Warrior Poet, Philosopher King, Renaissance Man (Person)



I love being surrounded by books I know books are not that they seem to be out of fashion right now like a regular regular book made of paper seems to be out of fashion right now but I have collected quite a few of them over the years and you know I've got like a small modest personal library that sits behind me right now I'm flanked on my corner by two shelves once I was organizing them and I had left the door open and someone happened to pass by our little studio here Ben said are all those books yours and I said yes and so he said that you know I'd really like to get into reading more I don't know I just reading was always something like geez these these these these portals these gateways to other worlds and that you know I might not have realized and as I said before I'm not I'm not knocking technology I'm not some kind of Luddite I mean Here I am doing a podcast but so you know somebody wants to use an e-reader or listen to audiobooks that's great right now I'm right now I'm old school maybe I'll maybe I'll get into the audiobooks to what I guess what concerns me is um maybe not everything that I'd want to have available as an audiobook is out there yet so like a lot of the stuff I have is pretty obscure I was thinking you know the other day about I've often been critical of this sort of highly intensive specialization that you have with you know respective academic disciplines where everybody you know they get so specialized in one discipline that they try to talk to somebody in another department and they can't even understand each other because of the development of specialized terminology for your discipline that's like and then of course all the departments are fighting over money and which apart which department is essential and whatever I'm really happy not to be up mm-hmm you know in the middle of that any longer you you know there's a great there's a great webcomic about I've mentioned this before there's a hilarious webcomic by Jorge Chan called PhD comics that just sort of if anybody has gone to graduate school or is in graduate school now you really appreciate all the humor there if if you're not if you haven't gone through that experience but you might not get the jokes but it's a it's a good warning if you're thinking about it but I mean I don't know I've always I've always learned more independently I think part of the reason you know is my experience home schooling having having basically taught myself for a number of years when I was younger I didn't go to high school and there's that joke by a famous joke by Dan Aykroyd that I mentioned when he was I mean I don't I don't remember what show he was on but he said I was gonna I'm gonna homeschool my children so there will be geniuses but dysfunctional geniuses so I think I probably fall into that category being an artist and a loner and you know I guess being creative we all have a few screws loose and it's so cliche but it seems to be true I was trying to think of the name of that book the other day about the relationship between what used to be called manic depressive disorder which is now referred to as if I'm not mistaken a bipolar disorder how how we all get categorized it's guys if I'm not mistaken it's called touched by the fire Sonia interview was the author and I guess the only way she could stomach the interview was to just be doped up on lithium it was kind of sad to see but book is fascinating I didn't get to read all of it I didn't want one of my like gorillas reading tours where I just you know ambushed the bookstore and grabbed a bunch of books and start reading you know maybe the first chapter or open the middle of the book and just read from the middle and you know see what information I pick up maybe that's you know the a DD or ADHD that they claimed that I have maybe that's why these podcasts are so I don't know I want to say they're interesting because you never know which direction it's going to go and then it makes a conversation more interesting even though these have been just more like a stream of consciousness consciousness kind of thing and there's an interaction but I got I suppose I'm just interacting with my own mind which can be interesting I should try it sometime maybe people think I'm a little strange for doing it publicly but that's alright so speaking of reading I really like old books and like if you if you haven't a fine like an old book you get this feeling of like like you you know like like a child like nostalgia I would say as if you've you you were some Explorer and you stumbled upon this ancient manuscript and that you were searching for and has all the secrets or some incredible story that you're going to read incidentally you know speaking of books and nostalgia one of my favorite you know I don't know I don't think I ever actually read the book oddly enough that's one of those things where people say the movies better than the book right I you know about the book but the movie I presume it was based on the book I guess I should look that up Here I am talking about books and saying oh yeah maybe I'll look it up online there's another thing about the the culture of knowledge that we have today as much as I critique some of the failings of modern academia in in many respects it's also like the online culture is kind of weird where you've got like the sound bite culture or this you know people just see like a short clip of something and assume that they're getting the whole story all of the information and everybody goes wild on social media about something that they saw or heard and get really angry about it or everybody gets all worked up over something and then turns out later on maybe there's more to the story and then everybody's embarrassed for maybe a minute and then they move on to the next thing that gets them angry so yeah that's why I don't really use social media very often I found it doesn't make me a very nice person and I get a little weirded out by the the sort of a professional Palama sysm that seems to be popular right now and everybody falls into their little information silos and there's some charismatic leader of some groups um this particular podcast or this particular subreddit or something and everybody just agrees with that person and or you know you get in the situation where people are you ever notice how some people are argumentative just just for the sake of being argumentative you know they just disagree with you for the sake of disagreeing and it's not really leading the conversation anywhere they just want to be combative that's that's always I don't know I suppose it's entertaining but I think perhaps we could be entertained by other things one of the things I when I started with when I when I began talking about critiquing academia in terms of this you know this highly specialized disciplines and knowledge and it's sort of it's another kind of information silo I think and maybe you have a group of people you know forming ideologies around their favorite professor rather than sort of broadening their their perspectives but then again I go back to I mentioned took not on a lot I found his I found his like his content on YouTube and the stuff they put out from plum village to be quite you know sort of paradigm shifting in a sense where you know I heard this story from you know here's another YouTube personality it's more more of like a scholar and academic within a different tradition you could say that about Tay and I took not Han he's a scholar and in you know Eastern Eastern