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the liberal arts:
made to order audiovisual forms of musing of the elite

the liberal arts
the liberal arts
the nine muses of the greek philosophy
the prehistoric bone flute
images from internet

a most romantic love scene, performed by a most talented pair of woman and man actors fails to interest a child, as the child not having had the experience of the basic mood (the aesthetic juice) of love, is unable to empathise with such aesthetic feelings expressed.
-- bharat natyashastra. the manual of the theatrical arts (200 b.c. -200 a.d.)


in the history class in an indian high school during the english rule a question was asked: “who built the taj mahal?” but the historical answer: “shah jahan, the mogul emperor” generated a musing among the students: ‘we did not know that the indian emperor was a stonemason.’ ever wonder how many of the famous persons actually created the things they are famous for, and are enjoying the rewards for it! the non-historical story is that the emperor had the main masons’ hands chopped off, so that they would not be able to create a more beautiful work of architecture than the taj mahal. whether or not that is true, there is no record of the architect’s and chief mason’s names on a bronze plate or carved on the wall.

this bone flute when carved and played by a prehistoric human some 41,000 years ago was complete. that person had carved the flute from the bone much in the same way as this writer had made flutes from bamboo from the forest in his surroundings, or as any other young person living away from the urban culture would. bamboo or reed or hollow piece of bone in a child’s hand eventually makes its contact with the human child’s mouth that blows a mouthful of air to clean the inside, and out comes the sound along with the dirt from the hollow bone or bamboo. and in observing the different sounds coming from the other holes on the piece, the human child learns to make different sounds by blocking and making more holes on the bamboo or reed or bone creating the first instrument that the human ears found amusing. the forest dwellers also had ears that appreciated the different pitches and tones of sound made by the wind blowing through the old broken and hollowed bamboo in the forest. and they had heard birds making high and low pitch sounds. the human youngsters then learned to make many desired series of amusing sounds from their own breath passing through the holes made at specific places on the bone or bamboo.

but that prehistoric flute player did actually play - played with - the flute. people who are unschooled even now happenstance hearing such sounds feel amused. but by and large, a musical instrument is for the solo musing for just the player, not for the paying audience. a flute in a child’s hand may amuse the child, while it is also annoying the others who have to constantly hear such sounds.

then perhaps, one of the accidental listeners liked to hear the same sounds that that person had felt amusing, and requested the flute player to play it again. now in the solo playing of the mood of the moment the player had not, and even now does not, mentally need to record the melodies of the moment. one simply flows with the mood of the moment that shapes the position of the lips that regulates the air flow from the lungs into the flute. and lungs that expand and contract with the breath of life create the moods and all one’s emotional and physical motions. the motions of life of the free beings, humans or others, including other forms of elements, like earth, rocks, waters, air and all are ecocentrically interrelated, and therefore never repeatable.

the music lessons are thus a contradiction in terms, as neither the instructor nor the pupil can order and control expressions of the moment. whatever training is given in music school, or for that matter, in any other motions of life is for the repeat performance by the way of memorising and recording of the act, with the numbers and signs scripted on paper, above and below the lines and spacing between signs to represent the holes on the flute or scales on other instruments. the instructor guides the learner to transform the eyes moving on the script into the fingers moving onto the scales of the instrument, with the internal thought guided breath becoming the melodious sounds. but this very process of learning to memorise through the rote conditions the learner’s fingers and organs to repeat what is learnt. this is why, despite the vigorous training in mastering the instrument in reproducing the learnt sounds, almost none of the innumerable music students can play the instrument creating an out of the blue melody of sounds, or for that matter can write a novel, or anything new in thought, sound or action that had never happened before. most of these bright students end up earning a living by becoming the “300 piece symphony” of some master performer.

(as a “naughty” -- personally mused by curiosity -- this person in a sitar class of about 30 students, would intermittently stop strumming sitar with the group to see if any one’s ears, including the instructor's, would notice the difference with one instrument being silent). and by extension, one would really experientially wonder whether a prehistoric event would have happened as stated between one and two million years ago, when in the physical realm of existence of a human person even a 30 year old is perceived as old by the teenagers. an anthropological musing provoked by the calculative speed of the computer may make the scientist present his speculation as a fact, since no person, and not even the computer lives long enough to verify the fact, differentiating between a fact and muse.

walt whitman(?) or some literary figure is said to have stated that he had learnt all that there was to be learnt in school, is over by the 10th grade. in the 21st century it may be revised to the 0 year schooling. even vocational training can be learnt on the job. in fact, in factory and office work an “over-educated” employee causes more problems and interruptions in the mechanical order of the flow of work. the captured slaves and wild horses were broken by violent force just to make them accept the reality of do as shown or die. the second generation of the slaves and horses learnt that fact of life by following the footsteps of their parents.

still, the on job training and performance remained the same for the human and animal workforce until some younger human workers began to see the employer-employee divide that had made the human workers seen only as workers and not the humans working the jobs. this new perception of the being of the workers evolved when the workers observed that it was not any individual worker’s problem, but it concerned every worker, which brought them together, and became the labour union.

