaction from Martin Luther who read and reacted to what the Church was up to. It was one of the first cases where the flipside of the story got out at the same time as the powers that be put out their story.
The Vatican distributed only 11 handwritten copies in Latin (I've examined two of them, one at Yale, the other in Claremont) but Lorenzo's version of events was sent to every capital city in the world. "The Pazzi Conspiracy" was a revelation in its day, as it had a complete confession of the assassin, and detailed the events that led to the Pope signing his "pardon" that was supposed to save him from the executioner's ax. (Hint: It did not.)
One of the first examples of "social media" influencing world events (Obviously, Lorenzo didn't get Papal permission to changing the course of history - Lorenzo published the account using a purloined German printing press (the Italians were claiming they had their own); the Vatican's reaction (The City of Florentine executed the entire Pazzi family which included an archbishop) was to excommunicate the entire city and send an army to burn "the den of iniquity" to the ground. Lucky for us, thwarted by Lorenzo.)
Will there be blowback? If history is a guide; indeed, there will be.
Will it cause stress and difficulties? Again, history offers that all of these revolutions in the consciousness of the planet has its own particular changes that occur.
Will the effects of this era have on the planet 100, 500 years from now? Well, if we're smart enough to reverse the devastation we've caused, it's possible that we ourselves will choose to come back and participate in the rebuilding of whatever happens now.
But I digress.
What does this have to do with Socrates and hemlock?
The other day I was filming an interview with someone on the flipside, and that person "on the other side" (courtesy of Jennifer Shaffer) said "It's not like what happened to Socrates." And I said, "Hang on a second, let me ask a question about that. Can we speak to Socrates? Is he available?" Jennifer paused for a few seconds, and said "He's here."
I said "So what was that comment about Socrates? Everyone tells your story as recounted by Plato - that you were this great orator, and that when you were forced to make the choice, chose to drink hemlock, chose to commit suicide rather than succumb to the prevailing powers that be. The story has been passed along for centuries, and has cemented your reputation as a powerful voice of resistance."
|Giordano Bruno, burned at the|
stake for recalling his out of body experience
where he saw the earth went around the sun.
He said "Plato made it up."
I asked "Why?" He replied "Why do you think? The powers that be didn't like me, thought I was a pain in the ass, so they had me poisoned. Plato invented all that because it made a better story."
I thought that was pretty provacative for a number of reasons. Who knew that Socrates would be available? (Why not? We are "outside of time" when we're off the planet, and I've often heard in my 45 cases that I've filmed, or the thousands that I've examined, that 25 years or 2500 years feels like "not that long ago.") Who knew that Socrates thought Plato was an errant student? (It's possible. We heard none other than G. Washington refer to Jefferson as "that %^shole"). We think history is in stone, when it's never in stone - nothing is stone, even stone - which shifts, adjust, gets worn down and turns into... pebbles. Or sand.
|Magnified sand. BBC foto.|
People and events that occurred "back then" aren't felt that way on the flipside, and further, since people don't reincarnate fully (they only send back about 30% of their energy, according to these reports) then asking to speak to an individual "if it's possible" - is a matter of connecting with their "higher self" or the portion left behind.
|Flipside Painting by Bosch|
We've had some people not come forward - for whatever reason "they aren't available right now." I try not to judge why that is, and move on to the person who is available.
Just found that somewhat amusing to hear that the Hemlock story was in a writer's imagination - a good story to be sure, but according to our pal Socrates; "never happened." So let's hope that we keep better records of what's happening in our era now, so that 500 years from now, or 2500 years, or even 5000 years, we can "go to the tape" and examine what really happened during this era.
My two cents.
LATEST BOOKS ARE:
BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE FLIPSIDE: TALKING TO THE AFTERLIFE WITH JENNIFER SHAFFER BOOK ONE.
BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE FLIPSIDE: TALKING TO THE AFTERLIFE WITH JENNIFER SHAFFER BOOK TWO.