Buddhism which is a whole different human philosophy and then then of course there's Hamza Yusuf as I said I'm neither Buddhist nor nor Muslim I just find I just find all of human knowledge and traditions and stuff so fascinating I always have you know I I have such broad interests and you know bringing up Hamza Yusuf like is he's got a couple of videos on on reading specifically which are really interesting and very enlightening but uh Youssef tells the story of this very well-known Islamic philosopher from the you know Golden Age of Islam Allah cazali which in English most people say like al-ghazali and I guess he was you know this brilliant scholar who could just go around and refute it anybody's argument like he was just such a good debater that he he just could go anywhere and go toe-to-toe against anyone and any philosophical debate and he always won and I guess it got to the point where he said that he could not stand himself and he just abandoned everything he had been in his post he had this really high position at some university in the court of some Sultan or Khalif or something and you have to look use of video you know to get the exact details but I'm just giving a sort of overview and paraphrasing but I just found the story so fascinating because he leaves everything behind and has this kind of like spiritual crisis and he lowers himself and debases himself to where he just sweeps a mosque for years and and does some more like inner spiritual contemplation rather than always trying to argue with one with other people and refute them and it's such an interesting story because it it's reminiscent of you know so many other similar stories like that about remarkable people and unfortunately then you're going to get into the the situation where people want to say well there's always those people that that want to argue that is that a historical figure didn't exist there's the Jesus didn't exist people the Mohammedan is it exists people Buddha didn't exist right and that's it's the same kind of argumentativeness where and of course there's actually good reasons they're they're good reasons to think that these doesn't mean that everything attributed to them is necessarily correct but it also just because there might have been some elements of the story that were later exaggerated or embellished doesn't mean that they didn't exist as actual historical so but then again that's where I'm falling into and going back to technolon where he talks about he talks about transcending all views you know through the practice of meditation transcending all points of view like no single point of view can be correct because it's only coming from one point in space and time that's rather arrogant to to assume that one knows all or has figured it out right in all of the annals of human history going back you know if you want to go back to like Agricultural Revolution ten thousand years ago or to the dawn of civilization maybe about five thousand years ago or if you want to go back to you know even further to two hundred thousand years ago and you know Homo sapiens first radiate from the scene from somewhere I'd like to say from somewhere because that's that's one of the arguments that we get into in terms of like human origin so in the late scholar John Mohawk the Seneca Nation scholar John Mohawk when he's doing a pioneers a presentation he says this he says they were human beings radiated out from somewhere and I'm gonna leave it open as to where they radiate out from because that we as indigenous peoples get very irritated at the what's called a bering land bridge hypothesis which dominates all a conversation about indigenous origins and in the Americas but and there are there are some good reasons to doubt that I'm gonna have to recall the name of that book that I saw recently that calls into question but and of course then there's also our own traditions our own history that tells us things like the there's a great documentary called cousins across the sea where the native hawaiians the kanaka maoli people when they were asked where they originated from there they said they came from : oka Calais and which they argued was modern-day Alaska or somewhere around that region of the Pacific Northwest of the North American continent which kind of goes against what most scholars and Richard researchers are suggesting about Polynesian origin and the MALDI make the same claim make the same assertion that they originated actually from all the way from North America ultimately it's part of the reason why so many Maori showed up to defend the water protectors at Standing Rock or hoo-hoo Parvati pita the the territory of the homophonic hotel yeah taking the the Sitting Bull's people to Tonka yo Tonka's people and so you know it's just so interesting all these stories and points of view and origin and things like that but I found the value memory rather persuasive in terms of like for instance look at the language like in in Hawaiian the the word for the Hawaiian island of course is Hawaii and and sometimes and now it's come to be pronounced hawaii and the Haida have a legend the height of formally called the Queen Charlotte Islands but that was never its name of course it's all–it's it has always been the territory of the Haida Gwaii the Haida nation and so look at the compare the word Hawaii with the term Haida Gwaii II there's some there's some similarity there I think I'm not a linguist although one time I wanted to be I find that so interesting there's so many diverse interests and and you know if if any of them had been pursued or nurtured sufficiently then maybe I would be doing something completely different but perhaps part of the reason why I'm doing this now is to just go ahead and pursue all of those interests and talk about and think about and read about anything that I like that's one of the things that I you know I think people get worried when I start going off in these branches and worried that I'm not going to come back to the original point but I always do and so that idea of these these highly specialized disciplines that it's very interesting it's very different way of thinking about knowledge from the way that knowledge was thought of in the past so even in like a Western scholastic kind of system where you know it used to be you you were just called a philosopher right everybody that had some sort of knowledge or training on something you were just called a philosopher and it didn't matter if your knowledge was specifically in philosophy per se or also included you know law politics and government you were jet you were known as a philosopher you studied the philosophy of law the philosophy of government or politics or even if you were a natural scientist the word scientist hadn't really come into fashion it yet you know until I don't know probably what around the 1800s I think when that started to be used and differentiating scientists from philosophers they used to be called natural philosophers and so the idea of a philosopher was somebody that tried to have this I I realized the term is kind of a tired term and has been used so many times and maybe people don't maybe I'm not using an entirely correctly but hopefully people will understand what I mean when I say a kind of holistic knowledge you know the knowledge of the whole yeah you have some some training and maybe have a specialization but you have some knowledge and appreciation and training and actually a lot of different topics and you're free to pursue all of those different interests in a way that you really aren't