but the unionized workers still had the notion of working as told as the source of earning a living. as the very name: the labour union implies, it is the union of people whose very living depended upon the labour work done for another person. the union may negotiate a little ease in the working conditions, but cannot change the nature of work. even the new, employee owned factories and stores cannot change that as long as they do not question that very format of earning a living by working for another person, and refusing to live as told by proposing an experimentally demonstrable alternative way of life.

as the blue and white collar labourers, and primarily the blue collar workers began to demand better working conditions and fair wages, so did the employers, who, too, saw that this problem was not limited to just one workplace. thus factory owners, too, began to envision the ways and means to break up protests: the union busting, sabotaging the protest movements by hiring thugs posing as workers, and most effectively, by buying out the legislators of the state, and so on.

the white collar workers had a little of both the problem of employment and the relative comfort of the employer by playing the supervisors and overseers of the workplace. the spotless white collar workers are the ceos of the commercial conglomerates and the commerce supported ministers of government, the english type or the english created colonial indian style. the elite have very little to do with their physical limbs and organs, and as a result, their brains are not engaged in mindful activities like the factory workers’, whose slight inattention while working with the machine might cost them an arm and a leg, or worst yet, an environmental catastrophe, by “mistakenly dropping a wrench on the device in a nuclear silo”, as it did happen, near the forests of the ozarks of arkansas where this writer had lived in a cabin in the forest, which was within the perimeters affected by the radioactive fallout, about which he learned from the county sheriff who had gone to this person’s cabin while, making rounds checking on the people. his area had happened to be in the upwind from the nuclear silo, so he was not affected.

the elites are relatively temporarily safe from such happening to themselves caused by a slip of pen, which often times or not, has happened to cause trade wars among the rivaling conglomerates in want of the best among the rest of the employing agencies called the kingdom, minister or secretary of the state, the papel pulpit, or even the labour union leaders. these heads of the state or commercial estates exercise their brains in winning the better than thou contests.

and even this is ultimately planned as a work requisite for the highest echelon of the employment ladder. as it is openly stated in the media, that the heads of the states, like president reagan were mere puppets who were controlled by the secretaries or chief ministers. so whoever is pulling the strings of the system is doing that to muse himself to the tune of “i think, therefore i am’’. (the “u.s.a., u.s.a.” syndrome is the flowering of this thought out way of life.)

labourers, exercise their limbs and organs in whatever form, ranging from the physically or mentally prostituting themselves, even at great pains and suffering. they are performing their assigned part time or permanent services to their employers, the elite 0.1 percent, who are physically and biologically obviously incapable of enjoying themselves despite almost all the labourforce working for their amusement. like the castrated persons, the eunuchs guarding the most sensuous women in harem, the rich surrounded by all the riches and every form of amusement cannot experience even the simplest joy of having amassed the means of amusement.

what is interesting to observe about the rich is the fact that they are unable to experience the love of companionship which happens only among equals. the very self induced desire to be best in whatever one’s chosen musing of life isolates them. the sitting at the top where the space is barely enough for that single person to sit frozen wearing the self image.

the fear for the rich is only imaginary, experienced as “what if? what if others know that despite every form of amusement available to the rich, they are unable to be satisfied with it?” one of the effects of this upon their enlightened employees would be that the rich cease to be the role models of the subservient class, and they may begin to look elsewhere for inspiration. one such rich person, who was tired of the stage-like life of the rich was the prince siddhartha, who began to look for personal amusement in the opposite direction, in extreme poverty and the prescribed self torture to achieve the illusionary pure joy that may be had only in selflessness happening in never the same now.

with his reaction to ideological one-upness buddha inspired few to become beggars, and in modern times, beatniks and hippies and some in the university professors. but theirs was the intellectual interest enabling them the high esteem and the book royalties. some of the monks sought an alternative to the common form of begging, which became the unionized beggars collectively living in the monasteries. but, this form of support inadvertently depended upon the donations (latin: donam; sanskrit: daanam;- to give) of the rich, making the rich earn some esteem in the eyes of the poor, and the tax deductions from the state. this has an added advantage for the rich of the modern times. it has mellowed the protesting thinking of the poor, by giving them the lifelong dependency of retirement benefits, the throwing crumbs of food to the hungry.

except for the children unintentionally causing serious pains and even death to others, and even to themselves, all the pains and sufferings of the humans and destruction to other life forms and environmental damage are man-made, and in it, much is done intentionally. more than that, even a gangster’s knife he uses to kill someone is not made by him, it is store bought. and shopkeepers of the weapons do not make the guns and knives and drones they sell. the weapon factories are owned by the rich who make their living much the same way as a butcher lives by butchering animals, except for the fact that the rich employ others to make the weapons and also to do the killings for them.

