Written by Stephanie Pflumm

Continued from page 1

Today Topaz is honored asrepparttar state gemstone in Texas and Utah. Blue Topaz is recognized as a fourth anniversary gift - Imperial Topaz forrepparttar 122438 23rd anniversary. It is also one ofrepparttar 122439 birthstones listed for November.

If you are on a journey of spiritual change, Topaz makes an excellent companion. It teaches you to trust inrepparttar 122440 Universe to guide and provide. Aiding you in fully recognizingrepparttar 122441 magical laws of attraction and manifestation and your ability to manipulate them. Meditations with a stone will help awaken your sleeping gifts and illuminate your co-creative energies.

The crystal helps you become more aware of your personal world, andrepparttar 122442 power you have to bring about positive changes. It strengthens your confidence to make decisions that are correct for you, giving yourepparttar 122443 fire and motivation you need to follow through on your choices. Work with Topaz to make your dreams your reality.

Artists may be attracted torepparttar 122444 gemstone because it promotes your individual creativity. Stimulating you creative energies like a Muse, lifting your art to new levels. The crystal can be used as an energy battery when your demanding schedule threatens to overwhelm your day. Carrying a stone during those crazy days will help you stay mentally alert, while protecting you from unseen dangers that could thwart more than just your next appointment.

The color of your crystal has some impact onrepparttar 122445 energies it can bring. Here is a brief list of additional qualities you'll find in different Topaz. Always be open to what you feel or hear from your own stones as well. You may find Topaz assists you in ways not mentioned in this or any other article. Honor and accept that. Clear Topaz: This is a stone of confidence. Giving extra strength to be yourself, unafraid to creatively expressrepparttar 122446 beautiful voicerepparttar 122447 Universe gave you. Helps stimulate natural gifts.

Blue Topaz: Works with your Throat Chakra allowing you to voicerepparttar 122448 perfect words for bringing your desires and dreams into reality. Unites body, mind and spirit withrepparttar 122449 Universal All.

Imperial Topaz: A stone of Fire, burning withrepparttar 122450 energies of Grandfather Sun. This isrepparttar 122451 stone that will see your goals through, never allowing your confidence to waver, your motivation to fail. Userepparttar 122452 crystal for a quick charge when your battery is low. Stimulatesrepparttar 122453 first three Chakra, opensrepparttar 122454 Crown.

Rose Topaz: Openingrepparttar 122455 base Chakra and stimulatingrepparttar 122456 Kundalini - this crystal is great for balancingrepparttar 122457 exhausting energies of passion and power. If you are quick to anger, carrying a rosey gemstone may help you temper and channel your anger into productive resolutions instead of fights.

Healing traditions for Topaz still recommendrepparttar 122458 crystal for relief from asthma and digestive problems. Patients undergoing long convalescence may userepparttar 122459 stone to improve stamina, helpingrepparttar 122460 body recover from its inactivity. It should help with insomnia by warding off nightmares, unproductive thoughts and allowing you to relax. It may promoterepparttar 122461 healing of wounds, strengthen your back and spinal cord and possibly aid in weight loss by raising your metabolism.

Stephanie Pflumm is the editor and publisher of the monthly ezine ORE FEATURES. Each issue uncovers the geology, magical history and healing features of a different stone. Pflumm also owns the website

The Basic Dilemma of the Artist

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

The function of bridgingrepparttar gap between an idiosyncratic language (his or her own) and a more universal one was relegated to a group of special individuals called artists. Theirs isrepparttar 122437 job to experience (mostly emotions), to mould it into arepparttar 122438 grammar, syntax and vocabulary of a universal language in order to communicaterepparttar 122439 echo of their idiosyncratic language. They are forever mediating between us and their experience. Rightly so,repparttar 122440 quality of an artist is measured by his ability to loyally represent his unique language to us. The smallerrepparttar 122441 distance betweenrepparttar 122442 original experience (the emotion ofrepparttar 122443 artist) and its external representation -repparttar 122444 more prominentrepparttar 122445 artist.

We declare artistic success whenrepparttar 122446 universally communicable representation succeeds at recreatingrepparttar 122447 original emotion (felt byrepparttar 122448 artist) with us. It is very much like those science fiction contraptions which allow forrepparttar 122449 decomposition ofrepparttar 122450 astronaut's body in one spot - and its recreation, atom for atom in another (teleportation).