today you get your degree in this and if you want to take a class outside of you're going to get this form sign and that form sign and run all over campus get this permission in that permission and pay this much money and it doesn't count toward your it's it's it's ridiculous it's like they don't want you to learn anything so for me it's always been much more pleasant to learn on my own just if you want knowledge you know you don't have to get yourself in insurmountable debt you can just go get a library card in most cases are free and think of a topic you're interested in go to a library check out the book you got it for a couple of weeks read the book take some notes bring it back and you'll have all kinds of knowledge in your head used to do that all the time I'm I'm kind of disappointed that libraries aren't open later you know when I would I would go to one at night even if I could I have kind of an insatiable appetite for books I'm surrounded by them and then you know I've already got some and then I go to a bookstore and then I end up buying more and then I don't have anywhere to put them so it's a kind of a bad habit but uh our you know I couldn't it could be worse yeah that's it's not gonna collect anything collecting knowledge is not incidentally that's that's one of the things that was very interesting about when use of began talking about the story of a huzzah huzzah like isn't one one of the accounts of this interesting person this sort of brilliant Islamic philosopher he was I guess on the road with all of his his books you know he had this caravan all these camels and stuff and just just carrying all his books and then a thief shows up and says you know I'm gonna steal all his books and and he's like no no you can't steal my books because you know I need them and and it's all of mine it's all of my knowledge and the thief says if it's if it's such precious knowledge how is it that you have that how is it the thief can take it away from you and so he saw this as a sign like a sign from God saying that he needed to memorize everything that he read from that point on now I haven't taken it to that level although you know it'd be interesting and interesting skill although at the same time I would say maybe maybe that's not the best approach because first of all there's that like danger that rote memorization kind of thing we're not really analyzing what you know or what you have retained it's just you just remember a bunch of lines of words or something and there's no analysis or application of it then you know there's this movie you know going back from books to a movie reference but I think I don't know maybe keeps it interesting for people there's this movie I saw you know years ago that came out the hallmark create it's one of those hallmark made-for-tv movies but it was cool because it was it was like a native movie and there aren't too many of those and you know we need more more of those that are more more accurate with actual native actors instead of people putting on red face and whatever but so it's called dream keeper I'm sure a lot of people who've seen it but there's this one character it was kind of the main character and one of the main characters and the whole thread of the story who as the grandfather is recounting this legend of Eagle boy and Eagle boy finally achieves this these supernatural powers to the point where he can get anything he wants effortlessly any woman he was can go out and hunt doesn't matter he gets anything he wants effortlessly and you know suppose we live now and he can just get money effortlessly and he could just have anything he wanted at like a snap of his fingers right and it turns out and made him totally miserable and he said the character in the film says I miss trying and that that line and that just blew my mind like yeah you know the writers did such a great job on that film and and he says I miss trying I was like that's incredible because you don't really think about that everything comes so easily to us now that we don't and I didn't understand this for a long time either and I'm still working on it where it's like you don't realize that your mind and your body they actually crave effort you're you're not happy when something is just given to you with no effort you could begin to expect that to happen and then when it doesn't turn out that way you become very angry and agitated and miserable and so it's really interesting when you see these figures who either deliberately or by some circumstance they get placed in some adverse conditions and then you see these stories of them kind of rising rising out of those conditions and one of the examples I I mentioned was the Inca Emperor who all of the royalty of the Inca lineage were trained in such a way that at least according to Prescott's Mexico when I talked about those ancient books and ancient manuscripts CI I started to talk about a book that I was or a movie that I liked when I was a kid and I sort of trailed off there the book I was the movie rather that I was referring to is called a neverending story and you know one of these days I'm still I've always wanted a luck dragon and I'm determined that one day I will fly on a luck dragon know that wolf thing though that thing used to terrify me and maybe some people know what I'm talking about any of you who haven't seen it like you know if you're you know kind of like 80s and 90s kid and it's kind of some nostalgia for you there if you go back and look at the neverending story it's an awesome it's an awesome movie about how great you know I mean the whole thing centers on a kid opening and reading a book and in this entire world appears to him and that's you know in his imagination or you know but all those things that they actually start happening right so they begin physically manifesting and it's really amazing in beautiful ways it's just such such a great movie and I was like I was going to be out there I was gonna be out there and out there on the plains with a tray you hunting the purple Buffalo but you know people stopped believing and then the nothing started destroying everything it was the saddest thing in the world spoiler alert I should have said that before so at any rate the Inca royalty in Emperor's they would they would deliberately place their the royalty in these adverse conditions where they had to live as though they were poor and one of the things that they said that this the reason why this was done was so that the ink of royalty even though they were gonna live they're gonna live large they're gonna live lavish thereafter there were two reasons for this one was this was this was military training in a sense because the Inca ruler was also a general he was a warrior so fighting and like you know kind of like martial arts were a part of you know military training was a part of this Spartan conditions that they were placed in but the other reason of course was so that they would identify with the poor and and have empathy for them and so in the opening of you know the beginning of Prescott's Mexico and I should mention these little books I have there are these small volumes they're just hard bound with just a plain red hardback cover and you know in the binding it says Prescott's Peru and Prescott's Mexico and they're probably the earliest English or best-known English translations and very early English translations of all of the Spanish records of the Aztec and Inca civilizations and they're really fascinating they were among my favorite books and I gotten these books as like a you know kind of a