Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Maya and miscellany

Wow, and we thought bling-bling was a new idea. I am watching a documentary about the ancient Meso-Americans (What the Ancients Did for Us, BBC2, with Adam Hart-Davis). In the cleanliness segment, we are learning that they rubbed flowers and scented plants under their armpits, bathed nearly every day, and brushed their teeth with charcoal, salt, and frayed twigs. Now to the bling bit. They decorated their teeth! I've just seen a 1200 year old Mayan tooth with a spot of jade embedded into it. They would bore a small hole into the tooth, shape a precious gem and glue it in with a mystery glue recipe. Bejewelled teeth: invented by the Maya!

Speaking of non-Western cultures, Vanessa told me about a breathing workshop that she and Jordan attended the other day. I've been hearing lately about how the Asians already breathe more deeply with their bellies, whereas we breathe shallowly with our diaphragms. Ironically, all babies breathe with their bellies and then grow out of it at some point. We could all benefit from a few minutes of deep-breathing each day.
Now I have to complain. Vanessa said that the instructor also told them to stop asking "why?" Stop asking why, let go, and breeeeeeeathe. Well, why stop asking why? This former science major is pouting at the thought. That's how we make all our advances and progress. But there you go, that's Western science versus Eastern philosophy. Western accumulation versus eastern renunciation. And so on. Today with the emptiness of purely modern life, the human soul cries out for fulfillment, and so a balance must be struck between science and spirituality.

On another note, my young friend Michelle in Canada started her own blog today. She dedicated her first entry to me! Aw, bless. Quite honoured actually. I've known her since 1999. Last night, she taught me how to dance techno via her webcam, it was fun! daa dum-dum, daa dum-dum, da-da da-daa dum dum (di-di, di-di, di-di) If anyone can identify that song, please leave a comment and I will reward you with praise.


Anonymous said...

I am realy going to like your blog. Learning something new everytime. Quite fascinating that the maya decorated their teeth....

why why why!!!! Sometimes it's best not to question.....but you are right that is how we progress.


Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!
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