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Introduction to Computing - David Evans

The first million years of hominid history produced tools to amplify, and later mechanize, our physical abilities to enable us to move faster, reach higher, and hit harder. We have developed tools that amplify physical force by the trillions and increase the speeds at which we can travel by the thousands.

Computing is the ultimate mental amplifier.

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Hermetics

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Objective   10/6/2017

Hermetic writings.

Hermes Trismegistus  10/6/2017

from Wikipedia

Hermes Trismegistus (Ancient Greek: "thrice-greatest Hermes"; Latin: Mercurius ter Maximus) is the purported author of the Hermetic Corpus, a series of sacred texts that are the basis of Hermeticism.

Hermetic Corpus  10/6/2017

The Corpus Hermeticum from http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/anotherhermeticum.pdf

The Corpus Hermeticum are the core documents of the Hermetic tradition. Dating from early in the Christian era, they were mistakenly dated to a much earlier period by Church officials (and everyone else) up until the 15th century. Because of this, they were allowed to survive and we seen as an early precursor to what was to be Christianity. We know today that they were, in fact, from the early Christian era, and came out of the turbulent religious seas of Hellenic Egypt.

These are all taken from Mead's translations, which are in the public domain at this point.

the Kybalion  10/6/2017

from Wikipedia    the Kybalion epub

The Kybalion was first published in 1908 by the Yogi Publication Society and is now in the public domain, as well as circulating the worldwide web. Purportedly based upon ancient Hermeticism, its philosophies, in conjunction with others, have become founding pillars within the New Thought movement of the early 1910s. The book early on makes the claim that it makes its appearance in one's life when the time is appropriate and includes axioms and insights similar to those found in the Book of Proverbs.

The seven Principles

The book devotes a chapter to each of its seven "Principles", or axioms:

Principle of Mentalism
The Principle of Mentalism embodies the idea that "All is Mind." Everything that happens has to be a result of a mental state which precedes it. For anything to exist, thoughts had to form first, which then form physical reality or manifestation.

Principle of Correspondence
The Principle of Correspondence expresses the idea that there is always a correspondence between the laws of phenomena of the various "planes" of being and life.[1] As above, so below; as below, so above. This principle states that there is a harmony which can be made, agreement and correspondence between these planes, delineated as:

The Great Physical Plane
The Great Mental Plane
The Great Spiritual Plane

Principle of Vibration
This expounds the idea that motion is manifest in everything in the Universe, that nothing rests, and everything moves, vibrates and circles.[2] This principle explains that the distinction between manifestations of Matter, Energy, Mind, and even Spirit, are the result of only different "vibrations".[3] The higher a person is on the scale, the higher the rate of vibration will be. Here, The All is said to be at an infinite level of vibration, almost to the point of being at rest. There are said to be millions upon millions of varying degrees between the highest level, The All, and the objects of the lowest vibration.[4]

Mental Transmutation is described as the practical application of this principle. To change one's mental state is to change vibration. One may do this by an effort of Will, by means of deliberately "fixing the attention" upon a more desirable state.[5]

Principle of Polarity
The Principle of Polarity embodies the idea that everything is dual, everything has two poles, and everything has its opposite.[6] All manifested things have two sides, two aspects, or two poles.[7] Everything "is" and "isn't" at the same time, all truths are but half truths and every truth is half false, there are two sides to everything, opposites are identical in nature yet different in degree, extremes meet, and all paradoxes may be reconciled.[8]

Principle of Rhythm
The Principle of Rhythm expresses the idea that in everything there is manifested a measured motion, a to and from, a flow and inflow, a swing backward and forward, a pendulum-like movement.[9] There is rhythm between every pair of opposites, or poles, and is closely related to the Principle of Polarity.[10] It can be seen that this Principle enables transition from one pole to the other, and not necessarily poles of extreme opposites.

Principle of Cause and Effect
It explains that there is a cause for every effect, and an effect for every cause.[11] It also states that there is no such thing as chance, that chance is merely a term indicating extant causes not recognized or perceived.[12] The Principle is clarified in the chapter Causation.

Principle of Gender
The Principle of Gender embodies the idea that gender is manifested in everything.[13] The authors state that this does not relate explicitly to the commonly understood notion of sex, but rather "... to beget; to procreate, to generate, to create, or to produce..." in general.[14] Gender manifests itself on all planes as the Feminine and Masculine principles.