now nothing at all of this is unknown to the general populace. all the wage earners are directly or indirectly making their own and other creatures' lives miserable if not killing outright. some of them are trying to undo their sense of guilt for their part in this wrongdoing by forming protest marches, each one specifically aimed at one form of harmful act, like global warming or nuclear proliferation, medicine for profit, and the likes.

but even in the labourers’ protests the rich saw the source of making money: they started making and selling candles for the candlelight vigils, painted playcards with catchy slogans, the ‘gandhi caps’ or the ‘counterpunch’ style t shirts with printed graphics of the protest themes, and such forms of the programmed protests none of which was envisioned by a simple protester.

the elites’ actual sense of being alive is confused by the codes of conduct disconnecting their nerves from head to toe. enwrapped in protocols, all they could do is to live in thoughts (the musings). this is exemplified in descartes’ famous quote: “i think, therefore i am”. the concept of education is thought out by persons who did not experience living wholesomely. they are unable even to wiggle their toes (“look mommy, he picked up the pen with his toes like a monkey!” exclaimed a little girl seeing this person doing that without getting up or bending from the chair. incidentally, in hindi, etc. indian languages the toes are called fingers, the fingers of the feet). the higher one’s socioeconomic status the lesser one is able to move one’s limbs and organs being confined in the dress codes, like the pointed shoes and corset and crowns and hats, sashes, pins and stripes, etc. visualise the royalties weighted down with the weight of every symbol of status pinned on their uniform.

the captive animals and humans initially feel lost when freed. in this instance, if and when captive animals are released into their natural surroundings they find it easier to assimilate with beings of their own kind. the captive humans are not freed but given a little more footage of the fenced in ground with the prescribed footwork to match with the drum beat. it is the wage slavery. what may be perceived as the rhythmic motion of entertainment, whether done on the grounds of the bootcamp, or in the town’s community square is done with the high tampo making the foot soldier or the dancer stomp the feet harder and faster. it makes the brains of the soldier and the dancer numb enough to be oblivious to everything else except the rhythmic footwork. just watch the elaborate march past of the battalion of soldiers on the campground, or the “river dance” troupe coordinatingly kicking their feet at high speed at the performance stage; or the classical dancers of the western ballet or the indian dance. obviously, all of them are in an altered state of mind, no doubt. so, too, the religious dancers in the altered frenzy beat themselves on their bare backs with chains and slash themselves with knives, and walk on firepits of red hot charcoal with the hot air draft burning the eyes. this non believer writer had participated in a moslem firewalking ceremony beginning with the frenzy dancing, but without the chain beating and the knife slashing, all the while anticipating the walk on the red hot charcoal. at the end of the dance the frenzied dancers rushed to the firepit pushing this writer among them. with the first hot air draft from the fire hitting his face, his senses wanted him to step back. but the crowd from behind him pushed him forward and thus he walked on fire, and had a tiny red of the burning charcoal got stuck in between his fourth and the fifth toes. later on when telling about it to the moslem friend with whom he had gone to fire walking ritual, his comment was that “it was a nature’s caution; but because you are a good person, you were not burned more”.

the captured beings from the wild, elephants, horses and humans are then tortured and broken as the work animals and even trained to perform for the amusement of the captors. from this the captors learned a means of receiving a socio-economic uplift - the circus, amusement parks and the anthropological sightseeing and the armchair readings of all the many mental journeys from the oceans’ bottom to beyond the outer space.

what is one person’s pain is amusement for another, as the u.s. soldiers showed on videos how they derived pleasure from torturing the captives of the abu ghraib prison. one also wonders whether the blues singers really cry their lungs out singing for the paying customers in nightclubs.

perhaps, the mischief lies in the act of musing, which is a very subjective sense of experiencing: it gives forth an aesthetic joy to oneself. when repeated as a command performance, it is nothing but a commercial product. there, the audio-visual presentation is devoid of the wholesome person, who can be easily replaced with a tape recorder or a video. and of course, the commerce sector is already selling the musical tapes and videos of whatever is promoted to be amusing. this cannot happen without the repeat performance promoted to be a pleasurable commerce created ways of life, whether capitalist or communist or even religious kind; and without the current school system putting out the multitudes of graduates all walks of the programmed modern living, the rich humans cannot be mused with sitting in the armchair and watch the world whirl around as virtual reality.

after all, the musing by its very nature is experiencing the firsthand, as it happens only in the very moment, like while flowing with the flow of stream one cannot behold a passing scene.

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sibling rivalry

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the me, too, culture: the peer pressure

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decentralization of power

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on reading and writing

knowledge: intellectual property

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medal of freedom

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art: an expression of emotion, and a tool of many unsavory uses

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on ecocentric parenting

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culture and counterculture

literacy: knowing what is read


the brains and their function


no-mind: nothingness and no thing-ness

energy: purpose and conservation

poverty : inflicted by others and self imposed

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geology and geo-politics: trails of the old and new world

the american way of life: from the eyes of a foreigner

on noninterference: interfered with the acquired ideals

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on education and philanthropy