hand-me-down like family heirloom kind of thing I don't even remember where exactly they came from they just you know handed down through my father's family line and I had a small bookshelf you know I had several large ones I still have a few here in our studio but I had one enormous one that I had just packed with like National Geographic magazines and art magazines and stuff that eventually collapsed beneath the weight of like the shelving just broke little couldn't take it so that's that's storage I guess would be wondering one reason when good reason to have audio books and ear eaters and things but as I said I don't know there's there's still something to be said about an actual books you know like finding an ancient manuscript you could put yourself in that mindset and you open it up and then this there's like this whole world begins to appear it to you that you're not thinking about before you perhaps not even aware of before this like placing yourself in these adverse conditions is kind of an interesting thing or having to it's is similar to the story of the Buddha and in which he you know he's as Prince and he's living really lavish and then he sees sick and poor and dying people and doesn't understand what's happening because his father tried to shield him from all of the horrors of the world and once you discovered that this is something that could happen to him also he leaves his station as a prince and you know goes on this inner spiritual journey just like the story of the huzzah lien you know comes back with some insight I'm really fascinated with figures and characters like that and in literature that sort of transformative kind of thing that in an inner journey kind of thing another figure that I find so fascinating that I wanted to I mentioned Prescott's Peru but Prescott's Mexico yeah so these little red they're so old and faded and I have to be very careful when I read them because they're so fragile but they're published in 1911 the volumes that I have but the the original manuscript was published in something like 1837 if I'm not mistaken and so you know when you read an old when you read the old literature like that you do have to take some things with a grain of salt because there is a little bit of you know imperialism there's racism there's religious bigotry that you have to get around so it's it's very good to I suppose be more of a if you're gonna delve in the books anyway especially older ones he'd be a more well-rounded reader and say okay well this obviously is just his own bias and and I can ignore that part and then navigate my way around his biases to the truth so you have to do that a little bit with these volumes but the stuff that they reveal is so fascinating because they're so comparatively little of it that I found anyway available in English and these are you know some of the earliest English sources and he talks about the story of this King nitsa waka yodel I should I should mention here I was working part-time as a courier and I made his delivery to this man's apartment and I looked I looked at my phone to see the name of the customer and it said that's a hollow yodel and I thought to myself no way that's not his real name maybe he just gave himself that name for you know to sound cool or something and so I go to his I go to his apartment and a knock on the door and he appears and I give him all the items that he had ordered from the courier service and I said is that your real name and he kind of looked down like he was embarrassed and I said no really that's that's amazing that's well that's actually one of my favorite historical figures nets of all coyotl and he got very excited and very happy that I knew who that was and and that I thought it was a cool name because he doesn't really my guess is if you have a name like knit Sawalha coil it's not too many people are gonna try to pronounce it correctly or or think that it's cool or something so they could really got me thinking because in Prescott's Mexico and vol.1 when he was describing the civilization of ancient Mexico prior to the and prior to the invasion of the conquistadors the most interesting story by far as the story I would argue of Nitsa while Kyoto and his name in classical nahuatl means which is you know the language of the aztecs so-called but I need to clarify that again for those that maybe didn't listen to some of the previous podcasts his name means the fast and coyote and so just a little background of course when we say so first of all like the word Aztec I mean it comes from Aslan the people of Aslan and so all the Nahuatl peoples the Nahuatl speaking peoples of the valley of mexico migrated there from the north what is now the American Southwest at some time in the European when Europe was in sort of like the high middle ages around you know eleven twelve hundred they migrated down into the valley of Mexico there's already the civilization they're known as the Toltec that is falling or had declined or whatever and lots of different kingdoms and city-states are established and the people that we know as the Aztecs are specifically only the people that built the city-state of Tenochtitlan they're the ones that we call the Aztec or more appropriately the mashita they settle on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco and they built this gigantic artificial island in this unbelievably magnificent city known as Tenochtitlan with its enormous market of let the loco and all of that stuff if you're interested in those things and then to the east side of the West rather there was another Kingdom Kingdom of cluck upon and they controlled you know what we're looking at here is what's called a triple alliance not really a true empire so you have Tenochtitlan and the Aztecs are Machiko controlling one part of them of the Empire the Triple Alliance then you have the kingdom of cluck-cluck upon to the west and they're controlling part of the empire and each of these city-states or kingdoms is independent of the other but they are allied with one another it's a confederation so it's not really a true empire with like a single monarch except if you accept the conclusions of some of the conclusions and Prescott's Mexico where it is claimed that by the time the Spanish arrived that the figure that we know as Montezuma it's actually more appropriately pronounced I believe Mateo Souma that he had usurped power from both clock upon and the other kingdom that I'm going to get to here in a moment and it kind of crowned himself Emperor even though that wasn't the original arrangement and so that may be the real reason for the fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521 that this it's part of the reason anyway it's not the only reason but it's certainly part of the reason that kind of political instability and animosity that that usurpation of power and this change from the older order that had always existed prior to so and also we're told in many of these accounts that people were like heavily heavily taxed by the time that this happened and so the Cortes enters right as right is all this political instability and begins to happen and weaken the Empire but any rate the Kingdom on the east side of the lake was the kingdom of a cold walk on or the city-state of – cocoa things also pronounced tetes cocoa or he has it written in Prescott's mexico tests tests cocoa and calls them attest cocoons they're all very difficult words to say the classical nahuatl or not what different different pronunciations of that as well know what'll not what so in any rate there is