New Quatrains

Some of these were put in appropriate threads at ThePhilsophyForum.

The can also go into Rubaiyat II and Rubaiyat II+1.

(4. 10 q1-9)

10
— Another Day in the Tavern —

In this lost haunt, out on the Orion arm
Of the Milky Way—where safe from the core’s harm;
The philosophers gather in the tavern,
As new sleuth-hounds unweaving the Cosmic yarn.

Push forward, and deeper, beyond your fears;
We guide thee, we lift thee, we dry your tears;
We’re illumination beside thee—of
The Spirits Of Unconditional Love.

‘Magic’ has fallen by the wayside, it
As trancendence an intangible writ,
Unable to be distinct from matter,
Having to talk/walk the talk/walk of it.

The Fundamental Eterne of the causeless,
Whose state cannot have inputs to its mess,
Dooms ‘God’, along with any specifics—
The bedrock of All must be randomness.

Of the random base, some small parts endure,
And code as quarks, which code for atoms pure,
As at each new realm new laws determine—
But for when bedrock’s touched—effects for sure.

Conscious qualia reflect the just past,
Decisions and thoughts produced, though it’s fast,
The mechanizations not apparent,
Their constancy such that on Earth we’ll last.

The will is not free when it random is.
Though we’re determined to survive each quiz,
A spanner might get thrown into the works,
Preventing the fixed will from being a wiz.

The Eternal has to be everything,
Superimposed, not a certain pathing;
It can’t have inputs, with no beginning;
So, what chose the song our universe sings?

The Eternal is as a multiverse,
Potentially, with no information,
As in Bable’s Library of all books,
Being as useless as Nothing’s zero.

(4. 10 q10-17)

The universes might all spring forth, somehow,
Most inert or not going far enough,
With some reaching life after a long time,
Such as ours, precarious as it is.

Or, a Programmer sets if-then switches,
Like eight-way 3D Rubic Cube intercepts,
After having set the quarks and leptons
And coding stars to generate atoms.

Then more precise tweaks, to dark energy,
To umpteen decimal places so rare,
And the forming of the DNA code
To stir life’s ingredients stirring slow.

Darn, the n-body problem is so tough,
For unforeseen side-effects e’er arise,
Among branches of the would-be life-tree,
A zillion variables overlapping.

The Programmer sat up at his terminal,
Brought up his 1,000,000,000 line program,
And opened the patient for surgery.
Working swiftly from a red inked printout
Marked up during a long coffee hour.

He clamped off the bleeding capillaries,
Redid most of their interfaces,
And bloodlessly sealed them shut again,
Although these were only preparatory
And minor repairs in auxiliary areas.

Next, the main arteries had to be incised,
And therefore it was no longer possible
To open and unblock the incursions in sequence,
Since indirect ramifications and side concerns
Concerns quickly arose and wildly flared,
As fleeting thoughts, when one thing led to another,

Thereby requiring immediate attendance,
Lest, they, in the formless impressionism
Of the art of computer programming,
Fade to vague remembrance, and reappear later,
Always at an inopportune time, as defects known as bugs.

(4. 10 q18-36)

The phone rang while he was juggling
These evaporating images and so he had to ignore it;
But, no matter, for PhoneMail would record the call.

Twenty minutes later,
He had sutured the incisions and readied
A compile and regression test which would
Either attest to the quality of the operation
Or reveal its fatal errors and necessitate

The revitalization of the patient or, at worst,
Require a restoration to
Preoperative health from a backup file.

Finally, after some fourteen billion years,
Proto-man and then homo Sapiens
Arrives, after seven million more years
Of tinkering with monkey chromosomes.

Extinctions swept away many a kind;
Chromosomes fused, leaving the chimps behind;
RNA remembered all survivors;
‘Good fortune’ smiled on the Sapiens mind.

Unintelligently programmed, many climbs
Were the off-the-shelf reach of nature’s grimes,
A dickering Rube Goldberg ‘invention’,
Our nervous system now ruled by ancient times.