Mental Gender is described as a Hermetic concept which relates to the feminine and masculine principles. It does not refer to someone's physical sex, nor does it suggest that someone of a certain sex necessarily has a matching mental gender. Ideally, one wants to have a balanced mental gender.[15]

The concept put forth in The Kybalion states that gender exists on all planes of existence (Physical, Mental and Spiritual), and represents different aspects on different planes. Everything and everyone contains these two elements or principles.

The Feminine principle is always in the direction of receiving impressions, and has a much more varied field of operation than the Masculine. The Feminine conducts the work of generating new thoughts, concepts and ideas, including the work of the imagination.

The Masculine principle is always in the direction of giving out or expressing, and contents itself with the "Will" in its varied phases.

It is said that there must be a balance in these two forces. Without the Feminine, the Masculine is apt to act without restraint, order, or reason, resulting in chaos. The Feminine alone, on the other hand, is apt to constantly reflect and fail to actually do anything, resulting in stagnation. With both the Masculine and Feminine working in conjunction, there is thoughtful action that breeds success, which points out that both the Feminine and the Masculine fulfill each other.

Siddhartha  10/6/2017

from Wikipedia   Siddhartha epub

Siddhartha is a 1922 novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The book, Hesse's ninth novel, was written in German, in a simple, lyrical style. It was published in the U.S. in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s. Hesse dedicated the first part of it to Romain Rolland[1] and the second to Wilhelm Gundert, his cousin.

The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in Sanskrit language, siddha (achieved) + artha (what was searched for), which together means "he who has found meaning (of existence)" or "he who has attained his goals".[2] In fact, the Buddha's own name, before his renunciation, was Siddhartha Gautama, Prince of Kapilavastu. In this book, the Buddha is referred to as "Gotama".

Plot

The story takes place in the Nepalese district of Kapilavastu. Siddhartha decides to leave behind his home in the hope of gaining spiritual illumination by becoming an ascetic wandering beggar of the Shramanas. Joined by his best friend, Govinda, Siddhartha fasts, becomes homeless, renounces all personal possessions, and intensely meditates, eventually seeking and personally speaking with Gautama, the famous Buddha, or Enlightened One. Afterward, both Siddhartha and Govinda acknowledge the elegance of the Buddha's teachings. Although Govinda hastily joins the Buddha's order, Siddhartha does not follow, claiming that the Buddha's philosophy, though supremely wise, does not account for the necessarily distinct experiences of each person. He argues that the individual seeks an absolutely unique, personal meaning that cannot be presented to him by a teacher. He thus resolves to carry on his quest alone.

Siddhartha crosses a river and the generous ferryman, whom Siddhartha is unable to pay, merrily predicts that Siddhartha will return to the river later to compensate him in some way. Venturing onward toward city life, Siddhartha discovers Kamala, the most beautiful woman he has yet seen. Kamala, a courtesan, notes Siddhartha's handsome appearance and fast wit, telling him that he must become wealthy to win her affections so that she may teach him the art of love. Although Siddhartha despised materialistic pursuits as a Shramana, he agrees now to Kamala's suggestions. She directs him to the employ of Kamaswami, a local businessman, and insists that he have Kamaswami treat him as an equal rather than an underling. Siddhartha easily succeeds, providing a voice of patience and tranquility, which Siddhartha learned from his days as an ascetic, against Kamaswami's fits of passion. Thus Siddhartha becomes a rich man and Kamala's lover, though in his middle years he realizes that the luxurious lifestyle he has chosen is merely a game that lacks spiritual fulfillment. Leaving the fast-paced bustle of the city, Siddhartha returns to the river and thinks of killing himself. He is saved only by an internal experience of the holy word, Om. The very next morning, Siddhartha briefly reconnects with Govinda, who is passing through the area as a wandering Buddhist.

Don Quixote  10/6/2017

from Wikipedia    Don Quixote pdf

Don Quixote fully titled The Ingenious Nobleman Mister Quixote of La Mancha (Spanish: El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published, such as the Bokklubben World Library collection that cites Don Quixote as the authors' choice for the "best literary work ever written".[2]

The story follows the adventures of an hidalgo named Mr. Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. Throughout the novel, Cervantes uses such literary techniques as realism, metatheatre, and intertextuality. The book had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844), Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), as well as the word "quixotic" and the epithet "Lothario"; the latter refers to a character in "El Curioso Impertinente" ("The Impertinently Curious Man"), an intercalated story that appears in Part One, Book Four, chapters 33–35. Arthur Schopenhauer cited Don Quixote as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle Héloïse, and Wilhelm Meister.[3]

zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance  10/6/2017

from Wikipedia
zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (ZAMM), by Robert M. Pirsig, is a book that was first published in 1974. It is a work of fictionalized autobiography, and is the first of Pirsig's texts in which he explores his Metaphysics of Quality.