another kingdom and it has a realm on the east side of this lake and there's a rival kingdom known as the tepid x and the tappan ik capture the they they are fighting against the the alkyl ones and the king they get the king and they they kill him and the prince and that's a while coyotl the young man who's only 15 it's such an amazing story and you know some aspects of the story i suppose have been questioned or called into question but so far as we know these are the things that happened so he witnessed his own father's murderer execution on the battlefield and he is hiding in the tree branches as he's seen all of us go down and then he escapes and remember he's only a teenager his only 15 and at some point he flees to Tenochtitlan because at the time there are allies and they have enough power and they don't shoot lon to to protect him from being being harmed by the teppan acts the tappan acts take over the city of Tesh cocoa and all of the realms of the kingdom of hakalo come and claim them for their own and they forced the nobility of the kingdom to accept their authority so on and yet we're told that all the while they remained loyal to units of want cleo de lijn had always hoped that he would return and you know restore restore his rule and so he leads this kind of adventurous life where you know first he is hiding in the treetops his father was murdered he flees he runs away he's being pursued he manages to gain basically what we would call political asylum by fleeing to Tenochtitlan then he's permitted to return to his kingdom of – cocoa but as subservient to the new lord of a new king of who was at epinet king and his name is mashed la and he kneels before mushed lund and puts flowers at his feet and as a sign of his submission and loyalty to the new ruler but Masha is not having any of it and despite the asylum that it was extended to him by Tenochtitlan then the Aztecs or the Machiko Masha Allah decides he wants him dead because he cannot have this living heir to the throne that is challenging his authority so many of the people in the palace are warning Nets alcoholic a yodel he has to flee he has to run away and get out of there because he's going to be killed if he doesn't at one point in the story he was thrown into a dungeon and you know surrounded and you know guards were watching over him but one of the guards was sympathetic to he and his family and his rule and wanted to didn't and hated the teppan ACK rulers and them and moshed LAN and wanted to see that the kingdom restored and so he allows the King to escape and that's a little flees into the wilderness and the guard who let him escape as is killed it's kind of it's good in that part of the story really I always wished that somebody would make a movie about his life because it's it's just such a awesome story and you know maybe maybe people question some parts of the narrative and that's fine you know it's like the the job of the historian is to determine what most probably occurred in the past we don't really know exactly what happened because you know we can't go back there at least not yet and maybe some people out there say it's not possible and maybe it's not so he runs away into the wilderness but that story of the escape it really reminds me of there this there was this great movie I think he's just called Mangal and I believe it was a Russian director but the moves called Mangal and it's entirely in the mongolian language and it's about basically the rise of genghis khan more appropriately Chinggis Khaan and it shows that at one point he is captured and put in this like wooden cage thing and he's basically put on display like a zoo animal and instead of lashing out at people and getting angry or whatever he's in the movie anyway he just sits there as though he's in like a deep meditation and of course the Mongolians had their own spirituality in fact if I'm not mistaken the term shaman itself comes from it's either Mongolia Tibet I want to say it's Mongolian unfortunately that term has just used a little bit too much and like anthropology and stuff and so Native people in North America we tend to shy away from that term because it becomes this like catch-all phrase for any any type of spiritual leader among Native people which I mean it causes a great deal of inaccuracies and misconceptions and things like that but for a lack of a better word he you know he's practicing some kind of spirituality to endure this hardship and then it's his own wife if I'm not mistaken who shows up in the film to issue she's like disguised or something and she like cuts the throats of the guards and then helps her husband to escape and it's a similar in some respects to this dramatic escape of net Salado a little from the dungeon that they had thrown them in trying to imagine or like what the dungeon might have looked like in terms of you know thinking about what Mason American architecture looked like and what it would look like to be put in like I didn't really have like a jail cell with iron bars or something so I don't know what what it must have been that they threw him in but they must had something and he escapes and he escapes into the wilderness and he's pretty much having to survive you know he's like constantly on the run and having to just gather wild food and and hunt and or you know find people that will shelter him and not you know kill him or whatever and so he does all of these things and finds that he wears disguises and he you know asked he goes and among people and asks them you know have you seen the king or or whatever and the story goes that they all they were all loyal to to him and they would they were basically lying for him they didn't realize it was him they were talking to and they were saying things like you know I wouldn't I wouldn't give up the king even if they offered me a great reward I would never tell anybody where he was if I knew where he had gone right and so at a certain point he realizes that as the citizens of Akkad welcome our or subjects if you want to you know because it was you know this was a like a monarch achill system so the subjects of the colorful con they're all still loyal to him and he manages to forge an alliance with the Aztecs our mashita in Tenochtitlan and they gather a force strong enough to defeat the tip and neck and drive them out of dish cocoa the capital of the kingdom will call Hakan and then moshed la that the king the teppan a cruller who had who he saw murder his own father he's on the run now and he retreats to these bath houses and that's where they find him and of course they they execute him to kill him right on the spot and then the tip and neck city is destroyed and razed to the ground and then the kingdom of a cult walk on in this the city of dish coco the city-state is liberated it's won its independence and Nestle Alcala reclaims this place on the throne after having endured all of those hardships and one of the thing that things that I I guess I really admire about him in addition to is that this just sort of the diverse diversity of the interests and the accomplishments it's kind of like you know people use this terminology Renaissance man right use it rather freely and it's you know it's kind of an antiquated term you know we should say we should be more inclusive and say something more like Renaissance person because not all of these remarkable figures were male it just so happens that the ones that I know about are a male and you know that's that's probably my own there are a couple of reasons there I mean one is I I just don't have