But yet it worked; here we are!

Oh Man! What a piece of work—the mind;
What noble deeds done and undone in kind.
What coding updates programmed all upon—
In the layers of brains the mind is made upon.

What is this sapiens mammal animal?
Still made from slime but of a higher call!

The Permanent is all that there is,
It’s transmutations the temporary fizz.
It can’t have direction, with no inputs,
So, it multi verses, seeming as a Wiz.

(4. 10 q27-35)

Believers tremble in fear of the Big Bad Boss,
His immorality untrusted not to cause loss—
Insanity hidden in ‘mysterious ways’;
They accept, so He them into Hell doesn’t toss.

God thought of, planned, designed, and implemented
Human Nature—angelic to demented,
And in His recipe’s span those expressed
Unsurprisingly had to be reinvented.

Shirking responsibility, the Blamer
Cited humans as the culprits of his err,
And cast them out of Eden, to this day—
This evil being God’s own Original Sin.

The Great Flood killed all but Noah’s near clan,
God acting against His own sixth Command,
Those dead being of God’s intended nature—
Yet another myth-take in rainbow land.

Yet, there was no Genesis of Man, as is,
In modern form, so recently, by a Wiz,
Nor a separate animal life line,
For He flunked out of evolution’s quiz.

We search for ‘God’, high and low, here and there,
Far and wide—He’s said to be ev’ry where;
But no omens are found: quasars abound;
So, He hides out or He’s truly nowhere.

Invisibles can neither be shown nor not,
So, one’s ‘agnostic’ toward the belief or not,
No matter the ‘sure things’ dishonestly said;
Thus, none can teach the belief as true or not.

Using anger to thwart an opposing belief
Does nothing positive to provide a relief
But negatively shows the inability
To directly and completely counter the plea.

‘God’ can’t be shown such that all would believe—
It’s all idle chatter that hopes conceive,
A blah, blah of what can’t even be preached,
Honestly, without a shred to retrieve.(4. 10 q36-44)

Maybe this, maybe that, of a ‘God’,
On and on, of worn ideas long trod,
Trying to show nature’s not what it does,
Spouting this and that—dust into the sod.

Oh, where is the Loving One, the All-Might?
Why just the power of what natures does?
What benevolence makes for living in fright?
Where’s the Knowing of His Is and ne’er was?

Why the heck do we exist here on Earth?
What mysterious origin gave birth?
What purpose the madness amid the mirth?
Why the heck would a Person be the first?

The invisibility disorder spreads;
“Might be’s” and “maybe’s” clog the fora threads,
Naturally, from meaning’s search in heads,
Ever trying to raise ‘God’ from the dead.

‘God’, Divine Human, and Spirit, to boot,
All structured on wishes—what a hoot!
Angels added, too, and Devils haunting.
All as supposed, so, their doings are moot.

‘God’ changed His mind, so it would work better,
From err of His deluge wet and wetter,
Ne’er to kill again by water His kin,
Plus gave Redemption from Original Sin.

Versus
‘God’ is unchanging, as ever Perfect,
Knowing and Being all with no defect,
As in all at once and everywhere,
His Self mirrored in us as a Reflect.

But either way
Reflections of ‘God’ we would have to be,
As the very thoughts imagined in He—
Naught else could exist independently;
This One Effect runs continuously.

But really how it turned out…
Myth-Takes of Unconditional Love
And the freedom to be from the Above
And Goodness didn’t fill human natura—
Our follies broadcast His soap opera.

(4. 10 q45-54)

God, alone in His Power, had no fun,
So He made Sapiens out of His One,
Our image reflecting His Love’s Knowing,
As His mirror of Divine Perfection.

‘God’s image reflects the mottled colors
Painted by human artists upon the air
Where the wormed apple was before the fall
That rotted away truth’s tree of knowledge.

