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Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Eurythmics are a British pop duo formed in 1980, consisting of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. Although the pair has formally disbanded, they have occasionally reunited.

Eurythmics’ pulsating electronic rhythms and haunting melodies helped to set a standard for 1980s synth pop. The lyrics depict themes of alienation and the spiritual quest, often from a much needed woman’s perspective. Because the music relies heavily on synthesizers, Eurythmics took some criticism from old school musicians preferring ‘real instruments.’

Today that type of criticism doesn’t hold up. Computer processors are just as much a part of ‘real instruments’ as any other kind of man-made component, be it the pickups of an electric guitar or the mechanisms within a Renaissance harpsichord.

Kevmoore adds:

Eurythmics used “real instruments” to great effect however later in their career, with such hits as Thorn in my side, and Missionary Man, our drummer Pete Phipps toured with them, and they could kick some a** with the best rock bands. » See in context

Lennox continued with a successful solo career in the 1990s, including the exceptional CD, Diva. The duo of Lennox and Stewart have periodically reunited in the new millennium for benefit concerts and albums but Eurythmics’ creative genius arguably peaked in the 80s.

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George Frederick Watts - Orpheus and Eurydice

George Frederick Watts – Orpheus and Eurydice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eurydice is a female figure in Greek myth. Among variants, the best known Eurydice in Greek myth is a tree or water nymph and wife of Orpheus. When the god Aristaeus tried to rape her, she fled to escape his advances. While fleeing she was bitten by a poisonous snake, died within hours and descended to Hades.

Her husband Orpheus later journeyed to Hades hoping to rescue her. Orpheus used the musical beauty of his lyre to wrest Eurydice from the underworld’s Lord of Death, the giant three-headed dog Cerberus. But like Lot’s wife, and against a dire warning to not look behind while escaping, Orpheus cast a glance backward, losing Eurydice forever.

The name Eurydice first appears on pottery in the 4th century BCE.¹ Although possibly orally present for centuries, they myth of Orpheus’ descent into the underworld to rescue Eurydice was not fully written down until the  first century BCE, when Roman poets immortalized the tale through written verse.²

Plato criticizes Orpheus in his Symposium for trying to rescue Eurydice through music instead of sheer courage.³

In other variants of the myth Orpheus attempts to save Eurydice from Persephone. The scene of Orpheus attempting to rescue Eurydice is depicted in Neoclassical art, most notably by Nicolas Poussin.

Eurydice is also known as one of the daughters of Apollo.

¹ Richard L. Hunter “Eurydice” The Oxford Classical Dictionary, © Oxford University Press 1996, 2000.

² Sarah Hitch “Orpheus and Eurydice” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Ed. Michael Gagarin. © Oxford University Press 2010. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome: (e-reference edition). Oxford University Press. Toronto Public Library. 22 May 2012

³ Ibid.

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3rd quarter of 16th century

3rd quarter of 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Eucharist (Greek eucharistia = thanksgiving) is a sacrament, also called Holy Communion (Catholic) and the Lord’s Supper (Protestant), in which Jesus is believed to be present under bread and wine.

It is based on the New Testament account of the Last Supper, in which Jesus asks his disciples to take and eat bread and wine in order to remember him (1 Corinthians 11.23-5; Matthew 26.26-8; Mark 14.22-4; Luke 22.17-20).

The bread and wine are consecrated by a priest or, in Protestantism, a minister and is given to disciples. Theological differences arise among different Christian groups as to whether the bread and wine become the real presence of Christ, coexist with the real presence of Christ or serve as mere symbols.

Drawing on a distinction from Aristotelian logic, Catholic theology indicates that the essence of the bread and wine are transformed but not the observable form. Moreover, Catholicism adheres to the position known as ex opere operato (by the action performed), which indicates that the sacrament is always effective when administered by a consecrated priest, regardless of the moral condition of his soul at the time.

If one believes that we’re all born with the taint of original sin and remain imperfect throughout our lives, ex opere operato seems a reasonable and, indeed, necessary position.

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Burning of Sodomites for Homosexuality

Burning of Sodomites for Homosexuality (Photo credit: Jesus In Love)

Ethics is a branch of knowledge and philosophical inquiry concerned with moral ideals, choices and the good or bad actions which may or may not follow from those choices.