enough books on or maybe I don't have any and that's uh I actually do have one called bad girls you would think it's you know like an adult-oriented or something but it's actually a really cool one talks about some very fearsome and kind of scary women one one of whom was a Chinese pirate that's a really amazing story I should read that and get on here and do another podcast about her I forget her name but it's a such a cool story tell anyway she was such a success successful pirate and that she managed to she was actually sinking Chinese naval ships like her pirates were you know to the point where she was actually able to negotiate for herself uh her own political post within the Imperial Government of China and if I'm not mistaken she began her life as a prostitute and you know rose through the ranks of power through this you know piracy and this really incredibly politically savvy woman so maybe that's one one that we should do a podcast Lana her name is escaping me I'm sure somebody's gonna look it up now that I've said it but I've got an actual book on it she's one of the ones listed in my book called bad girls I can't forget the subtitle but anyway back to Nestle waddle and this idea of a Renaissance person I should say somebody who has all these diverse interests in diverse accomplishments and things like that and that's a lot pay yodel I think is one of the ones who is not really well known as far as a Renaissance person is concerned because so for example with the use of a term Renaissance man I'm gonna change to Renaissance person to be more inclusive most people think of Leonardo da Vinci and as an artist of course yeah he definitely deserves the the title you know I mean Bill Gates dropped like two billion dollars on his notebooks and you know just there's a remarkably brilliant individual who known as an artist but also as an inventor and like a scientist and being well ahead of his time and many of the sciences I saw some of his anatomical drawings that were really wild mmm like he's drawing like the human figure but also like the organs on the inside of the body and stuff and it was just just blows your mind that how smart this guy was for his time and and for and you know even he was advanced for his time I saw a book about him actually where he the author was arguing that some of the topographical drawings and he did there was no way he could have done them without being able to unless he he somehow knew how to fly and so it was almost as if he was suggesting that he actually built some of his flying machines and we we know or it it or it has been argued at least and demonstrated I think that Leonardo da Vinci is flying machines if construct did that they could actually fly but at any rate people know about him as a renaissance person this person of diverse interests and accomplishments it's such a fascinating idea and I think something that I don't know maybe something that I aspire to and maybe that everyone should aspire to there are those who would say no no no just get really good at one thing and I keep mentioning Malcolm Gladwell and that 10,000 hour rule I think he's right about that well you know the the researchers who he's citing and quoting in his chapter the 10,000 hour rule they're probably right about that to obtain mastery of your craft you got to put in a minimum of a 10,000 hours there's so many things in the world that are so interesting and you kind of wish you could learn and study them all I mean you know how many 10,000 hours there's not even in 10,000 hours in a year even if you were able to stay up 24 hours a day and seven days a week for 365 days in a solar year alright how would you put in 10,000 hours I don't know that somebody could make an argument about the ID idea of the hour itself whether or not it's a real thing it's kind of a unit of measure that we've imposed upon nature that doesn't actually exist in nature I personally I've always had this intense disdain for clocks clocks in clock time I I just don't resonate with with that sort of artificial timeline but I'm just blown away by the the achievements and accomplishments of someone like a Leonardo da Vinci and I think another person who's who's gaining recognition of being a renaissance person is miyamoto musashi in the Japanese martial artist I think he's more it's sort of like the way that Leonardo da Vinci is probably more known for or at least for a long time he was mostly known for his artwork he was mostly known as an artist like solely an artist until other people like kind of inventors and engineers and stuff and they started gaining an interest in his knowledge as a scientist as an as an engineer as an inventor that kind of thing and so that emerged later on in popular culture you say used to so many examples of it there's a really cool episode of Family Guy where Stewie was supposedly the the direct descendant of Leonardo da Vinci I thought it was really cool the way they animated that they were actually flying in some of da Vinci's flying machines there's a really cool scene just that sequence there where they're flying through the city and like this Italian city and the 15 cent into 16th century 1500s in Leonardo's flying machines reconstruction was is from his his journal but I don't know like it's sort of the same way where you have miyamoto musashi is this really brilliant he's known as a martial artist he's been referred to as the Ken send the sword saint of Japan in this incredibly famous treatise on swordsmanship that's read by every martial artist even even if they they're not within that discipline of swordsmanship it's called a book of five rings of the golden no-show and if your martial artist is a good chance you have a copy of it or know whom you know Miyamoto Musashi is I you know I've read it and it's you know this really deep philosophical book but it's so so brief it's very zen very much a Zen it's not like these really long scholastic philosophical treatises that you would get in a like a European philosophers text or something you know you read like four or five hundred pages of something still we can theists but there's a book I have here I'm doing this whole thing in the dark it's kind of interesting I hope that wasn't too noisy for everyone yeah so this is by kenji tokete sue and it's Miyamoto Musashi his life and writings it's got a translation a new translation of the book of five rings with Toki's who's commentary and in the opening chapter kenji tokyo is talking about how Miyamoto Musashi is he compares him actually to Leonardo da Vinci I think deliberately to demonstrate to Western audiences that this this is like their Leonardo da Vinci that Leonardo da Vinci of Japan or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that Leonardo is the DaVinci of or you know da Vinci is the miyamoto musashi of Italy or something I don't know I just Leonardo has gotten a lot of press and Musashi seems to be only known in the martial arts circles but you know his philosophy and ideology is applicable to so many different things though as many would argue although in one of the translations I have it's very critical of people who try to apply it to different things it's kind of like people who apply the art of war by Sun Tzu to like business and stuff but they'd any rate they are I would I would argue that there's some applicability there you know just in terms of the idea of strategy they're both books on strategy really if one of the translations I have it says you know the weight of strategy specifically like the like the dole or the dowel the way of