Eden’s fresh market carried everything;
The shiny red apples called from the Tree,
“Touch me, take me, eat me”, and soon trouble
Was at hand, although it was crispy, sweet.

Eden’s sinful Apple, causing our shit,
Made for harsh apple cider, but when it
Was heated with sulfurous brimstone it
Soon turned smooth, the Hell taken out of it!

I found the Garden in the Amazon’s heart,
Wherein lie massive fields of Lady’s Slippers
And all of the rare flowers of Paradise…
And there I put the apple back on the tree.

Be happy! For the moon of thy festival will come,
The means of mirth will all be propitious;
This moon has become lean, bent-figured, and thin,
Thou may’st say that it will sink under this trouble.

The unborn future is inherent in the past,
It’s ‘will be’ is real, with no unreal contrast class,
As there’s no opposite to existence—no Nil;
It’s not just that future is going to exist.

The present now undergoes an updating,
In a fleeting swoosh that passes it away,
For the ‘now’ fades, consumed, as future becomes,
Yet, what will become past can’t just non-exist.

The pyramid of the will bears nested dancers,
Each an expert in their field of laws and causers—
Through the land’s contours of memory’s sands of what was;
The King doesn’t decide, but his repertoire does.

The philosophical strides leap and bound,
For the causelessness of All must be found,
Along with the unfree will that dooms a Mind;
Staggering: The All goes round and round!

Rubaiyat II+I

**** Rubaiyat II+I ****

Rubaiyat II and Rubaiyat I have been combined by interleaving Rubaiyat I (starts near dawn) into Rubaiyat II (starts at late night) at the appropriate places, each book having lost 200 non-essential pages, such as the appendix and some excess images. 

Rubaiyat II+I, Lulu, hardcover 8.25×10.75, 800 pages. This is my favorite book if I could only have one.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/austin-torney/rubaiyat-iii/hardcover/product-23957977.html

Videos showing facing pages (three parts):

https://vimeo.com/361454405

https://vimeo.com/362594211

https://vimeo.com/363979045

Rubaiyat II

‘Rubaiyat II—Illustrated—An Omarian Universal Day’ is an illuminated, illustrated book that progresses through a universal Omarian day, year, and life. It consists of my own retransmogrified Bodleian and Calcutta quatrains, as well as my own Omar-inspired quatrains and Positor’s inspirations that he granted to me to use, but no FitzOmar quatrains, since this is a sequel.

It becomes a long conversation between Omar and his Beloved, and others, such as those in a tavern. There are various sized editions about on Amazon and Lulu, and on Apple ibooks, but I like the 8.25×10.75 Lulu hardcover the best.

My favorite Rubaiyat II edition is on Lulu, hardcover 8.25x 10.75, 800 pages:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/austin-torney/rubaiyat-ii-illustrated-an-omarian-universal-day-hc-800/hardcover/product-23973327.html

The facing pages view looks like this (two parts):

https://vimeo.com/355259945

https://vimeo.com/356563837

The Main Rubaiyat Videos

All the Omar and extensions one could ever need. 

First, the best two superb, action-figured, spoken/sung videos:
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (3 parts):

https://vimeo.com/346501152

https://vimeo.com/347450359

https://vimeo.com/348902795

Finally, everything kind of in one place!

(Charles, you could present these and the one below at one of your recitals.)
Austin’s Golden Rubaiyat (2 parts. My own quatrains that I like best. Upgraded to 4K.):

https://vimeo.com/350136703

https://vimeo.com/351483446

(to be continued)

Austin’s Video Series—Color Symbols, Elfin Legends, Spring Fever, and Life Explained

The Lore and Legends of the Colors: https://vimeo.com/341910890  Educational.

Spring Fever: https://vimeo.com/344929318  Catch it!

Elfin Legends: https://vimeo.com/343124717  Wild.

Life Explained: https://vimeo.com/344937283  Huh?

Elfin extra footage: https://vimeo.com/344890718  Wilder.

