Written by Stephanie Pflumm

Whenrepparttar Greek scholar Pliny wrote that Topaz gave man strength and protected him from poison, he might have actually been writing about Citrine. The huge (weighs 1,680 carats) Portuguese crown jewel,repparttar 122438 Braganza, is a beautiful clear Topaz was thought for a few centuries, to be a diamond. Evenrepparttar 122439 origins ofrepparttar 122440 name Topaz stirs confusion. Some references point to a Sanskrit word tapas, that means Fire. Or was it named for Zebirget, an island inrepparttar 122441 Red Sea thatrepparttar 122442 Greeks once called Tapazius? Except that Peridot isrepparttar 122443 gem currently mined onrepparttar 122444 island.

Today's scholars write with a higher degree certainty onrepparttar 122445 properties and origins ofrepparttar 122446 Topaz crystal. Aluminum, silicate (Quartz), fluoride and hydroxide molecules were bonded together during volcanic eruptions. Left to cool in pegmatite's and granitites for thousands of year,repparttar 122447 aluminum bonding withrepparttar 122448 oxygen (hydroxide) formed a chain of connected octahedrons, held together by silicate tetrahedrons, that sometimes grew into gigantic crystals.

One ofrepparttar 122449 largest Topaz ever found was a 600 pound specimen in Brazil. You can see it today atrepparttar 122450 Museum of Natural History in New York. A rare, perfect blue gemstone was discovered inrepparttar 122451 Ural Mountains of Russia in 1965. It weighed 100 kilograms. In Norway, a 137 pound crystal was found in 1901 that was two feet long.

Its unique crystal structure makes Topaz a hard and dense gemstone. In fact, pure clear Topaz has often been mistaken for Diamond because of their similar density, clarity and hardness. Topaz crystals can terminate in a variety of ways, some are dome-shapped, pyramids, prismatic, tabular and often with striations.

Its crystalline formation also allowsrepparttar 122452 gem to hold an electric charge for up to 30 hours. You can charge a Topaz by rubbing it with your fingers. Some Brazilian stones acquire a charge just by holdingrepparttar 122453 ends ofrepparttar 122454 crystal between your fingertips. Heatingrepparttar 122455 gem then allowing it to cool slowly builds an electrified charge greater than any achieved with other stones. Plusrepparttar 122456 stone will retain that energy for more than a day after cooling down.

Most Topaz is found in its purest form, clear. Sometimes referred to as silver or white Topaz. Blue and green arerepparttar 122457 rarest colors. Most commercial blue Topaz are clear crystals that have been irradiated then heat treated to createrepparttar 122458 color. Imperial, or golden Topaz isrepparttar 122459 second most common variety. These stones often contain chromium and are heat-treated to bring out a rosy-red to pink hue inrepparttar 122460 gem. Pink Topaz does occur naturally more often thanrepparttar 122461 rare blues. Still it's always best to ask your jeweler ifrepparttar 122462 stones you are considering have been treated to enhance their color. Topaz is found aroundrepparttar 122463 globe; Australia, North and South America, Russia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Tasmania, Africa, Pakistan, Norway and China. Tourmaline, Fluorite, Quartz and Mica are just some ofrepparttar 122464 gemstones that can occur with it.

Many ancient traditions and beliefs have created a brilliant history for Topaz. Clear, terminated Topaz was referred to as an iris stone because of is double refractive qualities andrepparttar 122465 way its facets would project Light's rainbow spectrum. If worn in a ring onrepparttar 122466 left hand,repparttar 122467 gem was believed to restrain lustful desires.

Egyptians thoughtrepparttar 122468 Imperial Topaz wasrepparttar 122469 captured light ofrepparttar 122470 Sun God Ra. It was worn in amulets for protection from accident or attacks. Greeks and Romans also associatedrepparttar 122471 golden crystals with their Sun God, Jupiter. They believedrepparttar 122472 stone increased their strength and could neutralize enchantments.

Bushmen in Africa used Topaz in healing ceremonies and rituals to connect with ancestral spirits. In medieval courts, Kings, Judges and other noble persons were often presented with an engraved Topaz to win favor and cultivate positive relationships. Falcons were a favorite carving subject. A powder ground into wine was believed to relieve asthma. Leaving a crystal in wine for three days produced an elixir that was used onrepparttar 122473 eyes to improve vision. Some beliefs heldrepparttar 122474 stone could make you invisible during moments of danger.

The Basic Dilemma of the Artist

Written by Sam Vaknin

The psychophysical problem is long standing and, probably, intractable.

We have a corporeal body. It is a physical entity, subject to allrepparttar laws of physics. Yet, we experience ourselves, our internal lives, external events in a manner which provokes us to postulaterepparttar 122437 existence of a corresponding, non-physical ontos, entity. This corresponding entity ostensibly incorporates a dimension of our being which, in principle, can never be tackled withrepparttar 122438 instruments andrepparttar 122439 formal logic of science.