strategy so he's Takeda was talking about how he's known as a martial artist Musashi but he his paintings and his sculpture and his poetry are considered to be of the highest order by you know collectors and art historians and things like that around the world so he's also one of these incredible Renaissance persons and I think the least known of in terms of a renaissance person of that nature is isn't it so vodka yodel because after after he restores his his rule there are actually some more parallels between he and Chinggis Khan or Genghis Khan I get a little frustrated with the fact that people think that the Mongols and Mongolians were not the motorcycle gang but the actual Mongolian people in ancient times under what what most Americans said Genghis but more appropriately as Chinggis Khaan all the information that we have about him and his his people is written by their enemies of the people of the conquered so it paints them in a pretty negative light and so there are historians who have come forward to question that narrative in the same way that I've argued that people should question and the traditional narrative of you know the this the the supposed bloodthirstiness of the aztecs which actually doesn't really have a whole lot of historical basis in fact at least according to some critical historians and ethnologist like Peter Hassler I believe that the University of Zurich so you know Chinggis Khaan actually creates this a system of law and forms this really a kind of democratic system among his followers that a lot of that there there are some historians who suggest that his code this code of laws that he created somehow made it its way to the west and influenced Western political and legal thought in a way that was not previously understood and that's not something that you're going to hear about or read about in these conventional histories or histories they're written just for a kind of popular audience that you know want to feed into that lurid fascination that people have with the supposed bloodthirstiness of the the warrior or whatever and so that same idea of like you know promulgating laws and being experts in legal matters and government the same was true of nests of wild clay odel he was this brilliant statesman by all accounts and created this code of laws and these he created an independent judiciary apparently which is rather remarkable for this you know monarch achill kind of autocratic system that existed you know this wasn't these were not democratic systems but the judiciary was independent of by the code that he created and I guess it was a code of like eighty laws almost almost like a constitutional monarchy in a way except this was all his own as far as I understand his own creation it wasn't but then again we don't know I mean he could have conferred with his advisers on any of these matters so it could be it very well could be a collaborative effort in the same way that the code created by now or attributed to Chinggis Khaan could could have most likely a collaborative effort we just remember it because we know who Chinggis Khaan azure and the people who study the history of ancient mexico know that's awell Codel and so in addition to this the other stories about them that are really interesting there's some other historical parallels where there there's a there's a Khalif Khalifa in the Arabian Nights actually picked up a copy of the Arabian Nights recently and they're doing that remake of the Aladdin movie that's one of the stories and well technically that story is was like an addendum the Aladdin story and and then the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves were not unlike the original Arabic manuscripts of the Thousand and One Nights but they appear in the French translation and the French author I guess the French translator said that he learned it from another Arabic speaking speaking person who told these two new stories it's weird because those are the ones that everybody knows and attributes to the Arabian Nights for the Thousand and One Nights but in one of the stories of the Thousand and One Nights or the Arabian Nights there's a Khalif and the khalifa' khalifa' was like kind of like the Pope in the Middle Ages uses you know leader of all Western Christianity but also like a political figure a leader of all of Western Europe and so the Khalif was you know the leader of the you know the whole Muslim empire in the whole Muslim Imperial system and of course there were times he had competing caliphates in the same way that you had a split in Christendom where you know you have an eastern and western you have the Byzantine Empire in the east and the western you know Roman Catholic Empire in the West but um so at any rate in addition to all these amazing things that he does and that's all alcohol does in government it's similar to the story this Khalifa in the thousand one nights where even though this person is supposed to be like the leader of like the whole world at least in the Muslim world he goes about in disguises and communicates with common people and so net so Hanukah yodel does the same thing we are and he asks you know the common people questions and you know there's one story about him talking to a kid trying to gather firewood and he he says you know why don't you go get what over there and the Royal Forest he said I can't because that's the the King's firewood and he you know there would be a severe penalty if I stole anything from there and the kid was telling him it was unfair and so because of that interaction netsupport coil goes back he amends the laws and says that people can gather any wood in the fort in the Royal forest that has fallen on the ground as long as they don't cut down the trees and so just such a fascinating individual the one thing that that his this is actually one of the reasons why even though people question some of the narrative I find it persuasive because if they're trying to glorify him and just say only the good things about him there is one thing about him that they mentioned that is is quite unfortunate in terms of apparently he had fallen in love with this woman who was already to be married to another another noble from another city he really wants to marry this woman himself and being the king of the whole realm he sends his his calling his friend into certain death into battle against the flesh Colin's the flash Colin's are actually I should say that clash dekha were instrumental later on in the fall of the city of Tenochtitlan when Cortes arrives so that nonsense about this handful of Europeans with superior technology and germ you know Guns Germs and Steel argument is nonsense the clash caltech have provided an auxilary army of no fewer than 70,000 people and then north decline was being besieged from all sides by the clash kaltaka whom they had never managed to con and that's the real reason why and the clash Caltech I hated they they were they were completely landlocked as a consequence of the conquests of the Triple Alliance who you know extended their realm all the way to the coast and so the class called Takko were sort of cut off from the ocean and things like that and they did not like their their Aztec overlords well didn't like the fact that that they were they wanted to be in charge right they wanted to be liberated and and stuff like that so they they made a choice to ally with the Spanish when they arrived and so the story what happens next is you know quite different than you know your conventional histories the supposed superstition of Montezuma thinking