Elfin Moves: https://vimeo.com/344907369  Wildest.

Fairy Sightings: https://vimeo.com/344930806  Actual untouched original videos.

Enchanted Daydreams: https://vimeo.com/344938576  Lay back.

Enchanted Journey: https://vimeo.com/343722484  Long.

Next time: Rubaiyat II+I combined.

Nowruz Peeruz! from Michael Isenberg

Nowruz Peeruz!

Prosperous New Year!

03-19 jamshid

Tomorrow marks Nowruz, the Persian New Year, so it seemed like a good time to put together a few notes on the history of the holiday. Its celebration goes back some 3,000 years, its origins lost in the mists of time.

I suppose the version which attributes it to the mythical king Jamshid is as good as any. A Promethean figure, legend tells us Jamshid blessed humankind with metalworking, textiles, bricklaying, mining, perfume, medicine, shipbuilding, and (on the downside) the caste system. Then, according to Abu’l-Qasim Ferdowsi’s epic poem, the Shah-nameh (The Book of Kings, ca. 1000 AD),

Although Jamshid had accomplished all these things, he strove to climb even higher. With his royal farr* he constructed a throne studded with gems, and had demons raise him aloft from the earth into the heavens; there he sat on his throne like the sun shining in the sky. The world’s creatures gathered in wonder about him and scattered jewels on him, and called this day the New Day, or No-Ruz. This was the first day of the month of Farvardin, at the beginning of the year, when Jamshid rested from his labors and put aside all rancor. His nobles made a great feast, calling for wine and musicians, and this splendid festival has been passed down to us, as a memorial to Jamshid.
(The Shah-nameh is a fascinating work in its own right. One of these days I’ll have to post an entry about it).

In any case, over time the Persian calendar drifted out of synch with the seasons, just like the Julian calendar that was used in the west. There was need of someone like Pope Gregory to institute reforms. In his Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh (Complete History), the historian ibn al-Athir (1160-1232/33) tells us,

In this year [467 AH/1074-75 AD] Nizam al-Mulk and Sultan Malikshah assembled several leading astronomers, who fixed the start of the new year (Nayruz) at the starting point of (the House of) Aries (i.e. the vernal equinox). Previously the new year had been when the sun was halfway through Pisces. This initiative of the sultan provided the starting point for yearly calendars.

At the same time astronomical observations were undertaken for Sultan Malikshah. A group of astronomers gathered to carry this out, including Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Khayyami, Abu’l-Muzaffar al-Asfizari, Maymun ibn al-Najib al-Wasiti and others. A large sum of money was expended and observations lasted until the sultan died.

The leader of the team, “Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Khayyami,” is of course Omar Khayyam, known in the west as the poet who composed the Rubaiyat (And who’s also the hero of my new novel, The Thread of Reason, which, in honor of his calendar, launches tomorrow on Amazon.com!) Omar’s calendar, called the Jalali calendar, after one of the titles of Malikshah, is, with some modifications, still in use in Iran today. It is accurate to one day every 5,000 years—beating out the Gregorian calendar, which is “only” accurate to one day every 3,000 years.

So best wishes for a happy Nowruz. Celebrate with wine and musicians. I’ll leave you with some of the latter—some traditional Persian music. This is a recording I made on Saturday, at the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s annual Nowruz celebration. The violin-like instrument that Mr. Dehghan is playing is called a kamancheh. Descriptions of them are found as early as the il-Khanid (Mongol) dynasty (13th-14th century).

Michael’s music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjG5HRzvM0I

Michael Isenberg writes about the Muslim world, medieval and modern. His forthcoming novel, The Thread of Reason, is a murder mystery that takes place in Baghdad in the year 1092.

*-The royal farr is the power that God bestows upon a king, provided he’s worthy. It’s something like a cross between magic, glory, luck, and the Mandate of Heaven.

The quotation from Ferdowsi comes from Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings, New York: Penguin Books (2006), tr. Dick Davis, p. 7.