The title is an apparent play on the title of the book Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel. In its introduction, Pirsig explains that, despite its title, "it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Initially, the book sold at least 5 million copies worldwide.[2]

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Pirsig explores the meaning and concept of "quality"; a term he conceives as undefinable. Pirsig's thesis is that to truly experience quality one must both embrace and apply it as best fits the requirements of the situation. According to Pirsig, such an approach would avoid a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction common to modern life.

In the book, the Narrator describes the "Romantic" approach to life of his friend, John Sutherland, who chooses not to learn how to maintain his expensive new motorcycle. John simply hopes for the best with his bike, and when problems do occur he often becomes frustrated and is forced to rely on professional mechanics to repair it. In contrast, the "classical" Narrator has an older motorcycle which he is usually able to diagnose and repair himself through the use of rational problem solving skills.

In an example of the classical approach, Pirsig explains to the reader that one must pay continual attention: when the Narrator and his friends came into Miles City, Montana[4] he notices that the "engine idle is loping a little," a possible indication that the fuel/air mixture is too rich. The next day he is thinking of this as he is going through his ritual to adjust the valves on his cycle's engine. During the adjustment, he notes that both spark plugs are black, confirming a rich mixture. He recognizes that the higher elevation is causing the engine to run rich. The narrator rectifies this by installing new jets with the valves adjusted, and the engine runs well again.

With this, the book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, such as Zen, focused on being "In the moment", and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know the details, understand the inner workings, and master the mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance) and so on.

The Sutherlands represent an exclusively romantic attitude toward the world. The Narrator initially appears to prefer the classic approach. It later becomes apparent that he understands both viewpoints and is aiming for the middle ground. He understands that technology, and the "dehumanized world" it carries with it, appears ugly and repulsive to a romantic person. He knows that such persons are determined to shoehorn all of life's experience into the romantic view. Pirsig is capable of seeing the beauty of technology and feels good about mechanical work, where the goal is "to achieve an inner peace of mind". The book demonstrates that motorcycle maintenance may be dull and tedious drudgery or an enjoyable and pleasurable pastime; it all depends on attitude.

Pirsig examines the modern pursuit of "Pure Truths", claiming it derives from the work of early Greek philosophers who were establishing the concept of truth in opposition to the force of "The Good". He argues that although rational thought may find a truth (or The Truth) it may never be fully and universally applicable to each and every individual's experience. Therefore, what is needed is an approach to viewing life that is more varied and inclusive and has a wider range of application. He makes a case that originally the Greeks did not distinguish between "Quality" and "Truth" – they were one and the same, arete – and that the divorce was, in fact, artificial (though needed at the time) and is now a source of much frustration and unhappiness in the world, particularly overall dissatisfaction with modern life.

Pirsig aims towards a perception of the world that embraces both sides, the rational and the romantic. This means encompassing "irrational" sources of wisdom and understanding as well as science, reason and technology. In particular, this must include bursts of creativity and intuition that seemingly come from nowhere and are not (in his view) rationally explicable. Pirsig seeks to demonstrate that rationality and Zen-like "being in the moment" can harmoniously coexist. He suggests such a combination of rationality and romanticism can potentially bring a higher quality of life.

It has been noted that Pirsig’s Romantic/Classical dichotomy resembles Nietzsche’s Dionysian/Apollonian dichotomy as described in The Birth of Tragedy. For example, in his book The Person of the Therapist, Edward Smith writes, “In his popular novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig (1974) also addressed the Apollonian and Dionysian worldviews, naming them respectively classical understanding and romantic understanding.”[5]

Don Juan by Baron George Gordon Byron Byron   10/6/2017

from Wikipedia
Don Juan by Baron George Gordon Byron Byron

Don Juan is a satiric poem[1] by Lord Byron, based on the legend of Don Juan, which Byron reverses, portraying Juan not as a womaniser but as someone easily seduced by women. It is a variation on the epic form. Byron himself called it an "Epic Satire" (Don Juan, c. xiv, st. 99). Byron completed 16 cantos, leaving an unfinished 17th canto before his death in 1824. Byron claimed that he had no ideas in his mind as to what would happen in subsequent cantos as he wrote his work.

When the first two cantos were published anonymously in 1819, the poem was criticised for its "immoral content", but it was also immensely popular.

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