that they were gods or something it's all nonsense just stuff that was fabricated later on to justify the conquest but getting back to that's a what glottal I mean he he had these the descriptions in Prescott's Mexico are just amazing he's like this this engineer this architect he builds this incredible getaway for himself at a place called Ted Scott sinkhole or he's got this beautiful like palatial garden these Hanging Gardens of terraces and he's got all these like reflecting pools and reservoirs there are there are zoos there are you know places where exotic animals are kept there are ponds where exotic fish are kept there are aviaries or all sorts of species of birds and exotic birds are kept and he builds this incredible he built the the dike that separates the salt water from the freshwater that supplies the all of the water supply for the city of Tenochtitlan and he designs on the product actually that's one part of the story is where he when he escapes from the dungeon he actually runs through this enormous clay pipe under the ground which was one of the aqueducts that they had engineered that had fallen into disuse and so he was able to run through this dry clay pipe underground and get away but now he's restored to his rule and he you know rules over his kingdom until he's 72 years old and he establishes all these institutions and apparently one of the institutions was like an institution of music but it was actually some like in 1006 klonda schools were called if you were Noble they were called a column attack and if you were a you know if you were part of the people in class the normal nobility if you were part of the the the mock equality the you know ma koalas the commoners you went to what was the word again the or teleport Cali and so they have a similar school system here but he's established this he's like a patron of the Arts and Sciences he's established this university system and you know he even has libraries of these painted codices of all the hieroglyphic writing and apparently it's sort of like you know they talk about there's that line and Braveheart or the guys in his Scottish act they would water your poets right everybody uses that term I'm a warrior poet yo me wrong that's a it's a great movie despite my my other misgivings and criticisms of Gibson for other things like Apocalypto I did enjoy Braveheart and I think most people did but yeah so just an incredible person and you know wrote all this poetry and it sort of reminds me of like the some of the translations that Prescott has provided sort of reminds me of I mentioned the Ozymandias poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley many times he's talking about this this is very zen-like I guess this transitory nature of life and how you know all of the all of this stuff that you think you've accomplished and achieved like these great city walls and civilizations and stuff and you'll they're there I'll just you know crumble to dust and and the the human body will physically disintegrate you know but so don't be don't be so attached to the transitory things and but you know some some aspects of the story like like I said you know he he wants to marry this woman so he sends his friend in a certain death and the battle against the flesh kaltaka his friend dies and he ends up marrying this woman that is she produced his only heir and it's a fog peely who is also a smart guy but doesn't seem to be as politically successful or savvy as his father and dies right before Cortes enters yeah but a much younger age of 52 so it's it's interesting to think like what might have happened had it's a peeny lived and he is said to have predicted the coming of Cortez and and the destruction of like astrologically predicted it if you go in for that sort of thing some people are going to be irritated with me for even mentioning it but it's not scientific they'll say but yeah that's a what Koda was interested in you know they had their own astrology but they also observed basically all astronomers started out as astrologers even you know a well known Western scientists like Newton was an astrologer and an alchemist so but at any rate you know this is beautiful he's a warrior he's a warrior poet he's an engineer he's a king he's a philosopher king that's another term that's used he say he's got this great library these these gardens his terraces he like he loved life in solitude he created these retreats for himself where would go out he was compassionate to his subjects he would go out among them and try to figure out what how they felt about his policies and would change them accordingly um he develops his independent judiciary that can make decisions independent of royal of authority and he doesn't fear with our decisions and you know it's a remarkably advanced political and legal system the idea of having an independent judiciary independent of the executive which is one of the things that unit would never know about and never learn about if you just at the moment that you hear the term Aztec and you just think oh they just killed everybody and cut their hearts out you know what I'm talking about with books you know like you read a book versus watching some bloody documentary where they're just trying to get ratings or you know reading some book that's like some sort of pop science or pop history or stuff like that that's just you know trying to sell a book and move it off the shelves they want to talk about the blood and the death that sells books if books sell at all you know so people getting more and more desperate about what they put in them I think so yeah I mean I would lie on my bed at night and I had that small brown bookshelf next to my bed and I would read this one book of Prescott's Mexico and I would read about the life of this really amazing leader despite his faults and his flaws very similar to the story of King David in the Bible I think that's one of the reasons and like the story of David and Uriah I think that some some of the reasons why people question narrative but from way I look at it it seems like the stories being passed down by his descendants and so if they just wanted to glorify him then why would they why would they talk about this bad thing that he had done where he got his friend killed in order to marry his wife so just it is exactly the same thing that happened with David and Uriah but he still emerges as is very you know heroic Kingman in in that version of history as well well in that that culture as well I should say and so I don't know I'd lie there and I would read this in this book and low light at night and I think that's probably what how I developed my stigmatism because sometimes I'd lie on my side on my reading with one eye open just an amazing and fascinating story about somebody with diverse knowledge and this idea of becoming a Renaissance person which I suppose is something that I aspire to and I hope others do as well so if you found any of this interesting you know I've got also got YouTube channel or do some live arts stuff I have a lot of stuff on hit record if you want to use any of it to collaborate and maybe I'll put this up there as well if people want to you know use this kind of stream of consciousness podcast for any of their projects they'll have one version for myself and another version for a collaborative process or whatever and so check that stuff out check out my art on Threadless and yeah thanks everybody again for listening and maybe we'll talk about some more interesting stuff later on

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