Ethics may focus on personal, social and spiritual issues, separately but often in relation to one another.

Within world religions, ethical decrees might seem fixed within a given faith tradition. But various schools of interpretation usually coexist, usually with some degree of tension—e.g. the Protestant acceptance of female and in some instances homosexual ministers vs. the Catholic rule of an exclusively male priesthood and homosexual acts being specified in the catechism as “intrinsically disordered.”¹

¹ See


Eternal Return

Hāfström - The Eternal Return

Hāfström – The Eternal Return (Photo credit: Julian Stallabrass)

The eternal return is an idea that the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed in, as did the Stoics with their belief in ‘conflagration.’

Basically, the eternal return is the belief in an eternal cycle of cosmic destruction followed by identical recreation of what previously existed. Since all elements cyclically repeat just as they were for all eternity, Nietzsche believed our universe (and all life contained in it) forever disappears and then reappears exactly as in the previous cosmic cycle.

To this amelo14 adds:

I think that the point of Nietzsche is not so much a cosmological idea (he was not a scientist) but more a thought experiment which is done by Zarathustra. It involves thinking about living one’s life exactly as one has lived it and in the same vein affirming it so in the absence of any divine project to sustain its purpose.

BOOK IV of Nietzsche’s “The Gay Science” is crucial in this respect. » See in context

And P Will adds:

I believe N considered eternal return beyond just a simple thought experiment. It is useful to think of life as if you had already experienced it but what good what it really be if it were untrue in a cosmological sense? I believe N’s idea of eternal return has ground in Einsteins theory and i believe it makes sense with quantum mechanics. » See in context

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Extrasensory perception (ESP)

Example of a subject in a Ganzfeld experiment.

Example of a subject in a Ganzfeld experiment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Extrasensory perception (ESP) is a type of alleged psi phenomena. ESP is sometimes used as an umbrella term for many types of alleged paranormal phenomena but it properly refers to the ideas of telepathy (reading another’s thoughts) and clairvoyance (‘seeing’ without the eyes).

Some Fundamentalist, Protestant and Catholic Christians have a knee-jerk reaction to this idea, saying ESP is the workings of Satan, a delusion or evidence of mental illness. However, in Catholicism some of the more advanced saints claim to have been given similar gifts, usually called the reading of hearts. Indeed, some Catholic mystics claim to know another’s thoughts and/or feel their emotions near or at a distance with no observable cues.

Reading of Hearts. The knowledge of the secret thoughts of others or of their internal state without communication is known as reading of hearts. The certain knowledge of the secret thoughts of others is truly super-natural, since the devil has no access to the spiritual faculties of men and no human being can know the mind of another unless it is in some way communicated. But knowledge of the secrets of another’s heart may be conjectured by the devil and transmitted to a person, or they may be surmised by a deluded individual who takes his conjectures to be supernatural illuminations.¹

From the above it should be clear that Catholics – or, at least, sane Catholics – are cautious when it comes to mysticism. Central to Catholic mysticism is the idea of discernment or “the discernment of spirits.” Discernment is said to be a gift and acquired ability that enables one to differentiate supernatural experiences and abilities that come from God from those that do not.

¹ AUMANN, J. “Mystical Phenomena.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 10. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 105-109. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.

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Eros (Photo credit: virgi.pla)

In Greek mythology Eros is the son of Aphrodite and Ares. He is portrayed on ancient vases as a highly attractive athlete, as a boy with wings and arrows, and later, as a pudgy babe.

As the god of romantic love he is praised in Hesiod‘s hymns as the most beautiful of all the gods. In popular myth and classical art he’s depicted as shooting arrows of love into the hearts of soon-to-be lovers. The Orphic mystery cults deemed his creative powers great enough to regard him as the creator of the world. Hesiod wrote that Eros sprung from Chaos, representing instinctual, sexual and creative energy.

Sigmund Freud hypothesized a general life instinct which he called eros, in contrast to an opposing death insinct, thanatos (Greek = death). C. S. Lewis and many others use the term eros to describe emotional romantic love as opposed to Agape, or selfless love.

Plato used the term eros to signify a desire to seek the transcendental beauty of the eternal Forms, which is partially recognized in particular instances within this changing world of becoming.

Eros is paralleled by the Roman god Cupid and in Latin is Amor.

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