Even ifrepparttar 122451 artist fails to do so but succeeds in calling forth any kind of emotional response in his viewers/readers/listeners, he is deemed successful.

Every artist has a reference group, his audience. They could be alive or dead (for instance, he could measure himself against past artists). They could be few or many, but they must exist for art, in its fullest sense, to exist. Modern theories of art speak aboutrepparttar 122452 audience as an integral and defining part ofrepparttar 122453 artistic creation and even ofrepparttar 122454 artefact itself.

But this, precisely, isrepparttar 122455 source ofrepparttar 122456 dilemma ofrepparttar 122457 artist:

Who is to determine who is a good, qualitative artist and who is not?

Put differently, who is to measurerepparttar 122458 distance betweenrepparttar 122459 original experience and its representation?

After all, ifrepparttar 122460 original experience is an element of an idiosyncratic, non-communicable, language - we have no access to any information regarding it and, therefore, we are in no position to judge it. Onlyrepparttar 122461 artist has access to it and only he can decide how far is his representation from his original experience. Art criticism is impossible.

Granted, his reference group (his audience, however limited, whether amongrepparttar 122462 living, or amongrepparttar 122463 dead) has access to that meta language, that universal dictionary available to all humans. But this is already a long way towardsrepparttar 122464 representation (the work of art). No one inrepparttar 122465 audience has access torepparttar 122466 original experience and their capacity to pass judgement is, therefore, in great doubt.

Onrepparttar 122467 other hand, onlyrepparttar 122468 reference group, onlyrepparttar 122469 audience can aptly judgerepparttar 122470 representation for what it is. The artist is too emotionally involved. True,repparttar 122471 cold, objective facts concerningrepparttar 122472 work of art are available to both artist and reference group - butrepparttar 122473 audience is in a privileged status, its bias is less pronounced.

Normally,repparttar 122474 reference group will userepparttar 122475 meta language embedded in us as humans, some empathy, some vague comparisons of emotions to try and grasprepparttar 122476 emotional foundation laid byrepparttar 122477 artist. But this is very much like substituting verbal intercourse forrepparttar 122478 real thing. Talking about emotions - let alone making assumptions about whatrepparttar 122479 artist may have felt that we also, maybe, share - is a far cry from what really transpired inrepparttar 122480 artist's mind.

We are faced with a dichotomy:

The epistemological elements inrepparttar 122481 artistic process belong exclusively and incommunicably torepparttar 122482 artist.

The ontological aspects ofrepparttar 122483 artistic process belong largely torepparttar 122484 group of reference but they have no access torepparttar 122485 epistemological domain.

Andrepparttar 122486 work of art can be judged only by comparingrepparttar 122487 epistemological torepparttar 122488 ontological.

Norrepparttar 122489 artist, neither his group of reference can do it. This mission is nigh impossible.

Thus, an artist must make a decision early on in his career:

Should he remain loyal and close to his emotional experiences and studies and forgorepparttar 122490 warmth and comfort of being reassured and directed fromrepparttar 122491 outside, throughrepparttar 122492 reactions ofrepparttar 122493 reference group, or should he considerrepparttar 122494 views, criticism and advice ofrepparttar 122495 reference group in his artistic creation - and, most probably, have to compromiserepparttar 122496 quality andrepparttar 122497 intensity of his original emotion in order to be more communicative.

I wish to thank my brother, Sharon Vaknin, a gifted painter and illustrator, for raising these issues.

ADDENDUM - Art as Self-Mutilation

The internalized anger of Jesus - leading to his suicidal pattern of behaviour - pertained to all of Mankind. His sacrifice "benefited" humanity as a whole. A self-mutilator, in comparison, appears to be "selfish".

His anger is autistic, self-contained, self-referential and, therefore, "meaningless" as far as we are concerned. His catharsis is a private language.

But what people fail to understand is that art itself is an act of self mutilation,repparttar 122498 etching of ephemeral pain into a lasting medium,repparttar 122499 ultimate private language.

They also ignore, at their peril,repparttar 122500 fact that only a very thin line separates self-mutilation - whether altruistic (Jesus) or "egoistic" - andrepparttar 122501 mutilation of others (serial killers, Hitler).

About inverted saints:

About serial killers:

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

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