The quotation from ibn al-Athir comes from The Annals of the Seljuq Turks: Selections from al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh of ‘Izz al-Din ibn al-Athir, London: RoutledgeCurzon (2002), tr. D.S.Richards, p. 189.

Photo credit: “Jamshid’s throne borne by divs,” illustration from the Shah-nameh, 15th century, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 22-1948, fol. 11v.

Jamshyd’s Super Bowl

The Cup of Jam

Jamshyd was said to have had a magical seven-ringed cup, the Jām-e Jam, which was filled with the elixir of immortality and allowed him to observe the universe.

Jamshyd ruled well for three hundred years, and during this time longevity increased, sicknesses were banished, and peace and prosperity reigned.

The Cup of Jamshyd (Persian: جام جم, jām-e Jam) is a cup of divination, which in Persian mythology was long possessed by the rulers of ancient Greater Iran. Its name is associated with Jamshyd (Jam in New Persian), a mythological figure of Greater Iranian culture and tradition. The cup has also been called Jam-e Jahan nama, Jam-e Jahan Ara, Jam-e Giti nama, and Jam-e Kei-khosrow. The latter refers to Kaei Husravah in the Avesta, and Sushravas in the Vedas.

The cup has been the subject of many Persian poems and stories. Many authors ascribed the success of the Persian Empire to the possession of this artifact. It appears extensively in Persian literature.

The cup (‘Jām’) was said to be filled with an elixir of immortality and was used in scrying. As mentioned by Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda, it was believed that all seven heavens of the universe could be observed by looking into it (از هفت فلک در او مشاهده و معاینه کردی).

It was believed to have been discovered in Persepolis in ancient times. The whole world was said to be reflected in it, and divinations within the cup were said to reveal deep truths. Sometimes, especially in popular depictions such as The Heroic Legend of Arslan, the cup has been visualized as a crystal ball. Helen Zimmern’s English translation of the Shahnameh uses the term ‘crystal globe’.

The concave mirror of a telescope
Is as Jam’s world reflecting bowl or globe:
Beyond the seven-ringed celestials,
The secrets of the Cosmos are unveiled.

 

Wine Invented

According to Persian legend, Jamshyd banished one of his harem ladies from his kingdom, causing her to become despondent and wishing to commit suicide. Going to the king’s warehouse, the girl sought out a jar marked ‘poison’ which contained the rem-nants of grapes that had spoiled and were deemed undrinkable.

Unbeknownst to her, the ‘spoilage’ was actually the result of fermentation caused by the breakdown of the grapes by yeast into alcohol. After drinking the so-called poison, the harem girl discovered its effects to be pleasant and her spirits were lifted.

She took her discovery to Jamshyd, who became so enamored with this new ‘wine’ beverage that he not only accepted the girl back into his harem but also decreed that all grapes grown in Persepolis would be devoted to winemaking.

While most wine historians view this story as pure legend, there is archaeological evidence that wine was known and extensively traded by the early Persian kings.

— Shahnameh (The Epic of Kings): Bijan and Manijeh

Rubaiyat II — Table of Contents

CONTENTS
فهرست

-1.Title Page
1. Preface
2. Notation
3. Foreword

0. PROLOG
1. The Persian Climate and the Poetic Temperament
2. The Voices in the Sky
3. The Ancient Rulers
4. Time’s Blast

1. MID NIGHT PEARLS
1. The Persian Night
2. In the Sultan’s Palace
3. Omar and His Beloved
4. The Astronomer Poet’s Star Garden
5. The Play of Worlds
6. Wine Versus Kings
7. Dichotomies
8. Whence Cometh Our Help
9. The Secret Life of the Rubaiyat Poems
10.Other Works
11.Two Treatises From Beyond
12.God-Made?
13.Evolved
14.The Love Story of the Earth and the Moon
15.Omar’s Fire Returned
16.Sweet Love and Sleep Continue reading “Rubaiyat II — Table of Contents”