A compromise was proposed long ago:repparttar 122440 soul is nothing but our self awareness orrepparttar 122441 way that we experience ourselves. But this is a flawed solution. It is flawed because it assumes thatrepparttar 122442 human experience is uniform, unequivocal and identical. It might well be so - but there is no methodologically rigorous way of proving it. We have no way to objectively ascertain that all of us experience pain inrepparttar 122443 same manner or that pain that we experience isrepparttar 122444 same in all of us. This is even whenrepparttar 122445 causes ofrepparttar 122446 sensation are carefully controlled and monitored.

A scientist might say that it is only a matter of time before we findrepparttar 122447 exact part ofrepparttar 122448 brain which is responsible forrepparttar 122449 specific pain in our gedankenexperiment. Moreover, will add our gedankenscientist, in due course, science will even be able to demonstrate a monovalent relationship between a pattern of brain activity in situ andrepparttar 122450 aforementioned pain. In other words,repparttar 122451 scientific claim is thatrepparttar 122452 patterns of brain activity ARErepparttar 122453 pain itself.

Such an argument is, prima facie, inadmissible. The fact that two events coincide (even if they do so forever) does not make them identical. The serial occurrence of two events does not make one of themrepparttar 122454 cause andrepparttar 122455 otherrepparttar 122456 effect, as is well known. Similarly,repparttar 122457 contemporaneous occurrence of two events only means that they are correlated. A correlate is not an alter ego. It is not an aspect ofrepparttar 122458 same event. The brain activity is what appears WHEN pain happens - it by no means follows that it ISrepparttar 122459 pain itself.

A stronger argument would crystallize if it was convincingly and repeatedly demonstrated that playing back these patterns of brain activity inducesrepparttar 122460 same pain. Even in such a case, we would be talking about cause and effect rather than identity of pain and its correlate inrepparttar 122461 brain.

The gap is even bigger when we try to apply natural languages torepparttar 122462 description of emotions and sensations. This seems close to impossible. How can one even half accurately communicate one's anguish, love, fear, or desire? We are prisoners inrepparttar 122463 universe of our emotions, never to emerge andrepparttar 122464 weapons of language are useless. Each one of us develops his or her own, idiosyncratic, unique emotional language. It is not a jargon, or a dialect because it cannot be translated or communicated. No dictionary can ever be constructed to bridge this lingual gap. In principle, experience is incommunicable. People - inrepparttar 122465 very far future - may be able to harbourrepparttar 122466 same emotions, chemically or otherwise induced in them. One brain could directly take over another and make it feelrepparttar 122467 same. Yet, even then these experiences will not be communicable and we will have no way available to us to compare and decide whether there was an identity of sensations or of emotions.

Still, when we say "sadness", we all seem to understand what we are talking about. Inrepparttar 122468 remotest and furthest reaches ofrepparttar 122469 earth people share this feeling of being sad. The feeling might be evoked by disparate circumstances - yet, we all seem to share some basic element of "being sad". So, what is this element?

We have already said that we are confined to using idiosyncratic emotional languages and that no dictionary is possible between them.

Now we will postulaterepparttar 122470 existence of a meta language. This is a language common to all humans, indeed, it seems to berepparttar 122471 language of being human. Emotions are but phrases in this language. This language must exist - otherwise all communication between humans would have ceased to exist. It would appear thatrepparttar 122472 relationship between this universal language andrepparttar 122473 idiosyncratic, individualistic languages is a relation of correlation. Pain is correlated to brain activity, onrepparttar 122474 one hand - and to this universal language, onrepparttar 122475 other. We would, therefore, tend to parsimoniously assume thatrepparttar 122476 two correlates are but one andrepparttar 122477 same. In other words, it may well be thatrepparttar 122478 brain activity which "goes together" is butrepparttar 122479 physical manifestation ofrepparttar 122480 meta-lingual element "PAIN". We feel pain and this is our experience, unique, incommunicable, expressed solely in our idiosyncratic language.

We know that we are feeling pain and we communicate it to others. As we do so, we userepparttar 122481 meta, universal language. The very use (or evenrepparttar 122482 thought of using) this language provokesrepparttar 122483 brain activity which is so closely correlated with pain.

It is important to clarify thatrepparttar 122484 universal language could well be a physical one. Possibly, even genetic. Nature might have endowed us with this universal language to improve our chances to survive. The communication of emotions is of an unparalleled evolutionary importance and a species devoid ofrepparttar 122485 ability to communicaterepparttar 122486 existence of pain - would perish. Pain is our guardian againstrepparttar 122487 perils of our surroundings.

To summarize: we manage our inter-human emotional communication using a universal language which is either physical or, at least, has strong physical correlates.

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